Topeka, Kansas
Kansas Expocentre
Landon Arena
April 21, 2001

[Matt Groneman], [Clay McCuistion], [Bill Felps]

Review by Matt Groneman

Whoever posted the first review was totally off. It was apparent from the
start of Duncan and Brady that Bob's voice was strong. Then when the
spotlight went to him alone and he did Song To Woody solo it was great.
Desolation Row, one of my personal favorites, was a lot better than at the
Sandstone show where his over-worn voice really put a damper on that
concert. I had fourth row so i'm pretty sure i didn't mishear it and it
was pretty bad. It was great, just not up to standards with either Topeka
or Salina 5 April 2000. Watching the River Flow was good. Standing In the
Doorway is my favorite song off of TOOM, so that was a special treat. He
started really showing off with his solos at this point. Maggie's Farm was
a complete and pleasant surprise in the sixth spot where I expected Things
Have Changed. I've heard that like in four different versions, whether i
was there or got recordings, and feel that Maggie's Farm was a better
option as I had not yet heard it live. Love Minus Zero was good. I think
it was around this point that the pedal steel broke, but thats ok with me
because it meant that Larry brought out the mandolin for Fourth Time
Around, which is one of my favorites off of BoB. Tangled is always great
live and tonight was no exception. Make You Feel My Love was fairly well
performed, though not my favorite of the night. Cold Irons Bound ROCKED.
Bob could blow any hard rock band around off of the stage. He was jamming
like no other. Leopard-Skin always features some of the best solos of the
night and it was great. Love Sick was the best I'd heard it live. Like A
Rolling Stone is a great song, but, i've heard it so many times, my fourth
time seeing it live, thats its kind of lost some of its zeal for me. He
should completely rearrange it for those of us who have heard it millions
of times. I'd been anticipating If Dogs Run Free for weeks. I love it on
New Morning and loved it live, though I prefer the album version because
of the piano, which i think Bob should play sometimes in concert, and
Emmylou Harris's scat singing. All Along the Watchtower was AWESOME. Bob
took this song to a whole new level for me. It was great. Loud and surly,
Bob pushed sounds to its limits with a simple three chord song. I
sometimes wish JWH had sounded this good. I'd been hoping he'd play
Forever Young, as its a favorite I'd never heard live, and feared he would
not after seeing the Boulder and Kearney set lists. I was glad he played
it and thought he did a great job, though the harmonica wasn't as good as
it was on Tangled. Highway 61 was a blast of rock'n'roll fun. I think it
would be cool for him to bring a police car on stage and play the siren,
but, that's not likely. Nice thought though. Blowin' In the Wind is a song
that I used to dread hearing in concert because I felt it could hold no
more surpise for me. However, after hearing it live three times now, it
grows on me more and more each time i hear it. This arrangement is much
improved. As for Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, Bob did a GREAT job playing
guitar and you can't ask for a better crowd pleaser to end a show with.
The only thing would really could have made this concert any better would
have been I Shall Be Released and Not Fade Away. This is probably the
second best Dylan concert i've been to after Salina 5 April 2000. His
voice was dead on and his playing was tremendous. I did feel that the
audience wasn't very appreciative. Especially in the area I was sitting no
one did more than occaisionally clap and one guy yelled for Like A Rolling
Stone the whole time when I told him to just wait for the second song of
the first encore. The couple sitting next to me kept having to get up and
leave for a song and then come back, which I found very annoying and rude.
Bob still seemed to have a good time in spite of a bad audience and danced
the night away with his guitar onstage.

Matt Groneman


Review by Clay McCuistion

I'd never been to a Dylan show, and was unsure of what to expect.  I'd
heard recent good reports, but as a younger fan (22), I didn't want to be

The show at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka was magnificent.  Two hours
(nearly on the dot), with inspired instrumentals and some expressive
singing from Bob.  Perhaps the best part of the evening for me is that he
performed four songs from Time out of Mind--a mournful "Standing in the
Doorway," a surprisingly emotional "To Make You Feel My Love," the
hard-rocking "Cold Irons Bound" and the exquisitely ominous "Love Sick."

I was delighted to hear both "Maggie's Farm" and "Forever Young"--songs
that based on recent setlists I wasn't expcecting to hear.  Bob's singing
was especially delicate and light on "Forever Young" and the closer of the
second set, "Blowing in the Wind."

Not all was top-notch, of course.  "Tangled up in Blue" kind of languished
until the epic harmonica solo at the end, and Bob and the band could
pretty much play "Like a Rolling Stone" and "Rainy Day Woman" in their

But Bob really put forth effort (he didn't say a word the entire 
evening...not even to introduce band members) and seemed to have a
genuinely good time playing his music.  And I know he's played it a lot,
but "If Dogs Run Free" was a great performance, and a striking stylistic

The audience (while not a sell-out crowd) was pretty pumped from where I
was, and it was nice to see the mix of old and young fans.

I've made it a point to see rock icons in concert (Elton John, Billy Joel,
Brian Wilson, Ray Davies and the like) and while most were exceppenrt,
they seemed most interested in re-creating their records.  Bob is
re-interpreting his songs, and the show was exciting, fresh, exuberant,
and new.  I'd definitely go again.


Review by Bill Felps

Tonight was my third Dylan concert (other two were last year in Omaha and
Bonner Springs).  To put it mildly, I was not disappointed, and it was
certainly more fun than studying for finals!  Duncan and Brady got things
off to a great start.  I had never heard Song to Woody before, so I can't
say if it was better than the album version or not, but I thought it was
good.  Desolation Row was next, and even though I had seen at the two
concerts before, it still never fails to captivate me.  His phrasing on
this one was a noticably different from the other times I've heard it. 
Watching the River Flow was great, but, the "rollicking country rock"
version of Maggie's Farm was truly amazing and another highlight for me. 
Love Minus Zero and Fourth Time Around were both excellent (on the latter,
Larry was playing some sort of instrument that looked like a bass
mandolin).  Bob and the Band also inserted a hilarious joke at the end of
4th time by slyly quoting Norwegian Wood in the last few bars.  Tangled
was Tangled, amazing as usual.  Make You Feel My Love was really good. 
But the high point of the evening would have to be Cold Irons Bound.  Even
though it was missing the signature bass riff, the reworked version easily
outdistanced the album version and any other live version that I had heard
before.  Leopard Skin closed out the 1st set as usual and was great.  An
interesting note: a middle aged woman and her 3 daughters sitting two rows
behind me were all wearing Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hats!  Dylan was really
good during the set, but and didn't disappoint in the encore!  I could go
on and on about the rest of the songs and various twists and turns Dylan
put on the songs, but I'll just boil it down to this: the man is on fire! 
See him whenever you are able too!!

Have a nice day!
Bill Felps 


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