Holmdel, New Jersey
PNC Bank Arts Center
August 9, 2003

[Willy Gissen], [Peter Stone Brown], [Brian J. Slattery], [Cary Krosinsky],
[G V Hamilton], [Tom Ostoyich], [Jason Polanski], [Jon Smith]

Review by Willy Gissen

Well, I'm looking forward to another block of Dylan concerts this summer,
similar to November 1992 when I traveled up and down the East Coast for
eight concerts in thirteen days. I used to go on only one Dylan concert
per tour to convince myself that I wasn't a groupie, but I have long since
given up any hope of maintaining that pretense. My last Dylan adventure
was his concert at Atlantic City, his only northeast event (in range of
New York City) on that leg of his never-ending tour. That was fun because
Dylan is great in a small setting, only 2,500 seats in the Hilton Hotel
casino-theater. But any Dylan concert is an adventure, and I'm set for a
whole bunch of them this time, seven concerts in nine days. Tonight and
tomorrow night are in the PNC Bank Arts Center with Tom Petty; then Dylan
plays another small setting, the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, on
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Bushkill, Pennsylvania is on Saturday,
Aug 16, and Wallingford, CT on Aug. 17.

As noted, any Dylan concert is an adventure. I had never been to the PNC
Bank Arts Center before, though I have often heard it mentioned on the
radio. There are 7,500 seats surrounded by what appears to be a small
grassy knoll, which I found out actually fits 10,000 general admission for
a total 17,500 attendance. And tonight's concert was totally sold out,
which always makes it more exciting. For the most part, the seats were
covered by a round modern looking roof /shelter, and with a drizzling rain
on and off, it was a good thing.

The only thing I don't like about Dylan co-starring with another rock
legend is that Dylan's fans always seem to be outnumbered. I arrived at
the event early, parked in lot 3 as directed, and then had to walk what
seemed like a mile on a walkway to get to the arena. There were lots of
people in the main lots, camped out ahead of time, but as I walked down
the rows, all I heard were Tom Petty songs. I walked past proudly with my
Dylan t-shirt and then decided to go back to my car, because when it
wasn't raining, it was muggy and humid. I sat in my air-conditioned
vehicle and passed the time reading the newspaper rather than socialize
with the Petty-ites.

The classic rock radio station sponsoring the concert warned that there
was no opening act, and Dylan would be starting on time at 7:30 PM. The
gates opened at six, but I decided to stay in my car until 6:30 PM. Since
the signs to PNC warned that no umbrellas were permitted (and I didn't
know at that time about the roof covering the seats), I reluctantly left
mine in the car and hiked back again to the main gate.

Enough with the background. The highlight of any Dylan adventure is always
the concert itself. Dylan started "on time" at 7:50 PM with a great
version of the infrequently played "Silvio." 

As usual, there were several improvements in the act from the previous
tour. My most favorable reaction was that while Dylan is constantly
re-interpreting his material and setting the old lyrics to new melodies,
often the choice of those melodies seems arbitrary. Not tonight. There was
an excellent version of "Can't Wait" from the Time Out of Mind album in
which the music was played with a repeating tension that always seemed
about to explode, just like someone who is on the verge of not being able
to wait any long. "It Ain't Me, Babe" was also re-interpreted, but again
not arbitrarily. The way Dylan sang it was softly and sad; instead of
being a song of defiance as it is on the album, it became lugubrious and

We were also treated to the long Dylan ballad, "Joey." The last time I
heard Dylan play "Joey" was a long time ago with the Grateful Dead in the
Meadowlands when it was sang in a rushed and listless manner. Tonight was
much better, and the refrain, "Joey, why did they have to blow you away,"
was at once plaintive and piercing. The Dylan half of the concert ended
with duets with Tom Petty on "Rainy Day Women" and finally "All Along the

Again, Dylan is continuing to improve on the keyboards. "Summer Days,"
Dylan's now traditional end to his main set, is better than the last tour.
You can hear Dylan playing individual melodies instead of just pounding at
the keyboards in rhythm. Plus Dylan has also mastered the knack of playing
his harmonica and the keyboards simultaneously. The last tour Dylan would
stop playing the keyboards entirely when using the harmonica.

I must admit that I left the concert after the Dylan set. I had an hour
and a half drive home, and I've heard Tom Petty play with Dylan before in
Madison Square Garden. I'll listen to Tom Petty tomorrow night, because
tomorrow Petty will warm up for Dylan instead of the other way around.
There were a few other kindred souls who also left when I did. #  #  #

Willy Gissen


Review by Peter Stone Brown

Now the last time I saw Bob at the PNC Bank Arts Center, it wasn't the PNC
Bank Arts Center, it was simply the New Jersey Arts Center and was a bit
more mellow than it is now and a lot less corporate, but such is life in
America.  Back in '91 we got treated to one of the infamous versions of
"New Morning."   Tonight was a bit more focused.

Dylan opened with "Silvio," which by some point in the mid-'90s I'd hoped
never to have to hear live again, but it wasn't bad at all and worked as
an opener in getting things off to a pretty rocking start.  Both Larry
Campbell and Freddie Koella took good solos and while the song didn't
quite reach the psychedelic heights of the mid-'90s versions with John
Jackson (probably his shining moment) it worked.

This was followed by a not bad at all "If You See Her Say Hello" that
wasn't quite as fast as the versions from a decade ago where it almost had
a Creedence Clearwater tempo, but not quite as slow as the album.  It was
hard to tell whether Dylan was making up half the verses as he went along,
but he had little for every verse and when he sang an actual line from the
original lyrics such as the "Sundown Yellow moon, I still replay the past"
it was more of a surprise than the new words.  Dylan also did two pretty
good harp solos, the second reaching some wild proportions.

On Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Dylan sang in this low guttural Tom
Waits-ish register sometimes going high into what sounded like his sort of
regular voice.  It was fairly strange, and he didn't really hit the groove
until midway through the song.  Because he would work his way out of it,
it was sometimes hard to tell if this was yet another new style of singing
which perhaps he hasn't mastered yet or if there is some kind of serious
voice/throat problem happening.  

Next came "Joey" which was pretty much a surprise since Dylan seems to
reserve this song for some bizarre reason for Deadheads.  Anyway for what
it's worth, he nailed it.  It was easily one of the highlights of the
night.  I really don't notice what verses he doesn't do while a show is
happening and while he didn't do all of them, he did sing the verses in
order and delivered one lengthy, quite good harp solo while the guitars
rocked hard behind him at times almost sounding like Rolling Thunder.

"Highway 61" was pretty strong but was accompanied by a couple who thought
they were on American Bandstand, even though everyone in the entire
section was sitting down.  But these assholes could have given a shit if
they were blocking anyone's view, and were not just dancing but dancing in
a manner that only said look at me.  Now asides from the fact that there
really isn't all that much room to dance in a row of seats, if they really
went to the show to dance there was a whole big lawn to dance on, since
the whole time they were dancing they didn't look at the stage once.

Chord-wise, the next song could have been "You're A Big Girl Now," but it
turned into the newly re-arranged "It Ain't Me Babe," though slower than
the other version I heard from this current tour.  It was good, but
nowhere as strong as the versions from last year's fall tour, but it might
be the leader in the song with the most arrangements in Dylan's catalog
with the possible exception of "Maggie's Farm."

Next came "Hard Rain" with an exaggerated vocal similar to the one from
New Orleans earlier this year, though not quite as outrageous as that
version.  The song was going along strong but somewhere in the middle some
Petty arrivals appeared in the next aisle trying to figure out which seats
were their's and discussed it for at least an entire verse as which point
the usually mild-mannered RMD-er of some repute exploded and I was praying
the pieces wouldn't fall on me.  The guy behind us testing out his new
cell phone didn't help either, along with the running commentary on
everything but the show that went on next to the new cell phone guy.  So
much for "Hard Rain" and I spent the beginning of "Drifter's Escape"
trying to figure out whether a verse got left out of "Hard Rain or not. 
However, "Drifter's" was intense with Dylan pretty much leaving whatever
Tom Waits aspirations he had at the beginning of the show behind.

Next came the show's spookiest moment, "Can't Wait" in a slow spooky
version, with Dylan's keyboard standing out and a vocal that was damn
close to the album version in voice and feel, even though the song was
much slower.

Dylan ended the show with three rockers, "Watching The River Flow,"
"Honest With Me" and "Summer Days."  Dylan, dressed in a black sparkling
western suit stood on stage for about a second of what was once known as
the formation and then walked off.  There was a pretty long wait for the
encore, but when the they returned they were joined by Tom Petty, Mike
Campbell and Benmont Tench for "Rainy Day Women," and then a fairly
scorching "Watchtower" with Campbell playing some spectacular guitar.

It was a good show, with a couple of great moments.  The atmosphere at the
PNC Bank Arts Center..  well, there isn't any atmosphere.

Peter Stone Brown

"I'm having a hard time believin' some people were ever alive" -Bob Dylan


Review by Brian J. Slattery

It's 4:20 a.m., so I think I will make this a short review, and for me
not to write multiple pages on a Dylan performance will prove a daunting
task.  Bob and the boys were on target tonight.  While there were a few
minor flubs here and there, Bob was energized throughout the show.  As for
the flubs, I would bet that anyone with such a canon of songs as Dylan (if
there could be another such as Dylan) is bound to get a few words mixed up
now and again.  And, from what I heard, the few flubs were minor at that. 
In many songs, especially "If You See Her, Say Hello," Bob deliberately
changed lyrics, making it hard for anyone to sing-along, allowing only for
the man himself to sing his songs - as it should be.

As for a full set-list, you can all easily find that by conveniently
clicking 'back' and hitting 'set list' so I won't give you a run-down of
each song.  I will say that it was great to see Bob and Tom play together
on RDW#12&35 and AATW.  Also, Bob's harp work tonight was great  - he
seemed really into it, blowing away on six of the fourteen songs.  There
were many new arrangements tonight as well.  Most notably for me was "It
Ain't Me, Babe," which, before the first line, had me thinking "You're A
Big Girl Now," or maybe even "I Threw It All Away."  However, it was "It
Ain't Me, Babe," and it was done almost flawlessly.  Another completely
new arrangement came a few songs earlier, with the much-maligned "Joey." 
While often the victim of much disdain, I've always thought it a decent
song, and tonight, with a faster, more powerful arrangement, I thought it
was great.  I thought Bob dropped a couple stanzas, but would have to hear
a tape to tell for sure.  Even if he did, he made up for it and then some
with a killer harp solo in the middle of the song.  There was real power
behind Bob's delivery on this one especially.
I would say that this was one of the major highlights of the night for
me, but I don't like to pick out any one song or moment from a Dylan show.
If I tried, I would be writing for a long time.  I will reiterate that it
was great to see Bob and Petty together again.  Could these shows plant
the seeds for an extended Dylan/Petty tour next year?  I would be glad if
the answer was yes.  What about you?

Well, now it's 4:40 a.m., so I really think it's time for me to quit. 
We will meet again I believe - with the 3 Hammerstein shows this week, I'll
no doubt have more to say.  I would like to go tomorrow, but don't know if
that will be happening.  But, if anyone has a free ticket, just let me
know.  I saw a guy tonight with a sign asking 'Please give me a free
ticket.'  If it works, hey, I won't complain.

Anyway, if you have any questions or comments about my review, or just
want to talk "Bob," drop me a line at

Brian J. Slattery


Review by Cary Krosinsky

Very good show at Holmdel, NJ on Saturday August 9.  Bob’s on a big roll
these days.  More about this in a moment or two.  First, a few key facts
about the PNC Arts Center and the crowd it attracted for this show.  

First of all, last night’s show was a complete sellout, and most of the
parking lots were full when I arrived at 6PM with much festive, relaxed
tailgating going on – nice scene.  As a result, many people who arrived at
the more normal time of say 7PM had no place to park, and as a result,
missed most of Bob’s set.  It was imperative to arrive early, and with
Sunday NJ beach traffic, and an almost sellout again, this will likely
reoccur tonight.

Second, and more important to the festivities, the crowd seemed evenly
split in thirds, between Bob fans, Petty supporters, and general public
just out for a show.

The result of this was that a) as Bob opened this show (thankfully he’s
closing the second show at Holmdel), the crowd was filing in throughout
the first 2/3 of his set, and b) crowd was appreciative, mostly,
especially with end of song applause, but noticeable sitting on hands, and
chatting during great renditions of songs, was distracting to say the

This is a show that will sound much better on tape than it did live, I’m

Fortunately, Bob ignored the crowd throughout and stayed ‘on message’ –
his voice sounds just great – he didn’t need any ‘warmup’ songs and was
playing with inflections successfully throughout.

With that as background, here’s a song by song account of Bob’s set.

After the now standard intro, band arrives and plows right into Silvio. 
They are right on it – it’s an infectious, try and stop me from dancing
version with nice jams.  Bob’s vocals are right there, band is plowing
away, but most of the crowd doesn’t get it.  Their loss.  Arena’s about
60% full at this point. Sounds is a bit muddy for this and the next song –
PNC’s rep of 'taking a few songs for sound to improve' coming to fruition.

The, it’s If You See Her, Say Hello, and a very nice version.  Again,
crowd largely doesn’t get it. Some real nice interplay at end with Bob
trading harp licks with the guitarists.

Tweedle Dee followed – nice, solid version.  

Then the opening few licks of Joey, which took me about 7 seconds to
figure out.  What a treat – crowd is largely clueless as Bob absolutely
nails this marvelous song – his vocals at song end are inspired - this is
the best version of Joey I’ve heard live or on tape.  Was this a tribute
to the land of the Sopranos?

Highway 61 was slightly redone and rocking, but it would be nearly
impossible to top the Atlantic City May 10 version, which this didn’t
nearly, but good nonetheless.

Then, the new, quiet, acoustic It Ain’t Me Babe.  Better in Costa Mesa,
but still quite good. And, as on the Costa Mesarecording making the
rounds, crowd decides, largely, that it’s chat time – very noticeable, and
loud chatter.  What must Bob be thinking. (perhaps chorus from Ballad of a
Thin Man come to mind…). 

Hard Rain is the new, scat/rap version – and he nails it.  Not quite the
NOLA version, but real good – and he continues to play with this version
successfully with new inflections and intonations.  Love to hear Bob
improvise on the spot like this.  Crowd, unfortunately, is not as carried
away by this as they should be.  Bob fortunately pays no heed.

They fly right into what sounds like Wicked Messenger – I’d swear it –
and, of course, Bob starts singing Drifter’s Escape – I wonder if they
play the exact same intro, and not until Bob sings do they actually go
into one song or the other.  They nail it – I love the recent versions of
this song – gives Freddy and Larry some room to rock out and they do. 
Again, not quite Atlantic City May 10, but very nice.

The next two songs are as good as I’ve heard versions of Can’t Wait and
Watching the River Flow.

Can’t Wait is quieter than normal and right on, picking up as vocal change
occurs late song.  Again, crowd is chatting (recall the NOLA recording
making the rounds).

Watching the River Flow seems to be a song which keeps improving over
time, and the jams are right on.

This momentum carries over into Honest With Me, easily the best version
I’ve seen or heard, with Bob successfully changing intonations in a new

After band intros, Summer Days has Tommy behind the stage chipping in, but
largely not a factor in the sound.  Nice version - Freddy’s starting to
step out a bit more on this.  For whatever reason, this is a song Freddy’s
taken a while to nail, as he has so many others – something tells me some
better versions of this are coming.  Likely to continue as the set closer
for some time to come, but would like to see Bob shake it up a bit – the
variety might help.

Bob and band returned with Tom Petty and 2 of the Heartbreakers and
without further ado, plowed right into Rainy Day Women.  This woke the
crowd up as the Petty heads, now had something to respond to.  A very nice
version it was too, as Tom and Bob harmonized throughout to good effect. 
Once was clearly not enough, and they finished with Watchtower – a good
version, but not as good as recent Bob only efforts.  Again, Tom and Bob
harmonized, and jams were nice, but the song felt a little held back. 
These 2 encores probably were better live – the visual interplay was
exciting and the crowd was more into it.

Bob did not participate in the ‘lineup’ after Summer Days, and also left
the stage abruptly after Watchtower.  Although I understand he’s being
doing that some lately, I think the crowd annoyed him – he didn’t even
introduce or thank Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Overall, a very nice show that will translate well onto tape.  Looking
forward to Bob closing the next show and the Hammerstein run – as he’ll
finally be the focus of attention.  

Cary Krosinsky


Review by G V Hamilton

As another kindred soul who left after Dylan's set, I sure was glad he
came out at 7:50, because what an adventure getting in!  While stopped in
line on the parkway, inching toward the atrociously-designed parking
set-up, we decided this was a time where rules would have to be broken if
we intended to see Dylan. Rather than be herded into a distant,
shuttle-bus-served lot, we busted a move under the highway past the waving
security folk; blew by a young smiling babe at the entrance to VIP;  and
drove right up to the last checkpoint girl who said, "it's $30 to park
here."  She also said something about calling a trooper as we waved
goodbye to her, too.  A couple of quick loops through the lot and we found
gold: a single spot just outside the auditorium.  Sprinting in, we heard
Bobby take the stage. Yup, the car was still there afterwards. 

While just about everything at PNC is unfriendly, from the crazy access
portals to the endless restroom and concession lines, once you are finally
inside the pavilion, it's pretty darn nice, with great sound.  The"inner
circle" is the place to be, amphitheater-style with seats rising from
stage-level, but where we were, right behind the soundboard, the sound is
still fine.  In fact I had to break out some cotton wads during the
extended epic rendition of Watchtower, on which our man was joined by Mike
Campbell and Petty.   

Been going since '78 but this is my first show with George and Freddie. 
All I can say is this band is cracklin'!!  I love David Kemper, but next
to this guy he was asleep.  It's a stroke of genius putting Bob stage-left
on keys and harmonica.  He'll play keys with one hand while blowing an
amazing harp solo with the other.  While I like his electric guitar
playing as much as the next guy, there are no mistakes now.  And an
incredible power that wasn't there before.  Delicate when necessary. 
Based on last night, I'd have to give the nod to this lineup over the
previous one with Charlie, though I liked him.  Koella can play.

Great song list: Joey, Drifter's Escape, Watching The River Flow, If You
See Her, Say Hello.  Joey is one of my favorite lyrics and it was a
more-than-passable version.  Mostly intelligible, and with the whole
Jersey/Sopranos thing, it was a perfect fit.  Differently arranged than
Desire or Dylan & The Dead.  

It burns me up when people on other websites whine about how he mumbles. 
"I couldn't understand a thing he was singing."  First of all you ought to
know the words to a song like Joey, and at times his singing can be
evocative and tender (Honest With Me) or STRONG and CLEAR (Tweedle Dee and
Tweedle Dum).  Besides, the real magic happens when the band is jamming
and Dylan's playing harp...He's good on piano too, noticeably on Summer
Days which was outstanding (with the addition of another guitar).

All the Petty people were in their seats by Rainy Day Woman, and a huge
eruption occurred when he took the stage with Campbell.  They contributed
mightily to an all-time great version, but to tell the truth, I was kind
of glad to be outta there and back into the city for a late dinner.  It's
not that I hate Petty but we figured, why wait 45 minutes for him to set
up?  If you are interested in seeing him tonight, get there extremely
early, or figure on at least an hour and a half for that last mile on the
highway and the parking maze.  I wouldn't advise what we did but, hey,
drastic measures were called for for Dylan, and he's been known to break a
few rules now and again, hasn't he? 

G V Hamilton


Review by Tom Ostoyich

Made the trek from NYC to NJ to see Dylan re-teamed up with Tom Petty—and
I do mean trek.  Normally I don’t dwell too much on the venues, but
whoever laid out the PNC Bank Arts Center created a logistical
nightmare—we got stuck in a massive and nerve-wracking traffic jam on the
way into a parking lot that seemed about a mile from the venue.  So
although we left early, we still got there late.  Once there, we were
needlessly hustled from gate to gate trying to enter—as Dylan’s set began
promptly—only to find our seats during "Silvio".  The sound system—like
all outdoor amphitheaters, it seems—was poor—very muddy and echoey and our
seats were right behind the soundboard.  Plus the usual, very vocal
assortment of drunken frat boys who apparently go to concerts to talk on
their cell phones to friends who couldn’t make the show.  So all this will
color what I have to say about Dylan’s performance, as I was crabby.  One
positive, though, about being slightly late:  we missed Dylan’s silly
intro about the "poet laureate of rock" etc.  Hey, it was cute the first
couple times, but it's been overused.

Dylan is still in Dead mode—"Silvio" has returned and a particularly
powerful "Joey".  His vocals were strong for most of the show and the band
still energizes the songs, including the warhorses (like "Highway 61" and
"Drifter’s Escape").  The outfit always plays the new songs well, with
purpose.  He especially sounds motivated and engaged with the newer songs,
both vocally and physically.  He leans into that keyboard, he
tiptoe-shuffles across the stage.  He's having fun.   And while Dylan
stuck to the keys for the whole set, he also featured the harmonica
several times tonight, all to great effect—in particularly  on "If You See
Her . . ." and "Joey".  The new, spookier arrangement of "Can’t Wait",
with pronounced descending bass riff, works really well.  I love when
Dylan pulls "Watching the River Flow" out of the songbook.  It was the
best "Summer Days" I’ve heard post-Charlie (perhaps the addition of the
guitar tech, standing unnoticed in the shadows, beefs up the sound a bit
more).  And Koella seems more comfortable in the group—I like the tone he
gets on the guitar—it cuts through the mix well.  But Larry still seems to
be the glue, the bandleader.

Perhaps it was the sound system, or just the lack of intimacy, but I don’t
like the new arrangement of "It Ain’t Me, Babe"—there’s no arc, no drama
here and the band seemed to be lifeless until the end, when Larry and
Freddie engaged in nice acoustic interplay.  But it drags.  While Dylan
sang very confidently on "Hard Rain", it never soared to life as it did in
New Orleans in April (find the tape).  Back then, the song took life like
I haven’t heard it in years, Dylan’s vocal was energized,
surprising—discovering something fresh with all his staccato singing—the
whole performance seemed like the band encountering a new song or at
least, something new in the song and it disarmed me.  Last night, they
played it, Dylan tried the staccato singing but abandoned it early and the
song lacked shape & drama (the band or Dylan seemed to make a few mistakes

The encores were ramshackle fun, but no more—it looks good on paper, but
Petty, Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench all hopping onstage was just goofy.
 The best aspect is that as the band whipped into "RDW" Dylan, Petty and
Campbell marched in single file out onto the stage to assume their
positions.  One thing the intervening 15 years have probably taught Petty
is that it’s impossible to harmonize with Dylan these days;  rather than
trade off verses during "Rainy Day Women" and "Watchtower" they both just
bellowed, Petty trailing Dylan so that the whole thing sounded like the
mic was just being echoed.

Petty played a solid, professional set—every song a hit, as it were.  He
even took a stab at "Handle With Care" dedicating it to Wilburys near and
far, but Dylan never appeared.  Outside it poured (this being monsoon
season in the metropolitan area) throughout Petty’s set and the entire way
out of the venue.  Everyone was soaked (and most muddied) for the drive

Tom Ostoyich


Review by Jason Polanski

Between the show and this review I happened to see two things. 

1)      A link of “Expecting Rain” to a Petty website discussion about Bob.
2)      The film Masked & Anonymous in NYC.

Between the windows of the sea where lovely mermaids flow, no one has to
think too much about Desolation Row!

Bob opened for Tom Petty in New Jersey. He not only performed a great set,
but showed the contrast of performing style and art that separates him
from Tom Petty. They may both be former Wilbury brothers. They may both
have been influenced by the Byrds. 

I understand why those Petty fans may not have “gotten” the music. They
appreciated it, but when Bob plays, there is no sing along. There is no
“greatest hits” set and even when he does play a “hit”, it’s a far cry
from the original. Dylan was LOOSE. Petty was TIGHT.

Dylan was so loose, he weaved back and forth at the piano. He ATTACKED the
piano. When he left the piano, it was to dance with the band. We danced
with Dylan. That scene from the movie where the band erupts into Cold
Irons Bound just as the prison bars are torn town and mass rebellion frees
it’s own people. 

That is what is happening during the performance. 

By the way, Holmdel has a terrible traffic problem and we didn’t get in
until JOEY. What I did see was a solid set. 

A HARD RAINS A GONNA FALL   was an interesting and perhaps unintentional
prediction was what was to come. A rain drenched closing set by Petty.
Watching people fall in the mud. Dylan stabbed at the lines. It wasn’t the
soft acoustic version. It was closer to the spirit of the “Hard Rain”

WATCHING THE RIVER FLOW rocked. Maybe stronger than the Worcester
Palladium version I saw last year. The instrumental break in the middle
gave Freddie a chance to solo. Then the harp from Bob. And the piano is
amazing. Really working the blues.

CAN’T WAIT was a good surprise. It was so slow and deep. Dylan led the
song with some piano riff that seemed like weird psychedelic rockabilly.
So much emotion.

The ENCORE featured the “hits” that the Tom Petty crowd loved. Even Mr.
Petty himself came out. This did not sound like the Wilburies though. It
did not sound like Temple In Flames either. It was just fun.              

Jason Polanski


Review by Jon Smith

been seeing dylan for 10 years now, 50+ shows all
great, each topping the next ... until this one.  a
few elements really turned me off:  the horrible
layout of the place and it's parking situation.  the
crowd was not really into it and most seemed to be
there more for petty, i.e. they were not really
respecting the fact that there was genius bob on stage
performing for us and they were more into just getting
loaded and being morons.  thirdly, after traveling 3+
hours for the show and shelling out $80+ for each
ticket, security comes by and says there is no dancing
allowed in my section.  no joke, i do not make this
up.  i refused a few times, but then i just sat to get
them out of my face.  some drunk petty fan even
threated me if i did not take a seat ... he ran away,
literally, after i stood up and approached him. 
pretty weak if you ask me; if you can't take it than
don't dish it out.  as for the music, my take was that
it was just OK, "can't wait" being the highlight by
far. the encore was just fluff with the needless
addition of petty and some of his staff.  songs like
"joey" and "it ain't me babe" lacked any kinda punch
at all.  bob did not seem into it - maybe he felt
slighted having to open up for the likes of petty and
his lowly crowd?  i don't know.  i can only hope that
the second night in holmdel was better.  won't see me
there again after this night.  i love you, bob, but
holmdel is out of favor for me after this experience. 
i was dancing a'plenty at the dead show the next night
in LI:  nice crowd, easy parking, great weather, no
petty fans.  just wish dylan was there to partake in
the celebration instead of just going through the
motions as he did on 8.9.03.


page by Bill Pagel

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