The other novel thing about a Bob Vylan show is that there is only one live instrument. All other sounds besides Bobby’s voice come from a backing track, so he can move more freely (and dive into the crowd) than he could if he were saddled with a guitar.
Opener Big Man still packs plenty of the grit of more traditional live sounds, and He Sold Guns is no less emotional for it either. It comes to life onstage in a different way, with Bobby recalling a friend “stabbed dead in his flat hallway” with a viciousness the studio version doesn’t capture, the chorus screamed with a rage that’s particularly poignant given the atrocity of the Texas school shooting that happened barely 72 hours ago.
Yet whether they’re being lightly funny or deadly serious, watching them is nothing short of exhilarating. Tonight only further proves why Bob Vylan are one of the most vital bands to have come out of this grim little island in years.