Review

Seattle, Washington
Seattle Center
Key Arena
October 4, 2002


[Steven Thwaits], [Dennis Link], [Craig Grant], [Mitch Rath], [Joanne Wise]

Review by Steven Thwaits



    Writing Saturday night from Seattle. Last night was truly fantastic,
can't stop thinking about it, don't want to.
All the adjectives have been used. Strange and beautiful are two that come
to mind. Rockin is another.
    Solid Rock opened (after a bizarre introduction that gave a
mini-history that you'd think Bob would hate, something about how he
emerged stronger than ever after disappearing for a time into 'a haze of
drugs'. Was that authorized? Go figure.) Anyway, an unexpected spiritual,
a spirited and solid Solid Rock, and I knew we were in for more than the
ordinary wonderful. I mean, here he is,  banging on the keyboards with one
hand, blowin the harp with the other. Never been seen before, at least not
in my 16 earlier sťances.
    He danced, he sang. Highlights: Brown Sugar! Tasted so good! It's
Alright Ma was delivered with particular intensity. Liberate yer mind.
Which he did with those curveball Warren Zevon songs. Only highlights in
their weirdness. 
    All the Love and Theft tunes were excellent and perhaps truest of all.
Summer days, summer nights are gone, Bob knows where something is still
goin on!  6 carburetors, he is using them all! Tony laughed all through
Floater, lovely, lilty, goofier 'n shit.
    Band was awesome. Harmonies on Heaven's Door. When all 3 leaned back
and rocked, All Along the Watchtower, Charlie, Bob, Larry, we were so
happy. I love it when we cheer and they stand there soaking it in, giving
it back.And last night Bob kneeled, all the way to the floor, in
appreciation of our appreciation. 
Have Fun down the road fellows. Wish I was there!

Steven in Seattle 

[TOP]

Review by Dennis Lind



My 13th Dylan concert was a true treat...as my wife and myself brought
along our daughter Sheena (19) and her close friend Gen, and also our son
Nic (23) and his girlfriend Meghan met us from Olympia. First, The Misses
and I had a nice "home cooked" meal in our motel room (prawns, lasagna,
basil/garlic bread and some fine wine...from Whole Foods in north
Seattle...what a great place to shop). We arrived to Key Arena in plenty
of time to have beer in the lounge, where we ran into old friend R.C. and
his lady friend Donna, and met up with Nic and Meghan.   Sheena and Gen
were general admission on the floor. They came up to tell us hello when we
reached our seats... and we kept track of them from our good, reserve
seats, by having Sheena wear my official "Dylan" hat of 25 years (beige
suede Stetson...ala "The Last Waltz").

What can you say about a Dylan concert these days that hasn't already been
said...other than he got me again. Coming out and  playing electric piano
was a total surprise. Opening Solid Rock...rocked of course, but what a
surprise...I was telling everyone it would be "Hummigbird" or "I am the
Man, Thomas"...way off.   Highlights are hard these days...everything is
so very good. This band is so tight, enjoys playing so much, and Bob and
cast are definitely at the top of their game...and know it. They really
enjoy playing together, and what a diverse crowd they attract...pretty
neat to be able to go to a rock-n-roll concerts with your kids...and them
WANTING to go with you!

The Zevon songs were another total unknown surprise. Would really like to
hear them again to get a fair take of them...like all Dylan songs, they
would probably grow on you with more listenings, until they became the
"highlights". 

The "recognizable highlights"...a great Lay Lady, Lay; a very moving Don't
Think Twice, It's all RIIIIGHT.  Romantic Love Minus Zero...No limit (my
wifes' all time favorite). Highwater was not reconizable until the "12th
Street and Vine" line...but a great version. Brown Sugar another total
surprise...but of course very appropriate and well received with the
Stones touring here soon. I never seem to recognize 'Soldiers Grave"...and
how did I not recognize "To Ramona"... until seeing the set list? Closing
the regular set, Summer Days was simply outstanding...probably my
highlight.  Tremendous energy, with guitar riffs that made you want to
stomp and shout. 

Very effective Heavens Door; very average (but of course crowd arousing)
LARS;  The best Watchtower I have heard.

This band, and Dylan right now are playing the best music a person can
hope to hear live. He (they) show no signs of giving it up or even slowing
down.  I am fully hopeful and confident we will get the chance to see them
again in the future in our area...and I (we) will be there...for number
14. 

Thanks, Bob, for my almost yearly "Dylan fix". It feels great...


Dennis Lind

[TOP]

Review by Craig Grant



You should always get a good night's sleep before a Dylan concert, just
common sense. You don't want to be nodding off before the encores.

The night before Bob kicked off the latest installment of The Neverending
Tour - despite what Bob said in that latest Rolling Stone interview, it's
still hard not to think of it as such - I was laying in bed, listening to
Art Bell. (Art Bell, for those who don't know, is a late show talk show
host, whose shows are about aliens, ghosts, paranormal phenomena,
conspiracy theory, etc, see www.artbell.com for more details.) He was
saying that Hurricane Lili had dropped from a Category 4 to a Category 2
by the time it hit Louisiana.

The night before George Noory, his guest host, was on and a listener had
suggested that the listening audience try to lower the hurricane's force
by doing a group focus stint, which they've done in the past,
successfully, to bring rain to drought-stricken Texas and hearing back to
Rush Limbaugh's ear drums. (Now Art is reluctant to get involved in such
projects; it scares him just a little, the power of group concentration;
but these are strange times we live in, and our consciousness, apparently,
is a-changin'.) George Noory had said, well, sure, okay, go ahead. And so
I spent an hour imagining the wind velocity of Hurricane Lily dying down,
while also listening to Art interview a remote-viewer named Major Ed
Dames, who claims that his team of psychic remote-viewers (Ed, himself,
was trained to be a psychic by the CIA) see that a pole shift is coming
soon and that there's going to be a killer fungi that's going to destroy
most of the planet's crops and a third of the planet's population is going
to die off, and, well, things are not going to be rosy at all, in the near
future, according to Major Ed Dames. Kind of distressing.

So I didn't get a good night sleep.

And I was going to get a shave and a haircut, since I live in Vancouver
and I was going to be crossing the border, which has been hairy itself,
since 9/11, but there's a film fest in town and so I didn't get around to
it and so, sure enough, I got pulled off to the side by one of those
officious types who was obviously a Nazi in his most recent past life, and
so I spent an hour cooling my heels while a custons agent read through
what must be a massive file on me, on his computer. (I have a pretty clean
record, I think, thanks to a lawyer friend who somehow magically made a
pot bust outside a Dire Straits concert back in the late 80s in Saskatoon
disappear....Still, I'd like to read that file. Or maybe customs agents
are just slow readers.)

But finally I was back on the road, and not behind bars, and four hours
later I've got a beer under my belt, I'm sitting a few rows up, directly
behind the soundboard, in the oversized gym where the SuperSonics like to
play, and the announcer is giving us a Dylan bio in a hundred words or
less (" - he converted to Christianity,  disappeared, and then came back
to make some of the finest music of his career!!!" Well, amen to that!)

They've got that crown logo backdrop across the back of the stage.
(Actually, the concert was broken up into a series of mini-sets it seemed,
with the backdrop changing every four or five songs.) And Bob's playing
SOLID ROCK, on electric piano. There was that spritely imp quality to
Bob's movements that said he'd had a fine time recharging his batteries.
It was going to be a good show. And yep, no acoustic spiritual this time
out, it was an electric spiritual, things have changed. I settled back,
relaxed. It was going to be an interesting show.

It wasn't until the third song in, though, when he played the first few
bars of ACCIDENTALLY LIKE A MARTYR, that my jaw dropped. A Warren Zevon
cover? The first of three, it turned out. The others being BOOM BOOM
MANCINI and MUTINEER.

I'm a big Warren Zevon fan. I've bought every one of his albums. (The
first is still my favourite.)

And, of course, I was saddened to hear the news that he has inoperable
lung cancer. Thirty years of cigarettes will do that do you.

Bob has smoked a few cigarettes in his time too. I'm sure he can relate to
Warren's predicament.

But this is the thoughtI had, during MUTINEER. Dylan's fans are probably
among the most intelluctually and spiritually evolved people on the
planet. They could do a group focus meditation and probably cure Warren's
cancer. Warren's 55th birthday is coming up on Jan 24. Around about 9
o'clock, PM, everybody should take out their favourite Warren Zevon album
- or buy one if you don't have one, you won't be sorry - and listen to a
track or two and then concentrate on Warren's lungs. Take them out, clean
them up, scrub 'em up good. Get all of that black gunk out of there. Hey,
what harm could it do?

Especially if Warren at the same time was doing some of the alternative
cancer cure stuff that is all over the internet these days, more and more.
There's a grape growing province in China, for example, that doesn't get
cancer. Because all they do is eat grapes and drink grape juice. Which
turns the body into an alkaline system. And cancer can't grow in an
alkaline system. You see, that's a little piece of information that the
Cancer Industry - the second biggest industry on the planet, right behind
Big Oil - does not want you to know. Carrot juice and broccoli, of course,
are chock full of anti-oxidants. There's little gizmos that run a small
electric current through your body, that kills cancer cells.

I'm going to zip this email to Warren, at www.warrenzevon.com.
Warren, I'm an astrologer and I've looked at your chart. I'm sorry, but I
just don't see you dying. You have the nasty asteroid, Hades, conjunct the
asteroid Astraea, which rules herbs and gardens, which means that you can
use stuff that grows from the earth to heal yourself. You can do this, and
you can also be a splendid example for other people who have received a
similar death sentence, you really don't have to die.

I have loads of information on alternative cures for cancer, for anyone
who's interested.

Oh, yeah, and as for the rest of the concert, it was sweet, just like
Brown Sugar. (Strangely enough, white sugar is considered by many in the
alternative health industry to be one of the biggest culprits for cancer,
right up there next to tobacco.) SUMMER DAYS and KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S
DOOR, were the other highlights, for me.

One of the best concerts of Bob's I've seen.

You have stopped smoking, haven't you, Bob?

craiggrant@telus.net

[TOP]

Review by Mitch Rath



From the view in the lower side stands, I did not even notice the stand up
piano on stage.  Then the newer extended intro, which almost matched verbatim 
the ridiculous conversation behind my wife and I, as some parents were trying
to explain to a teen why Bob is a LEGEND.

Band and Bob appear, Bob a vision of black and white contrasts-white
western style coat with black around lapel and pockets, black shirt
underneath with white piping, same story on pants.

Quite a shock to take in the triple whammy: Bob without guitar as lights
go up, Bob standing at keyboard as lights go up, and no spiritual/old time
tune acoustic beginning.  The band and Bob tore into Solid Rock.  So odd,
but what a joy to watch Dylan *move* at the stand up piano all night;  At
times a leg goes up, sometimes a little shuffle, sometimes the head bobs
and eyebrows go up.  He played the keys hard at times and reminded me once
of Tom Waits jamming on the keys during the Orbison Black and White night
concert. Sometimes he played subtle keyboard fills, timing occasional
notes carefully on or between beats, and on at least one of the slower
tunes, he created his own little song within a song, and it worked very
well.

Song by song recounting I can't do, but the hightlights were Brown Sugar,
the unexpected and heavy nods to the sadly ailing Warren Zevon via three
of his songs, Summer Days,  Highwater, and I thought I'll Be Your Baby
Tonight was well done particularly too.

There was a point during Floater in which Bob turned back to Garnier and
Receli and suddenly was ALL smiles with a quick comment that just undid
those two, Garnier had difficulty composing himself, and kept bowing his
head and shaking it, Receli's head was bent down for a bit as well.

During Accidentally Like A Martyr there was a moment where Bob sang (I
think) "never thought I'd be so lonely... time out of mind", and there
seemed to me to be particularly strong emphasis....or perhaps I just
imagined that.

It's Alright Ma was slowed waaaay down, with far less emphasis on the
familar ten note riff, in fact it almost disappeared in the beginning.
Later in the song, as it built on, the riff became more evident.  At the
last line, "it's life, and life only",  there was a huge pause between
phrases, and then, as the band wound down, out go Bob's hands raised and
pointed out to the crowd, and he backs away from the microphone like this
and very slowly this gesture diminishes.  Loved that.

There was a small technical glitch on Dylan's microphone during Tambourine
Man which was distracting as we lost the vocals completely for a bit, then
they sputtered in and out until the techs got it fixed.  The vocals then
seemed amped way up, but it had a nice effect.  The crowd and band had
quieted way down during the difficulties, and then out came this huge
Dylan voice sounding nearly a cappella.

This one show was such a gift, and I am so grateful for it, but I've been
grateful for years and years like the rest of you.  We are so fortunate to
have this artist in our heads and hearts, whoever he *really* is.

Why go see Bob Dylan anymore?  Because the Bob Dylan you saw yesterday is
not the Bob Dylan you will see today or tomorrow.  Everything passes,
everything changes, do what you think you should do....


Mitch

[TOP]

Review by Joanne Wise



I'll be the first to say it.  This show as a whole sucked.   Hopefully having 
Bob on keyboards was a one-off.   The first half of the show was dreadful.  I've 
never heard this dead of a show ever.  Stale arrangements, mumbled lyrics, and 
absolutely no energy on stage after Solid Rock until about Love Minus Zero. The 
second half of the show got back to more inspired playing.  The final Warren 
Zevon cover was astounding, stunning, but over in two minutes.  The band finally 
rocked the house on Summer Days with extended guitar solos at the end.  Knockin' 
on Heaven's Door was amazing, the other two encores rather stiff.  I'm afraid 
this show looks great on paper but will greatly disappoint the curiosity seekers.
Except for a couple songs at the end, the worst Dylan show I've seen out of 
forty-plus.

[TOP]

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billp61@execpc.com

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