Norfolk, Virginia

Old Dominion University
Ted Constant Convocation Center

September 25, 2007

[Bryce Curran], [Alex Leik], [Barbara Peri Moss], [Tom Rein]

Review by Bryce Curran

Bob and his band were on their game this evening in Norfolk Virginia. 
This was my second time seeing Dylan on his modern times tour and they
just keep getting better.  I was a little disappointed that they didn't
play any songs off of "Time out of Mind" but overall I was pleased with
the set list.  Bob nailed Tom Thumb Blues on the electric guitar.  That
song alone was worth the price of admission.  Bob's rendition of "Chimes
of Freedom" didn't go over so well with some of the older fans in the
audience but I like the new arrangement.  I've been a fan of Bob's ever
since he released "Time out of Mind" back in 99.  I go to see him perform
his new songs so it doesn't bother me when he reworks his oldies.  I'll be
traveling to Maryland on Friday to see Bob again.  I think I've got the
dylan itch.


Review by Alex Leik

The 2.5 hr ride from Charlottesville to Norfolk was just in time to
avoid the bulk of the tunnel traffic. We were seated in our (front
row/center) seats as Amos Lee was a few songs into his set. I had last
seen Amos in Hollywood 2005, and the first thing I noticed was...he has
hair!!! But for real, he seemed much more polished and had added a very
strong keyboard player (Bob could use some lessons!!). His set was quick
but tight, and had me thinking I might just have to get there on time for

I often think of the downfalls of the drink and how it has steered me
wrong throughout my life. I always think of alternatives to quitting, but
I must say Tuesday night the drink put me in a conundrum I had never found
myself - waiting in line to buy a beer as Elvis Costello took the stage.
Now, I had never seen Elvis, so I was immediately struck with "what do I
do?? I KNOW beer is good, I don't know about Elvis 'cause I have never
seen him." Well, I went with the former, and missed the first song, and as
I seated for what was one of the finest solo acoustic sets I have ever
seen ANYONE do, I was kicking my self over the drink. But I quickly got
over it. Elvis was simply put, worth the price. Veronica, My Aim is True,
and powerful What's so Funny 'Bout... and sever songs he wroth with his
" T Bone Burnette." The guy was on, soaking it in, and
reminiscing over the first solo acoustic gig he ever played in Norfolk
back in 1984. He clearly had a message in tow, and this naval town took it
well and recognized things may be dragging on just a bit too long and
unnecessarily. Can't wait to see him Thurs night in C-ville.

Bob took the stage to something other than "Fanfare..." for the first time
in ages. Black suite with the red trim, red & black boots. Quick into
"Cat's in the Well" which has been his chosen opener the last 4 times I
have seen him - Jeesh, c'mon bobby :-). Very tight performance, everyone
on even keel. Senor was a force, as it always is, and here is where I
noticed I could actually HEAR Bob's guitar, and it was not bad, the same
old tight noodling we have all come to love over the years. It continued
on Tom Thumb's Blues, then it was off to the keys. The show continued at a
fairly even keeled pace for the next few songs. Wheel's on Fire was a
first time for me, I believe, and played well. But something seemed to be
missing, Bob seems uninspired, Denny Freeman could not stand up straight
(I soon figured this to be his playing style, he is a leg mover, but it
appears at time as if he simply had one too many before the show). Tony
even seemed like he'd rather be somewhere else (but after 18 years, that
may very well be the case).

Then came Chimes of Freedom, and something changed. Bob sang this with
emotion I had not seen from him in some time. The band increased their
"eyeplay" and focus was the word of the day. I seem to recall harp with
this song that brought it to a perfect ending, and brought the show to a
new level. Inspiration had found our hero, and the rest of the night
benefited. Workingman's received a nice reception after the first verse,
people are familiar with MT it appears. Highway was, well rip-roarin as
always. Nettie Moore was not the best version I had ever heard, but it
satisfied and Bob seemed to really enjoy it, as did the audience, many
taking the opportunity to yell out their appreciation in some form or
another during the quiet moments. Summer Days seems to have gone the way
of the quick crowd pleaser as opposed to the long drawn out jam where
everyone shows their chops - I like this way much better. Then, as if
Elvis did not convey the message well enough, Bob closes the main set with
MOW, then comes back for Thunder (Bob seems to hurry this lyric) & AATW
(See Summer Days for thoughts on AATW) - making sure the naval town knows
that the end is near if we don't take stock of what is going on outside
our walls.

Bob was all smiles and thumbs up for the line-up. It is amazing how much
control such a little man can have over a crowd of a few thousand. And I'd
say a few thousand was about it. Many empty seats near the back. But it
didn't keep Bob and the band from delivering a quality performance, above
avg at the very best.

As I drove back to Charlottesville and crossed the harbor bridge, the
battleships could be seen in the distance, ready for another call. Each
day they sit in the harbor is one day they are not on foreign waters. On
to Charlottesville.

Alex Leik


Review by Barbara Peri Moss

The day after the Norfolk, Virginia’s Ted Constant Convocation Center
concert, where Mr. Bob Dylan took the stage and proceeded to live up to
all that makes him great, I am still reeling.  There was only one reaction
I had after leaving this arena and that was one of wanting more (there are
more dates on the current Modern Times tour, of course, and the
inclination to attend each and every one is both palpable and powerful).
The man is all about the music, for sure.

This concert was, in a way, different for me, it being my first live
experience, of course, with this man in the same room as myself. I had
waited 30 years for this. The difference that I felt was a physical one.
The living, pulsing live rock and roll of Dylan’s music can not be
compared to his recordings, I soon learned, actually, at the very moment
the first note was played. He did not move around much, but stayed mostly
on the electric keyboard, slightly hidden and out of sight. I could not
have imagined the intensity of this performance. I was lost in the sound
and sight of this magical musician.

The fact that it takes just a moment or two to recognize the song he has
started to play is a joy and a pleasure…once the discovery is made, my
smile is turned on and stays lit. Just one of the special performances,
for example, was of his “Nettie Moore” which he spoke and almost sang, as
he often does.  He takes such care to feel this song and it
transfers…”right on target, so direct”…I was lost in it. “Workingman’s
Blues #2” just brought me to my feet without a thought. It has been a long
time since I have stood up for no apparent reason. I was once again
rendered speechless. 

Waiting to see if Mr. Dylan would return for an encore, concerned,
confused when the minutes seemed to go on forever, I was struck by his
powerful and wonderfully teasing rendition of “All Along the Watchtower”.
His artistry and passion for his creations is completely addictive and
almost decadent.  He carried me along and never disappointed. 

And when the bank rocked, (and they rocked a lot!) they took us all to the
places we remember, places we don’t usually visit, except for a night such
as this.

I could only add, not to be complaining, that only some additional
favorites, added to this performance, could have possibly added to my
experience. I am not ungrateful, by any means. My expectations were
exceeded. In fact, I am looking for the next stop on my tour.


Review by Tom Rein

I've been following the show reviews on this site, and have been looking 
forward to seeing Dylan since the show was announced a couple of months 

Amos Lee and band were solid.  Nothing spectacular, but very solid.  Much
like an early version of the Dave Matthews Band that I saw as a local here
in Virginia.  He has great potential.  

Elvis Costello was absolutely amazing.  I've seen him more than 30 times,
but not in probably 10 years.  His energy, voice, and passion reminded me
of when I first saw him back in 78.  He definitely restored my faith in
why I flipped head over heels over him 30 years ago.  After years of
feeling he had been living on his reputation, he definitely proved me
wrong.  He has won my total respect again.  

Dylan and band took the stage to great anticipation and.. They were
AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I've heard all the arguments that you can't expect 
the Dylan of 20 years ago, etc, etc., but this guy STOLE my money. 
Someone needs to tell him that the never ending tour, ended a long
time ago.  Yes, his voice is different. Actually, it's not a voice at all, it's
a cheese grater.  I was embarrassed for him.  His band was flat.  They
couldn't carry a melody to save their life.  There was no connection to the
audience whatsoever.  I am by no means a Dylanologist, but I've seen him
maybe a dozen times before, listened to him since the 60s, and can recite
many of his lyrics from memory, and I could not figure out one song until 
almost the final verse.  Sorry, it was really disappointing. 

Tom Rein 
Norfolk, VA 


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