Uncasville, Connecticut
Mohegan Sun Arena
November 20, 2001

[Alex Leik], [Willy Gissen], [J. Spiurek], [A.M.], [Larry Fishman], [Gil Walker]

Review by Alex Leik

As I headed out from Long Island on Tuesday morning on my way to my 5th
and final show on this the "Love & Theft Tour", I reminded myself that the
Mohegan Sun show was apparently added late due to the fact that the
Madison Square Garden show had sold so well in advance sales, the goal
being to add another show in close proximity. Well, Mohegan Sun is 150
miles from the center of Long Island, and 1/2 hour from Providence, RI so
I am not all that sure about the proximity part. But, it did have me
thinking the set list may be varied somewhat. This soon proved to be true!

I arrived at the casino around 3:30 and was quick to hit the slots. After
finding this rather fruitless, I had a bite to eat and was in my seat by
7:20. I was 7th row, Larry's side of the stage. A little before 8, Bob and
the boys launched into Hummin' Bird, my first time hearing this. It was
great and really moves along nicely. Next, they started what sounded like
Ramona, but Larry was having problems with the sound on the mando. After
almost missing the entire intro, he was fixed up and was able to give us
the final few notes of that wonderful intro. Ramona was beautiful, and a
nice harp solo closed things out and brought the crowd to their feet.
Already, this had a different feel than the previous 3 nights.

Desolation and This World closed out the first acoustic set, both done
very nicely. Then, the first "surprise" of the evening. While waiting for
the opening chords to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, I was pleasantly
interrupted with the beginning of Tombstone Blues. This rocked withthe
"3-pronged" guitar assault, and brought people out of their seats once
again as it ended (very sedentary crowd, the Uncasville folk). Next, a
very broken introduction, with no one in the band really sure what they
were playing, became a simply wonderful I Threw it all Away. I never
thought I'd hear this song, and doesn't he play it on the last show I will
see this tour. Pure magic! Bob added a very nice and competent electric
solo to make this song that much better. Watching the River Flow was also
done well, with Larry and Charlie given some room to run on this. However,
this was the first time this evening where Bob did the old step back, stop
playing guitar, and snap his fingers to the beat during solo time??!!
Still not sure what this is, and at one point he walked over by the
monitors and put his head down as if he was trying to listen more closely.
I believe he checked the monitor area during Desolation as well. Perhaps
they are having serious equipment problems at the end of this tour, but I
noticed it in 4 of the 5 shows I saw. Cry a While was done very well, and
got some people out of their seat DURING the song (those crazy

The last acoustic set brought an intro to Mr. Tambourine man I just loved.
Bob started playing all by himself as he danced up to the microphone and
the rest of the band just kinda jumped in when they were ready, one by
one. It didn't have the snare drum intro that David has made its
signature. Really neat, and more strong vocals - as with the great Visions
(worlds better than Penn State) and foot-stomping Don't think Twice that
followed. The final electric set led off with Summer Days - no surprises,
another fine version. But it was Mississippi that stole the show once
again!! His singing is unbelieveable on this, and he hits the high notes
with all he has, and still makes it sound like he could go higher again if
he wanted to. I've seen it twice, and hearing him yell out that he don't
even have anything for himself anymore is absolutely stunning. Well Done,

Wicked Messenger got the call instead of Drifter's Escape or Cold Irons
Bound, and Highway was very much welcomed in place od RDW12&35. Another
formation, another HUGE standing ovation. What more can you expect. No
surprises in the encores, but EVERYTHING was performed with great care and
grace. If Dogs Run Free had Bob in wonderful vocal, and more great guitar
work. This whole show was another fine display of Bob's noodling guitar
when it is on. He sounded great vocally and instrumentally all night, just
can't figure out what it is that makes him take those breaks where he just
snaps out the beat, and looks around at the band!? Hope it is not personal

A great way to wrap up my brief jaunt with the tour, and some of the
finest performances I have seen out of the more than 25 total I have
attended. I asked myself at the end of MSG what to expect for the Mohegan
Sun. I quickly dismissed the question and just showed up with no
expectations. I was rewarded with a completely different show and
different feel. Definitely one of my all time favorites!

Take Care,
Alex Leik


Review by Willy Gissen

What A Difference a Day Makes

By Willy Gissen
There could not be many locales more different than New York City and Uncasville,
Connecticut…other than they played host to Bob Dylan on two consecutive nights. 
And even Bob Dylan was affected as evidenced by the different set lists from each 
event.  I used to go to only one Bob Dylan concert per tour, trying to convince 
myself that by doing so I could be sure I was not a groupie. This time around I 
realized, “Who am I kidding?” Dylan had not played in the New York area for almost 
fifteen months and that was a very rainy night in Jones Beach on Long Island (the 
Long Island show went on rain or shine, and it was mostly a “hard rain”).  And 
who knows when we New Yorkers will see him again?  So I looked up my Mapquest 
online and determined that Uncasville was only two hours away from my home, and 
therefore bought tickets for the Mohegan Sun arena there as well as Madison Square 
Garden.  The Madison Square Garden event was superb. Dylan opened with a very 
interesting song titled, “Waiting for the Light.” The song advised us to “keep 
looking for the sign while waiting for the light to shine.” Definitely an 
inspiration for the faithful and the world-weary as well.  Dylan danced with 
animation, more than I have ever seen him do in the past, and some of the 
highlights of the concert included “John Brown” and in the encore, “Forever Young.” 
When he played “Blowing in the Wind,” everyone was caught up in Dylan’s aura, to 
the extent that you could have heard a pin drop. He finished with “All Along the 
Watchtower,” and very interestingly ended the song and the concert by repeating 
the first verse, that “none of them along the line know what any of it is worth.” 
I went to the Madison Square Garden event with three other friends, but the trip 
to Uncasville was a solo pilgrimage. What New Yorker could you ask to go to 
Uncasville, Connecticut?  I get off work at 4:45PM and headed straight out as I 
had packed a change of clothes in the car. There was only one thing I did wrong 
as Dylan sings in “Mississippi”), and that was to go on I-95. There was literally 
a traffic jam for 20 miles (as even the electronic highway signs boasted), from 
Exit 3 to Exit 27. I was getting extremely upset that I wouldn’t get to the concert 
on time. Anyway, I hung in there and made it by about 7:50PM. (The concert was to 
begin at 8PM).  I got to my seat just before the lights went out, and Dylan took 
the stage. There were several immediate differences. The first was the crowd. As 
I started to whoop it up for Dylan, I suddenly realized that people in the audience 
were staring at me. While the Madison Square Garden audience was extremely noisy 
and boisterous, and leapt to their feet enthusiastically, the Mohegan people stayed 
in their seats for the most part, even during a large part of the encore. One 
preferable difference, at least personally, was that there was no cloud of marijuana 
smoke in Mohegan Sun Arena while there was one almost immediately in MSG. In fact, 
no one in Mohegan indulged; I am convinced they would have been arrested. And Dylan 
himself was affected by the location and the difference. He seemed a little worn 
out from his three-hour extravaganza at the Garden. He danced less and wasn’t as 
animated or as long in his musical improvisations. But the show was enjoyable in 
the contrast. The music was much more hillbilly and less strident. Some of the 
songs included Ramona and Country Pie, for example. As an aside, it was also 
interesting to hear him play “Mississippi,” one of my favorite songs on the new 
album. I also enjoyed hearing for the first time, “This World Can’t Stand Long,” 
which bemoaned all the hate and the sin in the world. And, as usual, Dylan drove 
home the encore.  And one thing was really special. During his final curtain call, 
I felt like Dylan was looking directly at me, and I started to raise my hand in a 
half-wave. Maybe, I was just exhausted, but I thought I saw him return my hello in 
a half-wave back. Another item to add to my list of special “Dylan” moments.  I am 
going to one more Dylan concert this Saturday at the Fleetcenter in Boston, the 
last event on the tour, with a friend from college. I can’t wait to see what a 
difference that day will make.  


Review by J. Spiurek

as soon as we heard that Bob would be heading to Connecticut we started making plans
The venue would be tucked away in the woods of southeastern Connecticut, in the land 
of the Mohegan tribe, the gleaming new 10,000 seat Mohegan Sun Arena. This would be 
the 2nd show to appear there,Aerosmith had opened the place the night before.
Averaging 30-40,000 casinomaniacs a day & a paltry $2million minimum a day on slot 
machines, it didn't take long to build a hall where there really are no bad seats. 
Checking out the set list became a daily ritual as was reading numerous reviews of 
previous shows.Driving to school where I teach, Dylan tunes would keep me company as 
showtime approached.With four other fellow Bob fans who just happen to teach as well, 
plans were made. The van was cleaned,the cd player was set up & we hit the road, not 
thinking twice about lesson plans, parent meetings,or getting homework corrected...
we were masters of our fate. As we followed I-95 and then I-395 we wondered what Bob 
would be wearing, what the song list would be and how would he present them, and if 
he would be"tired" after a great show the night before at Madison Square Garden in 
NYC. After pigging out at the casino's "all you can eat dinner buffet" & 
contributing to the tribes slot machine revenues we decided to get to our seats. 
long lines greeted us as intense security measures were undertaken.....women having 
bags searched.....guys being patted being asked to remove my beret???? 
Who knows what they expected to find hiding under it , as my hair had taken leave 
of my head a few years ago! So the scheduled 7:30 start was delayed till 8:10 when 
the lights dimmed, the fanfare began, the usual announcement....."welcome Columbia 
recording artist".......and Bob & the band walked out & ripped into a rollicking 
country-western style "Hummingbird." Bob , standing in his white suit, black scroll 
& arrows on the sleeves, black shirt, & white&black snake skin boots, looked  more  
like he was waiting to duel it out with Pat Garret & Billy the Kid than perform for 
his fans!! He followed with a wonderfully acoustic  "To Ramona" & a "Desolation Row 
"that got the crowd to it's feet. One of my buddies, Richie "O", veteran of numerous 
Dylan shows, remarked that he had never seen Bob play lead guitar during so many 
songs as  in this show. "I threw it all away" showed the band at its tightest as 
Bob's left leg kept twitching & would you believe his fingers snapping! A 
blues-filled, all out jamming "wicked messenger" again amazed the crowd. Concluding  
with "Highway61"  then  lights on , bows, but then .....back for encore time......
switching from fun-filled "country pie" to funky "like a rolling stone" to "dogs run 
free" the band was all smiles as Bob became Elvis on stage from Vegas......ugh,I 
mean Mohegan casino style.The set ended with a the crowd sweeping towards the stage 
as "honest with me" ripped threw the sound system. A great arrangement of "blowin' 
in the wind" was followed by "watchtower" with a chugging almost New Orleans sound 
to it. An English couple behind us remarked that he had played 13 different songs 
then from the Garden show the night before! Bob waved to the audience, pointed at a 
few  & smiled, stood as the wave of applause washed over the stage & then lights 
down over. From here Bob heads north into New Hampshire & Maine 
& then concludes this tour in Beantown........we left the arena.....into the bright,
garish casino...all lights & bells ringing.....and then it was into the highlands 
of Connecticut to make the drive home, get some sleep, wake up & return to 
school.....a little happier for the joy that Bob had given us with one amazing 


Review by A.M.

I would like to start out by saying that overall this was a great show.
Dylan 's vocals were superb, the band was really tight, and it was an
interesting setlist. The biggest dissapointment was the crowd.... more
old-timers than usual and not the kind who stand up after every song and

Hummingbird: Of all my concerts, first time i've heard this opener, i
expected waiting for the light to shine, but was pleasantly suprised by
this upbeat opening. 

To Ramona: i love this song in the 2 spot. Sung really well with a nice
short harp solo at the end which goave the dull crowd something to cheer

Desolation Row: One of my favorite songs, although i've heard it many
times live lately....well done again, good guitar from bob. 

This World Can't Stand Long: the 4'th spot on this tour has been a cover
which is mostly sung in harmony. This World was a pleasant change form
Searchin', which i have heard about 8 times in the last year. nice version

Tombstone BLues: was expecting tweedle dee and tweedle dum, but knowing
bob, we were all suprised again. NIce rocking version with bob really
snaring some lines. great guitar work from charlie especially. At this
point, for some reason ... bob was wondering around the back of the stage
near the amps not playing his guitar.... it was weird. 

I Threw It all Away: very well sung, bob was passionate and didnt just go
through it like business as usual. Great pedal steel from larry . 

Watching the river flow: Larry on steel guitar, great upbeat version of
not one of my favorite songs, but hey, its a dylan show, every song is

Cry A While: the first of the night from love and theft. better than the
album version. rocking, bluesy, and bob once again delivered on the
vocals. i love the way he snarls his voice. 

Tamborine Man: nicely done, great harp from bob at the end. crowd response

Visions of Johanna: intersting more slowed down version. nice singing from
bob and guitar playing at the end 

Don't Think Twice: great version. BOb sang really well and had some nice
solos's especially at the end. once again the crowd was getting warmer    

Summer Days: another from L & T... great version...differnet from the
album though, larry and charlie played different chords...same upbeat feel
though with some nice guitar breaks. 

MISSISSIPPI: its what i wanted to hear, and man, i was not let down. THE
BEST SONG OF THE NIGHT. it was fresh , hard, powerfull, and beautifully
sung. bob's vocals were great and the band did a really nice job
transforming this one. wow!

Wicked messenger: as usual; hard , fun, great harmonica at the end 

Highway 61: nice closer with band intro's in the middle. nicely done with
a lot of bob's famous three note solo's... good fun 

ENCORES: the encores were good, but pretty standard.. a rocking country
pie...rolling stone was the crowd pleaser, If dogs run free jazzed us
up..blowin in the wind moved us all, HONEST WITH ME was a fresh song for
the encore.. rocking hard ... a great version... Finally he ended with a
hendrix like yet dylan rich watchtower... which was unbelievable as usual

As usual dylan did not let us down. a great show with some really great
moments. This is really turning out to be a great tour... if u have a
chance to go see him, do it, u won't regret it 



Review by Larry Fishman

First, some general comments: 
I have seen Zimmy in a variety of different venues over the years, but this show 
has got to be one of the strangiest.  Maybe it was the posters in the lobby promoting 
Gabe Kaplan, Ben Vereen and a Streisand impersonator, or perhaps it was the mountain 
of  (faux indian themed ) slot machines between the parking garage and the arena, 
but it certainly didn't feel like a rock and roll night to me.  Sitting in a riser 
along a stairway exit, there must have been  100 people who walked passed me a third 
or a half way through.  No doubt they were comped by the Casino and puzzled by that 
sexagenerian up on stage tapping his toe and bearing his soul.  In addition to the 
usual Dylan audience of 50 something and 20 somethings, there was this other element 
of accidental tourists who ventured in for a look, but certainly would feel more 
comfortable yelling "Bingo" than "Blowin in the Wind."  Bob  looked fit dressed in 
Texas hayride white from head to boot with the boys in the band sporting wine colored 
suits.  The acoustics were generally  poor with some of the louder rock songs sounding 
pretty dreary at times.  Bob's voice was quite hoarse, but he poured himself into song 
after song, being the heavyweight Champion of the World.  The Band:  This unit has 
jelled and come together in a way that past backing bands never did.  It is obvious 
that Bob has finally developed a level of trust with these guys and allows them room 
to perform and improvise with the music.  With Charlie Sexton emerging as the lead 
guitarist and at last being given an opportunity to put his stamp on the never ending 
tour.  Last years shows saw Charlie in the nodding and swaying in the the rhythm 
guitar role, now he is showcased.  Onto  the show:
1.  Humming Bird.  Glad he opened with this one - never having heard it live before.  
Nice light country song easing into sweetly into the night's peformance. 
2.  To Ramona.  Song driven by the Larry Campbell's mandolin, lovingly performed.  
Finished up with a deep, bass sounding harp solo (don't remember ever hearing any 
harp on other live versions of the tune). 
3.  Desolation Row.  Propelled by a monster base line, consensus after the show is 
that he nailed this one despite maybe skipping a couple of verses. 
4.  This World Can't Stand Too Long.  The first standout of the night.  With its 
apocoleptic lyrics I couldn't help but think about the World Trade Center tragegy.  
Great harmonizing from the band (that can't be easy). 
5.  Tombstone Blues.  Finally decides to plug in and rock out after a satisfying, 
but mellow beginning.  Charlie gets his first solo of the night. 
6.  Tonight I'll Be Saying Here With You.  This song is a bit out of Bob's vocal 
range these days, but oh man, did he push it as best as he could.  Hitting the high 
notes with a croak and a screech that would scare the neighbors.  His singing, like 
life, ain't a destination but a journey. 
7.  Watching the River Flow.  With Larry sitting down at the pedal steel guitar, 
nice mid tempo take on the tune. 
8.  Cry Awhile.  The first Love & Theft song of the night was a mixed blessing.  
Bob & Co tore into all of the new songs with a vigor and an energy that would make 
a punk rocker applaud.  However, due to the poor sound quality, it was an enthuastic 
9.  Tambourine Man.  Spot on version, with a strong reaction from the appreciative 
crowd.  Never tire of this one, bro. 
10.  Visions of Johanna.  They say Moses roamed the desert for 40 long years.  And 
I have been waiting to hear "Visions of Johanna" live.  Watching setlists of these 
fall dates and seeing the song played more regularly,  you can say that I was 
praying for this one.  Beginning with an exquisite 90 second musical introduction, 
by the time he uttered those first words,  "Ain't it Just like the Night..." my 
heart was racing, I had a light sweat  and was I was in total freak out mode.  
FREAKING OUT!!!  Needless to say that I am a new man.  Life is good.  Take me 
11.  Don't Think Twice, It's Alright.  Once my vital signs stablized, I thoroughly 
enjoyed this slowed down version.  As good a take and arrangement of the song as 
I have heard. 
12.  Summer Days.  Back to a 50's swing, a succesfuly take - faithful to the 
13.  Mississippi.  Pysched to get this one and hearing it live, I see the wisdom 
in the L & T remake rather than the upbeat, sexy Sheryl Crow version. 
14.  Wicked Messenger.  A wicked version, featuring that incredible scacado harp 
solo that'll rip your innerds out.  Wow. 
15.  Highway 61 Revisited.  Closing out the set before the encores with a sturdy, 
by the numbers, crowd pleaser.  Bob was not in a talkative mood tonight and the 
only speaking he did was introducing the band before heading off stage. 
16.  Country Pie.  May be a minority view, but I think the tune is a gas.  With 
Charlie's twangy guitar leading the way, a fun blast. 
17.  Like A Rolling Stone.  Always nice to hear our old friend, with the crowd 
encouraged to chime in on the chorus as the arena was filled with light. 
18.  If Dogs Run Free.  Having heard this a couple of times now, I do think it's 
time to retire this puppy.  Hey Bob, how about something from Desire tonight? 
19.  Honest With Me.  As stated before the sound quality blurred the passion of 
the performance. 
20.  Blowin in the Wind.  Wonderous take and I just love the way Bob scats back 
after the chorus for a little musical florish before each set of lyrics.  Nice one. 
21.  All Along the Watchtower.  With everyone in the band on riff, this one just 
exploded with force.  Stellar way to end the night. 
A fine show, as I look forward to catching 2 more later this week.
Larry Fishman 


Review by Gil Walker

After an excessive delay caused mostly, it looks, by less than skilled
arena operations -- poor traffic control, poor on-site directions (and
virtually no directions to the arena itself), understaffed and poorly
organized ticket pickup windows, and uselessly obtrusive gate screeners
who, at least in my line, seemed more interested in frisking the female
concertgoers than in finding all but the most obvious contraband, Bob and
the band came onstage about half an hour late.  The stage crew had just
done its last-minute scurrying around, most noticeably bringing a white
electric guitar on stage, and when Larry Campbell strapped it on I was
sure the opening song would be 

Humming Bird.  Just about dead solid perfect, with a nice harmony blend
and enthusistic (but not passionate) lead vocals.  It's a fun way to start
the show off, and it sets the stage for almost anything.  Followed quickly
by the instantly recognized 

To Ramona.  This seems pretty close to a set-piece, and a showcase for
Campbell's mandolin work.  Dylan's vocals were solid but not commanding. 
An effective performance, but not a surprising or terribly interesting
one, except for Dylan's harp work, which sparked both the windup of this
song and seemed to provide a bit of a jump start for 

Desolation Row.  Now this was both interesting and subtly exciting.  Larry
Campbell had switched to acoustic guitar, but he seemed to be playing with
the same approach he'd just applied to his mandolin.  Dylan's vocal
approach was different than I'd heard in previous concert performances --
he wasn't narrating a story, or describing present circumstances, but
remembering the events in the lyrics, with details seeming to occur fresh
to him as the song progressed.  And then, after the instrumental break,
the last verse was a return to the present, as immediate as the previous
lyrics had been distanced.  And led fairly naturally into

This World Can't Stand Long.  Dylan and the band nailed this just like
they nailed the opener, with even stronger vocals.  It seemed to set the
stage perfectly for the potentially incendiary "Tweedle Dum And Tweedle
Dee," so I was greatly disappointed to recognize the opening of

Tombstone Blues.  Now there was certainly nothing wrong with this
performance, and it might even be a better song than the one I was
expecting.  It was tight, compact, and hard-edged, with intense moments.
But it didn't do anything.  I was consciously expecting the energy level
of the show to take a quantum jump (and I think most of the audience was
ready for one), and it took a hop, a skip, and not much of a jump. 
Certainly a good performance, but out of place.  And, if I remember right,
this was one of the songs where Dylan sauntered back from stage center
during a Charlie Sexton solo and gave him a look -- not the "you suck so
bad" look, as Bucky Baxter memorably called it, but more of a "what's the
point of this" expression.  It seemed as though Dylan just wanted to hear
something different -- not necessarily better, because it was by no means
a bad solo, but something he hadn't heard so many times before.  And
perhaps that impulse led to

I Threw It All Away.  In a very different style than I'd heard before,
half recitation (a la Luke The Drifter), but not so laconic, with the ends
of many lines and the bridge sung forcefully.  It had rough spots, and I
doubt that on the technical level it was nearly as accomplished as the
song before it, but it was much more alive.  And the energy level finally
picked up a bit with

Watching The River Flow.  It's hard to do a convincingly energetic
rendition of these lyrics, but Dylan gave it a try.  The music loped
along, and everybody had fun; again the worst you could say about it was
that it seemed out of place.  A seventh inning stretch song played when it
was time to crank things up a notch or ten.  But seven songs without
hearing anything from "Love And Theft"?  Time for

Cry A While.  Not one of the album's major efforts, in my opinion, but
delivered in one of those slabs-of-sound arrangements that Dylan's put
together in the last year or two.  Neither the music nor vocals flowed
smoothly, but they both carried conviction.  And it was also clear by the
time this song ended that the arena was just swallowing up too much of the
sound.  It just rolled out over the audience and wasted away, barely
hanging in the air at its strongest moments.  But despite all that, this
was the strongest electric song of the first batch.  Now back to acoustic
instruments for

Mr. Tamborine Man.  This arrangement had slowed to a crawl a couple years
back, without either the gravity of its earliest outings in '95, if I
remember right, or the spark of the original style.  But the version I
heard last summer had picked up some bite, and this performance had both
edge and energy.  And Dylan's vocal approach was very interesting,
especially on the second verse, where the lyrics seemed to voice a
skeptical challenge.  "You can't do it, MrTM," was the impression (a
simplification, and a pretty crude one, but the only way I can articulate
it briefly) lurking under the forceful delivery.  And then, with the
vocals complete, Dylan played the best guitar solo I think I've ever heard
him play, and it was, unhappily, a shade too low in the mix.  Then he
brought the harp back for a relatively short, subdued, somehow optimistic
piece of work that rejected the vocals' skepticism.  There was very
definitely something happening here, and it was the pivotal point of the
evening.  And I nearly jumped out of my seat when I recognized the opening

Visions Of Johanna.  I'd been hoping for and half-expecting this, based on
recent setlists, but after two of the longer mid-60's acoustic songs my
hope had faded.  And if not a word-perfect rendition, a controlled,
claustrophilic, effective one.  And there was a small but crucial change
in the lighting:  Dylan's eyes were shadowed as he stood over the mike and
delivered vocals.  He kept his vocals controlled throughout.  As good a
performance of a difficult song as anyone has a right to expect, and the
only one who seemed dissatisfied was Dylan himself, apparently so unhappy
with the band's fluid backing that he punctuated several of the
instrumental breaks between verses with more discordant guitar flourishes
for them to work with (but without disrupting the song).  Another
surprising reimagining of a classic song, by no means so drastic as the
one it followed, leading into a fairly classicist rendition of

Don't Think Twice.  There was absolutely nothing surprising here, but for
the first time of the evening the music actually danced.  Just a lively,
lovely performance that nearly brought the audience to its feet.  Then he
tore the roof off with

Summer Days.  With more lyrics crammed into each line (and fewer flubs!)
than anything since the 1988 "Subterranean Homesick Blues," this exciting
effort just stormed and overwhelmed the night.  Like the best versions of
"Tangled Up In Blue" from '97 to mid-'99, it galvanized audience and
musicians alike and keyed a string of potent performances to finish the
show.  Larry Campbell was tapping his foot to the beat for most of the
song, and I don't think I've ever seen that before.  And, somewhere during
this song, Dylan's hair collapsed to half the height it had when the
concert began, and he didn't care.  Instead, he went directly into 

Mississippi.  Dylan made some surprisingly unhappy, thoroughly cryptic
comments about the Lanois version of this song, but this rendition had the
dark intensity and chilled heart of the best live performances from TOOM.
Almost impossibly, the energy level did not fall off, and the song gripped
the audience.  It carried, surprisingly, much more resonance/gravity than
the studio version, perhaps with a small but crucial increase in its
musical impetus.  (It's hard to say much about this performance without
either babbling or being as cryptic as Dylan's own comments about the song
itself). And "Mississippi" led to the night's standout,

Wicked Messenger.  Absolutely incandescent.  This has proved a difficult
song for live performance, but tonight's success seemed illusively
effortless.  Almost perfectly realized, and capped by more harp work. 
Then, without introducing the band, Dylan went directly into

Highway 61 Revisited.  Not the tempest it was with Baxter and Campbell
matching howling guitart lines in '97 and '98, but more than stormy
enough. Dylan broke the momentum a bit with band intros before the last
verse, but this arrangement wasn't designed to be the cconcert's climax. 
Everybody struck their poses for the ovation, left the stage, and returned
after not so terribly long a break for

Country Pie.  A much-needed break in the intensity after seven potent
songs. They just romped through it, and it was fun.  It sounded fresh; but
no doubt it wasn't terribly so.  Defintely not so fresh was

Like A Rolling Stone.  It's not that this song has been defanged, or that
Dylan's performance is weak, or that the band can't handle it.  But Dylan
doesn't seem to have the right sort of emotion invested in this song for
him to give a great performance of it any more -- which isn't necessarily
a bad thing -- so it's as close as the evening came to a "greatest hits"
moment. Most of the audience loved it, and was roused by it.  At least for
tonight, Charlie Sexton wasn't playing the Bloomfieldy guitar riffs
between verses. Then on to the evening's saloon-singer moment; not having
played any of that sort of song from L&T, the next choice was certainly

IF Dogs Run Free.  It baffled a lot of the folks in the "high roller"
seats around me, and didn't stem the minor exodus that began as "LARS" was
winding down.  Smooth and light, a break before the energy went way back
up for

Honest With Me.  The real closing number for the concert, the way  "Til I
Fell In Love With You" finished off the main set in the many of the first
post-TOOM shows.  Roaring, full-tilt, uncompromising, and baffling a big
chunk of the crowd (who nevertheless enjoyed it).  It's too bad Larry's
flashy, trashy guitar-siren riffs were almost buried in the mix.  A
tightly structured wall of sound.  No big surprises left; next up was

Blowin' In The Wind.  This was not exactly an exciting number when he
first took its place in the encore set, and by the summer of 1999 it was
positively torpid.  But it had picked up a bit last year, and now it
doesn't drag it all; what once seemed slow and dragged out now carries
conviction and gravity.  The changes are fairly small, but the effects are
large.  One satisfying warhorse led to another, as the show closed with a

All Along The Watchtower.  This song has been drastically reimagined since
it fell out of the third slot, and the current, jagged arrangement is
exciting and effective.  I'm not sure why people describe this incarnation
with references to Hendrix -- I always found his version loose and fluid,
while the performance I heard was almost constricted, sharp-edged, and
abrupt.  (It was also very good, of course.)

No further encores, although that wasn't predetermined; the stage crew was
apparently ready for a return until just before the lights came up.

A very good show, though not quite a topflight one, I think -- not for any
shortcomings in Dylan's performance, but because the setlist sagged a bit
in the first electric set.  It wasn't that the song choices were, one by
one, inappropriate; but that island of songs seemed unstructured and the
choices directionless.  That was often a problem when Dylan's concerts had
the acoustic/electric/encore structure, and it was more severe then.  On
the other hand, I suspect that Dylan has found the pattern his shows have
been falling into a bit too limiting:  the strength of the new material
he's been so often playing in that first electric set, particularly
"Tweedle Dee" and "High Water," may dictate a more limited set of
alternatives in order to balance the show out.  In early 1998, a setlist
built around several very strong TOOM songs led to a very uniform,
unvarying string of shows; the occasional "failed" exploratiom (only as
measured against the very high standard his best recent shows have set)
is, I think, better than the surrender to greater limits.

One reason the comparison to 1998 shows comes to mind is what seems to be
a change in direction for the band.  At other shows over the past two
years, I took the impression that Dylan wanted Campbell and Sexton to
play, for lack of a better metaphor, centrifugally, pulling against the
structure of the song and threatening to fly off in different directions. 
At Uncasville I took the opposite impression, that (to extend a bad
metaphor) he wanted them to play centripetally, letting the songs pull
them back toward the music's center and creating tighter and more careful
musical structures.  Just as the incorporation of TOOM songs into the 1997
playlist also drastically changed the Campbell-Baxter band's approach to
much of the rest of the repertoire, the new L&T songs also seem to be
connected to a change (though not so marked a change) to their more
familiar material.

A few random observations:  This was the most clearly lit Dylan concert I
can recall; the guitarists' hands were in particular clearly lit, making
it much easier to follow the musical interchanges.  Dylan himself did much
less mugging and playing to the crowd than I'd expected -- early in the
evening, he wandered to the back of the stage, assuming a look of
conspicuous (and probably exaggerated) boredom; later, he stuck close to
Charlie Sexton and similar moments.

And I can't finish up without a few more bad words for the Mohegan Sun
operation and the audience.  Not a single song passed without several
folks passing in front of me, going out for or returning with food and
drink, until close to the end of the show.  Casino staff were bringing
"high rollers" into the show well after tha halfway point.  And floor
security was enthusiastically obtrusive -- access was controlled section
by section, which meant that all those folks carrying food back had their
tickets checked two to four times as they returned to their seats by
"guards" who waved their flashlights all around.  The same "guards" also
seemed much more interested in keeping regular ticketholders in their
seats, while a few favored souls were left alone.  About five rows in
front of me, one apparently drunken lout repeatedly stood up and attempted
to dance, blocking the view of young children behind him, and was treated
with kid gloves for about half an hour (until his antics spurred imitation
by people who'a actually paid to see the show).  Quite a few cameras made
it through the gate screening, and I assume several tapers did as well.  

It's been almost four years since you've played a medium- or small-sized
venue in Connecticut, Mr. Dylan.  How about hitting a few of them in the



page by Bill Pagel

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