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Review by Anne Karakatsoulis
The Minneapolis concert was even better than Duluth. The Target Center
seems like a good venue. Lots of people, but it's roomy, and I think
the sound was good. (Will someone please please let me know how to
]get a tape of Mpls? I have nothing to trade, except money or blanks.)
Last year the two TOOM songs Bob sang were already better than the
cd. It's funny that he said in interviews when the cd came out that
the songs were complete and finished, and yet they too were blueprints
of music that's gotten better and better live. They are so dense and
mysterious and full of momentum and emotion. It seems like the
beginning of a whole new thing for Bob, because it sounds to me like
a different kind of music he's creating yet again. And his voice is
so modulated and strong.
It seems that Minnesota is not the place for the sedentary and/or
discriminating concertgoer, because when Bob came out the audience
on the floor stood and stayed standing for the entire concert. They
also clapped to songs, hooted, danced, sang along, (on one of the
songs Bob would wait for the audience to sing the line, and then
would join in - it was pretty funny)and yelled out compliments and
generally acted most enthusiastic if not decorous. Oh well, it's the
sticks. And Bob doesn't seem to mind.
'Blowin' in the Wind' blows me away. It's like the past and present
come together with that song. I feel especially privileged to have
heard him sing that. And we got three harmonica solos that night.
'My Back Pages' was so well sung and played. First you have those
great lyrics and then the band goes into instrumental mode for the
best playing I've ever heard. Bob gives his audience so much - no
one could be more generous.
Rock on, Bob. Please come back soon.
Review by Tom Lallier
Bob Dylan showed more of his new found energy in Minneapolis. The mood of
the concert crowd in Duluth the night before felt like a longing for lost
times and opportunities, almost apologetic, highlighted by his tender
"Tomorrow is such a Long Time". But nothing could match the energy of Friday
night in Minneapolis. Dylan used all of his previously unseen moves, shaking
like Elvis and moon walking like Michael.
While Duluth represents a return home to the place of his birth. Minneapolis
is always a return to Bob's musical beginnings, some which are not always
fondly remembered, but full raw power nonetheless. When I can, I try to see
several shows in a row when his tour swings through the plains. The Target
Center show was head and shoulders above the other shows in intensity and
sound quality. By the end of the performance Bob's long black coat was soaked
with hard earned sweat and I felt as wrung out as a poor boy can get.
The show followed the opening set list Dylan has done in his latest Tour,
"Gotta Serve Somebody", "I'll Remember You" and "Cold Irons Bound". The sound
for opening song was somewhat muddy and the new arrangement was difficult to
follow. Even so the crowd was on there feet and into Bob's new high energy
delivery. All night Dylan strutted playing to the crowd with body, guitar and
voice. His stage presence was shy and playful in Duluth, nervous and
uncertain in Chicago, but confident and mature in Minneapolis.
"I'll Remember You" was the smooth and showed the folks that this band was
tight and they could expect a good evening ahead, even after they experienced
the tirade of minor chords and slow tempo of Joni Mitchell (She was much
improved in Chicago). Tonight Bob was going to rock. The band started to
strut in "Cold Irons Bound". Dylan took a powerful walk with his electric
guitar in this tune. Even though it was a song from 1997, it showed why rock
and roll had followed his lead in 1966.
"Just Like a Women" was the work horse of the first electric set. The harp
work was flawless. One of the breaks the band executed near the end of the
song was worthy of any Dead show I've ever seen. The band was really in sync.
The band was driving and relentless as Dylan lead them with his new walk - up
and around and back and forth. By the time "Silvio " began the sound was in
the zone. The sound crew had tuned in and got it right. One treat of this
show was Bob stepping back on every song to exchange riffs with Larry moving
the songs inside down and upside out.
The acoustic set began with a caustic "It Ain't Me Babe". The tone was
angry resentment of prior days. It was followed by "Masters of War" which was
powered by what one fan called "a song with those angry chords". Larry went
to work on "Tangled Up in Blue". The song was an upbeat rocker. Larry's
happy opening of the song carried the melody and Bob let him lead the way
never missing a single change or word. The highlight of the acoustic set for
Minneapolis was clearly "My Back Pages". As with "Tomorrow is Such a Long
Time" in Duluth, he sang "My Back Pages" to this crowd, on this night, Dylan
weaving his magic through this time and place.
Dylan strapped back on the ax for "You Make Me Feel My Love". Of the three
shows I had the pleasure to see, this night Dylan seemed to feel that
connection with his audience sing to each person. "Highway 61" did not have
the drive it did the night before, but that may have been because he moved it
from the encore to the close of the second set. The song was done slower with
a little more blues feel. It did build though to a great rocker by the end.
He obliged the new fans, and there are still some at every show, with "Love
Sick". It was a bit cookie cutter, but was that way in each of the shows.
"Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" was raucous. Bob smiled to the crowd and was
playful with the band. The peopled settled down to sing with Dylan on
"Blowin' in the Wind". There was a feeling of respect in the crowd that all
of the concerts experienced. It was quickly blown away when the band cranked
up "‘Till I Fell in Love With You". I hadn't realized what a rocker it was.
The move of this song from the end of the second set to the end of the encore
was brilliant making it the best song of the night. As is becoming standard,
the close was an acoustic version of "Forever Young". Again, the Minneapolis
audience heard an outstanding version, stepping back for an inspired guitar
solo. Thank-You Bob.
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