Reviews

Mountain View, California

Shorline Amphitheatre

August 4, 2013


[Oscar Montes], [Mitch Meyer], [Mo Ritz]

Review by Oscar Montes



Dennis and I were supposed to get to Mountain View at 4:00 pm to get
launch with Kerry Anne Davis, Ron Chester and BAZ. We left Irvine at 10:00
am hoping to be there in 6 hours but we werenít lucky with the traffic at
all. LA has terrible traffic and somewhere on the road we decided to take
another highway but something happened and we were stuck for 1 hour in the
highway, we decided to come back and take the original road.

We finally made it to Shoreline at 7:00 pm, 9 hours was really heavy but
once youíre in a venue when you know Bob is playing you forget everything
else.

Great to meet up with Kerry and BAZ before the show, also good to say
again to John. Saw Jay somewhere on the crowd once I was in my seat.

Bob began again with Things have changed, we all believed this had to be a
very special show. Lovesick was next with Dylan playing harp on center
stage, a good one for sure. Another strong High water was the following
song. 2 tunes from tempest in a row, Soon after midnight and Early roman
kings. The sound seemed perfect while listening to TUIB, great
performance. Another tempest song, Duquesne whistle was really fun! Bob
and his band laughing through the whole song, especially at the end.
Another good performance for She belongs to me was next with Bob playing
harp. A good Beyond here lies nothing was the following number of the
night.

Today was the time for Desolation row, people really enjoyed it. The now
permanent highlight Willie McTell was next, perfection is the adjective I
use to describe this performance. A nice and emotional Simple Twist was
the following song. Summer days once again made people at the Shoreline
Amphitheater dance on their seats. All along the watchtower closed the
regular set, really strong, great performance. 

Bobby came back for Thin man, a good one but we expected something extra
but it didnít happen this time.

I want to thank Dennis, Keith, Sonia, Gina, John, Kerry and BAZ for the
really good time we spent on this weekend following Dylan. All I can say
is: See you really soon!

Oscar Montes
forever_young74@hotmail.com

[TOP]

Review by Mitch Meyer



I arrived at Shoreline at about 5 p.m. after the one hour drive from Oakland on 
a classically cool and sunny Bay Area summer day.  Upon arrival at Shoreline, a 
thick layer of white fog sprawled across the hilltops between the amphitheater 
and the ocean, promising a breezy and even cooler evening.  Being a dedicated, 
long-time Dylan fan in my mid-50s, with no knowledge of the three other bands, 
I arrived determined to have an open mind towards the other acts.

Well, I tried but, after Ryan Bingham's set and about half way through My 
Morning Jacket's, I wasn't getting too far.  Being woefully ignorant of their 
work, and not knowing any of their songs, I was finding the music repetitive, 
with little variation from one song to the next in rhythm or sound.  Lethargy 
was settling in.  But it disappeared in a flash as MMJ announced the arrival on 
stage of none other than Ö Bob Weir.  Oh my goodness, a shot of electricity ran 
through me.  I was going to be back in familiar and wonderful territory!  Within a 
few seconds, the first chords of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" sounded and all 
was now right.  On the second verse Weir announced his presence with his first 
solo lyrics, a grand "Come take these guns into the ground!"  Suddenly my 
evening had changed from growing alienation to a sense of deep comfort and 
joy.  

Things got only better as MMJ proved to be a great backup band for a pair of 
Grateful Dead classics  led by Weir,  "I Know You Rider" and "Brown Eyed 
Woman."  Now the rhythms were varied and interesting and the solos creative, 
as Weir sang in beautiful voice with great presence.  Weir and the crowd were 
totally in synch.  Everyone was on their feet.  The audience reacted to individual 
lines, like a roar of recognition when Weir twice sang "I wish I was a headlight 
on a northbound train."  It was the sudden return of the deep love affair 
between the Bay Area and the Dead, with the audience's longing being 
unexpectedly satisfied on this night almost exactly 18 years after the death of 
Jerry Garcia.  (To commemorate his passing, Monday night is Grateful Dead night 
at the SF Giants ballgame.  It's always great watching Phil Lesh raise his fist 
straight up in the air as he and Bob Weir sing the anthem's "and the land of the 
FREEEE!")

Shortly after Weir left the stage, MMJ and Ryan Bingham set the place on fire 
with a truly incendiary and grand version of The Band's version of "Don't Do It."  
I hate to say it to all those sincere fans of these great other bands on the bill, 
but the music of Dylan, The Band and The Dead is just better.  It's superior. 
I'm sorry.  That's how it seemed to me.  Suddenly MMJ was playing great 
music.   It was all fantastic.

Same with Wilco.  What a bunch of great musicians and, hey, I love the humor 
and creativity of their open schizophrenia: playing quiet, melodic country music 
and then the drummer alone breaks out into a wild frenzy of smashing cymbals -- 
all while the rest of the band keeps playing a quiet country tune.  Fun, creative,
and they kept the split personality going throughout their set.  But still I was j
ust finding most of the music not very interesting.  But, wait, the savior of the 
night came back again!  Bobby Weir comes out and suddenly Wilco becomes a 
great band backing him for another Dead and Dylan run.  "Ripple," "Dark Star," 
"St. Stephen" and then, while we're already hearing the most phenomenal 
music, let's finish Weir's set with "When I Paint My Masterpiece."  Wilco did a 
great job playing behind Weir.  The music seemed well-rehearsed but also fully 
of spontaneity.  Their lead guitar player was superb, soloing in the high register
in the spirit of Garcia without in any way trying to imitate him.  Perfect.

The two Weir sets were grand climaxes for just about everyone there, crossing 
the lines between those who mainly came to see MMJ or Wilco and the Dylan 
fans like myself.  

I think the crowd was a bit worn down after that double run of great songs 
with Weir in the lead.  I'm used to standing up front right near the stage at 
Dylan shows, but last night I was seated not in the large front VIP section but 
in the main seating area behind it.  The crowd was on its feet and energetic 
for the first three songs of Dylan's set but once he settled into quieter tunes 
the energy dissipated and, in my section, it never really returned.  I've never 
seen this before in any of the 35 or so Dylan shows I've attended, but he was 
upstaged.  It was the night of Bob Weir and the Grateful Dead, and why not?  
The love affair there is as deep as can be.  The spirit of endless Dead shows at 
that amphitheater seemed to come alive and take over.

And, Dylan fans, I do have to report that, as mystifying as it might be to us, 
maybe not down near the stage but back in the mid-levels, loads of people 
left during Dylan's set.  By the time, his set was more than half finished, more 
than half the seats in my general area were emptied.  I could see a steady line 
of people walking out one of the walkways to the exit.  While Dylan was 
performing one work of brilliance after another, fans of other bands or casual 
Dylan fans that couldn't find familiar melodies or the exhausted ones, were 
packing it in after a long evening of music.

Dylan was intense and involved as usual, but the music was incomplete.  Poor 
Colin Linden was apparently pressed into service a few weeks ago and 
understandably he wasn't able to carry the load at this point.  He started off 
well, but as the set proceeded his solos quickly became tentative and 
incomplete.  There was a giant hole in the music that Charlie or Larry have 
filled for years.  (Hey, if they're not available for the next tour, what about 
Freddy Koella?  I thought he was really dynamic, albeit somewhat inconsistent.)

I saw Dylan last fall three nights in a row in the Bay Area and then in 
Washington D.C. just before Thanksgiving.  I thought all of those shows had 
much more impact and electricity than Dylan's did on this night.  Of course, 
we had Charlie on lead, even though his role seemed painfully restricted.
So, hey, from where I sat, it was the night of Weir and the music of the 
Grateful Dead (and even The Band!).  The night was not Dylan's, but that's 
fine.  His band wasn't at its best and the crowd was spent after two great
and ecstatic performances earlier in the long evening.  Just fill the hole in the 
lead guitar spot and have Dylan play the show on his own, and we'll be back 
to ecstatic Dylan performances.

[TOP]

Review by Mo Ritz



AmericanaramA  And A Bang On The Ear

AmericanaramA began in West Palm Beach
It reached its final stop, Shoreline at Mountain View
I came so many miles and waited in the queue
Just to hear these bands with so much style
So I give them my cheers and a bang on the ear

Ryan Bingham was the opening act backed by his band
And a helping hand from My Morning Jacket players
They all jammed Freddie's Five Long Years
So I give them my cheers and a bang on the ear

My Morning Jacket was just fantastic
They played so enthusiastic, like a reenactment 
Tipping the towel to Dylan, The Dead, Bruce and The Band 
They made their final stand
So I give them my cheers and a bang on the ear

Wilco by way of Chicago almost brought me sorrow
No Impossible Germany to hear, here
But then appeared John Doe and they went toe to toe
Until the virtuoso Bob Weir made it all so surreal the crowd did squeal So
I give you my cheers and a bang on the ear

Bob Dylan came last with a long storied past that's brought him a great
claim to fame He's traveled so much terrain it's a wonder his reign hasn't
driven him insane He can handle the game he has a big brain The band
played tight on this final night it sounded just right Nothing special to
revel but some hot instrumental I'll miss you this fall at the hall not
hearing you but a Scott So until next year I give you my Biggest CHEERS
and a bang on the ear

Happy Trails,
Mo Ritz

[TOP]

Click Here
to return to the
Main Page

page by Bill Pagel
billp61@execpc.com

Current
Tour Guide
Older
Tour Guides
Bob Links
Page
Songs
Performed
Set Lists
by Date
Set Lists
by Location
Cue
Sheets