Sacramento, California
Memorial Auditorium
October 9, 2002

[Bob Hunt], [Bradford Shepherd]

Review by Bob Hunt

History was made, or perhaps begun, on Wednesday night, October 9, 2002 in
Sacramento, California.  In what will, in my humble opinion, be recognized
as one of the stellar shows of his career, Bob Dylan launched a new
challenge to the populace of this beleaguered and endangered planet.  This
fourth concert of his 2002 Fall Tour, brought together what was already
blossoming in Seattle, Eugene, Red Bluff and Sacramento on the nights of
October 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th. The full power and intensity that many of
us have long known Dylan is capable of and that he has provided
tantalizing glimpses of in songs and performances over the years came
gushing forth in this second Sacramento show.  If even something close can
continue to be manifested as this tour continues across the United States,
there may be a wake of spiraling effects capable of re-energizing a
thoughtul citizenry to reclaim the possibilities, the hopes and the dreams
of this "land of promise".

This group of supremely talented musicians, with Bob Dylan at the helm, is
raising the bar to a new level of beauty and purpose.  This is being done
with Dylan taking over the keyboard and providing a new dimension to his
songs, an expansion to a new level of sound that is full and rich.  This
is enhanced by the opportunies it provides for the incomparable Charlie
Sexton guitar solos and the equally wonderful contributions of of the
incredibly versatile Larry Campbell.  Meanwhile, Dylan's vocals are more
strong, emphatic, clear, nuanced, and full of meaning and value than ever

The total impact is so powerful and the songs so carefully chosen that I
was overwhelmed with the feeling that this band has a mission to enlighten
and even change the world to a better, more hospitable and unified future.
 God only knows what revolutionary potential is here, but I feel deeply
that Bob Dylan shares some of this knowledge and is doing his best to
share it. The expansionary nature of these shows is heightened by his
gracious tributes to fellow songwriters Warren Zevon, Don Henley, Neil
Young and  others probably yet to be honored as the tour continues.

I will leave it to others to provide a more traditional review of the
second Sacramento show that included a surprising appearance of a strongly
delivered "Blowin' In The Wind" in the middle of the set list and a
beautifully rendered "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" as the second of the
three encores that have been the same at each show so far, the other two
being "Like A Rolling Stone" and "All Along the Watchtower".  Listening to
these at Red Bluff and the two Sacramento shows, I hope this pattern
continues because those who hear only one concert on this tour deserve to
hear these three classics played as powerfully and beautifully as they
ever have been.  An excellent commentary on the first Sacramento show
appears in the Thursday, October 10 Sacramento Bee wherein writer David
Barton observes that "the sheer gravity and power of his (Dylan's)
dedication to simply playing - even for just a few thousand people at a
reasonable $32.75 a ticket - came home full force".  

Whether you've only heard Dylan in concert a few times; whether you have
friends, relatives, or children who have never had this experience; or
whether, like myself, you have been with Dylan every step of the way since
1960 or thereabouts and have attended as many shows as you could; try to
get on board somewhere down the line this year, dear brothers and sisters.
 You and those you encourage to go will get the ride of a lifetime and
probably never be the same again (only better)!



Review by Bradford Shepherd

Seeing Bob Dylan at the Memorial is becoming a wonderful tradition. This
year we get 2 nights and while the first night was good I felt blown away
last night. Right away the music sounded a bit more assured, they seemed
to need a couple of songs to get going on the 8th. Seeing Bob on keys is
cool, he seems to get a kick out of it. And that's really the thing with
Bob isn't it? His attitude and desire towards a song makes it. All night
Bob was into it. Being down front with a pair of binoculars to boot, I
could watch his expressions wrap themselves around his timeless lyrics.
Masters of War was just as urgent as it was last year at this time, Bob
scowling. Songs lilted and they rocked. One Too Many Mornings made my
heart sing and Brown Sugar and Summer Days suprised me with their all out
rocking. In fact during the mid section of Summer Days, as they were all
gathered by the drum kit, Bob kept looking at Charlie and laughing, almost
in disbelief of how hard they were rocking, the crowd cheering louder and
louder each time they kept going when you thought they would stop. At
times during the night I recalled the thunder of the Winston Watson days
as the new drummer pounded away. And if hearing Bob sing Old Man doesn't
send shivers up your spine I don't know what will. I guess the most
telling moment(s) of the night came during the encore. 3 songs I don't
think about much, not because they aren't great, but probably because we
hear them so much: Like a Rolling Stone, Heaven's Door, and Watchtower
delivered with timeless perfection, making me love those songs all over
again. A musical variety show of the highest order, a traveling history
lesson, from the never answered questions of Blowing in The Wind to the
swampy delta of Highwater and all points in between. There's nothing like
seeing musicians of this caliber getting it on and being able to feel the
crowd's energy and the band's desire. Walking out of the auditorium, I
could still feel the ghosts of electricity howling in the bones of my
face. Just when you think you've got him figured, he turns the dial and
leaves you with your jaw on the floor. Thanks Bob!



page by Bill Pagel

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