Moon Township, Pennsylvania

Robert Morris University
UPMC Events Center

November 10, 2019

[Daniel Chester] [Laurette Maillet], [Shane Bliss], [Sally Colussy], [Sue Hay], [Leo J. Fuchs], [Peter MacIntosh]

Review by Daniel Chester

Things: between the intro music and the start of this the word 'cacaphony'
came to mind but it settled into something that was not bad...great to
see/hear guitar again from the headliner

Ain't Me: half way between traditional and reinvented...violin had a real
nice thing going on in addition to it's interplay with the piano...sung
with right amount of feeling

Highway: more vitality than has been heard in quite some time on
this...due to new guitar?...sung well

Simple Twist: such a gem...played with in unison on
bridge? always, with any tune, the harp expands matters

Can't Wait: not as deep swamp as it deserves yet well played and delivered

Masterpiece: church feel to it especially at the beginning...sometimes the
words were clear and sometimes they were not...harp!...quite fortunate to
hear this

Honest: as hard as it is to believe, this, while still wasting a spot in
the lineup, actually approached pleasurable

Tryin' to Get: same with this...would rather hear 200 other tunes yet

Make You Feel: one really wants this to be quiet and slow to convey the
tenderness but pretty good (violin helped a good deal)

Pay: never been a fan and still not though not a complete waste of time

Lenny Bruce: Shot of Love!...interestingly chosen and done and sung with a
good amount of conviction

Early Roman: this was far better than it's ever been, had some stomp,
guitars (slide?) stood up and were counted...standup bass elevated
things...this was what was in the ear while exiting (who knew?)

Girl from the North: remember me to one who lives oh man...the
gospel/prayer feel...the delivery...this cat's canon is some canon

Dark Yet: did not know what to expect arrangement-wise and yet this was
different and interesting (if not compelling) and sung well and it fit and
yet wanted more out of it because it's so special

Thunder: kind of would like the piano to be more prominent yet both
guitars owned this one, stretching out real well...swell energy and the
singing matched

Soon After: like a few other fillers this was not terrible and wonderfully

Gotta Serve: pretty good but a little rushed which made it tough to catch
some newly-spun Not Dark, did not live up to its pedigree

Thin Man: a tired almost dismal warhorse (which is surely overrated) was
really good highlighted by the headliner's mighty fine guitar work

Takes a Train: quite enjoyable but still tough to measure up to Bangladesh
version...not a bad ender yet might have opted for Girl from the North

a) Tony's electric bass was special on one tune (Lenny Bruce?), perfect in
the mix b) for a new hoop joint (excuse me, Events Center) sounds was
pretty good (not sure about in back) c) drummer's brush work was beautiful
on several numbers in a night full of good energy by new drummer d) a
handful of crisp guitar solos were greatly appreciated e) upright piano
didn't work every song but certainly helped things overall f) for whatever
reason (new personnel? just a good night?) the whole thing had more
vibrancy than last few years g) man, should have gone to Akron the night
before h) Best Tunes (in order): Girl from the North; Early Roman,
Masterpiece, Dark Yet

Thanks, Everybody

Daniel Chester
Best Show Sept '93 Wolf Trap


Review by Laurette Maillet

Moon township. Pittsburgh. I arrive at 2.50pm on a Sunday. I catch a city
bus and then UBER. The venue is a sport arena , away from all
civilization! Bob's bus is parked in the street with no security. I'm
pretty sure Bob is not in. I bump into Kevin, a young guy of 21, who came
all the way from New Orleans on....Greyhound! And I thought I was crazy!
We chat for a while. Barron is out talking on his telephone. I say hi and
he greats me with a sweet smile. Cool Barron! By 7p.m. the folks arrive
and pile up in front the metal security gates. A gentleman with a cowboy
hat says he has an extra ticket. He asks me if I am a Fan...half hour
later and many of my stories about Dylan...he gives me his ticket. We walk
in and I find Kevin next to where I am seated. Weird situation: on the
very right side of the stage. The view is from Donnie to Charlie, way in
the back. The sound board guy right in front of us. Bob on piano will be
facing us. When he is center stage we see him on the side. Not too bad
though! Pretty close. The seats next to me are empty. The entire row is
empty and lot more. I will enjoy the show as a private person. Barron is
down below, observing the first row. I focus on Bob. His suit is plain,
kind of purple light color. Not sure if I like this one. It looks two
sizes too big. Maybe Bobby shrieked? His hair is weird. Like mine today.
The conditioner didn't work to well. All fluffy in all direction. His face
is pale.  He drinks between some songs. His cold didn't cure? Other than
that...the show is again breath taking. I see Barron swaying on "soon
after midnight". Ah ah. I caught you enjoying the song! I feel like Bob is
playing in my living room and I am observing the audience through a
window.  The first row stands for the encore as Bob will again plays his
guitar on Ballad. I have a lot of fun all by myself, singing along. This
was my last show of this leg of the Tour. So I say bye to Barron passing
bye. With Kevin we take a UBER to the airport, where he will be staying. I
catch a city bus to downtown Pittsburgh. My bus to Philly is due at


Review by Shane Bliss

I started seeing Bob back in 2008, and this was without the best of all
the shows I've been to. Crisp, clean vocals throughout and great guitar,
piano and harp playing. The band sounded stellar as well.

The arrangements were all solid. Can't Wait, Honest with Me, Pay in Blood,
Early Roman Kings and Thunder on the Mountain were all real good up tempo
fun. Thunder featured a great jam that gave everyone a chance to shine,
Matt Chamberlain especially. I was impressed by him on drums all night.

Bob's vocals were strong and powerful, especially on the slower songs. Not
Dark Yet sounded especially haunting, and Girl from the North Country got
a big reaction from the crowd. It was remarkable how good he sounded,
channeling the emotion of all the songs and expressing them clearly. It
was also good to see him front and center so often, seemingly very into

I was not expecting Bob to pick up the guitar again for the encore, which
was a very nice surprise. The whole encore blew me away, the perfect end
to a show that exceeded my expectations.

Shane Bliss



Review by Sally Colussy

Grab your convertible keys and your comb, put that ragtop down and begin
the 1.5 hour cruise through all of Dylan's years. This ride happened to
touch that 'wind in one's hair' 60's traveling vibe, kinda akin to some of
the MODERN TIMES rhythms, HWY 61 Revisited [joyfully played here]  and
that Route 66 theme.

No, imagine you won't recognize many of the early offerings unless one
listens closely and, in our seat locations, put fingers in one's ears.
Those early song mixes were heavy on the instrumentals, but that issue
evaporated after a few tunes, thanks to delft work of that/those board
guy[s]. Bob's voice, initially raspy? hoarse? on THINGS HAVE CHANGED,
miraculously cleared and rang true throughout the rest of night's travel.
Crazy strong harmonica [sorry, I'm too old and lack hipness to type
'harp'] punctuated many of the songs.  [Bob, where does one buy lungs like
 And he pleasantly surprised us with his guitar work.  Haven't seen that
since '96.

Was the concert cruise sweetened by a possible tip-of-the-hat homage to
Pittsburgh native son, Stephen Foster?  I though I heard some Foster riffs
between tunes.  Ditto with some Beach Boys and Doors snippets.  Am I

And, yes, I did 'wave my handkerchief (passionately) in the air...'. 
Noone else did, and, if I were younger, I would have felt foolish, but no
worries now. Pittsburghers may have thought it was a Terrible Towel, but,
no, my late father's kerchief proudly acknowledged dear Bob's lyrics.
Dylan and his colleagues certainly know how to design a ride which does
not disappoint.

The disppointment came in the form of the venue, whose posters failed to
include binoculars as no-no.  We stood in line for 2 hours and then were
ordered, during the pre concert shake -down, to return to binocs to the
car. [It could have been done earlier, if we had been forewarned.] The
metal risers/ seating in the auditorium may work for sporting events, but,
in this instance, every toe tap, every stair step resulted in distracting
shaking and vibrations. And these entrances and exits during the
performance weren't isolated. Those adult libations seemed to trip the
audiences 'nature calls' and chirps and chatters [it mattered].  People
couldn't control their tongues. Is it really necessary to have alcohol
sold at these events? This is the 3rd concert I've attended where it was
more than a minor nuisance.  Oh,well, I've had my say.

So glad I had the wind in my hair during this journey.  Fair winds, Bob


Response by Sue Hay

She sits
In the candle lit night
A votive
Facing the crowd
That lovely lady
On a pedestal
To Lenny Bruce
Lenny Bruce


Review by Leo J. Fuchs

This was easily the worst venue of the 13 times I've seen Bob Dylan in
concert. Everyone trying to use the facility's parking had to merge into a
single lane stretching over a mile and a half. There was no management of
the traffic whatsoever, resulting in blocked intersections, honking horns,
and drivers yelling at each other. I finally drove out of line and parked
in a grocery store parking lot across and down the street from the
facility, and took a lengthy walk up a steep hill to get to the gym where
the concert was. I had been in the line of cars by 7:00, and walked into
the gym just as Dylan started at 8:00.  Many, many people came in after

The sound was awful. The band overpowered Bob's voice to the point that
there were several times you could not hear him AT ALL.  At other times
there was a distortion in the sound that made songs completely
unenjoyable. There were other times when Bob was at the piano, and it
sounded like someone was playing a harmonica. No one was. It was the sound
system making a harmonica-like noise.   I've seen Dylan in 3 other college
gyms and the Covelli Centre in Youngstown twice, all of which had
not-very-good acoustics. They were all better than this place.

The highlights of the concert were "Girl From the North Country" and "Not
Dark Yet", because the band was toned down and the sound system worked,
letting us hear Dylan's every word and his phrasing. It would have been
great to hear the lyric changes on "Simple Twist of Fate" and "Gotta Serve
Somebody", and I would think Bob wanted people to hear them. I have no
idea what they were. I caught "1958" in the former, but I have no idea
what any of the "You might be"s were in the latter. I was sitting in a
floor seat, in the 18th row in the middle of the gym.

Did he sing the "Siamese twins" line in "Honest with Me"? I think so, but
I'm not sure. Did he sing "kings of the jungle" in "When I Paint My
Masterpiece"? I don't know. "Tax-deductible charity organization" was
replaced by something in "Ballad of a Thin Man", but I don't know what it
was. If you know the lyrics, most of "Highway 61 Revisited", "Ballad of A
Thin Man", and "Tryin' To Get To Heaven" were enjoyable. Most of the rest
were really not. That's a real shame. People who, in some cases, are
paying a few days' wages for a ticket deserve better. I really hope the
next time Dylan plays the Pittsburgh area it's at Heinz Hall. The sound
was so much better there at his show two years ago.

On the plus side, we heard Bob on harmonica several times, and on guitar
twice. It's been quite a while since I've seen him on guitar. He smiled a
lot and seemed to be having fun. The crowd was fairly enthusiastic, and at
least the first 20 rows were standing for both encores. It was nice to see
a lot of kids there. The couple in front of me was there with their two
kids, one of whom enjoyed "playing the drums" on her mom's shoulder in
time with the music. Go and enjoy seeing Dylan if you can. I don't think
anywhere he plays could have a worse set-up and sound than this gym south
of Pittsburgh. 

Leo J. Fuchs


Review by Peter MacIntosh

Dylan was magnificent again this autumn. Having seen him now half a
hundred times, I can say with assurance that he's gonna make us lonesome
when he goes. For the time being, while physically Dylan may be declining
a tad, he more than makes up for it in ingenuity, surprise, and
conviction. The man is a force of nature, irrepressible and true. And the
"new" band played like it has been together for years. Tony in particular
seemed rejuvenated and stood out, in my humble opinion.

Travelling to a trio of shows from my home in Nova Scotia, Canada, I once
again had the honour of attending concerts with my buddies from Michigan.
I joke with anyone who will listen that while I have seen Dylan 50 times,
I don't know if he has ever seen me (although I was second row centre in
Burlington, Vermont, roughly ten years ago).

This time, in Cincinnati, Akron, and Pittsburgh, Dylan gave his all to the
audience, who responded in kind. The highlight was the encore in Akron as
I nearly fell out of my seat when Dylan picking up the guitar for Thin
Man. Didn't see that coming. And his guitar (and piano and harp) playing
was superb these nights. On the keys he was less percussive than in the
past, sometimes (e.g., Lenny Bruce) even (beautifully) carrying the

A word about the venue in Pittsburgh (or, more accurately, its suburb of
Moon Township): I question the wisdom of whoever thought parking on the
grounds could be accomplished in the time provided. I feel badly for the
folks who arrived in the "hall" (hockey rink?) way late (they were still
streaming in, in droves, five or six songs after the concert commenced),
owing to the parking debacle. I'd be looking for a refund ...

On this trip we also had the honour of exploring the mind and art of
another great American, someone who perhaps rivalled Dylan in terms of
insight and imagination. In Pittsburgh we visited the Andy Warhol Museum,
and what a stunning experience that was. Warhol long has been on the
periphery of my worldview, but seeing his work in its original form
reminded me that we westerners have been well served by our artist
community. If only we would learn from what we watch, hear and read.

In the end, suffice it to say that it was a blessing to once again this
year share a room with our poet laureate. Am hoping to reconvene in 2020
somewhere down the line, barring unforeseen circumstances or ... a simple
twist of fate.


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