page by Bill Pagel
Review by Elaine Anderson
For those of you who are jealous of the 800 of us who got to see Bob at
Lake Tahoe in such a small venue - the setting made no difference to Bob,
as he and the boys proceeded to blow the back wall out of Harrah's South
Shore Room. They rocked that place as hard as if they were playing to
30,000. This is my 10th concert (all in the last year and a half), but
the first one close to home, so I'm really glad he finally came here. I
broke open my piggy bank and went to both shows! The biggest highlight
for me was watching Bob at the keyboards. He's just so dang cute. And
he's got a style of playing that's so unique. I remembered that a piano
is a percussion instrument. He pounds at it like he's playing the bongos.
The crowd mostly stayed seated until the final number of the second show
- All Along the Watchtower, which just put us on another planet, and
everyone jumped up to dance. There were several standing ovations
throughout, but I love how Bob seems like he couldn't care less about it.
The line-ups at the end of both shows were very short. He's just not
about basking in the glory of the applause. He's just there to give us
those songs, which is great. I can't give a blow-by-blow, but the Warren
Zevon songs were wonderful, as were all of the cover tunes. Not Fade
Away, a song I'd never heard before, really smoked, and at the end of the
second show Summer Days whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Somehow he
managed to top that (after some beautiful harmonies on Heaven's Door) with
All Along the Watchtower. I've heard him end with this song 7 times in
the last 2 months, and it just keeps getting better each time I hear it.
One other note, Bob actually spoke near the beginning of the first show,
saying something about Elvis having played in that room. Who knows, maybe
he'll pull out some Elvis tunes next!
Review by Nels Hefty
I had been more than a little disappointed to be out
of the country at the time when Dylan would be playing
several shows near (within 300 miles) of my home in
the Bay Area. It was somewhere over the Atlantic on
Sunday morning, flying into San Francisco, when the
idea occurred to me to try to see him in Tahoe. The
plan was to drive to Montana, and I could easily take
the route through South Lake Tahoe. So upon arriving
in S.F., I set out as fast as I could, getting there
at 7:20. The first show had already started.
"Watching the River Flow" could easily be heard
through what was only a velvet curtain. Thinking I'd
have to find a scalper, I was surprised to be told
that there were four tickets left for the second show.
So I bought one and sat down in the casino to watch
the end of the Giants/Cardinals game on a big screen
TV. The guy sitting next to me, Larry, and I started
talking about Bob. Larry knew a lot about the heart
infection that Dylan suffered a while back, and told
me that he named his son Dylan, for obvious reasons.
I enjoyed talking to him. So the Giants won, and 9:30
finally came around.
The place was small, only about 800 seats; comfortable
detached chairs, lots of leg room, cupholders, between
brass railings separating terraced platforms. The
crowd was old. I spotted several up front with bright
white hair. Most were between 35 and 60. And I saw
less than five who could've been younger than my 27
years. There were almost no in-your-face hippies
despite it being a very northern California crowd.
That could be explained by the $125 ticket price.
This was my 7th Dylan concert, and while it was
amazing, overall it still ranks behind Santa Cruz in
'00 and Sacramento '01.
After a lame, mocking introduction (something about
how he emerged from a period of drugs and found
religion and went from this period to that period),
that went on waaaay too long for someone who needs no
into at all, it began. The highlights for me were
'Seeing The Real You At Last'. Every time he opens
with a rocking electic number, I like it. One minute
you're trying to be patient in the expectant murmur of
the crowd - the next minute your hair's getting blown
back and you're sitting there with a smile on your
face in the utmost glee and euphoria.
And "Accidentally, Like A Martyr" was simply beyond.
Larry's three note phrasing on the guitar, Bob's
delivery of the lyrics, the whole package was
sensational - and all new to me. There was a line in
the song, ..."time out of mind"... Maybe some link to
the album title by the same name? And I wonder if
these Warren Zevon songs of late aren't some tribute
or homage to the man, because he was recently
diagnosed with untreatable lung cancer. Zevon said he
was OK with it, but he hopes he doesn't have to go
before the new Bond movie comes out. (Warren, maybe
you're OK with it, but I'm not.) Anyway, I hoped, to
no avail, for more Zevon the rest of the concert.
Soon thereafter came "Brown Sugar". I had goosebumps
and watery eyes for the duration of the song. The
crowd really got into it. The $125 now seems like a
To me, these songs were unmatched until "Summer Days",
which I've seen performed before, but never with such
abandon. They went on for a while, taking solos, and
the whole house exploded.
I really love the band together, especially Larry,
Bob, and Charlie, and how they have such instincts
with each other. You who have seen them know exactly
what I'm talking about. This was my first time seeing
George on drums. He's an extremely fine drummer, and
seems to bring quite a different impression, or mood
(which would be impossible to describe), to the band.
Although he's a little heavy on the cymbals for my
taste - maybe it was the tambourine-type high-hat
The encore's were way out there, though slightly
routine, and no surprises. Fantastic
ooh-oooooooohh-ooooh's on "Knockin' On Heaven's Door".
Thinking there'd be a third, I made my way up front,
only to see the bows and Bob acknowledge the crowd,
and take in their appreciation for a few seconds. He
really looked like he'd left it all out on the court,
and given it his all, really pale, sweaty and tired.
Given what I'd just witnessed, I completely
understood. With one hand, he held his guitar up
toward the crowd, then turned and left the stage.
Review by David Link
Oh No! Dylan is playing in a small room and the tickets are $125.00!!!!
What to do......well, shows are only 3 hours from home, so what do you
think? I can't be sitting around at home knowing Bob is playing so close,
so we went.
The last time I saw a concert in South Lake Tahoe on the "strip" was the
Jerry Garcia Band at Caesars in 1988, which was great except for watching
people get pullud out of the show and arrested for pot smoking.
The Lake Tahoe area is beautiful and we have friends who live there, so
they were very excited for a home-town show.
Outside of the South Shore Room in Harrah's casino right before showtime,
many people were trying to dump extra tickets, but this is generally a
futile exercise, because anyone who was planning to go to this high-dollar
event already had a ticket.
As I was wandering around about to go in, a guy asked me if I needed a
ticket. "No thanks, I'm all set." "Well here, take this anyway," and
handed it to me. It was an 11th row-center with "full complimentary
beverages." Uh, thanks!
Yes this room is small.....smaller than Copa or Tropicana in Atlantic
City, smaller than Reno Hilton Theatre or Mandalay Bay. To walk from the
entrance in the back to the front row would take about 10 seconds.
These "two shows in one night" deals always just seem like one slightly
longer- than-normal show, with a nice break in the middle. The second
show always seems stronger than the first because they are warmed up, and
tonight I felt the same.
I think it was after the opening song that Bob said "Isn't this the
room Elvis made his comeback in a long time ago?"
Lay Lady Lay was quite nice, with Larry playing some splendid pedal
Other highlights were Watching the River Flow, which is always enjoyable,
and then Not Fade Away, which caught me by surprise; the first of the
tour. It was very rocking; great guitar work all around.
Another classic Girl Of The North Country, quiet and very-well sung, and
then a killer version of Lawyers Guns and Money.
Baby Blue was nice and then another good version of Old Man. It's
interesting how he turns his voice to gravel for the "look at how the time
goes past" line.
Rainy Day Women was an awesome set-ender, my first in a while.
The Double encore was pretty standard, but fun.
As we left after the first "show" (really like a first set), we were trying
to find the tunnel over to Harvey's across the street. Going up an
escalator, we were behind two people carrying trays of food. The bags of
food that I saw were marked Larry and Charlie. I laughed and said I hoped
it was good, because they needed fuel for the next show.
We got lucky and had 4th row on the isle for the late show, a really
wonderful seat. Another great couple of openers, and Baby Tonight was
very good also.
Brown Sugar was loud as hell in this small room, but for me the absolute
highlight was a picture-perfect To Ramona. The playing by Larry on
mandolin was unreal, stunning. Bob's singing was great also and just made
the song better, but Larry got the MVP on that one. Amazing.
The rest of the show was very high-energy, ending with a Summer Days that
almost blew off the roof, more over-the-top then the other 4 versions I
saw, way more energetic than the night before in Berkeley.
The ending Knockin-Watchtower left people dancing in the seats and isles,
well-dressed security guards and staff members included. An explosive
ending to a special night of Bob Dylan in Lake Tahoe.
Review by Stephen Darjeeling
One should not try to put a yak's head on a sheep's body.
--- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Everyone who attended the first show and had tickets for the second had
to leave the auditorium and then re-enter. Actually this was fine
because it gave us time to go back to our room, change clothes and have a
beer out of the amply stocked refrigerator that automatically charges
your account when you move the item you want. That is move and not
necessarily re-move. Because if you merely move the item, you are
charged. This can cause problems if you have kids that are searching for
their favorite soda or if you move everything around to stash the remains
of your dinner. Being very careful, I removed one Heineken and commented
that although the first show was relatively short, the second would most
likely be different and that I would really like to hear my favorite,
Love Minus Zero, No Limit. When you are in a casino, you are actually in
an altered state of consciousness, not in the Carlos Casteneda sense, but
altered to where you believe that, no matter what, things are going to go
your way, and you will ultimately come out ahead. Sometimes you win,
sometimes you lose. I think concerts are much the same. But even though
I didn't hear my fave, this concert was no loser. We all walked out as
winners, cheating the one-armed bandito en un otra realidad. We flashed
past the gaming tables, through the slot machines, around the roulette
wheel to the auditorium entrance. Same scene. The well dressed lady, in
true Grateful Dead fashion, now held up one finger, begging for someone
to comp her into the concert. The cancellation line now announced that
there were "Bob Dylan Tickets Available." A glance to the VIP table
revealed no sign of celebs. Madonna, where are you? We filed in taking
our seats at stage center right, a better vantage point sight and sound
wise compared to the early show. Two cowboys and a silver haired surfer
dude sat two rows in front. Some people from Chicago sat behind us. In
the row directly in front and to the right in the aisle seat was a woman
with skeleton earrings. Shades of the Grateful Dead. She looked all
right but was to become a focus of attention when, after each song, she
would yell out loudly, "Jack of Hearts." I think she yelled out Jack of
Roses the first time but cannot confirm that. I thought about yelling
out LMZ,NL or maybe Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands. No one really
responded or became agitated at her and finally she left and came back,
taking her seat and quietly watching the remainder of the show. People
in Lake Tahoe are so friendly, there was not a cross word said all night.
And as for her actions? Well, I probably looked equally bizarre writing
notes after every song, but then, that's my job you know. Aaron
Copland's Suite For America comes up, fades, then returns in full force
for the band's entrance to the stage. Young Bob walks up to the piano.
His step is confident, his eyes, too. The guitars break into the first
chords of Seeing The Real You At Last. Are we disappointed that it's the
same opening song? Nope, this time it is cranked up a notch and tight.
It's funny how you catch parts of songs or pieces of sentences and the
rest washes over you, especially in the context of loud music where the
high frequencies cancel out certain sounds and augment others. These
overlapping signals sometimes even create extraneous chords related
diatonically to the original but have no relevance to the informational
systemic cognition. But I digress. The lyric patch that I heard in the
first show was "You could ride like Annie Oakley, and shoot like Belle
Staar." This time around I heard, "I got troubles, I think you have some
troubles, and I think maybe we better leave each other alone." I envy
anyone who hears all the lyrics. Next up, another song from Nashville
Skyline. Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You was an emotional ride
with Larry on steel and Bob on piano. Tombstone Blues Déjà Vu in the
third slot was better this time than the first. Accidentally Like A
Martyr this time was accentuated and better played with some good
harmonies on the chorus: "We made mad love, shadow love, random love and
abandoned love," and Bob accentuated the line as in the first show, ". .
. time out of mind," an indication of the origin of the CD title. Or
maybe just a coincidence. A funky rockin' I'll Be Your Baby Tonight came
next with Bob on piano followed by a house rockin' rendition of The
Stones' Brown Sugar. Larry played a beautiful mandolin on To Ramona, to
the point that Bob had to glance over toward him so he could play his
acoustic solo. Undaunted as before, Larry played masterfully with and
around Bob who played beautifully also. It's All Right Ma, I'm Still
Bleeding from the first show was good, but this one was better and was
followed by the best version of Don't Think Twice, It's All Right I have
ever heard. Three acoustic guitars blended perfectly to create one
sound, each soloist masterfully working in and around the other two
guitarists. Grateful Bob and the band then rocked Not Fade Away for the
second time while visions of Jerry danced in our heads. Next in the
"best I've ever heard" category came a great version of Blowin' In The
Wind with Bob playing one of his best solos of the night. Neil Young's
Old Man didn't disappoint the second time either. Then Bob briefly
introduced the band members in between songs with no individual playing
and they moved right into the highlight of the night, Summer Days. This
song was the absolute high energy number of the night with blazing
guitars from all three guitar amigos. Then, the perfunctory bows from
the stage and exeunt stage left, all of us ready for more. When I called
my son after the show and told him that the two encores were the same
songs for both shows, he told me that "He (Dylan) could have played just
those two songs all night and it would be all right with me." Knockin'
On Heaven's Door was great and All Along The Watchtower was too. I
thought I heard Larry playing pedal steel and then realized it wasn't
Larry, it was Charlie playing his guitar. At the end of All Along The
Watchtower, Bob repeated the first verse and accentuated the line "but
neither you nor I know what any of this is worth." And then the wind
began to howl.
In my notebook, the last entry I made for this night was "Charlie Hendrix."
Review by Kathleen
They were back! in clean, different colored shirts. I knew why they
changed. Besides being HOT like they are musically (and otherwise), they
seemed pretty warm up on stage, Bob had sweat on his bottom back curls,
and Charlie even had hair out of place from the heat, though it probably
won't surprise you to read that Larry still looked like he just stepped
out of a Breck commercial. Anyway, I think the band seemed glad to be
back for some more and the crowd (larger than the first show) seemed eager
Since many of the same songs were played during this show as during the
early show, I am limiting my review of the second show to only what seems
Seeing the Real You at Last– It's totally noteworthy how good the
arrangement and delivery of this song is even though I said the same thing
in the early show review. (One small boo hoo I had is that Rovin' Gambler
didn't show up, but there is always New Mexico!)
Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You– beguiling in its vocal delivery.
Pedal steel also drew me way in.
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight– What can you really say when this tune appears
just two later than Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with you, except, okay,
whatever you say Bob, take me I'm yours. Richly colored country lead
playing by Charlie and pedal steel playing by Larry.
Brown Sugar- Yeah, yeah, yeah. Woo! Everyone had a blast with this song.
It's Alright Ma– Bob's solos and rock star moves made this one.
Blowin in the Wind– Little lyric flub here early on which didn't detract
much as Bob kept his very cool cool. The last three chords were spaced way
out, building excitement for the next tune.
Summer Days– It's funny how much I missed this standard song when it was
excluded from the setlist in the first show. The band was all smiles and
goofing (Tony up on the drum risers with his stand up bass, Charlie doing
his falling around moves), but the song was as tight as can be. George
was doing swimming stroke drumming. I can't believe the sticks didn't go
flying out of his hands. That's how vigorous the entire band was, too,
even after hours of playing. Go guys!
Another musically superb and energetically entrancing performance. Looking
forward to the rest of this week!
page by Bill Pagel
page by Bill Pagel
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