page by Bill Pagel
Review by George Paxton
Shortly before Bob and his band came on stage, classical music started to
play through the speakers--Wagner. When Bob was introduced, it was more
than the simple "Ladies and gentlemen . . . would you please welcome
Columbia recording artist . . . Bob Dylan!" Tonight Bob got a decade by
decade career summary, including mention of substance abuse problems in
the 80s. The band started out on "To Be Alone with You"; Stu took the
first lead, followed by a nice workout by Larry. Bob broke out the harp
on the first song. They followed with "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with
You" with Larry on pedal steel and Bob on harp, eventually. "Tweedle Dee
and Tweedle Dum" was next, with Bob reorganizing some of the verses and
the band bringing it to an abrupt end. For "Mr Tambourine Man" Bob had a
nice harp break. "Cold Irons Bound" seemed like it should have been
introduced as "an autobiographical song". It featured some echo of Bob's
vocals--a few songs this evening did. "If Dogs Run Free" was pretty
faithful to the original, jazzy, and featured another nice harp break.
"Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" was good. Bob
played harp and sang, "An' he just smoked my eyeballs/An' punched my
cigarette". Near the end of the song, "It all seems so well timed" seemed
like the sly joke that it is. "Love Sick" featured some notable drumming,
and after this song the black curtains featuring a somewhat inscrutable
logo pulled back and revealed white curtains. The lights changed color
over the next several songs. "Highway 61 Revisited" followed with a good
beat and the piano low in the mix, as in most of the songs tonight. "Make
You Feel My Love" was next with Bob on harp and the piano turned up a
little. "Watching the River Flow" featured Bob on harp and during "Honest
with Me" Bob walked over to talk to George and Tony and he danced a little,
facing the audience, on his way back. "Standing in the Doorway" was next,
followed by "Summer Da! ys", which featured an intense jam before the last
three verses. Everyone except George stood without their instruments and
soaked up a little love, then Bob and the band left the stage. They
returned and played intense versions of "Like A Rolling Stone" and "All
Along the Watchtower". All in all it was an excellent concert. Bob
bobbed and weaved throughout. The band seemed a little tired sometimes,
Larry and Tony especially, but that's the way it goes.
Review by Amy Smith
Well, I thought "tired" was a pretty good description of Bob and the band
last night. Granted, this is the first time I've seen him live, Iowa's
not famous for the sensitivity of its sound setups (I really wished
someone would just unplug the whole damn thing so we could hear how they
sounded), and I'm no Bob Dylan connoisseur, but this was a far, far cry
from any recording I've heard, even of recent work, some of which I've
loved. At first I tried making allowances for the fact that the guy's not
young & he's been touring hard, and maybe he & the band just needed some
warmup time -- and "Tweedlie Dee" did get things moving nicely -- but
somewhere in the middle of "Tambourine Man" I thought of some old crazy
dude in the subway, you know, the kind who won't move on to the next car
because he just doesn't have his head together enough, and that was it for
me. I thought the show lacked energy, and apparently others agreed, since
the medium-sized crowd (old hippies, young hippies, curious undergrads,
academics with their kids) thinned out as the show wore on, and a lot of
the applause seemed more polite than enthusiastic. I eventually moved up
to the handicapped seats where there was more light, read for a while
hoping something fine & musical would catch my ear, but after about an
hour I left. Maybe they just needed a rest, I don't know. I've seen
other golden-oldie acts live and been very impressed by some of them, but
I don't know what was going on here.
The set seemed kind of incoherent, too -- the curtains opened looked like
the change from eye-of-fire to ballroom was supposed to be dramatic, but I
didn't really sense a connection between it & the music. I don't think
the basketball-court venue helped.
I don't know. Get some rest, guys, maybe PA will be better.
Review by Mark Brockman
WOW! A heavy dose from Time out of Mind and Love and Theft. Very nice!
Highlight by far was Watchtower. Holy Jesus! some hippie was telling me
that the song delivered in it's dooming fashion, has some association with
King's "Dark Tower" He kept babbling on about 4,000 knights or something.
Can you explain? Dylan was in fine form on the harp, which he played much
of the night. Stu took the lead on a few songs but Larry carried the
evening. At times the band seemed a bit tired rendering a few duds only to
be rescued by Bob's irresistable harp solos. Now Bob's incorporating vocal
echos throughout Irons Bound, Watchtower, and Hwy61 Rev. but he only does
it on certain verses. What is so surreal is the first verse of Watchtower
without the echo, then Larry and co. get some room to mix in Golden
Earring and Nine Inch Nails and then the same verse is repeated with the
echo! Would Bob ever tease his audience? The song just keeps climbing on
you! Nevertheless, I wonder what in the hell it must've been like to
witness Hendrix perform this masterpiece. I avidly listen to a concert
several years ago attended by my brother in Cedar Rapids, IA and when the
haunting "lovesick" was played I was taken aback (even though it was
expected) when "plowed under" was the lyric of choice as it was in Cedar
Rapids that marvelous night. "Honest with me," "Tweedeleedee & Dum" and
"Summer Days" were, as usual, flawlessly executed. Young and old alike
were dancing during "Summer Days." Honesty copells me to report that I
just can't get enough of Love and Theft, In fact, I would be entirely
satisfied if Bob were to perform the complete album and that album only.
Well, perhaps Bob could sing "Every Grain of Sand" as well just to knock
some people off their mountain tops. Although "Rolling Stone" was well
delivered, it ocurrs to me that the valiancy of the song now is a result
of Larry. There's a really sweet piano solo and the drums provide timely
power surges but Bob doesn't really seem into the song and I can't blame
him as repititon breeds aloofness. Larry is the coal that runs the engine
and Bob is the conductor. What a talent Larry is. One complaint: Is there
a problem with revving up "Tonight I'll be Staying Here With You?" The
song flat out gets the job done the way it was performed in the 1970's.
The Johnny R. Cash/Dylan Sessions version is appealing to a lot of fans
but I must respectfully submit to all of you that last night's version was
weak. "Rolling Thunder" minus Baez is where it's at. Throw my ticket in
the wind/throw my mattress out that door! Had this version been offered I
would have been overcome with sheer joy. I must however, note that the
song was salvaged by the harp. Bob told a lame joke, ribbing George a
little, laced into "Summer Days" and the encore hit. Big time applause as
Bob and the Band face the crowd. Larry still has his guitar strapped on
and all are motionless ('cept for Bob) staring into the crowd looking like
mobsters from the wild west ('cept for George) who have just won a
gunfight. Dylan is kind of pacing nervously and he's got that aw, jeez,
shucks, me? look about him. Then Bob goes down with both index fingers to
where his holsters would be but he fails to pull out his guns. Instead, he
raises his arms in the air and shakes them ever so slightly as if to say,
"see, nothing up my sleeve." Last night Mr. Bob Dylan was a gunslinger and
I just rolled with the bullets. Thanks Bob, it was indeed my pleasure. See
you in Kenosha and Dekalb.
Review by Karl Fisher
I got in line at 10:15 or so, and had only Matt (iowadylanfan) and Mark
(windycitymark) in front of me, and my girlfriend.
Long day in line, but met some great folks. Especially that crazy dude
towards the end of the night who got Marks extra ticket--he was ecstatic.
I also look forward to seeing Allison at the next show, she was incredibly
Got to the rail, here's the scoop:
To Be Alone With You
--I called it, and it was a superb opener. Lots of feeling, and all of the
Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You
--I've seen it before, but it was still very melodic, and better than in
Des Moines I think. Bob began to play a harp solo only to find it was the
wrong one, and he walked over and replaced it. Didn't seem mad though.
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
--Definitely a warhorse. Around this time I began to notice that Bob's
piano was more audible in the mix than I've ever heard, and I hope it
stays this way. Larry by the way has never looked cooler than when he
plays on this jam.
Mr. Tambourine Man
--Matt had been saying that this was his lucky 13th, and so be it because
he finally got to hear this song. I'd never heard it and as soon as I
recognized it I was in heaven. great arrangement, great piano, great
harmonica, great singing, great expressions....in other words--great.
Cold Irons Bound
---Wow! Another song I'd been dying to see. Echo and all! Amazing guitar
If Dogs Run Free
--people have been calling this the dull slot. i've just become aware that
that is a bullshit theory. Some of the best guitar/band interplay of the
night. Larry was all smiles as was Tony.
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
--The only real lowpoint of the night for me, but I still enjoyed the song
much more than I thought I ever would. Bob said "smoked my eyeballs"
instead of "eyelids."
--Great performance. Larry stepped on bob's toe's a few times tonight,
during his harp solo in Dogs run free, and so bob stepped on larrys solo
right in the middle and began singing a tad early...no worries--smiles
Highway 61 Revisited
-rock and roll baby. this got the people in the stands on their feet.
energetic rocker no doubt. I think Bob looked at me during the shoe-
string/telephones that done ring line's.
Make You Feel My Love
--very thoughtful performance.
Watching The River Flow
--not one of my favorites, but it was still great to hear something I'd
not yet gotten live. Bob and the boys tore through this and Larry was
again having a great time smiling and looking at the others.
Honest With Me
--a longer wailing guitar riff before the intro, seemed like bob was
holding off, but he still did his stumble across stage midway. that drove
the crowd nuts as usual.
Standing In The Doorway
--the phrasing was really on. We cheered a lot for him on this one. I
think Bob enjoyed this and Summer Days the most, and his vocals were
hottest on these last 4 numbers.
---DAH DAH DAH arrangment. I dig it. Some nice jamming. Stu has a decent
solo, but I can't hear it very well. Bob looks at me again during the
final line of the song saying "i know a place where something still goin
band stance (possible eye contact)
Like A Rolling Stone
--hasn't gotten old yet. First time stu really held his own against larry
and showed that stu may be a force to be reckoned with. Good singing, man
bob has great timing.
All Along The Watchtower
--great piano playing, great singing. Definitely the only way to end a
So, in the end it's better than the Des Moines show, and equal or better
than Ames 2002, riviera 2004.
I got bob's plastic cup so you all know. So did Matt. But this is old
Bob had Larry really high in the mix, and that's cool but he was almost
overpowering. Both men played lead guitar equally but Larry seemed to be
twice as loud just when he was playing rhythm guitar.
Some great harp playing and I'm glad the piano was loud.
Review by Craig Planting
-Before the concert myself and a half dozen other fans watched Bob run
the band through a soundcheck which was really more of a rehearsal. The
Carver Hawkeye Arena is round and almost completely encircled in glass.
From where we stood outside we had a great view of Bob and the band. The
most interesting thing was that Bob played lead guitar several times
throughout the rehearsal. He stood behind the keyboards with a
Stratocaster (I think) and played thick Michael Bloomfield like notes. The
band played the same slow blues grind over and over again with Bob
continually stopping and starting them again, making big motions to
demonstrate the changes. I don't know what the song was, but it seemed
really simple. I'm not sure what he was trying to convey to the band.
During the concert Bob stuck to the keyboard and harmonica, but I wonder
if he's preparing for a return to the guitar.
-The show was solid and Dylan was in a good mood. His voice is back
after sounding hoarse last August.
-During Highway 61 he cut Larry off after Larry had just begun a solo.
Larry had a surprised smile on his face after being interupted. Then after
Bob finished the verse, he gave Larry the nod and Larry just stormed
through his solo. I disagree with the guy who wrote that Larry seemed
tired last night.
-Love Sick and Cold Irons Bound were the highlights.
-When Bob introduced George he said he's from Louisiana where there are
lots of snakes. When it rains George throws 'em on his car for windscreen
-The only bummer last night was that the arena was only half full.
Come on, Iowa City.
-Thanks to the kid doing security who let me sneak onto the mainfloor during the
first song. I wish him good luck with all the pretty University of Iowa girls.
page by Bill Pagel
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