Bend, Oregon
Les Schwab Amphitheatre
July 31, 2005

[David Harper], [Darrin Hotrum], [Jim Furnish], [Sharon Lord]

Review by David Harper

Another trip to Bend, from Portland, to go see Bob.
Caught the more invigorated and engaged show at the
Giles center here in the opening days of this run.
The torch was lit and the cast irons turned polished
chrome. Fiddle blazed curtains fell in flames, men
turned away in shame, ladies wept. Some grinned
through the whole show. That was then. Bend was
yesterday and the last date posted for the season.
Germany in late October. Wasnt one of the great ones,
but then...

The boys were ready for California and a soak in the
tub. How could they not? Cant condemn anybody for not
burning up the stage in the peak of summer but they
were all slightly worse for wear by this date in Bend.
So, with the cloud of Nag Champra and sterling
introduction (good announcer, by the way) of the
resurrected rock star, who shuffles and floats into
view, Maggies Farm says hello and Bob goes to work.
With a handfull of tunes programmed for easy listening
he struggles to squeeze one more night out of these
golden oldies and picks to click.
Saw a lot of horses driving into town boys sounded
like they'd been riding them all day in the sun.
Probably on hundred dollar saddles. You could tell the
way they walked. Rowdy as they were these lads looked
like a Dylan band. Great shirts. Gradually sounded
like one too.
Cant be sure if Tony or George is leading the band.
Recile being more obvious but definitely holding and
mending the sound. Nothing lackluster in his licks,
that's for sure.
Guitars were uneven or trying too hard to pump it up
from the way I listened but I heard people say they
were "awesome." Maybe it was "off some." Definitely
Didn't need shrooms to appreciate the synchronicity of
a formation of geese wing over the stage
precisely on the line"ooee we gonna fly..." Crowd
gleefully acknowledge although Bob doesnt look up. I
was a tad worried bout the show till then. Clearly,
blessings would follow.

There were things someone might criticize all night
but what's the use. Like the little "upsing" reviewers
are supposed to find annoying-well, it is if you dont
like Gene Austin, check out Ramona or Lonesome Road
sometime, but it's more about technique and phrasing
with what you got. Exactly like coming out of the
mountains middle of the night, no stations for miles
and you're red line get down with god and
that gas peddle and you wait for the moment you can
kick out of gear and coast every holy moment of the
night. Actually Bobby Charles says it better "Take it
easy greasy, you gotta long way to slide."  So maybe
you're pissed you got a wearing out star on cruise
control. At my age, 65, I'm grateful it's going on at
all for either of us. I've come to understand that
some trains really dont pull no
passengers like before. Like the ones roll slow from
coast to coast. Graffitied up, barely movin. Think of
them songs like boxcars. Damn long train. Conductor is
weary, thank God he's on the line. 

Bend show highlights weren't that easy to find but
we're jaded and arthritic, pardon the opinion.
GOD KNOWS was well played and dramatic. Touched by
strength and conviction. It was kickin in.
I'LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT a suprise standout. Band was
locked in on this. A genuine standard.
NEW MORNING Some lines were left or unfound or
replaced, maybe only rephrased, but creativity was
clicking its heels at the door. Love to spot it. Fine
song however it's given.
TWEEDLE DEE AND TWEEDLE DUM I've heard people claim
they were tired of this song. I always thought it was
because they didn't pick up on the gags and
illustration but high art or not tonight it didn't
hook us like it did before. Get that Bo Diddley
primalizing goin again.
I BELIEVE IN YOU will always be nice to hear from Bob
or anyone else although you can almost detect a
sanitized rendering of God to mean girl in the front
row. Probably doesn't matter to us anyhow.

Far as I'm concerned, as one of a legion of fans from
the first, we're on that million dollar bus and, in
spite of our bickering, we're all kindred now. These
songs will cross the mountain.
Think of the lover who comes to the maiden on Belle
Isle to test her faith and fulfill their old promise.
Consider her suprise.
Mr. Bob will suprise us again.

David Harper


Review by Darrin Hotrum

Overall another great show. The weather was perfect, and the band seemed
loose. I saw them in March in Portland, OR and this was a better show. The
formal suits by the band were replaced by un-tucked tan shirts with two
vertical black stripes. The band played more comfortable too. They weren't
trying to copy the old band anymore and were playing their own guitar
parts. George and Tony exchanged a few shrugs and smiles through the
night. They play very well together. Stu is much improved from when I saw
him before. He even gave Bob a pat on the back as he walked by at one
point. Clearly more comfortable. Denny is amazing. The guy can do
anything. Whatever he costs he's worth it. Danny was distracting in
looking at Bob so intensely. They all look at him for queues, but he
stares non-stop all show long. He also messed up on 'Watching the River
Flow.' I'm probably being too hard on him (he played great on Watchtower).

The set list was eclectic. He dabbled in country, and ballads, but also
rocked hard. By the time summer days came I couldn't believe it was the
14th song. Time passes quickly when you're lost in a dream.

New Morning was maybe the highlight. It started off with very well played
keys by Bob and a strong vocal throughout. I have never heard this song
live before so I don't know if this is new (probably not) but he changed
the lyric on the chorus from 'So happy just to see you smile' to 'So happy
just to be alive.' The third time he sang 'Just so happy to see me smile.'
I thought that was great and fitting that the song has changed for him
from being about a woman to his joy for life. God Knows rocked and started
off with a very loose/hard strum only by Stu. I've always wanted to hear I
Believe In You and it did not disappoint. Great song, he delivered it
well. Really all the songs were great. He is on top of his game and way
ahead of the shows he was doing 10 years ago when I started going. I've
never been disappointed after a Bob Dylan concert.

Seeing Bob turned in towards the band and all of them looking at him all
night it almost seemed like a practice that we were allowed to watch. By
the end of the night I think I actually knew what his nods meant. Anyway
he keeps tight control of the group, and they look because he's libel to
change on a dime. My theory is that he won't play guitar again until he's
more comfortable with the band behind him and doesn't feel like he needs
to direct so much. The mike was still center stage and an acoustic guitar
set up next to the keyboards. 



Review by Jim Furnish

My Heart Goes Where The Wild Goose Goes

So it came to pass that Dylan made his triumphant
return to the eastern side of the Cascades. Gone two
years from Bend he brought back different musicians
besides his old warhorses, Recile and Garnier.

Having caught one of the Portland shows in March, I
was hip to the new lineup, though it was totally
unexpected by me that he would blow through the
Northwest again so soon. But when has Dylan's schedule
been anything but predictable?
At the gig in March at the Chiles Center in Portland,
we took our seats up in the oxygen mask section-but
for Bend we got down tight in fourth row and heard and
saw it all.
Under perfect weather conditions a large mixed crowd
gathered upon the green green pastures of the Les
Schwab Amphitheater that lays on the bank of The
Deschutes River.
Though showtime was listed as 7:30 sharp, it wasn't
until 7:45 that the band took the stage accompanied by
roaring approval of the faithful. 
The "overture" and recorded intro, "Disappeared to
find that Jesus painted his face in a haze of
substance abuse" was dispensed with as the band, clad
in matching bowling shirts that lent them the cache
that they were a hard rolling team of banana wranglers
from the local Safeway who just got done with League
Night down at Languid Lanes. 
I thought to myself how I first attended a Dylan show
in 1966 when I was a mere lad of 15 who had run away
from home and school to hitchhike to the big city to
hear The Great Soul and his band of super-hipsters
play the Paramount in Portland.
Matching bowling shirts. 
Man, rock bands sure have gone through some changes
since I was a boy.

My trip down memory lane was short lived, though, this
is what is now, and now is what it is.
As they took their positions I had to comment to my
date what great seats we had, and then with a nod from
Bob it was ON! 
Maggie's Farm! 
Being a stately 54 years old I comported myself with
the appropriate dignity. I stood on my chair waving my
sack of posters over my head while yelling
And for the next 80 some minutes I stayed there
oblivious to just about everything but the band The
Bob, the sky and the music.
The second song was "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With
You", done well, Dylan tickling those keys as his eyes
drifted from musician to musician like he was some
foreman watching his crew work.
During "Lay Lady Lay" it was evident Dylan was relaxed
and getting into it. Twice I saw him crack up and then
stifle guffaws over something going on up there. The
second time he did it I didn't think he was gonna be
able to pick up the next line but he came through.
"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" was a treat and the first
time Dylan drifted away from the keyboard to come
center stage and blow a harp solo that got a rousing
cheer from crowd. He must have dug it so much he came
out again during a neat, sweet and petite "Ballad Of A
Thin Man", too.

As the sun sank behind the western mountains, the big
Canadian Geese that bed down at that section of the
river began making their approaches to land, but with
so many skiffs, canoes, rafts, duck boats and inner
tubes anchored just off the bank, giving their
passengers a free listen, the huge honkers wouldn't
land but  circled around, flew low over the crowd and
stage just like they did two years ago, and just like
two years ago, they got a delighted reaction from
Recile and Garnier as they broke into broad smiles and
laughter. These guys were having a good time and it
showed on their faces and in their playing. I'm glad
that happened because this band, Kimball, Herron and
especially Freeman, seemed really uptight. Like they
are so focused on watching Bob that they really aren't
cutting loose and relaxing. I dunno, they looked like
guys who might think someone's job is gonna disappear
now that there is a couple months off and maybe, just
maybe, there wont be a seat on the bus to Europe for
one guitar picker next fall. But that's just my
disordered musings-they played a tight show and I cant
say I ever saw Bob give any of them "the look" of
disapproval or that means cool it. That's just my
disordered musings, though. The steel player got the
yeoman's share of the solo work and he did it with
finesse and abandon when he'd get the nod from Bob
Dylan. Freeman got some good solos, too, on that big
hollow body he was driving. And Kimball seemed to be
handling mostly rhythm. "New Morning" was followed by
a hard rocking "Honest With Me" that kept the crowd on
their feet bee boppin' and boogiein' in the warm high
desert night air
"Honest With Me" concluded the main set and the band
came to center for their propers. Some excitement
ensued when Dylan picked up a single stemmed rose from
the stage floor and tossed it into the front rows. The
crowd, I dunno, I'd guess 7 or 8000 strong united in
to one voice as the band acknowledged the din. Then
they walked off like they always do and walked back on
like they always do. So refreshing to hear "I Shall Be
Released" as the first encore instead of "LARS", and
of course that set it up for the perennial grand
finale, "All Along The Watchtower". That one was
delivered with a scorching and searing effort. Each
guitarist got their solo and they gave it all their
best shot, but when the dust had settled and the last
note rang out, of the three guitar men, it was Donny
Herron's night to shine.
There was no attempt to do the material "acoustic"
style. Tony went to the stand up bass but once-no
fiddle, mandolin nor banjo either. Just a hard rocking
bunch of guys doing a nights work.
It was so cool that they came back to Oregon for the
final show of the tour-who knows when they'll be back?
Probably wont be for awhile, but when they do, I will
be there as usual. 
I'm not ready, after a mere forty years of going to
see Dylan perform, to pack it in yet. 
And that's just the way it is.


Review by Sharon Lord

Timing is Everything, Bob's posters even in town early, or don't
you dare miss it. Well, I arrived in town early. Around 4:00pm. Decided to
check out the venue and the town before checking into my hotel. The Les
Schwab Amphitheatre is along the river in a park that offers Free Concerts
on Sunday afternoons. The shores of the river were filled with folks
cooling off in the water or listening to the afternoon free concert.
Near-by also were shops for those who enjoy spending at their local mall.
Expecting some sort of building, I found myself getting frustrated - lost
looking for the Amphitheatre. I finally stopped to ask the gentleman that
was guarding the street that had been closed to the Amphitheater for
directions, which he gave me, then added."BUT you will have to be careful
getting out of here because the tour busses are coming in"..I couldn't
believe my ears..What did you say? Did you say the tour busses were
coming..Right NOW.Right Here? Yes, he said. I thanked him, for his help
and pulled up the street a few feet and pulled over JUST in time to see
BOB and the crew arrive. I found myself saying.Thanks LORD, for having me
here at this particular minute.

The hillside was filled, with young people that had never seen Dylan
before, old hippies that had seen Dylan "once in Chicago, back in the
60's". folks that had seen Dylan several times and were discussing which
Dylan show they liked the best. One of the most thought provoking comments
of the afternoon came from a gentleman sitting behind me. He was
discussing the 60's with his friends, and talking about the War in Viet
Nam, protests and other 60's themes.he commented "you know, in reality, I
lost more friends to drugs than I did to the war."

Bob opened the show with Maggie's Farm, as a flock of geese flew over the
park, and did dives into the river adding to the magical feel of the final
show in this leg of the tour. Bob's voice was strong, the energy of the
band was powerful, yet playful. It was evident from the first song, they
had come to do a show, have some fun, and then take off on vacation. The
audience was on its feet and stayed there for the entire show. "Tonight
I'll Be Staying Here With YOU", Bob was emphasizing "You ". So delightful.
The crowd I was next too was eating it up. "Watching The River Flow", was
very easy-going, light hearted and very fitting for a venue that ran
alongside the river. Bob's harmonica solos brought cheers of approval from
the crowd. "Lay, Lady, Lay". Beautifully delivered always a crowd pleaser.
"God Knows". One of my favorites was delivered with passion, and
BOB belted out, won't be water.but fire next time". You Ain't Goin'
Nowhere kept the crowd on their feet, as did Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.
"I Believe In You", was emotional but a little mix up at the beginning of
the song. Highway 61, powerful and full of energy. Ballad of A Thin Man,
began as the clouds overhead were turning shades of reds and grays. It was
enchanting. Bob is singing strong, his words clear and easily understood.
His harp playing intense. The fans are yelling out approval. "I'll Be Your
Baby Tonight" had a perky beat, and I believe it was the song Bob was
singing when a fan threw a bunch of roses onto the stage. Bob was rockin
and it was obvious that He was enjoying himself. Honest With Me had George
Recile working hard, pounding out the beat. "New Morning," was well
received, Bob's keyboards really stood out, as he bopped to the beat, and
crooned to the crowd. "Summer Days", brought the end of the set. Bob then
went over picked up the flowers that had been tossed up to the stage
earlier and tossed them back out to the crowd. (Don't you wish you would
have caught one of those)?

Returning to the stage for the encore Bob choose "I Shall Be Released"
that featured a fabulous steel guitar solo by Donnie Herron, and Bob
center stage for his harmonica solo. "All Along the Watchtower".BOB was
laughing, smiling, singing and pounding out those keys. Listen for his
playful, keyboard work on this one too. Should you find a bootleg.
Hopefully there will be some.

Leaving the show, one could not help but notice that Bob's busses were
still back stage. A few diehard fans hung around hoping for a glimpse of
Bob, but he remained in his bus till it drove out. It was fun hanging out
with "Craig" who had seen Bob 65 times since the 60's. As the busses drove
out we waved, and got a thumbs up from the folks inside. Off drives Bob,
the skies begin a lightening storm and we gazed upon the times and seasons
- flashing.

Sharon Lord


page by Bill Pagel

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