Kingston, New York

Hutton Brickyards

June 23, 2017

[Barry Gloffke], [Oscar Montes]

Review by Barry Gloffke

Wow. Last night’s show in Kingston still has me on a high almost  
twenty-four hours later as I write this. Bob was truly on his game,  the
sound was pitch perfect, the band was crisp, and the audience very 
receptive, with just enough energy too add to the stew. Not too many 
people on their feet in front, but certainly lots of happy whoops and 
hollers from the peanut gallery. The thing about a good Bob show is  that
it takes a good Bob for that to happen, because regardless of  Bob, it
seems that the band is good every show. Last night we got a  good, no,
make that a great Bob. He unleashed some phenomenal, deeply  emotive vocal
phrasing on almost every song, especially the American  standards. Most of
his originals were given slight chord alterations  and sprinkled with very
nice changes in cadence and pace. Just  brilliant.

Stepping back for a moment, the venue setting was a new untested  
entity called Hutton Brickyards. Located directly adjacent to the  
Hudson River, beneath an open-air, steel roof structure. It was a  
bucolic setting. The event was twofold: one was the Dylan concert, the 
other was a food fair called Smorgasburg, open only to Dylan ticket 
holders. Unfortunately, neither event organizer were properly prepared 
(although they are giving themselves high praise for that very thing). 
The parking situation was ill thought-out with a limited amount of pre-
paid spaces for ticket holders (not all of those parking spaces were 
located on the venue premises). Ticket holders without pre-paid  parking
were assigned municipal parking lots in Kingston and from  there had to
board a shuttle bus to the venue. The local traffic was  backed up with
all the early arriving Dylan fans waiting for the gates  to open at 5:30.
Crazy set-up. The entry process to the venue itself  was too slow because
of lack of personnel. As for the food fair, the  vendors were too few and
had too few workers actually working. Lines  of 200 people formed
everywhere. This was especially evident in the  beverage line where you
had an absurd set-up... one person took your  order, one person filled it,
one person served it to you, and three  other people were... (scratch head
here)... well I’m not sure what the  others were doing. No joke, from
around 6:30 until after the show  started at approximately 8:05 the lines
were 45-60+ minutes. I went to  check the lines 10 minutes before the show
and there were still a good  50-100 people in most lines. The event was
also a rare GA seated  one... first come, first served to find a seat.
This obviously led to  awkward moments where late arrivals think they
found seats up front  but were told that the seats were occupied. Or, they
found seats, sat  in them, and then were confronted by the people who had
those seats  but were on line for food and beverage for an hour. Really
bad  planning by the event organizers.

Myself, because I purchased a ticket the day before the show I was  
told to park in a UPAC parking lot in Kingston and then board a  
shuttle with others to the venue. That did not sound like a good plan,  so
I concocted an alternate one, and I have to admit that I was  surprised
how well my plan worked. I drove from 2+ hours (actually  took me 3+) from
Forest Hills, NY to Kingston, NY where I planned on  parking in the
parking lot of a Trolley Museum. The Trolley Museum was  located about a
mile or more from the venue, which I planned to walk.  Gates to the venue
were to open for parking and foot travelers at  5:30. so I figured by the
time I traveled the mile or so to the venue  then I may have a chance to
be the near the front of the line. As a GA  only event it was set-up for
three sections A (seated), B (seated) and  Standing Only. As I had an A
(seated) ticket I figured that if I  arrived at the gates around 5:00
o’clock I stood a good chance at  getting a seat close to the stage. It
happens that the Trolley Museum  was located in a hip part of Kingston,
but that the sign said parking  only until 8:00pm, all violators will be
towed. Damned! This was going  to put a huge dent in my plan. But I
noticed some guys doing valet  work at a restaurant across from the museum
and asked then about the  towing situation. They said, no worries, ‘we use
that lot to park the  restaurant customers cars and that no one ever gets
towed from there.  Fantastic! So off I go on the mile plus walk. But, it’s
hot and very  humid, so I figure... what the hell, why not try to hitch a
ride. It  doesn’t take but six cars until I get picked up — by a Bob fan
no  less. He drops me off at the police checkpoint where I see that this 
is where the traffic jam stems from. All the cars have come from the 
roads leading into the venue and are now in line waiting for the gates  to
open. I start to walk to the event and here someone holler to me,  it’s
Ed, my bad ticket/good ticket, good CD/bad CD friend from the  Port
Chester, NY shows — and what does he have for me... Good Cd #1. 
Serendipity. I love serendipity. Ed, you are my Bob Dylan angel,  thanks
man. So, I thank Ed, wish him a good show and proceed to stroll  past the
waiting traffic, past the serious cops and up the road to the  first gate
where the early arriving Bob fans are in line. I am about  number 25.
Perfect! I wait 10 minutes, the gates open at 5:30 and we  (all 25 or so
of us) walk up the road to the venue where we wait again  until 6:00pm
when the doors open. I am at the front of this line and  needless to say I
am going to find a good seat. When we are allowed to  enter I am able to
find a front row spot directly in front of Bob’s  piano and I am ecstatic!
Plan well executed.

Back to the show. Stu strolls onto stage and gives the crowd our first 
reason to cheer. As he lightly strums his guitar, George sets up shop  and
is shortly followed by Bob and the boys. The crowd roars as the  band
charges into a rousing, throaty THINGS HAVE CHANGED with Bob in  excellent
voice, the band greased and primed and George with some  badass beats. A
sweetly grooving, and beautiful rendition of DON’T  THINK TWICE, IT’S
ALRIGHT follows. The crowd is loving it. HIGHWAY 61,  with thundering
percussion, blows the show wide open. God said to Bob,  give them a great
showwwwwwww!! And he was. The first American  standard tonight (there were
six) was WHY TRY TO CHANGE ME NOW. Bob  now owns and inhabits these songs,
giving them depth and emotion that  only he can. Some of these songs now
feel like Bob Dylan songs. Bob  was having such a good time with this song
that there was an audible  laugh between he and the band when he sang ‘Why
can’t I be more  conventional’. So good. But the next few songs is where
the show went  from good to great for me. The skies were still light when
Dylan sang  the opening line, ‘Summer days, summer nights are gone’ and
were  menacingly dark when he groaned the last line, ‘I play in blood, but
 not my own’ six songs later. In between was a aural sensation — SUMMER 
DAYS (Donnie with wonderful string work), LOVE SICK (with a new,  sinister
arrangement), DUQUESNE WHISTLE (new slower arrangement,  bouncy with nice
jams), MELANCHOLY MOOD (Bob looking cool, sounding  great, hydrating after
this song), STORMY WEATHER (Bob digging deep,  reaching for even more
vocal emotion than he had in previous versions)  and PAY IN BLOOD (as
forboding as ever, with some tinkered lyrics) —  thick rock, deep roots,
soulful blues, swinging jazz, ominous, smooth,  rough melodies and ragged
to rich vocals. Bob, 76 years in the tooth,  it’s a hot, humid night, he’s
dressed to the nines, jacket on,  dripping sweat, putting all his effort
into a richly provocative  performance. Six truly wonderful songs.

Bob sits down at the piano for a nice version of ONCE UPON A TIME. He 
does this with great tenderness and feeling. The audience is hushed  and
respectful with inspired reactions at the end of this song and all  of the
American standards in general. As a matter of fact, now, when  the
audience hears the first chords of some of the American standards,  they
applaud in anticipation, which is a far cry from several years  ago when
Bob first tried some of those songs in the Beacon Theatre  only to be met
with ‘play your old stuff, Bob’ from the uninformed Bob  fans. You either
come up to Bob, or stay down where you are.

Now the concert goes from great to phenomenal for me and probably into 
one of my top seven Bob shows. A sinister version of EARLY ROMAN  KINGS,
slightly slower and rearranged from previous shows. Then a top- notch
version of TANGLED UP IN BLUE has Bob extremely engaged, with  some odd
lyrical phrasing early, but bringing it home with gusto at  songs end. At
this point someone needed to call the Kingston FD  because the band was on
fire. One of the best TANGLED versions in a  long time. Not to be outdone
though was a stellar version of  DESOLATION ROW where Bob ditched most of
the awkward piano chops from  previous shows for a more straight forward
reading. Superb one-two  punch of TANGLED and ROW. SOON AFTER MIDNIGHT is
not on my list of  songs that I want to hear from Bob most nights, but
tonight he gave a  covetous version that had me riveted. Next up the band
(kudos to Tony  here, and on most songs) crushes an exhilarating and
breathless THAT  OLD BLACK MAGIC. This is one of the American standards
that Bob now  owns. Listen to this version and no other version comes
close. The  energy and dedication are addicting. I can’t get enough of
this one!  LONG AND WASTED YEARS tonight was an alarming interpretation of
 useless time spent with a previous love. The show ends with another 
devastating vocal performance of AUTUMN LEAVES, which again is one of  the
American standards Bob now owns. The crowd erupts, the band exits  and we
thunder for more. Of course, Bob will give two more, maybe more?

The band returns to our cheers and slowly settle in for one of the  
best versions of the penultimate song BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND. Absolutely 
crystal clear Bob, doing some nice piano work, and the band nailing it 
all. Bob was so into this vocally and musically that he seemed to let  the
guys extend it a bit more than usual. Praise to all. The finale  came much
too soon, the show went too fast, but here it was... a  perfect BALLAD OF
A THIN MAN with extended jams, serious vocals and an  all around vibrant
flavor. It was like the last line of cocaine... you  just want more. But
we are to get no more and that's okay and expected  For we got more than
our money's worth. What a concert!! Bravo and  bellissimo!!!

Sorry about the long summary, but this is more than likely my last  
Dylan show on this tour (although I’ve sung that tune more than once  in
the last 10 days) and I wanted to convey what amazing shows these  were.
Bob is at the pinnacle of his profession right now and these  shows left
an indelible impression on me. The band is incredibly  tight. I also want
to say that the Bob shows are made more enjoyable  by the Bob Cats I have
met in the past and specifically the ones from  the past two weeks. Asha,
Barry and Dylan, Ed (thanks again for the  CD), Kate and Ross, Mangela,
Rick and Heather. Hi and thanks to all  for the wonderful times. Others. I
can’t recall their names or faces  but they all had spirit on the water. I
hope you all enjoy the shows  still ahead on you itinerary and I hope to
see you all on the next  tour. Travel safe.

PS. A tape of tonight’s show be great to acquire... looking at you Ed  or


Review by Oscar Montes

Someone told me once: Never travel on show day! It never made so sense
like on June 23rd when I took a plane at Mexico City at 7:00 AM which
arrived at JFK at 1:00 PM. After the customs (about 2:10 PM) I took the
subway and I got to Authority Port Bus terminal at 3:30 PM to take my bus
to Kingston, originally my bus would depart at 4:00 PM but they allowed me
to take it half an hour before. Made it to Kingston Bus terminal at about
6:10 PM, I was so confident I could take a taxi to my hotel and then
another one to the Venue, when people there told me there are no many
taxis in that town and the ones that exist were on heavy duty due to the
Bob show and school graduations of boys and girls. So suddenly it came to
my mind that I actually would not make it to the show. I asked the guys on
the bus station and they gave several taxi service cards, I called them
and they said I should wait for at least an hour for the next car
available! Then I was really worried, I left the bus station and saw a
taxi which came looking for another person, I begged her to take me to the
hotel to check in and then to the venue. As the original person never
arrived she took me to my hotel but couldn’t wait for me to check in as
she was assigned to another ride.

I asked the hotel receptionist if he could get me a taxi to the venue and
he told me the same: there are no enough taxis in this town and some
people in the hotel had already left to the show, so I was totally alone
and it was 7:00 PM!. I almost started to cry. Again I used the taxi
service cards and called and they told me I should wait and hour or more
for the next car available.

The hotel receptionist told me: If I were you I would run to the highway
and ask for a ride! I couldn´t believe it! Traveling hundreds of miles and
I was just about to lose the concert. I did what the receptionist advised
and started running with my Bob boots down the hill to get to the highway
and started asking for a ride, no one would stop! I’m dead I thought! But
suddenly a truck stopped and the guy inside told me in Spanish: what’s up,
where are you going? I explained the situation and he said: Oh yes, Bob,
the Nobel Prize winner. Get on the truck and I’ll take you to the bus
terminal where you can get a taxi, Jesus! I felt dead again. He told me he
was Mexican and his wife from Guatemala. I explained him the taxis
situation and finally he told me: OK, I have to help my Mexican “Paisano”
and he took me to the venue. I offered him $50 USD for the ride and he
told me: C’mon, we are Mexican “Paisanos”! You owe me nothing! Just send
me some pics and videos from the show! I gave him my Facebook account

I’d still have to pick up my ticket at the box office. I was getting my
ticket at 7:45 PM! Wow! When I got it I told the woman who gave it to me:
I made it!

The venue was really beautiful with the Hudson River passing by. Many
people wearing hippie’s clothes. When Bob came to the stage everybody was
happy and cheering up. And all these hippies started dancing on the aisles
as if this was a Grateful Dead concert! Wow! I just loved it. “Highway 61”
is becoming again a powerful performance and Bob and his band really enjoy
doing it. “Why try to change me now” is one of my fav Sinatra’s tunes
played by Bobby, beautifully delivered. The new arrangements of “Summer
days” are great!  People dancing again on the aisles and shouting: Bob is
home again! All the other Sinatra’s “Melancholy mood”, “Stormy Weather”,
“Once upon a time” were really nice too. Great new arrangements also in
“Pay in blood”. People happy with classics as TUIB and Desolation row.
“Old black magic” was totally loved by everybody on the Hutton Brickyards
venue. One of my favorites and permanent highlight is “Long and wasted
years”, always a masterpiece.

“Blowing in the wind” and “Thin Man” closed the setlist. “Thin Man”
sounding better than last years.

Great to see and say hi to Jay Powers & Joanna and Randy Mason & his
girlfriend after the show.

How I got back to my hotel? That was not really important.

Oscar Montes


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