Thanks to Patrick Urban for the following review: Just thought I'd offer a review of the concert in case anyone was curious. This concert confirmed my assertion that when Bob Dylan is on, he's the best thing going today. From the opening notes of Absolutely Sweet Marie to the closing of Alabama Getaway, Dylan played with passion and energy and held the near capacity Philadelphia crowd in the palm of his hand. The atmosphere was electric with the audience dancing and attempting to sing along to almost every song, and Dylan joked and talked with the crowd more than I ever remember in any post 1990 concert. About midway through the first chorus of Absolutely Sweet Marie, they finally got the mix right and the passion in Dylan's vocals could be heard. He followed this with an excellent Takes a lot to laugh, Takes a train to cry, alternating lead guitar parts and clearly phrasing the lyrics. This was followed by tough mama, apparently a staple in the third slot on this tour, and while the song definitely rocked, I must admit I was hoping for something different here having heard this several times before over the past two weeks. Between songs, the audience waited and wondered what Dylan would play next. Perhaps the best part of Bob's shows is the anticipation of a song you would like to hear that he just might play. It rained all day prior to this show, making for a miserable day. I hoped for "Hard Rain", in recognition of the weather, but instead, Dylan launched into Shelter from the Storm. I'll take it. This was a great version, slowed down from the "Blood on the Tracks" rendition. Dylan hit most of the verses, and the audience echoed "Shelter from the storm" every time it came around. About this time, Dylan seemed to realize this crowd was really into the show, and began shuffling around the stage, almost dancing, and walking out towards the crowd when playing lead. He continued this for the rest of the show. Silvio ended the first electric set; the concert just kept getting better. From the first notes of the acoustic guitar, the crowd guessed Love minus Zero, No limit, and cheered the selection. Dylan sang it perfectly. Next up was an inspired Tangled up in Blue, which really won the crowd over. They were one with Dylan as they all shouted Tangled up in blue together. This song probably brought the loudest applause of the evening, prior to the encores. I saw this same song performed at Hershey a week ago, and it was nothing compared to the emotion Dylan evoked on this evening. He closed the acoustic set with Cocaine blues. As he picked up the electric guitar again, I really hoped he would not do "God Knows", obviously he loves to do that song following acoustic sets, but there are so many songs I would rather hear in that slot. On this night, he played one of them : Stuck inside of mobile with the memphis blues again. This song got the audience up and dancing again, and was followed by a moving Tears of Rage and then Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat. Just prior to the start of LSPH, several members of the audince rushed the stage, on person fell to his knees at dylans feet and kissed his boot, Bob just shrugged and looked confused while the audience cheered. A woman jumped on stage and threw her arms around Dylan, they appeared to be talking, and it took about 1 minute for security to pull her off of him. He was laughing at that point and strolling around the stage. The encores were played to thunderous applause, with Rolling Stone sounding better than it has in years and It Ain't Me babe providing the audience one last chance to sing along. The house lights came up and Dylan closed the show with Alabama Getaway, which sent the crowd home humming and singing all the way. I have seen 12 Dylan shows over the past 5 years, and he has never sounded as good as he did tonight. He has never played with as much intensity and seemed to have so much fun. For those holding tickets to future shows along this tour, Hold On, because Bob Dylan just keeps getting better!
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