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Bob Dylan 2001.10.17 in San Diego

Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 15:04:42 EDT
Subject: San Diego

A few observations about the San Diego show. Venue sucked.
General admission, uncomfortable seats, sparse concessions.
Show started right at 8 and the place looked to be full
after everyone scrambled inside. Good crowd. Lots of
students seeing first show and they seemed to be enjoying

Highlights: Absolutely Mississippi and Sugar Baby (what
phrasing on this one!). In fact, all the L&T numbers cooked,
five in all.  Vocals and phrasing were excellent throughout.
Great harmonies from band. Bob's guitar playing was great:
focused, spot on. Harp on Back Pages and JLAW fantastic.

Lows: Too much Blonde on Blonde. Visions and JLAW and Stuck
Inside Mobile and RDW 12&35. Stuck really dragged to my ear.
LARS was great but the lightshow to (I guess) stimulate a
singalong on the "how does it feel" chorus seemed misplaced.
Also, not to nitpick, the chunky Not Fade Away-like of Cold
Irons Bound was interesting but just as the crowd would get
into it, the arrangement would work against itself to sit
them back down.

So, over two hours of Bob including five new (great live)
songs for a $35 ticket? You'd have to go back to the
transaction involving Manhattan for a handful of beads for
that kind of value. Not the same level of passion as Santa
Cruz or Reno last year but anyone who misses this tour is
reaaallllly missing out.

From: Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 23:58:36 EDT Subject: concert review from san diego..... To: its the day after, and my head is clear enough to write about bobs appearance at UCSD san diego. the venue didn't really suck, it was hard to find a bad seat. the fact that they weren't selling beer, however, did suck. it was a good thing me and my friend, whom i'll refer to as "chief" imbibed before the show. we arrived on the campus at 3:00, and immediately knew we arrived about 2 hrs. too soon. there was not much of a line at all, so at least i knew we'd be getting a good spot. this was to be my 15th or so dylan show, and "chiefs" 2nd. we talked to 2 fans from some rural town in california who were following bob around and seemed almost too interested in the show. {you meet some interesting people at his shows.....} but how many shows can any one go to with the range in age 17--70? unbelievable..... anyway, we had our 2 friends save our place in line while we went exploring the campus. {lots of real SMART looking kids} we found the pub, and forgot about the 4 hour wait we left behind, knowing our 2 friends from ? would save our place. thanks. girls. when we returned in line, we started moving right away. sure enough, there we were right at the front of the stage where i wanted to be.{a side note: at a 4700 capacity arena with GA seating, show up whenever you want to. we could have gone to the show at 7:30 and got to the front of the stage. is this just in san diego?} incense and then bob and the band. wait for the sun to shine........great start. felt unbelievably lucky to be so close to this band. Chief nodded as if he appreciated this song. my back pages.........wonderful..... desolation row.....started to think bob wasn't into it as much as everyone else was searchin for a soldiers grave.... nailed it. tweedle dee and tweedle dum....nothing much. just not exciting. just like a woman.....not my favorite song, but the VERY best performance i've ever heard. harp solo at the end was incredible. stuck inside of memphis......i'm sorry, but this songs just drags. haven't heard a good version of this song since the studio. mississippi.......this is the real thing. absolutely incredible performance. i would give my left ### for a copy of this recording. masters of war.........the crowd was getting juiced one 2 many mornings.......a girl behind me and chief passed out. i mean she just fell down and could not get up if her life depended on it. after bobs harp solo, she awoke in a daze. it was a very moving version visions of matter how many times he plays this in san diego, he cannot get the vocals straight. flubs the second verse, but always nice to hear anyway. really, he could make up lyrics all night and make this sond sound good. summer days....can't go wrong. crowd is eating it up and chief is cuttin' the rug. sugar baby......first the guy next to me: nice enough, but had maybe too much to drink.{whiskey in the baggy guy, you know who you are..} when the lights got different, he starts yelling, freaky, baby. light show! over and over...then he did the other 5000 in attendance. this was bob displaying his ultimate passion. this is why bob can still captivate. complete silence during and a warm ovation following..... cold irons bound...again, not one of my favorites, but this one was again done with incredible intensity. didn't miss anything on this, the band sounding heavy, and very humble. rainy day so......always a good jam song, and one my friend chief can relate to. things have changed.......excellent version. nailed all the vocals and the nuances were abundant. like a rolling stone.....okay, and the college crowd still gets it, or at least tries. i like his angrier version better. this kinda sounds mellower, IMO. if dogs run free.....i couldn't wait to hear this. i wasn't disapointed. makes you wish the band would all of a sudden want to play for you all night, but. honest with me........honestly, not very anything blowin in the wind.....nice end to the show.... thanks for coming to san diego bob.
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 07:43:19 +0200 From: Sven Lewandowski To:, Subject: La Jolla/San Diego review Dylan at the UCSD, La Jolla/San Diego, Oct 17, 2001 La Jolla is a kind of noble suburb of San Diego and it's name doen't derive from "jolly" but from the Spanish word for "jewel". And Dylan's performance at La Jolla really featured a lot of jewels. Once again the concert took place at a University venue but the audience was okay this time. They just behaved like an audience should, i.e. they listened to the songs. Dylan was fit again and the two days rest seemed to be a good cure. Still the set list was pretty much standard but nearly all songs were performed almost perfect ! Compared to the show three days ago at Santa Barbara there was a difference like between day and night. Now Dylan was really on and commited to the songs. Even though the first five songs were nearly the same as at the two shows before the difference could really be felt. While the songs have been performed at San Francisco in a standard and at Santa Barbara in a substandard manner they were now treated just perfect. Except maybe for "My Back Pages" that still couldn't match the perfomance at Cardiff last year (09/23/01). "Just Like A Women" turned out to be even better than at San Jose and Dylan delivered a superb harmonica solo. "Stuck Inside Of Mobile" was also very enjoyable and much better than at Santa Barbara. Larry on acoustic guitar agin. Unsually I scream for "Big River" but they never perform it. But now I made up my mind and decided the yell for "Mississippi" being the only song from the new album that Dylan had already performed but not for me. And it would have been a pity to have flewn from Germany to the USA and still having missed "Mississippi". So I yelled three times and about 15 seconds later the band started with the opening bars of "Mississippi" (maybe I should have yelled for "She's Your Lover Now" ? ;-)). Still being glad having heard the song live I also have to admit that the performance was rather disappointing. Dylan just did the song and that was all. There seemed to be a lack of commitment. His phrasing was not very convincing at all. It seemed to me like he just ran through the song. It didn't match the album version - to say the least. It was surely the weakest performance of the entire show. But on the other hand I'm also thankful that he played it on my request (it sure it was on the cue sheet anyways). (Now listening to a recording the performance doesn't sound that bad to me, but still I'd say that it is rather weak). "Masters Of War" and "One Too Many Mornings" followed. While "Masters" was nothing special but a good performance, "One Too Many Mornings" just knocked me off-a my feet. Dylan's voice was so tender and so commited to the song. Surely the best performance of this song I ever heard ! Just fantastic. And once again a great harmonica solo !! As the lights went down after "One Too Many Mornings" I nearly prayed that they won't do "Hard Rain" again and when I saw Larry picking up an acoustic guitar instead of the bouzouki I was quite relieved: The acoustic guitar ment that it wouldn't be "Hard Rain". And you can believe me: I'd prefered nearly anything to "Hard Rain" by now - even "It Ain't Me, Babe" or "Don't Think Twice". But much to my surprise they did "Visions of Johanna" !! Okay, "Visions Of Johanna" is not longer a song I'm desperately waiting for. I heard it twice last year and you couldn't say that it is a rare song any longer (in fact it has been performed about every 5th show in 2001). But still it is a very enjoyable song. But the performance was strange in some way. It was like with "Mississippi". The set list of the whole show was pretty much standard except for "Visions Of Johanna" and "Mississippi", but all songs were treaten very carefully and in a very perfect way - except for "Visions Of Johanna" and "Mississippi" !!! I wished he had been as much committed to "Visions" like he had been committed to "One Too Many Morings" or as much to "Mississippi" as to "Mobile". But in fact the strange thing was that the two most interesting choices in the show's set list were the weakest performances. That doesn't mean that the performances of these two songs were really bad but the other songs were much better. Still the too weak ones were much better than anything at Santa Barbara. If the performances (not the choices) of "Mississippi" and "Visions" raised a little doubt wether Dylan was really on or not, the performance (not the choice) of "Summer Days" proofed that he was ! As I wrote in my reviews of the other shows "Summer Days" always lacked of commitment, sophistication and aggressivness in Dylan's voice. But not this time !! Now he treated the song like it deserves it and Dylan and the whole band delivered a performance that could be called state-of-the-art. I don't think that "Summer Days" could get any better than at La Jolla ! As usual "Sugar Baby" followed and we got another perfect performance. "Cold Irons Bound" and "Rainy Day Women" closed the regular set and to both songs Charlie added some fine guitar work that even made "Rainy Day Women" enjoyable. Execpt for "If Dogs Run Free", a song that I didn't really like anymore, the encores were the usual ones - all very fine performances. "Honest With Me" seemed to be an outstanding performance which I enjoyed very much. Since there has been a kind of decline since the show at San Jose the show at La Jolla can be called a turn for the better. But even without thinking about the weak shows before, La Jolla was surely an outstanding one. Not so much because of the set list but rather in spite of it. While the set list was pretty much standard - expect for the mentioned execptions - the performances of the most songs were superb ( - expect for the mentioned execptions) I think it was most probably the best California show. Cheers Sven comments are welcome, please email to:
2001: February - March - April - May - June - July - August - October -