page by Bill Pagel
Review by Adam Dean
What a difference a day makes! After suffering through a rather
indifferent show in Ft Lauderdale the previous evening, we were treated to
a rather electrifying and musically excellent performance in Tampa. Maybe
it was Dylan being around Robert Hunter, but The Man was very animated and
really played his heart out for the Tampa crowd. Dylan and The Dead have
been friends for a long time and it took a scant 24 hours for Bob to
realize where he was, and will be for the next 10 days. The sound,
terrible and muddy in Ft. Lauderdale, was crisp and clear in Tampa. Dylan
may have suspected his encore-less set the previous night had left a
rather sour taste in many fan's mouths, and he was a man on a mission in
Opening with Silvio (a Robert Hunter composition), the band tore right
into the set with a passion I had not seen in a while. This was followed
by an awesome If You See Her, Say Hello, which really took me back to the
70's, beautiful pedal steel by Larry. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum was very
Robert Hunter joined Bob and the band for the next old chestnut, You Ain't
Goin' Nowhere. Hunter is a rather reclusive performer and he really tried
to hide behind George, but Dylan kept calling him to stage-front. The song
was lovely but Hunter seemingly fled the stage when it was over.
Highway 61 Revisited was rockin' as it usually does, with Bob spitting out
the lyrics. The next number, Saving Grace, is not that well known, but was
received rather well by the crowd, most of whom had no idea what the song
was. Then it was back to rockin' out, which The Wicked Messenger certainly
More Robert Hunter participation on Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll
Go Mine), rearranged from previous tours. Honest With Me was very good,
and then Hunter again joined on the set-closer Summer Days. Bob was
particularly animated on this song, walking all over and "leading" Hunter
through the chord changes and motioning him when to stop for vocals.
This evening, the crowd was treated to an encore, the very appropriate
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 , considering the smell wafting through the
arena, as the Dead Heads got ready for the main event.
I counted Dylan playing harp on (at least) six songs in the set,
including some awesome solos. He is sounding pretty good for a man in his
Dylan's set with The Dead was also very, very good - Friend Of The
Devil, Serve Somebody, and FINALLY a performance of Like A Rolling Stone
together (which they did not do on the Phil Lesh & Friends tour several
This is a tour which is sure to produce more new material being played by
Bob, instead of the "same old, same old" very night as he has pretty much
been doing. I would not be surprised to see Bob Weir or Phil Lesh join
the band for a song.
Review by Tampa Steve
FYI, the Dylan segment tonite was pretty cookin', even though little of the
crowd had found their way into the arena (it was 6:05 after all) with lotsa
odd song selections and mosta them under-rehearsed as one might guess. Bob
sang like a champ I would say, especially on the unexpected ones like You
Ain't Goin' Nowhere and If You See Her Say Hello and Saving Grace(!) and
Most Likely You Go Your Way(!!) and he blew the harp lots but brandished it
to the band beforehand as if to say I'm going to play this NOW and he played
absolutely zero guitar but he let his roadie play some (this should be noted
- he was playing Dylan's own guitars on several songs) and he pounded the
electric piano keys audibly sometimes and he danced a bit like a marionette
and he wore a taco-shaped hat while hogging the stage near the beginning of
the Dead's set when he didn't show up for the beginning of Friend of the
Devil but did show up after Weir sang the Beatles' Blackbird to segue back
into FOTD whence Dylan did finally show and sing that one then Serve Somebody
with Joan Osborne providing the needed gospel chorus things then Like a
Rolling Stone which nobody knew at all. Bob (D) looked like he wanted to hang
around for a while after that, but Bob (W) gently shooed him off the stage,
which made Dylan laugh as he left. Then the Dead took over and made me wish
they were younger and all that goes with that. There is a feeling I get that
until tonight I had no proper name for. It is that feeling when you think: I
wish I were around when (dot-dot-dot) whatever. Like nostalgia but you weren't
even there. Like when you wish you could have been in old movies when men said,
"She's a lousy dame, see?" Well, I ran into my old pal Dave Olive and his
newly re-acquainted friend Jan and she said that should be called NONSTALGIA.
So perfect. So, I asked her what about something that is NOT something. Like
all things that are not boxes, for example. In a moment, she said ANTICLUSIVE,
not as an adjective, but as a noun, like "the anticlusive of life is death."
Again, perfect, no? She has a knack, let me tell you. I guess they probably
thought I was tripping, but I was not at all. Then I caught some of Hunter's
weirdly off-kilter set and even stuck around for some of Dead Set 2, which
had all the spacy elements including Mickey Hart SINGING A SONG, then donning
a white lab coat and surgical mask while he played this odd instrument called
the Beam. It beamed out crazy sounds of all frequencies and shook the rafters
all the fuck up for a while until Phil Lesh came out and dribbled into Caution,
an old Pigpen song that Joan was required to sing. Man. She had it locked up
for a while there. I am not someone who would know her and her scene but they
needed her and she delivered the groove. At one point she held up her own hand
as she sang "mojo hand!" I have never seen one, but I picture a mojo hand as
being a smaller, more mummified hand. I ain't superstitious but if you want
to get me a present, don't get me that please. It is too creepy. When they
got to the part where they sang a sappy old Jerry tune, I split. Better to beat
those hippies back to the parking lot I always say. So, love to you and some
patchouli oils and nag champa too.
Review by Karen Mullins
Just got back from Tampa ...it was a great show! Highlights for me (main
show) were Silvio, Saving Grace, You Ain't Goin' Nowhere, Most Likely You
Go Your Way, and Rainy Day Women.
Honest With Me and Summer Days were both terrific, Larry and Freddie were
really rocking out on these two!
Bob tried something a little different with Highway 61, a slowing of tempo
near the middle of the song, a "stop, start" thing which IMO didn't really
work. It slowed the momentum of the song too much, just seemed like
everyone was not on the same page with this one.
Wicked Messenger was great, with Bob on harp. If You See Her, Say Hello
and Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum were good, nothing earth shattering though.
I didn't expect an encore, so was very happy when they came back out and
started in with Rainy Day Women!
Larry, Freddy, and especially Tony spent a LOT of time watching Bob, more
so than usual I thought. They didn't seem as "up" as they usually do,
although there were smiles exchanged between Larry and Freddy during
Honest With Me and Summer Days, and Tony was smiling quite a bit during
Bob's harp solo on Wicked Messenger. Bob did his usual "leading the band"
thing and was wandering around the stage a good bit.
Also, Bob had his guitar tech (Kevin?) play rhythm guitar on a few songs.
Bob stopped playing the piano, walked behind the equipment on his side of
the stage, brought the tech back with him, and handed him a guitar.I can't
remember which songs they were now though!
It was about an hour wait between Bob's set and The Dead. They had a nice
light show, their music (?) I can live without.
The Dead played 3 songs and then Bob came out, unannounced, and
sang/played piano on Friend of the Devil, Gotta Serve Somebody, and Like a
Rolling Stone. I thought I had died and gone to heaven when he started in
with Gotta Serve Somebody!
The Dead played these songs wonderfully, and Bob played strongly and sang
very well on all 3. He was definitely "into" it! The audience sang along
with LARS and cheered long and loud as Bob left the stage.
We played last year's Tampa and Sunrise shows on the way home, a fitting
way to end a great evening with Bob!
page by Bill Pagel
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