page by Bill Pagel
Review by Charles Cicirella
Strange how much difference a day - one little day can make meaning the
energy levels at Pittsburgh versus East Lansing versus last night in
Toledo, Ohio were just worlds apart and from what I have heard Grantham
versus Columbus was also quite amazing!!! I am not complaining in the
least little bit though matter a fact just the very fact that Bob and the
best band in the land are doing LIVE MUSIC not preprogrammed- pre
fabricated shit and shinola horse dung thrills me to the very marrow.
Bob low energy or not still burns down the place every time. Take for
instance his superb vocalizing in Columbus during Lay, Lady, Lay or
Positively Fourth Street (not until hearing this version did I actually
get how very much this could have been precisely what Jesus sang to those
beneath him as he hung on the cross like so much rotting meat). Yes the
man truly covers the waterfront like any of the truly important visionary
torch singers Holiday, Washington, etc. I'd love it if Dylan would
consider doing a record of just Fats Waller songs - I believe that could
be beyond groovy!
Okay so onto Toledo - Holy Holy Toledo!!! After getting Love Minus Zero/
No Limit in East Lansing I was such a happy little boy and then the next
night even with all the peoples who did not realize they were at a ROCK
CONCERT (makes me think about the Beatles and the remarks Lennon had made
about people shaking their jewelry sorry the actual quote escapes me, but
I just do not understand how Bob at 63 can stand for an entire show while
people half his age or younger can not give the man the respect he
deserves and stand as he performs for us - oh and the woman behind me who
shoved my chair into my legs not cool - I do not care if you're only 5
feet still behavior such as yours is just not acceptable no matter if my
standing was obstructing your view or not - perhaps instead of shoving my
chair you should have stood on yours).
Anyway aside from a very lackluster and nearly comatose crowd this Toledo
show was really one for the record books. Visions well I must say me and
the pussy cat I attended the show with were kneeling in the aisle for this
one (which brings to my mind Chimes of Freedom and ducking inside a
doorway, thunder crashing) and I mean was it as good as Paris 2003
honestly comparisons just are not the point because the important thing is
both versions were performed and thankfully even exist (hint, hint) and
last night the sound quality was stellar in this Savage Hall as Bob truly
did tame the proud with his magic charms and this was only the fourth
The whole set was luminous it really was almost as if Van Gogh had somehow
translated his passion play paintings into song and vision pouring this
incendiary root music all over us and totally teasing us to go ahead and
strike another match. We were all in flames last evening as a barn fire of
epic proportions tore down the house last night in a little town that can
now only be called HOLY TOLEDO!!! Sacred purring sonic lullabies from the
heart of the beast!
Review by Eric Shaver
Just wanted to chime in about Toledo. Loved the show. Bob and his band
delivered the goods. The performance and the sound were flawless.
Actually to say the performance was flawless might be a insult to Bob and
the band. Because what make this show worth seeing is the interplay
between Bob and his bandmates. He takes his music where he wants to take
it. And that's what makes his performances special. No song is ever
performed exactly the same, and that keeps it real and exciting.
Visions of Johanna-definately won't ever forget this one. Every word
clear as a freaking bell. Vintage Dylan.
Million Miles-the guitar and harp on this bare bones blues classic were
Loved the new guitarist.
Lovesick-great performance. Blew away the album version.
Every Grain of Sand-a favorite of mine and it was treated well by the
I'd just like to mention that I don't think it's necessary to stand
throughout the whole show so Bob knows that we appreciate him and his
band. I enjoyed the show thoroughly and I sat through most of it. Does
that make me a bad fan? I think not. Rock on Bob! Thanks for the music!
Review by Ed Gildner
Bob seemed to be in better spirits and had a little more zip tonight than
he did the night before in EL - and what a setlist! Nice harp again
tonight, some songs even had two harp breaks! As mentioned in the
previous review, the crowd on Larry's side of the floor was TOTALLY lame -
sitting on their hands almost the whole time - sedate. Some of the most
aggresive sitters i've ever encountered. "Hey, what do you think this is
- a rock concert? Sit down already!"
LSPBH - Suprising and quite good. I used to wish he would stop playing
this and now it sounds fresh after being gone so long.
TIBSHWY - Not bad, different phrasing. Overheard a fan in the restroom
before the show hoping and hoping that Bob would play this, he got his
TD&TD - Better than last night's version.
VoJ - !!!! Wow! Anybody know off the top of their heads the last time he
played this? It was grrreat! Tenderly sung and throughout Bob's piano
was audible and contributed to the song! He didn't particularly nail my
to favorite lines but fantastic nonetheless...
H61R - Smokin' new arrangement.
TtGtH - Very good, well sung. Right after Bob finishes the last line,
Tony jumps in front of the drum kit and the song is over, literally,
MLYGYW - Great, rocking & loud! Phrased differently than i ever remember
hearing it. Wish i could remember exactly how. I sure wish Bob would do
those "instant live" cds like the Allmans.
MM - A highlight for sure! If i remember correctly Bob was smiling
durning this song and apparently something funny was going on onstage. I
couldn't tell if he was looking at Stu or George.
IBYBT - Another nice rendition.
LS - Good, a little different from the old nightly, "eerie" version. The
last lines were delivered in a cool way. It was like the whole song was
going along and he really is sick of love and then at the last possible
second, despite himself, he bursts out that he do "anything to be with
- very cool!
B&B - Fun, well sung. Much better than IDRF that i thought it was going
HwM - Good, i don't remember it being remarkable. Some of these nightly
L&T songs don't seem as good as the Charlie versions...
EGoS - Verrrry nice but maybe not as spine-chilling as some times i've
seen him play it.
SD - OK, again not as much fun as the old, long guitar jam versions of the
past. No more barking dogs.
LaRS - This song suffers from Bob's re-phrasing (to discourage singing
along?) too much IMHO. This might be the only time i'd like to hear the
crowd sing along "How does it feeeeeeel?"
AAtW - Hard rocking standard.
Anyone else miss TUiB? How about any song from BotT? How about any song
from the 70's? He doesn't seem to be playing anything between New Morning
(IDRF) and Oh Mercy except for EGoS. Yikes. Now i'm done for another
tour and this time Dignity and Hollis Brown escaped me.....
gildnere AT msu.edu
Review by Don Ely
This was the one. The absolute best of the six Bob Dylan shows I'd seen since October 30. One to rival
the second or third night in Detroit last March. Normally an indoor sports facility, tonight the
University of Toledo's John F. Savage Hall was a warm, cozy auditorium turned into a roadhouse inferno
by Bob Dylan And His Band. In attendance with me was my pal Dan Teo, a responsibly married man who
can't just drop everything and go out chasing Bob Dylan over the hills and far away,or chasing down
some obscure Blues reference as I do. He's ready, willing, and able to see Bob in our area, though, so
here we sat in plastic chairs bolted to fold-away stands in the Savage Hall awaiting our hero.
Section 4, thirteen rows off the floor is where we were as "Leopard-skin Pill-box Hat" exploded from
the amps. Already it was indisputable that this was to be a special night, a supernova among a billion
red dwarfs. Don't worry about the setlist, just sit back. Relax. Point 'em at the sky and let 'em fly.
Perfect sightlines and perfect sound were ours as Bob declared, "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You".
And he was here with us, heart, mind,and soul. He was ours and we were his. Every perfect word from his
perfect voice, every note hand-crafted to perfection. Bob Dylan was on fire tonight, and His Band stoked
the coals to make this engine barrel down the tracks. "Tweedle Dee And Tweedle Dum" isn't a bad song,
it's one of Dylan's more individual compositions; it just suffers from overexposure. Tonight it was king.
If you asked me, I would tell you "Visions Of Johanna" is my favorite Bob Dylan song (though I could
just as easily offer a different response at another moment). On A Night Like This we were graced with
as beautiful a rendering as the man has ever played. The sting of isolation transforms into the magic of
loss and renewal right on the stage, verse after potent verse. And then,just as we slip into a cathartic
dream we are roused on this train we ride by the rip-roarin' "Highway 61 Revisited". Stu Kimball
engineered some blistering leads as this band has made this tune as memorable as the "Summer Days"' of
Larry and Charlie circa 2002.
"Tryin' To Get To Heaven" was most welcome as I'd been tryin' to get to hear it for a long time. This
leaves only the legendary "Highlands" and the forgotten "Dirt Road Blues" as the sole selections from
"Time Out Of Mind" I haven't seen live. When I saw Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band recently on
the Vote For Change Tour, we were fortunate sons to be but thirty feet from the stage, and I remarked
to my friend Rob how I love to watch this band work. The same can be said for Bob Dylan's Band when
close enough to witness the interaction. It's great observing Bob cue Stu into mimicking Bob's harp
solos on his guitar; if the band is not quite "on" this can sound rather cheesy, but tonight as with
everything else, they made it work well. The audience loved these players at their best as they
applauded several times during a song instead of merely at it's conclusion. Styles bounded from the
grind of "Million Miles" to the country lilt of "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" to the archaic strains
of "Bye And Bye". Added to the experience was the return of "Love Sick", sounding like it was being
played at some dive in a Lynchian otherworld. The echo effect Bob now uses on some of his performances
should be explored to the maximum.
On my recent roadtrip (and last night at MSU) I always left the show after "Summer Days"; I'm
recovering from a car accident so since I'm slower than usual the idea was to beat the crowds and the
traffic, especially in unfamiliar places. Tonight we stayed put to be showered in the majesty of
"Like A Rolling Stone" and jump the runaway locomotive one final time for "All Along The Watchtower".
Although these are the standard encores they sure sound damn good when you don't hear them that often.
Tonight they were as special as the rest of the show, a night where every song was a standout, blowout
tour de force.
It's been a great year to be a Bob Dylan fan. I saw a record ten concerts to raise my career total to
37 since 1981. I've seen plenty of remarkable moments this year. "Get Out Of Denver" and the White
Stripes' Jack White guesting on his own "Ball And Biscuit" at the spring shows in Detroit; rare covers
of The Grateful Dead,Merle Haggard,Townes Van Zandt,and Hank Williams at Bonnaroo; and "Ring Them Bells"
and "Visions Of Johanna" this fall. As we pray for peace and pray the Good Lord save us from ourselves,
let's save a few words for Bob Dylan and the Finest Band In The Land,continued good health and continued
ability to spread joy across this world.......night after night. Happy holidays to all, and seey'all
next year, wherever we all may be.
page by Bill Pagel
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