Reviews

Detroit, Michigan
State Theatre
March 17, 2004


[Linda Kessler], [Marc Schemansky], [Eric Robinson], [Shalu Zuger],
[Charles Cicirella], [Bill Lynch], [Don Ely], [Steve Wright]

Review by Linda Kessler



Saw Bob last night and have just a few comments to make...
I'm an old woman who cut her teeth on Dylan music but never had a chance to see him in concert 
before, so I was pretty excited about the whole thing.  Plus, my 15 year old son tagged along with 
me and he was pretty stoked by the chance to see the great one in action.  We had a nice location 
on the main floor, but the crowd was pretty pushy and hampered the view sometimes.

The sound quality was mixed well for most of the numbers, although I think Bob's mike could have 
been tweeked up just a bit.  I loved the new arrangement of the old classics, especially "It's All 
Over Now, Baby Blue" and "Girl of the North Company."  Near the end of the show, the band seemed to 
get more into the music and "Honest With Me" sounded excellent and was contrasted nicely when 
followed with the smooth "Every Grain of Sand."  Most of the other reviews I've read on this site 
(which have been a delight, by the way, thanks to all!), have praised the regular set closer 
"Summer Days," and last night was no exception.  The whole band just rocked and really looked like 
they were having fun.

Then there was the expected encore with "Cats in the Well" followed by "LRS" and "AAWT."  Nice 
recognizable versions and the crowd was pretty happy.  Then...the band left but the house lights 
didn't come up so the crowd realized we might we get another treat.  And what a treat!!  The band 
returned with Jack White (from White Stripes) and played a blistering number called "Ball and 
Biscuit" featuring Jack on lead.  Do you believe in magic?  It was an exquisite finish to a great 
evening, and my son was SOOOOO impressed that Jack White was there!

One final note...sure wish Bob could have made a little bit of eye contact with the audience or 
maybe even just introduced some of the numbers.  I can't believe that he's too uncomfortable on 
stage to handle this, and while I don't think the audience needs a stand-up comedian routine, just 
a bit more acknowledgement of our presence would have been nice.

Linda Kessler 

[TOP]

Review by Marc Schemansky



Well people, this was one for the record books.  Bob's concert went well,
truly enjoyable and I believe above average.  Freddy and Larry played
their hearts out and Bob was in good voice…  the first encore was the
same expected three songs… all very enjoyable… BUT THEN…. all hell
broke loose…. yin met yang, heaven met earth, ball met biscuit, Jack met
Bob…  Jack White of White Stripes came out with the band for the second
encore… now we know a second encore is rare but with a guest in tow is
even rarer… and what a guest… it seemed like the rest of the band on
stage faded and the only people left were Bob and Jack… launching (and I
mean launching) into a version of the Stripes song Ball and Biscuit… 
"It’s quite possible that I’m your third man, girl.. But it’s a fact
that I’m the seventh son",  a sonic extravaganza.. fire, fever,
blazing.. Bob and Jack trading verses, shouting at each other, nodding to
each other, and smiling….  As far as smiles go, I looked around and
everyone I saw had a grin and look of amazement; shaking their head in
disbelief… I believe they realized that a some kind of history was being
made in this small old theatre in downtown Detroit… Bob was in Jack's
town and it was good.

Marc Schemansky

[TOP]

Review by Eric Robinson



I have an apology to make........but I'm not sure who to apologize to!

Should I apologize to Bob Dylan, Rock and Roll or simply myself?

I've often considered myself not only a fan of music, but also a bit of an
historian on music.  I've listened to and have studied the evolution of
the blues and jazz and into Rock and Roll.  I'm embarrassed to say that
for whatever reason I never bothered to pay due attention to Mr. Bob
Dylan!  

Last evening, in downtown Detroit at the majestic State Theater, Bob Dylan
put on a show that will stay with me for days in the front of my
brain........and for all-time in the depths of my soul!  

When my friend offered tickets to the St.Patrick's Day show back in
January I thought, "Sure, that sounds great!", thinking it would be a
low-key, harmonica-folksy type of concert.  I couldn't have been more
wrong!!  

The doors opened at 6pm with a mix of young and old, all in fine
spirits.....some having spent the day in local pubs no-doubt still wearing
their green shirts and beads.  The interior of the State Theater has the
feel of the Renaissance, with large marble columns surrounded by velvety
fabrics and crafted domed ceiling.  

The legend took the stage at precisely 7:45pm........by 7:46pm I knew I
was in for something I wasn't fully expecting!!  I even felt guilty for
passing over such an icon and influence of music.  I could only sit back
and listen as Dylan and his mates drove through song after song of the
best rock and roll music I have ever seen live!  The volume of concerts
they play together, as well as their overall musicianship, was in fine
clarity last evening......sounding tight as a drum (two drummers by the
way!) and unloading sounds that made your senses stand on their toes!!  It
was phenomenal....start to finish for two hours!  The best live Rock and
Roll concert I've EVER been to.  Outstanding work Bob!!  

Finally, it should be noted that Bob Dylan never once played the guitar in
this show....preferring to remain on the keyboard in an attack-stance with
cowboy hat on.  The show ended with 3 encores.....the last of which
introduced a young guitar virtuoso named Jack White from the White
Stripes.........he sat in on one song, then bowed to the master with both
arms as they all left the stage for the last time!

So I will apologize to Bob Dylan..........and I will apologize to Rock and
Roll......and finally I will apologize to myself for being so naive as to
think I knew something that I didn't......

Bob Dylan is Rock and Roll...........and he's alive and well!!!

[TOP]

Review by Shalu Zuger



Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!  This was a show not to be missed.  After
last night's amazing show and surprise 2nd encore, I was curious what
could top this.  I was able to make my way to the edge of the front row
while everyone else was busy getting their beer, I was on Larry's side but
could see Bob's face while he was playing and making eye contact with the
band.  It was a great spot!

There were a few songs that I was surprised to hear: Under the Red Sky,
Down Along the Cove, Man in the Long Black Coat and Every Grain of Sand. 
These are rare gems!

What stuck out about this night: It's All Over Now, Baby Blue was
beautifully paced out and easily understood.  Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
and High Water (esp. since L&T came out on 9/11, coincidence?) have turned
into some of my favorite performances.  The crowd really got into It's
Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) and sang along or yelled, depending which
side you're on, I guess.  I prefer the album version of Moonlight, I had a
hard time recognizing the arrangement he did for this.   

I love the grinding sound that Larry does on Honest With Me.  Larry was in
front of me and it seemed like the whole time he just looked at his
instrument.  When Freddie would take a solo, Larry would smile at him and
be into Freddie's solo.  Larry many times would slowly strut across the
stage to Freddie and I was hoping for a little guitar duel, but Freddie
always seemed to face the audience or face Bob (so his back would be
facing Larry).  Larry doesn't have the guitar solos he used to and he
doesn't sing on any of the songs and I feel Larry's voice adds a lot to
the old time songs.  

Let me tell you about the drums and base, that combination is lethal.  I
was 2 feet away from the speakers and 2 drums and the base caused the hair
to stand up on my arms, my hair to feel like it was blowin' in the wind
and one ear to go deaf!  The speakers were shaking 4 inches and I felt
like there was a constant earthquake under my feet!  Tony's base playing
is always beautiful!  2 drums are really not necessary, most of the time,
Tony was facing the drums making sure that all three of them are in synck
with each other which took away from the band interaction.  

Highlights of the night for me was the beutiful rendition of the Man In
The Long Black Coat, the most beautiful song of the night!  Definitely the
most heart felt.  

Detroit was lucky again to get a 2nd encore, Tues. night a cover of Seger
and tonight special guest Jack White of the White Stripes.  Dylan sang the
beginning to Ball and Biscuit and Jack sang the rest.  When Jack was
playing, both Tony and Larry were yelling back stage that there was
technical problems with Jack's guitar, but by the time his solo was done,
Tony mouthed back to Larry, "I guess it doesn't really matter!"  Bob was
all smiles as was the rest of the band having Jack play with them and
afterwards Jack and Bob exchanged a handshake and a hug.  The crowd was
beyond pleased!  Bob showed a lot of respect to Detroit!  What could be
better on St. Patty's Day then seeing Bob Dylan!!!!!

Shalu Zuger
Royal Oak, MI

[TOP]

Review by Charles Cicirella



Just Gimme Some Truth 
Bob Dylan and the Best Band in the Land
Detroit, Michigan 3/17/2004 The State Theater

All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth now
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

- John Lennon, Just Gimme Some Truth

    And that is exactly what Bob Dylan and the best
damn band in the land did for over two hours on
Wednesday evening at The State Theater in Detroit
Michigan gave us all some truth without any smoke
screens or hidden agendas or trick shots just the
truth  the undeniable truth. John Lennon would have
absolutely dug it as Bob leaned into the keyboard and
shot the room full of holes with his special blending
of rhythm and blues / soul / jazz / acoustic / rock
and roll hysteria. 
    The first show of the Detroit run began with,
Drifters, and tonight, Wicked Messenger, kicked
off this relentless attack and what a version it was.
By the time Dylan sang/screamed out the line, I swear
my soles are burning, I had already kicked off my
shoes and just about climbed full tilt into this
basket of vipers. Please tell us the truth and when
you are through please begin all over again in case we
missed out or overlooked some integral nugget that
shall set us free in the living end. Im now thinking
about Neils, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, and
how both these songs tell us exactly how it is and why
it is we must relinquish control and just enjoy the
drama of proceeding onward, forward, infinite because
though we may not believe it we all do live for a
truth that is both personal and universal in its scope
and breathtaking beauty.
    Its All Over Now, Baby Blue, swoons in from on
high and its incredible because after, Drifters,
on Monday he did this one and now here it is after,
Wicked Messenger, and though there has been only a
day between these two versions they are planets apart
in my consciousness. I dislike comparing songs from
different nights and saying well this one was better
because...... because honestly they are all in their
own right paintings from the fluid hand of a master
whose integrity is ever present with each stroke he
paints onto our minds and temple bodies.  The version
tonight sweeps me off my feet almost immediately with
Tonys gonzo bass playing. He is a mad hatter  a
journalist who knows just how to keep us alert and
forever in love with his hypnotic prying and plucking
away at these songs.
    Tweedle Dee, turns the State Theater into a sock
hop like no other that came before it. Ya I just wish
my poodle skirt had been clean because I would have
worn it and a red ribbon in my hair so Bob would know
that I am always his best girl. I just had to say that
because I know a certain person who will attach their
venomous fangs to this line and never let it go. Again
theres that bass and even though it is just a
recording Im now playing as I type this review still
I find myself bopping my head every which way! Yes
this one must be played again and again before I can
quit and find some bread and water.
    Under the Red Sky, fuck what the hell is he
doing to us the fairy tales continue with this one.
Fairy tales, I believe, are just one more way to cut
away the outer layer so we can get to the pulpy fruit
that lies in wait inside. My eyes were covered in
sleep when waking up this morning now they are on fire
with the story of a little boy and a little girl who
are both gonna be baked in a pie. Is this the same
pecan pie that was in the window from the previous
song? Are the little boy and little gurl I mean girl
in this very pie? What about the sacred creed and
noble truths existent in previous song have those
ideas as well been directly carried over to this song
as Dylan blows his harp for everyone of us leaving us
crying real tears because he has made it obvious in
his own obtuse abstract fashion that there is indeed
such a thing as a blind horse and that it most
definitely leads us around.
    Ahhhhhh and now for the antidote  the exilir if
you will. Its Alright, Ma, yes it is alright
because if I dont find employment real soon well who
really knows. And that is what Bob Dylan so often does
for me makes me feel like even though my personal
problems may appear hopeless I can still feel
something and or be affected by something that is real
and quite often it is Dylan and his music and the
words and no I dont ever sit there and dissect the
meaning of these dusty fairground jewels because it
was never about that; for me its about how the
melodies  the musicianship  the delirious energies
cave in my sorrow and how my invisible strengths
become self evident as I hear this man  this
tambourine man admit that for him well fuck it aint
easy either, but its alright ma because I can make
it. Dylan leads through example while also having
always made it painstakingly clear that he does not
want anyone to think he is trying to be a leader of
anyone or anything. He is his own person and that is
what I have respected and responded to from the
beginning. He is free to make the choices he needs to
make for his own life and life only and I believe
wants for us to do the same for our own personalized
and private wars. 
    This may be my last show of this tour (having done
Park West and the previous two Detroits) so there
were a number of songs I was hoping Id hear this
evening before hanging up my guns. Down Along The
Cove, is one of those songs and here it now is! Damn
I gotta say the Paris 2003 and Dusseldorf 2003
versions are just absolute faves for me and now I can
put this one right up there with those and to think I
was actually there for this one WOW that is just so
AMAZING! I love this song  I love the blues  I love
Bobs dedication to this musical tradition and how he
swallows and then spits out bluesy numbers like this
one with every surefooted step he takes. They are
bringing it all back home with this song on this very
night in Detroit, Michigan. Yes the Motor City was
never more alive nor has it pulsated before with such
a growling intensity! This rhapsody finds all of us
quite well as it explodes in our childlike faces like
fireworks exploding over our heads on a hot sultry
July fourth night. I just know if John Lennon were
alive he would have had something to say about this
particular performance because it really did gimme us
some truth as it also made perfectly clear its the
music where real truth has always resided.
    Moonlight, what the hell??? If youve yet to
hear this new arrangement you wont know what I am
talking about when asking that question, but when you
do hear it youll be asking yourself the same
question... yes what the hell did they do to this
song? Hmmmmmmm wait Im digging it  ya it is again
like a return to the fifties or was it the forties and
for that matter where is Bing Crosby when you need
him? Oh wait he is up there on that there stage
singing about meeting him in the moonlight alone. Oh
God talk about swooning under a moon in June! I cant
wait till Van the Man takes a possible stab at
covering this one I believe that would just about send
me right over the edge. Please Bob take me across the
river Im so damn tired of lingering here and you know
it! I also love how this little jaunty number and it
is true as well with the version on, Love and Theft,
has a similar feel as, Watchtower, and yet somehow
he has placed that message about the end times and
the second or third coming inside the most beautiful
little love anthem that you could ever hope to
imagine. So what happens when you discover yourself
humming this ballad constantly in your head and before
you know it the blood dripping down off the extended
limbs reveals its truth to us and we are left waiting
in the moonlight for this song and dance man/
shaman/seer/medicine man of the ages well nothing
happens except that you find the dough to go to yet
another show so that you can prayerfully witness this
strange fierce song again!!! These guys can play
anything and this song proves it  one minute they are
creating a barn burning extravaganza up there on that
stage  the hottest brushfire you will ever personally
witness the next they are lulling you into a hypnotic
grace with nothing up their sleeves but their arms and
their shoulders and their elbows and you catch my
drift.
    High-Water, also off of, Love and Theft, and
damn what a tremendous album that is. I mean these two
songs alone remind me how he is still absolutely
writing some of the best songs around bar none and how
when performing them in concert they just continue to
evolve. I absolutely dug, High-Water, at Park West
and the performance tonight is no exception. As I
stated above I dont try and figure out what the heck
his underlying message or meaning of these beautiful
crafted and crazed lyrics is I just allow for it all
to flow and for the overall feeling to take me away on
a journey Im always amazed and in awe of.
High-Water, is no exception and is truly blues
incarnate and the reason I know this is because of the
feeling this song creates in my gut that delivers me
to the crossroads Im now standing at. I am in ecstasy
out here on this highway.. stranded perhaps and yet
this song breaks down the walls of pride I so often
foolishly call my own as Dylan creates a Tower of Song
that I dont believe will ever completely crumble or
fall into disarray.
    Girl Of The North Country, and as someone said
about the, Boots, performance from the second
Detroit, sounded like he was actually thinking about
Suze when performing this tonight, I feel the same
way as I listen to this performance almost as if he
was actually thinking back about Echo. That he wasnt
performing a song at all, but in fact just telling us
about a girl he once knew  a beautiful young woman
who from time to time still crosses his mind.
    I want to finish this review by talking about
three more brilliant performances from this show and
just like the first review I wrote for 3/15/2004
please believe me when I say it isnt because the
songs I have not mentioned did not blow me away, but
more because this review is already pretty long and I
want for you to seek out a copy of this field
recording and to experience the utter magic and bliss
for yourself. Okay lets make that four songs because,
Highway 61, is now playing and every night this was
played. Freddy and Larry made this song sound not only
totally fresh, but blistering with a break-fast heat
that left the entire crowd flailing around like all
those crazy fans so long ago when checking out the
Beatles in lets say Shea Stadium. Hell ya if Robert
Johnson were alive today this is the music hed be
playing most definitely because it possesses in it all
the darkness and light that truly great blues music
gives unto us. The way this band and the man fronting
them can turn a theater into a juke joint just aint
natural and I thank God for that.
    Man In The Long Black Coat, and just like in my
previous review about Detroit 3/15/2004 and how,
Blind Willie, follows, Highway 61, into the
Netherlands he does it again tonight with, Man In The
Long Black Coat. And though I said I dont like doing
this I will admit this is the best version I have ever
heard of this song and that it is even better I feel
than the original version from, Oh Mercy. I dont
care if you disagree with me the thing is there is
just a mood captured here that never retreats nor
relents plus the guitar playing is superb/fantastic. I
am in love with how Larry and Freddy trade licks while
the bass and drums continue to form the most hungry
and sparse foundation youll ever find yourself
hanging upon like some solid rock or fish hook. I
swear I saw Melville in the wings while this was being
played grinning from ear to ear because it really does
capture the essence of what, Moby Dick, and all
great fish tales are about the willingness to go out
way beyond rational reasoning no matter how crazed you
may appear because you are on a hunt be it for a great
white whale or God or a man in a long black coat. Its
not about obsession or even compulsion for that
matter, but it is about answering to a higher calling
because there comes a time in everyones life when you
no longer have any choice and must just do what you
were put here to do. I say hell ya people dont live
or die people just float especially when our guide is
a conscience that we must keep satisfied and yet still
we must cross the river dear and if becoming a leper
and dying in someone elses clothes is the cross we
must bear I say hold your head up high and do it with
all the dignity and the conviction only you can muster
up because its not dark yet, but it is getting there.
    Every Grain of Sand, and finally Richies
drumming clicked for me. First I think it is because
either the first or perhaps it was the second night
George and Richie were switched around so now Tony and
Richie could really work together and God this just
makes such an incredibly night and day difference. It
locked Richie more into the overall sound and I
believe gave him more confidence to find the real soul
of this mercurial music. This song is also all about
Tonys bassline and this version is no exception. This
was a real highlight of the night for me because it
was another one I was hoping to hear during my four
shows this tour. Sometimes this song just totally
works while other times it lies on the floor like some
dead angel tonight it clicked God did it ever! If you
do get the opportunity to hear the field recording
listen to how Dylans delivery and the music are
playing off each other and how Dylan and the band are
tied directly into the same groove as a wall of sound
washes over you like the motion of the sea.
    Ball and Biscuit, what can be said about this
that would do any justice to this performance. First
Jack White with his red hair (was it dyed or is his
hair naturally red and the black hair that Im used to
is dyed  ahhh the mysteries that abound I love it!)
for a few moments when he first walked onto the stage
did not click for me  all I kept wondering and many
around me kept wondering (Linda my friend knew
immediately who it was) is hey who is that guy because
it sure aint Larry. Of course by the time he sang and
his bangs for a split second moved away revealing his
cave like seriously driven renaissance eyes I knew who
it was and God was it ever a kick down the walls knock
em drag em out dead on performance. No I have never
heard this song before, but Dylan and the band
obviously had because they all really gave their all
on this number and the interaction between Bob and
Jack was something to behold. No video or audio could
ever bring across how much fun Dylan and the band was
having trading licks with this maestro Jack White.
Plus God is he ever sexy  I was right there on the
rail and as I looked up at him all I could think was
fuck now I understand what is meant by someone who
exudes sex appeal. There were no cold mountains to be
climbed nor returned to not during this laceration. 
    Dylan and Jack gave each other high fives when all
was said and done and even hugged and you just knew
Bob was proud that he and this very talented musician
who obviously has always had a deep, deep respect for
Dylan were not only able to join forces in the town
that first spawned The White Stripes, but that he was
also extremely pleased at the knockout punch that had
just been delivered to conclude these three
UNBELIEVABLE performances in the Motor City in the
year of who knows when.

Charles Eric Cicirella

3/19/2004 (Id like to dedicate this review to a very
real parrot named Bob that I met while waiting in line
in Detroit because this parrot withstood the cold and
the loneliness of a hotel room and I really hope gets
the opportunity to see Dylan live and in person before
too long!!!)

[TOP]

Review by Bill Lynch



Saw a concert for the ages on St. Patrick's Day--Bob Dylan at the State Theatre, a classic 1920s era 
venue with a capacity of about 3,000. It's a building with a high, ornate ceiling, balcony, open 
floor up front and good acoustics, revitalized recently to complement the new stadiums for the Lions 
and the Tigers across the street. Dylan was playing three nights at a small, intimate venue, 
March 15-17, Monday through Wednesday; it was all we could do to buy tickets only for one night. No 
such restraint held back the world's best DJ, Martin Bandyke (on WDET or on the web weekdays 12-3 PM 
at wdetfm.org), who not only went to all three nights, but took off the week before to catch the last 
of four in Chicago. Needless to say he kept his listening audience hyped up in anticipation, playing 
the first four songs on the setlist the next day on the radio and reporting back how great the shows 
were. After the Tuesday show, his enthusiasm was through the roof, particularly because Dylan adde
d a surprise second encore with a scorching version of Bob Seger's "Get Out of Denver" in honor of 
hometown hero Bob Seger's induction into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame the night before. From talking 
to people who were there the next night, it seems that he came out and took the center microphone and 
said something about the song, but no one could hear him since that microphone was not really used as 
Dylan was playing piano and harp off to the side all night and, anyway, the crowd was going crazy. 
Then he and the band lit into this great Chuck Berry/Johny B. Goode song and everyone couldn't quite 
place it until the chorus when the crowd went nuts: "Get out of Denver cause you look just like a 
commie/And you might just be a member/Get out of Denver."

The expectation level was high on Wednesday--everyone anticipated something to top the previous night's 
show and we were not disappointed. We made our way very close to the low stage, about six feet away, in 
the general admission sardine box up front, the opposite side from Bob's piano so we could see his 
expressions as he sang. He was bouncing around with his cowboy hat keeping the beat and half perched on 
a chair half standing playing the electric piano and occasional harp--no guitar, he left that to the 
band which was very solid, two guitarists (the new guy Freddy Koella playing some great solos including 
some slide guitar work), two drummers on many songs (one from Little Feat) and Tony Garnier on killer 
bass. As one of the regular fans told us, this was not Bob-the-folk-singer but Bob, the kid who played 
rock and roll from his high school days. There was a few acoustic moments, like the nice version of 
"Girl From the North Country," with a slight Celtic feel to it with Garnier playing mandolin, perhaps
the only nod to St. Patty's. But this was just killer rock, like the songs off his latest album "Summer 
Days," "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum," "Honest with Me," and "High Water (For Charley Patton)" (a personal 
favorite of mine--"High Water Everywhere..." indeed), as well as the hits like the second song "It's 
All Over Now, Baby Blue" and the encore's "Like A Rolling Stone" and a very interesting, darker "All 
Along the Watchtower." The double drums really paid off on numbers like "Highway 61 Revisited" with 
George Recile nailing the opening drum riff. The crowd was into it throughout, cheering along at key 
moments like the lines in "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" to the effect that "even the President 
of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked" and "he that is not busy being born is busy 
dying." (This song reminded me of "Masked and Anonymous," the recent movie that Dylan wrote and starred 
in as a washed up singer sprung from prison to do a benefit in a kind of dystopian splinter state from
the U.S. with Dylan's jaundiced take on contemporary politics, not to mention music journalism.) 
Between songs, Dylan would often walk over from his piano to the opposite side of the stage where Tony 
Garnier and Larry Campbell were to let them know about a change in plans, the set list not only changing 
significantly from night to night, but changing on the fly. One change was to include "Every Grain of 
Sand," a song I love and one that had been played on the Dylan request hour the days of the concerts on 
Martin Bandyke's radio show (it may be coincidence, but it seemed he played a number of these "requests"
--had he heard the show?). From our vantage point, you could see Dylan sort of smile or grimace as he 
delivered certain lines; the band was great, the sound was great, and the crowd sung along on the encore 
"Like a Rolling Stone." After the three song encore, as at the end of the main set, he lined up with the 
band as if to bow, stood there for a few seconds rubbing his hands which must have been stiff from 
playing, and then just kind of turned and left.

The crowd went nuts--would we get a rare second encore like the previous night? Well after about five 
minutes of pandemonium, they came back. As they were getting set to go, it slowly became apparent there 
was someone else on the stage, though with his hair in his face, it wasn't immediately clear--a younger, 
skinnier Neil Young it looked like. At first his guitar was turned down too low and I thought he was 
going to have to beat up the sound guy because...well, yes, it was Jack White and they just tore into 
the song, White's guitar and lyrics confident and impressive. Not only was it Jack White, but they 
played a White Stripes song! As my wife said later, you can't make it much more than that--he could have 
just died and gone to heaven right then, we reckoned. The song was "Ball and Biscuit" and I guess it was 
chosen since some of the lyrics kind of continue the "seventh son" theme of the earlier "Highway 61 
Revisited." Dylan, of course, had asked "Where do you want this killing done?" and let us know that
"yes, I think it can be easily done/ Out on Highway 61," then passed on the news: "Let me tell the 
second mother this has been done/But the second mother was with the seventh son/And they were both out 
on Highway 61."Jack, an actual seventh son, sings with Dylan that "It's quite possible that I'm your 
third man, girl/But it's a fact that I'm the seventh son/It was the other two which made me your 
third/But it was my mother who made me the seventh son/And right now you could care less about me/But 
soon enough you will care by the time I'm done." They DESTROYED the place with this and again it was 
the talk of the town on Martin Bandyke's show, who, apparently, is Jack White's first cousin, to continue 
the kinship lesson. You know what Abraham says about it, but if you want to decide yourself, better point 
you lazy ass mouse to http://www.whitestripes.net/downloads.phpand hear the actual live version! I can 
only hope the rest of this concert makes it to the light of day--it would make a great addition to
Dylan's bootleg series.

Bill Lynch
Ferndale, Michigan

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Review by Don Ely



This being the only day of the three shows I was off from work,I decided to head down to the venue early
to use up some black & white film in the neighborhood immediately surrounding the State Theater.  Detroit 
is at the decaying heart of America's Rust Belt, hasn't been the jewel it once was since before the riots
of 1967,and has endured decades of administrative neglect.  Cultural diamond mines like Black Bottom were
plowed under expressways many years ago, and much of what's left simply needs to be swept up and hauled 
away.  There is beauty among the ruin, however, along streets like Clifford and Cass Avenue, that state 
the case for compelling portraits of glory days long gone by.  A man shoveling snow off the roof of his 
Chinese restaurant, boarded-up taverns and graffiti-laden tenements, office buildings rising from the 
grime, still standing tall and proud, and glimpsed through geysers of steam oozing from subterranea.  All 
these things and more were moments in Detroit frozen by my lens,and although circumstances have rightfully
begun improving in our town with the advent of baseball's All-Star Game and football's Super Bowl in the 
next couple years, it's a lot of fun to preserve the present and ruminate on our glorious past.  An old 
neon sign proclaims "Entertainment!" like a ghost of 'lectricity as it points to a doorway that revelers 
will never enter again.  It's lights are darkened, large parts are missing, but it still hangs there in 
silent pride.  Entertainment ain't what it used to be.  Until Bob Dylan And His Band take the State
Theater stage, that is, and you need fret no further about the quality of music in century 21.  How many 
artists this side of Patti Smith can open their show with a song like "The Wicked Messenger"?  From the 
opening chords we knew this third night of Great White Wonder would set the Detroit music world on it's 
ear.  Gears shifted from rock to country as we received the second "It's All Over Now,Baby Blue" of the 
stand; this song affords Larry Campbell one of his few remaining chances to bring out that remarkable 
pedal steel.  Much has been said of Larry's place in the current lineup, that he's bored, or worse, out 
of place in this aggregation.  While that may have been true during the early adjustment period when 
Freddie first arrived, I don't see it that way at all now.  He provides great counterpoint to Koella's 
style, and I saw a guy having fun and completely up to the challenge of the ever-shifting sands of Bob 
Dylan's stylistic changes.  It was a pleasure seeing "Under The Red Sky" for the first time since the
Michigan State Fair of 1994.  It was a pleasure hearing Dylan's authoritative vocals, unlike the meek 
singing on the album track.  That was a time when Bob had lost himself and his art, when self-doubt 
crept into his psyche and very nearly extinguished his muse.  Anyone who listens to the recorded 
monologue that precedes each night's performance, and who pays actual attention during the show, 
realizes Bob Dylan sings and plays as confidently now as ever before.  Numbers such as "It's Alright,Ma
(I'm Only Bleeding)" that are sometimes tossed off too quickly were rock solid tonight.  "Down Along 
The Cove", from "John Wesley Harding", a well that Bob dips into frequently, was a song I hadn't seen 
played previously and was most enjoyable.  This one is relatively new to his arsenal, having it's live 
debut only in 1997 or so.  Other chestnuts, "Moonlight" and "Girl Of The North Country", were aired in 
completely different arrangements,definitely not the "same old songs".  The former sounds like a "Love
And Theft" outtake, while the latter no longer even remotely resembles "Don't Think Twice".  Anyone who 
thinks Bob Dylan is stale just ain't payin' attention.  "Man In The Long Black Coat" is reworked as well,
not as dark and foreboding, but with an underlying menace that's even more deceptive.  Sometimes things 
left unsaid, a message implied, carries greater weight than spelling it all out.  Sometime I'd like to 
hear a holy trio of "Long Black Coat", "Man Of Peace", and "God Knows" all in the same set.  Though
memory is subjective, tonight's may have been the best version of "Highway 61 Revisited" I've ever seen.
Watching Larry and Freddie trade leads was joyous, and the entire band engaged in a clinic on how the 
song should be played.  Quite simply, they rocked the house.  A personal reprieve came for me when I 
was honored with a rendition of the beautiful "Every Grain Of Sand".  Like a dope I wasn't paying 
attention the first time I saw the song at Cobo 11/9/01, and I felt I might just get lucky one night out 
of three.
              "I gaze into the doorway of temptation's angry flame
              And every time I pass that way I always hear my name.
              Then onward in my journey I come to understand
              That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand.

              I have gone from rags to riches in the sorrow of the night
              In the violenceof a summer's dream,in the chill of a wintry light,
              In the bitter dance of loneliness fading into space,
              In the broken mirror of innocence on each forgotten face.

              I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
              Sometimes I turn,there's someone there,other times it's only me.
              I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man
              Like every sparrow falling,like every grain of sand"

Further proof that not all of Bob Dylan's most extraordinary works were written in the sixties.  "In the 
fury of the moment I can see the Master's hand/ In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand". I 
swear I'll have those words carved on my tombstone. 'Nuff said.  This time after the encore, I stood my
ground, just knowing that after last night's Seger surprise something extraordinary would happen.  A 
flurry of activity, then he appeared.  Boy Wonder Gone Mad Jack White took center stage to drench the 
State in buckets of genu-ine Deetroit guitar acid on his own "Ball and Biscuit", sweat from a thousand 
assembly lines distilled into White Noise that could halt a column of tanks.  In a parallel universe 
Jack White meets Jack Fate.  Head down, hair over face, Rock Star Pose.  We come full circle, Judas meets 
an apparent heir to the Rock Star Throne.  As someone in the crowd said when speaking of Bob Dylan's age
and health before this evening's show commenced, "he's been through a lot of shit", and I replied, "yeah,
but he's come through the other side".  Bob Dylan has seen it all, but at a time when most of his 
contemporaries are content to issue yet another hits package and trade on their memories, his blood 
remains rich and flows freely through heart, mind,and soul.  He once was the original Rock Star, he later 
was lost but now has found himself again.  Jack White, God love him, should watch "Don't Look Back" and 
"Eat The Document", and then watch 'em over again, just to see how it was pulled off the first time 
around.  I'd seen Bob on three consecutive nights before, but in three different cities.  These shows
were sweet because you could see the band relax and be at their best without having to hop the bus for 
the next gig.  Relaxing for me as well, a little bit of Dylan heaven to start the new year right.  At 
these shows I met some great people, and witnessed a man and his band at the top of their game deliver 
53 great songs.  If I could do it all over, I'd do it all over you, Bob Dylan.

Don Ely
Rochester,MI
kingsnake78@hotmail.com

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Comments by Steve Wright



Bob concluded his three night stand in Toronto at Kool Haus, a big barn of
a room. The show was quite a bit different in tone from the night before.
Much harder, louder blues edge tonight. Way better pacing and the band
just rocked harder on every tune. Highlights included a completely
reworked version of It Ain't Me Babe, a very, very heavy Cold Irons Bound,
and a wonderful Tom Thumb's Blues. No duds tonight, although Tweedle Dee
started very loose but they pulled it together. All in all a great show.
Bob in playful mood, cracking a lame joke about Freddie in the intros.
Beg, borrow or steal a ticket to this tour.

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billp61@execpc.com

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