Lakewood, New Jersey
FirstEnergy Park
June 15, 2005

[Steve & Leslie Goldberg], [Ken Parkes]

Review by Steve & Leslie Goldberg

Just got back from the show. I always dread going to New Jersey and Bob is
the only thing that will get me there these days. The good news is that
the  "Wolfman" is gone. His vocals were clear and strong, which confirms
for me that the "voice shot full of holes" is just that, another voice
that Dylan has chosen to perform in. The concert started off strong with
To be Alone With You. The  band is really good, possibly one of the best
he has ever performed with. The dreaded upsinging made a slight
appearance on She Belongs To Me but was nowhere to be found on the great
new arrangement of Cry A While. JLAW  followed, and after Dylan ruined the
first verse with that upsinging thing, he got serious and the song was
truly stunning. It's Alright Ma has a rocking new arrangement and was
quite powerful as was Highway 61. Unfortunately the show was downhill 
from there. Dylan decided to stop singing and "upsing" his way through
Queen Jane, the dreaded new Girl From The North Country and even
Ballad of a Thin Man.  His vocal styling completely stripped the latter of
all it's menace.  Twiddle Dee was actually a relief somewhere along the
way, I forget exactly where. Summer Days was great and then back to the
dreaded upsinging for an otherwise beautiful arrangement for Don't Think
Twice. LARS, like Thin Man was stripped of it's power by that upsinging
thing.  Two interesting things I noticed. First, between sets, security 
kept people away from the railing overlooking the parking lot where 
Dylan's buses were. We hung around anyways and got to see Bob in animated 
conversation with the band outside the bus for about 10 minutes. 
From a distance he is still so instantly recognizable and looked
like one of the many Orthodox Jews who live in Lakewood and were
out for evening  strolls with their families, dressed in black, black
hat, open necked white shirt. Second thing, this was the first time in
years when Dylan shared the bill with a headliner that he didn't clear
out half the audience after three songs.  People stayed this time. Maybe
it was the clear vocals or the band, but the exodus didn't happen at all.
Good enough for me to plan at least one more trek to New Jersey next
week. I've gotten over the George Jones thing, the Alimony Tour, the Born
Again stage, even the Queens of Rhythm, but this upsinging thing, man
it's hard to take! But with all things Bob, this too shall pass.


Review by Ken Parkes

This was my 24th time seeing uncle bob.  It was also the closest I have
ever been to a dylan concert.  It was more for my six year old son and step
son to allow them the chance to see a legend.  To my surprise security was
almost invisable.  As my six year old son kept saying is that dylan yet and
me just nodding no in a whisper not to disturb the tape recorder playing
in my coat pocket.  As usual, the crowd was very diverse. Old, young, they
were all there for the thrill of seeing a legend or two.  I was fortunate
enough to move away from the blankets my sister and her boyfriend set
up some twenty feet from the  stage to be able to move right next to the
railing that separates the stage from the fans.  So as dylan came
out dressed in black, I could actually see his face and his smile now
and then.  I handed my son the camera and he just kept shooting away to my
delight.  This show was a more gathering of all rather then the Dylan
sermon my sister and I seen in atlantic city on that sunday night in 
april.  Still, all in all, it was a very delightful night for all ages to be
able to see two legends in one night.  I came away feeling like I just
turned my son on to a expierence that will forever be with him, and to
have a recording and pictures just sweeten's it all.  So until next time 
Bob, may you always stay forever young.
Ken Parkes


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