Reviews
Dillon, Colorado
Dillon Amphitheater

July 3, 2022

[Tom Thoeni], [Laurette Maillet]

Review by Tom Thoeni

,

Having read the Letter to the Editor trashing Bobís performance I
decided to post a better review, one from a veteran  Bob watcher. 

First the performance was energetic, and sensitive. His voice was good and
he used it in fine form bringing emotion and eliciting many lyrics very
well.  In all honesty, though, his piano playing was subpar. It was quite
simple and brought very little to the table.

The real problem was the venue and the atmosphere. It was more a summer
fair than a Bob Dylan concert, especially late-career Bob. The venue is
gorgeous but it is open air and the subtleties of the sound and songs were
lost. I suspect the next two nights in Denver will be significantly
better. Also most of the crowd were there for a summer event, to mingle,
visit and pat little attention to the show. 

The set list is masterful, weaving a subtle and dark web of human foibles.
The staging echoed the set list appearing as if we were watching
silhouettes behind venetian blinds. I expected little interaction with the
crowd and received little. I expected Bob to do what Bob felt should be
done and saw exactly that. As usual, many who attended had differing
expectations and were disappointed. It seems so many expect Bob to be a
Bob from half a century ago. We all know Bob has no patience for
nostalgia.

While it wasn't the best performance I have seen him offer, it was not
mailed in. The biggest mistake of the evening was the location.

[TOP]

Review by Laurette Maillet

,

Dylan playing in Dillon.
Originally I didn't plane to reach Dillon.
I was supposed to stay in Denver and then try to go to the show from there. 
But a good friend of mine suggested to do the trip. Just for the landscape, 
the high mountains. Surprisingly I found a Hostel in Silverthorne, right next to 
Dillon and a cheap bus going to Frisco and then a free bus going to Silverthorne.†
So I followed my Good Star and planed the trip for three days.
The BUSTANG bus is a nice one , arriving on time. In that bus I bumped into 
Terry, a french hiker traveling through Utah and Colorado...hitchhiking. He 
took me to the hostel where he is also staying
Day 2. Show day. July 3rd.
After a strong cup of tea I walk the path to the Dillon amphitheater. It's all 
away on the top of the hill by the reservoir . Take some photos.
Slithering down the hill I try to find a nice breakfast, dreaming of eggs and 
cheese or pancakes.
Well! Though Dillon and Silverthorne are surrounded by a breathtaking view, 
we are in the U.S.A.† Instead of little family cafes or typical restaurants like in 
European's Alps...I find Subway, Pizza hut, Arby's, 7eleven and....Mc Donald 
in a super 'concreted' area.
†For the first time on that tour I step into a McDo. I ask for breakfast. No. 
I ask for a 'Caesar salad'. No.
I have to go for a "combo big mac".
As the weather was hot and dry until then I was planning to go back to the 
beach, at the foot of the amphitheater, by the reservoir.But as I fill up my 
little transparent bag...the sky turns black and lightings struck, the rain starts 
pouring down.
I stay dry reading my book (on and by Angela Davis, my first American 
hero??) in the lobby of the hostel.
By 5pm, the sky clears out. I walk again the steep hill and ressent the 
altitude ( 2778m / 9114feet) ; my breath is short and I do have a slight 
headache. My feet burnin my sandals.
5.45pm....a line has already formed at the gate.
Picnickers again: folded chairs, blankets, picnic baskets....
By 6pm the sky turns black over the mountains, the rain is coming our way, 
drenching to the bones the early Fans queing.
I retrieve under a shelter for ... picnickers
By 6.30pm the gates open and the sky turns blue. The rain stops.
Time for my search of a ticket. I don't worry about this one and anyway I 
could hear from out. But I still want to see Bobby's....shirt
A Lady literally through a ticket at me...thanks anyway!
Seating on a bunch I start a conversation with a couple of old people. Ask 
if they go to see Bob. They say they will stay on that bunch cause they 
don't have tickets. I ask how much they're willing to pay. They say 80$ for 
two.
Ok. I say I can help and go back in search for two tickets. Easy! They're 
happy, I'm happy too!
7.15pm.
Time to get in and take position. I'm thinking of the situation in Grand 
Junction:Up on the left side of the lawn(by the garbage cans). But 
what do I know?
There is a nice section with concrete bunches accessible for the lawn 
tickets. I move there, say hello to a nice gentleman and we ask the 
security young guy if we can seat on the wall, right in front the 
handicapped section. He says yes.†
Woah! Can't be better as we are left from the stage with a perfect 
view on the piano.
8pm.
The sun is down but it is still bright day.
Bob picks up his guitar.† (My friend Simon says it's a Fender Squire. 
I trust him cause he is a guitar player).
Few first songs are great. The audience is attentive. But by "My own 
version of you" the audience starts to be restless....
They move for beer, wine, food... toilets. They start chatting and for 
some of them shouting when they meet with friends.
My four neighbors on my left never stopped talking even, two, with their b
ack to the stage
Then at the end they bragged to me about how much they admire Bob 
Dylan for doing a show at 81 years old at 9114feet altitude.
Bob is not feeling good. Either because of the altitude, either because he 
can hear an incessant roar in the background.
He moves center stage after "Serve somebody" which will bring some folks 
on their feet. And still do "Melancholy mood" center stage with some 
bending on his knees that brings an applause of admiration. I believe more 
because Fans can finally see him full body...without his jacket holding the 
center mic.
From now on the show in chaotic. Some fans move literally in front of 
stage , in the left, and start dancing...even on "Mother of muses"...????
They're loaded or drunk...well! Both.
Obvilious of the meaning of the song....could be anything!!!!† Just 
balancing on the melody.
I enjoy myself as I was prepared mentally to the situation since Bend. 
My right neighbor is alright. He drove two hours and a half to appreciate 
the show as the ticket was Father's day present from his son. But the 
last time he saw Bob Dylan was...25 years back He obviously know 
nothing of the "Rough and rowdy ways" and keep telling me we have a 
good view on the piano.... Don't I know ?
By mid show Bob seems to have lost interest and his voice is weak, 
mumbling the lyrics, shuffling nervously through his sheets and talking to 
the Band. Tony comes close to him to know if the 6th song is "Black 
rider" or " I'll be your baby tonight". " Black rider" I read Bob's lips.†
As the roar background is louder and louder Bob presents his Band rapidly
 just asking Charley to stand up and Doug to say hi! to the crowd.
The audience is up for "Every grain of sand" (at least for the ones 
remaining....) but the damage is done.†
Bob poses few seconds before disappearing.
"Yes, the show is over" I answer to my kind right neighbor.
Not the same crowd as Grand Junction. The Deadheads by now having 
their FUN at the rainbow gathering, somewhere in Colorado.
But not a respectful audience neither.
I run down the hill as fast as I can in the spot light of my phone. The
only creature I encounter is...a racoon...about as afraid as I am.
One day to cure the blisters under my feet...
Denver should be another adventure.
We love you Bobby...

[TOP]

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