Reviews

Augusta, Georgia

February 15, 2002


[Hamp Nettles], [Marki Clarke]

Review by Hamp Nettles



Bob Dylan wasn't happy with his performance last night, but he was
probably one of the few people in the house who felt that way.  At the end
of the show, despite thunderous applause from a goodly sized crowd, he
gave himself a thumbs-down on stage.  He seemed disappointed and it didn't
look like he hit was hitting his groove all night, and in the end, he was
clearly frustrated by his performance.  And while it wasn't the best show
I saw this tour (6th and final), it had some terrific moments.

He started the show with a strong 'Duncan and Brady' - better than in
Greenville, but he didn't seem to carry that strength into 'Mr. Tambourine
Man' (there were peaks and valleys of this sort all night, thus, it seems,
his frustration).  'It's Alright Ma' was too wimpy for my taste and his
vocal delivery was too weak for the new arrangement.  But he did with
'This World Can't Stand Long' what he had done with 'Duncan And Brady.' 
It was another strong rendition and a welcome break from 'Soldiers Grave.'
 Larry played some great mandolin and the whole affair was led off by some
skilled harp-work.

The #5-6 slot has been a highlight at every show I've been at.  Not only
is it usually a rarer set choice, but Dylan always turns in a great
performance.  'Tombstone Blues' was a little different from recent
versions I have heard.  The best way to describe it would be 'countrified'
- thanks especially to Larry's great steel licks.  The delivery was dead
on perfect (don't remember a single flub, but I could be wrong) and not as
frantic as some other versions.  All in all it was a great rendition.

'Floater' finally sounded good to me, actually, great to me, after seeing
a couple weak performances of the new tune.  Charlie finally has his part
down and Dylan is fitting the lyrics into the tricky rhythm, better than
he had before.  'Lonesome Day Blues' and "High Water' both rocked the
house, as usual, but I have seen better performances of both this tour.

Dylan hit the breaks and performed a fantastic 'Girl Of the North Country'
which was as good as the Greenville rendition.  'Hard Rain' was flawless
and powerful, but the ending verse didn't have the same magical burst that
Winston-Salem had.  'Tangled Up In Blue' had everyone dancing and I love
to seem him play this no matter how often he does it. This was an
especially strong version with great harp and nice, high energy, solos.

'Summer Days' didn't skip a beat after 'Tangled.'  This, to me, was
perhaps the best version I saw all tour.  The playing, by all three
guitarists, was absolutely awesome.  Charlie and Larry were trading licks,
seeing who could out play who.  If that were not enough, Tony got his own
bass solo, something I had never seen live or even heard on tape!

'Mississippi' always seems to bring out the singing drunks, but it was a
good performance, none the less.  I still haven't seen a version, though,
as good as the one I saw in Nashville last Fall.

'Wicked Messenger' absolutely cooked, and there is little doubt in my mind
this was the best version I have seen.  The harp solo on the end was like
a thunderclap.  This one really knocked my socks off.

'Rainy Day Women' was a riot and had the crowd geared up.  'Things Have
Changed' & 'Honest With Me' were nothing special, but 'Like A Rolling
Stone' is always a highlight for me.  Dylan's delivery was especially
wicked and Charlie played a brilliant solo.  He didn't get as much playing
time as he had in Winston-Salem or Charlotte (the best shows of the tour)
but when he did have a solo he made it count.

The last surprise of the show came during 'All Along The Watchtower.'
During the middle of the song Dylan went back and grabbed the harp and
played a few notes.  It was a the wrong key, so to my dismay he went to
put it back.  But lo' and behold, he picked up another key AND his harp
mic (he has been playing his harps into the vocal mic all tour except for
the 'Drifters' or 'Messenger' solos).  Needless to say, I was going nuts,
he was going nuts, and it was a tremendous version.  I thought the harp
solo was perfect for the song.  It was a fitting end to a great show.

Hamp Nettles

[TOP] <

Review by Marki Clarke



Haven't seen Bob previously on this tour, but last night in Augusta was 
awesome in my opinion! Last time I saw him was in Atlanta Music Midtown 
last May. The show last night was entirely different, surprising 
arrangements of his old standards, less rock and roll, and more accoustic. 
Last night he was wearing all white, including the hat. Sounded even better 
than he looked! The crowd was made up of young and old, all seemed to be 
enjoying the show and themselves.
 
Some amusing observances:

The couple beside me who, in the middle of the show, asked a guy behind us to 
take a photo of them with Dylan in the background!! (Never thought of Bob as 
a landmark!)

The guy in tie-dyed shirt, shorts, and socks in front of the stage who danced 
like Joe Cocker throughout the night! 

A young woman sitting by the sound guy who looked very out of place and bored.

Bob reacted to someone in front giving the "thumbs-up" sign at the end of the 
show. He shook his head and gave a "thumbs-up" slowly turning into a 
"thumbs-down" sign! He smiled and continued to "thumb-down" as we all gave him 
huge "thumbs-up" signs. It was great to see him interacting with the crowd.
There seemed to be no security, as the stage and aisles were crowded with 
people dancing and singing throughout the entire concert. My third row seat 
was great, but no better than the aisles.

Drove from Atlanta, because I wanted to see him in a smaller venue (than 
Philips Arena), and it was worth the three-hour trip! Looking forward to his 
next tour!!

Marki 

[TOP] <

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