Toronto, Ontario

Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

July 15, 2013

[Steinar Daler], [Jennifer Cruickshank], [Ding Dong Danny], [Daniel Maoz], [KKZED]

Review by Steinar Daler

Before I give a review of the Toronto concert I will say a few words about
the other 3 concerts I attended before Toronto. I flew in to Chicago the
same day as the Peoria concert. I had a kind of low expectations because
Duke Robillard was no longer in the band. I saw him in three concerts in
the spring, and I really think he added something new and interesting to
the band. But, good old Charlie was back now and he for sure was different
and much more on than last fall. He did not looked bored anymore and
seemed to be in a good mood. Dylan too. Hatless and in good shape. All in
all the Peoria concert was very good and I have to give a nod to both the
very nice, friendly and relaxed security and the young and beautiful
audience who all seem to be in a good mood. Really nice to be there. I had
no time to look at the city, but it looked nice too. I have to add that
Wilco's so far only performance of "One Sunday Morning". my favorite
Wilco song, meant a lot to me. 

In Bridgeview the next day I was up at the rail for all four bands with
some other hard core fans. I liked Richard Thompson a lot, some of My
Morning Jacket's songs were great too, but some were boring. But Jim James
has a strong and good voice and had a very nice and friendly stage
presence. Wilco has been very good most of all the four concerts I have
seen and the interactions with both Richard Thompson on 3 songs every day
and one song with My Morning Jacket too (Isn't it a pity, and Cinnamon
Girl have been highlights of their shows. Bob's concert was one level up
from Peoria, not at least because of Charlie's guitar playing. The only
low point was the worst "Watchtower" I have ever heard. Bob fucked it up
as only he can do - but in some way memorabele moments like that adds
something to the show as well.  If you ever go to a show with any artist
in Bridgeview you should pop in to Pete's Krash, very close to the Toyota
Arena. You will never forget that very special bar and burger joint.    

At the day off between Bridgeview and Charlton, me and some friends stayed
over in a small lakeshore town called South Haven. Do the same if you ever
pass that way. A really nice place to spend a day off. 

I don't know why, but I had very good feelings before the concert in
Clarkston. A very solid and memorable concert. The confusion at the rail
this night was big when he started playing the song that a couple of
people knew was "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" A real beautiful
performance and a nice nod from Bob to the song's writer; Richard
Thompson. Everyone seemed to be very happy with this ccncert.

The concert in Toronto was close to being as good in my opinion. A couple
of my friends thought it was even better. The start of the concert with
"Things have changed", not at least "Love sick",  High Water" and "Soon
After Midnight" are very solid and on the three first ones where Bob is
center stage, he really shines. Early Roman Kings is also better now than
in the sping. I believe Charlie gives it a more steady blues rhythm.
Tangled Up In Blue was as almost always good, with some lyric changes
every night. I'm sorry for not being able to tell the changes but it
always adds something to that song. Duquesne Whistle was a bit slower
today than the other three nights I heard it. More like the album version.
That's a pity, because the other 3 nights that song in an upspeeded
version has been the highlight of the show not only for me but for a lot
of others too. I feel She Belongs To Me is a highlight to a lot of people
too. Beautiful, good singing and almost a kind of torch ballad. Beyond
here lies nothing is maybe the weakest point of the concert. It is missing
something from the spring tour version. I can't really say what. The
different tryouts on Bob's singing on different verses of Hard Rain from day
to day is something he really seems to like to do. I'm not so happy with
this, but sometimes it's funny. For all the people who would have liked to
sing along I think it is very frustrating.  Blind Willie McTell and Simple
Twist Of Fate have been solid all days, even if I miss Bob's guitar
playing as it was a year a go or more. His voice is also clear and
distinct on both of those songs. He is on! Summer Days is OK. but never
the same showstopper it was some years back. Then we were in for a really
nice surprise. "Twelve Gates To The City". An old Reverend Gary Davies
song that has been performed by a lot of Bob's old fiends like Pete
Seeger, Joan Baez and Judy Collins. Before Bob started the song he spoke
(YES, REALLY SAID SOME WORDS FROM STAGE) for the first time in many
months. He introduced Jim James from My Morning Jacket and Jeff Tweedy
from Wilco, and they both joined him for the song - and later on for the
final song Blowin' in the wind as well. Very nice moments, not at least
when Bob with his hand tried to get the audience to sing along on Twelve
Gates. And in fact a lot of people did and it worked well. A nice and rare
moment. A normal solid Watchtower was played between the two before
mentioned songs. A very nice concert. I have to fly back to Oslo, but in
about four months he's in Europe and I will see 10 of the concerts there. I
look forward to that. Bob's bells still rings! As always thanks to nice
memories to some of my fellow Bob fans too! 

As a very experienced ticket buyer on the internet I had managed to get in
to ticketmaster very early and got a first row ticket for the nomal price for
my very first concert in Canada. I was also told some romours before the
concert that the Canadian guitarist Colin Linden was stepping in for
Charlie.(I don't know if it is permanent, or just for the Toronto'
concert.) But, anyway I saw him and heard him, but I can't say more about
him other than I did not hear anything that was wrong, but it will of
course take time to fill Charlie's shoes if this is a permanent change,
The last concert I saw in the spring had Duke R. on solo guitar, the 3
first ones here had Charlie and in Toronto there was this Colin guy. 3
different solo guitarists in 5 shows. A kind of record, I believe. 

Steinar Daler        


Review by Jennifer Cruickshank

Last night's Bob Dylan concert in Toronto was my sixteenth time seeing
the man in as many years and I am only 36 years old.  I discovered Bob
Dylan's music as a teenager and haven't looked back.  I have never left
a Dylan concert disappointed.  Like anyone who has followed his career,
I arrive at his shows fully aware of what he sounds like.  Anyone who
has heard any of his albums since the 1990s should also know.  Some
shows have been better than others but there are many things that factor
into that: the band, the crowd, the weather, etc.  For me, the voice has
never been a reason.  And that goes for any musician.  It's about the
music, the songs, the pure genius.  Last nights show was great.  I
didn't get there early enough to catch the Richard Thompson Trio but My
Morning Jacket and Wilco both put on good shows.  As for Bob, he really
seemed to be in great spirits, dancing around, giving it his all, even
inviting the crowd to join in on a chorus of his cover of, "Twelve Gates
to the City", something I've never seen him do.  When I woke up this
morning to the reviews, the Toronto Star ( reported that,
"Bob Dylan Clears Crowd at Americanarama."  I didn't see anybody leave. 
Not around me anyway.  The papers said the same thing back in November,
2012, at the Air Canada Centre and, from my tenth row seat, I didn't see
anybody leave that night either.  I just don't understand why people
come to concerts only to complain about it or leave early.  It's no
different than fans booing Bob back in 1966 because he was accompanied
by a band.  He had already released Highway 61 Revisited, they knew what
he was doing.  I would never expect anyone to sound the same as they did
40 or 50 years earlier.  I would also never expect any live show to
sound like an album, nor would I want it to.  If that's what you want to
hear, as much as I would like everyone to experience Dylan live, stay
home and listen to the record again.  It just diminishes the fun for
everybody else.  Last night, some people in the crowd were yelling at
people up front to sit down.  I understand that people want to be able
to see the show but I can't stand sitting through a rock concert.  It's
an hour and a half, people.  If able, stand up!  Enjoy yourselves.  Be a
part of it.  It's not Shakespeare. It's a party! I am just so grateful
that Bob Dylan is still here and he is still touring, especially amid
the negative reviews.  I respect that it is not for everyone, and I
admit that I have felt a little disappointed when I have taken friends
and family members along to his shows and they have failed to have a
religious experience (ha ha).  The bottom line is, if you are not crazy
about Bob Dylan or his songs, you probably won't enjoy him live, but if
you're a true fan of music, as I am, you will have a fantastic time.  I
have been to countless concerts:  the Stones, Beck, Smokey Robinson, the
Wallflowers, the Everly Brothers, Nine Inch Nails, Randy Travis, Van
Morrison, Carole King, Paul Anka...the list goes on.  I took my niece to
see Justin Bieber and I have never, and will never, walk out of a
concert. I will continue to see Bob Dylan as long as he shows up and I
will enjoy every minute of it.  I would pay to listen to that man read
the phone book just to be in the same room as him.  I consider it an
honour and a privilege and I want to thank the man sincerely for sharing
his life with us.  We shouldn't expect more than that.

Jennifer Cruickshank


Comments by Ding Dong Danny

Up at 5:00am for six and half hour drive to Toronto for the Dylan show.
From Manitoulin Island to Toronto in excruciating heat. Needless to say a
little delirious by the time we arrived. Met my brother then picked up my
daughter and we headed for the amphitheater. I'd like to talk about the
kind of people that go to a Bob Dylan show. When we arrived we had to buy
a parking ticket and then decided to get our show tickets at the willcall
window. Call it heat or ding dong danny left the car door wide open.
Phones, cameras, etc. could have easily been stolen at that time. On our
return to our car a guy approached us and let us know we had left the car
door wide open and he had closed it for us. Don't know the man but thank
god he was a bob dylan fan. Shortly after this we met up with our buddies
KK, Mike, Dino and Barry who had arrived at 230pm and were waiting to get
in. Heat was even more unbearable at this time and a frosty container
filled with their favourite beverage was desired. We saw the line finally
being allowed to move in and decided to follow. Ding dong Danny once again
left the binoculars and his sunglasses sitting on the grass. Some people
in the area spotted them and picked them up. They then approached security
and asked them to try to find us. Luckily the paperless ticket system was
not functioning so security found KK, Mike, and Barry and asked them to
come and get the binoculars and sunglasses. By this time Ding dong Danny
had pretty well written off the stuff.  Wow, gotta say thanks again to
these fine people. Almost enough to restore my faith in humanity. All
shows, all bands top notch. Colin Linden was a great replacement for
Charlie. Bob should consider bringing him on board. Gotta say thanks again
for kind of people that go to a Bob Dylan show. Ding Dong Danny


Review by Daniel Maoz

Is it possible that last night's concert was the best Dylan concert I have
ever been to? All the way home I mulled this question. No ... his 60s
concerts - show piecing classics from Freewheelin', Blonde on Blonde,
Highway 61 Revisited, Another Side - remain unparalleled. But then again,
the novelty of the 70s and the homespun honesty that produced the likes of
John Wesley Harding, New Morning, Nashville Skyline, Basement Tapes, Blood
on the Tracks (just the tip of the iceberg for his creative production in
that decade) remains unmatched. I missed the 80s (though I filled them in
by wearing out more than one Infidels vinyl) so I have to skip to the 90s
where that decade began with earth-engrained gems from the now nearly
impossible to find World Gone Wrong and Good As I Been To You albums and
ended with an unthinkable Love and Theft collection that gave us concerts
with songs that completely reinvigorated even the zombie in me. Or what
about the first decade of the new millennium in which he gave us a new
look at life (Modern Times, Together Through Life) - concerts that were
musical workshops containing rearrangements, reinventions, and recrafting
of an entire corpus of his unparalleled masterpieces. Just when you think
he should maybe hang it all up (after all, he did celebrate his three
score and ten), we are once again jarred into realizing that life is to be
taken by the anatomy and lived to the fullest - as Dylan ably demonstrated
to an appreciative grassy audience again last night. From "Things Have
Changed" with a swing tempo that would weave its way through the next
several songs to the familiar arrangements of "Watchtower" and "Blowin' in
the Wind" that brought the evening to an end, the spirit of the water and
darkness on the face of the deep cast a memorable spell on me and on those
within my range of sight and sound. Inhaling deeply at the beginning, I
did not want to exhale until well after the crowd thinned out. I wanted it
to go on forever - and for a while it actually seemed like it would, to
the point that the first words of "Watchtower" took on new meaning from a
timeless and spaceless perspective - "there must be some way out of
here.." Unfortunately, there was. And so, as I drove back to my Cambridge
bungalow, I was left to conclude the incomparable nature of Dylan concerts
- they each and all connect us with a spark of eternity, they all and
every hold us strongly to the earth.

[Another Side of Bob Dylan's Toronto concert: 

Last night was the beginning of Tisha B'Av, the commencement of the most
solemn day of lament for Jews. It commemorates the destruction of Temple
and Tradition in days gone by - encapsulating a history of tragedy from
Moses to the Spanish Inquisition - and it is programmed to elicit sober
reflection on these events until a day of restoration. The stage for
Dylan's concert was framed by two columns of fire, reminiscent both of the
pillars of fire that guided Moses through the wilderness to a hopeful and
promised future as well as of the burning embers of the ruined Temple. The
bass drum in the centre of the stage also had flames seemingly burning
within its skins (burning but not consuming the drum, hmmm). On the drive
to the concert, I questioned my motive for attending a Dylan concert on
Tisha B'Av, an earnest day of fasting. Somewhere during the end of the
evening, the flames constantly reminding me of the gravity of
unforgettable history, I found my peace. Just before his predictable
end-song and encore, Dylan had invited what he called "my new friends"
(Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco) to join him in
his rendition of the traditional "Twelve Gates to the City" - whose lyrics
and chorus brought to an end my ill-founded consternation and helped me
realize that the answer to darkness is not struggling against it but
merely turning on the light.

"And there's no more crying in the city
No more death or pain
Everything's made new, it's the gospel truth
The old things are passed away

Oh, what a beautiful city
Oh, what a beautiful city
God knows, it's a beautiful city
Twelve gates to the city, hallelu."

Daniel Maoz
Cambridge, ON


Review by KKZED

It started Sunday night with a bit of jamming in KK's garage. Mike drove down 
from Lonely Island and we were playing Bobby with Norton blowing harp. 
Decided to leave earlier to beat the rush hour traffic and got to the venue 
(Barry too...but Pinner bailed at the last minute) very early 2:30. Cooler by the 
lake and hung under a tree getting tuned up and waiting for Ding Dong Danny 
and family. Funny how nothing was open other than the hot dog stand (what 
happened to the days of making money?) but we had a good time reminiscing 
about past concerts, trials and tribulations. DDD and family arrived looking a little 
weary from the long ride from Manitoulin. Gates open sharply at 5:30 and after 
a bit of technical difficulties, finally grabbed that cold Heiny and sat down to 
listen to RT trio...great guitar player. Wilco was terrific and rather enjoyed them 
particularly the Neil which point I went up to the lawns to visit with 
DDD and family and get in tune. Bobby was in great spirit and form but who is 
that guy on lead...sure looks like Colin Lynden...people trying to tell me it is 
Charlie with a beard (and a little weight...hmmmm). Terrific opening songs...just
loved the first four and best version of BLIND usual concert over way 
to quickly. Interesting gal from Montreal sitting beside me (Evette with the pink 
corvette...apparently she turned Bob down for a drink back in 1980 and now 
buys him slippers as an apology...liked your company Evette and thanks for the 
stories and the kiss. Hope to see you again. Nice to see my dear old friends 
again....Thanks for crossing the border Bob and band and making our summer. 



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