May 11, 2006
Review by Mitchell Stone
Bob was in fine form at the Hollywood Hard Rock. And
not only could you see him well--his flat-brimmed
black hat was tipped backward so that his face was
fully visible--but his voice was strong, the song
arrangements were exquisite, and his pronunciation
was, for the most part, the clearest it's been in
years. He frequently looked away from his keyboard,
glancing full-faced to the crowd. His hair, although
largely blocked by the hat, was shorter than it's been
in a long time.
All the members of the band wore matching black suits
with derby-style hats, with Donnie Herron being the
exception; he wore a white shirt and no hat. Donnie
sat directly behind Bob, who was immediately to the
left of George's drums. Tony on bass was just feet
away from the drummer on the right, and all the band
members were fairly close in together.
This setup was unlike most of those of recent years,
where you'd see Bob on the far left, facing the rest
of the band, which had been spread out across the
entire stage. But the Hollywood appearance was more
reminiscent of the days of Bob playing with Robbie
Robertson and the boys in The Band.
Last night was an intimate setup for Bob and his 2006
band--but for the audience, disappointingly far back
on the stage. That setup contrasts sharply with that
of the opening act, the great Merle Haggard, who stood
front and center before his eight-man backup crew,
"The Strangers" during his hour-long country/pop
performances, graciously tipping his hat and often
joking and talking directly to the crowd.
Apart from his brief introduction of his band, Dylan
didn't speak to the crowd. But his song arrangements
were magnificent, and touched by the mind of the
master himself, were all new from 2005's performances.
Some of the highlights included "Just Like A Woman,"
with its minute-plus instrumental intro, and the
raucously rocking version of "Til I Fell in Love with
You." The phenomenally funky version of "High Water"
had the otherwise-subdued South Florida crowd on its
feet and dancing.
Dylan's use of his harp throughout the concert also
produced a very positive audience response.
The Hollywood Hard Rock rendition of "It's Alright Ma
(I'm Only Bleeding)" was nearly unrecognizable until
you heard some of the key lyrics. That was perhaps
the weakest of all the evening's performances,
although the classic line "even the President of the
United States sometimes must have to stand naked" drew
loud cheers and applause (an obvious 2006 political
statement from the audience).
The arrangement of "Mr. Tambourine Man," a slow-tempo
one, was one of the most beautiful (and most
applauded) performances of the night. "Summer Days"
and "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum" (with Bob sometimes
saying "Tweedly") both rocked.
By the outstanding encore, the well-mannered audience,
although for the most part reserved during the first
12 songs, finally awoke and almost rushed the stage.
Although the crowd was subdued, it seems they really
woke up when they realized "Like A Rolling Stone" and
"All Along the Watchtower" represented the last two
songs of Dylan's final stellar U.S. performance of the
year...at least until he again tours with Willie
Nelson after the upcoming European leg of his 2006
Following those two final songs, Bob and his band
stood together, stage-right, facing the audience under
brightened stage lights for a full minute. At that
point, the crowd went wild.
Review by Luis F. Ugaz
i was there
the best thing was the venue
donny herron is also clearly talented....
ricelli is also definately kicking ass with his drumming...
tony has some bass lines...
dylan needs to give danny freeman some more playing space....his solos
also need to be a bit sharper...even freddy koala or whatever his name was
developed awesome solos when given space... dylan has a nice keyboard...it
looks expensive... you can tell by the huge digital bright screen that was
shining on the object while he played it.... the stage was amazing....
great venue, great hot dogs, great beer and fantastic double margaritas
that were being served.... security was strict....extremely strict...some
older dude got detained/handcuffed for making a fuzz.... the band started
off with maggie's farm that sounded a little bit whack but then by the
time they were playing she belongs to me and the subsequent songs, it was
a whole different story... positively 4th was executed too fast....dylan
was no letting the band breathe..... its alright mama, im only bleedings
was a highlight...danny herron's violin solo was incredible...the band was
playing in front of a crazy dark background with no effects- the
arrangement sounded pretty good... just like a woman- another highlight-
very nicely played- with feeling- nice solo as well... to make you feel my
love- also nice... tambourine man....mmm....maybe a bit too slow.... like
a rolling stone was also pretty cool....the logo was brought down and the
whole thing... the stage had stars in the back during the last 3-4
songs... highway 61 was also something else....pretty sharp.... the organ
sounded ok in the mix...circus like sounds.... had a great time
however.... pretty cool ...it was more or less like a romantic/family
concert.... we should implement an A+ to F grade system to review concerts
in a more accurate way.... my grade for this concert, in my humble/honest
opinion: B- to C+ I have been following dylan since 1998.... Last year was
cool...this year has been slow hope the new record is good take care
Luis F. Ugaz
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