Reviews

Boulder, Colorado
University Of Colorado
Coors Events Center April 18, 2001


[Brandon Zwagerman], [Jerome Mansfield], [Evan Cantor],
[R C Griffin Jr.], [Dewey Bjorkman], [Lynn Robinson],

Review by Brandon Zwagerman



Well, I just got back from the Coors Events Center on my University
of Colorado Campus. It was a warm Front Range evening, sunny and in the
70s.  I walked over to the arena about an hour before the show was set to 
begin at 7:30. Being all reserved seating, not too many people were around,
but a good number. 4 buses in various combinations of black, silver, and
gold were parked at the loading dock. The only one with its rear facing me 
had a California plate, and there was a little tent set up for equipment or
roadie refreshments or both. A couple radio station booths blaring Ricky Martin
and whatnot were in front of the main entrance, and greybeards milled around
while young neo-hippies kicked the hacky sack. Scalpers were around in
droves, as well as pro-marijuana activists (4/20/01 4 PM Farrand Field,
University of Colorado- be there and bring your buds!).

Once they opened the doors around 45 minutes til showtime, I went
in, bought some stickers-- $2 for 3, not bad-- and found my seat, which
turned out to be nearer the top than I thought, and a bleacher... argh.
So I sat there uncomfortably for a while, people-watching. There seemed
to be a problem with one of the swivel-lights, as a roadie climbed up in
the rigging, lowered one down on a pulley and replaced it, finishing just
before showtime. My companion finally showed at 7:30, and it was another 10-15
min before the lights went down, less than half of the seats filled, sheesh.

I could hardly hear the usual announcement, as the sound was admittedly 
not great where I was. Another obnoxious aspect of my location was 
that just behind me the school's various basketball banners were lit up, 
casting far too much brightness on the area. But on the the good parts.
As people were still browsing the food/merchandise stands and/or
scrambling to their seats, the familiar notes of "Roving Gambler" began.
Bob was wearing a black suit with white trim, and the rest of the band
seemed to be in black or at least dark grey, and Kemper with his white cowboy 
hat.  This is still the favorite cover I've heard live, it has a good beat.
"To Ramona" was next, then "Desolation Row"... nothing too new here. I
noticed myself instantly recognizing songs from the first few notes,
being the only one clapping initially. I guess I must be listeing to too many 
bootlegs.   I was unprepared for what came next when they strapped on the
electrics-- a driving fast beat brought "To Be Alone With You" into a
whole new realm, I didn't recongize it at all at first. Larry's fiddle playing
was a great addition as well. Bob fiddled around with some harmonicas, even
blowing into one, then "Tears of Rage" followed-- another one I hadn't
heard a live version of. This was beautiful, and punctuated by a very extended
harp solo-- the best I've ever heard. "Things Have Changed" seemed to get
a large response from the opening, and even more when the title hook was
sung-- the Oscars seem to have really helped it gain notoriety. I found
this song to be more movable to than ever, the whole crowd was on their feet
clapping along.  Acoustically, a beautiful "Don't Think Twice" was followed by
"Masters of War," clapping and cheers coming after the various lines about hoping
they die and the like... interesting. "Tangled Up in Blue" masterfully
served its usual purpose as keystone of the night, the crowd back on its
feet and clapping along. As much as I hear it live, I never tire of this
song, it is such fun in concert. Bob took out the harp for this one too--
he has made some interesting gestures with his hands and body while playing
it-- he was really moving around up there tonight. Since my companion
forgot the binoculars, I wasn't seeing much detail the whole night, but the
woman on my right kindly offered them during "Tangled," which was very
kind of her, and I got to see Bob close up, his hear bouncing around as
he concentrated on the guitar. Maybe it's just my imagination, but
think he looked at me through the binoculars for a split-second there :-)
Back to the electrics, beginning with something slow and bluesy I
knew was from Time Out of Mind, but it took me a little while to discern that
it was "Standing in the Doorway," as that album is so coherent that the
songs run together in my mind a lot. It was a very emotional version,
wedged interestingly between "Tangled" and the hard-rocking "Drifter's
Escape" which followed. Bob ended the latter with a short harp solo. A
typical "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" followed, then they got into Formation, 
standing there as the applause grew and grew-- I still get a kick out of that.
Bob and company walked offstage into the darkness as lighters flickered
and applause mounted, returning shortly.  "Love Sick" was followed by "Like a 
Rolling Stone," the latter of which > the crowd of course loved. This is a 
good point to give kudos to the lighting-- the crowd was washed in a sea of 
salmon during the chorus... the lights the whole night seemed more complex 
than I ever recall it being before, but maybe I just wasn't paying attention to 
it before. I think it was during "Love Sick" that they had it lit so a giant 
shadow of Bob was projected behind him-- very cool. My first live "If Dogs Run 
Free" followed-- I think it is damned hillarious-- he said "you might even be
queen or king" I believe. The Hendrixy "Watchtower" got the crowd going
again, then a sweet "Girl of the North Country," "Highway 61 Revisited,"
and "Blowin' in the Wind" rounded out the first encore. Interestingly,
either on purpose or by accident, Bob didn't introduce the band until DURING
"Blowin'," right before the last chorus. If this is a one-night thing, I
guess he forgot to do it earlier. Otherwise, I guess it is purposeful, and it 
works. Some people next to me, when he said "Charlie Sexton" got  very excited 
and pulled out the binoculars-- "it really IS him!" In any case, they walked 
off stage to thunderous cheers. I somehow had a feeling they would come back 
for a second one... I could just sense it.  And so it was, with "Rainy Day 
Women 12 & 35," a song I don't normally care much for. In concert it is always 
great fun, however, the whole crowd clapping and joining in on the chorus with 
words and deeds... heh.  Fitting, it being so close to 4/20. And so it was the 
house lights went on, and we stumbled out into the cool Colorado night. Just 
another stop on the road, headin' for another joint... 2 buses had already 
pulled out and were on the street by the time we got in front...

-Brandon

[TOP]

Review by Jerome Mansfield



I almost did'nt make it to this (my 7th)Dylan show.Me,
my friends Cameron and Chrissy and my sister Jill left
Colorado Springs around 3:00 and thought we'd be o.k.
but on the way,Cameron's 1970 VW bus had the points 
goin' bad and it started missin' out-had to stop and
fix that (lucky we had extra one with us).We got up
there with and hour to spare after all.Time enough for
a beer and shots all around!

Bob's first show back in the states turned out very
nice.I think he may have been more than ready to play
again after a little time off the road-he played a
good 2 hrs.Starting off with Roving gambler was cool.
On the third song,Desolation row,he and the band were
warming up just fine-bob sounding great with blues
coming through on the vocals."To be alone with you"
was next, along with his blonde strat guitar in hand(as it
was most of the night).Warming up did'nt really turn
hot until the 6th song:"Things have changed"-all I can
say is,very energized.a relaxed
version of "Don't think twice" was next with some
great harp(if I remember right)at the end."Masters of war"
-what can you say?you just listen...and hope others do
too...When they started "Tangled up in blue",someone
hit some wrong chords and it sounded a bit slow so I
thought,maybe a so-so version of this was in store...
it turned out to be one of the best times I've seen it
performed.I thought I saw Bob smile with the band and
overall,having a good time with this one.Great harp at
the end.The Boulder crowd really started getting into
it at this point.Next came "Standing in the doorway".
I was hoping for "Highlands"-but as The Stones
say,"you can't always get what you want,you get what you need".
The very cool,"Drifter's escape" came out next-loud
and clear with a short harp solo at the end."Pillbox hat"
was the last song before a short break.When they came
back and started "Lovesick",I was ready for it...and
lately,can relate to it...who could'nt at various
times in life?I love the changed line:"sometimes I feel like
I'm being plowed under"."Like a rolling stone"came
next and someone a few rows back from the stage threw some
glitter high into the air at the very end-nice touch.
After hearing about it for a while now,I got to hear
the "jazz"version of "If dogs run free"next-too cool!
On "Watchtower" Bob pushed the words out hard and it's
always great to hear that song-the pedal steel sounded
great on it too.One of my friend Cameron's favorite
Dylan songs is "Girl from north country" so when that
started next,i knew he had a smile on his face.
Near the end of "Blowin in the wind" Bob introduced
his great band and then left the stage.Final
song:"Rainy day women".All and all,a very good show
and as usual,I can't wait 'till the next one.

Jerome Mansfield
Colo.springs,CO
April 19,2001 4:00a.m.

[TOP]

Review by Evan Cantor



Dr. Zimmerman in no uncertain terms rocked the house last night 
at Coors Events Center in Boulder, Colorado (4/18/01).  The show
started at 7:30 with no opening band and Bob came out at 7:45 to a 3/4
full auditorium.  It was full by about 8:30, probably with a lot of people
who expected an opener. The Events Center is ostensibly a basketball
arena, so I was a little ambivalent about the potential sound problems,
but Dylan was just loud enough, not too loud and the sound was very good. 
Especially since we were sitting on the side of the stage up on the right
side looking down at the band.  We were 25 rows up, which meant we were
close enough to get a good eyeful and sufficiently elevated so our views
weren't blocked by amps and monitors.  We did not approach the stage, we
are old fuddie duddies.  We watched a lot through binoculars.  We did
elevate our mood before entering the arena, however; Bob Dylan concerts
qualify as "special occasions".

Dylan was wearing a black suit with white stripes down the sides and black
cowboy boots with flames on them.  He was flanked on the front of the
stage by two guys playing guitars; one of the players also switched to
mandolin and pedal steel.  The bass player was mostly sitting down towards
the back of the stage, hidden from our view by the drums.  The really odd
thing was the piano/organ player was off to the far left side of the
stage, out of the spot lights, and wasn't even introduced by Bob when
towards the end of the show he did introductions.  The organ player was a
big guy, with a long black beard with white stripe down the chin and a
huge head of old-fashioned hippie big-hair.  It looked like Auggie Meyers,
of Sir Douglas Quintent, Doug Sahm Band and Texas Tornadoes fame.  Auggie
was on the "Time Out Of Mind" album, so it's quite likely this was him,
but why he wanted out of the spotlights and to not be introduced I don't
understand.  Maybe it wasn't him... there are a lot of guys in this
business with big beards and big hippie hair.

Dylan started with a few folksy tunes, "Roving Gambler" which had lovely
three-part harmonies, and "To Ramona".  Dylan was playing a standard
Martin-style acoustic with a dark sunburst top, which he used for about
3/4 of the songs.  Then he took up a Fender Telecaster and launched into a
blistering heavy-groove "Desolation Row".  Next, he started rocking hard
in fifties rockabilly form; you never know what song he's about to start
singing cause he's changing the arrangements all the time... this turned
out to be "To Be Alone With You" from Nashville Skyline, a gentle country
song on the original album version.  He played a nearly unrecognizable
"Tears Of Rage," then played his Oscar winning tune, "Things Have Changed"
to a loud reception from the crowd.  Then I thought I recognized the chord
progression from "Don't Think Twice" and, sure enough, he's playing this
early anthemic piece and the crowd is roaring.  Again, an unrecognizable
"Masters Of War" before "Tangled Up In Blue".  He finished "Tangled" with
a long harmonica solo ramping up to a frenzy and signaled the climax with
a pointed finger. He ran through "Standing In The doorway" and "Drifter's
Escape", with another harp solo, before going full-out rocking on
"Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"; again, the audience had no idea what song he
was playing until he mentioned the leopard-skin pill-box hat in the
refrain.  Then the first set was done and the band left the stage. 

The audience clamored for more, of course, so after about 10 minutes or
so, the band comes back out and they launched into another half-hour
encore set. It was like a greatest hits compendium of Dylan songs.  They
started with a very nice version of "Love Sick" from "Time Out Of Mind",
the distinctive organ riff coming from the mysterious organ player in the
darkness.  The audience let out a gasp of delight as the next rocker
turned out to be "Like A Rolling Stone".  Then the tone of things change,
the band starts playing an almost Django-esque jazzy blues and Dylan is
singing "If Dogs Run Free", from the "New Morning" album.  The audience
was delighted again as an unrecognizable intro turned into "All Along The
Watchtower".  Another unrecognizable intro morphs into "Girl of the North
Country", a very nice acoustic arrangement, very different from the old
records.  He rocked his freakin' ass off on another blistering rendition,
this time "Highway 61 revisited". It was funny to see the audience
recognize the tune after he sings the refrain, "down on highway 61", but I
knew what was coming cause I heard the words "God said to Abraham, go get
me a son"... Most of the lyrics were unintelligible, but the sound of the
voice was unmistakeable.  He finished the encore set by launching into yet
another irresistable, smokin' groove which turned out to be "Blowin' In
The Wind."  The audience sang along with the refrain for a surreal effect.
 Then the band disappears one more time, only to reappear for a final
encore, "Rainy day Women".  Of course the whole audience is singing along
with the refrain, "everybody must get stoned".  It was quite a mind-bender
to think that this was the guy who turned the Beatles on.... and his
message rings true, as do so many of his lyrics over the years.

Dylan looked like a stoic George Harrison, which was cool; he did NOT look
like Vincent Price.  It was almost frightening, however, how much he
looked like Little Fyodor (thank God there are not that many people who
would even know what this means...).  Proof that funny-looking little guys
can do great things.  I don't think I saw him crack a smile the entire
time, nevertheless, he appeared to be in high spirits (this is, after all,
Bob Dylan).  He danced a little bit while playing the harmonica at one
point, rocked back and forth on his bigheel cowboy boots, was especially
animated in ramping up the instrumental verses to a maniacal climax, and
played about a third of the lead guitar himself.  All in all, just another
great concert for a guy whose concerts have been on fire for the last
couple of years.

[TOP]

Review by R C Griffin Jr.



Excellent interplay between all three guitars throughout the night, as
seen from my 7th row seat (and later from about 20' as they let us
approach the stage and lean against the rail).As they opened with "Roving
Gambler", the place was only about a third full. I don't know if people
thought the start time was b.s., or if they expected an opening act or
what, but I was bummed, thinking the band might be bummed. All for naught
though. The crowd steadily streamed in during the opener and "To Ramona".
It seemed to me that there was a vibe in the air from 2/3 of the crowd,
thinking "Holy shit, Bob's already playing, and we've missed some tunes".
Like they felt embarrassed, were ready to be scolded or something. Bob let
everyone know that all was well during "Desolation Row". It was like he
was telling everyone that the show was really starting now, as everybody
was finally settled in. I don't know if the added emphasis during the 1st
verse's "the circus is in town" was referring to he and his troupe or to
most of the crowd that had finally filed in, like we were a bunch of
clowns or something, but that got a big response. Bob took over during
"Desolation Row", and ran the whole show from there. Excellent sound
throughout the night, with the vocals clear and powerful. The crowd, and
even the band it seemed, could sense Bob feeling well rested and full of
energy. Bob played three little lead sections on "Desolation Row", and
ripped off his acoustic at the end of the tune and looked out like "yeah,
that's right", and strutted back to get an electric. The place went
wild. In the palm of his hand the rest of the night. The "Bob struts", the
"Bob legwork", and the "Bob looks and expressions" were like none I've
ever seen. All of a sudden I love the tune "Things Have Changed" even
more. It was like the tune came to life during the show. After a
particularly nice "Tears of Rage", which had some sweet, sweet interplay
between all the guitars(Bob-acoustic, Larry and Charlie on electric), and
some excellent vocals, we were treated to some excellent harp work to end
this one. And as Bob went back to pick up the harmonica and mic, his
guitar chord got caught on something and Tony stopped playing and went
over and bent down to free it. I thought that was cool for some reason.
Just reinforced the fact that this was definitely a Bob show and that all
eyes were on him, even the bands. And Tony's no punk, I think he just
loves his boss, as do Larry and Charlie and Kemper. In fact I know they
do, and it was ever apparent last night. >From Charlotte, N.C. 78', where
I missed the show because I was passed out drunk in the parking lot, to
Boulder, CO. 23 years later, THINGS HAVE CHANGED, I shit you not!! It took
a while for this tune to grow on me for some reason, but last night's
rendition has assured a live versions place in my vehicle to be played at
full blast on a regular basis. Tony started out with a bow on his upright
bass on "Don't Think Twice". Bob offered very passionate vocal work on it,
and ended the song with an acoustic lead down on one knee. Literally down
on one knee, not just a knee bend. A dark, haunting "Masters of War", and
then the strangest tune of the night. "Tangled up in Blue" seemed as if it
was starting out like a full blown train wreck. Did somebody have a capo
on the wrong fret? Was somebody playing in a different key? What the
fuck?? Nobody moved a capo, and neither Larry nor Charlie changed where
they were playing. It was Bob! And I think he was seriously doing it on
purpose. The whole first verse he was hitting this weird chord. I thought
"Oh no, the poor bastard doesn't have a monitor and can't hear what’s
going on!" But he could, and was doing it on purpose! I swear he was. It
was like "I used to like playing Tangled up in Blue correctly, but THINGS
HAVE CHANGED!". Tony was looking around trying to see who was fucking up
his boss' tune, and Larry and Charlie were looking back and forth,
starting to freak a little. Bob looked straight at me and I guess I had
such a frightened look on my face that it was like he finally said "Ok,
calm down, I'll play it right". Almost like we were no fun or something,
but I shit you not, the sound of that damn chord he kept striking was
frightening. Maybe an otherwise beautiful chord, but somewhat awkward in
"Tangled up in Blue" to say the least! At the end of the tune, where I
thought he would go to the well three or four times for an acoustic lead,
he just took off his guitar and strutted around a little, moseying back
towards the harp. The band played just chords a couple of times thru, yet
full blown power chords, rocking the thing, as Bob held the harp and
strutted around a little. Then, with the harp in one hand and waving his
other hand around and dancing, Bob WAILED, and I mean WAILED a harp solo
over a couple of cycles to end it. Great Stuff!!!!! I'll say it again -
Great Stuff!!!! Nice version of "Standing in the Doorway". Real nice
guitar interplay with Charlie. I keep mentioning Charlie, but Larry
Campbell is an excellent player too. More subtle, a finesse guy, yet
excellent. Now that damn Charlie Sexton - that guy is INTENSE! I kept
thinking, "if Bob gives Charlie the nod, he'll rip the strings off that
damn thing". He was there all night, chomping at the bit, on top of
everything. And then came "Drifters Escape".And Charlie did almost rip
some strings off of his guitar. As Bob sang the phrase "a lightening bolt
struck the court house", Charlie unleashed a two-string bend of death
defying proportions! Holy shit! Almost lost control of his guitar, lost
his pick. Tony smiling, Larry laughing, and Charlie sheepishly looking out
of the corner of his eye towards Bob to see if that was too much or not.
But Bob, not being one to miss a beat, just kept right on singing, looking
straight out into the crowd, but nodding his head up and down to
acknowledge Charlie, like,"Yeah, I heard it, and it was intense,
youngster. Yet very cool." This tune rocked, and I mean rocked hard. And
right into a version of "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" that just blew the
roof off the place. Charlie and Larry both unleashed and rocking. Bob
rocking. Youngsters in the crowd screaming out "Rock and ROLL". And me
thinking back over the past 20+ years of Bob shows wanting to scream out
"Holy shit - Things have changed!". But I just unleashed my basic
"Woooooooooo!!!!!!Woooooooo!!", till I lost my voice. 7 song encore
highlighted in my opinion by a really cool, laid back version of "Like a
Rolling Stone", during which Bob was pointing his guitar at us like a gun,
shooting little leads at us, and shaking his head at a young lady who was
holding up a lit joint, of which I was trying to keep the smoke from
getting in my face(things have changed a LOT since 78' - actually since
97' for me), and a beautiful "Girl From the North Country" featuring
Larry's brilliant finger-picking. And yes, we demanded and got a second
encore, which was, not surprisingly, "Rainy Day Women #12 & 25".

Thanks

R C Griffin Jr.

[TOP]

Review by Dewey Bjorkman



R.C.Griffin, Jr.'s review of this show is dead on.  He captured 
the unique newness of the entire "feel" of this concert.  And Bob
swaggering around and savaging us with two rip-snorting harp solos in
Tangled and Tears of Rage.  This is legendary stuff.....and someone should
give Olof a head's up because this one belongs to "Best Shows" collection.
Let me add just a few comments to Griffin's stellar account.

First, I don't believe anyone has mentioned the fact that Charlie 
and Larry switched places...with Charlie currently on Bob's right hand and
Larry on his left.  (Fellow Bobhead Donna reports to me that they played
in that position in Topeka as well.)  This is significant because it seems
to me that at this Boulder Concert the band came out of the usual
perfunctory Rovin' Gambler with an audacity of spirit which can partially
be laid at the feet of our intense friend Charlie.  Bob dearly loves To
Ramona, and he often glories in enunciating the beautiful lyrics of this
song (much as he does for tunes like Baby Blue or Don't Think Twice). 
Tonight Bob came charging out with a veracity of energy that I have never
before felt listening to boots of To Ramona.  I loved this altogether new
twist....and sure enough.....it presaged the tenor of the entire concert
with the exceptions of the merciful restful versions of Standing At The
Doorway, Girl Of The North Country, and Blowin.  Griffin mentioned Bob
ripping off his guitar and strutting to his harp.  I would only add that
toward the end of the concert (was it after Blowin of after RDW?).....he
did an enthusiastic two thumbs up!  

I close with a question.  Does anyone know whether or not Bob is
using a new harp?  His power and energy tonight on the harp clearly
surpassed his lung capacity of '99 and '00.  Perhaps he's smokin' fewer
Marlboro's?

This concert is one for the books........rejoice....Bob is having 
great fun....and coming to a venure near you (sooner or later!)

[TOP]

Comments by Lynn Robinson



Saw Bob in Boulder last week...first show of this leg of tour. Seemed
pretty pleased w/himself after winning oscar and all. Band rocked and a
few songs stood out...Masters of War absolutely transcendent! Went w/my
Czech boyfriend and a friend from Prague. She loved it..cried during Don't
Think Twice and said it was good for her soul. Boyfriend on the other
hand, has been a fan since revolutionary 60's in Prague, thought BD has
become what he used to write about...a fat cat w/police motorcade
escorting busses out of small Western college town. Was not impressed.
Feels Bob is riding on thirty years of good songs. I loved some of it and
got pissed off when he threw certain songs away (TUIB) his voice merely a
parody of himself. Harp was a great treat...he's doing this new thing...no
guitar..showman-like. Looks good...older (I got right up to the front near
the end) but full of beans still. A strut in his step. Not as good as last
Summer In Albuquerque but I was glad we went. Boyfriend still maintains
his conviction that all old rock stars need to retire now. Boyfriend may
be right.

[TOP]

page by Bill Pagel
billp61@execpc.com

Current
Tour Guide
Older
Tour Guides
Bob Links
Page
Songs
Performed
Set Lists
by Date
Set Lists
by Location
Cue
Sheets