Reviews

Nashville, Tennessee
Municipal Auditorium
November 3, 2001


[Shepp], [Robby Prince], [Skip Lewis], [Jim Maynard]

Review by Shepp



This was my 10th show.  Last I saw Bob was in Blacksburg, VA.  I loved
that show, as Bob on "campus" is always the best.  This time I made the
drive from Chapel Hill the day before and stayed with an uncle who lives
in Crossville, TN.  I departed about 3:30p, Saturday driving on I-40W
about 100 miles.  Arriving downtown Nashville about 5:30p and really
lucked out by finding a parking space on the street behind the front
entrance.  I could not believe that a space was open by a meter right
across from the tour bus! I was on line a minute later.  Not really a long
line at all.  Arriving this late, and the weather being "mild", and being
about no more than 150 feet from the door was a surprise.  When I was at
the Lowell, MA show in November, it was freezing and the line was "blocks
long". I was inside and front center about 15 feet from the stage.  The
words below will never do the show "justice"...It was great.  The venue
was a small sixties-style round-arena....wooden back seats....floor was
set up for general admission (no seats)...I love GA!

Hummingbird was a first for me.  Beautiful.  His vocals were superb.
Clear....from the start.  Bob in black.  The band were dressed in matching
"stardust" gray suits except for David in black. IAMB was a treat with Bob
picking up the harp so soon, I thought he might be in a mood to play 4-5
(not the case).  However, the notes were
outstanding...bending....sharp....I met a real nice couple from Nashville
that had seen him before...and the husband said it was the best "harp" he
had ever heard!   And, he said halfway through the show it was the best
performance by Bob he had seen.  He also had some binoculars with him. 
Yes, I used them...during the harp solos...Bob looked great!  There was
also a 13 year old at the show who said he saw Bob during the summer in
Nashville, and thought Bob was really "cool", so he came out to see him
again. DR was also great.  They were playing the acoustic as hard as they
could.  I don't think anyone can get more out of them than this band. 
TWCSL was the "highlight" of the show for me.  The harmonies were awesome
....this is the greatest band in the world!  I kept thinking how at each
show I see that Charlie's prominence varies.  In Lowell, he was very much
in the background, not playing leads.  Yet in Blacksburg he was riveting
with the leads.  Here in Nashville his vocals on this song were so
"strong"!  He sounded great!  He did not play as much in the way of leads
however. LDB & HW was way better than on the album!  Incredible. How can
Bob just do that! ITIAW was once again beautiful.  Larry's playing was so
fine. Floater was much anticipated since it mentions the Tennessee and
Cumberland rivers.  The crowd did not cheer as much as I had thought. 
Seems that most were not as familiar with the new material.  There was a
delay in the reaction as a result.  Charlie seemed to have fun playing the
violin portion on his guitar.  I think Bob and the band had fun watching
him trying to do so as well. OTMM and JB were excellent. VOJ was
great...this was the only song I did not recognize immediately..to my
surprise...I had not been fortunate to hear this recently.  SD ripped! 
Crowd was dancing.  Mississippi was also a highlight for me.  Wonderful! 
I really believe this is a "masterpiece".  "your days are num'berrrd, so
w'aaare mine"..."dreaming I was sleep'en en Row-sezzz bed"..."thoughts so
sublim-me"..."nev-a do ya justiz' or reason a rhymmmee".... WM was
awesome. LSPBH was a real treat... Bob had to be changing words all
around.....something about "garage doors"...he really had fun on this
number....and seemed to be interacting with someone in the front row. 
After the song he motioned with his hand to someone in the front  and
seemed to mouth "whoa"...while putting his hand up and taking a step back.
 With a slightly "startled" but nevertheless smile on his face....big grin
in fact. Of the encores the favorites were ISBR, HWM, and KOHD. The ride
home was accompanied by the local 650AM radio station that was carrying
the "oprey" and the Ernest Tubbs record store shows...I kept anticipating
that maybe a Bob tune might be played or dedicated....and lo' and
behold...it was....I believe it was Marty Stewart (sp?) mentioning that BD
was on the road headed to St.Louis and he wanted to dedicate a bluegrass
version of (what I believe to have been) "Only a Hobo"  to Bob!  Unreal.

Shepp

[TOP]

Review by Robby Prince



Five years and a day after I saw my first Dylan show, I got to see my 9th.
For those of you that didn't make it to Nashville, you missed a great
show.  My dad, girlfriend and I had a nice drive up from Birmingham.  We
got in line and managed to get pretty close to the stage on the left side.
 Dylan and his band started pretty close to 8:00 pm and came out looking
sharp.  Tony, Larry and Charlie were wearing matching shiny gray suits,
the first time I have seen them match.  Bob was in black with a red
necktie.

Dylan opened with the bluegrass flavored "Humming Bird."  It was pretty
good, a little soft for my taste.  Charlie and Larry did a good job with
vocals. It wasn't quite as good as some of the Stanley Brother tunes Bob
has been doing, but nice anyway.  

"It Ain't Me Babe" was second.  It started off kinda low key but kept
building and building.  Halfway through the song, it became apparent that
we were getting the 8 or 9 minute version complete with some nice harp. 
Dylan as playing some nice lead too.  Thoroughly enjoyable.  

A strong "Desolation Row" followed.  I dont have much to say about this,
it was solid and always nice to hear.  

Next up was another traditional folk song, "This World Can't Stand Long." 
I heard this live for the first time in May at Music Midtown in Atlanta. 
This is a great song, but it took on a whole other meaning after September
11.  A nice rendition.  

I was expecting to hear "Tweedle Dee" next but instead we got "Lonesome
Day Blues" which was perfectly alright with me.  I love this song and it
is even better live.  I believe Larry was playing slide on this one, not
sure though.  This song has such a drive to it.   Very good.

Next came my first surprise of the night..."I Threw It All Away."   I love
this song.  It makes you think about what you have and appreciate it too. 
I love the line (no pun intended)  "Love is all there is, it makes the
world go round."  Bob sang this with heart and it was beautiful.  Larry
was amazing on the steel guitar.

I saw one of the roadies hand Larry his banjo and I knew "Highwater" was
next.  This didnt sound too different from the album version, maybe a
little longer.  Larry's banjo playing was very nice.  It makes me wonder
why he doesn't play banjo on some of the bluegrass songs.  

"Floater" followed.  This is not one of my favorites on the new album, but
it was laid back and a nice change of pace.  The exchange between Romeo
and Juliet is amusing.

The band strapped on their acoustic guitars and we got a gorgeous version
of "One Too Many Mornings."  It had a rather lengthy intro and was sung
delicately.  Larry played some gorgeous steel guitar. 

Larry then strapped on his bouzouki and I asked my dad what songs he has
played that on.  The only one that came to mind was "John Brown."  Well
sure enough it was, and man it was good.  I've wanted to hear this for the
longest time.  Again, this song also takes on a different meaning after
Sept 11 especially since our troops are overseas right now.  

"Visions of Johanna" followed.  This is such a great song.  Not a
spectacular version, but I finally got to hear it live and thats all that
matters.  

The band then strapped their electrics back on and we got "Summer Days." 
This is my favorite song on the new album.  It JUMPED and it ROCKED.  I
love the jump blues sound. This got everyone moving.  

Dylan followed that with my other favorite song on Love and Theft,
"Mississippi."  I love this song.  Dylan stayed true to the album version
for the most part.  Every he sang the chorus.."stayed in Mississippi way
tooooo long," there were some cheers apparently  from people either from
Mississippi or that hate the state. :o)

A guitar--heavy "Wicked Messenger" was next.  This was my dad's first time
to hear this.  He really liked it.  He told me someone had said this was
the best guitar rock band in the world.  I might just have to agree after
hearing this.  Bob played harp on this one also.  

A so-so version of "Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat" finished up the main set. 
This is not one of my favorite Dylan songs but was still good.  

Fortunately we got to hear "Things Have Changed."  How true that is. 
Times ARE crazy and people ARE strange.  A solid version very similar to
the one I heard in Atlanta in May.  Again, not redundant, but this is
another song that has taken on a whole new meaning. 

A crowd-pleasing version of "LARS" was next.  The crowd was flooded by
spotlights during the chorus.  This is a good theme song for any college
student..."How does it feel to be on your own...."  

"I Shall Be Released" was fantastic.  Again, this is one I have wanted to
hear for a long long time.  Charlie and Larry did some wonderful backup
vocals.  

The last new song of the night, "Honest With Me" was next.  It was solid. 
Larry played slide on this one.  

An expected "Blowin In the Wind" followed.  It was a good version, if you
like the bluegrass arrangement.  Charlie and Larry do a good job of trying
to harmonize with Dylan.  

Bob and the Band came back for a good version of " AATW" and "Knockin On
Heaven's Door."

I thought we were gonna get another song, the house lights stayed down for
a few minutes, but to no avail.  We had to leave.  

So...a very solid show.  Bob seemed to be having fun, wiggling his left
knee a good bit.  This band is so versatile, with Tony on standup and bass
and Larry playing 7 or 8 instruments.  The crowd wasnt a sellout, but
close.  This was the longest Dylan show I have seen at 2.5 hours.  I hope
Bob makes it back down south soon.  

Id like to say thanks to my dad and girlfriend for going with me.  This
was the 8th Dylan show I have attended with my Dad.  Thanks to Bill P for
a great site.  I also wanna say hey to Mike Nave, Anders Tidstrom, Debra
Moore and any other Dylan buddies I havent talked to in a long time.  

And lastly...to Dylan...I hope I am as creative and energetic as you at
age 60.  Keep on keepin on!  

May your song always be sung,
Robby Prince
[email protected]

"There outta be a law with no bail, you smash a guitar and you go to
jail..."  John Hiatt. 

[TOP]

Review by Skip Lewis


     being a dylan fan since the 60's and having seen
him in concert, and as my kids now 14 & 16, have had
to listen to dylan albums & watch videos of him over
the years, i decided to take them to this show so they
could remember seeing the legend in concert.

     we left asheville, n.c. for the trip to
nashville, which is a good 5 hour drive, of course
listening to dylan music on the way. we stopped just
before nashville & got a motel room for the night,
refreshed up a little & headed to downtown, where we
found little traffic & a great parking space less than
a 1/2 block from the auditorium.  as i had 4 extra
tickets, it didn't take long to sell 3 of them. 
     after walking around the building, we seen the
road crew motor homes out back, so decided to sit down
in that area, chatting with a few other fans there. i
was surprised that there was only a dozen or so in
that area.  
     it wasn't that long before another motorcoach
arrived and shortly after, david kemper got off,
someone called his name & he began to talk to fans & i
along with others got a chance to take pictures.
     shortly afterword, larry campbell came out, & i
told my son who it was, he grabbed the ticket we had
leftover, and walked up & said larry, can i have your
autograph & larry stopped & signed it for him, while i
took pictures. he was excited & talking about that,
when i noticed charlie sexton depart the coach, again,
he grabbed that ticket and walked over to charlie and
asked the same, & while charlie was signing, i agian
took pic's of my son jason & charlie. the last to come
out was tony, which seemed to be in a little more of a
hurry & didn't stop for anyone, although i did snap a
couple of pic's of him.

     it was probably an hour later, when we noticed
securtiy starting to move around, and it wasn't long
after that i noticed traffic being stopped on 5th ave.
a one way street, and low & behold here came the coach
with bob himself, turning the corner coming up 5th ave
the wrong way, it pulled over, bob got out among
security people & was rushed in side on the lower
level.

     when we 1st arrived i did notice about 5 or 6
standing around that area with dylan posters, albums,
guitars & hats waiting for an autograph, but there was
no such luck this time. when bob got inside i notice
one guy that had several albums & posters, that had
beeen there waiting before we arrived, jump in his car
& left, so my thoughts were he didn't even go to the
concert.

     we had excellant seats, & time flew when bob &
his band hit the stage.  one could sense right from
the start that they were on & it was going to be a
good night.  there were no disappoints from anyone
that i talked to or could see.  5 songs from the new
alblum, that were all played great. i thought it ain't
be babe was terrific, with bob getting on the harp
with the 2nd. song. then desolation row.
     the band & bob were really on last night, i felt
they got better as the night went on, the last 10
songs were bringing the house down, you could feel the
excitement in the crowd as well as the band having a
good time, it just seemed to get better & better.
     i asked my son after the show, what'da think, is
he as good as i've said, his reply " a lot better"
     having seen bob in asheville in may which was
very good, this show seemed to top that by a bunch.
there was no doubt that bob & the band were ready for
nashville.

     after the show, we walked down by the coaches, &
surprised that they were still there, while seeing bob
& members of the of the band talking to people in the
lower level for a few minutes, we also say a few
country singers leave & walk past us, probably there
to pay respect to the ledgend.  they finally came out
and boarded, we got to our car & as we came down the
street we were stopped to let bob & the band out, we
then followed the coaches out of town to the
interstate.

skip lewis

[TOP]

Review by Jim Maynard


I believe this was my 10th Dylan concert.  Since my hometown of Memphis
was bypassed this tour, I bought a couple of tickets to Nashville for me
and a co-worker (Glenn) who I turned on to Dylan back in 1999 when Bob
played the New Daisy club here in Memphis (a great great show).  Glenn was
blown away by how good Dylan was live--like most people he had some
appreciation for Dylan's work, but he was not all that familiar with his
work.... and being a former "rock star wanna be", Glenn really dug Dylan's
band and how well they work together...

Anyway...Glenn had stood me up when Bob came to the Pyramid in Memphis in
Sept. of 1999 (he got sick), and then when Bob performed at the Beale
Street Music festival in Memphis in May of this year.. so I was afraid
that he would back out on me again... I called him up about noon (our
agreed upon time) and he was still in bed!  I gave him one hour to get
ready and I drove to his apartment.... after stopping by Sonic we were
finally on our way to Nashville...

One thing I love about Dylan's concerts is how diverse his fans are---and
how young!  We saw many middle and older aged people.. but almost as many
young (YOUNG) kids... I saw several pre-teen boys with Love & Theft T
shirts beside their parents.. (I wonder who brought who to see Bob...  and
I hope that IF I ever have children.. they will not force me to take them
to see Britney Spears or the Backstreet Boyz... I hope they would want to
see Bob Dylan...)

I have decided that I don't like these big auditorium shows as much as the
smaller venues... there is a world of difference between seeing Dylan in a
small club like the New Daisy and in the Pyramid in Memphis...  and the
Nashville Municipal Auditorium was too big for me (although it probably
would seat about 10,000 I guess only about 7-8,000 attended the Dylan
concert).  But the sound is just not as good.. and it is so far from Bob
up in the balcony (but Glenn did not want GA floor tickets because he
doesn't like to be crushed in a big crowd...).

Well I was  hoping to hear some songs I had not heard live yet (like Blind
Willie McTell or John Brown) and not hear songs I have heard many  times
(like Tangled Up IN Blue) and I was hoping for maybe Idiot Wind or some
other song from BOTT.  And I wanted to hear Lonesome Day Blues, Summer
Days, Mississippi or Sugar Baby from the new album.  Glenn wanted to hear
Things Have Changed which he has loved ever since he got the soundtrack to
Wonder Boys.

>From the beginning song, Humming Bird (a nice opening song I haven't
>heard
yet, though I had sort of wanted to hear Wait for the Light to Shine) I
knew the acoustics were not great...although on some songs Dylan's voice
was clear and understandable on  many it was not...

It Ain't Me Babe was nicely sung and I loved Dylan's phrasing...I heard
something a little different in the way he would sing the verses and then
pause for a second and emphasize (BUT.. It AIN'T ME Babe!)...and we got an
early harp solo at the end that built up nicely...

Desolation Row I heard  before in Little Rock this year but I liked it.
This World Can't Stand Long I heard at Beale Street but I needed to hear
it again after Sept. 11.

Lonesome Day Blues was our first of SIX songs from Love and Theft, and one
of my favorites... I had been anticipating Dylan singing lines like "I"m
going to preach to the crowd....!"

Next came my first real pleasant surprise.. "I Threw It All Away"... I had
played Hard Rain for Glenn on the way to Nashville and drew his attention
to this song and how Dylan sung it just at the time his marriage feel
apart (having been through two failed marriages Glen emphasizes with Dylan
on a lot of his songs about relationships...).  Dylan sung it just as well
tonight... with some different phrasing ... very mellow and beautiful.  It
sent chills down my spine every time he would sing the words of warning to
lovers not to throw away what they have and keep each other close... that
love is all we have and we can't live without it.. and it was the way he
would sing (as a much older/wiser person) "take a tip from one who tried!)
that have be goose bumps...

Then the only song I did not care for on Love and Theft  "FLOATER" which
did not nothing for me live either... a lot of people love this song, it
does nothing for me and I usually skip in on the CD.. and this live
version just was not very good at all to me.  The words were not
understandable... and I don't know if they were trying to follow the album
version or were doing something else.. but the band did not seem together
on it  TO ME.. maybe I just didn't understand it...  It seemed like Dylan
was starting to loose most people in the audience to me.    The only "bad"
song tonight for me...

I have heard One To Many Mornings once before at the Pyramid in Memphis
Sept. 1999, but I  love the song.. and it was so well sung... Dylan's
voice was very clear ...sad and pretty...

THEN came one of the songs I hoped to hear live for the first time.. JOHN
BROWN... I wanted it instead of Masters of War.  Unfortunately either
Dylan slurred or hurried the lyrics along too fast.. or the acoustics were
bad in the auditorium because it was very difficult to understand.. I
recognized it but a lot of people didn't... and I wish they could have
heard the lyrics... this song is one of Dylan's best songs addressing the
horror of war..

VISIONS OF JOHANNA.. I have heard once or twice.. but I"m always awed by
it. Glen loved it too... I've got to show him the lyrics on page.. they
are among the great works of art I know of...

Another song from L&T, SUMMER DAYS, which I had hopped for and imagined
the whole crowd dancing to... but they didn't.  Well some were dancing on
the floor.. but most people stayed in their seats.. and Bob kind of rushed
it too much think, but it was still pretty good... but not quite as good
as the album version to me...  but it is one of my favorite L&T songs...
and I hope he plays it when he wings the Grammy Award :)

Oh my God... Another L&T song---MISSISSIPPI... another one I hoped for..
and performed very well live.. it was actually better than the album
version.. it had more of a punch to it.. and Bob really got into it.. the
audience liked it (in fact, all the new songs were well received like all
8,000 or so people had been listening to the new CD...)

WICKED MESSENGER was also a pleasant surpass which I have not heard...it
really rocked.. and Dylan's brief harp solo at the end was pretty wicked
too... I wish he could have kept on a little longer...

The first set ended with Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat which I like better
than Rainy Day Women... And they left the crowd wanting MORE....

Back for the FIRST encore with the song Glenn wanted "THINGS HAVE CHANGE".
Glenn slaps the knee of the guy next to me and says "man I love this
song!)

The crowd roared their approval of the opening chords of Like a Rolling
Stone.. and the light show began to add excitement to the show by turning
lights on the audience for the Chorus... showing a lot of happy faces and
raised hands trying to sing along "How Does it FEEL!"     Dylan slows this
song down a little too much I think.. but he seems to be changing the very
meaning and feel of the song on purpose.  It is not longer an ANGRY song..
at least not as full of venom and revenge on a former lover.. now it is
the song of an older wiser man who seems to feel SORRY for that person...
living all alone.. like a complete unknown...  out there on Desolation Row
with the rest of us...

I Shall Be Released was next...very good live, and well-received.  The
harmony of Dylan, Charlie and Larry was pretty awesome on this song..

Next was our 6th taste of Love & Theft, HONEST WITH ME.. which seems to
feel the hard-rocking jam fest space once occupied by Highway 61...
Amazing that a 60 year old artist can still produce music this good...

BLOWIN' IN THE WIND would be a great way to close this concert... I've
heard it one before live.. but the way Dylan and the boys harmonize on the
chorus gives it a nice punch in the face and the song will hold up for
eternity...

The crowd wanted more.. we get a second encore with the predictable but
enjoyable ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER (a song I have heard many times but
never get tired of!) and I think this tops all the other performances I
have heard...

And a beautiful KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR ends a very good show.

We wanted more.. but the lights come up and we have to let go of Bob.

All in all another good job by Dylan and the band... the only thing that
would have improved it for me was to drop Floater and add one of the songs
I wanted to hear from BOTT (like Idiot Wind, or Shelter from the Storm)
and maybe a song or two from TOOM.. but it seems Bob likes performing as
many L&T songs as he can and is moving on from TOOM..

Well.. I can't wait for him to come back to Memphis.. maybe next summer..
and I'm still waiting to hear BLIND WILLIE MCTELL...

[TOP]

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