'Energized' Bob Dylan plays first of three homecoming shows at the Orpheum


Bob Dylan took to the stage for the first of three homecoming gigs in Minneapolis on Tuesday night in front of a capacity crowd at the Orpheum Theater.

It's been 22 years since Hibbing's favorite son last stepped on stage at the theater on Hennepin Avenue, a theater he co-owned for nine years between 1979 and 1988, but his first-night performance was very much rooted in the present, not the past, according to the Star Tribune.

Just three songs from the 1960s made the 19-song setlist, while 13 tracks were from this century with his most recent album, 2012's "Tempest," the most heavily-represented with six tracks. The full setlist can be seen here.

Also unrepresented was "The Basement Tapes Complete," a six-CD collection of bootleg material he recorded with his band in 1967, which finally got released on Tuesday.

Star Tribune reviewer Jon Bream described the show as a "distinctly musical performance" and the "best sounding Dylan concert" since he last played the Orpheum in 1992.

Intermission at Orpheum and let me tell you what. This Bob Dylan kid, he's got some potential. Great first set. pic.twitter.com/r3JE12bQ3e

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 5, 2014

He added that many of his more recent, critically-acclaimed songs may have been unfamiliar to some of the 2,600 in attendance, but he threw in a crowd-pleasing rendition of "Blowin' in the Wind" for the encore, before closing the show with a version of Frank Sinatra's "Stay With Me," a track expected to feature on his forthcoming "Shadows in the Night" album of Sinatra covers.

Jay Gabler, writing for The Current, said Dylan "seemed comfortable and energized at the venue", and that his setlist "favored Dylan's most recent, feisty but autumnal, material."

The consensus on social media was also overwhelmingly positive, with fans expressing their excitement before, during and after the performance.

Dylan will play his remaining two gigs in Minneapolis on Wednesday and Thursday, before his tour heads off for Chicago. For more information visit the Hennepin Theater Trust website.

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