Mashantucket, Connecticut

MGM Grand Theatre at Foxwoods

August 15, 2008

[Ernie Pancsofar], [Jack], [Geoffrey Corneau], [Kris Egan], [Brian J. Slattery]

Review by Ernie Pancsofar

In the spirit of the Olympics I offer the following 10 categories using a
10 point system of judging.

Choice of Songs 9.8:   clearly diverse selection from the 60s and 2000s
mostly with a 1979 and a couple from the 90s thrown in for good measure.
It may or may not have been a coincidence that I Believe In You appeared
on the day Jerry Wexler died.

Band Personality 9.1:  I personally like the low-key features of this
highly talented group of musicians.  Their talents blend beautifully to
showcase the changing dimensions of Dylan¹s most recent interpretations of
his work.

Instrumentation 9.3:  The proportion of time allocated to music only
segments was super relative to the time devoted to lyrics.

Venue Quality 10.0:  Some may argue this point but the acoustics were
great from the fifth row right side seating.  The MGM Grand has only
recently opened.  The key moments of quality occurred with Tony¹s bass
throughout Nettie Moore and Denny Freeman with some great sections of
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum (usually not a favorite but tonight was played
with more bass and 3-4 parts when Freeman excelled.)  I did, however,
quickly dispose of $15.00 in the slot machines surrounding the theater.

Audience Receptivity 9.0:  As with many Dylan shows there was a wide age
range of people represented.  It was a respectful crowd thankful to be
watching an artist whose work many have followed through significant
transitions in their lives. Dylan¹s music connects with those transitions
and his delivery lets us know that we survived and are better people for
those experiences.

Sound System 9.8:  See my previous comments in venue quality.  At no time
did the sound seem too loud.

Creativity 9.5: Hearing some of the classics like Chimes of Freedom, Just
Like a Women and Times They Are  A Changin¹ in new arrangements was

Unpredictability of the set list  9.5:  There were several surprises
tonight that were not part of the previous 12 or so concerts.  Chimes of
Freedom, I Believe in You, Most Likely You Go Your Way and I¹ll go Mine
and I¹ll Be Your Baby Tonight

Pace 9.3:  The mix of fast and slow songs was arranged in a pleasant
manner. It is always nice to see Donnie take out his violin and Tony at
the stand up bass.  George Recile, as always, excels in maintaining the
precision and pacing of most songs.  I know Tony takes his cues from Bob
but it appears to the untrained eye that Recile doesn¹t miss a beat!

Miscellaneous 9.5:  The starting time of 9:00 PM did not appear too late
considering no warm-up group.  The seating was terrific with ample leg
room comfortable chairs.  The parking was free!  Tickets were a little
steep but well worth it.

I won¹t do a total of my scores since Bob is not competing against or with
anyone.  I do conclude though by stating that of the 15 concerts I have
attended in the past 15 years, this August 15th show is up there in the
top 3.


Review by Jack

The acoustics in the brand new MGM Grand Theater were the worst I have 
ever heard.  Even the introduction was totally unclear, could only make
out  "Columbia Recording Artist Bob Dylan."  The sound mix was so weak and
Dylan  so re-arranged songs, it was close to impossible to pick out  many
songs.  The woman next to me asked if I could hear anything, I  told her
the mix was beyond awful.  To make matters worse songs like  Tweedle Dum
and Tweedle Dee and Honest With Me, were so changed it was hard  to even
recognize them and they were just weak.  I must have missed it but  I did
not think he played Thunder on the Mountain.  I was in the top part  of
the theater but I walked down to the mid-section for the encore and there
the  sound was so loud but still unclear.  Bob was doing lots of
stretching, has  he taken up running?  Never again, will I go to this
brand new concert  venue.  Bob should stick with the Mohegan Sun Casino up
the road, that  larger arena has very good acoustics.



Review by Geoffrey Corneau

I found some time to sneak away from the family and stuff to write a
reviews. Last night was my second show, my first was Hershey last June. My
mother and I arrived at Foxwoods around 5:30 and parked in the parking
deck, we made a few of the bottle cap necklaces to sell. After we made a
few we walked into the elevator, and when we got out Queen of Spades
noticed me and we all walked to the entrance of the theatre. At the
entrance I got to meat Milkcow and her friend. We got to talk for awhile
and discussed all different stuff. Then Milkcow noticed Baron he was
walking around meeting with some people in the managment and some friends.
He's a big guy, he could probally put up a good fight. After the nice
conversation with Milkcow and her friend my mother and I went to eat at
the food court. After that we walked around to see what was around at the
MGM side of the casino. 

I brought in my camera and my mom had some necklaces, we never sold them,
didn't have time. But when we were waiting at the souveneir line, my mom
was talking to a man and his daughter. She was probally 9 or 8? It was her
first show, so my mom let her pick out a bottlecap necklace. I got the
grey T-shirt and a blue poster. The poster said 8 PM sharp! Show time was
9 PM. We finally made it to our seats around 8:30. Great seats and great
view all night, different view of Bob this show, saw more of his side. But
at times I thought I was at a Little Richard concert back in the 50's with
the way Bob was moving around. A few minutes later my mom and I were
sitting down waiting for the show, and some nice lady comes over and asks,
"Are you Geoff?" and she handed me a really cool picture frame with a
picture of Bob from the 1960s. The nice lady was BostonAreaBobFan
accompanied by Anything But A Roll. I was shocked at first, and so were
the people next to us. Boston walked away so fast, we had to go down and
say thanks. I went down to Boston and Roll's seats, and we talked until
show time. The frame is definatley going in my dorm room when I move in on
Thursday. It will go with my Hershey poster and the Foxwoods concert. And
thanks also for the cool pins of Bob too. I'm glad that I was able to meet
alot of the people from ER, really great group of Bob fans. So then we
walked back to the seats and later the limping roadie was out there
fiddling around with some of the stuff. The Nag Champa was burning all
night long, and smelt kinda good. 

Later around 9:05 PM the intro music came on and the intro was given by
the man in the long white beard. Bob kicked off with a rockin' version of
Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat. I got yelled at during this song for pictures,
but the lighting was so great for pics. He sounded great all night long,
the theatre was a great place for Bob, usually it takes a while for the
sound to get going. But it was great early. Next was an amazing version of
The Times, wich included some harp in it. Another rockin song followed,
Things Have Changed. A great combination, especially with the way the fit
together. At this time, most of the crowd was in the nice comfy seats with
the big cusions. I believe the only ones dancing was Milkcow and the lady
next to her. Milkcow had a great view of Bob, and probally was the one
that motivated him alot to play all these great songs. Stu was audible
tonight, he had the pecking head motion going on while he played behind
Bob. Bob was wearing green tonight to go along with the black suit, the
band was in all black. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight was another great number,
at this point none of the songs were played at Hershey so I was thrilled!
Next the house shook with a hard rockin' performance of Can't Wait. Before
he played Can't Wait Bob went over to center stage, and I thought he was
about to pick up the guitar, it sure did look like it. Then the awesome
Blonde on Blonde version of Most Likely You Go Your Way And I Go Mine. It
seemed similar to the Mark Ronson remix. By this time Billy The Kid came
after selling his extra ticket. Didn't get to talk to him much during the
show but was able to after. High Water was awesome too with the banjo.
Chimes of Freedom, what more do I need to say? A great song by a great
performer. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum sounded great, and was cool to see.
My mom was aking why is he singing about Disney characters? I don't mind
if Bob plays the keys, because he is really enjoying it especially with
the moves he makes. Again, I Believe In You, what more do I need to say?
My favorite gospel period song, he sounded great on that tune. I can't
wait until the bootleg! The next highlight was Just Like A Women, great
version of the song, the audience was singing along on this one, and it
sounded great too, that would be cool if they captured it for an official
release. Nettie Moore was great, and was the first song from Modern Times,
no Spirit or Horizon. I wouldn't have mind Horizon, since I haven't heard
it yet. But then came Thunder on the Mountain. It was really played fast
tonight. I finally stood up for this song, and kinda moved around, I
didn't want to make anyone jealous because of my awesome dancing moves. I
think I can boogie good. The the encore, and my mom got to hear the only
song she knew, she only knew "How does it feel?" Like A Rolling Stone, a
masterpiece. The band was rockin the house. Denny's solos were great on
this one, but not as good as the one from Brussels last year. Then came
the hard knockin foot stompin noise poppin kick assin version of All Along
The Watchtower, George really shines on this song with the drums. We
didn't get the three song encore, but who cares, we had I Believe In
You/Can't Wait/Chimes of Freedom/. The Band and Bob came to the front of
the stage and Bob had his hands in the air, "Raise the roof! Raisin the
roof!" - That's what he said to himself, I could read his lips. 

After the show we walked out waited a few minutes to say goodbye to the
ERs, didn't see any and we were going to Hard Rock, so I dropped off the
posters and really cool picture I got from Boston at the car. Came back
and found BTK, Roll, and Boston back by the theatre, we all talked for
awhile. We all walked back towards the Foxwoods part of the casino, and me
and my mom stopped at Hard Rock Cafe. I had a virgin stawberry daiqari?
And had to get some aspirin, had a head ache from the cigs and smoke. Saw
alot of hoochie girls walking around with their short skirts and stuff. I
was looking. Took a shuttle back to the parkind deck from Hard Rock and
drove back home. We got back to East Hartford around 2:30 AM. At times I
couldn't believe I was driving, I was so tired I couldn't believe I was
staying on the road. But my mom talked to me and that kept me awake, along
with the radio.

Great show, and it was great to meet all of you there! And thanks for the
frame Boston, I'll post a picture of it on the wall of my dorm when I move in.


Comments by Kris Egan

I have been to 84 Bob Dylan concerts--many of them
featuring him at a keyboard.  There was something that
shocked me about the Foxwoods reviews.  (what they

At this show--like no other that I know--Bob
cranked up the keyboards and they were featured high
up in the musical mix.  You could hear Bob playing. 
The keyboards were an incredibly important part of
this evenings arrangement...impossible to miss this.


Review by Brian J. Slattery

What a difference a day makes.  Or perhaps what a difference a venue
makes.  After seeing three great shows with predictable set lists this
past week, I didn’t know what to expect as I made my way up to the MGM
Grand at Foxwoods.  I had a feeling that this would be a special show.  I
don’t know why I had the feeling.  Maybe it’s that same feeling that
told me to double down on an eleven with the dealer showing a nine.  
That feeling paid off the night before the show; so I figured the feeling I
had about the show had a good chance of  being realized. Yet, I did not
build things up in my own mind for fear of seeing and hearing a great but
unsurprising set, which I knew would have made me feel a little let-down.
This is a feeling  I try not to have but sometimes can’t control.  Who
am I to grouse about what Bob performs?  It’s just that I want to  be
surprised.  I remember seeing my first shows in the 90’s and not
knowing what to expect.  It created an electricity, an energy, that made
the experience something more than just a concert.  While the three shows
I attended this week were excellent, with Bob’s voice sounding stronger
and clearer than it has in the past couple years, there were no
surprises. So I went into the venue without unrealistic expectations but
with hopefulness.  Soon, hope was transformed into joy.  From the 
moment he began the show, opening with Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat, I knew
it would be a special performance.  It was that feeling again.  I could 
feel the excitement building.  The Times They Are A-Changin’,
beautifully rendered, added to that growing  excitement, because it
wasn’t what I expected.  I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight and Can’t Wait 
were masterfully done, and for the first time in a long time, I didn ’t
know what would come next.  I thought (and somewhat feared) it would be
a standard show from then on, but it wasn’t.  When he began Chimes of
Freedom, and I realized what I was hearing, I turned to my friend and
uttered an expletive and then sat back and was mesmerized.  It was the
first time I heard Chimes live, and it alone made the show special. 
However, Bob didn’t stop there. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum followed,
with two great breaks in the song  where Bob and the boys really rocked
out.  Then, as if hearing Chimes of Freedom hadn ’t already made this an
unpredictable and superb concert, Bob delivered a staggering beautiful
and powerful I Believe In You.  It was one of the strongest vocals I can
recall him delivering in a long time.  And as if that weren’t enough,
Bob delivered an amazing Just Like A Woman, holding back his vocals after
‘she  takes...’ to let the crowd sing the line ‘just like a woman’
before he would deliver it. Just the other night I was saying that it
would be good  if Bob cut down on the Modern Times material, not because
it isn’t all amazing, but because there are so many other songs he
could include.  As much as I like When the Deal Goes Down, Spirit On the
Water, Workingman’s Blues #2, and Beyond the Horizon, when performed
live, they are so similar that I always wonder what else could have  been
played in those spots.  Also, I was saying that he should move Thunder On
the Mountain to close the set.  After tonight’s show, I think Bob has a 
way of finding out what our private thoughts are, because he only played
two from Modern Times,—and played them masterfully, I must add—and he
ended the set with a great Thunder On the Mountain.  The encores were
powerful and whipped the crowd into a frenzy, calling out for more at the
end when Bob and the boys stood at the front of the stage, and Bob took
in the adoration from an astounded, astonished, amazed audience. Then, he
walked off stage and into the darkness and like a dream was gone.  And we
stood and cheered even though we knew that was all we would be lucky
enough to get tonight.  And when the lights came up, even though the
dream was over, I did not immediately awaken.  I remained in some magical
dream-like place where the past two hours replayed themselves in a flash
across my  mind.  And I was happy.  I had been surprised.  I had been
energized.  I had been mesmerized.  I had been in the presence of Bob
Dylan as he performed one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.  

If anyone has questions, comments, thoughts, or would like to talk ‘Bob’, 
please contact me at You can also check out 
NYC Dylan Meetup on Myspace. Keep On Keepin’ On,

Brian J. Slattery


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