Dylan opened with "Silvio," which by some point in the mid-'90s I'd hoped
never to have to hear live again, but it wasn't bad at all and worked as an
opener in getting things off to a pretty rocking start. Both Larry Campbell
and Freddie Koella took good solos and while the song didn't quite reach the
psychedelic heights of the mid-'90s versions with John Jackson (probably his
shining moment) it worked.
This was followed by a not bad at all "If You See Her Say Hello" that wasn't
quite as fast as the versions from a decade ago where it almost had a
Creedence Clearwater tempo, but not quite as slow as the album. It was hard
to tell whether Dylan was making up half the verses as he went along, but he
had little for every verse and when he sang an actual line from the original
lyrics such as the "Sundown Yellow moon, I still replay the past" it was
more of a surprise than the new words. Dylan also did two pretty good harp
solos, the second reaching some wild proportions.
On Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Dylan sang in this low guttural Tom
Waits-ish register sometimes going high into what sounded like his sort of
regular voice. It was fairly strange, and he didn't really hit the groove
until midway through the song. Because he would work his way out of it, it
was sometimes hard to tell if this was yet another new style of singing
which perhaps he hasn't mastered yet or if there is some kind of serious
voice/throat problem happening.
Next came "Joey" which was pretty much a surprise since Dylan seems to
reserve this song for some bizarre reason for Deadheads. Anyway for what it
's worth, he nailed it. It was easily one of the highlights of the night.
I really don't notice what verses he doesn't do while a show is happening
and while he didn't do all of them, he did sing the verses in order and
delivered one lengthy, quite good harp solo while the guitars rocked hard
behind him at times almost sounding like Rolling Thunder.
"Highway 61" was pretty strong but was accompanied by a couple who thought
they were on American Bandstand, even though everyone in the entire section
was sitting down. But these assholes could have given a shit if they were
blocking anyone's view, and were not just dancing but dancing in a manner
that only said look at me. Now asides from the fact that there really isn't
all that much room to dance in a row of seats, if they really went to the
show to dance there was a whole big lawn to dance on, since the whole time
they were dancing they didn't look at the stage once.
Chord-wise, the next song could have been "You're A Big Girl Now," but it
turned into the newly re-arranged "It Ain't Me Babe," though slower than the
other version I heard from this current tour. It was good, but nowhere as
strong as the versions from last year's fall tour, but it might be the
leader in the song with the most arrangements in Dylan's catalog with the
possible exception of "Maggie's Farm."
Next came "Hard Rain" with an exaggerated vocal similar to the one from New
Orleans earlier this year, though not quite as outrageous as that version.
The song was going along strong but somewhere in the middle some Petty
arrivals appeared in the next aisle trying to figure out which seats were
there and discussed it for at least an entire verse as which point the
usually mild-mannered RMD-er of some repute exploded and I was praying the
pieces wouldn't fall in me. The guy behind us testing out his new cell
phone didn't help either, along with the running commentary on everything
but the show that went on next to the new cell phone guy. So much for "Hard
Rain" and I spent the beginning of "Drifter's Escape" trying to figure out
whether a verse got left out of "Hard Rain or not. However, "Drifter's" was
intense with Dylan pretty much leaving whatever Tom Waits aspirations he had
at the beginning of the show behind.
Next came the show's spookiest moment, "Can't Wait" in a slow spooky
version, with Dylan's keyboard standing out and a vocal that was damn close
to the album version in voice and feel, even though the song was much
Dylan ended the show with three rockers, "Watching The River Flow," "Honest
With Me" and "Summer Days." Dylan, dressed in a black sparkling western
suit stood on stage for about a second of what was once known as the
formation and then walked off. There was a pretty long wait for the encore,
but when the they returned they were joined by Tom Petty, Mike Campbell and
Benmont Tench for "Rainy Day Women," and then a fairly scorching
"Watchtower" with Campbell playing some spectacular guitar.
It was a good show, with a couple of great moments. The atmosphere at the
PNC Bank Arts Center.. well, there isn't any atmosphere.
that said, the new version of "Can't wait" is a must hear.....tapers?! i
gotta say i hope it came out all right considering the acoustics were shit
for most of the dylan portion of the show....
petty was great w/ the heartbreakers.....had to leave early to board a
school bus full of animals in order to catch the train back into
civilization...but i'm assuming bob did *not* join Tom?
"Peter Stone Brown" <ps...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
One quibble, however: The venue's former name was the "Garden State
Arts Center," at least for the 4 Bob shows I saw there between 1988
> Now the last time I saw Bob at the PNC Bank Arts
> Center, it wasn't the PNC Bank Arts Center, it was
> simply the New Jersey Arts Center and was a bit
Isn't this the eternal question?
I especially liked this part:
: > The song was going along strong but somewhere in the middle some Petty
: > arrivals appeared in the next aisle trying to figure out which seats were
: > there and discussed it for at least an entire verse as which point the
: > usually mild-mannered RMD-er of some repute exploded and I was praying the
: > pieces wouldn't fall in me.
Seth Kulick "The hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting"
University of Pennsylvania - Bob Dylan
It was also disappointing that Bob didn't come on with Tom, especailly when
Petty did the Willbury's Handle with Care.
I kind of that was wrong, must've been the effects of 70 miles of hard rain.
> PNC is not a great sound venue at all
This might be the understatement of the year. In any case, missed last night
because I had to attend a wedding, am looking forward to tonight's show, even
in the woeful PNC Bank Arts Center.
Am I strecthing it a little bit too much or can this review be easily
*It was a really bad gig, maybe Dylan is really in need of some rest* ?
No. The eternal question is, Which are better: Cocoa Puffs or Cocoa Krispies?
Count Chocula has a better shot at eternity.
: Isn't this the eternal question?
I don't think so. Ever since the low point of 1991, whenever I've seen
Dylan, or heard recordings of shows, I can say to myself, "that's Bob.
He's sounding older, less vocal power, whatever, but that's Bob". But this
is one of those time periods, like 1984 (when his voice seemed to shift
into a higher register), or 1991 (!?!), when I say to myself, "what the
hell is that? If he's going to sound like that from now on then it's
all over". Peter described it as the "lower guttural Tom Waits-ish register"
and for me (as sung by Dylan - it works much better for Waits) it's completely
lacking in any emotional content, anything at all. He also sounds like he's
almost gasping for breath.
It's also on all of the 2003 recordings that I've heard (not a lot, just about
five shows). But yet he can, and often did move up into his regular voice,
or at least a 2003 version of it, and then all was right with the world.
There were one or two times when he moved from his regular voice down into
the lower guttural thing very effectively (I can't remember now which song
it was, although I tried to make a mental note), but overall he just spends
too much time down there these days. Saturday night, I thought the singing
was basically horrible until he woke with Joey, of all things, and started
sounding like Dylan.
>"Highway 61" was pretty strong but was accompanied by a couple who thought
>they were on American Bandstand, even though everyone in the entire section
>was sitting down. But these assholes could have given a shit if they were
>blocking anyone's view,
A friend of mine almost got kicked out of Saturday's concert for getting
physical with one of these two people.
> Unbelievable crowd....i have to say, it...i don't know.....it made the crowd
> at Giant's stadium for Bruce the other week *enjoyable* by
> comparison....comparing it to a frat party would not be appropriate....if
> the music had not been so redeeming i would have sued.....
> that said, the new version of "Can't wait" is a must hear.....tapers?! i
> gotta say i hope it came out all right considering the acoustics were shit
> for most of the dylan portion of the show....
> petty was great w/ the heartbreakers.....had to leave early to board a
> school bus full of animals in order to catch the train back into
> civilization...but i'm assuming bob did *not* join Tom?
The crowd was horrible. One of the worst I've ever had the displeasure of
encountering. There was the guy who passed out in his seat and began to vomit
all over himself. There was the guy who argued with his girlfriend and decided
to punch her in the face and knock her out cold. Then there was the couple 4
seats to our right who began arguing with the guy behind them because he hopping
around in his seat. Security was nabbing one idiot after another and causing
ruckuses during both shows. Then there were the people who walked back and
forth all night talking, dancing, eating, drinking themselves into drunken
stupors and falling on their asses. Bob and Tom each put on a great show, but
it's sad that so many people had no clue about why they were there.