Springfield, Missouri

Missouri State University
JQH Arena

April 24, 2013

[Trusten Williams], [Mel Smith]

Review by Trusten Williams

Along with my friends Mike and Tom, I entered JQH Arena in Springfield,
Mo., hoping to see a good Dylan show.  I'm thrilled to say we were not
disappointed.  The reviews leading up to this show had been good and much
that had been described in previous shows, the opening announcement about
enjoying the show without the use of cell phones and cameras, the dimly
lit stage, etc. were played out at JQH, as well.  Dawes, the opening act
did a short set, and seemed thrilled to be on stage, their set was good
and the crowd seemed supportive of their good fortune to open for Dylan. 
Bob came on stage right on time and proceeded song by song to deliver a
focused, passionate, and animated evening of great music.  The addition of
Duke to the band appears to have had an energizing effect.  The dim lit
stage served to set the perfect mood and backdrop for an intimate evening
with Bob.  The set list for the show was the same as I had read for the
previous night in St. Louis and the consistency of the set list from show
to show seems to have the band playing a tight set that has had the effect
of their clicking on all cylinders.  From the opening song, Things Have
Changed, which had Bob standing center stage, to the encore performance of
 Ballad of A Thin Man, Bob was leaning in to every word and musical note
he delivered, with a passion I haven't seen in a while.  I've seen Bob,
maybe a dozen times through the years and with the possible exception of
the first time I saw him while in high school, and a performance several
years ago, with Charlie Sexton and Larry Campbell, in Columbia, Missouri,
this show may have been the best ever.  Bob seemed to be enjoying himself
to no end and the band looked like they were genuinely enjoying themselves
as well.  It was a real treat, midway through the set, to see Stu casting
his glance Dukes way and smiling from ear to ear, as Duke played some top
notch lead guitar.  You could tell that Stu was enjoying seeing Duke
enjoying the experience of playing in the band, which only served to
enhance the quality of the musical performance and heighten my
appreciation of the band's performance.  Having watched Stu now several
times in concert, I have developed a real appreciation of his humble,
subtle approach to playing.  Tonight in Springfield, he was a true master,
who delivered a dynamic performance, once again without fanfare.  While
Bob was in rare form with each song he played, highlights for me had to be
the introduction of the newer songs and getting to hear Blind Willie
McTell as well.   The performance of All Along The Watchtower is always
one fo my favorites and it was enjoyable again tonight.  If there would be
one suggestion I would offer Bob and the Band, Watchtower could have
sizzled longer, it was definitely "cooking" and left me wanting more.  One
side was prior to the show having the good fortune to meet Louise
Harrison, George Harrison's sister, who was at the show with "George" of
the Liverpool Legends show, (I highly recommend seeing by the way).  She
is a very friendly woman, age 82 and I enjoyed getting to visit with her
for about 10 minutes.  She talked about being at the Bangladesh concert
and having the opportunity to interact with Bob, in the seventies.
It was a real treat to get the chance to visit with her.


Review by Mel Smith

We headed south that morning to the Queen city of the Ozarks to see Bob
just as soon as the dark clouds lifted.  Spring has been slow to come to
this part of the country, but this day turned into one of those great
days to be alive and headed to a show.  Met with our friends Larry and
Susan at the Springfield Brewing company for a few rounds of suds and  a
bite to eat before the show.  Larry informed us that the Walnut Street 
Inn had a 30% discount for those in town to see the "the mysterious man
and his  harmonica".  Turns out this Inn was a beautiful bed and breakfast
built  shortly after the Civil War and was located just two short blocks
from the venue.  As I checked in the with full belly and head full of
beer I had a feeling luck was shining on all of us.

Spent the afternoon in the garden out back of the Inn and just took in 
the sun, the students on campus, just being alive and moments before a
Bob show.  We arrived at the show and found seats on the floor just as
Dawes was taking the stage.  Just wasn't into it, they may have been a
fine show but I got my hand stamped and walked out side to have a smoke
and lo and behold there was my room at the Inn with free beer and my 
corncob pipe calling my name.  Thanks to previous reviews posted here I 
knew I had an hour until Bob took the stage.  I used it wisely and walked 
back into the show moments before the lights went down for the show.

It was the first time in many years I knew what was going to played
before I got there and I wondered how that would affect my perception of
it.  Another bit of concern was no Charlie not being a part of the show. 
I must say my fears were gone by the time Bob put that women in a
wheelbarrow and wheeeeeeeeled her down the street on the opening
number.  Duke Robillard was spectacular as the lead axe with this  band.  
The interplay between him and the others in the band was pretty much 
flawless.  There was no pulling on the ears or touching his nose like a 
third base coach from Bob to direct the band as I had seen many times 
before.  Just a wonderful performance.   

I  saw Bob in Des Moines last summer and it was my first time with him 
at the grand piano and was somewhat disappointed by the "plink plink
plink " that was played by him at the time.  This show however was two
hours of Bob owning that piano and playing the blues on it  like nobody

Highlights for me were Thing have changed, Beyond here lies nothing,
Tangled up in blue and What good am I?  The last of those had me
literally in tears as Bob struck every note and lyric with a perfect live

There were the usual dropped lyrics and made up on the spot phrases the
punctuate every live Dylan concert.  I swear he something about a tuba or
maybe a tuna somewhere in the middle of Tangled up in  blue, but it didn't
matter.  The intro and composition of this song was truly something to
behold and treasure.  I was never a real big fan of Visions of Johanna,
but this version was really the ultimate rendition of the five times I
have heard it. 

The four songs from Temptest fit right into the evening of blues motif. 
Early Roman kings was down and dirty right there with the rendition of
Blind Willie McTell and Love Sick.

My friend Hole (yes that's his name) usually try to make a mid west
swing around when Dylan is here but times being what they are this is the
only show we will be able to attend on this tour.  We still are grateful
that we were able to see such a dynamic and powerful show as the one we 
saw in Springfield.  We know that one day one of us (Me, Hole, or Dylan) 
wont be able to make it to the show.  Each passing year and show make more
and more appreciative of the time spent with that aforementioned trio
being  there.

If you have the chance to see this tour do what you have to and make
the show.  I'm not saying lose your girlfriend or job or anything like
that, but on the other hand there will always be girls and jobs.  Each
year the clock gets closer to Midnight for the kind of  performance that
is truly Bob Dylan's alone.

Mel Smith 

P.S.  A very heartfelt thank you Mr. Pagel for allowing all of us thru 
the years to share info and insights for these shows.  


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