Bob Dylan 970804 in Lenox, Massachusetts
Subject: 8/4 Lenox, Mass., short review From: Seth Rogovoy (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 23:57:27 -0400 A great show with a few surprises, the big one of course being NO AAWatchtower at all. Can someone please tell me when was the last show Dylan did without playing Watchtower at all? First of all, bob seemed hardly affected at all by his "brush with death." Hmm, could this have been another "motorcycle accident"? Maybe he just didn't wanna go to Europe. "Oh, Jeff, do we HAVE to go to FRANCE again? Can't we just tell them I've got, what , histoplasmosis or something?" seriously, he looked like the rest did him good and like he ate Burger King, he looked well fed. great suit. red lame. blue bowtie, or as some wag next to me put it, "tangled up in blue at tanglewood" stage was rushed from the very beginning. some songs were darker than before. I got the feeling the whole night was sort of more of an exploration into mortality. I'm sure I'm just reading into it -- but that's what we do here, right? -- but so many lyrics resonated about death and defying death and staying alive. Second song up, a dark gloomy version of "Senor." Dylan doing a lot of storytelling, as he will throughout the evening. Tough Mama: taken a bit slower than on record, funky. You Ain'tt Goin Nowhere: jaunty crowd pleaser. lightens mood. Silvio: dangerous rock 'n' roll. Dylan animated, ducking, veering the microphone like a boxer. lots of eye contact with audience, here and throughout the show. they had the lights set up so the front six or so rows were lit thorughout the show, so Dylan could see the audience. Acoustic set: rich storytelling. Roving Gambler. Tangled. I've heard it enough, but he made it transcendent, storytelling, "all weknew how to do was to keep on keepin on" that's all he knows how to do. string band arrangements chimes. lots of jamming. Cocaine: he really sings this one, channeling Robert Johnson or some other real bluesman. "Hey baby come here quick" pure pathos, this isn't a fun song celebrating drugs, not the way he sang it, it's a song about the terrors of addiction and illness and mortality. pure soul singing. Seeing Real You: galloping rock and roll arrangement, totally diff from original recording. Wheel's On Fire: much darker and bluesier than in more recent versions. full of tension, singing about himself i had the feeling, this wheel shall EXPLODE! he sang. Great song to end show with. Encores: LRS began with awesome thunderclap of drum. audience goes nuts. he really put work into lines like "You're inVISible, you got no SEcrets," but he didn't drop down a whole note on that last syllable, just a half note, so it's even more teasing and sneering. Crowd cheers chorus of My Back Pages, likes thinking of Dylan as younger than that now. RDW: funkier, more bluesy than recent versions. this was supposed to be my short review. **************************************** Seth Rogovoy email@example.com http://www.berkshireweb.com/rogovoy music news, interviews, reviews, et al. *****************************************
Subject: Tanglewood From: TurnItUp! (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: 5 Aug 1997 04:13:41 GMT Just back from Tanglewood, okay show but bad sound (at least where I was sitting but confirmed by others) and Bob's set was fairly short. Here it is: 1.Absolutely Sweet Marie 2.Senor 3.Tough Mama 4.You Ain't Goin' Nowhere 5.Silvio 6.(Folk song? I didn't recognize) (acoustic) 7.Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) 8.Cocaine (acoustic) 9.Seeing the Real You at Last 10.This Wheel's On Fire (encores) 11.Like A Rolling Stone 12.My Back Pages (acoustic) 13.Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 So Bob cut out Watchtower and one other electric number, perhaps due to BR5-49 (who were good but only played 1/2 hour) and Ani DiFranco being on the bill. Ani's set was good, but after everyone rushed the stage (she elicits Beatlemania-like histerics) a lady who was sitting in the second row sent her husband to complain and thus what seemed like the entire Lenox Police force intervened and affected the mood considerably. The highlight of Bob's set was probably Back Pages, although I thought aside from the sound everything was really good (I just can't understand why he keeps doing Silvio, but maybe that's just me.
Subject: Tanglewood thoughts From: O'B (email@example.com) Date: Tue, 05 Aug 1997 01:14:47 -0400 More words of (ahem) wisdom from your highway-eyed correspondent. Tonight's review: short and bitter Ani DiFranco, whom I have never seen before, provided most of the evening's entertainment. Dylan's set seemed uninspired, except for the first guitar break in Tangled Up In Blue and the vocals on LARS. Nothing personal, but I am decidedly unimpressed by Larry, the new guitar player. Where's the beauty? Where's the soul? I'd like to see JJ return, but since that's not going to happen I'd settle for any guitarist who can add something interesting to the (musical) conversation. To me music is about emotion, musical talent has next to nothing to do with the ability to hit certain notes or play the right chords. When I watch this band, I see four guys making music and one guy with a job playing guitar. I've never met the guy, maybe I'm reading him all wrong, but it doesn't sound it to these ears. Bob made more music with a three-note lead than this guy did all night. The band is weaker than it was a year ago. It has lost a key melodic voice.
Subject: Bob playing a Les Paul From: Dan Levy (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: 5 Aug 97 20:13:45 GMT Organization: L e v i t y I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere that Bob didn't play a Strat at the Loon Mountain and Tanglewood shows. Rather, he had a gorgeous butterscotch-colored Les Paul with a custom-inlaid headstock. Personally, I'm not sure why he'd want to play such a heavy instrument, but it sounded good and he looked quite swaggering with it.
Subject: review/thoughts aug 3 & aug 4 (AKA buckets of rain :) ) From: Mananath (email@example.com) Date: 5 Aug 1997 20:04:33 GMT well i was quite surprised not to see many posts about these shows... so i wll add my thoughts to the masses...after a 7 hr drive up to Loon Mtn, i was totally psyched... we got there about an hour early and got on the line... by the time 6 rolled around we were walking in.. my friends entered but i got sent to the back of the line for having a tape recorder (i really didnt hide it ... and hey the sign said NOTHING about tape recorders, just video) so i finally got in around 630.... show started with the opener (i cant remember the name) they were good, but quickly grew old as most openers are....dylan came on at 8:04 and played for about 2 hrs... there was really nothing special about the setlist besides AATW not being the 3rd song and that i finally heard LARS live....also, the band was so out of sync.... they really produced some horrible versions... bob sounded really good though... he wa legible and had some emotion... towards the end of the show he started to drift thoug.. he also did not say one word at all throughout the show... right after Forever YOung he bowed and point out the band (but didnt announce them).... i was hoping the last song wasnt RDW, but it was... i personally hate this song, and cant see why so many people love it.... so i left... first i squeesed into the front row and caught a glimpse of bob... he looked fine and it appears that his hair is a tad shorter.... so i left the venue, with no tape :( and as i was leaving decided i would swing by the buses for a better glimpse.... he ccame out with a bunch of people, besides the band.... possible Sony reps... they all appeared to get on the same bus with some really young woman... (would love to know who she was with) oh and needless to say he made no acknowledgement to the 10 people hanging by the buses who clapped as he walked by.... kinda sad.... (oh BTW, getting out was hell, but luckily we parked right next to the road and were able to drive over the grass, and not tru the parking lot) after this show it was off to an overnight hiatus in Boston with relatives where i firgured out a guaranteed way of getting a tape recorder into the Tanglewood show... come show time i was all set, rigged up , prepared to break the law... but to my dismay the didnt search at all.. nothing... people had tents set up on the grass where i was.... it was insane... also there were a lot of rowdy younger people there for apparently just DiFranco (a lot more dyed hair and piercings).... I dont like the fact that DiFranco is there.... she is stealin the show and she draws a not so nice crowd (I heard some kids go when bob came on "thats nice bob, u suck please leave).... so back to the show... we were on the lawn and the skies decided to open up on us... it rained for most of the night.. by the time dylan came on (around 8 15) i was totally drenched ( iw as gonna try to sneak under the awning for the dylan set, but realized i would be spotted in a sec, cause i was so wet)... miraculously it stopped raining once dylan came on.... so i was able to tape with out an umbrella pounding out the bass :) the show itself was fine.. nothing spectacular setlist wise.. but all an all a good effort by dylan.. i was a little pissed about the length of the show... only about 85 min (fit all on a 90 min tape)... then again, i was rather in a bad mood cause of the rain etc, so i was not in the best bob seeing mood.... :) oh well.... thats about it... and there was lots of traffic leaving.. oh yeah... they had cool concert posters for sale which i got.... whether or not they'll become a collectors item has yet to be determined, but still a nice addition to my wall of dylan!!! "And if my thought dreams could be seen, they'd probally put my head in a guillitine" - Its Alright Ma -*- B Dylan -mike Tape List: http://members.aol.com/mananath/tapelist.htm Email: Mananath@aol.com
Subject: Tanglewood 8/4/97 Review From: PPardi (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: 6 Aug 1997 04:37:30 GMT Just some random thoughts, IMHO, for those of you who like endless reviews... Thought TUIB was absolutely wonderful, one of those times where Bob's voice soared above the music and you could imagine someone who didn't know the lyrics following every word he said. He definitely was into it, too, enunciating each line with feeling, not just mouthing the words. The first time I've heard the song live in many, many shows. Sung in the third person (does he ever do it in the first person these days?) On Real Live here's kind of a buzz when folks realize what song he's singing, and I kind of felt it last night, too. Am I wrong that this is a perennial favorite? If it weren't for the surprise of "My Back Pages" I'd say Tangled belongs in the encore, but that's just me... Tough Mama brought the house down, at least where I was standing, on my chair, towards the back of the orchestra. Folks around me went wild, I like to think with the joy of hearing such a rarity at a Bob concert... (no replies necessary). Someone mentioned the "purple" verse in Cocaine. Yes, he cut it. In fact, each chorus was the same, something like: "Oh baby, come here quick / this cocaine is making me sick / cocaine, running around my brain." Reminded me of how he simplified John Brown on Unplugged as compared tol the versions on early boots). Cocaine, incidently, became quite a sing along, and not because lots of folks know the song, methinks. Had a bittesweet taste to it, kind of a "why did I do this again" feeling. RDW (with the house lights up) was a sing along. He only sang the first few verses, then there was a prolonged jam, and then a rock and roll ending. On each exit after the encores, Bob bowed profusely, in all different directions, like an actor. Of all the shows I've seen, in this one he seemed genuinely tuned into the auience. There was a "thank you everybody" after Senor and he introduced the band after Seeing the Real You at Last. Once when leaving (after the second encore?) he pointed at a couple folks in the first few rows, kind of an "alright!" finger pointing, if that makes an sense. Re. the Ani factor. Granted I'm a fan of hers, but I thought when Bob came on and started, people got serious. The emotion was much more intense where I was once he came on (the cops got meaner, too). True, some of Ani's fans tuned out, but on the whole it seemed to move up a notch. Folks (around me at least) were enthralled with Bob's set and the number of folks who sat down after Ani was finished was more than made up for by the people who had been sitting and now sprang to their feet . I've seen Ani live solo and she has quite a stage presence, quite talkative, provocative -- I thought she toned it down as befits an opener. And there was no way she wasn't going to do an encore, though I don't know how that affects Bob's time onstage. I'd be curious to hear what folks seeing her for the first time thought. A good show, in all. Wouldn't mind a tape of it, if only for Tangled, Back Pages and Cocaine. Those of you who say it wasn't that great make me worry I've missed all the *really* good shows! Peace, Phil
Subject: Sadie's Loony Tunes Tour Report Pt. 2: Lenox From: sadiejane (email@example.com) Date: Thu, 07 Aug 1997 00:26:55 -0500 Organization: home Sadie's Loony Tunes Tour Report Pt. 2: Lenox Having reserved seats afforded me the luxury of actually changing into a dress before the show. But the long drive from Loon Mountain to Lenox (the scenic drive across New Hampshire to Route 91 and then on Route 2 across to Williamstown and from there down route 7 to Lenox) took longer than we expected. I ended up eating a turkey sandwich in my seat during BR4-59's set. But I was ready and waiting for Ani DiFranco. I had heard much about her - listened to her CD's (wasn't that impressed) and was interested in seeing her live. I was almost alone in the front row when the Aniettes came dancing down. They filled the empty seats in the rows behind me - too polite to actually stand in front of the lone person seated in the front row. But then Ani made a remark about the graveyard in front of her and I knew the jig was up. I turned to the standing, dancing kids behind me and gestured for them to come down in front. "Really?" one sweetly asked, filled with expectation of an affirmative. "Come down front - there is plenty of room here for you to dance" was my response. Two or three of them were so grateful they actually shook my hand. I moved to the 2nd row and sat there watching these kids, singing along, some of them with tears streaming down their faces, as they danced and cheered. I was delighted. Ani is a veritable force of nature. She is tiny, but with the aid of some mighty fierce looking platform Doc. Martins, towered above us. She is very compact and strong and quite beautiful but not at all kittenish and coy. She is a rebel too ("I can't no pretty girl")- but one with a heart and with a conscious. If I had a (were old enough to have a ;+}) teenage daughter - I would be very happy to have Ani as her role model. I knew already that she was a solid musician - a fine guitarist and a decent singer. And while her songs are a bit too self-absorbed and confessional for my taste - she is one heck of a showman. She's smart and funny and interesting. Her musical phrasing is filled with detail and subtle variation. She ain't no slouch. She also handled herself and her crowd quite masterfully. The security staff hired by the promoter were very cool about letting the kids have their fun. But the volunteer Tanglewood ushers (Gestapo Grandma's) and the local Sheriff didn't like to see the lanes crowded with bouncing boys and girls and soon after they appeared with their flashlights I could hear the kids calling out, "Ani help us!". Ani kept quiet. The kids managed to sort themselves out and later she commented on how proud she was that everyone was able to work it out peacefully amongst themselves. She praised her fans for being reasonable and flexible. Toward the end of her set, Ani thanked her fans for making her night and then reminded them that there would soon be another act on stage, "A young man named Bob" were her exact words. Someone later told me that they had seen Mr. D, in a black rain slicker, standing in the wings during her set. They said it looked to them as though he had sent her out for her one encore. As soon as Ani's crew came out to strike her set - I received many more hand shakes and thank-yous from the group whom I had helped into the front. They then helped me over the row, back to my seat, and departed. They couldn't have been nicer. When the lights went down for Dylan, I was no longer alone in the front row. I was looking forward to enjoying these hard earned front row seats - but wasn't surprised by the immediate rush. Tanglewood is, after all, as close to NYC as it is to Boston. Nothing like a few New Yorkers (or were they from New Jersey?) to get an early rush going. I'm not one to cry over my coffee about it. I made it down just left of center. Next to the bleached blond with the gold chains and the footlong eyelashes. There was a scuffle to my left - and for a brief moment - my heart sank. This wasn't going to be an easy night. As soon as the rush happened, I saw Baron signaling to the hired security guards (courtesy of Don Law) to get up on the stage. They stayed in the wings on both sides through the night, watching the crowd with eagle eyes. A few times I saw Baron jump down and haul someone out. Probably some poor bloke with a camera. The stage was very low, just hip level and Dylan was quite close to us. Baron looked more alert than I'd seen him at shows in a while. Absolutely Sweet Marie was as lively as it had been the night before. And Senor was solid. Bucky's pedal steel dominated but Dylan's vocals really soared. Tough Mama wasn't the surprise it had been at Loon - but I was very sorry not to hear AATW. I can't imagine why he's taken it out of rotation . AATW is the most intense meditation I know. Larry finally started surfacing with Silvio. I saw him look to Bob and then to Tony who gave him a big nod, before treating us to a nice solo. Again - I know people have expressed dismay at Larry's lack of presence - and I agree that he's holding back. But I sure do like his style. Even when he's in the background, he picks out the most unusually beautiful figures on the guitar. Like exotic patterns in lace. They are often delicate and subtle - adding texture (not the much needed melodic core) to the sound of the band. I think he had stepped out more toward the end of the spring tour - but appears to have retreated again. He is capable of filling out the role more - but I believe he has either been told - or has intuited that he shouldn't. Not sure. Don't want to even venture a guess. Bob seems to be enjoying carrying the weight of the lead work on his shoulders for now. And he is the boss. In any case, Larry played some gorgeous lead in Silvio and later that night too. Roving Gambler was the first song that really caught my attention. After each verse, just as Bob was moving toward the turnaround he would suspend the break - hold it just a wee bit longer each time - so that all the guys had to watch carefully to land on the resolution at just the right time. It clearly became something of a joke up on stage - with Bob challenging them to see how well they could stay with him. Lots of smiles from Bucky, Tony, David (who was playing very lightly if at all) and Larry. It was very delicately done - but decidedly playful. I was completely charmed. At the end of the final verse it looked for a moment as if Larry was going to make the mistake of turning around again - instead of ending right after the last "played your last game" But he stopped himself in time and laughed and shook his head. Mr. Poker Face Baxter cracked a pretty big smile too. I was charmed. I was happy to hear Cocaine again too. I got a bit lost in it, dancing and singing along to the refrain. It's one of those songs that treads the fine line of telling one man's story and every man's story. It's a perfect vehicle for Dylan - who is the master of revealing and concealing. He sings this song like he's been there and back - but does so in a way that invites you to feel what he's feeling rather than look on from the outside. When Dylan sings - I look on from the inside. I've noticed that Kemper has been laying back a lot more on the acoustic sets. He didn't play at all during the first acoustic song at Loon Mountain (Mr.. Tambo man). He filled in TUIB nicely but then held back during Cocaine. I started wondering if there was a chance we may see a harmonica again sometime soon. It was a fine show. Consistent with what I had seen the night before: good solid playing, flashes of brilliance, but Dylan not really engaging with the band nor with the audience all that much. He seems to be having fun - but not extending himself particularly. Very reminiscent of other shows I've seen that fall early in a tour. I'm looking forward to seeing him again in 10 days. Looking forward to hearing Blind Willie McTell (sigh) and also looking forward to that rendition of I Shall Be Released that is sure to feature Ani DiFranco....it's bound to turn up sooner than later. xx sadie Delia ain't dead....yet.