Akron, Ohio

University of Akron
EJ Thomas Hall

April 24, 2013

[Dan Chester], [Tom Pachuta], [Daniel Hewitt], [Don Ely], [Joshua Seese]

Review by Dan Chester

Things: too much fun...animated, alive...sort of a rolling/shuffling
menace to (guitar) in sync from the very beginning

Love Sick: solid, not special...wouldn't request this yet not bad

Highwater: near-perfect mix (sound-wise as well as instrumentation
(banjo/stand-up bass/no keyboard)...very relaxed headliner (playing with
the mikestand) and some beautiful shadowboxing at the end (too funny)

Soon After: average tune (delivery can't help) this with a tune
like "Deal Goes Down" (oh, wait, you can't)...not buying these goods

Early Roman: started well and then just not either got lost
or was a victim of conscious experimentation...muddled, no power...was
there a re-hashed "Leopard Skin" in there?...noodling by the end (or
should we say surrendered at the end)

Tangled: same feel/intentions as a week ago and somehow this made complete
sense and became a brand new song/experience (with a couple familiar
flourishes)...not sure what was more amazing, just how good this was or
how it evolved from Spam hash into a gourmet meal in the course of a week
(gladly accept any "told you so's") example of why this guy is who
he is

Pay: not bad though basically filler (this evening at least)

Visions: another classic that improved dramatically from last week...still
contending a pure version is preferred...and at the same time bowing down
before this performance...the mandolin/guitar/piano getting it done in
unison...and the singing (particularly the verses near the end) just
treatmendous...very special (again, the line for "told you so's" starts
over there)

Spirit: takes a little time to find its way and then such a friendly
bounce to it...stand-up bass outofcontrol (working it way down the
fretboard) ever seen a ghost, no?, but you have heard of them...yow

Beyond Here: they are knocking this out of the park nightly...somehow some
tune he wrote sometime fits hand-in-glove with this band and its new
guitarist at this moment in time...harpstrong

Blind Willie: again, a better it luck or a great night or
natural evolution or what they ate?...banjo and bass and no keyboard
working real well...nice center-stage performance by the headliner

What Good: music splendid, singing cooly inspired...the musicianship, the
lyrics, the singing, the piano going to church...understated power...pedal
steel/piano/guitar merging and sharing some great (new-found?)
notes...very blessed to hear this

Summer Days: Girls all say you're a worn out star...boogierockin'...built
energy as it went...union of pedal/piano/guitar again delivering the
goods...sung well...big fun

Scarlet Town: surprisingly great song and amazing delivery...banjo lifting
this thing, stand-up bass  as well...this song would great from any point
in his career

Tower: iconic opening...great energy...Herron and guitar and piano again
finding (and again, creating?) a fabulous/unified line of thinking toward
the end

Emaciated Man: pretty basic version...piano working many other
possibilities for this slot...harp not too bad

Summary: quality venue (definately beats hockey arenas and hoop
courts)...this version of the band is strong and feels like it's getting
better by the mentioned, the search for freshness
(experimentation) in some of these warhorses yielded a memorable evening
(alright, alright, this observer is wrong once in awhile)...couple of
times things were getting interesting and looked over and the 6 string
electric bass was involved...couldn't hear/feel the drums as much (missed
that)...can't be too many artists/bands out there right now who could
throw a strong a tune/performance at you as Beyond fact, chop
four tunes (you know who you are) and rotate the closing number and the
sh*t would be magnificent...really dig the 'Civil War' posing at the end
(goodbyes) tunes were What Good and Beyond Here and, this is a
tough one...(cop-out alert)...a tie between Tangled and Visions (for their
marvelous re-invention)...(Scarlet Town deserves mention as
well)...premiumquality show...Hailing the Artistry...thanks, everybody


Review by Tom Pachuta

My first thought when Dylan took the stage was "Oh my God, no hat!".  I
cannot remember the last time I saw him perform without something on his
head. The song-by-song reviews have been done for other stops on this
tour, so I won't go into that.  We did get to hear what I believe was only
the second Summer Days of the tour, replacing Thunder On The Mountain.
I've been following the tour and looking at the setlists online.  My fear
was that the crowd would go restless with few songs from the sixties or
seventies.  Was I ever wrong!  The concert venue is on the campus of the
University of Akron.  There were many more college-age students in the
audience than I expected.  And they loved the show.  As the band rocked
through Things Have Changed, I looked around and saw college-age girls
dancing and thoroughly enjoying themselves.  Flashing back to my earliest
Dylan experiences, I thought to myself how funny it was that people were
now dancing to Dylan, not listening intently to the lyrics.  Indeed,
things have changed! The concert was great, the band tight, as always. 
Thought I'd miss Charlie, and I did a little, but Duke Robillard fills the
role quite nicely.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening.  Can't wait for
his next visit to northeast Ohio. Plus, when I got back to my car, I
turned on CNN and the first thing I heard was about the capture of the
Boston Marathon bomber.  What a wonderful end to the evening.


Review by Daniel Hewitt

Just a few comments - not a full review as others have posted.

First, DAWES dd a great job opening (exactly 7:30p). Great band, had many
dancing. I like these guys a lot.

EJ Thomas Hall's sound and acoustics were impeccable. Sound was crystal
clear and you could hear every note played and all of Bob's vocals

The highlight for me was tonight's arrangement of Visions Of Johanna. Just
phenomenal. This one performance ranks to me as one of the best Bob live
performances of any song. He was clearly into every line and every word.
Gave me chills.

Best thing to note: Gone is the perceived by many The Dylan Attitude.
Tonight, he was just the Greatest Song And Dance Man and Songwriter we'll
ever know enjoying his work and enjoying performing for us.

SEE THIS's Bob Dylan at his best.


Review by Don Ely

Will Bob Dylan perform any songs from Tempest? Will Bob Dylan speak to his
audience? Will Bob Dylan enunciate clearly? Can The Rochester Travellin'
Man stand three shows with nearly identical setlists?

The answer to all but one of these queries is an enthusiastic,
reverberating YES! A trio of shows not too far from home fit snugly into a
weekend, and so the Hyundai was fired up yet again to take 'em all in.
From the Motor City to the Rubber City I cruised, to night one at the
Edwin J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall on the campus of the University of
Akron. A beautiful venue, the type more normally reserved for ballet or
chamber music, I would suspect. A Coat of Many Cupboards, a Chamber of
Many Doors. There are more lobbies here than I've seen before, each named
for a benefactor or rubber magnate. Which reminds me, I had parked outside
the National Polymer Innovation Center. It's all about the rubber here in
Akron! As I walked the various lobbies that ascended level-to-level around
the building in a semi-circle, and climbed three flights of stairs, I
arrived at Door 26, the end of the line. My seat was in the penultimate
row, but I opted for the top where I could stand for the duration. Dawes
were finishing the last couple numbers of their set, and I thought they
sounded pretty good. Sound quality I would say was VG-EX, not bad given
the distance. Actually the acoustics at EJ Thomas were excellent; they
have acoustic tiles arranged in rolling waves from the stage to the top of
the venue. It wasn't long before Stu Kimball announced the arrival on
acoustic guitar of Bob Dylan and His Band, who entered through the black
curtain at stage rear. A rollicking " Things Have Changed " commenced
proceedings in fine fashion; while I feel Bob favors this song too much,
in this arrangement it's a great kickstarter.  Big Stu leads off " Love
Sick " , one of the few times during the set he'll come to the fore. While
audible throughout, mostly he serves as texture to the overall sound. And
then, " High Water ( for Charley Patton ) ", driven by the banjo of Donnie
Herron, as good a rendering as any from the early oughts in my estimation.
Next came one of those Tempest numbers, " Soon After Midnight ", sweet and
sentimental, like sneaking a kiss from your honey at the ice cream social.
" Early Roman Kings " completed the double Tempest whammy; the live
versions are markedly superior to the recorded track. The repetition
remains via the main riff, but it's less of a straight Muddy Waters rip.
Duke Robillard ( Good Luck Charlie! ) plays some sweet licks, Tony Garnier
a descending bassline, and the whole band cooks like a Mississippi fish
fry. The popular " Tangled Up In Blue " is thrown in for good measure, and
then another Tempest treasure, " Pay In Blood " . Bob premiered this in
Detroit last fall, so it wasn't new to me, but it's one of the best and
most unique songs in his canon, and just great in concert. " Visions Of
Johanna " is one of only three Bob Dylan compositions in the current set
from the 1960's, proof that Bob's no oldies act and that this is indeed a
contemporary performance. Though lacking all verses, these renditions of "
Visions " are in no way rushed or not taken seriously by Bob or the band.
The old-timey strains of " Spirit On The Water ", albeit from Modern
Times, made me nostalgic for the Love And Theft - era shows. The first
thing that came to mind was my first " Moonlight ", under the serious
moonlight of Fargo 8/23/02. After " Spirit ", " Beyond Here Lies Nothin' "
injects a shot of rock 'n' roll as a cure for whatever ails ya, making
everyone fit as a Donnie Herron fiddle. " Blind Willie McTell " now
resembles " St. James Infirmary " more than it's original incarnation.
Though I prefer Bob's vision of thirty years ago, this arrangement still

The stage lighting was subdued throughout the evening, which, while
presenting a warm and comforting atmosphere, made it somewhat challenging
to spot details from a distance. I didn't even realize Charlie Sexton had
left the band! Also I thought it was Stu Kimball playing the leads and
he'd put on weight. While I eagerly anticipated the music of Tempest, it
was the next song I most wanted to hear. That being the Oh Mercy chestnut,
" What Good Am I? " Sublimely beautiful and imbued with a quiet passion
that holds your soul to the fire. I was excited when I saw Bob was
performing this each night, and a little nervous he'd drop it before my
shows. This now makes four tales from Oh Mercy I've seen ( " Shooting Star
", " Man In The Long Black Coat " and a very rare " Ring Them Bells " on
Election Night 2004 ), and I'd love to see 'em all! 

A rare ( for this tour ) setlist change materialized with the substitution
of " Summer Days " for " Thunder On The Mountain ". Then the last of the
Tempest numbers, " Scarlet Town " , making an even quartet of personal
debuts, no mean feat after having seen 82 Bob Dylan shows and at this
point in Bob's career. " All Along The Watchtower " was a great jam and
given fresh life by Duke Robillard's guitar; I think we're gonna like this
guy! There were no band introductions, just the formation. For those who
fret over Bob saying nothing to his audience, I'm sure they were
mystified. Me, I realize not everybody's Bruce or Neil or Paul McCartney,
and I'm OK with that; to me The Songs do the talking, especially when
performed by the man who wrote them. It's what keeps me coming back time
after time. Tonight, while starting out a little weakly, Bob Dylan was in
fine voice and yes, you could hear every word if you were listening and
giving yourself over to The Songs. And with " Ballad Of A Thin Man " they
were off into the cold night air, and so was I, as the wailing saxophone
echoed through the square....

Don Ely
The Rochester Travellin' Man
Rochester, MI


Review by Joshua Seese

Bob Dylan. Deep in the cavernous phantom of the opera pit. This is how it
went down.  Bob Dylan on stage in a theater, where he belongs.  Exactly
how I imagined it would all play out.  No shred of calloused regret.
Things Have Changed was not at all a warm up song, Bob came out slamming
it in our faces, tough as bones.  Lovesick hearkened back to the coveted
'97 Grammy performance with it's muddy guitar, leaving us bogged down in a
declaration of biting love.  High Water was its usual jaunty self, full of
banjo flare and lyrical prowl on the back half.  Soon After Midnight
enfolded the landscape in a sweet fondant center of softness.  Early Roman
Kings was unhinged blues.  Tangle Up in Blue, Dylan became the mystic
whisperer plying his trade.  Bob Dylan, the storyteller's ultimate
storyteller.  Pay In Blood- self-referential drenched in venom.  Visions
of Johanna was 60's neon mercury.  Spirit On The Water- beautiful and
refined in force.  Beyond Here Lies Nothin' equals lead guitar and
harmonica dueling tango.    Blind Willie McTell, Dylan sings the blues.
 What Good Am I? Music in the highest order.  Superlative emotional
honesty.  Summer Days brought the fiery friction of blazing guitar work to
lend light upon winter's end.  Scarlet Town shifted the doom and gloom to
provocatively balanced lyrics.  All Along The Watchtower worked closely to
the Jimi Hendrix version.  Ballad Of A Thin Man may very well just be an
illusion.  An unanswered telephone call, a receiver torn from the wall.  


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