August 13, 2011
Review by Oscar Montes
Now the time came to travel to Jones Beach State Park, to get there from Bethel
Woods was really hard since we have to cross New Jersey and the traffic was so
heavy at about 3:30 pm and our GPS hardly worked! We got lost crossing twice the
George Washington Bridge!
Bob started once again with Leopard-Skin, you can tell he and his band are
really enjoying it, To Ramona was next just as in Bethel, Things Have Changed,
so country so snappy! Excellent! TUIB was well received by the audience; people
love also Mississippi in this tour!
Bob played an awesome Hollis Brown on center stage with harp! Just sublime! A
rocky Levee's Gonna Break was next, so much energy at the end of it!
Hattie Carroll was a nice surprise on this part of the tour, always great to
listening to. Highway 61 everyday is higher and higher! Simple Twist is always
so sweet and so sad at the same time. Thunder on the Mountain is a favorite of
people also lately.
The encore, Rolling Stone was wonderfully performed and enjoyed by Bob and the
audience, everybody standing! So delightful! Watchtower with some good
arrangements is as well another song Bob and his band truly like playing!
At the end of the show was fabulous to meet Angela! Great to say hi to Susan and
Al, Ed & Michelle and Kate on the parking lot! Afterwards we traveled to New
Jersey, sadly my last show of the season in Asbury Park! I also met a wonderful
woman called Tzippi from Israel! She let us borrow her brand new GPS so we
didn’t get lost towards NJ.
Here we go Bob, here we go Asbury Park!
Review by Kyle Colona
First, let's give a shout out to Leon Russell who played a tight credible set of blues
and rock, opening with Delta Lady as we were ambling in, and mixed originals with
covers of the Stones (Wild Horses, Jumping Jack Flash>Poppa was a Rollin Stone)
the Beatles, I've Just Seen a Face), and the classic original tear jerker A Song for
You sung with all the broke-down pathos of love and loss…Russell is obviously in
frail health, glad I had a chance to see him.
And now the main event: after Dylan's fall 2006 tour, I left the NY City Center
thinking that might be my last Bob Show, but my sister plunked down the coin
and he was playing for all intents and purposes in my backyard - even though JBT
is not my favorite concert venue. Anyway, my sister has been waiting to hear a
performance of Simple Twist of Fate for a lawwwng time and Bob did not
Anyone who's seen Dylan since the late 90's knows the formula, a mix of 60's, 70's
chestnuts mixed in with tunes from the Time of Mind - present, while overlooking
(sadly) 80's era stuff. And of course being forever inscrutable, Dylan continues to
come up with new arrangements and vocal phrasings which pushes the audience
into a game of name that tune - not everyone's cup of tea, but if you want note
for note readings and a night of greatest hits, stay home, and take your pick.
Anyway, rather than a song for song rundown, the show was highlighted by a
straightforward reading of To Ramona, albeit Dylan's oddball cadoodlings on the
organ added a new sonic dimension. For Tangled Up in Blue, Dylan took center
stage sans guitar and crooned the story with 3 dropped verses and a few modified
lyrics ("some are truck driver's wives")….always a crowd pleaser. Did not recognize
Beyond Here Lies Nothing only because I've only played the last album (disc) once
or twice, but it's always good to see a tune for the first time - especially after 25+
years of seeing Dylan live.
Another first was Mississippi played like a country swing, nicely done and again a
careful job of singing and crooning, once again highlighting that maybe Dylan
intentionally "throws" his voice and he can sing pretty nicely when he wants to.
It took a couple of verses to figure out Hollis Brown as I've not heard or played
this song in ages - again, Bob delivered the song from center stage sans guitar.
Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol, another new arrangement, and very well sung,
always a great night when you hear this one…song still stands up after 45 years…
and then Bob moved back to center stage picked up his electric guitar and
launched into Simple Twist of Fate, thank gawd! My sister was nearly in tears and
it was such a joyous moment…Bob's intentionally been repeating the "he hears
the ticking of the clocks verse" coming out of the brief interlude and then closing
it out. Great rendition and we could've called it a night.
Of course we stayed on to hear a ripping version of Ballad of a Thin Man, which
leaned heavily on the Dead's arrangement from 1987-89, with some echo
gimmickry added to the vocals that actually worked and gave Bob a "modern"
sound. Standard "encore" numbers were LARS and WatchTower - never get
tired of hearing Rolling Stone, and neither should any other misfit, how does it
In short, this show was far better than I could've anticipated and it is amazing
that at 70, Bob Dylan continues playing 100 shows a year like a man half his age,
blowing the harp better than ever with a backing band held together by hired
gun Charlie Sexton, and long time bass player Tony Garnier who joined Dylan for
the first time at Jones Beach back in 1989.
It's been said that arguments over taste are no arguments at all, and Dylan's
singing and playing style is not for everyone, but Bob Zimmerman on a bad night
still beats most of the posers on today's music scene and this was a great night.
What is beyond argument is that he remains one of our important artists, and in
the end creative imagination is the only thing that can bring on an American
renaissance, and it will come by way of a simple twist of fate.
Review by Bruce Slutsky
Over the years we have seen Bob Dylan at Jones Beach with opening acts including
Laura Nyro, Ani DiFranco, and Santana. Last night’s opener was Leon Russell
who played with Bob at the Concert for Banga Desh in 1971. Leon played a blusey
set with songs including Jumpin’ Jack Flash, I’ve Just Seen a Face, Delta
Lady, Roll Over Beethoven and Wild Horses. I recognized these cover versions of
Top 40 hits, but I was not familiar with some of the other songs played. I was
disappointed that he didn’t play A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall or Watching the
River Flow. Bob and Leon did not play together.
Dylan and his band took the stage at 9:10. His voice was better than it was the
last few times that I heard him. He didn’t mumble or slur his words as he has
done sometimes in the past. The set list was almost the same as other concerts
on this leg of the Never Ending Tour. This concert included The Lonesome Death
of Hattie Carroll, and the Ballad of Hollis Brown which have political
overtones. The people in the crowd were older than they have been in recent
Dylan concerts that I have seen. Since many older music fans don’t go to
concerts, there were many empty seats. I observed several people using their
smart phones during the show. A man a few rows ahead of me was actually looking
at the Boblinks set lists. We had paper copies, but couldn’t see them in the
dark. There were two large screens that were not working, thus I could not see
Dylan’s face at all. Dylan introduced his backup band, but otherwise did not
talk to the audience. A few days later I looked at a Youtube video of part of
the concert and observed Dylan had grown a goatee.
Every time I leave a Dylan concert, I am always afraid that I will be seeing him
for the last time. He just past has 70th birthday and you just never know when
he will stop touring. I am sure that he still enjoys what he does. Hopefully he
will release a CD with new songs and complete his autobiography. ?
Comments by Whitney Werner
Another great show with an animated and swinging B.D. Funny thing one of
the most quiet crowds Ive ever seen . Ramona and Hollis Brown were rare
treats. His Beyond Here Lies Nothin was the highlight for me. Like when he
took a insignificant song like Sylvio and turned it into a rockin and rollin jam
he did the same here even taking on the guitar makin Nothin a lot of fun.
Shelter from the Storm was sung sweetly. Only downer was the anti climatic
finish of Rolling Stone and Watchtower.
| Click Here
to return to the
page by Bill Pagel
| Bob Links
| Set Lists
| Set Lists