page by Bill Pagel
Review by Trevor Hinson
Bob Dylan's performance tonight at the Patriot
Center was simply amazing. It was the 4th show
I've seen on this tour (I was also at MSG 11/13,
Philly 11/15, and Wilkes-Barre 11/21), and Fairfax
was easily the best. Bob was very happy to be there
tonight and everyone in the band was in a great
mood. I think Bob definately does better with
a general admission audience, he feeds off of their
energy and he really delivers. Tonight I think the
audience got more than what they paid for.
I was kind of close to the stage, about the 10th
slab of people back, a little to the side so when
Bob's at the piano he looks right over in our
direction. His performance was so focused tonight
I was in awe the entire time. I mean seriously,
folks, he was more than ON tonight, it was
way beyond that. It was such concentration and
emotion in his voice, which was sweet tonight, and
the wonderful emotions he wears on his face during
the right words.
I will leave the blow-by-blow song analysis to other
RMD writers, but I gotta say that the absolute
highlight of the show was "Summer Days." It usually
is at every show, it gets everybody on their feet,
but tonight was truly special. Towards the end of
the jam, Tony laid on the floor and basically had
the big upright bass almost on top of him, and Bob
was just kinda standing there jamming in his own
world, but he turned back and saw Tony, and Bob
got down on his knees and almost laid right next
to Tony, and then Charlie and Larry got down as
well. And they all just laid there on the stage
for a while and kept jamming. It was the funniest
thing I have ever seen at a Dylan show, and the crowd
responded with thunderous applause. The entire band
was laughing and it was a perfect way to end the main set
of the last show of this great tour, and of this
year I guess. I was SO GLAD to be there.
This was my 18th Dylan concert since '97 and dare
I say it was the best. Long live Bob Dylan.
Review by Birdman
Well sir…here I am the day after Fairfax…hanging sheets in the wind and
Bobby’s hanging his as well…yep…He’s off the tour just now and said he’d
lke to stop by and air things out…being on the bus and cramped up… So I
says, “Sure Bob…glad to have you stop by…and bringing Larry, Tony, Kenny
and what’s his name along…that’s great.. By the way, one of the best shows
ever last night…and Summer Days was killer…all you nuts rocking and
literally rolling on the stage…man that was sweet… You guys stepped out
hotter than hell and never turned the gas down all night… Brown Sugar…!!!!
Step aside Mick, at least while the Little Man is twanging and banging
with His Band… Never was familiar with Warren Zevon’s stuff, ‘cept maybe
“Werewolves of London’…but it’s a nice thing you be doing with him sick
and all…..kind of you…as we come to ‘spect. Don’t know what else to
say…you just knocked me out…over the past 30 years I ’ve seen you many
times and last night, bein’ the last of a while stateside you sent us all
out in the windswept parking lots with buzzin’ in our heads and hearts…
Respect is what we feel…for the whole damn bunch of you minstrels… I don’t
know why you do it…but like my son said, “ he’s happiest I think when he
comes off stage his band…and just kicks back…’ Well, whatever….you bring a
lot of soul to hearts used to words on pages and over the stereo and in
the car… Oh, one more thing…if you don’t get back here by dark, I’ll bring
the blankets in…you can pick them up anytime….you’re always welcome here…
Keep rockin’…be happy…don’t sweat the small stuff… Ain’t that what you’ve
been sayin’ to me for all these years?
Review by Alex Leik
I arrived in Fairfax around 3:30-4 after a drive from my home to the
south, Charlottesville. As I was driving along Braddock Rd, which runs
parallel to the Patriot Center, I was cut off by what I believe to be
Bob's big black bus - turning into the center a good 4 hours + before show
time (Axl Rose, take note!). Must have wanted to beat the traffic that
would soon take this small DC suburb by storm. I was quick to stop at a
local sports bar/ restaurant and have a nice bite to eat while catching up
on the day's news & sports (Shaq's Return!!!).
I made it to the center by about 6:40PM but doors were yet to open. I was
finally in and on the floor, about 10-15 yds. from the stage by 7PM. I met
up with Ken and we rehashed stories from Dylan to the Dead to JGB,
anxiously anticipating show time. Around 815, the lights went down and Bob
and the boys were into "Maggie's Farm". It seemed to have a bit more
energy than a week ago in Philly, and Bob's signing was slightly better.
But man, does he really emphasize how bored he gets when told to sing
while he slaves. Great opener!
"I'll Remember You" was my first time hearing this, and what a beautiful
version. Again, the vocal is really shining. "Highway.." gets the crowd
moving and Charlie & Larry run with it. They even pause to give Bob some
solo time on the ivories. Next was the song I had been hoping to hear at
my first show on this leg in MSG - "Accidentally Like a Martyr". Simply
nailed. What a compliment to Zevon, and with this gem early in the show,
and "Mutineer" at the end, Bob's vocal should make believers out of all in
"Things Have Changed" was much better than any version I have heard in the
past 3 shows I have attended. George has 'added' a tom-tom beat that I
don't recall from MSG or Philly. I think it works well, very subtle.
"Brown Sugar" got the crowd moving once again, but a lot of people in the
seats did not get up - very lame crowd. Noticed this during "Summer Days"
"Boots." was the finest version I have ever heard, and Bob played a
remarkable acoustic solo. Overall, this was some of the finest guitar
playing (and keys!!) that I have ever heard him do.
"It's Alright Ma.", "4th Street", "Drifter's ." & "Shelter." were done
well, with a noteworthy harp solo on "Drifter's." that found bob really
playing a lot of (correct) notes - more than just the 2 or 3 note solo.
"Shelter." still isn't doing it for me - not crazy about this arrangement,
but it was better played than Philly or MSG. "Old Man" was nice to hear
again after missing it in Philly, but George's drums were way too much in
this version. I mean, he was banging the hell out of them, and it took
away from the song IMHO.
The final stretch of the final show of the year was nothing flashy, just 5
professionals at the office, until "Summer Days". Before this, Bob
introduced the band, and I noticed Larry & Tony give "golf claps" for
Charlie - something I had never seen before, and had me thinking it may
have been their "fare thee well" to him - and "thanks" for a job.done? The
solos in "Summer Days" seemed to go on and on, much longer than Philly or
MSGs. They let it all hang out, and the end of the jam found Charlie on
his BACK with his legs kicking in the air to the beat of the drum, with
Bob next to him on his knees, hamming it up. Soon, Tony was lying on the
drum riser, and Larry was getting down as well. FANTASTIC!!! If you ever
got a feeling of finality it was at that moment - Charlie's goodbye?? Who
knows, but it was rockin'!!! I hope someone caught it on film??
BITW & AATW closed out the show; again both were done very professionally.
Then, Bob Dylan and His Band soaked it all in. With nods to the crowd from
the leader, and a few "there you ares" with the neck of the guitar, they
were off into the night.
I left feeling very much satisfied with my final show of the year -
probably better than both MSG and Philly. Judging by the amount of people
purchasing the $75 blankets as I was leaving, Bob should be very pleased
with this show as well (once the receipts come in!). To Bill P, thanks for
another great year maintaining your site and keeping us all up-to-date in
the world of Bob Dylan.
Until 2003, Chronicles, or Masked and Anonymous - whichever comes first
(don 't hold you breath).
Review by Andy Saylor
In the Rolling Stone review of Love and Theft, Rob Sheffield wrote:
"Sometime in the Nineties, Dylan finally blew out his voice - and this was
a good thing. Because after those last few creaky floorboards gave way,
the man came up with a whole new songwriting style for the voice he was
left with, the sinister rusted-muffler growl he introduced on Time Out of
I've thought that the creaky-floorboard-that-finally-gave-way is a good
description of how Bob's voice has sounded for awhile. I warn people when
they are going to see him not to expect what they hear on the (older)
albums. But at the Fairfax show, I thought his voice sounded great.
And that band. What a joy to hear them do "Brown Sugar!" The Stones have
nothing on these guys. There's no doubt the togetherness of this group
made Love and Theft such a good album.
There are rumors around that this band may not play together again. If
that's true, we can be grateful for the shows we had.
I just want to thank Bob and the band for the joy they bring. I found
myself just smiling and even laughing at the sheer joy of hearing such
great songs played with consummate professionalism and comraderie. Bob, if
you are going to take an extended break, it is well-earned. Enjoy
"civilian life." Blessings!
Review by Rev. John Klein, Allison Klein and Carolyn Lescalleet
It was creative, once again different, and very good! Compared to so many
other Dylan concerts in recent years it featured Bob on piano for most of
the evening, four songs were written by composers other than Bob, and he
and the band stretched the music yet further to give fresh expression to
older lyrics. The show stopper was undoubtedly "Summer Days" which really
cooked! Faster and faster until one thought greater speed impossible and
then all beginning with Tony were literally on the floor continued to
play at an accelerating pace. This brought the crowd to their feat and the
conclusion of the pre-encore set. The applause was thunderous, the Patriot
Center at George Mason University looked full and it holds about 10,000.
Just before "Summer Days", which was eighteenth in the set, Bob had
introduced the band. It was a superb climax to an enlivened concert, one
that found Bob and the musicians smiling often. The encore numbers were,
as in recent concerts, "Blowin' in the Wind" and "All along the
Watchtower." In the latter the guitar work was exceedingly good and as I
have heard before Bob repeated the opening verse at the conclusion with
the emphasis on both "There must be someway out of here" and "nobody knows
what any of it is worth." This finale' was a grand ending to a wonderful
The three of us each had our favorites though. Allison really liked the
sensitive treatment of "Bye and Bye" from Love and Theft. It was
flawlessly performed. Carolyn appreciated "Old Man" by Neil Young and the
Rolling Stones "Brown Sugar". Both of which were greatly appreciated by
the University audience as well. For me the hit was seeing Bob play the
piano, a first for me. He opened with "Maggie's Farm" and I was so
intrigued with the music that I missed the lyrics initially. I got a long
time wish and that was to actually "hear" Bob sing the lyrics of
"Drifter's Escape." It's a favorite of mine and my sailboat even bears the
title "Drifter's Escape" Still Bob has rocked it so much in recent years
that the electricity drowned out the lyrics. Not so somehow this night -
we could hear and understand the words, pretty clearly articulated. It was
beautiful. Still, my favorite was "Shelter from the Storm" with the whole
of 10,000 people singing the added refrain. Very powerful!
I think everyone was held spellbound by the acoustic "Boots of Spanish
Leather" in which a quiet, listening audience in rapt attention absorbed
the plaintive portrayal. I would imagine that no one left unaffected by
this presentation of timeless beauty. We were also struck by the
difference in feel "Highway 61," "Honest with Me," and "High Water" had
with Bob on the piano. Also, Bob's singing on "Positively Fourth Street"
was particularly poignant.
It was a wonderful concert and we were thankful that this tour never
ends. We can't wait until the next concert. Make it your resolution to
take a friend to see and hear Bob Dylan in 2003 - they will be forever in
your debt as, indeed, we are in Bob Dylan's debt forever. Thank you Bob -
remain "forever young" - the world needs you!
John, Allison & Carolyn
Review by RJM
Although there were no new surprises to the Faithful, Bob Dylan and the
boys put on a very solid show last night in Fairfax, Virginia. The last
show was my first show of this tour and my first since Berlin this past
April. After reading two-months-worth of setlists and fan reviews about
keyboards, cover tunes and Bob Talk, I was anxious to check out this show
and see (finally) for myself. Well, no live debuts, no Bob Speak except
for the band intros and no
ntri butemaybeMySweetLordcomeonpleasecomeon…. Anyway, these are minor
complaints, since I'm not really picky and was thrilled just to be able to
witness Bob, Charlie, Larry, Tony, and George put on, yet again, another
For my review (my debut at that sort of thing, by the way), in lieu of Bob
Talk, I will provide exclusive "Stoner Talk", ie. comments made by the
group of the seven or eight kids positioned directly to my left. Let me
clarify right off that this term in no way intended to be derogatory. My
immediate concern coming into this show was what kind of people I'd have
near me. I've seen Bob play Berlin twice now, where the Germans were
predictably inanimate (except for one memorable guy who appeared next to
me for one song only two years ago and very enthusiastically sang along,
in thick-accented-English, to "Don't Dink Dvice, Eet's Allright!"), but
always very respectful. By my observation, only Americans pay good money
for concert tickets and then have the audacity to talk throughout the
music, use cell phones and generally act obnoxious and rude-to the
performer and all others in attendance. But I digress, I was addressing
the topic of the kids next to me, one of whom found his buddies ten
minutes before showtime and, producing a yellow sheet of carbon paper,
announced, "Dude! I just got busted for possession!" He told his story
(and had my sympathy), exclaimed, "I better get a good f***ing lawyer!",
and as his friends told him not to let that ruin what was sure to be an
awesome show, the lights dimmed, Copeland blared, the crowd cheered, and
Bob took the stage
Maggie's Farm. The kids were high energy right from the start, singing
along to every word (this continued throughout most of the night…I was
very impressed by their knowledge of Bob's repertoire.) Solid opener and
I was instantly taken by Bob's style at the keyboard. STONER TALK: "Dude,
this is unbelievable!"
I'll Remember You. No shake-up in the first part of the setlist tonight,
but each song was very strong, as was Bob's enunciation. I wasn't the
only one to notice this… STONER TALK: "Wow, his voice is, like, so f***ing
Highway 61 Revisited. Sounds great with the keyboards. I spent the song
falling in love with Bob's keyboard style, his legs swaying like a screen
door in a blustering wind, his stop-action, smile, then hammer-out-a-solo
technique, his head jerking all around, keeping watch on the band
Accidentally Like A Martyr. Was excited to finally hear one of the Zevon
covers that Bob's been doing and I've read so much about. Strong back-up
vocals by Charlie and Larry. It hushed the stoner kids, who spent the
entire song at rapt attention, trying to identify it… STONER TALK: "What's
this, Shooting Star? No…"
Things Have Changed.
STONER TALK: "Yes!! Dude, it's that song from um, um…Wonder Boys!" While
the kids danced away, I noticed this tune sounded excellent with keyboard
and Bob's phrasing of the lyrics in a very clear voice.
Brown Sugar. STONER TALK (at the opening chords): "Whoa! Yes!!!"
High-fives followed all around. This one came blazing from the stage,
absolutely amazing, but too short! The only song that got the entire
place on its feet. Just as I read, Tony joined Larry on the "yeah yeah
yeah, whoo!" at the end. But what I loved most was Bob playing stoically
amid the high-energy onslaught of sound, standing back just a step, full
concentration, kinda removed, an all-business expression on his face
(which was otherwise very animated throughout the night), but totally into
this song. You could tell.
Boots Of Spanish Leather. Should've hushed the kids on my left. I love
this song. A rocky acoustic jam at first, the band exchanged worried(?)
glances, but it was ultimately rescued in the end and sounded beautiful.
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding). Big cheer after the President of
the United States line, of course.
Positively 4th Street. I, along with the gang to my left (who'd earlier
mentioned wanting to hear Visions), initially mistook it for "Visions of
Johanna". Bob's voice sprouted fingernails and screeched them across the
chalkboard of time, imitating the popular stereotypes of his voice. Go
Shelter From The Storm. Nice rendition with Larry's mandolin and vocals
arranged like so: "Shelter. From the. [pause] Stooooooorm" Larry, by the
way, looked to be having a blast up there, smiling and pointing into the
crowd all night.
Old Man. High-fives and cheers all around again to my left. I enjoyed
High Water (For Charly Patton). A highlight tonight. Bob's head jumping
from keys to mic, then down into the crowd, then back to the keys, then
jerking back to George, who pounds on those drums. Some have complained
about it, but I liked hearing the drums front and center from time to
time. It adds kick and helps you notice how high off his seat George
Mutineer. I was happy to finally hear this. Despite sounding like it's
run its course, it was beautifully executed. Very tender vocals from Bob.
Summer Days. Absolute highlight. Started out sounding stale, but oh no
no…it builds into an ocean of fire, total chaos, the crowd on the floor
completely ecstatic. Tony's standup bass became a lie-down bass. The
pinnacle of on-stage antics tonight, Tony was on the ground, looking up at
Bob with a grin before Bob dropped to his knees next to him and Charlie
following suit and ending up on his back, feet in the air. Spectacular
jam, so much fun.
The encores were well done, too. After "Watchtower", Bob, pacing around
with his tongue in his upper lip, finally nodded and turned to his left,
Larry gave a small wave to the crowd, and they were gone. I moved up in
the crowd, hoping for more, but alas, the house lights came on and, in the
biggest surprise song-choicewise of the evening, I began my long trek home
to Johnny Cash's new cover of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus".
All in all, a very solid show. Bob's keyboarding had my attention
throughout the show. I hope his hands attacked the typewriter with as
much gusto earlier this year, so we'll all have "Chronicles" to read this
winter as we await the next leg of the tour….
Review by Tim Shorrock
A stellar performance. I was about five people back in the front and was
able to see all of Bob's facial expressions and see how the band
interacted. Probably my 25th concert since 1974 and one of the best. The
stand-up piano is an interesting prop. Standing behind it, leaning into
in, Dylan looked and acted like a preacher. I was especially struck by
that image as he sang 'Its Alright Ma' -as he delivered every verse he
looked intently in the eyes of the audience, scanning for reactions or a
response, maybe to see if his words were sinking in. With a very young
crowd directly in front of him, he seemed to focus with particular emotion
on the verse about 'advertising signs that con/you into thinking you're
the one...meantime life goes on all around you' and ending with 'it is not
he or she or them or it that you belong to.' He delivered a beautiful,
lyrical version of 'Spanish Boots,' a song I've never heard him perform -
marred unfortunately by some idiot long-haired drunk kid who yelled along
with the words and smoked cigarettes throughout the concert and talked
loud through many songs - and shouted 'DESOLATION' over and over again
between songs - glad Bob ignored him. One highlight was 'Positively 4th
Street,' with a loping beat - what a terrific rendition. Peak of the show
was 'Highwater.' They've changed the arrangement and it now soars as a
bluesy rock & roller, filling the gap from the shopworn 'Tangled Up in
Blue,' which I've heard too many times. 'Shelter from the Storm' almost
gospel-like, you could tell people really enjoyed that - thought he was
going to break into 'Constant Sorrow' after that. Second time I've heard
him do 'Drifters Escape,' and I don't think it works for him - this is one
song where I wish he go back to the original beat. The two Warren Zevon
covers were lovingly rendered, as was Neil Young's 'Old Man.' Watching him
sing that, Bob looked old himself and seems to feel it. 'Bye and Bye' and
'Summer Days' lifted the crowd and were great. Dylan seems like one happy
man and his band overjoyed to be playing with him. Tim Shorrock Silver
Review by Skylar Burris
I had the privilege of attending the Bob Dylan concert on Friday, November
22 at the nearby George Mason University’s Patriot Center. Going to a
Dylan concert is always something of a gamble. You throw the dice and
hope you will enjoy yourself, that he won’t be an embarrassment. In this
case, the bet was a success. The concert was excellent.
Dylan and his band were extremely energetic; the song selection was varied
(although I think he went a little heavy on the covers), and the band was
composed of true musicians. Granted, one might have difficulty
understanding some of the lyrics if her or she is not already familiar
with them. However, this is only to be expected, and Dylan’s singing
voice was in sound shape. The two and a half hours (no opening band and no
breaks) flew by at break neck speed, and the show seemed to be over just a
few minutes after it began. The crowd did issue an encore, and Dylan came
back with—of course—“Blowin’ in the Wind” and “All Along the Watchtower.”
Some of my favorite songs from the show:
A wonderful rendition of “Spanish Boots of Spanish Leather,” perhaps my
favorite Dylan folk song, which benefited from the pepping-up it received
in this version.
“Positively 4th Street.” This can be found toward the top of my list of
favorite Dylan songs, but f or some reason you don’t get the opportunity
to hear it very often.
An excellent version of “Shelter from the Storm,” with harmony.
“I’ll Remember You” brought us closer to a later, more sensitive Dylan,
and I enjoyed hearing it.
The show offered old standards as well as some not as popular songs, and
we made it through the whole night without either “Like a Rolling Stone”
or “Rainy Day Women,” the only two Dylan selections known to the local
radio station. I was a little disappointed that, despite the wide variety
of songs selected, Dylan tended largely to stay away from the 80’s, a
decade that boast a large number of my favorite Dylan songs. This period
in his musical career, however, seems to be a piece of history never to be
A note on the covers: I could have done without “Brown Sugar.” Though the
song was better performed than by the Stones themselves, it is still a
Stone’s song that could have been cut to make way for one of Dylan’s own.
I also would have liked to have heard a Dylan original in lieu of the Neil
Young cover. “Accidentally Like a Martyr” is perhaps my favorite Warren
Zevon song, so it was interesting to hear Dylan play it, but I have to
confess that I like Zevon’s performance better.
There were times when I thought the amps may have been up too high, but I
loved the power of the drums and the guitars throughout the night. I have
little negative to say about this concert, which I am so glad I took the
chance to see. The Patriot Center was only about half full—a real shame
for the people who missed out on this superb show. The audience was
staid (about which I have read some complaints), but this ought to be
considered typical of both the reserved Northern Virginia area and the
maturity of those fans who respect what Dylan had to produce after the
60’s (and by maturity I don’t mean age!).
Review by Franklin Grey, Jr.
Have Bob, will travel. At about 1:15 AM Friday, with a
handful of Dylan CDRs to assist me in the 8 hour drive
north to DC, I departed Charleston, SC. Listening to
2002-11-11 MSG was a pleasure from start to finish.
The roads were relatively uneventful, surprising
considering my brilliant move to perfectly time my DC
arrival with morning rush hour. After breakfast,
greeting my friend Jonathan and his college friend
Ronnie (at whose condo we were staying) and a quick
nap, it was off to George Mason University in Fairfax,
VA. Arriving about 6PM and seeing a sizable crowd
gathered outside, the excitement was building.
Surprisingly we had to wait for will-call ticket
pickup 'til around 6:30, a few minutes before the
doors opened. Given our late place in line, I was very
pleased to secure a place about 12 rows (if there were
seats) on the floor in front of Charlie and George
with a direct line of site to Bob. The people around
us were quite friendly, enthusiastic and respectful.
Dylan fans are great, almost without exception. I
enjoyed meeting Sam from my trading group (who ended
up front row center) and chatting with Trevor. As
Trevor stated correctly in his earlier review, general
admission seems to bring out the best. It allows the
big fans to be upfront and the casual ones to sit on
the sides. I have had great assigned seats at other
Dylan concerts undermined by being surrounded by
corporate types with only a passing interest in the
Dylan. Enthusiasm is contagious. By the time the show
started, the Patriot Center was near capacity. Bob
The band and Bob were looking sharp as always. I had
jokingly teased Jonathan that Bob would do Tweedle Dee
as the opener for his birthday. Fortunately Bob
launched into Maggie's on the keyboards. The clarity
and mix was absolutely perfect where we were standing.
The sound crew should be commended. I knew Maggie's
would probably be a reliable indicator for the rest of
the show. Bob has gotten the lyrics mixed up at the
Sacramento 2002-10-08 concert and others, and when the
words were delivered flawlessly and honestly, I
figured everybody was in for something special.
I'll Remember You
Wow, what a version. Dylan seemed determined to make
this right. Expertly he delivered I'll Remember You
with touching tenderness and sincerity. I was struck
with how well he sounded. Where did he retrieve this
voice from? He, like the concert tonight, just keeps
getting better and better.
Highway 61 Revisited
Seeing this song early in the set with Bob on piano
was an honor. I was hoping for this instead of
Tombstone Blues, but tonight Bob could have probably
sung the Beltway phone book and made it work. During
61, Charlie wandered over to the keys and played it
with his foot for a second, then saddled up close to
Bob almost egging him on. Dylan responded and this
song proceeded to rock out. 61 was Ronnie's favorite
of the night. Excellent choice.
Accidently Like A Martyr
While Bob is obviously an unparalleled songwriter and
nobody sings Dylan like Dylan, covers songs can often
be concert highlights. Accidently Like A Martyr was
sung with love and conviction. Bob's voice seemed to
crack from emotion at one point while singing the word
"Martyr". Time out of mind. Incredible. And what
better tribute could a songwriter like Warren Zevon
receive than having Bob Dylan cover one of your songs
with such reverence?
Things Have Changed
If I had to choose my favorite of the night, this
would be right there. Though one could ask me 18 or 19
different times and get 18 or 19 justifiable answers.
The show was this perfect. Bob was playful and very
assured here, wrapping himself around the words with
great skill and eloquence. The way he said "strange"
at one point was killer.
What can said here? Bob fumbles through the words, but
that's not the point. The band is tight and having a
lot of fun. Larry had a huge smile at the conclusion
of this one and it was cool to see Tony getting in on
the end of song Yeah Yeah Yeah WOOOOOOs. I enjoyed
watching the crowd on this one. Just fun. The band is
so versatile and talented.
Boots of Spanish Leather
The last time I saw experienced this song live was
Charlotte 2002-02-20. Just like then, it gave me
chills. This song choked me up a little more than I'd
care to admit in a public forum. Bob's ability to draw
one into his own songs is all to powerful. Bob had
complete control here. He did two acoustic solos. I
was mesmerized with the way Bob would sing, step back
and sort of smirk. It's a different show up front.
There was a little speaker feedback at one point and I
was hoping it wouldn't stall the palpable momentum the
performance was building. My fears went entirely
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
Wow. The new arrangement really works musically and
lyrically Bob absolutely nailed it. Amazing, brilliant
stuff. I would go on, but I'm running out of
superlatives and the show is just getting started.
Larry seemed very pleased with this this song and he
had every reason to be.
Positively 4th Street
Thank you, Bob. Great song, Great performance. Bob was
very much in control again and enjoying every moment
of it. The band huddled around Dylan giving the
impression that this backing band has his back. All
eyes and attention were on the master and followed his
Maybe it's the difference of seeing a show live rather
than on tape, but this song (which is almost never a
highlight for me) really clicked tonight. If I could
read my quickly scribbled concert notes, I would be
able to relay the specific lines Bob emphasized. Dylan
knee bends gave extra indication to his commitment to
this rendition. After he and the band raised the
decibel level quite nicely, Bob spit and gave a short
but sweet harp solo. Impressive.
Shelter From The Storm
Larry on mandolin and with Charlie on harmonies. A
very different, but pleasingly effective arrangement.
The great sound and Bob's excellent voice were again
both very evident.
Another crowd pleaser. An initial sound of surprise
followed by elation murmured through the crowd. PSB
(thank you for all your great reviews), in his Wilkes
Barre wrap-up from the night before, wrote, "'Old Man'
just seems too much like a cover." This Fairfax
version was better than I expected it would be and for
the few minutes that it lasted, Bob made it (almost)
his own. Very cool. At one point, Charlie sauntered up
to Bob and again seemed to be encouraging him. Bob
then stepped back and gave Charlie a look as if to
say, "Watch and learn, rookie". Very assured yet
Honest With Me
Back to the keyboards. There was an extra vocal
emphasis and smile at the end of this line, "You say
my eyes are pretty and my smile is nice
Well, I'll sell it to ya at a REDUCED PRICE". The
hunting "bare" line always cracks me up. Bob took a
"high-handing?" piano solo. Great music.
The Times They Are A-Changin'
Another different arrangement. It's truly remarkable
that an almost 40 year old song is still so relevant.
Thoughts of the late Paul Wellstone came to mind here.
Noticed Tony's wide-brimmed hat for the first time.
High Water (for Charley Patton)
Charlie helping out on George's symbols. Bob on the
keyboards was really leaning into this one. There were
only a few stage effects all night. Some people miss
Larry's banjo, but this performance had nothing to
complain about. The line Everything Looking Blue with
the blue background was neat.
"I was born to rock the boat
Some may sink but we will float"
Another outstanding cover. An almost weepy rendition.
Awesome. Bob certainly "was born to rock the boat".
Bye and Bye
I'm very glad Bob debuted this song this tour and was
especially happy to see it performed in person. I
believe it was this song where Bob, while playing the
keys, turned to his left and paused. I heard it said
often in the post-concert chatter, and it is true, Bob
is cool. Another fine performance.
I like this song and have always enjoyed hearing it
live. The song started well, though it seemed Bob
didn't have the lyric flow he has had in the past with
it. A little clunky. Bob finished the "You've been
teasing me" line and then the jam began. The
rockabilly guitar work built upon itself and after
building to a crescendo, George did this rapid fire
shotgun sonic blast on the drums and everything blew
up. The band really went after it with wild abandon,
so much so that Tony was almost on the ground rocking
out with his large stand-up bass. Bob didn't notice at
first and then glanced back to his right to see his
bass player. Then all of sudden he joined Tony on the
ground, quickly followed by the two guitarists. The
crowd couldn't believe their eyes and the place went
crazy. People were screaming and the band was
scorching away while flat on the stage floor. I was
jumping up and down cheering as loud as I could. This
lasted for a while and the band got up with huge
smiles on their faces. Larry had to help up Tony. The
greatness of the band is well chronicled and deserved.
With Bob and his Band the total is certainly greater
than the sum of their parts. Bob and the boys are
truly a cohesive seamless BAND. I'll never forget
this. Jonathan got the best birthday present he could
possibly have dreamed of.
Blowin' In The Wind
Bob delivers again. A poignant modern performance of
an all-time classic.
All Along The Watchtower
Amazing that the early momentum had carried throughout
the entire show. Bob was 20 for 20 tonight. AATW
blazed and gave Bob and the band a chance to play to
the crowd. Bob was playing with the crowd. Charlie was
making contact with somebody. I couldn't read his lips
for his first comment but he did say "Big Finish"
after that and wrapped up a great song and a
flawlessly astounding show.
Thank you, Bob!
page by Bill Pagel
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