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Review by Jerry Tenenbaum
Madonna and Cher... Gotta Serve Somebody: Song and Dance Man...Slight Return
Toronto was no exception. It is the professionalism that made the
biggest impression. The band is extremely tight. Arguably, this is the
best backup band that Dylan has had in recent years. The bonus is that
they can sing and harmonize and give the songs something extra...
Six minutes past seven and out they came... no fanfare... just the
usual, "Ladies and Gentleman; Would you please welcome..." and into
"Duncan and Brady". What struck me immediately was the confidence. Bob
Dylan was supremely confident and it showed. It wasn't like most times I
have seen him where it took 3 or 4 songs to get things ironed out to get
going. The show was excellent from the getg0. "Song To Woody" was sweet
and "Desolation Row" was alive... the chracters were all there in
technicolor. "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" was reborn. How many times can a
song be reborn? I never get tired of "Tangled". "Tangled" is alive and
got the people jumpin'. They were standing up from the start but with
"Tangled" they were dancing on the spot. It was sweet and joyous. "This
World Can't Stand Too Long" is a beautiful countrified gem and the band
did it justice. "Country Pie" was hard and raucous and bore little
resemblence in its electification to the song from Nashville Skyline.
"Lay Lady Lay" was a wonderful rendition of a great song. The audience
appreciated it and it showed.
Then came "Gotta Serve Somebody". I couldn't make out all the lyrics but
Madonna and Cher made the fourth or fifth verse. I think that a few other
new lyrics appeared... or have these been used before: I just don't know.
(I'm sure if Madonna and Cher have been heard before, someone out there
will correct me.) "She Belongs To Me" returned to the beautiful acoustic
presentation heard throughout this entire concert. Then it was as if Jimi
Hendrix was raised from the dead. "Drifter's Escape" was hard and the
guitar work was astounding. This was a real counterpoint to the country
acoustic feel of most of the rest of the show. I always admired Bob's
blues, and "Leopard-Skin" didn't disappoint.
Then the 30 second pose. The disappearing act. And the 5 song encore.
The only song after 1979 was "Things Have Changed". (Where did "Time Out
of Mind" go and why? I really like that album. Oh well, you can't have
everything all the time.) "Things" was good and quite enjoyable. "Like A
Rolling Stone" for the umpteenth time... I still love it and it was very
alive and well tonight. "Highway 61" rocked and "Blowin' in the Wind" was
beatiful and harmonious and a lovely way to finish a lovely evening. (Yes
I went home afterwards.)
Throughout, Bob was bending at the knees, doing little dance steps and in
general having a good time. But this was a tight, well presented set in
an evolution of "The Song and Dance Man" as the ultimate performer. No
one plays sweet acoustics like this band does and not many can rock in the
way I heard tonight. And..oh yes..congratulations to the sound people and
the system and the Amphitheatre for a job and presentation well done.
Review by Greg Denton
On the weekend, I had been speaking with a friend who had seen Dylan's
1966 acoustic/electric tour with the Hawks. He talked about how exquisite
Bob's singing was on the acoustic set then and how he still cherished the
memory of that concert. Tonight Bob gave us a performance to demonstrate
that he can still deliver a level of tenderness, delicacy and vocal nuance
that approaches those early solo acoustic days. Yes, his voice is older,
more haggard and hoarse. But, my god that man can sing.
He opened with Duncan and Brady, which was a nice start but, I didn't
think, particularly remarkable. It was a solid rendition, the band was on
top of it, and Bob was in good form, limber in his odd way. And if the
concert continued at that level I would have been happy.
But when he sang his Song To Woody next there was a sweetness,
attentiveness and clarity in his singing that surprised me. This was my
forth Dylan concert and I thought the quality of singing that I heard
tonight was something reserved for studio albums. Bob was drawing
syllables out and snipping them off with a precision that I hadn't heard
in previous concerts. And he nailed this song with the perfect balance of
sentimental idolatry and wizened sadness.
Desolation Row pumped along beautifully. And Bob seemed to be having a
lot of fun pushing, squeezing, stretching and compressing the rhymes. His
squinting grimace broke into an open smile near the end when he sang "All
these people that you mention/Yes, I know them, they're
quite..(pause)..lame/I had to rearrange their faces/And give them all
I wanted to hear Love Minus Zero/No Limit, but figured the number four
slot in the setlist has been too volatile for me to have much hope. I was
more than lucky. I couldn't believe how beautiful Bob was singing. I had
thought, listening to those live '66 cds, that those were the days.
Tonight was the night. The band lilted prettily through the chord changes
and Bob just stroked the words out over top.
Tangled Up In Blue jangled wonderfully. Bob got more physical here,
started doing his strange dance moves during the guitar breaks. I thought
he might be practicing some snowboarding stances in slow motion. We were
treated to a small harp solo at the end of the song, Bob's guitar pushed
around his backside and held there with an extended arm.
This World Can't Stand Long was a terrific country gospel that had the
guys chomping out some harmony to end the acoustic set.
Country Pie went by too fast. I was hoping the move to electric
instruments would mean that Charlie Sexton and Larry Campbell would open
up their playing a lot more and take some ripping solos. But Bob seemed
to dominate the instrumental breaks and the boys seemed restrained.
Still, a good romp.
Lay, Lady Lay was a terrific surprise. And again an exquisitely tender
piece of singing, complemented perfectly by Larry's pedal steel drifting
and wobbling around the vocal phrases.
Gotta Serve Somebody was another treat, less soaring and more punchy than
previous performances I've seen. The band seemed to be snatching at the
chord changes and coming up with fistfuls as Bob pocketed the words.
She Belongs to Me was such a delight to hear. Once again Dylan's singing
was agile and precise, extraordinarily handsome, meltingly lithe. I was
just too thrilled.
Drifter's Escape was transformed into a ripping barroom blues. I didn't
recognize it at first, even expecting to hear it. Bob put down his guitar
at the end and gave us some splendid blues harp licks, crouching and
directing the band with waves of his hand.
The main set closed with Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat. Another bluesy romp
with Dylan singing perfectly in a more humorous mode and lots of tasty
The encore opened with Things Have Changed, my first chance to hear this
song all the way through. Lovely to do that live. Like a Rolling Stone
lilted and Bob sang it with a feeling of generous admonition rather than
chiding snarl. The band moved back to acoustic instruments for Don't
Think Twice, It's All Right. And Bob's singing was spot on again. He
treated us to another harp solo at the end of this song. It was odd at
first, as though the harmonica was out of key and Bob was trapped with
maybe three playable notes but couldn't go anywhere with them. But it was
a set up as the band moved from gliding chord changes into a melodic spill
that the harp opened up into and wove around as they brought the song to
the ground. Back to electric instruments for a wild Highway 61 Revisited.
This was the chance for Charlie to let loose some wonderful guitar licks
into. After one particularly fine solo of his, Dylan immediately launched
into a raunchy riff, that had Charlie look over with a giddy smile. The
show ended with an elegiac rendition of Blowin' In The Wind, sung like it
was a song from Time Out of Mind rather than Freewheelin' but with nearly
boisterous boy harmonies on the chorus.
An exalting concert.
Review by James Ziegler
John, my usual Dylan concert associate, was unable to attend last night's
show at the Molson Amphitheater, so I enlisted Rich, a non-fan and first
time concert attendee. With the help of Rich's American Express card, we
landed in row J, but actually, we were closer than that.
We left Erie, PA at 10:00 and had a great drive to Toronto, getting there
in time to enjoy a nice walk around the city, and a great dinner at the
Whistling Oyster. Toronto is beautiful, alive, and vibrant. I only wish
I had more time to spend there.
We left our car in the city and took a taxi over to the Molson, and after
fighting through the T-shirt line, we found our way to our seats. I
haven't been this close since 1994, and it was a real treat.
Some general comments about the show: Bob looked a little pale, like he
needed to get some sun. Other than that, very fit and very trim. Dressed
in his long black coat, black pants with piping, and the black and white
cowboy boots. Bob had on a very sharp matching silver shirt and tie.
Very classy! His hair was blowing all evening as a nice breeze swept
across the stage all during the show. Tony and Charlie both wore gray
suits with black shirts. Tony's was pinstripe, and Charlie's had little
flecks on it. Tony's hat was black. David Kemper had on the shades and
white hat with a black shirt. Rounding out the band, Larry wore a black
suit with a gray shirt.
All night long Bob's vocals were loud and crystal clear. There was a
great mix. Bob's singing was absolutely spot on. Soft, strong, gritty,
depending on the song. His vocal performance was remarkable.
I was really surprised all night long at the number of solos Charlie took.
Larry Campbell played very few. Worked out just fine, but it was
surprising to see the shift there.
At 7:05, Bob just appeared from behind the speakers, and then the
introduction. Before a 3/4 full seating section and 1/2 full lawn, Bob
DUNCAN AND BRADY: I had never heard this before, but was talking about it
with some folks before the show. David Kemper smiled throughout this one,
like there was some inside joke and only he got it. Amazing to me the
lack of "warm up songs" the last couple of years. No feeling his way
around. Bob nails the first note.
A quick "Thank You" before Bob turned and began talking to the band. From
my seat, I was able, all night, to see the discussions, and make out a few
words a couple of times. Then Bob turned, Larry picked up the mandolin,
and they stepped into
SONG TO WOODY: which was a treat for me, having never heard it in person.
Bob sang soft, low, and with conviction, much like the "STW" on the
"Things Have Changed" single. I think last night's version was just a tad
DESOLATION ROW: saw Bob really getting into the show. We saw shoulder
dips, dancing, head bobbing, and the leg was stomping throughout the song.
On "I had to re-arrange their faces" Bob made that squinting face, as if
he were looking at their original faces with horror. I was listening
closely all night for flubbed lines, and to this point, he was perfect!
There is just something magical about hearing "Everyone was either making
love, making love or else expecting rain" when Bob is right in front of
you. Great version.
Bob turned and talked to the band again, as Larry sat at the pedal. I
immediately knew, from the big sweep of sound from the pedal, that we were
LOVE MINUS ZERO (NO LIMIT): Bob did a little soloing here, very nice as
on Desolation Row, but a real HIGHLIGHT was Bob's wide-eyed look as he
sang "the night blows cold and raiiiinnnnnyyyy." A classic face.
TANGLED UP IN BLUE: was next of course, and I must admit, I have, after a
long period of disenchantment, come back to TUIB in the last year.
Possible lyric flub here, but he was changing up quite a bit, so it was
kind of hard to tell. Nice lighting, nice solos by Bob and Charlie, but
the killer was the delivery of "One day the axe just feeeeeeelllllllllll."
Bob slung the guitar to the side and picked up a harp. He hit a few
notes, and then realized that he had the wrong harp!!! So after
correcting that, we were treated to a nice knee-bending harp solo. He
even played through the first break in the song, giving us a few extra
seconds of harp.
Then Bob turned and talked to Tony for quite a while, then the rest of the
band. Larry picked up the mandolin again, and they launched into a
THIS WORLD CAN'T STAND LONG: never heard it before. Great lyrics. "This
world is too full of hate." Then "The world is more wicked every day, The
Lord won't let it stand that way." I love the verse that went like this,
"This world's been destroyed before, because it was too full of sin, and
for that same reason, it will be destroyed again." What a wonderful song,
with great harmonies by the guys. This was a real highlight for me.
As they plugged in the electric guitars, the back curtain opened, going
from black to white. I don't know why, but it happened.
COUNTRY PIE: as expected, kicked things off. Charlie Sexton was
absolutely smoking on those breaks; he had a killer riff that he kept
nailing all throughout the song. This was Charlie's song, with Bob adding
a killer "countrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyy pie." This ain't the album version!
Quickly, Larry had a seat at the steel, and, much to my surprise since it
has not been played at all on this tour, was
LAY LADY LAY: Bob had many eyebrow lifts here, and kept his leg stomping
pretty steadily. At this point in the show, you could really see Bob
sweating. That was fitting, however, because the next song was so hot.
GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY: was kicked off with a big hit on the drums and nice
bass line from Tony. This was really heavy, and featured a nasty Bob
growl on "Yeah . . . ." Great lyrical games here. "Might call you
Madonna, Might call you Cher." Great! Then my favorite new line of the
night, "Might be in the corner eating from a garbage pale." Very nice.
Bob turned around and talked to Tony, then turned to David, and with his
eyes fixed sharply on the audience,
SHE BELONGS TO ME: was delivered smoothly. Bob had a nice solo here,
which was complimented by the guitar posing and foot stomping that has
come to be expected these days. When this song started, I was
disappointed, having already heard "Love Minus Zero," but by the end, it
Bob gave Tony a wink at the end of this song before thanking the audience
once again. Bob paced around on stage for a seeming eternity, and during
the next song, had trouble with his guitar, which came unplugged. But
nothing, the wait, the glitch, nothing at all, could detract from
DRIFTER'S ESCAPE: if you have heard it live in '95 or '96, you would be
amazed at how it has changed, and gotten stronger. This song was JUST SO
HOT! The guitars were blistering, and Bob finished it off with a much too
short, but very energetic, harp solo, with guitar at his side and his hand
raised, as he posed, I kept thinking "with one hand waving free." Yes
indeed, this Tambourine Man cast a spell tonight!
Bob then introduced the boys as "The finest players on the continent," and
messed up the nightly David Kemper joke, saying "he only lies unless he's
LEOPARD-SKIN PILL-BOX HAT: followed, and again, the speakers were smoking
as Charlie led the way with several solo shots, and Larry got a fine solo
at the conclusion of the song, which came much too soon. Bob looked at
Charlie mid-song, and gave him a little nod. After that, it was like
Charlie was unleashed to do his master's bidding. He attacked the guitar,
spitting out notes in a riff that built with intensity as the song moved
on. Bob had the leg stomping, shuffle stepping, head bobbing look going
The came THE FORMATION. I was hoping to see this. They just lined up,
guitars at their sides, and stood for a good thirty seconds. Larry
Campbell was the first to break the formation, and then they were gone.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED: as I was hoping, opened up the encore. It was
faster than the album, but Bob nailed every single word. Much posing
here, especially as he stepped to Larry's side of the stage and they
played during a break. This was a real highlight for me. Great version,
really making the song come alive!!! A quick "Thank You" led into the
drum crash and
LIKE A ROLLING STONE: which I must admit, as often as I skip over it when
listening to shows, when you are there, and the wind is blowing Bob's
hair, and he is slide stepping and side stepping and toe pointing and duck
walking, I love it. Charlie had a nice solo, but Bob really took control
of the end of the song, getting one of his little three note riffs going,
but this one really worked, and even as the band stopped, Bob kept it
going just a little longer. Nice touch.
Quick switch to the acoustic gear, and there was one song that I wanted to
hear and one song only, on the first note, I knew I had my wish.
DON'T THINK TWICE: Before the song Bob talked to Tony, and Tony held up
some fingers for David Kemper. Someone managed to knock a balloon on to
the stage, and Charlie kind of watched it as it drifted to the side of the
stage. Tony abandoned the upright bass for this number, and played the
acoustic bass. I was completely lost in this moment, in this song, trying
to drink it all in in the few moments that I knew we had left. Bob made a
stunningly fast removal of the guitar, and picked up the harp and blew
away, sans guitar, just leaving me mesmerized. I know that this is a
standard, but man oh man, I just love it. This was a wonderful version.
HIGHWAY 61: was blistering hot, and is still fun even after all these
hearings. Charlie had a great solo, and the entire audience, which now
filled basically the entire amphitheater and 3/4 of the lawn, was on their
feet and dancing. This was hot, and a great getaway song. Long jamming.
Then it was decision time. Do we stay or do we go. Bob said to Tony, and
I could see this clearly, "Do you want to do another?" and Tony nodded, so
BLOWIN' IN THE WIND: was the best of the live versions I have heard.
Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was the harmonies. Maybe it was the
wind. Maybe it was the guitar posing even on BITW, or maybe it was
everything combined, but this was memorable.
Then came the second FORMATION of the night, with Larry, again, leaving
This was a remarkable show. I don't think Bob flubbed a line all night.
If I am wrong, someone let me know. Security was not really tight, so I
was able to take a roll of film, which I am eagerly anticipating getting
back. I hope that someone got a good recording. This show deserves to be
Aptly, as Rich I and I pulled into the parking lot here in Erie, "Lay Lady
Lay" came on the radio. This was the first time I have heard Dylan on the
radio in at least a year, and it was so fitting that "LLL" should appear
then, after having heard it just a few hours before.
A great night. A great show. A tip of the cap to the Deadheads sitting
in front of me and the BobCats sitting behind. Hope to see you down the
And of course, Thanks, Bob!
Review by Bob Finlay
I have been a fan of Bob's since the sixties, and finally got the
opportunity to see him live at the Molson Amphitheatre at Ontario Place in
Toronto. Drove into Toronto from Hamilton (60 miles). The traffic was bad
as usual. I felt sorry for anyone who thought Bob would be on last - at
least one person I talked to just caught the end of Dylan's act. My 20
year old son, Rob, was with me. He is not a Dylan fan per se, but came
along to experience this great from my youth. Besides, I was buying the
tickets (and the beer). When we arrived at the parking lot there was a
lineup of cars to get in. This was at 6:45 and I had visions of missing
the beginning. Some young hippies were camped out on blankets drinking
beer in open bottles spread sparsely around the this parking lot in
small groups. There was at least 4 VW camper there, didn't have time to
check out all the goings on as I was in a hurry to get in for the
beginning of the show. You don't normally see this type of activity in the
parking lot here.
Security was checking for contraband at the entrance to the
Amphitheatre. They even made my son dump his half full bottled water
into the garbage (I suppose it could have been vodka). At this point I
thought alcohol was only allowed in the parking lot, but to my surprise
beer was available inside for about $5 a glass. We sat in section 202
right in front of the mixing area - sound mixing that is - not drink
mixing. Bob and the band came on about 7:10 PM. Played Duncan Brady first.
Never heard it before - it was good though. He then went into Song to
Woody - good again - very crisp. Next was Desolation Row - Bob's guitar
work was excellent, and he was moving around a lot more than I expected -
could be a future Pete Townsend in the making here (just kidding). He then
went into Love Minus Zero. More relaxed on this one. Then into Tangled Up
in Blue, on which he brought out the harmonica, much to the delight of the
crowd. Next Came a song I had never heard - This World Can't Stay (or
Stand). I liked it. Then into another I wasn't familiar with - Country Boy
(or Pie?). Very western side of Bob here. He then did an excellent
rendition of Gotta Serve Somebody. I think this was one of his best of the
night. Then came She Belongs To Me - almost sounded like he was mumbling
on this. Next was Drifter's Escape - played harmonica to the crowd's
pleasure again. At this point the music from the band started getting
louder it seemed. Then came a good rendition of Pillbox Hat which the
crowd loved. After a standing ovation Bob came back for an Encore. First
came Things Have Changed - never heard it before but it was a good tune -
well done. Next came like a Rolling Stone - not very close to the
original, but the crowd (and my son) still liked it. Then came Don't Think
Twice which was a nice change to something slower (which seemed to be
lacking in the show). Bob played acoustic and harmonica on this one, but
his voice started cracking up a bit near the end (maybe this is why he was
steering away from the slower tunes). Next came Highway 61, and I thought
he seemed to laughing a bit towards the end of this one - probably noticed
this one guy dancing up and down the aisle like he was on stage singing
(comical). Last but not least was Blowin in The Wind - on acoustics - kind
of upbeat, as most of his songs seem to be sung now. Bob then stood
looking at the audience through a standing ovation, for what seemed like a
couple of minutes, with his right hand tapping his right thigh like he was
contemplating playing some more - but didn't.
Overall, the show was good. His tunes are more upbeat than the originals -
my son says maybe this is to appeal to a younger crowd - and there was a
good mix of ages present. However, I suspect it is because he has found a
niche pace and tone of voice that makes him sound as good as can be. He
never did have a great singing voice, per se, but his voice always had
character. That character in his voice is now lacking a bit. He comes
across very well, though. Considering his age (which he doesn't show), I
think Bob put on an excellent performance. He seemed very agile on stage
and appears to be looking healthy and in good shape. Whatever he is doing,
it works well for him. I hope he continues to perform, even if it were to
smaller and smaller crowds, as I think he needs this to survive. I would
consider him along the lines of a modern day Woody Guthrie or Hank
Williams. Although, seeing the modern luxurious converted buses next to
the amphitheatre, I am sure he travels in style. Good luck Bob.
Regards, Bob Finlay
Review by Martin Abela
Showing typical jaded big city attitude, we arrived at Toronto's Molson
Amphitheater late. We were on the grounds of Ontario Place, the lakeside
park which was the setting for last nights concert. However, we spent some
time at the bar, then lined up for beer at the amphitheater, so we were
not in our seats for "Duncan And Brady", and "Song To Woody". A sin of
sorts for a big Bob-fan like me. Throughout the night I was reminded of
the concept of sin and redemption, thanks to our favorite singer.
I attended the concert with Frank C. and Marie. Frank has seen
Bob many times, but Marie was a Bob-virgin up until tonight.
Frank had not seen Bob all year, so all three of us were excited
about the show.
Due to our thirst, and Bob's penchant for punctuality on this
tour, by the time we took our seats Bob and the band were well into
"Desolation Row". It is an exciting way to walk to our seats - through a
crowd of happy, dancing, people.
Normally when I write a review, I make detailed notes during
the show. Tonight I made a conscious decision not to make
notes, but just to relax and enjoy the show. That would have
been fine if the show was substantially similar to the three I saw
on the road a couple of weeks ago, but it was not. So no detailed
review this time, but I do want to share some highlights of my
memories of an amazing night.
While playing the harmonica on "Tangled Up In Blue" Bob did
not move or dance much - but he did genuflect. He bends
down almost on one knee, stares out at the audience, and
plays. Is he showing his respect for the audience?
Is he praying? Or just having a good time?
Bob played "This World Can't Stand Long" for the first time
in several weeks. I love this song, after having listened to it
so many times on the Anaheim "early show" bootleg. I was
thrilled to hear it live. The band played a great version, full
of life. As an avowed atheist, I get a particular joy
from hearing Bob play religious music. Of all the people
I know who do have religious beliefs, only Bob comes close
to communicating his faith to me. His music is always
powerful and expressive. His songs about religious belief
are certainly no exception.
"Lay, Lady Lay" is a very popular, classic song which
does not show up in the setlist very often. This is a big
crowd pleaser. A lot of people were singing along. Bob
occasionally would change the rhythm of the lyrics, where
we expected to hear him sing "Lay Lady..." and I could
hear dozens of people softly singing along.
Big surprise with "Gotta Serve Somebody", which sounded
different then the version he was opening with in 1998.
A heavy, funky, bass line throughout the song. And the lyrics!
New lines - "eating from a garbage pail" - perhaps a reference
to Toronto's persistent homeless problem? And the incredible mention of
two celebrities "you may be Madonna, you may even be Cher"!!! I am not
100% sure about these lyrics, since I did not make notes, but I am sure
tapers will have posted the exact versions by now. We had a good laugh
over it though - it was a funny line, and a very surprising reference.
It amazes me that Bob can sing wonderful spiritual music, to
rousing ovations in our very non-sectarian world. Most Christian
singers are preaching to the converted - playing primarily to
audiences who share their beliefs. As far as I know, only Bob
gets atheists like me up there dancing, clapping, and thrilled to
hear lines like "we alllll got to serve some-bodeee"
A great perfomance which I will never forget.
There were other moments which were special. During one song,
the band took turns playing lead. For about ten seconds each we
would hear either Bob, Larry, Tony or Charlie, without a pause
in between. It was like they were playing "hot potato", passing a
little bundle of energy quickly amongst the circle.
This was very well-done. An effective demonstration of how
well this band plays together, and how hard they must work
The audience was enthusiastic with their applause - perhaps
understanding that this was an exceptional performance from Bob
and the band. During both "formations" the crowd clapped and
cheered loudly the whole time.
If Bob's intention tonight was to play a rousing concert, and
make 18,000 people sing dance and have fun, he succeeded.
And if he also wanted to make at least one atheist think
about God, sin and redemption - he also succeeded.
on I90 between Buffalo and Canadagua, New York.
July 19, 2000
Review by Charlyne Arsenault
The wind was cool, but otherwise nice weather,with some clouds in
the sky. The order of the songs are listed not in order but in
the sequence in which they were most memorable. Bob and his
band opened with Duncan and Brady, and played some bluegrass songs
without any real beat to them.He played Tangled Up In Blue, differently,
he played almost all the songs differently than we have on his
recordings. He plays his songs without the freshness of his youth, he goes
through them at a slower pace. He's very focused.He assumes the most
awkward stances, and his face is not as handsome as it once was.His band
is absolutely great, playing harmonica solos, not on the harmonica, but
on the guitar!Bob played the harmonica only sparsely in short sequences,
and he seemed to be too old, too weak and out of breath to play long
enough.The lighting for the Phil Lesh and friends was great, if you're
wondering where Bob's money goes:Lights! I didn't stay, maybe they should
start the show earlier.Security checked even my little handbag when I
came in.They did not allow for anybody to get close to the stage, they
did not even allow for us to stand up.In short, they did not allow us to
have a good time.It was the most oppressive concert to which I have
been.I bought some popcorn and it was stale.Bob played Blowin in the Wind
last.People sang along with:"the answer my friend, is blowin in the
wind".A lady beside me yelled repeatedly:"Bob close".She wanted him to
close the show.He played:"Things Have Changed".He's enunciating very
well.His timing is a little off, as he gets older and slower.He's very
well dressed in a black suit and white shoes.He sang "Leopard Skin
Pillbox Hat".He introduced David Kemper on drums "who doesn't lie unless
he's in bed".He said they were the best band in the world, and they
are.It was a big venue, and he got a standing ovation at the end.I
watched him mostly on the screen because I couldn't see his face from
where I was seated.He stood on stage for a little while, expressionless,
quite on purpose, while people applauded. Who the hell does he think he
is, Bob Dylan or something?Bob can still rock.There's nothing
tear-jerking in the way he sings.The smell of pot was rampant, and part
of my decision to leave. It got worse for Phil's set. Bob makes you want to
go out and be a rock star, he makes it seem so effortless and easy. When
something is excellent, it makes me sad.I was very depressed after Bob's
performance.He achieved something wonderful.I bought roses for Bob and I
forgot them in my hotel room.It was fine because I couldn't get anywhere
near the stage.I gave them to the Primrose Hotel where I was staying.I
thought to myself:I am The Rose.Bob seems to be in good health. He
sang:"she's an artist, she don't look back". He sang Gotta Serve Somebody,
Don't Think Twice,It's Allright, Like A Rolling Stone, This World Can't
Stand Long.His songs, even his jokes, although well-written and well
presented, lack a youthful spontaneity, which is accentuated by the
repetitiveness of his lyrics, even though they have poetic structure,
they are too predictable.The concert was too loud in the front, if you
were lucky enough to get good seats.It lacked the sweetness of a small
venue.Bob also lacks originality, taking his ideas from poets or other
musicians.Bob can not rejuvenate himself, but he is breathing fresh new
life into classic old favorites by interpreting them differently.He
changed the phrasing to Tangled Up In Blue and at one point seemed to be
tangled up in his phrasing.It ran too long, going nowhere fast.The truth
is, no matter how much money you spend on a concert ticket, you still
don't get to kiss Bob goodnight.Desolation Row was a rocking good
time.Phil started out meekly standing amongst his set, only singing after
a guitar solo that seemed to go on endlessly. He plays well
Review by Frank Cassellis
HEAVY....HEAVY.....HEAVY........The bouncer personally escorted
myself,Martin(my dear friend, without him i would not have been there) and
Krazy Marie( the Bob-virgin) to our seats as Dylan played Desolation Row.
Dylan's only show in Canada was cincidently the same day that the TSE 300
closed just inches below the Dow Jones. something is happening here but
you don't know what it is do you MR. JONES?????????? I do not pay too much
attention to the set list as much as I do Dylan's brush-stokes on my own
emotions. For me personally this was an excellent performance. Dylan is
just getting started. He played and sang like a 20 year
old...breath.......breath ...........breath....that boy can hold his
breath........................................longer than anyone. There is
something to be said for that, just ask any Buddhist.I envisioned Dylan
playing over the age of 100 that night in Toronto July 18, 2000. Ladies
and Gentlemen.........the ONE and only survivor of the 1960's genera!
tion..........the only one left..........the artist who continues to
change it all........please welcome THE recording artist.......BOB
DYLAN.(date 2042). Yes I will be there for that......keep holding your
breath Bob. The next 60 seconds could seem like an eternity........that
line struck me....when I left the show go sit in a dark smokey bar to
process it all, I looked at my watch and it had stopped at
8:10pm................I wonder if................? The main message that I
picked up was a heavy, heavy warning about the world and our own behaviour
it. I could feel the weight of a huge heavy finger pointing out of the sky
at me saying..."there's alot of shit happening in the world so make the
right choice....it could be the devil or it could be the lord....now your
gonna have ta serve somebuddy....it's easyto be good but it's easier not
to.....be careful!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it was sort of spooky...... The big finger
appeared again during Blowin in the Wind. The wind was blowing a soothing
cool breeze through the whole show anyway....I do not know of another
musical artist (maybe Billie Holiday) that can take an old song like that
that we've all heard @#$%^&* times and create a new profound
meaning...........maybe not new but......old.....I could feel the goodness
of it. It's almost evangelical......yes it is rock'n'roll evangelism, I
love it. Every song had something slinking through little music-boxes,
fairy tales, swamps, vaudeville, porches, cowboy campfires and all the way
back to tomorrow.......I was left whispering to myself....."please Bob,
just one more song......please...."
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