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Review by Peter Stone Brown
Bob Dylan kind of has a history of playing a lot of standards when he
comes to Philadelphia, especially at the bigger venues. Back in '97
when he was pulling out the likes of "Blind Willie McTell," "Wheels on
Fire," and the occasional "One of Us Must Know" and "Seven Days" in
other parts of the country Philly got "Maggie's Farm" and "Thin Man" and
so it was tonight, but don't let that part of the setlist fool you.
For his only show actually in Philly in the year of '99 Dylan made sure
to bring his ever-changing tour with him.
The show was completely different in mood, texture and feel than the
previous night's show 90 miles to the South in Baltimore. And if some
of the setlist seemed to recall the days when "Maggie's Farm" and "Thin
Man" were regular parts of the setlist, the performance tonight was
nothing short of excellent and its own way once again full of surprises.
Instead of opening the acoustic set with "I Am The Man, Thomas," he
pulled out "Hallelujah I'm Ready" which worked just as well.
Then he pulls out the song I was hoping to here in Baltimore, "The
Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" and it was brilliantly intense from
the start. In fact the whole acoustic set was perfect! It seemed kind
of lowkey, but there was a quiet unified force in the band tonight and
each song had a subtle burning power. At Carrol's conclusion, he
reached two songs back from the same album, his 3rd, Times They Are
A-Changin', the album that totally sold me on Dylan a few centuries ago
for a masterful "Boots of Spanish Leather."
And then came one of the best surprises of the night, "A Satisfied
Mind," the old Porter Wagoner country hit that serves as the intro to
Saved. And tonight Bob did it the way it's usually done, country style
with fantastic harmonies from Larry and Charlie in one truly glorious
rendition. (And for those who pay attention to such things, it should
be noted that Ian & Sylvia also covered this song on their album Play
One More, the same album that includes a song Dylan has tried on a few
occasions, "The French Girl.")
An equally superb "Mama You Been On My Mind" came next followed by
"Tangled Up In Blue."
Now I realize a lot of people are tired of seeing this song in the
setlist and sometimes I get tired of it myself. But there's one thing
about this song, other than being an incredible song (and one which I
know from personal experience is a lot fun to play), Dylan never sings
this song the same way. I just saw three shows in a row and every night
he found a new angle, a new mood, something else to search for.
Dylan was obviously in good spirits (and looking great too--for the
first time this tour I had seats that were as close to the stage as you
could get) and at some point during the acoustic set he said, (referring
to Temple University), "I always wanted to play here. My buddy, Bill
Cosby went to school here. We used to play the clubs." Or something
like that, the last sentence sounded mumbled from where I was sitting.
Big surprise number 2 came with the opening song of the electric
segment, another Johnny Cash classic, "Folsom Prison Blues," again
excellently done with Charlie playing the famous Luther Perkins guitar
lead. And of course this begs the question, is Dylan going to pull out
a different Johnny Cash tune in this part of the show every night for
the rest of the remaining shows, and if he does, that will be something.
The lights went down and somebody (I'm pretty sure it was Bob) played
the opening lick to "Thin Man" while the huddle was going on--since the
lights were down you couldn't see, and then there was a pause and sure
enough it was "Thin Man," and though this was a song I was really tired
of seeing a year or so ago, tonight it was just fine and the perfect
lead in to surprise number 3, "Man of Peace." And a lowdown rocking
version it was too, followed by "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight," featuring
an extended gorgeous pedal steel solo from Larry, followed by a simply
stunning "Shooting Star."
And while another past staple, "Maggie's Farm" closed the set, it had a
funky rhythmic groove that could not be denied.
"Love Sick" as usual was the first encore and "Don't Think Twice" as
many times as I've heard it, it was exquisite with Larry's
finger-picking setting the tone, followed by a typically fun but
powerhouse version of "Not Fade Away." Dylan bowed, the band left the
stage the lights went down.
And then they came back! "Blowin' In The Wind." And while some people
may complain about this song, the song that initially made Dylan famous,
there's something about those harmonies on
"Wiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnndddddddd" that hit me every time and tonight they
were as moving and powerful as any of this arrangement I've witnessed.
But neither the audience nor Dylan was going anywhere and the band
kicked into what might be the most spectacularly rocking version of
"Highway 61 Revisited" ever done anywhere. It didn't just kick ass. It
FUCKING KICKED ASS. And it seemed to go on forever and everyone in the
band was into it and obviously having one hell of a time. On the last
verse Dylan really stretched it out into "down on highway
sixteeeeeeeeeee one" in one blazingly nasty voice, then Charlie Sexton
tore into this supersonic but totally funky guitar solo that wass just
beyond any beyond any of the usual words used to describe guitar solos
and then Larry answered him with a solo that was equally awesome and
then back to Charlie and back to Larry and Bob might've gotten in a few
licks there too, but mostly he seemed more than happy to play rhythm and
Tony is jumping up on the drum riser and driving the rhythm with Kemper
and Dylan's bopping around just digging it and looking as pleased as
I've ever seen him look if you can imagine Bob Dylan looking pleased and
it just kept going on and on, higher and higher and then it was over.
And once again a setlist on paper is not the show. And if the Philly
show was not as wildly adventurous as the previous four or five shows
(especially Baltimore) the musicianship was evident throughout and this
band was as tight, perhaps the most tight I've ever seen them. They
were in the pocket from the first note to the last.
"Where the angels' voices whisper to the souls of previous times."
Peter Stone Brown
Review by Josh Leik
Well, he did it. I should know not to underestimate him, but i did not
expect tonight's show to be better than last night in Baltimore. After the
sound difficulties got worked out, (Larry's unheard mandolin solo on
Hallelujah and Bob's overbearing vocal on part of "Hattie Carol") this show
was excellent for several reasons. 1) song choice 2) more pedal steel (at
least it seemed that way) 3) Charlie was allowed to run (so was Larry)
4) eighteen songs 5) new chord progression for boots of spanish
leather....If not brand new it is the first time i've heard the slightly
altered boots of spanish leather. It's not a big difference but it is
noticeable and very, very nice. Satisfied Mind was a country version unlike
the Saved album which is the only version I am familiar with. Mama You Been
on My Mind was a little more upbeat than I've heard it lately, but the vocals
were still very graceful. Folsom Prison Blues sounded like they have been
playing it for twenty years. What a great surprise and they did a magnificent
job with it.
Ballad of a thin man I have not heard for a while and I really enjoy the
return to the old intro instead of the one that was used for most of the
nineties. Another great surprise was Man of Peace. When I hope to hear
rarities this is not one of them but it really rocked and this was the first
time tonight that both Larry and Charlie were allowed to do their thing.
Their solos were outstanding and along with Bob's strong vocals made this
I'll Be Your Baby was fine but really nothing special. I don't know if this
has been played much lately but it just didn't come across like the great
country song it is. Then Shooting Star. I think Bob was testing or messing
with the band on the last two verses. He would sing a line and then wait to
start the next line until he was good and ready. I've seen him do this
before but tonight he really pushed it to the limit. The band never missed a
beat and the pedal steel was exquisite.
Lovesick seems to get better every night. Bob seems to put a little more
into the lyric each night. And the band played it a little more gently
tonight, not pounding the two big notes in the chorus but easing in to them
each time. The intro to Don't Think Twice is as good as it gets. Larry's
fingerpicking was over top of some softer than usual guitar from bob and it
was a masterpiece. Bob's vocal was gentle and soft and the audience was
silent except for a good roar after each alllllllllllrriiiiiiiiiiiight. I am
embarrassed to admit that i was in the hallway on my way out when bob
returned after not fade away. ( I had a long drive ahead of me) The two
extra songs were a beautiful version of Blowin in the Wind and a Highway 61
that wouldn't end. And like the two previous shows, the band was so good it
made me want to go again tomorrow. Like my friend Lee says "Bring me my
Review by Terrapin
I have to start out by saying that this is sort of a dream double-bill for
me. Over the past couple of years, Dylan has teamed up with several of his
contemporaries for some fine double-bill shows Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell,
and Paul Simon have all participated in Dylan's recent tours, but none of
them meant quite as much to me as the current pairing of Dylan and Phil and
Friends. To me, the musical styles of Dylan and the Grateful Dead represent
my own personal yin and yang of music. The outwardly exploratory styles of
the Dead (and Phil and Friends) are the perfect companion to the
introspective exploration of Bob Dylan. Or, as some old hippies would say,
the Pranksters meet the Crypt Trippers.
That being said, my girlfriend and I got to the Apollo and picked up our
tickets. I ran into my friend Peter Stone Brown who gave me the lowdown on
his experience in Baltimore (a show I wish I'd seen, but whatcha gonna do?).
Once my beloved came out from getting the tickets, we proceeded to look for
two of our friends we were planning to meet. We met them, and got in the
arena a couple of minutes after Phil and Friends had started their set. I'd
joked with my friends that Phil was gonna open up with "Jam" (which has been
the standard for this tour), and sure enough, he did… and what a jam it was.
It hinted and teased at "The Wheel" on several occasions, and John Molo
started playing around with "The Other One" beat (for the first of what
would be many, many times) before wiggling off into Crazy Fingers. I like
the way Rob Barraco sang this until he got to the "Life may be sweeter…"
lines where I thought he gave it a little too much punch and not enough
subtlety, but that also comes from loving to hear Jerry sing this song, and
comparing all things Dead (and Dead-related) to Jerry, which really isn't
fair to Jerry or the new musicians. Thus, any problems I had with it were
my own, and not the fault of Rob, Phil, or anyone else in the band. The
band went off into another wild jam that again played with "The Wheel", and
touched on the Allman Brother's "Revival" before Molo started trying to play
"The Other One" again, then teasing "Truckin'" for a few seconds before
drifting away into space then landing at "Unbroken Chain". This performance
is easily the best I've ever heard of this song. Since the Dead didn't play
it until 1995, it was never fully developed in their repertoire, but now
that Phil is playing it pretty consistently, it is becoming the song we all
hoped it would. All members of the band handed in magnificent performances,
but the gold medal has to go to Warren Haynes who took this song to new and
different levels. Then there was a bit of space topped off with Molo
playing around with… yup, you got it… "The Other One" (again!) and then a
"Birdsong" for the ages. Again, Haynes made this song shine, but the Phil
was all over it. The center jam went on for what seemed like a couple of
months with Molo still trying to get everyone to play "The Other One", and
Phil dropping bombs as if to insure that there would be no tomorrow. Then
the biggest surprise of the set (for me at least) came out with an
INCANDESCENT reading of "Stagger Lee". It took me by complete surprise, but
was deeply satisfying. Possibly the finest performance of the night by
either band. Words fail me. The "Dupree's Diamond Blues" was fun, but not
anything particularly special. However, I must admit that I was a bit
confused by the addition of Susan Tedeschi to the lineup for this song, and
spent the majority of it trying to figure out who the hell she was. My
eyesight not being the best in the world, I was guessing everyone from Donna
Jean to Sheryl Crow to Maria Muldaur to Janis Joplin herself, and was wrong
on all counts. As a matter of fact, I still don't know who Susan Tedeschi
is, but that doesn’t keep me from appreciating her voice. Man oh man! That
woman can WAIL! And she really showed off her talents in the following
"Lovelight" which was another outstanding performance. Warren Haynes let it
shine! I can't get over how much he can sound like Pigpen at times, but not
like Pigpen. Amazing… Lights up, time for INTERMISSION.
In the crowded hallway, walking around, looking for a friend when KA-BLAMMO!
Just to my right, some highly messed up reveler fell and bonked his noggin
on the concrete. I called for security and tried to help the kid out, but
still… that was highly freaky… then he gets up and does it again! Oh boy,
this is one of "THOSE" nights, isn't it? I spoke briefly with my friend
then went down to enjoy the presentation from Bob Dylan.
"Hallelujah, I'm Ready To Go" says it all. Bob was ready to go last night,
and didn't mess around for a minute. A lot of the deadheads in the crowd
were a little confused by this bluegrass-gospel tune, but I loved every
second of it. He was playing this a lot during the summer tour, but I never
saw him play it. When I saw him this summer, he opened with "Cocaine
Blues", so this song was brand new to me. But what a great song to open a
show with. Bob is getting more and more spiritual as time goes on, but in
more subtle ways than before. No longer is he preaching to the crowd, now
he's letting the songs speak for him. So much has changed, so little has
changed. "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" was a pleasant surprise,
and Bob delivered it with all the emotion and intensity a song of this
caliber demands. Nothing was out of place, everything seemed to fit. My
girlfriend later commented to me on how Dylan's set was kinda slow
throughout, and I agree, but I point to my earlier analogy of Pranksters and
Crypt Trippers. That's what it's all about. Pranksters such as Ken Kesey
and Phil and Friends move outward while Crypt Trippers like Leary and Dylan
move inward. Musical yin and yang. Next up was a beautiful reading of
"Boots of Spanish Leather". The last line wasn't delivered with the
contemptuous snarl like the Tramps version, but this time it was more of a
lonesome acceptance of the hard facts of life, tired and forlorn. "A
Satisfied Mind" brought back the spiritual tone of the evening, and this was
a highly spiritual show. Having never heard Dylan do this song live, I was
in awe of every moment. It was a fine performance of a fine song, not a
standout highlight difinitive version or anything like that, but a fine
performance nonetheless. "Mama You Been On My Mind" brought us back to the
lover. Maybe it was the same lover who'd sailed across the ocean, I don't
know. Whoever he was singing to, for, or about, this time, she sure is
lucky because Bob really seemed to be thinking a lot about her. One of
Dylan's finest "sexual" songs (when I speak of "sexuality", I mean along the
lines of "Spanish Harlem Incident"), "Mama You Been On My Mind" has been a
perpetual favourite of mine for years, and it's really a shame that the
woman who'd been on my mind wasn't there to enjoy it with me, but rather up
in the hallway. But, we're all on our own trip. Then the last song of the
acoustic set, "Tangled Up In Blue", comes tearing through the room. Bob and
the boys handed out another hot performance of this old war-horse, leaving
all the Deadheads smiling. Strap on the electrics, let's get ready to play
some rock and roll. From the first note of this song, I was in heaven. I
love Johnny Cash songs, and so does Bob. Do you have any Johnny Cash
records? They played this song so perfectly that if I hadn't known better,
I'd think they'd played it every night. Without a doubt, the best surprise
so far of the evening, and in my mind, the best rocker he played all night.
Then, Bob had something to say to a certain few people in the audience. The
mix of the crowd was such that no one seemed out of place and no one seemed
to fit in. What a strange mix of people these two icons of music attract.
Me, I love them both, but there are people who love Dylan and don't get the
Dead, and those who love the Dead and don't get Dylan. "Ballad of a Thin
Man", in my wild way of seeing the world, was directed at all those folks,
because there was something going on there that a lot of people didn't get
completely. I'm glad I could appreciate all of it without having to be
judgemental or condescending towards either band. I guess it's all a matter
of taste. After delivering a fine "Thin Man", Bob turned right around and
handed out another strong spiritual message that was also a
none-too-thinly-masked attack on some other members of the audience with
"Man of Peace". BLISTERING doesn't even begin to describe this performance.
Larry Campbell was all over this song, and Bob nailed every word. Part of
Dylan's gift is the ability to convey a certain mood and describe any given
situation, and this is what he really seems to be doing these days. When I
look at the setlists from the past week, I'm amazed at the way they are
assembled. This is just another facet of the man's genius. "I'll Be Your
Baby Tonight" was, to me, a breather song. Nothing special to note, just
another performance of a song that's almost impossible to dance to. Then
came the highlight of the evening for me. I've mentioned the spiritual
nature of this performance several times so far, and the next song was the
culmination of all that. "Shooting Star" started out with a long
introduction and I wasn't sure what exactly they were going to play, but
when the first word left Bob's lips, tears formed in my eyes, and I cried
like a baby for the rest of the song. This song is really special to me as
I associate it with my deceased father, and every time I hear it, I get a
shiver down my spine. Hearing it live, however, filled me with more emotion
than I can even begin to describe. A fine, glowing performance of a song I
never thought I'd see live. After all this, there wasn't much more Bob
could do to my mind, and he gave us a fun "Maggie's Farm" to close the
pre-encore portion of his show. I only wish he'd let Phil, Warren, Rob, and
Susan join him onstage and trade off verses with them a la the Grateful
Dead. That is the only way the show could have been made any better for me.
The song ended, the band left the stage, and returned for a long set of
encores, all of which are common songs these days, so there's nothing much I
can say about them that hasn't been said a thousand times before. All in
all, I had the most intense concert experience of my life thanks to Phil and
Bob and their respective bands. I can only hope this becomes the standard
for Bob tours from now on. Thank you, for a real good time.
Review by Tom Karel
Just when you start to think that maybe you've see too many Dylan shows, a
performance like last night's comes along and makes you want to quit your
job and follow Bob on the road for the rest of the tour. I've been a Dylan
fan since my college days in the 1960s, but I didn't see him perform until
1994. Since then I've seen some excellent shows in the past few years
(especially with Patti Smith in December 1995 at the Electric Factory in
Philadelphia; November 1998 at College Park, Maryland, with Joni Mitchell;
and this summer with Paul Simon at Holmdel, NJ) but this, my 9th show, may
have been the best one yet. Bob was in terrific form and couldn't stop
playing! Here's a song-by-song rundown.
First, the prelude -
After a long, slow battle with heavy traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway
and Broad Street, my daughter Stasia and I managed to get into the parking
garage attached to the Apollo. We were running late and I was sure that
the garage would already be filled, so that was the first good sign of good
things to come. We got into the arena just as Phil Lesh and Friends were
starting their set. Our seats were almost as high up and as far away as
you could go - in Section 210, in the second-last row from the rafters -
but we had a great view of the stage and could survey the entire audience,
all 11,000! My initial impression was that this was largely a Deadhead
crowd, but it was also the kind of wonderfully diverse crowd you see at all
Dylan shows - young and old, freaks and straights. The Apollo is supposed
to be "smoke free" but I've never seen so much smoking at an indoor
concert. The Deadheads (and others) were smoking everything imaginable,
too! The floor was packed with the general admission folks, swaying and
dancing to Phil's music, and from time to time the colored lights played
over the crowd and from above it looked like a rippling rainbow.
I am not a big fan of the Grateful Dead so I don't know their music very
well, but Stasia is and does, so she really enjoyed Phil's set. While
their music sounded very good, I found the long and flowing jam that went
on for nearly an hour to be a bit tiring. Finally, when they got to
"Stagger Lee" I perked up and the rest of the set was both energetic and
enjoyable. Along the way I was entertained by a young guy in front of me
who spent most of the time on his feet doing an interpretive "dance" to the
music - a lot of hand action and swaying which was fun to watch (though I
was praying he would disappear when Bob came on!) Phil's set ended around
9:15 and I had plenty of time to get to the men's room and back before Bob
The main event -
Bob and the band appeared on the partially lit stage around 9:45 then sort
of milled around for a long minute until the usual PA announcement came on.
The crowd errupted and they launched into HALLELUJAH, I'M READY TO GO. I
was expected to hear "I Am the Man, Thomas," so this was the first surprise
of the evening. A nice, bouncy song, but over too quickly. The crowd was
still settling down.
Because of the previous shows and the suddenly-unpredictable set lists, we
were expecting something unusual in the number two spot. We weren't
disappointed. I missed the opening line, but was delighted to hear HATTIE
CARROLL again. This performance wasn't quite as mesmerizing as the Madison
Square Garden rendering in January 98, but it was very good and Bob's voice
was rich and clear. This song, of course, would have been ideal for the
Baltimore show, but I'm glad he chose to wait a day.
Third was a welcome treat - BOOTS OF SPANISH LEATHER. I hadn't heard this
live before, and again, I couldn't make out the opening lines. He sang
this softly and tenderly, with some interesting variations in the phrasing,
and the crowd roared at the end. My enjoyment was ruined slightly by the
persistent talking from the row behind us, but otherwise this was one of
the highlights of the evening.
I thought we would hear something more predictable next, but Bob surprised
everyone in the arena with A SATISFIED MIND from the Saved album. I don't
know this song so when it began with a loud chorus of "how many times..." I
was really confused. Stasia thought she saw Bob laughing at the beginning
as if he knew he had pulled a fast one on the crowd.
Then we were all expecting "Tangled Up in Blue" in the number 5 slot,
since this is where it's been played throughout the tour, but the man of
surprises tricked us again. We heard a soft and gentle and wonderful MAMA
YOU BEEN ON MY MIND instead, complete with a nice harmonica solo. Just
lovely, as good as the version I heard at Lehigh in February.
Then, at last, TANGLED UP IN BLUE and the crowd really came alive. The
Deadheads got up to dance and the light crew switched into high gear. Bob
restored the "topless place" verse and ended with a soaring harp. The
crowd was pumped now and you got the feeling that anything could happen.
It did. The first electric number was another huge surprise - Johnny
Cash's FOLSOM PRISON BLUES. It sounded perfect - loud and raw and mean.
The band had a lot of fun with this and the vocals were very strong.
BALLAD OF A THIN MAN was next and the crowd roared from the very first
unmistakable notes. This, too, was done with power and force and Bob sang
it with feeling, close to the album version but with some nice phrasing and
repeating portions of lines ("you've been with the professors and they've -
and they've all liked your looks"). This was a big crowd favorite.
The biggest surprise of the night, for me at least, came next. I knew the
song the moment I heard the opening chords, but said to myself no, he can't
be playing this! He was and did. I nearly jumped out of my chair and
looked at Stasia in astonishment. "Look out your window, baby..." MAN OF
PEACE, for the first time in several years, I think. And Bob sang every
word perfectly and the band sounded like they've been playing this
constantly. I gave him a standing ovation for this one. (this song is
from the Infidels album, and while I would have preferred hearing
"Jokerman", this was just fine)
Either before of after the next song Bob actually spoke to the crowd -
something about Bill Cosby and Temple. I didn't recognize the into music,
or the first couple lines, but then settled back to enjoy one of my
all-time Bob favorites, I'LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT. This one also had some
great phrasing - "I'll be - I'll be your - I'll be your BABY tonight!" He
was almost crooning through most of the song. I first heard him do this at
Hershey, in the rain in August 94, and this time was much, much better.
Then, a major highlight of the night for me, a song I've been waiting to
hear Bob sing since I first heard it on the MTV Unplugged show. From the
intro music I thought he was going to do "Not Dark Yet," but then suddenly
he was singing "Seen a SHOOTING STAR tonight..." and the evening became
perfect. What a thrill! He poured his heart and soul into this and the
crowd loved it - they hung on every word, and when he repeated the "last
temptation" verse there were shrieks of pure joy from different parts of
the arena. It was a transcendent moment. If he had ended the show then, I
would have gone home a very happy man.
After that, the songs actually became somewhat predictable, but more
surprises were on the way. Bob introduced the band, then did a rousing
up-on-your-feet MAGGIE'S FARM instead of "Highway 61" or "Rolling Stone,"
which we had been expecting.
Then - then, my friend - came the amazing encores.
LOVE SICK was expected, and while I would have preferred hearing something
else from Time Out of Mind here, this performance was excellent and Bob's
voice was haunting. We listened very closely for the minor lyric change
people had been writing about. Fans were even trying to dance to this!
RAINY DAY WOMEN was a bit of a surprise, and I could actually understand
most of the words this time. The crowd loved it.
The acoustic encore began with all kinds of expectations. After Phil's
appearance during the encores in Baltimore we sort of expected the same,
and when the music began Stasia thought it was going to be "Friend of the
Devil," which she's been dying to hear. Instead, it was DON'T THINK TWICE,
done very well. The line "you just kind of wasted my precious time"
received huge applause.
Then, not surprisingly, they exploded into NOT FADE AWAY, the lights went
crazy, the band went crazy, and the crowd went crazy. No sign of Phil
Lesh, however. Stasia surmised that he was on the road to Connecticut
Bob and the band began leaving the stage, the roadies were taking the
instruments away, but then....
Throughout the encores, Bob made a point of acknowledging and waving to the
fans seated up behind the stage, and maybe they made a real impact on him
because soon we saw them returning to the front of the stage, instruments
in hand, and we got one more encore! BLOWIN' IN THE WIND, a fine emotional
end to a great show.
But, incredibly, it wasn't the end! Another long pause, and they returned
one last time and blew the roof off the Apollo with a long, roaring HIGHWAY
61. Stasia was going out of her mind. Six encores, he's not supposed to
do this! When it was over, nobody left the arena in the wild hope that
there would be even more. But that was it. Bob had done 18 songs and
played for two hours. What a man!!
The crowd was buzzing afterwards about the show, Deadheads and Dylanheads
alike in agreement that they had witnessed a very special evening. We
waited on the roof of the parking garage for a while, admiring the lights
of the center city skyscrapers and enjoying the fresh, crisp midnight air.
When we finally got out of the garage and out of the city, we flew home,
fueled by the music and whatever it was we were inhaling all night!
Review by S.D. Walter
From what I can tell, Temple University is located in a war zone. I
have never been to North Philadelphia before, but I had been warned
about it--warned not to wander off-campus, especially--so as we get off
the 95 exit onto Callowhill, I'm uncertain what to expect. Soon enough
it's clear: Desolation Row, without the pennywhistles. Deserted
streets at 7:30; we are mired in traffic on Broad Street for nearly half
an hour, yet are almost glad for the company. A streetscape resembling
that of places closer to home--Newark, say, or parts of the Oranges--but
perhaps even worse: nothing open save your occasional gas station, bar,
or convenience store; every shop and church and restaurant already
locked down, almost hidden behind metal bars, barricades, razor wire,
and fencing--even the fast-food places seem to have more layers of
protection than your average American embassy; drug traffic easily
visible in darkened side lots; insanity smashing up against street
corners, the mentally ill, untreated, dancing to music from boom boxes
... ashes, ashes, around and around; but most of all, an eerie silence.
An unmistakable aura of danger.
This in America? At the turn of the millennium? It's the economy,
stupid. Somehow I don't think the residents of this neighborhood are in
the throes of any fin de siècle malaise (based largely on worries about
the performance of their mutual funds or the size of their neighbor's
SUV). I imagine they must be thinking, instead, that some things never
change. And where are all these white people headed? --someone might
ask himself, herself, catching sight of the snarled line of cars.
White people, mostly from middle-class backgrounds, heading through
North Philly for a night out with a performer sometimes described as our
finest "white blues singer." Surely Bob Dylan must be conscious of the
irony. How could one not be? At the same time, there is no sense in
wallowing in guilt about it either. Guilt-wallowing can get
frighteningly close to exultation at times. And I'd rather exult in the
Finally we reach the Temple campus, islanded in a sea of artificial
light. The Apollo is a new facility, sports-oriented and basic, but at
least offering decent sightlines, cheaper beer than Holmdel, and a lot
of bathrooms to finish out the cycle. We arrive toward the end of Phil
Lesh's set and decide just to wait to find our seats, listening from the
hallway to what sounds like a fine "Lovelight" with (we later discover)
Susan Tedeschi on vocals. From this vantage on the tour, I don't think
anyone would question that Dylan's choice to play with Lesh and Friends
has proven a great idea--whether their influence on his setlists has
been direct or indirect really doesn't matter; the point is, it's
To briefly comment on the Deadhead scene: Dylan fans have been a
witness to elements of it in the recent past, especially I think since
1995; but not since 1987, I'd imagine, have they seen so many hardcore
"family" members together at once. I remember being on the fringes of
that scene myself at one time, although I probably made it only to ten,
fifteen shows all told--and these memories, I'll admit, feed my
ambivalence toward it now. I wonder if many (later) Dylan fans share in
On the one hand, some of these people are hilarious. And you also have
to admire the examples of, yes, family values--such as loyalty, respect,
and generosity--displayed by others. On the other hand, it's impossible
to ignore the hollow stares on many of the faces passing by. I couldn't
help recalling an introduction Richard Thompson made to his song
"Uninhabited Man" (from his stunning new album Mock Tudor) at a concert
in Princeton earlier this month: "this is for those who got the bad
acid," he said ... "the ones that fell by the wayside." As opposed to
marijuana, which is now clinically proven to be good for you (or so I've
read ...), L.S.D. and the other synthetics can be terrifying drugs,
people, with the potential for long-term damage. Again, personal
memories here. And what's truly ironic, I think, is that these drugs
enforce a kind of solipsism totally antithetical to the values listed
I suppose the question I'd like to ask would be, why do you need it?
Poetry--aural, visual--is God's wine, Emerson said. It consists in the
ravishment of the intellect, not in its destruction. But as I am sure
I'll be told "don't criticize what you can't understand," I will let the
Anyway, though I'm extremely happy, as I said, at the results of the
Dylan-Lesh matchup, I do find that these double bills can be somewhat
wearing after a while. It's a lot to take in at one time, not to
mention at very high volume; still, with Van Morrison or Joni Mitchell,
I would never have dreamed of missing a note. Tonight, however, I want
to save myself for Dylan--I haven't seen him for a while now (since the
Holmdel stop of the Simon Luxury Liner tour) and, more important, the
setlists. The setlists! We take our seats, low on the second level
with a perfect "window" down on stage left; perfect for me, as I start
to feel claustrophobic just looking out over the mass of humanity
crunched tight against the barrier. You have to respect the dedication
of these people; I know I couldn't take it: breathing is an absolute
priority for me. At any rate, from where we sit you can see the band
ascend the staircase below, taking their positions amidst flashing
lights. Lights up: there he is, what a jacket! That's David Kemper, I
can actually see him, not just The Hat! Lord, I hope I'm ready.
... to go. Hallelujah. That's what I want to say about this entire
concert: Hallelujah. Praise be. This is the Dylan show I have been
waiting for a long time (forever?) to see. It seems almost like a
miracle to me, what he has been doing with his sets. And like any
miracle should, it has filled my heart with rejoicing.
It should be noted, I feel, that none of what we are hearing now would
be possible without the fundamental shift that occurred in Europe
earlier in 1999--I'm referring, of course, to the re-structuring of
Dylan's set so as to begin with an extended acoustic section. Not to
get carried away, but I do believe that this decision will emerge as one
of the most significant artistic choices of the Neverending Tour.
Dylan, quite bluntly but without any fanfare at all, freed himself from
the burden of becoming just an old rock and roller ... let more silence,
slowness back into his performances, more room for older voices to
surface and be heard. Opened the Basement door again. What a
brilliant, daring move.
Not to discount the Lesh factor, but maybe we can see the changes
happening now, at least in part, as a natural extension of that choice,
interrupted by the summer tour with its self-imposed rigidities? Once
again, though, the *point* is
... with its flawless enunciation and ringing refrain, similar to how
he sings the refrain of "My Back Pages" now; the *point* is
... an ocean of sadness, yet such joy in hearing it sung and played
like this, perhaps not quite equal to the Tramps version (which I missed
in person but was able to hear on tape--thanks to an act of generosity
which I won't soon forget), but so close as to be virtually
indistinguishable; the *point* is
A Satisfied Mind!
... I can't well describe how stunned I was by this ... not just that
it was the first-ever live performance of the song, but that it was so
gorgeously done, sounding thoroughly (but not too thoroughly) rehearsed,
all the way through to the haunting reiteration, "How many times have
you heard someone say ..." trailing off into silence--a gentle, deeply
poignant country version closer to the original, I'd imagine, than to
the one on Saved.
Peter Stone Brown, I see, has turned in another disturbingly good review
for this show, one to which I can't hope to add anything substantial.
If I had to disagree with him on one small point, however, I would have
to say that tonight's setlist struck me as every bit as adventurous as
the previous night's in Baltimore. At least on paper. "Ring Them
Bells" that night, yes, and "Big River" too. But it doesn't seem to me
that tonight's "Thin Man" or even "Maggie's" are really concert standbys
at the moment: not only would I have been unable to predict them, but I
wouldn't have been able to predict such fiery, spot-on renditions of
them either, both of which I preferred infinitely to yet another
"Tambourine Man" or "Rolling Stone." In fact, outside of "Tangled ...,"
I wouldn't have been able to predict a *single song* in the entire main
set. If you had mentioned that possibility two short weeks ago, I would
have laughed in your face for sure. The band's pre-song huddles,
occasionally long-drawn out, are truly a sight to behold, upping the
ante for every new choice; you could literally feel the anticipation
crackling in the air, passing like heat lightning in and above the
Folsom Prison Blues
... what Johnny Cash song would I love to hear Dylan play live even
more than "Big River"? What is this, some kind of sick Jeopardy game?
Dylan must really have had too much of nothing, because not only is he
eating fire, he's spitting it out here, spitting out the song's blank
"Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by either fire or fire." (T. S. Eliot)
Both Dylan and Cash understand this, I think. And now, with this song,
I can hear Love speaking, naming itself behind the song's intolerable
imagery, speaking itself in Dylan's homage to one of his great Teachers
(whose health has been all too much in the news of late), as he delivers
the song back in all its raging glory. I mean, the cable show was fine,
was fun, but there's no doubt in my mind that the real Cash tribute is
happening right here, right now.
Man of Peace
I'm beginning to understand why this is turning into the best Dylan
concert I have ever been lucky enough to see. It isn't because he is
playing the songs on my personal "dream setlist," or whatever. It's
because he's playing the songs I *need* to hear without my even knowing
it. I've been trying to think of a way to put this so that it makes
more sense. As of yet, nothing.
By the way, this rendition is by no means as lyrically perfect as some
reviewers have suggested (I think the tapes will bear me out); it's
actually a little rough around the edges, not that that matters in the
least, since it is musically, and more important, spiritually dead-on.
I'll Be Your Baby
A breather, thank God. And a nice substitute for the nightly joke.
Goofy in the extreme. Magnificently goofy. Sung from a satisfied mind.
I've mentioned how the version of "Satisfied Mind" had been far removed
from that on the Saved album; I should also confess, however, that this
did not prevent me from hoping, secretly, to hear, at some point later
on, that familiar guitar intro leading into the verse:
I was blinded by the devil,
Born already ruined ....
No, I was not the one holding up the Cross.
But hey, I'm saying to myself, if Seth Kulick can get "Ring Them Bells"
out of Dylan, why can't I get "Saved"? Not like it wouldn't fit in with
a setlist already featuring "Hallelujah," "Satisfied Mind," *and* "Man
of Peace." Seriously, although the newsgroup ponderings on influence
strike me as somewhat delusional, I couldn't blame anyone for at least
being curious about it. Nevertheless, with Dylan playing so radically
with his setlists, songs are bound to come up, the absence of which has
been noted in past discussions. It's just inevitable. Right?
That however does not explain the issue of Dylan's mind-reading. Again,
what is being read are not surface thoughts (like "Satisfied Mind" =
"Saved" ... Duh!) but more concealed, subterranean needs and desires.
Whereas Seth had publicly bemoaned the lack of bold set choices like
"Ring Them Bells," I had long been wondering, half-consciously, at the
loss of Oh Mercy songs in general--songs which had proven so vital in
the early years of the Neverending Tour, and which I had come to
associate with the spontaneity and risk-taking characteristic of that
era (anyone remember the keyboard-driven "Disease of Conceit" from
Hammersmith 1990?). Also, quite simply, I love those songs, just as
much as most of those on Time Out of Mind. For quite a while, it seemed
as if the TOOM songs eclipsed them utterly, and then, even as fewer of
*those* began to be played, the Oh Mercy material never reappeared--with
even "Everything is Broken" and "Long Black Coat" becoming increasingly
Not Dark Yet
Baltimore had seen both "Bells" *and* "Long Black Coat." I should
have realized earlier, then, that this was NOT "Not ...", especially
since it sounded a little off to my ears.
I don't care what some Canadians might say about it, but "Shooting Star"
is among the finest of what Lloyd Fonvielle might call Dylan's
"post-apocalyptic" love songs: songs like "Sweetheart Like You"
(rightly understood), "Born in Time," and "Not Dark Yet" itself, all of
which fuse images of divine and human love and envision a landscape,
both external and internal, consumed by loss, futility, and despair, yet
which somehow manage to draw an elusive ray of hope inside their prison
This "Shooting Star" is easily one of the finest vocal performances I've
ever heard Dylan offer up live. And it is an offering, a gift; the
delivery so slow, so fragile as to almost break apart at the end of
every verse--less of a song than a kind of meditation sustained against
the odds, against a crippling sense of doubt. I can't help thinking of
a quote from, I believe, Iris Murdoch, who wrote that--in a secular age
particularly--good art can provide work for the spirit, and that
attending to it can be like prayer.
What can I say? There are six of them. And after that setlist, I am
entranced by each one, as though I hadn't heard them all many times
before: this, undeniably, is where the predictable set choices belong.
During "Love Sick," the lights briefly project the band's and Dylan's
shadows high upon the rear wall. I'm reminded--somewhat bizarrely--of a
recent r.m.d. post about Plato's Allegory of the Cave in relation to a
song, "Visions" perhaps, and of how that post was summarily dismissed as
"pretentious." How typical, really. Look at those shadows up there!
Throughout the night, they have been levitating slowly upward out of the
twilight of becoming, and they are carrying us with them now into a
glimpse of pure Being, just for this one moment; after all, we can't
take much. So how's that for pretentious? Eh? Can I do better?
Back to earth. After "Not Fade Away," we get to watch as band and crew
scramble to keep up with Dylan's wiles--frantic re-plugging, closing and
opening of instrument cases, a just-lit cigarette passed from Larry to
one of the crew. And a "Highway 61" that not only reprises the
outstanding versions of 1998-9, but splits the song wide open till it
erupts in gemlike flame.
I walk out exhausted. I don't want any more. But at the same time, it
has all gone by too quickly, like a dream. Which is probably why I
can't stop writing about it; although the words do a poor job, finally,
of bringing any of it back. There is no summing up, only random gleams
across the mind. Then why do I feel that this is the greatest Dylan
show that I have yet been able to see? Because of the sense, fleeting
as it may be, that this concert has brought everything full circle. I
started with Dylan more than ten years ago, just before Oh Mercy, at the
outset of the Neverending Tour. Never before have I experienced a
concert that tied together so beautifully the freedom, intensity and
peril of those early years with the clarity, focus, and grace of the
later N.E.T. Like I said, miraculous.
Once we get back onto Broad Street it's a fast ride out; we put North
Philadelphia behind us--but not, I hope, the memory of what we saw
there, both outside the venue and in. Nor the lingering question of how
to connect the two. Sometimes I think that art, at its best, has
nothing at all to do with "world-view" or politics. On the other side,
a presidential candidate can quote "Blowing in the Wind" as much as he
likes, but surely, if he can't provide us with Answers, we will punish
him in the end.
What great art *can* do, however, as Harold Bloom has said, is help us
learn how to talk to ourselves. We need that, a lot--and before we can
even try to begin talking with others. That's what Dylan does for me,
and that's what he did so wonderfully tonight. I think of the Van
Morrison song and concert call-and-response: "Did ye get healed?"
That's not something Dylan would ask. Nor did he have to. Yes, I did.
It's enough to give one a little hope for the future.
All the best,
S. D. Walter
"And I'm still carrying the gift you gave,
It's a part of me now, it's been cherished and saved"
Review by Matt Fox
First of all I was on the floor up close at both the Philly show and the
Meadowlands, and both of them were excellent. The differences: the
floor at Philly was much more crowded than in Jersey, and
there was more uptight attitude, pushing, arguing etc. Part of the
problem was the traffic on Broad St. coming to the show, and
judging by the number of people backed up in line to get there even 20
minutes after Phil started (we were stuck there with them)
lots of people probably arrived a little frustrated. We got in for the
last half of Phil and it sounded good, with Unbroken Chain,
Dupree's, and the final Love Light. But compared with the flawless
symphony that transpired in Jersey, this set was a little touch
and go. Then Dylan came on, and rocked down the house, major highlights
being Hattie Carroll and Boots of Spanish Leather in
the opening acoustic set, and Fulsom Prison Blues in the electric.
Shooting Star was well-played too; it was how the show ended
that blew everybody away. Dylan fans have come to expect Not Fade Away
to be the cue that the show is over. But after Not
Fade Away, the lights stayed down, and sure enough, after a few minutes
of wild cheering (and after tons of people had given up
and begun to file out) Bob and the boys came back, and gave us Blowin
in the Wind, and a rocking Highway 61 that seemed like it
lasted 20 minutes! So there was little disappointment at the Philly
show as far as I could see. We got what we came for and more
and got our money's worth.
But now for the Meadowlands show! For us this show started at about
3pm, in the parking lot, where a full on Deadhead camp
was in full swing. We tailgated all afternoon, right next to the white
bus of the band "One Eyed Jack" who played about an hour
set as the sun was going down. Then I took out my guitar and
harmonica, started playing Dylan songs and Dead songs, which
attracted 3 other roaming guitarists and a couple of drummers.So by the
time we went in at 7pm, we were in top spirits and ready
to boogy. As I said, the floor was not as crowded as at Philly, and our
group of 6 got a nice circle of space toward the middle of
the floor, although the arena was pretty full, all the way up to the
second mezzanine. Phil & Friends came on around 7.30 and
launched into a sweet 20-25 minute jam, Phil acting more like a
symphony conductor than a rock star (they each have music
stands in front of them, and my guess is they put alot of thought and
planning into each night's set); the jam weaved in and out of
tunes and phrases without settling on any one for long (I could of
sworn I heard 'Goin' down the road' for a little bit before they
turned corners and were off into something else). What blew me away
about the whole set is that they never really stopped once,
they just kept playing, flowing out of one song and into the next.
Though I must say that for this show at least, I don't quite agree
with the stark contrast people have been making between Phil/space
jam vs. Dylan/discrete songs. Phil and Friends played
discrete songs, they just didn't punctuate them with endings and brief
silence the way Bob does. Anyway, the set was structured
and beautiful, with the Cryptical and Other One enfolding the long
extended interlude of "Days Between" and that other song of
which there is some dispute. Then Cryptical flowed, and I mean flowed,
into Help on the Way, and what blew us all away I think
was the keyboardists vocals! He nailed it, and it seemed for a few
minutes that Jerry was back. The excitement in the hall just
kept getting stronger as they pulled into the expected Slipknot, and
then finally into the full glorious light and rhythm of Franklin's,
and by this time the whole crowd was in ecstacy, dancing like it was
the end of the world. "Roll Away the Dew!" harmonies
melted time and space, and when it reached the end, I for one thought,
"this surely can't be it" because it all passed so quickly in
retrospect. But sure enough, Phil gave his "organ
donor" talk, and they were gone.
The lights came up, and we all took the chance for a bathroom break.
Then the lights went down, the roar went up, and the man in
black strode on with his entourage of dapper young men. After opening
with "I am the Man, Thomas" a usual opening song (but
one I hadn't heard yet so I was glad he did it), Dylan dug deep into
the past and played Song to Woody! Then, not to be outdone,
he hit every verse of It's All Right Ma! It just went on like this,
with Ring Them Bells (beautifully played, man!), the usual Tangled
(but well played for sure) and another one of my favorites, Visions of
Johanna. My wife and I were stunned with disbelief by this
point, but as we heard other unexpected favorites, like Blind Willie
McTell (he skipped the verse about slave ships, and changed
the refrain line into "But I'll tell ya one thing/nobody can sing/the
blues like Blind Willie McTell), and then Not Dark Yet (a more
than welcome reprieve from the usual Love Sick), we were undone.
Already the best show we had ever seen! Then we got a
rockin' "Like a Rolling Stone", in the opening of what was technically
three encores. They left again after It Ain't Me Babe, then
they came back with Phil and gave us Alabama Getaway and Rainy Day
Women (which Phil really gave a nice bass emphasis to
this old warhorse, and Bob let the music predominate and only sang
two or three verses max). Then they left and we kept
cheering, tired as we were, for quite awhile and they came back,
again!, with Blowin', and Not Fade Away. On the choruses, the
stage lights blazed, and we all basked in a bright moment of clarity as
we danced to the song that we all know and love from the
Dead, and which Bob has definately made his own now too. The show ended
at midnight! Once again, the best show I have seen in a long time, and
all for 30 bucks! Anyone who gripes at 4 1/2 hours of sweet music for 30
bucks doesn't really have any hope of being happy in this world.
Some observations about the Phil/Bob synergy: Just as Phil has already,
in his email here, voiced his appreciation of the chance to
get back together with Dylan, so too I think Bob is really profiting
by the energy Phil's sets provide and by the presence of the
Dead fans that come for Phil but stay for Bob. The parking lot
carnival that comes with the Heads is not something that usually
follows Bob when he's on his own or with somebody else. Frankly, many
of the strict Bob fans are a little uptight, intellectually
oriented, and a bit shy in crowds (I am speaking from personal
experience). The Dead fans have really helped us loosen up a bit
(some of us at least). I think it works the other way too; some Dead
fans I think are getting a chance to see why so many people
like Dylan, and perhaps some of the Dylan/Dead animosity (let's not
deny it's there, and that it actually goes back many many
years) is now beginning to dissipate. Also, Dylan it seems to me is
really taking up the challenge/the example of Phil and Friends,
as can be seen by the way he has been varying his sets throughout this
tour, pulling out stuff that we haven'nt heard literally in
years. By contrast with his tour with Paul Simon (I was at the Madison
Square Garden show, and the set was good but not great,
and the set lists from those months are just a bit repetitive) these
shows have been inspired and on target, and Bob, as many have
noticed, is truly charged and having fun on stage, dancing and laughing
and letting the jams get longer and more off the main song
line. I think all these things can be chalked up to the good vibes
that the Phil sets bring and the added energy of the Dead heads
too. As primarily a Dylan fan, I have to thank the Deadheads and Phil
for helping to bring us some of the best Bob we've heard in
awhile. (Of course, it can't all be just because of Phil and the
fans--Bob is on top of his game, and I'm glad for it, and for him,
whatever the reasons.) I hope that this synergy is indeed working both
ways, and that maybe some of those Dead fans who gripe
on Dylan are indeed opening their ears and hearing something they've
never heard before--precisely because Bob is not the Dead
and he has other things, no less beautiful and
well-wrought, to sing and to say to us.
Enough for my ten cents worth. Keep on Truckin, Good Love, and Let
us not talk falsely now, for the hour is getting late.
Matt in Princeton
Review by firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, I was reading all of theses great reviews of what really was a great
show and I would be remisce if I dident share my story as well.
I had driven to the Baltimore show the day before from South Carolina and
I was contemplating my first multiple show trip attempt even though I had
So after my late check out I got in the car and drove to Philly from
Baltimore it took a few hours, and when I got there it was too weird, (in
a city as big as this) I got off the interstate wandered around for a few
minutes and got on the right street without even having to ask
When I got there it was about 3 in the afternoon and I went to see about a
ticket. Now seeing as I had given one of the Lesh heads a ticket the night
before for free, I was expecting to get a free one for today. As soon as I
walked up to the counter she said it was sold out, no sooner did she say
that than a man comes up to get his Will Call tix and just happens to have
an extra ticket because his friend wasent driving in. He wanted money for
the ticket (face) and I was just happy not to have driven all that way for
nothing so I decided not to push it.
I went and got myself some lunch, and played guitar in the adjacent
parking garage until about 8 went in for the end of the Lesh show and had
pretty decent seats. (I watched these two old married couple watching the
end of the Lesh show really quietly in front of me, and then all of a
sudden he pulls out this HUGE joint and burns the whole thing with his
wife...I was amused)
They werent the only ones.
The Lesh show ended and I was waiting for Bob to come out and I was
intrigued by the seats directly behind the stage (which only got about
half full during Lesh's set) I was like wow those are really close! I knew
I would miss 95% of the face time by being behind him, but I decided I
could not pass up the opportunity to get so close. So I went over and
scoped it out a bit and one of the attendants asked me for my ticket, I
said I was just looking at the instruments and he said to stand back and
watch from afar, which I did.
I went and bought a soda and made my way back to the rear seating, told
the attendant that these werent the droids he was looking for and got in
the very center on the very first row. Not soon after the lights dimmed
and then it started.......
LADIES AND GENTLEMAN COLUMBIA RECORDING ARTIST Bob Dylan.....
1. Hallelujah, I'm Ready To Go
First time I had heard it, and even though They were still trying to get
the sound straight it , I liked it, I like the idea of opening up with a
Gospel song , be it Gotta Serve Somebody or the man Thomas etc. (Its like
he's tithing) When the song ended he turned face us and as he did I leapt
up out my seat applauding my hands away with the biggest grin on my face,
And Bob saw the whole thing go down, he seemed appreciative( or at least
it seemed that way to me) when he made eye contact with me (it wasent
imagined) and gave me a acknowleding nod of the head. I could have gone
home satisfied there but who knew what was to come.
That is a very vivid memory I will always remember.
2. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
I had expected to hear this one the night before but was just as happy to
get it a day later, very nice, although maybe a bit too somber. But hey,
its Bobs gig right.
3. Boots of Spanish Leather
Again very nice, I listened intently and folllowed along with the Lyrics
lip synching with Bob
4.A Satisfied Mind
How many times have you heard someone say...........
Well I had heard Bob say these words many times as my first real
introduction to his work was from the 79-81 period when Bob got Saved.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that would be on the setlist
I got convicted because I wasent right with God and I kinda went ultra
introspective for the next few songs,
(Good rendition of the song) Sounded like it was played to the tune of
With God on Our Side.
5. Mama, You Been On My Mind
Ultra introspective period, this is kind of a blur, though I do remember
him Picking up his Harp.
6. Tangled Up In Blue
Tight, very tight, I like Charlies intro and the way Bob is saying
TAAAAANgled up in Blue these days, as for the harp solo, well at least I
can say that it was more than the one for TUIB the night before. It was
7. Folsom Prison Blues
And for tonights installment of the Johnny Cash Tribute series.....
TIGHT TIGHT TIGHT
Man they were on , they embodied the sound that night , charlie was
8. Ballad of a Thin Man
Well by this time we all knew something was happening , its just that we
dident know what it was until later.........
Lryically he was on for this one, and the lap steel instead of piano or
organ does it for me!
9. Man of Peace
If I had known at this point we were only half way through the set , I
would have gone to take a leak here.
I have never been too fond of this song, for good reason if I interperet
Bobs little angry paradigm he was in at that point in life.
10. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
He had done, Down Along the Cove the night before and I expected to hear
something from JWH in this slot or near it, It was a treat for me, and I
enjoyed Bob playing with the really hot Blonde in the front row, she was
trying to seduce him or cast a spell or some such garbage, I think he
recognised it but had fun anyway, I think about the time he figured it out
he laughed at her on the "Bring that Bottle over Here" verse. All I could
see was his back mind you.
11. Shooting Star
I had never heard this song at this point, but even though I hadent I
could follow along with the Spirit, if not the words always of the song, I
just kept hearing him say , slip away.................
God got all over me again and I went introspective again, the song ended
and I was just slumped down in my chair and was thinking I guess, Bob
turned again to face us and while everyone was clapping and whistleing
and cheeing , I was just sitting there not even paying attention as to
what was going on. Bob Looked at me and I looked at him but it was too
late, that was the last time he made direct eye contact with me untill the
end of the show.
12. Maggies Farm
Well About this time those 64 oz of soda I drank during the shows started
wanting out, and I contemplated running out to the Rest Room for half a
song but decided against it.
I dont remember too much about the song cept that it was loud.
13. Love Sick
I dont like this song too much either, I find it puzzling to dissect. Good
guitar work though,.
14. Rainy Day Women 12 & 35
And everyone did. Well, almost everyone.
Blistering Guitar work again.
15. Dont Think Twice, Its Alright
This is one of my favorites and it was the first time I had heard it live,
save the Before the Flood cut (NOW THATS A HARP SOLO!)
I stood there and sang along and strummed the Air Guitar......G, C, Am, G
That song is timeless.........
16. Not Fade Away
Well, Wow what a show, And this is a really good finale, And even the Dead
Heads have something to dance to.
I gotta pee real bad.
Bob walks to the back of the stage and gives us a peace sign and smiles
and soaks up the love.....and leaves. ( Or so we thought)
17. Blowin in the Wind
Is he really coming back YESSSSSSSSSSSSS,
He rocks man, and Blowin in the Wind was just as heart felt and powerful
as the first number.
18. Highway 6teeeeeeeeeeeeeeee1 Revisited
Rock and Roll baby.
And bladder pain, but who gets out to one of these everyday?
He really brought the house down here, everyone was loving it.
Bob walked back towards us and soaked it up and dished it out some
more.....and then dissapeared to my left and it ended, we waited for
minutes to see if he would come back, but he dident.
But could you have topped this concert?
Return to Bob Links
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Go to the Set Lists (by date) page 1999 Tour, 1998 Tour, 1997 Tour, 1996 Tour , 1995 Tour, Pre 1995 Tours
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