page by Bill Pagel
Review by Kevin Briggs
Dylan did a great job last night in Pittsburgh. In my opinion, it was a
much better concert than Hamburg only a few months earlier. However, I
think I am partial to indoor concerts, as the sound seems to get quieter
and more diluted in outdoor venues (especially venues like The Erie County
Fairgrounds in Hamburg). The sound was dense and carried well in the A.J.
Duquesne University did a fair job at crowd control. It was a crowded mess
trying to get into the concert, and then it was tough getting to my seat
(Row B7) once I was in there. But, nobody seemed to get bothered too much
concerning smoking and drinking, even though the beer was cut off at 9
p.m. It's always a plus when we're allowed to just enjoy the concert
without worrying about security hassling us all night.
Anyway, Dylan came out very solid. Everything sounded tight, and I was
loving the piano, which I was hearing/seeing him play for the first time.
I'm just going to talk about my observations without listing every song.
It was a great show.
Dylan really got going towards the end of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum,
which was the first song. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight was rock solid.
Dylan's vocals were perfect. He was singing with a smooth rasp and
delivering some nice melodic lines.
I was highly anticipating the Zevon songs, and am now somewhat indifferent
to them, although Dylan delivered some nice phrasing throughout the songs.
I felt the same way about Brown Sugar. It was a crowd pleaser, as was Old
Man. The college kids down front who were pseudo-moshing to the Zevon
songs seemed to like those covers. I would have preferred four Dylan songs
in their place.
It Ain't Me Babe was great. Dylan's doing it the same way he has been,
with Recelli doing som skittish drumming in the background. The guitar
work was beautiful, but the drum-work was a little overdone. I agree with
Don Freeman, in that David Kemper had a really nice light-beat for the
The newest rendition of Shelter From the Storm is great. They hold the
word Storm really long, like Veil, in Long Black Veil. This was probably
my personal highlight, although It's Alright Ma was great too, and Summer
Days was earth shattering. The band was on fire during Summer Days, and
the crowd roared to its feet (those of us in the reserved seats).
Dylan came out for the encore and played two crowd pleasers, which most of
the crowd obviously loved.
All in all, it was a great one. Dylan played mostly electric all night,
and I am partial to his acoustic renditions of his songs. However, it was
still some great stuff. I can't wait until he rolls around again.
Review by Carsten Molt
After the great Dayton and Kent shows the previous weekend, our
expectations were high for the Pittsburgh show on November 8th. Jillsy and
i arrived at the A. J. Palumbo center later than we had wanted to. There
was a very long line of people in front of the venue and our hearts sank
as we wanted to be as close as possible. Luckily, the line was
disorganized and in front of the doors, the line was no longer a line but
a huge crowd of people standing around in no particular order. It was
there that we met some of our pool friends including Bubble Gum Goon,
HerBob and Tk37. After they let us into the venue where we had to go wait
in another line to get our general admission wristbands,we ended up in the
second row back from the rail between Larry and Dylan. It was a nice spot
as we were in the midst of fellow poolers.
A little information about the venue: The AJ Palumbo Center is where
Duquesne University plays their basketball games and there is no ambience
there what so ever. We had seen Dylan there in 2000 and he had delivered
a very average show with few highlights. As showtime neared, the lights
dimmed and the sold out crowd began stirring,a lot of people began
pushing forward. The last time i saw Dylan at this very venue, the same
thing happened. After being shoved forward and from side to side a couple
of times, i planted my feet and managed to hold my ground. A pre-teen
tried to push his way in front of me and i resisted letting him in front
of me. i probably would have let him in front of me if he asked but not
if he chose to try and push me out of his way. The long introduction
started and the band made their way on stage. Dylan looked great as did
the rest of the band. On to the music.
"Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum" (Bob on piano)-This was a good opener and
Dylan played some nice piano fills. It was kind of hard to enjoy as
someone felt that the small of my back was a convenient place to lodge
"I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" (Bob on piano)-i always enjoy hearing this
song and tonight was no exception. i gave up the 4 inches of space in
front of me to get away from the elbow in my back but evidently, the
person behind me moved right up with me again placing his elbow in my
"Tombstone Blues" (Bob on piano)-This song was much better last weekend
and the playing was kind of muddy during this tune. They never really
found the groove but Dylan was having fun and wiggling his legs a bit.
"Accidentally Like A Martyr" (Bob on piano)-i am not very fond of this
song and it was just o.k.
"Things Have Changed' (Bob on piano) - The Oscar winning tune from "The
Wonder Boys" soundtrack was played strongly and brought a loud cheer from
the crowd. Dylans Academy award was sitting on his lamp the entire
evening. Even though, this tune has been played recently, it was nice to
hear it in Pittsburgh where the movie was based and filmed.
"Brown Sugar"-This Rolling Stones cover brought the loudest cheer of the
night and it was as good as ever. Dylan was on guitar and was really
enjoying himself. Larry and Charlie and even Tony sang well on the chorus.
"It Ain't Me, Babe" (acoustic)-It started very similiar to "Boots of
Spanish Leather" and i was holding my breath but we got this warhorse
instead. It wasn't very good and it went on for far too long. Dylan played
a short guitar solo that didn't go anywhere.
"It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" (acoustic)(Bob on piano)-It is time
for Dylan to shelve this for awhile. It was competently played but it
seemed to be a bit mechanical in its execution.
"To Ramona" (acoustic)-This was well done and Larry added some very nice
mandolin playing. Dylan grimaced during the vocals but his singing sounded
fine to me.
"Cold Irons Bound"-i usually like this song but it wasn't done very well
tonight. It was mainly just very loud and Dylan shouted the lyrics more
than sang them.
"Shelter From The Storm"-This was the highlight of the night. It is one of
my favorite songs and was a nice surprise. What was even a bigger surprise
was the new arrangement. Larry was on mandolin and he and Charlie joined
in on the verse ending "Shelter from the Storm" lyrics. This was really
"Old Man" (acoustic)-This Neil Young cover was a crowd pleaser but i
enjoyed it a lot more in the previous two shows i saw. It didn't matter as
i was still basking in the glow of the previous song.
"Honest With Me" (Bob on piano)-This song sems to be losing some of its
power every night. Larrys slide guitar was down in the mix and Dylans
vocal seemed a little muddy. At one point, Charlie turned and shrugged at
Dylan but they seemed to manage to get through the song eventually but
with a lot of work.
"Masters Of War" (acoustic)-After the awful "Honest With me", this
probably seemed better than it was. It is always done well and Dylan sang
it well with lots of conviction.
"High Water"(Dylan on piano)-i like this song but not the way they did it
tonight. During the intro, Charlie attempted to smack his hand on one of
Recelis cymbals and in doing so, the cymbal almost fell off and Charlie
tried to fix it but eventually gave up. Dylan was tapping his foot and
smiling but seemed oblivious to what the rest of the band was playing. He
looked great, though.
"Mutineer"(Bob on piano)-Dylan sang this extremely well and i enjoyed it
quite a bit.
"Bye And Bye" (Bob on piano)- i had never heard this before and it was
really good. It reminded me a bit of "If Dogs Run Free" in its jazzy feel.
"Summer Days" This was awesome and sparks flew as they jammed it out but
it was a bit shorter than the definitive version that we witnessed in Kent
"Blowin' In The Wind" (acoustic)-Another performance of this song which i
loathe. i was hoping for "Knockin" but Dylan gave us this song instead. It
was even more boring than usual.
"All Along The Watchtower' -This brought the show to a close. It was a
pretty good version and Dylan gave us a few smiles and some side to side
After the formation, the lights went down and semed to saty down for a
lot longer than usual.
After the show, we went to Bubblegum Goon and Herbobs house where we hung
out with Marcel, Under_Tobacco_Leaves, HenryPorter, zepat, tk37 and Kait
as well as some people whom i didn't know. This post show gathering was
more fun than the show.
A) Dylan didn't play any harmonica this evening
B) Even though, we were in he second row, Jillsy could not see Dylan
during the show as the one person between her and the stage was much much
taller than her. He asked her if she could see. When she said that she
couldn't, he said she'll get the chance. She finally got a chance to
approach the rail when some people left before the encores. It wouldn't
have killed him to switch places with her.
C) i felt that this show was one of the poorer shows i've seen. It
probably seemed worse than it was because the shows in Dayton and Kent
were so amazing.
D) Dylan and his band seemed to be having a great time all evening long. i
only hope that other fans enjoyed the show more than Jillsy and i did.
In Bob we trust,
Review by Lola
Wow! This was my sixth show and defintely the best. I'm not one to report
back saying "Ooooh Dylan was super as always"- I admit he's sometimes off
mark. This show was incredible. The venue was the smallest I've been too,
and packed. The energy of the crowd was really great, save a few older
folks who sat with hands folded in their seats and complained "This isn't
how he sounded 25 years ago!" Dylan on the piano is a wonderful thing to
witness. He obviously loves it and pounds the keys while moving his legs
in that Bob way. He was in a great mood, saying "Thank Yoooooooou" after
the first song and, at the end of the show for the formation, he really
looked appreciative (usually, at least to me, he looks either pissed or
embarrassed), taking a moment to look around at each section of the
audience and pointing with his guitar as we cheered. He of course came
back for the encore but a lot of us thought he'd come back for a second-
everyone was cheering for a long, long time after he and the band left.
page by Bill Pagel
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