Sacramento, California

Arco Arena
October 18, 2006

[Keith Rowe], [Adeline Sweet], [Bob Hunt]

Review by Keith Rowe

This is my 1st review of a show after having attended about 15 over the
last 7-8 years, all of which have been in California, the 1st 12 in SoCal
& the last 3 in NoCal (Davis, Stockton, & Arco last eve). I thought the
venue itself was OK (I can see why the Sac Kings want a new arena), yet
the acoustics I'd rate well to very good to my surprise. As I've become
accustomed, the crowd seemed to be pretty oblivious (at least around me)
when he threw us nuggets like "Just Like" or "Hollis" and were mostly
clueless on "Tangled" to my surprise as well, but like us all, I'm there
for my enjoyment, not others. Reminds me of my days of seeing the Dead
when many would cheer mightily for "Touch of Grey" yet wonder what all the
fuss was about when they'd grace us with an "Attics of My Life."  Also,
Bob's instrument was much more audible than the last 2 times I've seen
him, which was nice. 

Onto the show: Maggies was great as I thought the band extended it a bit
more than usual & seemed on track as this was show 4 out 5 nights. I am
always happy w/ Just like & wasn't disappointed as vocally Bob did great &
pulled out the harp for the 1st time. A slightly reworked High Water
followed which was OK in my opinion as the banjo wasn't nearly high enough
in the mix, which was disappointing as it really makes the song. When the
Deal was superb as Bob & the band really do this song justice. The 1st
Tweedle Dee of the tour made me realize we would get a few surprises by
the end of the show. Tangled was OK, although I yearn for the late 90s
versions which were uptempo from start to finish. Another nice harp solo
by Bob. Sure enough, a Wonderful To Ramona verified my suspicions were
correct that Bob had a few tricks in store. I absolutely love this song as
it seems timeless & this version, especially vocally, was great. It's alright 
was OK, however, I'm not too fond of the recent rearrangement Bob has ]
come up with. I'm also not convinced on the usage of the fiddle (an 
instrument I absolutely love...see Railroad Earth!) as I don't feel it is 
necessary....nonetheless, I never mind hearing the lyrics to It's alright. 
Suffice to say, Rollin works well live, almost a warm up for the Highway 61 
that appeared a few songs later. Then Bob continued to be extremely 
kind & showered us w/ Hollis Brown, a song that I love (as well as use in 
my teachings as a 7th & 8th grade Honors English teacher in Folsom, CA 
in our reading comprehension endeavors). He nailed Hollis & while I sensed 
the audience was mostly clueless regarding song awareness, really 
appreciated the song and its performance. Highway was satisfactory as 
it was neither off the charts or failing in any manner. Then Bob kicked 
out his last nugget of the eve when he played Nettie Moore for the 1st 
time; this song has become my favorite of the album and due to its 
structure, is one that I predict will be seen in set lists (possibly sporadically) 
for years to come. This was a beautiful performance of a great song (give 
it a chance if you haven't yet)! A jamming Summer Days got the house 
on its feet which segued into a fine Thunder which is greatly placed in 
its current lead off encore slot. The show concluded w/ LARS into Watch, 
a combo I desperately wish he would at least vary a bit, but as we all 
know, Bob does what bob wants.


Review by Adeline Sweet

Ode To A Show 
Kings Of Leon 
Rock n Roll plain and simple. This band is Very cool (plus they’re
adorable too). Respect them and guitar picks may be thrown at your feet.
Okay, after they left the stage, I’m thinking, a short wait for Bob Dylan
and His Band… It’s hard to write this (somebody's got to tell the tale, I
guess it must be up to me.) Just before the intermission, a
straight-looking couple, read Mrs. and Mrs. Jones, had confidently claimed
the two front row center seats. I’m not sure why, but I felt that
something was out of place and as this feeling grew, as I realized that
something was indeed wrong. Suddenly a group of concerned faces and
murmurings formed in the front row and some security guards looked wearily
towards the floor. Evidently, Mrs. Jones had abruptly totally hurled her
lunch all over front row center. It must’ve been pretty bad up there
because a super human crew began arriving in shifts, using (I kid you not)
two buckets to contain the spill. Being a fan sensitive to these signs, as
the odor wafted towards me, I began to wonder if this was a bad show omen…
not so.

I will start at the finish…
After the encore, when Bob and his Band left the stage, a guy in the front
row yelled out really loud “he’s at the top of his game”!!!  That guy was
right, and I have waited for his review but alas, here’s mine instead. Bob
is at the top of his game, in fact, his keyboards, harmonica and vocals
were great all night long and right from the start there were lots of
smiles amongst band members. The music was truly great, and I mean great,
in the sense of those things that you can’t really talk about with mere
words without missing the mark, you know what I mean, the beyond
description thing, the ineffable thing, and then into the realm of pure
energy… Both new guitar players Stu Kimball and Denny Freeman were rockin
and jammed, and Herron, who plays fiddle, pedal steel, & mandolin, is
great too. Tony Garnier on the base was at his splendid best, and (as
always) and George Ricile on drums was bringing home the groceries. First
of all, starting out with Maggie’s Farm, played in a way I never imagined
it could be played, was surprisingly like being blindsided with all the
best things the universe has to offer, all at once. Then, just Like Tom
Thumb Blues going right into When the Deal Goes Down, followed by Tangled
Up In Blue and To Ramona (this is a dream right?)  By that time, the band
was getting so tight, I started to lose touch with reality altogether.
Then they blasted off into Rollin’ and Tumblin’ Ahhhhhhhhhh… (methinks I
left my body for at this point). Next, they ripped out some back pages and
delivered The Ballad of Hollis Brown and Highway 61 Revisited; a back and
forth between heavy reality and surreality causing my leopardskin pillbox
hat to become unglued and I had to sit down, which helped taking in Nettie
Moore, also played unbelievably and way beyond expectation or description
… It’s Alright Ma… I’m losing track… oh yeah, yeah, the encore… (If you
want them to come back, I’ve found that feet stomping helps)…  encore was
Thunder On The Mountain? (cut me a break) … Like a Rolling Stone and All
Along The Watchtower were also performed at their very best. So, they just
keep getting better folks, and all I can say is that it would be a shame
to miss the chance to go and see them if you can, and remember its okay to
stand up and dance (I think Bob likes it). Seeing this show is the most
fun I’ve ever had, so thanks for allowing me to say something nice about
Bob and his Band because they’re simply the best there is.   Love Minus
Zero No Limit. Peace 

Adeline Sweet


Review by Bob Hunt

So what does a seventy-year-old Dylan follower of forty-five years do when
three consecutive concerts are being played near home?  And what if these
three shows are the fourth, fifth, and sixth of a new Fall Tour during
which first public performances from a new album are going to occur? 
Well, my response was predictably clear.  During the presale, I obtained
tickets for each of the October 16 and 17 shows in San Francisco and for
the October 18  show in Sacramento.  Then, planning to attend all three
concerts with my wife, we parceled out the other seats to my brother, my
son, three of my daughters, and my thirteen-year-old grandson.  

We all attended the shows with high expectations, and we felt richly
rewarded each night.  The San Francisco performances have been well
reviewed on this site; so I will add only a few comments.  It was
refreshing to be treated cordially at the doors in the tradition of Bill
Graham shows, rightfully so since the auditorium is named after Bill. 
Further, the capacity crowd of seven thousand was respectful of Dylan and
his band, as well as enthusiastic and joyous in their response to the
music.  Warm smiles and happiness were abundant as they departed from the
venue.  Many had hoped for a first public performance of a song from
"Modern Times"; but, alas, it was not to be.  And it was a little sad that
the Tuesday night crowd missed out on the moving and uplifting "When the
Deal Goes Down" that was missing from that night's set list.  

So, it was on to Sacramento and the Arco Arena where only the floor and
lower sections were open.  Black curtains closed off the upper sections in
this sports arena, a good idea for both the sound and a more intimate
setting than the cavernous arena would have offered.  The crowd was about
seven thousand according to the media; but an usher told me it was closer
to four thousand.  And it appeared to be significantly smaller than those
each night in San Francisco.

Whereas Dylan wore one of his black hats for each of the San Francisco
shows and the band members were in black or somber gray, Dylan was hatless
in a white western coat with an open-necked polka dot shirt and black
trousers while the band members had on their matching cranberry-colored
suits.  Dylan was in a good mood, grinning at band members from time to
time, dancing in place, and scanning the crowd with his "new eyes".  The
sound was excellent, and Dylan's voice was clear and powerful throughout
the concert.  There was a pleasant mixture of songs similar to other set
lists on the tour so far. 

Besides the four songs from "Modern Times", including a first public
performance of "Nettie Moore", highlights and surprises for many in the
respectful crowd were "High Water", "To Ramona", and "Ballad of Hollis
Brown".  A blistering version of "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum" was full of
fire and recrimination.  As I wrote in a review on this site of an early
show in the tour following the release of  "Love and Theft", it seems
clear to me that "Dee" is Dick Cheney and "Dum" is George Bush.  I did not
receive any feedback, but listen to it with this in mind and see what you
think.  Certainly, for many of us hoping for a first performance, the
choice of "Nettie Moore" for this show was thrilling, full of beauty and
grace.  Early in the show, in a relatively quiet moment between songs,
someone shouted out this title; and, although we all know that Dylan is
not influenced by such outbursts, it made me wonder.  And I wished I had
called out for "Beyond the Horizon".  

I want to close this with a few comments.  First, in "When the Deal Goes
Down", what I hear and feel in the last line of the refrain, is  "I'll be
with You when the deal goes down".  And, for consistency, the next to last
line must be written "I owe my heart to You, and that's sayin' it true". 
Are there any official lyrics anywhere that might confirm this?  Also, in
the Sacramento performance of this wonderful song, my wife feels that she
heard, quite clearly, "We live and we die, and we know why", a significant
and positive modification from "we know not why".  If anyone has a tape of
this show, it would be interesting to know whether my wife heard correctly
or just fantasized a more hopeful declaration.  Finally, in some key lines
of "Beyond the Horizon", I discern "You" for "you"; for example, "I still
can't believe that You have set aside Your love for me" and "I've got more
than a lifetime to live lovin' You".  Perhaps, when lyrics for "Modern
Times" are finally posted on the "official" online list, this will be
cleared up.  However, Bob Dylan, ever the trickster, may be leaving this
up to the listener.

Bob Hunt
Arcata, CA    


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