Bob Dylan played his first North American show of 2019 Friday night in Irvine, California, where he introduced two new members of his touring band.
Drummer George Recile, who had played with Dylan continuously since 2002, was gone and in his place was Matt Chamberlain, a journeyman drummer best known for his brief stint in Pearl Jam in 1991. He has also played with Soundgarden, Tori Amos, the Wallflowers, Liz Phair and many others.
Bob Britt has also joined the group as an additional guitarist. He has played with Leon Russell, the Dixie Chicks, John Fogerty and many others. His only intersection with Dylan took place during the 1997 Time Out of Mind sessions, where he played guitar on “Standing in the Doorway,” “‘Til I Fell in Love with You,” “Not Dark Yet,” and “Cold Irons Bound.”
The setlist of the opening night show also had some notable additions, including the first performance of the Shot of Love tune “Lenny Bruce” since 2008 and the Together Through Life cut “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” in the opening slot where he traditionally plays “Things Have Changed.” Dylan also played guitar on “Beyond Here Lies Nothin,’” which he’s done only a handful of times in the past few years.
Dylan’s camp has cracked down hard on cellphone cameras in recent years and no video has emerged from the show, but someone did manage to record “Lenny Bruce”; the entire show is embedded below.
The tour goes all over the U.S. the next next two months, wrapping up with a 10-night stand at the Beacon Theater in New York City. It will be Dylan’s longest New York residency since his coffee house days of the early Sixties.