page by Bill Pagel
Review by Jason Polanski
This was the third time I've seen Bob Dylan at the University Of Rhode
Island. Always a great drive into the middle of nowhere. The venue has
excellent sound, although I swear the vocals seemed lower in the mix the
closer we were to the stage. Speaking of that, for most of the show I was
near the rail!
The show opened with a basic run through of TO BE ALONE WITH YOU and Bob
continued the Nashville Skyline stuff with another fairly basic version of
TONIGHT I'LL BE STAYING HERE. Now I think in my last review I said that I
am tired of TWEEDLE DEE AND TWEEDLE DUM. Tonight, in the number three
slot, I felt that this song very much picked up the energy and sent this
show into high high gear. Tonight we all "got" this song.
The highlights were many. One thing that was certainly interesting was the
three "Time Out Of Mind" songs he played in the middle of the set. Each
one was taken to the greatest levels. LOVE SICK was intense and featured
Bob on the harp solo as opposed to Larry and Stu's guitar solos. MILLION
MILES was if anything a treat. After seeing this and the "Lonesome Day
Blues" from Rochester, I'm really convinced about Dylan's ability to sing
the blues. He also took a real extended harp solo before finishing the
song by repeating (?) one of the verses. TRYIN' TO GET TO HEAVEN was a
first for me. He sang with an edge. Mixed a couple verses up too. Real on
the spot. No solo's at all on this one.
This show also seemed to build through the night. A slow start, great in
the middle....I should also mention that IF NOT FOR YOU was a suprise and
really jammed at the end. Dylan seemed impressed by the band's playing.
And VISIONS OF JOHANNA again!!!! This time they got it right. Perfect if I
As great as this show was, A HARD RAIN'S A GONNA FALL put it over the top.
When I heard this in the spring at American U., I remember being impressed
with the intensity they built during the final verse. Picture that
intensity on EVERY verse.
The icing on the cake and what I will refer to as my favorite performance
of the night was SUMMER DAYS. What made it great was Bob put his
guitarist's on break once again and took a harp solo during the spot where
Stu would usually play. This was about 4 or 5 minutes of soaring music.
Good encores too!
Compared to the show I saw in Rochester, I'd have to say this night had a
harder edge to it. Gone were all the acoustic songs. Hope everyone in
Dylan-land is enjoying this tour. See you in Amherst.
Review by Bill Wessling
I was dropped off in front of the ryan center by cab @7:oop.m.soaking up a
little college atmosphere, it was fun watching the college students
watching us Dylan fans mingle about. The ryan center is right on campus,no
pub in sight to wet you beak before the show so i decided to head into the
arena, Once inside i tried reading my ticket to see where my seat was i
forgot my reading glasses, so it took three ushers to help me read my
ticket and then pass me along to my seat. the college staff working as
ushers were great, it is bemusing to have a kid help you read something
when you get older the last girl usher who did this for me also walked me
to my seat. which was down on the second level front row just above left
of the sound board such an awesome seat i near shit myself, before my
female usher departed she gave me a smile and a glance with her eyes that
said "there ya go you old geezer you should be able to see him from that
seat" i was real early and it looked for a while like bob would be playing
just for me as i was one of the few fans whom had taken a seat. i enjoyed
sitting watching all the seats fill in around me. . I guess, I usually
kill the same time running back and forth trying to get my fill of beer
before the show starts being on a college campus this option was closed.
It seemed a life time before the final fans found there way to there seats
and the show got started. bob opened with to be alone with you, his voice
sounded good right off. the magic started for me this night with the next
number, tonight i'll be staying here with you, I love the smoky jazz bar
feel he gave this rendition his voice seems to blow the imaginary smoke
away clearing the air.
i love t.o.m. and he played three songs from it love sick, a great live
tune its witchie the way bob's voice fills the arena all alone, i'm
walking thru streets that are dead, next u go your way and i'l l go mine a
funny follow up to love sick, then a million miles from you. after these
three numbers i wanted to fall in and out of love like thru the ringer. by
the way the harp playing all night was phenomenal way to go Bob you gave
me chills. i also enjoyed trying to get to heaven, he could play all of
t.o.m and i would be happy. i hear he is taken requests, would love to
hear alive version of walk down that dirt road. speaking of bobisms, i
think i understood his joke when he introduced stu kimbell he said he's
from these parts got a cow u know so he had to get a scale because he
wanted to see the milkheweighed. the later stu that is played some great
crisp leads. at one point in the show it seemed all i could here was bobs
booming vocals which was great then there was like a hesitation skip and
the rest of the band got louder, it was like come on boys show them why i
have you up here with me. and they did george s drumming was so lively.
the other highlight for me was it's hard rain going fall. i just love the
way he plays with the roll on it's a hard, its a hard, its a hard, rain
going fall. thanks bob for doing another college tour what a great mix of
folks geezers and students, teenage gals dancing to summer days, what a
Review by Nick Pappas
Well, the Uri show was a strange experience for me. First of all, the
security escapades in my section were a serious distraction to the show.
We had 4'th row seats, but as the show started an influx of people stormed
the rail. We joined and made it to about 10 feet from bob. Then, midway
through the second song, a security guard came and arbitrarilly started
sending people back to their seats...no problem, we understood. Back in
our 4'th row seat (which was awesome) we noticed about 30 people
continuing to "sneak" up to the front; security kept coming and causing
distractions, this one guy must have asked to see my ticket 15 times, i
got pretty frustrated! They have some seriuous issues over there at URI.
The show was mixed. Of the 100 shows or so that i've been to it was
certainly not the best, although it had it's moments.
To Be Alone With You: Never really liked this as an opener, and every time
i hear it, Bob ALWAYS fumbles the lyrics...no exception tonight.
TOnight I'll Be Stayin Here With YOu: heard this on the Willie nelson tour
and really liked it... i liked bob's version tonight, with some great
harp. Security was getting really annoying.
Tweedle Dum: Heard it way too many times. can't say if it was a good
version or a bad version...I don't remember.
Love Sick: always a personal highlight for me, i love this song. Sung
pretty well, i remember a good solo from Larry.
Most Likely...: A fun version, it really rocked and from our seats we
could see bob sweating. Beads of sweat were dripping from the tip of his
cowboy hat...it was amazing. He was real focused.
Million Miles: was the first "highlight" of the night for me. I'd heard it
before in Chicago, but tonight's was blazing. Bob sang it strong, none of
his whispering, mumbling, or sing song that he falls into sometimes. The
music was bluesy and built up to a climax at the end of every verse. Great
instrumental break and Stu laid down a really sweet solo.
If Not For YOu: I heard this version in Philadelphia, but i liked tonights
better. Nothing too special but it was a rocking song. Bob changed the
words and sang: "If not for you/I would be blown off trail/If not for
you/I might even be in jail. He give a grin to george after that line.
It's Alright Ma: I like the new version and it was pretty good. The crowd
cheered for the President line as usual, and larry played a good cittern
solo; rolling it like a greek bouzoki.
Trying to get to heaven: I've heard this done real nicely before, but
tonight it was marred by his delivery. He started doing that all too
familiar thing when he raises his voice at the last word. It wasn't a bad
version, but it had potential to be great if he sung it like he did when i
saw him do it in Kansas City in august.
Highwater: with Larry on Cittern. kind of brought back the banjo days for
this song. this was fun and played well. One of the stronger songs of the
Visions: when i heard larry strumming visions i was really excited. But,
that would be about as excited as i would get. Bob did the high ending
voice thing, and i thought the song fell flat.
Honest with me: I've heard this a lot, but it's a good rocker. I always
love the instrumental break (larry's not on slide anymore just tele)
A Hard Rain: another personal highlight. I liked this version and i like
stu on guitar for this one. No stuccato delivery like earlier years, but
still sung strongly. The crowd got into this one.
Summer Days: standard, except for one big thing; there was no guitar
intrumental break, instead bob played harp for the whole Jam. It was fun
to see up so close, he was really sweating and blowing hard. I can't say i
like the harp break better than the build up guitar jam with larry and
stu, but it was at least a different take on a song heard so many times.
The encores as usual were standard but good. I love hearing watchtower,
and i think it's a great way to end the show. Bob smiled at the crowd and
left. Overall, I had a really fun night and thought there were some
moments of brilliance. I wish the sound guys would turn bob's vocals up a
little more. Excited to get to UNH.
Review by Adam Dean
Hello there, BOB fans! I'm just back "from the road" after catching URI
and UNH shows, with an extra special treat (see UNH review for more on
that). My last show was Aberdeen MD this summer on the baseball stadium's
tour w/ Willie Nelson, where it rained like hell and Bob played an
abbreviated set of mostly newer material. Having not seen an indoor show
for over a year, I was very excited and anticipated a great time,
especially after hearing about Lehigh and how into the music Bob seems to
be these days. I also wanted to see Stu up close and watch the interplay
between the band.
URI's Ryan Center is a beautiful indoor facility, created by and
dedicated to (at every step of the way) Corporate America. I had picked up
a 3rd row center seat on the Internet Presale and was really looking
forward to a great show. The sound was excellent throughout the evening,
especially for being in a hockey rink! Bob was in great form, very
relaxed, playing harp on almost every song (!) and generally looking like
he was having a great time performing. The show was heavy on material from
the last two albums, with a few "chestnuts" and one especially great
number. A very solid performance overall.
A few comments on the songs played:
To Be Alone With You - Upbeat opener, nice arrangement
Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You - Larry really makes this song work
with the steel guitar fills. Nice harp solo.
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum - Finally (!) a great arrangement, really
enjoyed this and it gets the crowd up and dancing around, and with a very
hypnotic sound from Tony
Love Sick - Nothing special here, but a solid number and well played
Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine) - Very upbeat, great harp
Million Miles - Great bass line from Tony, different arrangement from
If Not For You - Anthemic sound, a solid wall of music behind this song,
very interesting and great harp solo!
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) - For the Colleges Tour, Bob has been
playing this as one of his anti-war protest songs. The arrangement is very
bluesy, with the words all strung together and spit out in bunches. As
always, the line about "Even the President..." gets a very loud cheer.
Tryin' To Get To Heaven - A good version, same arrangement as previous
tours, very soulfull sound.
High Water (For Charley Patton) - Larry on the citern adds a whole new
dimension to this song, which growls now. The chorus is spit out by Bob,
with rising vocals on "High water everywhere".
Visions Of Johanna - WOW!!! This one blew us away. Stu and Larry came out
with acoustic guitars and you knew something special was about to happen.
Bob strikes up Visions and the place went nuts! What a beautiful melodic
version, best I have heard in years, and worth trying to get this show on
bootleg just to hear this song! An amazing, amazing moment!
Honest With Me - Another rewrite makes this song totally different, and
for once I liked it. After hearing it one too many times, I actually found
myself up and dancing around and enjoying this song.
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall - After Visions we had been expecting another
"chestnut" but rather disappointed that this was the one. A rather normal
version, but Bob was very clear on vocals.
Summer Days - And summer nights are gone...
Like A Rolling Stone
All Along The Watchtower
The encores are well played as always, and the AATW version is very
spooky now. Did anyone else notice that the opening notes of AATW
(played by Larry) are the beginning of Hatikvah (Israeli national
anthem)? Bob acknowledges his roots here.
page by Bill Pagel
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