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Review by Larry Fishman
General Comments: I arrived at 6:30, half hour before the doors open as
this was a general admission show. Found a few thousand people with the
same idea and the line twisted and curled through the back streets of
Lowell. Fortunately, many went for the seats, so I was able to stand
about 25 feet back from the center of the stage. Lowell, Massachusetts is
an old Textile town, with numerous abandoned old factories still littering
the old city. Back at the turn of the century, there was a ferocious
strike as the women of the factories refused to work until the conditions
and pay improved. The area never really recovered when factories shut and
moved South and overseas. A slight renaissance in the mid 1980's, was
much sighted as the Massachusetts Miracle that Michael Dukakis based his
presidential campaign on.
Seemed to be a more diverse crowd tonight, besides the usual Dylan
nation, lost deadheads, graybeards from the 60's, (not to mention
stockbroker's searching for the meaning of life), I saw more than a few
Abercrombie & Fitch dressed groups of kids - who knows maybe the this
isn't a generation of Britney Spears & Fred Durst wannabees.
The acoustics were good to excellent all night with Dylan once again
light on his feet - more swaying than leg shaking this evening. I
couldn't see the controversial mustache from my vantage point -
hopefully clean shaven if he's been reading previous reviews. On to the
1. Duncan & Brady. The standard opener per custom lately, enjoy these
old songs as a way of easing into the evening. Felt that Bob was in a
humorous mood all night.
2. Mr. Tambourine Man. Sung deep and froggy at mid tempo with the
appreciative crowd cheering after each line. Thought he mangled the
lyrics a bit, still nice.
3. It's Alright Ma. Bob's been paying for a better light show, as 10
purple spots converged on him as he began the lyrics. He playfully
dragged out words with sheer delight. A smashing arrangement done in a
quiet, swift pace.
4. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll. One of the highlights of the
night, a slow haunting take with the verses powerfully spoken/sung.
Perhaps selected in honor of the exploited women of the old factories, a
memorable, astonishing performance.
5. Tangled Up in Blue. Is well, always Tangled Up In Blue. Must admit
that Bob's 2 solo's were a little on the lame side, not confused Clapton
on a good night, his leads tonight were a bit listless.
6. Soldier Still Searching For His Grave. I could hear an entire show of
7. Country Pie. Finally, letting ace Charlie Sexton jam, and boy the kid
can play. Not to be picky, but Bob's gotta let this kid jam. I think
this song really captures the spirit of the current band at it's playful,
good natured best. Just a happy romp.
8. God Knows. Another highlight of the night, as Bob and the band
began the song huddled, backs to the crowd at center stage. As my
accidental viewing companion, Ross, noted this was a Cream inspired riff
with the band just blasting off. Song exploded with energy and power.
9. Stuck Inside of Mobile (With the Memphis Blues Again). Led by a
great bass riff, a good version of the world gone wrong. Tony Garnier
couldn't hold back a huge grin, as Bob lunged forward at the song's end.
Once again, Dylan slyly dragging some words and lines out in only the way
that our fearless leader can.
10. Not Dark Yet. A stark, beautiful song in concert, it was time to
slow things down with this gem. Another highlight for me.
11, Drifter's Escape. Will admit (oh the shame of it) that I
couldn't recognize this hopped up, shortened, reworked take. Not like any
of the other versions from previous tours. Was straining to figure out
the words (John Wesley Harding admiringly, I don't know as well) and
before I knew it the song was over. Anyway, it was kinda fun to be
12. Rainy Day Woman. A crowd pleaser as it's audience participation time
- the crowd was, ah, enthusiastic and sang along. Noticed that the
strange dude dressed like Carmen Sandiego in front of me stoking one up.
Thus ended the first set with the band standing, staring at the crowd,
with Dylan twitching and rubbing the back of his neck, like Nathan Detroit
at a craps game.
13. Things Have Changed. Opened the second set with a faithful
14. Like A Rolling Stone. The old warhorse is always well received,
enjoy hearing this old friend.
15. If Dogs Run Free. Was looking forward to this one, a homage/parody
to the early beats of the 1960's. Glad he dusted off this obscure one
for the current tour, maybe something off of Desire next time, Zim?.
16. All Along the Watchtower. With Sexton ripping on rhythm guitar, and
Campbell soaring on the lead, this one rocked hard.
17. Don't Think Twice (It's Alright). Slowed down from the previous
versions I've heard. When he turned to grab the harmonica the crowd
exploded in anticipation. First verse sung, with Bob reaching a night
note at the end of each line.
18. Highway 61. Back to the electric guitars, for one final blast.
One of the great songs of exploration and rock and roll redemption,
19. Blowin' in the Wind. The arrangement similar in melody to Don't
Think Twice, as the crowd sang along. Who will win this election, the
Nice to get these long sets as Dylan tours without a partner.
On to Rhode Island and beyond.
Review by Mary Ellen Schumann
Just a few thoughts on last night's show. Set was similar to Friday
nights with a few exceptions. I had never heard God Knows before - that
was a treat. Drifter's Escape was another first for me and Bob wailed
on his harp, which I hadn't heard in awhile. Bob looked spiffy in his
black and white mottled cowboy boots. His toe was tapping' and he was
doing his turkey step all night.
Have you ever noticed the blissful, dreamy expression on Tony's face as
he plays? (It was a binocular seat night). The guitars were on fire.
Everyone had his chance to solo and shine. They faked me out twice on
songs - slowing down so it looked like they were winding down, only to
come roaring back in a blaze of guitarfire. Sorry I can't remember which
songs. If I try to recall the details, I don't enjoy the concert as much.
Bob played a blistering harp on Don't Think Twice. He gets more range and
cadence out of a harmonica than anyone can. At Friday night's concert, a
guest violinist from Berklee, Matt Glaser, played a real blue grass, funky
kind of accompaniment to 2 songs which really enhanced them. Mr. Glazer
is the only tenured professor of violin in the U.S. who is not a classical
violinist. Last night Bob duplicated the sound with his harp!
From my vantage - first balcony, right of stage I could see them from the
side. They looked like outlaws, gentlemen outlaws to be sure with their
boots and long coats and guitars. Those sweet young boys sure can pick
and rock. I include Bob in that sweet, young category. Rock and roll
makes me feel young, and as long as Bob is rocking, I'll be rocking with
Review by A. Maz
We arrived at the tsongas arena in Lowell about 5 hours before the doors
open to find about 15 people already there. With trash bags to sit on, we
sat there until the doors opened at 7. There was a mad rush to the general
admission floor and when it was over i was standing third row about 8 feet
from dylan's mic. We waited another hour or so and around 8:16 the famous
introduction led the band into:
Duncan and Brady: Probably my favorite opener of Bob's. Very energetic,
harmonic, and well done. Dylan played with the delivery a little, snarling
some words,etc. Once again, putting special emphasis on the lines "BEEN ON
THE JOB TOO LONG!". After saying this line for the last time, he cracke a
little sarcastic smile that only bob is famous for.
Mr. Tamborine Man: Very well done. Bob really concentrated on the delivery
here, emphasizing every syllabol and really snarling some of the lyrics.
He played two quick lead solos' s and the song ended without a harp solo.
It's Alright Ma,: expected, but a very cool version. With great lighting
effects dylan once again emphasized the lyrics and took his time on the
delivery. The band seemed ready to go and was doing a good job with
backup. A killer version
Hattie Caroll: Unexpected, also very good. The crowd seemed suprised to
hear this but at the same time delighted. dylan did a good job emphasizing
his lyrics on the refrain "now ain't the time for your tears"
Tangled up in Blue: Got the crowd going, great upbeat feel to it. Dylan
again doing a great job delivering the lines. He played with his delivery
of the refrain this time. At the last shows i saw him he would sing
"taaaangled up in blue" with emphasis on Tangled" . Lastnight he would
sing "tangled up in" quicky and then with a great snarl sing "Blue" . Good
lead guitar from bob once again.
Searching for a soldiers grave: Hearfelt, short, thats the end of the
Country Pie: the usual loud opener for the electric set, very upbeat, a
cool song. Great guitar work form larry and charlie. A fun way to open
God Knows: an absolute Suprise, but a pleasant one. It was a rocking,
hard, drum and guitar driven song. I'd never heard this live and Dylan did
an awesome job with it. IT is very rare for him to perform this song...it
hit the spot
Stuck Inside of memphis: Another good rocking guitar song, dylan does a
great job phrasing and delivering on this one. Extended guitar work from
, and charlie.
Not Dark Yet: Tender, very emotional song with clear vocals. Again, Dylan
does wonders with the phrasing and the crowd really connects.
Drifters Escape: Hard, Hard rocking song with three blazing guitars and a
killer harmonica solo from Bob at the end...The crowd loved it and was
going nuts.....Next to end the electric set we expected Leapard Skin Pill
box hat, the usual closer for the electric set this year...we were
pleasantly suprised with a killer, extented:
Rainy Day Women: "EVERBODY MUST GET STONED" Dylan would sing and then grin
at the crowd. An awesome, upbeat, guitar solo driven rock song that got
everyone on their feet. An awesome closer.
The encores were pretty standard: A cool things have changed, the crowd
favorite Like a Rolling Stone, an acoustic If dogs Run Free, and a hard
rocking All Along The Watchtower. Next though was a great suprise: Dylan
and his boys played a tender, awesome version of Don't Think Twice. At the
end, he put his guitar around his back, picked up the handheld mic. and
played a killer harmonica solo. It was pretty long and got the crowd on
their feet, everyone had a smile on their face including the band as they
watched dylan blow away on a killer harp solo that really brought the
house down. Next We got a guitar romping Highway 61 in which the band
sounded great and jammed a lot. To bring it all home he ended it with
Blowin in the Wind, a very standard, yet warm, heartfelt and properly
delivered version which got the proper response from the crowd. Dylan and
Co. lined up in the formation, the crowd cheered feeverishly and then he
What a great show, he was animated, having fun, and really delivered
lyrically. It is so great to see him still on the road. THis was show
number 38 and I'm hoping for 38 more....Thats the end of my review for
now, i have to go write and AMERICAN STUDIES paper for school.
Review by Jeff Klepper
A great, great show at the Tsongas arena. Superb mix of songs. Even the
slower songs zipped along. Guitars blazing was the order of the day
(Charlie switched among seven if I counted right - the red acoustic, two
strats, a telecaster, a red Gretsh, a black and white Epiphone and and a
resonator (dobro type) electric). And Bob was in great voice. Great new
arrangements of God Knows and Not Dark Yet. With all its hype If Dogs was
the only minor letdown. Terrific sound and tasteful lighting. What more
can you want!
Review by John
General admission yikes, I was a little scared. I don't like general
admission. got there an hour before ..they said that the front doors were
closed and to wait in line around the other side..they sent us in a line
that was literally 6 blocks long..everyone walkin 2x2..started hummin the
song from under the red sky.."one by one/ they followed the sun..etc".
craziest line to get into a concert I ever seen..wrappin around buildings
and trees and shrubs..everyone 2x2. capacity 8k, somethings gotta give. I
dont like general admission. finally made it to front and discovered that
the doors they said were closed were open , and the wait in line was
pointless...get inside average age of audience is about 18-20. floor
fillin up fast...with me was a first timer so we got seats and I prayed
that dylan would be"on". Then I realized that I have seen him for over 15
years and he's never been off. Crowd was sweaty and smelled like ----
ass. I dont like general admission. Bizarre. Duncan and Brady..Dylan is
ON. Lonesome death of hatie carrol was a very emotional moment for
me...spent veterans day at a memorial to the 54th regiment of
massachusetts (the all black regiment from movie "glory").."51 years old
and gave birth to 10 children" passionate delivery!
Tangled up in blue got the youngins moshin..and then a few minutes
later...."god knows"..from the album that i was thinkin about on the way
in..(Under the red sky). what a treat this was. It was heavy . The
performance was bold. The arrangement was orgasmic..bobs voice.."fire
next tiiiiiiime" WOW
Drifters escape..weird moments..crowd was louder than band at times..lots
of talking..but it was interstin scenery..i'm a 30 year old married mild
mannered guy. College educated..well read...BUT I saw this girl in a
cowboyhat on her boyfriends shoulders down about 20 rows in front...and
here i was being blown away by an incredible literary and musical
genius..and yet I see this young gal and all i want to yell is "show us
your tits!"...I like general admission!!! whats wrong with me? " Rainy
day woman" guy next to me yells "hey where did you get that fried dough.
"This is what this shit is all about..everbody gettin high...why cant
people mellow out..blah blah blah..no smokin in restaurants..blah
blah...where did you get that beer blah blah...can you believe all these
kids here..they dont know dylan...they werent born blah blah blah"
FINALLY I stop him "THESE KIDS CANT HELP WHEN THEY WERE BORN..I LIKE
COLTRANE AND I LIKE SHAKESPEARE BUT I WASNT BORN WHEN THEY WERE
AROUND".."yah youre right..hey where did you get that fried dough?"....The
only thing that brings me and this guy onto the same page is both of us
wishin the girl in the cowboy hat would show us her tits!
Great encore of "things have changed"...guitar solos a little sloppy
tonight...more than once....If dogs run free!!! What a trip! maybe next
year he'll do "man in me" hway 61 bob sang "thousand telephones that dont
ring" verse twice..woops!...it was an amazing rendition of a classic ive
heard a million times but it took on a new spirt and life tonight. Blowin
in the wind was simply beautiful. Moving and a fitting denouement. I
feel priveledged as always to have heard the best band in the world and
and enjoy another night with an old friend whose songs have walked beside
me like the savior on the beach story..at times carrying me..thru so many
crazy times. Thank you Bob.
Review by Lola
I don't think the other reviews are doing justice to this show-- probably
because the people who write them have been to so many, they can't
appreciate them the same way you can if you haven't been jaded by seeing
every show on the tour. Discovering Dylan only a year ago, this was only
my third show, but it was by far the most enjoyable. (The other two being
the Bob/Paul Simon show in Albany two summers ago, and the SPAC show with
Phil Lesh this past summer) It seemed like a lot of parents were bringing
their teenagers to see Dylan for the first time, kind of ironic becasue
I'm 17 and was bringing my 54 year old mother to see him... Dylan was in
such a good mood, when he first came out he kept smiling at this guy right
in front of him in the first row...the guy had green hair and a little kid
in his arms...I thought to myself "Now his guy is smart, if you want Dylan
to notice you, dye your hair green and get a baby" Anyway, I won't give
you the blow by blow on each and every song, though some highlights were
All Along the Watchtower, If Dogs Run Free, and Blowin In the Wind, a
version I really liked with harmonies on the chorus. I didn't notice that
many changes in the lyrics, but he did do Tangled Up In Blue the original
way, you know, "Early one moring the sun was shinin, HE was layin in
bed..." And I don't have Things Have changed so I don't know if this is
usual, but he said something about being at a gay parade, and in Highway
61 he changed something, I forget what, to something like "My fuckin
shoelaces" We had great seats, let me tell you, I LOVE general admission,
I don't care if the line was 3 miles long, we were at the side of the
stage and up, and I caught all of Dylan's facial expressions which was
great. He looked around at the audience a lot and was grinning in some
parts of TUIB and H61. He was in a fantastic mood. He kept putting his
hands in his hair the way he did in Don't Look Back, which really excited
me for some reason. At the end of his harp solo in Don't Think Twice Its
Allright, (which by the way I was thrilled to hear, its one of my
favorites, but he did this strange thing of at the end of every line
making the last word high, it got a bit repetitive) and the lights were
going off he took his guitar off in this happy little motion like "Yeah! I
nailed it!" At one point the guy who's job it was was to take care of the
guitars, taking them off dylan and giving him another one, plugging him
in, etc, stood if front of dylan during a guitar change, so the I couldn't
see Dylan's face, and this guy loomed over him, and was making wild hand
gestures like he was angry, I really wonder what that was all about. All
in all, it was a great, great show, and I hope he does lots more tours
after this one.
Review by Shawn Pulver
Well I figured I would post a few random thoughts on the three shows
I saw this week. First,Ann Arbor. A very nice venue, known for its
acoustics. From in front of the stage, however, the sound was very
distorted, so I had moved back a few rows. I had walked by G.E in town
before the show, and for some stupid reason didn't say anything to him. I
noticed him at the side of the stage, and wasn't surprised when Bobby
welcomed him up. Highlites included Standing and Simple Twist, which
featured Larry on steel and a few new lyrics (maybe made up on the spot).
Everything with G.E seemed was very well done, and he seemed to energize
Bob as well. Despite what some have said, his electric was, without
question, turned on during Blowin. As I was impressed with how it fit in
well with the arrangment. Kind of just little notes thrown in every
couple of seconds. All in all, a very nice show, in a great venue. In
terms of Lowell, things were crazy before the show even started. I had
been lineing up with many others on the grass in front of the venue. At
about 5:45, the organizer decided it would be fun to get everybody to move
in front of the venue in an organzied fashion. It turned out to be a
disaster. We were packed in line for an hour directly in front of the
doors. When they were finally opened, it was chaos - ie they opened two
doors and they were about twenty people at a time trying to fit through a
5 feet wide door. Anyways, I still found my way on the rail, and was
ready for the show. Highlites included Hattie Carrol, which just seemed
to to build and build, and God Knows (maybe Bob was listening to my Wiggle
Wiggle shout, more on that later). God Knows featured a slow Larry lead,
and a very good Bob vocal. Not Dark Yet, Its alright and Tambourone Man
were the other stand-outs. Now to R.I There are certain shows that you
just have a good feeling about. This was one of them. Wating in line with
many of the same people as last night, the line up for R.I was much more
relaxed. Everything seemed fine untill we were let in, and noticed that
the first three rows of a supposed G.A show were already taken. After
some confusion and aggrevation, the fans who had lined up for so long
still found our way to the front when the lights went down. In terms of
the show, it was a case of every tune being better than the next. I had
been screaming for Fourth Time Around (which I was increadibly happy with
) and can't say much more than it was awesome. He missed the first few
words, and then it was all good from there. 10, 000 men was the next
major surprise. It kind of sounded like River Flow at the start, but I
soon realized what it was when Bob started to sing. There were some weird
looks from all of us in the font. He seemed to get the lyrics right, and
had a great time singing it. A friend of mine is convinced that he sang
it becuase of Veterans day. Who knows? Tell me and Cats in the Well, with
Bob spitting out the lyrics with that old flair, were also increadible.
The band took about two minutes to decide on This Wheel, which was kind of
intersting - it probably wasn't on the cue-sheet. Since this has kind of
gone on long enough, I wont get into any more specific songs from R.I all
I can say is that Bob and the band rocked, and that the crowd was with him
every step of the way. All three shows were special in different, and
exciting ways. Sorry about the typos, and thanks to all the nice people
that I met in line, although I didn't even get all of your names. Shawn,
from London, Canada
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