July 11, 2007
Review by Don Ely
A thoroughly average performance last night by Bob Dylan and His Band.
No flesh - raising highs, no heart - sinking lows, no golden moments for
Though I've lived my entire life in the Detroit area, this was my first visit
to Freedom Hill Amphitheatre. The venue opened early in the 1980's as
competition for Pine Knob ( now DTE Energy Music Theater ) and as I
remember they staged shows by Journey and Pat Benatar before shutting
down operations. They reopened as more of a place to hold local events:
concerts by area bands, ethnic festivals, etc. Some years ago they began
booking touring acts once again, and that's where things stand today. I
found Freedom Hill to be a relaxed place to see a show, staffed by
friendly personnel and with pleasant sightlines. Originally there was just
the hill for patrons to sit on, but then they constructed a pavilion with
proper seating. The pavilion is about the size of our third shed in the area,
Meadowbrook, but the hill is much smaller than Meadowbrook. Both
venues are smaller than DTE. Now Bob Dylan has played all three.
Things commenced rather well with " Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35 " ( no
more " Cat's In The Well "! ). Bob's voice was rougher than at any of the
three shows I attended back east, more haggard than I've heard in awhile.
During a nice " It Ain't Me, Babe " a fight nearly broke out in our section
over someone wanting to stand and others taking exception to that
freedom. Imagine, a rumble at a Bobshow! Only in Detroit, I said to my
buddy Rob, where some people seem wound a little too tightly over one
thing or another. I really don't notice that pissed - off attitude when I
travel to other parts of the country. Guess there's something to be said
for our lacklustre economy after all. Bob played but four songs on guitar,
and I see that since Montreal the set has shortened to 16 songs instead
of 17, so I guess it's the fifth guitar number that's left out. " I'll Be Your
Baby Tonight " was a strong performance. By the time Zim was ready to
throttle the keyboard his voice had smoothed out. " The Levee's Gonna
Break " I thought was superior to Bethel, and " My Back Pages " was a
nice little surprise. I actually got up twice to use the plumbing and buy
the poster, and I never do that during the set. A swaggering " 'Til I Fell
In Love With You " provided welcome contrast in the latter half of the
But the crowd loved this show! Just because I thought it was ordinary
oesn't mean a roomful of others didn't think it was the cat's meow.
Opinions vary wildly in this forum, and there are certain to be somes raves
posted alongside my review. As always, it was a satisfying night out, a
chance to be with my friend Rob and hear about he and his wife's new
baby girl. Ever the optimist, I'm expecting better things tonight at
Review by Dean Williams
It was a Bob day indeed.
Well I ‘ll start here. This ain’t no freakin’ review really, as I’ve read
“Confessions”…and more. Anyway, the last time was gonna be the last
time. Remember that crappy show we went to where I couldn’t see
with a F’ing thing with a F’ing tall stage monitor that is F’ing placed in
direct line of sight from the F’ing table and the F’ing curtain that will
block out the rest of the band, at least till they finally F’ing lower it
about mid-third song and with the basically same damn songs
repeated that I saw a couple years before? Me neither.
Being off work and with the kids out of school, I decide to take the
whole family to see the Bob show and like me, the lawn tickets are the
cheapest. This is our 1st time here at the Sterling Heights Freedom Hill
Amphitheatre. Nice place. For the kids it’ll be their first concert…lucky
bastards. The 9 year old really got into it (although he had to pee too
much) but for the 13 year one, he’s a so-so…at least that’s what he
says. Mrs. had a fine time.
For the show time stuff:
I thought that Jimmy Vaughn was really good. Had a female singer on a
couple numbers who sang like a blues-bird. Nice job for openers. Jimmy
will be at the T-Shirt stand later to sign your shirts if you’d like.
Sun still shining and the wind is blowing from the west as Bob and band
hit the stage right at 8 bells. Everybody must do what they gotta do 12
to 35 times or more. Sound is wavering a bit to start but settles down
after awhile. Voice is up in the mix and he’s sounding very nice ain’t he
babe? Tonight Baby, Ma will bleed minus a few verses. Just like the other
women sounded way better then before. Then the levee broke. But
that’s a good thing. Back on my page 61 that I revisited again was like
trying to read by the moonlight…ho hum. A nice, simple twist or even
a lady laying by tangled, blue, cold irons would have bound to been
better received by me at least. Most likely you’ll love Bob when he will
go his own way. Of course till I fell with you, I loved it! That was my
personal favorite highlight of the night. My spirit was now higher than
the water. We were on the lawn, on the hill, and a fool for a summer
daze again…(where were you in 02)? Rolling like a stone, down a
mountain while the thunder roared, all along and toward the
watchtower as it comes to an end. Jimi spilt a little early and so did
we. As the final note rings out…dogs and kids always have to pee. It’s
just a well-known fact. The crowd seemed go with the flow…not really
into it but not out either. Young, old and in between, set list or people…
only Bob knows. He seemed to be in good spirits pointing and smiling at
the paying folks in the good seats and again as usual he was dressed
to kill. Kill em’ he did.
Review by David Smith
Back on March 16, 2004, Dylan paid tribute to Detroit rocker, Bob Seger,
by playing "Get out of Denever" at his State Theater show. Tonight, at
the working-class, suburban Freedom Hill amphitheater, Bob Seger warmly
cheered on Dylan from his seventh row seat along with everyone else in the
section. Overall, it was a good show. The sound was strong and Dylan
seemed to be really enjoying himself. The set-list was a bit less
imaginative than the second night at Casino Rama earlier this week.
Hopefully, the show tomorrow at the Toledo Zoo will have some real gems
("Man Gave Names to All the Animals"???)
Review by Marc Schemansky
Freedom Hill is an outdoor amphitheatre in a suburb of Detroit. The night
was beautiful, clear and cool.
Jimmie Vaughn started the night with a tight blues set. About halfway
through a female singer (didn't catch her name) appeared and really
brought it up a notch. Together the band and her sounded great. I wish
we could have seen a little more.
Bob arrived a little after eight with the usual fanfare and intro. He
came out wearing a black suit with western buckles and a large grey hat.
The band wore matching grey suits... together Bob and the band looked like
a cross between a Chicago Blues outfit with a cowboy singer... very
The highlights for me were the songs in the middle. Just Like A Woman was
sung with feeling, each word clear and meaningful.. great rendition. The
band then kicked into The Levee's Gonna Break.. similar to the version on
the record but kicked up a notch.. you could tell they were really
enjoying it.. Bob smiling at Donnie the whole time. Next was My Back
Pages - done in a ominous stop-go beat... different and excellent.. very
entertaining. Moonlight was a great choice for the night... Bob did a
beautiful job... mellow and lilting.. it could bring a tear to your eye.
The last song before the encore was Like A Rolling Stone..well sung, good
guitar, great drums... for this song they turned up the lights on stage
to solar level - a great effect adding to the excitement of the song. All
in all, a show to remember.
Review by Jim Vaughn
Bob and the band were playing well. The sound had a nice mix. The opening
set by Jimmie Vaughan scared me in terms of the sound quality, but it was
pretty well balanced by the time Bob & the boys took the stage. The songs
were played quite well. The band sounded tight and seemed to be enjoying
themselves. Bob's singing was really great! I liked the spin he put on the
tunes. The first several numbers, with Bob on guitar, were really dynamic
and I enjoyed them a lot. The Highway 61 Revisited was awesome! The whole
show was excellent with only a few short moments that seemed only average.
I do however have a beef with that place! There was no first aid station
(good thing I only had a slight lack of caffene head ache). Too much booze
to boot. The GSI security were a bunch of assholes! One guy was hunting
for trouble, and he looked like a crazed linebacker. He was constantly
harrassing patrons. After the show was cooking, a couple of beach balls
were getting tossed around (& I understand how annoying they can get
sometimes as well as potential harm to expensive equipment...) and this dude
went ballistic! He chased down a guy that had clearly been drinking, and just
harrassed him mercilessly. He was 100% rude to the poor guy that was
playing around with a bunch of folks. The patron got uncooperative, after being
harrassed, and I watched as this GSI security dude COMMITTED BATTERY
against the kid. The GSI staff ganged up on him and the one guy grabbed,
shoved, and slammed this kid all over. If the GSI had been police officers, there
would be a criminal case being filed against them for aggravated assault and
battery (& I actually teach Criminal Justice classes sometimes). He slammed
the kid around and they threw him out of the show! Several hunderd concert
goers had their experiences infringed upon by having this comletely
avoidable situation played out in the stands. Sorry to rant, but I will
NEVER go there again! The show was great, & I really enjoyed seeing the
band coalesce in a tight performance.
Review by Donald Handy
It's a beautiful evening for a Bobball game. Well-spaced cumulus clouds
hang overhead, reflecting the colors of the sunset as the evening wears
on. It was supposed to be a dark and rainy night and although the area
could definitely use some rain, it wouldn't have been as much fun. There's
a strong breeze tonight, and evening temperatures are about 15 or 20
degrees lower than the previous night's sweltering humidity.
Yeah, you're right. This is the first appearance of the Bob Dylan in this
park, so we'll see how they take to it.
First up is "Rainy Day Women #'s 12 & 35." Pitchers usually tend to pitch
around the first number, as the band will get a walk for just showing-up
on stage. But they hit a solid single with this number. It's not a
personal favorite of mine, but even I got into it, as it extended it's
swing and hit a looper out into left field. I guess everybody gets stoned
Perhaps not as much as they'd wish!
Yeah, but then again, some people would hope that nobody would continue to
get stoned for such perceived crimes as adultery in countries such as
Next up is "It Ain't Me, Babe," a solid double that drives in a run.
Yes, he found a gap in right-center field and started to round the base to
go for three, but the third-base coach held him up.
There's no point in risking an out at this point. Just keep the rally
Yes, it wasn't as good as the version he was doing with the Rolling
Thunder Review, but, then again, that may well be the best arrangement of
any of his songs ever. You couldn't expect another. But it was a good
stroke, fast and with a real bite.
Yes, the next number looks great standing at the plate. "I'll Be Your
Bobby Tonight" has some good statistics, and would make an excellent
lead-off hitter. And, true to form, he hits a solid single right past the
pitcher into center. The center-fielder was playing deep, and the run came
home before he could make the relay home.
All of the numbers have had good form standing at the plate. The sky is
bright, so that the stage lights don't interfere with shadows obscuring
the batter's face. He stands maybe thirty feet away from us, and we have a
clear view, which is pretty exciting. And doesn't he look like he was born
with that guitar in his hand?
For those of you at home, we're calling this game from the same relative
location as the last two. The seat is in the fourth row, but at the
extreme left-hand side, facing the stage. However, it feels like a
front-row seat, as the way that the rows curve there is but a few short
steps away from the edge of the stage, were we to be facing it directly.
Next up is "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bobby)." It's a solid hit into
left-field. If it were to right, then the runner on first may have been
able to advance past second. Which is too bad, as he really hit it with
Another single into center field. "Just Like A Woman" wasn't hit very
hard, but just enough to get on base.
Yeah, had the audience sang on the chorus, then it might well have been
hit harder. The singer paused for a moment to allow the audience to sing,
but nobody took the hint, ourselves excluded.
A strange mystery. Some of these people have travelled with the team, so
you'd think that they would have.
Now we have a pitching change. It's not too disappointing, as he'll be
singing while looking directly in our area for the remainder of the
The first pitch, "The Levee's Gonna Break,"is pulled into center-left
field, driving-in two runs.
A different song than we've seen from Modern Times, which is always a good
thing. There was a great follow-through on the swing.
Okay, runners on first and third. And, whoa, this one is outta here! A
Yes, we've never seen him do "My Back Pages" before. A very convincing
There's a strong wind carrying out to left field, but this one was hit on
a line drive and didn't need any assistance clearing the wall.
Seven runs in this inning. They're starting to break this one wide-open.
Now we have our first out. "Highway 61" did go down swinging, though.
Yes, but I think he's too close to retirement to have any effect on games
Next up is "Moonlight," who lays down a bunt along the third-base side.
The third baseman was playing too deep on that one and he took advantage
of it. Smart move on his part.
Here's "Most Likely You'll Go Away (And I'll Take Mine)." An electrifying
hit into right-center field, driving the base runner to third base.
"'Til I Fell In Love With You" takes a walk.
"Spirit On The Water" lays down a suicide squeeze along the third-base
side driving-in another run.
I don't think anyone was expecting another bunt. It shouldn't have been
surprising. They might have been expecting "Workingman's Blues #2," as the
stars are out and there's a creek that runs alongside the venue on two
Yes, and there's three advertisements for local unions up on the roof
awning of the venue, so while it would have been the first time this
season that he would have faced the pitcher, I still think everyone had
that thought in the back of their mind.
It is disappointing that "Workingman's Blues #2" has been sent-down to the
minor leagues, after his strong showing last season. But you have to put
these things into perspective. I'm sure that people in Israel and Brazil,
for instance, would be happy to see this team play anything, much less be
picky about which players come up to the plate.
The veteran "Summer Days" is due next and drives yet another hit into the
gap in right-center field. This will drive in two runs, quite
Yes, I would have thought that he'd be lucky to get on base, as he has
looked tired at times. But he got one inside and muscled one out over
Let's see if they can keep this rally going. Oh, no, not "Like A Rolling
Yes, hopes were high that he'd play "Blowin' In The Wind," which has had a
lot of playing time recently, but apparently has been given the night
There's really not a whole lot that "Like A Rolling Stone" can do at the
plate. I hate to say it, but it really misses that organ sound. The
interplay between it and the guitar really drove it back in it's heyday.
Yes, and while there were some tired versions of it even when it did have
a Hammond B3 in the mix, it never really seems to have captured the same
spirit without it.
He does go down swinging, however, which is a good sign.
There is a delay in game afterwards. Let's go to a commercial.
We're back and, as all of the viewers at home might expect, "Thunder On
The Mountain" takes a walk.
It's a solid hitter, but he just seemed out of gas tonight. That last
pitch was borderline and could have gone either way.
Well we're now assured of getting out of the inning with the next batter.
Right you are. Is there anything that they could do to put some life into
"All Along The Watchtower?"
Well, they might if they stripped it down and played it more like it's
rookie season. I've always thought that he was a much better player with
that team then when he was traded to Jimi Hendrix.
Yes, and it seems like he just can't unlearn that style of playing.
Well, we wind-up with ten runs overall, a successful inning by any means.
Even if the last part of it did leave a bad taste in our mouth.
It's a disappointing finish, being utterly predictable and, dare I say it?
boring after "Summer Days."
Yes, and at the risk of sounding like those who booed the Dylan team in
the '66 season, we did miss not hearing "Master of War" and, especially,
"Blowin' In The Wind."
He has been doing both of those numbers recently, so it is upsetting that
he didn't do either.
Nor did he do anything off of Blood On The Tracks.
Well, you take what you can get. After all, it ain't him, babe.
Not exactly an apt analogy. I don't expect him 'to protect and defend' me.
I'm never right and mostly wrong. I just really wanted to hear him do
"Blowin' In The Wind" at this time of my life.
Try telling that to someone in Israel, Brazil, or even Birmingham,
Yeah, I know, you can't always get what you want. There were some very
exciting moments, and the sentiment of being "Younger than that now"
really rang true for you, didn't it?
Yes, it did.
It did for me too. Well, for the Bobcat Broadcasting network, we'll be
This broadcast has been copyrighted. Any use or copying of this game
without the express written consent of the Bobcat Broadcasting Network and
it's affiliates, as well as Major League Bobball, is strictly ridiculous.
Review by Christopher Oxie
If there were ever a perfect setting for a concert, July 11th was that
night. The weather was great, the venue was great and a good time was
had by all.
The evening started off with dinner at a small out of the way place.
Again, I was honored to share the evening with local Dylan expert (and
legend in his own right) Dr. Robert Schuler. Dr. Schuler brought along
one of his assistants for the evening, Mr. William Kost. It is always
an interesting experience to go to see Dylan with Dr. Schuler. So many
people want to get a hold of him and spend a minute or two that (like
happened in November) we almost don't make it to our seats in time for
the show. Dr. Schuler did manage to spend a few minutes with old friend
Bob Seger after Jimmy Vaughn's set.
Jimmy Vaughn seemed to play the same 12 bar blues for about 45 minutes.
At one point, he brought a woman out to sing with him but she did little
to improve the set or the reaction Vaughn got from the crowd. At one
point, he was trying to get the crowd to sing along and no one seemed
interested. Vaughn apologized for the sun being in our eyes but we were
able to see through his boring set.
A bit on confusion happened before Dylan's set as the local radio
stations were telling folks that Dylan was due to take the stage at 8:30
when it was actually 8:05, which he promptly did.
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 - This was the opening I was hoping to hear.
This was great and really got the crowd going. This was probably the
most widely known song for the masses of 20 somethings that were in
attendance. Clear and articulate.
It Ain't Me, Babe - Almost unrecognizable from the get go, this one was
a bit rough and difficult to understand. People were still streaming in
to the pavilion seats and were more than a bit distracting.
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight - This was the same old same old except that
Dylan was not really singing as much as he was speaking the words one by
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) - The big daddy of the evening.
This was again, unrecognizable when it started as the arrangement is
completely different from the original. Not as clear as I would have
liked and even the "...President of the ..." was garbled and did not get
the usual response as most could not understand him.
Just Like a Woman - Things started to get better in terms of Dylan's
voice here and this got a big ovation when it was done. Not nearly the
haunting version from 2005 but done well enough.
The Levee's Gonna Break - Not many seemed to know this but it did rock
the place. The darkness started to set in during this song and the
stage lights were having an effect on the mood.
My Back Pages - This was an unexpected treat. Not many seemed to know
what he was singing and there was a mass exodus for the beer line.
Sonically, it was good but still hard to understand.
Highway 61 Revisited - another rocker and this time everyone knew what
was coming just from the opening drum line. Well done and volume was
Moonlight - another big pull for Sterling Hts. I had not expected to
hear this one and it was great. A bit slow for the crowd as they were
not really ready to come down after'61 but there was time to catch your
Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine - The beer lines must have
been long as this was a complete surprise to most. I could not tell
what it was until I heard some of the lyrics. Tough to understand Dylan
for the first part of the song and being that it is about a thousand
minutes long, he had time to smooth it out.\
Till I Fell in Love with You - Another fine up tempo ditty. Not many
people seemed to know this one but it was well performed and people were
dancing in their seats. 2 ladies in the 300 section danced the entire
evening. I don't know where they got their energy from but it would
have been interesting to have been sitting behind them.
Spirit on the Water - This is a boring song and we can do without it for
the rest of the tour, thank you very much.
Summer Days - Dylan was a bit behind with the words with this one and
had to play catch up. Well done and everyone got their little 20 second
Like a Rolling Stone - This one was what most of the folks were waiting
for. By this point, the volume had been turned way up and people were
dancing in the aisles. When this was done, I had expected the first of
the band line up but the stage went dark and they just left.
Thunder On the Mountain - This song just does not do it for me. I was
hoping for Blowin in the Wind but people were oohing and ahhing because
the big "one eyed hairy king" logo dropped in behind them on stage.
All Along the Watchtower - Again, isn't this a Hendrix tune?
all in all, it was a fine evening and I am looking forward to getting
this show from the traders. This is a great place to see a show and if
you find that someone you really like is playing there, don't hesitate
to get a ticket. Free parking, easy in and easy out were also a big
plus. I hope that Dylan makes his way back here soon, perhaps another
multi night stand at the Filmore in downtown.
Review by Shawn Sanchez
Freedom Hill Amphitheater is located in the northern suburbs of Detroit
and is one of the smaller outdoor venues in the area. Easy in and out
free parking, the staff and security were hassle free, and their were
ample facilities (bathrooms, drinking fountains). I sat on the lawn for
this show and I really enjoyed the concert immensely. The sound was clear
and the weather was perfect for an outdoor concert (low humidity and
temperatures in the low 70s). Jimmie Vaughn and band were a great opener,
and Bob Dylan and his band put on an excellent show overall, they really
jammed well together tonight. Dylan was wearing a black suite, white
collared shirt with yellow tie, with a gray or tan western hat. The band
were all wearing matching gray suits. They all looked very classy on
stage- true professionals. I like how Dylan and his band come out on
stage with no fanfare, briefly tune their instruments, and start jamming.
They played two hours, with one couple minute break prior to the encore.
After the encore, Dylan and the band went to the front of the stage, faced
the crowd, smiled and looked around at the fans, sort of bowed, and they
were gone. You could see the tour busses depart, then minutes later, the
lights came on and the show was officially over.
I really enjoy Bob Dylan and his music. I am glad to see this living
legend perform over the years. I will admit, the one complaint that I
heard from some of the fans at the concert, which I agree with, is that
Dylan's voice is now so raspy from decades of heavy smoking, that is
unfortunate that his singing voice is not nearly what it was in the 60s
and early 70s. I understand everyone's voice changes with age, but it is
too bad that Dylan did not avoid smoking the rest of his life about the
time he quit smoking for a few years when he recorded Nashville Skyline
and later New Morning. You would think that all singers/musicians who
rely on their voice and musical abilities to make a living would take
better care of their voice to keep their natural instrument healthy. Then
again his raspy gravely voice does seem to fit some his newer music from
his last three albums quite well. I also heard some fans at the concert
complain that the arrangements and tempos of the songs differ so much from
the originals that they do not care for the new versions. Personally, I
really enjoy these new arrangements. I find that each time I have seen
Dylan in concert he never seems to play a song quite the same way twice.
I am sure Dylan enjoys playing his classics in new ways, so he does not
get bored performing them, plus the new arrangements give new life and
feeling to his classic songs. The new arrangements certainly re-invent
the classics and make them relevant during these modern times. No matter
how you feel about Dylan's voice or the new arrangements, it is what it
is. One things is for certain, if you want to see a living legend lucky
enough to have his health to keep on touring the world, come check out one
of his shows. With the bad economy, mass layoffs, and multitude of
foreclosed homes in the Detroit area and in the State of Michigan overall,
it was nice to see many people at the concert getting a nice escape from
reality for a while. Thank you to Bob Dylan and his band for really
rocking their first ever show at Freedom Hill. Hopefully he will return
here again in the future. Maybe one day if we are lucky, Dylan will
consider doing a solo acoustic tour again? Better yet, Dylan could team
up with Neil Young for a joint solo acoustic tour. I can dream right?
Thanks for reading my review.
Review by Jason Blakeley
perhaps it's the sight of guitar and strap
hung on body - gone...now back
or maybe it's the whether or something like that
but bobby, you've begun to shine
maybe he lost something he could only get back once he graced the stage
with a guitar again. i don't know. i can't say. what i can say is
this: bob dylan is getting younger. his voice is getting better. as my
friend noted, "he's somehow reached an age where his voice is getting
younger again". it's no joke. he sounds better than he did one year ago.
there's no question. there's no doubt in my mind. he's getting
the never ending tour is alive and breathing very deeply these days.
bob's guitar solo's are back. you know those classic combination of
notes he sometimes comes up with? those catchy little riff's. those 4 or
5 notes he plays together that are just as impressive as the next
guitarists 3,000 note solo. although there's several guitars on stage,
there's no questioning which sounds are coming from bob's guitar, and
listening for that distinction is a noteworthy task, evidentlly.
song selection is getting better too. after all, there's so many good
one's to choose from. he's the man. he's the myth. he's the legend. and
he's not done building his legacy. he's in his second prime. like a
second wind. or an awakening. he's riding a wave that somehow picked him
out of a deep, dark hole called the 80's. forget about those naysayers -
there's a living legend appearing across the country this summer, and if
your interested in music and the history of rock n' roll, then you should
certainly spend a few bucks and a couple hours attending a dylan show.
| Click Here
to return to the
page by Bill Pagel
| Bob Links
| Set Lists
| Set Lists