page by Bill Pagel
Review by Shepp McCormick
Wow. What a terrific show!
Venue was fine, it truly was a "auditorium", large one albeit, you felt
like you were in a high school again. Sound was great.
Made the drive from Chapel Hill, NC (about 180 miles) arriving at the
front doors about 2:30pm. Only about 25-30 persons in line already.
Bright sunny day, quite hot actually. I brought a book, water, snack and
waited for doors to open at 7pm. Met some cool people as usual...a young
college student who flew in that morning from Dallas by himself, saying he
could not get any other friends to make the trip, I know what he means, I
was in the same situation. Amazing what we do to attend a Bob show at
times isn't it? Many family, friends and strangers just don't understand.
Met 3 ladies (the first on the waiting line) that I had seen at the
Chicago Vic Theater show (thanks for saying the "ink blotch" on my hand
looked like a turtle), a woman from Germany (who follows Bob in the USA
for some shows as a vacation of sorts, and a really cool couple from
Charlotte, NC who really made me reconsider my Fuzzy K guitar style lack
of enthusiasm that I had to date. Freddy you are terrific! I would say
that Freddy's guitar playing (especially on the last 5 songs of the night
One downside was that there was a lack of line organization by the
facility....eventually two lines formed from the mess, as we never really
knew which of the 6 outside doors was going to open...turned out two did
and I was at least standing by one of them. I don't think they realized
the circus had come to town. I made my way in and then to our surprise
there was another ticket check before you could get onto the GA
floor...one at a time they re-looked at your ticket stub and marked your
right hand with a green ink blotch....of course I was on the side that
went slowest...unreal....anyway, I did get to be in the second row just
right of center (looking at stage) behind the 3 lovely Vic Theater ladies.
Great for sound and Bob watching. He looks right there when he plays,
when he looks out at the crowd that is.
The Maggie's Farm opener was truly one of the strongest opening songs that
I have heard (this being about show 26 for me), Bob sounded great, clear,
sharp and keen eyed right from the start! I knew I had picked a great
show to attend, having seen that Bob had not played here in about 6.5
years. Intuitively, I figured that this might be the sort of venue that
might produce a great show, kind of immediately following a small show
(Asheville), and just before a extended gig in big city Atlanta. Holy
Saturday. I was right. While show was not sold out, it was close...the
crowd was loud....it was co cool, especially later in the night...reminded
me why I love southern crowds...we are so loud from all that college
basketball experience....just like when the Carolina Hurricanes became
noted for the loudest arena in hockey a couple years ago. Great crowd,
dancing/moving the whole concert. Bob and the band must have been
surprised...they looked very happy and all smiles...I swear I almost had
to cover my ears it was so loud during the encores! Maggie's new
arrangement was great...the bass...and drums...da da dum dum daa daa dumm
dumm...you know what I mean if you've heard it.
Tell Me It Isn't True was beautiful...the voice perfect! Larry was
Lonesome Day Blues great. Band smiling and really grooving. Again Larry
was masterful. I again tho' was missing Charlie up to this point. While I
always will in a way, that was to change by evenings end.
A highlight for me was Ring Them Bells..a first for me...Wow. I must
admit Bob's voice gave out a couple times during it, and he missed some
words...almost looking upset with himself....to me it made it all the more
beautiful, however. I can't say enough about the song and the
performance....one of the most intimate, Bob putting his voice and heart
on the line for us all....Holy Saturday...wow. God Bless and Peace Be
With Bob Dylan.
I had the feeling that Bob would play something vocally safe after Ring
Them Bells, and it was Things Have Changed which rocked and was great, and
restored Bob's confidence (or so I thought to myself).
Boots was sweet, crowd loved it....really, at this point the crowd was
getting loud when it cheered.
Tweedle rocked. Again you think to yourself this must be why he plays it
so much these days...Freddy really got going about this time...
Tryin' was wonderful. Best version I have ever heard. Quite a
surprise..then again, Holy Saturday. Bob sang this with full spirit.
IDBY(SALWNHM) a great live song. I heard it at the first Hammersmith NYC
show, and listen to it regularly in my car. Great to hear it again.
Those guitars sound almost Rubber Soul Beatle-like era, now we know that's
where they got it from!
Hollis was a first for me. Touching to say the least....seven more....a
great acoustic choice. Those of you will be quite fortunate to hear it if
you do. Brought me back to the extended acoustic sets from the 2000-2001
circa...Blacksburg, VA and Lowell, MA I attended.
Honest With Me, Summer Days really let Fuzzy show his stuff, the
experimenting and time he has now been in the band has really paid
off....blistering, crowd was loving it, Larry, Tony, and Bob too.
Another highlight was I Believe In You....I had not heard him do it since
Princeton's McCarter Theater '90 show with G.E. Smith..thank you Bob!
Cat's was great. I know many don't from reading reviews, but I love that
album. I found out today that he played Unbelievable in Asheville, in
fact, during rehearsals I heard the band playing it from outside, or so I
thought. It must have been, as it turned out. I think the Under The Red
Sky album's songs are particularly well suited for this band. They can
blister eclectic guitar. I hope to hear Born In Time someday.
Bob into's the band after LARS. Twice saying "we'are havin' a really good
time", all smiles, again the loudest crowd, which politely quieted down
when he went center stage to speak. The crowd at the Vic that night kept
cheering and it looked like Bob had passed on saying anything, since he is
not one to wait out a noisy crowd. I really think it's best for a crowd
to "quiet down" should he go center stage....it would be awesome some day
to have this loud crowd cheering right after a song, and then when he goes
to do the band intro's just go "silent"...while he speaks....hmmm?
I hope to catch Bob in Germany at either Bonn or Worms in late June.
Review by Derrick Proto
This was about my 10th NET show and the third with Bob strictly playing
keyboards. Overall a fine performance in a pretty good venue. The
Township has decent acoustics and I had first row seats in the balcony so
I had an excellent view. However, the beverage service there is purely
amateur hour. Anyway, on to the show. Bob opened with Maggie's Farm and
the band sounded a little weary at first but things picked up, in fact the
band grew stronger as the night progressed. There were a few songs
tonight that were welcomed newcomers for me: Ring Them Bells and I
Believe in You. Bob and the band managed to turn I Believe in You into a
guitar led rocker, quite different from the album version. Hollis Brown
was also a nice touch with Larry leading the way on his Bozuki. Things
really got rockin with Honest With Me, Bob finally let Larry and Freddy
let it all hang out on this one and you could see the enjoyment in there
faces as they squared off in a friendly guitar duel. I even noticed that
the security staff seemed to stop monitoring the crowd and really get into
the quality of guitar playing that took place. The encores were basic
standard fare...overall very fine. Through out the night I noticed that I
seemed to be watching Larry more than Bob. Larry is just an excellent
musician and you can see the enjoyment on his face when the crowd gets
into it, he also shows genuine happiness when the crowd salutes
Freddy......I wonder how many offers Larry gets from other Rock Stars to
play for them. I hope Bob doesn't let him go (Its been what 7 years
now?). I left the concert with the overall sensation that this was a fine
show, and Bob was in good voice but I still long for the days of the
Charlie Sexton era.
On final note: when it came time to introduce the band, Bob stepped out
to the center of the stage and did what can only be described as his best
Chuck Barris impersonation, it was funny and genuine all at the same
page by Bill Pagel
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