Orillia, Ontario

Casino Rama
Entertainment Centre

July 7, 2007

[Paul McGarry], [Wilson], [Stu Gilmour]

Review by Paul McGarry

The afternoon started with a 3 hour drive to the north on a day weather
wise that was a good as it gets, with the windows down and my hair all
over the place we arrived at Casino Rama ready to play a few slots on this
7707 weekend. About halfway through the drive I realize I had forgot my
binoculars, and with our seats near the back, this show was going to be
different than most.  Rama is situated just north of the city of Orillia,
among some God Country type lakes and scenery. 7 was not our lucky number
this day.....I will just leave it at that.

Dylan promptly hits the stage at the unusual starting time of 9, and
opens with a tasty "Cats In The Well" as I am listening to this song, I am
hearing a much more powerful version than the one I heard when he opened
with it in Toronto/06. My next clue was on song number 3,"Watching The
River Flow" There was more punch to this song than previous outings I had
heard. I had to have a closer look, I checked out my neighbours for some 
binoc's, and there was a kind soul behind me that let me focus in on the
stage.......just what I suspected, Denny Freeman was toting a Gibson Les
Paul!!! On the other occasions I have seen Denny, he played his sleek
sounding Fender Strat, with a great rootsy tone to it. But last night, he
had “Thunder” in his hands and his leads filled the Entertainment Center
with that of a confident Gunslinger. His sound dominated (in a good way)
the evening, Stu  just seems to have taken his place at the back of the
classroom and is content, although something seemed to be amiss during
“Highway 61” when Stu took his hand off the fret board a number of times
and just looked lost. Freeman had some good plucks on “When The Deal Goes
Down”. New arrangements for “Just Like  A Women” and “Tangled” kept them
fresh, but not necessarily better.

Bob amazes me with his insistence on playing keyboards with that
”Carnival Is In Town Tone”, it takes away from Denny’s new found
toughness. I have my beefs about “Summer Days” but let me tell you, If I
could still do the jitterbug, I’d been high tailing it to the stage.

Watchtower surprisingly ended the regular set, and after a lengthy
wait, the boys were back with a ripping “Thunder On The Mountain” courtesy
of Denny, and a countrified “Blowin In The Wind” Even though it was
basically a generic set list, I really enjoyed the show. Since I did not
have my binoculars, I really concentrated on the sound, and Casino Rama
just has a superb sound system, and I would recommend this venue as a
great place to hear a show….just be careful of the Casino next door.


Review by Wilson

ast night's show at the casino was in a word: brilliant.  of course not a
ticket was to be found anywhere.  when you scanned the crowd you could see
the distinctive groups of dylan fans as opposed to casino goers all mixing
together for a great show.  the casino goers were the ones there to say
they saw bob, sit for a few songs and then head back to the tables.

while on one hand the show began with no surprises, the similar set lists
showing up over and over again, the expected tunes in the expected places,
there was a great mix of new and old and the music was on, the vocals were
on and the band was great.

the opening of cat's in the well foretold of a great show to come.  the
performances of watching the river flow, spirit on the water, rollin and
tumblin and it's all right ma (to name a few) were filled with intensity
and power.  the standards of highway 61 and all along the watchtower also
contained hints of newness in regularly performed tunes.

when he began "summer days", i knew we were winding down, and that's when
many in the crowd began the dancing that didn't stop until the end.  it
was a great performance of what's become a regular show feature and the
fantastic changes he brought to "thunder on the mountain" was a perfect
demonstration of why you never go to a bob dylan concert thinking it will
be the same as any other you've ever seen before.  the constant reworking
and changing, sometimes mid song is a perfect example of a man who loves
what he does, who lets the music talk to him freshly every time he does it
and who you want to make sure you see before it's too late.

the subtle changes to the songs when he switched from guitar to keyboard
were fantastic.  it was the little nuances that really stood out,
especially on songs like "just like a woman".  i've always enjoyed the
changes bob brings to songs on stage and i was surprised to find that the
first half of the show had much less change than i would have expected. 
the keyboard half was full of change.

while there was the usual lack of interaction and just the familiar "thank
you friends, let me introduce my band" from bob, you go to a dylan concert
for the music and performance, not the patter.  

while i started trying to keep track of the songs, i got lost in the show
and the music instead of the list.



Review by Stu Gilmour

A few words about the show July 7........travelled up from Hamilton,
or the Hammer as we prefer, with my better half and two fine 
friends for their first dylan first trip to this venue was 
causing me some concern as I had heard very mixed
doubts were squashed as we entered the room, very utilitarian for a
casino, but a quick glance at the stage and equipment provided some
instant relief.....seats were dead center, three rows rows behind the
sound boards, elevated above stage level for an absolutely perfect
view.....the show started absolutely promptly at nine pm and there he
was, center stage, guitar in hand, cloaked in a beauty new suit and
superb new hat.....the band were also splendid in their matching
attire.....the first chords were struck and we were underway with a
rockin' Cat's in the was immediately apparent that we were
in store for a fine mentioned in one of the other postings
there was a distinct bite to the guitar sounds that had been missing the
previous two shows that I had seen with this line-up.....Freeman has
found it.....his work throughout the show was greatly appreciated by
myself as I have admired his solo work and contributions with
BR549.....Dylan let him go all night.....George and Tony were, well,
George and Tony, providing the finest rythm section out there.....I
should mention that the sound in the hall was excellent, Donnie is
buried in the back but there is no problem distinguishing his subtle
contributions on multiple instruments.....then there's Stu.....nothing
surprizing in the set but a version of Tangled/Blue was very faves from this one were Watchin'/River Flow and a
beautiful Lay Lady Lay......Watchtower jumped into the last slot before
the encore leaving me very curious.....the boys returned and dove in to
a steamy Thunder/Mountain then closed out with Blowin'/Wind......very,
very friends were lucky to have caught this one for their
first taste of live Dylan and were certainly appreciative.....thanx
always Bill for this fine site....thanx for drivin' Muff
Stu Gilmour
Hamilton, Canada          


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