Bowling Green, Ohio

Bowling Green State University
Stroh Center

April 21, 2013

[Bill Royaloak], [Charlie Alter], [Don Ely]

Review by Bill Royaloak

Decided to make our way to Bowling Green (about an hour and a half south
from Motown) via car service this time.  Was an extremely cool way to
travel and highly recommended if you need to treat yourself once in a
while.  The driver (from India) didn't know who Bob was so I asked him if
he heard of Ravi Shankar (of course he did) so I linked him to Bob via
George Harrison and Bangledesh.  Then the light bulb clicked in his head
and he knew exactly who Bob was but didn't think he was still around. 
After I told him the good news I gave him the MP3 player I had loaded with
Bob and George and all the others so he could listen to them while we ran
inside the stadium.  

Dawes opened up the night with allot of music that I thought I heard from
many others over the years.  The songs were new but the delivery sounded
allot like people like Jackson Brown, CSNY, Don Henley, Bruce Hornsby
kinda stuff.  They were pretty tight and I can't imagine how tough it must
be to play that genre and not sound ordinary.  If they can find something
unique to do with their sound I'm sure we'll hear more from them. Right
now they're the Haggers.

At half time we went out to check on the driver and give him a beer and a
slice and see if he liked what he heard on the MP3.  To my surprise he was
jammming to "Serve Somebody" and watching an Indian TV show on his
Iphone.  I almost bought him a ticket but didn't want to mess up his set
up he had going, seemed very content.

Back inside the lights went down, the blues riff started, and the Bob
Dylan show took their places and commenced "Things Have Changed" with a
"Rawhide" kind of feel (Blues Brothers style).

Next was "Love Sick" to the familiar sounds of "The Thrill is Gone" with a
misty feel. The sun was setting out the large window of the arena into
clear twilight and things felt cozy...pour the bourbon, light the fire.

Things got "Raunchy" with "High Water".

Throughout these three fantastic openning numbers all the players were
able to showcase their blues talents and we got a great introduction to
Duke Robillard.  That guitar sound flows through these arrangements (all
the songs) like a molasses, not too much, not too little...nice flavor. 

Really enjoyed all the "Tempest" songs this trip (play the entire album at
least weekly) this night's version of "Early Roman Kings" was very clean
and smooth, great live version...Bob doesn't seem so angry anymore,like on
the record. The rest of the three songs sounded new and fresh, especially
"Pay in Blood" (a favorite).

Things got a litle rough around "Johanna" and "Spirit on the Water" toward
the ends....Bob seems to be holding on to his hip allot more these
days....first noticed this back in Toledo Zoo 2011...and after four days
of shows may have been needing a day to recharge.

"Summer Days" was a surprise....maybe to remind us to check the summer
tour just released.  But it really took off....a great jamming tune.

I could have swore I saw Charlie in the concourse tonight walking around
but maybe it was just a guy looking like of luck and health to

Stood up and wandered toward the back of the arena before the encore of
"Ballad of a Thin Man" to take it all in. The arena was pretty nice size
for this crowd, pretty full, no obstructed views and Bob and his Band
played really tight all night.  Knowing what its like to drive through
western PA, all of OH and across MI and back I commend them all for even
showing up with anything left in the tank to play.  Thank you again!

The driver was still listening to Bob when we got back in the car and we
listened to him all the way a tip I let the guy keep the MP3
player (about $300 worth of music) his favorite song so far - - "One More
Cup of Coffee".  

Bill Royaloak


Review by Charlie Alter

Bob and the band provided a spare and somewhat dark performance at the new
Stroh Arena at Bowling Green State University on Sunday evening.  Opening
was Dawes, who by contrast provided a very upbeat and energetic set of new
and old material.  I was surprised how much Dawes reminded me of other Los
Angles performers, particularly Jackson Browne, Neil Young & Crazy Horse,
and maybe the Eagles - in a good way.

The Dylan set began with a somber Things Have Changed with Bob out front,
and continued with his stock set for this tour, with the replacement of
Summer Days for Thunder on the Mountain - personally I would have
preferred to hear the more upbeat Thunder.  Here's the set list: Things
Have Changed, Love Sick, High Water, Soon After Midnight, Early Roman
Kings, Tanged Up in Blue, Pay in Blood, Visions of Johanna, Spirit on the
Water, Beyond Here Lies Nothin, Blind Willie McTell, What Good An I?,
Summer Days, Watchtower, Ballad of a Thin Man (Encore).

To me the highlights were:  Things, High Water, Beyond Here, Watchtower
and Thin Man.  New guitarist Duke Robillard fit in well and provided
extremely tasty licks, while keeping with the spare tone of the concert. 
I'm not sure that the songs from Tempest worked all that well, but
certainly contributed to the muted, dark tone of the show.  Bob was in
very good voice and the acoustics in Stroh Arena were stellar.  The usual
group of Bob fans, weirdos and others crawling out of the woodwork from a
100 mile radius of Bowling Green lent to the typical Dylan show vibe,
including the ubiquitous bizarre Twelve Tribes bus, that follows Bob
around - take a tour, it's worth it, just be prepared for their pitch.

A good time was had by all, particularly friends from Houston, Kerry &
Roxanne, who made the trip to see his Bobness.  All in all, another
terrific show from a true master, "We're gonna miss you when you go".

Charlie Alter


Review by Don Ely

I arrived at the Stroh Center with plenty of time to spare before
showtime. I'd had " no particular place to go ", as Chuck Berry might've
said, between Kalamazoo and Bowling Green so I spent most of the afternoon
in Ann Arbor. At 6pm I pulled into the parking lot of tonight's venue and
listened to the Tigers/Angels game while keeping an eye on those Twelve
Tribes folks. One of these days I'll have to venture inside that bus and
find out which end is up.

The Stroh Center is a new and very appealing sports facility, something
that can't often be said when these places are pressed into service as a
concert hall. It's not very large, which is one thing going for it, and
open on three sides.; that is to say there are no concourses except on the
south side of the building. There's glass up to the ceiling on the east
end, so natural light streams in which is always nice. The best attribute
of the Stroh Center, though, is believe it or not, sound quality, which
was really, really, eyebrow-raisingly good. So my seat in a corner
opposite the stage turned out to be not that bad at all.

I finally caught the complete set from opener Dawes. I like this band,
though probably not enough to see them again on their own, but they are
definitely a talented outfit that could be headed for big things if they
ever get that big hit. It's probably not on their new album, Stories Don't
End, however, but it's a good melodic rock record that wouldn't
disappoint. After their set during this tour Dawes have been meeting fans
and signing autographs near the merchandise booth, so on my last show of
the tour I purchased a copy of the new record and got their stamp of
approval. A word regarding the Bob Dylan posters available on this tour:
the print run is a scant 100 copies, so if you're interested don't delay
and pick one up as soon as you enter the venue! I don't buy posters for
every show anymore, but like to get at least one from every tour. Normally
I don't buy them early because they're subject to damage, but I was shut
out twice.

Dylan and the boys played another great set, and though the songs remained
the same, I just sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed it. The Tempest material
is wonderful live, and hearing " Pay In Blood " three straight nights
makes me realize what a fantastic song it really is. I thought tonight's "
Visions Of Johanna " won by a nose over the other two, and Bowling Green
got the most energetic " Summer Days " I've seen in quite awhile. And "
What Good Am I? " doesn't cease to amaze. Thank you Bob for dusting that
one off and casting new light upon it. For the first time during these
shows I got a good look at Bob's piano; it's much smaller than I realized.
And I finally saw the mirrors everyone's been talking about, set near the
front of the stage in an apparent attempt to thwart unauthorized
photography. An announcement was made during intermission of each show for
audience members to put away their obtrusive mobile phones, but judging by
the number of cellular glows I spotted around the arenas, they were paying
little heed.

So Bob Dylan keeps on keepin' on, and he and His Band are performing some
of the best shows of their careers. And now we have Americanarama to look
forward to! My Morning Jacket is one of my all-time favorite bands, I see
them every time they come to Detroit ( and caught their truncated set at
Bonnaroo 2004, shortened by the Tennessee Fire rollin' 'cross the sky )
and Wilco is one of my favorites period. I haven't seen them in at least a
decade. So I'm stoked! And Richard Thompson, he's certainly no throw-in;
what a great guitarist! So we'll see y'all at the rock 'n' roll show this

Don Ely
The Rochester Travellin' Man
Rochester, MI


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