Las Vegas, Nevada
Aladdin Resort & Casino
Aladdin Theatre For The Performing Arts
March 19, 2005

[Marsha Baker], [Matthew Salerno], [James Coffey], [Rich Ruocco]

Review by Marsha Baker

This show, in my opinion, was one of the best I have been to. The venue,
Aladdin Performing Arts Theatre, was very nice, classy and intimate. We
came from Denver (through a blinding snow storm in the mountains) to see
this show. We had pretty good seats, I thought at least, lower level about
15 rows back, just to the right of center stage. Amos Lee came on right on
time and played for about half an hour. He was good, I think he has a
bright future in the music world. Bob came on stage around 9:00 and
started with Maggie's Farm. What a setlist-I still can't believe it-some
of my favorites (Honest With Me, Highway 61, Boots Of Spanish
Leather,Summer Days) and it included Shooting Star (thanks Bob for that
one-it was the one that I would have requested if I had the chance). I
thought the sound was terrific and the band was in fine form on this
night. Elana is great and really adds a spark, saw her last year during
the ballpark tour. All in all, it was a terrific show, well worth the
effort and drive. Will head back to Colorado tomorrow and get ready for
the show in Denver next week. Hope everyone who made it to the show
enjoyed it as much as I did. See you in Denver. Bob-please don't ever stop
touring, there are a lot of us who will keep going as long as you do.
PS-to the gentleman that gave me the cd from the Seattle show-thank you so

Marsha Baker
Fort Collins, Colorado


Review by Matthew Salerno

Let's see...where do I begin?  Well, it was awesome!  We got to
our seats seconds before Amos Lee took the stage to a little more
than a half-full arena.  When they said the show started at 8:00 sharp,
they really meant it.  He was very, very good.  He played about 6 songs or 
so and was offstage by 8:29.  I'm thinking about buying his debut album. 
Anyway, when we first got there, we got our drinks and then made our way
to the souvenir booth, that was a total mess.  Oy...why they only had
one souvenir booth with 2 people working behind it and a gazillion people
trying to buy stuff is incomprehensible to me.  We finally got through and 
got a poster.  They had a bunch of very cool souvenirs, such as cool shirts 
with recent pictures on them that I'd never seen before, the tour program, 
and even (I think  it was) a guitar capo. 

So, after Amos Lee, who seemed just thrilled to be there opening for Bob,
the curtain was closed so we couldn't see them setting up Bob and his
Band's equipment, which sucked.  At 9:02 P.M. (the arena was almost
full by then, except for the balcony, which hadn't sold at all), the 
lights went down (the house lights stayed on during Amos' set, which was
odd), and with the curtain still closed, Al Santos' voice came booming
out of nowhere with a shortened intro, "Ladies & gentlemen, please
welcome the poet laureate of rock & roll, right here, right now, on this
stage, BOB DYLAN!!!!"  Then the curtain starts pulling open and the band's
already on stage ripping into "Maggie's Farm."  I wish they wouldn't have
the curtain closed like that during the setup and while the band walks
onstage.  Oh well.  Anyway, Bob's voice came through loud and crystal clear
from the very start, which  really pleased me, as did Stu's guitar,
Donnie's pedal steel, and George's  drums. Second song was "Tell Me That
It Isn't True", and at the beginning, Bob was shuffling around getting
and placing a harmonica on his piano.  Really great version with a nice
harmonica solo.  The violin(s) and piano were still inaudible to me, as
they would be until song # 4, but after that, the sound was  amazing in
every respect all the way through.  Our seats were close to the 
soundboard, too, which no doubt helped a lot .  Song #3, It's Alright,
Ma, was great!  Bob's vocal delivery was awesome!  Two violins, but  I still
couldn't quite hear them.  Then it was time for Down Along the Cove. 
GREAT!!  Rocking the roof off of the place!  This is where Elana's
violin became clear and audible.  Very nice!  Bob's piano was starting to
become audible, too.  Nice harmonica on this one, too.  Let me say here
that I have no idea what the hell Denny Freeman is doing there...
I made sure to pay  attention to him somewhat frequently, and at
times, it looked as if he were barely even strumming the damned guitar!
He definitely is unnecessary, as far as I'm concerned.  OK, next up was
Moonlight.  Very nice.  This was the only song that Bob messed up the
lyrics on, and only two or three lines, which he laughed off.  Might have
been a tiny bit of upsinging, but I don't think so.  Great vocal delivery,
except for the flubbed lines.  Another very nice harmonica solo.  Nice 
violin by Elana.  Next up was TD&TD.  When even that song has your complete
attention and has you rocking out, you know that it's a great show!  Bob 
was smiling and rocking out and having a great time all night.  In between
songs, he would come from behind the piano and talk to either Stu or Tony
(and maybe  Elana once, but I'm not sure), and then literally jog back to
the piano with a  big grin on his face.  It was very cool to see him having
such a great time.  Elana, imo, has really learned the songs well in such
a short time, as nothing  that she did all night sucked at all.  Nice, cool
violin on this one also.  Next up, Stu strapped on an acoustic guitar, and
it was into a gorgeous, gorgeous version of BOSL.  Bob was blocking the
view of Stu's acoustic guitar picking, which pissed me off because it
sounded amazing and I wanted to see his hands, but that is my only
complaint whatsoever of the entire evening.  Bob's vocal delivery was
outstanding on this song!!  I'm not 100% sure if he played the harp on
this one, but I think we got a nice solo.  I'm not sure because I was 
paying attention to the amazing-sounding violins by Elana and
Donnie.  WOW! I can't believe how great and just purely magical it
sounded! Elana, especially, at the ends of most of the lines played this 
really cool quick fill that sounded very nice and fit right in. Then she and 
Donnie played a nice fiddle duet in the instrumental part.  OK, I'm halfway 
done here...WHEW!  Song # 8, H61 Revisited, I predicted before it even 
started just by Stu's  and Bob's plunking around on the guitar and piano,
respectively. I got a huge grin on my face when George started smashing
the drums, because I thought it was so cool that I was right.  You know
you're a total Bob freakazoid when you can correctly predict songs just
from the way a few seconds of pre-song plunking around on the piano and
guitar sounds.  This song was the loudest one of all of  them, and tied
with Summer Days for the most rocking one.  Excellent vocals from Bob. 
I think he may have messed up just one line, but there's no way I can be 
sure because it was so loud.  I could clearly hear all the other lines and
knew that he didn't mess them up, so this one may have been a flubbed
line.  Next up was Positively 4th Street, and there was, I'm pretty sure,
almost absolutely no intro at all.  Just the opening chord descent and
then right into the first verse.  I wish I knew how to describe it better,
but I don't.  This song was Upsing City for the most part, but I actually
really loved the way Bob's vocal delivery sounded and the upsinging
actually sounded really nice here, imo.  There may have been a harmonica
solo somewhere in this song, but this is the only song where I'm
absolutely not sure about that.  Very nice violin from Elana on this one,
too, who is an excellent, excellent addition to the band, as far as I'm 
concerned. And as far as I could tell with the cheap-ass binoculars I had,
no, the grin hasn't come off of her face yet. I think it was there all
night.  Song #10,  Honest With Me, was great!!! I think that it's this
song that some people have said sucks and/or has a slight rearrangement,
but I couldn't hear that at all last night.  Sounded amazing to me.  Great
vocals and the band was rocking out.  Elana was really good on this one
also, from what I could hear, but the volume level of everything else
somewhat buried her on this song.  By the way, the reason I haven't
commented much on Tony, Denny, or Donnie at all is because they simply
didn't draw any attention like Elana, Bob and Stu did. I saw Tony and 
perhaps Denny smiling a few times and Tony getting into it just a bit here
and there, but for the most part, Donnie is much, much more boring to
watch play the  pedal steel for whatever reason than Larry was.  # 11,
Shooting Star, was  absolutely amazing as well.  Man, this was an excellent
night!!  I couldn't recognize the song right away, for some reason. I
think the intro and in-between verses chords/arrangement might be
slightly different, but the verses and bridge sounded pretty much the
same.  Great vocals from Bob and a great harp solo as  well!  I knew Summer
Days would be up next, and it was.  AMAZING jam before the last two verses
that got a huge reaction from the audience just as Bob ripped into the
second-to-last verse.  Bob was spitting out the vocals rapidly and didn't
miss one word, as far as I could tell.  Very nice.  As soon as that song
ended, I caught just a glimpse of the 'stand and stare formation' before
my  dad, his girlfriend and I, got the hell out of the wheelchair area to
try to get a jump ahead of the crowd, because I had to take this slow,
rickety old elevator up to the top level from the wheelchair area, and
there were several other people in wheelchairs there.  I just got out of
the slow as molasses elevator and fought through a bunch of people at the
very right edge of the arena (stage  left) in time to grab my binoculars
and watch Bob (who was the only one I could  see at the angle and position
I was now in), take his place back behind the piano for a somewhat
less-than-great, but still very good, Don't Think Twice.  Some upsinging
here.  Harmonica solo, I'm pretty sure, but I seem to recall that it was
the weakest one of the night.  Finally, a blistering, ear-splitting  AATW,
which Bob seemed really, really into.  I wish I could've seen the rest of 
the band during this, but oh well.  Great end to an amazing show.  All in
all, I'd say that this was definitely a tie between this show and Tahoe
in July of 2003 for the most fun I've had at a Bob show, and also
probably a tie between those two for the best Bob show I've seen out of
the four I've seen.  The one last  night, though, probably beats out the
2003 one by just a hair for the best one I've ever seen,


Review by James Coffey

Back in the spring of92 on my way back to Ca. from hiking some of the National 
Parks in Utah i stopped off in Las Vegas as i often did, and spent a night at the 
Aladdin Hotel.  In the morning as i was preparing to leave i looked out the window
and on the marqee at Ballys was the announcement of tickets on sale for Bob. I 
walked over there to confirm and yes they were available.  Due to scheduling 
conflicts i couldnt make it back in a coule of weeks so i didnt get a ticket. But the
first thing that came to my mind was that this might be the first time Bob had 
played Vegas. And of course i thought of Elvis and That Bob had to play the town 
that Elvis ruled for a few years.  So now the tour schedule came out and Bob is 
playing at the new Aladdin and Ballys is 2 doors down now and the room I stayed
in that night is no more as are a lot of the places i used to stay since my first
trip to this city in 78.

This time i wouldnt miss the show. My flight from San Luis Obispo was delayed so 
it would be tight getting to my connecting flight to Vegas.  We landed in LA with 
about 5 minutes to spare. And we had to run from gate 70 to 80 maybe a 1/4 to 
1/2 mile, with a backback and a carry-on bag.  There were about 5 or 6 of us 
making that run. Me, and the rest were girls on spring break from Cal Poly. I 
finished 2nd in the run. and if i wasnt in shape i wouldn't have even tried. I did 
strain my hamstring a bit. wasnt prepared for a workout like that.  It was either 
make the run or wait 6 hrs in the airport for the next available, i'll take the run.  
I rented my car and drove to some old familiar places, saw some new ones and 
settled in at the Aladdin for awhile to wait for the show.

The new theater they have is actually the only thing they left when they tore 
down the old hotel.  They left the theater and remodeled it. I was about 3/4 of 
the way back stage left.I didnt think that Amos Lee was going to be on the Bill so 
i thought it might be tight to get to my 11:50 flight back to San Luis.  Amos Lee 
was great. i knew what to expect from him because i saw him on David Letterman 
a couple of weeks prior.  Some people were shouting out to him and he couldnt 
here all that was said but at one point he did here someone yell "party" and with 
humor he said "i think theres enough partying in this town,im not Jimmy Buffet 
why dont you just sit back and relax" That got a good laugh.  He finished his short 
set got a great hand and we waited for Bob.

Bob and the band came on about 9, Bob and Elana wore Black and the rest of the 
band wore maroon.  They launched into a spirited version of Maggies Farm and 
right off i noticed the sound was a bit muddy form where we sat. which was a
shame for such a nice theater.  I dont know if it was the mixer or the hall but the 
rec center at cal poly in 96 and 00 sounded better. it wasnt bad it just wasnt good 
either.  i expected better from this place, if we were across the street at Caesar's 
where Elton John was playing i think it would be.  Speaking of the Rec Center 00 
Bob launched into "tell me it isnt True" next.  the pedal steel and violin were 
prominent and Bob brought out the harmonica as he would a lot tonight and 
played a nice solo.  Its allright Ma had a bouncy bluesy feel to it and although Bob's 
voice seemed a bit tired it was strong at the same time he gave it all he had. But 
once again the mix made it tough.  Down along the cove was a fast rocker. then 
the jazzy moonlight changed the tempo. The best performances of the night were 
Boots of Spanish leather Positively 4Th St. Shooting Star and Dont Think Twice.
I think this Band is still trying to find its Identity. There not quite sure yet which 
way they want to take this.Im confident they can do a lot better.  And Bob has to 
drive them in the right direction.  Right now he's letting them take the wheel.

Although i enjoy this new bunch i do miss the 99-2000 band and the acoustic 
harmonies.  But that was then and this is now. All in all a great night even if the 
sound from our seats was lousy.  It was nice to see Bob in another place away from 
the Ca. coast as i did at Harrah's in 2002.  I made it to my airport gate just in time 
with no running this time and America West proceeded to put us all on the wrong 
plane heading for Billings Montana.  We all got off and got on the right plane.  Not 
a bad day. Looking forward to the next time.

James Coffey


Review by Rich Ruocco

Let me start out by saying that I was never a big fan of Bob Dylan
performances until I saw him in Del-Mar, California a few years ago. Like
most of my friends, almost every musician that has covered his songs
belongs on my top ten list. This past concert was so good, I will
definitely go out of my way to see his next tour.

The venue is a very good one and I think the acoustics rival that of some
well-known rooms in bigger cities. Amos Lee's semi-acoustic set sounded so
good, the crowd remained very quiet just to hear them. Unfortunately, I
thought that his band sounded like a lot of other bands or as I was
claiming at the time, a sort of "Hot Tuna-light". Still, he was a good
choice to open this venue. Many people I spoke had hoped to see Merle
Haggard at this show instead.

The review submitted by Matthew Salerno is right -on for the most part. He
is a much more knowledgeable fan than I but I do disagree with some
points. The bill was advertised as "The Bob Dylan Show". The effect of
matching red suits that the band wore and the theater style, red curtain
backdrop contrasted nicely with Bob's dark clothing. Additionally, the
dramatic opening added to the "show".

The mix was a little rough at first, as Mr. Salerno notes and I can
imagine that some of the strings were inaudible in his section. We left
our seats downstairs for the empty balcony mainly because of the comfort
and cool people up there but it did sound better to me. The loud, electric
mix blended the strings that Salerno noted in a very subtle way. It seemed
appropriate to the songs in my opinion especially when they were potted up
later in the set. I enjoyed the rhythm guitar similarly but I am not very
familiar with some of the music they played.

Watchtower was something we expected eagerly. We were not disappointed by
the grooving version either, which fit well with the other arrangements in
the show. It was a great play on the strip during "March Madness" that
could not be beat!

Rich Ruocco
Las Vegas


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