Reviews

Manchester, New Hampshire
Verizon Wireless Arena
November 21, 2001


[Seth Yacovonee], [A.M.], [Mark Goodrich], [Ken Norton]

Review by Seth Yacovone



This was my 7th Dylan show since 91 and my first since 11/13/01 a week 
earlier in Syracuse. I felt that was a weak, below average show (other than 
Highwater, Summer Days and Sugar Baby) that others loved. I was hoping 
Bob wouldn't dissapoint again. And Hey, Bob has played some amazing 
shows in Manchester even if it was a different Country. 

The show tonight opened with Hallelujah I'm Ready to Go. My first time
hearing this one and I loved it. Great tune. Bob's voice and guitar playing 
was much more on from the get go than in Syracuse.  The band sounded 
more together too.  The Times They Are A Changin' started the trend of 
many greatest hits tonight. This was played great. The best version I have 
seen live. Bob of course forgot the second line of the song but he does that 
everytime they play this one I think. Really nice warm Vocals,  Guitar solo 
and Harp solo. This was great.  Its All Right Ma I'm Only Bleeding was proof 
that the intensity of the heart is what makes great performances. The band 
played this in Syracuse in much the same fashion right down to Bob giving 
a fairly hushed spooky whispered falsetto vocal. It left me a little cold in NY 
but at this show, in which Bob seemed and sounded inspired, the whispered 
vocal seemed like the only way it could be sung and Bob grew more and 
more spooky and authorative sounding as the song worked out.  Searching 
for a Soldiers Grave is Searching for a Soilders Grave.  Gotta Serve Somebody 
started the Electric portion. The setlist says it was Postivley in this slot but it 
wasn't. This was  a great Serve Somebody with some funky new seemingly 
improvised lyrics and I like the rearranged chorus chord progression. Nice job. 
Positivley 4th Street was Stellar. This was one of the highlights of the night. 
Bob was with everyword singing this song with an intense sad soulfullness. 
One line was had a  terrific delivery "You say how are you, good luck , 
yeeessss but you don't mean it" It was great with extra bitter and sad feeling 
yes. This was a treat. A awesome version. Bob still was playing great focused 
right key guitar solos! At the end of this song the women next to me said 
"Wasn't that terrible" I told her I loved it and seceretly prayed she wouldn't talk 
to me ever again. I wasn't so lucky but I blocked her out as best I could. 
Floater ! This has gotten bad live reviews the whole tour but I thought this 
version was spectacular. The violin is missing yes but Bob's Vocal on this tune 
was way worth the price of addmission for me. The Dreams and Hopes verse, 
actually all of this song just killed me. I love it. The lyrics are genuis. And this 
so topped the studio vocal. I'm in love with my second cousin I could be happy 
forever with her.  Cry Awhile replaced Highwater which isn't a fair trade imo. Yet 
this Cry Awhile was another great performance. Bob is so into the new tunes. 
" I'm longing for the sweet fat which sticks to your ribs" what a great line. Bob 
was really braying and howling on this one. I personally love it when Bob loses 
a little clarity if he is really roaring the lines and it feels musical. The words 
arent the most important thing the whole picture is the important thing.  Then 
came the absolute highlight of the evening, maybe the best live Dylan 
Performance I've seen live, a riveting inspired Mr. Tambourine Man.  The energy 
and group focus on this tune was higher than I've ever felt from this lineup in 
person. Bob gave a moving everchanging vocal performance that would 
occasionally get "Townsend" esque (not pete)  but was also its own unique 
thing. The end of the last verse was paticularly inspired and free flowing. The 
first solo on guitar was long and inspired and the band was right with Bob on 
the energy build. The second solo on Harmonica was longer and more inspired 
with Bob and Band lifting the room up, Bob playing his heart out adjusting his 
phrasing to adjust the mood in the room. Bob even seemed to be laughing in 
between phrases and he was way up front towards the lip of the stage and 
brought it all back down to end this nearly 10 minute epic Tambourine Man. 
Tangled Up in Blue wishes it got a performance as good as Tambourine Man. 
This was better than Syracuse (which was awful) but not much better. The 
versions I heard in 99 were miles ahead. Bob doesn't seem like he likes this 
one much anymore. Good guitar solo but badly sung and just kind of lifeless. 
Dont Think Twice was a nice tender version. I have heard much better but this 
will certainly do.  Electric time again and I couldn't wait to hear Summer Days 
again. The version in Syracuse was very very good. This version stomped it. 
The guitar solos were longer and much hotter. Charlie and Larry were really 
laying them down. The vocals were on fire. Great spitfire word perfect vocals 
on this. Great phrasing.  Though Sugar Baby was beyond my expectations in 
Syracuse I really wanted to hear Mississippi next. And we got it. A more 
rocked up version then the album and Bob I thought really sang it great. 
Some suprising High notes occured in the bridges that I wasnt sure Bob could 
even hit anymore. Beautiful Beautiful. The highlight except for Tambourine Man 
for me.  Cold Irons Bound was better than syracuse but still I like the 
arrangement with more Tony.  Rainy Day Women was rather uninspired until 
the band intro which while not containing a joke did feature Bob singing the intro 
like they were lines in the song. It was nice and then the last verse had made 
up fresh lyrics which even vetoed the I wouldn't feel so all alone line.  Encores 
Things Have Changed started a little weak but developed into a hot version with 
extra yesses and vocal slides all over the place.  Like a Rolling Stone is not 
letting Bob speak from his heart these days. He doesnt seem into it. At least 
they got the arrangement right at this show and didn't mess it all up like last 
week.  If Dogs run Free does not need to ever be played again in my opinion. 
Honest with Me was smoking. Much better than last week. Great Bob vocals 
on this one. Best rocker after Summer Days of the night.  Blowin in the Wind 
was one of the best ones I've heard in recent years. Bob changed his normal 
delivery (from00, 01) a little and the crowd was really into this one.  Watchtower 
was rock and roll and was good.

Overall great show probably the best show I've seen since 2/22/99. Tambourine 
Man,  was really epic and needs to be heard.  Thank you so much Bob and 
band for a great thanksgiving show. 

Seth Yacovone

[TOP]

Review by A.M.



Wow, what an incredible show. i had 3rd row dead center floor seats and once 
again i was not let down. what a show. 

Hallelujah- Great opener , bob and the boys got into it from the start. bob 
was wearing a black cowboy suit with a pink ? shirt. The boys were dressed in 
matching grey suits with black shirts. 

Times- Great in the 2 spot. dylan sang nicely and played a good harp solo to 
bring this one to a close. immediate crowd response. wow. 

Its Alright Ma- heard it many times at the 3 spot, but nice none the less. 
good crowd response and dylan sang it perfectly  

Searchin- nice harmony of an overplayed song, but hey i was happy to hear it 

Gotta Serve Somebody- Great, hard rocking version that really rocked. great 
vocal delivery by bob as he even fumbled some words and had to make up new 
verses.. he was laughing as he did it and so was charlie and larry.. great 
guitar from bob tonight. 

4'th Street- i love this song and it was done really well. super singing by 
dylan

Floater- first from love and theft... nicely rearranged to the electric set. 
great singing. crowd especially loved the romeo and juliet exchange. nice

Cry A While- like the night before in connecticut, this was a powerhouse 
blues rocker, dylan put good emphasis on his singing and did a fine job. wow 

Tamborine Man- again like in connecticut, a great version. better than the 
night before...bob's vocals were better and he played a longer harp solo at 
the end which got the crowd to its feet. 

Tangled up in Blue- no matter how many times i hear it, i can't get sick of 
it. Wow. great guitar work from bob. he was smiling all over and loving it. 
so was the crowd. 

Don't Think Twice- great version... not as good as connecticut though, but 
unbelievable none the less. 

Summer Days- rocking, great guitar by larry and charlie. good singing 

Mississippi- once again, i was delighted by this unbelievable song. sung so 
well and played so well i was in awe.. what a song , bob truly delivered a 
gem, even better than the night before. 

Cold Irons Bound- i love this loud guitar song and so did the crowd. sung 
nicely and with some great playing by the boys

Rainy day Women- fun closer with band intro's...extended soloing from 
everyone.. larry on pedal steel 

Encores: again the encores were really good. in particular i like Honest With 
Me from love and theft. it was a hard core rocking song sung and played to 
perfection... Watchtower, Rolling Stone, Things Have changed also were great 
as usual. Blowin in the Wind tonight also moved the crowd.. 

It was a great show, especially from up front. Bob was in fine form and the 
band was great. i can't wait for friday and saturday 

[TOP]

Review by Mark Goodrich



I had a second row seat to this show, the best seat I had for any of the 3 
shows I attended on this tour, but, ironically, this was the show I enjoyed 
the least. Bob's voice was on for most of the night, but musically the band 
didn't sound as strong as it would at the next two shows. I was frustrated 
by Bob's lead playing, especially during the electric sets.  He's certainly 
not an incredible lead guitarist, and he's got the support of two very 
talented guitarists.  All through this show I kept wishing he'd let Charlie 
and Larry open it up and show what they can do.  I like Dylan's solos as an 
accompaniment to the other's solos, but he insists on taking most of the 
solos, and tend to get repetitive.

I also brought my own baggage into the show... I was quite tired, and was 
further drained by having to stand up during the entire show (I tend to 
prefer standing, but tonight it was too much).   The next two shows I sat 
most of the time and was better rested.  The audience seemed more into the 
shows in Portland and Boston than they did in Manchester.  

The first thing I noticed when I arrived at the venue was that Charlie and 
Larry had switched sides of the stage since I last saw Dylan (a year ago, 
in the Fall of 200).  Larry is now on stage left and Charlie is on stage 
right.  The stage had a black and white checkerboard pattern on it, which 
I assume is an reference to "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum".

The ticket said an 8 o'clock start, and Bob and his band came on at 8:20.  
The same introduction as always ("ladies and gentleman, please welcome...") 
and then the show started...

"Hallelujah, I'm Ready to Go"
A nice start to the evening.  I also enjoy the bluegrass style songs like 
this that Bob plays.  I'd  heard tapes of this song, but had never seen it 
performed live.

"The Times They Are A-Changin'"
A great second song.  Because I usually only attend 1 or 2 shows a year, I 
don't mind hearing to the hits.  Bob put a lot of power into the chorus, and 
the crowd responded.

The harp came out at the end, to applause from the crowd.  However, the harp 
playing, while not bad, didn't compare to other times I've seen him.

"It's All Right Ma"
I was connected to the music by the time Bob started this one, and just loved 
listening to the sound of Bob's voice.  

"Searching for a Soldier's Grave"
Another song in the same style as "Hallelujah", and I enjoyed it for the same 
reasons.  It was another a song I'd heard on tape but never heard performed 
live. The harmonies with Charlie and Larry work on these songs.

"Gotta Serve Somebody"
A good start to the electric set.  I'd heard Bob play this once before, a few 
years back.  The performance tonight seemed superior to me, bringing the energy 
level up a notch.

"Positively 4th Street"
The first song that was a disappointment to me.  I don't like the slow 
arrangement that Bob uses, and it seemed bring down the momentum.

"Floater"
The first song of the night off L&T.  I had been waiting to hear the new songs 
live, but this start didn't work for me.  Now, admittedly, Floater isn't one 
of my favorites off L&T, but song fell flat, and continued to slow the momentum 
the way "Positively 4th Street" did.

At this point, I began to notice and get annoyed by Dylan's guitar work.  It 
didn't fit in with this song, and at one point Dylan played a bum chord.  
Whenever there was a break between verses, Bob stepped back from the microphone 
and begins to solo. Charlie and Larry look like the are concentrating hard, 
glancing at Bob every once in a while, wondering what he is going to do next.  
Charlie tried to play his own fills around Bob, but Bob kept stepping on him.

(Hey, does anyone think that Charlie looks funny when he's playing? He always 
seems to turn this way and that, with his eyes partially closed, his neck 
moving like a rooster.  He looks like someone who had lost his glasses and 
is scanning all around him on the floor for them). 

"Cry A While"
This song picked me back up again after the past two songs.  Not an amazing 
performance, but good, and it was great to hear a song off L&T that I liked.  
Also, Dylan seemed to start enjoying himself for the first time during the 
show.  He became a little more animated, and smiled for the first time.

"Mr. Tambourine Man"
Mr. Tambourine Man opened the second acoustic set, which was a "greatest hits" 
set.  Dylan seemed to continue to open up, getting more into the show.  Dylan 
played a harp solo at the end which was an improvement over the solo during 
"The Times They Are A-Changin'"

"Tangled Up In Blue"
A song that anybody who goes to a lot of Dylan shows has heard many times.  
Always a crowd-pleaser, and the crowd picked up on Dylan's energy.  And I 
enjoyed it this time, it was a good performance and it was nice to see the 
crowd get lively.

"Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"
A favorite Dylan song of mine, one that I haven't heard live in a while. A 
great close out to the acoustic set.  

One note from this set -- Dylan solos during the acoustic songs much like he 
does during the electric songs, but its less intrusive during the acoustic 
numbers than it is during electric songs.

"Summer Days"
The second electric set opened with "Summer Days", which was my favorite Love 
and Theft performance of the night (and would become a highlight of all three 
shows I attended).  Bob finally seemed to let the band open up during this 
song.  Tony brought his stand-up bass closer to the front of the stage, and 
Larry and Charlie smiled for the first time during the show as they traded 
off licks.  

"Mississippi"
Mississippi is one of my favorite L&T tracks.  This was a faithful 
reproduction, and although it was enjoyable, it was nothing too special.

"Cold Irons Bound"
Finally, I got a track from TOOM.  This was the "spooky" arrangement of Cold 
Irons Bound which they've been playing for a year or two now.  I love hearing 
songs from TOOM live, and this was a highlight for me.

"Rainy Day Women"
The standard crowd pleasing, set closing song.  I really wanted to see Charlie 
let it rip during this song, but again it was mainly Dylan soloing. The song 
was lesser than it could have been.

Bob introduced the band during the song starting out with "I'd like to introduce 
my band... the best band in the land...".  They finished  and the band left the 
stage.

"Things Have Changed"
The start of the encore.  Like "Mississippi", this is a faithful reproduction Ė 
enjoyable, but nothing special.

"Like a Rolling Stone"
I'd been enjoying hearing a lot of the hits during this show, but this was an 
exception. The song didn't have the fire it could have.  Maybe I've just heard 
it too many times.  Or maybe I was just tired and worn out.

"When Dogs Run Free"
I heard this song for the first time in concert last year and loved it.  This 
time I didn't like it as much.  Again, I was watching Larry play around 
Dylan's solos, frustrated that Larry wasn't playing more.

"Honest With Me"
Yet another faithfully interpretation, and it was good to hear another L&T 
song live.

"Blowin' In The Wind"
Another standard, but I never tire of hearing this one.  It's such a simple, 
but deep, song, and I love the harmonies with Charlie and Larry.  A great 
closing song.

After "Blowin' In The Wind", the band did their bows and started to leave the 
stage.  But as they neared the stairs leading down from the stage they paused.  
I saw Tony go up to Bob and smile and wave his hands in the air.  
(Interestingly, Tony would end up doing this at all three shows I saw... some 
sort of inside joke, I guess?)  There was a pause, and then the band returned 
to the stage for...

"All Along The Watchtower"
Another hit, and a fun way to rock and close out the show.

The band left the stage after this song, but house lights stayed off for quite 
some time.  They eventually came on, with no return from the band.

We drove back to Boston from Manchester.  The next day was Thanksgiving, and 
then off to Bob in Portland the day after that.

[TOP]

Review by Ken Norton


The Verizon Center had been open less than a week so us New Hampshire folks were
especially lucky to have Dylan participate in the christening!

Although not sold out, the arena was full of the usual multi generational Dylan 
crowd including parents with teenage kids.  The show started around 8:20 with a 
rousing rendition of Hallelujah, Iím ready.  It was quick and crisp, and at the 
end there seemed to be a lot of surprised looks, I donít think people were 
expecting a gospel tune.  Dylan quickly launched into The Times They Are A 
Changing.  His delivery was serious and powerful, several times hitting low 
gravely tones, and he played some nice acoustic leads.  By the time Dylan pulled 
out his harp at the end, the crowd was totally into it.  It was followed by a 
nice rendition of Itís All Right Ma.  Soldier Searching for His Grave was next, 
and again unfamiliar to most of the fans, so perhaps the timeliness and 
symbolism was lost for many.  

Switching over to electric, the band pounded out a strong Gotta Serve Somebody.   
Bob sang it alone.  This was followed by a stinging version of Positively 4th 
Street with Bob spitting out the words like he was still just as angry as when 
he wrote the song. To this point, the show was great.  The bands new closer 
grouping on stage (they were stacked elbow to guitar neck) really seems to add 
to their tightness, but I was really wanting to hear some stuff off the new 
album and we were already six songs into the show.  Floater and Cry a While 
were next and they were great, Bob seemed to loosen up a bit and start smiling 
and dancing a bit!  These were followed by Mr. Tambourine Man, Tangled Up in 
Blue and Donít Think Twice all fine renditions.  

Summer Days saw Tony back to the stand up bass and it was followed by an 
incredible version of Mississippi.  It was the high point of the show for me, 
and my wife concurred.  It was interesting that this was the only song I 
repeatedly heard the crowd shouting for and it brought tremendous applause at 
the end.  Cold Iron Bounds and Rainy Day Women closed out the show.  

Things Have Changed kicked off the encores followed by the standard Like a 
Rolling Stone.  The lights shining on the audience during the ďhow does it 
feelĒ refrain was a nice touch.  An acoustic If Dogs Run Free followed with 
a kicking Honest With Me gearing the crowd up again.  Blowing in the Wind had 
the crowd on their feet, and Dylan and the Band left the stage before being 
called back for a rocking Watchtower.  

The crowd was ecstatic and giving a loud standing ovation.  Dylan seemed 
uncomfortable, doing the stare and standing passively then gesturing to the 
band.  The crowd continued and he smiled a bit then gave two thumbs up before 
leaving the stage.  

Having seen some pretty beat Dylan shows during the past 25 years, all I can 
say is I feel sorry for anyone that is missing these shows.  The band is 
versatile and tight, and Dylanís vocals and execution are flawless.  What a 
treat to see him at his peak!  I was thrilled to hear 5 songs off the new 
album.  Canít wait for Boston town!

Ken Norton  

[TOP]

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