page by Bill Pagel
Review by Eric Shaver
I had never been to a concert at Crisler arena so I didn't know what to
expect. We arrived an hour early taking no chances. But there was a
sinking feeling in my stomach when we realized that my friend John had
locked his keys in the car (and the car was still running as an added
bonus). The search for security began and someone was found without too
much of a problem and the lock was popped and all was good. Of course I
was standing in line while they were searching for security because my
hero was going to take the stage in less than an hour and I wasn't going
to miss it. You have to have your priorities you know. We were all in
our seats and ready for Bob at 7:15. He came on around 7:45 starting with
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. A good version with Bob pounding away on the
keys and the rest of the boys just ripping it up. I'm not going to go
through each song because I'm sure someone else will do that. I'll just
cover some highlights.
All the covers were very cool. Brown Sugar kicked ass. The song never
sounded so good. And Old Man recieved a powerful vocal delivery from Bob.
He really seems focused on these covers and he sings with confidence and
The new arrangement of It's Alright Ma I'm Only Bleeding was great. A
funky bluesey groove that had my toes tapping. Tombstone blues also
recieved a facelift and sounded freshly funky.
All of the Love and Theft songs were wonderful. My favorite was
Highwater. With this song's vocals and driving beat I felt like I was
going down in the flood and my friend said don't reach out for me can't
you see I'm drowning too. Summer Days exploded on the stage. I had heard
they had really been kicking this song into high gear and the reports were
definately true. My ears were ringing pretty good after this one.
All Along the Watchtower. Need I say more. If there's a more ass kicking
song than this I'd like to hear it. Ripping guitar solos and snarling
vocals propel this into the stratasphere. They could have played this one
for an hour and I wouldn't have complained.
I loved bob's comment about the country music awards. Something like
"Hank Williams could've mopped the floor with those people". You're 100%
right on Bob. Loved the show Bob come back and see us soon!
Review by Mike Ugorowski
My 3rd Dylan show, my girlfriend Carol's first. Row 14 in the first riser.
I would not have noticed the Oscar or incense if I had not read past
reviews! The band come out at 7:45, the sound was excellent, I don't go to
many shows and have bad memories of distorted sounding Blue Oyster Cult
concerts from the mid 1970s. Bob has his own groove up on stage, the legs
shakes, the slight body twists and his body language communications with
the band. He seemed to be into being a performer, being a song and dance
man. Highlights for me were countrified You aint' going nowhere and One
too many mornings and LDHC where Bob sang the vocals to one verse in a way
where he did not seem to take a breath and let it all flow out. Other
then a thank you after the first song and band intro the only other thing
Bob said something along the lines of "did you see the country and western
music awards last night? Don't you think Hank Williams Jr. could wipe the
floor with any of them". It was the best out of the 3 times I have seen
the Bobcat. My girlfried Carol like the music, but thinks Bob mumbles.
Mike in Michigan
Review by Joel Eckel
"Wow" is the best word to use. Over and over tonight, "Wow" was the word. As an
overview, I was absolutely impressed with the musicianship and clarity of the band,
the intensity and power of the music, and of course, the vocal delivery of the
lyrics by Bob.
The Band seemed extremely energized. They each had multiple solos during the gig,
and each seemed in complete mastery of his role in the performance. I've never
heard the band so active and empowered - funny word to use, maybe, but I feel it
fits. They controlled their part of the music. It was fantastic. Without a doubt
the best I've heard the band as a unit. I have been reading similar statements
during this tour, yet it was even more than I expected. I wonder if something has
changed philosophically. (Based purely on conjecture) I feel that Bob might have
loosened the reigns somewhat with the band, given each more creative room to roam
and explore during many of the songs.
Bob, particularly for the 1st few songs, had a real pure voice - he sounded a
couple decades younger. It was interesting for me to hear. His voice became
his customary one as the concert proceeded. For me, his music is all about the
lyrics, and the lyrics have so many levels to enjoy/respect. Bob simply was on
top of his vocal show tonight. Initially it was his clarity of vocals. Then it
was his delivery (which is his main vocal attribute these days).
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum ~ Great intro. Rolled more than rocked. Great singing
from Bob, with a lot of vocal range. Band was real crisp right from the start.
Carrying A Torch ~ Reminded me of "Make You Feel My Love". Best sung song I've
heard from Bob. He was in real control vocally, much range and clarity, actually
smooth. He sounded about 25 years younger. Interesting to hear. By the end of
this song, I could tell the band was FAR outperforming previous concerts I've
Tombstone Blues ~ Not too special. In my opinion, he should take this one off his
list of must-play-songs. It is still good, but to me, it lacked originality. It
was the same old song.
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere and Things Have Changed did not stand out either. I
like "Things…", but the band/Bob, although rockin', seemed to go through motions
(In comparison to the rest of the concert, which was far above their normal gig).
Brown Sugar ~ Lived up to the hype - and more! Can you say ROCK?! My oh my, I
was impressed with the crispness, intensity, and flow of the music. Great version.
Wow, a different side of Bob and his Band. The Band was very active for this song.
Great Harmony. "Taste like a young woman should", and Bob laughs . . .
One Too Many Mornings ~ Wow. Wow. I like this song and all, but Bob just tore it
up, but did it gently. Great emotion, great execution. Rolled.
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) ~ As much as I loved Brown Sugar and One Too
Many Mornings, this was my favorite up to this point. When I heard "Darkness at
the break of noon . . ." I got goosebumps. This is my current "everyday in the car
on my way to work song". I have the words printed and posted in my office. The
music for this song was quite, quite ordinary (compared to the greatness for most of
the other songs this night). Bob's singing was also a little below par (compared to
others this night). Yet, the words! I don't know how to explain it but, his
delivery was very special. Like a rapper just tearing up the lyrics - that was
Dylan with this song. Every word just being preached to you - or was it being
slung at you? After each verse, a round of applause from the crowd. You could tell
that there were several, like me, that were on a different level during this song.
And when he criticized/snarled "Sometimes even the President of the United States
must stand naked", the crowd loved it and cheered. . . . And Bob snickered.
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue ~ The simplicity of this song was nice. Good follow-up
to "It's Alright Ma…" Nice "You must leave now, take-a-what you need, you think
you'll last?" Typical Bob, and it sounded pretty true.
Drifter's Escape ~ Not too high on this song, but tonight the band was perfect here,
letting loose. Not much from Bob, but the band was great with a lot of solos . . .
until . . .the harmonica cometh! Bob playing back and forth with the drummer. Just
the drums and the harmonica - heavy! Wow, that was such a great performance. Really
wish he would've picked it up for a couple other songs. Did I say "Wow"?
The Times They Are A-Changin' ~ What to say? Part of me hurt to hear this song so
shortly after the Republican victories on Tuesday. Are the Times changing? I
believe they are, and yet, were is the progress. Songs like this one are what
originally brought me to Bob. But has our society proven him wrong? I hope not.
His words, 40 years ago, sting still today.
Old Man ~ As much as I loved to hear "It's Alright Ma…", This was even better (and
my favorite for the entire night). I love Neil Young, and this song in particular.
I just can't believe the version Bob and the Band did with it. The music was loud
and true, and Bob's voice was perfect for the song. It literally blew me away.
Good harmony as well from the band. Interesting to hear Bob sing "Old man take a
look at myself, I'm a lot like you were." And Bob is 60. When Bob sings something,
everything has a new message.
Honest With Me ~ a little tame after several good songs.
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll ~ Along w/ "It's Alright Ma…", the songs I
wanted to hear were this song, Masters of War, and With God on Our Side. 2 of 4
is good enough for me. What was great about this song, again, was his delivery.
I was a little surprised to hear the calmness of his voice. But then next verse
was intensified, and then the next verse, and next verse . . . more and more!
The last verse was pure accusation and contempt. From the first to the last
High Water (For Charley Patton) ~ I liked this song a lot, and the band went nuts
individually for it, all with little solos, etc. Really rolled. I was surprised
to like it as much as I did.
Mutineer (Song by Warren Zevon) ~ a little let down. Song was well performed, but
it seemed empty in comparison to others this night.
Floater (Too Much To Ask) ~Nothing special. I don't particularly like this song
much, and this performance had nothing extra that stood out to me.
Summer Days ~ You know, this song took me by surprise. It really rolled, with
great composition and performance by the band, each with their own solos, etc.
Not one of my favorite songs, but this one had great energy and was real fun.
Blowin' In The Wind ~ Can't say I'm specifically tired of this song, but, you know,
how many times have I heard it? . . . But when you hear it live, it is nice to hear
the words again. When you hear a song so often you become immune to it's intensity.
Just listening to Bob's delivery showed this song in all of it's clarity once again.
All Along The Watchtower ~ and once again, the closer. I wasn't really looking
forward to this song. I still wanted to hear about 20 others. . . . but I knew it
was time. What I didn't expect was to be so thrilled by this song. Rock and Rock
and Rock and Roll. The band continually blew the speakers (figuratively) all night.
This song matched any other, at least. So frickin' loud and intense. You could
tell the band was really enjoying this performance and I felt like I witnessed a
Ok, and that's it. The band had so much fun, and played so well. That keeps
sticking with me. The smiles of Larry, the playfulness of Charlie, the huge grins
and little dances of Tony, and the pounding of the drums! This band literally
rocked. Great, great musicianship. Overly impressed. Bob's voice was pure for
the 1st few songs, which I felt fortunate enough to hear. Bob on the harmonica
was pure, pure, pure and powerful, powerful . . . wow! The delivery of "It's
allright…", the building of "The Lonesome Death …", and the absolutely jeweled
performance of "Old Man". I would buy a bootleg of this concert just to have
Review by Michael Frayer
Things have changed! Things have changed indeed.
Well, this is my seventh show from November 2001 until tonight. I think
I've seen Dylan and his band in the neighborhood of 55-60 times. I caught
him a few weeks ago in Vegas and again in Tuscon. But, I wanted to only
write a review when I could get to a computer after the show so I could
record my thoughts as soon as possible.
I headed out to Ann Arbor with my good friend the 'librarian.' Herself a
veteran of 4 Dylan shows. It wasn't the same as when I went with Siouxie
this past summer up in Canada. I also wasn't accompanied by my trusty
sidekick known as "the hardest working man in show business." But I was
excited to see what Dylan and the boys would be showing us tonight.
I was comfortably seated when the "what's for dinner" commercial music
came up on the house speakers, the lights went dim and the familiar
announcer said: "ladies and gentlemen..." The librarian and I lookd and
each other ready to complete the familiar announcement by saying in
unison: "please welcome columbia..." and the announcer continued by
"please welcome the poet laureate of rock and roll, the man who combined
folk and rock and turned music on it's ear, the man who disappeared into
substance abuse, who in the seventies found Jesus and has re-emerged with
his strongest work in decades,Columbia Recording Artist Bob Dylan..."
I caught this announcement earlier on in the tour at The Joint in Hard
Rock. But had figured that this was something special for Vegas. But this
new intro, I imagine was approved at some point by Dylan. Which seems sort
of out of character if not amusing. And different.
Bob and the boys launched into Tweedle Dee...A rollicking version. It's
still unusual to see Bob on keyboards. But, it provided a very interesting
version. I have to say, it's cool to see Bob opening with his stuff of
late. I do miss the spiritual songs and the covers that he has opened with
for so long. But again different.
Carrying a torch was nice. A nice Van Morrison song. And it's phrased
well. It's kind of cool to see Bob singing it. I think it would be
presumptious for me to say that Bob took a risk...seeing as how he built
his career and myth by taking risks. But, the style of the show seems
different. As I'll keep discussing...
Tombstone blues- I've seen this song many times. But never with Bob on
keys. The blues-iest version of heard. And get this bob fans...Bob's
singing the verse where he says "The sun's not yellllllllowww it's
chickkkkkkkennnnnn!" A great surprise. I'm usually the guy who's bitching
that he leaves out the best lines or verses of his songs. It was great
that this one was here.
I'm not going to review every song.
The Brown Sugar cover is masterful. At first it was hard for me to figure
Bob covering that song. But, I'll tell you what Bob and the band do a
superb job of covering the number. The band is right on. And for all the
times I've seen them over the last couple of years, they seem right on
every night I see them. Amazing really considering the amount of shows
they do and the frequency that they do them. I can't find anything that I
could really complain about with the music. I realize that this will
probably be the last show I'll see with Charlie. He's going to be missed.
He's fantastic. Such to the point that I'm not sure who he replaced on the
tour. I think Joe Jackson. But I'm not sure.
It seems to me, that Bob has a fondness for Ann Arbor. I can't explain
why. But, it seems he's aware that he's in the liberal college town that's
home to the University of Michigan. I wonder if he wandered around the
campus and saw the kids. Because he pulled out a lot of gems from his
earlier career. Back when he was just a young protest singer. I.E. Blowin
in the wind, It's alright ma, it's all over now baby blue, the times they
are a-changin, the lonesome death of hattie carrol and one too many
mornings. Of course, these songs were well received by the young and old
hippie crowd. But, I can't recall a show where so many of those old
defining dylan songs dotted the set list. Each time I've seen Bob in Ann
Arbor, these older songs show up in the list. I've seen him nearby in the
suburbs or in Detroit in other years, and there's no emphasis on these
early songs at all. I read somewhere once that Bob came to Ann Arbor a few
times from New York back when he was just starting out for some campus
shows. I wonder if these early songs are him being nostalgic or not? I
just wonder sometimes if he thinks back about those early times and why he
may pull these songs out. Probably not. But it just seems too coincidental
that these political songs come out in this liberal town. I guess it's
best not to theorize about what Bob's thinking. All I know is that he has
thoughts that could strangle a man.
So, we were between songs in the middle of the set and Bob's standing at
the keyboards and...
He says: "Did any of you see that country and western show last night?
Don't you think that Hank Williams could wipe the floor with any of those
I was in shock. Bob spoke to the crowd and he spoke clearly. Almost with
no deliberate Dylan twang or accent. It was clear midwestern speak. And he
just sort of started into the next song. I was more shocked that I was
able to understand him clearly. But apparently everyone else at the show
was shocked as well, because almost nobody responded when he spoke...it
seemed as if 15,000 people were thinking what I was thinking which was:
"Did Bob just speak? Holy Crap!" And then I think if I have the order of
what he sang he launched into honest with me. Which was great, because Bob
did the song on keys and at the end as the band was wrapping up the song,
he stood in front of George and in between Tony and Charlie and just
clapped and pointed. His back was to the crowd, but I could see he was
grinning and hamming it up with the band.
This show was a great end to a great touring year with Bob. Seven times in
a year is good. Bob's voice was in great form. His suit looked marvelous.
The band was dead on as usual.
I'm disappointed of course after 8 years of seeing shows, that I have yet
to see Visions or Boots of Spanish Leather...I'll bet Bob will either play
one or both of these within the next couple of nights. But, I'll be back
For those who are only thinking about going to the show near them..."don't
you dare miss it!" and for those who are reading this review, realize you
are in for a rare treat. I'm not going to (as I said...) talk about every
song, but leave a few surprises for you to enjoy as I did...
I'll see you down that long and winding road,
boiled guts of birds
Review by Steve P.
Well, I'm back home, safe and sound, after a great night in Ann Arbor. Here are some
of my thoughts:
My brother and I arrived at the Crisler Arena, in the early afternoon. It was a
pretty chilly day in Michigan, thankfully I dressed warm. I met a bunch of poolies,
including MisLucy, Henry Porter, Marcel, Brown Sugaree, bobdylansflower, and many
more... At around 4:30, the line started to take shape... Little did we know what
we were in for. We were standing outside for many hours, in freezing temperatures.
At 6:30, the doors were supposed to be opened, but the head of security yelled at
all of us, and didn't give us our wristbands for a few minutes. Three young
university girls (who for some reason were managing GA for this show), took like
10 minutes distributing wristbands... The doors were finally opened, and the rush
to the rail was on... We got down there, and were pleased to get front row! I was
standing a few feet from bob, on Larry's side. MisLucy was also standing beside
me... Lights went down and the show started:
Before I start, let me point out, that I hadn't heard anything from this tour yet
(other than some Zevon covers). This was also my first and last show of the tour,
so I'm sorry if I mention anything that has been noted before...
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum:
Always thought this could be an opener. Nice to see an electric opener Great
energy, bob nailed the lyrics and his voice sounded great. Bob said a clear "THANK
YOU" at the end.
Carrying A Torch:
One of the songs I was hoping for, and I got it! You gotta love that ending, and
it was a treat to hear. The only problem I noticed was that in most songs, bob's
piano wasn't loud enough (it could have been where I was located though)... He
was reading from lyrics (whatever helps his memory, I guess!)
Great to hear... Charlie, had a nice solo, and seemed to have been enjoying
himself throughout the show.
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere:
What a highlight!!! Bob, was great on piano, and got most of the lyrics right.
Things Have Changed:
It was great to hear this on piano...Excellent!
All I can say is WOW! It was sooo much fun!!! I hadn't heard bob's version yet,
but I see what so many people were talking about. The crowd went crazy, and it was
great to see Tony at the mic! MisLucy, pointed out that bob, changed the lyrics on
one verse (not sure which one). A great jam occurred, and it really got the crowd
going! In the many years that the stones have played it, this version is just as
good or better.
One Too Many Mornings:
I was told on the way down to Ann Arbor that Bob is always in top form when he
plays this song. It was the first time I heard it live, and I have to say, it was
incredible. Bob's pronunciation was great, and he was singing some really low
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding):
I love the new arrangement! It was nice to see it slowed down, but bob, still seems
to be rushing some of the verses. It is a completely revitalized song, and it was
great to hear on piano.
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue:
Nice to hear this song.
Although, I've heard it a lot, it was still great! We got our first and only harp of
the night, which was a treat (although quite short). Larry and Tony were rocking
back and forth beside each other (in synch!)
The Times They Are A-Changin':
My older brother, who has seen many shows himself, commented that this was the best
times he has ever heard. I would have to say the same thing! It sounded great, and
was great to hear.
One of the biggest highlights of the show! It was very faithful to Neil's version,
and the band definitely got a kick out of it. It was unbelievable, and bob nailed
Honest With Me:
We were going to get some bob talk at the beginning, but the only thing we heard was
"hello??? My mic isn't on". The usual version of the song, nice to see it on piano.
Something that deserves a comment, Bob, seems to love his hair (which has sadly
turned very grey). In the middle of the song, he backed away from the piano to comb
his afro with his hands!!!
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll:
What a surprise!!! One of my favorites, and it was great live!!! Bob's phrasing was
excellent, and it was yet another highlight.
High Water (For Charley Patton):
Bob seems to change this arrangement often. This time, he nailed it!!! It was beyond
my expectations, and the piano sounded great. I sort of miss the banjo though.
--- HERE WE GOT OUR ANTICIPATED BOB TALK --- bob said something like, "did anyone see
those country music awards??? Hank Williiams Jr. would have mopped the floor with
those people." It got a great reaction from the crowd.
The only Zevon cover of the night...It was great to hear, and bob, seemed to put
special emphasis on it. The song was short but sweet, and was a highlight of the
Floater (Too Much To Ask):
Cool with the piano, but I was never a big floater fan (other than the second cousin
Bob introduced the band, before the song. I've heard a lot about how good this song
has been this tour, and I can see what people are talking about! It was filled with
one of the craziest jams, I've seen at a Dylan show. It was great, and the crowd was
on its feet dancing (before security told them to sit down...thankfully we were GA)
It was rocked out, to end the main set.
Blowin' in the Wind:
Bob and the band returned, and fired off a nice blowin' in the wind.
All Along the Watchtower:
The usual, although it is repetitive, it's still nice to hear, and I especially like
the ending. Bob and the band were talking about something, and we thought we may get
another, but the show came to an end, with the arena on it's feet.
Overall, it was a great show, and I wish I could have seen more this tour. It was
great meeting everyone, and it was one of the best shows I've seen.
Thanks for reading,
Review by Josh Meisler
Ann Arbor, Crisler Arena, home town show for me. Some
folks questioned the venue, not as nice as Hill Aud.
to be sure, but i remember good sound on the floor and
pretty easy going vibes in the past and it was much
Cool night, usual Ann Arbor/Dylan show crowd, middle
aged people with or with out kids, students, a few
Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum- my first listen on this
tour. nice opener, Dylan caught the lyric from about
the second line and didn't miss a word after.
Carrying the Torch-
my first listen ever from Dylan. nice tune and
soulfully and faithfully delivered. i really have
been enjoying the covers. the band really jams them.
Tombstone blues- representative of the new feel that
they are bringing to a lot of tunes this time around-
a real kind of swinging , maybe Chicago style blues
shuffle. Dylan hammered out a nice solo and the band
was really locked in during the jam at the end, Dylan
seemed to let it go an extra course.
You ain't goin Nowhere-
one of my favorites and a highlight for me. every
lyric crisply delivered with feeling, great slide work
on this tune and all night by Larry.
Things have changed-
standard, but very rocking performance. Again, Dylan
is nailing almost every lyric tonight.
a big crowd favorite as i'm sure it is every night,
sound goes up two notches in volume, everyone band and
audience having fun. Dylan takes an extra mesure
before starting the final verse, and no one misses a
beat. on the final verse Dylan improvises, 'you know
you supposed to taste so good' instead of 'how come
you taste so Too Many; Nice version.
One Too Many Mornings-
Wow, now i'm feeling it, as he fills another slow slot
with a personal favorite again. Objectively, this was
certainly a highlight of the show. the vocals strong,
and full of meaning, hanging on the subtle
nuances...the instrumental interplay on the breaks
wasDylan's solorry on slide with
It's Alright Ma-
Again, a swinging new blues emphasised arrangement,
with Dylan on piano. Awesome stuff, again a tune i
love to hear live. instrumentation this time really
together, great instacousticacousticime around, with
Larry on that acousitic thing, Charlie on electric....
yes, a great set list for sure is shaping up, and
performances to match! this Baby Blue is especially
for Todd who called for it in Ann Arbor somewhere in
Ohio last weekend. Another peak, Dylan missed the
first line, came in on 'you think will last',and
didn't stumble again through out a magnificent
performance of this all acousitic jam. wow again.
Back into hard rocking territory, another flawless
performance of this tune. Great harp solo tonight,
kind of climbing up the scale as opposed to down as he
did on saturday and sunday nights.
Times are a Changin'
Again, first time this tour for me, and i like the
spead up delivery, less pauses in the verses, and they
kind of hang on the 5 chord at the end of each, nicely
suspended. i like it. big response from old and
young alike as far as i could tell.
another great choice for cover tunes. now that Dylan
is doing covers we can all start to speculate on what
he should play and why :)
the band looks like they enjoy this one, and it sounds
super tight, loud, just right to my ear.
Honest with Me-
no super different impression then the other 3
performances i've heard this week. that is to say,
very hard driving, powerful vocal delivery, i really
like this tune
Death of Hattie Carroll-
What can i say? what a tremendous capper for the
'optional' slots in this Ann Arbor show! i'm quite
sure that anyone looking at me thought i was really
gone with a big goofy grin. Played and sung to a 'T',
every lyric full of emotion, emersed in the power of
this timeless story and poem. nothing more i could
At this point i am fully satisfied, confident that
we've been treated to one of my favorite shows since i
first saw the Man 15 years ago with the Dead in
Oakland. The rest of tonight, and the couple shows i
might catch out east are all gravy.
Still, this night is far from over.
Next, Dylan speaks.
Looking down at the first couple rows from behind his
piano he says, 'Did anyone see the country, uh,
countrthe floor with how last night? Yeah! I, I'm
gonna ask you now, Hank Williams Jr., couldn't he wipe
up the floor with all those people? Sorry I ain't
wearing a T-shirt with his picture'
and launches immediatly into the most rocking
Highwater of the 4 i heard this week. I love this
tune, again with a new arrangement and
instrumentation, electric with piano. Dylan plays a
respectable couple lines, banging the blues on the
piano, Charlie also takes one of his best rips of the
night. Great version.
Accidently like a Martyr-souldful standard reading, i
enjoy this tune every night. delivered with great
feeling, like almost everything tonight.
another of my favorites from love and if i'm being
picky, which i'm not, i'd rather hear it then
another lovely performance, well recieved i think.
cool moment when Dylan sings about the bosses man
coming tthe most funGeorge raps a door knock on the
I think there is a contest in the band to see who has
the most fun playing this tune! tonight it was Tony,
urging Larry to rock back and forth with him in time,
then shuffleing across the stage and backI'mrrying his
stand up bass. in dayton on summertime, Charlie was
banging the piano while Dylan strummed his
strings...i'm not sure who had the most fun that
Blowing in the Wind-
solid, i don't get sick at all of this tune as a
almost every nighter. timeless message, people
listening and feeling it tonight.
another big crowd pleaser and i love it as a closer.
They played out the feedback introduction tonight,
Final thoughts? The artists and the music said it all
tonight for any who cared to listen. Old tunes and
new, covers and Dylan 'standard's' were all performed
with feeling, high energy, and wonderful vocals by
Dylan. To my ear his tonal and melodic choices and his
timing were quite subtle, tonight he seemed to give
great attention to every detail of his delivery.
Dylan seems to have a blast bobbing and
weaving,pounding out a blues change on the piano,
aiming his guitar at the crowd, and singing So well
i know i'm preaching to the choir, but get a copy of
this tape, or better yet, get on out and make it to
one of these last few stops this november and witness
this vital, soulful, american musical experience that
is Bob Dylan and his Band.
Thanks always to Bill P, and
Thank You Mr. Dylan!
'Summer days and summer nights are gone,
i know a place where there's still something going on'
Review by John Haas
After Indy on Tuesday--and only the early show at that--I have to say I
was as close to disappointed as I've ever been since the early '90s. Not
that the performance was "bad" at all--it was "OK"--but there was no push,
no inspiration (for me). Friends I was with thought it bordered on being
the ultimate rock show--Brown Sugar, H61, Old Man, and especially Summer
Days had them flying, and I enjoyed it--but Bob himself seemed to be
having a bad voice night plus not putting much effort into the vocals.
Perhaps he was saving himself for the second show, but I left with low-ish
spirits, and eager for Ann Arbor.
Here, like many, we were forced to the stands, having waited too long to
get tickets (the floor is quite small), which put us high up on the right
side--I mean dizzyingly high up--directly above the sound board (is the
big guy Al Santos?) Not thrilled by these seats--teased the guy who
bought them that they were the worst ever--but there was a consolation
prize--by 7:15 or so, we could see why the lap steel is in front of D's
piano--there are lyric sheets on it! And, around the same time, a setlist
showed up on the soundboard, and we entertained ourselves attempting to
read it thru the binoculars.
It was very difficult, but Bill was 70% sure it said Tweedle for first
song. Then he thought he saw "porch"--any songs with porch in the title
he asked? Some had slashes suggesting alternates, and one of these
further down seemed to be about a Carroll. Needless to say, I was
I won't go into all details, but lets say if Indy was a 5, this was an 8
or 9 on the Bob-only scale of excellence. Tweedle is a fantastic opener,
and it would be good to see it stay right there (though I would
suggest--if he asked--putting Floater and Bye and Bye up somewhat further
toward the beginning). Carrying a Torch was beautiful and heartfelt. I
heard my first ever Too Many Mornings, as well as my first ever Hattie
Carroll, and the latter was stunning. (As the acoustics were being picked
up I was the one who yelled "Hattie Carroll," figuring it couldn't hurt,
and apparently it didn't). Also, my first Highwater, and I love it in any
arrangement, particularly this one. Nothing was short of excellent, and
parts of most songs were sung very passionately.
The crowd was enjoyable. Older folks in the stands--the floor looked very
young and very excited. My friend Bill didn't know Hattie Carroll, and he
was impressed that people so young would respond to the song as
knowledgeable of it as they seemed to be.
Great, great concert. Is Bob ever not great in Michigan?
Review by Dave Brogren
Well let me say this to begin, I am not going to go
through the show song by song, but here is my view on
Bob and the band came out and began a simmering
performance out of the box, with Tweedle Dum pretty
much setting the tone of the jamming. It was apparent
that the day off immediately prior had left everyone
in good spirits. I had heard earlier yesterday that
Charlie would be leaving the band at year end to spend
time with his family, but that he had considered the
Bob experience entirely a positive one. I had seen
Charlie in this formation half a dozen times since
July of 1999, and never really seen him step on out
and really dominate the music, preferring to lay out
and fill in on guitar. Tonight was that exception we
had all waited for. This guy is one tasty player.
Charlie seemed on fire from the start playing many
muliple chord combinations that seemed very jazz like,
and making many sound effects that really enhanced the
listening pleasure (Honest With Me). Bob seemed
jovial and amused, urging him on. Larry seemed to
smile and just do the great workmanlike licks that
make him fun to watch and listen to, but it was Mr.
Sexton's night all the way. Over and over again he
paced over to Bob on keyboards or guitar and seemed to
push Bob upwards into the mix.
By the time Summer Days came the energy level was real
nice. They jammed that one out taking it higher and
higher. At one point Charlie put his boot up on the
controls for Bob's keyboards, seemingly boosting the
volume knob with his pointed tips, as Bob laughed and
encouraged him on.
This was the perfect example of a true band. Tony is
the backbone, the tone setter of pacing and timing.
George is the pulsating muscler, able to be delicate
and yet very physical within even a song. I have
really liked all the drummers who Bob has toured with,
but George is a real find, as he helps not only keep a
good beat, but he seems able to really lift up the
verve of the whole outfit on his powerful push alone.
Performing more as a unit than a backing outfit, I was
very impressed at their ability to telepathically kick
the gestalt up notch after notch.
Truly I noted no songs that lost that verve.
Notable for me was You Ain't Goin Nowhere, which often
seems almost a throw away. It kicked ass last night.
In fact the four pack of You Ain't Goin Nowhere,
Things Have Changed, Brown Sugar, and the lovely One
Too Many Mornings, just about set the place a fire.
I am thinking the cdr's of this one will be real nice.
On a personal note I just wish Nels could have made
this one, it was a keeper for sure.
Review by Marc Schemansky
Bob and the band make their entrance around 7:45pm. Bob is dressed in
black with white details, cowboy boots with white curly cues... He looked
like a cross between Hank Williams and Lyle Lovett - ready for the opry.
The night went very well with some excellent song selections: some real
heart-felt numbers (Carrying a Torch, Mutineer, Old Man, and You Ain't
Goin' Nowhere), some seat of the pant rockers (Tombstone Blues, Brown
Sugar, Drifter's Escape, Honest with Me, Summer Days, and Watchtower), and
some great lyrical content (One Too Many Mornings, It's Alright Ma, Hattie
But subtlely, I think Bob's song choices had a message. This was his
first show since the country's 2002 midterm election where the results
showed a definite lean to the right. Bob chose Things Have Changed
("Times are crazy, People are Strange... things have changed"), Times They
Are A'Changin' ("Senators and Congressmen"), High Water ("Things are rough
out there, high water everywhere"), It's Alright Ma ("must have to stand
naked"), and of course Blowin' in the Wind... songs of change, songs of
politics, songs of desperation... in Ann Arbor... a center of liberal
thought. Although subtle, a repetoire reflecting a turn in the wrong
direction... just a thought.
It seems that Bob has his Oscar statuette perched on one of the amps in
the back.. with Mardi Gras beads draped around it..
All in all, great sound and acoustics, great playing, great crowd, and a
great show.... Like fine wine.
Review by Don Ely
Four days removed from Kent and we're at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor to see Bob Dylan
And His Band. John Lennon made a rare appearance inside this building in 1972 to go
to bat for MC5 manager John Sinclair (two joints,ten years) in a benefit performance.
Bob Dylan himself played here February 2,1974 during his triumphant return to the
concert stage with The Band. My own experience with the University of Michigan
basketball facility is far less momentous: I'd seen Chicago here in 1978,and Reo
Speedwagon/.38 Special in the spring of '80. So it had been a long time since I'd
walked these halls. At this juncture comes the confessional portion of our review:
despite our efforts,and all the warnings, we arrived at the gig LATE! We walked in
on "Tombstone Blues" so I knew we had missed two songs. I figured "Real You" or
"Maggie's", and "Summertime", which is bad enough. But when I checked the setlist and
saw Van Morrison's "Carrying A Torch"....Arrrrrgghh! All I can say in our weak
defense is that it's tough getting from the northern suburbs of Detroit to A2 by
7:30 on a work night. We could've used the extra half hour if the show would've
begun at 8pm, as in Dayton saturday night.
Ah well,it's all water under the bridge now and the relevance has passed (I keep
trying to convince myself).Passed Over And Rolling Thunder. Our seats were way up at
the top off the side of the stage so my buddy Dan Teo and I opted to truck about 90
degrees and sit directly at the rear of the stadium, where the audio quality was
richer and fuller. A good old-fashioned arena rock show! We enjoyed the new
incarnation of "Tombstone", and then the boys let "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" out of
the barn to frolic around the stable. I've always been fond of the West Saugerties
material, I'd love to see "This Wheel's On Fire" a second time, or catch "Tears Of
Rage", a first. "Brown Sugar" came up and I was interested to guage the crowd
reaction to the Stones' battleship. This got one of the bigger responses of the
evening. This was,I might say, a very polite audience,appreciative of the event but
hardly boisterous when they needed to be. Very much unlike Dayton or Kent. Perhaps
they were a little too in awe of Bob. Or maybe it was just the more ballad-oriented
pacing of the night. Or maybe it was just because we were so far away. Whatever the
case, it was unusual to see such placidity in a college town. "One Too Many Mornings"
was one of the highlights tailored especially for our show. "It's Alright Ma,I'm
Only Bleeding" could fall into that wagon rut of songs that Dylan plays all the time,
a la "Baby Blue" or "Tangled" when he was doin' those to death, but the current
method in which the band plays the tune makes it memorable. "It's All Over Now,Baby
Blue" did raise it's head,and has become worthy once again. Toward the conclusion,
though,the band seemed to falter, and uncharacteristically I thought the wheels may
actually fall off as the song nearly came apart. "Drifter's Escape", another selection
I seem to catch every show, was typically hot, but at the end Bob Dylan was Wailin'
like Stevie Wonder, The Thirteen Year Old Genius! I have NEVER seen Bob expel so much
air from his lungs as on this harp solo, long and aggressive.
Then, after "Old Man", out of nowhere,the ultimate moment of the evening (since I'd
missed "Torch"):Bob Dylan Spoke! I haven't seen any transcripts that quite agree with
each other, and I waited a few days before filing this report. It's interesting how
there can be so many variances on what The Man said, but I think everybody, myself
included, was too shocked by the moment to remember his precise words. In his Actual
Speaking Voice, clear and not at all raspy like his Actual Singing Voice, he queried
the crowd something to the effect of "Did anyonesee that country & western show on tv
last night? Hank Williams would've wiped the floor with all of their t-shirts!" There
is some uncertainty as to whether he said "Hank" (probably), or "Hank Jr." (not
likely),or "Hank III" (entirely possible), but Bob doesn't talk much onstage apart
from band intros, so virtually any utterances are like gold to enthusiasts. It is
unclear why Bob made this statement, but it may have been to rouse the house (and his
bandmates?) from the complacency they apparently had drifted into. He answered with
the absolute ANGRIEST version of "Honest With Me" I have ever seen, roaring and
acidic. "The Lonesome Death Of Harrie Carroll" was a definite surprise, I has seen
this only previously in 1996, coincidentally in Ann Arbor. As someone who likes
tracking down Civil Rights history, I always revel in the songs based on truth that
Bob chooses to play from this period. I'd love to see "Hollis Brown", or something
completely rare such as "Emmett Till"; wouldn't that be great. "Mutineer" was the
sole Warren Zevon number aired tonight. When on the road I generally begin to leave
during the encores to get a jump on traffic in unfamiliar cities, but Dan talked me
into staying put. Hell,we only live 50 miles away, and besides, he was drivin'! I'm
glad he did. The harmonies of "Blowin' In The Wind" are always worth stickin' around
for, and I don't know if I'd seen "All Along The Watchtower" in it's current life.
Meaty and almost improvisational, the song is a rejuvenating nightcap that sends you
off into the autumn air with a glow.
So Crisler was filled with slower classics and not as rockin' as the Ohio shows.But
that's OK, there'll be more shows. Besides, I picked up a beautiful tye-dye shirt
(my first tye-dye ever) from the '93 summer European tour at the concessions. I can
remember the array of colorful shirts at Dylan/Santana on 8/31/93. Plus, we listened
to my favorite bluesman, Mississippi Fred McDowell, all the way home!
page by Bill Pagel
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