November 3, 2009
Review by Charles Cicirella
What can I really say about last night that could possibly do any Perry Mason
justice to what we witnessed/experienced last night? Was it better than the
three I saw in Chicago and is that even really the point? No it is never the
point don't go fooling yourself. I have seen Bob closeup before (Park West 2004
and The Trap 2003) but nothing could have prepared me for what went down last
night! First I gotta say to be on the rail with really good friends always ups
the ante and last night I had some of the most beautiful people on the left and
right of me - my friend Chrissy was smack dab in front of Bob's center stage mic
and when he came out and the lights went up and he was standing right there in
what could have been our living rooms and began Shooting Star I think we both
just about fainted (Chrissy said she had chills and I believe her). Desolation
Row well the way he was taking individual words and just dropping them on us
like paint bombs was revelatory! It was like we were pinned like butterflies in
a Jackson Pollock and the only way out was down! It dawned on me later, I
believe during Ballad, how there isn't that frenzy anymore like when Elvis or
the Beatles use to play well except when you see Bob and when you see Bob this
close up and personal and could just about touch him that whole screaming
yelling beatific madness makes a welcome return as we watch a true master plying
Review by Mike Roos
1. Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking
A noteworthy opener, since this is from Dylan's Christian period. A
fiery beginning, with, I believe a lot of new words. I wish I had
the text. Jesus is still in there. I think I heard a line that went
something like "Jesus is coming, coming back to reclaim his jewels."
I don't want to think that Bob is returning to Christian
fundamentalism, but with him you never know. Whatever he was saying,
this song set the place on fire right from the beginning. The band,
with Charlie in the lead, was really cooking.
2. Shooting Star
Very nicely done, in spite of no melody. Charlie and Stu made up for
that somewhat with some lovely guitar.
3. Beyond Here Lies Nothin'
One continuing frustration for me is almost never being able to hear
Donnie Herrin, the multi-instrumentalist in the band. Here at least
his trumpet was audible and adds much to the feel of this dark song.
More great guitar by Charlie.
4. Rollin' And Tumblin'
Charlie's guitar on this was less Muddy Waters than Denny Freeman's
used to be. Charlie sort of made this his own, giving it a bit more
energy. It jumped.
5. I Don't Believe You
For this one, Charlie brought out his black and white Telecaster,
just like the one Bob played with the Hawks in 1966, very appropriate
here, though Dylan's singing, of course, was nowhere near as
incendiary as the '66 version. Dylan did get in the spirit though by
playing harp between his two hands the way he did in '66. This was
6. My Wife's Home Town
A particularly special moment in the evening, because it was Bob's
only turn on the guitar (his new Duesenberg model, which he strangely
holds in a near upright position). What surprised me is that Dylan
played some truly fine lead guitar on the song, in a style I haven't
seen from him before. In the past, he rarely bent notes. His leads
were always awkward, unrhythmic, and frequently atonal. Not last
night. He was right on with some very tasty blues licks. This was
one of the night's highlights for me. A real cool old style slow
7. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
This song can sometimes be tedious for me (tweedlious), but not last
night. Stu and Charlie traded hot guitar licks and Bob really
delivered the vocals with a wicked relish.
8. Beyond The Horizon
My least favorite song of the night. Stripped of melody, it didn't
seem to know where to go. It was a different arrangement from Modern
Times, but it didn't work for me.
9. Cold Irons Bound
Bob seems to enjoy messing with this song. He's changed the
arrangement quite a lot, and this version, while not my favorite
(Masked and Anonymous is the best, in my view), it kicked some
10. Desolation Row
This tops my list for the night. What a great rendition. Bob sang
almost all the verses, I believe, and he sang them with real
feeling. The only one I can say for sure was missing was the Titanic
verse. I think he never sings that any more. Wonder why. Charlie
kept pushing him with some truly spectacular guitar work. I would
really like to have a recording of this performance.
11. Highway 61 Revisited
This rarely fails to please, and Charlie obviously loves playing it.
Lots of fun.
12. Ain't Talkin'
The viola was only barely audible. This was good, though. Bob was
working hard in interpreting the bleak words and Charlie added nice
guitar that was new to this song.
13. Thunder On The Mountain
Another fun one, but perhaps a little too much in the vein of Highway
61. Why have both on the same setlist?
14. Ballad Of A Thin Man
Another highlight. You would think the keyboard would be important
on this, but Bob's hand gestures and facial expressions were too
great to miss and Charlie's guitar more than made up for the lack of
piano. It felt like 1966 again...well, almost.
15. Like A Rolling Stone
Very good version, in the latter day non-melodic singing style, which
takes some getting used to. but it had tons of energy.
Charlie again kicked this into overdrive. Much better than the album
version, which has that same lick repeated ad nauseum.
17. All Along The Watchtower
Watchtower sort of fell apart. Maybe it was supposed to be
cacophonous, but Charlie and Stu seemed a bit out of sync to me, for
some reason, and it didn't seem intentional. No matter. It was
still a great show, and I'll look forward to the next time they come
Review by Don Ely
Lifestyle Communities Pavilion. Thought it was gonna be some old crumbling,
stale beer-soaked arena hung over from the 70's and 80's that's been renamed by
some corporate entity with too much cash burning a hole in their vault. Turns
out " The LC " is in reality a large nightclub, the perfect place for this fan
to see Bob Dylan and His Band!
I did not know this until I drove past the place on Neil Avenue on the way to
the show. The venue is located in the heart of Columbus' Arena District, across
the way from Nationwide Arena, where I saw Bob play on 11/10/01, and around the
corner from Huntington Park, which may figure into a future ballpark tour for
Bob and company ( correct me if he's played there already ). It's a fabulously
clean and bright part of town that even harbors some Civil War history. The LC
is part of a larger complex of clubs and an outdoor venue all run by the
promoter. The ticket read " doors 7pm " so I anticipated a line waiting to get
in but due to the efficiency of staff scanning tickets and checking ID's we were
inside within minutes. These folks should give lessons to others within their
industry. 32oz draughts were to be had for a mere $7.50 ( when often patrons are
charged a fiver for a 12oz bottle ), so I grabbed me one and carved out a nice
spot not too far from Bob's gleaming Oscar. As you might expect, this was a
younger, more club-oriented crowd with a general and not fervent interest in Bob
Dylan. At least that's what I picked up from those around me. Everyone was
having a good time as the band opened with that SLOW TRAIN COMING chestnut "
Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking ". This was one of the songs I'd hoped to
capture on this run of shows; that album is where my fervent interest in Dylan
began, and it wasn't performed at my first gig at Clarkston 6/12/81. In fact, it
was completely new for me! It sounded much like the version on GOTTA SERVE
SOMEBODY: THE GOSPEL SONGS OF BOB DYLAN. The only thing missing, natch, was the
hilarious banter with Mavis Staples but you won't get that magic in a bottle
anywhere else. I don't think Bob's vocal was as rough as on the recorded track.
Next up was a shining rendition of " Shooting Star ", which always has a calming
influence on me. " Beyond Here Lies Nothin' " sounded in step with others from
the tour, and Donnie's trumpet was audible. " Rollin' And Tumblin' " sounded
kinda flat and uninspired, but that's not altogether unusual for that song.
Worth the price alone, however, was " My Wife's Home Town "; close your eyes and
it's McKinley Morganfield at the Checkerboard Lounge all over again! The second
and final first-timer I would witness this night, Bob and Charlie and the rest
played the Blues with abandon, really having a blast while doing it. " Tweedle
Dee And Tweedle Dum " sounded like the standard rendition and not the new
arrangement I saw this summer at Eastlake. " Beyond The Horizon " was also
revamped; I liked it but I'll reserve judgement until I hear it again. It
certainly didn't top the one from Canandaigua in summer '08. " Cold Irons Bound
" was a repeat from last night in Bloomington. Great song, only Charlie can play
it. " Desolation Row " made what may be it's first appearance on the tour. "
Ain't Talikin' ", as someone pointed out in an earlier review, now moves along
much too quickly, which diminishes it's subtle yet powerful impact. I was
concerned about this, as it's Bob's tendency with songs he plays more
If I was forced to choose, I would say Bloomington was a superior performance to
Columbus, but tonight was in no way a disappointment. It was a great surprise
finding Bob Dylan and His Band at such a small venue. This was the last date
booked on this tour so that may have had something to do with the decision to
play here. Next on our schedule is the Canton Memorial Civic Center, so we'll
see what that's all about. Back on the highway of diamonds!
| Click Here
to return to the
page by Bill Pagel
| Bob Links
| Set Lists
| Set Lists