Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Met Philadelphia

November 21, 2019

[David Steinert], [Tom Karel], [Adam Dean], [Laurette Maillet], [Alexander Leik], [Barry Gloffke], [Michael Perlin]

Review by David Steinert

Me and my wife drove to Philadelphia from New Jersey to see bob for the
first time this tour ! What a show Dylan did tonight not only did
lightning strike it struck the whole night ! This was our first show with
new band and it was great . ( miss George ) Bob was incredible just my
highlights north country with little of band just piano and bob singing
one of the best performance I’ve ever seen . I saw people with tears in
their eyes . Bobs voice was beautiful. Not dark amazing. Roman kings
crushing it . Pay in blood is a pretty mean tune and bob sung it like he
meant it like he was scorning the front row spitting out the lyrics like
he wanted vengeance. The met is a great venue last there opening night
last year for bob venue sound is great all sight lines great . The entire
audience even the fair weather fans stood and cheered the whole last two
songs . People ask me my whole life how can you go to so many Dylan shows
? I say if I could watch Monet paint I stand by next to him and watch him
paint all day .If I could watch Poe write I stand by his desk every chance
. Tonight I watched the greatest most creative artist of modern times do
his craft . Mind blowing. See you at the beacon 


Review by Tom Karel

This was Bob's return visit to The Met Philadelphia, a venerable old opera house 
(c. 1908) on North Broad Street.  My daughter and I were there last December 
when Bob and his band opened the newly restored venue.  That was a very 
very good show.  Thursday's performance was much better.  Here's why:

Bob's voice is more melodic and more powerful - equally effective on the 
hard-rocking songs, the snarling songs, and the softer songs.  This was 
especially true on the songs he sang standing center stage, usually without an 
instrument.  He prowled around, leaned into the mic stands, made pointed 
gestures, and delivered his lines with intense passion and precision.  You 
couldn't take your eyes off him.  He did seven songs this way and each was a 
treat.  Last year he only performed one song standing - "Scarlet Town" - and 
that was definitely a highlight of that show.

In 2018 Bob sat at a grand piano for all but one of the songs.  This year he 
pounded on an upright piano instead - sitting for some songs and standing for 
others.  When he stood at the piano he suddenly seemed younger and 
attacked the keys with a vengeance.  He played a harmonica a few times 
which the crowd appreciated, and the guitar twice.  A good variety of 
musical approaches.

Dylan knows his songs well before he starts singing.  He is comfortable with this 
set.  The songs suit his voice and he wants to sing them, for reasons unknown 
to us.  Several popular staples from last year's tour are no longer played (Blowin' 
in the Wind, Like a Rolling Stone, Don't Think Twice) and you really don't miss 
them.  However, I'm sure many of the casual fans in the crowd were hoping to 
hear more of his "greatest hits."

The band knows these songs well, too.  The mix of the veterans and the new 
guys adds a newfound energy to the overall pleasure and sound of the show.  
Charlie Sexton was fun to watch, though as I said it was hard to take my eyes 
of Bob.

Location, location, location.  Last year our seats were high up on the side, as 
high as you could get in The Met.  We had a good view of the entire stage but 
the action was far away.  This time we had great seats - in the eighth row on 
the left.  We had a good sightline to the stage (in spite of some large people in 
front of us) and the way the piano was positioned allowed us to see Bob's 
every move.  Those sitting on the right side of the theater saw the back of 
the upright piano unless Bob was standing.

A couple other observations.  Sitting so close made me realize how old Bob is.  
His face looks haggard.  He moves slowly, and is bent over a bit.  For some of 
the standing songs he used a mic stand as a kind of crutch.  But his voice was 
strong and he gave it his all.  This was his third night in a row - Lowell to 
Providence to Philadelphia - so he might have been a little tired.  He also 
looked happy and talked a lot with the band between songs.  I was glad that 
he introduced the band - something he stopped doing for several years.

Security was very heavy in the theater.  We were warned going in that 
"no cell phone use" was allowed.  Period.  Before the show I started sending 
a text to my wife at my seat and a security guy appeared instantly and politely 
repeated the policy.  I had to go out into the lobby to finish the text.  We 
saw dozens of instances where people were told to put their phones away - 
and that was before the show started.  Only a couple people dared use their 
phones during the show - including one guy sitting behind us.  You couldn't 
even take photos before the show.

People gave Bob standing ovations after every song, and almost everyone 
stood during the two encores.  I felt compelled to stand and cheer after a 
rousing "Highway 61" and an incredible "Early Roman Kings."  The other 
highlights for me were: a nicely revamped  "Can't Wait"; a powerful and 
venomous "Pay in Blood"; the emotionally moving combo of "Girl from the 
North Country" and "Not Dark Yet"; and the rollicking "Gotta Serve 
Somebody."  The rest of the songs were top-notch as well, even lesser 
tunes like "Honest with Me" and "Make You Feel My Love."  I had a little 
trouble hearing Bob's voice in the first two songs but then the sound mix
improved and the rest of the show was fine.

Speaking of standing, there was a large group of fans in front to the left of 
us who stood and danced for about half of the show.  A young woman, 
whose view was blocked, got upset and talked to security and everyone 
had to sit down.  When that happened a lot of other people who couldn't 
see loudly cheered.  This was in the middle of one of the songs but it 
didn't throw Bob off one bit.  My daughter later told me that she thought 
there was going to be a fight between the woman who complained and 
someone else.  I didn't notice any of that; I was too focused on the artist 
on the stage.

When we got outside the tour buses were getting ready to leave the side 
lot and head down Broad Street so we watched them go.  People were 
waving and taking photos.  We did, too.  Thanks for an amazing evening, 

Tom Karel
Lancaster, PA


Review by Adam Dean

Mixed emotions, joy and sadness, anticipation, excitement and a sense of
loss - Bob Dylan & His Band were in the room last night at The Met, the
simply fantastic concert venue in downtown Philadelphia, but sadly Peter
Stone Brown was not;  we recently lost Peter after a long illness and he
was simply there in spirit. But Bob Dylan was there and he put on a great
show, very slick and professional, a whistle-stop on the way from there to
here and off to NYC for a residency run of shows. This time around finds
Bob in enhanced "crooner" mode, having taken the stage-moves honed on
Sinatra into his main stage act, as he crouches down by the drum kit,
microphone in hand then jumps to center-stage to deliver biting lyrics on
songs such as Not Dark Yet, Can't Wait and Pay In Blood. There is also the
"piano man" with Bob singing clearly on beautiful ballads such as Girl Of
The North Country, It Ain't Me Babe, Trying To Get To Heaven and Soon
After Midnight. And "rocker" Bob kicking the guitar 
 around the stage on Things Have Changed and Ballad Of A Thin Man. The
 musicians with Bob are, as always, "some of the finest players in the
 country" and Charlie Sexton and Tony Garnier power the louder songs like
 Highway 61, Early Roman Kings, and Honest With Me.

Interesting stage set-up, gone are the carpets and incense - we have 3
mannequins dressed in 1920's finery (think Great Gatsby) at stage rear,
Bob's piano front-stage right center leaving stage left open for him to
crouch and croon.

My personal highlight was Lenny Bruce, a song I had never heard performed
in 45 years of seeing Dylan shows, and it was delivered in a lovely ballad
with the words clear and eloquent - bringing dear departed Peter to mind;
Lenny Bruce is gone. But Bob remains on the Never Ending Tour and it's
always a great thrill to catch a glimpse.

Lights down at 8:02 PM and off-the-stage by 9:46 PM, no openers, no
intermission. As the advertisements say, "Don't You Dare Miss It" and
don't be late! 


Review by Laurette Maillet

Philadelphia. Back to where I started beginning of September this year but
this time a Bob Dylan show is programmed at the MET again, the same as
last year. Ben and I managed to drop the rented car at JFK just on time
and full of gas, a miracle by itself as the traffic jam started 50 miles
ahead of New York NY crossing The Bronx and The Queens. We have few hours
to kill before our bus to Philly is due so we sit outside on the stairs of
Penn Station ,(with a crowd of pigeons) facing the Madison Square Garden.
We share memories of the "Hurricane Tour". We split arriving in Philly;
Ben goes to his hostel, I walk straight to the MET. Just on time to see
the buses pulling in for the soundcheck. Cool! They are all here. I spend
time recharging my phone batteries in a Cafe and walk back to the MET. Ben
and I need tickets(again!). We are confident. The crowd is friendly and
relatively young, younger than the "campus" crowds(?!). I manage to sell
one of my little paintings.  A couple of nice friendly Fans, Josh and
Michelle, offer Ben and I two tickets side by side. I immediately propose
one of my paintings as an exchange and we are all walking inside happy and
joyfully. The spirit I like! No struggle today. Security Bob and Barron ,
I saw them, in a good mood too! The theater is nice and comfy and we have
seats on the first row of the balcony. All the best as the pit seems to be
low in front of the high stage. On time , they take the stage.  A roar
from the entire theater makes me feel that will be a tremendous show.
"Things have changed" is opening as brand new to me. The Fans on the floor
are standing up the entire song. The applause is deafening (for good). "It
ain't me Babe"  is clear and loud.  "Highway 61" put the theater on
fire. Many youngsters are dancing and bouncing even on the aisle, on the
floor, showing that security is relaxed and cool. Bob is torching the
night.  The Band is tight. Even if Donnie at some point had a problem
with his violin and Britt made a slight mistake at the beginning of
"Honest with you" : Bob didn't start singing on time, the Band was ready
for another intro... The same on " You've gotta serve somebody " Bob
missed a couple of words. But that just show the spontaneity of the
performance.  With Ben we accompany Bob on some lyrics. Specifically
screaming out  " I ain't dead yet. My bell still rings..." The echoes of
"Not dark yet" are more subtle tonight, giving a nice resonance to the
words and making the atmosphere even more sepulchral. "Thunder on the
mountain" puts the public on its feet.  The solos of Charlie and Britt
are appreciated and applauded. And of course the Bob's harmonicas solos.
This is the best public for a long time.  That show is definitively set
for a small theater connoisseurs public. They know what to expect and they
like it. It is over way too soon.  An immense roar accompanies Bob back
to the curtains.  He knew and spent few more seconds on his bow. He
doesn't want to leave US neither! What a show! What a public! What a day!
My good Friend David already wrote a review. Yes. We had a great time.
Thank you so much Bobby. Thank you the Band. Thank you all the good people
of Philly. See you next year at the MET?


Review by Alexander Leik

It's been a few years since I have submitted a review/personal thoughts on
a Bob show. I've still been attending a few each year, but it became
tiresome to put down my thoughts after arriving home late, and then before
I knew it, a week or more had gone by and it soon became "whats the point,
now?" Well Thursday night at the Met in Philly gave me more than enough
energy, enthusiasm...whatever you want to call get back in the
ring. I had been to Baltimore a week earlier, and a fine show that was as
well. But Bob found the extra gear in Philly. Maybe it was the beautiful
venue (I was lucky enough to see him re-open it Dec 3, 2019 as well).
Maybe it was that extremely energetic Philly crowd pushing him further
(for all the heat they take about being lousy sports fans, they sure know
their music!). Maybe it was a push from above (I feel Peter Stone Brown
would have given a strong nod of approval to this hometown performance).
Our hero is definitely slowing, and the "dance" in this song and dance man
is gradually slipping away. But the "song" was probably the strongest I
have seen in 10 years, maybe more. The voice was on from the words
"worried man with a worried MIND!" and at times he felt the need to lash
out at us (Pay in Blood, Early Roman Kings, Highway 61, Thin Man), often
pointing/stabbing towards the crowd to emphasize his words, as if to say
"listen to me!". Then he would take it back 180 degrees and deliver the
finest singing you've ever heard. North Country was beautiful, and the
interplay between our hero on the ivories and Donnie Heron on violin for
this song was unbelievable, poignant. Simple Twist of Fate & It Ain't Me
Babe also had strong but measured vocals, and the latter is an arrangement
that has developed over the years into a show highlight. But the 5 minutes
that stop the show, same as in Baltimore, continues to be Lenny Bruce.
Whether he really "rooohhhhde with him, in a taxi once" is folklore to
which we may be better off never knowing the truth. But its clear that Bob
feels a connection. There's something autobiographical about the way he
delivers this one in 2019. Its stunning and were I a wealthy, unemployed
man with zero responsibilities, I would spend the next 2 weeks (and a
Thanksgiving) in NYC gladly watching it 10 times over.  Might be the best
thing I have ever seen him do, and the Philly crowd was respectfully
quiet, followed by a thunderous roar, recognizing the rare gem that hat
been so perfectly delivered. Let's not forget the machine that helps our
hero deliver night after night. The addition of Bob Britt and replacement
of George Recile by Matt Chamberlain adds something that the band has
needed. I do miss George, the 2nd longest tenured band member ever I
believe? But man, Matt Chamberlain is there for a reason. His fills, snare
work and and just basic tempo work really gives these songs new life. Bob
Britt has a lot of leads on this tour, deservedly so. Donnie has become
the multi-instrumentalist that almost has me saying "Larry/Bucky who?" I
say "almost" because I still miss the vocal harmonies. But Donnie seems to
have become more of Bob's "go to" for cues, possibly due to where Bob is
positioned most of the time, but also because Donnie's seat gives him full
view of the other 4 band members. Charlie and Tony are just so in line
with these songs, with our hero, that there's really no reason to fret as
long as they booth walk out there with him each night. The last time I saw
Charlie in Philly, it was in early summer, in a bar that held about 30
people, playing with Michael Ramos & the great Austin musician (and chef!)
Michael Fracasso. Charlie looks just as comfortable in his little corner
on the stage at the Met as he did that night. And Bob made us all feel
like we were the only ones in the room. 10 nights in NYC and 1 in DC.
Don't you Dare Miss it! 


Review by Barry Gloffke

Bob Dylan back on tour with his superb Band. I joined the tour at The Met 
Philadelphia, a fabulous refurbished opera house. What a show!

From the opening chords of THINGS HAVE CHANGED (a slower, more subdued
version than previous tours featuring Bob on guitar) to the last howls of
'When your train gets looooooooooooosssssttttt', the show was magnificent.
Each song stood out in its own unique way. As usual Bob threw in some new
lyrics and reworks the melodies... all to great effect. Highlights were

The slow burning ballads such as WHEN I PAINT MY MASTERPIECE, TRYIN' TO
(wow!) and GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY (tender and sad) were sung with
sincerity and depth and the interweaving of Donnie, Charlie and Britts'
playing on those songs was fabulous. Truly mesmerizing stuff. These takes
are some of the finest singing Bob has done in years. When the audience
quiets down and lets Bob's singing take over the room... well it's quite
breathtaking. More fine evidence of the reason we follow this man. 

Then there were the rockers — HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED (a blow the doors open
version, hard charging guitars and Bob's driving piano took this back to
the 1990s gigs), HONEST WITH ME (a rocking blast), THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAIN
(more like an earthquake on the mountain with a great short drum solo to
cap it off) and GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY (I love this version so much, great
vocal delivery, dancing in the aisles, a great way to end the set). Tony
and Matt certainly shone bright on these songs and the guitars were on
fire. Not to mention superb piano from Bob.

And how about the new interpretations of CAN'T WAIT (funky delivery,
brilliant vocals, standing center stage like a prizefighter, so damned
good), PAY IN BLOOD (started with an odd melody, but after a minute or so
took off with ripping guitars and a nasty vocal delivery from Dylan) and
NOT DARK YET (Bob commanding the center stage, echo effect, beautiful
strong delivery... delicious) 

Lastly were the blues/rockers. Man were these great. The encore numbers of
BALLAD OF A THIN MAN (Bob center stage on guitar) and IT TAKES A LOT TO
LAUGH, IT TAKES TRAIN TO CRY (a great version and I really like that he
ends the concert with this song) were top notch versions. But EARLY ROMAN
KINGS might have been the highlight for me tonight. This song was off the
charts, deep, strong. It felt like old style Chicago blues. Bob was
savaging the lords of the day (sluggers and muggers), serving them
bitterness and bile (tear you limb from limb). 'If you see me coming and
you're standing there, wave your handkerchiefs in the air'... he ain't
dead yet!! ...his bell still rings!! Bravo! 

Another brilliant show. Top tier. Dylan in great voice, fine piano
playing, soaring harp and small guitar licks... gotta love it!

Nice to see Ed tonight. Hello to Mike. Thanks for the dances Kathleen. See
you guys at the Beacon.

This was show #52 for me. 
Best show ever is still (and probably always will be): Tramps, NYC, July 26, 1999


Review by Michael Perlin

Almost a year after I saw Bob re-open The Met in an outstanding concert 
(my review, of course, is available here, for those interested), I return to 
The Met to see what the intervening year has brought (with my Dylanista 
friend Len, our 3d Philly BD concert in three years; I certainly hope there 
will be more!). The short answers: (1) Bob sounded, if anything, even 
better this year than last (which, to me had been his best vocalizing since 
a Terminal 5 conference I saw nine years ago, (2) the venue still has the 
best acoustics of any Bob show I have ever seen (with the possible 
exception of the NJ PAC in Newark, NJ), and (3) I am so glad I will be 
seeing him again at the Beacon a week from Thursday! And, again, I also 
glad that the Sinatra songbook is a thing of the past...

A few thoughts before my comments on the performances and the set list. 

It is hard for me to believe that this group has only been playing together 
for two months.  Both additions melded seamlessly into the sound of what 
I often call "The Tony Guarnier All-Stars"; having the extra guitar player 
(after the year-without-Stu) added lots of texture, and as much as I 
always enjoyed George, the new drummer was, to my mind, the best in 
the band since Winston (my favorite drummer of bob's modern era). And 
Donnie just continues to grow and grow. Three times, Bob left the piano 
to talk to him (the second time, he walked over to Tony  as well), and I 
had this rush feeling (OMG, is he abandoning the setlist, and are we about 
to hear [fill in whatever you want in the blank space]?). But, alas, no. No 
idea what the chat was about - tempo, room for an instrumental solo... 
who knows? But, always a moment of intrigue at a Bob concert.

¢	I last had seen Bob play guitar on 5/10/03 in an otherwise totally-forgettable 
concert in Atlantic City (there was a fire alarm that went off half way thru, 
and that ended the sense of purpose and urgency; also, it was in a casino, 
my absolute least favorite venue for anything, but especially a Bob concert) 
when he played Drifter's Escape. Tantalizingly, he has so often brought the 
guitar to stage, but, up until Thursday night, just a tease. And then... 
kaboom! As expected, on Things Have Changed, and on Ballad of a Thin 
Man. OMG, what a treat!

¢	The changes from a year ago (when he did 20 as opposed to this 
year's 19): Dropped Cry a While. Scarlet Town, Rolling Stone, Don't 
Think Twice, Love Sick, and Blowin';  picked up Can't Wait, Lenny Bruce, 
North Country, Not Dark Yet, and Thin Man.  Close call, but think we did 
better this year (mostly because of the inclusion of GftNC).

¢	What's with the mannequins? For some reason, I thought about the 
pictures of Allen Ginsberg on the scrim a week after Ginsberg died. And 
there have been other depictions (usually reminding me of Fritz Lang movie 
outtakes). But this was new. From where I sat (back orchestra, 5th row, 
left), at one point it looked like a mannequin was holding up Tony's
stand-up bass which did give me a giggle.

And the music:

Things Have Changed: Again, just watching him center stage with the 
guitar made me so happy. Happier than that. My last all-guitar Bob concert 
was Newport 02... let that resonate a bit. The verses just kept on comin', 
and Bob's enunciation getting stronger with each one. I always find - in all 
genres of music - the use of rests to be so important in live performances 
(think Thelonious Monk as the best example). Here after "I used to care", 
there were three extra bars of rests, before Bob growled, "but things have 
changed." That's why, among other reasons, you go to live concerts.

It Ain't Me Babe: This is one of my favorite 60's songs of Bob's, but the
new arrangement has always left me pretty cold , But I became aware of 
what I'll call a deeper drum sound here than I was used to with George. 
And that worked.

Highway 61: Great piano-guitar call and response. This is the 27th time I 
have head this since 1994 (set lists from few of my Bob shows from the 
60s show up on the official canon, so the full # is a guess). The vamp 
ending that he used to do years ago on Don't Think Twice. And it really, 
really rocked.

Simple Twist: Here, Bob's intonation - a strong point all night long - 
captured the moment (starting with the "coin into the cup" line). And 
his first center stage appearance (at the "sailors" verse) since THC, along 
with his first harmonica playing of the night, which was, honestly, 

Can't Wait: As the song went on, the vocal became more and more 
transcendent.  The line  "And all the places we could roam together" was 
shattering. And the guitar riffs directly before "after all these years you're 
still the one" were as clos to perfection as imaginable.

When I Paint My Masterpiece: At the piano, doing what a PR person would 
say, "tinkling the ivories." I felt - even more than when I heard this version
last year - that this was a 40s movie, and I almost expected Bogey to 
emerge from the wings. No drums 'til the "dodgin' lions" line. Thinking 
about his rewriting the gondolas line to "crimson and clover" and wondering 
if he and Tommy James have a special connection (Wikipedia told me that 
Bob has waxed rhapsodically about a different James' song (I'm Alive: per 
Bob, "one of the most powerful records I've ever heard). I actually have a 
real-life friend who is a real-life friend of James'. I need to find out.... An 
absolute joy to hear.

Honest with Me: You know, this is one of the songs I really never have to 
hear again (I expect I have complained about this before (along with 
Summer Days and Tweedle; a trifecta of forgettables). But the guitar work 
here --- the three in perfect unison - was outstanding.

Tryin' to Get to Heaven: I sometimes wish Tony would play stand-up bass 
on every song. God, he is so good. And great hearing the two strings with 
Donnie on the violin again (this was the 6th of 8 songs in which he played 
that instrument). And Bob's enunciation on "your memory grows dimmer"

Make You Feel My Love: Amazing that he could make this song - covered 
by nearly every pop singer of the last 20 years -- sound so poignant. But 
he did. And, as always, the "highway of regret" line knocked me out. 
Again spectacular violin by Donnie.

Pay in Blood: "Legs and arms and body and bone"; "My head's so hard/Must 
be made of tone"; "Hear me holler and hear me moan." All these lines - the 
penultimate ones of the verses - spewed out as only Bob can do. Terrific 
guitar solo by Charlie. A venomous song.. and there is nothing wrong with 

Lenny Bruce: So, 20 years ago this summer, on the Paul Simon tour, I 
heard him song this, and immediately thought, "Well, that's a one-off for 
my life" (fwiw, it was sandwiched then in between Watchtower and Stuck 
Inside...). But, of course, I was wrong. He does this as a dirge (my 
recollection had been this was at a much slower pace than when I saw it, 
but I just checked some 1995 videos and the tempo is fairly close). I 
expect that some of the audience knew of Lenny Bruce solely as a 
character in the TV series, Mrs. Maisel, but those, uh close to my age, 
were silently reverent. Which made sense. Am I the only person who 
thinks his renditions of this song now (especially at the ends of lines 3 and 
5 of the stanzas) are fairly close to his the never-performed Tempest?  
A reminder, of course, that we live in a political world...

Early Roman Kings:  Confession. I love this song. It has become my favorite 
cut from the Tempest album, and I would be happy to hear it every time 
I see Bob. The lines! "peddlers and meddlers": "lecherous and treacherous"; 
"sluggers and muggers". Whom else ever could have done this? And "the 
Sicilian court." As brilliant as his writing from 40 and 50 years ago... Yay!

Girl from the North Country: And this would have been, as we say at the 
seder dayenu (translation: enough). I hadn't heard this live since the 
Newport '02 concert, and always have hoped for another performance. It 
has special meaning to me (my dad-daughter dance at my daughter's 

wedding was to the BD-Johnny Cash version of this), and I was not 
disappointed at all. At all. The guitars - all playing pianissimo - were 
ethereal. The mallets on the cymbals were other-worldly. And who but 
Bob could elongate the word "breast" to almost 4 syllables? What a joy!

Not Dark Yet: Another favorite of mine from Time out of Mind. The 
ominousness of the guitars. The foreboding of the vocals. A truly brilliant 
song and an outstanding performance by all.

Thunder on the Mountain: Only three chords, but what room for the 
guitarists to rock. And they did. After the prior songs, it was like a palate 
cleanser more than anything else to me. To be honest, it would be fine if 
he dropped this from next year's list. Though I have no expectations.

Soon after Midnight: Listening for musical patterns. Many more triplets
here than on the original. (This only for music geeks: The A7 after the A 
chord following the "the moon is in my eye" line exploded. In a very good 
way. And I was fairly sure that Charlie was playing the intro to Santo & 
Johnny's Sleepwalk as part of his solo). Again, wy you come to live 

Gotta Serve Somebody: Again, as with Masterpiece (and also a bit of 
Simple Twist) some new lyric, perhaps the same as last year's or maybe 
not. Whatever. Manic energy, and I am thinking "This guy is 78, and this
is the 17th song he has played so far." And he could be back with his'
Hibbing mates from when he was 14. Yowza.

Ballad of a Thin Man: Apparently, my first time hearing Bob play this on 
guitar since, uh, when he opened for The Dead at Giants Stadium in 
June '95(!). One that I could have on every list and be a happy boy. 
Again, the elongated pause between "do you" and "Mr./ Jones" was 
excruciating. As it should be. An extraordinary song (he wrote this 
when he was 24? How can that be?) by an extraordinary composer.

It Takes a Lot to Laugh: Another three-chord blues, taken at a much 
slower tempo than many versions I have heard before (on recordings; 
this is, remarkably, only my 3d lie performance ever), but, actually, on 
mise en scene grounds, a better final encore than Blowin' had been. I
always start thinking at this point - "maybe this'll be the night when I 
chooses to do one more?", but, alas .. no. No matter - a terrific ending 
to a terrific concert, with terrific musicianship by all. Who could ask for 
anything more?

Every time I see Bob, I whisper a silent thank you to the musical gods 
for allowing him to continue this never-ending tour. I saw him first-as 
my friends know - at Gerde's in 1963. So this makes 56 years (there 
were some gaps). But, as long as he comes back for more, I will be 
there. With a joyous and full heart. See you a week from Thursday, 
Bob! And thank you. You make the world a better place.


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