East Troy, Wisconsin

July 15, 2000

Alpine Valley Music Theater

[Jack Dumpfy], [Trey Starke], [Rick Egan], [Chad Vandemark]

Review by Jack Dumpfy

It's really something just to think about the music Bob Dylan is playing

It's really something just to think about the music Bob Dylan is playing
these days.  I believe that none of his songs that he played last night,
with the exception of "Things Have Changed," were originally written after
1969.  All of them are classics.  They have stood the test of time for
over thirty years, morphing with each transition of their artist and
anyone else who attempts to interpret them.  Seeing these works performed
today with just as much, if not more, life and meaning to them is an
amazing and immutable experience.  It is impossible, even with plenty of
practice, to reproduce this art.  Dylan is inarguably a monumental
personality of cultural history.  It takes a man of this caliber, with a
four decade long career to create this kind of art.  It is like going to
see the Mona Lisa, only each time you see it, she has a new hairdo.  

There weren't too many real surprises last night, but of the few times
I've seen Dylan in recent years, this was by far the best concert. 
Dylan's guitar is virtuous, and his harp playing is short and simple, but
precise and unique-- definitely the exact opposite of what you would hear
on the acoustic portion of something like the Live 1966 album, yet just as
excellent.  To hear Tambourine man (with an early harmonica appearance),
followed by Desolation Row and Boots of Spanish Leather in the same night
is a concert in itself.  And before I came to the show, I reviewed the
"John Wesley Harding" album.  Yet the only similarity between the new
"Wicked Messenger" and it's ancestor is the lyrics.  That stuff really
injected the crowd with something, because even Larry and Tony were
exchanging glances over the noise.  The cheers were louder than the
guitars during "Leopard-Skin."  Either that or they were shocked to see a
two-year old sitting on shoulders near the front.  It seemed they had no
choice to come back out again for "Blowin' in the Wind." Which is a good
note to end on, for what other song has been down so many roads?

--Jack Dumpfy       


Review by Trey Starke

A long drive from the Target Center but what beautiful country and
again,let me repeat THE WEATHER WAS GREAT!!!!.I really did not think he
would top last night but at Alpine this was vintage stuff.I loved the look
on the Spreadheads who were seeing Dylan the first time, and it was
killing them.Do you remember your first show and scratching your
head?Hopefully they will learn.Hell,the Spreadheads I  was by didnt even
know who Phil Lesh was when he and his wife watched backstage.WSP did
bring people to fill up Alpine,they brought alot of energy,and the scene
outside the show was the best i have seen since Jerry died.It was
electric. The show setlist was real close to Target Center and where there
was duplication most tonight were equal or better.For me Boots and Take
Alot to Laugh...were not the best I have heard.On TUIB missed or planned
leaving out She was working in a topless place...JLTTB was smoking,Wicked
Messenger was great and yes more harp tonight.LARS stellar and Blowin both
nights was stellar and great closer. I am going home very ,very
Philed.Yes,he was great too.


Review by Rick Egan

The Alpine Valley show was truely one of the greatest nights of music I
have ever witnessed. Widespread Panic's opening set was riveting, as they
came right at the audience with full force,
        Their set consisted of some of their most intense songs and the
crowd raged with them. When Dylan took the stage at around 7:20, the crowd
of 30,000+ was jacked up.
        Dylan established his presence with two hauntingly effective
tunes, Mr Tamborine Man and Desolation Row. As Bob forged into Tamborine
Man members of the Panic gradually came back to the side of the stage and
watched in awe as the legend laid down the law.
        It was a special evening as I felt that one of the hottest up and
coming bands seem to maybe inspire Dylan in some way. Other highlights
included a rollicking Tangled Up and Blue, and a cosmic and mesmerizing
Dont Think Twice.
        However Dylan laid Alpine to waste,when he and his band set the
hills of Alpine on fire with a mind blowing Highway 61. Phil Lesh truely
had the hardest job in America Saturday night, having to follow a rock and
roll king, and some young prince wranglers.


Review by Chad Vandemark

I've been seeing Bob whenever I get the chance since I was a high
schooler. The first Bob show I saw was at Alpine Valley when he
eand Tom Petty played together. It was spectacular. The set list was
varied and Bob had a great time. He always seems to step up when he is at
Alpine. With that kind of history I was really looking forward to seeing
him here again. My wife and I arrived with plenty of time, winding our way
through the faux deadheads to our seats, about 40 rows up in the center. I
made a comment to my wife that these fakirs were in for a rude awakening
because "Bob doesn't rest on his f-ing laurels." And then... Bob rested on
his laurels. I'm sorry it's true. Please don't misconstrue what I'm
saying- the show was AWESOME! The Wicked Messenger was the highlight for
me, with It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry a very close
second. Spectacular versions of great songs. But something was missing in
my eyes- about 25 years worth of songs. Except for Tangled Up in Blue and
Things have Changed everything was from the 60's. I guess I could say
Duncan and Brady and Searching For A Soldier's Grave are "new" but it's
hard to do. Duncan and Brady was a great opener but Soldier's Grave was a
big momentum drop after Tangled. It might not have been Bob's fault- maybe
it was all the fake deadheads- 20 year olds that weren't cognizant of the
Dead before Jerry died trying to recapture something they never had to
begin with. It was just a party to more than half of them. Bob could have
sung ring around the rosie and rub a dub dub and these dumbasses would
have done the wombat without missing a beat. Unless they had to stop to
relight the sage, or do a line of coke (two rows in front of me-nice job
buddy- you're a winner). In short it seemed very much like a Bob Dylan
primer instead of a Bob Dylan concert. He seems to have a tendency to
cater to his new audience more and more these days. Perhaps he figured the
crowd was full of deadheads that only knew the old songs. Whatever the
case it was a letdown to hear nothing from the mid to late 70's, and
nothing from the 80's or 90's. Maybe it's because I grew to love Bob
listening to ALL of his albums. I love Empire Burlesque, Oh Mercy,
Infidels, Street Legal, etc. I was disappointed in the songs he chose to
play but not how he played them.

Chad Vandemark


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