Fort Wayne, Indiana

Parkview Field

August 24, 2012

[Mike Malesa], [Joseph Malekovic], [Mike Murnane]

Review by Mike Malesa

I felt compelled to write this review in order to purge the heartbreaking
despair I'm feeling after witnessing this performance. I've been with Bob
through many ups and downs but nothing compares to the train wreck last
night. I'm saddened to say that I actually walked out of the show at
about the half-way point as I did not want the high esteem I hold this
truly great artist in to be any further damaged.

I, like everyone around these parts am crazy excited about "Tempest". I
always am pumped to see Dylan, even more so with a new record right 
around the corner so expectations were pretty high. After all, the 
fourth of July show I saw in 2009 (which shamefully was changed to 
"Willie's 4th of July picnic", with Bob's short set sandwiched in between 
John Menstrual and Nelson) was truly awesome. 

After a particularly rough week at work, I rushed home, changed clothes
and made the solo two hour drive down to the venue. I picked up a ticket,
walked down to the field and got a spot up close right in front of Charlie
with a perfect sight-line of Bob at the new piano set-up. Everything was
good in the world. The band came out with "Leopard-skin" and Bob seemed 
to be in good form until the song collapsed at the end. Something was just
not right.

Someone earlier posted in this thread posted that "Bob seemed grumpy".
That is an understatement. I've never seem seen him so completely
disinterested. "Girl from the North County" was next with mangled lyrics,
missed cues and the Wolman growl reaching absurd heights. I was able to
look right into Charlie's eyes and he and Tony looked truly miserable,
maybe even drugged. By the time Bob was center stage with "Things have
Changed" I could not take it anymore and left the field. Things did not
get any better from there. I wandered around concourse, stopping for a few
minutes at different spots to see if Bob or myself get it together. It was
not happening. While I don't expect a bunch of central Indiana hicks to
completely get a performance by an artist as unconventional as Bob, the
crowd was stunned into an almost silent disbelief. Finally I left the
venue, sat down on the curb and smoked a cigarette. Even that proved to be
intolerable as I could not stand to be within ear-shot of this music
anymore. I walked back to my car with my head down with "Visions" slowly
fading into the ether. Truly something I never though would happen in a
million years.

Mike Malesa
South Bend, Indiana


Review by Joseph Malekovic

WOW!!! I find it SO interesting how differently the same event can be
percieved. I saw and felt Fridays experience much differently than Mike
from South Bend. I arrived at the Ballpark gates at 5pm. after an easy
2hr. drive from LaPorte. As I walked up I noticed the stage was visible
(from a looong way) and to the big time surprise of the 25 or so of Us,
Bob and His Band strolled out and worked diligently for 40 min. or so,
They covered 3 maybe 4 tunes, all done instrumentally I believe, all were
really cool blues rhythems, really good stuff and the sound was good. From
the distance I wouldn't say Bob seemed crabby, but their was a lot of
discussion, instruction and even a small bit of hand waiving on Bob's
part, great time had by the bunch at the gate inlcuding plenty of Friendly
conversation and dancing to Bob Dylan and His Band.         As for a brief
recollection of the show, I must say, for me not the setlist I would
choose (too many hits?) but I Love the new piano arrangements so for me it
was All Good. Leopard Skin kicked off and to me was the only time I saw a
real flub, about the 2nd verse it seemed Bob completely lost place with
the lyrics he got straightened out and the crowd didn't seem to care
terribly nor did Bob. As for the rest of the show, what can I say? I LOVED
IT. The new arrangements are jazzy, swingy, bluesy. Bob's piano style to
me is quite physical not too gentle, made me recall the story I read about
Dylan's High School talent show, the principal pulled the plug and dropped
the curtain for fear Bob was trying to  publicly destroy the instrument,
well I don't  think Bob could destroy this Baby Grand, but he pounded away
pretty good and she seemed to like it. The Band was awesome, Charlie was
solid as always, Donnie seemed into it as he always does, George was
really into it and did great and I really enjoyed Stu's contribution,
which was excellent throughout and which I thought heated up even more
towards the end of the show. Tony was on the money all his basses sounded
awesome and something between He and Bob was inciting hearty laughter in
Tony, I think he was getting a kick out of it whenever Bob would make an
exceptionally bold or intricate piano run. I enjoyed Bob's vocals and
thought them just a bit tamer than the recent shows I've seen, not much
growling or shouting, coulda been 1/2 notch higher in the mix to make me
happy. Bob's center stage persona to me is great fun, this night feature
some cool  swaggering, pelvic thrusting almost menacing little dance
steps, not quite as much of the Sinatra style hand gestures. Who knows
maybe Bob was a little grouchy, but he seemed to interact a little more
than usual with the crowd, through eye contact and hand gestures.        
I thought the crowd was a little sparse earlier, but filled in nicely
enough I guess. It consisted of lots of pretty Women (from ages 19 to 90)
and mostly well behaved Gentlemen. Funny, there was a lot of singing along
and to my slight annoyance the ends of many songs were drowned out by wild
cheering, also, ALL those post show chatter I heard was very positive,
from 1st timers and veterans alike.............Peace To All and special
hello to my Spiritual and e-mail Friend Ricardo Ferrara, from Buenos

Joseph Malekovic
LaPorte, Indiana


Review by Mike Murnane

After reading the single review of Dylan's Fort Wayne show, I was motivated to 
write one of my own.  I guess this 360 degree contrast genuinely proves how 
one man's ceiling can be another man's floor.  I've only seen a couple Bob Dylan 
concerts thru the years, one at the Hollywood Bowl in the `70s and one just six 
years ago…again in Fort Wayne; both times I was basically in the nosebleed seats.  
On this occasion, I was actually leaning against the stage.

To me, being in the immediate presence of a living legend was phenomenal.  I 
know he hates being called that because of his unassuming nature, but I can't 
help how I felt.  To be able to look into the eyes of a music icon brought me, a 
61 year old man, to ecstatic tears more than once during the performance.  
Considering Dylan's extraordinary saga and momentous contribution to the world 
of music, it really didn't matter to me how he sounded.  Nonetheless, to me, he 
looked great and sounded utterly magnificent.

For a man of his years to tour the world with an almost nonstop schedule, 
bringing his fans the opportunity to witness a minuscule smattering of his musical 
accomplishments, is a significant achievement all by itself.  His amazing lyrics are 
complicated and intricate, yet he somehow appears to remember every word.  
I'm sure that everyone has good days and bad days and I'm not sure which one it 
was for Bob Dylan, but for me it was an astounding one that I'll always 
remember…and another item I can scratch off my bucket list. 


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