Rothbury, Michigan

Double JJ Ranch
The Odeum stage

July 5, 2009

[Jim Fackert], [Stu Levitan]

Review by Jim Fackert

Reviews I have seen rave about Dylan and his new touring band. I just saw
them at Rothbury Festival, and I was sorely disappointed.

Bob Dylan's soulless show band marched through some of the greatest most
poetic and expressive songs of all time like a stripper's pit band
hammering out the bumps and grinds for the millionth time, on too much

Dylan's an icon, his songs are poetry, and they both deserve much better
support than this campy trash. A few thousand garage bands can play
"Watchtowers" with more expression and energy than those guys.

Who put this show together? Who's the band leader? arranger? There was no
chemistry between Bob and the band, just "all eyes on bob in case he does
something off the charts"....

The crowd were determined to enjoy whatever was laid before them... and
many raved about "seeing Dylan!" but Bob's rushed recital of the lyrics in
bursts, line by line was just heartless and difficult to follow. Many
tunes were unrecognizable until a shred of lyric pushed through. God, it
was all I could do to keep from rushing the stage screaming "Bob! shoot
the drummer, hang the arranger and just play a little guitar and deliver
your poetry!

Ah well. Big Pink is a sweet memory.


Review by Stu Levitan

Logistics prevented full note-taking, but one dominant impression -- Bob
was having more fun than I ever remember seeing him have. Not only smiling
and looking at crowd -- during Memphis Blues Again, he was actually
LAUGHING. And singing with full authority and nuance throughout. A great,
great performance. I thought Milwaukee was fine, but this was on a whole
'nother level. 



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