Thanks to Carsten Wohlfeld for the following review: So there you go, the last show of the Pacific tour, yet again opening night of a new venue but the show wasn't half as exciting as the one in Wollongong. It wasn't bad either, but mostly rather uninestering. Second best NZ show, slightly behind Wellington nevertheless. Barry Saunders kicked off proceedings with a very nice 20 minute set of typically charming Kiwi pop before Patti and crew took over at 8.00pm. She opened with "Spell" (that mentioned Christchurch, as I'm sure *everybody* in the sold out 8,500 capacity venue noticed) and then did a well paced set that included both the old monster hits such as "Because The Night" as well as more recent faves like "Wing", "dedicated to both ours bands". There was no rush until the very last song, a punk-rockin' "Rock N Roll Nigger" that went straight into "Gloria", which not only surprised the audiences, but the band as well (I assume). Earned her a well deserved standing ovation. Great stuff once more! Many thanks to Patti and crew for all the more than enjoyable shows. I only came over to see Bob and thought Patti was just a nice bonus but it was actually her who made the whole trip worthwhile. Bob looked and sounded rather tired then he took to the stage at 9.15, he never moved around on stage less than tonight but he kinda seemed to enjoy himself nevertheless. Unfortunately he ignored the cuesheets choice of "Watchtower" to open with: > Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat Which was once more little more than a soundcheck, maybe because Coach wasn't present and his substitute had to struggle a bit with the board during this song I assume. > Lay Lady Lay Though I couldn't care less about the song itself, I have to admit that this was a lovely version that suited Bob's voice and mood tonight very well. Slow and gentle, it came pretty close to the orgonal version (and yes, I know that his voice is different now) > Cold Irons Bound was ponce more okay. > Just Like A Woman Was greeted with thunderous applause from the audience, but the version itself was not as good as recent ones from Europe. It's much more throwaway now unfortunately. > It Takes A Lot To Laugh It Takes A Train To Cry Was much much better than the two previous Oz version, but the Kemper/Campbell lineup is just not the right band for slow blues numbers IMHO and so it never was as powerful as mid-90s versions. Went down very well with the crowd though > Can't Wait Was extra heavy, almost reached the power of "Silvio". Very nice rocking version. > Silvio was "Silvio" > Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (acoustic) Showed us how tired Bob reaally was cause he sang it in an unusually low, rusty voice I never heard from him before. > Boots Of Spanish Leather (acoustic) The new "bow" arrangement was once again a showstopper and definitely among the Top 10, if not Top 5 performances on the whole Pacific tour. This seems to be one of the few songs right now wher he just can't go wrong. Great stuff! > Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) They skipped "Masters" which was on the cuesheet, but nobody minded that I'm sure. Yet again a gigantic crowdpleaser, no harp (all night) though. > Knockin' On Heaven's Door (acoustic) Once more much loved by every single soul in the hall, even though the butchered up the solo pretty badly, because of which I think the Darwin version was superior. > Til I Fell In Love With You was "Til I Fell...". Bob took a few bows and and very close to the edge of the stage for that. He almost shook a few hands but decided against it in the last second, turned around and disappeared backstage. > (encore) > Love Sick was "Love Sick". > Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35 Gives Bucky the chance to show us his talents: For the last three shows or so he played a very long, very nice steel guitar solo, which basically is the only solo spot that is left for him. Gone are the days where you couldn't hear anything but Bucky... > Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic) Rob said it was a good version. I find it hard to find the differences between all the almost identical performances anymore. The houselights remained turned on for the rest of the night after "Rainy". If that was a mistake or done on purpose I don't know. The band intros were followed with some comments about a press conference and things that have been siad that shouldn't have been said or something. Very strange. Listen to the tape to make sure. > Highway 61 Revisited was played instead of the cuesheets alternative "Rolling Stone", which was a pity. "Highway" rocked as usual but a change would've been more than welcome. > Forever Young (acoustic) Closed the Pacific tour as expected. Patti once again watched all of Bob's set from the side of the stage and Lenny Kaye, too, was singing along to this one, arms in the air, looking like a regualr punter. Very funny, I thought. 15 show, all of them pretty good, lows in Townsville and Auckland 1, highs in Darwin and definitely Wollongong. Setlists not as exciting as in Europe recently, but nevertheless worth all the travel! thanks to everybody I met/travelled with in NZ (and Oz), I definitely had a great time and you all have been wonderful. Special thanks to Ray, see ya in New York ;-) Thanks for reading and all the kind comments on my reviews from the Pacific tour. I really appreciate them! carsten wohlfeld -- "it's irrelevant, i'm an elephant and she's a mouse" (smudge) ************************************************* Thanks to Andrew McCallum for the following review: I suspect that Christchurch must qualify as the Bob's southern most concert. As the last concert of the Australasian tour and the last with patty Smith, many held high hopes for this show. I had front row left. Caught plane from Wellington at 6pm, got to Christchurch at 6.45, had a drink and a bite to eat at the airport, then got taxi to venue. I was in time for the last few songs of the opening act - Barry Saunders. Those of you who are familiar with kiwi music will know that Barry Saunders used to be the major force behind the Warratahs - a very good country band. His set was very nice, accompanied by a guy on accordian and Carolyn Hester on drums (who used to play with the Chills). The new Christchruch Westpac Centre is petty good. Unlike the cheaply built Wellington Queen's Wharf Centre, it has a nice architectural design and feels as though some effort has been put in to make it a good venue. Anyway - Patty comes on and does the Holy Holy Holy Allen Ginsberg poem. Great opening. Slips in "Holy is Christchurch" among San Franciso, New York etc. Of the three Patty shows, I enjoyed this one the best. Stage Rush at the end, which I joined. Great fun to be so close. She finished with Rock and Roll nigger which segued into Gloria. During the break people began to mass at the front of the the stage ready for Bob, but security made them all sit down. Bob came on and did Pill Box Hat - All along the Watchtower/Maggies was on the setlist for the opener. Would have loved to have seen AATW. Vocals very clear from the beginning. This is the closest I've been to Bob, and it is great. Chills up spine when he seems to be looking directly at us. Lay Lady lay was great second song, as I haven't seen this one live before. Christchurch crowd love it. I can't resist yelling out "Cold Irons Bound" after LLL finishes, and sure enough Bob accedes to my request. JLAW - dissappointing choice as I've seen this in Auckland, but well sung. Can't wait - best version of the 3 I've seen. I notice that Larry does a lot of interesting tricky guitar stuff during this song. Silvio - crowd pleasing. Dont' think twice. Doesn't quite get up the steam it did in Wellington. Boots of Spanish Leather - one song I really wanted to see. Very gently done. A highlight. Tangled - rockin version as usual. Crowd loved it. Somewhere in the last few songs, there was the 2nd stage rush of the night. Heaven's Door - not a song I wanted to see, but done very well I thought. Another crowd pleaser. Till I fell.. Blues drenched, but a little perfunctory. Concert seemed over too quickly. Again the mini concert of 5 encores was very good, and again it was the same 5 songs. No extras, no duets with Patty, which was what many were hoping for. Audience sang along on Blowin' in the wind After Forever Young and Bob's departure there was a good buzz among the crowd. Bob had delivered a pretty straight down the line show. It felt like a very New Zealand rock concert, and I'm not sure I can explain what that means. Something to do with the number of people wearing the bogan/westie uniform of tight tapered black jeans and Bob's choice of songs which seemed to cater to your average New Zealander's "idea" of Bob Dylan, while also being a very rockin' show. Bob smiled a lot during the later songs, and came forward to the edge of the stage to take his bows. And during the band introductions he said as odd thing along the lines of: At the Press Conference yesterday a few things were said that shouldn't have been said, and a few things were'nt said that *should* have been. Anyway, the promoter will straighten it all out later... " Press Conference??? There was *no* press conference. Thanks to Rob Lake for putting me up for the night. That's the end of my Bob Dylan week. Overall impression? After the excitement of hearing about the Mercury show in Melbourne and the playing of Matchbox a few shows later, the shows in NZ seemed very safe and greatest hits oriented. I wonder how much this was an attempt to fullfill people's expectations, given Dylan doesn't tour this part of the world often? Depite that, all 3 shows I saw were very enjoyable. The best moment I think for me would have to be This Wheel's on Fire on September 8th, but the best show overall would have to be Christchurch. Others have said Wellington. The tapes will tell no doubt. Andrew.
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