Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort
Soaring Eagle Entertainment Hall
April 11, 2005

[Chris Oxie], [Ed Gildner]

Review by Chris Oxie

As I stood outside the hall waiting to get in it was clear that this was
going to be a quiet night.  I heard Cold Irons Bound, I Don't Believe You,
and Senor during the brief sound check.  This was going to be a much
older, more relaxed crowd than I have seen in the past.  The doors opened
about 7:15pm and we took our seats.  I spoke to some of the greaters and
they looked to be in a bad mood.  One of them told me that earlier, as
tradition has it, the artist comes out to greet the staff and the house
photographer takes pictures.  Not today.  I was told that when Bob came
out, he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and would not speak to anyone or
let his picture be taken.  They said that with all his money he was pretty

I will say for the record that the hall was maybe half full, three
quarters at best.  The best way to describe the hall is to think of
someone who has a finished basement with a hole in the wall.  It is not
very big and there is not a bad seat in the house.  Bob took the stage
after the usual intro at 8:15pm.  The band was in their grey suits and
Elana was in a grey dress that went down to her knees.  Bob was all in
black with a black cowboy hat.

1. To Be Alone With You:  This was a great number to open with.  It
did not jump start the crowd but it sounded great. 2. I'll Be Your Baby
Tonight:  This is a great song and I really like it with Elana's
violin in the mix.  Bob walked over and traded licks with her on
the harmonica.  Bob's voice was strong and clear and he had fun
with the lyrics a few times (shut the shades, shut the blinds, it's   
gonna last all night...) 3. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum: 
Enough already. 4. Just Like a Woman:  I was moved to tears on this one. 
It was done with such a soulful feeling that I wanted to cry.  It
was the highlight of the evening.  Another extended harmonica bit
from Bob. 5. Cold Irons Bound:  This was much more like it sounds on    
the record than the echo filled rocker from last year.  It was a
slinky groove that was nice.  I do miss harder edge it used to have. 
This was not the type of crowd that was going to get into it.  It was
clear by this point that most of the people in the audience did not
know any song except Just Like a Woman.  The almost dead silence
between numbers was proof enough of that. 6. Moonlight:  A great
song from a great record.  The crowd thought it was a good song to get
a drink to and the aisle filled up quickly.  I liked the duel
violins on this one. 7. Highway 61 Revisted:  There were calls from the
crowd for this one since the show started and it was a let        
down.  It was not as rocking as it has been in the past.  
It had an almost a "going through the motions" type of feel to
it.  It did get the crowd up as they heard the second song
of the night that they knew.
8. Blind Willie McTell:  This was a song that I had hoped to hear but
did not think that I would, at least not in Mt. Pleasant.  It was
one of the few songs played tonight that really jammed and it sounded
great.  I was stompin my foot to this one. 9. I Don't Believe
You:  This was a decent version of the song but I was hoping for
something more.  I was not really impressed but Elana did a great
job with her fills. 10. Summer Days:  This got the crowd on their feet
and they were really into it.  This would have been better in     
the number 7 slot followed by Blind Willie.  The crowd was
ready to take it home but... 11. Saving Grace:  As if the gamblers in the
room needed to hear a song about salvation!  I was pleasantly
suprised to hear this and it was only the 2nd time on the tour it     
has been performed.  It sounded great and the stage was lit very
well and set a perfect mood for the performance. 12. Like A Rolling
Stone:  This is what everyone was  waiting for.  Just about the
whole room stood when it came to "how does it feel..."  Each
member got a short solo spot and when it was done, they stood at
center stage and walked off.  Now they had heard 3 songs they    
knew! 13. Forever Young:  This was another pleasant suprise,        
especially in this slot.  It was slow and steady and Bob's voice was
clear throughout.  Another nice harmonica spot from Bob on this one. 
14. All Along the Watchtower:  No suprises.  Nothing new on this one.
I was really ready for something else tonight but it was not to be. 
Isn't this a Jimi Hendrix tune I heard a woman next to me ask her
boyfriend.  He looked at her and that said it all.

This was a fine show with a less than receptive audience.  It was a much
older crowd, and seemed to be made up of cuirous gamblers more than true
Bob Dylan fans. There were quite a few older people in wheelchairs brought
in from the casino.  I was told that people could use their casino "bonus
points" and get tickets with them.  The staging was magnificient with a
single red curtain behind them.  For a while it was black lit and appeared
purple.  It looked like something out of The Phantom of the Opera.  Later,
the curtain was opened and when it was blacklit again, it revealed a
"starry" backdrop.  It made it look as if the stage was right up against
deep space.  It was really beautiful to look at.  

I am sure that the show in Detroit tommorrow will be much harder, with a
better selection of songs.  Mt. Pleasant had a vaudville type show feel to
it and looked like something you see in old movies.  Detroit will not
stand for a syurpy, slow, "hey man", mellow show.  Bob usually pulls out
all the stops in Detroit (just look at what happened here last year on the
2nd and 3rd nights).  All in all, while the Mt. Pleasant show was worth
the 2 hour drive from my house, I know that Detroit will be better.


Review by Ed Gildner

The first two songs were good - Nashville Skyline tunes are perfect for
this band.

TD&TD was flat and somehow Bob missed the first line.

JLaW was very nice.  He didn't nail my favorite line "that you knew me
when, ..." but the lines about "her amphetimines and her pearls" was sung
very well.

The echo effect is gone from CIB and maybe this newer arrangement has lost
its way a bit.

This uptempo Moonlight is great imho.  I really enjoyed this one.  I like
how in any song you might get 2 to 4 musicians doing solos one right after
another.  With all of the different instruments Herron plays it really
adds alot to the show i think.  It's not all just guitar rock anymore.

H61 was the most interesting version i can remember hearing.  It had a
nice and fairly long solo by Elena.

Blind Willie had an extended banjo part and the lyric after "martyrs" was
changed but i don't remember to what.  This song doesn't have that
haunting quality that it used to but i thought it was great nonetheless.

I Don't Believe You is a song that i've cooled on in recent years but this
version was smoking!  The harp solo was fine!  Bob's harp solos varied in
quality tonight but some of them were dead on and in only one did he
really seem to lose his way.

Summer Days is getting better.  Saving Grace sounded like it was going to
be Shooting Star and it was great to hear.  It seemed to me that Bob
changed the melody of LaRS after M&A came out and now it has changed back
to a more recognizable form.  Forever Young was suprisingly pleasant and
Watchtower was the same and still has the echo thing.

Yes, the setlist could have been better.  This was a terrible place to see
Bob, i hope he doesn't play there again.  The sound was good but it would
have been very difficult to see anything w/o binoculars.  Plus they allow
smoking and everyone sits down for the whole show.  Luckily there wasn't
much talking in my area...

Anyone else miss Tangled Up In Blue, other Blood on the Tracks tunes? 
They're hardly playing any 70's or 80's songs...

Keep on keepin' on,


page by Bill Pagel

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