Reviews

Brooklyn, New York

Barclays Centerr

November 21, 2012


[Mike Skliar], [Saint Annie], [CSK], [Michael Perlin], [Zenarrow], [Oscar Montes]

Review by Mike Skliar




Bob Dylan Barclays Center, Brooklyn NY  Nov 21, 2012
It was the last show of the tour, from one of the last of his generation still out
there in every way, and my first show (and most everyone else's) at the brand 
new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. I travelled to the area early from Manhattan
and first met some friends at a local bar on 4th Ave. We eventually walked over 
to the new venue, greeted by unfailingly polite security who were wishing 
everyone "Happy Thanksgiving", and got to our seats. Unlike my last Bob Dylan 
show, at the tiny Capitol Theater in Port Chester NY in early September, I was 
significantly farther away from the stage at a huge arena. (At Port Chester I 
was one person from the front rail for most of the show, directly in front of Bob 
at his piano.  At Barkley, I was way way over on one side, about halfway 'up'.)   
With the strange lights and stage setup, I could see Bob when he was center 
stage, but when he was at the piano, there was a big stage light right behind 
him, so most of what I saw when he was at the piano was a silhouette of his 
hat.  It was in some ways a strange way to see a show, but in a weird way it 
didn't matter, as concentrating on the music gave so many rewards.

First, a word or two about the opening act, guitarist Mark Knopfler. He's a fine 
guitarist, and had a talented band, but the end somehow added up to less 
than the sum of its parts. Playing almost all unfamiliar material, the guitar and
instrumental sound was polished, textured, earthy, and unfailingly polite. 
There was, to be honest, a slight boredom that crept in with, I suspect, many 
listeners partway thru the set. Part of this I think had to do with the fact that 
Knopfler is a less-then memorable or forceful singer, and as good as the sound 
was from where I was sitting (and it was very good given it was a large arena)  
I couldn't make out much of the lyrics. At times the band played some fine 
Celtic-style playing, with a bit of (slightly overblown, Ian Anderson style) flute, 
fiddle, bouzouki, two keyboards, etc. giving a bit of a rootsy yet slightly "new
edgy" sound. It was impressive at one point how quiet they could get and 
still hold attention, but that being said, it was just a little too polished and 
antiseptic. 

On to Bob. This was about my 75th show or so, give or take a few since I first 
saw him back in that long ago year of 1978. A fine show it was, too. It's hard 
to give a 'is it better then show x or y', as I was so much farther from the 
stage, but by all measure a really special, wonderful show. The beginning of the 
show started off as good as any opening number I've seen him do since perhaps 
the days of 'Crash on the Levee' back in 1995, or 'Jokerman' the year earlier. A 
bit of noodling from guitarist Stu Kimball, and off into the Basement Tapes song
"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" although the lyrics was taken more from the Greatest 
hits 2 version with its shout-out to (Roger) McGuinn, and a new improvised 
verse, something about 'buy me a fish that talks, a tree that walks' or 
something like that.

Song two and we're back at that "Freewheeling' classic "Don't Think Twice, It's 
alright". I was struck by how Bob was changing his vocal delivery up already 
markedly from the first song (where it was more of a bark) to the almost-smooth 
story-crooning in Don't think twice. I think  that slot #2 is a great place for the 
quieter song-that-tells a story, having seen such great versions of this, 'to ramona' 
and other songs in this slot. Mark Knopfler added some fine guitar fills to this but 
didn't upstage it at all. This was also the first part of the evening to showcase our 
lead singer's piano chops, which continue to improve and added to the sound 
well. Throughout the evening, I kept noticing how Bob would start some riff on 
the piano (sometimes on the harmonica) and the rest of the band would subtly 
pick up on it and incorporate it in the song. There really is a great deal of 
improvisation, but it's not of the 'let's change the chord progression' or 'let's 
vamp over the verse endlessly', but rather, 'here's a little rhythmic figure, let's 
throw that into the mix and see what happens' kind of thing.  
 
Next up was Bob center stage, delivering a rockabilly-style, somewhat 
understated "Things have Changed' again with Knopfler on guitar. Bob was 
singing quickly and quietly, and there were some great ad libs between lines 
buried under there. I suspect if I heard a great quality recording or if I had been 
closer, more of the subtleties of this version would have been apparent. As it is,
I think it might have been just slightly too fast and too subtle to play well to 
the cheap seats.  In a small club it would have been fantastic, though. 
 
Then came "Tangled Up in Blue' also done center-stage, with Dylan just singing 
and playing harmonica.  At the Capitol Theater, back in September, he used 
electric guitar to punctuate almost every line with odd but engaging guitar fills, 
here it was more uncluttered. I don't think the recent versions of this are as 
great a s they could be, particularly as Bob is doing a weird lyric hybrid of the 
original verses and the odd 1984 rewrite, and also only singing about four out 
of the seven verses. It's still great to hear, however.

Next up was my first "Tempest" song of the evening (and it turns out first of 
two)- "Early Roman Kings". Bob was at the piano for this, so as mentioned 
before, I effectively couldn't see him at all, but his vocal presence was very 
much there. He delivered a fine performance, and I wonder if in future years, 
if he plays it, lines like 'my bell still rings' and so many others could be really 
great cues for the audience to whoop it up a bit (on the whole the audience, 
especially given this was NYC and Brooklyn, seemed a bit subdued, although 
perhaps they were all thinking of how they were going to cook the turkey as 
it was Thanksgiving eve). The song had some great slide fills (possibly from 
Donnie Herron?) and compared very favorably with the album version.

From there, it went to a sublime and too-little performed masterpiece- a perfect 
rendition of "Chimes of Freedom".  I haven't heard Bob do this live in person 
since he uncorked it from the ether long ago with the Grateful Dead back in the 
summer of 1987.  Tonight Bob and the band were tight and like clockwork, 
shifting thru all the wonderful descending-bassline  riffs that were implicit in the 
song from the very start. Bob's vocal delivery was soft, an incantation, almost, 
of a dream from a far-away time that was being created again before our eyes.  
This might have been the highlight of the show for me. I was talking about the 
show with a friend after the show and we agreed that for anyone else, that 
song would be a career highlight, but for Bob, it was just one of many gems. 

Almost any up-tempo song (of the ones he's been doing lately) would have 
been a bit anti-climactic after that, and "Levee's gonna break' was true to form 
somewhat disappointing.  The song has never been one of my favorites (why 
doesn't he do the infinitely better' crash on the levee' instead of this) and it 
seemed an average version.

Bob went into 'incantation'-time again , however, with the next number, and 
almost perfect (tho there's a big 'almost' in there) version of "Visions of 
Johanna".  The 'almost' is due to the weird lyric flub where he sang the line 
'the night watchman clicks his flashlight and  asks himself if its him or then 
that's insane' and then… sang the same line again!. Strange- maybe he was 
thinking of the 'watchman' from the song Tempest? Still, a fine fine version 
of one of his essential songs.

Highway 61 was next, and as I had heard it at Port Chester, it had some fun 
instrumental breaks with Bob doing his altered-barrelhouse piano riffs mixed 
with some Count Basie licks thrown in there for the band to develop. It didn't 
quite get to as many places as it had in Port Chester, but perhaps I didn't hear 
all the subtleties of it as well as I did in Port Chester from the front row. 

Next was , I believe, the second-ever performance of "Soon after Midnight" 
from Tempest. It's a fine song, not perhaps a major song on the album but 
with considerable charm, and all of that charm was there in the version tonight- 
faithful to the album and well-sung. A bit of vocal uncertainty in the beginning 
when Bob went for a falsetto he didn't  quite reach, but the whole thing was 
charming and effective, as well as a fine contrast to other songs from the rest 
of the evening.

Next up was Thunder on the Mountain- it was the 'usual version' except at 
the end Bob gave the band some riff (that sounded like it could have come
from Count Basie in 1938) which gave the band an excuse to let loose on it, 
and the last minute or two of the song sounded fun, funky and jazzy. 

I was expecting the usual  "Thin man' after this, but got a nice surprise- Bob 
center stage for a hushed and dramatic 'Forgetful Heart'. I had seen this live
once before, and it was fantastic then, its only grown since, with Bob doing 
one of those "Sinatra-torch song' vocals that was gripping and haunting to 
watch and hear.

Next was the "Thin Man" that I had been expecting. The echo he's lately 
been using was a bit more modulated and subdued, although there, and Bob 
used that 'bark' voice to great effect. It's a song he's always done well, but
in its current arrangement its' perhaps never been better.i

There's little new to say about the last three songs of the show- Like a rolling 
stone, watchtower, and 'blowin in the wind'. They were, as usual, delivered 
to a high standard and well done, as good as any recent show I've heard 
them in.  Watchtower has had a bit of a new arrangement in the last year 
or so and it's grown and developed nicely. Its now much removed from the 
Jimi Hendrix-style salute he used to do with it and is more spacey and 
dynamic. Blowin in the wind is such a great way to end the show and the 
arrangement of it is sturdy and upbeat without sacrificing the poignancy of 
such a meaningful and iconic song.

So, after the show, a late dinner at Junior's, an even later slow train ride 
back to Manhattan, here it is, another visit with Bob in late 2012. It was a 
good visit indeed. 

Mike Skliar

[TOP]

Review by Saint Annie



The Atlantic Center surprises by being a good music venue.  Atypical
for a big sports palace, the acoustics aren't bad, and though we were well
down on the floor, I took a walk up to the rafters before Knopfler's set
began -- not a bad sight line in the place.

Mark Knopfler's one of the best opening acts/gracious sidemen Dylan
has had in years.  I liked Elvis, and Amos Lee, but whenever you've
got a guy standing solo with a guitar it feels too much like
hommage-a-Bobby-Dylan, circa 1963.  Knopfler's band is exceptional,
and they surrounded and supported him perfectly.  Fiddle, whistle,
flute, uilleann pipes, accordion:  Celtic mists all over the old
Atlantic yards.  "Privateering" is a gorgeous song, and Knopfler such a
spectacular guitarist.  Yes, he played "So Far Away" for the Dire Straits
fans -- but many new songs in a complete pleasure of a set.

Dylan and the band were onstage soon after 9:15, and opened with "You
Ain't Goin Nowhere."  With the lights from above down the black curtain it
looked like they were playing in a church.  It was a perfect opening,
quiet and let you hear Dylan's voice and keyboards both clearly.  This was
a mercy, for that wouldn't be the case for most of the rest of the show. 
"Don't Think Twice" benefited from Knopfler's guitar like you wouldn't --
or maybe would -- believe; he was turned up in the mix, so that the main
instruments you could hear were his guitar and Bob's voice.  Good times. 
As was a rollicking "Times Have Changed."  Bob seemed to be having a ball
during this one -- prowling the stage, strutting, sidling up towards a
grinning Knopfler, brandishing the harp, positively bounding back to the
keys.

"Tangled Up in Blue" was the best performance of the night.  Dylan
sang the "he" version instead of "I," and appeared to be reveling in
his back-and-forth with Knopfler, both when he was seated and playing, and
blowing his harp.  The mix was perfect -- with all the bass levels turned
down, Knopfler's signature rippling, rich riffs and Dylan's playful
pronunciations and enunciations were such a pleasure to hear.

As glad as I was to hear "Early Roman Kings," it flattened out the
show, and the show, unhappily, stayed flat -- musicwise, though not
energywise at all -- for the rest of the night.  I'm going to make
this plea yet again, and make it passionately:  FIX THE MIX.  From
this fine new track with its beating blues Mannish-Boy line, to the
end of the show, every fast/heavy song was bassed to bits.  The only
instruments one could hear were George's thudding drums and Tony's
bass line.  That's it.  Stu might as well not have been on stage at
all; you couldn't hear a note he played.  Charlie labored valiantly
but could barely be heard.  Worst of all, Donnie's elegant
fiddlethreads and lap steel and instrumentals that complement Dylan's
voice so well -- and Dylan's voice and keyboard work -- were entirely
swallowed.  I turned to the remedy I've been using for years, now.  I
stuffed some Kleenex in my ears and then pressed down with my fingertips. 
Make-your-own mix.  This muffles the bass effectively, and presto!  you
can hear Bob's voice, full of humor and careful phrasing on songs like
"Highway 61 Revisited," as well as his jazzy, boogie-woogie piano. 
Donnie's playing, mostly in its higher register, comes through nicely too.

"Chimes of Freedom" made me cry.  It was passionate and clear, almost 50
years old and strong as ever in these hard days.  "Levee's Gonna Break"
had a pounding, regular-beat arrangement that smashed it flat, as did
"Highway 61 Revisited," but "Visions of Johanna" shone, in between them. 
Dylan's playing was intense and pretty, and his voice, in an abridged
version, good.  "Soon After Midnight" was a real crown-pleaser.  Dylan
seemed to enjoy its darker moments in the last verse -- but his delivery
of Honey taking his money, and having a date with the fairy queen, was
almost wistful, light and gentle.

"Thunder on the Mountain" got a yelp from the crowd for Alicia Keys,
but that was about it.  Not even my homemade mixing cut the bass
enough for me to be able to enjoy this one.  "Forgetful Heart,"
though, was lovely -- always nice to have Bob standing front and
center, bandleading.  Ditto for "Ballad of A Thin Man."  He strutted
through this one, challenging all the Mr. Joneses out there.  "Like a
Rolling Stone" was sweet and solid.   "All Along the Watchtower" had a
gorgeous moment of Bob and Donnie doing an instrumental bit that sounded
like their version of gypsy jazz -- a lovely surprise.  And "Blowin' In
the Wind" was a Thanksgiving present to us all.  What do I want for
Christmas?  Bob and Donnie, in an acoustic show at Avery Fisher.  One amp
each, and a mic for Bob's singing. Thanks for the tour, Bob.  Enjoy your
holidays, and see you again soon x

[TOP]

Review by CSK



It would seem the end of this tour really built to a crescendo Philly 
was a good show with strong highlights (esp ERK, Desolation Row)
but didn't feel like a great, whole, contiguous show much as 
Mohegan Sun was earlier this year   DC was quite good as well - both 
of the most recent field recordings on these are excellent (thanks so
much romeo/appleberry for the Philly gems including Knopfler's set which
may be the best show if the tour for him)   Brooklyn though was at whole
'nother level - I saw three shows in 2012, all three started with Nowhere,
and this one was miles the best with Bob powering clear vocals with intent
on quality   He then dominated vocally & energetically to excellent
versions of every other song this evening - there were no lowlights this
evening - the fantastic committed version of Visions was but one major
highlight, so was the stella Soon After Midnight - Thunder on the Mountain
was great - Levee was, Chimes sparkled, new lyrics for Tangled even
invented on the fly  - Things Have Changed powered and soared etc - this
just seemed to be a night Bob was seriously determined to dominate with
great vocals, inspiration in playing and in general.  He may well have
been inspired to play one of the first concerts in the great new Barclays
Center, a historic moment for Brooklyn as well. The staff seemed a bit
disorganized at Barclays, but very friendly, so its all good.   On the
other band members, Stu is now the clear star - he & Bob were locked in
all evening + Tony continues to head the proceedings and was bang on as
was George - Donnie fills in nicely, and Charlie does add little frills
here and there that are vital, but he clearly is turned down and not
inspired understandably.  If this was Charlie's last show, at least for a
while, kudos to you kid and best fortune - thanks for doing so much for
Bob all these years, not only in one of the high periods (1999-2002) but
also helping reinspire him in 2009 - critical stuff.  The sound this band
now achieves is truly something to behold, it provides Bob an amazing
landscape to improvize from - and they are all so locked into each other,
it is understandable why Bob has slowly evolved the setlists this tour, to
not lose this vital essence, while adding songs to the mix slowly but
surely.  I am convinced that the so-called NET will go down as one of
Bob's great achievements.  One other thing to note is that Bob's
repertoire is now so wide and diverse - more so than any other musician
perhaps in the history of music - its really quite amazing.   Thanks for
the recording on Brooklyn already up, but the sound in the arena was
perfect, so hoping for more versions soon on this - this show deserves to
be heard in pristine quality - what a way to end what was a great year in
live Bob.

[TOP]

Review by Michael Perlin



And after 15 months away, a return to the world of live Bobconcerts. A new
venue, and hopes of at least one first-ever. There had been warnings (my
friend Carra from LA, my friend Fred from Dallas), but the reports from
the just-recent concerts were much more favorable. And, luckily, they were
right. A magnificent night of music in an outstanding site (Barclay’s in
Brooklyn) with two first-evers and at least two second-evers. Bob was
engaged, enthusiastic, and enunciating. Band was totally locked in. And
not a clunker on the set list. A terrific night. In order>>

1.  You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere. I think (not sure) that I had only heard
this once (Wayne NJ, ’97), and I was so happy to hear it in the opening
slot (Leopard-Skin has joined RDW on my oh-lord-not-again list). A
straight-forward, rockabilly loping style, and much more than the
glorified soundcheck that the #1 song often is.  Band was in a slightly
different schemata than I have seen it before (I make it a practice to
*not* watch videos of current tours when I have tix for later on, so I
have no idea when this format started). Tony dead center (which makes
sense; he is so much the core and the heart of the band), George and his
drum kit stage left (think baseball diamond: he was kinda where the
shortstop would be), and George, Stu and Charlie all facing Bob in
gunslinger pose almost the entire nite)

2.  Don’t Think Twice. Mark Knopfler joined the band at this point (he
stayed for the next two as well). Nothing new to report on this version
(the slowed-down vamp ending is back), but again, Bob in cheerful form,
and band in sync. Good omens for later on.

3.  Things Have Changed. Bob’s first center stage appearance of the
nite. A *bopping* version, much faster than I had ever heard it before
(almost laughing-gas, demonically fast at times), short harp solo at end.
A favorite of mine (and clearly of Bob’s). Every verse was crystal-clear,
and in that clarity, I was reminded once again of the brilliance of the
poetry in the lyrics.

4.  Tangled. Harp much earlier on than I can recall from any of
umpteen times I have heard this (and there is no such thing as too much of
this great song). Some new lyrical patterns (no idea if they were one-offs
just for this nite, or whether he has been interpolating them into each
version on this tour; time now for me to go check out some of the videos
from earlier recent concerts). Was watching Charlie watch Mark on the
guitar, and realizing that having the extra sound really was a good thing
(sometimes too many guitars can spoil the broth, but this just worked).
Mark left unobtrusively after this (walking out of the stadium at the end,
it was clear than his presence on stage went unnoticed by many, though his
sound was certainly distinctive). But at the end of this song (these four
were kind of Act 1), I felt tremendous anticipation, knowing that, if I
was going to be surprised, it would come in Act 2.

5.  Early Roman Kings. YES! Of course, a first for me, and, as has
been Bob’s wont since the release of Time Out of Mind in 97, the first
time thru, the live perfs do replicate the arrangement on the CD just
about totally. From Muddy Waters to Bo Diddley to George Thoroughgood to
BD: the same chords, the same beat, but such a different song. Is it about
the Roman Empire? (No). Gangs in the Bronx? (maybe) The Republican party
in 2012 (I’d like to think so). Whatever: I expect this will be in regular
rotation in coming years, and I look forward to it.

6.  Chimes. Piano solo intro that left me puzzled. And then, the first
lyrics, “Far between sundown's finish an' midnight's broken toll,” and I
screamed. I am fairly sure I have only heard this once before (I cannot
recall when or where; I miss Michael Feuerstein, my main Dylanista, so
much in the three+ years since he has been gone, but this is one of those
moments. I could have called him up, and in 10 seconds he would have been
able to tell me when it was [even if it had been a concert he hadn’t
attended.. sigh]), but it is one of those songs that has resonated with me
since I first heard it as a sophomore in college. Those readers who know
me in my work-life know that I often use BD lyrics as the start of the
title of law review articles I write. I had drawn on Chimes four times in
the past, and, on Wednesday (the day of the concert), I finished a
*fifth*article with a Chimes lyric (“ *Striking for the Guardians and
Protectors of the Mind”)*, a piece about guardianship law and the
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Timing is
everything. Wednesday’s rendition was nothing like any version I have on
bootleg or studio recording. Totally different arrangement with new
emphasis on some of the phrases that I had never heard him stress before
(“striking for the kind”; “tolling for the tongues”). It was magnificent.
Magisterial. Awe-inspiring.

7.  Levee’s Gonna Break. A bit of a letdown after Chimes (what
wouldn’t have been), but still a searing, uptempo version (with a
decidedly jazz-like solo from Bob on piano). We saw the world’s premiere
of this at the Thanksgiving show in Philly in 06 so this was a nice
holiday-spirit bookend to that. Certainly a much better choice than the
always-feared Tweedle Dum… Here, tho, the ensemble work of the band really
shone through (and it continued to do so for the rest of the evening).

8.  Visions. Another long piano intro. And then: “Ain’t it just like
the night.” I exploded. So many around me exploded. I have only heard this
once before (the 11/99 Meadowlands show, perhaps the best set list of any
BD show I have seen since 1965), and had almost given up on ever hearing
it again, til I noticed it on multiple set lists of this tour. Tho he
repeated the “him insane” line (hey, he’s entitled…), it was a magnificent
rendition (he wrote this when he was 25? How can that *be*?) of one of his
truly greatest songs. The band was, again, as one: focused, driving,
fulfilling. The “jewels and binoculars” verse was particularly brilliant.
Yowza…

9.  Highway 61. I wrote two years ago about the jaw-dropping
performance I saw of this in NYC at one of the Terminal 5 concerts in
11/10 (see http://boblinks.com/112310r.html#3), when Donnie’s pedal steel
blew and he, impromptu, picked up the violin and gave us a solo for the
ages. I decided at that point that nothing could ever match that moment.
So, when I heard the first chords of the song, I winced a bit, figuring it
couldn’t be topped. And perhaps it wasn’t. But this effort – a song I have
heard a gadzillion times going back to my college days in the 60s – was in
second place by just a teeny bit. An absolutely killer version, with
brilliant mallet drum work by George, and with a  focus on Tony (again,
dead stage center), sorta like the middle linebacker calling signals for
the defense. Just outstanding.

10.  Soon After Midnight. So, I had wondered. Will this one be another
surprise or nothing new? The first notes on the piano told us what was
coming. And those exquisite opening lines (“I’m searching for phrases/to
sing your praises”) gave me chills in person. Exquisite is the only word I
can conjure up. By the time the “fairy queen” verse came, I was (hey, I’m
a softy) wiping away some tears. Thank you, Bob.

11.  Thunder on the Mountain. So now, I figure, Act 2 is over, and Act 3
will be just what I expect (wrong, as I’ll get to in a minute). I’ve
mentioned a couple of times before (review of Asbury Park, 8/11; West Long
Branch, 11/10) how Bob’s solos sometimes channel Thelonious Monk’s use of
rests as a major musical device. I hadn’t noticed it Wednesday night until
this slot, and it jumped out at me. He increases the tension so much by
laying back, by making us aware of the “dead spaces.” Again, I’ve written
before about Bob-as-jazz-artist and this seemed to me to reflect that
perfectly.

12.  Forgetful Heart. Well, wasn’t I surprised! The version of this that
he did of this (at the West Long Branch show) remains one of the two
greatest single song performances I have seen Bob do in the modern era
(the other: I and I, NYC, 12/97). But this one was just as good. Stunning
stunning performance.

13.  Ballad of a Thin Man. And from here on, just what we expected. But
this song gets better and better and better every time. His raconteur
style as he tells the story engages all 19,000 in the building as if he
were speaking only to us individually. Always chilling. By the end of his
center-stage harp solo, he had moved to the stage-left of Tony (I had
never seen that before), and they actually almost appeared to be
physically connected, an excellent metaphor, I thought, for Tony’s role in
the band.

14.  LARS. How many times have I heard this? How many more times will I
hear this? As always, half way thru, I flash to my college dorm room in
65-66, my record player on the window ledge, blasting this out on the 45
RPM, for all of the Quad to hear. Bob, you make me feel so young…

15.  AATW. Inspired Charlie guitar solo (Bob may have muffed the first
verse, not sure), but at this point, I am just thinking, “Damn, is this
concert really almost over? Does it ever have to end? (whining, I know).
Sigh

16.  (encore). Blowin’. Long, long piano intro. Donnie on violin. 19,000
singing along. The perfect ending to an absolutely spectacular concert.



So, as I posted on my FB status update yesterday, I am thankful that Bob
is in my life. But more: I am thankful he is in all of our lives. I am
thankful he is in the world’s life. Even though I was so sad he didn’t
come back to do this as a 2d encore, he keeps me –- and all whom I love –
forever young. As always, Bob, thank you…

[TOP]

Review by Zenarrow



What an experience I had this summer all coming to a crescendo in the
Barclay Center in Brooklyn NY,  for a small Wyoming town boy traveling
to the big city. 

I make no excuses I come here for Dylan and nothing else.  To me 
Knopfler was a yawnfest. If I am not mistaken same setlist I saw from 
the 3 shows that he opened.  Same lame jokes and muttering. Although 
a fantastic band and guitar player, I just felt he could have mixed it up a 
little. That being said, it was my daughters first Dylan show and I am 
afraid it kinda put her to sleep. 

Having said my piece on that..... Tonights show was simply amazing.
Including the songs that Mark joined in on.

Seeing the first US date for 2012 in Missoula, traveling 9 hours to
Montana to see Dylan in an open field with a very  small venue and
audience. Small enough that no back drop of "The Eye".  Before Tempest
was released and before Knopfler joined the tour.   To watch the tour
blow up to the Denver shows and finally the east coast when he finally
incorporated Roman Kings and Soon After Midnight, in a large arena. A
very full effect of lighting (simple and perfect) A ghost of the eye
starting to appear about 5 songs in and after Levees Gonna Break and the
lights go down it is solid white in the back drop....  Perfect.  The
crowd was worked into a frenzy on many numbers, like a gathering of
demons dancing and  paying homage to the Chief Commander. I won't 
go into break downs of each song. 

I have to say that these shows have the way of making them seem very
personal and individualized.  Not an extra word was spoke to the audience,
after each song the lights went down and when the next song started the
lights were altered to that particular number.  

Now a word on the arena it's self, through out the tour this year the
security was the absolute coolest tonight. The crowd seemed to be in the
moment and not really wanting to capture snap shots that they may look at
1 or 2 more times.  Everyone enjoyed the show. 

We were seated next to a very nice couple from Norway, very cool people
indeed.  Behind us was a local who I summoned the courage up to ask for a
party favor and they happily engaged me as I was unable to bring a
cigarette from Wyoming. All in all as far as what people may say of Dylan
he is not fading away and this show proved that he is once again at the
top of his game.  What a huge circle for him to make in his career to come
back around and be on top once again.  

I hope he continues to tour and more people are exposed to what a gift 
he truly is.  What a shame for any rock n roll fan not to see him at this
point. 

Simply amazing. 
Zenarrow

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Review by Oscar Montes



How would I call this tour? 
The cold tour? I’m not used to this weather in Canada ad USA and hardly 
used the appropriate clothes so I was freezing most of the time, my 
bones ached. 

The lost flight tour?  Just like in back in 1999, yesterday night I
lost my flight to Mexico City from Houston and I’m writing this review
from a plane which departed today Nov 26 from this City to Guadalajara,
and from Guadalajara to Mexico City.


The joint tour? Just after the Brooklyn show my girlfriend Johanna arrived 
to La Guardia Airport, as soon as Bob finished with “Blowin’ in the wind “, 
I said “See you soon” to my new friend Tim Price and looked for a taxi 
outside the venue! After about 15-20 min I got one! Johanna was already 
waiting for me and we went straight to Times Square to see this “brilliant” 
place, took some pics had dinner and took the subway to the Harlem 
where our “Angel” Lisa Braff had offered us her place to stay for two days.

About the Brooklyn show, all I have to say is that Bobby played an extra 
song “Forgetful heart” between “Thunder” and “Thin man”. And that’s it. 
Going upstairs to exit the venue I heard some people saying they 
expected something with Dylan and Knopfler together.

So good to meet Maria D’Alessandro from Australia on the Washington 
show.  Also nice to meet Mike Sutton, Janice O'Hara, Karen D. Moulton, 
Barbara Pagliocca and Teree Olsen. Great to see again Tzippi Braff, Roberto 
Bergadano, Jay Powers, Randy Mason, Jayne Watson, Ross Robinson, 
Susan Shea Tomas, Denise, Susan & Al, Ed, and my friends from 
The Netherlands Gert, Lenno & John.

Especially superb to see again my lovely friend Vera from China and 
my cool Dylan sister Sue from Ottawa.

Travel with Tim was great! Thank you Tim! Also thanks to Hank for the 
ride from Boston to Philly, there are always some funny things you always 
remember of these tours, on our way from Boston to Philly we went to 
NJ to pick up a Hank’s friend called Jonathan and almost getting to Philly 
I really needed a restroom and we had to stop in Chinese restaurant but 
no one was there, also tried in a mini super but they said they don’t have 
restrooms, so we finally went to a bar and bought a six of beers and used 
their facilitates!

Well, maybe we all see each other on the road soon!

Oscar Montes
forever_young74@hotmail.com

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