Auburn Hills, Michigan

Palace of Auburn Hills
November 2, 2006

[Christopher Oxie], [Eric Shaver], [Jason Blakeley], [Dave Ford], [Don Ely]

Review by Christopher Oxie

I was again honored to attend the Dylan show with local Dylan expert
Robert Schuler.  We went to Dinner at the Post across the street from the
Palace.  So many people came up to speak to Dr. Schuler that he was not
able to finish his dinner!  By the time we took the shuttle there was a
good 15 people around our table.  The Palace of Auburn Hills, which sits
about 40 mins north of Detroit, was ready to rock and they were not
disappointed.  Dylan and the Foo Fighters provided a great show to the
sparsely populated Palace.  The section from curve to curve of the upper
deck was curtained off and so was the entire upper deck behind the stage. 
In an unusual move for the Palace, all of the curtains on the concourse
level behind and on either side of the stage were taped shut with a sign
that said "no entrance". 

The Foo Fighters came out to little applause, it was as if the road crew
had walked out.  It was not until Dave Grohl said hello that anyone knew
who it was.  Their set was tight and I am sure that Dave had a very sore
neck from all the head bashing he was doing.  He changed guitars several
times throughout the set and then finally stated that since his guitar did
not work, he would tell a story.  They finished strong with the highlight
being when each member had their own solo, Grohl stated that since they
were in Detroit Rock City (well, sort of, he added), that T. Hawkins
should give us the "rock show" drum solo in addition to the acoustic solo
he had just given us.  I am not sure if any other tour stop has seen two
drum solos from the Foo Fighters so it made it unique. Grohl performed the
last song by himself and thanked everyone for being so great and off he

There was about 30 mins between the fighters and Dylan.  The stage was
minimal with no curtain backdrop, only a black screen that had lights
projected on it a few times during the show.  No eye logo either.  There
was a large barricade between the stage and the crowd and the stage was
filled from end to end with instruments.  Dylan's piano was near the
center of the stage and his "equipment" case, with his Oscar and
harmonica's was set about 15 feet behind him.  The set was tight and
clear.  Dylan was difficult to understand during some of the songs, but
for the most part it was a great performance.

1.  Cat's In The Well  - was a welcome surprise from Maggie's Farm.  It
was clear that many in attendance did not know this one and were slow to
embrace it.  It was not no where near the 2004 encore version but it was
okay. 2. Senor - This was a great surprise.  Again, not may who seemed to
know it, but it was great to hear.  The growl served this song well and it
since it is a personal favorite of mine, it held up to the 2004 tour quite
well.  3.  Stuck Inside of Mobile... - This was a rocking version of the
song and was longer than most versions I have heard.  The band let loose
for the first time on this one.  It is clear that this is now the Denny
Freeman band as Stu was relegated to standing behind Dylan the whole show
and played little more than rhythm guitar for most of the night. Denny
tore it up all night and the rest of the guys seemed grateful to finally
be in a real rock band where they could let it loose. 4.  Spirit on the
Water - This was a great addition to the set.  Having only been played
once on this current tour, it was delivered much better than what is on
the record.  The song had a real bounce to it and Dylan was animated
throughout the musical breaks.  Got a much deserved loud round of applause
when it finished.  5.  High Water (For Charley Patton) - I had not thought
much of this song in the past.  Boy, have I been missing out.  This song
rocked and brought people to their feet.  If this version had been on the
L&T record, it would have changed the whole feel of that record.  Another
fine show from Denny.  6.  Positively 4th Street - Completely
unrecognizable until "You've got a lot of nerve" came out and then the
crowd went nuts.  A much younger crowd was on hand than I expected and
this was their first taste of their greatest hits CD.  Very well played,
similar to a slow melody stretched out with violin and Dylan's organ. 
Excellent performance. 7.  Cold Irons Bound - Again, nothing like the
versions I have heard in the past but right in step with the 2006
performances.  This was closer to the TOOM version than the echo filled
rocker of just a few years ago. Sounded great. 8.  Visions of Johanna -
Wow!  This was an unexpected treat.  Dylan's voice was a bit rough during
this one and it was not until the "country radio" verse came through did I
know what it was.  Most people in the seats did not know what it was
either and the lines up the stairs to the restrooms were noticeable. 
Excellent delivery and nice slide work by Donny.  Stu looked a bit lost
towards the end and kept looking over Dylan's shoulder as if to see what
key he was supposed to be in.  The fact that was the only performance of
the tour was nice. 9. 'Til I Fell In Love With You - This song rocked.  It
may have been the highlight of the show.  While it was clear that most
were not familiar with it, it got a huge ovation and again brought people
to their feet.   I had not heard it live and it was great to take it off
of the list. 10.  Tangled Up In Blue - Bob walked away from the keyboard
to check out something on the equipment case behind him so the band kept
playing the intro over and over until he came back and then played it a
few more times after that.  One of the longer songs of the evening, TUIB
was performed with Dylan doing that strange "wobbly leg" move he does so
often when he is into it.  The younger kids loved this one but the older
folks behind me were baffled that he did not play guitar. 11.  Highway 61
- Another one for the kids. Sounded no different than you have heard it in
the past, although Donny has seemed to learn that his slide and violin
have a volume dial on them and he was right on in the mix instead of way
out front as was the case in the past. 12.  Nettie Moore - another big
pull for the Detroit crowd.  This song was great and evoked the image that
you were at a tent revival show and not a 21st Century rock concert.  The
band brought it home with this one and Dylan's voice was a clear as a bell
and way out front in the mix. This, along with Til I fell in love with
you, are the reason you need to score the show from the net. 13.  Summer
Days - Is there anything left to say about it?  14.  Thunder on the
Mountain - This got everyone on their feet and while it was difficult to
understand Dylan at times (he seemed to be speeding through it) it was
powerful and was a great lead in to LARS. 15.  Like a Rolling Stone - As
with Summer Days, there is not much more to say about this.  No different
than you have heard it 100 times before.  Dylan made sure that you knew
who Denny was as Dylan said "on guitar, Denny Freeman.  I mean the guy
with the white guitar".  "The guy behind me is Stu Kimball". 16.  All
Along the Watchtower - Here was the one that the kids had been waiting

All in all, a great show.  A 100% improvement from the disastrous show in
Detroit and Mt. Pleasant last spring.  I would say that if you have seen
Dylan in the past few years, this show will pleasantly surprise you.  I am
already looking forward to the spring 2007 shows.  


Review by Eric Shaver

Just a few words about the Dylan show last night in Auburn Hills.  I
thought the three he did off Modern Times were fantastic.  That album is
so good I wouldn't mind if he played every song off it.  For me Nettie
Moore was the highlight of the new stuff.  Much better live, there's just
no comparison.  I love Highwater and the new arrangement rocked.  This is
one of my favorite Bob songs.  Another one that's taken on new life is
Cold Irons Bound.  This arrangement blows away the album version, and in
my opinion, might have been the best arrangement of any last night.  This
is one cool band.  I was pleasantly surpised with Stuck Inside a Mobile,
it was crisply played and well sung.  Haven't heard Tangled in a while and
it was very good a well.  Also got a kick out of the kind of jazzed up Til
I Fell In Love With You.  Only a couple that I thought were subpar,
Visions of Johanna, and Positively 4th Street.  Bob seemed to squeeze all
the words together on Visions.  I've definately heard better versions if
this one.  The encore was the standard two, with the newly added Thunder
on the Mountain which held its own, and is a nice addition.  All in all a
really good show.  And I'd like to thank the Foo Fighters for playing an
ass kicking set opening for Bob.  Had never seen them before and I thought
they were great.  That's it for now, enjoy Bob when he's gets to your



Review by Jason Blakeley

BlankI was a little late to work this morning, still feeling the effects
of a long night, which began at the palace of auburn hills with my good
friend bob dylan.  i'll be brief, since my morning diction is far from
impeccable when i stay out too late.  this had to be the best dylan show
i've seen in years, which I realize sounds a bit profound but couldn't be
more accurate - for me.  the foo fighters acoustic set couldn't have been
much better.  very enjoyable stuff, laid back and full of energy at the
same time.

bobby d dusted off some old gems for the michigan crowd which sparked my
imagination and made me happy i still buy tickets to any dylan show within
a couple hundred miles.  last night was show #18 for me- and one of the
best i've seen of late.  the highlights were mainly: 3 songs from Modern
Times (Spirit on the Water, Nettie Moore & Thunder on the Mountain) but
also Senor, 'Til I Fell in Love With You, Positively 4th Street, Visions
of Johanna and High Water (for Charlie Patton).  everything else was great
as well- the band was in full swing, and their leader was too, pounding
out those notes and chords on the organ, while singing those glorious
words the best he knows how.  i understand how some people may be
disappointed with bob and how he conducts himself these days. after all,
not everybody digs a 60 some year old in the 21st century. but for some of
us, he's still in his prime.

one thing's for damn sure though - he's still setting them up and knocking
them down, and that's a beautiful thing to be a part of.  especially with
a set list like last night.  bravo.  you're right bobby, the fire's never
dying. and neither is this never-ending tour.  thank god.

Jason Blakeley


Review by Dave Ford

Just got back from Bob show last night in Detroit.
I'll be seeing him in London tonight and Toronto next Tuesday. I have seen
him 35 times since 1980. I am not going to do a song by song review, just
some random thoughts...his voice was very good, especially clear on
Visions of Johanna and Nettie Moore ... the band was very tight ... Bob
himself seems distracted at times ... he almost seems bored with
performing ... he acts fidgety and strangely aloof ... maybe this is just
Bob being Bob, but I notice a big change in his demeanor ... he appears to
be uncomfortable behind the keyboards. The crowd cheered for the new songs
and it was evident that they wanted to hear more from Modern Times. Some
people were calling to Bob to play Workingman's Blues. Highlights of the
night were High Water, Vision of Johanna, Nettie Moore, Summer Days.



Review by Don Ely

It's all about proximity. The November 2 show by Bob Dylan and His Band was 
without question the best of the five I'd seen this year, and being but twenty 
feet from the stage, five rows from the floor, had a lot to do with it! I've been 
much closer before as well as much further away, but great positioning makes all 
the difference in how a show is perceived, and how long it stays with you after 
the final note is played. And, it's all about NEW SONGS. A fresh album has 
injected a vigorous Shot of Love into the set!
I picked up "Modern Times" while on the road during the ballpark tour, and 
listened to it nearly non-stop for two or three days. After the first listen, I 
thought, well, this is OK, I like this, but it's awfully similar to "Love And Theft". 
I quickly learned it's a very subtle record, though, one that creeps up on you and 
wedges itself into your psyche in unexpected ways. Like an ethereal presence 
you notice out of the corner of your eye. "I'm pale as a ghost/ holding a blossom 
on a stem", Bob sings, "Have you ever seen a ghost? No/ but you have heard of 
them". I put "Modern Times" down for almost two months before picking it up 
again two days before the concert. I hear lyrics and nuances I've never noticed 
before, something new with each subsequent spin of the disc.
The songs are even more alive in the moment than they are on the recording. 
Tonight we got the three-song set instead of four, but the ones Bob chose to 
unveil for us were among those I would have asked for. The sublime melody 
"Spirit On The Water" transported the 8000 fans in the much-larger capacity 
Palace of Auburn Hills to a New York City ballroom in the 1930's. "They brag 
about your sugar/ brag about it all over town", Bob teases, " Put some sugar in 
my bowl/ I feel like laying down ". Stardust never felt so real. Like Peter Pan Bob 
led us in magical flight on our American musical journey to the Land Where The 
Blues Began, where the Southern cross the Yellow Dog, not specifically 
Moorhead, Mississippi, but the time and place of "Nettie Moore". What a song! 
He's been there, done that, watched the world go from " merely " wrong to 
black before his very eyes, and all along the answer was in plain sight. "I'm the 
oldest son of a crazy man/ I'm in a cowboy band" brought as many smiles and 
laughter to the audience as " world has gone black " brought collective sighs 
and resignation. "Thunder On The Mountain" is one of my favorites, and 
leads off the encore. Where else you gonna get verses like, " Gonna raise me 
an army, some tough sons of bitches/ I'll recruit my army from the orphanages/ 
I been to St. Herman's church and I've said my religious vows/ I've sucked the 
milk out of a thousand cows "? Maybe scrawled on Jack Fate's jail cell wall....
The rest of the show? Stand-up terrific! This band has come together as well as 
any of Bob Dylan's touring outfits, spurred on by the confidence of making an 
album with the Master. Tonight's was a decidedly less country-flavored affair; it's 
riches came more by way of the Delta and parts south of there. Again, chalk it 
up to proximity to the stage and sound, but every song was executed with 
passion and precision. In the second slot I thought we were getting "Joey", 
while in fact it was actually "Senor ( Tales of Yankee Power )", by no means a 
disappointment. This song from one of Bob's lesser records has become one of 
the most dignified in his repertoire. "Stuck Inside Of Mobile With the Memphis 
Blues Again" was far above average for a number that's played so frequently. 
"High Water (for Charley Patton)" rocked things up nicely coming on the 
heels of "Spirit On The Water". Like some other Boblinks correspondents 
whose tales I've read, I was having trouble telling Stu Kimball apart from Denny 
Freeman. We were seated off the right corner of the stage, at about a 7:30 
position behind Bob's left side, and at first I thought it was Stu on our side, then
no, that's Denny, Stu's on the left, no, wait a either possibility 
(Kimball WAS on the right), they were the Brothers in Guitars, and both played 
very tastefully, rockin' out as needed, restrained when necessary. Bob controlled 
his circus calliope in the same manner; raucous on occasion, but overall much 
quieter than I remember on the summer tour. Tony and George remain the 
anchor driven deep into the rock, the real thunder on the mountain. "Cold 
Irons Bound" was much better than the version played at Cooperstown. A gal I 
know who was going to the show expressed her desire in hearing "Tangled Up 
In Blue"; checking the setlists I saw that it had been aired at the previous gig in 
Madison. So I was happy for her when the opening acoustic strains materialized. 
It was as sweet a rendering as any I've ever heard, too. The almighty " Visions 
Of Johanna " made another stellar appearance, to the delight of all. This was my 
fifth Johanna, and though it no longer moves me to tears as it did that first time 
in Little Rock 8/14/01, the song still cuts a wide swath through your emotions. 
"'Til I Fell In Love With You" was also a welcome addition, as I hadn't heard the 
new arrangement since this was only my third since 1998. After the main set, 
darkness, and then the band exploded into "Thunder On The Mountain" (that 
brilliant white light again). As in spring 2004, where "Cat's In The Well" turned 
on a dime instantly to become "Like A Rolling Stone", so too on this night did 
the Mountain turn to Stone.
Bob Dylan's only other appearance at this venue was on October 28, 1998, an 
affair which included what I would consider a full set from Joni Mitchell (!!!!) 
and an opening salvo by Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men. Bob played an extremely 
rare " Tomorrow Night " at that show. Tonight Foo Fighters supplied the support, 
performing an excellent appetizer to whet the palate for the primary course. We
had great seats at the Palace of Auburn Hills on that night in '98, too, uncommon 
for a barn this size and a feat I've never duplicated seeing any other band here. 
This is the only show I'll see on this tour, as I'm unable to get out on the road 
this time around. But it's been another great year for seeing Bob Dylan and His 
Band! This brings my career totals to 49 shows spread over 17 states since 1981. 
And of course like any good BobCat, I can't wait till next year! So, prayers for 
continued good health and prosperity go to the band and to all who read this. 
As always, Thank You Bob for the joys you've brought us. Perhaps together we 
can begin bringing the world back from the black and into the light once more!
Don Ely
Rochester, MI


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