October 24, 2012
Review by Paul Wultz
After a fine show in the beautifuloutdoors [although misty] Santa
Barbara Bowl I wasready for anything that Bob would hand usin San Diego.
The Valley View Casino Center is actually the former San Diego Sports
Arena which is one of those oval shapedmulti purpose arenas that seat
14,000 people and generally has never been know for it's good sound.
However some years back the ceiling was re-worked and now if you have good
sound people like Bob does, then it doesn't sound too bad. That was the
case on Wed. night when my wife Yvonne and good Norwegian friend Magne
Karlstad attended the concert.
Mark Knopfler and his very talented multi-instrumental band opened with a
nice hour long set, and then Bob's people took to the stage and did their
thing to makeit ready for Mr. Dylanand his superb band. As anyone who has
been following the tour knows there are now mirrors placed in "strategic"
positions in front of the stage and about a half dozen spotlights behind
pointing kind of upward and facing the audience. My guess is this is to
deter photography which unless you have a upscale camera probably works
pretty good. I can't imagine anybody getting very good pictures with
theirlittle point and shoot cameras that they've smuggled in, or
The show opened like someothers recently with "You Ain't Goin Nowhere"
which was great to hear as I always thought this to be one of Bob's better
tunes that he seldom performs. His voice was strong, the melody wasn't
messed with too much, and he sang witha caring that the song deserves.
This was one of the highlights for me along with "Joey",two songs I've
never heard live before, so that made this night extraspecial. I also
enjoyed "Visions of Johanna" and "Forgetful Heart". Mark Knopfler cameout
and played some guitar on "Summer Days" which was a nice treat. The best
rocker of the night for me was "Ballad of a Thin Man", and as far asI'm
concerned, except for this song he can give the other 4 tunes he closes
the show with a needed rest. I know that most people who aren't the fans
we are that readthis website come to see Dylan and want to hear the big
hits, especially from the 60's. But Bob has so many more songs he could
close with that would be just as recognizablethat it would be great if he
would mix it upa bit with something else occasionally. How about
"TambourineMan", "Positively Fourth Street," "Masters of War", or many
others he could pull from his hat? But as weall know, Bob is Bob, and as
Rick Nelson used to sing,"If You Can't Please Everyone, You Gotta Please
So for the 3 of us it was another great show, and anytime Ihave the
opportunity to hear this most special poet, writer, singer, performer,
song and danceman, I'll always be there,and I'm most grateful that he is
still on the road,headin for another joint.
Review by Andy Carroll
I've seen Dylan many times in San Diego, and for some reason, he always
seems to deliver. Tonight was no exception. Smiling and laughing, Bob
repeated the verse "pick up your money and pack up your tent" over and
over during "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" as if he was fond of that line. Bob
declared, "It Ain't Me Babe" from the baby grand piano then went center
stage for "Things Have Changed." Bob's little song and dance on this song
has become nothing short of theatrical, strutting back and forth on the
stage emphasizing key lines like "I'm in love with a woman who doesn't
even appeal to me." The tone is dark and comical at the same time. More
theatrics with "Tangled Up In Blue," and Bob was clearly having fun
changing the words up and laughing to himself like it's an inside joke.
Back to the piano for "Cry A While" then an unexpected and quite superb
"Joey." Bob articulated every word. Mark Knopfler embellished "Summer
Days" with some good lead guitar. And then "ain't it just like the night
to play tricks when you're trying to be so quiet," the materpiece of the
night, "Visions of Johanna." I relished every word. Couldn't ask for a
better performance. After a rockin' "Highway 61," another center stage
highlight, "Forgetful Heart." Bob's really proud of this song and delivers
it so well every time I see him play it. The line "forgetful heart, why
can't you love like you did before" always does it for me, and Bob always
emphasizes those words like he really wants the audience to hear them.
The rest of the show went without a hitch, and closed out the best show
for me in recent memory. In fact, I just checked, and it was ten years ago,
October 11, 2002 in Berkeley at the Greek Theatre. That was the last
time a Bob Dylan concert had such a profound effect on me.
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