St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul River Centre
Roy Wilkins Auditorium
March 10, 2004

[Dan Jackson], [Cray McCally], [Matt Steichen], [Craig Planting], [Genius Junior]

Review by Dan Jackson

Some quick notes about the St. Paul show at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, but first of all, for any 
Bill Walton fans, he is responsible for this quote after a nice 360 dunk during Sunday's Minnesota 
Timberwolves game: "That dunk was amazing-more importantly, I got tickets to the Wednesday night 
Bob Dylan show in St. Paul." I found that to be quite an amusing thing to say during a nationally 
televised game. Onto the show. I haven't seen it mentioned in these reviews yet, but still using 
the same, extended "Dylan history" intro. TB was a good opener, and I haven't heard this incarnation 
yet and was very happy with it. I have heard some bland versions so I was a bit nervous. It has a 
really nice, steady flow to it. IAON,BB I think may have been the highlight for me. Not much more 
to say than that. TD&TD was a pretty standard reading. LS was very good-I thought this had dried up 
a bit at the end of the Sexton era, not so. Same story with CIB.  Moonlight was a complete rework 
which worked surprisingly well, I read that it was much different at previous shows this tour. Don't 
know if it's better than the album, as the two versions are too different to even compare. Floater 
is another rework. I had downloaded a boot of this from Chicago, didn't like it. After having some 
time to digest it a bit, still don't like it. Koella's violin playing is quite nice, though. GOTNC 
was my second favorite on the night. Another complete rework, again hard to compare this to how he 
has been doing in the past. A first for me here was three (3) harmonica solos during this song! 
BWMcTell was very, very good. A louder, much more musically powerful version. Not much to say about 
SS that hasn't already been said-a must see/hear. In between Floater and HWM, he said, "That was an 
autobiographical song. . . (pause). . . so it this one." Standard ending songs and encore (although 
I can't get enough of Bob singing "the horse is going bumpety bump") until RDW and an extra surprise 
FY to end things. I couldn't make out what the ad libbed lyrics were to RDW, but it was enough to 
get the band giggling. Also, I noticed Havens was on drums on all songs. This band is really 
clicking, and have been since last summer. I found it hard to believe this didn't sell out right 
away-especially for a smaller venue. Heading to Milwaukee for Saturday's show, which as of this 
writing is not sold out either. I don't get it. Perhaps the general admission and having to stand 
the whole show is too much? In my book, the tradeoff to get as close as you want is worth any 


Review by Cray McCally

Once again the never ending tour pulled through the Twin Cities and Bob
and his band rose to the challenge with an excellent two hour show
featuring material from the 60's up to the present. In fact, some of the
show's biggest high points were on newer tunes such as Summer
Days,Floater,and a jazzy,beguiling version of Moonlight. Still,the older
fans were also treated to great renditons of classics like Highway 61
Revisited,Like A Rolling Stone,and the night's definitive highlight
Forever Young. It took Bob and the boys a couple songs to lock in tight
but by the guitar break in Love Sick they were ripping and roaring and
setting the spell that only a great Dylan show can on the sold out crowd
of close to 6000. The addition of Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward was
an added bonus as it gave the groove an ever deeper foundation than the
normally great job that Tony Garnier brings to the band;as well as cutting
back on some of George Recelli's more over the top hard rock antics that
surfaced at their show last summer in Somerset. The barnburner of a
setlist from Monday night's Park West throwdown was not quite matched but
still held a little something for everyone and left the multi-generational
audience spellbound and clamoring for more. Indeed,following the soulful
and subtle rendition of Forever Young to end the second encore and the
show; the crowd almost enticed them out for a third encore but after three
to four minutes of Gonzo cheering the crew brought up the lights and began
packing up the guitars and drums.

     Following the sizzling trio of Love Sick, Stuck Inside of
Memphis,and Moonlight the band really stepped it up a notch or four
during a rumbling,energetic Cold Irons Bound and into the Minnesota
inspired tunes of Girl Of The North Country which downshifted the show
nicely before revving it back up with Hwy 61 and a superb version of Blind
Willie McTell featuring Larry Campbell's sweet Bouzoki solo and Freddy
Koella's inspired guitar work. The interplay between Bob on the keys and
Larry and Freddy on the guitars was excellent throughout the second half
of the show especially on stellar versions of Floater and Summer Days.
Shooting Star, a personal fave from the Unplugged album, was given a warm
and passionate treatment which led nicely into the set ending Summer Days.
The encores were in my estimation the real high point of an already great
concert. Instead of a perfunctory run through of his greatest hits,these
songs really brought home all of the best aspects of a Bob show and
brought drive and energy to both the band and crowd. Cat's In The Well set
the tone and then Rolling Stone and Watchtower ripped the roof off the
place before leading into a rollicking Rainy Day Women and a goosebump and
tear inducing Forecer Young where Bob implored the crowd with great
sensitivity and emotion into taking care of each other and helping as all
to stay forver young at heart. All in all the night was a great success
for the man from Hibbing whose homies were winning their game at the State
High School Hockey tournament next door at the Xcel Energy Center where
Bob had blown the doors down in fall2001 and 2002. Thanks to Bob and the
rest of the band for keeping the fires burning and the spirit strong and
to the people of the Twin Cities for responding in kind to this tremendous

Cray McCally
March 11,2004


Review by Matt Steichen

I just arrived back home in Northwest Iowa after a friggin amazing Dylan
show, my 9th in the last 4 years. I was in the 3rd row back from center
stage. After waiting in line since noon of the previous day, i had hoped
to get in the 1st row, but 3rd row was still excellent. (at least 5
different employees of the Wilkins auditorium had misinformed me of which
doors would open first, so the 1st person in line (me) ended up with 50
people in the doors before me, go figure).

Bob and the band provided some great rockers (cold irons, honest with me,
summer days, watchtower, and a FOUR VERSE version of Rainy Day women). Bob
also gave one of the most heartfeld renditions of 'girl of the north
country' I've ever seen. He was really feeling the words. It was the
closest bob's ever gotten me to tears in a concert (also had 3 harp
solos). His versions of Love Sick and Floater were excellent. I saw the
live debut of floater in Sioux City in 2001, and with Freddy's violin
showcased, this version is 10 times stronger. Also, after the band made it
through smile-filled version of floater, bob said something to the effect
of "That was one of our NEW songs", lauging at the bandmembers as if they
should have known it a bit better. Then after looking what the next song
was (honest with me), he laughed into the mic "this one is too" (or
something along those lines)...everyone on the stage was all smiles.

Some of the songs got some new wordings. In love sick bob said "id
i...hear someone tell a lie? ...I dont know....did i....hear someones
distant cry?..." It was pretty funny. And in Rainy Day women he sang
"eeeeeeeeeeverybody must get stoned intsead of everybody must get
stoooooooooned." In Forever young (with no backing vocals, yay) he sang
"foooooooorever young" instead of "forever youuuuuuuung", both good
changes in my opinioin.

Blind Willy and Shooting Star were both first time listens for me and a
couple great surprises. Its all over now, baby blue had a lot more drum
beat. Cats in the Well went straight into Like a Rolling Stone with no
stop in the music.

After Watchtower, i thought after seeing Chicagos last setlist we might
get lucky and get one more song, so when he came back and did Rainy Day
women, i wasnt surprises. But when he stayed on stage to do Forever Young
it was like magic.

Other tidbits: Even the balcony remained on its feet for the last 5 songs.
This shows crowd was very loud in the last half, it was awesome. Signs in
the crowd included "bring it all back home bob" and "ylan rocks". Also,
the crowd featured A LOT of young people, like ages 13-20, it was pretty
cool to see than many people of my age group getting into the living
legend that is Bob.

For the band intros, bob left from behind the keyboard and walked to
center stage. He then grabbed the mic out of the mic stand and looked as
if he was about to start a comedy routine up there. I've never seen him do
his intros like that before. It was cool.

I met a lot of great people and great dylan fans during my 2 days in line.
So if any of the following read this, Dick, Connie, Jessica, Jessica,
Darleen the CD trading fanatic from Omaha, The guy with the lisence plate
necklace from Seattle,the guy with the cool black top hat, drop me a line
at was a fun time chillin with you guys all
day, quite a show, EH Minnesota?

Matt Steichen, Iowa


Review by Craig Planting

Dylan was in a good mood and his voice sounded strong. The show was so good 
it made up for him canceling the surprise show he was supposed to play at
First Avenue earlier in the week. First Ave, if you're not familiar with
it, is a live music/dance club here in Minneapolis. It's where Prince
filmed "Purple Rain" in the mid-eighties and it is the best place in town
to catch live shows. For a week we'd all been going crazy chasing rumors
and looking for ticket connections. Unfortunately, it was too good to be
true. The story going around is that Bob canceled because his nieces and
nephews wanted to spend time with him. A friend of mine asked, "Couldn't
they have just come to the show?" The fact that he considered playing the
club at all is a good sign. Perhaps it will happen the next time he comes of his homes, anyway.  Bob, if you read this, we'll show you a 
good time at First Ave.
I'll skip to the highlights.

The groove really got started with Love Sick. It sounded close to the
TOOM version, except of course much bigger. In fact all of the
arrangements for the more recent songs sounded closer to the records while
the older tunes had newer sounding arrangements. When Dylan is in a good
mood he gives each song an extra jump that makes your heart beat faster.
He sounded happy as he sang about being love sick.
Cold Irons Bound was the highlight of the night for me. Dylan had an echo
on his vocals which came in strong at the end of each verse and pushed the
song into an even darker, more menacing territory. I can't get enough of
this sound. I think it should be played whenever George Bush comes on TV.
On Floater Freddy played the song's refrain on a violin. At first it was 
difficult to hear him, but each time he repeated the refrain he could be
heard a little better. While Dylan sang this song the band played so
quietly that all that could be heard was his singing. It seemed like the
music stopped and Dylan was left without any foundation, but it still
worked because his singing was so clear and confident. When the song ended
he said something I couldn't make out then actually laughed into the mike
and said, "That was a mellow one..."

Shooting Star was lovely. Dylan played keyboards all night, facing his
band and here he turned and sang to the crowd. It was the first show I've
seen where I could actually hear his keyboards. On the rockers he'd bang
out big, square chords as he'd jerk forward and hunch over the keys with a
big drop of sweat dangling from the end of his nose. His harmonica playing
through out the night was tasteful, staying close to the melodies of the
songs. The guitarists' solos also stayed somewhat rooted to the original
melodies. All were to the point. There weren't any long, sprawling jams.
I've grown to like Freddy's playing. He doesn't give you histrionics or
endless repetition. I respect any guitarist who can hit the one perfect
yet surprising note that suddenly makes your heart glad. He never resorted
to the standard Stairway to Heaven solo of faster and faster as you climb
higher and higher repetition trick we've all heard too many times. He has
a thick, round, bell like sound to his playing.
Dylan did three songs in a row that have Minnesota connections, Girl Of
The North Country, Highway 61 Revisited and Blind Willie McTell. All were
strong. I loved Blind Willie McTell. After falling in love with this song
years ago I went out and found Blind Willie McTell music. Dylan is right
when he says no one can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell. "The
Definitive Blind Willie McTell" on Catfish Records is stellar. Larry
played a stringed instrument I've never seen before that was shaped like a
gourd and might have had twelve strings. It had an ancient, timeless

I'm not sure what is accomplished with having two drummers, unless Dylan
is breaking in Richie Hayward for future shows which seems unlikely. I
love Lowell George era Little Feat and I know Richie can be funky, but
last night he just followed George's drumming or banged a tambourine. To
me it sounded like one drummer.  I also wish Dylan would give Larry more 
solos. Larry mostly supplied rhythm guitar while Freddy soloed.
All in all the ballads sounded heartfelt and the rockers rocked, what
more could you ask for? He walks like an old man but he still rocks like
crazy.  When Dylan faced the crowd at the end of the 2nd encore I could see
his blue eyes flash out from under the brim of his white cowboy hat. I
don't know how he does it, but he just keeps evolving and coming up with
fresh music. I feel lucky to be alive at the same time as Dylan.
Within the same building as the concert, Dylan's alma mater, won and
advanced to the semifinals of the boys state high school hockey
tournament. Here in Minnesota we love to see the little schools take out
the big, monied, suburban high schools. Go Hibbing.

Craig Planting


Review by Genius Junior

Here's the review from my 19th Bob show (Mar 10, 2004, Roy Wilkins, St.
Paul, MN).........we watched dylan's back all night (from our stage right
balcony seats) as he was situated stage right facing stage left all night.
I thought it sounded great in roy wilkins (I think it's a great venue --
nice n old), but the new guitar player was a geek (fedora blues hat
biggish baggy zoot suit) though he did do a nice violin on one song. 
Also, little feat second drummer was a geek.  The song "blind willie
mctell" was my highpoint.  "girl from the north country" was weird chords
with larry campbell playing a big mandolin/guitar thing (bouzouki I
guess).  Very strange yet great version.  I took 51 pictures with my new
binoculars, but they are all shaky out-of-focus except for about 3 or 4
o.k. ones.  Bob's voice was the most raspy and completely gone I've ever
heard him.  No melody all night long had any remote resemblance to the
original.  There was no opening act and he played for 2 hours -- that was
great.  Bob looks great (masked and anonymous uniform with cowboy hat)--
he was walking around during blackouts (I watched with binoculars) over to
tony garnier (bass) and then back to his little dimly-lit "bob table" with
water, setlist, towel , etc.  One time the band started the song while he
was still back at his table and he kind of jumped into position at the
keyboard and was a little off-kilter for the first few lines.  He seems
cat-like when he walks around with a little spring in some of his steps
and looks thin and healthy -- I think he'll live to be 100.  His keyboard
sounds like a piano and he cranks on the low notes real staccato and ahead
of and behind the beat but it sounds pretty damn good.  His harp playing
was great.  His keyboard stand was strange silver metal wire and looked
great compared to his modern-black keyboard stand last time at XCEL. Stage
set-up looked great -- larry campbell has his own riser setup for his VOX
and his FENDER amps -- Larry rules.  George on his drum riser great.  Tony
back by the drums great.  The stage is a black and white checkerboard
floor HUGE checkers......then in the back they turn into diamond shaped
instead of squares.  There are 3 or 4 different HUGE curtains flown behind
them that open to reveal the next curtain after a few songs.   Normal rock
show lighting.   At the end of the show and between encores, bob would
walk center stage and just stand still there and look at everybody for 45
seconds shifting and shuffling his feet as is his wont -- I got a photo of
him looking up at us.  3 1/2 out of 5 stars. Ps. During the lyrics to
"stuck inside of mobile"  usually it goes "...but she just smoked my
eyelids and punched my cigarette" -- this time he sang a very pronounced
"eyeballs" instead of "eyelids". Pss.  In between love and theft songs I
thought bob said "that last one was off love and is this next
one"-- he introduced band members and I think he even credited himself
saying "I'm over there playing keyboards."


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