Las Vegas, Nevada
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
The Joint
August 24, 2001

[David Link], [Dennis Wolter], [Bob Coleman], [John Jameson], [David Trujillo], [Craig Grant]

Review by David Link

Well it was back to Las Vegas to see Dylan. This is the third time in
three years I have gone to this crazy city in the desert to see him play, and
for some reason it seems like the perfect seedy ambiance for a Dylan show (as
are Reno and Atlantic City-talk about seedy)!
   It was about 105 degrees when I got there and got in line, about 30
people from the front. I talked w/ a few friends who were passing by and before
long the doors were opened. The Joint is a pretty small place, but bigger than
the capacity of 1,400 that it is said to be...I think I heard a security guard
say more like 2,000.  And the floor was so packed it seems like the right
   There is a small balcony with what looked like small tables. (I did not
go up to take a close look). The people who sat up there paid twice what the
floor tickets cost. I'll never begin to be able to figure that out, I'm
just glad it wasn't the other way around.
  I got a spot three people back from the rail between Charlie and Bob.
The stage was great because it was small and low. (About to my waist). It was
so small that the band was much closer together than they normally are, which
made for some great interaction between everyone.
  This being Vegas, it seemed like 70% of the people there were smoking 
cigaretts, which for a non-smoker was brutal. Oh well!
   As usual, they came out at about 8:10 and started with Hallelujah. It
was ok, but Bob took the first four acoustic songs to get the rust out of his
joints. To Ramona was nice, and It's Alright Ma was well received by the
  By Country Pie, the show really got going. Bob was opening up and
smiling, cranking away. Absolutely Sweet Marie was one I really wanted to hear at
these summer shows I went to , and finally got it. It was wonderful. Mayby
a little different than the versions he was doing in '98 when it was a 
  Love Minus Zero was another highlight, with the singing and playing
being very crisp and sharp from everyone, and a great harp solo. I'll Be Your
Baby Tonight was great also, very nice phrasing. Make You Feel My Love was
another winner, slow and beautiful.  Cold Irons Bound almost blew the roof off of
this small room. It was so loud and rocking they must have heard it in the
casino. Very energetic--as it usually is, but in these tight confinds it
seemed to be cranked up a notch. Rock and Roll at its finest.  Everything
Is Broken was a strong song to end the set with.
   Throughout the show Bob seemed to be in a great mood, smiling and
mugging away the whole night. He did a classic duck-walk a couple of times during
one song, (can't remember which one now), unlike he had done for the whole
time in Vail and Telluride. He was clearly having a lot of fun at this show, as
was Tony. 
     Bob was very taken w/ a lady in the front, way over on stage-right. 
He was giving much attention to her, pointing his guitar neck at her,
pointing and smiling to her, etc. Exciting for her, no doubt. She got a lot of the
show in her lap. (I'm not sure if it was directed at the older woman I've
met a million times whose name I can't remember, or one of the younger
   I was a bit distressed about the song selection for the encores. Just a
little mixing up of the choices would be nice, but I know better than to
complain, trust me. I just wish Bob would take a page from Jerry Garcia
and mix up the encores a little every night. Sorry, just had to include that
point of view.
   Love Sick was great (for the 500th time), and the Knocking sounded
cool. (without his mike cutting out this time)!  Watchtower and Blowin' in the
Wind were expected, but for me, Highway 61 was not. Bob clearly wanted this
show to end on a high rocking note, not a slow quiet acoustic song, and that's
what happened. Simply put, the song ripped, and no one could have asked
for much more.
  I thought this show would actually be a little shorter than some of the
others on this tour, as many of these casino shows are, but I was very
happy to be proven wrong. This was a very fun evening w/ Mr. D., and will be
great to hear on tape.


Review by Dennis Wolter

I'm back from The Joint show and Vegas. I should have taken notes,
because too much Vegas in my brain.

The wife and I got in line about 5:30pm, which was by then wrapped half
way around the inside of the Hard Rock Casino. Lots of people walking by
wondering wait we could be waiting for. My favorite question was "Is
this the line for the buffet?" Of course I said yes.

No security check to get in. But then during the entire concert security
is chasing people around and shining flashlights.

Got a spot behind a rail, so my wife could be up a little higher than
those in front of us. The Joint is fairly plain as compared to last year's
venues at the House of Blues. Got another poster, same as the other ones,
different venue and color. Time for a change? Saw a couple of Leopard-Skin
Pill-Box hats.  One fan had a large heart shaped poster to hold up. It was a
collage of pictures and a helium balloon to make it even easier to see.

With the first number, Hallelujah, I'm Ready To Go, Bob was trying to
save us from the sins of Vegas. The acoustics of the room was no where as good
as the night before at the Sundome. But hey, it's rock and roll, turn it

Noticed a bride, still in wedding gown and vale and groom. Only in
Vegas, out of the chapel and into a Dylan concert. Lost sight of them by the
time the encores started. Did they make it to the front or did anyone talk to
them after the show.

Masters of War just gets better. Now that my youngest is in the Army, it
seems fresher and more relevant than ever.

The only appearance of Bob and the Harp, Love Minus Zero/No Limit , had
Bob dancing back and forth across the stage. Nice and light on his feet.

Of course by the time Blowin' In The Wind started I knew the show was
over, since he has been playing the same encores. It was nice to be fooled by
Bob again with Highway 61.

After the show my wife admitted that she is starting to like Bob more
and more.YES!

Standing in the taxi line, I'd have bet  Robert Plant was in front of me.
It was Vegas after all and losing another bet wouldn't be that unusual.  He
was carrying a T-shirt from the concert. Anyone else see him and think they
saw Robert Plant.

Dennis Wolter


Review by Bob Coleman

A Bob Dylan concert is no longer a rock concert.  It is more like a Rock
and Roll Circus.  With Bob playing the ringmaster.  I attended the August
24th show at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas with my 11 year
old son Timothy Dylan (first name would have been Dylan but my wife
overruled me).

The circus actually started for us three weeks prior to the event.  My son
has wanted to meet Dylan for a couple of years now.  He sent out e-mails
asking if anyone could arrange for him to meet Bob.  We recieved a phone
call from someone who had contacts and were told they would try to make
the arrangements.  Needless to say the excitement level for my son was
high for 3 weeks.  Unfortunately on the afternoon of the show we were told
that they couldn't make it happen.  My son actually took it better than I
did.  I don't know who would have been happier if he had been able to meet
Bob, me or my son..

Tim has been listening to Dylan for 3 years now.  He listens to all of my
tapes and albums and now CD's when he goes to bed.  At first I thought 
his listening was due to my appreciation of Dylan material but then
realized he really enjoys all of Dylan's material, new and old.  Its funny
to hear an 11 year old boy tell me "I hope he plays Dignity and Masters of

On with the show.  I was told when I picked up my tickets at the Hard Rock
that the Hotel does not allow you to stand in line early so don't bother
coming until 6:00 p.m. at the earliest.  I arrived about 5:30 and found
about 10 people in line at the entrance to the Joint.  I was elated.  The
whole venue on the main level was standing only - general admission.  So I
thought guaranteed front row.  How naive.  I was informed by the people
standing in line that they had line passes that were given to them by the
Hotel for VIP's.  They informed me that the line was outside the Hotel and
that at 6:00 pm they would escort those people into the hotel and bring
them to the line that I was standing in.  Security would come around every
so often and inform people like me that we needed to go outside and get
into line.  

We went like cows to go stand in line outside.  I was no longer elated
when I saw how long the line was outside.  Since my son is no taller than
4'6" I told him to go to the front of the line and ask if he could stand
with them so that he could at least see the show.  There was no way he
would have ever saw Dylan and the band if he couldn't be in the front row.
 I did not see any other children so I figured people would be
understanding to let him go in with them.  I was going to go to the back
of the line and we would have been seperated during the show but at least
he would have been able to see.  Well the two or three nice gentleman up
front told a little 11 year old boy no way.  They had been standing in
line since early in the morning so there was no way they were going to let
him stand with them.  He asked a few other people and they all said no.

I told him to go stand in the back of the line.  I am not one to be
defeated when it comes to my children.  While my son went to the back I
went in to find out if someone in the hotel could help me at least get my
son in so that he could see.  I go back to the line and ask security if
anything could be done for my son and the security guard tells me that,
and I guote, "the stupid people are standing outside, stand here in line
and you will be in front because in a few minutes they are going to bring
the line in from outside".  I run outside and get my son and go back
inside to the line with the people who had line passes.  People kept
telling me that security would make me leave so I might as well leave now
and get in line outside.  This is Vegas.  I decided to take a gamble.  I
stayed in line inside and within minutes the line from outside was brought
inside.  Security removed a few people behind me but for some reason left
me and my son alone.  I felt like I had a force field around me and this
was my lucky day.  The three people who had been in front of the line
outside were besides themselves.  One of them looks at my son and says
"you were the dude asking to be in line with us, we've been sitting in
line all day.  There is no way your going to go in before us".  I finally
got tired of listening to him whine so I let a few people go in front of
me knowing I would be in the front row next to the stage.  This was not
good enough for them. They went and got security and was whining that it
was unfair that I was still in line and how could there be people with
line passes allowed to go in.  He was actually swearing at my son.  What
class.  I unfortunately did not hear him, my son informed me of this
later.  He is fortunate that I didn't hear him.

Security came and asked what was going on.  I told them that two seperate
security guards informed me to get in line here and that I didn't think it
would be fair that after 45 minutes I should be asked to move.  Apparently
security agreed with me because I was able to get in to get my son to the
front row.  How idealistic it is for people to think that at a concert
that is all general admission that things will be fair.  Look out for #1
and don't step in #2 along the way.  My friend was burning that this

The point of all of this is maybe Dylan concerts shouldn't have general
admission seating.  And life isn't always fair.

Now we are let in around 6:45.  We get in and I head to the front to make
sure my son gets next to the stage.  I am stopped because I have a camera.
 There is nothing printed on the tickets and no signs saying cameras
prohibited.  I have been to numerous Dylan concerts were cameras are
permitted.  So now I am seperated from my son and am told I need to go
check my camera in at the front desk.  Security took me out and informed
me that they would allow me to get with my son when I came back.  By now
the rows are 30 deep and I can't find my son.  Security comes and escorts
me up to the front.  Now this sits really well with the people there.  Oh
well.  After all of this we're 10 feet from the stage, my son in the front

Were packed liked sardines with an hour to go before the show starts. And
now the fun begins.  I was lucky to be standing next to the most obnoxious
girl who was with 3 friends.  They managed to sneak there way in without
standing in line.  They insist on smoking in a crowd where you are
literally standing shoulder to shoulder with no room between anyone.  What
class.  I don't care if people smoke but in this situation it was
rediculous.  This woman (girl) kept elbowing me and eventually forced her
way in between me and my son.  Her friends kept trying to get in front of
me but I decided to stand my ground.  These little girls were attempting
to move a 225 lb man.  Not a chance.  I had to deal with there crap all
night.  This is a Dylan concert and nothing is going to ruin my enjoyment
of the evening.  I had to experience being up front at a Dylan concert at
least once.  All of my numerous concerts since 1978 have been in seats a
good distance from the stage.  I guess this is what it is like all of the
time up front.

Going through all of it was well worth it.  Dylan finally comes on a
little after 8:00.  I don't understand why when people are doing reviews
they find it necessary to say what Dylan and the band are wearing.  Not
relevant.  I had thought about bringing paper to take notes but decided
that it would spoil the enjoyment of the show.

They open with Hallelujah, I'm ready to Go.  I wished they had opened with
one of the other songs that they rotate to open a show.  Wasn't thrilled
with the opening but even a mediocre song performed live by Dylan is still
something to be enjoyed. The next song "To Ramona" is one of my all time
favorites.  I have the entire Dylan music collection (albums and CD's).   
I have been listening to Dylan since 1964 and this still ranks as one of
my favorite songs.  Unfortunately tonight wasn't his best rendition of
this song.  I have heard it performed at other concerts and enjoyed it
more.  None the less, I enjoyed the song.  It's Allright Ma, I am only
Bleeding was above average but again I have heard it live many times and
this did not rank high with some of the other renditions.  Searching For A
Soldiers Grave does absolutely nothing for me.  #5 Country Pie was
outstanding.  I have been waiting and hoping he would perform this song
tonight. What a rocker.   Tell Me That It Isn't True rated above average. 
Till I fell in Love With You was excellent but I had been hoping for
Standing in the Doorway.  I liked the line up from the previos night
better then tonights but when you see a Dylan concert there really are no
bad songs.  

Absolutely Sweet Marie followed.  Another of my many favorites.  The band
was scorching through this.  Just as good as performed in San Jose, CA 
three years ago.  When the band is rocking during these songs no one can
compare to them.  Masters of War was good nothing to shout about.  Love
Minus Zero No Limit one of the most beautifull love songs ever performed
was below par.  Something was missing.  Can't quite put my finger on what
it was though.

The next 4 or 5 songs were mediocre.  Then he played Everything is Broken.
 First time I;ve heard it live.  If I remember right it was pretty much
the same as on the LP Oh Mercy.   I guess I like the songs that were
rockin the most tonight.  Dylan and the band played  4 or 5 songs from
Time Out of Mind. 
 They all rated O.K.,  but I have heard them all live before.  Had hoped
hear something from Infidels or Empire Burlesque.  No such luck.

The set ended after Everything is Broken.  Song #15.  I figured the encore
would not be too many more songs but we were treated with 6 more. 
Unfortunately all old standards.  Don't get me wrong.  I never tire of
hearing Like a Rollin Stone and Blowing in the Wind but he does have over
40 albums (cds, whatever) to pull material from.  All along the Watchtower
was "HOT" as was Highway 61.  All good things must come to an end.  We
were fortunate to be treated to 21 songs.

The highlight of the show was definately Country Pie.  Maybe because it
was the first time I have heard it live.  Pull more songs out like that
and rework them into rockers, although Country Pie always was uptempo.

My son and I walked out very content.   I do feel that Bob could utter a
couple of thank you's to all the fans attending his concerts.  Over the
years I've accepted the fact that he doesn't usually say anything except
to introduce the band.  Tonight seemed really odd.  He introduced the band
during the middle of the show while finishing up a song (if I remember
correctly).  It was almost like he was singing the bands names.  A little
interaction wouldn't hurt.  

I am now wondering when my next Dylan concert will be.  Maybe I'll quit my
job and follow the band around and stand in line for 12 hours.  How
bizarre.  Can anyone explain to me how the people who follow Dylan around
survive?  Just curious.  Now that I think about it all of the events
leading up to the show, during, and after was fun.  A lot of circus acts
but I guess I was one too.


Review by John Jameson

i flew in from okc on thursday for the friday night bob show at the hard
rock hotel. having seen bob twice in the last eight days, i knew the band
was working really well together and i should be in for a treat. 

again, i didn't have a ticket to this gen. admin. show. i went to the hard
rock box office in mid-afternoon and was told that the floor was sold out
and the balcony was available for $152 a ticket!! the balcony is in the
rear of the room, so no thanks.

i've seen some good shows at the hard rock before, but there's something
about the place that makes me uneasy.  i feel that peter morton would just
as happily packaged another concept if it would make him more money. it
reminds me of how rock music might be provided by a fascist government....
anyway, the twenty somethings that predominate the place on the weekends
seem to enjoy it.

i arrived back at th HR two hours prior to bob's show and quickly bought a
floor ticket from a broker at face value. stood in the line with some nice
folks, all from out of state. one guy went a and got beers for all of us.
nice. a few feet behind us in line was a lady in full costume, leopard
mini and pill box hat, with a heart shaped collage made up of bob's
pictures.  you go girl!!!  and it didn't look balanced "on (her) head like
a mattress balanced on a bottle of wine." 
the crowd was allowed in "the joint" about 7 p.m., an hour before the show
was to start. i found a nice place to stand about one third of the way
back  behind a rail with a clear view of the stage. i stood between a 40
year old there with his teenage daughter (who was up at the stage rail)
and a calif. couple who were also going to bob's show in calif. the
following night at the antelope cty fair. all nice people, which is common
to these shows. spent the time in idle speculation over whether the lady
clad in a pink spandex top and black hot pants accompanying a disabled
fellow in a chair in front of us was a "sex worker". the consensus was
yes. (not that there is anything wrong with that....)
 bob took the stage with a  rousing "hallelujah, i'm ready to go". charlie
exchanged glances with tony after both of them looked at bob, as if they
were thinking "this night might be interesting".

the opening acoustic numbers were all strong, especially "its alright
ma... " and "country pie".  the crowd was loving it. 
when bob reached the eighth song "absolutely sweet marie", the band jelled
completely as one and sounded wonderful. bob's harmonica solo was
incredible!!! so much so that drops of spittle marked the right side of
bob's silver silk suit. (as usual. bob looked great in the suit, with a
satin western shirt and black string tie.)
the crowd roared when bob finished the harp solo. more harp, bob,

in sharp contrast to the shows the previous week, where charlie had served
as bob's foil on the guitar breaks, tonight i swear bob shot charlie a
look like "yeah that's you over there, so what?" it was definitely a
different dynamic than the other shows. bob seemed to match up with larry
still the band sounded great!! and when they started the electric songs it
seemed to take it to a higher level.  "everything is broken" started of
with the mix wrong but was quickly fixed and the band rocked. bob quickly
introduced the band, with no comments or jokes, and finished up the set.
taking a bow, the sweat was clearly visible under bob's blue eyes.
this leads up to the encore, and tonight it was really something special.
to me it was one for the ages.  in the small room the sound was excellent
and bob and band nailed "love sick". someone threw a t-shirt on stage and
bob eyed it like it was a snake. "rolling stone" was a revelation. much
better than last week. bob spit out the lyrics, not throwing them off like
he sometimes does. the song vibrated. "watchtower" rocked, and the hendrix
guitar solos were extended moderately.
"blowin in the wind" was powerful and i assumed it was the end of a great
show. but no!!!  bob strapped on his cream stratocaster with his name in
mother of pearl script on the fingerboard for a sizzling version of
"highway 61".  flanked by charlie and larry on telecasters, the song
really was a revelation. the final break was total wall of sound. the
crowd was in heaven.

bob graciously took bows, smiling broadly as he had several times earlier.
definitely not grimaces, but what appeared to be a man enjoying himself.
for the record, the rest of my weekend wasn't too damn bad either. "love
and theft" should be a treat. john jameson 


Review by David Trujillo

We arrived at the casino approximately 6:15pm…
All indications pointed to it being a very good night.
We had a good night's sleep, just came from a good buffet.
The only downer being the blackjack tables at the Paris casino
Not very friendly, but exceptionally nice atmosphere!

We barely noticed the line that was snaking it's way around the inside.
Got in line and Tina went for some beer and then waited about an hour 
and a half.  Tina played some slots and returned with more beer while 
I waited patiently……drinking beer.  The doors opened and the line moved 
swiftly, Tina won $90 in the short time it took to get in The Joint.
I was already wondering what will he open with………what will he close with? 

It was S-R-O on the front floor, where the tables were last time.  Got 
as close as we could, a little to the right, about 6 or 7 deep, and 
waited some more………………………..drinking beer.

Five minutes till 8……. Tina returned with more beer, and soon the lights 
"Hallelujah" started… don't really remember the song or where it's from 
but doesn't really matter, it was a good opening song cause the words were 
right.  I was ready to go!!!  Good and upbeat!
"To Ramona"….  I'd never thought, but then that was what I was expected 
to do.  It too was a little upbeat and I was already rocking, thinking 
alright I had enough what else can you show me!!!!
"It's Alright, Ma, I'm Only Bleeding" ………………don't' fear if you hear a 
foreign sound to your ear.  
I was already outta beer!    And we rocked some more!
"Searching For A Soldier's Grave" ….. was a perfect lead-in to get ready 
for the next piece of.. "Country Pie" …with extended electric geetar 
plucking and all, it was great!!!   Sounded like he followed up with a 
lil' bit of "Summer Days" jam.
"Tell Me That It Isn't True" …  slow it down, let us breathe!  I was
expecting Johnny Cash to step up.
"Til I Fell In Love With You"….  bring on the blues, sweat pouring down….. 
I was alright, nice breather.  This REALLY sounded good. 
"Absolutely Sweet Marie"……….. saw a couple of leopardskin pillbox hats 
in the crowd.  This sounded absolutely sweet…… and harmonica too……. just 
soaking it up!  
"Masters of War" ….I read where some fools thought this and "Blowin' .." 
was a reference to the current GW administration.  This is an awesome song 
and could apply to every leader of every land since time began… maybe they 
should move to Mozambique or Tripoli and see how they like it there.
"Love Minus Zero/No Limit"…. Sounded like Budokan, except louder!
"Mama, You Been On My Mind"… Mama shit, I couldn't believe I was hearing 
this, and only 20 feet away.  Threw out all hopes of hearing favorites, 
just happy to hear anything LIVE!!!
"I'll Be Your Baby Tonight"… That big fat moon, and spittin harmonica tunes, 
there'll be no regrets tonite!  Never thought I'd hear this live, but glad 
I did.
"Make You Feel My Love"…… Tina swooned…
"Cold Irons Bound" ……..stop the presses, after 2 notes I knew what was 
coming!  I'm beginning to hear voices..  I really think Bob likes to jam 
to this song, cause he (they) really did!!  I looked around and the crowd 
was rocking but everyone's eyes were glued to the man on the stage… extended 
play.  Reality as always was slapping us upside our heads!  I looked down 
and I couldn't stop my feet from moving!
"Everything Is Broken" …. Always liked this song but never thought it could 
jam like this!  Neil Young could have closed one of his with they way they 
rocked the walls with this.   It was great!  I could see one of the 10-foot 
hi speakers about 15 feet in front of us shaking like crazy.  Eardrums felt 
like they were gonna be broken too!!
5minute break, before the encore…. Feet don't fail me now.  Tina had to go 
to the back to take a break.
"Love Sick"…. Good song to settle the crowd down before the finale.  It's 
funny to hear this song after leaving a wedding but then he always puts 
things in a way you're feeling before you can think of it.  
"Like A Rolling Stone" ….  Kinda looked like he was throwing in a couple 
of old favorites that they were ready to play on any other day… just to 
extend the night, because the crowd was begging for more.  No alibis here.. 
and blended right into…….
"Knockin' On Heaven's Door" … sounded like we were Unplugged…. except louder!  
As the song was finishing, they picked up the tempo and seemed, if possible, 
to get even louder.  Maybe cause we were inching our way even closer to the 
stage, and the speakers.  We knew he was getting ready to close down soon 
and we wanted to soak in every single tune.
"All Along The Watchtower" …as you might expect, this ROCKED!!  Thought for 
sure this was the closer, and was thinking ….. great closer to a great 
concert.  Easily the best $80 I ever spent.  Better at this than those 
damn blackjack tables.   Can still picture Neil lambe'g his way onstage 
at Bobfest…... you know the hour is getting late!!!!
"Blowin' In The Wind" …. I remember thinking 'oh no, don't close with this…. 
But if he does, that's ok, I was jammed out anyway' ……….. hell I probably 
needed something to calm me down after all that and now I have to go back 
to where I came from.  And just when it looked like they were heading off 
stage (he was only changing guitars), out came the first few bars of……..
"Highway 61 Revisited" …… brought the house down.  The crowd and the joint 
were worn out!  That's it and it don't get any better than that.  
The four of them stood and faced the crowd, smiled, took a couple of bows, 
then disappeared.

Outside in the casino, a 50-ish year old couple asked us what else he sang 
during the encore.  They said they could not handle any more of the 
standing and rocking, it was too hot for them so they had to leave.  I 
looked at them incredulousy… said Watchtower and Highway 61.  All I 
heard was "damn….."


Review by Craig Grant

It was a no-brainer. I looked at the fact that Bob was gonna be in Vegas
on the 24th. Same weekend that the fuse got stuck up the anal orifice of
one humanoid looking statue, up in the Black Rock desert, north-east of
Reno. I just happened to have won an all-expense paid vacation to spend a
weekend inside an RV with Rob Brezsny. For those of you who don't know,
Rob Brezsny is the guy who writes that wacky Free Will Astrology column
which reaches nine million readers, so the blurb at the back of his novel,
THE TELEVISIONARY ORACLE, proclaims, through the 118 entertainment rags
that the column trots through each week. (Go to
for more info....)

So I got on the web, snagged a ticket to Bob. Haven't seen him since
Dublin last year. What a great show that was. Almost as good as the
Missoula show.

Anyway, pardon the delay, but I didn't come across an internet cafe
between the final notes of HIGHWAY 61, and the time I hooked 'er north on
Nevada 202, or whatever the number on that cow trail is, that runs through
Gerlach to Black Rock City. And so I realize I'll miss the core audience
of Bob Dates, but I'll put the word in the ear of my own mailing list
least..... three hundred strong now, and counting......)

And so I headed down the coast to Eugene and hooked her to the left to
Klamath Falls and zipped through the fall-out zone through Tonopah, talk
about the big empty, wow, and, being an Art Bell fan, took the road
through Pahrump and found a hotel there. Walked through a casino with a
pendulum and won two hundred dollars from a one-armed bandit, which,
strangely enough, is the cost of a ticket to Burning Man.

And then drove into Vegas while listening to that tasty Bob and Ralph
Stanley duet about the lonesome river on the Oxford American mix CD.
Arrived at the Hard Rock about an hour before show time. Stood in line,
grabbed my ticket, headed inside, everything going as smooth as grass
through a goose.

Went and stood in line at the bar. Ordered a double tequila and a pale
ale. Guy brings me two tequilas - which looks like doubles - and the beer.
These doubles? I said. Ain't that whatcha said? he said. Ah well, what the
hell. Just sittin' here on the banks, watchin' the river flow. And as
everyone knows, you gotta go with the flow, lonesome or otherwise.

Of course, it's kinda hard to carry two tequilas and a beer. So I suck
back the one double quick and then meander over to the edge of the crowd
which was already back to the middle railing, and grab the closest spot I
can. None of this trying to edge in any closer, no sir, that's not how
this cowboy operates. Turns out I'm next to two other lone wolves, both
from Canada, what are the odds on that, and, perhaps thanks to that
tequila, get into a pretty animated discussion about Bob, and I lay on
them my spiel about the Missoula show in the spring of 2000, and the
Dublin show, and how if Bob even scales the bottom rungs of the ladder
that he climbed on those two occasions, well, there'll be all the proof
these guys'll need that some artists can, indeed, remain forever young. 
And then we get to talking to this couple who'd just gotten married. Never
been to Dylan before. I told them I envied them the experience they were
about to have. They smiled. Good vibes everywhere.

It was during SOLDIER SEARCHING FOR A GRAVE that the idiot showed up.

Our new bride was not a tall bride. Five foot two if that. The idiot stood
right in front of her. She'd had this narrow lane of shoulders that
allowed a bee-line of vision straight to Bob. And now it was gone.

By this time I was half-way through the second tequila and the beer. I
took the straw out of the tequila and poked him in the back. He ignored
it. So I whispered in his ear, "Get off our land, please!" He chose to
ignore that too. He's bouncing and jiving to the music. So I told him that
unless he didn't move his ass in fifteen seconds flat, I was going to mail
his ass to Black Rock City. He took a look at me. I'm five eleven and not
prepossessing in the least. But I had the tequila in me and I guess he
could tell from the look in my eye that I meant it. He moved off. The new
bride had her line of vision back. She gave me the sweetest smile. I fell
in love.

During LOVE MINUS ZERO, NO LIMIT - which I'd never heard play live before
- she looked at me again. Some weird kind of etheric energy passed between
us. Or maybe it was just that last sip of tequila.

I don't know what it is, but I fall in love with some strange woman at
every Dylan show I go to.

You'll understand why if I say those two songs, plus EVERYTHING IS BROKEN
- which I'd also never heard before, live - were the highlights of this

At the end of it, the new bride was ecstatic. What'd you think? she asked
me, and I said well, it was right up there, though actually I thought it
was more of a middlin' state of affairs. But perspective - especially if
you're five two - is everything.

I wished them both well in their life together. Remember, I said,
freedom..... and I tried to find the appropriate bon mots, and she
finished the thought for me, ain't worth nothing but it's free, and she
smiled again, and then she and her new husband moved off into the
departing crowd.

I took my heart off my sleeve and stuck it back behind my ribs.

And then I wandered among the flashing one-armed bandits for a while,
soaking up that spurious Vegas energy, and then I sauntered out into the
hot bright night. Bought six bottles of water from a harried woman in a
conveniance store. And then booted it back out to Pahrump, while listening
to Art Bell.

Apparently there's this new crop circle in England that's incredibly huge
and looks like a face. The face on Mars, according to the guest.

If you ask me, the face on Mars looks a lot like Bob Dylan's.

What does it all mean?

I dunno.

I do know, though, that even a middlin' Dylan concert - where the hell
were the surprise tracks from the new album, Bob? - is better than a
grilled cheese sandwich after a Dead concert.

Remember, all you idiots out there, don't, please don't, try to horn on
other people's territory, take whatever your time of arrival granted you.

There could be a new bride behind you collecting life-long memories.

As for Black Rock City, well, that was one truly bizarre experience. Don't
think I'll ever forget that obscenely obese naked guy on the back of the
flatbed truck decorated with skulls. Twisting with a hula-hoop, his
bifurcated penis flopping in the dusty wind.

That memory is bound to be stuck in my mind right down there among every
single Dylan show I've seen.

Peaks and valleys, they say.

If you want the inside scoop on Burning Man from an astrologer/Bobcat's
pov, just send an email to with SUBSCRIBE BURNING MAN
in the subject line, and you'll get the little memoir I'm going to start
writing right now, Sept 5th, with that Star of David planetary
configuration above us all, shining down like the spotlight on Bob.

Right after I read this article in the new Rolling Stone, that is. His new
masterpiece, says the blurb on the cover. Five stars.

(Not even one little taste, Bob!!!???? It's like being out in the Black
Rock desert near the end of Burning Man, when the water supplies all gone,
and seeing naked beautiful women parade past, sipping ice water..... the

Anyway. May you stay, all of you, yes, just like Bob, forever young.

yers truly, Craig Grant, your friendly neighborhood
astrologer-in-residence at


page by Bill Pagel

Tour Guide
Tour Guides
Bob Links
Set Lists
by Date
Set Lists
by Location