October 8, 2010
Review by Oscar Montes
I was introduced to Noel by Denise some hours before the show! Huge Bob
fan from Ireland, you all know him for sure! Vera Chen joined us in this
leg of the tour! We went for some food before the show at the University,
$10 for everything you want to eat, I guess it wasn’t worth!
This was a good show, a little bit weak one at the beginning I must say,
not sure if the other attendants think the same! It got better at the
middle and at the end was just wonderful. Rainy Day Women opened this show
with Bob on keyboard and then on guitar. Lay Lady Lay with Bob playing
harp on center stage was a good number. I’ll be your baby tonight was the
second song of Bob playing the guitar this night.
Just like a woman was good, but I think it was better the two nights
before. A great Beyond here lies nothin’ made things become better! Bob
played guitar on this one! Tangled up in blue with Bob on center and harp
was good but also not as much as Yesterday’s show! The same happened with
Rolling and Tumblin', Spirit on the water was nice with Bob on harp.
Cold Irons bound with Bob on center stage and harp was a nice surprise and
people really enjoyed it! Simple Twist with Bob on guitar was good but
once again it seemed that Bob and his band didn’t enjoy it to much! Sorry
Bob fans, that’s what I felt. Highway 61 Revisited was good. Working Man’s
blues with Bob on harp was as nice as Ft Lauderdale’s show!
Thunder on the mountain made everything happened! This is the point where
the show, Bob and his band really started! Great, just great performance
of Bob in this one! Ballad of a thin man was outstanding! The way Bob
played the harp was something incredible, never seen something like this
before! The audience just loved it and they clapped as I've never seen
The way the encore was performed tonight was also beyond superior than the
two nights before! Jolene, Like a Rolling Stone & Watchtower made all the
people go crazy! One of the best encores I’ve enjoyed in my life! Thanks
Bob, this was an excellent ending for the show.
Can’t wait for the show in Orlando next Sunday, see you there Bob fans!
Review by Leon
Third show in on Bob's latest odyssey, and anticipation coupled
with expectations among those who attended the previous nights stunning
performance in Tampa were tangible. And rightly so. The much alluded to
"renaissance" of Mr. Dylan continues to soar unabated. These shows are now
much more theatrical in style with background visual displays, deployed
for added illumination of the songs subtle character. On top of this and
extraordinarily so, giving that this is this years Fall Tour, Bob's vocals
have become less harsh with him accentuating the words with great clarity,
caressing them with added impetus or subtlety wherever he feels necessary.
His timing and inflections are still well within his phrasing mastery and
consummate artistry. At the end of this night, he will have performed 50
songs over three shows in total, with 29 of them, different. This " song
and dance man ", and living troubadour just " a keeps a rollin' on ". To
witness this cavalcade roller coaster night after night, living in the
same moment, breathing the same breathless air, being swept up by the
majesty of this almost vaudevillian sideshow, is both a privilege and
blessing. In front of my own eye's, a creative force is at play that does
not exist anywhere else within this medium. Or not even close. Bob Dylan
is alive and well, folks. See him while you can. He's there for you, he
Twenty minutes of W D Griffiths, 1916 silent movie, "Intolerance" now
precedes the show, shown in all it's glory on the back wall. It closes
with the old fashioned curtains meeting in the center just like they used
to do, long before the Cine-Plex's "tore them down". A further wait of
fifteen minutes, and that familiar feeling in the gut of anxious
expectancy, before Al Santos finally announces the by now routine
"burlesque" introduction. Band members, "all dressed in black", prepare
for the off. Bob arrives and heads to his allotted spot behind the
keyboards, with his gray hat and purple feather, that matches the two
vertical stripes on his black trouser suit pants, all combined with a
green shirt. Every bit of him " the riverboat gambler". A few chords sound
here and there and then the unmistakable riff of "Rainy Day Women".
Blast off. The high energy octane is released as the sound swells the
filled arena. The ground beneath our feet shakes as the vibration carries
the vibe. And it's all good. Dylan's vocals, up front and crystal clear,
declares his intention. A rollicking version unfurls as the band swing
into the groove. Charlie, who the night before seemed distracted and
disinterested, was tonight attentive and firing on all cylinders. For the
final verse, Dylan straps on a new reddish coloured guitar and leads from
the front. The joint rocks. Lay Lady Lay follows, with Bob center stage
crooning away with a softness not heard for many a year, accompanied with
a lovely harmonica solo, which is becoming more of a feature with the
shows. Beautiful. Guitar still in place, Bob leads the way into "I'll Be
Your Baby, Tonight". This song sometimes seems to be a "filler" piece, but
with this band tonight, it works as it's own entity and carries us along.
"Just Like A Woman" follows, with Bob back at his station. By now the well
known refrain is a celebratory sing-a-long, but tonight it's dead. Bob
waits, but little happens. Maybe, it's because the usual suspects are not
up front, as the pre-sale tickets for this venue was for students only.
Who knows? Still, it was a wonderful rendition with Bob serving both the
vocals and keyboards well. It has become a welcome nightly treat. Then
it's back to guitar, as Donnie stands to attention with his trumpet in his
hands."Beyond Here Lies Nothin' " follows sweetly and how sweetly was it
played ! Then along comes "Tangled Up In Blue" with Bob at center mike
with harmonica in hand. Again, his singing is strong and he delivers this
classic with complete servitude to it's tale. Some exquisite harmonica
playing throughout. Then it's back to the keyboards again for a riotous "
Rollin' and Tumblin' ". It works well as a rocker of a song and gives
Charlie lots of scope to furnish us with his embellishments.
Up to this point the background visuals were not as distinctive as the
night before but that was to change with the next song "Spirit On The
Water". On all of the previous songs the visuals were variations of
Dylan's " Eye of Horus " with different colourings. These displays
certainly add to the overall effect or mood to the setting. Especially
when Dylan's silhouette is shown. It's a haunting illusion, depending on
your particular mindset, and then the whole band can be seen in shadows.
Eerily compelling. On this song though, a fading golden sun is glowing
amongst the trees and as the song reaches it's end a silhouette of a man
and woman can be seen each side of the screen and walking towards each
other and almost, almost meeting. A sad and lonely feeling pervades as
Dylan walks to center stage and blows gloriously into his harmonica as his
own silhouette is magnified onto the wall. Breathtaking. Now, Bob stays at
stage center for "Cold Irons Bound". A killer of a song all year and
tonight is no different. In fact it's better, what with Dylan's punching
vocals and howling harmonica and "the eye" in purple behind him, as he
stands defiant with one hand holding his belt and again highlighted in
"Simple Twist Of Fate" is up next with Bob on guitar and doing a beautiful
solo leaving Charlie to look on. The visuals continue to alternate between
"the eye", the colourings and the silhouettes. A lovely version but the
ending needs fine tuning. Then Dylan walks towards the keyboards as the
first few chords of "Highway 61" are heard. And in the darkness, Bob
raises his hands in the air as if to proclaim " here it is " as the joyful
expression on his face glows as the lights come on. The version is it's
usual brilliant self. Bob obviously relishing the moment as the moment
seems to go on and on. Just like the road itself. "A stately "Working
Man's Blue's" is next which never fails to inspire. Dylan's new "Battle
Hymn To The Republic". The visual shadings still keeping apace with the
solemnity of the song. Next is "Thunder On The Mountain" with Bob still on
the keyboards. This time as the song starts Dylan's two arms flunk over
his hat in another seemingly expressive jump of joy at what was to come.
And what followed was all that he could have hoped for. Sheer fun, as the
band ripped the song asunder and Dylan played his heart out for all to
enjoy. And enjoy it, we did as the visuals then showed the entire band
from above. With " Ballad Of A Thin Man " showcasing presciently Dylan's
resurgence in both vocals and animation, it's easy to see the young man of
'66 at the core of this song. As Jack Nicholson said "transcendent". Just
Intermission follows as we knew it would and the throng awaits his return.
We don't have long to wait. "Jolene" rocks away merrily as Bob tinkles the
ivories. Charlie sweating all over. The band all happily grooving to the
same beat. The purple "eye" has returned to great effect. " Like A Rolling
Stone" delivers what it always does. A rousing crowd pleaser and fare the
well song. The "eye" is illuminated downwards onto the band. Again, a
lovely display and the song resonates throughout the hall as arms wave to
an' fro. And it felt great ! Last up and back where it belongs was "All
Along The Watchtower". Now, the "eye" is illuminated both sides of the
stage with the back wall all shaded with all shapes and colourings.
Splendid. And so too was the song itself. It's deathly beat and fiery
lyrics giving added impetus by Dylan's snarling vocals. A glorious finale.
What a show. Was it as good as the night before. It doesn't really matter.
All that matter's is that he cares. And in that, we should be grateful.
Review by J. Shaw
This comes from a new fan in her older years, who enjoyed a handful of Bob
Dylan’s songs in the 1960’s and 70’s. In June I saw a PBS documentary
(made a few years ago, I think) on Bob’s life that piqued my curiosity.
Since, I’ve read a biography and his own “Chronicles I” plus have listened
to a wide range of his music from over the years. I also found boblinks.com and
began reading the entries.
Through this site I found that Bob Dylan and his Band were coming to Florida in
October. I debated with myself about attending the Gainesville concert, whether
I should afford it since it would involve an over two hour drive plus spending
the night in a hotel. It wasn’t until Wednesday, two days before the October
8th concert, that I finally took the plunge. Asked my sister to come along (she
has always been a Dylan fan) and then made calls to the O-Dome about
tickets…was told the only seats left were in the highest tier. Took two
straight in front of the stage, which seemed like a loooooooong way off! After
many phone calls found an affordable rate at a hotel miles from the venue.
(Seems everything was jacked up in price and booked nearby because it was a
favorite football weekend between U of FL and LSU.) The hotel offered free
shuttle service to and from the concert with a free breakfast, to boot. What a
Took a day off from my work on Friday and enjoyed a beautiful drive through the
Ocala National Forest and then north to Gainesville. We were very excited about
the night ahead.
Our lodgings were better than anticipated. Plus we were able to enjoy
complimentary wine and plentiful, delicious appetizers prior to the shuttle
taking us to the concert venue at the University of Florida campus. Perfect day
The shuttle dropped us at the O’Dome’s main gate where we quickly got our
tickets at “Will Call”. All was going well.
Wandered down to the end of the building to see what we could see and found six
or eight people on a balcony overlooking the parking area below where there was
a group of touring buses and semi-trucks. Two teen girls decked out in fun
flamboyant outfits shared that earlier they had tried to duck under a security
tape near the buses where they were quickly escorted out. They came up to the
balcony and observed Bob Dylan returning to one of the buses from the arena,
probably after a sound check. All of us there heard this and, of course, hoped
to see him exit the bus in a few minutes. However, that was not to be. In a
half hour or so, a security lady came up to us quiet folks and scooted us away!
Eventually the arena doors opened to let the crowds in. My sister and I took
the elevator up to the third floor and found our seats in the “heavenly
realm”. (that sounds better than nose bleed section). As the minutes ticked
by, a silent film entitled “INTOLERANCE” flashed on the back drapes. We
were too far away to read the text or clearly see the fast moving pictures so we
could not comprehend the relevance of that film being shown while we waited.
It was well after 8 PM with the people still streaming in to the arena. An
interesting symbol came up on the stage’s side drapes: an all-seeing eye
adorned with a crown. I found this curious and wondered if this image was to
pay homage to our Creator and Almighty-All Knowing God or was it rather paying
homage to Bob Dylan’s reputation as a prophet. I would love to know more
about that image and the reason behind it.
I think it was close to 8:30 before the concert began. Bob ambled onto the
stage in a black suit and gray bolero-style hat. He got a hero’s welcome!!!
Then the music began. And I have to say, sadly, after all the anticipation, my
sister and I did not enjoy the concert. Here’s why.
Despite the excellence of the musicians, their great musicality was lost because
either the acoustics in the arena were terrible for a concert OR the usual
decibel level of the band’s wired instruments went haywire, giving the effect
that the instruments were fighting with Bob’s voice. And the instruments won.
The decibel level up where we were sitting was SO LOUD that we had to plug our
ears several times during the event. We wanted to hear Bob singing his amazing,
sometimes enigmatic lyrics but we only heard about eight words clearly out of
all the songs he sang. We felt like we were hearing impaired by the end of the
concert. We were not alone. We spoke with several folks outside after and
they, too, voiced that they thought the amplification was over the top, (this
included a boy about twelve). We checked out the souvenir area and were turned
back by the high price of the T-shirts. And, finally, re the O-Dome, the
elevator had a
“Out-of-Order” sign on it at concert’s end, making everyone, even folks
with canes, having to descend by the stairway.
On the up-side, the shuttle got us back to the hotel in time for a late supper.
And the next day had a great spontaneous side trip to Cross Creek, where author
Marjorie Rawlings of “The Yearling” lived in the 1930’s and early 40’s.
Her house and grounds are now a Florida State museum…and worth seeing, as we
did. After our tour, we had lunch at “The Yearling” restaurant where we
happened to hear an older gentleman named Willie Green singing the “blues”
with his backup guitar and harmonica….sounding much like Muddy Waters AND some
of Bob Dylan’s earlier music. What a nice surprise. I bought one of
So, all the way home we listened to Willie Green and Bob Dylan CD’s and
decided this was the way to go. I probably will not go to a live concert again,
given the disappointing venue and the loudness of the live setting. As a new
fan, I will curl up and enjoy Bob’s songs in private from now on!!!
Comments by Roy Bacon
I have seen Bob 19 times between 1990 and 2009. For starters we get 5 less songs,
but the ticket prices have stayed reasonable. He usually no longer opens with an
obscure song. With such a catalog of songs to chose from he certainly doesn't
challenge himself or the band and plays to the lowest common denominator for his
audience. Wouldn't you love him to have just half the personality of Arlo? He
doesn't have stories to tell? Listen to his early Sixties live recordings. He got involved
with the audience then. He is short-changing himself and everyone else. And God
Almighty, his band? You know this band does not even come close to its past members.
Such glowing reviews I have read here. We all certainly love Bob, but come on. For the
most part these reviews are delusional. The biggest question is why Bob continues to
tour. The money? I hope not. It would be a travesty if he was an indentured servent
to Columbia Records. Does he enjoy it? I am sure he does on some nights. The best
thing a true Dylan fan could do would be to go to a concert with a sign saying" Bob play
what you really want to". We don't need to hear "Like A Rolling Stone" every night.
Challenge us to listen and challenge yourself to find what you have lost.
Review by Barry Faulk
Bob and the band played for a friendly Gainesville crowd that ran the age gamut.
It took a while for Bob's voice to warm up, but the band was loud and punchy
out of the box. The opening songs of the set were a surprising, and interesting,
mix: "Rainy Day Women #12 &35"; "Lay, Lady, Lay"; "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight";
"Just Like a Woman." A re-arranged and emotionally charged "Simple Twist of
Fate" was perhaps the set highlight. Gradually, Bob was more relaxed, and sang
with greater force and range. He also took greater risks with phrasing as the
show went on. The blues-based material from recent albums fit seamlessly with
older songs; "Highway 61 Revisited" sounded fresh, even timely, as if it was
about our own consumerist obsessions. For me, the arrangement of "Cold Irons
Bound," one of my favorites, was a misstep: unfocused where it was usually
hard and punchy. A fierce "Ballad of a Thin Man" closed the set, with some of
the carny flavor that the Band used to add to the song live. Gainesville was
fortunate enough to have three encores: "Jolene," "Like a Rolling Stone," and
"All Along the Watchtower." "Rolling Stone" was more stately than angry; Bob
pretty much handed the song over to Charlie, who played regal melody lines.
As was "Highway 61," "Watchtower" didn't seem nostalgic, but a response to
the moment. George Recile's drumming here was particularly inspired.
There was a great moment when the band walked off stage at the end:
Charlie Sexton slung his leather jacket over his shoulder with the confidence
of a World-Beater.
Review by Steve Williams
Took my 12 year old son to see Dylan this past Friday. It was his first
venture and my 12th. I first saw Bob perform in Los Angeles with the Band
('74, I think it was). Not the best and certainly not the worst Dylan
show I've seen. What was most striking was the air of generosity and
graciousness that I detect in Dylan now- the way he moves about the stage,
the little bow at the end of the encore. i do wish they would turn down
the volume a bit. i like loud music, but the instruments were so loud
that i often could not clearly make out the lyrics being sung.
Highlights: an excellent, compelling "Ballad of a Thin Man" with an
outstanding harmonica solo. I enjoyed "Simple Twist of Fate" because Bob
sang it rather than shouted it "All Along the Watchtower" was vibrant and
soaring and I loved the segue back into the first verse. My biggest
complaint is that Dylan too often seems content to just spit out the
lyrics. i know his voice is beyond ragged, but a careful listening of his
recent albums and the three songs i mentioned reveal that he is still very
capable of singing with nuance and tenderness. I enjoyed the concert more
than I expected too and my son was ecstatic. thank you, Bob.
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