page by Bill Pagel
Review by Jesse Jones
The audience in the cavernous “Office Depot Center” – a hockey arena dug out
of the Everglades in what now is a western suburb of Ft. Lauderdale – got
a much better opening act than they deserved.
Maybe the truth is that Dylan cannot fill an arena like this, especially
not in South Florida. The Erie introduction fell on deaf ears. It was no
later than 6:15. The arena - which was maybe half full for The Dead by
8:00, was maybe 15% full. The crowd trickled in - and out -during Dylan's
ten song, sixty minute set. They clapped politely. They seemed anxious to
get on to the main event.
Dylan opened with an energetic “Maggie's Farm” and went from there to
“I'll Be Your Baby Tonight.” After that he did nothing which would have
been familiar to many non-Dylan fans.
“Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum” kept a high energy level. Then he did
“Joey.” His voice did not try to sustain the notes on the refrain. I
wondered if he could be ill. When he introduced his band he said something
about Vitamin C.
Next he did “Highway 61" and seemed to have some new breaks and new
phrasings. A lovely “Queen Jane” was followed by a rollicking
Dylan pushed ahead with “Sugar Daddy” and “Honest With Me,” then
introduced his band and closed with “Summer Days.” I was amazed at the
energy level Dylan maintained for an audience that was not at all with
I had a bad feeling about the encore. Some of us tried to make enough
noise in the cavernous space. Dylan and the band stayed on stage for a few
moments, standing together as if for a Broadway curtain call. Then they
left in darkness and in a moment the houselights came up. My first thought
was, how terrible for Dylan.
It was over an hour later when The Dead took the stage, and the audience
was alive. This is who they came to see.
I was heading for the door -literally -when I heard Dylan singing
“Alabama Getaway.” I returned to the hall and listened. The crowd loved
it. But it was The Dead they loved. They would have cheered if it was
Donny Osmond singing. It was a sad night for this Dylan fan.
Review by Kenneth Dorchak
As one of the few persons in the arena who came mainly to see Bob Dylan
perform, I can only say that I was sorely disappointed by the experience.
I am a veteran of many a Dylan show but due to my geographic disability of
living in South Florida I only get to see him once every 18-24 months.
The problems with the show I believe were mainly technical. It seemed
that the sound board was being run by a rank amateur and must not have
been Bob's regular sound mixer. Bob mic was completely drowned out by the
play of the rest of the band. I saw Bob in this very arena on his last
swing through and it was a tremendous show. I should note that Bob's band
was great, notwithstanding.
While I agree with the prior review that the audience was less than ideal
I can say that the show itself was deserving of a great response. Bob
appeared to be giving an effort but his effort was lost in the dismal
technical setup for the show.
Bob's three song appearance with The Dead was equally disappointing.
Bob's mic was inaudible with the exception of the chorus on Alabama
Get-Away. The only saving grace was that it seems that the technical
problems were resolved in time for a very enjoyable West L.A. Fadaway.
I have heard from a friend who was also at the Sunrise show that the Tampa
show was much better and that there was none of the technical problems
which plagued the Sunrise show.
Oh well, I will await Bob's next return to South Florida.
Review by Adam Dean
...well, here I find myself back in the jaws of the dragon, on the road
again with BOB, expecting rain and allowing the vibes to flow through. Bob
always has a way of defining his own self, whether good, bad, ugly, or
DEAD; last night was somewhere in the days between.
What crowd was on hand did give Bob a nice welcome, but the attention
level wasn't really there, this being a DEAD show and all. Bob and his
band put on a nice 10 song set, with a few real seldom heards (Joey,
Queen Jane) and a few crowd pleasing old faves (Highway 61, Maggies Farm)
but it was really a case of "when do The Dead come on???"
It was lovely to hear Sugar Baby, Larry really plays a lovely pedal steel
guitar, and the band wails on Honest With Me and they rocked out at the
end of the set on Summer days...
and then they were gone - no encore, no nothing. Bob does show up for
threesongs with The Dead, actually one a lovely old Dylan song It's All
Over Now, but real Dylan fans may be a bit disappointed by this part of
the Never Ending Tour
see you tomorrow night in Tampa!
Adam Dean and The Doctor, on the road again.
Comments by Brad Schwartz
jesse mentioned something about bob saying vitamin c. yes, he did. when
he introduced freddie, he said that freddie had been living on reds,
vitamin c and cocaine; bob laughed a great deal after this. i don't recall
when i have ever seen bob laugh. either way, this was bob's attempt at a
dead joke i suppose but that's what the whole vitamin c reference was. i
feel in no way was bob sick, in fact, i thought he really rocked harder
than normal, maybe due to it being a short set. i feel terrible that no
one was in there and it did take away from bob's set, but bob either in my
living room or in a huge arena like this, is a true treat and something
that keeps me coming back time and time again. the joey was the first
time i have seen it live and while i did not like the way it was done, it
was something i've been longing to see for years, so that said, it made my
page by Bill Pagel
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