page by Bill Pagel
Review by Justin Edgar
Well, I think it's about time to get a review of this Vail show out
there. I was not going to attend this show, but after a great night at
Pueblo, I decided that I would try my luck at Vail….one final blowout
b/f I started graduate school this week. Made the 2 ˝ hour trip from Fort
Collins and got to the venue around 4 to 4:#0….little did I know how hard
it would be to get a ticket. Finally at 6:00….i scored an extra for the
lawn. Paid a bit more than I had hoped to, but in the end it was worth it.
A little bit about the venue b/f I start reviewing the show. This
amphitheatre is the smallest venue I had ever seen outdoors. The entire
pavilion and lawn could have fit under the pavilion at most major
amphitheatres in the nation. The venue had a beautiful backdrop of the
Rocky Mts….just stunning. The acoustics were spectacular…..when I first
arrived, they had just started the soundcheck, and even outside the venue,
the acoustics sounded great. For those interested, the soundcheck started
w/ a nice jam, then went into I Don't Believe You. Every Grain of Sand
followed, and the newly upbeat I Want You followed. I would have liked
to have heard more, but needed to get up to the parking lot to look for
a ticket. Luckily, a few of us fell upon a guy who had 6 extras.
Got to the lawn….chilly and wet from the rain…..and sat til Bob and
the boys came on and stepped into…Hallelujah (I'm Ready to Go) - very nice
version, though I was not used to the slowed down tempo. The only other
time I saw the song it was upbeat and thumping. This version seemed more
tailored and the band stepped through it extremely well. Strong vocals
from Bob, and the backup vocals sounded very good in echoing through the
area. Song to Woody - One of my favorite songs for the second slot. Dylan
sang soft and strong during this song. His annunciation for this song, as
well as the rest of the show was stunning. This was also where I noticed Bob
was picking his guitar w/ extreme confidence. Mama You've Been on My Mind -
I was kind of disappointed to hear this one b/c it was played the prior night
in Pueblo. In my opinion, this was a much stronger version of the song. Dylan
continued to experiment with his famous 2 and 3 note guitar solos and was
visibly having fun on the stage. The harmonica solo was very well done and
seemed to kickstart the mostly dead crowd in Vail…there was a much better
crowd the night before in Pueblo. Masters of War - If you've ever seen this
song….I don't need to tell you how the performance went. The one thing I like
about this song now is how he repeats the first verse at the end of the song.
To me it solidifies the message, an dbrings the song full circle. To Be
Alone W/ You - great song to kick off the electric set. This redone version
is much better than the versions I've heard from the past 4 or 5 years. He
seemed to finally get this song so that it runs smoothly. Larry's fiddle
really adds a lot to this song. Dylan's vocals just seemed to be getting
better and better as the night went on, plus he continued to take the lead
on guitar….fun stuff to watch. Lay Lady Lay - One of the few songs that got
the crowd into the show….horrible crowd that night that was dominated by rich
people who couldn't have cared less about the show. Again, Dylan's vocals
shined….the song had a good balance b/w soft vocals and powerful vocals.
Really nice to hear. Maggie's Farm - Every time I hear this song, the
opening melody is different. Very nice version of this song. The tempo
wasn't too fast or too slow and Dylan howled the lyrics as if possessed.
Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll - I believe this was the highlight of the
show. Seemed to be a little faster than the other live version I saw of this
song. Gently song and plucked throughout. In every verse the word "Tears"
was played with and pulled to show the powerful message behind the song. I
was shocked to see Bob go back for his harmonica on this one….beautiful
solo and a fitting end to a great performance. It Ain't Me Babe - Solid
version of the song…no mistakes and great picking once again from Bob.
Thought he'd pull the harp out again, but was left w/ that wish. Don't
Think 2X - Like M.O.W….not much to say about this one if you've seen it
before. Nothing too special though the strength of the show seemed to
continue growing throughout. Watching The River Flow - One of my favorite
Dylan tunes…esp. the recent versions. Great singing and the interactions
b/w everyone on stage was phenomenal. I love the blues solos/jams that
occur in this song, and they rocked it out. Tryin to Get to Heaven - One
thing I've learned is that Bob rarely misses a beat on the TOOM songs.
Once again this was proved true. Gentle, yet powerful….this one really
helps you understand what a great musician he is. Wicked Messenger and
Rainy Day Women - These two were pretty much similar to the versions that
are out there from recent shows. The outstanding vocals and playing
continued and the crowd finally seemed to get into the concert during RDW
Love Sick - As strong as ever….in my opinion one of the greatest songs he's
ever written and nothing is better than seeing it expressed in his live
shows. Strong as ever and great to hear. Like a Rolling Stone - Always
like hearing this song, yet the performances are always so similar that
it would really take something outstanding for me to say it was fifferent
from all the others I've heard. This was another fundamental LARS. Strong
and smooth throughout. After LARS, the boys went to pick up their acoustic instruments….but the stage manager came out and started talking to Bob. They
then left for backstage…came back out and did the formation….then left for
the night. The whole thing looked confusing and was extremely hard to figure
out. All I could think was that they wanted people to clear out b/f the
oncoming thunderstorm that was over the mountains would hit the venue.
Overall, this was probably the most solid vocally and instrumentally I
have seen Bob in the fourteen shows I've attended. It's a must hear for
the vocal performance and the rarities. A fun show….though I would have
liked it more if the crowd was more appreciative of what was goin on.
Beautiful venue and show and was a fitting end to my summer.
Comments by Julie Morrill
I've never seen Bob look more handsome
and totally cool than on this night at the
Gerald Ford Amphitheatre in Vail. He came
out a little late but I think this was due to so
many local Vail people still trying to get a
seat on the lawn. He was wearing a very
tailored cream colored western cut suit,
cream colored boots and a string tie. To
me, this was incredible because of the
gorgeous venue and also that I have only
seen him in black.
I felt privileged to hear Mama, you've been
on my mind as well as Lonesome Death of
Hattie Carroll, he sang them beautifully
and I listened tearfully. The show was
great, the scenery God's country, the
man in the cream colored suit my love.
Julie Morrill, email@example.com
Comments by David Link
The Vail show was funny--that is my first impression looking back on
it-(right now after getting home for a brief break between Colorado and
Las Vegas-Lancaster). It was pouring rain as we drove into Vail and
parked very close to the seemingly-brand new Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.
The rain was not looking good, but it being Colorado, I knew it had a good
chance of blowing over. (Which it finally did just before the show began).
Just before the gates for the show opened, Bob's bus pulled up and 6 or
security guards are instructed to run down and meet it. They then jog
along side of it, three on a side, with their hands on it, just like they
do with the president or any other Very Important Person. In New York City
it would have probably looked normal. In Vail it looked like a comedy, and
they all knew it. I couldn't resist busting the biggest security guy's
balls as he came back up. "Great job man, well done". He looked at me and
laughed, knowing what a joke it was. Good pre-show humor always helps.
They spent a lot of money on this place, and this was the first venue
ever been in where they sell you whole bottles of wine and let you walk
around with them! Unreal.
The Vilar Pavilon, the official name of the section Dylan played, had
small reserved section and a slightly larger general admission lawn
section, marked by rocks in the ground here and there, each one placed
perfectly. I mean this place was plush. This was no Shorline at Mountain
View. There were rows of flowers between the stage and the rail.
Hallelujah was a good start, though I don't like it as well as the other
current openers. The sound was crisp and clear, but the first thing I
noticed was that Bob's voice seemed to have gotten much rougher since the
end of 2000, which is when I saw him last. (Wicomico-Towson). Song to
Woody was a great surprise for me, since I had not heard it in a while.
Mama was the first song with Bob on the harmonica, and it was uneventful
but good. Lay Lady Lay sounded great, and The Lonesome Death Of Hattie
Carroll was perfect. Watching The River Flow and The Wicked Messenger were
also awesome. To me, things seemed to sound great, but I was not right up
front as I am used to, so it was a different experience for me. I liked
this show very much, but a lot of people were not happy that it was so
short. Well, too bad. Either it was a curfew at 9:00 PM (which is when the
concert ended, after starting at 7:15 or so), or Bob was feeling
winded---I'm not sure which, but all I know was I was psyched for
Telluride after this short but sweet performance.
page by Bill Pagel
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