August 24, 2008
Review by Rod Peck
The first thing I'd like to say is that Mesker Amphitheatre is a wonderful venue.
However, it's past time for thinking that concert-goers are going to be kept
from taking pictures by security. Cell phones have made that impossible, and
I am ready to start a petition to end harassment from security. I was not
taking pictures, but seeing people being hassled all around me it was a slight
Also, speaking of illicit concert activities, I think that except for the show I
attended last night, I may take a break from downloading current Bob
Never-Ending-Tour concerts. I have lost all ability to be objective in listening
to them. Being at the concert is another story. Bob sounded great most of
the time, and while the band is a tad tame it is very tasteful. Denny Freeman
really played some sweet solos and the only problem with the sound was
that Donnie Herron was inaudible most of the time.
Cutting to the chase, my Bobsister Terri and I had great seats only 8 rows
back and appropriately elevated so that we were eye-level with Bob. I had
noticed that the setlists had become downright chaotic recently compared
to the rut it seemed like Bob had been for a few years, since Modern Times
was released anyway. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat is one of several in the
opening slot rotation and it was very fun and a blast to see Bob on the guitar.
For me, the highlight of the first half of the show was "Not Dark Yet" and the
vocal performance was indeed very dark with Bob at his growlin' best.
"Summer Days" was, for me, a segue to the rest of the show, a fun song
in between the heavy hitters.
For song 8 Bob went Gospel on us with a lovely performance of "I Believe in
You" that really made me feel lucky, a seldom heard song that was new for
me as far as witnessing a performance in person. Then he went into a
powerful "It's Alright, Ma" in what seemed at the time like a 1-2 punch that
Bob wouldn't be able to top for the rest of the show, and if the remainder
had been lame I woulda still been happy. And sure enough, these two were
followed by what all the people in my group agreed was the evening's only
clunker, "Beyond the Horizon" although it had it's moments.
Happily, the next 3 numbers were as good as it gets. I had been complaining
on the ride over that "Highway 61" had seemed to lose it's ferocity over the
years, but I had to eat those words midway through! It really rocked. Then
Bob absolutely pulled the plug on my heart with "Blind Willie McTell" and
followed that with a tension-filled "I Don't Believe You," which was the second
first-timer of the night for me and I was also quick to realize that he played
"I Believe in You" and "I Don't Believe You" in the same show.
I enjoyed Nettie Moore and Thunder on the Mountain but, and I can't speak for
Bob on this, I had shot my wad at this point. When the main set was over, a
security guard came by saying that the front was open, which gave me a new
energy burst and we hurried down in time to catch Like a Rolling Stone and
"Watchtower" from up-close for a tremendously fun ending to a wonderful
night. Thanks, Bob.
From The Laughing Buddha (Rod Peck)
Comments by Tami French
Just a short review. The show was so great! Bob souonded good, and was
in a great mood, dancing, smiling and doing a lot of knee bends and
stretches. Was the first time I'd heard I Believe in You, one of my all
time favorites in a LONG time. Nettie Moore, Leopardskin Pillbox Hat and
Blind Willie McTell were highlights.
The Mesker is a nice little outdoor venue. Parking was close, facilities
were abundant and clean, the crowd was pretty well behaved. The security
was polite. The beer was $3, which is totally acceptable, and the view of
the stage was pretty good from everywhere in the house. I still wish Bob
would face the audience a little more because I was on the backside
tonight, but a wonderful show experience.
Review by Ted Haycraft
Several of you have asked me what I thought about the Bob Dylan concert (&
some of you haven't but I'm doing so anyway!) so I'm forwarding my
'capsule' response I had sent to my friend David where I give my overall
brief initial thoughts about the show (see down below).
Nothing much more to add to the below missive other than I met a Viet Nam
Vet & his wife, who reside in Philpot, KY, seated beside me and it was
fascinating to find out he had 'deserted' Dylan back in the 60's when he
"went electric" and then rediscovered him on his latest releases,
proceeded to purchase his entire catalog (to catch up on what he missed)
and now they attend more shows than I do!?!! (They had also bought tickets
for their Grandchildren!).
Also we had a young man in the row in front of us who proceeded to gyrate
& fugue during the first two songs (understandable for "Leopard-Skin
Pill-Box Hat" but really, during "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"?!??). By
the third song he was in his seat with a few punches in the sky and by the
fourth he was down for the count (& then eventually disappeared!?).
And the down side of having a close up seat was all the disruptions
constantly occurring with Security & Venue Employees 'bouncing' back a
steady stream of people trying to fill seats they didn't have seats, for,
sitting & standing in the aisles and attempting to take pictures & video
with their cell phones. Sheesh!!!
Blind Boy TED!!!
P.S. Roger: "post-hip hop deconstructivist rap" - a very interesting way
of describing Bob's singing and apparently unlike you from where I was
sitting I could understand & prettymuch could clearly hear all of his
P.P.S. Oh I should also add to below is that he performed "Beyond The
Horizon" as a waltz (a couple near me even got up and 'slow danced' to it
- very sweet!)!
How was Bob?
- - - good show (which I really wasn't expecting!)...
3 Big Highlights: "Not Dark Yet", "Bind Willie McTell" and the real
surprise, one of his gospel songs, "I Believe In You"
Also a bouncy "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight", a rocking "It's Alright Ma (I'm
Only Bleeding)" and a decent "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall".
And during "Summer Days" he was laughing and making some silly faces (at
someone in the audience?).
And during another song performed early (forgot which one) he looked
pissed off at his lead guitar player.
I had a great view from the fourth row and then was able to go down by the
stage during the encore and had a great close up view.
Long live Bob...
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