page by Bill Pagel
Review by Jacob Lee
Last night's show was the best Dylan show I've ever
been too. I haven't been to as many as a lot of
people, but this makes number three, and he just keeps
getting better and better.
A friend of mine and I got there about an hour before
the doors opened, and we thought we had a good place
in line. But at the entrance we were next to, we had
to wait until the bus got there. It was late, so
after a couple minutes, we went to another entrance
and ended up being about 10 people back from the
The opening act was pretty good. Despite what had
been mentioned, Robert Randolph Family Band was
nowhere to be seen. My Morning Jacket was the sole
opener. I hadn't seen them live before even though
they are Louisville natives. They were pretty good,
but the vocals could have been higher in the mix.
They were so low all you could hear was that there was
Luckily, they fixed this for Bob. Bob was on the left
of the stage, behind him to the right was George
Receli. Then there was Tony and Freddy and Larry were
over on the right side. With Freddy being closer to
They opened with "Tweedle Dee" as they have been doing
(no surprises), but I could tell by the end of it that
they were on the ball. (I'm going to skip to the
highlights, since the set list is available.) The
first really knock-out song was "Highway 61." This
was the first time I'd seen him play it live, and he
was right on the money. It couldn't have been better.
He spit out the words just like on the album. I said
I was going to hit the highlights, but looking back
over my notes, I realize that from "Things Have
Changed" to "Summer Days" everything was great.)
"Things Have Changed" was good, but "Cold Irons Bound"
was another awesome performance. Is it my imagination
or does it rock a lot harder live than it did on
I'd been hoping for "Blind Willie McTell," since the
first time he played it on this tour. He didn't let
me down. I thought he'd been playing it in the sixth
spot though, so when I saw he was doing "Cold Irons,"
I was a little disappointed, but like I said, he
rocked it so it was okay. (Now I realize he's been
playing it where he wants regardless of what number.)
But I was really happy when he started in on it. Very
great song. As someone mentioned in a previous
review, he changed his intonation and it's not quite
as good as on the Bootleg Series, but it's still
He followed it with "If Not for You," which I wasn't
expecting at all. That was a great surprise. "High
Water" was pretty much like it was on the Fall tour,
but it had a cool breakdown part, with just Freddy and
Larry playing (I think). I hadn't heard him do
"Saving Grace" live either, and he did a really
beautiful version of that with Larry on pedal steel.
Then there was "Honest With Me." I know some people
think he should leave it out some nights, but this
song is incredible. I thought it rocked on "L&T," but
it's even better than it was at the other two shows I
saw. (Interestingly, a pretty hefty guy climbed up on
the stage at this point and was promptly thrown off.
He literally went flying through the air. I think
he's in one of my literature classes at the University
of Louisville. That was kind of neat.)
"Bye and Bye" was cool because I hadn't seen it
before, but "Summer Days" was even better than it was
on the Fall tour. This was also the first song that I
picked out an error. Somewhere before the long solos,
someone dropped a beat (I don't know who), and George
Receli had to pause a second to get back on it. But
he recovered, and the solos were really amazing.
"Like a Rolling Stone" was pretty good, but you can't
top the album version. "All Along the Watchtower" was
alright except for Freddy's first solo, where I think
he was in another key. It wasn't pretty. After this,
having checked the set lists from the previous shows,
I thought he was done. The friend I was with and I
began to leave, but I was looking around to see if I
could make I contact with another of my friends who
was several people back. While I was looking, I saw
him start yelling and clapping, so the guy I was with
and I jumped back into our spots (actually a little
better since some of the people in front of us were
already out the door). He pulled out the harp for
"Rainy Day Women," which was cool. And then he did
"Forever Young" which wasn't really a good closer, but
it was good enough. If he was going to do a slow
song, I would have rather heard "Queen Jane
Approximately" or something like that. But despite
the weak closer, it was a great show.
I was a little leary about Bob playing in a parking
lot, but he made up for it. (Funnily, on the venue
posters, it says "Jillian's Pavillion." I guess that
looks better than "Jillian's Asphalt.") There's
nothing more to say, except what I have already said
several times. This show was the best I've seen him.
I hope he doesn't wait another 7-8 years to come back
Review by Charles Cicirella
PURE MAGIC ! What more does one have to say??? And Bob must have agreed
because not only did we get the thumbs up from Senor Dylan tonight, but we
were also fortunate/BLESSED (and I don't even think fortunate or blessed
come close to how keyed up and appreciative the crowd were throughout the
set and at this surprise ending) to being treated to a second encore of,
"Rainy Day Women", and an acoustic, "Forever Young", that ached with every
note played majestically by Bob and the best band in the land !!! Bob you
make everyone of us a better person when you come out on that stage and
REIGN AND BOB YOU TRULY DO REIGN !!! Thank you and God Bless you for
sharing your Saving Grace with each and everyone of us!
"I got a radical hostility towards sensuality". - Jack Fate
Review by Doug Troklus
Let me first start by thanking Bill for the opportunity to post a review
of this show.
This will be my first review of a Dylan show and hopefully not my last. I
must admit that I am not very well schooled in Bob's music past 1974 or
so, I am more into the earlier classics and I actually enjoy playing Dylan
songs on guitar and piano more than listening to them. He truly is the
best songwriter and lyrical genius I have ever heard....
Jillians is located in Louisville, KY close to the part of the city which
resembles a modern day Height Ashbury and is nestled in between two giant
factory, smokestack looking objects. The acoustics are incredible for an
outside show! With plenty of objects for the sound to bounce around on.
Its also Derby time and locals/tourists are looking for any excuse to get
crazy and party! I'd say there were in between 3000-5000 people and they
couldn't have been more diverse: black, white, hippie, yuppie, young, old,
rich, poor...they all came to see a LEGEND!!!
"Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum" opened and I noticed Bob sounding somewhat
horse but way better than the last time I saw him in 2000. This song was
pretty cool and he seemed to be having fun, it was after the opening song
that Dylan muttered his only non singing words of the evening....."Now
wave your hands in the air and act like ya just don't care".....no wait a
minute, thats the guy blasting rap as he drove by the venue.......just
kidding, Bob simply growled "thanks" and proceeded into the next song.
"Highway 61" was a true highlight for me and I can't get tired of this
song. "61" got the crowd movin and shakin and everyone found their space
for dancin! "Lay Lady Lay", what can I say about this tune, its one of my
favorites and was # 1 on my buddie's wish list. The pedal steel guitar
work was awesome and along with the sweet herb smell in the air really set
a chill tone for "Things Have Changed". I am not very aware of this song
but I have heard it before and it was a pleasure to hear live, Bob seemed
to come as alive as he's been all night for this tune. Up next, "River
Flow", the musicianship was flawless and this was highlight #2. This song
had a barroom feel and the slide guitar work jammed out! Once again like
"61", the crowd was on fire...a low flying helicopter over head brought
cheers and the band acknowledged with a solid 5-6 minute jam. Reading the
setlist I notice the next song is "Blind Willie McTell", I asked several
people around me and no one knew the song's name. Is it rare or do I just
need to do my homework? It was a cool song and slowed down the pace until
"If Not For You" got the crowd movin and groovin again. I thought that Bob
seemed to be having fun! So many reviews I have read hint that Bob seemed
bored, well, I was no more than 100 feet from Dylan the entire concert and
he seemed to me like a guy enjoying his job playing rock n roll music!
"Not For You" jammed! I apologize, but this is where I get a little fuzzy
about the show. I missed listening to a few songs that sounded great
because I opted to socialize with some friends in the bottled water line.
We had all seen Dylan in the past few years and commented how much better
he sounded on this beautiful evening. Sorry but I skip to "Summer Days"
which had a nice swing feel and was probably the most popular song of the
set thus far to the crowd. It was at this time my buddy and I walked over
to stage right, down some stairs of the deck, wiggled and wedged or way to
the front, and were about 40 feet from the man just in time for the
encores. These are songs that have become so popular that the hardcore
Dylan fan probably roles his eyes at this part of my review, but it was
without a doubt the highlight of the show! After a rowdy ovation from the
half mellow/half belligerent crowd complete with WooHoo's from the guys
and high pitched sqeeks from the women Bob launches into stuff of legend,
"Rolling Stone". This is my favorite song to sing karaoke because I love
rapping it with a sarcastic, crackling-with-confidence growl. Bob was
singing the lines and punctuating each one with a very high octave at the
end.."ain't it hard when you discover thaaaaaaat...he really wasn't where
its aaaaaaat.." It was jammed out extended and segued right into
"Watchtower" which is not my favorite and I hoped for Bob to conclude with
"Masters of War", "Jokerman", "Hard Rain", or "Visions of Johanna", Yeah
Right!!!! The crowd was as snickered and stoked as any crowd I've seen
since the last hair-band concert I went to as Bob stood and stared after
"Tower" blowing kisses and nodding his head in agreement. He left stage
with his White jacket and cowboy hat but we hadn't had enough. "Rainy Day
Women" is Bob's nod to the kind smell flowing around and this is the
ultimate crowd pleaser of course. I actually thought this was more jammier
than "Tower", I made some excellent space for dancing and I was in the
zone. After concluding with this I predicted "Blowin In The Wind" or
something to that extent, but I was very pleasently surprised with
"Forever Young". Bob sang this one with 60 years of wisdom and you could
almost sense as if he were singing this song to himself. I couldn't tell
you what instrument Bob was playing during this song, it seemed kind of
disjointed but I kept my eyes closed as if I were in church listening to
the preacher say a prayer. It was very emotional..... This was a pleasure
and a hell of an evening. Thanks Bob.
Review by Barb Henry & Chris Bellessis
Bob Dylan rocked last night, from the opener-Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum to the
last song of the second encore…Forever Young. Loved seeing him on the piano a
lot again. Even got harmonica on Rainy Day Women, first song of second encore.
We all sang, "Everybody Must Get Stoned."
Highway 61 was pleasing to our crowd. Lay, Lady, Lay, was the first live
performance for us; Fabulous. Always love Things Have Changed, the Oscar
winner from Wonder Boys soundtrack. Cold Irons Bound was a major highlight.
Blind Willie McTell's was good to hear live again. If Not For You sounded
beautiful. And this was the best version of High Water we've heard in the
last few years.
Honest With Me, Bye and Bye were good. Summer Days made everybody dance but a
little shorter than last time we saw it. The first encore came next; Like A
Rolling Stone sounded better than we've heard it at past shows. All Along the
Watchtower was an interesting version.
Bob danced a lot, said Thank You at least three times. Said something about
hoping we're having a good time before he introduced the band. Blew two kisses
at the end. Seemed to be enjoying himself and definitely pleasing the crowd,
at least those of us up front. Jillian's had a huge crowd on a beautiful hot,
but breezy night. The warm up band was even good, first time I've seen a
warm-up band for Bob Dylan.
Thank you Louisville, Thank you Bob Dylan.
Barb Henry & Chris Bellessis, Best Friends' Tour
Review by Jon Daniel
I was lucky enough to get a spot on the rail, right in front of Bob, for
last night's Louisville show at Jillian's.
My friend Bryan and I made the five hour drive to Louisville, got there
around 4:00 and hoped to grab some dinner at Jillian's before the show.
This was my first trip to Louisville and to Jillian's, which is a
pretty big place with a main bar area, a pool hall, arcade, lounge area
and outside deck area. The parking lot where the show took place is
probably about the size of a football field, and is sunken below street
level and below Jillian's itself. When we arrived there was already a
line, of course, on the main street in front of the parking lot entrance.
We had plenty of time to eat dinner, and then we wandered out to the deck
area, the end of which overlooked the venue, and the side and back of the
stage. Bob's bus was backed up to the other side of the stage.
We managed to get a glimpse of Larry, and then Tony, and then heard the
band soundcheck You're A Big Girl Now, To Be Alone With You, Solid Rock,
and Boots of Spanish Leather, none of which were played at the show.
There were a couple of venue guys manning the end of the walkway that led
down to the parking lot, and my friend and I and some others were
wondering if they'd be admitting fans through this entrance as well, since
they had announced that only ticketholders could be in the restaurant from
about 5:00 on. They weren't sure, but they thought so, but they didn't
know if they'd be opening up at the same time as the main gate or not. We
had time to get another beer, and came back around 5:45 or so, and word
got around that they would open this side gate at 7:00 as well. Soon a
line began to form, with us at the front, and as long as they let us in on
time, we had a straight shot down two flights of steps to the rail, while
anyone at the main gate would have to come a little farther. We thought
our chances might be pretty good at getting close.
Well, we got a break, which probably pissed off some folks who had spent
most of the day camped out at the main gate on the street, because at
about 4 minutes to 7:00, by my watch, they said let's go and we were in,
and my friend and I got a spot on the left side, since we'd heard Bob had
been playing on that side this tour. It was about 3 or 4 minutes later
that the main gate folks came down as well.
I won't review every song, but the vocals sounded great, the sound was
fine down front, and we were right smack 15 feet in front of Bob, who is
playing the keyboards way over on stage right this tour. It was weird to
see him way over there, with Freddy on the other side right next to Larry,
who would kind of coach the new guy throughout the show, and then Freddy
would step to the center on the solos. Bob played guitar on Cold Irons
Bound, and then not again until Forever Young during the encore, and then
it was only the first verse and he went back to the keyboards.
He played the harp on Lay Lady Lay and Rainy Day Women, at least, and on
a couple of songs he would grab one, blow into it once away from the mic,
then change his mind and throw it back.
Bob seemed to be in a good mood, we got two or three "thank yooouuu"s.
Something cracked him up at the beginning of Things Have Changed,
because he barely got the first line out, "I'm a worried man", from
laughing at something. Also, he would walk over and talk to Tony after
almost every song it seemed.
The strangest moment of the show came during Honest With Me. Bob
stepped out from behind the keyboards to the center of the stage to
dance or direct the band a little, and it's a good thing he did because
from out of nowhere a drunken fan, and a big boy at that, came running
from backstage, right behind the keyboards where Bob had been standing,
paused at the front of the stage, and jumped off. For a second I thought
he was going to jump on us. He took a right turn and security tackled
him. I didn't see Bob's or the band's reaction to all this, but the song
went on with no problem. My friend joked that it was Soy Bomb 2.
My only complaint was the lighting. The stage had no backdrop, and the
band was lit from behind the whole night. The front bank of lights were
never used. This meant that Bob could see us better than we could see
him, or maybe it was so security could see everything down front, but it
wasn't easy on the eyes. We were close enough to still see well, but I
don't know what it looked like from farther back.
All in all it was a great time, if you have a chance to see Bob
somewhere other than an arena or an amphitheater, definitely go because
it's bound to be more interesting. Who knows, he could be coming to a
parking lot near you.
Review by Ryan Shadbolt
It's been a while since I've submitted a review, so I thought I would
share my insights of this interesting outside gig in Louisville. Right
from the beginning of TD&TD, it was obvious that Bob's voice and the
musicianship of the band were strong once again. Highlights for me
included: Highway 61, Lay Lady Lay, Blind Willie McTell, If Not For You,
and High Water. At first notice, as some have pointed out previously, Bob
has taken stance over on the far left (stage right) behind the keyboard.
I too thought this placement was strange at first, but then I realized
that Bob did this to have the best seat in the house because from where is
he now located, he can keep an eye on all four band members all at once!
Additionally, I'm not sure if it is the keyboard limiting him or that his
age is finally catching up, but he seems to be much less physically active
compared to the tours of recent years. The hip swivels and the leg bends
that we've come to love seem to be no more making Bob appear tired or
bored on stage, but it's hard to say if this is really the case because
nonetheless, his vocal presence was strong. I've also noticed that with
Bob on the far side of the stage, Tony seems to be more in charge with
signaling to end the songs rather than Bob doing his famous head nods. Of
course I've also got to make my comment on the new guitarist, Freddie.
Even though I'm one of those that miss Charlie's guitar versatility
greatly, I really dig this new guy's style. A recent reviewer made the
comment that he has a similar playing style to Bob and I couldn't agree
with this more. Freddie plays the same minimal-note, staccato style solos
that Bob is infamous for. However, from what I noticed in this show,
Freddie nailed every solo in the right key and in the right style for each
song which is something we didn't always get with Bob. I guess you can
think about it like this, just think about a time when you did heard Bob
go into a solo and flat out nail it. That's what we got with Freddie
everytime at this show. If I had been blindfolded, I'm sure I would have
thought it was Bob and that he was on fire...LOL! Well, on to the
peculiars. This particular show offered some strange happenings as well
like the guy who managed to get on the stage and run and jump off the
front during Honest with Me, and the guy who climbed up on top of the
concession stand and stood on his head, and Larry's little dance moves
during Summer Days that made me laugh, and when Bob picked up harp and
started playing it at the beginning of Watchtower without the mic and then
decided to ditch the harp idea and started singing, and of course the fact
that we got a 2nd encore. The pedal steel was removed from the stage
during the brief intermission, so when the band came back out to do Rainy
Day Women, Bob picked up the harp and played the pedal steel part which
was a nice twist. Also during the line, "they'll stone you and then
they'll be back again", Bob pointed to the guys in the band, which got a
loud crowd response. Following that, Bob and the guys began to make their
formation once again, but while Bob was recognizing the crowd and soaking
it all in, Tony came up to him and was chatting to him and then next thing
we knew they turned around and picked up the acoustics for the first time
for the entire show. However oddly enough, Bob picked up his electric
strat and started Forever Young, but for some reason following the first
verse he decided against the guitar and missed singing most of the first
chorus while he was switching back to the piano. After the song we got
the formation one more time and then he was off. It was yet another great
and interesting show. My advice is to stick around, there's no telling
what will happen next!
Review by Trevor Hinson
It was a 10 hour drive from my home in Allentown, PA to
Louisville, Kentucky. I was a little nervous about the whole
thing. The forecast was for rain and I wasn't looking forward
to the drive, I was also afraid of the possibility that after
all this effort to see Bob play in a parking lot wouldn't pay
off, especially if Bob wasn't "on" that night.
All I can say is this - It was totally worth the 10 hour drive.
Bob once again delivered the goods. This was my 19th Bob show,
my 7th or 8th being within 15 feet of the stage. Bob was in
such a good mood it was unbelievable. I liked how he banged
out a few chords on his piano and then just stopped, made his
way around to the guitarists, pointed to either Larry or
Freddie and they gave great blues solos on command, and Bob
would dance around a little bit. Any kind of move that Bob
made got a response from the audience. Musically, it was one
of the best shows I've been to, and as far as showmanship is
concerned, that night in Louisville takes the cake.
I went down to Louisville for the show, not even knowing that
the Kentucky Derby was starting. Derby fever was in the air
and Bob must have picked up on it, because he gave the audience
I'm back home now in Pennsylvania, wishing I was still down there
for the Derby, maybe next year. Thank you Bob, you made the
road trip so worth it!!!
Review by Sandra Cramer
Well, parking lots are not the best places to see Dylan.
We arrived at Jillians about 7:45 (hearing Bob was not going to
perform until 9 or so. The line was two blocks long. We got
into the lot about 8:50. It was absolutley jam packed with
people..... difficult to walk, difficult to find the stage, and impossible
to find a place to view the stage. We ended up on a hill off to the
right of the stage. However, when Bob began we soon realized that the
two tents on the left and right sides of the stage completely blocked all
side views .... unless Bob and the band were to step forward to the
front.... which they did not.
My guess is that the crowd was closer to 8 or 9 thousand.....but
one of the best I have ever been a part of. EVERYONE LOVED
BOB!!! And, I believe everyone would have maintained their
enthusiasm for six or more sets. The acoustics were wonderful.
Bob's music seemed to fill the streets of Louisville so that for
a few magic hours there was nothing but Dylan and the scent of
magnolias in the air.
I have been to about 13 concerts in the last several years.....this
one truly showed an audience that was ALL DYLAN. I just wish
the parking lot had been larger....All those people crowded in
made me think "Bear Mountain Picnic" and a fleeting thought did
occur that maybe I coulda listened to Dylan songs in my kitchen,
or my bathroom.......but only a fleeting thought.
It truly was wonderful to at least be in the same place as Bob
for a few hours... even if I couldn't see him. Thanks Mr. D.
for being a part of the time I have here on earth.
Review by Don Ely
I've seen Dylan play summer sheds, stadiums,state fairs, city parks, old dance
halls, minor league ballparks, gymnasiums, and on the banks of the Arkansas
River, but this gig in Louisville marks the first time I've seen him play a
parking lot. A very large parking lot set at the foot of a giant grain
elevator boasting a half dozen silos. Such was the scene at Jillian's, one of
a chain of clubs and our host for the evening. Located in a neighborhood that
had seen it all over the past century, finding a place to leave your car was
a decided challenge. Close residences,narrow brick streets more like alleys,
and far too many private lots contributed to the difficulty as folks drove
around only to find another dead end. I walked into Jillian's and saddled up
to the bar for a Bass draught. I knew I had missed the opener, local favorites
My Morning Jacket, whom I had wanted to catch prior to this summer's Bonnaroo
festival, so I engaged in good conversation with a gentleman at the bar about
the fertility of the Louisville music scene and how it was supported by their
public radio station. He had lived in my hometown of Detroit for a time in the
seventies,which spurred further talk of Motor City shows and venues. My pint
having been drained, we parted company and I headed for the action outside.
I walked onto the deck to survey at least a couple thousand punters awaiting
arrival of The Man And His Band. I've said it before and I'm sayin' it again:
people of the south are so friendly! They accept you at face value, young or
old, slim or not-so-slim, black,white, or whatever. They are quick with a smile
and make you feel at ease. Scores of beautiful girls everywhere provided candy
for the senses. There really is nothing quite like Springtime in the American
The music? I'll be Honest With You, I thought the show to be merely average.
I was a little disappointed with the new guitar-slinger, Freddie Koella. I was
expecting some spicy Cajun crawfish licks, but he seemed tentative most of the
night. Ryan Shadbolt called it when in his review he stated Freddie played
much like Bob himself, which we really don't need. We'll cut him slack, though,
as this is only his tenth date with the band, and will take them time to gel
as a unit. Larry Campbell was there to drop anchor and keep the ensemble from
Driftin' Too Far From Shore. "Tell Me That It Isn't True" was good,different
than I remember from the Spring 2000 versions, and "Highway 61" was one I
hadn't seen in awhile. "Lay,Lady,Lay" I caught for just the second time, again
dominated by that remarkable pedal steel. Looking back at the setlist it's
almost shocking to realize Bob spent nearly the entire night behind the
piano; I can't recall a precedent for this, and I'm betting it's never occurred
prior to this tour. Yet another re-invention. "Blind Willie" was not as good as
the rendition I saw in May of '96, but that had John Jackson and Bucky Baxter.
Believe me, though, I'm not complaining! "If Not For You" was special; I'm more
familiar with this as the hit for Olivia Newton-John than as one of Bob's own
songs. The two numbers I hadn't seen previously were "Saving Grace" and "Bye
And Bye". The former was great, polished to a brilliant shine by Mr. Campbell
and his steel guitar. I enjoyed "B & B" a lot, I think this leaves "Po' Boy" as
the only selection from "Love And Theft" I haven't seen live. Collect 'em all!
As Jillian's was set in a neighborhood, everyone on the other side of the fence
was treated to a free show, kind of like when we used to sneak away to the
outside confines of a drive-in movie, watching the show gratis while tuning in
our car radios to pick up the audio. Folks sat on their front porches across
Barret Avenue or lined the fence behind the stage. During "Honest With Me" Bob
ran across the stage with arms raised in mock hysteria as one over-ambitious
non-patron stormed the proceedings from the rear. "All Along The Watchtower"
was the slowest version I've ever heard, yet still powerful, unrelenting like
the freight train crawling across the elevated track at the back of the
Not the best show I've seen, but certainly not a bad one,and it all becomes
splitting hairs after awhile, doesn't it? Time well spent. A word of caution
if you go to Louisville: be careful where you park-your car WILL be towed!
Not all folks in the South are friendly.
page by Bill Pagel
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