October 11, 2019
Review by Jeff Beresford-Howe
Some scattered thoughts about the Irvine show:
Bob was on piano virtually the entire night -- a real piano -- and he had
a gospel touch to his playing on practically everything. In particular on
the slow numbers, the band spent long periods almost completely quiet
while Bob played and sang. It felt like you were in his living room
watching him play for you. Especially true for "Lenny Bruce," which was,
despite the weird lyrics, goose-bump time. "Pay in Blood" just laid there
and died. "Serve Somebody" had a new, new arrangement and, like
"Masterpiece," lots of new or altered verses, to good effect. The new
drummer seemed to fit in without much of a problem, but didn't obviously
distinguish himself. By way of. contrast, Bob Britt added some gorgeous
slide on the blues numbers. "Girl From the North Country" followed by "Not
Dark Yet" is an absolutely killer combination, the two songs playing off
each other beautifully, and Bob was on top of both of them. "Thunder on
the Mountain," which can be meh, was crackling. Overall, this was a very
good show, with Bob's voice strong and the band sounding good. One note
about the crowd: man, they were old. Despite the show being in the middle
of a college campus while school was in session, there were very few
college kids inn attendance.
Review by Laurette Maillet
Irvine October 11 2019. It had been a long and narrow way before I finally
arrived safe and sound at the Ben Events Center at UCI. I was dreaming of
a Cali Tour and it will be only three shows. But anyway a chance to see
California again. We waited a long time to finally get the Tour dates.
Wondering if the NET was ending or not. Not yet. Bob likes the East Coast!
And particularly the Beacon Theater. After a trip to Malibu , searching
for the Xanadu(in vain)....this is time for the first show of the Fall
Tour. I know by now that my "little Georgie" won't be in the Band. Sad
news. Take care of yourself George Receli. I miss you. I get a ticket and
go inside the venue to check out the stage situation. Some changes took
place; No more Grand piano. But a straight up piano center stage. The back
of that piano is blocking the view of the seats on the right. It is now
better to be center or on the left facing the stage. Another change is the
presence of two full sized puppets on the back of the stage. Weird! A new
drums set and drummer (Matt Chamberlain) and and new guitar player (Bob
Britt) between Donnie and Tony. The capacity of the venue is 5000 but
not Sold out. I have a balcony seat that I will not use. I decide to be
far back on the floor , center, so I see the stage and all the musicians.
They start 15 minutes late with a musical introduction and some sort of
tuning the instruments all together. Bob is dressed in black with white
shoes and it seems to me that he had been shrinking in his suit. Hat less
and a fair amount of curly hair. The first song is one of my favourite ;
"Beyond here lies nothing". Same tune as before. Bob surprisingly is
playing his electric guitar center stage. Then a set list not so "new". 1
Beyond here lies nothing. Bob on guitar. Center stage. 2 It ain't me Babe.
Bob on piano 3 Highway 61. Bob on piano 4 When I paint my master piece.
Bob on piano. And on harp. 5 Can't wait. Bob center stage. 6 Simple twist
of fate. Bob center stage. 7 Honest with me. Bob on piano. 8 Trying to get
to heaven. Bob on piano. Donnie on violin. 9 Make me feel my love. Bob
center stage. And harp. 10 Pay in blood. Bob center stage. 11 Lenny Bruce.
Bob on piano. Donnie on violin. 12 Early Roman Kings. Bob center stage.
Presentation of the Band 13 Girl of the north country. Bob on piano. 14
Not dark yet. Bob center stage. 15 Thunder on the mountain. Bob on piano.
16 Soon after midnight. Bob on piano. 17Gotta serve somebody. Bob on
piano. Encore Long and wasted years. Bob center stage. It takes a lot to
laugh. It takes a train to cry. Bob center stage. Except for "Lenny Bruce"
I heard all the songs from that list. A strange choice coming out of the
third " gospel album" ; "Shot of love". Well done by Bob with a lot of
emotion. Bob was happy to be here tonight. He said "thank you" and
presented his Band. His voice was as clear as ever. He made the effort to
be a lot center stage , so to be seen by a maximum of Fans. On the
negative side; I was not impressed by Britt's guitar playing. I even feel
it difficult to make the distinction between the two guitars. It seems to
me that they are just playing double. Maybe on the exceptions of "Pay in
blood" (My highlight for tonight) and "The early Roman Kings". But Charlie
was always exceptional on that one. As for the " new" drummer. Well! He
didn't impress me and was copying George beats .... I wished they had not
done "Thunder on the mountain". For me it was George's moment of glory.
That was a great introduction show. And hopefully the guitars will get
better. Nothing wrong with Bob. Though maybe he did lyrics mistakes here
and there. " Thunder " was a bit confused. The encore was perfect. Great
choice. We finally got rid of BITW. The Band made his bow. The public
was respectful. I was happy to be here. Sacrifice is the code of the road
but with such a show it is worth the pain. Thank you Bobby. Take good care
of yourself George. Hope to see you soon. See you all in Santa Barbara.
Good night Bobby!
Review by Roderick Smith
Dylan Garage Band
The first thing you notice is the drum kit. Striped down to the bone. The
grand piano now a stand up honky tonk blues plunking music box. Not an
acoustic guitar to be seen. A new drummer. A new rhythm guitarist.
Strangers. Dylan hunched over staggering around in circles like a prize
fighter shuffling in the ring. Darting left and right. Hand jabbing the
air. Out of the stoop he rears up grabbing the microphone his blue eyes
turning dark. The voice roars from that ancient well. It’s dark and
scary. Hard and cold and wrought from that furnace of vision of an
everlasting “haunt.” It speaks of pain and sorrow and lamentations.
Forging songs from iron. It’s an excavation in a bar room at the end of
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