Atlanta, Georgia
Music Midtown 2001
Jose Cuervo 96 Rock Stage
May 4, 2001

[Alicia Curtis] [Daniel Kortmann]

Review by Alicia Curtis

The Atlanta show was quite an experience, to say the least. This was my fourth
time seeing Dylan and I determinedly camped out on the front row early just 
for him. The first band I had to wade through was the innocuous Drivin' N Cryin'.
Thankfully, Patti Smith followed them with a raucous good show. She was in top 
form and really played to the crowd. By the time she ordered us to "Have fun 
with Bob", however, I was itching for him to come on.

The moon was full and the city lights bright behind us when Bob and the band 
took stage at 10:00. The first song, Duncan and Brady, was quite nice and just 
the sight of Bob in his nice black suit had me pumped and singing against the 
security bar. When the band picked up the chords for the second song it sounded
surprisingly like Shooting Star, but I was floored when Bob went into Tambourine 
Man instead. I was ecstatic - this one of the songs I'd come hopin! g to hear. 
He followed with another hoped for song, Desolation Row. Both renditions were 
exquisite and Bob was really getting into the lyrics in Desolation Row. The next 
song, an expected Tangle, was also quite good and Bob sang it heartily, albeit 
missing the third stanza. I've heard this song at every concert but it's still a 
favorite, especially with Bob doing such a wonderful harp solo!

This World Can't Stand Long came next. I've never heard the song before but it 
was beautiful, one of the highlights of the evening. Larry's mandolin playing 
was top notch. This quiet, heartfelt song led into a rollicking Down in the 
Flood. The band rocked through it and into another surprise - Just Like a Woman. 
By the time Bob rolled through Mobile and into a cajoling, delightful When 
Teardrops Fall, I was on cloud nine. 

That's when things got interesting. Blame it o! n the crowd or the pounds of 
smoke or just the wonderment of Bob, but I got light-headed during Drifter's 
Escape and had to leave the front row to sit down. The rest of the show was 
mostly electric and I heard it from the  sidelines. Despite the disappointment 
of not seeing Bob for the other songs, I non-the-less enjoyed them, especially 
Things Have Changed and Knockin'. I can generally do without Rainy Day Women, 
but the crowd loved it as they did Rolling Stone and Watchtower, perennial 
favorites all. If Dogs Run Free was done very nicely, though. I was hoping for 
something unexpected in the encore, but it was rounded out with Highway 61 
(wild as always) and Blowin' in the Wind.
Despite the almost passing out bit, this was a stellar show and, as always, 
I'm looking forward to seeing Bob again. Hopefully, next time it will be in 
a smaller setting without the huge crowd, but I'll make do either way. A! fter 
all, I'm still waiting for some rarer gems to come into rotation: Every Grain 
of Sand, Romance in Durango, and others. Still, even with the greatest hits 
package, Bob delights and I can't wait for the next show.


Review by Daniel Kortmann

Jenny   I came to Atlanta from Chicago.  We hooked up with Ron 
  Jan, our fellow Bob devotees of over 31 years, and headed to the
Music festival.  We were expecting a crush of humanity and we got it.  

But, southern hospitality prevailed and the crowd was 
cool and mellow.  And so was the Georgia night sky under a beautiful full

Our first time seeing Bob was in Chicago 1974 with The 
Band.  We've seen him 20 times since then.  A small amount to a lot of
people which makes these path crossings a cherished event.

After a passionate fun set by Patti Smith, who you could 
tell was on a high being Bob's warm up act, we waited for Bob and band.
Bob hit the stage a 10PM with a song I'm calling, 'Been On The Job Too Long'.  
Tambourine Man was next with a new phrasing that grabbed you by the heart.  
His little Boston Blackie moustache has filled in nicely. His western 
ribbon cowboy tie and the black suit with white arrowhead piping completed 
his outfit.  If you get an outfit you can be a cowboy too.

The whole band was under lit by a lush yellow light.

Desolation Row was next.  Bob's eyes squinting, 
eyes wide open, eye brows raised.  Blue eyes peering out, looking intense,
looking bored?  He is impossible to read.  The enigma wrapped in a puzzle
and that's why we love him.

Tangled Up in Blue followed.  How does he do these 
same songs over and over conjure up the passion and make us feel like it's
the first time.  He is the king of phrasing. Sinatra does not come close
to how Bob revamps his tunes.  The harp came out for the first time on
'Tangled Up in Blue'.  No harmonica holder.  One hand holding the harp and
mic and the other holding his guitar.  

'This World Can't Stand Alone' followed.

His blond electric guitar came out for 'Crash On The 
Levee.  Through the Binoculars we saw his name inlaid in pearl along the
neck.  The band started really rocking now.  Bob started dancing and
dangling by invisible strings like a James Cagney marionette.  'Just Like
a Woman'  was next, revamped as everything else tonight was.  As the light
hit Bob one could see his weathered leather skin like the hand tooled
strap on his guitar.  He held his guitar high like B.B. Kings 'Lucille'.  

Blue light bathed Bob as he stood in a gunslingers 
stance, knees knockin, toes tappin' and happy feet dancin'.  'Stuck Inside
of Mobile' had Bob playin hard, leanin' turnin' spinning.  He was
'Crouching Dylan Hidden Bob'. 

'When Teardrops fall'  saw Bob with pink 
light all over the band.  'Drifters Escape' took us half the song to
recognize.  And that's the fun of Bob.   Charlie Sexton kicked it into
overdrive.  It became a heavy rock band.  He pushed it to such a level
that when his eyes met with Bob they exchanged grins.   

'Rainy Day Woman 12   35'  had the same music 
but again with a revamped vocal.  

It seems he does these final songs to appease the 
masses.  The band does inject them with some smokin' guitars that get Bob
shaking his head, squaring his shoulders and looking straight ahead.  As
the song faded Bob introduced the band  which would be the only words Bob
would speak on this night.

They walked off and Bob returned wearing a black cowboy 
hat,stood facing the crowd, hands at his side.  They left and returned
shortly to do an Oscar winning performance of 'Things Have Changed'. 
Larry Campbell's guitar echoed into a trance inducing wave.  
Then Jan saw the Oscar statue sitting on the amplifier 
behind the band.  

'Like A Rolling Stone' followed.  The crowd tries to sing along but 
failed at the different arrangement.  'If Dogs Run Free' was jazzed up 
and totally entertaining.  Charlie played a beautiful red Gretsch guitar.  
Bob on Gibson and Larry on lead.  'All Along theWatchtower'  followed. 
'Knocking On Heaven's Door', 'Highway 61', and 'Blowing in the Wind' ended 
the show.  They could have gone through the motions with these encores but 
his band plays with such abandon that Bob cocked his head, threw back his 
hair, and when he gave a final look in our direction the night was complete.

Daniel Kortmann

Lake Zurich, Illinois


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