Clarkston, Michigan

August 10, 1997

Pine Knob Music Theatre

Thanks to Todd Sevig for the following review:

Some quick thoughts the morning after Pine Knob.....

Overall, a great concert;  as good as in recent years and most of the time,
better.  Bob looked great, was smiling, talking a bit, and even had a quick
dance step on Don't Think Twice.  The song selection was real nice:
Absolutely Sweet Marie was great and that's saying something given that the
first song in recent years has traditionally been a bit rough.  I Shall Be
Released was solid.  Tough Mama had a nice bouncy arrangement.  You Ain't
Goin' Nowhere had a nice ending with just vocals.  Silvio was nice to
listen to, even though I have heard this at every concert in the last 2
years.  The acoustic part was just great;  the drums and bass were good
background (compared to the bass being too heavy last year).  On Don't
Think Twice, Bob had some great phrasing and played great lead guitar --
there was also a good instrumental jam and ending.  Tangled was about the
same as in recent years -- sounded good.  Cocaine Blues was wonderful --
great choice, great playing, great singing.  I found myself wishing he
would do more blues songs in his concerts.  God Knows was alright, although
something happened to the mixing or something -- it was just too loud.
Blind Willie McTell was perfect -- vocal were great, good solid playing,
you could feel the mood.  Highway 61 was the same as in the past year's
shows -- mostly playing, sang about 2-3 verses;  I would like to hear all
or at least most of the verses someday.  The encores were good.  Rolling
Stone seemed real solid -- same arrangement as in recent years, but vocals
seemed more solid.  Forever Young was a nice song choice, although they
were shouting the vocals at times;  the playing was great.  On Rainy Day
Women, they got through 1 verse singing and then played for a few minutes
while the dancers were on stage.  Bob was smiling.

Throughout the show, Bob played great lead guitar, most I've seen in recent
years.  He looked great.  It is a tour definitely worth seeing (although
this is coming from someone who will always see him when I can).  I also
appreciated not having so many "dancing times" on stage -- it was too much
last year.

Thank you Bob!

P.S.   For those of you, who haven't seen or heard Ani DiFranco -- I
thought she was great.  Go and buy some CDs!


Thanks to Jeff Knorek for the following review:

The weather was warm and muggy, partly sunny. 

With a lot of luck and a little bit of ticket savvy, Kish and I 
managed to score front row center seats, so we sold on our row 
TT tickets in the parking lot.  Since this was going to be our
only show of the tour (we are presently raising 4 kittens), 
we were stoked.  

The Jimmy Buffet show the night before was in evidence as
beer cans were laying around everywhere, even in the waterfall 
by the east gate.  We ran into my trainspotting pal
Brad (the GTW Freak) Kindshy who had just come from Holly, MI
where he'd been watching trains.  Kish and I had originally
planned to have brunch at the Holly Hotel and then nap in
the little park there in town where Brad was, but the kitten's 
mother, Noel, was deathly ill so we spent the day dealing with 
her instead (BTW, she is now doing fine).

We went inside at the beginning of BR5-49's set.  I always try to
give the opening acts a chance (Kenny Wayne Shepherd got just one)
and these guys were up to the challenge.  If you like country music 
of any kind, you'll love this band.  I look forward to seeing them 
in a bar someday where I can get good and loaded.  

After their rockin' set was over, I asked the bassist for his 
bottled water, which he kindly obliged (Pine Knob doesn't allow you 
to pack your own liquids, and while they sell bottled water, they 
decant it rather than let you keep the bottle...kinda hard to put 
a cup of water in your pocket).

Much as I liked the view (we would have been right in front of Larry
Campbell...Sadiejane, had'ja been there Hon, you'd have had my ticket), 
the sound that close just sucks...all you get it the reverbs off of 
the ceiling.  So after hanging out in the Bake Zone prior to Ani
Defranco's set, I wandered around for the best sound during her set
while Kish rocked out in the middle of the pavilion pending my decision. 
The best sound was about 15 rows back in the center section.  This is
Corporate Seating Land there along the isles...seats that have little
brass tags riveted onto the backs with the name of whomever purchased
that seat for the entire season stamped into the tag.  Blocks of seats
are so marked, and it looked like a safe bet: old fogey Corporate Types
or their bratty little West Bloomfield offspring won't want to see Bob

Sooooo....we went down to Row H on the left side of the center section.
The name on the tags on the four seats in from the isle was Miller.  

We had those four seats to ourselves for the rest of the night.

Whoever dreamed up the idea of Ani DiFranco and BR5-49 opening for
Dylan deserves a gallon of Ben & Jerry's...What a lineup!!  Two very
strong acts opening for Bob.  All the festivals touring this summer
*wish* they could score like this....Ani DiFranco just smokes.
Her fans made their presence very well known and by the time it was
time for her to cut out, the !!Whole Crowd!! was up on their feet
screaming for more.  She came back out twice, and I gotta wonder if it
was Dylan himself telling her it was okay to go back on.

The set break was remarkably short.  I kept waiting for the stage
monitors to be brought out, but none were set up.  Since I didn't see
anybody wearing earphones, I don't know how the band was able to hear
each other or themselves.

Anyways, they came on and after about a minute that recorded voice 
introduced him for the benefit of those who didn't know why they
were there, and then:

 Absolutely Sweet Marie
I wish he'd mix up his openers, but this one is new to me as 
an opener.  I listened intently, but Kish had to tell me what it was 
(just like last time).  After 18 months of _Crash on the Levee_ I was
ready for a change.  I paid close attention to Larry Campbell.  
The sound was blisteringly loud.   Could hear all but Bucky, who
was weak in our mix all night.

 I Shall Be Released
Have you ever run into an old friend but embarrassingly forgot his name?
It took about 45 seconds for me to get it.  Duh....I've never expected
to hear it live out of Bob Dylan's mouth (I once saw the Dead do an
_Uncle John's Band_ *after* space, and I swear I didn't know what it

 Tough Mama
SUH-MOKIN'!!!!!!!  Now I really like Larry Campbell.  

I forget the name of the fellow who posted his review of a recent Dylan
show to RMD...but in it he mentioned that he listened to Garcia Band's 
latest album _How Sweet It Is_ and, in particular, the _Tough Mama_
within it on the way to said Dylan show.

So the power of suggestion being what it is, this is what we listened to 
on the 70 minute drive to Pine Knob.  I knew the name of *this* old
friend this time.  Again Larry Campbell just crushed it, and the melody
was going over and over in my head on the way home later on.

About this time it was looking like this was going to be a very
good show.

  You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
Way, way fun.  By now I notice that the folks in the rows all around
us are up and dancing...from smelly neo-hippies to middle aged folks
looking more at home at Bill Knapp's, EVERYBODY was up and groovin'. 
Sections around us remained seated, but on all sides of us there was a
serious dance vibe happening, even through the slow ones.  Some of these
people looked so straight, THEY LOOKED LIKE MY DAD'S BOSS, and they were
just as involved in the fun as the teen murfins looking to get onstage
at the end of the show.

I'll never tire of hearing this one.

 Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (acoustic)
 Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)
 Cocaine Blues (acoustic)

Cocaine Blues set itself apart from the others because of the way
Campbell and Dylan had to harmonize the chorus.  And the downbeat was
there, way there.

I really like David Kemper here.  I'll say that over and over.
Winston Watson stomped all over the slow songs, and it is wonderful
that many acoustic songs were played live without him.  But Kemper's
approach is subtle enough that he blends in while he drives the band
down whatever path they are on.  His drum riser is now set somewhat
off of center on Dylan's right side, and to a 30 degree angle towards
him.  This appears to be to facilitate eye contact when Bob is signaling
changes.  They nailed their changes all night, all of 'em.  The band
was way tight all night.

 God Knows
 Blind Willie McTell
 Highway 61 Revisited

Crushing, crushing, smokin'...hard to say more.  Great set list for the
post acoustic numbers.  Great performances.

Dylan actually introduced the band this time (one of my big criticisms
of him last autumn...he didn't introduce the band and just sucked up all
the glory).  He then actually addressed the crowd, although I couldn't
tell what on earth he was saying ("mmmm  mmmmba, hmmmmmhhh"), 
and then Kemper just lashed out with the opening drum to _Highway 61_
...he just fucking crushed it, they all crushed it, and it even rivals 
the version of this song they did here at Pine Knob last year.

 Like A Rolling Stone
 Forever Young (acoustic)
 Rainy Day Women #12 & 35

Forever Young was beautiful, and all the couples in the house were 
close-dancing. Kinda gooey, so I won't elaborate...but I gotta tell
ya', I am so sick of hearing _Rainy Day Woman_ that we immediately
snapped out of the romantic thing and gathered all our stuff and split
just as the stage rushing scene happened. 

Notes:  The Shower Head wasn't anywhere in sight.   This bugs me.
        No Harmonica,...some changes are worse than others, I guess.

Kish really, REALLY dug Larry Campbell..."uh...heh heh, Kish, get back
here...uhhh, huh huh huh, don't make me kick his ass"...

Jeff Knorek

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