Greenville, South Carolina
BI-LO Center
February 13, 2002

[Daniel Whitman], [Adam Dean]

Review by Daniel Whitman

    The old man showed up twenty-minutes late wearing
a black shirt with white polka dots, white pants, and
white pointed-toe boots. The outfit might have been
suitable for the famed 1966 tour, except that in 2002,
our Bob donned a white cowboy hat and matching Hank
Williams coat. All previous reports of our man molding
himself into the ghost of Hank Williams Sr. are now
confirmed. With his band in black, they busted right
    Duncan and Brady. I am not one to be provocative,
but it seemed like the words to this tune were aimed
directly at David Kemper. Everyone was on some sort of
Gibson acoustic guitar and The King of France, who
accompanied me along with Neil Young, nodded to the
solid, rousing opening number. I will let Neil Young
comment later on the new drummer, George, who seemed
to have immediate chemistry with Bob and the boys. Bob
went to the back to pick up a harp for a solo
    To Ramona. He does these kinds of things at places
like Greenville SC. Larry was cookin’ on the mandolin
so Bob let him take a few lead runs during different
parts of the song. As a slower bluegrass song this
works very well. This was one of the gems of the night
no matter which way you look at it. Larry and Charlie
looked funny when they both got weird instruments
    It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding). But they
could play! Bob got very close to the definitive
version of this song tonight. Not quite, but the
chorus seemed to pick up quick enough to catch Dylan
as he snarled his lyrics. The teleprompter debate is
now alive and well as the old man seemed to have it
stretching across the bottom-front of the stage. Bob
got in a nice lead solo during this song; no search
and destroy method found here! He really put a lot of
emphasis into the part about the president being
naked. The crowd had doggy dinner bowl eyes. The huge
Bob Dylan tattoo/symbol that hung behind the stage was
moved for.........
    This World Cant Stand Long. Another great one to
hear. The setlist is already looking nice as Larry
takes his third mandolin run of the young night. He
must have been practicing on the bus. The force of the
new drummer was felt most on this song, especially
during a suspicious sequence between bandleader and
drummer were the bandleader began to nod and smile at
the drummer who could actually be seen smiling back.
Didnt miss Wait For the Light to Shine but I did get
to hear......
    Stuck Inside of Mobile. Bob plugged in the strat
for the first time and Charlie teased the opening riff
to Honest With Me and then they both rocked it hard. I
think Bob was warming up for playing this song this
weekend when the band is in Alabama. Deadheads and
Phishphans would have loved this song most because of
all the funky jam space Bob laid out. A couple of nods
to Charlie on this one, who had been dying to play,
led to smiles from the singer. Charlie had to adjust
his effects and then it was a good thing. The crowd
reacted to this song wildly, I believe, because of a
combination of this song rocking on the album version
and in the Bi-Lo Center. Bob felt good after this one
so he picked up a harp for another intro into one of
my favorite songs (because of the incredible Hard Rain
    I Threw It All Away. The King of France called it
right from the start; Dylan was only on the third note
of the harp solo. Larry sat down to play a pedal
steel. Charlie and Bob then traded solos after Bob
told the crowd that he once had rivers flow through
everyday. Again, Bob’s solo was not the typical 3-note
search and destroy. He seemed to be acting more like a
pro. Bobby D then played me my first song off of Love
and Theft.......
    Lonesome Day Blues. This is one of my favorites
from the album and was impressed with the live
version. Charlie had a Gibson-bodied guitar that he
was keeping the rhythm with while Larry was playing
slide on a Strat. Again the band showed off its chops
with a few stop-start type moves before Bob and
Charlie calmly traded licks. Bobby liked this one so
much he watched Larry strap on a banjo for.......
Highwater (For Charles Patton). The band had a nice
little jazzy intro into the song and the Bob had his
strongest vocal performance of the night. I think Bob
knows that Mr. Patton is listening somewhere deep down
there in the delta, so he will sing good. Both Bob and
Charlie held it together with their Fenders until Bob
stopped everyone (even pointing to the drummer) so he
could find a harp to play a intro into.......
    Girl of the North Country. Another great one to
hear. He should definitely play this version of this
song more. The King of France and I both agreed that
this was another gem. Bob brought back his harp for
another solo near the end and acted as a forceful
bandleader while moving around, catlike, on the stage.
Lights flickered and shadows then appeared
    Masters of War. Charlie had the weird guitar out
again like he played for Its Alright Ma. Bob seems to
get a kick out of playing this song these days. Who
can blame him? He wrote it when he was 22 and it is as
good as ever. The way they do the lighting for this
one reminds me of the creepy Oscar telecast. Did
anyone else think that it was weird to have the lights
like that. I like it for Masters of War but not Things
Have Changed. Bob was somber and melancholy during
this one, a mood he seems to be fond of these days. A
mood that was picked up when the crowd realized Bob
and Larry were in the spotlight becuase they were
playing the opening chords to........
     Tangled Up In Blue. Bob changed acoustic guitars
recently because he no longer plays with the one that
says “BOB DYLAN” on it. He has a sunburst looking
Gibson that has such a good sound. As I saw him play
and sing, I thought about how this man was just
beginning to age like wine. His intellect was always
too far ahead of his musical ability. He is such a
good bandleader these days, in so many ways, but the
best part is when he enhances a song by technically
working his way through it. Playing a hodge-podge of
diads and triads, the man definitely slipped when they
tried to do......
    Summer Days. Now I’m sure some will say it was the
greatest version of all time, I stood but 15 feet away
from the band when he gave Charlie two glares and then
made the thumbs down signal afterwards! Egad! That
just made them and him gladly rock into.....
    Mississippi. Everybody in the band decked Fenders
for this one except for George, who uses DWdrums.
Dylan loves to see people get pumped for his new
stuff. Who can blame him? He has had the same problem
for 41 years. They played it tighter than Cheryl Crow
and then they went to the tightest with.....
    Drifters Escape. To me, this is always the peak of
the show. Its the best song they rock on, period.
Somebody had some pretty nasty Jimi-esque licks goin
for a while. All the guys jumped in close and Bob
seemed to admire the sound they made. The drums even
got funky on this one and Bob pulled out the harmonica
for the ultimate jam ending. Tight and funky, can you
dig it? Not really, but I can smoke it so I lit the
bell because Bob played.....
    Rainy Day Women #12 & 35. Even the 50+ couple on
my right managed to dig out a roach for this one. The
band does this song so well that Bob introduces them.
I was digging their groove and the blood began to rush
in my veins. Bob was right when he told them so long
ago. Then he told us about being.....
    Lovesick. One of my favorites off Time Out of Mind
and again the lighting is good, not bad. Nice sounds
from Charlie’s strat and Larry’s strat. I really dont
think Bob could ever be sick of love. Good, he told me
so at the end! Larry then played like Bruce playing
like Jimi plugging in his Telecaster to.......
    Like A Rolling Stone. This is where everybody
stands the rest of the show. Great song, obviously,
but Bob should let the boys do harmony parts on the
“How Does it feeeeeeel”? chorus. The crowd really
wants to sing it with him bad. I mean bad. Anyway, it
still feels damn good. Lets hear some Basement Tapes
as in........
    I Shall Be Released. Another great one where the
boys do sing. Everyone had an acoustic Gibson and
played jubilantly. Possibly another gem but you will
have to hear it to see if Bob messed it up too much
for you. For me it was not too much goofing. From this
point on Bob let his band carry the load. They were
all fired up to do the one they recorded known
    Honest with Me. Charlie just loves rippping this
one up. If you are up front, this is the one where the
sound produced becomes partially visible. Bobby looked
for a harp and the band waited, but then he came back
and told Charlie to “just finish up” because I guess
harp would be pushing it. They knocked it out. Then
the harp opened up......
    Blowin in the Wind. I love the arrangement of this
song. I think more Dylan “hit” songs should follow
this format. Let the audience sing if they know the
words, ya know? Then the place was a moshpit for.....
All Along the Watchtower. Bob just kind of sat back
and smiled and watched his kids be kids and make noise
that was incredibly cool and loud and just. There was
no need for violence on a night like this. I thought
about burning my credit cards for fuel. Not sure what
Hank or Jimi or Jesus thinks, but I love me a Bob
Dylan concert.
    As the last chords were struck, I begged Charlie
and Bobby for just one more. I caught Bob's attention
as he was in his pose and he gave me a wink and a nod
and then other people noticed it too as he left. The
classical music that plays before each show then rang
out and my ears rang in and I could not walk very
straight but I drove the King of France and Neil Young
back to our homebase near Atlanta.


Review by Adam Dean

Finally! My chance to see Bob and His Band on the L&T Tour. I'm a long
time fan, back to '74 and the Before The Flood Tour with The Band, and
have always been amazed at the way Bob continually reinvents himself and
his music. And now here he is, at 60, tearing it up with a great group of
incredibly talented bandmates! The crowd was rather small at the Bi-Lo
Center, but Bob did not disappoint; on the contrary, he seemed to warm to
the Southern crowd and really let it rip throughout the night. The song
choices fit just right in this relatively rural area of the country. The
sound system was quite good for an arena setting.

A great opening Duncan And Brady set the tone for the evening. Bob was
smiling and hopping around right from the start. To Ramona, which
followed, is a song with which most of the crowd was not familiar, but was
beautifully played with Larry's mandolin solo bringing a loud roar from
the crowd. It's Alright, Ma was played with a folksy hymnal feeling, and
the following bluegrass number, This World Can't Stand Long was really
well received by the crowd. Prior to the concert, one of the locals who
had never seen Dylan said to me that he really wanted to hear Stuck Inside
Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, and he got his wish! This song
really got the crowd up and dancing, with the entire back section of the
floor full of whirling bodies. I Threw It All Away was another pleasant
surprise, another song not often heard.

The new songs which followed, Lonesome Day Blues and High Water, were
nothing short of spectacular! Bob and His Band have really got a groove
going, and it is obvious that they enjoy the new material. Larry plays an
excellent banjo, and the crowd really got into the bluegrass sound. I had
not heard Girl Of The North Country for almost ten years, and this was my
personal favorite of the night; the lovely wall of sound of three guitars
in this song was enough to send me back in time... Bob ripped through
Masters Of War and really played Tangled Up In Blue with a fervor, after
which he received his first standing ovation of the night. Two more new
songs followed, and once again Bob was dancing around the stage during a
rockabilly Summer Days, and really tearing into Mississippi with a
passion. He obviously loves the new material! The band tore through
rousing versions of Drifter's Escape and Rainy Day Women to end the first
part of the show. It should be noted that after all these years, Bob still
loves to preach to the crowd "everybody must get stoned!"

The six song "encore" opened with Love Sick, not one of my favorites, but
I guess Bob needs to keep TOOM in the mix. The obligatory Like A Rolling
Stone was sung with incredible passion, considering the thousands of times
he has played it. The next song, I Shall Be Released, was a pleasant
surprise, and came off as a Christian spiritual (it was Ash Wednesday),
with a lovely harp solo. I really enjoyed the ripping Honest With Me, and
expected the following number Blowin In The Wind to be the send off song -
but NO! What followed really put a great cap on the evening. Bob grabbed
his electric guitar once again, and the band tore into All Along The
Watchtower, jumping and dancing around the stage. This song sent the crowd
home in a great mood, having heard the master of so many styles of music
do his thing once again.

On a personal note, it wouldn't surprise me that yesterday's off day was
spent on the grounds of Augusta National Golf Club. Avid golfer that he
is, I'm sure Bob must have a connection to get on to that course. Fore!!!

Adam Dean


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