Poughkeepsie, New York

Mid-Hudson Civic Center

November 16, 2010

[Howard Weiner], [Jeffrey Johnson], [Larry Kosofsky], [Craig Werner]

Review by Howard Weiner

I couldn’t resist the temptation of seeing Dylan at the Mid-Hudson Civic
Center again. I was in the  front row of this beaten-down hockey rink when 
Dylan played here in 1989 after the release of Oh Mercy! – great show. Dylan
was master of his domain again in 1996 and ’98. He’s always  loved playing
in Po’ Town –  close to Woodstock. He even recorded Modern Times down the
block at the Bardavon. Across the street, in 1788, the U.S. Constitution was
ratified by the state of New York. The history of Poughkeepsie is scintillating,
but the city is currently a ghost town, shrouded in mystery. For every shop that
was open, three were shut and abandoned. I was one of the few stragglers roaming
around Market Street at 5PM.
In typical I Love Upstate NY form, Dylan came out dealing his best 
Woodstock era material: This Wheel’s On Fire, Visions of Joanna, Just
Like a Woman, Just Like Tom Thumb’s, Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat. Well, maybe
some of those tunes were written in the Big Apple, but Bob was moved. The band
clicked. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum was funky like Sly Stone, and Beyond Here
Lies Nothin’ shimmied like a rumba should. And Dylan bobbed and weaved during
a Simple Twist of Fate that rang with a Hawaiian twang.

I was thinking this was a classic show until Kevin Bacon (I mean Charlie
Sexton) and Dylan fell apart. One of several things could be going on. 1) Sexton
is bored  2) The Tour has worn Ole Charlie down  3) Dylan has put the clamps
on Sexton  4) I’ve been spoiled by over 100 Dylan performances. What I’m
trying to say is Charlie didn’t play a lick on two monster jams: Summer Days
and Thunder on the Mountain. I hope the Summer Days was taped so they could play
it at the Roller Derby this Saturday at  the Mid-Hudson – the instrumental
was banal fiddle-faddle. Dylan plucked his organ while Charlie dreamed of 2002,
when he, Larry Campbell, and Dylan traded torrid guitar licks beyond ecstasy.
What happened? I remember when Denny Freeman became the whipping boy in the band
after a stellar first year. Now Sexton is in the dog house, or he’s burnt out,
but the results down the stretch were awful. 

Dylan blew the lyrics during Thunder on the Mountain. The jam was easily the
weakest one I’d  ever heard during this powerhouse anthem. Dylan would be
wise to mix up that same old ending that he’s been coasting with for two years
now. The creative energy has been sucked out of that cow.

Dylan’s still got the mojo, the opening half of the show was divine
diversification – everything I desire from live entertainment. The rhythm
section was a force and the multi-talented instrumentalist. Donnie Herron, did
his part. I hadn’t seen the band in a year and I was looking forward to
rocking out to the same old ending. Not anymore. 
Howard Weiner


Review by Jeffrey Johnson

One and a half hours on the pin-drop silent Hudson Valley train line stood in
stark and welcome contrast to the New Jersey Transit bedlam that preceded His
Bethlehem and West Long Branch, NJ performances.  Since Hardworking Man Hank
could not possibly make it and until you get to plow through the inevitable Pete
Brown exegesis, here is a glimpse of His Poughkeepsie Show: 
We argue among ourselves about shows, but when thousands of geriatrics stand
from start to finish, we have independent validation that it was a pretty dang
good night in Poughkeepsie.  Perhaps they foresaw Visions was coming, which is
always a reliable indicator that its gonna be a great night.   Clear vocals,
lots of guitar and a bit sparser with the harp than the last few days.  
Those two songs in the # 2 and # 3 spots deserve special mention and yet another
crowd sadly could not correspond their sing along with Him on Just Like A
Woman.  A personal request was fulfilled when the song to the Beyond Here Lies
Nothin' video was performed to a trumpet accompaniment.   All four guitarists
meshed perfectly on  Simple Twist Of Fate, exceeding His effort nights ago. 
Stu lead the band through Tweedle Dee and, as in West Long Branch, it was
seasoned with Not Fade Away instrumentals.  
Not too many idiotic fist pumps in Poughkeepsie.
Steiner, Opie, NorBro—you shoulda been there tonight!  


Review by Larry Kosofsky

Great to have Bob back in the neighborhood after a two-year
started at 8:15 with no D.W. Griffith, just the regular intro.  Right into a
hard-charging "Leopardskin Pillbox", very percusssive, good vocals.  "Wheel's On
Fire" continued this trend with chiming guitars...Bob's harmonica solo was (I
thought) a little weak, but I'm not a big fan of his harmonica work
lately..."Tom Thumb's Blues" was played up tempo, with some strange, sloppy, or
out-of-tune solo guitar by Bob..."Just Like a Woman" had a sweet intro and good
tight work by the band, Bob on organ and the pedal steel now present in the
mix..."Beyond Here Lies Nothing" featured  Donny on trumpet - very solid rhythm,
Bob on guitar, but the bass was overpowering...Donny's trumpet lines seemed
awkward at best, but the tune sure did rock..."Simple Twist"  had good vocals
somewhat obscured by annoying guitar slashes by Bob - I think this beautiful
tune calls for a straight acoustic treatment rather than this hard rock setting.
A stretched-out version of "Tweedledee" followed, very loud, good guitar work by
Charlie..."Visions of Johanna" was delivered in a rumba-ish style a highlight
for me, terrific rhythm, marred only by staccato mandolin lines from Donny,
Bob's vocal's strong. "Honest With Me" featured nice rhythmic stops from the
band, ragged recitative vocals that worked well in this blues rocker..."Masters
of War" was dealt in 6/8 time, started rough and got a lot better..."Summer
Days" rocked with Charlie's guitar quite tasty..."Nettie Moore" was another
highlight, once again marred by those staccato mandolin lines - very good
vocals.  "Thunder on the Mountain" had wonderful interplay between the guys on
the breaks,  a fierce groove, a weak organ solo  and then back to that
groove..."Thin Man" was awesome, dark, strong and very together. "Jolene" to me 
made one too many blues rockers, and Stu's guitar solo didn't rescue it. "Like a
Rolling Stone" was a solid ending to a satisfying if not sublime evening...I
know I've lodged more  than a few complaints, but all in all, the band is
strong, and as always a work in progress, surely worth'll find
a lot of gold and a lot of dross, but they are out there working hard!


Review by Craig Werner

Great show last night in Poughkeepsie Bob Dylan once again remaking old and 
new songs too keep life interesting. Just when I thought why go to another show
{ been to about 100} Dylan delighted with a reworking of Wheels on Fire, Summer
Days and Honest with Me. Funny thing with all the legendary songs in his 
portfolio the highlight of the show for me was Tweedle Dee .... A simmering 
below the belt rumble that shook the ground. Also Visions of Johanna was sung so
sweetly something I wasn't sure he was able to do anymore. Only criticism is
too  much syncopated singing which really made Beyond Here Lies Nothin {which
was  fabulous ] followed by Simple Twist of Fate ,not that strong. A haunting
Ballad  of  a Thin Man with dramatic lighting was good as was a reworking of 
Jolene. Crowd pleasers which are seldom were Just Like a Woman and Tom Thumbs 


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