Reviews

Charlotte, North Carolina
Center City Fest
Budweiser WEND/WRFX Stage
April 28, 2001


[Andy Y.], [Jesse Lambertson], [Teresa Bolton], [John Pruski]

Review by Andy Y.



My decision to head to Charlotte was last minute.  I had been considering
either going to Center City Fest or heading to Asheville a few days later.
 Found myself driving to Charlotte, with no ticket, and as I drove towards
the venue I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to buy a ticket day-of. 
To my pleasant surprise, the only delay was walking from where I parked
(Caldwell st) to the gate.  In less than five minutes I had purchased my
ticket and was heading for the stage.  Time was getting close.  There were
four? stages with various other artists.  Centercity fest is a very big
event.  Dylan was set to go on at 8 and as i rounded the corner I heard
the opening lines of Roving Gambler and saw a tremendous crowd.  

The first part of the show was acoustic.  Bob seemed to be enjoying the
show as were so many others.  He was doing plenty of dancing.  His voice,
which I have always enjoyed, was great.  I don't care for the packed
crowd.  I much preferred seeing Dylan in the setting of marriweather post
last summser.  But the outdoor venue and beautiful weather made it nice.  

High lights for me were: When larry and bob played harp/fiddle together,
Don't Think Twice, Wicked messenger, If dogs run free, Leopard skin
pillbox hat, Watchtower, and of course Highway 61 was rocking.  Rather, I
enjoyed every song.  

I stayed to hear the black crowes.  Chris Robinson, the singer for the
crowes, made a comment between songs about - what a nice evening it was
and that any evening is nice with Bob Dylan.

Looking forward to seeing the show tonight in Blacksburg, VA.  I am
writing this in Patton Hall (CEE Dept - where i spend so much time) as
they are setting up in Burruss Hall (the next building over) for a sold
out show.  

Hoping to hear Cold Irons bound, Rainy day women.  It is too bad Alabama
Getaway hasn't been played in recent tours.  It seems so natural for
Dylan.  

Burruss is a great place to see a show.  It is a beautiful auditorium with
nice acoustics.  Anyone planning to attend should be very pleased.  

Andy Yeagle
slow_train@lycos.com

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Review by Jesse Lambertson



Review of April 28, 2001 Bob Dylan Concert by: Jesse Lambertson  
Well, I managed to get my dad to finally break down and go see a Bob
Dylan Concert with me. I have been into Bob for a while and have tried on
a number of occasions to get him to listen to his stuff. Recently, he has
been listening and he was totally impressed. True, he does not know the
songs very well, but I thought it would be nice to mention. As for my
thoughts on the show. I was floored. It was fantastic. Bob Dylan gets
better every time I see him. He was smiling almost the entire show after
the first couple of songs. He seemed very relaxed on stage, more so than
I have seen him before. There was a slight sound problem for just a few
seconds and bob was smiling and happily chatting with Larry and Tony.
Also, I was mightily happy to see that he was really in charge on the
stage. The evening was filled with more jams than I have ever heard
before and it was clear that Charlie in his new position at Bob's right
was glancing regularly at Bob to see what he exactly wanted to do with
certain tunes. Case in Point, "Standing in the Doorway" was filled with
Bob playing his lead guitar and he was just going and going like the
energizer bunny. Charlie kept looking at him to see what was next. I
thought it was amusing and good for Bob to practice his jamming. But he
did not only practice on that song, during the "Wicked Messenger", which
was rock solid rock & roll, with that way he's doing it these days was
heading toward the end with Bob on lead, then he played a pretty mean
harp solo. I guess the point here is that he was really into it. Even on
"Seeing the Real You at Last" he was soloing and dancing a lot. 
 
I can not talk about this show with out me letting myself express
emotion about some of the stuff. First, Bob's harp solo at the and of
"My Back Pages" was one of his most impassioned that I have yet heard.
It blew me away. I almost wanted to cry. And of course Larry on the
Violin, was something that I have not heard and it adds to my respect
for the talent of these men Bob has playing for him. Second, I noticed
that Bob stuck in "It's alright Ma" in the third spot where "Desolation
Row usually sits. I love the rhythm of this song under as Bob sang
clearly and enunciated the syllables well. I think that the reason that
he puts that song there is because there is a way in which some of the
themes of the songs are similar. They are both sort of long pounding
driving songs that view the world as a circus and that life is tough to
live well in it. 
 
Thank you Bob for opening with the "Roving Gambler". Thank You Charlie
for really going off in Leopard-Skin Pill Box Hat amongst other tunes and
and Thank you Larry for playing the lap-steel so well in "All Along the
WatchTower" again. The songs has a whole new feel now. Till we meet again

,,,Jesse Lambertson 

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Review by Teresa Bolton



Bob Dylan was extraordinary tonight in Charlotte.  It was the 
second time I've had the privilege of seeing him perform, and he 
did not disappoint!  He opened with Roving Gambler, which sounded 
fantastic.  My Back Pages was a treat - the crowd enjoyed singing 
along with him on this one.  It was so good to hear goodies like 
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right, Wicked Messenger and Leopard-
Skin Pill-Box Hat was the perfect way to end his set.

I was really thrilled when he did Things Have Changed as the 
first song of his encore.  That song really rocks.  He included 
Like A Rolling Stone, All Along The Watchtower and Knockin' on 
Heaven's Door, but HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE 
NIGHT!  As my husband put it, "Dylan just left blisters on the 
ass of Charlotte!"  He ended with a beautiful version of "Blowin' 
In The Wind."  

I felt sorry for the Black Crowes having to come out after Bob's 
set - there is NO WAY they could come close to topping that!  I 
wish I had heard "Forever Young", but hopefully the next time Bob 
comes to Charlotte, he will do that one.  It was just a wonderful 
show, beautiful weather, and DYLAN WAS ON!  Can't wait 'till the 
next time...

Teresa Bolton 

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Review by John Pruski



I was fortunate enough to see both great Bob Dylan shows (28 April in 
Charlotte NC at the Center City Fest and 29 April VA Tech Univ. in 
Blacksburg) this weekend, the two shows of this spring Dylan swing that 
were the nearest to my house in suburban Washington DC.  This was my 
first chance to see Bob and Band since the November Towson show.  I made 
up my mind to drive the 7 hours to Charlotte (Blacksburg is about at the 
midpoint, making for an easier return trip) when I saw that these shows 
fell on a weekend, and when my friend Alex's wife managed to get our 
VA Tech tix (4th row) at 10:10 the morning they went on sale.  And, I 
stayed with my niece Tesia in Roanoke (only 30 miles from Blacksburg) for 
a couple of nights, so it was a really fun family weekend to boot!

I got to the Center City Music Fest in downtown Charlotte at about 3PM 
and paid my $5 parking and $25 same day ticket price.  Shortly after 
entering I was very pleased to stumble upon the traveling Hendrix Red 
House truck, in part manned by Jimi's cousin Bob Hendrix.  This was a 
great bit of lagniappe, and I got to see Jimi's Maui (July 30, 1970) black 
shirt as well as his famous butterfly costume. Wow.  And the video inside 
showed Jimi playing Watchtower, really gearing me up to see Bob, set to 
start at 8:30 PM.  I got my $15 Fest T-shirt (Bob's name was given top 
billing) and $10 red and gold Dylan poster and made my way to the Bud 
Beer Stage.  

At about 5-5:30 PM I began working my way up to the packed stage front (I 
was on the right, ultimately right in front of Larry and just a few feet 
from the barrier), wondering if I'd  ever find my friend Alex (I didn't).  
Anyway, I saw Dexter Freebish and Oleander, two good groups who played just 
before Bob.  My niece saws they are awesome and that that kind of music 
is called Alternative.  Actually, both groups were pretty good, but the 
talk all day from everyone at the Fest centered around Bob Dylan, and well 
it should as Bob is about the biggest name in the entertainment business, 
and by default by far the biggest name at the very fun Center City Fest.

Anyway, hot on the heels of Oleander came Bob and Band, going on at about 
8:06, well before the scheduled 8:30 start time and just at about dusk, 
making for a beautiful evening, albeit in view of nearby sky scrapers.  
And yes, the (plastic) Oscar was on Bob's Fender stack, and was a crowd 
conversation piece.  Presumably due to time constraints Bob played a 
slightly shortened 2000 style show (5 acoustic songs, 5 electric songs, 
then the encores) rather than the new 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 (and then the encores) 
of the new 2001 format.  The show did not contain TUIB, but was 
nevertheless great with Bob in very fine form!  Back Pages was beautiful 
with Larry plucking his fiddle at one point and Bob blowing some harp 
(to the crowd's delight), this followed (as often is the case) by a great 
Ma.  It was really fun seeing Soldier and Country Pie back-to-back again.  
Real You rocked hard as usual and really got the crowd going, more so than 
we already were.  Then a great and mellow Standing In The Doorway followed. 
The next night in Blacksburg both my buddies John and Alex said that this 
live version was new for them, as it was for me too.  I was on the audience
right (in front of Larry) so for the two rocking songs closing out the 10 
song regular part of the show I could really heard Larry loud and clear, 
now that he is on the audience right, he and Charlie having recently 
switched places on stage.  

The crowd was incredibly loud during the formation and in calling Bob 
back for encores.  The encores really went down well, especially in 
this festival atmosphere.  I'd guess that there were about 20,000-30,000 
people in the crowd, without doubt including many Bob virgins knowing 
only the encored hits, and again these went down really well.  I noticed 
David drums kicking off LARS, but for some reason hadn't noticed this at 
last year's shows.  The crowd was just completely enthusiastic, and 
really didn't mellow down during Dogs Run Free, which thus perhaps doesn't 
go down as well in these huge festival venues as it does in more intimate 
settings.  Tony, Charlie and Bob at points mugged on our left during HW61, 
while Larry was left alone to burn it up on the Lap Steel far to our right, 
which he did.  My favorite song was Heaven's Door and I noticed the third 
line/verse went up (in pitch/tone), which was new to me.  It was just a 
wonderful rendition of a fabulous song, and Larry and Charlie's singing 
were both great.  And in the second formation Bob came out with his black 
hat on, looking way cool (and cute).

It was really just a great evening concert, ending at about 9:46PM, after 
Bob played about one hour and forty minutes.  Only in leaving the stage did 
I see just how completely packed this stage (the biggest of four stages) 
really was.  It was simply wall-to-wall people all the way back to the 
distant Vendor tents.  I left before the Black Crowes closed things out
and fortunately had no trouble getting out of the parking lots; again 
there were still thousands upon thousands of people inside, as the Fest 
didn't close until midnight.  I really appreciated Bob playing second to 
last (rather than last), just like last year when Phil Lesh followed Bob, 
this enabling me to get home (back to Roanoke) at a reasonable hour, just 
before 2AM.  It was a long day, but was so much fun that I went to bed still 
energized thanks to Bob and his great Band . and I was thinking about the 
forthcoming Blacksburg show.  

John Pruski (pruskijohn@email.msn.com) 30 April 2001

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page by Bill Pagel
billp61@execpc.com

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