page by Bill Pagel
Review by Bob Fallows
I attended the Kenosha concert with my 15 yr old son, who was kind enough
to go along for the ride... I think he enjoyed it. I am in my 50's and
never saw Dylan before his appearance at the Allstate Arena in
Chicago/Rosemont last year. I am a huge admirer, but the acoustics at the
Allstate Arena were dreadful, although the groove of the music was great.
I promised myself I would go back to a concert in hopes of better
acoustics. The venue at Carthage College was an indoor athletic center and
we were all seated on the floor. We were off to the left, about a quarter
of the way back from the stage. I was pretty happy with the location, I
would not have been so pleased if we were any farther back, so I
considered myself lucky. The acoustics were much better than at the
Allstate, another plus. All I can say is that I was very happy with the
whole night, I was able to see Dylan in profile and got an even better
look with some binoculars. Some songs I barely recognized in their new
arrangements, but that added to the interest. The highlights were Girl
from the North Country, Hollis Brown and a rendition of All Along the
Watchtower that was truly incredible. Some music will give you goose bumps
(chicken skin music).... those three definitely did it for me. To say the
rest of the songs were great, but did not measure up to those three would
be misleading.... eveything Dylan and his band did was so authentic it was
such a pleasure to watch and listen. A big gripe I do have is that when
everyone is on floor level the people in front of you MUST sit down. I
understand that at times people will get up - I did, but when the moment
passes, sit down and let the people behind enjoy. We were pretty fortunate
that a lot of people in front of us did sit down, but there were others in
the audience that were on their feet most of the show. What would be a
real delight is Dylan would put together a Live CD of these performances.
One last thing... we saw one of the tour busses when we went in, after the
encore we left our seats very quickly. As we were leaving there were two
busses and they were pulling out too. Dylan and the band must have put
down their instruments and jogged onto those busses.
Review by Sandra Cramer
It was a cold and windy night in Kenosha. We arrived at Cathage College
about 7:15 and were told the parking lots were filled and not allowing
any more cars. Parking had already begun on Sheridan Road and we drove
almost a mile to find a spot. .. which was on the shoulder of the road
along with all the others. The walk from our vehicle to the gymnasium
was about one mile. Not much fun in the cold and wind. I could not
imagine why there was no parking left...if a facility claims to hold 7000
why not places for these people to park?
Bob started about 8:15 (you already have the setlist) I was very
impressed with his voice and the charming way he has of altering the
accents on his lyrics. I could not see him very well as we were about
3/4 of the way back from the stage. The seating was folding chairs and
the floor was flat.
He sang beautifully and introduced his band after the setlist. He even
made a joke or two!! The man seems to get better and better everytime I
see him. I was grateful that this was Bob and The Band... not The Band
and Bob (as I thought earlier this year at Chicago's Riviera) His band
is very good...but I go to see Bob. It would be better if his tours did
not include gymnasiums, parking lots , and old warehouses.... esp for the
fans who want to "see" him, not just hear him. His agents need to look
a bit more when searching for locations.
Hope he returns to Chicago soon and is aware of all the wonderful spots
we have here (such as Old Town School of Folk) . Now that's a place to
go to see a concert.... cuz that's what they built it for!
Thanks Mr. D wherever you are.
Review by Marty Traynor
1. I guess there is some cosmic purpose behind Dylan shows being scheduled in such amateur venues as minor
league baseball parks, small college gymnasiums, and the like - but it escapes me. It mostly amounts
to parking nightmares and crowds having 1/3rd of a clue as to what song is being sung - unless, of
course, it's the encores of Like a Rolling Stone and All Along the Watchtower. I heard "Every Grain of
Sand" (which I was extremely pleased to hear) identified as "Blowin' in the Wind", for example.
2. I hate the rail fight so we went for the spot in the front of the line directly behind the soundboard.
The sound was great there and I had a clear line of sight with the binoculars.
3. In general I would rate the show as very good, with the first 2/3rds excellent and the final third a
4. Song by song notes:
* Maggie's Farm kicks off the night in a rock groove. Dylan's vocal, as often is the case, starts out
shaky. There is a sweet solo from Stu and I noted the sound was very good, and the vocal was clear in
the mix. Maggie's ends with a harp solo then a closing run by Larry on his Fender (think it's a
* The Times, They Are a Changin' features a very clear vocal, though in a lower register than in the
past. I think even people without "Dylan ears" could make out the words. The crowd did seem to know
this one. Larry played his cittern. There were two fine harp solos, during the second, Dylan traded
lines with Stu in a dynamic break.
* Lonesome Day Blues signals that the "feel" tonight is to drift towards the blues rather than country.
Larry didn't sit at the pedal steel until the encores. He was back to a Fender here. The version we
heard was sweeter and less beat driven than usual, to the betterment of the song. Lines stood out as
usual, the Samantha Brown bit, for example. Larry played a real nice slide solo.
* Every Grain of Sand begins with a long, very low pitched intro, leading to a strong version, with
Dylan parceling out the words as if they were the wisdom of the Buddha. Paul Williams, in his third
book of the Performing Artist series, discusses his concept that Dylan plays his band like an instrument,
and last night as this song evolved that was the thought: "He's playing them very well tonight". It
was the best version of Every Grain I've heard. Signature phrasing here, at every GRAAAIIIN of sand
is followed by a nice harp solo.
* Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum always strikes me as humorous: a three stooges kind of thing. Even the
stolen tune and arrangement are a kind of in joke for fans, as Dylan winked at the title of his latest
cd while putting a theft into slot number one. What we heard was phrasing of certain words like
grindstones, while Stu and Larry traded leads so fast you literally could not follow them.
* Blues night continued with the opening chords of Tom Thumb's Blues (a favorite of mine - could not
believe he played it!). If we are lucky enough to hear a tape of this show, the first guitar solo was
Larry and the second was Stu. Tom Thumb ended with another fine harp solo.
* It's All Right, Ma was played in its driving 2004 arrangement - very staccato, very heavy on the
bass. As expected, the "President of the United States must stand naked" line brought a cheer. It
seems to me Dylan is really emphasizing his vocals, driving out lines and then alternately pausing to
sing behind the beat.
* Girl of the North Country had a new arrangement, and represented a total change of pace from the
previous few songs. It has a very different feel, with an instrumental hook that reminds me of a song
I've heard before but couldn't place. Larry's acoustic playing can only be described as tender and
Dylan played a very sweet harp solo.
* Floater was signaled by Larry picking up the violin and playing the unmistakable intro. The guy
next to me told his friend it was Honest With Me. It was a nice rendition nonetheless.
* Highway 61 was its usual guitar rumble. Solos were by Stu, then Larry. A bit of gesturing and
encouragement was seen from the band leader.
* A Hard Rain's a Gonna Fall was amazing, there was a great vocal and great work by the band. At
the end of the song the volume on the instruments was turned up until it nearly drowned out the
vocals. At this point I sealed the doom of the rest of the show by noting how great the set list had
* Because then with one exception we got a familiar roller coaster slide of Honest with Me, Summer
Days, and the encores of LARS and AATW. A show I thought was a special night went down the slide
with these songs. All were played intensely, with great work by the band, but with Dylan's voice
losing power and going flat like an open bottle of beer, and Dylan sweating and gesturing with his
hands as though they were numb. Summer Days seemed subdued compared with the versions of a couple of
years ago. During Summer Days it seemed to me that now Larry plays the Charlie parts and Stu plays his
own, and no one plays the Larry parts. This probably makes no sense, but the song just doesn't hold
together as well these days. I did enjoy Stu channeling Hendrix during Watchtower, and I always
enjoy Larry's work on the encores, but for me the night ended after Hollis Brown, partly because
there seemed to be a flat vibe from the crowd at a time when they usually get more stoked up. Maybe
it was because they had to go off campus to get a beer and were anxious to hit the bars. AS Dylan hit
the end of AATW he drew out "WORRRTH" to a familiar crescendo from the band.
* Hollis Brown was the exception to the slide I perceived, one of the oldest songs played sounded like
the freshest. Its arrangement could be mistaken for Highwater, and Dylan took care to make the
narrative count, though his voice had little of the strength it found during Times or Every Grain, for
* There was a double joke during the introduction of the band (between LARS and AATW). George Recile
was described as being "from Lousiana - they gotta lot of snakes down there - when it rains George
sticks one on his windshield - calls it a window viper!" Then after the applause for Tony, as the
band began to strike up AATW, Dylan turned back and said "Tony once tried to milk a cow with a monkey
wrench…" Apparently he had meant to tell a more Wisconsin flavored joke but told the viper story,
anyway. Maybe in Oshkosh they'll hear part two of the Tony cow joke.
* For the final bows, Dylan did a "nothing up my sleeve" gesture, holding out his hands and smiling.
He seemed relaxed and smiling.
5. Closing thoughts.
I don't think the "numb hands" gestures bode well. Maybe this is a clue to the "why no guitar?" questions,
and who knows what it signals?
During the last part of the show even from my vantage point I could see sweat pouring off Dylan onto his
keyboard. Either he has a cold or was overdressed (he looked great, by the way, very nattily clad) for the
rather warm temperature inside the athletic center. Maybe most of the arenas he's been playing are cooler.
Who was the college-age dark haired girl who was walking around the back area just before the show started?
Are there any suggestions or observations from those up front?
Review by Bob Shiel
Last night Bob Dylan's crack band showed up on Halloween Eve in Tarble Hall at Carthage College in Kenosha,
accompanaied by Zimmie's 42 years old song lexicon, which is unquestionably the most versatile, ass-kicking,
heart assaulting, and just plain rocking repitoire of the 21st century. "21st century?" you say? Up you ass
right, brother. Bob is not at all a 20th century has been that meanders unconsciously onto stage to pander
to traditionalists or throwbacks who yearn for being taken back to a time long gone in the late 60s, aching
to be inebriated by stinky, stale, cerebral, sad ass, sugary, superficial, sympathetic, safe, syrupy,
self-controlled, same old sentimentality. No, brother, Mr. Dylan marches in lock step on stage to the tune
of an all-business band that neither aims to please nor hams for self-serving attention. This band couldn't
care less what you think. It's in your face (hence the tone and title of this review) re-worked versions
of timeless classics of Americana all night long, fuck you very much.
A band of civil outlaws, fashionably late and attired in charcoal Italians wool suits, western shirts,
cowboy hats, and boots, commenced with a sojourn to Maggie's Farm, yet the ole joint was utterly
unrecognizable on this visit. Bob's syncapated phrasing of the measures served as a combustible sniping
staccato with the blasting drums of Popeye-forearmed George Recile detonating the down beat. The times are
a changin', indeed. One would have thought this anthem had been written last week in concert with the 2004
presedential election which looms in 48 hours. Lonesome Day Blues must be seen and heard live as Bob tends
to spit-scream the lyrics across the stage at Tony Ganier, who is clearly as moved and motivated to nail
his bass patterns as he was the night he entered Bob's band in 1989. In Every Grain of Sand Larry
Campbell's bass runs and the spiritually elevating chords chord and lyrical harmonies brought the audience
to a momentary mountaintop. Tweedle Dee swerved the nirvana vibration into a 50s sock hop scene just
we travelled down to Cuidad Juarez and the big apple with another translation of Tom Thumb's Blues. It's
alright, ma, the crowd's only ejaculating the chorus line. In the north country there's a contemporary
ballad unreminiscent of the original chordal melody, but she's still a true friend to this day (if only Bob
were still plucking spontaneous, comical lead licks on the B and high E strings actuating Chaplain gestures
and ingenuity on this one). Floater's cork bobbed as Larry's meandering fiddle served as a bouyant life
preserver for this jazzy diddy that plainly plummets on a live stage. How in the hell can Highway 61 breathe
new life? Holy frozen gamblers, poor Howard's jiving and shucking the last original rhythms, starting and
stopping with shuddering suddenness, only to rip back into the rocker we all know and vomit and ignorantly
dismiss, for it is perpetually reworked. Show stopping Hard Rain ensued as Bob rapidly wordgrouped his
diction with unsparing, tempestuous, craving passion, musically horsing around with the melody, somehow
amusing himself yet entrancing the band into a pose which might only be described as solemn, reflective, and
earnestly grave to the first degree. Honast With Me, haplessly adduct the show into brass slide guiter
boredom with you. Hollis Brown's weighty fateful predicament mesmerized the masses and Larry's cittern
banged out juicy power chords punctuating Bob's playful pounding on the eighty eights. A hollow body Gibson
electric on Larry's end altered the customary Summer Days rockabilly riff, nut only temporarily, as the vigor
of Elvis' Sun Records days returned when the song crescendoed into the stratosphere as hips twisted
throughout the arena. How in God's kingdom on earth is Like A Rolling Stone capable of not sedating the
band, let alone the fans, into a 7 minute slimbering hibernation? The familiar 3 chord folk rock ballad All
Along The Watchtower defied danger by venturing into the peril of troubled waters, tindering a luminous
combustible beds of coals resulting from Bob's playing with fire itself.
Ah, to be sure, grashopper, the only real failure is living without risk, and gambling and roving the
countryside is prevailing survivor and human myth Bob Dylan, storied, creative, created, improbable,
apocryphal, invented, inventive, irresistable, impeccable, inquisitive, inevitable, intense, indisputable,
indifferent, insulting, indestrictable, incomparable, insubordinate, incoherent, inciteful, inspired,
impressive, imperfect, insistent, immortal, imaginative, imvulnerable, invigorating, intuitive, intoxicating,
intolerant, intelligent, and invincible at 63 and a half.
Review by Don Romundson
Cars were lining both sides of the road for miles on the approach to
Carthage College in Kenosha, and I thought I had made a big mistake by not
arriving much sooner. As it turned out, the small basketball arena had
plastic folding chairs set up in rows for this general admission concert,
and I got a seat near the sound check guys looking down a big aisle with
an unobstructed view of the band. It was farther away than I wanted as
far as sight, but perfect for sound, and as usual the sound mix was
outstanding, especially when one considers the acoustics in these types of
I knew this was going to be another magical concert when I looked to
my left and two seats from me in this full arena was a friend named John,
who I met at a concert in La Crosse several years ago. We have some kind
of psychic thing where I will run into him at totally unexpected times and
places, but when its related to Dylan, good things always happen. When we
first met in La Crosse, it was the first time Dylan had ever played
"Lonesome Day Blues" in concert, together with Shooting Star, and a really
cool Sugar Baby .
Tonight was another unexpected event. I was expecting a totally
rocking affair. Dylan came out sometime after 8:00 with a black cowboy
hat and black suit, with two silver buttons in the small of the back of
his coat. He looked like a David Lynch version of Paladin. Have gun,
will travel. In fact, the whole evening was like it came out of Lynch's
movie, Mulholland Drive. The scene from Club Silencio. The mysterious
MC/magician who asks the crowd if things are really as they seem, and then
proceeds to demonstrate that they are not. Or maybe Hesse's Magical
Theatre. In this theatre, the all-seeing eye stares from behind the stage
all night, no changing curtains or backdrops. Lots of purple
underlighting on the cymbals, looks like blacklight with smoke rising up
from the crowd in a very ethereal manner.
Stu's hanging tight to Bob's side like he does, but tonight he
succeeded so much more than I've ever seen him in the past at fully
complementing Bob with some really masterful runs. Complementing not only
Bob's lyrical intonations but also Bob's piano, and Larry's guitar,
filling up and completing.
Bob was really using his voice as an instrument tonight, not trying to
shout or growl so much. Its funny, I've been listening to Unplugged (an
old boot with all the songs from the unplugged MTV shows from 1994) and it
struck me that Bob's voice sounded very similar to that tonight. Not
growling or yelling, but singing and using that voice as an instrument. I
was thinking that Bob's voice isn't as lost as we sometimes think, that
he's singing every night just as he wants to, that this raspiness is to a
large extent intentional, and that he can still sing however he wants
depending upon the effect he is seeking.
Much of this was lost on some of the college kids in the audience
I'm afraid. There were a couple of fratboys behind me that were yelling
at everyone that went by before the concert started to go get them some
nachos, and then laughing like crazy at their befuddled looks. I don't
think they knew what the hell to think of Bob's renditions of Tom Thumb's
Blues, or Grain of Sand, or Hollis Brown. Or even Larry's wonderful
fiddle on Floater. I was wondering how many in the crowd had never even
heard Love and Theft.
Almost all the songs tonight were entirely reworked, with Girl of
The North Country perhaps being the most notable for me. Bob had a run
of songs that was so subtle and ethereal, that I was just waiting for the
MC from Club Silencio to come out at intermission and introduce the little
girl from Masked and Anonymous to perform The Times They Are A-Changing.
Or maybe I'd look to the left and there would be one of the college kids
walking into a door from Steppenwolf's Magical Theatre marked "I Never
Asked For This." I was wondering what the college kids behind me were
thinking when George played several songs in a row with brushes instead of
sticks. After a while one of them said "I thought Bob Dylan was playing
here tonight". He then jumped over a row of seats in front of him to
follow a girl who was walking toward the concession stand.
Not that Ginger Recelli would remain hidden all night, Ginger came out
once in a while. Highway 61 was an example, and the band throughout the
evening from time to time would weave some seamless and real hard rock
into the fabric, but there was none of the sideways drumming on songs
like Cold Irons Bound this time. This was the other end of the spectrum.
Maybe on Halloween night the flat-out rockers will show up, who knows,
but tonight we had Bob singing like he wanted the audience to listen to
every syllable, playing harmonica solos early and often, playing the piano
with authority. When he played A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, he meant it,
maybe more so than 40 years ago. Nobody was just collecting a paycheck
tonight. But it was the furthest thing from a Greatest Hits show, and
for that Bob vexed a good number of the crowd I'm sure. (And lots of
people will probably have a very different view of this concert from mine
because of that perhaps.) But not the ones who travel for hours to see
Bob, like the guy from Waterloo, Iowa whose ticket receipt was on the
floor by my chair. That has to be about five hours or more from Kenosha.
It was the kind of show where you could just sit back and let the
music come to you, and become absorbed by it, and be in true awe of the
ability of someone to so totally rework his music that he changes not only
the key and musical structure, but the psychological structure of any
listener that has the ability to silence his own expectations of what is
and what is not.
John said that if they had not placed the folding chairs in the
auditorium, Bob would've played a completely different style. That the
chairs were perfect for the style Bob played tonight, but it wouldn't have
worked if everyone was standing like is usually the case in general
admission shows. And he was right. Tonight's show was made for tonight.
It didn't do any good to yell out requests. You can go into the
bathroom at the Magical Theatre and scribble them on the wall. Its like
Colonel Kurtz, you don't tell Bob Dylan what to play or how to play it, he
tells you. Or rather, its like Dylan is facing the universe and playing
for infinity, and if you are fortunate enough to be silent for that
moment, you may realize that this is not a recording. This is not Deep
Purple or Eric Clapton playing the exact same songs in the exact same
manner on every night of their tour. This is true intent. Its like when
you're in a philosophy class in college, and the prof asks you how can you
prove you really exist? A concert like tonight is how you know. (Of
course, if you told the prof that, you'd probably get a big fat red F, but
you usually don't figure that out until years after college anyway).
There have been some times in the recent past when I was a little
disappointed with some show or another, even this summer to some extent
with the Willie Nelson shows, which seemed okay but lacked some of the
magic that I have come to expect since the early 90's, maybe even seemed
like the band sometimes was just showing up to some extent. But when I
was just beginning to wonder if maybe we'd seen the best, out of the blue
comes another really magical evening.
We got two jokes when Bob introduced the band at the encores, but
otherwise no talking. At the end of the show, Bob stood with his hands to
his hips doing the thumbs up thing, and then wheeled back and forth giving
the thumbs up to the band. He even started showing his open palms to the
crowd with a very impish and seemingly delighted smile.
When I was leaving the show, John mentioned to me that Bob had
played Lonesome Day Blues again tonight. I mentioned that he also
played Ballad of Hollis Brown, which he played the last time we had seen
each other. I didn't notice the college kids anywhere. When I was
walking to the car, I saw one of the college kids walking into his dorm.
He yelled out to whomever was listening: "Bob Dylan sucks!" Must be a
marketing major. I guess we won't be seeing him on Halloween night in
Dekalb, the 40th anniversary of the recently released 1964 concert. I'm
guessing its going to be another magical one.
Review by Jeff Gerdin
First, I really admire Bob Dylan. I am grateful to have seen Dylan at
least once on every tour in the last ten years. I have enjoyed watching
him reinvent himself and his songs and create an increadibly strong new
body of work, but his voice was by far the worst I have ever heard it. It
sounded like he was having trouble getting the words out, even when he was
just talking. It sounded downright painful! Buried under tobacco leaves
His piano playing was pretty much buried until the end of the show and it
did not really add a whole lot even then. He played a lot of harp, some
good, some not so good.
The band made the night enjoyable - especially on the rockers. Except for
Summer Days where Larry played jazz influenced solos, the upbeat songs
were done in a classic hard rock format with roaring guitar solos from Stu
or trade off solos between Larry and Stu. George pounded the drums,
rocking the house as they became the world's ultimate garage band. No
polished endings to be found here. On the slower numbers, it sounded like
they got a little lost. Floater really seemed out of whack.
Good mix of early and mid-sixties with Love and Theft. Good arrangements
of Maggie's Farm, JLTTB, It's Alright Ma, Girl of the North Country and
Hollis Brown. Dylan's voice worked for the whole song.
Standing in line in the 20F windchill prior to entry was harsh. Many
people were not dressed for the cold. They used only two doorways for
entrance, so it was slow going. Once inside only one bathroom was open
creating long lines for both sexes.
Concessions were disappointing since we hadn't eaten. Past shows had
offered dogs, pizza, etc. Last night we filled up on Nachos, soda,
popcorn and M&M's. It was like being at a junior high basketball game.
The crowd was orderly and on the older side as evident by the shouting for
people to "sit down". The seating was all general admission on folding
chairs on the floor. We had good seats about 30 rows back on the aisle
with a good view of Bob. This was the first "No Smoking" show I've seen
where people actually complied - there was no smoke around us of any type.
The facility had zero atmosphere and Bob's lighting crew did nothing to
hide that fact. The floor of the entire facility was noticeably flexing
when the band played "Like A Rolling Stone". Given that this was an older
crowd, Carthage ought to be concerned in the future - someone might
literally bring the house down!
I hope Bob's voice regenerates for those going to the rest of the shows on
Review by Jason Robleski
This was a terrific show! Earlier this year, I caught Bob and His Band at
the Rave in Milwaukee and witnessed a lackluster show plagued by bad
acoustics and an out of sync band.
The Saturday evening show in Kenosha was a completely different
experience. With the election looming, there were many anti-war sign
holders outside of the venue, as well as lots of democrats wearing John
Kerry shirts. There seemed to be a 1960's protest vibe in the air. It was
cold and very windy, but waiting in line to get into the Tarble Athletic
and Recreation Center to see Bob Dylan play his first-ever show in Kenosha
seemed to keep everyone warm enough. It was visiting family weekend on the
Carthage campus, so there were a lot of hipster parents taking their
college student kids to the show.
I had major misgivings about the show being held in an athletic hall, but
the acoustics were much better than the last couple of Dylan shows I went
to. The show kicked off with a stellar "Maggie's Farm". While Dylan
doesn't have the same vocal range that he had 40 (or even 30) years ago,
he held the notes great and made it easy to hear all of the words.
He played piano throughout the whole show. Unlike the show I saw in
March , the piano seemed really integrated into the band's sound. The
piano fit perfectly on the re-worked "The Times.." and "Highway 61." There
were a couple of surprises in the set list. "Every Grain Of Sand" and
"Girl Of The North Country" caught me off guard. Both were solid
performances from the band and Bob. In his only statement to the crowd
(and there were plenty of people concerned or hoping that he would make a
political statement) he made a joke about Kenosha being the "Real Windy
City." Windy it was!
If I had to make any complaints, I would make them about the crowd and the
set list. The set list was solid, but a tad conservative for my taste. I
can't fault Bob and His Band for this, however. He has never, nor has any
other major performer, played in Kenosha. With this in mind, I am sure
that Bob wanted to make sure an audience that may not have ever had the
chance to see him in the past, went away happy. This was clearly the case.
My complaint about the crowd is that a few people kept yelling at some of
the audience for standing up during the show. I have only been to a couple
of shows where the audience wasn't standing. My expectations are that
people will stand during concerts.
Other than that, it was a great show.
Review by Jim Doran
Took the one hour drive up from Chicago to Kenosha . Just a fantastic show
Saturday night in Kenosha . The set-up at the TARC was a little different
. All folding chairs and no standing area . The funny thing was once Bob
came out at around 8:20 everybody stood up anyway so it would been much
better as far as seeing the stage to have just standing room but thats the
way it was . Anyway , the sound was really clear and even though they
did'nt serve any libations I liked the venue . Bob came out in black hat
and suit . He was more animated as I've seen him in a long time and even
told a joke while introducing the band even though I did'nt catch the
punch line . Bob was really in great spirits and his voice was strong and
clear all night . He played lots of harp and no guitar unfortunatly .
Anyway , a great show with several highlights for me . Every Grain Of Sand
, Tom Thumbs Blue's , Girl Of the North Country and Hollis Brown . The
band was tight and with Bob every step of the way . I lost track of how
many instruments Larry played . This was the first time I've seen him play
the violen ( Floater ) and he was fantastic . Was hoping for a second
encore after Watchtower but the house lights came on and it was the end
of yet another memorable night on this never ending tour . Special thanks
to Heather , a bartender in a little Irish bar in town . It was a great
place to unwind after the show .
Review by Don Ely
One thing I enjoy about seeing Bob on the road is you never know where you might
end up, or what one-of-a-kind sights you'll see along the way. Or the good folks
you'll encounter, all of which sum up a great experience. So with vacation time to
burn,I chose four shows not too far from home. I was forced to miss the entire Bob
& Willie tour this summer when I snapped my leg in a car wreck while coming home
from work one rainy wednesday night. had purchased tickets to Cooperstown,
Jackson, and Peoria and was eagerly anticipating all three when God stepped in and
spared my life from the drunken fool that turned in front of me that rainy
wednesday night. What's more, in His Grace He healed me and left me able to go out
and see Bob Dylan And His Band yet again.
I joined up with the traveling roadshow at their stop in Kenosha, Wisconsin, just
a few miles north of the state line and still basically part of Chicagoland as I
see it. The venue was the N. E. Tarble Athletic and Recreation Center on the
campus of Carthage College, a small Lutheran school nestled in the woods a bit
north of town. The big problem here was parking, as in nowhere near adequate to
accomodate hundreds and hundreds of concertgoers' vehicles. The solution was to
herd us all along the side of the highway, where we walked what seemed like half
a mile to the hall. I'm still using a cane, so the oncoming headlights mixed with
the fact this was devil's night didn't allay my concerns overmuch as I hobbled
along the asphalt. But I survived. Once inside, I was directed upstairs to the
general admission area. Let's see, I've got a main floor GA ticket and I'm going
up? Maybe it's akin to Australia, the water runs the wrong way so the stairways
go up to the main floor. When I got there I had to laugh: chairs. This building
was an indoor track with folding chairs on the floor and no seating or grandstands
on the sides. This meant I would be sitting in the back, as opposed to standing
near the front as I usually do. I resisted temptation to run along the ovals of
the track and resisted temptation to trip over what seemed to be a temporary
surface as I made my way toward my chair of choice. A young couple of about 20
followed me in to the row, and we enjoyed the show together.
Bob and the boys performed a good, solid set with standards and few surprises that
seemed to please everyone. Bob was in strong voice and the band sounded inspired
enough. Given the distance from the stage the music carried well and I was
impressed with the sound quality in the Tarble Center. Election Night 2004 was
nearly upon us in America and I was intrigued to see what effect this momentous
occasion might have on Bob and Band and his selections for these concerts. An
excellent "The Times They Are A-Changin'" and a notably powerful "A Hard Rain's
A-Gonna Fall" were among the chosen few tonight. I had seen Stu Kimball only once,
at Bonnaroo in June, and was pretty hard on him in my review of that show, but he's
come a long way since then. He added standout licks to "It's Alright,Ma (I'm Only
Bleeding)", and contributed to hard-rocking renditions of "Highway 61 Revisited"
and "Maggie's Farm". "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" was indeed a surprise, only the
first I've seen since Detroit St. Andrew's Hall on 7/6/99. It's one of my
favorites, but one I didn't recognize, though I remembered the line "they got a
lot of hungry women there". "Girl Of The North Country" is played in a new
arrangement I call the "music box" version, and "Floater (Too Much To Ask)" was
cool as a cucumber salad. Larry Campbell on fiddle played a memorable Stephane
Grappelli to complement Stu's Django Reinhardt guitar. "Ballad Of Hollis Brown"
was a hoped-for number seen for the very first time and much appreciated. I figured
I'd catch it at least once during the four gigs on my roadtrip, and lucky me, I may
just have caught the last one.
I left prior to the encore to grab a poster and get a jump on the crowd back to the
car. To my astonishment many other people were leaving as well. I avoided becoming
roadkill and arrived at my Hyundai safe and sound. Informal survey: 85% of drivers
will move to the far left lane to avoid those walking on the highway. It's the other
15% you wonder about. Tomorrow night would be stop no. 2 in De Kalb, but first I
had to drive up to Baraboo to see Dr. Evermor about his FOREVERTRON............
page by Bill Pagel
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