page by Bill Pagel
Review by Bob Peter
I’m a fan since about 1965 and resisted seeing Bob for years due to all of
the negative concert reviews. Don’t know why I ever paid any attention to
them. Finally in ’99 I thought it was time to see for myself and I
realized how much I had missed over the years. Zebulon was my 4th, and
each show has been amazing in its own right. From the opening of
Drifter’s Escape we realized that Bob was in better voice than we had ever
heard him (despite local news accounts to the contrary). Love Minus Zero
was beautifully performed. God Knows, well, I could have left satisfied
after that. This is a show stopper at the #3 spot. The arrangement has a
very subtle first verse with a soft delivery, but you know what’s coming.
When George and the band kicked in at the beginning of the second verse,
wow, it was one of the best concert moments I’ve ever experienced. The
entire set was well played with great deliveries from Bob, who looked like
he was enjoying himself. The band was very tight. What musicianship! And
what fun watching them attentively teeter on each of Bob’s nuances. The
interplay and counter-balance between Stu and Denny was great, and Donny’s
steel work was remarkable, even atmospheric at times (I think he has
listened to some of those sacred steel players). The rest of the night was
stellar. The band did bobble the ball a bit on TDTD, but never lost it.
Blind Willie was a bonus track, with Donny playing a spooky riff on banjo.
The arrangement of Summer Days was much improved - reminded me of Bob
Wills sans the fiddles. Okay, now that I’ve used up most of the adjectives
I know, here’s a short description of New Morning. Bob starts out and
we’re wondering what the tune is. The band is like “what?”. Tony moves
closer and starts to pull it together with Stu. I think the band and
audiance all recognized the song at the same time. The band all come
around and kick in on the second verse. It’ s a rousing, moving version
that was definitely one of the highlights of the night. All the while,
looking around the audience, you could see the faithful, frantically
jotting down their personal concert notes on bits of paper in the dark.
Bob ends it as he began, with the band holding on and Tony working it out.
Thanks again Bob. Come back soon.
Review by Audrey
At the home of the Carolina Mudcats Bob Dylan and his band rocked the
night. As dusk approached, cutting through the summer heat was a pleasant
profusion of incense, sandlewood, I think. The crowd was gracious and
really worked up after Willie ended with "I'll Fly Away" a fitting
Sabbath evening revival favorite. Then we waited expectantly...the
children spied him in his familiar black suit and white hat, coming up the
stairs to the stage. I was so surprised at what he chose to play, but I
always am. This was my sixth show. Drifter' escape was really beautiful
and New Morning really surprised me. Lovely as the day I heard it when I
was 13. My favorite treat was Blind Wille McTell, I have been waiting so
long to hear that live! To Summer Nights we danced and danced, it was so
poignant. Thanks, Bob, oh and that reminds me, after the steaming encores
"Don't Think Twice" and "All Along the Watchtower" with a bass line I
have never heard before, someone in the crowd near me shouted "Thank you,
thank you Bob" I joined in with tears in my eyes.
page by Bill Pagel
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