Wichita, Kansas
Century II Convention Center
August 16, 2001

[Jeanie Armour], [John Jameson], [Ryan Staker]

Review by Jeanie Armour

The Convention Center seats were folding chair rows and bleacher type
seats for the main floor.  In  row B, seat 10, I was a mere six feet from
the stage.  When the crowd stood in front, there was room for only one
deep.  In other words, I could see Charlie's intensely-blue eyes, Larry's
dark brown liquid eyes, Dylan's taut skin, etched into permanent creases
along his mouth and jaw lines.  Once when Bob was flirting with his facial
expressions and his body movements, his eyebrows scooted up and his eyes
widened enough to see more than lids, I witnessed those eyes. And yes,
Joanie, they were "bluer than robin's eggs." Dylan and the band were well
into the gospel hymn, "Somebody Touched Me," before the audience realized
the concert had begun!  Shouts of "down in front" and "Hey Bob!" and a lot
of stirring around were a bit distracting.  This was the only traditional
song he performed the whole evening and one he had not done during the
past week.  The next two were old favorites, "To Ramona" and "Visions of
Johanna." Larry Campbell played mandolin on "Ramona" and Dylan sang
beautifully on "Johanna."  He and Charlie Sexton both soloed on guitars;
Dylan playing more solo guitar than I had seen before.  I didn't feel
Dylan was into the evening and especially into being in Wichita until the
fourth song, "'Til I fell in Love with You." He appeared to see where he
was then! He smiled! And the facial expressions began!  Up to that point,
his legs weren't doing much more than tapping.  I am referring to previous
reviews of last week's concerts when his legs were dancin'. Maybe this is
the place to comment that not only did I see the black and white two-toned
boots, but there were black stars on the white leather toes of his boots!
Then, I could hardly believe my ears..."Lay Lady Lay."  He rarely ever
sings this "pop" number.  It was stunning!  He played harp (the only time
all evening) and sang it so lovingly.  Very nice. Next the band roared
into a hard driving "Tombstone Blues." "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" was
proof that Dylan transcends audience ages and personalities, as well as
time itself.  This was written in 1965, before half of the audience was
even born.  Yet I think everyone could feel the words as much as we did
when first buying that album, Bringing It All Back Home. "Mama You Been on
my Mind" was next and the first time it has been sung in the past six
concerts.  I always like this number, but personally would have preferred
"Stuck Inside of Mobile With Those Memphis Blues Again."  Dylan began
"dancing" and waving his yellow and white silver-studded guitar on which
"Bob Dylan" runs up the neck in silver script! He acted almost "goofy," in
a cute way.  He's a little boy clowning for attention. Back to the
music..."Masters of War" was dynamite!  Again, it was as powerful as it
was in the early 60's.  He sang it harshly, but, soulfully.  "Everything
is Broken" rocked right along.  Most folks especially the younger ones
could sing along with this one. Next was "Shelter from the Storm," one I
have heard in concert several times, years ago.  In spite of his obviously
tired, raw voice, the words were all enunciated clearly.  The intro to
"Cold Irons Bound" is dark and heavy and the band really rocked through
this number.  Dylan was wailin'! It is a showy piece, but just not a fav
of mine. Ah!  But the next one is!  You know what I love him for; it's his
"Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat!"  Yeah! The expensive kind.  Ahhhhhhh! He
sing-songed an intro of the band at the end of this song. In addition to
Sexton and Campbell were Tony Garnier on bass and David Kemper on drums.
The encores followed....starting with "Love Sick."  This is a strange
lovely song.  It is so bittersweet.  I want to hate it when he growls "I'm
sick of love" but I can't hate it, because I know the last line..."don't
know what to do I'd give anything to be with you." The next began the real
love fest between Dylan and the audience..."Like a Rolling Stone" first. 
Even the shift on stressed phrases and words didn't deter the house from
singing along.  Then, new sounds!  Charlie and Larry were in gorgeous
harmony on "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."  This was a truly beautiful
"hymn." Next (before the last harmonics) it seemed Dylan was lookin' for
"some way out of here" because, for he who had sung for six of the last
seven nights, "the hour is getting late." Hence, the very familiar "All
Along the Watchtower." The applause continued straight through to the soft
harmonic humming of Charlie and Larry as they began "Blowin' in the Wind."
 I was sad since I knew from reading other reviews that this was the end
of tonight's concert (and I could see backstage preparations to get Dylan
outta there), but the emotion and the thrill that the diverse crowd felt
for this man and his music held for another five minutes after the last


Review by John Jameson

so having attended the oklahoma city bob show wedsnesday night, and having
a great time, since i live equidistant between okc and wichita, i figured
what the heck, i'll go ahead and drive up to wichita and see bob again
thursday night.

it turned out to be a good decision because the show was radically
different and just as enjoyable as wedsnesday's.  okc was at the zoo
amphitheatre, which is an outdoor venue selling beer with lots of smoking.
a fun place to see a show.  the crowd at okc seemed much younger than
wichita, probably because the venue is known as a great place to go in the
summer for entertainment. bob looked resplendant in okc in his black suit
and string tie, with those great white and black boots.  i love the way he
stands with his left leg forward and bent. lots of leg action with the
music.  he wears his guitar up high and with the suit had a little bit of
a buddy holly look about him.

in wichita bob was wearing a what looked like a silver-grey silk suit and
looked great.  by fashioning a little sign requesting a floor ticket i had
been able to quickly score a 10th row center aisle ticket from a nice
college couple from kansas univ. about three hours away. absolutely  a
great seat, and with my little binocs could enjoy all of bob's facial
expressions. they really are entertaining to watch.  when he first came on
i went up the aisle to about 5 feet from bob and enjoyed his opening
number. that was great until the kinda cranky security guy cleared the
aisle. he kept it clear all the way to the encore. hey, this is rock and
roll,  ease up a little.  the whole venue in wichita was a little of a
shock compared to okc. it was in a strange little auditorium, about 5000
seats, full except for the top balcony. they kept bright lights on until
the show began, and it kinda reminded me of a school assembly.

bob started a little slow but warmed up and seemed to be enjoying himself.
 i enjoyed "everything is broken", visions of johanna" and "masters of
war" especially. his great acoustic "DTT its alright" from the night
before was not repeated and that showed me that each show does have its
own charm and appeal. same with "maggie's farm" from weds. the "TOOM"
songs were great tonight also.

during "ls pillbox hat" band introductions, bob  introduced  the drummer
as "the original wichita lineman".  the encore sounded particularly good,
and "BITW" WAS a good closer tonight.  

all in all, a nice show.  since i was thinking about a trip to vegas... 
why not next weekend to see  bob's show at the hard rock hotel on friday
the 24th?  i'll have to seriously consider it.  

john jameson


Review by Ryan Staker

Wow!  The great Bob Dlyan in Wichita, Kansas.  First time in almost 10

The crowd was late in arriving and the show stated over 30 minutes late. 
It wasn't until the third number (Visions Of Johanna) that the audience
seemed to pay attention, but this number seemed to get everybody on the
same page.

Of all the Dylan shows I've attended none featured a more eclectic 
crowd...old cowboys, young children, families and guys like me with dates.
 The show was not a sell out, very disappointing.  I would estimate of the
5,000 seats maybe 4,000 were occupied, probably due to a week night show.

Bob was in a great mood.  He was very upbeat and smiled almost the entire
show.  For the fifth number (Lay, Lady, Lay) Bob broke out the harp and
Larry sat at the pedal steel guitar, a real crowd pleaser. 

This was by far the best Dylan performance I've seen.  His good mood
seemed to rub off on Charlie and Larry and the whole show went off without
a hitch.  Bob even introduced the band!  Visions Of Johanna, Masters Of
War, Tombstone Blues and Knockin' On Heaven's Door (during the encore with
Larry and Charlie singing harmony) were the highlights of the show for me.

As we were leaving the show Charlie Sexton was standing by the bus and I
got to shake his hand and thank him for the show.  But even better than
that...Dylan himself walked out and I was able to walk beside him to his
bus (about 30 yards) I thanked him for a lifetime of music and then he was
gone.  A very special moment for me.  Thank you Bob!

Ryan Staker - Wichita, Kansas


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