June 11, 2022
Review by Michael Lederman
The first time I saw Bob Dylan live was in February of 1974. I was just a
few weeks shy of my 16th birthday. Impossible to describe my excitement. I
had called into a local radio station (KLOS) during a talk show hosted by
Elliot Mintz (who’s mostly remembered as the Manager of some guy named
Lennon) Elliot had been following and reporting on this landmark tour with
The Band. I was already a serious Dylan nerd. Had/still Have, a wonderful
collection of vinyl including well over 25 bootlegs. I asked Mintz “do
you think we’ll hear anything from Planet Waves?” He replied by asking
how old I was, commented in response how crazy a question it was from one
my age. That show was just the beginning of my lifetime relationship with
the Bard. From that time forward I didn’t miss a tour that passed
through wherever I was sleeping. From the Vegas like Street Legal tour
through his Saved shows. I even got into a heated argument with Bill
Graham in the lobby of The Warfield Theatre in SF after a show he had
billed as “Bob Dylan, a Retrospective of His Career” During that show
Dylan played nothing but songs from his Gospel period and one classic,
Girl From The North Country. I had driven up with a friend from LA. Paid
for tickets, gas, a hotel for the night. I wanted my $ back! Bill Graham
put his hand on my shoulder when I demanded my cash back and said “Kid.
I’m gonna tell you the same thing Bob Dylan said to me at intermission
when I begged him to play the hits…Fuck Off!” I have had a lifetime of
memories, experiences that have embedded themselves in my spine via Bob
Dylan. His music. His performances. His moods. His sense of humor,
temperament. He has made me laugh and made me cry. He has pissed me off
and made me so fucking proud. He is one of a kind. As an artist he walks
among the greatest. He is Chaplin, Picasso, Hemingway, Bach, Sinatra all
in one being. It’s astonishing. Tonight I sat in a beautiful,
refurbished old Art House in Oakland CA. 64 years young, along side a dear
friend a few months older than the artist we both came to share air with.
Of the near 50 times I’ve been in the congregation while Mr Dylan has
preached…tonight, for me, was his finest sermon. Clear voiced, focused,
in command from the first note, not a single wasted second. As close to
perfection as I have personally witnessed. So many highlights. A spittle
flying rendition of My Own Version Of You. The most tender, beautifully
stated I’ve Made Up My Mind…just breath taking. He was so good
Thursday night. On this night he was on fire. And the audience knew. We
all knew. We were witnessing something we might never see again. If this
service is to be my final live experience with Bob Dylan…it was beyond
memorable. What a ride this has been. So much better than any amusement
park or carnival I’ve ever attended. Not always great, but always worth
every penny. And this one show…MAGICAL. Do Not Miss This Tour. Tonight
Bob closed the show, for the very first time, not with Every Grain Of Sand
but with a fresh, sweet version of Friend of the Devil. Wow. Just…wow…
Half Moon Bay, CA
Review by Ethan
Oh man, I'm still on a high from last night's show.
I just moved to the bay area after living in NYC for 14 years, so this was
a sweet way to introduce myself to California living/concert going. I had
previously seen 1 Beacon and both Port Chesters, so I THOUGHT I knew what
I was in for, aside from Crossing the Rubicon. Boy, was I wrong.
Bob on guitar to start the show! Such a nice surprise AND so much better
than his half-baked start last year where he didn't even sing into the mic
for the first 30+ seconds or so. I had told my mother-in-law to lower the
bar for the first song (her last show was 2000 Phil Lesh at a crap venue
where she couldn't understand a word and left really disappointed...I just
downloaded the boot and the show was pretty good, must have been the
seats/venue/her expectations perhaps). No need for the warning as it was a
rollicking version...and that solo. So sweet.
Lyrical changes sprinkled here and there...at one point, he said, 200, 300
400 pounds...I'm trying to remember what song it was on...Most Likely?
I'll listen to the boot this week to find out.
A harmonica solo! After 3 harpless shows last year, I was happy to get a
little, even if I wanted more.
(Sidenote - anyone else miss him singing more songs up front...Forgetful
Heart, Workingman Blues #2...those were the days).
Crossing the Rubicon -man do I love this song. ERK is great, of course,
but I was ready for a change. It delivered, despite the rude folks to my
left complaining about the rules not letting people in during songs (they
also didn't wear masks, like many folks in the crowd, unfortunately...).
Key West! How different it is. It was beautiful, but I secretly missed the
'closer to the album, slower version' from last year. However, I'm glad I
got to hear both, even if this version is faster and less distinct than
the old one.
Can't forget the big surprise - Friend of the Devil. When I saw them go in
for a huddle, I was confused, as I figured the show was basically set and
on auto-pilot of sorts. And then I heard those notes and knew what was
happening. 2 firsts (Rubicon and Devil) and they were both great.
As great as Devil was, I think it highlights why he's playing lesser known
tracks mixed in with RARW songs: often, bands will play big hits mixed in
with new tracks and the energy in the room is a rollercoaster. People
leave, people talk, during the new songs. It's a disjointed evening. By
avoiding crowd pleasers and focusing on deeper cuts, he's avoiding that.
The most lyrically and emotionally dense songs are the new ones, and they
don't have to compete with a Visions or a THC or a Desolation Row or a
Ballad. They get to be the stars of the show and not a distraction,
afterthought, or anything like that. I think it's a brilliant move and it
Also, the music is more cohesive this way. Friend of the Devil was a lot
of fun (obviously) but I still missed Grain of Sand. That is a top 10
Dylan song in my book versus a fun Dead cover. I'm glad I got to hear both
this tour, but I'm bummed for my Mother-in-Law that she missed out on such
a beautiful song that is rarely performed (I'd only caught it once in 30
previous shows over a 25 year period). I do think a lot of people walked
out last night thinking he always ends the show with a big crowd pleaser
like that (she certainly did) and maybe thought, well, if he can play
that, why won't he play Rolling Stone or Knockin or Tangled or...
All in all, a glorious evening. If I could've, I would've gone to all 3
this week, but hopefully he'll be back again before too long. Long live
I also miss the city/venue specific trivia he shared last year. I did
enjoy the little things he said, like 'You're such a great crowd...wish we
could bring you with us' or 'Charlie, stand up so they can see you' or
whatever he said. I'd been in a FB chat with a guy in a Pearl Jam group
who complained that Dylan doesn't talk enough to the crowd (meh, go to
Paul for stories, I say), so I thought of him every time Bob addressed the
crowd. Minimal but I don't show up for 'Hello Oakland' hokey stuff
anyway...but I did like the things he said about the Cap theater and
Manhattan when I saw him last year...did he do it at all this leg?
Review by Laurette Maillet
Oakland 3. June 12.
Wake up at 7am.
Riina, the Japanese girl, doing WORKAWAY for Stan will prepare breakfast.
We have a chat then I'm ready to reach San Francisco by BART.
I step out Ambarcadero station and walk straight to Chinatown.
It's like being in another town, In another country.
I walk the streets for a while, buy myself a little Buddha, 4 T-shirts for
12$ and a book to learn Mandarin.
I feel comfortable among the...Chinese.
I try my ?? = "xie xie" few times.
Then walk to the Piers, until Pier 39.
Way too much crowded ??.
I end up eating a slice of pizza and drinking a cup of coffee in a
runed by a...Chinese gentleman
Back to the Fox theater in Oakland, across the Bay.
Same people as the two days previous.
I need a ticket.
The scalpers are not helping but they are not agressif. I just have to
wait for the good Samaritan
Who will be a nice Lady.
The seat is all the way on the top. Couldn't be higher.
But that will give the opportunity for the last row to stand and dance.
And Bob will pick up his guitar .
Doing the intro of "Watching the river flow" center stage. He moves to
the piano to sing the song.
The public is wild. Many fans came for three shows and they know how
exceptional this is to have Bob Dylan on guitar.
He will also pick up his harp for "I'll be your baby tonight".
A wild reaction from the public.
The first rows, down bellow, are up and dancing.
We are, up there too. Though Bob doesn't see us he must feel the good
He is happy and moves center stage after almost all the first songs.
Though doing only "Melancholy mood" entirely center stage.
But it's nice to see him ...move
"Thank you". He said many times.
Murmuring more words I can't make up.
All the songs are exceptional.
All public up on "Serve somebody" and "Jimmy Reed".
Just after the Band introduction he signals Tony to move close. So will
Bob Britt and Dough Lancio. Might be something special.
They start a rock song that makes the crowd on the top of the world.
"Friend of the Devil" a Greatfull dead song.
Of course we are in Oakland , Bay Area, Cali.
An hommage to the Hippy Band!
They nail it down.
Rocking the Fox.
Then Bob salutes and my good Samaritan asks if this is the intermission
Nope. This is the end, my friend!
What a show.
I had three exceptional days in the Bay area.
Three shows , all different.
On my way out I bump into a Lady who will buy me a print and take
the BART with me.
She is an Artist and invites me next day to her house in Benicia.
I will spend the day in a magnificent Art Deco Mantion she built
herself over many years.
Nothing better to wait for the three LA shows.
See you there Bobby.
Review by Brian Boyd
This was my 200somethingth Dylan show and one of the first tours where I
did just one show owing to the ticket prices and the set setlist. After
seeing the show, I now wish I would have done all 3 Oakland shows and
more. First, the headline is the inclusion of Friend of the Devil in place
of Every Grain of Sand to close the show. After the band intros, Dylan
pulled the band close to him and they had a confab and I felt something
special was going to happen...and it did. Dylan's always had a special
affinity to the Bay Area. Going back to The Last Waltz (my first show),
the premier of Renaldo and Clara at the Castro Theater, the Jesus shows at
the Warfield and on and on. His friendship with Jerry Garcia is legend and
this hat tip to all of that was a highlight that had the crowd cheering
throughout. The rest of the show was spectacular. I'll forego a song by
song but it reminded me of the shows in 1998-1999 when he had "new
classics," fresh new songs from Time Out of Mind that were were written
for his modern voice and invigorated him. The RRW songs shone through. His
phrasing was spectacular. The portion of the sold out crowd who came to
have their Bob Dylan bucket list night may have been slightly disappointed
(although there were fewer "early leavers" than I can remember in any show
in the last 15 years) but the reward for those of us who were looking for
artistry rather than a trip down memory lane were richly rewarded. I've
been saying "this is probably my last Dylan show" since about 2006. I'm
never saying it again. Rock on, Bob. Thanks for delivering yet again.
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