page by Bill Pagel
Review by Carsten Molt
We left Pittsburgh a bit after we planned to and ended up snarled in
traffic and totally missed the pre-show gathering. Sorry, fellow poolers,
i had several freebies to hand out too. Oh, well. Next
time, i guess. We finally got to the venue just minutes before Dylan came
Dylan looked fabulous as did the whole band. On to the songs,
1. "Silvio"-This was great. Dylan was pounding away on the keyboard and
his voice was loud and strong. The pavillion was only half-full when Dylan
took the stage but was full by the time his set ended.
2. "If You See Her, Say Hello"-A definite highlight of the set. It was a
very sprightly played version and Dylan sang the new lyrics i was
listening for. Dylan ended the song with loog harmonica solo.
3. "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum"-An excellent rendition with lots of
smiles between Dylan and Receli. During this tune i noticed that Tony
played most of the set in front of the drum kit at center stage instead of
between George and Freddie as he did during the spring tour.
4. "Blind Willie Mctell"- This was great. I love this song and have never
heard the keyboard version live. Dylan started singning the first line to
"Desolation Row" by mistake but recovered quickly. It had a nice smoky
groove but was kind of oddly placed at 5:30 PM with the sun beating down.
Guitar tech, Tommy Morrongiello plated guitar but was inaudible to me
during this song.
5. "Highway 61"-This was a really rocking version. Again, Tommy
Morrongiello stood beside Dylan playing electric guitar giving the song a
bit more weight than usual.
6. "Tears Of Rage"-i was hoping to hear this and it did not disappoint.
Joan Osbourne cane out and sang back up vocals. She did a great job
singing with Dylan without drowning him out. Dylan put the icing on the
cake with a sweet harmonica solo.
7. "Drifters Escape"-This was terrific. It was the first time i saw Dylan
perform it without guitar and he was doing quite a bit of dancing behind
the keyboard. Twice, he pointed at Freddie to cue his solo. Dylan capped
this off with a blistering harmonica solo that went nowhere but was fun.
Tommy added some guitar again.
8. "My Back Pages"-i was very distracted during this song and forgot he
had even played it until later. i was lending my binoculars to the guy
behind me and he started passing them around and i didn't want to lose
sight of them. Jillsy told me that the song was differently played. i am
mad that i missed it. How can i miss a whole song while at a concert?
Jillsy said he played some good harmonica.
9. "Honest With Me"- This featured Tommy Morrongiello on guitar again and
the song soared. Freddie fired off a nice guitar solo which caused Dylan
to give him a Thumbs up at the end of the tune. If i remember correctly,
he introduced the band after this song but didn't mention Tommy or Joan
10. "Summer Days"-It had Tommy on playing guitar again and the three
guitars were great to hear. Dylan sang with a lot of power but nothing
will match those performances of last fall, IMO.
11. "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35"- It was good to hear this after not hearing
it in a while. This tune featured Tommy again and it really resonated with
the Deadhead crowd. The Harmonica was a great touch. Oddly, instead of the
usual formation, the band just walked off stage. It looked as strannge as
the formation did at first.
After a break and 3 songs by the Dead, Dylan joined them onstage in his
white suit and cowboy hat.
1. "Big Boss Man"-This was a big surprise and i thought is was very well
played. Dylan was standing sideways at center stage which allowed me to
get a good look at his fingers on the keyboards. He would sometimes pound
the keys with his knuckleswith his palms up before turing them over to
play more delicate notes. It was strange looking.
2. "Subterranean Homesick Blues"- i was thrilled to hear this and it
rocked like never before. The Dead played this magnificently and i believe
Dylan nailed every line. This was the highlight of the night for me.
3. "You Win Again"-i didn't recognize this at first but Jillsy came to my
rescue. i had a hard time making out some of the lyrics but the
musicianship was first rate. Before the song, Dylan had placed a harmonica
beside his keyboard but it went unplayed. As Dylan turned to leave, Bob
Weir patted him on the back and asked the crowd to thank Dylan and we
needed no prompting.
Jillsy and i hung around for the rest of the Deads first set and heard
Robert Hunters set from the vending area. He sounded decent but his
vocal style isn't really my thing. We went back to our seats for the
first few songs of the Deads second but left during "Golden Road"
since we had a drive ahead of us and we had seen what we had come to
see. Overall, it was a great show and we had a blast!
A. Freddie Koella played some great guitar but has very little
B. As usual, Larry was as cool as the other side of the pillow. He is
C. The rhythm section held the beat rock steady as usual.
D. Dylan was in a great mood pointing at various band members and dancing
up a storm behind the keyboard from the start.
E. The parking lot was a mess. For some reason, no venue we've been at
seems to know how to effectively park cars and know how efficently how to
get the cars out.
F. i didn't have a problem with the crowd except for the usual number of
people who couldn't handle their alcohol.
i cant wait for Bushkill next Saturday. i apologize if there are any
typos, mispellings or inaccuracies, but it has been a very long day but
certainly worth it. In Bob we trust,
Review by Don Ely
Every year for the last four I've made a pilgrimage to The Deep South to uncover
rock 'n' roll history by visiting the places of origin of that which we know
as The Blues. To get a sense of the conditions that inspired the great players
of the 1920's and '30's, to get a feeling for the music that inspired the great
players of the 1960's and '70's, like Bob Dylan. So it was that I commenced my own
Delta Tour 2003 with a stop at the former Deer Creek summer shed just north of
Indianapolis to see Dylan and his pals in The Dead fire it up one more time. The
parking lot scene prior to showtime was particularly good, and I had fun meeting
kind folks (I'll use that adjective only once!) like The Girl From Saint Louis and
The Kids From Louisville with the ice cold Sierra Nevadas. Spent about an hour
walking up and down the bazaar taking in the sights and sounds and aromas before
heading inside. Verizon Wireless seems typical of the sheds (I've only been to two)
and liquor stands outnumber food concessions seemingly ten to one. Ah, the
conflicting messages Corporate America loves to dispense! The opening theme blared
from the p.a. once, twice, maybe even three times as I climbed to my post near the
top o' the hill. I had not jumped on tickets very quickly so I had to be content
with a lawn "seat". I couldn't tell what Bob was wearing, nor could I see him
wiggle wiggle his knees or his arse, but that's ok. All I know is, the band, they
came out rockin'. "Tombstone Blues" makes for a hot opener. Yes, we all miss
Charlie, but he's gotta go live his life. The Country Gentlemen phase is definitely
gone, long may it wave, but having Freddie in the band awakens new possibilities.
As others have noted, I saw marked improvement in Mr. Koella's performance since
Louisville on April 30. More self-assured and confident with the material, one can
begin to see what Bob saw in Freddie when he brought him on board. Next time Dylan
delves into his magic bag for songs to resurrect, he might want to consider items
such as the never-played "If You Gotta Go, Go Now", or "Sittin' On A Barbed Wire
Fence". And, since he favors "Tweedle Dee" so much, is it really that big a leap
to "Series Of Dreams"? I honestly believe this band could pull any of those off.
For now, though, it was "If You See Her, Say Hello", one of two golden nuggets I
had never seen before. One of the entries on my personal short list of
most-desired songs for Bob to play, this one did not chagrin. Wistful and lovely.
The late arrival of the house on this two-week stint with The Dead has been
well-accounted. On arrival at my post on the hill there was an unfinished
patchwork of blankets and people groovin' to the proceedings, but gradually
space filled in. Those still havin' fun in the parking lot didn't know what
they were missing. As "Highway 61" blasted the crowd like errant fireworks, I
couldn't help but think of my own journey to revisit Hwy 61 in the coming
days. Joan Osborne lent her lungs to duet with Bob on "Tears Of Rage", the
other heretofore unseen nugget. Like "Visions Of Johanna" I remember this
being mostly about the beauty of the lyrics; the music was sparse and stepped
out of the spotlight to give space. The crowd was reverent at this time, and
audience and musician alike recognized this special moment. Kudos to Joan for
some remarkable work. "The Wicked Messenger", "Honest With Me", "Summer Days":
they all rocked. As could be expected, "Rainy Day Women" brought out the best of
the Deadheads and the feeling in the air altered significantly through the
by-now full house. I was looking forward to Bob Dylan's encore within The Dead's
own set. What three numbers would he guest on? I knew the songs were diverse
from night to night. Sonny Boy Williamson II's (from Glendora,Mississippi)
"Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" was first up. I was familiar with this tune
from Mississippi Fred McDowell to The Yardbirds, but I must admit I didn't
recognize it here. I enjoyed it, but I guess I didn't pick up any lyrics for
identification. Bob's own "Ballad Of A Thin Man" followed, another fun choice
despite the Dead fan near me who complained of "too many words". I guess all he
wanted to do was dance; ignorance must be blissful,indeed! Third and final was
the Buddy Holly chestnut, "Oh Boy". I've seen "Not Fade Away", and "That'll Be
The Day",and now this makes three. Bob laughed his way off stage and into the
sunset, and I was not far behind, headed for The Land Where The Blues Began...
page by Bill Pagel
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