July 23, 2011
Review by Tom Betts
All I can say is Bob and the band were smokin' in the smoky Oklahoma casino
tonight!! 3,000 seat room , I'd say 2000 people inside, treated to a masterful
show!! It's All Over Now Baby Blue rocked. Things Have Changed was sped up and
jammed. You could hear a pin drop during the Visions. Usually this time of year
Bob plays the Oklahoma City Zoo Ampitheater and I'm grateful he chose a small
air-conditioned casino this time around instead of the 105 degree usual baking.
Had a lovely back roads country drive before the show with Joni & Kelly for
pre-show preparation and couldn't have had a better time if I had tried. Bob's
voice and playing are strong and right-on and I'm envious for all that get to
see more shows on this tour. Don't miss out, 70 is Bob's new 40!! Thanks for
the spirit-boost Bob, there is no better!!
Fort Worth, TX
Review by John Jameson
It was nice and COOL in the casino's event center on the Texas-Oklahoma border
saturday night, until bob set it on fire in a great show the belied his seven
decades. Decked out in a black suit with a white stripe on the pants, white
boots with black toe and heel caps, large silver medallion bolo tie, capped off
with his now trademark white Batsakes of Cincinatti wide brimmed hat. The rest
of the band looked good in their suits too. Those that criticise descriptions
of the band's outfits here, remember that Bob is putting on a SHOW and that is a
part of it.
I had paid a slight premium for 4th row seats on the right side of the stage.
Bob's stage organ now is oriented more sideways, pointing to Charlie and Stu. Is
this a change from a couple years ago, where Bob would face straight out to the
audience while on keyboards? It made for a great profile view of Bob and his
hand work on the keyboards, along with his raised right leg action for emphasis.
The sound was absolutely fantastic. i really recommend people to try to see this
show in a small venue if possible. The band is sounding great and you could
really hear Bob's organ way up in the mix. The reference to nearby Dallas in "If
you ever get to Houston" got a small rise from the audience. the Arrangement of
"Visions of Johanna" has a interesting cadence-like singing towards the end.
During "Highway 61" there was a wonderful call and response improv. between Bob
on organ and Charlie and Stu on guitar. Loved it!!
Ballad of a Thin Man is the showstopper of the performance. with Bob out front
is a single spotlight, he sings it clear and strong. the harp was great all
night, but on this song it really shines. Earlier, right before a harmonica
solo, Bob gave the harp a little 360 degree flip in his hand. Wow! nicely done,
my man! Bob spent a good amount of time front and center, playing some nice
guitar on a red custom Fender strat. It is interesting to see Bob do that
little head wipe with his hand, from his chin to both ears. I don't know if
wipes off moisture or is just a motion he does.
During the encore, my wife and I moved up to the rail and enjoyed singing along
with the "how does it feel" chorus to LARS. The last song was Watchtower, which
seemed to be back to the Hendrix arrangement. good guitar from Charlie and Stu.
Those who dis Charlie are way wrong in my book. No second encore with BITW
tonight, just a group bow with a smile on Bob's face.
My 10th Bob show over a 35 year period. My recent asian immigrant wife's first.
we both enjoyed it, and took away different things from it. Bob is playing and
singing amazingly, do not miss these shows!! Please remember, "you don't know
what you got til it's gone". Nothing lasts forever. This tour will end.
Hopefully not for many years. However, don't miss out.
Review by Don Eldredge
Bob Dylan doesn‘t explain himself. He never has. It’s unlikely at age 70 he
will begin now. Misconceptions of the man and his music are numerous. And
because his music remains so significant after more than 50 years of composition
and performance, writers and critics throughout the land (to use his own words)
continue to prod, probe and pontificate as if they own a piece of him. They
always lose, but his fans are still winning. Dylan’s voice, never operatic but
once rightfully considered among popular music’s most powerful, is now gruff
and more nasal. When the listener learns to deal with the sound and pays close
attention to the words, there is a big payoff. The 2,500 or so attending last
weekend’s show at Winstar Casino’s Global Event Center in Thackerville,
Okla., were mostly tuned in to the singer and his band. He repaid with an
animated and entertaining 16-song set that included seven numbers featuring him
performing from center stage. In recent years he has spent more time stage-right
on the keyboard. The set opened with “Rainy Day Women #12 and 35,” and he
later performed a strong version of “Visions of Johanna,” both off his 1966
recording “Blonde on Blonde.” He also performed three, including the title
tune and “Like a Rolling Stone,” from the 1965 “Highway 61 Revisited”
session. But Dylan doesn’t dote on nostalgia. Seven of the 16 selections were
culled from his more recent works, including two — “Beyond Here Lies
Nothing” and “If You Ever Go To Houston” — from his most recent (2009)
CD of originals. He played lead guitar on ‘Beyond Here’ and “Simple Twist
of Fate,” relegating rhythm duties to his regular lead, Charlie Sexton. And
Dylan blew the mouth harp on another five numbers, working through an especially
riveting version of “Ballad of a Thin Man.” The Global Event Center was a
good venue for Dylan’s show. Often he plays outdoor arenas and small stadiums.
The fact that he doesn’t allow the use of video screens at his shows, to say
nothing of the sound factor, makes those shows harder to appreciate. Since he
rarely addresses audiences other than through his music, some conclude that his
performances are wooden and lack intimacy. The close confines at Winstar chucked
that notion and fans of all ages were rocking and singing along on some
occasions, especially as Dylan tripped down ‘Highway 61.’ It was a
highlight. Dylan’s penchant for changing tunes of his most popular songs
continues. “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” was barely recognizable but
entertaining. “Tangled Up in Blue” has been sung to so many different tunes
and with so many changed lyrics, it almost qualifies as multiple songs. The
final encore, “All Along the Watchtower,” is still performed by Dylan, as it
has been most of the time for the past 40 years, in the arrangement introduced
by Jimi Hendrix in 1968. Dylan has a reputation for his shows in recent years
being hit-or-miss, but there is little doubt among those in attendance where
Saturday’s performance fell. Often on their feet, audience members responded
throughout the night to music and the man. • One more thing about Dylan’s
voice: Singer/writer Don McLean in his epic pop tune “American Pie” called
Dylan’s “a voice that came from you and me.” Maybe that best describes it.
No one, and especially long-time smokers, sound the same at 70 as they did at
24. But the words, that’s another subject. As he wrote in “Spirit on the
Water,” recorded in 2006, “You think I’m over the hill/You think I’m
past my prime/Let me see what you got/We can have a whoppin’ good time. Oh, so
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