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Review by Sip
The wind was howling and the 'rain' was outrageous...regardless
myself and my touring partner were not going to be without our
I had just witnessed a fantastic show at SPAC in Saratoga two
days before and though this show had its points in never reached
to the level that the SPAC show had.
Catching a review a few days before, Bob apparently had some
extra bills in his wallet to grab a new pair of snake-skin boots
(black), maybe they were the waterproof ones. The band entered
the drenched stage that was not well protected from the
ridiculous horizontal rain at 7:24. All band members except Bob
applauded the faithfull for making it to the show, which was
indeed a nice site. Bob initially came out with a black rat-pack
hat but removed it before the first song. Which was:
DUNCAN & BRADY: a much better version than SPAC, better vocal
delivery and even a tease of a BOB solo. Rain or shine BOB has
been on the job too long to have some rain ruining it.
LONG BLACK VEIL: After a quick "WELL, thank you" BOB pulled out
this gem and was absolutely stunning! excellent harmonies from
the band. Larry on madolin. The BOB crowd appreciated deeply.
BOB ended the song and said "That was a sad song...this one is
DESOLATION ROW: its kinda of a toss up to say which one is
better the SPAC one or this. The SPAC Desolation was the most
powerful and entertaining song I have ever seen live....and this
one was close to it...I notice that Bob is playing with lyric
phrases on this one like he does with Tangled...this arrangement
cannot be beaten. "Expecting rain" got a large pop
SONG TO WOODY: Weird spot for this one, Bob's set in general was
a bit shorter due to the weather....maybe this was why it was in
the four spot. Anyhow, this was excellent up until the speaker
connected to Bob's mike went loco. Bob was a bit offended
looking...like he was being interupted confessing to his pastor.
Just the site of having him sing this song in the backdrop of the
rain was monuemental.
TANGLED UP IN BLUE: Was nothing like the SPAC show, the band
seemed to run through this one...except BOB playing a pretty good
solo since he neglected the harp.
FRANKIE LEE & JUDAS PRIEST: Again nothing like the SPAC show,
but that one was not really over impressive. BOB fumbled a tad
with the lyrics. it was alright, i think it should be a bit more
up beat. better to hear than "Searching for A Soilder's Grave".
COUNTRY PIE: Was great...short rocker...could have been above
average but when Charlie was supposed to solo....he either lost
his pick or it broke, and the song ended funny.
IF NOT FOR YOU: Certainly a highlight. Great rendition, could
be the best arrangement and performance of this song i have
heard. Bob sung a dip and dive lyric.
TOMBSTONE BLUES: Was a long long song. mainly due to the fact
BOB sung the same verse 2 1/2 times. Band played it great.
SHE BELONGS TO ME: Like the SPAC show...a highlight. He didn't
nail the lyric delivery like SPAC but this one was great.
WICKED MESSENGER: Before this one BOB said "We're getting wet
too" playfully. Then into the song which by far in away is the
hottest rocker BOB has pulled out to showcase. This song is such
a badass version...definitely the best version. The way BOB and
the band deliver is priceless. BOB put a much better harp solo
into this one that at SPAC. THe crowd loved this one.
LEPOARD SKIN PILL BOX: Was excellent also. great guitar
dueling. taking a more blues oriented approach that older
THINGS HAVE CHANGED: After disliking the SPAC version compared
to the hot Anaheim version, this one was better but still not the
same upbeat way i like it played.
LIKE A ROLLING STONE: I guess this song deserves credit. It was
well played and BOB broke out the playful phrasing on this
one....good guitar's too.
GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY: Glad to hear this, but not a above
average version. short also.
HIGHWAY 61: Really Really good. Best version i have heard even
on tape. Larry put a new solo in there, and Charlie played his
usual hell raising solo. THis one got the biggest crowd response
and even non BOB fans were very impressed.
BLOWING IN THE WIND: ended the show...nothing flashy
I actually stayed for Phil's set. Only the second one I have
ever stayed for. And I think LES CLAYPOOL could do all of that
and more with just his fretless six string and funk pedals. Oh
well...some people do more for others than others...right?
Keep on Keepin' On
Review by Ian "Fred" Parfrey
the mets didn't play in the rain today, but it wasn't enough to stop bob.
this was my 3rd show; lou's 2nd, chris's first. it was raining the entire
day, my party of five ended up being just the three of us wet and
miserable....bob comes on at 7:15 playing "duncan and brady"--wondering
who wrote that....then a surprise. the band plays an introduction that
could turn into any number of things, and bob sings: "ten years ago, on a
cold dark night....". the long black veil. followed by a "desolation row"
that sounds a thousand times improved from last year. it got a great
response, esp. when he said "everyone is making love or else expecting
rain". this was where chris really started digging it, he stood up and
never did sit back down. then "song to woody" and "tangled up in
blue"....there were some problems w/bob's microphone, but both were
beautifully performed. "tangled" seemed to get everyone up and dancing and
there was that excellent scent of 2nd-hand smoke. the acoustic set ended
with "frankie lee and judas priest". the electric set was "country pie",
an excellent "if not for you", then "tombstone blues"....bob did some
interesting things to this. i suppose he forgot the words because he
repeated the "ghost of belle star" verse three times in a row; the band
stayed with him and they finally got it back on track--it was shaping up
to be a tremendous version before this happened. well, bob got right back
on it; an extended "she belongs to me", then absolutely shit-hot versions
of "wicked messenger" and "pillbox hat". the only time he played harmonica
all night was at the end of "wicked messenger". the encore began with
"things have changed", seemed to lose steam on "like a rolling stone" and
"girl of the north country"...."rolling stone" is one song where bob's
"new" vocal style really doesn't help. his voice seemed alot more ragged
than last year--but it doesn't really matter how well he does or doesn't
sing. when he sings 'em well, like he did in arizona last year, it's just
icing on the cake. anyway the encores concluded with "highway 61" and
"blowin in the wind". the guys--charlie and i think larry (i was so damn
far away i couldn't really tell) had worked up some excellent backing
vocals on this. it's a beautiful arrangement, not too different from the
"before the flood" version, just a little more subdued. only two
complaints really--the goddamn rain, and the fact that bob completely
ignored his excellent "time out of mind" material. i'm also hopeing he
gets around to playing some of the more obscure tracks from "desire" and
"blood on the tracks"....it would be terrific to go see him next year and
hear "hurricane" or "you're a big girl now" or "isis"....he seems to have
rediscovered john wesley harding anyway, maybe that'll be next.... didn't
stay for phil lesh on account of being soaked and not being much of a
deadhead; gave my extra tickets to some guy in the parking lot. my good
deed for the year.
ian "fred" parfrey
Review by Melina Ravlides
This is my first attempt at sending a review of a Dylan show. First thing
is it rained incessantly in the New York City area yesterday, like a
steady downfall all day looooonnng, (it's still raining), and it has been
unseasonably cold too. I caught myself yesterday saying this must be
symbolic (the continuous rain), as rain is such a lucid theme in many of
Bob's songs. NYC being a major piece of Bob's constitution, must serve
for much reflection and introspection. Anyway, one brief random note...
On the way to the venue we stopped for gas and I went in to get some
victuals, I asked the owner about how far away we were and he first
couldn't believe we were actually going to brave the unfriendly elements
to see a show. When I told him it was Bob Dylan, he responded instantly,
"Oh Bob Dylan, really, oh he doesn't care about that stuff, he probably
doesn't even know it's raining"! I loved this comment, and it left me
with a smile.
On to the show. Jones Beach is a medium sized amphitheatre with no
covering whatsover! It sits right on a "bank of sand" on a wildlife
preserve at the beach on Long Island, NY. The parking lot experience was
a lot of the same. Many diehards, deadheads, and Dylan hipsters mingling
in their raingear. We entered the venue at about 5 til seven. Our seats
were about 15 rows just right of center, but of course we row-hopped to
about 5th row. The techies' looked like they were testing the equipment
to make sure everything was grounded properly and that Bob wouldn't be
"going electric for real"! The band came on oh I don't know, about 20
minutes after or something.
Duncan & Brady....Well done, with more energy and a faster tempo than
heard at Saratoga Springs. Bob seemed into it from the start. Maybe it
was the weather, or something like that. It had a real country twang to
it, and Bob really hit the groove with his voice inflections and stuff.
It was much more danceable than I'd heard before. I was hoping for Oh
Babe it Ain't No Lie, cause it usually has more KICK to it, but I have to
say this D & B moment was JUST FINE!!
Shit yeah, "LONG BLACK VEIL" - When I realized it, I was beeming from
ear to ear, tapping my hands on my thighs with the rhythm. Being from the
South this song really sends me back to the Highlands of North Carolina,
just something haunting and moving about this song. Bob really hammered
the chorus parts where you can really power up the harmony "She walks
these streets in a long black Vaaaiiiyaaaiiyaaalll!! She visits my grave
when the night winds Waaaaiiyaaaiyaaalll!!!! It was awesome!!
What I thought was the beginning of It's all over Baby Blue, turned out to
be Desolation row, what can be a kind of a low-key, somber tune, still
propelled the momentum, because Bob embraced the words so well and sang
from that depth, that just well, you know, is mesmerizing. I think I was
compelled to yell out..."Bob's the man with the plan"!! after this song.
Song to Woody...When he first uttered those words, well I got the chills!
I missed this song in Missoula, MT, because I was well let's just say I
was in dispose, and I've been to 5 shows since, and for some reason never
got it. It was just great. Bob was on top of every word. Something
special there! Much precision by everyone!
Quick note about sound - Despite the mist and rain - the sound here
AWESOME - Very crisp, clean, and clear!!! Part of this can be attributed
to the fact that there was no enclosure/canopy/covering of any kind, just
wide open air and space, not to mention 2 50 ft + speaker stacks on either
side of the stage. At Saratoga, I think the wooden roof covering over all
the orchestra seats really hampered the sound and made everything too
bright and tinny. The sound at JB was very rich and again very clean!
Also, at one point this crazy sound, like the air coming out of a bicycle
pump when you are trying to get the nozzle straight, but magnify it like
1000 X!! It was very transient, but really LOUD! And I saw the band
(incl. B), all looking around at each other like "Okay, what the hell was
that?" Everything was okay and then..
Tangled Up...Staple for the tour, but a good version, high energy,
positive, and again the band, with Bob at the reigns morphed to a good
rhythmic groove and hammed it up!
Frankie Lee & Judas Priest - not a favorite of mine, as far as energy and
conductivity, but it was just fun trying to figure out the words to
capture the essence of this song/story. There is definately a strong
narrative here and I almost got the jist of it! I bet Bob would make a
good campfire companion!
Country Pie - They hammed it up, of course. Rousing electric exchanges
and Bob getting tricky and flirting with the audience. He loves his
"country pie". He can have it and eat it too! They all seemed to be
enjoying the energy, and everyone was getting wet. I'm sure the dynamic of
the weather has a way of changing things a bit, they seemed to definately
appreciate the crowd who were emphatically embracing the elements!!
If Not For You - Good version, almost as good as Albuquerque. Bob
definately wrote this with someone in mind. Now he sings it in a way of
just putting it out there, as in hopes of there being someone the words
might fall on. Like the rain, fall on us they did!
TOMBSTONE BLUES - excuse my french, f**cking rocks!!! They should play
this song at every show. In Saratoga it fell flat, again I think it was
the sawed-off acoustics. Last night it was just about RIGHT ON target,
(Billings TSB rocked just a wee bit more). I just can't understand how
this song does not get under the ass of the crowd and make them shake and
move. I couldn't sit still! I might have screamed "Bob's the man with the
She Belongs To Me: - Awesome tune, Bob can still sing it like '66. God,
you can't say anything bad about this song. These songs are truly
timeless and so resonant. After the first verse, our 5th row status was
claimed by the rightful ticket owners, oh well. It was good while it
Wicked Messenger (15th row), - It's weird how the dynamic effects of
everything change, but nevertheless we were still in good position. The
sound was still awesome. Wicked Messenger is not my favorite song, maybe
because it seems dark and a rather yang-song. Dark songs can be good, but
something about this one in the mix, but Bob seems to draw something from
that serious tone, that serves to (hopefully), enlighten the crowd.
Leopard Skin -- One word (or two), "crowd-pleaser". It's a standard last
song before encore, again, it's not my favorite, I don't know why,
everyone else loves it, incl. Bob. I have to say last night was actually
pretty okay. Albuquerque was even better! Bob loves to enhance the line
" I see you got yer new boyfriend", "Don't think I ever seen him before"!!
It was fun.
I will only comment on two of the encores "Things Have Changed", was
awesome. It was more like the recorded version. I was glad cause at the
Saratoga show, it fell so flat & didn't have any of the zest and charm
that the song is really chock full of. Last night I was dancing and
singing and it really captured some crowd magic as everyone sang the words
and just gawked at the ease of Bob's commanding stage presence.
Girl of the North Country - again an expletive must be used
here...fu**cking majestic, gorgeous, beautiful. Bob croooneed and
purrrredd these words like a fucking cherub, and the band's articulation
was infallible. The song crescendoed, decrescenoed in waves like the tide
that was all around us. (We were surrounded by water, both ocean and
rain). I don't remember breathing during this song, though my heart was
Highway 61 & Blowing in the Wind - Standard closers on this tour good. I
think Bob was trying to rouse the audience a little more. Everyone was
into it -- Bob just doesn't realize how mesmerized people get. I did a
360 and everyone was just smiling and beeming and glued to the stage, like
Bob was the fixed point on a compass.
Hard Act to Follow!
I won't go into the Phil show too much here, but it was good. He is so
congenial and it was nice to pay my respects. The Les Paul guitar was
turned up a little too much in the mix though and sounded a bit bright.
But, they jammed it up and left things on a good note!!!
Review by Hodah
Ahhhhh......... Home in my dry clothes...
I have to say the rain didn't hinder Bob's show at all. It was a great
set. Everyone (including the band as Bob let us know) was wet and getting
wetter. The show didn't seem to have the magic that other shows were
described as having, but it was a great Bob show nonetheless. The rain
added an interesting element to the night. A big cheer came up during
Desolation's....."or else expecting rain.". My binoculars kept fogging
which made Bob and the band look even cooler than they already do. Loved
Long Black Veil, finally got to hear Frankie Lee......(I'm sorry, but that
is Shelter from the Storm's melody.) Wicked Messenger was great, but have
we forgotten that Patti Smith RIPPED this song up on the '95 tour???? I'll
never forget her singing the verse "The soles of my feet I swear they're
burning!!!!!!!!" Things Have Changed...... I like that song alot and was
glad to hear it live. Girl from the North Country ......the blue tinted
lights......almost brought tears to my eyes. Yes they did the formation,
(twice). They looked so friggen cool!!! I loved Bob holding his hand on
his hip. (He looked so HEALTHY). I was planning on going down to Maryland
this weekend. I am definitely doing so now.
As I hadn't seen him live since Tom Petty (and before that Street Legal
and Rolling Thunder - it's been awhile), I can attest to the fact that
"things have changed". First and foremost, Dylan is playing a lot of
guitar, a lot of leads and fills, and doing so rather impressively (for
example, last night's Tangled Up in Blue and Girl Of The North Country).
Second, he has a crack band that does a great job. The other guitar
players were also excellent, always interesting. Even if you were not a
Dylan fan, but were merely someone interested in hearing some good guitar
playing, I think that this show would have been just great. And the rhythm
section kept my foot tapping the entire show.
Third, although his voice has run down some over the years (hopefully he
has or will take a tip from George Harrison and stop the smoking, not just
for his voice but for his overall longetivity - G-d willing, I hope he
keeps performing until he's 120!), his vocal expressiveness, range, and
versatility are still there, maybe even improved some.
Fourth, it is indeed nice that he is not playing his "greatest hits", and
I say that even though the majority of the songs he played last night
seemed to be from the sixties and are not my personal favorites (I would
prefer P. Waves, Infidels, E.Burlesque, or TOOM, none of which were
represented). Anyway, the man has certainly earned the right to play
whatever he pleases. And it certainly is good that he continues to
re-define and re-invent his older songs. Keeps things interesting. Anyway,
the show was excellent, highly professional. Yes, things have changed, but
for the better. It was certainly worth standing in the rain for.
P.S. I don't know what was up with the hand-on-the-hip posturing and
glaring (two times), but I hope he enjoyed himself last night. I did.
Review by Rachel Klingberg
"Rain or Shine", it said on my ticket, so I put on a long sleeved cowboy
shirt, long skirt, and Nix-Waxed boots in preparation for the concert at
Jones Beach on July 26th. By the end of the night, my feet were the only
dry part of me. Not wishing to embarrass my new friends who were giving me
a lift, I chose my new grey coat over my duster, which looks like Civil
War relic only shabbier. The duster is warm and completely waterproof from
neck-to-toe, although pretty decrepit-looking. Some friends of mine have
commented that I should dispose of this unflattering garment and are under
the impression that it is bound for the Salvation Army. The grey coat is
much more stylish, but a few blocks from my apartment revealed that it is
not rainproof poplin or even gabardine, as I had thought, but some
miraculous fiber that absorbed about five pounds of water before I even
reached the subway station.
I arrived at the X's full of expectation, for Mrs. J had described
their house to me. Being somewhat of an amateur historian I was curious to
see it, and I was not disappointed. It is one of those very special houses
built early in the last century. I remembered how they had complimented my
tiny little crib, which could fit almost in their bathroom. After the
grand tour, Mrs. X handed me a much-needed cup of strong coffee. It would
have been nice to sit in their cozy living room drinking coffee, listening
to Dylan, and shooting the breeze all afternoon, but we had grander plans.
I was excited as any golden retriever to climb in the front seat of the
car. In the last ten years, I've ridden in a car only a handful of times.
This may seem unusual to most people, but Manhattan is not conducive to
keeping a car. Because of traffic, driving can be a wretched affair, and
finding a parking spot is often impossible even after hours of searching.
I must admit I was a little alarmed when, after deciding to get some gas,
Mrs. J pulled a sharp turn and we went careening into a gas station.
However, the rest of the journey was uneventful except for a little bit of
traffic. The rain was coming down in sheets, visibility was terrible, and
Mrs. X's superior driving skills got us there in one piece. We listened to
FUV till it faded out of range, and arrived at the stadium at twenty to
After partaking in a bit of herbal remedy, we got out of the car and
started to walk to the amphitheater. "It's not so bad," said Mrs. X
optimistically, as the howling wind and sheets of rain blasted us sideways
and nearly knocked us flat. We purchased our tickets separately, so Mr.
And Mrs. X went to find their seats and I mine, and we arranged to meet up
The theatre was not half-full at seven o'clock. My seat was in the
first tier about halfway between the stage and the very back of the
amphitheater. Though blurred by the torrential rain, I had a fairly good
view because I was in the first row that inclined. On the floor, where it
is level, umbrellas and flapping ponchos and hats would have obscured my
view. At about seven-twenty I saw the rowboat, which probably carried
Dylan backstage. The only other way to get to the stage is to walk through
the audience. I saw him being rowed back at the last show. Of course the
ushers shuffled us out, for which I can hardly blame them for we intended
to gawk at the odd site of a heavily hooded figure being rowed across a
choppy sea. In some ways Jones Beach is a fun place to see a show. You can
hang out on the beach beforehand, and there's something majestic about
Dylan's performance framed by the water on either side of the stage. I
could see the equipment trucks and the very edge of what looked like the
black bus in which Dylan travels in the VIP parking area to stage right.
This was my third time seeing Dylan there. But that night Mother Nature
was not on our side. Truthfully, I've never been so uncomfortable at a
Dylan concert. Usually the venue is too warm from all the crowds. The rain
blew sideways and I was thoroughly drenched. I had to wring out the hem of
my skirt and my sleeves a few times. I found myself wishing for a nip of
brandy to combat the rather Hard Rain that was a-Falling.
At about seven-thirty the ubiquitous announcer said his piece. I can't
recall if he said "Ladies and gentleman, would you please welcome,
Columbia Recording artist Bob Dylan..." but considering that is what he
said the last seventeen times I've seen him, it is very probable.
They began with Duncan and Brady, which I have never heard before. This
was an acoustic treat. Long Black Veil followed with Larry Campbell on
mandolin. I've never been fond of this tune, although they certainly did
it justice and it was a real crowd pleaser. I thought Desolation Row,
which followed, was the best acoustic number. I like the way Dylan
experiments with Desolation Row, changing it in performance like an
impressionistic canvas. The "Everybody is making love, Or else expecting
rain" line got a big cheer. Another acoustic highlight for me was Song to
Woody, which followed. . I've always thought this is one of his most
heartfelt tunes, and as much today as it was thirty-eight years ago.
Tangled Up In Blue also got a lot of cheering. It was a good crowd. The
weather didn't prevent a copious display of enthusiasm. There were some
drunken guys behind me yelling and singing the wrong words, but in a
good-natured way. I didn't mind them. There were a few seats around me
that were empty, and the guards were letting people come and go into that
section. The next tier was the floor where the notoriously mean Jones
Beach ushers had a sort of gamut of one orange-slickered and one
yellow-slickered guard checking tickets, and I saw them turn away quite a
few people who asked if they could sit there in the few empty seats on the
It was not one of the most inspiring Tangled Up In Blues I've ever
heard. He started in mid-verse, "..wondering if she changed at all, if her
hair was still red". Though the crowd seemed not too into this one, I
really enjoyed Frankie Lee and Judas Priest. That is another one I had
never heard live. However, it wasn't as tight as the rest of the set. It
was like they hadn't quite found a groove on this number. Then the
electric numbers. Country Pie, which followed, was quite the opposite.
Another I've never heard live! I wished it were a little longer because it
really was a smoking number. It seemed the band found a better groove
after Country Pie. If Not For You was also pretty good. The set list
itself was a treat for me. I had never heard this one live either.
Tombstone Blues I thought also rocked. It's true that I have heard this
one quite a bit in concert, but last night's version was as worthy as any
performance of it I have heard. She Belongs To Me with Larry on pedal
steel got a lot of cheers from the Dead fans, who were extremely
well-mannered and enthusiastic during Dylan's performance.
Then, the absolute peak of last night's performance, yet another tune I
have never heard live, was the incredible, passionate, kick-ass, white-hot
Wicked Messenger. He blew into the harp for a tantalizing few minutes, and
then the song was over and no more harp for the rest of the show.
Leopard-Skin Pillbox hat was the last of the set. While not as good as
Wicked Messenger, the crowd usually likes this one, and Dylan seems to
respond to the energy of the audience. Then, what has come to be known as
The Formation. They put down their instruments, Dylan stood center stage,
one hand on his hip, surveying the crowd, and the band, (hesitantly, I
thought, as if it was not their idea) did the same, although without the
hands on their hips. They stood this way for several minutes while the
crowd cheered, looking a bit like Napoleon surveying his troops. Then they
After just a few minutes of cheering and clapping, perhaps considering
the non-stop sheets of rain, the band came out for the encore, which was
an electric Things Have Changed. I had anticipated hearing this one, as it
is nearly as good a song as anything on Time Out Of Mind, my favorite
album. However, it sounded pretty much the same as the released version
and was a bit of a let-down for me. Like A Rolling Stone followed. I know
it is not just that I have heard this too many times, last night's
performance of it was, well, not quite together, I suppose. An acoustic
Girl of the North Country was very tender and sweet. Then, he was handed
the electric again for Highway 61 Revisited, which I thought was quite
good and as always, a fun song. Blowin' In The Wind closed the show, with
the band singing harmonies, which adds a lovely melodious layer to this
Throughout, Dylan seemed to be in a fine mood. He was dancing around a
bit, bending deep, with the usual duckwalking and little flourishes,
sometimes holding his guitar aloft in a kind of rockstar way. I don't know
if it is the venue, where the sound is not the best because of the ocean
behind the stage, or the harsh wind and rain, but the acoustic numbers
were not as good, in my opinion. Indoors perhaps it would have been a
little different. He didn't say much during the show, just introduced the
band and said, "We're getting wet too". I noticed the absence of the
typical "Thank you, ev'rybody!". Once again the band lined up for the
rather bizarre stance, Dylan put his hand on his hip, and they stood for
several minutes while the crowd applauded.
People continued to clap and cheer, but they had played seventeen songs
and the weather was unrelenting. Because of that and my early interviews
and the J's imminent departure, we did not stay for Phil Lesh but drove
back through the sheeting rain. We agreed that only for Bob would we
subject ourselves to such an exposure of the fierce elements that night at
Review by Willy Gissen
A New and Unusual Dylan Mannerism
Bob Dylan has adopted a new and unusual mannerism during his current U.S.
Tour. At the end of both his main set and his encore set, he stands at the
front of the stage, without his guitar, and stares from face to face of
his cheering fans. He does this for about sixty seconds (to quote his own
words, "sometimes sixty seconds can seem like an eternity"), then walks
The explanations are numerous and wide-ranging. One person I spoke to said
that he was soaking up the applause, that he was saying "I'm Bob Dylan,
and you're not." Another explanation was that he was trying to preserve
the precious feeling of being on tour by memorizing the faces of his fans;
he is getting older now and won't be able to continue touring forever. To
me, the explanation is at once more obvious and more profound.
Anyone closely examining the peculiar expression on Mr. Dylan's face while
he is engaging in this act, can see that he seems to be looking for
someone, trying to pick a single face out of the crowd. Given Mr. Dylan's
priorities, the face may have religious significance, perhaps some form of
savior. Perhaps Mr. Dylan had a vision of meeting this person during one
of his concerts. But after looking from face to face for an extended
period of time, Dylan seems unable to find who he's looking for and then
walks away, clearly disappointed.
At his concert yesterday at Jones Beach, I observed this pheonomenon and
after the concert got into a conversation with another Dylan fan on the
line for food. He confirmed, yes, Dylan has started this mannerism on the
current tour only and agreed that the meaning was inscrutable.
The fan I spoke to had impeccable "Dylan" credentials; he'd seen Dylan
just about every time he came through the New York area and went to the
Paul Simon/Dylan event and the recent concert at the Continental Airlines
arena at the Meadowlands. Even though he saw Paul Simon/Dylan at Jones
Beach, he knew about Dylan playing "Highlands," a 15-minute song from the
Grammy award-winning album, Time Out of Mind, at the Madison Square Garden
Simon/Dylan concert--which I had attended and was thus able to confirm.
Therefore, I am comfortable that my observation of this mannerism is
accurate and that it is occurring frequently, through this fellow fan's
As with just about all things with Mr. Dylan, we can be assured that he is
acting with integrity (they even sold t-shirts at the concert emblazoned
with Dylan's name and the word "integrity"), as well as being assured that
he feels no obligation to explain his actions. Dylan is a man of few
words; therefore, anything he does takes on added significance. Besides
introducing the band at Jones Beach, Dylan spoke only two sentences. The
first sentence was "that was a sad song, this is a sadder one," while the
second sentence was "it's getting late." Given Mr. Dylan's propensity for
religious symbolism, we can be assured of the double meaning in the second
sentence. Perhaps it is even related to his new mannerism.
Review by Jeanne Davis
It rained all day before the Jones Beach show, and it kept raining the
entire time right through the show. The parking lot scene was in full
blast despite it, and when the sound check was played people walking
around barefoot in the lot cheered for Things Have Changed, and Oh Babe It
Ain't No Lie. There were some instrumentals too, but a lot more singing
this time then there was in Saratoga.
Not many people chickened out due to the weather, and the colorful rain
gear made a cool sight of yellows, reds, greens, and blues. I brought my
mom to her first Dylan show, and she was a trooper, completely soaked by
the end of it, but still smiling. Her favorite was Leopard Skin PBH,
which was an especially spirited close to the set before the encores
The show opened with Duncan and Brady, with everyone set up farther back
from the lip of the stage then usual, in an effort to keep under the
overhang. Long Black Veil was the first surprise of the evening; it
really felt like a keen, completely appropriate to the lyric, lonely and
It was followed by another superb Desolation Row, and then an
affectionately growled Song To Woody.
The crowd was really dancing, cheering, and in some cases singing along by
the time Tangled came up; Bob didn't take many solos tonight, guitar or
otherwise, but the playing was solid, and by the time they hit Tombstone
Blues it felt like they were going to do their best despite frustration
with the conditions to have the show be a keeper. Wind and rain caused
only a few sound mishaps; at one point Bob thanked the crowd and said
"We're getting wet too," with a smile in Tony's direction. When the
lights came up on the crowd during the closing songs you could just see
the downpour, and it was great that people decided to enjoy themselves
despite it. There's usually a little bay beach right next to the theater,
and it was completely washed out by the high water - just really nasty
My favorite tonight was a beautiful acoustic rendition of Girl from the
North Country during the encores. Surrounded as it was by
enthusiastically rocking versions of LARS and Highway 61, it really stood
out as being tender and wonderful.
Review by Vic Jones
It was wet. It was really wet. It was exceptionally wet at the usually
beautiful Jones Beach theatre and still the concert goes on. Dressed in
my not too fancy rain gear- jacket AND pants- I left the car, got to my
seat and sat until those flashing lights started and I heard the words,
"Ladies and gentlemen, Columbia recording artist, Bob Dylan!" over the PA.
Duncan and Brady was uplifting and the fact that the show was going on
regardless of the weather was even more reason to get up, dance, and
celebrate. Long BLack Veil was a strange choice, I think, for a second
song ... but who am I to judge? Desolation is great, but I already wrote
about that. Song to Woody was the real deal, sincerity at its finest -
you could hear Bob's admiration for the legend in his voice. TUIB wasn't
it's finest, getting off to a mangled start and lyrics forgotten somewhere
along the way. But, that's
alright: I'll hear it again another show for sure and Bob will nail it
then. Frankie Lee and Judas Priest was lacking something ... vigor may be
the word, any absence of which came through in spades during Country Pie,
again bringing the house down as was done days before in Saratoga. If Not
For you, well, was a departure from the norm but quite welcome to me.
Tombstone came-up next and again She Belongs to Me had me crying, this
time for two reasons: 1- the sheer beauty, 2- the Grateful Dead fan next
to me who said to his buddy, "Cool! Bob is doing a Jerry song". Yes,
folks, unfortunatley he was being serious. I broke the news to him and
rained on his parade, pun intended. The rest of the show was as Saratoga
was with the exception of Girl of the North Country in place of It Ain't
Me, Babe. It seems the two are interchangable this tour, Bob deciding at
the last moment which gets played for that particular night, the band
waiting for his cue to see which he has in mind. Things Have Changed was
particularly fine. Overall, they were a bit off the the first half of
the show it seemed, but who wouldn't be in the middle of torrential
downpour? Still, they managed to pick things up and I was satisfied once
again. Regardless of the inclimate weather, time well spent no doubt.
Thanks again, Bob.
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