Palo Alto, California

Stanford University
Laurence Frost Amphitheater (Frost Amphitheater)

October 14, 2019

[T. Way], [Laurette Maillet], [Pete Shanks], [Michael Lederman], [Issie], [Mitch Meyer]

Review by T. Way

The last time I saw a show at Stanford’s Frost Amphitheatre was in 1991
to see Miles Davis during his Amandla Tour. Before that, it was Grateful
Dead shows around the time In The Dark was released. The venue has always
had a simple, tree lined, sloping lawn charm about it. Classic California
chill. Reopening from many years of dormancy recently, the venue hosted
another old legend, Willie Nelson a night earlier. General admission with
a crowd whose average age was 50+.

After an announcement warning against photography or recording of any
kind, the show was soon underway. The band, as usual, looking every bit
the part of blues club cool. The addition of a few tuxedoed mannequins
created an air of formal whimsy. Bob came out of the gates playing guitar
(the only time I believe). The sound was very good and the vocals were
clear and delivered with gusto.

New verse lyrics were added to Simple Twist of Fate (good luck finding
that recording!) and was a high point for this attendee. Great new
arrangements were given to just about all the songs. Bob did a few center
stage pose moves and seemed to be in great spirits. The set focused on
music generally outside of his “hit” songs I guess. I loved the
selections. I mean, only Bob could end his show with It Takes A Lot To
Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry. No Forever Young, No Blowing In The Wind.
Certainly not what the masses would come to hear. I sure enjoyed it.

T. Way


Review by Laurette Maillet

From Santa Barbara to Palo Alto. 
We took highway 1, the coastal road to Monterey. We keep on H1,
a  narrow and winding road between the red forest and the Pacific
Ocean for five hours.A little stop in Big Sur to feel the fresh air and
the frog. The last few miles put me in panic as the gas gauge starts
blinking red. We fill up with 40$ in Carmel and that should take us a long
way.  We have dinner of fish and fries at the Fishhopper on Monterey
Cannery row street and go to sleep. The next 300 kilometers to Palo Alto
are an easy ride. The show tonight at Stanford University is GA and open
air. I don't except any front row as I don't have a ticket yet and I don't
want to queue but enjoy the sunny afternoon on the campus. Walking around
and taking photos of the beautiful buildings is a pleasant occupation. At
6pm they open the doors and a crowd of few hundred fans starts rushing in.
At 6.30pm a nice Lady offers me to join her in the line for she has a
ticket on her telephone for me. This is more and more common to use a
mobile screen ticket. Okay. All good. As I walk in I realize people are
spread out on the grass, more or less picnicking. Nothing like the great
enthusiasm we used to have at a GA show. I find my way to the rail on the
left side of the stage and hold the spot for one hour. I will be able for
the first time to see Bob's face.  The Lady next to me is an Artist from
Santa Cruz and we have a pleasant chat for one hour. It is dark by now
when Bob and his new Band take the stage. "Beyond here lies nothing" is
remarkable with Bob on guitar. As he puts his guitar down, the electric
cord touches the floor. Bob first makes a move towards the piano but
suddenly turns around , looks at the guitar cord, makes a gesture to pick
it up, changes his mind and moves again to the piano. Weird!  He will
pick up that cord after the song. Showing a sign of compulsion? He keeps
on singing the set list with concentration, obviously focusing on the
lyrics. I focus on his outfit! A brand new suit with white flashing
embroidery, a white shirt and a tightly fitted white belt, brand 
new shoes looking like sleepers(no more cowboy boots). The 
body is skinny but still straight. He is wearing a ring on his right 
hand. Alright.  All his energy is on the expression of the lyrics. 
What ever the song, the lyrics are clear and emotionally expressed. 
He is even using his hands and body to add some drama. He is 
blowing his harp with energy on "It ain't me Babe" and "Make you 
feel my Love" . I see Bob reading the lyrics of "Lenny Bruce" in front
of him, on the piano. Other songs he knows well. I am still not impress by
the Band. Except a solo from Charlie or Bob Britt, here and there. Donnie
being mainly on the violin, with 3 or 4 pedal steal backing up Bob's still
erratic piano playing. The public is polite and one or two wild fans
scream "yeas"  and "go on Bob" but nothing of the atmosphere of the past.
I even feel bored on " Trying to get to heaven" and now realize how cold I
am. I am freezing. Bob has a heater on the side of his piano and steam is
coming from his mouth and the mouth of the guitar players. "Ballad of a
thin man" is exceptional but.... This is the End. Bob presented rapidly
the Band tonight.  Final bow and all is done. I was happy to visit
Stanford University, well known all around the world. I am happy I decided
to skip the next few shows. I truly don't believe there will be any
improvement. It is possible that Bob will feel more tired moving on.
California was a pleasant journey. Bye bye Bobby. See you on the east


Review by Pete Shanks

In the Frost Amphitheater at Stanford, Dylan seemed to have as much fun as
the audience did. He was on excellent form, and his band is (as usual)
superlative. His voice sounded gruff early on, powerful and effectively
raspy — Beyond here lies nothin’ — but by the time he reached the
end it was clear that the way he sings is a choice, not a collapse. When
he wants to, the notes are clear; maybe this is the benefit of the
Sinatra-style recordings, who knows? He also played much more harmonica
than we’ve become used to: most of the time he was “center stage”
(see the set list) there was a harp in his hand, and sometimes when he was
at the piano, too. Perhaps this is a way to rest his voice (and maybe his
hands) while also definitely giving the people what they want — his
harmonica solos have given us high points throughout his career. The whole
stage was lit, not just spots on the singer, the whole band (in uniform;
dark suits) deserved the attention. Weirdly, at times he reminded me of
Liberace, as portrayed by Michael Douglas — a pro down to his toenails,
though Bob shares very little else with old Lee except that they both are
(or were) exactly who themselves and no one else could be. Also, less
weirdly, he reminded me of the way he did Charlie Chaplin bits in his very
early performances, funny little dances that just make you smile. When Bob
and the band hit the stage, the audience rose as one to our feet, and most
of us stayed there pretty much all of the time. It was a joyous
celebration, probably my favorite of the gigs I’ve attended since, er,
maybe San Jose in 1992; not up to Rolling Thunder in Boston but then what
is? There are three dozen more shows on this tour — catch them if you

Pete Shanks


Review by Michael Lederman


The carnival came to town. On a beautiful Bay Area night, Bob and band
brought their A Game to Frost Amphitheater on the Stanford University
campus. From beautifully sung renditions of songs both old new, to
haunting melodies played by his latest touring band, Bob and company did
not disappoint. In fact, having seen Mr. D many times during the Never
Ending Tour, tonight ranks at or near the top. Highlights: It Ain’t Me
Babe - sung with tender clarity. Paint My Masterpiece - performed as a
ballad. Wow. Girl From The North Country - you could hear a pin drop. As
beautiful as I have ever heard Bob sing. Not Dark Yet - Again, every word
crooned. Just magical. DO NOT MISS THESE SHOWS!!! Bob at his best. Thank
you Mr. D


Review by Issie

Oh my God.   Mind blowing show last night.   Probably the most satisfying
and radical rearrangements of songs across an entire show since the ‘78
tour.  New drummer and guitarist have inspired Bob to keep moving forward
and staying fresh.  The band gets in a tight groove on every song that
hypnotically sweeps you right into the moment.  And rather than
deteriorating into an ever more raspy and gravely voice Bob’s singing is
now somehow as strong live as it has been at anytime this century.  

My neighbor Michael, who also attended the Tulsa World of Bob Symposium
with me and is a recently rediscovering Bob fan, joined me for this show. 
 We got to the venue at 5pm and we’re rewarded with front center spots
with just a few folks in front of us.   We instantly connecting  with Sam
to our left and Larry to our right, as Dylan fans often will, and the
waiting time passed very quickly exchanging Bob stories and thoughts.  It
was definitely an added bonus to see the show from so close and I’d
highly recommend it to anyone planning to attend upcoming general
admission shows.    

It was great to see Bob play lead guitar on Beyond Here Lies Nothing.  And
the man is smiling again, a lot, apparently enjoying himself knowing this
new show is smoking hot.  To my ears, literally almost every song was a
stand out knock your socks off highlight.  To my ears, the only non
highlights, which were perfectly fine in their own right, we’re It
Ain’t Me Babe, Highway 61 and Make You Feel My Love.   I honestly
don’t know how any longtime Dylan fan can see this current show and not
be totally blown away.   Noteworthy, the sold out crowd had a noticeably
lower average age than I am accustom to seeing at Bob shows.  Sure, plenty
of aging baby boomers but lots of 20 and 30 somethings too.   And that’s
a good thing.  Bob is still alive, still amazing, still reinventing
himself, and still so uniquely relevant without peer.   Pass it on.



Review by Mitch Meyer

What an absolutely terrific show last night, outdoors at the renovated Frost 
Amphitheater on the Stanford campus, on a lovely 65 degree night with a 
near full moon rising during the show. 

I've seen Dylan about 50 times since I caught one of his shows with The
Band at Madison Square Garden during the '74 tour.  Living in the Bay Area, 
there was no doubt that I was going to see this show, his first one around 
here in over two years, but in truth I wasn't that excited.  That didn't keep 
me from lining up for the first-come-first-served General Admission seating at 
2 p.m.  That wait got me a spot at stage right in the second row of people 
standing, with a perfect view of Bob and the band.  It turned out to be a 
better spot than I had realized.  In the new arrangement, when Dylan is on 
the upright piano he has his back to the band and he's facing the audience 
at stage right, so there was Bob, about 15 yards away, singing facing right 
in our direction, with every expression and gesture visible as if we were all 
in a living room.  Magical.  Especially because …

… Bob was in flat out great form.  The word that kept coming to me during 
the show was "frisky."  He was playful, animated, expressive, and totally 
involved in getting the most feeling possible out of every line.  He was 
having great fun with his songs.

Not to imply that he was shying away from the complex emotions that 
weave throughout his songs.  In fact, during the middle of the show he had 
a long spell of songs filled with dark moods of melancholy, wistfulness, 
sorrow, regret, mourning, loss, etc.  I love those moods in his songs, but 
even so I was starting to look for a rocker to get back to the energy of 
some of the first songs.  But then he'd come back with another sad song.  
I finally appreciated that he's not going to cater to the crowd and rock 
out when he'd rather deeply explore the losses of existence.  But of course
 he did eventually rock out, and it was all the better after all the sadness.
Other than Bob's performance, the show was terrific for multiple reasons.  
The sound was extraordinary, about the best I've ever heard at a concert.  
Most thrilling was the sound of Tony's bass.  It was not only clear and out 
front, but instead of a thumping sound so typical at concerts, you could 
hear every note.  It was almost like having a third guitar.  Fantastic.

General admission shows with people standing in front of the stage have a 
magic that is almost impossible to match when people are sitting, especially 
with reserved seats.  People who are willing to stand hours to get a spot 
near the stage are almost always big Bob fans who know his songs 
intimately and understand what he's doing in concert.  It was exquisite to 
be surrounded by hundreds of people near the stage who were totally 
enjoying Bob and the show.  The looks on people's faces were really 
moving -- their smiles when he's railing against enemies, their sadness 
during songs of loss, the tears during GFTNC, the moist eyes during NDY.  
I loved the college students who I chatted with before the show who had 
a broad and deep knowledge of Bob's career and songs, and who had 
been affected by him to their core, just like I have been for the last 50 

As for the band, Charlie, Tony, and Donnie were endlessly fascinating to
listen to.  I did miss George on drums but he probably wasn't as dynamic 
at the start as he became over the years.  Over all, the music was 

I would say that there were several arrangements that didn't elevate the 
songs, and they created a bit of a lull in the show.  I'm referring to HWM, 
TTGTH, PIB and the surprising addition this tour of Lenny Bruce, which is 
not a great song but Bob does deliver an impassioned version.  The 
knock-dead highlight for me was NDY.  Also extraordinary were H61R, CW, 
WIPMM, GFTNC, TOTM, GSS, and the two encores.  As far as I was 
concerned, he could have kept playing the finale, "It Takes A Lot to 
Laugh, " for another hour.  It was such a great groove.  As Dylan has said 
about the songs of Gordon Lightfoot, you didn't want the song to ever 

In summary, it was a terrific show and Bob is in great shape.  Top tier, 
top notch.  I'd easily place this in the top 20% of his shows that I've 


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