page by Bill Pagel
Review by James Strohecker
All in all, it was a fine early tour show. they were alittle
pedantic on a couple songs (Highway 61, Things Have Changed, Honest With
me and Tweedle Dee). But the opening instrumental was a shocker -- took
me back to Hannover in 2001. Cold Irons Boiund was ripper. Every Grain
of Sand just grabbed the audience by the heart and held onto 'em. And It
Ain't Me, Babe was just flawless. Bob and the boys were tight already.
And albeit it was a college show, with a mixed audience (more over-40's
than college kids in line and on the floor), it was basically spot on for
an early tour set.
As sweat dripped off Bob's forehead from under his Stetson, the author
seemed to be enjoying himself. And let's face it, Stu Kimball fires on
all cylinders -- and gets along with Larry. You couldn't say that about
Freddie, even in the best of shows. At times, they just ripped. At
others, they dropped into Tour gear and performed. Just the song, that's
it. Longer show -- but the crowd was asking for more. And though the
show wasn't sold out, the place filled up -- and the security guards were
blocking access to the floor, so my friend M-2 who putzed at home doing
work, couldn't get down to the front, even though the floor was only 3/4
full and not too tight after a couple songs.
A little emotion in the songs. A little motion by Bob as he (finally!)
played his (electric) guitar again in the opening Instrumental and also
sautered to the middle fo the stage for his typical Summer Days jaunt and
tete-a-tete with George Recile. And decent enough sound in this
basketball gym to make it a rating of Fine. All in all, I have to give
song of the show to the opening Instrumental. Though Every Grain of Sand
(Lutz and Uli's favorite over in Germany) took a close second and It Ain't
Me, babe is worth tracking down and listening to again.
Review by Sharon Lord
It was a perfect fall evening in San Jose, California for Bob and His Band to roll into town. I arrived
early and was lucky enough to get a spot in the front row, on the right hand side of the stage right in
front of the speaker tower but with an unobstructed view of Bob and the whole band. (Must have been my
lucky socks - thanks Stan) One of the security guys was kind enough to give up a few ear plugs which
myself and those around me used in the ear facing the speakers. I noticed a small statue of an angel
sitting on the soundboard facing Bob. One of the stage crew, lit incense prior to the show beginning.
Right around 8:00 the familiar tune began and out came the band.
Bob appeared in a very good mood this evening, several smiles and a few laughs directed to George Recile.
The opener was Bob on Guitar doing a blues instrumental. He was rocking out, His gorgeous curls uncovered
he mesmerized the crowd from the first down beat. Gosh dang he sure is cute.
After the instrumental he strolled over to the keyboard and belted out "The Wicked Messenger" then he put
his black hat on and wooed us with "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight". GO BOBBY!
The crowd was well behaved, not much pushing or shoving, yet one young gentleman appeared to faint and was
helped through the crowd without many problems. I noticed the woman next to me taping the show, so security
must not have been as intense as they have been known to be. I had a broken arm with a cast on and was
asked if I had taping equipment in the cast, I said "no" but I wished I did, and that seemed to satisfy the
My personal favorite of the night "Every Grain Of Sand". Bob's voice is strong, and all that ventured out
to San Jose this evening to catch Dr. Dylan got their monies worth. Thanks Bob…. see you in Berkeley
Review by David Link
This show was in the basketball arena of a small catholic University on
the border of San Jose, and I must say that the sound was vastly improved
over the night before at the Grand in SF. That was a fun show but a
warm-up for sure; tonight the whole band seemed to be in better form. (It
also probably helps when it isn't 100 degrees in the room....Bob must have
been thinking about the night before, because tonight he had his collar
open on his shirt).
It was a bit stressful going in, because two sets of doors were going to
open on either side of the arena, and then we were going to have to get a
wristband for the floor. Could they make this any more complicated?
Anyway, all ended well with a nice rail spot.
At 8:20 they marched out and Bob picked up the guitar right away and strode
to center stage. Oh my, this may get interesting.....Did he have that much
fun on the guitar last night? It sounded like Summer Days to me, but a
bit different and way shorter. It was the first show I can remember seeing
him smiling and laughing during the opening number. (When WAS the last
non-vocal show opener?)
Drifters was good, and after that the black cowboy hat went on. There
seemed to be way more keyboard playing tonight, and the harmonica and
vocals were coming through loud and clear. Bob was also throwing himself
into the vocals with urgency. Stu was spot on; he and Larry seem to be
able to interplay quite well with no friction. Larry's petal steel playing
was also masterful; we are very lucky to be able to hear him night after
For me the show stopper, and one of the more beautiful pieces of music
I've heard this band do, was Girl of The North Country. Larry's acoustic
playing was perfect and delicate, Bob would play the harmonica and Stu
would mimic him note for note, and of course Tony and George were right
on. Just a breathtaking rendition....Between that and the opener, I was
psyched and excited for the possibilities to come on this tour.
Every Grain Of Sand was also well done, as well as You Go Your Way.....
Everyone just seemed to be ON. During Honest With Me, Bob came out from
behind the keys and showed a few little dance moves, mostly facing George.
His routine for introducing the band is taking a mic off a stand and sort
of strolling around the stage a little while making the intros. (He seemed
stymied tonight because the cord was not long enough for his liking).
Before Watchtower, he was saying, "alright, let play it" or something long
After the final bows and smiles, Bob started to go the wrong way off the
stage...kind of confusing when it changes every night!
These two shows are a good solid start to this 2004 fall tour. If you can,
Review by Jeff Beresford
The show was held in a very small college basketball gym, with security
and arena services both overwhelmed by their tasks; plenty of
vein-popping, angry supervisors roaming around and ushers who were
uncertain of what they were supposed to do. The venue was definitely not
ready for prime time. (Before the show, you could hear the sound check
pretty well; they checked "Samson and Delilah" and at least two other
The blues instrumental that opened the show actually had Bob on guitar,
and sounded godawful. It was hard to tell if the problem was the bad sound
affecting the band, or the band playing poorly affecting the sound. Either
"Drifter's Escape" and "Baby Tonight" both passed uneventfully, except for
a continuation of the muddy, crappy sound and a lack of commitment from
Dylan and the band, but "Tweedle" seemed to sharpen everything, and from
then on, the show was fantastic. There wasn't one false note until the
end, a swinging "Summer Days" that fell apart into a train wreck.
The best of the best: "Just Like a Woman," an incredibly soft "Girl from
the North Country" that gave me goosebumps, a vicious, strung out,
prowling, spectacular "Cold Irons Bound," an "Every Grain of Sand" that
was preachy in the good way, not the bad way, and was as heartfelt as
Dylan ever gets, and a "Most Likely You Go Your Way" that was just plain
perfect. "It Ain't Me Babe," as the ballad at the end, has a new,
wonderful arrangement (to me, anyway) and it brings the song alive.
All in all, a very good show in a very small venue.
-- Jeff Beresford-Howe
Review by Chuck Erickson
What an absolute treat to see Bob open tonight's show with the
instrumental that totally set The Grand on fire last night. I noticed
that the set list's called it Summer Days last night and Blues
Instrumental tonight, though I feel fairly certain that a listen will
confirm that it is a very similar jam (I wouldn't know what to call it
either). Last night's was totally impromptu as the band tried to play a
little "changing the keyboard intermission" and Bob decided to walk over,
pick up his guitar and join in. The reaction he got was overwhelming and
he apparently decided to make it part of the show. I'm glad he did. A
solid Drifter's Escape followed with Bob back on the keyboard. Before
going into Baby Tonight he settled into his black hat, which he kept on
for the remainder of the show. No blow by blow of the set list, but I'll
say that every song seemed very tight. Last night was a fantastic
experience (described well by David Link), but it had a much looser feel.
This show seemed much more business like. A couple of songs that were not
necessarily highlights, but that definitely stood out were Girl of the
North Country and It Ain't Me Babe for their arrangements. Not only is Bob
the master of song creation, but he one-ups himself by becoming the master
of re-creation. When you hear these versions I am sure you'll be
surprised. Sugar Baby, one of the few repeats from last night, is
something altogether different too. It is like he has instructed the band
to play as slow as they possibly can. It may just be me, but the "some of
these bootleggers make pretty good stuff" line really stands out. Yes,
Bob there are plenty of places to hide things if you wanna hide 'em bad
enough, so just acquiesce and let them record, because we all want to hear
the shows bad enough.
I really like what Stu Kimball adds. He is reminiscent of the style and
feel that JJ Jackson brought. I am becoming accustomed to Bob behind the
keyboard and especially like the freedom it gives him to roam around the
stage a little as he interacts with the band and the crowd. I do miss the
guitar though and have been thrilled to see him holding it even if for
just a short time the past two nights. He has had the acoustic sitting
just behind him to his right both of the last two nights and I am hopeful
that he will feel like picking it up Saturday in Fresno. This is the most
I have enjoyed back-to-back shows since the El Rey shows in '97. I can't
say that he keeps getting better, because I can't conceive of such a
thing, but I am absolutely amazed at the consistently great performances
night after night, year after year. Thanks, Bob.
Review by Mark Alperin
just a few add ons to the reviews so far posted about the grand
and the santa clara shows......first the grand..a banguet hall returned to
a ball room feel it is one of the the first sanfrancisco venues secured by
the another planet productions ( formed by greg perloff and shar wasserman
formerly of BGP) ..the negatives on the building are no air conditioning
or ventallation in the areana at all....the stage is a make shift stage
built every show and sound engineers did not sound check the equipment pre
show....although not verfied it is my understanding ( and i was there)
that bobs keyboard was out..thats right ..not working for 6 songs...thus
the reason for the electric guitar instrumental on summer...... santa
clara notes......what a difference a day makes..this jesuit school knows
how to let an artist be...first of all the reason for the amount of huge
room on the floor was that security only handed out 1500 wrist bands for
the floor....u could walk up at any time an be 20 feet from bob on the
left hand side all night long. was like that for me and reminded me of my
niagara falls rolling thunder review show when u could stroll up to the
stage when ever u like..opening rag sounded to me like nashville
rag....sound was not like that of a basketball gym ..i went all over the
arena and adequate sound was even heard in the very top back.. and the mix
was superb...go ur way and i ll go mind was picture perfect as was girl
from north county ..interestingly the mind does play trics as i thought
that girl from north country followed immediately after just like a
women...all i can say was great show early in tour or not.....and i feel
the visions of J coming to those lucky sou! ls in fresno writtten ont
tombstone in blue ..smile.....thanks for ur page....
signed the apple
Comments by Tod Armstrong
A couple of quick notes.
The opening instrumental was priceless. Clearly (after last nite's fun
with Summer Days) Bob is moving slowly back into some kind of guitar mode.
Should be interesting to see how this plays out down the road.
When did this new arrangement of Girl of the North Country come about? It
has been completely rearranged - new chords and everything! It was one of
the stellar highlights of an excellent show. EGOS was another - it was
spell-binding. And the new arrangement of It Ain't Me Babe went over very
Can't wait for Fresno, Berkeley & Davis!
Review by Carole Columbo
The sun was still shinning on that California coast. (It has been
rain since). The concert was held in a building that I guess is a gym.
Yes, I agree the wrist bands were a problem. Luckily my ole' friend gave
me one at the last minute. I was also glad to see Larry he had interest
in this time-frame...I almost did not recognize him.(Miss you Tommy!!)
Bob's bus rolled up and parked in front of the other bus. He could look
out...but the mystery remains.
Finally inside ...waiting......then the incense...I wished it was just
that smell....but the place filled up with pot smoke coming from every
direction around me. Then Bob and his magnificent band came out! Bob on
guitar and a blues Instrumental filled the air cutting through all that
pot smoke. It was a True Blue song.......of an introduction.
Bob grabbed his black cowboy hat and went on to the piano and went into
Drifters Escape....."Just then that bolt of lightening struck that
courthouse out of shape..." Deliverance finally!
then the sweet "I'll be your baby tonight." .....
but then fade away......to "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum"...without the original
verse...."well a childish dream is a deathless need and a Noble Truth is a
sacred creed, My pretty baby is lookin' around and she is wearing a
multi-thousand dollar gown." It reminds me of that old book about
Cinderella. She was growing up in nature...not even aware of her past.
But when she hears..."just like a woman" she remembers how even
nature can not stop her from breaking. Nature is so healing....but the
memories remain until they can be released.
when that happen..."Things have changed." Yet with change there
is always...a crisis at the beginning...hence.."difficult beginnings."
Number three again.
Then Bob sang in a tick-tock motion......"The girl
From The North Country"....clocks.....tick-tock....time.....karma...
Saturn......."see for me that her hairrrrrrrrr is still longgggggggg...that
is the way i remember her best."
But the reality of "cold Irons Bound."
.........like a Iron train that keeps going......the power of emotions when
Yet "Every Grain of Sand".............faith...hope....the
star......it keeps us going.
Highway 61 Revisited.............again and again.....does the highway
change...like the river?
Sugar Baby...........Hollywood.....in the 1990's.
"Most likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go mine"......was next........a
breaking away of karmic relationships....the one's where time will
Then "Honest With me"......one person is not
communicating........probably the one who is able.
"It Ain't me babe.." Bob does great at this song all the time....and
into his harmonica...he sings out from his soul......he does this too with
"I want you."
"summer days"... Bob then swings into......a vortex of the
Like a rolling Stone......home is where the heart
is.......maybe" in your own back yard"That is an old Russ Columbo song by
all along the Watchtower.........and the crowd wanted
more...Bob took a bow...with his band.....
and then into the night under the stars so bright he vanished.
page by Bill Pagel
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