page by Bill Pagel
Review by Michael Goodall
Just got back to Rockford, on my long detour to St.
Paul. Last night was great fun, specially cuz I went
GA for the first time and met some wonderful people
down in front. I'm tired so here's just a quick few
1. There was a blown amp or something on stage for
the first 7-8 songs! That distracted everyone
onstage, but I hope it doesn't show up on the tapes.
Not to mention the inevitable "party on Bob" types
behind me (why do those kind always have to shout
during the quietest acoustic moments?), the bonehead
who snapped a photo and got into a push me pull you
tussle with security to my right, and the
cell-phoners, but being two back from the front wall
more than compensated.
2. Loved hearing those "L&T" songs! They really sound
great, especially Highwater and Honest With Me.
Summer Days just goes on and on, and cranks up in
power till the roof blows off. Wonderful closer. Bye
and Bye is refreshing, kinda like hearing If Dogs Run
Free, (the casual fans must be going "wtf is that
song?") but I'd like to see it higher up in the
3. I'm glad he's not doing so many Zevon songs any
longer. I thought Mutineer was the lowest point of
the show. Old Man and Brown Sugar really got the
crowd up (not so many people in the Hilton it seemed)
and I was pretty impressed with the musicianship on
TEOI (which I didn't expect to like).
4. Ever since I heard that Nara show I've just loved
Ring Them Bells, and there it was, in the second
slot! Then a beautiful Tonight I'll Be Staying Here
With You and a letter perfect You Ain't Going
Nowhere. Those other guitarists provide great
harmonies. And is the new It's Alright, Ma
arrangement ever cool. Talk about menacing. Right
into Don't Think Twice, Wicked Messenger (always
liked this more than Drifter's Escape), and My Back
Pages! That was a great run.
4. Bob didn't dedicate anything to Wellstone, but
when he intro'd Charlie he said something like "you
alright, Charlie?" with a great big smile. There was
some kidding going on there, and just watching the
darting eyes of the other players made the long wait
in the cold in the GA line well worth it. Those guys
are like hawks (a pun!) if not better. hahahaha
5. The encore is really fun and All Along The
Watchtower is extended cuz Bob repeats the first
verse. Plus Charlie adds some fantastic licks. It's
so much better to see both Larry and Charlie adding
lot's more guitar (at least it seems that way to me)
especially when Bob's on piano. And it was mentioned
that the piano was hard to hear on the West Coast,
but it was clear in Ames. Oh yeah it was amazing to
see Larry on the violin (first time for me). What a
6. Ya know, I just don't like Bob's haircut and
wardrobe. He seems to have visually morphed into the
80's video star he tried to become back then. At
least the music is nowhere near 80's schlock!
Well, seems like I kinda rambled. We better get
going, cuz it's still 6 hours to St. Paul. At least
we've got seats tonight. And it's Mikyung's first
show! I wonder what she'll think.
Review by Dennis Crall
I'm your witness...Bob's our mutineer. Back at work today after seeing Bob
in Ames last night, and I'm having a hard time concentrating. As usual,
Bob and the band put on a great show. Including an amazingly tender Don't
Think Twice, the always fun You Ain't Goin' Nowhere, three great covers, a
wonderful rendition of Bye and Bye, and an out-of-this-world Summer Days,
I'd have to say the band has never been better. They all seem really loose
up on stage. Walking around, talking to each other, smiling. Charlie in
particular seemed like he was having a hell of a time. I think he's been
studying Bob's moves. Bobbin and weavin'. Pullin' his guitar up tight to
his chest. Kicking the cymbals. The whole band is a lot of fun to watch.
The only problem was that you never would have known this from the
stone-faced crowd. During the introduction of the band, Bob asked
Charlie if he was feeling okay after his introduction garnered a
"polite" response. It took a "blistering" (and I mean this in the sense
that the sun is blistering when you're standing 15 feet from it) Summer
Days to get a decent response from the crowd. It's too bad really because
the crowd kept the show from reaching true greatness when Bob was more
than willing to take us there. As a result, Bob cut the encore one song
short, which was disappointing. Hopefully, Bob will stop in Iowa City on
his next trip through Iowa instead of Ames.
As far as Bob on the piano...I'll just say I was very excited to see
this. And a day after the experience, I'll say that it's nice to see
someone play the piano like lasers are shooting out of the front of it.
Now for some quick impressions of the performances:
1. Seeing The Real You at Last - A good start. I'm not familiar with this
song, but this seemed like a strong start compared to some of the other
openers I've seen.
2. Ring Them Bells - Very good. It was good to hear this one with the
piano. I thought it added a lot. Bob's voice sounded great.
3. Tombstone Blues. - It was fun to hear, but I wasn't really impressed by
4. The End of the Innoncence - I doubt this song ever sounded so good
before Bob sang it. This performance showcased just how much Bob's singing
can really bring a song to life. Hearing Bob draw out "This is the
eeeennnnnnnnnnnd of the innoncence" was one of those great Bob moments.
5. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere - Fantastic! This is one of my personal
favorites, and Bob and the boys were having a lot of fun with it.
Lustily singing the "Ooo Weees", Larry's steel guitar was great, and Bob's
harp solo was divine.
6. Brown Sugar - Totally lived up to the hype. The band was rocking and
having a great time. Larry & Charlie's singing at the end was the best
7. Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You - The acoustic songs really stood
out for me, and this one was no different. Bob's voice was clear and
tender, and the song came across very well.
8. It's Alright, Ma - I remember really liking this one, but I'm having a
hard time recalling specifics. The new arrangement is definitely an
9. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right - I think this was the high-light of
the show for me. It was very similar to other versions I have heard, but
there was something magical about this performance. Bob's phrasing was
perfect and he had an amazing solo in the middle and the band was right
there with him.
10. The Wicked Messenger - This was probably the low point of the night
for me. I've never like this arrangement. It's loud, but it doesn't rock.
Too much going on with nothing standing out. Bob pulling out his harp at
the end was the only redeeming part of the song.
11. My Back Pages - Wonderful even though I thought it was one of the
Zevon songs until the chorus. Larry gave the song a great sound with his
12. Old Man - Again, Bob and the band took ownership of this song. It was
theirs last night. Bob sounded great. Larry & Charlie sounded great. And
the song sounded great with a little electric edge.
Bob's choice of this song is interesting to me. Seeing a 60 year old Bob
sing "Old man take a look at my life.", makes me wonder. Who is he singing
to? Himself? His young fans? His old fans? "Twenty-four and there's so
13. Honest With Me - First song from L&T, and the first song of Bob's that
really rocked. The band was really going, but Bob was still getting the
lyrics out there clearly. "I'm avoidin' the south side the best I can."
14. The Times They Are A-Changin' - Very very good. As I said Bob
really sounded great on the acoustic numbers. I was waiting to see if he
would dedicate it to Senator Wellstone again, but the tribute remained
15. High Water - Again another very good performance. The new
arrangement was good, but I think I prefer the banjo to the bongos.
16. Mutineer - Wonderful. A great song and Bob gave a wonderful
17. Bye and Bye - Another high-light for me. Who else is going to croon
"I'm going to baptize you in fire so you can sin no more/I'm gonna
establish my rule through civil war"?
18. Summer Days - I don't even know where to start describing this
performance. I will say it was nothing short of amazing. This song
alone is worth the price of admission. Other reviewers were not lying when
they said that Bob and the band have taken this song to another level. As
much as I love the album version, this was 100 times better. I can't say
enough. It rocked. It stomped. It swung. It made me think of: "The cabaret
was empty now, a sign said, 'Closed for repair.'"
19. Blowin' In The Wind - A very nice version. Gave everyone a much
needed breather after Summer Days.
20. All Along The Watchtower - Another great performance. Wathctower used
to be like Wicked Messenger for me, but the version last night was
incredible. It still rocks. However, the lyrics were a lot more distinct,
and you could hear a lot of distinct layers from the band also. By far the
best version of Watchtower I have seen Bob do.
Review by Nic Arp
Dylan's had this band--Charlie, Larry, and Tony anyway--for a long time
now, especially by Dylan standards. I've always loved this band and their
twang, especially when they played the old mountain/hillbilly material
like Rovin' Gabler, This World It Won't Stand Long, etc.
Now, though, Bob's let this band become what it seemingly always wanted to
be deep down: a full-on rock-and-roll band. They clearly enjoy it, and I
did in Ames last night, too.
From the moment they took the stage to play Seeing the Real You at Last
through the final encore of All Along the Watchtower, this band played
with energy and passion and a rock-solid bottom groove. Even the quieter
numbers, like the achingly beautiful Ring Them Bells, were tight and had
an unmistakable groove. Over the last few years, this band has bordered on
cluttered, meandering jangling at times, especially during extended solos
and especially when Bob was taking the lead, but there was none of that
tonight--either they're just getting tighter with time, they're fully
enjoying the new rock-out ethos of the shows, or they've been spending a
lot of time rehearsing. Or all of the above. (With Bob playing so much
piano--and often surprisingly well, I might add--they probably have been
rehearsing a lot.)
I love the way the band keeps their eyes on Bob almost all of the time,
waiting to see what twist he might throw into the proceedings at any given
moment. This is definitely Bob's band, and he is unmistakenly their
leader. Gotta love that.
Too bad the venue is so lame--and that it was only 1/4 full at most with a
crowd of rather unenthusiastic people. Oh well--that's Ames, Iowa for you.
(Note to bookers: IOWA CITY!)
This was not a night that will be written about when some future
Dylanologist examines this era or this tour. But it was an excellent
snapshot of a great band, with a legendary genius of a leader, gettin' the
job done on the road.
Review by Larry Kelly
Some 12 hours later, I'm still in a Post/Dylan Concert swoon. About the
concert, in one word---SURREAL---. I have been a Bob Dylan fan for 35
years and a certified Dylan-fanatic for 30 years. I have (because of very
extraordinary circumstances) seen His Bobness only twice--Feb-73--Denver
and The Rolling Thunder revue in Fort Collins-May 1976. That's right 26
years and probably over $1000.00 in spending for his cassettes and CD's--I
see him live in Ames, Iowa at Hilton Coliseum(by fact that I'm a Iowa
State Grad student, I pass this sight at least 3 times a day) just 6
blocks from where I live. I swear, the first song I was immobilized, it
didn't seem real. How can this man be so good? Is this really reality?
By the time for first song ended, I was able to applaud my way back into
reality and wham --Ring them Bells-- sensational version and one of the
50 classic songs on my list. The rest of the set was outrageous, all the
almost grandiose praise that reviewers on Bill Pagels link and the music
critics praises for Dylan's concerts are fully justified in my mind. One
of the high points(hell the whole damn set was a high point-this man and
his band just didn't miss a beat) was the finale of the first set, they
jammed ala the Greatful Dead to Summer Days from Love and Theft and it
really brought the Ames, Iowa crowd to its feet with a roar.
As you see in my opening, this is part 1 of a two part review. I have
most enjoyed the reviews of your reviewers that go into the background and
setting of the whole Dylan concert show. I want to do that, but its just
too long for one review, plus I'm still processing the experience. I also
wanted to get this short review out today because I told so many people I
talked to last night, that I was going to do this. More about them in
Finally I have to mention two names from the at least 20-25 people I met
at the concert. One was Mark, from Ames a Iowa State student and just
typical of the many young 20's something I met, friendly, intelligent
and I'm sure that after his first Dylan concert, he is now a fan. The
other was a new special friend--Pat from the Metro area of the Twin Cities
(New Market specifically), we struck up a great conversation and we were
standing next to each other during the concert, exchanging remarks and
observations. That was great fun especially since I got lost in the maze
from the two friends I had planned on being with. Pat is a true
Dylanite,he drove by himself (some 150 miles) just for the concert, he was
to drive back that night in order to make it work today and also in time
to see Dylan again tonight at the Excel Center. A true trooper, he
couldn't get his wife nor his buddies to join him in the trip,so he came
by himself, I'm glad he did it made my evening even more enjoyable.
There are so many stories for me to tell of the color, the nuances and the
background of the concert and the concert hall itself(the sound was
excellent). That will have to wait till Part 2. Thanks Bill Pagel for
making this site possible, I read it everyday that Dylan's on tour.
page by Bill Pagel
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