page by Bill Pagel
Review by Kevin Ouellette
I just got back from the Dylan show at the Avalon in Boston. Located
right behind historic Fenway Park. Its a very small club with great
sound. I was also at the Wednesday show. This show was much better
than the Wednesday show. Bob and the band was on tonight. Bob and
the boys opened with:
1.Wicked Messenger- I nice strong opener. I good warm up song.
2.You Ain't Goin' Nowhere- The same as its been played the past year or
so. Nice pedal steel work by Larry.
3.Cry A While- Heard this on Wed. too. Was good both nights. Not
great just good.
4.Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll- Haven't seen this live since
Augusta, ME in 2002. I enjoyed that performance better but, this one was
good too. Bob really concentrated on the words and his singing was very
nice. His voice was in good form all night. The piano was also higher
in the mix tonight that on Wed.
5.Highway 61- WOW!! This song was rockin'. Just like on Wed. only
better. Freddy played slide and Larry and Freddie went back and forth about
3 times just trading nasty guitar licks.
6.Make You Feel My Love- Bob slowed it down and played one of my
favorite Dylan love songs. He played some nice harp, which was played a
lot tonight. I can't remember exactly all the songs that he played them
7.Cold Irons Bound- Another hard rocker. Bob put the echo on the
vocals for this version. I think it adds a spooky aspect to the song.
It was very well received.
8.I Don't Believe You- Same arrangement as last summer. Bob hit all
the right words and the band seemed to enjoy this one.
9.Man In The Long Black Coat- Hadn't seen this one live before. Bob
really growled and spat the words out.
10.Rainy Day Women- An absolute crowed favorite. The house was
rockin'. Bob and the band were having a blast on this one. Bob was
bobbing his head up and down and shaking his right leg.
11.I Believe In You- WOW again. The biggest surprise of the night, and
the band nailed it. Before the song Bob and the band had a little
conference and then they broke into this song. Bob nailed all the
lyrics. His singing was dead on and he even played a nice piano piece.
After the song Bob came running out from behind the piano with a huge grin
on his face. He ran over to Tony and they were laughing, almost like Bob
was saying: wow we nailed that one.
12.Honest With Me- Another hard rocker that Bob loves to play. He
seems to really enjoy playing this one.
13.Tell Me That it Isn't True- A nice county version. Nothing special.
14.Summer Days- This song was a blast. I really loved the versions
back in 2002 with Charlie which were the best. The versions now are
lacking something. I did enjoy the song its always a great song to dance
and get crazy to. Larry played a mean solo and Freddie was much better on
this and the encore songs. I'm really glad Larry seems to be getting more
15.Down Along The Cove- I love this song. Its got such an infectious
groove. I was glad it wasn't CITW because I had heard that on Wed.
This was an extended version too, much more jamming than when he puts it
as an opener or in the middle of the set.
16.Rolling Stone- I love this new version with the stop/start in the
chorus. It really allows Bob to spit those words out with conviction.
We got the band intros at center stage after LARS. Bob even talked a
lot. He said how we had a lot of famous people from Boston and then
started naming them I'll give you the ones I could understand: Joe
Thornton(Boston Bruin), Nomar, Julia Child, and Micky Rourque. Then he
told the joke about George having a hurt toe but the toe truck hasn't
17.Watchtower- An all out guitar assault. Larry and Freddie just tore
it up. Bob just sitting back and pounding on the keys. Bob and the
boys took their bows and were off.
Another tour over for me. This was concert #9 for me. Hopefully Bob
will be back this way in August and I can reach double digits.
Review by Jason Polanski
There was a moment during the final verse of LONESOME DEATH OF HATTIE
CARROLL when Bob Dylan became angry. I've seen the song before and thought
it at the time to be a performance in the mathematical sense. The theory
that, as an improvisational singer, you can create patterns that portray a
sense of emotion that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the
actual words you are singing.
At some point Dylan seemed angry that the judge was only going to give six
months for a crime of something so unreversable as death itself. He leaned
in and attacked the microphone.
A few songs later, Dylan and band broke into I DON'T BELIEVE YOU. As
bitter and desparate as this song can be, Dylan's emotions certainly
turned to sarcasim. The singer seemed to have fun telling the audience
that if you want him to return the favor, we could all pretend that we
never have touched.
By the time Dylan played HONEST WITH ME, he was actual laughing and having
a good time. The smiles seemed to be directed at Freddie who was playing
some really interesting guitar fills. Actual, Freddie and Larry took the
solo to an amazing level as they both gathered center stage and formulated
an amazing dual guitar assault. We were all there as the new imperial
empire was created.
Sometime between all of this was the absolute highlight of the show.
Certainly a conversion of religious tones and an unbelievable portrayal of
pure fire. The song was I BELIEVE IN YOU, rarely played and orginally a
gospel song. Tonight it was renewal, be it by Jesus or just rock and roll
itself. Dylan sang the verses soft, clear, sometimes snarling, sometimes
using the original melodies from Slow Train and sometimes creating new
melodies. During the bridge, the singing was full force with the last line
fully climatic. "This feeling's still here in my .................
To end the song he repeated the very first couplet of the song. They want
to know if his love is real!
By the end of this amazing night, Dylan's emotions were just plain goofy.
As he finished LIKE A ROLLING STONE for the third night at the Avalon, he
couldn't of had much to lose. He walked to the center microphone, which
had remained unused the entire night. Bob's acoustic guitar also unused
next to his keyboard. He stared quizically at a white paper which had been
taped to the microphone the entire night. He then introduced the players.
When he got to the drummers, he started to laugh, knowing full well that
he had done the same joke about them for the past two nights. He told us
that we all know the joke at this point anyway. He then returned to the
mysterious paper and started telling us how great a town Boston was and
began to run off names of people he knew were from Boston. "Shout outs" of
sorts. I don't remember all the names, I think I heard Micky Rourke
Where do the emotions come from? Sometimes the words themselves, sometimes
it may be the fact that they still can exist. They are for the hearts and
hands of men who come with the dust and leave with the wind. Or maybe for
the audience that was completely into the show. Young and old, dancing or
standing. Desperately trying to request "Isis" and "I'll Keep It With
Mine" and "Drifting Too Far From Shore". As the song titles sugest, we
don't believe him, but we do believe in him.
Review by Rick Pearl
The final show of Bob's three-night stay in Boston reminded me of a
popular New England adage about the local weather: if you don't like it,
just wait a minute. For the hard core, there was very little NOT to like
about Avalon Three. It had it all: an inspired effort from Bob, a kickass
performance by his band, and a set list that could be treasured.
But I was reminded that there are still those who show up for a Dylan show
expecting to hear a greatest hits concert. Perhaps they couldn't
appreciate the beauty of such time-honored (but under-played) songs as
"The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" or "Man In the Long Black Coat."
But on the very song they were smiling and grooving to "Highway 61
Revisited" and "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35."
That is one of the things that makes Dylan so great, of course. He has
written some of the finest folk, country-rock, religious and rock songs of
this or any era. When he digs deep into his songbook and produces nuggets
from all of those genres - as he did in Friday's finale - there is always
something for everyone. And for those of us who like it all (as my pal
said to me during the show, "I'm greedy"), shows like Avalon Three only
underscore why there will never be another performer like Dylan.
The only disappointment, really, was that it had to end. There were some
who held out hope until the bitter end that Bob would reward the Boston
crowds with A) a turn on the guitar or B) an extra encore. Not this time,
But there should be very little doubt that Dylan's spring swing through
Beantown was a tour de force which ended on the highest of highs. We
didn't get an extra encore, but we did get a slightly revised one: "Down
Along The Cove" replaced "Cat's In The Well" (a big upgrade). We didn't
get a Bob guitar performance, but we got his best piano pounding of the
three nights, and yet another fine outing by Freddy Koella on lead.
And we had a set list that was filled with highlights. The
chills-up-the-back-of-my-neck song of the night was "I Believe In You,"
from Bob's first religious album. This followed close on the heels of
"Rainy Day Woman" and the shift in tone was mind-blowing. From a raucous
rendition of the "Blond On Blonde" staple to the softly elegant "Slow
Train Coming" standout, Dylan ushered the crowd from frenzied enthusiasm
to a respectful awe. I could have walked out the doors into the Boston
man a happy man right then and there. But there was so much more!
Bob hit us with "You Ain't Going Nowhere," the aforementioned "Hattie
Carroll," and "I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)."
"Man In The Long Black Coat" was stunning. And for good measure, a
snarling, rolling "Cold Irons Bound" (with some nice playing by Freddy)
was added to the mix.
It was perhaps no wonder that "Summer Days," usually a crowd rocker, lost
something off its intensity from the previous two nights. Bob, the band,
and the audience had been pushed to the limit by a barrage of musical
So when "Rolling Stone" and "Watchtower" closed down the Boston portion of
the spring tour, perhaps it was best that there were no additional
surprises. Bob had done more than enough during his Avalon visit. We can
only hope for more of the same the next time through.
Review by Carl Hokanson
Tonites Avalon concert was superb,the ride to Boston was quick and the
parking close by. Unfortunately I never meet up with any .Comers but I
found a step seat to wait for the show ,The crowd while packed in was
polite and gracious to the Band. There were a lot of my longed for
favorites played and as if Mr. Dylan read my mind ,My most longed for
songs appeared out of his magic hat.
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll was played softly ,Just the way it
aught to be , forcing one to listen up to it's poignant story. Rainy Day
Women #12 & 35 lively and bouncy with a burlesque beat. Down Along The
Cove, took me back to my days at sea,what a bundle of joy and fortunately
longer than a country mile with twice the smiles. Honest With Me, always
rocks and rolls one's soul. Those four songs were on my chart and had my
head bobbing like an Ivory soap boat on a stormy sea.
It was a pleasure to sea Dylan in good form, He really pays attention
to his music and does magic with his lyrics.
The Band always amazes me . Koella plays the Fender with the fluidity
of a B+M Dynaflow. Bending and blending his notes like a NYC taxi cab in
rush hour traffic, with a touch of Hendrix in his nimble fingers. Like a
great mechanic, he has the hands that can turn the wrenches in your gut
Toni's Bass came alive during Summer days and Watch Tower, though I
never saw him from my side view , I could feel the staccato bass, just
like being at the take off of a rocket launch. You might not see much but
you feel it in your soul, The earth was a shaking, the floor was breaking!
Larry was really putting the pedal to the metal and was trading licks
as slick as a silk sheet. The dueling guitars rivaling but not
overpowering one another. The down home Country feel he lends borrowing
from no-one.The drumming while subdued (perhaps by my hearing protection)
still had the drive to keep it alive. George was pounding as loud as a BIG
Dig jack hammer and leaving room for the vocals to be heard throughout the
construction of Dylan's Hi way to your heart.
And then there was the Magic that only a Legend of Dylan's stature can
pull off night after night . For him to play these small venues shows the
love of his fans and his craft. The best keep getting better, 8 cylinders
and he uses them all! Hell He's a Rolls Merlin Spitfire. The way he pulls
the cards out of his sleeves, He had me levitating from the get go.
All that remains is a magic after glow and a song or two still playing
in my head, a joy that fills my heart, like a Plymouth Hi tide, High
water everywhere in the peaceful cove.
I hope they get back to Meadowbrook so I can be seated and enjoy the
Best Band on any stage. Thanks Dylan , You gave me the best Birthday
present EVER, Ride hard and keep your head above the water. Hokey ( the
Biker + King of the pier)
page by Bill Pagel
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