page by Bill Pagel
Review by Peter Stone Brown
Kahuna Summer Stage is really a bar that looks like it used to be a
warehouse or maybe a department store in some forlorn lot that looks like
it used to either be some warehouse office park or a strip mall lying on
the banks of some invisible river in South Wilmington, right across from
the Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball stadium which Delaware's number one
rock and roll singer who once sang a Bob song at Bobfest has a lot to do
with. Looking at the stadium, I couldn't help but wonder if Bob would
return to this very spot in about two months.
There was a long line going into the Kahuna and another little walk till
we found the stage which was a nice high height. We didn't arrive
particularly early, but managed to find a spot to stand about eight rows
of people back.
Behind us was a slightly raised covered bar area where you could see
pretty well, but I suspected the noise in the bar would not diminish for
the show. The crowd behind us filled in pretty quickly and various people
kept trying to maneuver through with big plates of fries and
At about 8 pm, I looked up at the stage and noticed Wilmington resident
David Bromberg standing by the monitor mixing board.
At exactly 8:11, the band and Dylan took the stage, wearing a black suit
with red trim and a tan cowboy hat and launched into a rocking but
lyrically incomprehensible version of "To Be Alone To You." Bob kind of
mixed all the verses into the first verse maybe and then kind of made up
the rest as he went along. It didn't matter. Dylan was on. At the end,
my friend Earl, a rather longtime contributor to the oldest Dylan forum on
the Internet, and who has probably gone to more Dylan shows with me than
anyone said to me, "This is way better than Philly last March."
Then came the new arrangement of "It's All Over Now Baby Blue" which
sounded a lot better in person than on any recording. Dylan kind of
fumbled the third verse but recovered to start stretching things out even
if the lines were a little mixed up: "The carpet too is moooooving Ohver
youuuuuuuuuu," and delivered a fairly wild harp solo.
A menacing "Lonesome Day Blues" followed and then Larry played a lick that
almost sounded like "Tight Connection" to kick into a reasonably cool "If
Not For You."
"It's Alright Ma" followed by despite Dylan really putting out, the song
seemed to drag. The crowd went fairly crazy during the "president" line,
and Larry kind of rescued things with a great cittern solo followed by a
fairly interesting bass notes guitar solo from Stu Kimball, and Dylan
intensified his vocal on the last verse holding out the last line,
onlyyyyyy while the band closed the song around him.
Then came "It Ain't Me Babe," my first time seeing this arrangement, and
again seeing it was better than hearing field recordings. Dylan started
out singing fairly regularly, but by the end of the first verse was
hitting some real low notes. This wasn't a growl just low notes. Then on
the second verse he went even lower bringing the song a spookiness it
never had before. It was a great performance.
"Cold Irons Bound" came next and following this recent pattern of rocker,
ballad, rocker, a not bad "Under The Red Sky" followed.
"Highway 61" wasn't bad either but wasn't as fierce as it was two nights
before, but then they go into what has to be "Not Dark Yet." Some
leftover acid casualty standing next to me starts singing along loudly.
Now this is basically sacrilegious in my book. You don't sing along to
this song, not to mention that no one, not even Willie Nelson who's sung
with everyone can sing with Bob Dylan. So I kind of motion him to be
quiet which was the second time during the show I had to do this and he
says, "Why don't you sing?" I said, "It's not a Pete Seeger concert," and
then did what Tony Soprano would have done.
Amazingly enough they didn't follow it with a rocker, but went into "Bye
and Bye" which got interrupted by these Kahuna girls who kept wandering
into the crowd all night with these trays of weird little red glass
somethings, I don't know what they were, but they were selling them.
A decent "Masters Of War" which seemed especially appropriate in America
in this week of national something or other followed "Honest With Me,"
which was followed by "Summer Days."
The usual three-song encore followed, except right before "Watchtower"
some guy standing two rows behind me collapsed and the Kahuna security
team who'd been present all night took a while to appear. This was a
rather big distraction as everyone was turning around to see what was
going on instead of watching the stage. Bromberg who watched the entire
show, never took the stage.
While this show, didn't have quite the heights of Atlantic City, despite a
quite interesting setlist, part of it may have been the venue, which had a
fair amount of distractions. However, the band played great, Stu Kimball
easily handled everything that was thrown to him, and Larry Campbell is
truly rocking out. And most important of all, Dylan is obviously
interested in singing on this tour.
Review by Tom O.
Good show in Delaware last night that had some shining moments. First,
tho, was the setting: Kahunaville. O man. A large tin warehouse flecked
by a dire-looking volcano sculpture and a few faux tiki monstrosities, set
in a cluster of restaurants. The decor really didn't bode well. The tiny
marquee read Dylan tonight, competing for space with some steel drum band
this weekend--how do Dylan's people find these places? Luckily, the show
was outdoors, behind the Kahunaville restaurant/theme park on a large
cement floor, with a wood deck contraption that bordered a river. Beer
and food gardens galore--it was like Dylan playing a frat party. All the
"bartenders" seemed to be freshmen girls scantily and tightly clad in
bikinis. They sold shooters in beakers, etc.. The perfect atmosphere for
a Dylan show, naturally. Had a Babylon/dinner theatre feel. But also, if
anyone recalls the "Like A Rolling Stone" parody from way back, it truly
seemed like Dylan had arrived at Cap'n Barnacle Billy's Bait Shop. Come
for the food and games, stay for the show.
So weird place, but somehow this worked to his advantage and ours. First,
it was cozy for an outdoors show. And the crowd itself was quite genial
and--believe it or not--courteous--this was a big change from the
cell-phone squawking, elbow-edgers in NYC & Beantown that I'm used to
enduring. We took our positions centerstage, close enough to see the
sweat bead off Dylan's nose. Dylan came out strong with a staccatto sung
"To Be Alone With You" and a decent "Baby Blue". His voice and
performance on "Lonesome Day Blues" was spectacular--this was the clear
highlight for me. Dylan chewing the lyric and engaging in lyrical
playfulness: "Droppin' it into OVEERRR-drive, set my dial on the radio,
never felt so alive!" It' s hard to believe that this is the same singer
who wheezed through his "duet" with Willie Nelson last month--his voice
was that clear-throated & strong. The show remained solid afterwards--a
jaunty "If Not For You" was welcome. I preferred the "It Ain't Me, Babe"
arrangement tonight--much better than the creaky voiced version I heard in
Boston weeks back. He seemed in control of his voice, but perhaps that's
to this being the beginning of the tour--didn't have that croaking road
burn that he gets after spending a week or so on the road. The
band--still a bit ragged with Stu new to the program--forgot Dylan's harp
solo at the end of "It Ain't Me, Babe"--George through up his hands at the
end in a mea culpa gesture when he saw Dylan holding his harp. Very
As the night was humid, it seemed to take some toll on Dylan's vocals as
the set wore on; but nothing embarrassing tonight. Solid "Cold Irons
Bound"--he doesn't seem able to screw this up, aside from the corny echo
effects on the mic. As for "Red Sky" I'm a nay-sayer on the song in
general, but the live version beats the stew out of the studio cut. "Not
Dark Yet" was another welcome surprise, tenderly played as dusk descended
over Kahunaville. Good harp here. "Masters of War" was stripped down,
stuttery and seemed a propos, sadly, in light of recent events. The rest
was what you'd expect--the warhorses where all played with varying degrees
of success--"Honest With Me" again was fine, but "Highway 61" seemed to
lack it's feral drive; "Summer Days" was OK, but is the victim of too
much repetition--Larry threw in a nice surf lick in his solo, but perhaps
that's just out of boredom--trying to find anything new to add. Dylan
summoned Tommy M. for the obligatory strumming in the shadows for this
one--Tommy lasted about half the instrumental break and I again wonder
just what's in Dylan's head that requires this. The encores were there in
rigid place and little new to be found or heard--this is autopilot stuff
here and I'll just say the crowd responded well. Larry was on pedal for
"Watchtower", Dylan playing with the echo/reverb on mic., and the song
retained the menace.
As for the Stu/Freddie controversy you may have read about, I'll weigh in
briefly. Freddie's sound and style were exciting to me because he is an
atypical player in both tone and approach; he found unexpected roads to
roll down, often to good effect. He reminds me, again, of Marc Ribot.
Stu is a solid, workmanlike player, but I don't think he's going to set
the house afire--looks like he's content to stay in the shadows, at least
for the moment. And for the people who felt Freddie's stage antics were
too distracting, Stu seems to make the same corny "I'm playing a guitar
solo" face that so many guitarists make--this is not a crack on his
playing, tho. He seemed solid but middle of the road. I hope Larry and
Tony remain for the long haul and it's always heartening to see their
smiling faces, as these guys root the band. Larry has the Midas touch no
matter what he plays, but he excelled on pedal steel tonight (which was
featured often) and took a jittery & jagged bouzouki solo in "Masters".
Dylan wore a nifty black cowboy suit with red trim; sequins on the collar.
When introducing the band, he reverted to his Vegas nightclub shtick and
pose and concluded the band introductions with a self-effacing and funny
"And then there's, uh, me." Well, that's what keeps me going back. Alas,
no David Bromberg. But looking forward to the Willie jaunt.
Review by Carsten Molt
A sunny Tuesday morning found Jillsy and myself on the way from Pittsburgh
to Wilmington to see Dylan and company at the Kahuna summer stage. The
Kahuna venue is a deck behind the Kahunaville restaurant/tiki bar/video
We managed to catch part of the soundcheck which included "High Water",
"Ït's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and "Highway 61 Revisited" among others.
After standing in line for a time while the event staff barked at us about
the "no cameras, recording devices" rules, the doors opened and we were
let onto the deck. Unfortunately, there was a 1.5 hour wait until
showtime and it was pretty cramped. It didn't help that people kept
leaving and returning with beer and food which many decided to not finish
and left on the ground for others to kick over and step in.
Around 8:10 Pm, the band took the stage. Dylan was in his black suit with
a sequined collar. He also had his white cowboy hat on.
1. To Be Alone With You- Dylan started the show with a song i had never
heard live before and it was done very well. Larry Campbell took most of
the lead guitar duties while new guitarist, Stu Kimball played mostly
2. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue- It's missing a beat from the old version,
a little less fluid but an interesting arrangement. Larry played pedal
steel, and Bob took the first of the night's several harp solos. This was
not a very good harmonica solo, though. It semed to be a bit too high
pitched for my taste.
3. Lonesome Day Blues- The show really started rocking with this tune.
Dylan was snarling and sneering his way through the tune and Larry was
playing the heck out of his guitar. Dylan motioned for Stu Kimball to take
a guitar solo which he did which started out well but kind of went
nowhere. It didn't detract from the song very much as it was a very
strong, powerful version.
4. If Not For You- This was another tune i'd never seen live and it was
beautiful. Dylan put a lot of emotion into the vocals and the band laid
down a sweet back-drop for Dylans vocals to ride on. This was a highlight
of the show.
5. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)- This is a song that i had tired
of hearing but tonight it was excellent. Larry played a great solo on the
cittern and Dylan was roaring the vocals, loud and strong. During the
song, i noticed a couple a few rows in front of me making out heavily. It
was quite gross and disrespectful to the great performance the band was
6. It Ain't Me, Babe- This is not one of my favorite tunes but it turned
out to be a highlight. i really like the new arrangement. Dylan semi-spoke
the verses and then gave a full, open-throated delivery during the chorus.
i really enjoyed it which i never thought i would say about this tune.
Dylan pulled the harmonica out but only got a note or two into it before
Recile brought the song to a close.
7. Cold Irons Bound- i have found this song to be a little too much of a
thrash in the past but it was quite good. There was a cool echo effect
used on Dylans vocal which worked really well and George Reciles drumming
was spot on. During the song, the couple that had been making out was
joined by another girl who started making out with them, too.
8. Under The Red Sky- A excellent performance and i was thrilled to see
it. The song was bookended by harmonica solos which were both very strong
and well done. Stu kimball played a guitar solo that was pretty decent.
9. Highway 61 Revisited- WOW! This was even more rocking than usual. Larry
took several excellent solos. Dylan motioned for Stu to play a solo which
he did but it was kind of bland and not all that good. The ensemble work
by the rest of the band was fantastic, though.
10. Not Dark Yet- This was a pleasant surprise and it was very well
played. Dylan gave it a very passionate vocal reading. Larry really shone
with some very tasteful pedal steel work,too. Dylan ended the song with a
tender harmonica solo that was very well received.
11. Bye And Bye- This was the tune where you could hear Bob's keyboards
most clearly. The band found a very comfortable groove, and Dylan was
right on top of the lyrics. He was singing in his best jazz crooner voice
and his inflections were great.
12. Honest With Me- Another performance of a song that i've tired of that
was better than average this evening. i love Larrys slide guitar work on
this tune and it was very prominent in the mix tonight. Dylan was really
dancing behind the keyboard and had a big grin on his face when Stu nailed
his solo. During this song, i noticed that Stu looks a lot like Bucky
Baxter with his goatee and hat.
13. Masters Of War- i was expecting a religious tune in this slot as Dylan
has been using it as such this year but this was a great surprise. Dylan
was really leaning into his vocals with conviction. Tony Garniers acoustic
bass playing was really prominent and he, along with Recile laid down a
great rhythm part before the first verse reprise.
14. Summer Days- As usual, it was a huge crowd pleaser but it isn't nearly
as great as it was since Charlie Sexton left the band. The mid song solo
was cool with Larry and Stu trading riffs and this version was better than
any version than i have heard when Freddie Koella was with the band. Dylan
seemed to rush his vocals a bit but he was clearly having a great time.
Dylan looked behind himself several times and i was hoping that David
Bromberg was coming out but instead guitar tech. Tommy Morrongiello
strapped on a guitar and played a bit but he was inaudible.
After the song, the band stood in formation soaking in the applause before
leaving the stage. They returned for the customary encores of:
15. Cat's In The Well- i am not too fond of the curent arrangement of the
song but it was pretty well played.
16. Like A Rolling Stone- Another crowd pleaser but it was not the best
version of the song i've heard. Dylan was singing strongly and clearly,
After the song, Dylan intoduced the band. After he introduced Tony, he
said something to the effect of "ánd then there is me".
17. All Along The Watchtower- Good job by Dylan delivering this with zest.
Stu played a decent solo during the jam. The song seemed a bit shorter
After the tune, the band stood in formation again and Dylan gave a few
quick bows before they left the stage for the night.
A. With the departure of Freddie Koella, Larry seems to have regained the
mantle of lead guitarist while Stu Kimball plays the role of rhythm
guitarist. kimballs guitar solos were kind of hit or miss. Larry was
exceptional and as usual as cool as the other side of the pillow. He
really makes the most complicated songs look effortless.
B. George Recile and Tony Garnier were as locked in as any Dylan rhythm
section that i've seen. i did notice that Tony doesn't dance around nearly
as much as he used to.
C. Dylan was in good form. His vocals were loud and clear all night long
and he seemed to be having a good time.
D. The crowd was not the best. A lot of jostling and pushing ahead of
people. i mean, if you are in the 3rd row and you have to go get a beer
immediately, you shouldn't be surprised that you are not guaranteed that
you are getting your exact spot back. Also, if you are going to a outdoor
concert in 85 degrre weather and are going to be wedged in a huge crowd,
be kind and try some deoderant.
All in all, Jillsy and i had a great time and it was the best show we've
seen since Kent, Ohio, fall '02. i'd love to get a copy of the show... Of
course, these are just my opinions and i apologize for typos and the
length but i tend to ramble, Any feedback or corrections are welcome.
Review by Dan Horning
Kahunaville in Willmington Delaware is tropical motifed entertainment
complex that features many beautiful young bikini clad woman serving
cocktails.It is also the hometown of Sara Dylan.This was rumored to be the
reason Dylan has rarely played Delaware.God knows, but Dylan and Co. made
a rare appearance in this town Tuesday night and from my vantage point
along the rail right in front of Bob I saw my first show with Stu Kimball
replacing Fuzzy. Since the show is basically outside, except for the
fences ,soundcheck was visible and audible, although security people did
their best to keep people from hangin out, repeatedly tellin folks you
cant stand/sit there. Bob could be seen onstage playin guitar for
soundcheck with his black skullcap, and what looked like a blond wig? The
show kicked off nicely with To Be Alone With You, the sound even up front
was real good and Stu played some decent lead guitar work, and Larry of
course got his in too.It's All Over Now Baby Blue with that beautiful
pedal steel singing out with Bob got me right in the groove.Next up was
Lonesome Day Blues which sounded like Cry Awhile in the intro. It picked
up steam as it went along . If Not For You was a nice surprise, followed
by It's alright Ma which showcased why Bob's voice is the mightiest
instrument around. That song always blows me away with so much imagery
flashing by so fast in those amazing words. Things quieted down for the
start of the new arrangement of It Aint Me, Babe. Tony Garnier misread Bob
and ended the song as Bob was ready to play some harmonica that never was
to be. Bob walked right over after that and I can only imagine what he
told the guys, but he did carry the harmonica with him.Cold Irons Bound
hit hard, the repeats on Bobs vocal are way cool and this song just rocks
so hard.Bob did a great job with Under The Red Sky with the sun going down
and that beautiful pedal steel again.Highway 61 rocked. Not Dark Yet was
perfect as the fireflys flashed around Bob.Bye and Bye had a great feel to
it and I still love Honest With Me no matter how many times I've heard it.
Masters of War really stood out for me, with Ronnie Reagan comin to my
mind. Bob and co. did it so good! Summer Days however was one of the
weakest I've ever heard, In the middle of it Bob nodded to Tommy Maddog
who picked up Bob's electric which I thought for a second was for Bob
until Tommy played it, which helped it end strong. The encores rocked
hard, and then it was back to earth.
Review by Rev'd John Wm Klein and Ruth Nuhn
It was a lovely summer evening along the banks of the Delaware River with
about 4000 fans queued up for what promised to be an exciting concert.
Jenny Ledeen was selling copies of her "Prophecy in the Christian Era: A
study of Bob Dylan's work from 1961 to 1967, emphasizing his use of
enigma to teach ethics, and comparing him to Dante Alighieri and other
poets" That sounded interesting and we were waiting in line, so we bought
a copy. We have just started to read what promises to be a fascinating
study. The venue itself was really quite nice, in the fresh air, by the
riverside. We ended up very close to the stage, right in front of Bob who
played the keyboard throughout. We had a long wait and sat on the floor
for about an hour. As at all Dylan Concerts we met some interesting fans.
The young man next to us was a very keen fan and pointed out a lady in
front of him who had attended 59 Dylan concerts. Can Ozdemir from Turkey
and his friend Brian Hasher, two young men in front of us, were seeing
Dylan for the first time. It was Ruth's first Dylan Concert too even
though she had been a fan for years and had even gone to Woodstock. But
this was a first for her. She recognized virtually every song of the set.
Bob and the Band appeared on stage at just about ten minutes past eight.
There was the usual standing ovation. Right from the start something was
different. "To be alone with you" from Nashville Skyline was first of the
set. The sound was really good; the guitars sounded better than last year.
I'm sure the new guitarist Stu Kimball has helped tremendously. He's good.
We noticed Larry Campbell smiling many times during the evening too. This
is the best combination since Charlie Sexton left. Tony Garnier and George
Recile once again worked flawlessly together to provide powerful bass and
The confidence that the band exuded came to a climax with "Summer Days"
the last of the set before the encore. There were guitar runs and licks
aplenty with all of the band performing really well. Then Bob nodded to
one of those tireless, ever watchful men, who behind the scenes tune the
guitars and make everything happen without mishap. To our surprise he came
forward and join the jamming on "Summer Days". It was pretty sharp!
Several songs should be especially noted. "If not for you" has been
complete reworked since Albuquerque 2000. It was performed with a
syncopated rhythm, the words were clear, but it lacked the lyric love
ballad quality which it so richly emanates. "It ain't me babe" had the
fans enthusiastically singing to what was again a syncopated rhythm. This
was very much a crowd pleaser. "Cold Irons Bound" was begun explosively
and continued powerfully - really hot! "Under the Red Sky" was a treat not
often heard and a first live for us. Perhaps the most passionately
performed and best performance of the evening was "It's not dark yet".
Once again Bob's singing of "...but it's getting there" had a deliberate
emphasis that along with "Masters of War" gave the evening a feeling of
protest. Interestingly, this was in the midst of "Bye and Bye" and "Summer
Days" and a very lovely summer evening. Which brings us to an interesting
observation. The fellow next to us looked over and we both sang "I've
followed the river and I got to the sea..." Since we were about fifty feet
from the Delaware River that seemed appropriate. Then once again "I can't
even remember what it was I came here to get away from. Don't hear a
murmur of a prayer. It's not dark yet, but it's getting there." This was a
very poignant performance. And, everyone liked "Honest to Me" which John
had heard several times live and this was clearly the best of those
The encores were "Cats in the Well", "Like a Rolling Stone", and "All
along the Watchtower. Bob introduced the Band. He spoke clearly at the
center microphone and the audience showed there great appreciation. I
think they thought Stu Kimball an important addition. So did we. It was a
fine, really lively concert.
All fans have favorites and we were no exception. Ruth thought the last
encore piece "All along the Watchtower" was the best of the evening. It
was pretty hot! John picked "Masters of War" which was sung with urgency
like the 1960s. Given the situation in Iraq it seemed right on target. Bob
sang the words "...and I hope that you die and your death'll come
soon..." with real passion, a passion certainly noticed and applauded by
the 4000 present.
Review by Birdman
The ride to Kahunaville was swift and sweet, dribbling along I-95 from Harford county Maryland…never
made this trip before and had no idea of the cool atmosphere of waterfront Wilmington.
Another first for one of our travelers, who had never witnessed the magic of the diminutive one of
iconic proportions. And thus it was to be, Bob, Wicke and me. Knowing full well he'd never be the
same…and so it was as he inched his way to the edge of stage right…mesmerized for the hour and a
half show in a totally cool, open air venue. Other than Kenny G or Michael Bolton on the bill, I'd
go to Kahunaville again.
If you're from Maryland it's a breeze to get there.
Oh yeah…there was a little feller name of Bobby Zimmerman tuning his 'little band with the great
No doubt the closest show by Bob to my digs…so I had to do it…after the triple shows my son and I
caught in April of this year.
Never saw a 'see through stage before' and the effect on the intimate gathering was notable. We
walked to within 75 feet of the stage, hassle free and no 'stiff arms'…the third member of our party
weaseled his way, thanks to an official F.B.I. hat someone had given him.
He'd pull up his shirt lapel and talk into it, all the while weaseling and sliming his way to what
was his first look at Bob Dylan in person. He saw a great show, a powerful display of a 'tight
band'…crisp harmonica and vocals that resonated with feeling and clarity. And it's lucky for him
someone didn't beat the crap out of him.
I was wary about this show, since it's one in a string of consecutive nights, but honest to Jesus
it was one of the best Twenty I've been to.
To Be Alone With You…what a perfect way to rip the stage apart once setting foot on it.
If Not For You…haven't heard recently as well arranged as this one.
It's Alright Mom….far out-classed any I've heard of late as well…Bob's vocals were 'dead on' and
tight, well scripted and while waving every now and then with his right hand to the band, the
harmonica once put to lips reeled like a vintage organ.
What ever Bobbo was puffing on tonight he would be well to stick with it whenever this LADDIE has
tix…maybe the trip to Amsterdam was put to mutual health and mental benefits for the traveling
Cold Irons Bound, Under the Red Sky and Highway 61 all blended into a momentous concerto of
spiritual sequences and the audience was already totally into the performance, body and soul.
Not Dark Yet had special meaning for me, since I've lost a couple of buds recently and as we all
know, every emotion and situation and love can be touched on with a Bob Dylan rendition of some
kind or another. Seems as though he writes for each of his millions of fans each time he touches
pen to paper…
I think he did Honest With Me to someone in particular tonight cause the sensual version he
delivered surely had to hit someone's heart, close by the stage on this cool June night. A night
made for Summer Days…which, as ever, blew everybody away…good god…Larry Campbell and Stu Kimball
playing off of each other with totally different guitars…Bob rambling around the black and white
keys and drummer George Recile sent a scathing reminder to all in attendance that we are all kids,
standing before the Gates of Eden…all related to the grandee scheme of things…survival and good
faith and appreciation of life.
Harmonies were dead on, with a couple of Bob 'call backs' on his microphone, which added drama and
excitement to songs that are a blur now…it was a new twist on his 'sound' and it was great…not
overdone…We usually try to get posted near the soundboard and for this event it was perfectly
And the band knew it, and delivered another masterful effort.
Bob introduced the band very shyly, with a hand held mike…
"…The best drummer on the stage"..(George Recile)…..and after all the others, he turned away as
if to continue, and turned, stating…"…oh yeah, then there's me."….No doubt he enjoyed the night's
performance to a less than sold out crowd.
For my buddy Bob…well, he's in the fold now…and we just might keep him. Whenever you take a
'newcomer' to a Bob show, there's always the chance he could do a 'poo poo' ….and it's true, you
all who read these drivels know that…but such was not the case tonight. A beautiful thing…
Closing with All Along the Watchtower….brilliant…the warnings continue, does anybody hear? The
messenger never tires of the reminding us that our place here is tenuous at best…there is love
and it's dangerous to follow through with…and there are folks who take what is not theirs…and
above all …'honesty is the best policy.'…
Review by John Roudery
Delaware, the capital is Dover, the home of the Duponts , and if you,
like many, have credit card debt, the bill is sent here.
Tonight though, we have Mr. Bob Dylan. The venue... Kahuna or
Kahunaville, rest on a black muddy river polluted long ago. The catfish
still grow large, though the iodine is enough to make ones eyes tinged
with a aqua green like color. The stage is set on an outdoor deck, and
it's the kind of place where barely clad barmaids and pool boys dance and
sing in obnoxious fashion to YMCA. Hey this is Delaware, the culture is a
bit lacking. The shopping is Tax Free.
The crowd assmebled, quite young. Petula oil, left handed cigarrettes,
and pretty ballons could be found in the parking lot if one looked hard.
The crowd swelled and was quite large. No major issues with the venue
The show began as the sun was shining. A shot of To Be Alone with
opened. A good rockin version. Let's face it Larry Cambell is a star .
He was smiling at Bob, and Bob looked back and smiled. All was well. It
appeared they understood that Delaware was well over do shall we say for
something out of the ordinary. Baby Blue was next and Bob seemed a bit
reluctant testing out the sound. Then Lonesome Day Blues brought down
the house. Bob and band have arrived. At this point , I saw David
Bromberg dressed like a grandfather hanging out by the soud board. For
those that do not know, Mr. Bromberg was hired as Wilmington's " Cultural
Embassador" and now resides in Wilmington. He has a swell little violin
shop on our seeded but recovering " Main Street" . He also sometimes Jams
with the locals. Back to the show....
If Not For You was next. Decent arrangment, though it appears the guys
were a little lost in the middle. It Ain't me babe...A diiferent
arrangment. The crowd finally picked up the verse and sang along. The
sun began to fade, and Cold Iron Bounds snapped the audience into the
evening. Red Sky with some great harp solo's. Much better than the album
arrangment. Then a rousing Highway 61.
At this point there were some annoying people behind me. This happens
almost every show to me. Sometime I wonder if they are yahoos or if there
something wrong with them. I guess, either way they are annoying.
Not Dark Yet....This is a classic song and holds with Bob's masterpieces.
Bye and Bye confused many of the people. So much so that a pick pocket
probably could have made some walkin around money in the dazed crowd. We
loved it....Once again Larry was having a good time.
Honest with me rocked, and then Masters of War....How appropriate. Lastly
, Summer Days. More subdued than previous shows to perfection.
Encores, Cats in Well, Rolling Stone, and the obligatory Watchtower.
As Ed Sullivan use to say it was a very Good Show. To quote the Rolling
Stones, You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, You
get what you need.
Vaya Con Dios from the First State " Delaware"
Comments by SilverBird
The Wilmington show was one of the "Twenty Best" I've seen, no doubt.
But there are questions, as is always the case when it comes to seeing and
believing Bob Dylan. Nearly through the one and only 'opening set' there
were several arm waves by Bob from the keyboard to someone behind
him....that someone ultimately came around, standing behind Bob and began
playing guitar...all the while Stu and Larry and Tony are playing their
respective strings. What if Bob has created yet another first....someone
to tune up and 'heat up' his guitar, so it's hot and ready to roll...like
'eight carburetors'...? Bob hasn't played guitar much lately, giving the
right hand a bit of a rest...sort of heeding the advises of Willie
Nelson..who recently underwent hand surgery.
Back to Bob...the 'mystery guitarist' played on just the second half of
only one tune and quietly receded into the lurking darkness behind the
master. Who was this man? Why did Bob motion to him several times 'to
step up and play'.... and it wasn't a first after all, because Bob stuck
to the ivories and the 'harpoon' for this show...and a tremendous show it
was...to those who missed it...shame on you... to those of us who
ventured to the relatively new venue for Bob...Kahunaville...it was a
blessing in disguise... you never know with the little feller from
submitted by "Eye Witness"
Review by Jeff Horrocks
Had dinner at the restaurant inside Kahunaville, and our waitress offered
to walk us out and put us near the front of the line, groovy, and it got
her an extra fiver. I felt bad for the fans who waited in that sweltering
sun, while we lounged and gorged inside, but I wasn't gonna turn the offer
down, and I did go into the restaurant when there were about fifty people
We finished and out to the line just as they had begun letting folks in,
another lucky break for us. My wife and I had a vantage point in front of
Larry, looking across at Bob's face, for our eighteenth Dylan show at
eighteen different venues. We stood one row back from the rail on a
concrete surface. We could see through/under a mesh covering the front of
the stage and saw the busses out back. George was back there for a while
signing some autographs and socializing. Tommy chatted quietly with a
couple of familiar railbirds for about thirty minutes it seemed, up until
about 6:50 when he began tweaking the stage and instruments, eventually
changing into his stage blacks. The venue started letting folks in about
40 minutes before the listed 7:00 gate time. The sky was a hazy aqua, the
humidity rose as night fell, and it was quite "close" down in the pit.
Remember we were on the waterfront. (A greasy looking twig of a guy
behind us used the atmosphere to his advantage, groping and nearly getting
it on with a couple of nubile hotties, distracting folks from
concentrating on the music. Bad form dude. Wake up and show some
respect. At least move to the side for that kind of horseplay!) As the
crowd drifted away after the last note, there was a noticeable difference
in the air, easier to breathe, less humid. It was warm, but not dripping.
The band didn't seem to be reaching for their towels much, so I guess
they were warmly comfortable. Hot enough to rock, I'd say.
Bob wore black cowboy boots. Black pants, I think with red piping up the
sides. He seemed to have a white "muscle shirt" underneath a black
overcoat. His coat was trimmed on the collar with red appliqué and white
sequins. The coat had three red buttons where the top of the pockets
would be (where the Generals wear their medals). Many garments would
have one button, and maybe a flap, to keep the pocket closed; this one
had three buttons, but they were definitely decorations, and not
functional for pocket closing. I don't think there was anything special
with the cuffs other than red buttons. Same white, curly-sided, cowboy
hat as we've seen for a while. First time I've seen this outfit. Props
go to Bob (and his tailor) for always looking distinctive and classy.
The rest of the band had normal gear on, Tony in a tailored suit that had
a neat color to it, not brown but in that neighborhood, and his normal
wide brimmed black hat, didn't notice but he usually wears boots. Larry
wore black boots, black jeans and a long black coat over what looked like
a silk cream-colored shirt. George wore a black beret and I think a black
sport shirt with gray slacks. Stu wore a tailored dark suit. They looked
ready for business. But I must admit I really dug the 'suits alike' look
from about three years ago, when each guy had a differently cut suit made
from the same cloth. I think I like that look because the old-timey
bluegrass bands would do it that way, even having hats alike, and I was
raised on that kind of music and live shows. Things are always changing,
especially with reference to Dylan, and the band's look is evolving too.
Before the show there was some glitch with the curtain behind the stage.
It seemed like the Kahuna people have a see-through backdrop, sorta like
that stuff that surrounds tennis courts. It was pulled to the two sides,
like a curtain at the movies. There were three brave guys climbing the
rigging fiddling with it, but they never seemed to straighten things out,
and eventually never tried to close the screen/curtain. Bob did not have
the checkerboard floor, or the Eye Of Isis backdrop to decorate the stage.
The small Oscar statue was present. Incense was burned and it remains my
best indicator that the show will start soon. Typical intro, which some
have reported to be taped, or read from notes, but the announcer (Al
Santos?) has the shtick memorized and recites it with gusto.
I noticed Bob motioned more with his hands, mainly the left one, than any
other show I've seen. (Last show(s), all three in DC in April.) He was
communicating mainly to Stu about when to solo or when to wrap it up. But
I thought he might have been instructing the crowd a bit too, emphasizing
a lyric with a right hand gesture, point, or half-wave. Much eye contact
with George and Tony, and there were more than a couple of moments where
Bob or the band were amused about their boo-boo's or their excellence.
I thought the circumstances of breaking in a new band member caused Bob to
be more into the show tonight. I mean sometimes, when the band is tightly
familiar you can get a feel from the audience that they actually are
comfortable, and that might not make the best music. Times like tonight
where there is some unknown quantity, an agitating factor, like a new
"lead" guitarist, create a different, uncomfortable, atmosphere that,
IMHO, will forge a hotter rock. The unknown quantity, possibly, made the
other members step up to the plate, or step out of a mold. Certainly I
thought Larry smoked tonight.
There was the proper amount of paying attention from Bob. That is, he
sang what he felt, with feeling, and didn't ever seem to be mailing it in.
I may be spaced out, but I thought Masters of War had an extra verse at
the end. Doesn't it usually end on the line about "stand by your grave
'till I'm sure that you're dead?" Tonight he put an extra chorus at the
It's just that kind of extra little difference, possibly caused by Stu's
new dimension, which kept the boys a little more on edge tonight. I think
someone mentioned earlier, another song where Bob was ready to do a harp
solo, and the band ended the song before Bob could get it in. I noticed
that also. Bob actually laughed a big AHAA at the rhythm section as he
was walking back for the between-song-chat. I can't say I've ever seen
him laugh on stage before. So it seemed the band's and Bob's mood was
fantastic, really getting into the moment and living it for all it was
(I apologize for writing of his health, a totally private thing. Sorry.)
I've been thinking about the reluctance to play guitar during concerts.
(Reportedly he played guitar during tonight's sound check.) And there is
a bit of speculation about the condition of Bob's hands. Evident tonight,
and on the M&A DVD, utwardly the knuckles where his index finger meets his
hand seem very slightly enlarged. Nevertheless, there were two guitars
primed and ready within arms reach of the piano tonight. As each of us
ages we find body parts that stop performing like they did when we were
six years old. Bless Bob, and I hope he hangs onto the intense drive he
so obviously has.
When Bob prompted Tommy to grab a guitar and join the jam during Summer
Days, I think I noticed the axe was the same one Bob used at the Willie
Nelson TV gig. I try to keep an eye on the guitars used, but I'm no
expert. This guitar looks like a solid body but it has one 'f' hole cut
in the upper half with a pick guard in the bottom half. Noticed Larry
playing a navy blue or black version of the same guitar tonight. This
seems to be a new style guitar for Bob and the band. Is this something
new from Fender or am I just out to lunch? It also seems Larry has added
a brand new hollow body to his tools, added it seems in the last six or
twelve months (a Gibson?). Do I also notice a different Bouzouki from the
one he was using about a year or two ago also? A call out goes to all the
band's technicians and roadies, they do a great job, especially with the
stringed instruments, which always look pristine, and the sound, which has
been outstanding the last several shows I've been to. (I do wish for a
bit more piano in the mix though.)
I wonder if Bob wasn't a surprise guest that evening for Willie's taping?
I can imagine that Bob would be interested in showing respect to Willie
(and starting a buzz for their upcoming tour), and what better way to do
it than to lend an unexpected hand during Willie's big event? Bob can be
hard to get together with onstage though, and that song with Willie was
pretty rough. That is except for that ripping guitar solo Bob laid down!
Definitely Larry had an awesome show tonight. During Highway 61 he simply
shredded! For five to ten seconds, his face turned to a blank stare
looking out above the crowd as he let it fly. I think Larry played more
lead-type guitar tonight than I've seen him do since before Charlie joined
the band, when Larry played lead and Bucky played fill. After Charlie
joined, it seemed to me that Larry shifted to playing the more tasteful,
filling, and collaborative role. Just before Charlie left it seemed that
the band had one four-handed guitarist. Charlie and Larry worked pretty
well together, comparing favorably with the way Keith and Ronnie from the
Stones play off each other. Certainly Larry is a master, and knows the
material in a way that sends shivers down my spine.
The show was a resounding success. Special efforts that I noticed
included: Larry's solo on If Not For You; Stu on It Ain't Me Babe, and Bob
laughing afterwards; Cold Irons Bound really rocked but I'm not sure about
the echo effect in his mike; Under The Red Sky, a song I hadn't seen since
1997; Highway 61 where Larry hit a home run, this song is a lot different
than the triple-guitar attacking version from a few years ago and I don't
doubt it will change some more; Bye and Bye as the band was very satisfied
and happy with the performance; Masters of War with the interesting
ending; Summer Days where I thought the lyrics were slightly different;
Cats In The Well where Stu and Larry were laughing at the end (I always am
reminded of the Beach Boys when I hear this one); Rolling Stone and
Watchtower with Larry playing pedal steel.
To compare Stu and Freddy is a long discussion isn't it? There is word
that Freddy will be back. We saw Freddy's 20th show with the band, and at
four others, five total. At the first one, Solomon's Maryland on May 11,
2003, Freddy was pretty stiff and he never even switched guitars. Then we
saw the band in August in Jersey and he was noticeably better. We also
caught three shows in Washington DC this April and Freddy seemed to have
found his groove. The way he plays is, obviously, his own style. But the
soloing was often way out there, sometimes not matching the melody at all.
After seeing Freddy for five shows though, I was really gaining an
Seeing Stu's talents on his fourth show with the band was exciting. His
solo's didn't have as much confidence, but that has to be expected. So
there was no disappointment from this reviewer. He seemed to be pretty
familiar with the material, and the solos were able to fit within the
general framework of the song.
As someone else mentioned, they both make a strange face when they are
really getting into it.
The venue, and especially the general admission arrangement, lent itself
well to the success of the show. I am starting to believe that I enjoy
the shows a bit better with festival seating rather than reserved seating.
I think the band responds differently to the energy of the audience. And
I think having the people stand rather than sit makes a huge difference to
the energy they give off, which feeds the band. The weather certainly
cooperated with the delightful evening. The crowd was generally
agreeable, but I will continue to be irritated by inconsiderate people, be
they wild-dancers, elbowers, stenchers, or singers. I'm almost as
irritated at those folks who try to sit through a rock-and-roll show.
Thanks to the performers: Bob Dylan, Tony Garnier, Larry Campbell, George
Recile, and Stu Kimball; thanks to the booking, and road crews. And
especially thanks to Bob Dylan for keeping on!
page by Bill Pagel
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