page by Bill Pagel
Review by Luis Ugaz
First time I had been to this Sunfest event. What can I say, it was really
good. This was the 4th time I was gonna see Dylan, but hey, everytime
it's a whole different experience.
My girlfriend Jenny came with me to Sunfest. She had never really checked
out Dylan before, but she knew who he was and she didn't wanna miss
out on seeing him play live and seeing what all the fuzz was about. So
yeah, I asked her to come with me to Sunfest and we both had the best time
ever. Great food (THOSE CHEESESTEAK SANDWICHES WERE REALLY GOOD),
good beer (Coors!!!), cool people, nice weather, the sun, the
beach. West Palm Beach is a pretty cool place. It was quite a
perfect day. THANK YOU JENNY, YOU ARE AWESOME
I knew Dylan was gonna play the keyboards a lot this time. I had been
reading the reviews and articles from other concerts so I guess I was
prepared to see him hitting those keys. But hey, I was wrong. Dylan
used his guitar a lot tonight. more than expected and yes, HE
The Washington Mutual Stage, where Dylan was supposed to play, was huge.
Cameras were allowed and a lot of people had great equipment with them. I
wish I had taken a good camera with me. Its really hard to get Dylan pics
from concerts. Yesterday was the perfect chance. The lawn was pretty big
and there was a lot of space. However, when Dylan came out, around 7 30
pm, just as scheduled, the entire place was packed already with people
from all ages. I myself, I'm only 23 and my girlfriend Jenny is only
20, but hey I love the man. Dylan is just awesome and apparently she liked
him too. I swear the crowd had a great time. Even the little kids that
were there with their parents. Just before the encore, these little girls
next to us where screaming: "BOBBY, COME OUT BOB
Dylan kicked off the show with a rocking version of Maggie's Farm.
It wasn't that strong, or at least that's what I felt when I
heard it. But it was still a good opener and a crowd pleaser for sure. The
band looked really cool and Dylan on keyboards looked totally different.
At first you could only see him from the side, since he wasn't
facing the audience. He looked like Amadeus Mozart when he was playing the
keyboard, banging on the keys really hard. Lots of energy. you could
Next, came a big surprise. Yeah. SENOR: Tales of Yankee Power.
Hey, it was pretty good. when the cords started descending from
C-B-A to Am. well at least that's how I think he plays
it for the intro. I just knew it had to be Senor. He had
played it here at Sunrise, Florida, '98 before, but that version was
fully electric with the pedal steel. This time it was Bob on the keyboards
and the band with the normal guitars and the bass guitar. No pedal steel.
Bob did a really good job, although the version was a little slow, sounded
kinda classical with the keyboards. but hey, you cant beat this song.
It is really emotional during the chorus and you can tell Bob likes to
sing the words, when u hear the pronunciation.
Stuck inside the mobile was also pretty cool. Once again Bob did a good
job with the keyboard. I mean, you could barely here him when he
played during some parts, but during the guitar solos, when the singing
stopped, you can hear Bob hitting those chords with precision. He rocked
with Stuck Inside the Mobile. Everytime he hit the keys, he would
incline himself towards the instrument and lift the other leg..it was
cool. He is in pretty good shape too. At this point, I was worried about
Jenny; some people just don't like Dylan. She was telling me she
liked it. I was COOL.
4th came Lay Lady Lay. the sun had gone down a bit, and so did the
heat. The heat was a killer today. I had a black shirt on and I was
sweating like a Pig, Lay Lady Lay, went by really fast. the song,
that is. I don't know if its just cause the song is short, or
cause the band was playing it kinda fast. Larry Campbell is just
incredible. His pedal steel technique is awesome; the chords slid one
after the other on the pedal steel- I wish I could get one of those and
learn how to play it. it's inspiring, I swear. Bob was doing good
there holding the rhythm with the keyboards and the vocals. The chorus
parts weren't that Bad, especially in regards to the vocals, cause
when Bob plays Lay Lady Lay nowadays, he tends to exaggerate a little bit
vocally, almost screaming at the end of every part of the choruses, but
this time he did a really clean act and it was at this point that I was
thinking and telling Jenny- Hey this dude is playing really awesome
songs. this is j Bob went crazy when he started playing Things Have
Changed….the band also followed and the rendition was just super
intense….you could feel the strength of the band there, speeding up
and accelerating the beat as the song progressed from verse to
verse….Bob did an amazing job here with the vocals….the
singing was good too…I love it when Bob pronounces the words so
eloquently…its just like if he was reciting a poem, but hey, Bob
songs go beyond that….they are not just poetry…its something
out of this world…
Lovesick, I’m sorry Bob, but it kinda sucked. I don’t know
what happened to the older live version. I had seen the song performed
before live before and it had never sound so dry…The guitars were
using a lot of dry distortion…it was as if they lacked a little bit
of reverb and then maybe they should have lifted up the treble a
bit…I don’t know, it just sounded super dry…It was like
a really, really, dry version of the Grammy’s type of
Lovesick…By the way, Bob played this one with his guitar….it
was cool, but the song was just a little bit dry…rough on the
edges…coordination was missing too
Honest with me….mmm…I was a little bit confused with this
one….Bob started off playing the keyboards and then something
happened. It seemed like if he got pissed or something and he just went
like “whatever” and then went to get one of the guitars from
the guitar rack. After he got the guitar the rest of the song was also a
little bit rough. It was like if Bob was trying to make it sound
different, but for some reason he just couldn’t do it. He’d
always go back to the original tempo from the original recording. Then
towards the end something else happened and that was kinda weird too. He
just gave up on the guitar. .I don’t know if he was pissed at the
sound quality, or if he was mad cause of the instrument; I was thinking
that probably one of the strings broke cause he gave this mean look to the
instrument before he handed it over to one of the roadie dudes there. Bob
even gave him a weird look, like saying: “This guitar
SUCKS”….at that point Summer days was good…really
rocked…I didn’t like the original recording that much but
after hearing it live tonight I must admit, the live version, which is a
little bit faster is really cool….
After playing the last song of the first and major set, Bob came back out
with his hat on. I knew this was it….TIME FOR LIKE A ROLLING
STONE….I don’t know what happened, but the crowd went
nuts….Jenny also got into it….Bob was just amazing….you
all will probably think I’m stupid when you read this, but this is
my theory on Bob and his hat: just like superheroes have their cape, Bob
has his hat….when he’s wearing one of his hats, that’s
BOB, that’s the MAN….the guy rocked. Forget it….L.A.R.S
with the keyboard sounded great: 3 verse version, left the original 2nd
verse out and the song was played in a progressive mode, getting faster
and stronger each verse. Everybody was like BOB!, BOB! This little girl
next to me even asked me: hey, what’s the name of that song? And I
was like its Like A Rolling stone…its an awesome song…Probably
the best version of LARS I’ve ever heard live here in Florida. The
one last yea All along the watchtower wasn’t that bad at all. It
sounded like the Jimi Hendrix version but Bob messed around with the
verses a bit….he added one verse in the end, sounded kinda like the
first but then left the chorus out….
All in all it was a great show. I just found it a little bit weird that
this new dude, FRED was doing all the solos. I mean, I respect the guy, he
must be playing with Dylan for a reason (he must be a good guitar player),
but I just cant understand why are they letting him do the solos, when
Campbell is clearly, the multi-instrumentalist, guitar-master there in the
band…Larry’s solos rule. This guy, I don’t know, he
seemed a little bit insecure throughout the show and his solos were really
bad. 1-The solo notes he played didn’t even match the sound of the
chords from the other instruments, 2-even when u listen to the mp3’s
on the net from the recent concerts you can hear his guitar there playing
these funky jazzy solos that do not mix well with the rocking sound of the
band, 3- he looks to the rest of the band for guidance, but they
don’t look back at him, 4-he pokes on the strings, I don’t
know if he’s playing without a pick, but he makes his solos sound a
bit It was really weird…why is Larry playing rhythm instead of lead?
Does anybody know…?
This Freddy guy seemed like he was trying to please Bob the whole time
because he would look up to him when he was doing the solos, as if he were
looking for approval, but Bob didn’t seem pleased at all…
I don’t know but they might need to find someone else…I
don’t think this guy’s sound and his jazzy guitar mix well
with the band…and his solos…im sorry, but they are out of
tune…they sucked, as a matter of fact…Does anybody else here
agree with me. If so, please let me know…Can’t they call
Charlie or Bucky Baxter and ask em to come back? Or Larry, dude, go back
to doing the solos. Hey, id like to play with Dylan one day….ive
played the guitar for a while…how can I get in touch with Bob?
But, hey it was a great show and at the end of the day, I arrived to the
same conclusion I arrived to during my last Dylan show…I WILL SEE
BOB AGAIN…FOR SURE, DEFINITELY…HE KICKS ASS…Im probably
going to Tampa on the 30th and I might be able to see him there again. Id
really like to. No Dylan show is the same…I think Jenny liked it
too cause it was a long drive over there and the heat was a killer.
However, at least from what I heard she had lots of fun. This girl is just
incredible. Im really glad she liked the show. She even told me she wanted
to go see Dylan again Jul 30th at TAMPA. Dylan is INVINCIBLE...
And hey Jenny, you are awesome. Thank you for putting up with the killer
heat and the drive to WPB. You are the best. I hope you enjoyed the show.
I swear I love you will my heart. You are AWESOME, YOU ARE THE BEST, TOO.
YOU WANNA GO TO TAMAPA WITH ME ON THE 30TH. LET ME KNOW…LOVE YA
Thank you Bob. I had an incredible time too. Are you ever planning to come
down to the real Miami?
Review by Karen Mullins
West Palm Beach...what a fantastic show! It was hot as hell, as was
expected! 90* and humidity was worse...oh what we put up with for Bob!
The Waifs played just before Bob, and they were wonderful! First time I've
seen them, and I'm glad to hear they're opening tomorrow in Orlando, too.
Time to buy some of their cds.
Now to Bob. Al Santos does the intro and here comes Bob and the Band. Bob
was dressed in a black Western style shirt and pants, with white piping on
the sleeves, legs and pockets, sporting a white bandana and cowboy boots.
He looked great!
Bob's piano was off to stage right, George and Tony in the middle, and
Freddy and Larry stage left. We were maybe 10-12 rows back from the
stage, slightly to the left, so had a great view. I had my binoculars with
me, and that made it even better.
As far as I could tell, they did no checking for cameras and such, and I
saw many people taking pictures. The most that happened to them was being
asked to stop, and of course they didn't, so am hoping some good pictures
will show up. If only I would have known I would have taken mine in!
First song...we're rolling with Maggie's Farm. This was nice, really
rocking with Bob on piano...he did a little wandering around the stage,
some clapping and a lot of smiling! At the end, George stood up and
removed his coat, can't blame him, it had to be broiling on stage, even
with the big fans that were running.
After Maggie, Bob made some comment that sounded like "we're playing this
in A minor now", and then came a wonderful surprise, Senor, with all of us
quite appreciative. It went very well... and after the song was over, Bob
was laughing out loud.
Next was Stuck Inside of Mobile...an excellent version with Freddy doing
some nice solo work. Bob and Larry were cracking up during this
song...reasons unknown, but they were having a good time!
Then came Lay Lady Lay, with Larry on pedal steel. He always plays this
beautifully, and last night was no exception. Bob did some great phrasing
on this song, "YOU KNOW....I long to reach for you in the night."
Next came a super version of Thing's Have Changed, with Bob singing well
and exchanging smiles with Tony.
They next played Drifter's Escape, with Bob on guitar and harp. This is
one song I usually don't like live, as it always seems distorted, but last
night was the exception. It came through VERY loud, but clear, with Tony
playing a great bass part and smiling away, Freddy going across the stage
to stand beside Bob, playing beside him and watching him intently....Larry
smiling the whole way and George playing his heart out!
It Ain't Me Babe saw Bob playing acoustic, singing well with some nice
Jumping into Cold Irons Bound, Bob on electric, and the audience goes
wild! This was just wonderful, with Bob really getting into it and George
and Tony laughing several times. They seemed to be pleased that Bob was
having a great time, as he obviously was the whole evening.
Next was a lovely version of JLAW, with what seemed to me to be an extra
long intro. Larry playing pedal steel, Bob on guitar, facing George part
of the time, twisting that leg and doing a little dance towards the end.
Now into Love Sick, Bob on guitar and Tony playing that menacing bass
line. I love this song and this was a great version. At one point, Bob
said "Did I? Maybe I did." Not sure where though, I can't make it out on
my notes. (note to self, scribble more legibly)
Next up was You Ain't Goin' Nowhere, and a mighty fine version it was. Bob
on guitar and playing well, the whole band seems to enjoy playing this
song and I could even see Tony singing along a little. Bob did a little
"whirl around" towards George to signal the end of the song.
Bob heads back to play piano and starts Honest With Me, sings the first
verse, then leaves the piano, ambles around and grabs his guitar. The Band
just kept playing during this and the sound was truly amazing. Bob
couldn't ask for better back up! He sings the first verse over and away
they go, playing one of the best versions ever of HWM. About 2/3 of the
way through the song, Bob heads for the piano and plays it for a bit,
guitar slung around to his back!
Next up was Bye and Bye, a sweet version, Bob playing guitar and harp, and
breaking up laughing, which got everyone around me laughing too.
Summer Days started with Tony tapping out the time on the top of his bass.
The song was great, although as mentioned before it's not the total
rave-up of last fall, but still fantastic. Some real nice playing here
from Larry and Freddy.
Formation time...Larry grinning like a Cheshire cat, Freddy smiling from
ear to ear and looking a little shy, Tony quite serious, not smiling,
George and Bob smiling and bowing a little. A very short break and then
LARS! Bob put on his white cowboy hat for this one! Absolutely
terrific...I loved the way Bob sang on this one, really emphasizing
certain lines with that staccato delivery he sometimes uses... "After_ he_
took_ from_ you_ everything_ he_ could_ steeeaaaal". Woot!
Sometimes Bob singing a certain song will make me "misty-eyed", usually
the WAY he sings it...tonight it was LARS. For whatever reason, during the
first refrain of "How does it feel, how does it feel?", when the lights
came up, the audience raised their arms, started swaying and singing with
him, it really got to me. Call me a sentimental fool...haha.
Last but not least, AATW, most excellent, with Larry and Freddy tearing it
up with some fantastic guitar playing. If memory serves me well, Bob
played piano on this one, no guitar.
Lights go down some, we can see Bob slipping on his white coat, and then
final formation. They were obviously hot and tired, but they took a few
little bows, all of them smiling, Bob curling his arms over his head and
blowing some kisses to the crowd.
For me, this is one of the best shows I've ever seen. It was a little
ragged at times, but all in all it was a damn fine show... Thank you, Bob!
(A side note...IMO, Freddy is great. He plays VERY well. He and Larry
sound terrific together. Even with a few mistakes, Bob did not seem upset
with him in the least. Several times, Bob crossed the stage, or Freddy
came over to Bob, and they played side by side. The chemistry seemed to be
there and Freddy is in for the long haul.)
page by Bill Pagel
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