Downtown Marriott throws hat in lobbying ring, supports Greenfire hotel plan
Warehouse Blues series underway at West Village

DBAP concert finds Dylan wailin', Willie and the boys rockin'

BCR didn't go to last night's Bob Dylan/Willie Nelson/John Mellencamp musicfest at the DBAP, though this American Tobacco tenant certainly got his fair share of crowd-management in trying to get out of the office and to the car. But, hey, that's what downtown's all about, right?

Durham Magazine's DM Blog and Barry Ragin both have their impressions up. One thing in common, it seems: Dylan didn't have it going on last night, though the other artists were pretty sharp, it appears.

I've commented this part of Barry's review because it's an intriguing point -- the things that make Durham a great place to be for its size for culture really do happen in the interstitial spaces where the big crowds sometimes aren't, whether it's tonight's Stamey/Holsapple reunion or the game of croquet being played at lunch on the downtown Woolworth's site.

I'm sure that a lot of Durham's movers and shakers are pointing to last night's show, which brought 11,000 or so people out to the DBAP, patting themselves on the back, and talking about how this reinforces USN&WR's Top Ten label for our town. And hey, if that's the kind of thing that puts stars in your eyes, then, yeah, we've made it.

Tonight, i'll be at Duke Gardens, listening to Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey perform together in Durham for the first time in ages. I don't know if the dB's ever played a show for more than 2000 people, and there will probably be a tenth that number tonight. Anyone who wants to will get a chance to talk to Peter and Chris after the show. I'll bring a cooler full of dinner and my favorite adult beverages, and enjoy a civilized evening on the lawn with 2 of the artists who made late 20th century rock and roll what it was, and listen to the new music they're making together for the early part of the new century.

Friday night, i'll do the same with Drink Small at the West Village lawn. Don't tell the powers that be in Durham, but that's why Durham is one of the best places to live in this country. It's got nothing to do with who's stopping by on their tours, pulling a million dollars or so out of our pockets.


Doug Roach

They're spot-on with the comments about the concert. The Wiyos, Willie and Mellencamp were all rockin' the ball park and brought their A game.
Unfortunately, this old hippie went to hear my idol and he just didn't have it. Why Bob needs three screaming guitars (in addition to his own) as back-up is beyond me. Additionally, it seemed that in an effort to mask the gravelly and hoarse nature of his current pipes, they cranked the sound system to the absolute max thus distorting the sound and completely ruining any opportunity we may have had to actually hear the poetry. As for his own efforts, swallowing the mike may work in an intimate venue in the village but with the set-up he used at the DBAP it certainly did spoil the evening for many real fans. Hundreds could be seen streaming out of the place after only three unrecognizable "tunes" by Bob.
More's the pity. I think Mr. Dylan is being ill-served by his minions. Either that or he's simply phoning it in on this tour.

Reyn Bowman

Excellent point Kevin. As Richard Florida points out in at least two of his books, it often isn't the "world class" that creases unique sense of place as much as the organic things. Durham is maintaining a good mix and that isn't easy.


WRAL (owner of DBAP if I'm not mistaken) had this bizarre photo spread that didn't even mention Bob Dylan being there. Almost like the photographer left early, not realizing there was one more act to go...oops...


According to David Menconi at the N&O (who has his own review with accompanying photo gallery) they weren't allowed to take pictures of Dylan. Not sure why.

Kevin Davis

@Steve: I wonder for a moment whether any of that might have to do with the N&O's policy of making some of the images their photogs take at shows available for sale on their website. I've heard of some battles taking place over that one. Though the fact that 'RAL didn't have photos tends to point more toward a generic ban from the artist here.


Let's face it, listening to music in a baseball stadium is just not a great
experience! In the future, I'll save my $67.50 to see less well-known, but often more talented, musicians, playing in venues designed for music. Lesson learned (again)...

Ray Gronberg

Photo policies at major concerts are dictated by the artist. A common rule for press (enforced in my personal experience, years ago during a string of shows in Greenville SC, by MC Hammer, Milli Vanilli and the Allman Bros.) is that you can shoot three songs, then have to leave. Others say no photos, a few allow a free-for-all. Bear in mind the photog generally has to be fairly close to the stage, meaning s/he is taking up space that could otherwise be devoted to the most well-heeled customers.


Understood, photo policies and all, but I still wish the WRAL spread had at least mentioned that Dylan was there too, at his unphotographable mediocrest, but not a peep.

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