Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

University of Pittsburgh
Petersen Events Center

November 7, 2010

[Mark Rock], [Daniel Chester], [Don Ely], [Joshua Seese]

Review by Mark Rock

It did have the feel of just another day on the road for Bob - which it 
was.  He played the basketball arena at the University of Pittsburgh.  Overall
his band played every tune just fine and generally seemed to be enjoying 
themselves.  The Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat opener was great - the man still has
fun with the lyrics after 44 years.  Then a few songs where his voice 
descended into the rocks and gravel.  Rollin and Tumblin was dead on Chicago 
blues. Tangled was great.  Bob center stage with the harp mic in his right hand
and harp in his left.  He gestured with his open arms - sort of a modern day 
Al Jolson - and pointed with his harp hand to emphasize certain lines.  He 
did skip a few verses. High Water was apocalyptic as always.  They hit their 
stride with Blind Willie McTell.  Bob gesturing nicely center stage - 
pulling on his tie to emphasize certain lines.  His harp playing took you down
along the train tracks late at night.  Highway rocked.  Workingman's was the 
best sung of the evening.  Even the kids in the audience were hanging on 
every word - nice applause.  Thin Man is still scary - sort of like an old black
and white thriller with Bob inviting you to look into the fun house 
mirrors.  I almost didn't think they were coming back for an encore.  The
ended almost right after each song - and even after a solid 45 minute ending 
the crowd appeared tired.  Jolene and a routine LARS sent us home.  When 
Bob introduced Stu he mentioned something about Pittsburgh I could not make 
out - is he from there? George Recile was awesome the entire evening.  That 
man knows how to do all sorts of nifty double times and starts and stops to 
propel the songs along,  He stays out of the way - yet is the heart of each 
song.  Bob wore a black suit white shirt and bolo tie with a white flat top 
hat.  My estimate -  there were a good 5000 in attendance.  Only annoyance was
security coming up to people taking pictures and threatening to take their 
cameras.  It didn't bother Elvis - but those were different times.

Mark Rock 


Review by Daniel Chester

Leopard-Skin: nice little lead-off hitter

Baby Blue: nice to hear especially guitar work

Baby Tonight: maybe not as laconic as would like, a tasty pairing with 'Baby

Just Like: done well, had a little sing-along aspect

Rollin' and Tumblin': toward the concession stand

Tangled: incredibly cool arrangement/version, song of the night

Highwater: not exceptional, did feature some pickin' sounds

Tryin' to Get: not overly familiar with, not offensive

Summer Days: swung a little bit, nice Sexton guitar with some Basie organ

Blind Willie: always well played, tonight really well, sweet harp

Highway: upgraded from Akron, decent guitar/organ interplay, still needing a
Johnny Winter-like vibration

Workingman's: wonderfully wrought, second best moment

Thunder: fairly enegetic, sung well

Thin Man: cool soundscape, cool harmonica, upheld it's anchor role tonight 

Jolene: again, out of all the possibilities.some crisp guitar work though

Like A: between functional and inspirational, crowd enjoyed

Overall, a 'Workingman's' show. No transcendence, on the other hand some
exquisitely crafted singing and harmonica playing, band was focused and
energetic, think they were getting close the last few numbers to how the
lead guitar should sound in this line-up/mix with these songs. Really like
when the organ sounds Count-like. Grateful for the experience


Review by Don Ely

It was a great week for travel! I was prepared to be plagued by rain or even
snow driving across the mountains and valleys of Appalachia in November, but it
was sunny throughout the trip and warm enough on occasion that I had to rip the
flannel from my back and chuck it into the back of the car. The first show was
sunday, November 7 in Pittsburgh, and I got into town early enough to visit a
favorite record shop, Paul's CD's in the Bloomfield neighborhood. They stock a
nice selection of international musics, and among other things I picked up some
cool 1970's Nigerian selections on the Soundways label. From there it was a
short drive to the Oakland district where I parked for $5 at the Soldiers and
Sailors garage just a few blocks from the venue. This was an excellent deal
because I had a lot of time to kill prior to showtime, and my car remained there
until after Bob played his last note. I had landed smack in the middle of the
University of Pittsburgh campus, it's academic buildings and residence halls,
and students abounded. I walked up and down the local streets seeking out
interesting shops, but there were primarily eating places and stores selling
Pitt merchandise...lots of those. I managed to while away the hours at a Mexican
restaurant and at Starbucks.  One thing about this city, some they call it
Steeltown, but I call it the Cardiovascular City, dominated by hillsides and
long climbs to the top. I would put money on the idea that overall
Pittsburghians are healthier than many US citizens. In keeping with this theme
it was uphill all the way to the Petersen Events Center, and further still to
the entrance gates. As for the show, Bob Dylan and His Band never came down,
giving the assembled a flawless two hours of some of the world's greatest songs.
It was what I would consider to be a perfect show, 2010-style, slick and
professional and worthy of official release. The blues " Leopard-skin Pill-box
Hat " led the night off, then " It's All Over Now, Baby Blue " and " I'll Be
Your Baby Tonight ", both sounding better than I remember, the latter less
obviously country than renditions of a few years ago. American audiences still
don't really seem to get the singalong potential of " Just Like A Woman ", but
that's ok. " Tryin' To Get To Heaven " was especially strong, and was a number
I'd hoped for on this tour. 
" Blind Willie McTell " was good enough to make even Blind Willie tap his toes
in his grave down outside of Thomson, Georgia! Throughout the evening the
craftsmen on stage plied their trade with maximum effectiveness and seamless
results, a performance so engaging I really can't recall many highs or lows, and
a friendly and appreciative audience brought the experience full circle. Kudos
also go to the staff at the Petersen Center, who handle a concert crowd with


Review by Joshua Seese

Bob Dylanís music is like your younger sister.  You could not care so much
if the older sister is taken out on a date but the younger sister you
guard with your life because of the immense amount of joy and potential
they give to the world and that alone needs not smudged.  Bob Dylanís
music has a sweet spot in your heart.  Bob Dylanís music has a rich
history aligned with the past, present, and future years.  A man who
inevitably bleeds American, knowing our most jovial moments in life as
well as the oneís of callused sorrow.  This is a man who chose to put his
personal life out on the table so we could be supplied with a canon of
musical as well as poetical compositions immersed in deep heartfelt
warmth, sonic sound changes and a voice with more edges and cavernous
depths to get lost in than all of the endless highways for all of time. 
The man supplements his art like an artist with a painting palette. 
Putting on death masks of many different musical genres and providing
trademark twists and turns he has become known for, successfully running
down knife edges between austerity, neo-classicism, parody, post-modern
absurdist symbolism and other various liaisons.
Bob Dylan is a name you ought to know.  Half a century of pure genius side
stepping poetry, dazzling spectacle, and confrontation with Americana
themes would not lie.  Heís a genius using a keen eye for articulating the
human condition, with great care elicited in creating a bagful of
identities where Dylan minuses out the ďIĒ and puts the word e-y-e.  The
Imperial Self.  Shakespeare incarnate evoking the labyrinths of imagery
and symbolism in the well lit houses and darkroom alleys of our mind. 
Music that speaks for itself, in turn speaking for us.  I myself need
music that has a name, a history, a weight of truth, preys on other lesser
musical genres, and possesses a strong as oak type of bond.  That is Bob
Dylan.  Each performance completely original in its own accord working the
audience.  Each performance another created planet of history that orbits
and rectifies the visual and auditory experience of the Dylan myth.  I
need a man whose mind can wind and reel like an endless highway where
hundreds of pairs of boots have worn out heels from traveling across the
seven continents.  That is Bob Dylan.  I cannot say enough.  The show was
indoors, intimate, full of good people, set my mind reeliní, a brilliant
spectacle, sonic soaring sound, danceable, and beyond human.  Dylan had
more energy than all of us combined.  I had many laughs and smiles, as
well as a few tears of joy.  Clearly, Bob Dylan is working out of his true
idiom.  He is a master of arms which encompasses everything poetic and
musical with a sniper eye for details.  Iím so proud of him and everything
I can learn from his music.  The geometries of Bob Dylanís musical
universe becomes the shelter from the storm.  Simply stated, his is that
music for any kind of person in any vast place with an illimitable and
infinite heart ready for the musical genius who started the counterculture
revolution.  Cheers to Bob Dylan, you had a nice shadow!  Everyone get out
there and get excited to see him!  Thanks everyone for the amazing time!

Joshua Seese 


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