Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Heinz Hall For The Performing Arts

November 20, 2014

[Michael Frawley], [Daniel Chester], [Eileenz]

Review by Michael Frawley

I have seen Bob far and wide over the years, but no show for me has 
matched the thrill of being accompanied by my wife, the Long Suffering 
Tam, and our daughter Emily, age 7, and surely the coolest kid in 
Pittsburgh on this night. This was her 1st concert, and a damn fine one 
it was. I'm not going to give you the 'blow by blow', others are better
at that than me. Suffice it to say that Bob and the boys were in as fine 
a shape as I've ever heard them. As tight and together as they are, 
there still seems to be plenty of space for them to move around in. 
What an experience for these guys! Bob's a very generous band-leader, 
and to me in a way, you can almost sense the affection the band holds
for him. There's a lot of joy happening on that stage. It's palpable. Very 
cool, this time, that from the opening of the show it was apparent that 
Bob was in fine voice (aided nicely by the world class acoustics in Heinz 
Hall), and he proved (again!) that at 73 he is still no one to be trifled
with. This is a man on a mission. He stands, hands on hips at times, 
daring you to dig it, defiant in his boots. Well.  Highlights were Things 
Have Changed, Duquesne Whistle (blistering!), Tangled (surprisingly 
smooth and wonderful compared to some versions I've heard from this 
leg of the tour). Love Sick, THE highlight of the night for me was,
well...words fail. 2nd half highlights were High Water, Early Roman Kings. 
Forgetful Heart was amazingly performed and very moving. Song craft 
of the highest order. Scarlet Town. Dug the Sinatra. Bob does what 
Bob does- be the only cat in the room who's written 8 or 9 hundred of 
the greatest songs ever written. The aura, consciously crafted in the 
beginning, has fulfilled its own potential. And basically, you either got 
it then and get it now, or you didn't and don't, but Bob doesn't play 
to your expectations, he's looking for the unexpected, moments of
high grace that move him ever forward. Life as a living,  breathing work 
of art. My Emily was thrilled and enthralled. And so it goes on.


Review by Daniel Chester

Things: everything was just a little better than a week ago and this is no
exception.moved nicely and had a little depth

She Belongs: this arrangement had a better sound balance.lyrics were
clearer and had a proper place in the mix

Beyond Here: really strong version and, again, the soundscape allowed the
lead guitar to be heard clearly (happened the whole evening) and that was
a treat (guy is good)

Workingman's: laid everything in to the singing/delivery at center stage
and it became a performance.would still like to hear that lead guitar
melody line sussed out to turn this into a lullaby.impressive turn by the

Waiting: you aren't going to believe this yet this was quite good.singing
was clear and imagine finding a nugget like this in a song you'd
dismissed: 'I'd bet the world and everything in it on you'

Duquesne: just a marvelous little driving swing to this.loving the
intertwining of piano and guitar.big fun

Pay in: a little more intensity/drama and at the same time an average played it as well as it could.just not happening from either a
tune or arrangement standpoint

Tangled: speaking of which, this thing is working from both a song and
arrangement standpoint.a marvelous lilt to the switch mid-way to
piano (just a really interesting addition part-way through a song).again,
the band near-perfect

Love Sick: the whole thing (sound and singing) worked and then again this
should be dripping in something (venom? disgust?) and it doesn't.not
really feeling the twist at the end as much as before.million other
choices for first set closer

Highwater: fairly interesting arrangement and mix though it seemed to
shift a couple times during which detracted from the cohesiveness.really
dig the banjo and, again, the place of it in the mix was not
consistent.should be a pure picking song.liked the lead electric guitar
here and at the same time would kill anyone for the lead guitar to play
acoustic guitar once in awhile (imagine how good that guy is on acoustic

Simple: a real many songs are altered that it's special to
hear one in the spirit and feel of the original and especially blessed to
hear this one in an authentic, for lack of a better word, manner...think
this was the tune where the gender of the subject was changed to nice

Early Roman: a little more old blues oomph to it and, yeah, admire older
artist creating new music to share and, yeah, it was well-played and,
still, somehow not being transported by this

Forgetful: magical with the stand-up with the bow and the viola (a string
section!).singing rock-solid.can one find any stronger medicine than in
lines like 'without you it's so hard to live'?

Spirit: from 'Forgetful' to this? treatmendous.would think that if his
1960s self heard this he would just shake his head, smile, and give the piano playing on of his shiniest treasures

Scarlet: a little better than last week and played well (banjo and
stand-up) and still not possessing that mystical vibration.well-delivered
and lucky to hear this

Soon After the Backdrop was Admired: decent and recent little offering and
lasted the right amount of time.when the backdrop is the most interesting
part of a presentation the importance of playing new material in a crucial
slot lessens dramatically

Long and Wasted Backdrop: another where the backdrop was the thing most
worthy of attention.negligible song on the edge of being boring (which is
a borderline crime in this slot)

Blowin': 50 yr old artifact that was played well (violin) and sung well
and yet did not achieve any emotional resonance

Stay: what a great gift to give an audience and hats off to the band for
the sound they create for him to deliver this prayer

Summary: to repeat, everything (band/singing/sound/energy/engagement) was
better than a week ago.can we stick 'Shelter from the Storm' in the first
set as a companion to 'Simple Twist'?...was there a snatch of lyric about
a 'fugitive's prayer'?...thinking that besides an even more liberal use of
stand-up that the lead guitar should spend just about as much time on
acoustic guitar.reasons: the acoustic picking and leads would augment
these songs; the acoustic guitar use might lower the decibles to the point
where the singer might not have to feel he has to sing over the music
(which can only help a tattered voice); and with the darkness factor (and
performer's/audience's age?) this should be a quieter tour (which, again,
allows the lyrics and feel to stand in better stead).in fact, can see it
evolving to him on a stool surrounded in a half-circle by these fabulous
musicians and he uses his art to create some real feeling (soul-stirring)
for the audience (and himself?).he might end up reciting lyrics if the
journey continues long enough.all 'n' all, a great show in a great tunes were 'Stay' and 'Spirit' and 'Simple' and 'Forgetful'.in
celebration, here are (more than) ten all-time favorite tunes: 'Hattie
Carroll' and 'Boots of Spanish' and 'Billy' and 'Not Dark Yet' and 'Spirit
on the Water' and 'Sugar Baby' and 'You're Going to Make Me Lonesome' and
'Heaven's Door' and 'Every Grain of Sand' and 'Frankie Lee and Judas
Priest' and 'Visions of Johanna' and 'Sign on the Window' and 'Jokerman'
and 'Huck's Tune' and 'When the Deal Goes Down' and 'Floater'.thanks,

Daniel Chester


Response by Eileenz

On a beautiful Thursday evening 

In the gold leaf palace of Heinz Hall 

The gentleman with the key 

Our traveling guest 

Will wind it up 

On a black tie piano 

Held like a 


In marble 

I lean over the railing 


With red velvet steps 

Under the crystal crown 


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