Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara Bowl

October 12, 2019

[Nancy Cobb], [Laurette Maillet]

Review by Nancy Cobb

Changing of the Band

The 2019 shows start with some of the most radical changes in more than a
decade- new drummer, back to a 6 piece band, Donnie playing violin on the
majority of songs, Bob standing most of the time, no baby grand, Bob on
electric guitar for a new opener, Tony taking more of the bandleader
responsibilities, and either Donnie or Charlie being lead on the
instrumental parts except when Bob pares it down as he did tonight on
Masterpiece and Girl from the North Country.  I was surprised when the
Robert Hunter tribute song led off the show once again but enjoyed it a
lot. It looked like he liked moving around that guitar.  The vocals seemed
to me to be crystal clear whether the music was fast or slow.  Can't Wait
changed once again.  It seemed like a whole army was marching behind Bob
to take back the object of his obsession...not a lone crazy guy howling in
the wind.  I loved it in Hyde Park when it was fun and still love it now
when it is back to serious business.  Simple Twist has some new lyrics
again and Bob is all over the stage and there is one of several great
harmonica solos. Honest with Me is good but Thunder is kind of similar to
my ears and better.  The next 2 songs are the weakest in my opinion
(Trying to get to Heaven and Make you feel my love)...  I would not be
sorry to see them replaced with, say, Changing of the Guards and Series of
Dreams, for example.  Loved all the rest of the set.  Pay in Blood so new
and unique, Lenny being a gospel song about a (real) Jew, Early Roman
Kings stupendous almost like John Barrymore doing a Shakespearean
soliloquy, Girl from the North Country so sweet and tender, Not Dark Yet
being treated like the songbook on Shadows, Thunder being so fast, wild,
and exciting, and Soon after Midnight and the rest showcasing the talented
Mr. Sexton.  I would say that the  next 2 (Gotta Serve Somebody and Ballad
of a Thin Man) are sending a message to some current leaders and Train
leaves a fun upbeat message to kick off the rest of this year.  A great


Review by Laurette Maillet

From Irvine to Santa Barbara. October 12. We hit the road early morning
after a large breakfast. We decide to make a stopover at the Xanadu in
point Dume. This time we find easily the entrance of the Dylan's property.
We can tell right away by the wilderness that sprades all the way on the
road;flowers bushes, high trees and the staunch of the horses running wild
inside in the distance. I picture the old cars graveyard right across the
security fence. A fence that has nothing of an offensive security display.
The cameras at the old gate don't even seem to function. It looks like 45
years of neglect. From the roads it is impossible to see the buildings but
I can imagine the den of an old rich "bear". We move on, following the
coastal road. Santa Barbara is not far from Malibu so we have time to
reach the Bowl in the afternoon, hear the soundcheck from the distance and
relax with a cup of tea and a snack. The show tonight will start at 7.30pm
as we are out door.  The bowl is facing the Ocean and from the top we can
see the sunset and the moon. I get a ticket from a friend and spend time
hanging around. The Band and crew people are dinning in a visible area ;
Tony is busy selfiing with friends and Charlie is walking in a white hat.
Matt Chamberlain and Bob Britt are not familiar figures to me so I am not
sure to recognise them. Barron is on duty. By 7pm I take my seat in the
first upward section on the left of the stage. I see now 3 mannequins on
stage. Did they add one? If they add one every show that will be a crowd
of people at the end of the tour! The show starts the same as yesterday
and Bob is wearing what looks like a stripped dark grey suit , a white
shirt and white shoes ( I still can't see if they are boots or not). Same
show as yesterday at the exception of "ballad of a thin man" instead of "
long and wasted years". Good choice as it gives the possibility for Britt
to make a little solo on his guitar. Bob is doing well. The Band is
professional. Some  Bobcats who I recognized have a good time in the
front section.  But me....I feel tired and cold. My mind is drifting
away. It is only the second show but already it seems a routine. After the
last beat I focus of the atmosphere around. The roadies are ready to pack
up the material as fast as possible. The crowd slowly moves away.  Bob is
secured immediately inside his bus right back to the stage. From the bus
to the stage. From the stage to the bus and off he goes for the next one
which will be .... The same. My memory of Santa Barbara is a lot more
thrilling that my immediate feelings. Maybe the group behind me
incessantly talking didn't help. "Thunder on the mountain" put some Fans
on fire but nothing like a Rock and Roll atmosphere. We'll see what
tomorrow brings. Good night Bobby. Good night the Band. I still have to
get use to the disappearing of Stu and George.


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