page by Bill Pagel
Review by Jill Clemenich
Dylan and the band came out on stage at 7:40 last night, Dylan dressed in
the black suit with white trim, and the black and white checkered tie.
The band was wearing the sort of shiny looking gray suits, the same ones
they wore the night before in Dayton. Carsten and I managed to get a good
spot 2 rows back from the rail right in front of Larry. "Maggie's Farm"
opened the show, with Dylan clomping on the keyboards. His opening vocals
were much, much stronger than the previous night's, when i really had
difficulty understanding the words to "Seeing the Real You At Last." At
the end, he gave us a "thank yooouuuuuu!" The most Bobtalk i've heard
besides the band intros in quite awhile! "In the Summertime," was much
better than the previous night's version. Bob's vocals so far were much
clearer than they were the previous night. I love hearing Larry and
Charlie on the chorus, and they seem to enjoy singing it. Larry and
George laughed at each other a few times during this song, something those
two were doing throughout the Dayton show! Bob became quite animated
during "Tombstone Blues," bending his knees at the keyboards and moving
his head back and forth. Accidentally Like a Martyr was just like
everyone said it was - well played, again with Charlie and Larry on
vocals. "Things Have Changed" was a surprise, and Dylan's vocals were
right on the money. During "Brown Sugar" is when the band started having
some serious fun - Charlie and Larry clearly enjoy singing this one.
Larry was doing this sort of shout/growl thing into the mike, and yelled
along with Bob during the last verse! I've heard people complain about
this song, probably because they only read about it on the set list, and
don't see how much fun it is in concert. I think everyone in the venue
had huge smiles on their faces after this one! Wow, then "Queen Jane"!
At first i thought it was "Love Minus Zero" with the lap steel, but i'm
glad i was wrong! Dylan ended with a pretty long harp solo, which started
off a little shaky. He seems to have trouble keeping his guitar back and
holding his harp at the same time. But, he managed to pull himself
together and end it strongly, much to the crowd's delight. I really like
the new arrangement of "It's Alright, Ma" with the keyboard. Now is a
good time to mention George's drumming - folks, the man and his machine
are one! It's like he's dancing, he makes it look so effortless. Plus,
he manages to interact with the rest of the band, not hide underneath his
hat like Kemper did. "Drifter's Escape" and "Masters of War" were followed
by "Old Man," again with Larry and Charlie singing the chorus. Man, those
two really enjoy singing! "Honest with Me" was next. Dylan on keyboards
really gives a lot of room for Charlie and Larry on their guitars. Larry
was standing next to Bob and interacting with him quite a bit during this
song. At one point during this song, Charlie walked up to George and
kicked his cymbal, almost knocking it over! At the end of the song, he
walked over and held up the cymbal he almost kicked over, as if to steady
it for George. "Lay Lady Lay" was another surprise, which was well played.
It remained faithful to the original version. During "High Water,"
Charlie "helped" George play the bongos at the beginning of the song. The
bongos must've had powder on them, because Charlie walked back to his
spot, looked at his hands with a puzzled expression, and wiped them off
before playing. As he was all evening, Bob was pretty animated, moving
his knees and head all around.
"Mutineer" was well sung, again pretty much what I expected from reading
other reviews. "Floater" was one of the many highlights, and again the
Romeo and Juliet line got people cheering. Dylan's vocals all evening
were crystal clear, and he nailed every word to this song. I'd love to
see Dylan sing this like he did Highlands, walking around stage with just
a microphone. Still more laughing between Larry and George. What WAS so
funny between those two??? "Summer Days" was BY FAR the highlight of the
show!!! Before starting, Dylan spit on the stage, which really made Tony
laugh. Dylan sang the first line of each verse as normal, then dropped
his voice for the second line. This continued for the entire song, I'd
never heard it like this before, and it was tremendous! Lots of joking
between Charlie and Bob, between Larry and George, and Tony - he was all
over the place! He twirled the bass around and tipped his hat behind
Dylan's back, getting cheers from the crowd. Then he carried his bass
over to Larry. Then back to his spot. Then over to Charlie, who
pretended to play the bass with his teeth. He went over to Larry again,
where he picked up his bass several times while playing. When he set it
down for the last time, he held both of his hands on his lower back and
stooped back to his spot. Lots of deep knee bends from Charlie and head
wagging and smiles from Bob, actually everyone in that place was smiling!
Then came the formation and the crowd just could not cheer enough for
them! BITW was, you know, BITW, but the crowd was still riding the high
from Summer Days. Everyone got loud cheers during the band intros.
During Watchtower, Larry was clearly "in a zone" staring upwards and
moving his mouth, sort of like someone who has to mouth the words while
they read. Well nobody wanted Bob to leave the stage, but all great things
must come to an end sometime. I lost track of time, but the show was over
sometime around 10:10. Carsten and I lingered around to talk with some
other Dylanpoolers whom we met at the rail before the show.
Jill Clemenich email@example.com
Review by Don Ely
Richmond,Indiana sits squarely on the state line, and as it is just a scant 35 miles
west of Dayton,Ohio, I thought I might take a little time to slide on over and look
up some Blues history. A freshly asphalted road leads down into Whitewater Gorge,and
as the pavement runs out you will find the ruins of the Gennett Record Company.
Primarily recognized as a Jazz label,Louis Armstrong and his wife Lil Hardin,Bix
Beiderbecke, and Jelly Roll Morton were among the notables to have recorded there.
Blues artists were brought up from the cotton fields of Mississippi to commit their
Delta sounds to wax inside the Gennett studios. 1925-30 saw people like Scrapper
Blackwell, Big Bill Broonzy,Cryin' Sam Collins, Cow Cow Davenport, and Georgia Tom
Dorsey cut sides on this very ground. All that remains are portions of the record
pressing facility,destroyed by fire many years ago,and a single brick incinerator
that strives to touch the sky as a smokestack. As I walked through the shell of the
pressing plant I envisioned all the fabulous sessions that were borne of this
hallowed place. All the energy had dissipated into the mists of time, unlike in the
Mississippi Delta, where some of that hoodoo remains palpable. The legendary Charley
Patton, commemorated for generations new and old by Bob Dylan in his song "High
Water" came here in 1929 to leave his own mark on Richmond. Memories of a lost age
fade as quickly as the original Gennett parrot logo still visible on the record
It was 2:30 in the afternoon as I left Richmond to make the trek from southwest to
northeast Ohio. I had just gotten my hotel,secured parking on the Kent State campus
(after considerable difficulty), walked across the street and up the hill to
tonight's venue, the MAC Center,determined there were no beer sales (it was a long
drive!), up the stairs and into the reserved seating area when the house lights went
down. As this was a college basketball gymnasium,reserved seating, at least in my
section, meant bleachers. As it seems I'm virtually blind now in the darkness, I
grabbed the first unoccupied spot I found. The new model "Maggie's Farm" commenced
things in fine style. Never really one of my favorite compositions, this version was
rhythmic, propulsive, reminiscent of 1988 renditions with G.E.Smith. The band had
their game faces on right out of the gate, and Bob's voice was strong throughout.
As with last night at Hara Arena, the MAC Center is cozy enough that the
checkerboard stage dominates the hall, and is not overwhelmed by the cavernous size
of larger venues. "In The Summertime" manifested quite nicely in the second slot,
ain't nobody can play the ballads like Robert Allen Zimmerman. "Things Have Changed"
replaced "I'll Be Your Baby" from the previous night. It would be nice once in a
while if Bob would play some of his other non-album tracks; "Train Of Love" from the
Johnny Cash tribute would be a nice choice, or even the song from the Doc Pomus
tribute of a few years back. "Brown Sugar" still amazes me and makes me laugh!Again
the playing was excellent, the song hot enough to do Mick Taylor (himself a Dylan
sideman in 1984) proud. You'll never hear the Strolling Bones play it this well
anymore.Best they can muster is to repackage their hits for the nth time and
attempt to make consumers feel they're in on something really special. Or freshen
Allen Klein's already mink-lined pockets. Our Man Bob would never stoop to that.
Instead,he gives us "Queen Jane Approximately", outstanding,and completely
By this time the folks who held tickets to the seats in which I was sitting had
come to claim theirs, and I had to move to my actual seat, a couple rows up and a
few to the right. The sound was now even better! I was in the gallery overlooking the
proceedings, Bob Dylan And His Band and the hordes of college kids bopping on the
sold-out main floor. I felt I did pretty well considering I'd only bought my ticket
that morning in Dayton. A well-crafted "Positively Fourth Street" was chosen in
lieu of Hara's "Boots Of Spanish Leather", hardly a replacement, but a sweet version
nonetheless. Tonight EVERYBODY had the nerve to be Bob's friend! "Masters Of War"
made an appearance; this song works best if it's not performed so often. In the
trecherous 21st century the lyrics resound ominously through a university campus,
most notably this one, Kent State. Neil Young's "Old Man" followed, and as last night,
was sterling. Charlie Sexton's leads riveted the audience, and for a few minutes we
were held aloft by the harmonies and the song's overall beauty. A true centerpiece.
After 24 shows,and 412 songs performed, the 129th different song I got to see Bob
Dylan play (how's that for statistics!) was "Lay,Lady,Lay". Interestingly enough,
Bob doesn't trot this one out all that often, surprising given the virtuosity of
his musicians. This is one I've long anticipated hearing. I was not disappointed.
The soaring pedal steel took hold of everyone in the house, and the percussion of
George The Drummer (still haven't got his last name down) was perfectly syncopated,
just like the album track. Bob even seemed to use his "Nashville Skyline" voice on
this one! Studio quality, just like "Old Man".
"High Water", that song "For Charley Patton", and a quick "Mutineer" came next. I've
really enjoyed the Warren Zevon covers these two shows, and look forward to either
"Lawyers Guns And Money" or Don Henley's "The End Of The Innocence" in Ann Arbor.
The 1920's stylings of "Floater(Too Much To Ask)" filled the air most pleasurably,
before "Summer Days" had 'em shakin' 'em on down. I think these guys try to out-rock
themselves on this one from gig to gig; a measure may be how many times Tony spins
the bass! I'll have to start paying attention to that.
Always better than the rest, and frequently brilliant, both Dayton 11/2/02 and Kent
11/3/02 fell into the latter category. Bob Dylan And His Band knocked 'em dead in
Don Ely Rochester,Michigan
page by Bill Pagel
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