Reviews

Nampa, Idaho

March 20, 2000

Idaho Center Arena


[Chris Erwin], [Michael Durrant], [Tom Durkin]

Review by Chris Erwin


It's hard to imagine Bob Dylan doing a better concert than this.  If
you've got a chance to make this tour, do it.

The Idaho Center is the Bose 901 of concert venues... it's ugly and
unassuming, but it sounds incredible!  The guitar chorus that Dylan puts
on stage made the most of it; this band is so tight that you can't help
but get the impression that they play these songs the way they were meant
to be played.

Opening with "Hallelujah", Dylan seemed a bit disinterested, but was of
good sound. The show began to pick up momentum, in the last verse of
"Tambourine Man", and had a steady head of steam by the time the electric
set began.

Now get this: between "Country Pie" and "Thin Man", two blonde bombshells
(BBS's) in sequined spaghetti strap tank tops and leather miniskirts
brought the band water on stage and flirted.  I honestly couldn't tell if
they were supposed to be there, Dylan looked suprised and amused.  For the
rest of the show I could see the BBS's grooving at the far back of the
stage, behind the monitors.  More on this later...

The show really hit home during the encores.  "Love Sick", "Rolling
Stone", and "It Ain't Me Babe" were performed to perfection.  Even Dylan's
guitar solos were somewhat better than tolerable - almost good :-).  The
crowd really responded to "Rolling Stone".  The highlight (for me, at
least) was "Not Fade Away". The band just cooked through it, a perfect
chorus of guitars, voices, and energy.  This is the first Dylan concert
that I've been to that has been as much about the music as it was about
the lyrics.

So, here's where it gets weird:  encore 2 was made up of the acoustic
"Blowin' In The Wind" and the electric "Rainy Day Women #12 & #35".  After
the first verse of "Rainy Day Women", Dylan and the band beckoned the
BBS's to front and center stage where they danced up to the last verse,
when they retreated to the background by the monitors.  This was weird,
the wierdest thing I've seen since Soy Bomb.  They danced like strippers -
slow hip gyrations, the spaghetti straps of their tank tops falling off
their shoulders. Dylan really fed off it, hissing his knowing warning to
the crowd as if in direct reference to these two women, "they'll stone
you..."  I just wonder which one was #12 and which was #35...

-Chris Erwin
 home: [email protected] 
 work: [email protected] 

[TOP]

Review by Michael Durrant


Anyhow, Asleep at the Wheel went on at 8:00 and got a feigned 
good reception - The crowd was very responsive, but "very 
responsive" includes drunken, belligerent inbreds shouting "Go 
away" and things like that.  AAtW was OK, not great.  

About about 9:00, they assembled the musicians.  In typical style, 
he mosied onto the stage, picked up his guitar, and started 
playing.  At first, he looked somewhat bored and frustrated that no 
one was really getting into the music.  The local Treasure Valley 
yokels didn't get into "Hallelulah..." all that much.  

Part of going to concerts is the thrill of knowing that the music 
being played will be nothing like the music you have heard on the 
albums.  Dylan did just that.  His revamped versions of Mr. 
Tambourine Man, Highway 61, and It Ain't Me Babe are much 
better (IMHO) than the originals. 

The rest of the songs, including (ooooo, I loved this one) Rock of 
Ages and (oo, I loved this one too. Buddy Holly classic) Not Fade Away 
were well received.  

In a nutshell, it was incredible.  I had front row-center seats and 
had a great view of the stage.  I was so close that I could see the 
fact that Bob Dylan's eyes are really bright blue and that he has 
one bad-ass hair style.  As someone who thinks Bob Dylan is one 
of the greatest performers ever, it was a religious experience.  I 
couldn't stop smilling.   Well, that's all I have to say.  It probably
wasn't the best of Bob Dylan shows because Boise is renowned for it's
unperceptive crowd, but it was Bob Dylan and the damn finest concert I
have ever attended.  I just wish we could have thanked him for coming.

Michael Durrant
[email protected]

[TOP]

Review by Tom Durkin


What a show.  Dylan never ceases to amaze me.  Anyone who went last
night to simply listen to the lyrics (which in itself is a great
adventure) missed out on Dylan as a musician.  "To Ramona,"
spanish-flavored with the mandolin, was a unique, entralling listening
experience and "It Ain't Me, Babe" has never been played with such
tenderness.  Dylan and the band also jammed hard on songs like "Country
Pie" and "Highway 61 Revisited" and you know Jerry was smiling down from
above during "Not Fade Away."   He played the crowd favorites, but didn't
disappoint the diehards by playing less familiar classics as "Where the
River Flows," "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" and the aforementioned
"To Ramona."  Dylan.  Simply, Dylan.

[TOP]


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