page by Bill Pagel
Review by Nick Pappas
Just got back from Durham and I must say that last nights show (at least
for me) was a lot better than URI. I luckilly had the almost the same
exact seats (4'th row stage left) perfect angle to see bob work hard all
night. I got a bit nervous before the show because there were some speaker
boxes blocking the piano, but abotu 5 minutes before the show tommy
realized it and moved them aside. Drifters Escape: I like this as an
opener. Bob came out, sang it strong, and was doing his weird head bobbing
thing. Great solo from stu and a good harp end by bob. Dignity: This was a
suprise in the 2 spot. I thought it was good. Bob sang it pretty well and
i like this arrangement with the highwater esque breaks. Tweedle Dee: Once
again, i've heard this too many times. Tom Thumbs Blues: unmistakable
after the first chords. I was excited to hear this. I only heard this once
before in New York two summers ago, but i thought this version was a lot
better. Fun fun fun. It's Alright Ma: was better than the URI version. He
sang it clearly and strong and i thought it was very powerful. Just Like A
Woman: I like hearing this one, and it didn't dissapoint. Bob played a
really nice harp solo at the end, building it up to a climax then letting
george take it home. Things Have Chagned: i've heard this a lot too, but i
liked this version. Not too special but i thought it was pretty good.
Forever Young: first time i've heard this with Larry on pedal steel. I
liked it. Bob sang it well, even reaching vocally on a couple of the
chorus'. Highway 61: rocked! I love this song, even though i've heard it a
lot. Great guitar, bob sings strong, and it just gets everyone pumped up.
I like the new "TUM, TUM, TUM" thing that Stu has brought to it. Just a
smoking song. Moonlight: I liked this version although the crowd sat down
for it. I definately prefer this arrangement to the old one. Ballad Of A
thin Man: Awesome! I love this song and thought it was great. Stu played a
wicked solo and bob played some good harp. Larry anchored the song with
the pedal steel. Sweet. Honest: This time with Larry on Cittern, although
you could barely hear him play it. Not sure it changed much of the
dynamic. Boots: Bob said "this a request...for my new friend Mr. Dean".
This song was quiet and sweet. A highlight for me personally because i
love this song. Summer Days: Rocked pretty well, this time no harp- back
to the guitars. The crowd cheered and danced. The lineup was funny. Bob
was bouncing up in down like he does, looking like a boxer before the
fight. He pointed to somepeople in the front row right in front of me then
lifted up his sleeves. It was funny. The encores were good. Although some
people tire of hearing them over and over, i never leave. I think even
though i've heard them a lot, they are still really fun and you never know
what bob's gonna do. Luckilly, i was right. Rolling Stone was good, bob
even sang "how does it feeeeeel", not "how does it feel". When
introducing the band, bob said "alright, thank you friends", then did his
new orleans windshield vipers joke for george. The band started to play
watchtower but bob cut them off, they stopped, and he gave us another
(bad) joke. He said.."i'm not the comedian of the group, it's tony who is
the comedian...his wife.. ah ah...wife gonna divorce him because she says
he's trying to joke her to death" The crowd cheered. Bob was in good
spirts bouncing around, even SMILING a few. They launched into watchower
and after the line "said the joker to the thief" bob mumbled into the mike
"thats' tony". Tony laughed and bob smiled at him. The song rocked.I love
stu's solo's on this. George brought it home with a thunderous snare and
the band left the stage. When we were leaving we saw bob talking to george
before getting into their separate buses, george smoking a cigarette and
bob with a white towel wrapped around his head. Overall i thought this was
a good show. Much better than URI. Bob was in a better mood and sang a lot
stronger. I was lucky enough to be up so close again, and it proved to be
a great night. Can't wait for Ahmerest and then believe it or not, my
school on sunday! My friends tell me, "well you've traveled to over 100
shows to see him, Sunday you just have to walk down the street!".
Review by Jamie Gripton
Concert in Plain D
Heard the joke about the University graduate who lands a job, then gets
asked about his marks. "D stands for Degree don't it!"
Seeing Bob Dylanıs campus crusade at the tony UNH Whittemore Center
was a concert in plain D.
Same rink, I think, where the Demıs contender Kerry was photo-oped
beating the defence - arms in the air - however hockey failed to imitate
life and defence would be his undoing. Tonight the place was filled with
wild cats and cool mommas.
That's D for the drifter, the persona of the high priest of popular
culture peeking out of the oversized black hat, jacket, pants, and boots,
and lime green sequined collar and ascot. The opening salvo of the
side-burned gunfighter Drifter's Escape was a wicked message on the
efficacy of prayer.
D is for Dignity in the two slot, as we are taken by the prophet on a
descent into Zekeıs valley of drybone dreams.
Next, the noble truth that in the election aftermath Dee Dum, Tweedle
and Dee Dee, Tweedle are destined to stay on that streetcar named desire,
suffering for four more years.
Oh the facetious look on Bobıs face when he admits his "best friend -
my doctor" and the "goddess of doom" have him headed back to the Big Apple.
Bob spiced up this song with seven savory segments of delicious harp.
A defiant Itıs Alright Ma ominously invoked death's honesty to inform
the dodgers to live fully in the present - donıt despair - itıs life, and
D is for the ode to the debutante, the dichotomy of the ingenue who
makes love like a woman - love the way senor still smiles when he sings
that line - but breaks like a little girl.
Dylan's vocals on Thingıs Have Changed were dressed in drag, in fact a
few of the well worn standards, honest with me, such as Summer Days
served as foils to the songs that follow us home.
D is for the Divine Voice that the son of Abe Zimmerman is a vehicle for
on Hiway 61, while sacred drummer George demands and gets respect for
An endearing up-tempo Moonlight takes us across the river, dear, we can
hear Bob on the keys and Tony is getting intimate with the double bass.
Bob brought out the harp on nine of the evening's sixteen songs, adding a
new dimension to his performance that allows me to fully accept the keys.
With the Thin Man we "slip in the side door," evidently Bob renovated
the room where we encounter Mr. Jones, indicting people like me who expect
others to hand over cheques to tax-deductible charity organizations.
Alas, I was expecting Desolation Row, or at least an escapade on the D
Train, but there was a surprise detour. Bob declares, "e a lyrically
delightful detour to Spain to pick up a pair of boots. Width D, no doubt.
Durham got a double dose of dumb jokes. A good clean snake joke about
windshield vipers; and "Tony's a comedian, his wife is divorcing him, he
tried to joke her to death." The minstrelsy tease.
Dylan dances off stage, then returns to tell us about some doll with a
diamond ring and the diplomats and dealers who deter her direction and
self-discovery. Dylanıs does a masterful job and then deposits us
somewhere in the distance to ponder what itıs worth. All Along the
Watchtower's existential dilemma. That does it.
Long ago and far away Rabbi Hillel told his students he could recite the
whole Law standing on one foot and they scoffed. He shuffled his feet and
opened his mouth, "Do not do to another person what you would not like
them to do to you, this is the Law the rest is commentary." Down came the
cowboy boot - on Rabbi Dylanıs double love commandment, "may you always do
for others and let others do for you" (Stu did a song-stealing solo) in a
beautiful rendition of the Hebrew benediction Forever Young - the night's
epiphany in the eight hole.
The band was decent, and Dylan was delightful in Durham and gets and A
plus for performance!
Rev. Dr. Jamie Gripton drove 1000 miles to Durham and back in one too many
mornings and can be heard on "BUCKETS OF BOB" (a musical conversation
between Bob Dylan and the Word on CHMA FM 107 in Sackville, New Brunswick,
Canada) every Sunday at 5-5: pm EST on www.mta.ca/chma. This weekıs show
"Concert in Plain D" will feature Drifter's Escape, Dignity, and Forever
Review by Stu Currie
My friend and I drove over to UNH from S. VT and got in 10 min before the
recorded "spokesman for.... . . . .. burn-out... . . . . born-again...
. . ladies and gents intro and.... . . . . . . . This incarnation
launched into a very spirited, heartfelt set of transcendant performances
of great, big tunes. I've seen Bob from the Bill Graham promoted SNACK
show in Golden Gate Park, featuring The Dead testing out Blues for Allah
material, to Dylan w/ Neil Young and Rick Danko and friends, playing Are
You Ready For the Country to Helpless into Heaven's Door. Say anything you
want to, I have heard alot, but this show was spectacular!! The sound was
clean loud and just right. Bob seemed in great form and played LOTs of
harp all nite and he communicated w/ the band eye to eye, verbally and
musically. And the band responded w/ inspired playing and interpretations
of the Maestro's compositions. This group has it goin on!!! And Mr Dylan
was in great form, great voice, and great energy. He did lots of, what I
guess has been called "old man dancing" and at the end was goofing w/ the
crowd, band intros and laughing his ass off. The adulation was so strong
and prolonged, that he started to mime casting for fish and reeling us in,
during the formation at the end of the show. We WERE eating out of his
Review by Kevin Ouellette
I got to the venue around 5 and no one was around. I just walked in and
relized that you could see through the glass doors that looked down apon
the stage. The band was just getting ready to sound check and Bob was
there too! He was dressed in white pants, had a hooded sweatshirt on with
a leather jacket over it. The band rehearsed Wicked Messenger about 10
times also If Not For You. Bob banged on the keys and seemed to be
pointing a lot and directing. He did strap on the electric guitar for a
few bars. He also smoked 2 cigarettes which I wish he would quit doing. On
to the show. The venue was less than 2/3 full. The floor was sold out but
the rest of the seats were scattered. Lets just say this show was all
about Bob's mood and his harp playing which were both incredible. I think
Bob played harp on 10 songs, and not just two notes to end the song these
were full on solos. Stu and Bob also did plenty of back and forth
harp/guitar play on Forever Young, Just Like A Woman, and Ballad Of A Thin
Man. The highlights of the show were JLAW, Moonlight which was completely
reworked, BOATM, and Boots which was perfectly sung and played. Bob
intoduced the song but it was hard to make out what he said, someone said
it was a dedication. After Summer Days Bob told 2 jokes, the windshield
"viper" joke about Tony and then he said, "I'm not the real comedian Tony
is his wife tried to get a divorce for getting joked to death" something
like that. But, then when they started Watchtower when the line came up
"There must be some way out of here said the joker to the thief" Bob
said"some way out of hereThe show was not the best Dylan show I have been
to but it was well worth it because Bob was in great spirits and the band
was tight as usual. 8 out of 10. Can't wait for Harvard!
Review by David Costa
I just got home from the Durham show.
I have been going to Dylan shows for 25 years, and have enjoyed some
amazing shows in that time, like the Fleet Boston Pavilion in 1995, and
the State Theatre in Portland in 1996.
You can see the set list, and the band was tight and energetic, George
Recile is completely out of his mind on drums, talented and able, and
Larry and Stu were dynamite throughout.
Dylan stood at the electric piano for most of the night, and occasional
bopped around the stage.
He is looking every bit of his 63 years, although his voice actually
sounded better than it had at Newport in '02-invigorated and healthy.
Highlights included Dignity, which fired the audience of about I would say
4,000 and Just like Tom Thumb's Blues was a delightful surprise. Just
Like a Woman was nicely done and was really moved the women in the
audience. He did a good job.
Forever Young had a very cool pedal steel solo, and had geniune sound to
the words as he sang them, as if he were truly wishing that the message of
the song came true for us.
Highway 61 was a gas, because I love the album, and it was also delightful
to hear Ballad of a Thin Man shortly thereafter, in a really cool upbeat
The version of Watchtower was a gas-tight, strong, hot and brilliant
The sound was good, the crowd was up, and I saw license plates from Maine,
New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and move. God love the
Bobby D. fans.
Have fun tomorrow night in Cambridge, kids.
Review by Paul Shumway
Mr. Wet Blanket here-
First of all, I really, really, really, really wanted to like this show.
After all, It's Bob Dylan, for Christ's sake. In the end, it was really,
really, really.......disappointing. There were some very good moments, no
great ones, and the rest was mediocre to.........well, let's just leave it
at mediocre. (after all, it was B D, for Chris's sake.) Set list--thank
god that was on the internet, so I now know what I heard. He goes out of
his way to make the classics extremely different from the original--that's
OK, I accept his license there. He sang a couple of songs almost sweetly,
but croaked out the rest. Highway 61 was rockin'--see, that one is not
near and dear to my heart, so it was OK to change it. On the other hand,
he BUTCHERED 'Just like a woman'. Some of the best songs were one's I
didn't know (er, didn't recognize?) B-up band. Some great talent there.
They were a bit disjointed on a few early songs, but brought it together
well. Stu really rocked--only complaint--it was like he signed a contract
that he HAD to have a lead on every song, regardless. Some of the softer
ones, he at least tried restraint, but ended up crankin' somewhat
inappropriately. The other guitarist was exceptional. Bob's Harp. We
know Bob's harp--the dischord works in front of a single guitar--sometimes
NOT in front of a melodic band. He was excellent on a few tunes,
especially back and forth with a guitar, semi-solo, but I found myself
thinking 'please, please, stop now, that sounded so good, please, bob,
stop now, it was just.....oh....no, he couldn't leave it at that, could
he?' as he lost all contact w/ the band. The Joker's jokes--lame Stage
presence--I'd rather stare at an album cover the Watchtower-awesome, Jimi
would be proud. Maybe that should have been the greatest r&r song ever. I
am inspired to go out and buy some CD's of the greatest R & R songwriter
of all times, just for old time sake--thanks, Bob. Sorry to be so
Review by Adam Dean
Always expect the unexpected! After a leisurely 3 hour drive from URI to
Portsmouth, NH, I pulled into the parking lot of the Marriott Courtyard to
find two sleek black tour buses parked around the back of the hotel. This
simple twist of fate led to my chance encounter with the man himself, Bob
Dylan. During the course of the afternoon, I had a lengthy conversation
with Larry Campbell (whom I had previously met backstage at Sioux Falls SD
on 4/1/00) and also briefly chatted up Tony, who was his normal grumpy
self. No one said much about Bob, who generally keeps to himself even when
on tour. About 4:45, dressed in a hooded gray sweatshirt, white pants, and
a black leather jacket, Bob came waltzing out the back door of the hotel
alone, on his way to the bus. I stopped him, we started to chat, and had
about a 10 minute conversation on various topics: the election (he
expressed his disappointment about 4 more years), Bob's golf game ("I'm
hitting it OK"), the new albums "new" arrangements (or re-arrangements if
you will), the previous night's show and set list (Bob seemed particularly
interested in how the show sounded, he asked me twice) (He thought the
sound inside Ryan Center was pretty good for a hockey rink), and how often
he logs on to Bob Dates ("from time to time, when I have a chance"). The
conversation ended with Bob asking me what I wanted to hear tonight, a
chance to make a request (*!*) to Bob Dylan. I mentioned how it would be
nice to hear some of the older tunes tonight, some of his great old songs.
So I asked for Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands ("sorry, we haven't rehearsed
that one", and quickly suggested Jokerman "don't think we'll fit that one
in", and came around to "Boots Of Spanish Leather" which is a long time
personal favorite and I couldn't remember ever actually hearing it live,
Bob played an awesome show tonight. He was so, so into each and every
song, carefully phrasing each song clearly, and playing tremendous
harmonica. He really did pull out some great old songs (Tom Thumb's Blues,
Just Like A Woman, Forever Young, Ballad Of A Thin Man) and when he played
Boots Of Spanish Leather, and dedicated it to me: "my new friend Mr.
Dean", well you can imagine I was about ten feet off the ground, walking
on air! After 30 years of Bob Dylan shows, I had a chance to meet the
great man himself, and contrary to all the rumours I had heard, he was
very nice, very pleasant, easy to talk to, he looks you in the eye when he
speaks to you, and he really wants to perform well for his fans. God bless
you, Mr. Dylan and may you keep on playing for many many years on the
Never Ending Tour.
page by Bill Pagel
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