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Bob Dylan 2001.11.08 in Toronto

Subject: Helped her out of a ... ham?? (Toronto mini-review)
From: Mike Lewis
Date: 9 Nov 2001 07:53:41 -0800

Was I the only one who heard "I helped her out of a ham, I guess"
during Tangled last night in Toronto?  If that's what he sang, then
it's the funniest blown line I've ever heard.

Great show, though.  A real Bobathon.  Two and a half hours of strong
performances with some absolute stunners.

Things started a bit shaky.  Humming Bird was nice, but The Times...
was phrased unappealingly 'though the harmonica part was good.  A
solid Desolation Row picked it up nicely.  This World Can't Stand Long
was sweet.

Cry Awhile started off the electric set on solid footing, but Just
Like a Woman upped the ante, especially the harmonica solo, where he
displayed more dexterity and imagination with that instrument than
I've heard in a long time. Larry's pedal steel was very effective. 
Then the first GREAT moment - High Water.  I can't think of a better
description than 'percolating.' A toe-tappin' wonderful version. Then
I thought we were getting Down Along the Cove, but it turned out to be
Maggie's Farm.  Very crispy.

Hard Rain opened the next acoustic portion and was very solid.  While
there were resonances with the current state of the world throughout
the show, this is where it felt most direct.  The audience really
keyed in on this one.  (Except for the guys behind me who began a loud
conversation.  I don't do it often, but I hit 'em early with the ol'
"Hey guys, keep it down" and it worked like a charm for the rest of
the night.  Never hesitate to shoosh the yackers during the quiet
parts.  Yes, when he plays Hard Rain, it IS classical music.)

John Brown was my "play of the game."  To me, that was the moment
where he hit the quiet centre, with the song seemingly flowing out of
him.  The narrative was compelling and, when he hit the line "his face
looked just like mine," the audience reacted strongly. One of my
all-time live Bob moments.  Stunning.

Tangled was fun and got the audience going.  

Summer Days was a hoot, especially the interplay between Larry's
slashing style and Charlie on what I presume was a hollow-body.  And
Larry on standup, of course. Sugar Baby was awesome.  Different and
effective phrasing.  Jimi was in the house for Wicked Messenger. 
Rainy Day Women was fun and loose.

I loved the jaunty and sharp Things Have Changed.  As on just about
everything else, Dylan delivered the lyrics with total confidence. 
Toronto guitarist Paul James added a strong, understated slide solo to
Highway 61.  And he must have had a heads-up, because his attire
almost matched the rest of the group.  Like a Rolling Stone was
strong, as was Forever Young.  Honest with Me rocked well and brought
the energy level up again.  Blowing in the Wind was stately.

The concluding Watchtower was riveting.

A concert of questions, benedictions and foreboding
utterances...sandwiched between tapes of spirited American classical

Well, I loved it, anyway.

Mike Lewis, Toronto

From: "Shawn Pulver" To: Subject: toronto review Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 12:28:09 -0500 Hi, Here is a Toronto Review Always nice to see Bob when he returns to my hometown. Although I think the ACC isn't the best venue to see a Dylan show, the acoustics were very good from where I was in front of the stage. The show started with a strong version of Hummingbird, which my brother thought sounded like it could fit on the O Brother, Where Art Thou Soundtrack. Times was nice, although he flubbed a few words in the second verse. This World also featured a nice vocal, and a few short but sweet mandolin solos supplied by Larry. Cry Awhile was a real treat, although it sounded a bit like It Takes Allot to Laugh at the intro. Just Like a Women was standard, although it featured was seemed to be a four minute harp solo at the end. Very nice! Maggies was a dramatic new arrangement, with this cool drum refrain on the solo. Unfortunately, Bob was not happy, and gave Charlie what I would describe as the ultimate "death stare." At the end, I noticed Charlie put his hand around Bob, and I thought I could read his lips as he said, "sorry." I guess it aint always easy working for Bob. The acoustic set was the highlight of the show. It was my 30th show, and I've always been wanting to hear Hard Rain. I always seem to just miss it by a show or two. He nailed all the words, and even had a nice sing along with the crowd. John Brown was dramatic, with Larry playing a cool intro with his Bazouki (spelling?). Tangled got a nice crowd reaction, although I have to admit it was the first time that I ever ran to use the washroom in the middle of a show (hey, I only missed one verse). As usual, Sugar Baby was sublime (I even sat down, yes that was me yelling "We love you Paul James,Ęsee you in London Ontario" ). Wicked Messenger, Summer Days and RDW ended the main set in a rocking fashion. In terms of the encores, they were, as expected, well done, but short of any real surprises. I was happy, as alluded to, when Paul James was brought on. I think I have the unusual distinction of seeing every show that Paul James has ever played with Bob. I saw him in '96 in the Concert Hall, in Buffalo in '99 and now in Toronto at the ACC. Anyways, it brought a smile to Bob's face, and I liked his slide work on Hwy61. Watchtower ended the show on a very high note, and I just can't get over how good that ending is. All in all, a great night and a great show (even though I almost told off the usher about six times for telling me that I was two inches past the aisle - I mean we are at a Dylan show, not at a performance of Bizet's Carmen). Anyways,Ęthanks for reading, Shawn.
From: "P Berghoef" To: Subject: GRAND RAPIDS REVIEW Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 15:17:59 -0500 I have to chime in with a late review of the Grand Rapids Dylan show. It was my fourth ever, my first being the last time Dylan played Van Andel in 1999. Instead of going with a ragtag group of friends as I have to all my previous shows I went with my parents. They got me the ticket as a birthday present and wanted to go along and see what it's all about. So I wasn't on the floor up front the way I usually want to be but in the front row of the upper balcony seated between my parents. The seats were excellent, we had a great view and it also allowed me to chill out a bit more than usual and just pay attention to the music. No shoving from the drunk old guy behind me or elbows from the kid who wants to stand in front of me. The relaxing setting was just what I needed amidst this busy week, i was skipping studying for a test and writing a few papers to go to the show. ANYWAY, onward to the actual review. For an opener I was expecting "Waiting for the light to Shine" and got Hummingbird instead. It didn't really matter since I've never heard either before and Hummingbird proved to be an excellent song. It also signalled a change in my Dylan-watching attitude. I usually have a harder time enjoying the songs I'm not overly familiar with but this one just grabbed me, and the new songs would continue to grab me the rest of the night. Mr. Tambourine Man- Crystal clear "singing" from Bob. I love the enunciation, as always and the gentle acoustic sound. The acoustic numbers were the ones that touched me most tonight, they lulled me into a serene state of awe that later made the smoking electric numbers all the more able to kick my ass. It's Alright Ma-great, great, great, I loved the build-up and the reflective nature of this song...could pick out perfectly all the lyrics that I love This World Can't Stand Long-another one that was completely new to me and completely won me over. Beautiful chorus with the rest of the band and a message that seemed perfect Every Grain of Sand was something I didn't at all expect, another first for me. I had no idea what this was for most of the song but loved it nonetheless. The orange lighting and mellow guitar work was superb. The harp towards the end clinched the performance. John Brown also blew me away. I was crossing my fingers for it since its been showing up on a lot of the recent setlists. Powerful words that made me think of a cousin of mine who enlisted in the army and shipped out a few weeks ago. All of the new songs were phenomenal..I went into this show hoping above all for "Mississipi" and "Visions of Johanna." I didn't get either and yet Dylan once again managed to mesmerize me and far exceed my expectations. Dylan's vocals were great on most songs tuesday night, especially Sugar Baby and Po' boy.. the other thing that surprised me was how obvious it was that the crowd recognized each and every one of the L&T songs. and when I went home and listened to it again L&T took on more life than ever. The only possible downfalls of the show were slightly weaker vocals on It's All Over Now, and Tombstone Blues, but it makes sense that the new songs would have more life and be more exciting for the band to play these days. The debut of Po'boy, plenty of harmonica, and John Brown all made up for any possible shortcomings. My parents had a great time as well which made me happy, my mom was said that there were no Nashville Skyline songs (the only Dylan album she ever bought, her old vinyl copy was probably the first time I ever heard him), but she still said she can't wait until he returns to Grand Rapids so she can see him again. This review is pretty fragmented and incomplete, but I wanted to let everyone know how great the show was. If you've got tickets for an upcoming show you have a lot to look forward to. also, if anyone has a copy of this one let me know, peace,PETER
Newsgroups: Subject: Meeting Hurricane at the Toronto show From: Michele Simpson Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 17:51:51 GMT Hurricane was sitting in the stands right beside us...the ushers went up and got him and brought him backstage about 15 minutes before showtime, he stayed back there about 10 minutes and came back to his seat. I told my family that Hurricane was just brought back stage. When he was coming back to his seat, my oldest son said hi to him and they shook hands. Hurricane stood beside our seats for a bit and talked...then after the show in the lobby, both of my boys shook hands with him, Shane for the second time. He is not very tall, I was really really surprised. Both boys commented on his solid handshake and thought it was a fine highlight for the evening. Hurricane was very spiffily dressed, black overcoat, black hat...wide brim, cool looking cat. He spoke to everyone and was very personable. Michele "pass the tree of smoke, pass the angel with four faces"....b.dylan

Toronto guitarist jams with Dylan

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