page by Bill Pagel
Review by Mary Clare Kersten
There was no General Admission at this show, so my husband and I arrived
about ten minutes before the show with the wrong assumption we could walk
right in and take our seats. Management at the Adams Center was
overwhelmed by the crowd. There were three lines to get in, but each line
had only one person checking bags so it took a while to get through the
door. We entered at 8:05, and since the show hadn't started, I ducked
into the restroom, and wouldn't you know, the show started. So I moved
quickly and got into the arena to find out that our seats, which I thought
were on the floor, were actually in the stands, my husband was not there
and another couple was sitting in the seats. Discouraged, I headed back
down to the floor and saw that the aisle leading to stage-left was totally
open, so I walked right down to the front. And there I was, looking
directly at Dylan! I was instantly happy. Others followed me down, so to
improve my chances of staying in this prime location, I backed up against
the barricades so as to be out of the way. And this tactic worked--lots
of people were asked to leave but a woman from New Jersey and I got to
stay. So the opener, Maggie's Farm, finished up, and then I think he
played Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You. I was in heaven. But I was
feeling guilty--I mean, I'd totally ditched my husband. What a
dilemma--leave this perfect spot to go back to those terrible seats to be
with him. The third song started, and I turned to go back down the aisle
just in time to see Steve walking toward me with two beers. Guess he knew
just where to find me. And we stayed up front for the whole show. It was
great. There's nothing better than watching Dylan perform up close, and
if I could, I'd bring the whole world with me.
I'm not a good critic when it comes to Dylan. I love the songs, I love
his arrangements, I love this band and all the members' contributions.
George Recile is a fantastic drummer, and I love the sound of the pedal
steel guitar. For me, two "old song" highlights were a beautiful Lay Lady
Lay and Girl of the North Country--both sung so sweetly, so beautifully.
Dylan also sang Tryin' To Get To Heaven, another huge favorite of mine.
But when he sang "When you think that you've lost everything, you find out
you can always lose a little more, I'm just goin' down the road feelin'
bad, tryin' to get to heaven before they close the door"--I know I love it
but I can hardly stand to go that far with him.
Every Grain of Sand is one of those songs I have obsessed over for years,
and I suspect some of you have, too. You probably know Dylan has two
endings for this song--"I am hanging in the balance of His perfect
finished plan/of the reality of man, like every sparrow falling, like
every grain of sand." I go back and forth between which one makes the
most sense to me, sometimes it's the first one and sometimes it's the
second, just depending on how tight God's grip feels on any given day.
Dylan sang "His perfect, finished plan".
My other notable highlight of the night was Mr. Tambourine Man. Dylan has
reworked the song again, and I don't know how he can stand up while he
sings it--my own knees were melting. I love this version. I heard him
sing it last March in Seattle. I wish I were musical enough to remember
it so I could sing it to myself.
The Adams Center was packed and appeared to be sold out although I don't
think it was. The seating seemed to be quite verticle, so when I looked
at the crowd standing and hollering it looked very colorful and intense.
Lots of young ones. A fun, moving, exciting concert and I wish it had
never ended. We went on to see the last two shows of the tour, and if no
more reviews are written, I'll document those, too.
Review by Fred Robinson
Tonight, the band looked more comfortable dressed in cool, short-sleeved
summer shirts instead of formal wear. Bob was the sole member dressed in
a suit. In Great Falls, he was the one that dressed cool. Despite the
heat and suit, however, Bob looked cool, fresh, and comfortable. I
thought after three straight hot nights that he might be tired and that it
would be very hard for him to match the shows of the previous two nights.
However, Bob and his Band were right on and energetic for the third night
in a row. As an old UofM Grizzly, though, I was disappointed in the
crowd. The night before in Bozeman, the MSU Bobcat crowd was much quicker
to boogie. In Missoula, the floor people were politely seated through most
of the show. However, Missoula finally seemed to realize what they were
witnessing for the encore set. Its true that the set list in Missoula was
maybe a little quieter with EVERY GRAIN OF SAND, GIRL FROM THE NORTH
COUNTRY, FLOATER, TRYIN' TO GET TO HEAVEN, and a new gentle MR. TAMBOURINE
MAN but I don't know. MAGGIES FARM, HIGHWAY 61, COLD IRONS BOUND, and
DOWN ALONG THE COVE should have had people out of their seats. Naturally,
SUMMER DAYS woke people up and everyone was fully into the spirit for the
encore of ROLLING STONE, and WATCHTOWER. After ROLLING STONE, I saw Bob
say something to Stu and George and then smile. I surmised he said, "Well
that got them out of their seats. Lets really give them something now."
The beat (George and Tony) and all the blistering guitars of WATCHTOWER
were an experience. Feeling the air off the speakers which each beat and
then flying with the guitars. I think this version is even more powerful
than Jimmie's. By the end the crowd was ready for much more, but
understanding that Bob pace hisself. For me, the set list in Bozeman was
best, but tonight I was very happy to hear Bob's clear enunciation of
STUCK INSIDE OF MOBILE and the new TAMBOURINE MAN. Bob's voice was once
again clear and emotional and he seemed, to me anyway, the happiest of all
three Montana nights. Back in Helena, people that did not go, and have
never seen a Bob show, ask me how the shows were. I just say, "Great."
with no explanation, and they say, "You old hippie, you." Why try to
explain to such people? If you ain't never been there, then you cannot be
told. Anyway, I hope he swings through Montana again, and this time I
hope he hits Helena. If he goes out with Willie again, someone tell Bob
we have a minor league baseball team here too. Thanks, Bob. Thanks,
Tony, George, Stu, Donnie & Denny. Thanks Great Falls, Bozeman, &
Missoula, MSU, and UM.
page by Bill Pagel
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