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Bob Dylan 2001.10.28 in Milwaukee

Subject: Milwaukee (brief)
From: Stu Levitan 
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 01:33:23 -0600

Pretty laid-back show, especially compared to the intensity
and energy of La Crosse and what I hear about Chicago. Bob
dressed like an undertaker, wearing plain boxy black
suitcoat with no ornamentation, white shirt with three pearl
snaps at cuffs, black cravat with white polka dots, black
pants with silver studs as piping, and the most hellacious
white-flames-on-black-leather boots you've ever seen. The
black acoustic is sharp, but not as sharp as the Fender with
his name in inlay on the fret board.Now that's cool.

No fewer than seven of tonight's tunes are on Biograph, with
five found on one album alone. A workmanlike performance,
Bob not very animated at all but vocally and musically very

Highlights were the two tunes from JWH, the two new rock
classics from LAT (esp. Larry's slide on Honest w/Me and
Charlie's work on Summer Days), the Nashville Skyline
tandem, the  vocal on Moonlight,  High Water and the harp
work. A second encore of Watchtower was nice, but losing
Sugar Baby was a major bummer. And he still hasn't done
Tweedle Dee in Wisconsin yet.

Cheers after each verse in "Back Pages." "Desolation" sort
of a feathery drone, with a nice Bob lede. "Lonesome Day"
features nice twin ledes over Larry's slide. Pleasant "Lay,
Lady, Lay," with a particuarly yearning Bob lede.

"I'll Be Your Baby Tonight," a soft country swing, with this lyric:
Shut the light,
Shut it tight.
Tonight it's gonna last till the broad daylight."

Harp in "Mama" starts with a monotone (seriously, he was
just playing the same note over and over) befoe really
growing into something. "Masters of War," a slow blues lit
in start white silhouette with soft red bathing the
audience. A reprise of the first verse with a very catchy
ending -- the instruments build in intensity on "see through
your" then stop dead for "maaaaaaaaaasks," whereupon they
return with a crash. Solid. "Summer Days" at absolute
break-neck speed. Tony spins stand-up bass around on
"teasin' me," line. The vocal on "Moonlight" is very sweet
and high (actually, pretty hilarious), but Bob blows two
verses, one pretty badly (musta been spellbound by Charlie's
vibrato). Very nice harp. "Things Have Changed" sort of a
Watusi beat. LARS still the oddest communal experience of
alienation and vengeance. "He wasn't, wasn't where it's at."
 Purple and red lights, soaring harmonies on a sweet and
strong "Released." In "Honest With Me," line in first verse
sung as "if only you know," not the way it's on the record.
David Kemper really thunders on this. Bob dances a little
4-step jig after first chorus in "Blowin'," some of the most
animated he's been tonight. "That he just doesn't, that he
just doesn't see." "That too many people, too many people
have died." A white-hot Watchtower, off at 10 on the dot,
after starting at 7:45.

Now on to Green Bay (or, as some around here actually used
to call it, Title Town) and then it's Madison on Halloween.

/s/ Stu

Envelope-to: Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 09:54:14 -0800 (PST) From: Dave Kohl Subject: Milwaukee review To: Way to go Bob!! Knowing that doing shows on consecutive weekend nights 90 miles apart, Bob completed the "double header" in style on Sunday night at Milwaukee Arena. Over the 2 wonderful nights, I got to see a total of 34 different tunes. Even better, personally, is that I saw 19 songs performed that I had never seen before (6 from L&T), and I had seen Bob 7 times prior to this weekend over the years. This was such to the point that my friend who came with only to the Sunday show also saw Bob in July 2000 at Alpine Valley WI, and saw only 3 "repeats" out of the entire show. Several highlights, as always. Desolation Row has been a major fave of mine since day 1, and I was sooooo glad to get this one. And with the 2 instrumental parts and the more up-tempo style, even since last year when I saw it, I think this may have been the best version I have ever heard. My Back Pages for my first time live. The rarely played "Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" was a nice surprise. Also my first time for Lay Lady Lay. It just sort of seemed like many in the crowd didn't realize how rarely played that one is, too. My other highlight would be "Mama You Been On My Mind" for my first time. It was frustrating to not get it in Chicago on Saturday after Bob did it the 5 straight shows prior. Having enjoyed the Rod Stewart version for many years, and being pretty sure it's the only Bob song the Beatles tried to record (wasn't finished or released by them), it was special to hear it from the master. And with the most extended harmonica spot I've seen Bob do in a long time, if not ever. In addition, Bob using the harmonica on 4 songs. I wonder if that's a career high...or least in the past 15 years or so. Bob had more oooomph in his voice early in the show, unlike Saturday when it took him 5 or 6 songs or so. He was more playful and a bit more animated on Sunday. This show, I was on the main floor, about 15th row over toward Charlie's side. And, as seems to be the case every show, Bob again seemed to be playing for one person up in the front. Hard to tell if that is a "focus" spot, if he looks for somebody each night, or if there is someone who always is at that position. The sound was excellent, at least on the main floor, and I found it easier to pick out the words in Milwaukee than at the Chicago show. Again, the 2nd encore, this time Watchtower. So it looks like his extened 2nd encore on Saturday and 2 hour 25 minute show will hold up as his longest. So the "don't leave until the house lights go on" lesson must remain in place. 34 different songs, 19 "firsts" in 2 nights. Yes!!!!!! DK
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 15:07:43 -0600 From: "Christopher Dunn" To: Subject: Review: Milwaukee 28 Oct. As my friend's 13 year old girl stared at Dylan from our incredible seats (thanks, Columbia, for the freebies!), she said, "I didn't know he was so old!" She knows all his songs, listens to all his CDs, but only knows his face from the album covers. At the end of the 2.5 hr show, she said, "I guess he's not THAT old!" No he's not! Bob is is definitely "younger than that now." And we are all a little older and wiser. Does this man straddle generations, or is HE a generation? His body shakes, his feet move, his eyes dart around because he doesn't belong in one place or one time. He is a fire. And he played and sang like he was on fire, like he had something to say. And say it he did, and listen WE did. The crowd, which at times was quietly respectful or reverential, seemed to hang on every word, waiting for the light to shine. And it shone mightily, as Bob and the band riffled through his back pages, serenaded us at the minstrel show on Desolation Row, took us on his search for the soldier's grave, and despaired of finding peace, harmony, or good will on this lonesome day. And a lonesome day it was, as some tobacco-scarred voice, with an edge of rusted barbed wire, snarled and growled a promise to tame the proud. Weary from this, he invited us to lay with him on his brass bed, as he and we dreamt of love and death and war and those summer days that have passed and may not come again. And of those moonlit nights together. But he woke us up from this dream world of ringing guitars and soft jazzy harmonicas to remind us that evil still lurks in the hearts of men, that there is still destruction and killing to be suffered as we drifters escape down Highway 61. For things have indeed changed. And whether we care or not, we roll like a stone, we become released, especially if we are honest and let our hearts, souls, and minds blow in the wind. Yet, keep one eye open from the watchtower. Christopher Dunn
From: "Glocka, Gerald" Glocka.Gerald@MBCO.COM To: Subject: Bob Review - Milwaukee Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2001 08:34:40 -0600 Review by Jerry Glocka Bob and band played at Milwaukee's U.S. Cellular arena Sunday night. The venue is an old sports arena that seats around 12,000 for music. It has recently been renovated, providing somewhat improved acoustics. The main floor was all "general admission" with reserved seating for the remainder. The place was maybe three-fourths full at show time - billed at 7:30 but actually starting some fifteen minutes later. Song by song, the show went something like this... "Wait for the Light to Shine" the currently favored opening number got things started on a nice, up-lifting note. Good harmonies and playing on a tune most of the crowd had not't heard before. This was followed by a somber "My Back Pages", made more so by Larry's fiddle accompaniment. The line, "...I'm younger than that now" got an immediate response from the crowd. A strong, energy feedback loop was developing here. Bob pulled out the harp early for a nice solo at the end of this one. "Desolation Row" was next. For some reason, I don't tire of hearing this one. Good thing too, cause I'I have seen him do it for the last couple of shows I'I have attended in recent years. One of these days I'll be fortunate enough to hit a show that delivers "Hard Rain" or "Alright Ma" but for now, Cinderella, Einstein, Ophelia, Dr. Filth and all the rest are a welcome sight. Good guitar interplay by all with Bob holding on to the last syllable of each "...Desolation Rooow" chorus. "A Soldiers Grave" was next. A solid version with nice mandolin from Larry. This one, I am getting tired of. I assume it remains in the "core" set because of its topical lyrical content. Patience was rewarded quickly though, as a hard-driving, electric "Lonesome Day Blues" came next. This is such a great new L&T song and it really got the crowd going. Done live, the band really takes it up a notch and injects some needed guitar solos to break up the steady stream of verses - something the album version cries out for. Charlie was really on fire for this one. Then, surprise of all surprises, Larry sits down at the pedal steel and proceeds to coax out the familiar yet totally un-expected, twangy, country intro to - yes, "Lay, Lady Lay". The guy behind me goes - "Holy Sh*t, do you believe this?" Believe it. The amazing David Kemper even laid down percussion reminiscent of the original version. More pedal steel to follow, with "I'll be Your Baby Tonight". Why quit now when you're on a roll. It's great to hear Bob featuring a lot of his JWH and Nashville Skyline material of late. The ominous "Highwater" is indeed something to hear live. With Charlie playing a menacing electric and Larry on banjo, the song is absolutely riveting. Bob carefully phrases these compelling lyrics that I'm still trying to digest even after many repeated listenings. Then out of left field comes "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll". An early sixties acoustic classic and apparently, new addition, to this tour's ever changing set-list. This one has never been on of my favorites but here, now, with a re-invigorated Bob intent upon re-visiting and re-working his back-catalog, who would dare complain? The opening notes of the next song did sound like "Don't Think Twice" was on the way but it turned out to be "Mama, You've Been on My Mind" - simply a joy to hear. Bob sang tenderly and capped it off with a nice harp solo. Another joy is watching Tony G. totally get inside this music as he anchors this band while switching effortlessly between stand-up and electric bass. Current world events have made "Masters of War" part of the core set of songs for this tour as well. A hypnotic reading, with Bob emphasizing every word of the potent lyrics which are just as frightening today as they were when we first heard them on "Freewheelin" nearly forty years ago. The mood then shifted abruptly as two more new songs are un-leashed. The first, Summer Days absolutely rocked the house with a three-guitar assault that swung hard with rock-a-billy abandon. What to do here? Pay attention to crazy-fun lyrics or lose oneself in the guitar frenzy. Tough choice. "Moonlight" slowed things down as Bob crooned as only Bob can croon, accompanied primarily by himself on guitar and a nice harp break at the end. Has Bob ever played harp in the beginning or middle of any song in the last ten years? No "Sugar Babe" tonight as the band plugged back for two more rockers to close out the first set. "Drifter's Escape", a tune that moves further and further away from the quiet JWH original each time I hear them play it, took no prisoners and also finished with it's customary harp attack from Bob. Highway 61 returned to set-list tonight and provided more guitar mayhem. Kudos to the sound crew who consistently manage to keep the guitars sounding clean and mean, whether acoustic, electric or a combination thereof. A driving "Things Have Changed" began the second set. Electric and acoustic guitars took this one to new heights. Tough to keep this off the set-list I guess and I'm glad we got to hear this one. "Love Sick" is great but this is one tune that definitely needs to be heard these days. "Like a Rolling Stone", as always, worked the crowd into near-madness. Dramatic, white stage lighting helped drive home each soaring chorus of " does it feeel...". Back to acoustics again for a quiet version of "I Shall be Released". More great harmonies from Bob & the band. From there we go to "Honest with Me". Talk about dynamics! This new L&T song seems to have become firmly entrenched in the core set at this time. No problem there, for it freshens up the finale and gives the band more opportunities to trade fierce guitar licks before giving way to this tour's closer of choice. "Blowin'in the Wind" brought the proceedings to a dramatic close. This newly-reborn classic slowly builds and builds as Bob lays out the verses. Tension builds. Then the three-part harmonies on the chorus kick in for the knock-out, emotional punch that either glues you to the back of your seat or makes you stand up and cheer. So what more do you need from a Bob Dylan concert? Oh, maybe just a second encore of "All Along the Watchtower", done electric and loud, to send everyone home happy. Twenty-one songs, two-plus hours of some the best words & music you could ever hear - sung and played with care and intensity by the man who literally wrote the book on forty years of popular music. Still gettin' it done at age 60. Eight carburetors and yes, boys, he's using 'em all!!
2001: February - March - April - May - June - July - August - October -