Berkeley, California

Greek Theatre

June 9, 2016

[Mark Chamberlain Stevens], [Laurette Maillet], [Michael Lederman]

Review by Mark Chamberlain Stevens

Very quick recap:  my 21st show since 88’. Sound was very well done
tonight, especially on the “Sinatra” numbers, though I had some
trouble hearing Tony for the first 3-4 songs. The “Scripted” set list
works very well. I’m much more used to the changing set every night, but
the way Bob has blended his own material with the classic cover songs is
masterful. The only "sore thumb” was “Autumn Leaves”…band was
fine, Bob’s voice just up and quit on him on this one. Moving
“Autumn” to an earlier spot in the set might help, and they may need
to drop the key a bit more. Really nice new arrangement of “Tangled”,
which may not be that new, but I’ve been on hiatus since 2010. As a
musician, I was tickled by how Bob now allows the band to “noodle” and
warm up between songs-very nice loose feel to the set, especially when
Charlie busted into the big power-chord riff from “Freebird”….I
couldn’t stop laughing. Not playing as many shows and stabilizing the
set has really made it more enjoyable for the band. They’ve always been
tight, but the change has allowed them to dig into the songs in a way they
couldn’t before. Back tomorrow night.


Review by Laurette Maillet

I have been here before when Bob played Oakland and some time previously
when he played the same Greek theater. I am losing track of time, tour
after tour and show after show.  Now travelling for 2 good reasons; Bob
shows and just ... travelling. Berkeley U.C. campus where all started in
the 60's. Mario Salvio and his flaming speeches, (the Free speech movement
Cafe is open here today), the anti - draft resistants, the sit-ins, the
stopping of the trains with human bodies... "there's music in the Cafes
and revolution in the air". And across the Bay ... Haight - Ashbury and
the Hippies ," turn on, tune in, drop out", Timothy Leary and Lucy in the
Sky with Diamonds, Janis Joplin, The Dead Heads... On the East Coast, the
pure and clean "folkies" and ... Bob Dylan."the times they are a
-changing".The times of all the "possibles", all dreams coming true, a new
world, a new consciousness! And then ? "Things have changed" , slowly,
painstackedely. The feminists won more freedom, the Blacks are called Afro
- americans, the Indians are called Native - Americans.  They won a
little more respect but still... What strucked me the most in Berkeley is
the homeless persons sleeping in the park close to my AirBandB room. Lucy
didn't open the 'doors of perception' but the 'gates to Hell' for some.
They got lost in their Artificial Paradise! The veterans are abandoned
when the army recruits the wretched of the wretched and drops them when
they are no good for service anymore.  The students are sage around me.
No revolution in the air! " The times they are a -changing " , again. Time
to study, time to work. Working to pay the rent, the bank loan. " No time
to think!" Revolution? The word is a 'four letter word".
Revolution on the Campus. They just wonder if they will vote Trump or
Clinton. Or no vote at all. The coffee at PEET's is good. It is 2.20$ for
a latte. The change is one euro for one dollar. It is correct. I found
second hand clothes and second hand books/Lps at every corner of Telegraph
Avenue. I found 3 or 4 recycling trash cans at every home and every shop.
Recycling is the key word. Recycling but not anti-consuming. It gives a
good consciousness to put the paper cups in the paper trash, and aluminium
cans in the aluminium trash! The Greek Theater is out door,by the Campus.
The down floor is loaded with chairs, then a semi-circle of concrete
uncomfortable benches, then the steep slop of the lawn. At 5 p.m. people
are queuing and I ask why? General Admission? Not at all. Fans queue for
the pleasure of queuing. They queue for one hour and then. .. go straight
to the bar. Oh my! Except for the lawn all the tickets have a section, a
row, a number. Except for some 'freaks' (like me) no one will 'shit'. The
public is largely over 30, 40?, 50? 60? The ones who don't mind the
Sinatra songs, not even the " fallen angels". Some don't even know what
they are here for. For a drink and bite at the bar? The sound will be
great, the view fine. The show tonight should start at 6.30 p.m. with
Mavis Staples (once a Dylan's Girl?). She takes the stage at 7p.m. for 45
minutes of warm up. She speaks (never Bob), she entertains the crowd.
Neither good, nor bad. I could do without. 8.00 p.m. Right on time. Stu is
strumming his guitar. "Boom, boom" says little Georgie 's drums. The back
curtains open. Tony, Charlie, Donnie and ...Bobby. We are safe, HE is
here, flesh and blood! White shirt and white hat, dark pants and jacket
and the ever lasting Cowboy boots. "Things have changed". A little bit
weak. Something is wrong with the sound and the tempo? "She belongs to
me". She was an Artist and she died. Rest in Peace sweet Suze! "Beyond
here lies nothing". It was my favourite so far. But this one is lacking of
energy. The ship is sailing away. The number of sailors shrinking as time
is passing by. I saw few Bobcats sailing on THAT boat! "Wat'll do". Good
question Mister. Same here. "Pay in blood". His angry mood is waking up
the Band and my soporific consciousness. I could put the blame on the jet
lag but that would not be fare or even true. "Melancholy mood". It puts a
smile on my face on the accented ME LAN CHO LY. Where this CHOLY is coming
from? "Duquesne whistle". And I remember ALL the lyrics. Tchoo!Tchoo! "I'm
a fool to want you". This one brings me back memories. The time of a Love
Affair that had turned sour. It is weird how the same song could bring
different feelings at different times! The lyrics are the same, the melody
is the same. No more tears. I am a laughing fool tonight! "Tangled up in
blue". It could have been more convincing. Even the harmonica is weak. And
off they go for 20 minutes. And on the public goes to the bar. I don’t
know why they are thirsty. The temperature is cool and I can’t say they
sweated from dancing around! Except for 3 girls up front, the public is
static. "Boom,boom" says Little Georgie 's drums. "High water". They all
had a shot of cafeine for it starts dynamic at last. "Why try to change me
now". Got the message Bobby! "Early Romans kings". I keep my eyes on Stu.
Oh!oh! No maracas. Stu is unpunished. Yippy! He's on electric guitar!
Sounds lot better. "I could have told you". A premiere for me. And Bob is
focusing on every single line. A bit too much? I hear laughing in my back.
Bobby my dear! This is not a competition for "the voice". You have nothing
to prove. You would have lost anyway. "Spirit on the water". Nice swing. I
still love it. "Scarlet town". Definitively the highlight of the show. I
never focus on that one so much. Bravo maestro! "All or nothing at all". A
sweet melody which could be replaced by "love minus zero/no limit". Bobby!
You hear me? "Long and wasted years". It brings me on my feet at the end
as it used to be a final. No rush to the stage here. kidding? "Automn
leaves".  Keep it for the fall Tour sweet Bobby. As the flowers are
blooming and the little birds are chirping, what about "Make you feel my
love"? Break. Bobby!Bobby!Bobby! The concret is no good for the wooden
noise.ah!ah! Here they come again....of course. Sweet Donnie on violin.
"Blowin' in the wind". 54 years ago, it was a message, a promise? I just
come back from the Middle East. " how many times must the drones drop the
bombes Before they are forever banned?" Berkeley the pacifist is no more.
The crowd is nostalgic, point! On my feet now ready for the standing
ovation. Surprise! Charlie is getting nuts on his guitar. The whole Band
rebels. Finaly the Revolution? Free bird. It pays for ; 4 hours busing to
Paris, a short night in Paris, 1 hour RER B on strike in Paris, 3 hours
delaid flight in CDG, 12 hours flight on United Airlines, 4 movies, 2
meals, 2 snacks, 1 run to the toilets,  snoozing from time to time, 1
hour BART to Berkeley ...I am a FREE BIRD.

Stu, George,  Tony, Charlie, Donnie, Jason, Chris, Barron, Big Bob...the
ones working in the dark. Most of all Bravo Bobby Dylan!


Review by Michael Lederman

Why Try To Change Him Now?

So we meet again. Over the course of my 58 Years I have witnessed as you
have rocked with The Band, put on several white faced Vegas Revue shows,
been Born Again and back, played with punks and the Saturday Night Live
dude. You've been great and less than stellar, all in or mostly out.
You've shared the stage with Van and Paul Simon and even danced a bit.
You've been a constant bookmark in this life of mine. And, like a fine
wine, you have aged with grace and class. I wouldn't change a moment. Your
show at The Greek this past Thursday evening was one of my personal
favorites. Not a wasted beat. Crooning like Bing in a dusty bar. Equal
parts John Ford and David Lynch. Your most theatrical show, beautiful
stage, superbly lit with first class sound. My jaw still hurts from the
two hour ear to ear grin you gave me. Why try to change you now? Not me.
You keep playing what moves you most. You owe me nothing. I have been paid
in full. You're the man Bob. I thank you from the bottom of my grateful

Michael Lederman
Half Moon Bay, California


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