May 2, 2006
Review by Jesse Jones
I believe that in some future volume of Chronicles Dylan will explain the
transformation in his singing which we hear with this tour. He is singing
with greater ease, and we therefore hear less strain in his voice, and
more patience, more care, with the melodies, with the timing and phrasing,
and with the inflections. Compared to this, Dylan's voice in recent tours
was one more instrument, laregely percussive, reading the lyrics as best
he could, but now he is singing the lyrics.
It was serendipitous for me that after I committed to move to Charlotte NC
after 30 years in Miami FL, Dylan announced his first concert in the area
since 1999 - and his first ever at Davidson College in the suburban Lake
Norman region that is my new home.
As always, Dylan takes the stage and declares with his performance, "I'm
gonna speak to the crowd." This was my first Dylan concert on a college
campus. I saw him last year with Willie in a baseball park in Ft
Lauderdale and with Merle in the Beacon Theatre in NYC, and I have seen
him in other venues over the years. Dylan plays to the crowd, and every
crowd is different. There were lots of old folks like myself there, of
course, but also a lot of young students speaking of Dylan in reverent
tones. His message to the college crowd tonight: These are my songs, and
I believe in them.
"Maggie's Farm" is better as an opener with the new emphasis on melody,
and this performance of "She Belongs to Me" is beautiful. The upsinging on
"Positively Fourth Street" seems to fit the song's anger well. I love the
new arrangements of "Till I Fell In Love With You" and "Cold Iron Bound."
It was fun watchin Dylan interract with Donnie Herron -- they were
laughing together after "It's Alright Ma." That and "Masters of War"
seemed perfect for the college crowd. We had a bit of a singalong going
with "Just Like A Woman" and it seemed even that Dylan reacted to it. I
was thrilled to hear "Every Grain of Sand" and it was sung with such
feeling. And "Memphis Blues" was good enough to bring the house down.
The accoustics were not great inside the small basketball arena, and the
stage was not ideal for a concert, but the size and intimacy of the
college setting were nice. It was a great show, and it was good to have
the longer set with no opening act.
Review by John Cheppo-Mccormick
I have seen almost 40 shows lifetime. Davidson venue was like attending a
grammar school event, bright lights, no smoking, not even allowed to bring
soda in to the event area. Quite charming in a way. But, kind of
annoying too. This place reeks of big money kids and their parents. My
seat was not that good from a visual standpoint, in the back on the upper
left side. I always regret when I don't get a floor seat, that is why I
love general admission! Again, I had a annoying guy with three friends
behind me shouting from the moment Maggies Farm began to us all to sit
down, over and over...god I hate those jerks, why don't they just stay
home...at least the floor people got to stand the entire concert.
Anyway, Bob was in black suit with red stripe pants, and slightly off
white brimmed hat at about 8:20p. Band wore hats too, except Donnie. Band
placement much better than recent past...Bob more towards center, and
Donnie way in back now. Thank god Tony and George are still in the band,
Donnie is great, but I still just don't get the two guitarists. I am at
my breaking point of listening to TD&TD, but at least Charlie and Larry
could rip it to shreds, and just play the best versions that song will
ever have. It was absolutely painful tonight, by far the least
satisfying. Highway 61 was also not satisfying, it appears these
guitarists just can't tear it up, or at least compared to what I have
heard over the years. Sorry guys. They did do a good job on the guitar
sound of I Don't Believe You and Cold Irons Bound.
Highlights were by far, Positively 4th Street, Bob's singing was terrific
as the other reviewer noted, what a great, artistic job. Genius. She
Belongs To Me was also terrific (a first for me). Just Like A Woman -
awesome, pretty close to the Willie Nelson summer concert versions last
year, where the crowd has a opportunity to sing along during the pause.
Every Grain of Sand, again, the most clearly sung version I have ever
head, and I have heard it at least 4 times. Till I Fell In Love With You
was also refreshing. Stuck Inside of Mobile was also terrific. Masters
was totally "on", as was IAM,(IOB).
Bob's singing was the best I have heard in years, since the 80's. The
organ sound is terrific and the harp playing too, way better than the
keyboard sound used for the first couple years after dropping guitar.
Quite playful, and captivating to listen too. I found myself totally
focused on Bob's musical sounds and his voice tonight. Some of the best I
have ever heard.
Sadly, I skipped Summer Days and the encores, since I had a 2 hour drive
ahead. As usual, despite the gripes with the set list (being almost the
same from the performance before), Bob is still, by far, and away the best
performer around. I will continue to go out of my way to attend his
concerts for so long as he chooses to perform and be thankful.
God Bless and Peace Be With Bob Dylan Always.
Review by Reid Evans
I am born anew in your genius.
That's a line from Will Ferrell, imitating the dude from "Inside the
Actors Studio", praising Charles Nelson Reilly for his work in
Cannonball Run 2. Funny stuff.
As I was walking out of the Belk Arena (everything on the damn campus
was named after one Belk or another), those words could not have been
From the first line of Maggies Farm, I knew this would be a special
show. Man was it ever. Tell me how Bob's voice has reverted to at least
it's 2001 form. I mean he's really regained command of it, amazing. My
friend and I were saying at the time how clear it was but it was not
untill after thge show that I realised how strong it was from the
commanding lows on She Belongs to Me to the, dare I say it the
appropriate upsinging on It's Alright Ma (on this song, Donnie starts
out with the Violin, but it was not working appearantly, so he switched
to some little white guitar, then about midway through they got his
violin straightend out.....I'm glad they did, those are some manic
Thinking back, highlights for me were, She Belongs to Me, which has sort
of seemed like a filler song to me in recent years, was reborn
Every Grain of Sand has never been a live favorite for me, especially
when Bob's voice was in wolf man mode, last night was awesome though,
made me really think about God's providence.
It's Alright Ma was especially sharp tonight.
While I can's say I honestly have any compalints about the show some
things I missed/ wished were different were.....the old version of Cold
Irons Bound , the slower version dident do too much for me, was that a
bass solo I heard?
I missed some of the stop gap stuff the band was doing last year on Hwy
61 and Summer Days (seemed like Bob flubbed a few lines here, which
shocked me due to it's frequency performed and how much he seems to love
This was my first organ experience, at times it was fun, at times it
felt a little out of place (Summer Days sticks out there) like you were
at a Dylan show/ Vincent Price movie.
Three more to go.
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