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Review by Norrie Benjamin
These two shows are the best show I have ever been to.
Bob opened the first show with Duncan and Brady, and my mouth just
dropped open. I was so elated. Of course, you have already seen the
setlists, so I won't go on and on about how amazing it is that Bob is
pulling out so many old and obscure jewels. For me, it was a taste of
heaven to hear all these different songs....'nuff said about the setlists.
But I would like to say that in addition to Bob's incredible selections of
material, that he has reached an all-time new high in musical phrasing.
His guitar work was perfection, and emphasized exactly what he was
singing. He used pauses at crucial moments in the songs masterfully.
You can hear what I'm talking about on those mp3s at Expecting Rain.
Bob's electric guitar playing has also evolved, imo, to a new high. He
introduced some jazzy riffs that really had cohesion with the songs. Seems
like all that noodling has finally found where it was going. Now I know
why he has played TUIB umpteen bazillion times for the past few years.
The band is so tight, and they have perfect synergy with Bob.....they are
on the same wavelength.
Bob didn't seem to be goofing off with the audience as much as he has done
at a few of other shows that I've been to. He seemed to have a more
serious demeanor, and his music had an incredible depth of feeling. I
came away from these shows with a feeling of awe......there are no words.
As for the fashion report, Bob wore a navy blue suit with a long jacket,
belted in back and navy blue embroidery of curlicues on the front and
sleeves. He had on a white shirt....looked like it had a blue-piped
collar, and a black string tie. He wore white cowboy boots with black
heels and toes. The suit looked a little baggy, but I guess he needs room
to do his knee bends and freedom of movement for his arms.
Review by Mark Stevens
These were my eighth and ninth shows (since 88')seeing mr. dylan, and are
a bittersweet memory in the making.The sets were remarkable, even for such
a gifted performer, with "roving blade" sung and played with such deep
respect for both the song itself, and the subject matter-it was truly a
saint patrick's day to remember.I've been in a crowded irish pub in county
cork during a song-fest, and bob really understands that tradition, you
could hear it in his voice-I feel as if I just watched Robert Johnson or
Howlin' Wolf do an OLD deep blues ,it was THAT good.The bitter with the
sweet, I have to go on record as saying that the table seating in the
orchestra pit was a complete failure, and really marred the
show-inhibiting an audience that otherwise would have let loose, and as
they say in the juke joints got ALL the way down.Both the folks in
Bakersfield and in the pit in Reno are far too young (late 50's)to be
sitting there like they are watching a puppet show at the retirement
home.I really don't mean to be rude, but standing up and dancing IS
ALLOWED...if everyone does it, there's no-one to complain.I can only
imagine that it feels wierd for Mr. Dylan to play to a bunch of people
sitting there staring at him, rather than getting into the show and
sending him back some good energy.After having seen over two hundred and
fifty concerts, by all sorts of musicians, I can tell you from experience
that the audience really does have the ability to raise or lower the
quality of a show, having said that, i'll end here and leave y'all with
Review by Jacki Pajas
I'd have to agree with Norrie. These were GREAT shows. Perhaps there was
some of "the mood" from Santa Cruz left over. Once again he surprised
all of us with his choice of music. I actually got to hear seven, yes
SEVEN, songs that I had never heard live before, including Lay Lady Lay.
Its hard to believe that in the thirty odd years that I've been going to
Dylan shows I have never heard him sing that one live. What a treat!
The first show stand outs to me were a really haunting hard version of
Masters of War, with drum and bass pounding a cadence to it. That song
has been through so many changes and still remains so significant. The
next would have been Duncan and Brady (surprise) and a particularly tender
Girl of the North Country.
He did lots of dancing and lots of guitar solos. He kept hammering and
dancing for long periods of time, and did his slinky walking dance across
the stage a few times.
The second show was once again filled with surprised. Roving Gambler was
appropriate as the theater is in a casino resort. It's Alright was a
pleasure with his phrasing and eyebrow moves. Maggie's was great to hear
again, its been along time, and Long Black Coat was very sinister and
bluesy. The harp finally came out on Blowin', and only for a short time.
They did three songs in both shows, Tangled, LARS, and Fade Away. I
always react the same way to TUIB. When it starts I think "Ok, here we go
again", but by the time its over it always seems like new. And I think
Fade Away is one of the best closers he's done, so that one always makes
The band has really jelled, and they seem to be as cohesive as possible,
almost anticipating each others moves. The vocals are strong and blended
I brought my 76 year old mother to the first show with me. She's been
accusing me of being crazy about this "Bob Dylan thing" that I have for
years (literally, years). Guess what? She loved the show, and said that
she would love to hear them again. She actually was standing up and
dancing during Fade Away. Now there are three generations of my family who
understand the unique talents of Mr Dylan.
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