St. Louis, Missouri
The Pageant
March 3, 2004

[John Pruski]

Review by John Pruski

While waiting in the rain for the doors to open last night for Bob Dylan's
third of three St. Louis, the general consensus among us was that the
second night was better than the first. Well, during and after last
night's fantastic show we were all saying (well, screaming) that the
Wednesday show was better yet. Bob was very fairly animated last night,
and he sure seemed to be playing more harp last night, so much so that in
two different songs he initially grabbed the wrong harp. During the
encores he again danced a bit and even thanked his fan clubs SL and
Jefferson counties! 

Actually, the Tuesday and Wednesday shows each were completely fantastic,
and Monday's show was great as well. It was really fun seeing the same
friends (from Kansas City, Columbus, Chicago, Florida) down front night
after night. As usual, most of us are following different parts of the
tour, and it seemed that there were more people from Chicago than from
anywhere (other than SL) at the Pageant shows. After all, it is only a 4-5
hour drive between cities.

I changed spots each night in St. Louis, and I'd have to say that
positioning myself directly in front of Richie's drums (which are on the
audience left of George's) last night was my favorite spot. This was a bit
closer to Bob than when I was dead center, a definite plus! Also, from
this position I could hear Freddie's speakers better, since his were
pointed slightly away from stage center (actually they pointed at Bob),
whereas Larry's were angled to the center of the stage. In front you tend
to hear the stage monitors and stage speakers so strongly, so again a bit
left of center worked best for me. 

My favorite song Tuesday was the totally get down and bluesy Can't Wait
driven by Tony, but I'd never heard Most Likely You Go You Way live, so
the latter from last night will be indelibly etched in my mind. Perhaps
what led most of us to prefer the third show is that its set list differed
the most among these earlier dates. After a few songs last night I assumed
we were going to get a greatly varied set, and get it we did. There were
some great songs and great performances last night: two Nashville
Skylines, Senor, Love Minus Zero, and Every Grain Of Sand coupled in the
same show as Saving Grace worked very well. The opener differed each night
in SL, but the final six songs remained constant. I think I noticed that
in LARS Bob skipped the second verse and that Freddy soloed between verse
3 & 4 each night. The drum break in the Chorus of LARS is just so cool,
and I wasn't as shocked at the drum break the past two nights as I was

As great as last night was, I nevertheless found myself humming Bob's
great live version of It's Alright Ma (not played last night) today at
work. There are so very many incredibly strong songs that Bob plays with
regularity, and thankfully some great ones were played in SL. You really
cannot go wrong with any string of shows, even those with similar set
lists. Given the multiple dates in Chicago, Atlanta et al., however, my
gut feeling is that the set lists within any one given city will end up
varying more so than they did the first two tour nights, which differed
only in songs 2 & 11. We'll all be anticipating Bill's set list postings
each night, and if the St. Louis shows are an indicator this should be a
truly great tour and year!

John Pruski ( 4 March 2004 


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