page by Bill Pagel
Review by Rick Pearl
This was a truly amazing show at a brand new summer concert theatre in the
middle of NH farm country. From a standing ovation-inspiring performance
from the Waifs, to an added encore rendition by Bob and the boys of
"Tangled Up in Blue" this was one to save the ticket stub from.
The Waifs set the tone for Bob, Larry, Tony, George and Freddie (Tommy
only made a few limited appearances on electric guitar, unlike some recent
shows) with a great set that was met with much enthusiasm from the crowd.
A large group of fans lined up to purchase CDs after their performance.
A half hour later, Bob - dressed in a white blouse sans jacket - took the
stage and launched into Tombstone Blues. That set the tone for an
up-tempo night in which Bob was in quite a good mood - smiling and
gesturing to the band - and the rest of the band rose to the occasion.
One of the great things about being a Dylan fan is that, no matter how
many shows you've seen, or whether you see 2,3 in a week's time, he always
gives you something new. He pulled out chestnuts from "Blonde On Blonde"
(Most Likely You Go Your Way) and "Another Side of Bob Dylan" (It Ain't
Me, Babe), added one of his best songs from "Time Out Of Mind" (Love
Sick), and even pulled out Saving Grace from "Saved." All that and more
combined for a two-hour show that had the NH crowd bellowing all night.
And Dylan noticed the crowd's reaction! During the band intros he
admitted that the band didn't expect the crowd to be so enthusiastic (I
paraphrase for lack of his exact words).
Following "Tombstone," the band swung into "Senor," one of my personal
favorites, and Bob seemed to be in top snarling form.
"Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum" was in its accustomed #3 position, and the
band has really fine-tuned this so that it is still a pleasure to hear.
Then came a run of eight straight songs that, together, would have made
this one a Top Five set list qualifier even if nothing was played after
an acoustic "It Ain't Me Babe" (with the rest of the band noticably
lowering the volume for Bob's singing); a magnificent "Dignity;" a
"Highway 61" that had the band rocking at full throttle; an acoustic "It's
All Over Now, Baby Blue"; the aforementioned "Most Likely You Go Your Way"
(that distinctive carnival-like opening riff caused a ripple in the
crowd); a "Love Sick" that was as sharp as ever; "High Water" (a personal,
unsung favorite from L+T); and finally "Don't Think Twice." Whew. They
could have turned the house lights up then and I would have floated away a
But it was far from over. With the crowd still reeling from the
aforementioned "octet", the band threw some great energy into "Honest With
Me." Next came "Saving Grace," which puzzled many of the folks not
familiar with Dylan's Biblical trio of albums, but it was so lovingly
performed, with Bob enunciating each lyric and the band careful not to
drown them out, that at the end Meadowbrook Farm was standing and
applauding once again.
"Summer Days" closed the regular set, with Bob acknowleding the crowd
along with the band. For the encore, staples "Like A Rolling Stone" and
"All Along The Watchtower" kicked it off. Having seen many, many
performances of these songs, there are times that I wonder if I will tire
of them. Then there are nights like last night, when a woman with an
infant literally leaped out of her seat on hearing the first strains of
"LARS" and two men in different rows high-fived to celebrate a song they
longed to hear. And Bob didn't let any of us down.
The crowd by this time was stoked, and as the band stood together for
their encore applause, Bob turned to Tony, Tony nodded his head, put his
bass strap back over his shoulder and the rest of the band followed suit.
The result was a gorgeous "Tangled Up In Blue" that put a fitting capper
on a memorable night.
As for Meadowbrook, I was sitting under the roof in a very good seat and
thought the sound quality was superb. There were some who were sitting
farther back who complained about the sight lines and acoustics, but from
where I was sitting this was a great venue for an extra-special
Thank you - - again - - Bob and Band.
Review by Kevin
Just thought I would give a rundown of the show. This was my 7th Dylan
show and my first show was back in 2000 so, I've seen him a lot over the
past few years. First off the Waifs are amazing. The band is very
tight and that harp player can really play, not to mention she's really
hot. Now the venue lost power right before the Waifs were to take the
stage. It wasn't a problem for the stage they had back up generators but
it was rough trying to walk around in the dark to use the bathroom.
Also, my friends and I paid $73 for 3rd row seats and our view of Bob was
blocked by a huge amp. We finally got moved by the 4th song but I missed
seeing It Ain't Me Babe and Dignity. Anyway on the the review.
Tombstone Blues- This was a great opener. Bob came on wearing a white
silk shirt with a white scarf and cream colored pants. He walked right
up to the piano and started to bang away. His voice was a little rough
but got better.
Senor- Very solid version of senor. The band sounded tight, if I recall
this had some harp work in it.
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum- I'm not a huge fan of this song but it really
rocked hard tonight. Freddie kept walking close to Bob egging him on
like Charlie used to do.
It Ain't Me, Babe- Like I said didn't see it but it sounded very good.
Nice tender version with some good harp work.
Dignity- had beautiful phrasing by Bob.
Highway 61- Another hard rocker. I do have to say this tour has been
more about rock than any other tour I have seen. Freddie doesn't like to
play soft slow songs. I really think Bob enjoys banging on those keys as
hard as he can, Jerry Lee Lewis style.
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue- Another acoustic number which I always love
to hear Bob play. I wish he would play guitar on these. If Freddie is
lacking anything it is on the acoustic numbers. He had a few misscues
and seemed to play over the first line of the verse. This happened a
couple times during the night.
Most Likely You Go Your Way- I have heard some people say that this song
didn't work early on in the tour. Well, Bob has got it on track now.
Bob growled out the lyrics with vengence. "you go your way and I'lll go
minnnneee" it was great.
Love Sick- This was a highlight for me. I love TOOM and this version
was very spooky. Bob sang real tender and pounded out the cords on the
piano, which could actually be heard on this song. The keys get drowned
out on some of the loud rockers.
High Water- This version was very good. Another one that I have heard
before but was the best version I've seen.
Don't Think Twice- Another acoustic #. I was very happy about that.
This was a huge crowd pleaser.
Honest With Me- This one had my chest pounding George was hitting the
drums so hard. Bob held out the lines "Honest With Meeee".
Saving Grace- WOW. This song was so beautiful. Bob played some really
good piano parts and a nice harp solo. This is my favorite gospel song.
This had some people in tears.
Intros- now Bob doesn't usually say anything except intoduce the band but
tonight he thanked the audience and said " I wish I could play here again
tomorrow." or something along those lines. He was really having fun up
Summer Days- Now this is the song that I really miss Charlie on, except
tonight. I don't know what happend to Freddie but he was on. Bob just
let him run with this one. Freddie was bouncing all over the stage. He
even played these really low notes that were incredible. Bob turned this
into a long jam, probably the longest jam that he has let Freddie do.
The guitar tech did play on this song too, Dylan motioned him onstage
Like A Rolling Stone- What can you say it was a nice version, a crowd
favorite. At one point before the song started Tommy the guitar tech
actually had Dylan put on a guitar. Dylan had it around his neck and I
was going crazy yelling for him to play it. He strummed a few notes then
looked unsatisfied and put it down.
All Along The Watchtower- This was a really good version. I have heard
this song a million times as a closer but tonight it was better. I
enjoyed the harp solo in the middle and Freddie again came right out front
and belted out a mean solo.
Tangled Up In Blue- Now after Watchtower I'm thinking its over. Bob
walks over to Tony and the rest of the band and tells them he wants to do
one more. Now I wonder what it's going to be. Bob goes over to where
the harps are and is looking for the right one. Larry puts on an
acoustic guitar and Freddie stays with the electric. Then Larry starts
in with the recocnizible guitar part to Tangled Up In Blue. I must have
hit my friend in the arm so hard and yelled "Tangled Up In Blue!" we
were talking about this song before the show and saying we would love to
hear it. Bob blasted out a nice harp solo in the beginning. Then spit
the words out like bullets. This version rocked so hard. The best
version of this song I have ever heard. The addition of the keys and
electric guitar was great. Bob must have played harp at least 3
different times durring this song and it must have lasted at least ten
When it was over Bob blew kisses to the audience and left the building.
This concert ranks up there just because of the energy that the crowd gave
Bob. It was a magical night. Not so many rarities in the set list but
it was made up for by Bob and the bands energy.
page by Bill Pagel
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