Niagara Falls, Ontario
Oakes Garden Theatre
August 23, 2003

[David, Dana, & Nora Smith], [Dale G.]

Review by David, Dana, and Nora Smith

We made the four hour drive from Detroit to Niagara Falls to catch Dylan's
last show in North America and it certainly was a great road trip.  The
Oakes Garden Theater is an amazing venue--great sound (perhaps one of the
loader Dylan show's I've heard) and stunning views of Niagara Falls behind
the stage.  As the water poured over the cliff, different colored lights
lit the flowing water, adding a great backdrop for Dylan and His Band.  On
this current leg of the Never Ending Tour, we've seen Dylan four times
since the Jazz Fest in New Orleans and last night's show stands out as an
excellent one.  Dylan seemed to feel the energy and excitement of the
venue.  By the time they played Highway 61 Revisited, the band was
cooking--demonstrating how folk, blue grass, country, and the blues all
come together to make rock-n-roll.  Throughout the night Dylan and the
band were all very much into the show.  In many ways it seemed that Dylan
was bidding his North American fans goodbye--"You'll Go Your Way, I'll Go
Mine" and "May You Stay Forever Young."  All in all, a very special and
memorable event, especially since our five-year old daughter heard one of
her favorite songs--Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. It's now Europe's turn to
enjoy  Dylan and His Band--"Don't You Dare Miss It."

David, Dana, and Nora Smith


Review by Dale G.

Great show at a great venue!  The boys were on again last night at the
Oakes Garden Theatre in Niagara.  I've seen Bob and the band 5 times since
2000 (I'm only 23, so hopefully many more to come) and this one is
definitely one of the most memorable.  The small venue was beautiful lined
with plants and shrubs.  It was like being in someone's back yard.  What
made the setting even more incredible was that the stage's backdrop was
Niagara Falls.  Breathtaking!  For sure the best venue I've seen Bob at,
with L'Agora du Vieux Port in Quebec City coming a close second.

They made a late start coming on at around 8:25, entering from directly
behind the stage, and opening with a great Tombstone Blues.  This is my
first show seeing Bob behind the piano, it was pretty cool to see.  That
was followed with a nice Lay Lady Lay which was a pleasant surprise. 
These were some highpoints of the regular set for me, as well as a strong
and fresh sounding Dignity (never thought I'd hear that live), and a
kick-ass extended Highway 61.  This was where things started heating up
and the chemistry really showed with some great jamming.  And as it got
dark the falls were lit up with changing colours.  The stage and the
backdrop were quite a sight.  Cry A While was a great surprise.  They were
definitely in the groove on that one!  High Water was driving and really
powerful too.  It's great to see such an incredible band like this in
action.  Forever Young was beautiful with Bob on vocals without any
accompaniment on the chorus.  And then, the usual closer of the set,
Summer Days, which was absolutely wonderful.  This one just cooks every
time!  No one can stand still during this one.  It got everyone going and
everyone was really into it.  Freddie had some great leads on this one
too.  He was pretty good all night with some shining moments like during
Summer Days.  I think I still kind of miss Charlie though.  Bob was really
pounding the keys during this one, really boppin' and bouncing to the
groove.  It was cool to see people looking on and taking in the show from
their hotel rooms which overlooked the Oakes Garden Theatre too.

Then it was time for the encore and they broke into Like A Rolling Stone. 
At this point, security must have removed the ropes which were barriers
for the VIP section, because everyone was able to move a lot closer to the
stage.  They played a great version of the song, and during it fireworks
started lighting up the sky behind the stage.  It was an incredible sight
to remember for sure.  Bob Dylan and his band rocking out to LARS with a
brilliant fireworks display and Niagara Falls right behind them. 
Incredible!  They closed off the show with a great All Along the Watchtower. 
Recile was really pounding the drums on this one.  The whole band was
great tonight, showing yet again that they're world-class musicians.  What
a band!  The fireworks were still going during Watchtower and it was a
great close to a fantastic concert and night.  And I went with my dad
which made it even cooler.  Itís always great to see Bob and the band
standing up there receiving applause from the crowd after the show too. 
They knew they put on a fine performance.  Good times!  Thanks for always
keeping it fresh Bob.

Ps.  If anyone has photos of the show could they please contact me at
please make reference to Bob Dylan in the subject heading). 


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