Sacramento, California
Memorial Auditorium
October 8, 2002

[David Link]

Review by David Link

   I'm finally  home tonight after witnessing a truly bizarre and wonderful
show. What Dylan did tonight was just amazing, and it is hard to absorb
and realize what really happened. Yes he did do Old Man, and it was
tremendous...But you could also point to just about any song on the
setlist tonight and it would be counted as tremendous.
   I went to this show both psyched and nervous at once. My last three Dylan 
outings have been rough, and I was really hoping this would go
OK...(Flying to Florida in Feb. and getting sick at Sunrise, ditto w/ New
Orleans two weeks later, and another disaster at Omaha this summer, which
caused me to miss the last part of the tour....)
   So I was very glad when they announced 6 shows within four hours from
home, and more in So. Cal, because it ment I could avoid a plane ride.
   My friends and I were in the first and second rows, and because this is
such a small auditorium, the stage is very low, and the band is about 12
feet away.  This is perhaps the reason a BGP bluecoat was posted front
row-center, IN the crowd, which I have never seen done before...They did
not have this guard posted at this place last year so it seemed odd...But
any idiot in the crowd could jump onstage at any time, and there is no
real pit in between the stage and the audience for any guards to be in.
   Bob came out wearing a white suit and black pants, and the ever-present
boots (of leather?).  The band were wearing black suits that sparkled.
   Bob walks up to the keyboard center-stage, and we're into Maggies Farm.
The sound could have been better, but it was so strange seeing Bob up
there pounding the keys that I didn't really notice. You can read about
something, but to actually be standing right there hearing it and seeing
it is a whole new ballgame.
  I'll Be Staying Here With You was killer...To have Larry and Bob side by
side playing a keyboard and a slide guitar....
   Tombstone Blues....Now for the totally different version!! This was fun
with the new phrasing...
   The End of the Innocence....I have never liked much by Don Henly, but Dylan
and Co. really knocked this one out....If you know the song, imagine the
pounding piano parts and you get the idea (sort of). At this point I was
realizing this would be a special show...
   Baby Tonight....another song that is perfect for Bob fooling around with the 
   Brown Sugar....After hearing it, I thought this was a natural for Bob and 
the boys...It was so ripping and on fire it was probably better than most
of the Stones versions. At one point Larry was shredding so hard, and the
band was so right behind him and on top of it, it was the best band you've
ever heard...People were screaming for good reason.  
   Then a decent Masters of War (not really near the power of the one here 
last year in Oct.).  
   It's Alright Ma...Very interesting, one he is really working on these four 
   Boots....A nice mellow version on a rocking night.
   Cold Irons Bound...A nice little version that almost tore the house
down.... Baby Blue....This was great...Very nice playing by all the guitars.
   After this they had a little bit of a discussion, and you could tell
something was brewing....Then I believe it was Larry who stepped out and
did the haunting opening notes of Old Man, and the house went
brain refused to let me think they were really doing this, but here it
was...and what a version!!!!!!  He only tweaked the lyrics a tiny bit, and
nailed them all. Really a remarkable thing to have witnessed. Get the CD.
   Honest w/ Me...Another barn burner....Dylan is having a great time with
this one on the keys....hopping around, snapping his head back and
forth....After the line "My woman's got a face like a teddy bear", he made
a face that was intentionally NOT teddy bear-like....Awesome.
   One Too Many Mornings.....Nice and relaxed, after the above...
   High Water...Not relaxed--Very intense and forceful......"It's rough out
there."  Indeed.   Only the second time I had seen this, and the first had
a banjo...This was standout...It's no wonder he has been doing this one a
lot now.
   Mutineer....very interesting, but I wanted Lawyers Guns and Money...Yes I 
know, don't be picky. Werewolves of London could be done soon....
   Moonlight....very cool, w/ Bob wandering around, picking up the harmonica, 
and giving it a good go....near the end of the song, he went over next to
Larry and was still playing the harp, then he realized it may be more
effective if he were actually amplifying it through his mic, which he did.
Pretty funny.
   Summer Days.....This cooked harder than almost anything the whole
night...Near the middle George looked at Bob and they shared a big laugh
over how fast they were playing....Bu the end, Charlie is kicking George's
cymbals amd then sitting on the drum riser, with Bob next to him with one
leg up on the riser, and Larry right there also...They were smoking, and
they knew it...Amazing work.
   This whole time Bob has been reminding me of some sort of mad scientist
behind the keys, with his white suit and mannerisms....really funny and a
bit different than what we have seen in the past bunch of years....He was
also looking like some sort of preacher behind a pulpit most of the show,
banging away and preaching to the masses....and I am not religious, but
it's what it seemed like.
   I found the encores pretty average..... the same three encores they have 
been doing for a while do not quite equal the power of the main set we had
just heard, though they had moments.
   All and all, a pretty mind-bending experience. When you have been used to 
one thing for so long, it's strange to see something totally different in
its place. You'll see. Onward!


page by Bill Pagel

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