Review by Ray Padgett
After a nice day off hanging out with friends from the Oklahoma play
this summer, I headed down to Boston. I had been hoping someone
would organize a pooler get-together, but no one did, so I threw one
together at the last minute. I just picked a place at random that
Mapquest said was close to the venue, and it turned out it had changed
its name. People figured out though, and a few people showed up: Joe
and a non-pooler friend, Kathleen, Saul, and Paul, whose ticket I had.
One hot pastrami sandwich later, we headed to the venue. The seats
Paul and I had turned out to be perfect. At an angle to the stage to see
Bob’s face, but not at such an extreme angle that you got a crappy view
of everyone else. I’ve got the same seats for tonight, only farther
forward, so I’m psyched.
The Raconteurs came on right at 7:30 to a mostly empty arena, and
kicked into another killer set. The only problem: it was the exact killer set
I saw in Portland. Not one song changed. With a frontman whose previous
band was notorious for never even having a planned set-list, this repetition
was somewhat discouraging. There were a few differences though; such
as a very different, slowed-down ending to Steady, As She Goes which
really differentiated it from the album version. It also made the song much
longer and was nice to see. Bang, Bang was probably the highlight tonight,
the version even better than in Portland. Closing with Yellow Sun and
Hands is incredibly anti-climactic though; they have so many better songs,
I have no idea why that’s the impression they want to leave.
During the break I got a call from a good friend who lives in Boston saying
she was actually at the show. Apparently about an hour beforehand a friend
had said she had a few extra tickets, so she said, why not? Who don’t I ever
snag free tickets to these shows? So I spent most of the break trying to
push my way to the opposite side of the venue and back to see her.
Got back to my seat a couple minutes before Bob came on. I saw Donnie on
the pedal steel and thought, uh oh. And yeah, it was Maggie’s Farm. But, it
was the best version of the song I’ve ever seen. He was on tonight right
from the beginning, playing the song as if he never would again (though let’s
not get our hopes up). Absolutely nailed it from beginning to end, singing
each line a different way, throwing in some staccato periodically, or pausing
and then firing back in with the lyric. If he was this inspired you think he
would have chosen a different song to open with, but at least he blasted
the hell out of this one.
The momentum only grew with She Belongs to Me, by far the highlight of
the night (how often can you say that about the second song?). He put
his heart and soul into every line, not relying on the downsinging that made
the earlier versions fun, but was starting to wear thin. His voice sounded in
top form, and his delivery was flawless. Can’t wait for the recording of this
one. He closed it out with an excellent harp solo that went on for a long
time, well over a minute. Bob was in top form for sure.
But if he was in such top form, why was he playing such a standard set list,
I wondered as Lonesome Day Blues began. It’s always a good song to hear,
one of the best off of Love and Theft, but as I’d just gotten it in Chicago
(after Maggie’s and She Belongs of course) a couple weeks ago, I wasn’t
too excited. It was a very nicely done version, but not up the level of the
amazing Chicago rendition.
I was thrilled to hear the opening chords to the next one. Kind of strange
that it took me twelve shows to get Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright, but
there you go. It is one of my favorite Dylan songs, and I enjoyed every
minute of. A bit of periodic upsinging for sure (especially in the middle),
but I enjoyed it regardless. A bit of a lyric flub with “It ain’t no use in
calling out my name babe/The light I never knowed”, but what are you
going to do. The last verse, incidentally, was stellar, and was capped off
with some nice harp.
I saw Donnie picking up his violin and thought, son of a… And yes, it was
It’s Alright Ma, again. No Bob, it’s not alright, stop playing this damn song
so often. Or at least play it every night so we’re not disappointed when
it shows up, taking up a slot another song could have used.
I was somewhat surprised to hear the intro to Workingman’s Blues #2, as
I think of it as usually being the penultimate song of the main set. I hoped
this meant I’d get my first Nettie Moore later. This version was far better
than average, not award-winning, but at least he was trying to incorporate
a tune. I’ve enjoyed this song live all three times I’ve seen it and tonight
was no exception.
As the intro to Tangled Up In Blue began, I started to get a little
disappointed by the lack of variation between this and the other three
shows I’ve seen this tour. The audience flipped out over this one though,
and it was decently delivered. A few lyric flubs, such as him saying the thing
about the Tropicana, but never rhyming it with Atlanta. If I recall correctly,
Denny did some nice solo work on this one.
Blind Willie McTell was the first song I hadn’t seen this tour yet (other than
Don’t Think Twice of course) and it was performed quite well, as always.
Spooky as hell of course. I don’t know how Bob can make a line like “Nobody
can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell” seem so threatening, but he
manages. Featured an interesting calypso-esq solo from Denny, unusual
chords being played fast up the neck. Not as good as his amazing solo in
Columbus on this song (best I’ve seen him do), but nice nevertheless.
From the beginning I thought this was going to be an inspired show, and
perhaps it was performance-wise, but setlist-wise it wasn’t looking so hot. A
lot of people say they’d rather see good versions of standard songs then
mediocre versions of unusual songs. Well give me the unusual songs any day.
Instead, we got Most Likely, which was played at the Portland show Thursday
(though, for the record, it was the highlight of that show). Not quite as good
tonight, but a solid performance. Didn’t close with a harp solo as it did in
I saw Donnie grab the banjo again and, with Stu on upright bass, knew it was
The Ballad of Hollis Brown. Once again, this would be a song I was much more
excited to see if I hadn’t caught it in Chicago. Plus the Chicago one was a little
better. Oh well, it’s still nice to see this one back in regular rotation. It was
probably better than I’m giving it credit for, but as an avid setlist-watcher, I was
becoming aware that the number of surprise slots left was getting low.
Highway 61 Revisited came next, and was perhaps another highlight. Bob and
the band absolutely nailed this one. That’s not to say they changed much of
tried anything different; they just did it the way they usually do it…really well.
And, unlike in Portland, the light show going on behind them was timed
perfectly, and really helps get the energy of the song going. I certainly don’t
want Bob’s shows to become a tightly choreographed Rolling Stones-style
show, but he could use a few more of these visual things going on. A
I was praying for Nettie Moore, the one Modern Times song in rotation I haven’t
yet seen, but no luck; Spirit in the Water again. I really enjoyed it once again
though, and love the fact that the performance is already so drastically different
than the album version. And it’s pretty impressive that such a new song gets
such a strong audience response, ala the naked president in It’s Alright Ma. Why
everyone cheers after “I think I’m past my prime” is a little unclear though;
hopefully it’s a way of saying, no you’re not Bob. Then everyone cheers even
louder after “We can have a whoppin’ good time”. Whether that has to do with
the sentiment, the fact that it’s the last line in the song, of the fact that Bob
said “whopping”, I’m not sure. At any rate, it nice to see the audience
responding so strongly to a new one.
Summer Days, of course, rounded out the main set, and closed things off with
a bang. This band has gotten quite proficient at this song, though I think Donnie
would contribute something if we could ever hear him. Bob was swinging though,
and definitely seemed to be enjoying himself up there.
Another perfectly timed intro/banner unfurling led into another nice Thunder on
the Mountain. This song is good live, but I feel like with only a little more energy
or inspiration it could be great. It always seems to be close, but never quite
makes it there. Perhaps a slightly more dynamic arrangement would do the trick,
cause Bob is certainly doing all he can with the vocals.
A longer pause than usual before George did his drum bash to lead into Like a
Rolling Stone. The chord pattern of the intro seemed a little muddy, a little less
distinct, which I thought sounded good. It took the audience until the first lines
to figure out what it was though. The fact that Bob is doing this song better
than normal this tour, however, doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a break. I was
most disappointed, however, to see that the lack of the lighting going on the
crowd during the chorus in Portland wasn’t a fluke, as it was MIA here too.
That alone is enough to kill it, as the audience doesn’t get permission to sing
along to the one bit of the show they all know.
The band intros featured some classic Bobtalk. After introducing everyone, the
band was about to kick into Watchtower, but Bob kept talking. He said, “I want
to play guitar, but then who would play this thing here? One of these days.” A
sign of things to come? Probably not, but it was cool to hear nevertheless.
Watchtower was good, with a mistake at the end that got Bob and George
grinning at each other. Instead of repeating “know what any…any of it…is worth”
like he usually does, he mistimed it, saying “know what any of it is…is…is worth.”
A pretty funny moment that closed out a good, if not great, show. Here’s to
Review by Jason Polanski
This was my first of three east coast shows (saw one San Fran show last
month) and this was part of a weekend that also included the Tribute
show at Lincoln Center and Ratdog. Guess the first thing that seemed
aparent is the people attempting to "cover" Dylan songs don't completely
get it! (well maybe Phil Lesh playing Thunder but nobody else got it!)
Then the second thing is, something happened to Dylan as he's crossed
America. Yes, the show was good in San Fran, but tonight, Bob engaged
the songs in the most strange ways. And it worked! And it was great to
see a great artist mastering his work.
The highlight for me was watching Bob be not a lead singer and not a
keyboard player, but be the conductor. He was at times yelling at the
others on stage, sometimes just appeared in awe of the songs, sometimes
seeming pissed, but absolutely engaged. He even addressed the guitar
issue with us. Said he might play it "one of these days".
Of course this created some moments within the songs. On Don't Think
Twice he began his harp solo, then stopped, disconnected himself from
the band, then brought the harp back to the mix and with a vengence. Did
a similar move on Spirit In The Water where he stopped playing then
reconnected to lead the band to a seemingly higher level than they could
do on their own.
On rockers like Tangled and Summer Days, he was extra playful with the
lyrics. On Watchtower he sang with no wasted words while flirting with
Donnie at the end, losing his spot, and cracking up as he belted the
final words of the night "none of them along the line know what any of
it is worth". Hollis Brown was all the right notes. It was nice to see
Bob command his voice.
But I've already read some reviews of this show that weren't as high
praise. I will say that what I liked the best was how uneasy things
seemed. How Bob never let the music go in the expected direction, even
if it meant destroying the song. Those tribute artists at Lincoln Center
sung Bob's songs with respect for the ages. Bob sung his songs on
Saturday night just for Saturday night.
Review by J.T. Simms
where to begin...if you're visiting this great site and have made it
far enough to read this post then you're either someone with a keen
interest or lingering curiosity in the man they call dylan. either
way, you've come to the right place.
these days it's not often you get a chance to see him in the midst of a
new album release; he's been recording one about every five years, as you
probably well know. this one, saturday's show, and the current leg of the
never-ending tour have all been memorable, to say the least.
the info for which you're probably looking has to do with the new
opening act, dylan's set itself, or how good an experience you may
have, in any particular order.
i'll start with the raconteurs (briefly). i thought they were great. jack
white is an enigma and a presence with talent and [musical] consciousness
to boot (have you seen cold mountain?). speaking of boots, they did a
kick-ass cover of nancy sinatra's (among others) "bang-bang". their
original stuff was just that, and powerful. like dylan, white seems quick
to defer praise to the entire group (if not overtly).
bob and his band came on to a truncated version of the copland intro. as
in the summer, he faced stage right (audience left) from the opposite
side, respectively. after the show was well underway it wasn't much of a
problem for those with floor seats to move up and stand in the aisle,
'long as everyone left some exit space.
the set itself was eclectic and engaging, keeping everyone on their
toes, regardless of familiarity.
"maggie's farm" is always a good choice as the intro., given the
history. this version had a different kind of pep in the new
next came the first of a string of bringin' it all back home tracks - in
the form of "she belongs to me" - reworked wonderfully.
"lonesome day blues" is a modern-day obscurity (i guess, if you could call
it that), in that new arrangements keep it fresh and it's likely one you
haven't heard as often as the 'classics'.
then the set really kicked into high gear with "don't think twice"
(one of johnny cash's favorites). an incredible, incredible song that got
everyone going in a way that transcends physical excitement (as with a
"it's alright ma". wow. really, really think about this song. bob
had a deft control over the lyrics, with the melody reminding me of
the harsh bite of some of his master's of war treatments. the
president line got a greater response then i've heard.
"workingman's" was great - really, really great - and i've read folks
hoping they'd start including this. they didn't disappoint.
"tangled up in blue" was the song i thought most closely resembled its
album-version counterpart, melodically. as the only tune from the 70s or
80s in the middle of the set, this type of treatment seems appropriate.
"blind willie mctell" was an excellent selection.
"most likely you'll go your way", the lone blonde on blonde pick,
maintained much of the original flair and feel from the album, one
that seems to echo what dylan's doing currently, in my opinion.
now, "hollis brown" is a haunting, beautiful, stop-in-your-tracks
song. i really saw a connection in the set between this and
workingman's as a selection.
"highway 61" was another rousing crowd favorite, as dylan masterfully
switched gears from the previous piece.
"spirit on the water" was called for earlier and then performed (i
know, but let the guy feel good about it). i was really happy with
the choice of this and workingman's as modern times picks. the song
proves that his voice is still as capable as ever (if only in
different way), whether or not it requires 'a certain ear to hear'.
ending the pre-encore was "summer days", which, since they are indeed
gone, is seasonally appropriate. people really seemed to enjoy it. i
thought it was a good pick to ready the encore.
as the eye logo dropped, "thunder" had that something that got folks
going, "rolling stone" had its weight, and "watchtower", with the
repeated first verse, was the deeply religious, [anti-]'political',
song that it is.
after i've read this through, any last thoughts?...on the way up, i
had on time out of mind. i was twenty miles out of town when cold
irons came on and in boston-town for the highlands.
and you should turn up neil young, he's doing some amazing stuff too, in
his own way. bob once said something about keeping close what's really
personal and i certainly do that, but after reading other posts before
shows i've attended recently and seeing everyone out there saturday, i was
inspired to contribute (becky, hope you got home all right). to the guy
that plainly told me to move and to whomever grabbed my poster, it's not
your fault. all i can suggest is to bury yourself deep into the words of
the songs you cherish and follow them out to the Truth they represent.
[and, certainly] anything i'm a-sayin', you can say it just as good...
Review by Bill Wessling
I arrived early to the show,,, i wanted to have plenty of time to trek
around my alma mater, boston university. i'm a member of the class of
1982. i remembered walking by the old armory back then, a building
castle fortress and getting recruited by the r.o.t.c soldiers that stood
out side it... during the time period when the shah of Iran's medical
treatment in the states really shook up the political landscape around
these parts.... i walked by and marveled at the agganis arena now standing
in its place.... then i headed out back of the new arena. and walked a
bit around nickerson field, for those who are not from Boston, that's the
former home playing field of the boston braves base ball team and the
boston university terriers football team, the former packed up and moved
away, the later got canned.... i had a smoke up in the nickerson field
bleaches by myself... what a beautiful night.... i thought its to bad bob
isn't playing out here.... then i headed to ts pub, a great sports bar
which was packed with dylan fans so much so that i only stayed for just a
few beers.... i then found my self sitting in front or to the side of jack
white and his band the raconteurs... i did not get the hook to this bands
vibe... to me they seemed like a led zeppelin watered down ballads
band,,,, in fact i found my self thinking it was led Zeppelin spoofing
spinal tap.... any way the agganis venue is real nice ... so i did not
mind sitting out the last few of the raconteurs songs walking about the
halls of the place.... when i was sitting back in my seat waiting for
bob 's set... i was kind of disappointed with my seat.... i paid for a
premium seat ... i was sitting behind the sound station... and way off to
the right of the stage.... i knew i was going to get a great few of bobs
back from this seat..... when bob came out and opened his set up with
Maggie's farm, i learned my hind sight was right.... i guess i had a
great birds eye view of the way bob sees the band in front of him... i
felt like i was the parrot standing on pirate bobs shoulder i started
to enjoy the show thinking about it in that way.... i could look down and
see some great boot tapping by bob all night.... during certain songs like
tangled up in blue the band seemed to me to be keying on bobs boot
tapping, may be i should have changed seats huh.....though i did have a
great veiw of george recile, what a great drummer..... the other think i
would like to note is bob's new material got rousing ovations just a few
notes in to them.... working man blues was the first to get this
treatment.... i never saw an artist new material received so well by a
crowd.... my favorite number of the night was Lonesome Day Blues. i loved
the way bob belted out the line "honey you can't make love all by your
self." i also found summer days to be a little flat, may be i've heard it
to many times lately..... but hey i loved the way he spit out "once upon a
time" to lead into like a rolling stone.... i never tire of hearing bob
to this number, for that matter i never tire of hearing bob sing any
thing.... what am i doing sitting here writing this thing, maybe i can
catch tonight's show and see bob as well from the front, i'll try stage
left this time
Review by J.E. Murray
The Bob Dylan Show rolled into Boston yesterday for a 2 day concert engagement
at Boston University. Last evening's show was another gem. Rather than give a
song by song review, I'll give you my two cents about the show in general.
Bob took to the stage at about 9:00 following the Raconteurs, who were pretty
disappointing, in my opinion. I am not stranger to loud music by any means, but
their set was so loud that it was a distraction. I noticed that some people in
neighboring seats left and came back with earplugs. All plugs were removed when
Dylan played, as he plays at a comfortable hearing level. I though his paring with
Jimmy Vaughan last summer was a better fit. I'll be going back tonight to See Bob
but I'll skip the Rac's set.
Dylan delivered a strong 2 hour show with a mix of selections from Modern Times
and classics from his 40 years as a performer. I can imagine him going over his
extensive catalog of songs to provide something for everyone, including himself.
He was at the organ as is usual and seemed to be upbeat and enjoying the vibe.
The quality of his voice is very strong and clear and it appears that he delivers it
effortlessly. Some of the highlights for me were Thunder on the Mountain,
Summer Days, Tangled Up in Blue and Spirit on the Water. When he sang Spirit
and the lines came up: "You think I'm over the hill, You think I'm past my prime",
everyone cheered and hollered letting him know that he's still as got it as good as
ever. I was hoping he would sing Nettie Moore since I've read that he does a
great rendition but it wasn't meant to be. Maybe tonight…..
He spoke little to the audience, as usual, but prior to All Along the Watchtower
said to the audience, "I would like to have played guitar to this song tonight but
I would have had to find someone who would be able to accompany me." Then
said, "Who knows, maybe sometime in the future…." Of course that made
everyone cheer at the prospect of him picking up the guitar again, but I was
thinking that it was a joke at the expense of his band. He does have that sarcastic
sense of humor. At the conclusion of the encore, Bob and the band stood on the
stage for a minute or two to take in the applause.
I was thinking about Bob saying that this is the best band he's put together and I
have to agree that they're at least in the top two. Their playing seems seamless
with Dylan always at the helm, leading them through each song.
After the show we speculated that he's just got to love what he's doing as much
as we love hearing him. I'll be back for more tonight
It's autumn in New England, must be time for Bob to pick up a few
checks. Don't know if Bob digs the foliage or what, but I can set my
watch to catching a few shows as the leaves fall.
Venue: Boston University is best known to Planet Dylan as the home of
Christopher Ricks, but it is also a well respected institution of higher
learning run for many years by the brilliant, vulgar and psycho
conservative John Silber. The sold out Agganis arena is a well
vacuumed, mid sized arena designed to hold six or seven thousand. I was
duly impressed on my first visit, a bit sanitized and corporate bland,
but not a bad place to see my favorite DJ. The sound quality was good
if not solid, but sadly my seat - bought special! Presale!! was 2/3's
the way back. I'm used to squeezing upfront and standing all night, but
such is one's luck on a reserved seating gig. It looked to be another
youngish crowd - this is BU - plenty of the young who grew up wondering
what those circular vinyl things are doing on my bookshelves.
Opening act: The Raconteurs. This is avowed Dylan fan, Jack
White's lethal concoction of Led Zeppelin, blues riffs and caffeine.
Jack is the real deal, friends, and while I am not saying I am fully
smitten with this particular band it ain't no Tim Machine neither. Of
course, not sure it's Cream, but I am willing to give them time to
develop. While his band mates are more than competent, it is The Jack
White Show - he performs with such conviction and passion and Charisma.
Glad I caught these guys and not the Foos.
The Band. While Bobby has praised his Cowboy band to the hilt, I
enjoy them but certainly don't have a real connection to these five.
Denny Freeman handled all the solos capably on this evening, while he's
certainly accomplished and smooth - I am not sure he has real panache to
assert and distinguish himself the way Larry Campbell did for all those
years (Lest we not forget JJ Jackson, Charlie Sexton or G.E. Smith),
Donnie Herron helps me forget Bucky Baxter, but is often undermiked in
the mix. George Recile and Tony Garnier make for a fine, workingman's
rhythm section. In fact, Garnier was particularly on tonight - playing
all night with some real energy and fire. Don't get me wrong, these
boys do a terrific job, I'm just not ready to canonize them with some of
the great backing musicians we've known and loved over the years. And
for the record I dug Freddie Koella too.
Bob. From my distance he looked de rigor in his black suit, white
lined pants, topped with the black cowboy hat. I was upfront in
Portland and he certainly looks fit, energetic and ready from his
mission control center at stage left. Bob was engaged, shakin',
bobbin' and herky jerkin' all night long as he hunched over his
keyboards. Okay, on the to the show:
1. Maggie's Farm. With his voice a tad buried in the mix, I
appreciated the arrangement which was less explosive than recent
versions and more musical and nuanced. We're out quickly from the
2. She Belongs to Me. With playful phrasing, this was warmly
welcomed by the crowd - we even heard a smidge of that old nasal
vocals. He hauled out the harmonica for the first time with a
Jackson Pollack like solo to finish the tune.
3. Lonesome Day Blues. Channelled like an old school "Leopard Skin Pill
Box Hat" rewrite as a cowboy two stepper. We got two quick, slick and
lovely Freeman guitar solos on this Love & Theft deep cut.
4. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right. Sung sweet and low, the band
adopted an acoustic sound and this jacked up crowd roared it's approval.
Performed softly it not quietly, it was still a toe tapping, finger
snapper - upbeat and lively sealed with the harp.
5. It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding). Arranged in it's familiar 12
bar blues style, every damn line in this song would be a career for any
6. Workingman's Blues #2. I let out a big yelp as I was hoping to catch
this over the 3 shows I am catching on this swing. Plenty of others
felt the same way. Performed nearly as a spoken word with the band's
arrangement almost musical wallpaper until the refrain where they came
gently in on cue. Thanks Bob.
7. Tangled Up in Blue. Time for a real crowd pleaser while some
previous NET versions ended up as a sloppy porridge, this year's
model worked well. A mid to upper tempo stomp with Stu Kimball
leading the charge riffing on an acoustic guitar. Bobby threw in
some harp to boot just to ensure a huge roar from the satisfied
faithful at the close.
8. Blind Willie McTell. Love. Really love. A haunting and
beautiful rumination. One of the reasons why we all trek to these
shows is to hear new things in songs. The lyrical couplets: "Well, God
is in Heaven/And We All Want What's his/But power and greed and
corruptible seed/Seem to be all that there is" just really resonated with
me on this night. Inhabited my bones. I'm still shimmering. .
9. You Go Your Way (I'll Go Mine). I've always associated this song
with the Tour 74 screaming versions which were propelled after all those
years raising babies and playing in basements. This one is a subtler,
more musical and lighter offering.
10. Ballad of Hollis Brown. Speaking of haunted imagery and
evocative music, a song that I simply don't listen to enough.
Tension filled, sung with a little madness and a lot of mojo.
11. Highway 61 Revisited. Time to swiftly upshift, flooding the
stage with light, The Bard and the boys cranked it up with a
muscular ripper -- time to get off yer duffs and and dance! Bob was
really singing - another crowd pleaser for the Dylan virgins.
12. Spirit on the Water. There is virtually a call and response
with the crowd on this one (I noticed the same in Portland). When
Bob slips into the "You think I'm Over the Hill/You think I'm Past My
Prime" the crowd roared a resounding NO! each time. Hysterical, a grand
new Dylan Tradition. It's why we don't stay home to watch "Dancing with
13. Summer Days. I know we're all damn tired of this one - seen at the
last umpteen show; however, our fearless leader clearly loves performing
this song. Mercifully, he has altered the arrangement modestly - no
longer the long Havana Gila meets Johnny B. Goode thing, but now a
straight ahead rock and roller, man. Tony even gave his stand up base a
swing like the old days. A number of people headed for the exits rather
than waiting for the encores - this might happen other nights, but I
don't notice as I'm usually shmooshed upfront. Just don't understand
14. Thunder on the Mountain. Arranged a bit as the son of Summer
days, but with different lyrics. Hey, I'm glad to hear anything off of
15. Like A Rolling Stone. Performed like LARS is performed - it's
like a best friend that I always like catching up with even if it's just
small talk. Probably Freeman's best guitar solo's of the night.
16. All Along the Watchtower. We're all gonna psychoanalyze this
when we get hold of the bootleg, but after introducing the band Bob said
something about wanting to play guitar tonight, but that he needed
someone else to play this one for him. Let the message boards and
Hey, it was a good night with some enjoyable set selections and
performances - Bobby's still on his game, go kid!
Review by Ernie Pancsofar
The Midnight Ride That Brought Me Here
A Retrospective Summary After Attending Another Dylan Concert
Listen my children and you shall hear
My comments of the show on a night cool and clear
To Boston I drove on a Saturday night
The Agannis Arena soon came into sight.
The opening act really did sizzle.
The Raconteurs can make hairs on the back of your neck bristle.
They walked on stage to a Dracula beat
And kept up a drive - notched up the heat!
Two of my favorites that they played tonight
"Together" and a version of "Bang Bang" - - out of sight!
Of all the opening bands that I have ever seen
The Raconteurs were, by far, supreme.
The lights came back on - Dylan swayed to and fro
As Maggie's Farm opened the show.
After watching the Raconteurs - full of energy
The band seemed subdued - perhaps even with lethargy.
But, they are a professional group of musicians
And Bob knows quite well of each one's contributions.
10 times at #2 on this leg of the tour
She Belongs to Me echoed 'round the floor
There's been 21 dates from Vancouver to Maine
And 60 different songs - no set list is the same.
Lonesome Day Blues - caused a certain jubilee
'Cause my picks of songs are perfect through three.
But then the truth of a set list probability
Is that any song is a possibility.
Nothing is a certainty.
Bob's in charge - most definitely.
An acoustic guitar was prominent at four.
Don't Think Twice was next in store
And the tempo varied from verse to verse
With Bob's phrasing - there's just forward - no reverse.
It's Alright Ma was a nice choice at five
At this point the audience seemed to come alive
They responded in the typical way
When the president must stand naked - as Dylan did say.
A few weeks ago, I downloaded a tune
Working Man Blues as Haggard did croon.
Dylan pays homage through and through
In his version of Working Man Blues #2
Tangled Up in Blue then slowed the pace down.
The seats seemed well filled in as I looked around.
The audience ranged from very young to quite old
I'm inching in the latter group . . . I'm told.
The thing about concerts that bother me the most
And this appears to happen from coast to coast.
It's the "excuse me" I need to get out.
After the 30th time I just want to shout
Hold it in - It won't be long
Don't leave your seat in the middle of this song!
Song #8 was heard only once - this leg of the tour
Blind Willie McTell rang eerily 'round the floor
I was pleased to listen to this current version.
The "Rake" songs are reported to be Bob's inspiration.
At this point in time in many a Dylan show
Slot #9 is a difficult one to know
What the master will play - what he will say
And tonight it was Most Likely You Go Your Way.
When I heard the Ballad of Hollis Brown from the stage
I thought of Aaron Neville's cover of this song's sage
Its slow and haunting tempo and pace
Brings the sad images back into place.
Rolling up Interstate 84
Boston's just about 50 miles more
And when I get there - I'm not quite done
I still have to travel down Highway 61!
A second selection from Modern Times
Spirit on the Water comes forth in rhymes
The crowd reacts to whether Bob is past his prime
Bob,(Was that a smile?), as he plays the crowd sometime.
Fall has taken hold and it's cool outside
Summer Days signals the end of this set's ride
I've heard tighter versions but this one's still fine
It ages quite well - like a fine wine.
The stage darkens - the audience begins to roar
Three more songs for his standard encore.
Thunder on the Mountain is welcomed as many of the crowd stand
After which a funny thing happened when Bob introduced his band.
His typical remarks were standard and on cue
Until he introduced himself with words anew:
I used to play the guitar - but someone's got to play this thing!
As he gestured to the organ and then gave a cue to sing - - -
Like a Rolling Stone and All Along the Watchtower
Brought the show to a close just before the 11th hour.
My eighth show was over and I leave quite content.
It's off to Amherst on Wednesday
A new review - perhaps to present.
Review by Stephen Harding
This was my wonderful wife Beth's and my second show in three days. She's
been very tolerable of my Dylan fanaticism, so much so that now she also
is a huge fan. This time my kids were along, Anthony, 20 years old, for
his tenth show and Sarah, 23 years old, for her fourth. They both enjoyed
seeing Bob with us again after spending a balmy sixty degree November day
in Boston. And my nephew JP was somewhere in the crowd. He's seven hours
away from home but I knew he wouldn't miss it. We would all be here again
Sunday night if those damn jobs on Monday morning didn't interfere. The
Agganis Arena at Boston University is almost brand new and was very
comfortable. The sound was decent for a hockey arena. It was a lot better
than the Orpheum in downtown Boston. They've let that fall into a pretty
sad condition. The Raconteurs again were a lot of fun with Jack White
playing like only he can. The mostly college crowd with a mix of older
folks seemed to know the Raconteurs' music quite well. Bob hit the stage
at 9:00 and played for two hours and fifteen minutes. He repeated a few of
the songs from Thursday night in Portland but we didn't mind at all. The
set list was again a good mix. He was really animated on Don't Think Twice
which we all enjoyed. I'm glad I got to hear Workingman's Blues #2. For me
it's one of the highlights of Modern Times. We didn't hear Nettie Moore
though, That would have been our choice instead of Spirit On The Water
which we had just heard Thursday night. Same adoring reaction from the
crowd though when he sings "You think I'm over the hill, You think I'm
past my prime". It's really touching to see. Thunder On The Mountain is a
good first encore song. It's very upbeat. But this show had Blind Willie
McTell which for me is one of the best songs he's ever done. Desolation
Row on Thursday night and now Blind Willie McTell two days later means
we've been treated to the best of Bob. The band was solid as usual and I'm
grateful for how respectful they are of Dylan and his songs. Denny Freeman
has won me over as a lead guitarist. He is amazing. It's nice to see Dylan
still enjoying himself so much after all these years of touring. We always
say this might be the last time we will get to see him. Hopefully not.
With new movies coming out about Dylan, Broadway plays being produced,
another chapter of Chronicles anticipated, and Michael Gray recording the
six degrees of Bob for his encyclopedia, it appears he'll outlast us all.
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