page by Bill Pagel
Review by Shepp
My 16th show, the last being in Cary, NC on May 13th. The venue was a
amphitheater on the outskirts of the city. I was in town on business and
was able to take mass transit right to the venue from downtown for $1.75.
I had a 6th row, center section, aisle seat. Bob looked great tonight, he
was wearing the black pants and black shirt with the white edging. He
played piano all night, unlike in Cary, NC when he once considered the
guitar (picked it up and put it back before Don't Think Twice) and played
it during Forever Young that night. Bob seemed to walk around allot
tonight during some instrumental sections of various songs...and took a
very long walk behind the drums while the band kept playing TD&TD. He was
perspiring allot tonight, his shirt was soaked 4 songs in. I thought he
would be tired or maybe even not feeling too well, but he shook it off
after that "walk/pause" and really put on a great show.
During the opening song Silvio I believe Bob noticed a young couple,
standing, with the father holding his 2 year old son in his arms in the
first row. He appeared to be making extended eye contact with the boy
while singing TD&TD, and making funny faces to the child too. I thought
to myself that he might play Forever Young for him. Bob then played I'll
Be Your Baby Tonight! How appropriate. Bob was making faces at the boy,
you know animated expressions, smiling and raising his eyebrows, eyes wide
open, just like anyone would do when playing/talking to a small child. I
almost thought he wanted to play peek-a-boo. Really amazing. The pro
photographers were snapping photos of Bob's face like crazy. I even let
one of the guys stand in front of me so he could capture the "smiles".
Those of us close enough were all commenting about it. I wish I could see
the photos some day.
Silvio rocked. Unlike the reviews I read earlier, in Atlanta Bob had
pretty much a full front section of fans, all standing, right from the
intro. I even spoke to the security guy in my area before the show to ask
him whether or not he would give us "standers" any trouble. He said, no
way, if people want to sit, then they should just stay home and not go to
a rockn'roll concert. Awesome! The crowd was able to stand the entire
time, no hassles, everyone was up and cheering.
If You See Her Say Hello was terrific, with Bob's voice rounding out
nicely as it usually does after the opening number. This was a first for
me, live. TD&TD was beautifully done, all electric. I'll Be Your Baby
Tonight was wonderful as he sang to the child. Highway 61 was ok. I have
maybe just heard it too many times, and after seeing that he played Joey
and Saving Grace recently, I wanted to hear something other than '61.
But, it was enjoyable, don't get me wrong. JLTTB was terrific! Bob
performed it flawlessly, and with full feeling..as he sang "...going back
to New York City..." I only thought of my being able to be at the August
12th date in Manhattan...I can't wait to see him up there, then. This is
one of my favorite Bob tunes, along with Love Minus and She Belongs to Me.
Cold Irons Bound was solid, again I have just heard it too often live.
The best version I ever heard was in Chicago, last November. Then, the
first pure musical highlight of the night was an exceptional "It Ain't Me
Babe". Wow, what an acoustic arrangement. Spectacular! Bob, you are a
genius. The band really had fun with this one, very interesting. I hope
other reviewers noticed. Then, Honest With Me was also awesome. Another
guitar player appeared, he was a middle-aged gentleman who had earlier
been seen arranging the instruments and doing some sound checks. I have
seen him before, but this was the first time I ever saw him play electric
guitar on a song. He was really good. He stood to the right of George.
And, Bob had called him out from the right side off stage to play some hot
rhythm licks....I must say that he added a "Charlie Sexton" feel to the
song once again. It rocked. Freddie cooked on this and Summer Days,
unreal. Freddie can just blister the heck out of some songs....keep up
the great work Fred! The "unknown" gentleman was once again asked by Bob
to play on Summer Days, the unknown man played acoustic to start the song,
then was asked by Bob to change mid-song and use the electric. It
appeared to me that the unknown man used Bob's guitars in all those
appearances. They had good chemistry. Again, the song had the "Charlie
Sexton" sound which I still miss. The encore was a fun "12&35".
Next the Dead came out after intermission, and then Bob joined them for
the second music highlight of the evening...a wonderful "Big
River"...totally rocked. There was some real confusion at first when Bob
first walked on stage, now in off-white cowboy hat, and matching pants and
jacket. Bob Weir came over to Bob Dylan and the spoke...with Bob's hat
actually getting in the way of Bob Weir trying to speak into Dylan's ear.
They then laughed a bit, and out came "Big River". Spectacular, never
gonna forget it. Fun! They nailed it! West LA Fadeaway and Alabama
Getaway were good, but just could not compare to the opening number.
All in all a great show. Bob introduced his band. George was the "best
drummer on this stage" tonight, and Bob really emphasized the word "THIS"
as he smiled and shot the audience a funny grin...like he knows we have
been commenting on this in your website Bill. They always are. Thank you
once again Mr. Bob Dylan. Salute. May God Bless And Keep You Always.
See in NYC soon.
Review by Henry Yoon
I have only been to one Bob Dylan concert before,
and that was an awesome show at Philips Arena about a
year ago. Back then I could not recognize most of the
songs he performed, and was not familiar with his
renditions of others songs, nor bought "Love and
Theft." However, ever since that experience, I
followed up more upon Dylan, and wanted to go to his
concert whenever chance I would get. He plays at
Atlanta quite often, the most recent one being the
Music Midtown back at May. I was not able to attend
that show, and this one being Dylan opening for The
Dead, I have yet to appreciate a full concert of him
after Philips Arena. I do not like The Dead, and the
only reason was that I could see Bob Dylan live and in
Me and my friend John arrived to the Hi Fi Buys
Amphitheater around 4:50, 10 minutes before the show.
I thought I would have some time before Bob actually
starts, but I realized how naive I was after seeing
the line before the venue. It took me about half an
hour in line just to get in, and by then Bob was
already halfway done. While the crowd was being
responsive, it was apparent they were to see The Dead.
Dylan, however, did not seem to mind at all. Rather,
seeing a huge crowd that almost filled up the entire
amphitheater, he seemed excited than the last time I
saw him at Philips. He was a bit more chatty and even
took some time to introduce the band, describing
George Recile as the best drummer ever.(Please correct
me if I'm wrong, but that's what it sounded like.) I
came in when he was playing the last notes of Cold
Irons Bound, a song I wanted to listen so bad in
person. When he started out It Ain't Me, Babe, the
crowd recognized it pretty quickly and gave a good
cheer. Dylan was a bit shaky at some parts, but I
think the crowd's excitement gotten into him.
Overall, the rendition he played was pretty strong,
with Bob giving a good performance. THe band was
being quite creative as well, making the crowd get
into the mood. John, who never heard Dylan in live,
said 'He's pretty rocking for a 60-something old guy.'
Given the fact that later on the Dead was not playing
with their hearts out, I could not agree more.
Honest With me and Summer Days were the highlight for
me, with the live renditions blowing away the recorded
ones, with Summer Days having a memorable guitar solo.
Man, this guy can rock. After a loud exit, Bob came
out for the encore, singing Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35,
which is one of my favorite Dylan songs.
Unfortunately, I doubt if the crowd recognized the
song at all. Overall, from what I saw, Bob gave a
pretty rocking opening to the Dead, yet most of the
people were not there for him.
Hi Fi Buys Amphitheater did not have good acoustics,
and from the lawn and dim lighting I could barely tell
who's who from the band. The seats were available
only for $10 more from the lawn tickets, so if Bob
ever plays at the same place, I'd recommend to see him
by the stage than the lawn. I think it could have
been a better show, but the Dead took like an hour
break after Dylan's opening, and the excitement kinda
went away by the people minding their own business.
Plus, the Dead did not have much of the energy, and
Dylan joining them later did not help the matter much
in my opinion. The Dead crowd seemed just happy to
see the Dead though, it could have been someone else
other than Dylan opening and get the same cheer
easily. I just hope I can catch Bob in his own
concert, within a small venue in the near future.
page by Bill Pagel
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