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Review by Brian
On our way up to Pine Knob my friend Greg and I were wondering who would
close the show. We both were hoping Dylan would have the closing spot, but
no such luck. Anyway, the show was a good one with the highlights
undoubtedly the Dylan/Simon duets. Bob's set list was loaded with greatest
hits with just a couple of obscure songs. Senor sounded better than I've
ever heard it live - Larry's fiddle was a wonderful addition. Roving Gambler
started the show right after the strobe lights flickered (although you could
hardly see them, it was very sunny), the incense was lit, and the "ladies and
gentlemen." Like I stated earlier, the rest of the set was mostly greatest
hits. I don't think the band sounds much different without Bucky Baxter, if
anything they sound tighter and more polished. Larry does a great job
filling in on pedal steel now and then, and Charlie sets his guitar to sound
like one at times. Bob's signing came out very clear. I'm not sure if this
is do to better vocal preparation or because he no longer uses that funky
double microphone set up. After Bob's encore Paul Simon came on stage with a
guitar already strapped on and stood next to Bob at center stage. The crowd
came alive for this as Paul started playing some random chords. He and Dylan
chatted for about thirty seconds or so before they began singing the Sounds
of Silence. Bob does a low harmony that gives new depth to the song, the
harmonica solo was great to. The next number was the That will be the
day/Wanderer medley. This song rocked as the crowd was on it's feet dancing
and singing along. Bob didn't sing a whole lot on this but carried most of
the verses on the next song, Heaven's Door. Charlie and Larry started the
song with the harmonizing "Oooooo" very faithful to the original recording.
I thought the best aspect of this one was Paul's added "I hear you knocking
but you can't come in" melody thrown in during the last two refrains. Oh and
speaking of new words, I noticed a slight change in "Tangled" something like
"he drifted down to New Orleans working both night and day, working so much
that his mind was fading away." Heaven's Door closed out the night for Dylan
and after about a 25 minute break Paul came out with his band. Paul was
great, and theres no use in trying to compare his show w/ Bob's (apples and
oranges). Bridge over troubled water has been reworked and sounds like
something Peter Gabriel might play. Mrs. Robinson was great especially the
Joe Dimaggio lines and Julio, Diamonds, and the Boxer could not have been
better. Overall a great night although my friends were disappointed Paul
didn't play Cecilia
Review by Bob
Belated Report (Was Out Of Town Last Couple Days): Arrived
around 6:30 pm at pine knob music theatre, row "yy" center of
pavilion, weather clear but not as hot as night before at st
andrews. Bigger contrast though was crowd this night which was
largely "corporate" looking that took their time getting there
with food and drink in hand. Like myself, I felt that a lot of
people probably didn't work real hard for tickets except to pay
the somewhat outrageous prices, another contrast to St Andrews.
Here goes, this time through binoculars: immediately
surprised to see Bob's equipment on the stage; expected him
second since he opened in Milwaukee. About the time the drinks
and cue sheets were being placed on stage, i could see Larry at
the left of the stage behind some of the equipment fussing with
a violin, which I hoped was a sign of something special to
come. Pavilion was only a little over half filled when band
came out, lawn was closer to full. It's irritating to me that
people aren't on time, at least as a courtesy to the band and
to the true fans that have to watch people stroll in leisurely
during the first 45 minutes of the show.... But that's pine
knob, shades of Bob Seger, J Geils, Genesis shows of the late
70's, when shows started at 9:00 pm and everything else was
Show started a little after 7:00 pm (didn't have a watch).
Roving gambler---amazed at how good the accoustics were, not
like aug 97 when I was far right in the pavilion and there was
too much bass and echoes.
Tambourine man----always liked the guitar work on this one and
this night wasn't disappointed and got special bonus of
excellent harp ending.
Times---two things began to set in; how clear (enunciation) his
vocals are this night and two songs in a row that everybody in
this place will recognize, including people who last heard bob
dylan or singers that covered him on a.M. Radio in the 60's. It
was at the beginning of this song that the guy next to me on the
right arrived with two others and asked me when the show had
started and then started eating and drinking and talking loud to
his friends (no respect for the cassette walkman buried in my
clothing which behaved amazingly well for row 51 at this big
kettle drum of a music theatre. Listenable, but i'll be
searching for a better tape.)
Love-0 --absolutely stunning again, couldn't believe two nights
in a row. My view is that this one and senor below were
especially for true fans that couldn't get into st. Andrews.
Sometime, in the accoustic set, maybe now, maybe later, when bob
turned around and changed guitars there was a large diagonal wet
spot across his back where the guitar strap goes. He came out
working real hard for us and didn't let up all night. Can't
give a detailed fashion report but bob had a grey suit on and
the other band members I believe all had suits or at least
Tangled---place was beginning to rock. Harp ending outstanding.
Pillbox hat--- a guy to my left who looked my age (55) smiled,
as if "oh yeh I remember that funny song". To me though, a
treat, again two nights in a row, a bit brief but i could tell
some serious stuff might be brewing.
Senor----now the absolute highlight for me. Larry playing a
haunting fiddle intro. I knew now why he was fussing with it
before the show. Then a solo part way through and again at the
end of the song. Absolutely amazing.... This song and long black
coat from night before are quite a pair for me especially on
days when it's hot and humid here in michigan.
Mobile--- I really like this song, and this night enunciation
was clear, guitar work excellent. As if "i'd like to show you
(other) people I really can sing" and of course just a treat
for true fans.
Make you feel my love---tender, one of my favorites from the new
album (along with not dark yet last night) "thank youuuuu....
Ladies and gentlemen. I have to play that
(uninteligible)......Number one country song here, wrote it for
my buddy garth brooks...(Uniteligible)". Best I can do from
what I consider my contingency tape, will be searching for a
better one. Also no nightly joke.
Highway 61---how many times can I say how penetrating this is
live, my alltime favorite rock and roll song.
Like a rolling stone---need to revisit this one on recent good
tapes I have. Tonight renewed my interest big time. Unusual
guitar ending for last minute of the song. Something like a
little kid saying this is mine i'll let you see it but you can't
have it "nah, nah...Nah, nah, nah". Also the crowd, now close
to 100 percent, enjoyed this one, including the "other" people
there that might of last heard it in 1966. Vocals and guitar
holding up exceptionally well at this point, under extremely
trying physical conditions as I viewed >from my binoculars.
Bob's front side was saturated as the sun was shining directly
on the stage now from its setting behind the hill where the lawn
fans were located.
Blowin in the wind---another crowd-pleaser. Glad to be hearing
this one again for the past year after the couple outstanding
versions in 96. Only wish he'd lenghten it a bit like the cottbus
jul 96 version and maybe play it less often. Bob introduced
paul simon and
sounds of silence----bob's first contribution was delicate harp
two minutes in. Can only seem to here paul simon vocals though.
Third time through tape can hear what sounds like larry's pedal
steel??? Don't remember what I saw though.
That'll be the day/ the wanderer---hadn't noticed this change in
the milwaukee setlist so I was surprised to here them. These
songs were extremely entertaining and reminded me of the covers
that bruce springsteen opened a lot of his 1978 shows with (sorry
for switching subjects but I can't help it i'm also a bruce
springsteen pre-1985 addict).
Knockin on heaven's door---bob's vocals predominated except for
the " I can hear you knockin but can't come in" of paul simon,
which my first reaction was how can he desecrate an epic anthem
with such a lame attempt at humor(?). But towards the end
when bob was singing the same line, and smiling like I have
never seen him do quite like that since maybe videos from the
60's, i'm now wondering if that line was bob's doing for
showmanship sake. If anybody knows......
Band left the stage to the right with Bob and Paul Simon's arms
around each other's backs. What seemed like a minute (probably
seconds) later, Larry walked left to right across the back of
the stage with two instrument cases, smaller one maybe the
violin. Truly an unusual sight and treat, at least for me to see
a real band member before and after the show doing what he did.
Band equipment change was interesting to see while everyone
else went to the concession stands to stand in line forever and
pay an arm and a leg for nachos and a beer, another Pine Knob
"have to" ( I didn't have a date with me tonight thank
goodness). The back wall of the stage opened up to reveal a huge
They wheeled out Bob's equipment in about two minutes and then
wheeled in two huge rugs followed by the massive drum equipment
and other instruments. I wondered how they know things are
working without a sound-check that the audience can hear, but
in this day and age of no vacuum tubes..... I saw someone's
watch and it was 9:15 pm. It still wasn't totally dark yet.
All I could think of was the 15,000 cars in the parking lot and
the absolute ordeal it is to get out of this place in the
humongous traffic jam. So I began to rationalize, i'll stay for
half the show. Fatigue and an indescribable "completeness" began
to set in from two nights of being blessed with the best, most
intense experience. I found myself having to concentrate to
listen to someone else's music under this influence. I left
after three songs and zipped home in record time (sorry to any
Paul Simon fans. I really do like some but not all of his
music. Listen to the 91 Central Park cd mainly...)
P.S. Apologies to readers of my review from St Andrews the other
day for any profanity that crept in but I was still under the
unexplainable influence of being so close to the band during
that show and maybe a litlle second hand smoke.
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