November 15, 2018
Review by So I Ran
Leisurely 3-4 hour pre-winter storm drive from Mystic, sans la trouble &
strife, to the splendiforous Stanley Theater in Utica, NY, to catch another
bob show…lucked out with an excellent seat alongside Scotty the UPS
driver/closet financier who is EXACTLY the kind of bobcat you need to be
sitting next to at a bob show…
Bob was ‘on’ from the get-go with things really picking up early at ‘Cry
Awhile’ – best version I ever heard.
Why waddle & flay about in the muck of Cult 45 when you can be basking
in the soothing lights & aural delights of the Cathedral of Bob??
Next up, we got a double whammy with a fab ‘When I Paint my
Virtuoso performances of LARS & ‘Don’t think twice’ soon followed…pure
genius, both of them.
Terrific centre stage Scarlett Town & Lovesick where bob’s glitzy super-hero
blue-black jacket was a possible sartorial homage to Stan Lee.
Best of the night for me personally (“I’m telling ya!”) was a bellylaugh
rendition of ‘You gotta seeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrvvvvvveeee SOME BODY!’ I swear
bob was making up lyrics on the fly…
nice ending with ‘Watchtower’ back in the mix.
All in all, one of the best yet, altho as Scotty pointed out, these concerts
are like grains of sand slipping throught your fingers, so enjoy ‘em while you
And dear lord, please make the neil young/bobfest get together happen
sooner rather than later…
Review by Mo
Baby You’re A Rich Man
With a nor’ Easter on the horizon we arrived early to the city of Utica,
NY. We Parked ourselves at the Ancora restaurant for dinner where we were
entertained by Tim and met a lovely architect Patricia. I hadn’t been to
the Stanley theater since I can’t remember when, and was looking forward
to checking out the decor.
The snow arrived shortly before we retrieved our tickets from will call.
Picked up a poster and some water and located our seats on the isle in row
Z. Where we soon learned that the people next to us had bought their
tickets for the reasonable price of $79.50 and we had paid $280. 00 each,
for ours. Jo went directly to the ticket office where he was told “ you
were scalped by Bob Dylan & Ticket Master! “ I felt horrible, ripped
off. It was on my mind for a while and interfered with enjoying the show
but I tried. Luckily, I say luckily because every few minutes my
distraction of feeling ripped off was replaced by the distraction of the
lady usher with the flash light showing up to shine her light upon people
surrounding me as she yelled “put away your phone!” Which then led me
to notice she did not shine the light for people trying to locate their
seats in the dark as they filed by in a long line at the end of every song
into the beginning of the next song. This went on for the entire show. A
real drag. Jo got up to use the restroom only to return because he was
told he couldn’t leave during a song. What?
The first few songs were mellow. Bob’s piano & voice were in good form.
His voice was sweet. This isn’t a rock-n- roll show, nor is it a folk
music show, or a cowboy band country blues show. The stage, the sound,
the new key Bob has found for his songs, the piano, the lighting, it’s a
1950’s supper club without the supper.
To answer Steve’s question from last year, the answer is: Rhythm. Miss
When Jo was finally allowed to use the restroom he missed IMO one of the
best songs of the evening: Honest With Me and finally I let my distraction
of $79.50 v. $280.00 subside and focused on the music. I actually yelled
out : “ some more of this please!” ScarletT brought Bob to the back
center stage and Donnie’s Banjo, George’s drumming and Tony’s base
were sweet...gold stars all around. Pretty much every song was played
with a new supper club arrangement. Like A Rolling Stone was, well
interesting. Jo wanted it faster, and said “why is he doing this? “ I
said, “ if you’d been playing this song since 1965, maybe you would
get sick of it and so you do this, it’s his song.” Jo said, “ but
that’s not what people want to hear.” I gave Jo the side-eyed and
thought some more about ticket prices and the man who yelled ‘Judas’
back in ‘65...if he were here today would he yell again? Jo yelled out:
“Rock -n- Roll!, and I thought about: My Generation.
Eventually I got up to go to the restroom only to be told by the lady
usher that I could not leave. I asked why I could not use the rest room or
leave the hall, and she informed me “that Bob does not want you using
the restroom while he is performing a song and Bob gets what he wants.”
Oh. There were several of us at the door wanting badly to go to to the
restroom, (I drank a whole bottle of water, hydration is so important) and
so to take our mind off of not being allowed to use the restroom we all
began talking, only to be told by the lady usher that we could not talk
either. That’s when someone said, “This feels like a prison camp not
a concert.” That made me feel horrible. I wondered how Bob would feel as
a patron of this show. Once in the rest room I over heard a woman
saying: “this is the first time and the last time I will see Bob Dylan,
too many rules and none of his songs are recognizable. That really made
me feel sad. So I tried to go back to the show with a better, positive
attitude, but I couldn’t get through the door. I tried, but lady usher
said, “you must wait until Bob is finished with the song, you have about
one minute.” So, I waited, and started doing math, (in my head, not on
my phone , of course,) calculating how much the minute I was missing was
costing me. Then I remembered I was trying to be positive.
It was the encore when I got back to my seat and Jo grabbed my hand and
took me up front to the $280.00 seats. Finally a big smile burst upon my
face! We found ourselves right up front and a couple were standing and
swaying and so into the show and It made me smile so much it was a
good time at last! Then Bob and the big band played All Along the Watch
Tower and it was just the groove I was in need of : Yes! Yes! Yes! Then it
was over. We left the theater and found ourselves in a nor’Easter, with
Blind Faith streaming we slowly found our way back home. I’m not sure
why a so-called VIP ticket cost what it does and lands a patron in row Z.
What are we supposed to do with the trinkets that come in the mail
two-days after the show, we aren’t adolescents? Are the metal tickets
redeemable for a seat upgrade at the next show? Jo wants to know if we
can return the so-called VIP trinkets for a refund of $401 because there
wasn’t anything VIP about our seat location.
It wasn’t the best show I’ve ever attended and it wasn’t the worst
show I ever attended ; it was a enlightening rich experience.
It’s all good.
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