Santa Barbara, California
University Of California Santa Barbara
Events Center (Thunderdome)
October 21, 2004

[James Coffey], [Erik Nelson], [G. Linquist]

Review by James Coffey

An unusual October rainstorm passed through and made way for a typical 
beautiful California day.  So i made the 90 mile trip south from San Luis 
to Goleta and UCSB.  This concert marked my own personal 25th anniversary 
since the first time i saw Bob at the Gammage Auditorium ASU Tempe Az. 
Nov. 26, 79. While I dont like to compare shows, that one has always
been special.                                                                                                 &nbs! p;                          
However they've all been pretty darn good. Tonight was as well. First off 
i'd like to say the audience on the shows that i've attended have been well, 
just great crowds. I've read some of the reviews where people talk about 
the loud and obnoxious people in attendance, Not here, I dont know maybe we 
just have a more laid back audience here in California. The security wasn't 
that tight, a typical quick frisk at the door and that was it. I did notice 
on a walk around that they did have one side of the back where the Buses 
were parked roped off and Secure, but on the other side you could walk right 
up the the Buses. Which i did after the show with some others hoping to get 
a glimpse of Bob, but just Roadies loading equipment. Bob might not have
come out yet, we wer'nt sure and i didn't stick around long enough to find 
Bob brought out the harp right away on the first song and played a nice short 
solo. He also went to the Harmonica on the second song "I'll  Remember You", 
That was one of the highlights of the night. Just like a woman was nice. The 
other standouts were Cold Irons which I think he always nails. "Tryin to get 
to Heaven" which he sang with a lot of conviction. and "Hard Rain" which was 
well how do i put it, its hard to, it was one of the moments when he gave it 
everything he had, and i couldnt help but try to compare it to the Hard Rain 
in San Jose 3 years ago they both were as good as it gets.       
When introducing the band Bob brought out the old toe truck joke when 
introducing George Recile. I like the new stance at the end with his hands 
near his hips like he's going to pull out his pistols. And then the Hands up 
showing palms kind of a cross between an all encompassing wave and a "ive got 
nothin up my sleeves".  
I hope he comes back soon. Till next time. 

Peace. James Coffey


Review by Erik Nelson

There's a great story told of Mickey Hart and Jerry Garcia, watching CREAM
at Winterland in '67. Awed, Mickey turns to Jerry and gushes, "This is the
best band in the WORLD". Jerry turns, enigmatically, and responds, "well,
TONIGHT, they are."

Last night they were.

It was the entire package. Great venue, not oversold, but filled up just
about right. Wooden ceiling, room that bounced. 2 buck parking. Fast --
although every orifice searched -- entrance. Great sound. Perfect
audience, young folks, grey beards, casual acquaintances, crystal clear
post storm Santa Barbara night.

Band was on at 8.10A, and played rock steady till 9.50P, with Bluesman Bob
channeling Jimmy Reed throughout the night. The great news for me was the
harp on most every song. Bad news harp playing was a tad rote and one
note. Musical highlight was the radical re-arrangement of GIRL FROM THE
NORTH COUNTRY. Once again, Bob has disassembled the song, put out the
parts on the work table, and in the MONSTER GARAGE of his Art, put it back
together into something quite interesting.

Not sure I LIKED it that much, but, the thing is, it was like hearing an
entire NEW song. And that, I liked very much.

Other highlights. Bob bringin' it all home on the last verse of HARD RAIN,
which was a hard rock scorcher, again, sounding like he wrote it the night
before. Best version I have seen since The Warfield '80. The dramatic
arrangement (new to me) of ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER, a song which
compresses Stephen King's 4000 page Dark Tower into a handful of couplets.
Trust me on this.

Watching Bob is always a pleasure, and having just read CHRONICLES,
knowing that the Mind We Love is alive in well inside the Decrepit Cowboy
makes it an even more sublime experience.

Amazing thing is that here is a guy who has been on stage performing for
over 40 years. Yet, he STILL manages to look awkward.

Gotta respect that.

We RACED out of the venue after the last notes rang out, leapt into our
car, and STILL wound up BEHIND Bob's bus pulling out.

Bob left the building, but left a lot more behind.

That night, they were.


Comments by G. Linquist

not a revue!   just some quick notes!  first of all let me issue a voice
alert.  unless he's got a little cold or something i fear that Bob may be
overextending his voice.  his voice last nite was very hoarse all nite
long, especially the first half of the show.  if you can, see him on the
first nite of a two or three nite stretch.    the band, by now is very,
very good!!  they seemed to power through just about everything with the
greatest of ease.  individually and collectively they're on it!    while
not the set list that I would have chosen (shoulda been at Irvine!) the
highlights for me were tweedle dum, summer days and rolling stone.  for
the next two weeks (till the election) I hope he plays masters of war
EVERY nite.    and while he's been puposely reworking a lot of the
classics for the last ten to fifteen years (you know, that kind of up turn
at the end of each line) I think alot of the "kids", especially at these
college shows, would really get a kick out of a traditional, aggressive
rendition.  all bitching and whining aside,  if Bob's coming to your town,
or one within 200 miles, you gotta go!!!


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