Review provided by Joe Corey Paul "The Man Without Soul" Simon started the show with the most pedestrian set of music these ears have ever witnessed. My friend and I tried to recall a more lackluster set by any artist but failed! Not even Rachel Sweet's opening act for the Garcia Band could surpass the lounge band delivery of what once were some good songs. His band can't be blamed because they actually sounded fine with Dylan on Sounds of Silence, etc. It was good to hear Dylan's voice ring out louder than Simon's on this number. And kudos to Bob for some uncommonly well played fills on his acoustic. The splendid reggae version of Heaven's Door was well supported by the horn section. Simon sang a verse and chimed in well with Bob on the refrain. It shouldn't go unsaid that the crowd, unlike yours truly, lapped up Simon's set like a sumo wrestler after a three day fast. As for Dylan, he and his intrepid band offered a welcomed dose of artful music. Opening with a spiffy version of Somebody Touched Me, Dylan and crew established a high bar for precision singing and playing. It seems playing co-host with Simon has forced Dylan to polish the sound of his act by letting Larry Campbell and Charlie Sexton play more of the solos. Fear not, his three note Tangled Up solo lives on! He even added a closing harp jam to great applause. I can't say the band sounds better or worse with Charlie than with Baxter. However, the absence of Baxter's once ever present lap steel did alter the sound. To wit, Larry seemed more relaxed to spunkify his fills, and Charlie's steady acoustic work and rare electric leads fit each song quite well. As always, Kemper and Garnier were rock solid! Regarding the songs, Not Dark Yet was by far the most affecting song of the show and Not Fade would've been a powerhouse closer even without Dylan's spry dance moves. It must have been the boots! By the time the last drum roll finished, the band had passed the curfew by 15 minutes, and all any lover of inspired music could do was say I'm glad I got a free ticket because $115 a pop should be illegal! But that's a story for another day.
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