page by Bill Pagel
Review by Alex Leik
So, if you read my thoughts on Salem, then you probably know where I stand
on Greensboro. I met up with some good folks from Burlington, NC (Ben & wife
Suzanne, & Rodney). We had a good time talking Bob & enjoying a few cold
ones before show time and I was able to catch up with Mary (ootize)
afterwards at the hotel – she made the rail AND got her To Ramona! Once
again, I’ll leave the Greencards to those that saw them, but we were into
the ballpark as they ended, and I was very pleased to see the turnout that
had been lacking the night before in Salem appeared to have made it to
Greensboro. A lovely night, not nearly as hot as it had been all week, with
a slight cool breeze, and 9,000 fans!
Willie was just fine (see Salem review). I think it was the same setlist, or
darn close. I don’t seem to recall Crazy @ Salem (he probably did it), but
it was done a Greensboro, and possibly the highlight of his set. By the time
he finished, the park was well filled. There was a deadspot in what are
effectively the seats behind home plate, but this is because if you sat
there, you would not be able to see the stag due to soundboard setup.
However, they did have 3 large video screens back there, and I am guessing
by the time Bobby cam out, those seats were filled. Question is, did Bobby
allow his set to be broadcast on the live video feed for the folks in the
obstructed view seats?
I expected & got Maggie’s and it was not the opener “To Be Alone w/ You” was
just a mere 24 hours earlier. Good performance, corwd pleaser, just would
have liked something else. Ramona was great, but it became clear that it was
going to be an altogether different vibe this evening. They must really like
“Cry A While”, and they should because it is a highlight of the current
band. I really like the banjo part Donnie has on this, and I heard it better
in the mix tonight then I did in Salem. 4th Street was in the right slot,
but it could not compare to Shelter from Salem. Still, a strong version.
Highwater was a downer for me, not what it was when 1st played back in
2001-2002. I think it is the only song from the 2 nights where I thought
“OK, this IS Larry & Charlie’s song” – for me anyway. I think this is the
song where they messed up the end, maybe George ended it to early, nothing
major, and everyone, even Bob, got a kick out of it.
Hollis Brown was very strong, same version as it has been of late, some
upsinging, but then another downer with Most Likely, which seems like it may
have run its course – what else can he really do with it. They do it well,
solid/tight performance. But I found my mind wandering. Fortunately, JLAW
brought back my, and 9000 others, attention.
JLAW was the concert moment you never think you’ll be a part of @ a Dylan
show, if only because after 5 or 6 shows, you pretty much know to throw out
all previous concert going experiences when seeing Dylan. After dozens of
Dylan shows, you forget those experiences even exist at other bands’ shows
- hell, you forget there ARE other bands doing other shows ;-). The moment
in Greensboro was a truly lovely and heart-warming sing along to the chorus.
After Bobby would sing “…and she takes” or “…and she aches” etc., on “takes”
or “aches” etc. the band hits a hard downbeat, and then very lightly picks
up the song, and several thousand people can be heard singing “…just like a
woman”, and by the time they are singing “woman”, Bob is coming in with that
(gotta sing this line really fast) “justlikeawoman”. Simply beautiful. And
what was really nice with this was I have been in many a situation where the
audience wants to sing along, and Bob will have none of it, he’ll alter his
delivery, or have the band go into a solo, something to sidestep it. Not in
Greensboro with JLAW. He continued with each chorus to delight in his fans
serenade to him. A great Bobby moment in my concert going experience.
No real highlights for me after that, but true solid performances. For a
minute after AATW I really thought they might come out for LARS or RDW, and
immediately after AATW, Bob pulled Stu aside and said something in his ear,
and Stu looked towards Tony & George, and you could see a few nods, etc, so
I though this NC crowd of 9,000 (largest on the tour, I believe) was in for
a 3rd encore. But it was not to be. They must have gotten backstage & Donny
ran on the bus to catch his tevoed Jeopardy.
All in all, a much different vibe than Salem, but that is not to say bad, or
poor performance. Very solid show, with just not as many highlights for me
personally as Salem. I think I was just so stoked from Salem that I had to
remind myself to stay open-minded, this is Bobby, it ain;t gonna be the
same, the only thing we are guaranteed is different than the night before.
One great thing about the band tonight was they traded in their Salem
outfits (slick black pants with white short sleeve button-down shirts, white
t-shirts under those) for the same style in Greensboro, but different
colors, kind of this red/maroon, yellow & gray (??) which made all of them
look like fast food employees, I kid you not. Funny, the Salem show has ½ as
many people as Greensboro, and the band gets all slicked out in black and
white, but for the largest crowd of the tour, Bob has them in some hideous
Review by Holden Reaves
The concert tonight was at the brand new minor leage park
in downtown Greensboro. There was a huge crowd for this
show. Big, big turnout. I thought the turnout in Myrtle
Beach last Friday was good, but this crowd was at least
double the number (seats and field were loaded w/ people).
W/ number of people, this show really had the feel of a
large, large stadium show (a la Dylan's shows w/ the Dead).
Dylan came on at 9:00 in black sequined suit and opened
with a blistering version of Maggie's Farm. He was staring
right toward the tall downtown buildings just beyond the
first base side of the park. The band was incredibly
tight. The concert was loud and intense. Maggie's Farm,
Cry Awhile, Highway 61, Honest with Me were scorchers. He
then toned down a bit with the likes of Positively 4th
Street, Just Like a Woman and Hollis Brown, but the show
didn't stay toned down long. Unbelievable that he has the
vocal strength to hang w/ his band on the scorchers, but he
does. I don't think he was up to this task a few years
ago. Voice is much better at age 64 than it was 5 or even
10 years ago. Also, harp playing is better now than it was
2 years ago. How can that be? Like he's getting his
breath back in his 60s. Over the years (dating back to 97
or so), I have made it to Dylan concerts thinking each tour
would likely be his last. Well, after this Greensboro
show (and also Myrtle Beach), I'm pretty convinced he's
just gonna keep doing it and doing it well. This show was
hot. The closer, Watchtower, which I have seen him play as
the standard closer the last couple of years, was an
absolute wicked scorcher. Wicked. It's better that it was
last tour and rivals the Jimi version. I think the older
folks in the crowd that maybe had not seen Dylan before,
and maybe were expecting some of kind of nostalgia act, had
to leave thinking "what the f-u- -k ? The show rocked hard
and was good.
The good t-shirts you will find in the parking lots after
the shows, not in the merchandise tent; however, the
leftover Bob/ Willie baseballs are worth the $10. Am
guessing those will acquire some value.
Check out the show. Willie is good too. Two good
Review by Robert Fishel
(Note* This is an honest review) Where to begin? My wife and I arrived at
the concert an hour and a half early, and a line had formed all the way down
two long streets. "This is going to be some show," I thought. Still, the
crowds entered quickly once the gates opened. We decided to get as close to
the stage as possible. This turned out to be a BIG mistake. I realize that
the terms sex, drugs, and rock and roll go together, but there was a lot
more of the first going on than I cared to see. I have read reviews on this
website from a few days ago stating how this was a show to bring your kids
to. You know, a family show. Well, I can say that the folks with the kids
must have been sitting in the back of the stadium. My wife and I actually
left halfway through Dylan's set because a guy standing right next to us was
lighting a crack pipe. Also, I can't tell you how many people were smoking
cigarettes and blowing the smoke right on the backs of the people in front
of them. Did I mention that the weather was very humid, hot and sticky.
Now imagine being shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of people and having
smoke (of various types - i.e. pot) blown right in your face. Also, some of
these people really needed to get a hotel room (need I say more?) As far as
the music goes, I personally didn't care much for the Greencards because
that isn't my kind of music. They sounded like generic bluegrass. Willie
Nelson did play his biggest hits, but seemed to go on too long for me
personally. He would play a hit, then play one from his "new album". I
don't think even the die hard Willie fans were there for his new stuff.
It ticked me off to see these stupid drunk college kids throwing their hats
onto the stage after he threw his into the crowd as a souvenir. But enough
about Willie. I was really there to see Bob Dylan, and to have his set
ruined by the audience was very upsetting to me. Dylan's band was hot, and
played very loudly. I was stunned. He still has a lot of energy. The song
selection could have been a little better (see setlist.) As I mentioned
earlier, though, once I saw the dreaded crack pipe I took my wife by the
hand and we were out of there. I mentioned to a police officer on the way
out what I had seen and he said, "yeah, there are probably 50 kids doing
them (drugs). There's nothing we can do." And all of this excitement for
$50 a ticket. Bob Dylan is still a genius and I will always respect his
music, but the crowds at nearly every concert I have ever been to have
ruined it for me. Do yourself a favor and buy the CD's, and skip the hassle
of concerts. I know I will..
Review by Joe Moore
I must say, another superb evening with Bob and his Band. To Ramona in the
second slot was a real treat, but the Positively 4th Street that soon
followed was one of the real gems of the evening. The banjo work on High
Water, along with the newer arrangement made this tune a welcome rocker with
a twang. Hollis Brown sent chills down my back as Dylan sang with such
sincerity. Just Like A Woman was the real gem of the evening with Dylan
bringing the band to a complete stop before each chorus, and then delivering
the lines with such intensity. And Girl From The North Country brought the
crowd to dead silence as Dylan sang the lyrics in a caring and delightful
manner. Don’t Think Twice was everything you would want it to be. Dylan
finished the show as strong as he started. Overall, another great night of
music. Dylan continues to spellbound hard-core fans with his variety of
song selection and singing with such power and conviction. Thanks go out to
everyone that make it happen!
Review by Bob Bowser
In town for the first time since '78,
Bob Dylan is back - we cannot be late!
A beautiful ballpark nestled downtown
Played host to a great crowd without one frown.
The Greencards' sweet melodies ushered us in.
We went to the outfield and hooked up with our friends.
The grass behind third was a treat to our toes.
And with a hot "Whiskey River" off Willie goes!
He looked great and sang all his songs just for you.
Its hard to believe that he's 72.
The crowd was great - at least 6000 strong.
Dancin' and cheerin' - lets rock all night long!
Willie sang and played through the sweet summer night.
We were bathed in the golden-red sun's setting light.
Now its time soon for Bob - lets grab just one more beer
And move to the stage - we gotta be near!
The intro begins, he comes on...and what's that?
For the first time since 01 I'm seeing Bob with no hat!
The band in their bowling uniforms were arrayed,
And "Maggie's" began as we all whooped and swayed.
"To Ramona" is delicate and graceful and pure.
"Cry A While" swings like mad and the band's on,
that's for sure.
"4th Street" continues this magical night.
"High Water" transports like Southern swamp light.
As "Hollis Brown" began, I got mad and messed up
And yelled at some talkers to "Shut the F..k Up!"
(Sorry, but it was "Hollis Brown" and I had asked you nicely earlier).
"Most Likely" kept the night going strong,
"Just Like A Woman" was next with harmonica played long.
"Honest WIth Me" rocked and rolled to the beat.
"Girl Of the North Country" was the night's biggest treat.
"Summer Days" had everyone up on their feet.
With a song like that you can't stay in your seat.
"Don't Think Twice" was beautiful, strong, and phat.
And what do you know - Bob finally put on his hat.
"Watchtower" closed and roared don't you know.
All in all we had witnessed a hell of a show.
As we walked back downtown and climbed in the van,
I had only one thought...
"BOB DYLAN"S THE MAN!"
Review by Liam O¹Hara
I very much enjoyed the Greenville show. I wasn¹t certain how the show
would be staged on a ball field, and the reviews haven¹t discussed it, but
it may impact how people will enjoy this tour. The stage is set in
centerfield, with mats set out so the crowd doesn¹t damage the field. Fans
can come up front and stand in front of the stage, or sit in the bleachers
and watch from afar. The sound booth is just behind second base, and a
projection screen is behind it, so the folks in the stands can see the
camera views. I watched Willie Nelson from the stands, and the projection
screen was very helpful, with close-ups of Willie and his band. The
close-ups allowed us to see the man, watch his guitar playing, and see his
expressions as he performed. Willie put on a great show, he can really
play and was in fine voice. I went up front for Bob, was easily able to
stand within 20 feet of his keyboard and had a good view of the show. The
sound was great up front. Tombstone Blues, Under the Red Sky, Shooting
Star were my personal highlights. I hoped he would play guitar on at least
a couple of songs; there was a microphone center stage, but it was never
used. Nevertheless, it was a great performance.
I left the front for the encore to rejoin friends who didn¹t care to
stand, and was appalled to find that the show was very different from the
bleachers. The intimacy that the screen afforded the folks in the stands
when Willie played was gone. The only camera angles were from behind the
pedal steel player, across the stage with Bob very small and difficult to
discern on the low-rez screen and one from the stands, which was the same
view and scale as our we had from the seats! It seems as though it was at
Bob¹s direction, as the cameras were there for Willie but gone for Bob.
And without being able to see his face or watch the band, the excitement
was gone, and frankly the sound mix from the stands was muddy. The sound
board is up front and that¹s where the mix was focused.
Again, I thoroughly enjoyed the show while I was up front and I figure
most of the folks following these reviews are going to be up front as
well. But people planning to watch from the stands should be aware that
they are not going to get the experience they expect.
page by Bill Pagel
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