page by Bill Pagel
Review by Charlie Mattos
It was a hot & humid Tuesday night as the "Bob Dylan Show" rolled into
Nashville's "Greer Stadium". This would be my 3rd time seeing Bob and the
2nd time for Willie, and while I've seen quite a few ballgames at "Greer",
this would be my first concert there. As minor league ballparks go, Greer
Stadium certainly won't rank near the top....Built in the 70's, it's not
old enough to be historic...it's just kinda old & dumpy...it's only
distinguishing feature is the big guitar shaped scoreboard in left
field...btw, if this Summer stadium thing lasts until 2007, we will
hopefully have a new, 43 million dollar minor league stadium open in the
heart of downtown.
The "Greencards" opened the show at 6:30 and played an energetic half hour
set...they got a pretty decent response from the folks who showed up
Willie took the stage at 7:30 and delivered a hit filled 70 minute
set....I don't recall the setlist verbatim, but with the big Texas state
flag in the background. he opened with his usual "Whiskey River"
(apparently that's to Willie, what "See See Rider" was to Elvis !)....I
was most pleased to hear "Pancho & Lefty" early on....Crazy, Help me make
it through the night, Whiskey for my men-Beer for my horses, My and Bobby
McGee, On the road again, Always on my mind....just a few of the tunes
sprinkled through the set....and yes, the vocal phrasing was as
entertaining and off-the-beat as possible....one interesting thing that my
buddy pointed out to me...Willie only plays the guitar, after and before
vocals, NEVER when he's actually singing....the guitar fills btw, are
After about a 25 minute break, Bob and the band hit the stage around 9:05
and delivered a wonderful 14 song, 100 minute set....We had gotten to
within 25 feet of the stage by the time Bob started, so this was BY FAR
the closest I've ever been to him....watching the little nods, glances etc
to the band was just fascinating ! He certainly seemed in a pretty good
mood....we got one big smile and perhaps even a laugh, when George Recile
lost one of his drumsticks near the end of "Highway 61
Revisited".....hi-lites for me....a superbly melodic "Love minus zero"
(although I'm a bit embarrassed to say, during the first 10-15 seconds of
this one, I thought it was a slowed down "If not for you") "Shooting
Star" was also nice delivered....I also enjoyed "Under the Red Sky" much
more that night than I ever did on the cd....."Stuck inside of Mobile...."
is one of my favorite Dylan tunes and it was a treat to hear...although I
gotta say, this one started off a bit ragged....but ya' gotta love the
growl in the words "Memphis blues again"...."This Wheel's on Fire" was
also a hi-lite....it's not a tune I'm very familiar with, but I loved this
live version...."Summer Days" remains a very nice closing tune, although
as many others have pointed out, it's not quite the same as back in 2001.
and I know some folks who've seen Bob many, many times. are tired of "Like
a Rolling Stone"....but for me, on just my 3rd Bob show, it's such a
thrill to hear this song live...and I would have been just a wee bit
disappointed if he hadn't played it. All in all, a great night of
Review by Jackie Moss
It's the morning after the Dylan/Nelson show at Greer Stadium in Nashville
and I'm still depressed from the let down. We were so excited to see both
icons in the same show, but were severely disappointed when both artists
came off as self-involved and detached from the audience.
Willie seemed like he wanted to simply show up, talk through his greatest
hits, and then get the hell off the stage. He only made two very
perfunctory "thank you"s to the audience, and had absolutely no passion or
energy to his set. Both Willie and the band were so loose, they seemed to
be playing different songs at the same time. The audience was very excited
and jumped at every opportunity to get into the set, but Willie just
seemed to walk through each hit, so by the end of each song, the audience
was deflated and simply talking to each other and taking the time to go
get more beer.
Then Willie wrapped up, and the crew set up Dylan's gear. There was
absolutely no collaboration or even acknowledgement of one artist by the
other. What a missed opportunity.
Dylan then came on stage to a roaring, excited crowd. He got behind his
keyboards, where he stayed throughout the set. The band was very tight and
sounded great. Dylan sounded good, even though he seemed to have some sort
of problem that necessitated him blowing his nose and wiping his nose
The problem? Dylan totally ignored his audience. His self-indulgent set of
almost all obscure and new stuff totally snubbed the reason most of us
went to see him, which is to hear the good older stuff. I understand that
he has a right and probably a need to play stuff that he has not played a
million times, but the fact is, we want to hear the old stuff. He just
didn't care what his audience wanted. He simply ignored us. How arrogant!
As each and every unknown song cranked up, more and more diehard Dylan
fans left the stadium, each one grumbling about what a rip-off the whole
concert was. By the end of Dylan's set, there were probably no more than
15% of the original audience left. We stayed only because we hoped he'd
finally break out something worth hearing.
After then end of the set, the remaining audience did the obligatory
request for an encore, but it was more of a demand to hear something
interesting, than an encore request due to Dylan's great performance. It
was as if Dylan wanted us to beg before he would give us something we
wanted. So Dylan's encore was "Like A Rolling Stone", but it was so
stylized, it was almost unrecognizable.
He also literally ignored the audience by not even bothering to
acknowledge us. No interaction; only one "thanks" mumbled, no looks into
the audience, no personality, NOTHING. It was like watching a video of
Dylan playing in his backyard for himself. Even at the end of the set, he
and his band simply walked to the front of the stage and then walked off.
My take was that this tour was totally about the money. Both performers
seemed like they didn't want to be there. Neither wanted to interact with
the audience or even thank them for their support.
They missed an excellent opportunity to create something special,
especially in Nashville. A collaboration between the two would have been
great. Or, if either one of them had taken the time, or checked their egos
long enough to call on the vast array of talent here in Nashville (both
country and rock), something special could have been made.
What a rip off. Shame on both of them.
Review by Russ Heldman
I have seen Dylan now 34 times in concerts with various bands since 1978.
This in my judgment was the best band he has ever put together and each
song soared. The arrangements on "Shooting Star," "Highway 61," and "This
Wheel's On Fire" were stunningly brilliant. "It's Alright Ma" pierced to
the bone and wore the unreality of life right out of you. In the middle of
the brilliant confusion-fury of "John Brown" and "Masters of War" you
got a jewel of a version of "Bye and Bye." And "Like A Rolling Stone"
was about as good as I have ever heard it live before... fresh, energetic
and with punch. If you like Dylan, run, don't walk, to the next show. You
can hear Dylan's words again....he is singing clearly and with a newfound
conviction. The harmonica solos,as in "Love Minus Zero" and "This Wheel,"
are like a Mozart symphony or a Shakespeare soliloquy. This monumental
moment will soon fade, but we will never forget or be the same. Very
grateful to you Bob for going to the next level.
page by Bill Pagel
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