Sedalia, Missouri
Missouri State Fair
August 11, 2001

[Michael Ziegler], [George Dugger], [Matt], [Kevin Harmon]

Review by Michael Zeigler

The show last night was AMAZING!  Bob looked incredible, in his dapper
black suit and boots. I've never seen Bob looking so happy--you could
really tell he was enjoying himself.  My friends and I sat in the left
track (front) section eight rows from the stage.  I'm really glad we were
on the left side, because Bob was always looking over at us and
entertaining us with his wide variety of facial expressions and funny
little dances.  I'd say there were about 8,000 people there (just an
approximation).  I know the show didn't sell out.
It's kind of funny--on the way over my roommate Branden and I were
listening to the Memphis 2001 show, and it turns out that last night's
concert was almost an exact mirror of it, as far as song selection.
Bob started it off with my favorite opener, Duncan & Brady, which took
a few seconds into the song to get the sound balance right, since he
really didn't have the chance to do a proper soundcheck while the
State Fair was going on. Tambourine Man was good and especially
interesting due to some inventive vocal phrasings throughout, and
Tangled Up in Blue really pounded the place, with Bob blasting a sharp
harp solo on that one.  The blues numbers were especially strong;
these included Down in the Flood, Watching the River Flow, and
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat, all featuring spectacular guitar interplay
between the band members.  Bob introduced the band during
Leopard-Skin, saying "I know you know them already, but I'm going to
introduce the band to you right now."  The Wicked Messenger really
pulsed--there was another wicked harp solo on that one. Bob played one
of my very favorites, Positively 4th Street, which had some very tight
rhythms throughout.  During Stuck Inside of Mobile, Bob was smiling
the whole time.  I think he absolutely loves performing and
interacting with his audience through not only his music, but his
body's reaction to it.    Surprisingly, Bob buried his chestnut mare,
Desolation Row, deep into the first set; I believe it was song eight
or nine.  He forget a verse or two and even repeated one ("Across the
streets they've nailed the curtains")!!  But this little error seemed
to make the song more real. As always, acoustically the band was
flawless.  Beautiful mandolin playing decorated songs like This World
Can't Stand Long and Searching for a Soldier's Grave.  It Ain't Me
Babe was a little rough, but the rhythm section really made the
difference. The encore began with the ominous chords of Love Sick,
which turned out to be another fine performance.  Like A Rolling Stone
didn't disappoint--it's incredible how a song he's sung thousands of
times can still receive a new and exhilierating rendition that sounds
as fresh as the day he recorded it.  I Shall Be Released was
beautiful, enhanced by the tight harmonies of Larry Campbell and
Charlie Sexton.  All Along the Watchtower had a different arrangement
from the Spring shows.  It started off with sharp, staccato chords and
then segued into the versions I was familiar with.  The ending was
surprising though.  Bob repeated the first verse and ended the song by
slowly emphasizing each word of the last line "None of them along the
line--KNOW--WHAT--ANY--OF IT IS--WORTH---!!!"  Needless to say, the
crowd roared with approval, as it did for every song.  Knockin' on
Heaven's Door was treated with dignity and you could feel every word
Bob was singing.  Highway 61 rocked, of course, and Bob took every
opportunity to show the crowd that he is and always has been the true
king of rock'n'roll.  Blowin' in the Wind again featured tight
harmonies and was greeted with a sing-along from the audience.  Bob
declined to do a second encore, which was a little disappointing, but
he played for well over two hours, so he really didn't need one. It
was really funny to watch the two drunk guys standing in front of us
(Yes, we stood for the whole show).  They would chant "Blonde on
Blonde, Bob!!! C'mon, Blonde on Blonde!!!"  And whenever Bob obliged
by playing one off that record, they would act like they won the
lottery or something, slapping each other around and high-fiving
everyone around them.  During Positively 4th Street, one of them got
on the other's back and shouted the words in his ear just before Bob
would sing them.  You don't see that very often. All in all, a
fantastic Bob Dylan experience.  I hope he'll tour next year in
support of the new Love and Theft album.  I'll see him in anything, 
so I'll stand in line.

Michael Zeigler


Review by George Dugger

The weather was great - 30 degrees down from the  110 degree heat index
recently in the Midwest. No need to be concerned about hearing "How does
it feel?" while lying prostrate in the first aid tent though a total of 6
fire trucks and ambulances were on stand by. Fortunately the "track" seats
in front of the grandstand referred to a dirt track not asphalt. Also no
need to be concerned about security which seemed remarkably lax. Two
Missouri highway patrolmen were positioned at the extreme sides of the
guard railed off area immediately in front of the stage. Their role seemed
to be limited to shining their flash light on people who stood up on their
folding chairs. 

The stage itself was totally open with the lighting rigging being
silhouetted against the darkening mostly cloudless eastern blue sky. The
lack of a backdrop limited the lighting effects especially the one where
front low lights cast band members shadows upwards. The prevailing winds
prevented the smell of incense from reaching the crowd though you could
see the smoke wafting southerly from behind the equipment. Oscar was in
place right from the start catching the last rays of the setting sun
coming through openings in the grandstand.  Bob was not on time tonight.
Perhaps he wanted to split the difference between the 8pm showtime shown
on the Sedalia poster and the 7:30 time posted everywhere else. 

After a couple of false alarms, Bob services finally began with stage left
Al Santos giving the customary invocation and the crowd giving its
customary response. We were 8 rows back just to the right of the left
speaker stack. Close enough to finally see Bob's two tone boots.
Unusually, Bob seemed in good spirits right from the start. No apparent
Bob stares at Larry who was not relegated to the far right  side of the
stage as he had been at Topeka in April of this year.

 The sound system was very loud and  quite good except for a couple of
times at the end when it seemed likely a speaker or two got blown. The
drums seemed to be a little more prominent in the mix compared to other
shows I have heard in the last year or so. Tonight Bob talk consisted
solely of lame jokeless band introductions at the end of the baker's dozen
song main set. I was hoping for a state fair themed joke like the 1996
"Tony once tried to milk a cow - with a monkey wrench". 

Duncan and Brady was a solid opener which the more I hear it the more it
grows on me. Tambourine Man, which, for me,  could be retired for a while,
was ok and was followed with early harp on Tangled. Loved the vocal
harmonies on This World and wished Bob would use the singing talents of
Larry and Charlie more. The differently paced Positively 4th Street was
great and a great one two punch with SIOMWTMBA one of my favorite live

The opening of It Ain't Me Babe fooled me into thinking of Boots of
Spanish leather and was fine though I think it also over played.
Desolation Row - enough said. More excellent group vocals - love that
Americans line - on Soldier's Grave. 

Next was the 3 song rocking core of the night. Made me think of the line
that the Dead were a jam in search of a song and Dylan was a song in
search of a jam. Band introductions came at the end of Pill Box followed
by the always hilarious formation - "the bitchy monarch surveying his

A fantastic Love Sick led off the 7 song one encore performance. Bob's
phrasing on LARS made it hard for the crowd to do its sing a long part. I
Shall Be Released through Highway 61 was the second core grouping of the
night for me. I had never heard Released and Heaven's Door before live and
the way Dylan did AATW and Highway 61 kept them fresh and vital. When Bob
uses the sing song delivery its too much. BITW was a bit of a let down
after this group. Maybe its time for a new closer.

Afterwards I went up to the stage with thoughts of asking a roadie for a
cue sheet but when a cute younger thing -who came all the way from New
York- couldn't even get a response to her request for a pick - well what
chance did someone not nearly as cute pushing 50 from the wrong side have.
 Still it was the best concert of the 6 I have attended. Now if some of
those tapers present will just do the right thing.

george dugger


Review by Matt

The concert was awesome.
I was sitting in the twelth row a little off to the side, not the best
seats but still pretty amazing. I was sitting near a group of aging Dylan
fans who were alot of fun to talk to while we were waiting for him to come
out. He opened with Duncan and Brady, which I expected and gave a
tremendous performance of it. I'd heard that one live once and on various
concert recordings and on this night his words were the most pronounced
I'd heard and he gave two fine solos. He then went into Mr. Tambourine
Man. The crowd really liked it and he did a good job. I've heard that one
in concert three or four times now and its still pretty good. He then
pulled a big surprise and played Tangled Up In Blue. The crowd was on
fire. He hadn't played Tangled in some time live and when he was playing
it it never fit in the third spot, often reserved for Desolation Row. He
decided to calm the crowd down after that with the peaceful, beautiful
hymn This World Can't Stand Long. This World is perhaps my favorite
traditional song in Dylan's live repertoire. It blows me away whenever I
hear it. Dylan then strapped on the electric for a tremendous version of
Down In the Flood. It rocked harder than any of the other times I'd heard
it live and near the end he did a solo which sounded like something off a
funk album. It was awesome. Next was Positively 4th Street. I love this
song on the single version and also love many of the live versions i've
heard. Dylan slowed it down and made it into a country ballad. It was like
he tried to make it sound like Standing In the Doorway or something. I
really didn't like this one. He played it well for what it was, but I did
not like this rewrite as well as some others. Next he did Stuck Inside of
Mobile which is always a lot of fun even though I've seen it live i think
four times now. It Ain't Me Babe was completely awesome. The guitar
playing was superb. I really enjoyed this one.Desolation Row came in the
number nine slot which was a complete surprise because I had expected it
to be number three and then i expected it to not come at all. Dylan did an
awesome job playing on this but cut out my favorite verse (Ophelia she's
neath the window). Another complete surprise of the evening was Searching
For A Soldier's Grave. Lately Dylan had basically only been doing a
traditional song as an opener and then doing all original material. This
was his third traditional song of the night. After this I figured he might
do more and hoped to hear Long Black Veil but didn't. Watching the River
Flow was refreshing and started to get the band really fired up, as it
remained for hte rest of the concert. Drifter's Escape completely rocked.
its hard to believe that its the same song as is on John Wesley Harding.
Leopard-Skin is always great. His voice was particularly clear on this
one. Love Sick was teh first encore and was really good. Like A Rolling
Stone sent the crowd into a frenzy. It was good. After that he did I Shall
Be Released, which was the highlight of the night for me. I had never
heard I Shall Be Released while at a concert and it was a joy to hear it
live finally. All Along the Watchtower rocked. the new version of Knockin'
On Heavens' Door was better than I had imagined. Highway 61 was a lot of
fun and Blowin' In the Wind sounds new each time I hear it live. The
harmonica playing was also good. One curiosity is that a girl was in the
wings with a very young baby. it couldn't have been even a month old
probably. we could see her pretty well and she looked like a Dylan,
perhaps one of his daughters? There maybe a new Dylan in the family...



Comments by Kevin Harmon

My wife and I feel very fortunate to have attended the Bob Dylan show in
Sedalia MO on 8/11/01. Although we have seen a lot of concerts in our 38
years we had never attended a Bob Dylan concert. We were in awe. The
reason I am sending you this note is to let you know how much I have
enjoyed your site. Particularly, the set list and the rave reviews.
However, the 3 folks who reviewed this show did not point something out
that I thought was really cool. Bob changed the lyrics on Highway 61 to
Highway 65 throughout the whole song. Highway 65 is the main thoroughfare
through Sedalia and the stage sat only several hundred feet from this
highway. Having never attended a Dylan concert before I did not anticipate
he would twist the lyrics from one of his songs to fit the setting. I just
thought you might be interested in this little tidbit of information.

Kevin Harmon


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