Blacksburg, Virginia
Burruss Hall
Burruss Auditorium
April 29, 2001

[Jesse Lambertson], [Jim Klagge], [Shep], [Doug Evans], [Nick Waldrop], [Zimjam], [John Pruski],

Review by Jesse Lambertson

Lambertson I just wanted to send this short review because I just got
back home and I am a little beat. It's about a 5 hour drive from the
venue to my apartment. And again, Bob was still rockin'. He played an
even better version of "Oh Babe it ain't no lie" than from the towson
show last fall I thought. And I always love to hear "Searching for a
Soldier's Grave" Bob did throw in some jewelslast night. "Crash on the
Levee" or "Down in the Flood" as it is posted @ bobdates was phenomenal.
I got to hear an absolutely pounding rendition of "Drifter's escape"
where on saturday night he played the "wicked massesner" with same basic
format of singing in the spaces between the chords. I also loved to hear
"Tryin" to to get to heaven". This song has so many images to contemplate
that I can not get enough of it. And I have to mention that he did play a
smooth "Watching the River Flow" PLus three harp solos, yes THREE harp
solos on: "Mr Tambourine man" , "It's all over now baby blue" and of
course on "Drifter's escape"

I think my main complaint would just be that during the big first
encore, the songs were the same as saturday night. I wish he had stuck
maybe "Obviously 5 Believers" in there and maybe "I shall be Released"
in the last acoustic spot before HIWAY 61 R. But Bob did endulge us with
a very nice version of Rainy Day Women 12&35. Of course, I always wonder
how much of his encore playing is because the fans yell for it or just
because he wants to and maybe already had planned to do so. Of course,
on that same subject, I also wonder what Bob's plan is by playing those
same certain songs in encore #1. The reason could just be like I read
somewhere, that he wanted this tour to be very distinctly a greatest
hits tour. Whatever the reason, the songs are still so good after so
many roads travelled and stages sung on. ,,,Jesse Lambertson


Review by Jim Klagge

This was a great concert!  The others Bob has given in this area 
(Blacksburg, November, 1989--good; Radford, April, 1993--poor; Roanoke,
November, 1994--good) weren't even close.  The venue--Burruss Hall, was
small (2800) and comfortable.  The sound was excellent.  The crowd was
extremely enthusiastic, yet polite and anxious to hear and appreciate
(rather than shout and interfere).  Bob's voice was as ragged as expected,
but put to good use.  His guitar playing was at least not intrusive--and
it was his excuse to wiggle and dance.  His harmonica playing, though
rare, was touching.  His choice of songs was generous.  And the lighting
was especially imaginative and IMO added much to the show.  (But why do
they use green-yellow rather than blue lights for "Tangled"?)

For me the highlights were:
Desolation Row--The most uncommon of the songs he played.  I hadn't heard
him play it before.  As with several of the songs, I took special pleasure
in his pronounciation of various words and phrases.  I think this is how
he shows his love for these songs, or parts of them. One Too Many
Mornings--An especially moving harmonica part here.  Surely this song, as
much as any by him, has been lived out fully by Bob--day after day.  What
more can we ask for from him? Drifter's Escape--Great arrangement. Things
Have Changed--I wish he did more of his (relatively) new songs, instead of
so much from the distant past.  Even though he breathes new life into the
old things, the new things show how he is still growing.  That's really
what I want to hear about. Knockin' on Heaven's Door--Such a powerful,
simple song.  I wasn't expecting it, so it swept me off my feet.  Thanks!

The ovation was more than enough to bring Bob back for a second encore.
I was touched by the gesture at the end of the (first) set, and at the end
of the first encore, where all the musicians along with Bob just stood at
the front of the stage, sans instruments, and showed themselves (I guess
is the best way of putting it)--not a bow really, just a display.  But not
arrogant, rather humble really.

Oh, babe, he ain't no lie.


Review by Shep

This was my 9th show...Beacon, Holmdel (w/Santana), McCarter, Philadelphia
(w/Smith),  Woodstock, Raleigh (w/Simon), Fairfax, Lowell... I am 42. 
Here can I even attempt to capture the experience....ROCK ON
BOB! I took the 3 1/2 hour drive up from Chapel Hill along old Rt. 8
arriving into Blacksburg about 3pm. Listening to "Saved", the Not Dark Yet
single+3, Slow Train Coming, Another Side of BD, Street Legal (I wish he
would play True Love Tends to Forget or We better Talk This Over) and The
Knitters. Parked in a nearby lot.  Walked around town, grabbed an expresso
and began to look for dinner. I stopped into a camping store on Main
street and was delighted to hear "Changing of the Guards" over the store
stereo....the clerk...a student...recommended The Cellar.  With it being
such a beautiful day....I was glad The Cellar had an upstairs with
windows!  I had a nice bowl of spaghetti, real good too. I made my way to
the concert hall and was pleasantly surprised when I made my way into the
building lobby(via the front door), up the stairs to the aisle entrances,
and then moved swiftly into the buildings interior.  No police
anywhere....and it was about 5pm or so....just a bunch of students in
green event tee-shirts "everywhere".  But they never stopped me.  I
proceeded to look into the stage right entrance door and could not believe
my eyes & ears when I heard the band playing acoustic (no Bob).  There was
a good 3/4" gap between the doors, so I could see with one eye and hear
everything.  Tony had his hat off.  Larry was in black pants and a camel
jacket, Charlie in black.  I then saw Larry begin playing Tony's bass with
a bow.  There seemed to be allot of talk between Larry and Tony.  After
the bass was tuned...they were playing Things Have Changed.  I then moved
quickly into the hallway to try and get closer...and made my way to a
stairwell behind the stage where a green-shirted event student was sitting
listening.  This was his "post".  Although, I could not see the band, I
could hear wonderfully.  They were playing It's All Over Now, Baby
Blue...and yes...I then heard Bob singing a couple lines...It was too bad
I did not have a pizza box as the event crew seemed to let him go
anywhere, so long as a slice was left. Well, I quickly made my way back to
the original door and saw Bob in cuffed bluejeans and denim jacket sitting
cross-legged on a stool...with the band playing all sorts of
"Nashville-riffs for about 20 minutes!  Then, they pick-up the
electric's...Larry with fiddle....and blast out Everything is
that point an event student named Tara asked two boisterous young guys to
move from the hallway...(I should have seen it coming)...and for me to
return to the lobby...I, of course, declined, saying I was not with
them....but, when two troopers reminded me that I have disobeyed her
orders...I left...bought a poster, walked to the car to drop it off, and
returned to the concert to enter.  Seat BB 11 (about row 27, middle left)
between a 60ish year old man with his wife and student daughter and a
group of three female students...all of them at their first Bob show. You
see the set list....Oh Babe was terrific....Bob really  had fun with Mr.
T...his voice not quite under he laughed, smiled and picked
up the play.  He hit full stride with Desolation Row....that
beautiful voice....crowd loving it.  Down in the Flood was a first for me.
as was Tryin'.  Watching the River Flow rocked.  Then, It's ....Baby
Blue....TUIB....TUIB was one of the first versions I got to enjoy Charlie
on lead, so it was fun. I should mention that Charlie was brilliant!!!  He
can play...blistering...seems that the switching of Charlie from right to
left...(in Lowell, Larry playing the leads, and Charlie definitely taking
a back seat that night) is just awesome!  I can't help but watch as
Charlie plays while keeping his eyes on Bob...studying...I think...the
presence, the feel...Bob with that guitar neck pointed towards the
floor....One Too was another first....and Drifters rocked..thanks Charlie.
Things Have Changed was great with the Oscar on top of an amp to the right
of David.  If Dogs Run Free was (what seemed to me) one of the few that
Larry played some lead.  This was the first time Bob did a second encore
in all my concerts.  I just smiled as I heard the young students exiting
and saying "that was great"...Bob is one class act Itell you. Well off to



Review by Doug Evans

All in all, this was a very “professional” show for Bob.  It did not
have the same set list highlights or knockout vocal performances of my
2000 shows at Columbia and Towson.  The crowd was very high energy and the
venue very nice (and relatively small), but Bob either was not or could
not quite respond to the

The most extraordinary occurrence that I noticed on this particular leg of
the Neverending Tour is the ferocity and invention that Charlie Sexton is
putting into his guitar solos.  I haven’t seen a sideman play like this in
Bob’s band during the 12 years that I’ve been attending shows.  His solo
on “Down in the Flood” was brilliant, and he pulled Larry and Bob into
guitar duels on more than one occasion.  This is what I hoped to see when
Charlie joined the band two summers ago, and it looks like we’re finally
getting some of his truly amazing guitar work. I hope that it continues.

Highlights for me included the aforementioned “Down In the Flood,”
“Drifter’s Escape,” “If Dogs Run Free” (which was much better than the
Towson version, in my opinion), a wonderful “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”
(with backing vocals!  Bob flubbed it at the beginning of the second
verse, but quickly caught himself) and—surprisingly enough—“Tangled Up in
Blue”.  I’ve gotten very tired of this song live, but the performance
Sunday night was quite inspired, and definitely brought the crowd to a
very high excitement level.

I’ve now heard the jazzy version of “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven” twice in
person, and it still doesn’t do much for me.  Charlie played some nice
guitar on it, but I just don’t like the arrangement.  It makes it sound
less weighty than the lyrics suggest.


Review by Nick Waldrop

Another great Dylan show.  This show took place at Buress Hall at Virginia
Tech.  Buress is a relativly small venue (2500+).  Crowd was a mix of
college kids and middle aged folks.  I was in the seventh row from the
front on the left side of the auditorium.  I could clearly see Dylan's
Oscar on top of one of the amps near the back of the stage.  He came out
in his usual black gamber's suit, to open up the show with an acoustic Oh,
Babe it Ain't No Lie.  I had never heard this song before and I thought
that it was a nice song to kick things off with.  Dylan seemed ready to
play and was nodding his head to and fro and he plucked his guitar.  The
second song, Mr. Tambourine Man, is when the show really started.  Dylan
was really into this song.  He had a way of stretching out the last word
of every line the same way.  Across the foggy ruins of tiiime... Far past
the frozen treeees, etc.  Nice.  The best part of the song came when he
got out his harmonica for the first time that night at the end of that
song.  This was only my second show and at the last show I saw he did not
use his harmonica at all, so this was a thrill for me.  He slung his
guitar to his side and went towards the back to get one of the several 
harmonicas he had out.  Dylan proceeded to blow the house down with it. 
When he's playing the harmonica, he bends his knees down in time with his
playing and he put his right hand  straight out to his side, towards the
band and levelling his hand out as if he's telling them not to stop
playing, to keep going while he's playing the harmonica.  Tonight he did
this same move on each of his harmonica songs, I'm glad I was in a
position to get a very clear view of this. The harmonica solo probably
lasted 30 seconds, but it felt a lot longer than that because I was
mesmerized by it.  Desolation Row came next, which I had seen before and
it was a great version.  I wanted to hear some extra verses, but Dylan
only did his usual abreviated version.  There was a loud audience response
to the line "the circus is in town." They switched next to electric with a
surprising Down in the Flood.  I am fond of the version on the basement
tapes.  This version was completly different, though.  He sang the lyrics
soft and mellow but the band was loud, which I thought was pretty good. 
Next and one of the highlights of the show for me was Trying to Get to
Heaven.  I really wanted to see one of the slower songs from Time Out of
Mind live and Dylan fulfilled all my expectations with this song.  Every
word was nuanced perfectly and you could feel the his world weariness when
he sang, "I been all around this world /Now I'm trying to get to heaven
before they close the door." I was really moved by this song, I must say.
Watching the River Flow was an absolute treat.  I thought it was odd
because he played this song the last time I saw him at Merriweather last
July.  That show he played a rocking version close to how he originally
recorded it.  This show he played the more common, mellow, sort of
country, Goose is cooked version.  I preferred the original version
better, but I like this song.  It was a treat to hear this song both times
I've seen him.  Dylan swtiched back to acoustic for It's All Over Now,
Baby Blue.  I thought this was another stellar performance of a stellar
Tangled Up In Blue was next.  I like this song, but I wish that Dylan wouldn't
rush through the lyrics so fast, he takes his time singing most of his
songs, but not this one.  Still, not a bad performance. One Too Many
Mornings... What can I say? Beautiful, moving, touching etc. etc.  This
was beyond a doubt the highlight of the show.  I may be wrong and even
though the setlist doesn't say so I'm pretty sure he played the harmonica
at the end of this song.  In fact I'm positive because I don't think I'll
ever forget it. He got down almost on one knee as he played it and he had
his hand out to his band as if pushing them to take the song further and
further.  They did and he did and it was wonderful.  Searching for A
Solidiers Grave... I'm a big fan of this song.  Even though it's not a
Dylan original I still get a big kick out of it.  Larry's mandolin playing
was excellent.  One of the reasons I like Dylan shows is because of the
variety of musical styles he has in his shows. Drifter's Escape-  This one
brought the house to it's knees.  I love the live version of this song and
Dylan did this one with alot of force and gusto.  He waled on his
harmonica at the end. Great! LSPH-  Another one of my favorite songs.  At
the end of this song, he did his band introductions while he and his band
played the riff.  I like this but I think that maybe he does this because
now he can go through a whole show without saying anything, which he did
at this show.  Not a thank you, not a good bye...nothing, he even sang his
band introductions.  Oh Well! I think at this point the formation took
place.  Last time I saw him all the band memebers got in a line towards
the front, and looked out at the crowd. This time each band member put
down his instrument and stood where he was and looked out.  Not quite as
effective, but cool nonetheless.  I'm not going to go in depth as to the
encores. But they were all well performed.  Nothing spectacular, but very
very good. One of the best moments of the night came at the end of the
first set of encores.  After Blowin' In the Wind  They all put down their
instruments and stood where they were for a minute, while Dylan went
towards the back and got put on his hat.  I think it was a purple fedorra.
He came back with it and put it on his head and walked around the stage
for a minute with it on.  I loved it! He walked offstage with it on and
when he came back for a second encore I was  hoping that he would play the
song with his hat on. But he didn't.  But when the second encore was
through... someone from the back of the stage handed his hat to him and he
put on and walked quickly backstage with his hat on.  Dylan's hat is one
of the main things I'll remeber about this show. You just had to be there
to understand, I guess. 


Review by Zimjam

I had quit going to Bob shows shortly after seeing him in Virginia Tech
(1989, GG Smith). The basketball arena acoustics sucked, and the show was
just good (mediocre). My wife got me tickets to see Bob and Paul Simon at
Nissian Pavillion--at the show was quite good. So I have since then seen
six Bob concerts in under a couple of years. Towson MD was my favorite
(smoking Tamborine Man, Seeing the Real You..., and Rolling Stone).

What is amazing about the Virginia Tech performance, besides the SO
talented band--is that Bob is able to do what his doing--consistently
showing these excellent performances. Many people, who can't get beyond
Bob's voice, really are missing out. There is no question that Bob is a
great singer, but also a true artist--so non-conforming--and probably the
greatest songwriter of our time, not to mention a great musician.

The show at Virginia Tech was awesome, his lyrics SO "on the mark". How
about "Knocking on Heavens Door", where has this arrangement been?
Breathtaking. From "Desolation Row" to "Tangled Up in Blue" (got to be the
greatest song ever written).

It would be nice if Bob would mix it up more, but who can question the
genius of Bob. Yeah I would like to hear an acoustic "All Along the
Watchtower", and it would be nice to hear maybe "Precious Angel" or "Wait
Can I Do For You"--his depth of material so vast.

But it is easy to forget how great a song "Blowin in the Wind" really is.
You could hear that at Burress this special night. What is truely amazing
is that Bob is doing some of his best stuff in years--he is truely 'Not
Out to Pasture Yet'. I remember Bob saying that in 1978 at Nashville
Tennessee, my first Bob show--"I'm not out to pasture yet".


Review by John Pruski

After a great show Saturday in Charlotte and long ride back to my niece's 
house in Roanoke, I slept way late Sunday Morning.  No problem, since the 
drive to Sunday night's sold out Bob Dylan show at the nice classic-feeling 
Burruss Hall on the nearby Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg took only 
45 minutes.  We even had time to go hiking in the scenic nearby mountains 
and look for Fraser's Mountain Magnolia that we had only seen the day 
before at 65 mph.  Then I had time to meet finally meet up with Alex and 
James at a nearby campus bar, well before the 8:00 show time.  And we still 
had enough time to buy souvenirs (which were outside in the foyer) and drop 
them off in our cars (the venue doors were not opened until after 7:30) 
before making our way to our great 4th row seats, without the college kid 
security force even checking us for taping equipment.  [Security did, however,
bust people for taking flash pictures during the show.]  Once inside I saw 
many familiar faces, Jesse was right behind us, and John and Jim came down 
to our seats to say hello and stayed down front.  

The lights quickly went down and Bob and his great Band came out at about 
8:04, and played for just over 2 hours.  We were all looking forward to 
seeing the new 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 plus encores format, and then of course really 
hoping for the second encore of Rainy Day Women, since we were guessing 
there would be no time limit on Bob's show.  We got exactly what we wanted, 
well almost, the 10th song was acoustic (Soldier's Grave) so we actually got 
a 3 x 3 x 4 x 2 format.  Nevertheless, the show was completely fantastic and 
indeed topped of by RDW.

Tambourine man was replete the same great phrasing (MY Sense's MY hands MY 
toes) as was the Towson version, and speaking of Towson, the VA Tech show 
started off with the same three great songs as did Towson.  Desolation Row 
was third and special  as always.  It didn't get instant recognition, 
however, from the young college crowd, but once Bob said the words 
"Desolation Row" there were young smiling faces all around.  

One of my favorite songs of the night and the first electric song of the 
night was next, a rocking version of Down In The Flood.  It was simply 
fantastic with Charlie cutting loose, this especially evident all night 
since tonight we were on the left, right in front of Charlie (and his stacks).  
The first three electric songs really had me thinking of back home, well with 
floods, levees, New Orleans, and watching the river flowing mentioned back to 
back to back!

After a quick change of guitars we got the second acoustic mini set, kicked 
off with a cool version of Baby Blue, with Larry sounding great on pedal 
steel.  Actually, it seemed as thought Larry played a lot more pedal and 
lap steel tonight than in Charlotte, but I'd have listen again to be sure 
of this.  And in the #8 slot Bob played TUIB, which was absent the night 
before.  A year ago if some soothsayer told me I see consecutive Dylan shows 
each with the then unperformed Soldier's Grave and Dogs Run Free, but with 
TUIB at only one of the two shows I would have said "oh yeah, and what 
planet are you from?"  But that is exactly what happened!  Who'd a thunk it?

The main body of the show was wrapped up by two truly rocking songs, 
Drifter and Leopard-Skin.  I really enjoyed seeing Wicked and Drifter on 
consecutive nights, and on each David was really beating the heck out of 
his drums.  Bob played some great harp on Drifter, a he also did tonight 
on Tambourine Man and One Too Many Mornings.  The Band introductions were 
again during (well at the end of) Leopard-Skin which really is a neat way 
ends things, keep the show flowing, and leading into the formation.  And 
as usual the audience went nuts during the formation, this broken off as 
usual by Larry.

During the encores the front lighting during Things Have Changed was such 
that Bob's huge shadow was cast on the backdrop, a really neat effect.  And 
from the angle of the lighting, Bob's silhouette actually looked like Oscar, 
bringing smiles from many of us.  Bob was playing his new cool white "Bob 
Dylan" strat for the electric songs, as we all saw on TV during the Oscar 
award show.  Rolling Stone went over incredibly well, and tonight found the 
audience clapping along to the jazzy Dogs Run Free, a neat effect.  Actually, 
the seven great and historic encores were the same tonight as they were in 
Charlotte and really kept the college crowd going, but of course due to the 
intimate setting the whole crowd (standing all night long) was into things 
form the get-go.  And Heaven's Door was again truly superb, it's almost 
becoming a fixture (played 5 of 9 nights this month) in the #5 encore slot, 
which is fine by me!  Tony was all smiles and legs as usual during the 
encores, perhaps because his Coma bass is easier to lug around than his huge 
stand up bass.  Of course, Tony was roving about during the really rocking 
Watchtower and HW 61 too!  After the encores and during the night's second 
formation Bob again had on his black hat, looking great as always.  Lastly, 
as I mentioned before, Bob even played a second encore, RDW (and maybe I even 
smelled something in the air too), which was not followed by a third formation, 

WOW, I had a truly wonderful weekend thanks for Bob Dylan and his great band!  
Bob really looked, sang, and sounded great tonight.  I geared up for my 5 hour 
drive back home to DC, making it back at 3:30AM, and to work at the Natural 
History Museum by 9AM.  Ugh!  Sadly, I can't make any more shows on this great 
spring swing, so y'all please keep us all posted on the goings on, and Gob 
Bless you all!

John Pruski 
1 May 2001


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