Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Trocadero Theatre
March 31, 2004

[Brett Rosenthal], [Craig S.]

Review by Brett Rosenthal

This one deserves a review so here goes.
This was my 20 something Dylan show and the second of this tour, the first
being 2 nights prior at the tower theatre.  My expectations were modestly
high prior to the tower show but I only got an average show with an
average set list (mind you I am very happy with an average show) the tower
was a bit too loud and I wasn't all that impressed with Freddy, Bob's
singing had it's ups and downs. Anyway, on to this show.  My expectations
were much higher - it seems Bob has been spicing up the set list for the
small theatre shows, and the Troc is a great place to see concerts, I saw
Bob here a few years back, it holds only 1100 people and is actually an
old Burlesque house converted to a concert hall. Just a brief overview of
the show ----phenomenal.

It started off with a good rendition of wicked messenger...the band was
tight but Bob's voice sounded a bit more hoarse and weathered than usual.

Next came You ain't goin' nowhere - a nice surprise, again played well
but the voice was gruff (not complaining though)

Cry a while rocked

She belongs to me was very well played and sang nicely - oh yeah, lot
of very nice harmonica solos throughout the entire concert - sometimes
even 2 solos in one song.

High water was a good rendition as well - Larry is amazing in his versatility.

So far a good show, good set list, the band was tight, Bob's singing
was well phrased but a bit hoarse.

Next came Memphis Blues, a song I think I have heard at just about
every show I have seen,  I was thinking to myself this was the beginning
of the boring part but fortunately I was way wrong.  This rocked, Bob's
phrasing was right-on, Freddy and Larry shared some great soloing, dare I
say it but this was the beginning of the highlights.

Next, could it be??  YES Joey - I have definitely not heard this live
before, and it rocked.  Bob nailed it...he looked and sounded confidant as
he spat out the words with fury.  He did flub one lyric toward the end but
this was awesome.

Next another that I have heard many times before (Leopard skin pill-box
hat) but very well played and the guitar tradeoffs between Freddy and
Larry were great.  Freddy really was growing on me.

The next three songs really solidified this show as one of the best I
have seen.....Hollis Brown was beautiful again Bob really nailed it, Larry
was doing some really nice work as well.  Bob did screw up the words at
the very end but recovered nicely.  A relative rarity and a highlight. 
Boots is one of my favorite and this was played and sang beautifully with
an interesting, new arrangement.  Finally Hard Rain - another acoustic gem
- well played, sang nicely, strong crescendo ending and nice electric
backing by Freddy.  These 3 songs were just amazing.

Honest with me - again well played - not too exciting though.

Saving grace - very beautiful arrangement - (it was nice to hear a
couple of gospel songs during the Philly residency - this and I Believe in
You at the tower - both were fantastic)

Summer days was a great finisher and the encore was typical.

All and all a wonderful show, great variety, lots of harp, great band (as
usual) with fine musicianship - Freddy's playing is pretty cool - he puts
a fresh spin on many songs - Bob was really in control nodding at the
guitarists when he wanted them to solo.  This hopefully was taped - as I
for one was totally impressed and can't wait to see Bobby again soon.   


Review by Craig S.

Out of the eyes of a first timer(my 14 year old son),Dylan seemed frail,
and why does he wear that cowboy hat. Angel cowboy. He thought that his
voice was stronger than expected, loved the cittern, really liked LARS,
and Hard Rain.He also noticed that Larry was the more polished guitarist,
so there was some understanding for a new generation.
OK, it was a night which did not have the perfection of the night before at
the Electric Factory. They all new it, they must have been tired. During
the last song Watchtower, Bob was laughing and Freddie too when they got
to, "there must be someway out of here". Tony walked over to find out, and
finally they all were smiling.
That said, the small intimate crowd was at fever pitch, screaming for
more! Song selections had alot more to do with that than anything else.
Even Bob relied more heavily on written words, and even that did not help
sometimes.  The night before all the words had been perfect. Larry was
still right on, but without the finesse. Freddie really needs a few songs
to warm up, and The great Tony was a little more concerned with guiding
the drummer, but he was still good. They seemed tired, but the crowd
didn't care at all. Quick notes: Wicked Messenger...Good Harmonica You
Ain't Going Nowhere...No harmony, Good Harmonica She Belongs to Me...Larry
on Pedal Steel makes it Highwater...Very strong blues, starts without
Tony's bass, very effective when he starts Memphis Blues..emphasis on "i
know what you want" Joey...Hard Rock, first decent Freddie lead, Dylan"s
cheat sheet doesn't help him, but he is dancing between verses, and we all
forgive him anyway.  At the garden a few years back, Bob said he would not 
do this song again.  But he has a great arrangement on it now.
Leopard Skin... Balances on his Heeeeaaaaad just like....Duel Leads finish
the song Hollis Brown...Incredible Blues song now, what he tried to
achieve with Ron Wood and Keith Richards at Live Aid..Remember the Transcendor
comment by Jack N? Boots of Spainish Leather...Very sweet cittern accents
new arrangement Hard Rain...Also cittern accented, and very hard phrasing
by Dylan.. Saving Grace... Pedal Steel influenced arrangement Cats in the
Well...A little murky Lars..An absolutely great Freddie lead, Larry really
admired it, and finished of the song with a two stringed lead.  

I would take this one anytime, they are the best on their worst night.  But 
where is Mississippi???????  

Craig S.


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