Lincoln, Nebraska

Pershing Auditorium
October 25, 2006

[Marc D. Seger]

Review by Marc D. Seger

I hadn't seen Bob since around the early '90s, in one of those
not-so-good performances in Akron, Ohio.  My appreciation for him has
increased hugely since that time, and the 10/25/06 concert in Lincoln did
not disappoint.  Bob and His Band were in fine form -- the set was the
same first 3 songs (Absolutely Sweet Marie, Senor, and Stuck Inside of
Mobile . . . ) from their previous show 2 nights ago, and the final four
songs (the first-set finale "Summer Days") and the three song encore
("Thunder On the Mountain," "Like a Rolling Stone," and "All Along the
Watchtower") were the standard for most post-release of "Modern Times"

This leaves 9 songs in the middle of the set to account for -- 6 were the
same as the 10/22 San Diego show (2 shows ago), but moving the pairing of
the recent songs Rollin' and Tumblin' and Workingman's Blue #2 up in front
of Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum and Spirit on the Water up in front of
Highway 61 Revisited and Desolation Row, and the pairing of Tweedle Dee &
Tweedle Dum and Spirit on the Water to after those two classics
(Highway/Desolation).  Mixed in in the middle were Ballad of A Thin Man (a
nice surprise and very powerful in this rendition), A Hard Rain's A-Gonna
Fall, and 'Til I Fell In Love With You.

Dylan's croak was very effective -- he consistently phrased his
syllables in short bursts at the end of when we would hear the lines on
the CD versions.  Most effective was the guttural, deep, voicing of "Mr.
Jones" during "Ballad of a Thin Man."  He also demonstrated occasionally
that he can carry higher notes than his general croaking sound, if he
wants to -- those familiar with Dylan no doubt already recognize that
every phrasing choice he makes, although impacted by how his voice has
aged, is a choice Bob makes, with reason.  

This band is tight -- no question.  Excellent bass-work both on electric
and stand-up by Tony Garnier, with his excellent showmanship, was a
highlight.  Guitar work was fine by Denny Freeman.  I'll confess that the
finale "All Along the Watchtower" slightly let down my expectations, but
Hendrix wasn't available tonight, and imitating him note-for-note wouldn't
have served anyone well anyway, I know.  I just found the instrumentals a
lot more powerful on other songs tonight, such as on Thunder on the
Mountain -- which built to an amazing wall of sound, appropriate for a
song with "thunder" in the title.

Part of the fun for me was figuring out what the songs were -- these new
country-blues arrangements with different tempos often threw me off for a
few bars, but Dylan's voice was discernible often enough for me to catch
on pretty quick.  The crowd was an all-ages mix, probably averaging around

As expected, Bob didn't address the crowd other than to introduce the band
before the final song, and to indicate a desire to come back and play here
again sometime.  His left-leg-forward slight crouch at the keyboard
carried a welcome sense of the menace his lyrics have often presented to
the power-that-be, as they do now in "Workingman's Blues #2."  One can
sense the coiled energy of this man and how his relentless assault on our
preconceptions about music and our world have helped shape it.  

The Kings of Leon had moments of greatness, but occasional lapses --
their songs with sparer instrumentation did not hold my interest, but they
brought real firepower to some others.  I must admit I came to the concert
unfamiliar with their music.

Do yourself a favor and see Bob on this tour.  He's putting on a great

Marc D. Seger


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