Seattle, Washington
Paramount Theatre
March 8, 2005

[Russell Kelly], [Steven Thwaits], [Will Fugate], [Dennis Lind], [Greg Shipman]

Review by Russell Kelly

I've seen enough shows over the last 15 years to know that Tuesday was a
working rehearsal for Bob and band.  We all love the fact that he mixes up
the setlists from night to night, but with three new band members it
amounts to trial by fire.  This was a mediocre performance by Bob. 
Thankfully, Amos Lee and Merle Haggard and the Strangers were so solidly
entertaining that you didn't leave feeling like your money was stolen.

Amos Lee is a fantastic singer and his band (3 piece) is tight.  Merle
Haggard and the Strangers (8 piece) were a blast to watch!  Merle had the
audience cracking up frequently.  He explained, "We're just a beer-joint
band, and Bob called us up and asked us to open things up...warm up the
crowd a little bit."  Merle is in great voice, by the way.  At one point,
he ad-libbed a line in a song about lost love, saying, "don't worry about
what George Bush says, just pay attention to the show."  About half the
crowd cheered...the rest of us wondered what Merle was trying to say.  My
guess is that he was asking us to lighten up a bit and not get too worked
up about political statements in songs.  The way he said it gave me the
impression he was anticipating that Bush-haters made up most of Bob's
audience.  The very next song was Fightin' Side of Me, with the lines: "I
hear people talkin' bad, About the way we have to live here in this
country, Harpin' on the wars we fight, An' gripin' 'bout the way things
oughta be. An' I don't mind 'em switchin' sides, An' standin' up for
things they believe in. When they're runnin' down my country, man, They're
walkin' on the fightin' side of me. Yeah, walkin' on the fightin' side of
me. Runnin' down the way of life, Our fightin' men have fought and died to
keep. If you don't love it, leave it: Let this song I'm singin' be a
warnin'. If you're runnin' down my country, man, You're walkin' on the
fightin' side of me."

The highlights of Dylan's set were It's All Over Now, Baby Blue and This
Wheel's On Fire.  Baby Blue was arranged in a way I've not heard before,
and Bob had a lot of fun with the vocal delivery.  Wheel's On Fire brought
Bob to the mic at center stage, and without the distraction of the
keyboards, he took great care in the words of the song.  The other songs
in the setlist were forgettable.

Bob was animated on this night.  He smiled and bounced up and down while
at the keyboards and glanced at his bandmates often.  Unfortunately, the
frequent looks toward bandmates did not result in good communication.  The
band seemed to struggle with who should take the next lead, and Bob's
random/non-specific looks their way did not clear things up.  I felt bad
for Elana as she had to stare at Bob all night, waiting for some ounce of
direction that never came.

Bob played the harp often, but perhaps "played" is a strong word.  He
definitely forced air into the instrument.  If you didn't have the visual
confirmation that it was Bob, you'd think an infant grabbed a hold of the
harp and was having at it.

On the subject of instruments Bob did not play well:  the keyboards should
be taken from him and locked away so he won't be tempted.  No one can hear
them, anyway.  When you do get just a little's not pretty.  He
just sort of hammers he's playing with mittens on.  That said,
Bob seems to really enjoy standing off to the side and pretending like
he's directing the band.  It's comical, really.

The new band members (he did introduce them on this night) were fun to
watch, but probably for the wrong reasons.  They were confused and
probably fairly stressed out...constantly staring at Bob, hoping to gain
some understanding of where things were going.  Well, not so much Denny,
as he seemed pretty cool...but also pretty bored at times.  Donny's pedal
steel was solid, despite the confusion.  He's not bashful about tearing
into a song even if he's not sure where it's going.  Elana...well, we
couldn't hear her until the eighth song.  When we could hear her, she was
also quite good.  By the way, she stands center stage in front of George.  
She's easy on the eyes and will no doubt grab people's attention right away.  
Hopefully they'll get her volume problem worked out.

I'm thankful that Amos Lee and Merle were so good because it made up for
Bob's set.  It's clear that Bob and band have a lot of work to do.  He's
got a lot of talent in the band, but needs to figure out how to use it.



Review by Steven Thwaits

Bob and the band stood for our applause, and the red curtain dropped on
night two.  After a couple years away, Dylan graces Seattle with another
change, another opening. The big new line-up manages to be stately, sexy
and rocking, all at the same time. I think the wonderfully talented and
curvaceous fiddle player wore the same tight black dress both nights, but
otherwise, each evening was wrapped in different material. Only three
songs repeated from night one! The opener-Drifter's Escape, the Haggard
number, and LARS. Too many highlights to list; the slower songs are finely
crafted, and the rockers attain a delicious crazed power. Bob is taking
care with the words and phrasing, he makes you feel his love. Even when he
hopes the Masters of War die, soon. And when he stands out front blowing
on that harp, man you just could not care less the guitar is no longer his
companion. Hey I know my words can't do it, describe the music, but I¹m
here just to say: 'The Bob Dylan Show' is one to catch, if it comes to a
town near you! Merle and Amos Lee were pretty cool too.

Steven T.


Review by Will Fugate

From row GG I try to catch the words as Bob mumbles the words of the first song "…carried him from the 
courthouse…" all right, I recognize it--Drifter's Escape-should have known, it was the name of the 
featured drink at the bar here at the Paramount Theatre, restored  30's movie palace-(Jack Daniels on 
the rocks-7 bucks…)-"…a bolt of lightnin knocked the courthouse out of shaaaAAAaaaappe…"   Bob is high 
energy! -- drawing out end syllables a bit reminiscent to me of the 74 tour when I first saw him (the 
big guy one seat over says "I was born in 74…), but then he was in denim and now he's sharp in a long 
black coat to his hips, black pants with  red stripes down the sides(!) and red shirt and -gold -chain(?),
ribbing (?), around his neck. And brown cowboy hat-two other members of the band  have also adopted 
western headgear…Elana Fremerman is out front in a basic black dress sweetly flailing away at her 
fiddle-what sounds!, the drums are cooking, lead guitar sounds great-what a band! Bob seems as energized
as the audience…"cloud so swift, rain won't lift.."  incredible-one of my favorite songs! "OOOOOEEEEE 
ride me highhh…" Bob's cracked voice used like a weapon-- "..get your mind off wintertime, you ain't 
goin nowhere…"

Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dee Dum has Bob's voice for the lead instrument over the band- hate it when it 
gets lost in the mix, but tonight the voice is front and center, the band cooks along behind…Bob's hair 
doesn't cover his pointed ears and from a distance he looks a little  like a leprechaun or an alien at 
the keyboards ( inaudible, and one of two).  "…I've never engaged in this sort of thing before, but…yes,… 
out on Highway Siixxxxxty One…" Yes it's Dylan yells the guy next to me who's seen 37 Bob concerts…He and 
the band are rocking tonight…Bob is taking extended harp solos over the band-it doesn't get much better 
than this…. After each song a good portion of the crowd gives a standing ovation and Bob wanders around 
the stage ignoring it, finally wanders back to the keyboards… "you must leave now take what you need you 
think will last…" …leave your stepping stones behind there's something that caalllls for you…" the 
cracked bells and wornout horns of Bob's voice blow into our face with… "the sky too is folding over 
you..and it's all over now…"

Down along  the cove with  new words (to me) and a rock beat-"down along the cove I spied my little 
bundle of joy…lord have mercy honey-you make feel just like a bab-y boy!..." Bob is having fun!  And for 
me the highlight of the show-Bob steps centerstage, diplacing Elana, with just a harp in his left hand, 
facing the audience ill at ease it seems to me with no guitar to shield him, skinny legs twitching to the 
beat of the band, mumbles powerfully  into the mic… "if your Memry serves you welll…we were going to meet 
again and wait…this Wheel's on fire… roll  ling    down    the    road…"  harp solo! Moving slowly closer 
to Elana,  cutting viciously at her violin with the bow, Bob in his black coat buttoned down the front 
blowing holding the harp with one hand-how is he getting the sound out-he's not near the mic--harmonica 
and violin… Rolling with the band inexorably unstoppable DOWN! THE! ROAD!

Back to the keyboards, lighting blood red on the curtains with darkness beyond which gradually turns into 
a starscape on the back curtain…starting with just his voice and his body and his presence leaning over 
the keys… "Come you Masters of War…" the band coming in, the harp solo, 42 years and it's lost none of 
its power… Then a song I can't make out at first…then… "may you grow up to be righteous…stand upright and 
be strong…" the scratchy voice the unmelodic arrangement making it a new song…the woman next to me wiping 
away tears at the end…her husband holding her…Another favorite-Summer Days! They may be gone but Bob's 
still standin on the table proposing a toast to the King! He seems to really enjoy playing the Love and 
Theft songs. Closing with a country song I don't know-inmate telling the warden please play that song for 
me before I die..(Merle Haggard's Sing Me Back Home).

Thunderous applause as Bob and the band line up at the front of the stage like for a curtain call, then 
leave, finally come back for … "they'll stone you when you're tryin to be so good…" "but I would not feel 
so all alone…" good time song everyone standing clapping to the beat singing along "every body must get 
stoned…" And to round out one of the best concerts I've seen,   " ONCE upon a time you dressed so fine 
threw the bums a dime… didn't you…" laid back but Bob still asking  "HOW does it feel?", and tonight--it 
felt great!


Review by Dennis Lind

Wife and I headed home Tuesday, only to find out te tickets we
thought our kids were going to use for this night, were now
available for Tuesdays concert, as they had "decided" to use our tickets
and go Wednesday! So, quick call to friend Bill, and he and I had plans to
return to Seattle for the Tuesday show.  Almost totally different show.
opened with "Drifter"...(recognized it this time) again...but from their
it was pretty much all recognizable stuff. You Aint Going Nowhere
followed, and right away got the crowd in a great mood. Tweedle Dee-Dum
was fun. Highway 61 reeeeeallly rocked. Baby Blue very pretty. Down Along
the Cove, though to me not a "major" song of his, was one of the
highlights. Wheels on Fire had a lot of feeling. Masters of War tore at
the crowds inner feelings. Forever Young, though one of my personal
favorites one of the few songs that was not too special. Summer Days
returned and the band took off with it. Then...that Merle Haggard number
again, to close the regular set this time....Sing Me Back Home. (Maybe he
agreed to sing this song for Merle, provided Merle did not join him on his

Encore of Rainy Day Women and Rolling Stone closed the set.  Dylan did
introduce the band tonight, which was nice. Also not the "Dylan Eye" logo
returned on the back drop for the encores. 

This band looks to probably even get better with each concert. New
members, though they appear to be somewhat in awe of Dylan, are great
musicians looking to please the master, and bring fresh energy,
particularly Elana Fremerman.  Dylan playing LOTS of harmonica (and of
course not GEE-tar). He does a great job on the harmonica...taking center
stage several times with just the harmonica and really blowing that thing.
Must have a surprisingly healthy set of lungs!!

Not going to the closing Seattle show tonight....but our kids Nic and
Sheena are taking our tickets. Hopefully they will enjoy things as much as

Dennis Lind


Review by Greg Shipman

In response to Russell Kelly's review of 3/8/05.First of all he's entitled
to his opinion as I am mine.I didn't feel that it was a mediocre Bob
performance. Bob rocked the entire night.The song list was
forgettable???Out of the 3 nights that I attended I felt that 3/8's song
list was the strongest.Russell mentioned Baby Blue and This Wheel's On
Fire which were outstanding,but High Water,Highway 61 and Summer Days were
also rocking highlights.Forever Young,You Ain't Goin' Nowhere and Masters
of War were all welcomed additions from this (forgettable?) song
list.Loved the violin on Rainy Day Women.Amos Lee was excellent-Merle for
me was an acquired taste that I could have done without.I did enjoy his
leads on the guitar but I came to see Bob.Elana stared at Bob all 3 nights
and played fantastic violin. Everybody in the band stares at Bob as you
never know what he's going to do.This is what makes him exciting to watch
in concert.I felt the band was tight not directionless and confused.Bob's
harmonica playing and keyboard playing wasn't good? I'm surprised that
Russell didn't make a comment about his singing voice as well.Either you
like it or you don't.I enjoyed the 3/8 performance as well as all 3
nights.To each his own.


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