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Bob Dylan 970820 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Mann Music Center

Subject: Tears of Rage at Philly
From: Seth Kulick (
Date: 21 Aug 1997 05:06:39 GMT

Is it just me, or did anybody else think that Tears of Rage was absolutely
incredible? I was initially disappointed when he started, because I
realized that I wasn't going to get to see Blind Willie McTell in the 
two shows that I could see on this tour.  But by the time he got to
the first chorus, and sang "life is brief", I just melted.
Crystal clear, not too slow, spell-binding.  I've been seeing Dylan since 
1981, and I'll say this was one of the best things that I've ever heard/seen
him do.

I'm still sort of in a daze over it.

Subject: Re: Tears of Rage at Philly From: Peter Stone Brown ( Date: Thu, 21 Aug 1997 02:15:12 -0400 ... "Tears of Rage" was fantastic at a show that far surpassed Hershey in terms of energy. Dylan was *ON* and animated throughout. And unlike Herhsey, he essentially got the words right. He seemed in great spirits and talked a lot for him, though most of what he said was unintelligible, except for thanking everyone for coming out in this drenching rain. If someone knows what he said in introducing "Tears of Rage," please post. Unfortunately, I was surrounded by idiots who talked through the entire concert. Unbelievable. I don't know why these people go to shows if they're not gonna listen or how they even have the money to go to shows. When I asked them to cease the continual conversation during "Cocaine," they thought I was nuts. And this woman behind me had the audacity to clap along to "Tears of Rage." How anybody could clap along to this song, let alone a masterfully intense performance of it is beyond me. That is the unfortunate difference between seeing Dylan now and in the '60s. It was totally unthinkable then to say anything during a song, especially have a conversation. It just wasn't done. As for the stage rushing. When the woman ran up and embraced him during his band introductions, that was one thing. But when people ran up during "Like A Rolling Stone" and fucked up the performance, that's something else. That said, I thought the security guards at the Mann were unnecessarily brutal. And trying to find an usher was absolutely ridiculous. Other than that, a very good show, but with a couple of exceptions like "Tears of Rage," and "Shelter From the Storm," a rather generic setlist, considering what songs he's been doing the rest of the tour.
Subject: Sadie Jane's Mann (Report) reposted From: sadiejane ( Date: Tue, 26 Aug 1997 22:07:01 -0500 Apparently there is a problem with the gateway from HWY61-L to usenet. I'm reposting this now for the usenet folks... ========== sent to the list on August 21,1997=============================== The Mann Center, Philadelphia PA August 20, 1997 Was it wise to wear my kelly green, Boston Celtics 1986 World Championship t-shirt to a Phili show? I did get some funny looks - one in particular from a gentleman wearing a Yankees cap. Was it a hostile look? Or one of pity? I guess I'll never know. But then again - Moe had no trouble finding me at my seat. I was a glowing green beacon. When Sweet Marie started I couldn't actually see - because everyone stood up and everyone included some very tall gentlemen directly in front of me. The sound was fine - I was center for a change which meant I could hear both Bucky (panned house right) and Larry (panned house left) clearly. The bass was a bit thick though and had none of the heart thumping clarity of the bass at the Oakdale theater. The ending seemed abrupt. They were really mid-jam when bob looked around at all the guys. They managed to follow him down without it sounding too jagged - but I noticed. The boys were expecting to play a bit longer. Takes a Train - one of my favorites was slow and lanky. The crowd just sat down and left me there standing - so in order to dance without obstructing views I moved to the side aisle where there were a few hardy dancing souls. Security was very very tight. They only let me stay after they checked my stub and then moved me back to my seat after a few songs. The audience down front were enjoying the show - but a rather immobile and expressionless lot. I could barely contain myself (as usual) and made a shameless display of dancing amidst their tombstone shoulders. :+} Nice jamming duet between Larry and Bob which featured a solo noodle. Larry has a really good feel now for setting Bob up for his solos, coming in and supporting him when the time is ripe. I'm becoming a big Larry fan. Not only is he god's gift to all women-of-rmd-kind (seeing him coatless, with a sleeveless tank top at Jone's beach was almost too much for my senses! btw, he has a tattoo of an eagle on his right bicep) but his playing is rich and multi-dimensional. Tough Mama was particularly tight - it seemed almost faster than I'd heard it before. So the lyrics were a bit hard to follow but it felt like the right tempo for the rhythmic changes that make the song so distinctive. Larry played some great solos down in first position on the top string and Bucky kept the treble covered with the pedal steel. I think this song is really a vehicle for David too. His playing is three dimensional, with lots of detail. Again - they seemed to halt the song in almost mid-jam. A real change from the endless meandering improvisations from '95. Then Shelter from the Storm. The slow and funky version. I still miss the '95 a-capella opening. Bob missed some lyrics - but it seemed like he was finally warming up to the crowd. Warming the crowd up I should say. There was a young man to my left who stood and danced all night and another group of young, hippie women to my left also dancing and clearly mouthing all the words along to all the songs. The second verse he chanted. It seemed as though he were trying to deliver more - than actually connect with the content of the lyrics. For whatever reason he was distracted. But the distraction (which was caused him to miss the opening to the third verse too) - was the good kind as far as I was concerned. Causing things to happen on stage that were unexpected. Bob responding to his environs rather than shutting them out. After finishing he said, "Good evening everybody, that was Neil Young's version of Shelter from the storm." Neil Young had played the night before in Holmdel. I wonder if Bob was there..... Silvio was on fire. Breathlessly fast. Bob re-scanning the lyrics on each verse and refrain - unpredictable and spontaneous. Larry took the fiercest solos of the night, moving up and down the fretboard with lightning speed and guitarhero-esque string bending. Punctuating each line of the refrain with little licks that echoed bob's vocal delivery. The extended jam was like an uptempo greatful dead exploration - venturing farther and farther into beautiful lyrical suspensions but then the nod from bob - took them back to the Silvio motif. Giving us just enough to leave us wanting more. When I heard the first opening strums I knew what was coming. Love Minus Zero is one of my favorite songs. I guess I never recovered from the second orpheum show in'94 :+} During the first break - Bucky took the melody and played it against a lovely solo of bob's. David Kemper, who started out the song playing very lightly with hardly a pedal slowly filled out the song as it went. Adding textures which built the song slowly but surely. "Thanks everybody" Tangled up in Blue was WILD. The woman standing one row down to my left who was dancing and singing along suddenly caught bob's eye. He started singing the second verse towards her - to her and with her! His enunciation become even more clear and the phrasing more pronounced. Then when he/she/they finished the verse, bob gave one of his signature, "oh yeeeeeeeeeeah!!!!!" and pointed at her smiling. After which he launched into a solo so strident that I'm surprised he didn't break a string. He played hard and tight - more focused than I'd seen him all night. And then he started the same verse again! "She was working in a topless place, I stopped in for a beer" The woman started shaking her head at him, her hands went up in exasperation, she shrugged her shoulders, she frowned - but he went on. He had a bit of trouble finding the lyrics on the next verse - I didn't really hear anything clear till "all the people I used to know..." - then he played one of those duets with Larry where they exchange brief licks - with cliff-hanger pauses in between each one and then bob went into a great one note solo. Larry supported him the whole time with melodic material and Bucky on top strummed away on mandolin and then David rolled them into a huge HUGE finale - cymbals clashing. Tony solid as a rock smiling and styling. WOW WOWOWWOWWOWOWOWOWOW!!!!!!!!! Cocaine - bob played some real acoustic blues guitar. The closest to WGW I've ever heard. He coulda been playing it up there all by himself. And the band arranged themselves around him in such as a way so that you actually almost heard it as though he were. Delicate but loose, whimsical. Bob didn't miss a beat on this one. It was perfect. "Hey babih, you bettah come heah quick. This makin' me sick!" sung different each time. Inflecting up once, down the next. Sidewise and diagonal. The first break - more delicious picking. The melody plucked out with some tidy noodling. Bucky harmonizing up on the pedal (don't know where the dobro went - it would be perfect for this number). Tony's bass walking up to each verse. The vocal harmonies particularly clear tonite too. Bucky took a meandering solo, lower on the pedal steel , while bob played the melody out again - then the feed back started. Bob backed up for a minute then went into the "cocaine's for horses verse" - but Tommy darted out and started fiddling with the amps. It sounded like it was coming from the bass though - don't know why they thought it was bob's guitar. Bob spoke up again, apologizing for the TD's and saying they'd hopefully get it worked out. Bob somehow managed to play Memphis blues uptempo and rocked as ever but sing it very lyrically. Extending and singing thru each line. Altering the melody quite a bit with jazz like improvisation. The crowd was bursting at the seams - encouraged by his interaction with the young women. He was smiling and mugging and pointing to people all throughout the front of the house. Most of the audience still sat - but anyone on their feet dancing, having fun, would for a moment find him or herself the recipient of some sort of direct expression from Bob. He was feeling his W I L D oats. Completely uninhibited, dancing around on stage pointing, smiling gesturing at almost every opportunity to the crowd below. During the interval before the next song, bob went up to the drum kit. I didn't notice a verbal exchange, but then bob came down to say, "He wants to see everybody clapping. My drummer wants to see everybody clapping. He says if you ain't clapping then get outa here!" Then the band started playing the intro to the next song - so we couldn't hear him as he continued to talk to us, "He's just so ??????, I'm not sure how long he's gonna stay" immediately then singing the words as the verse began, "We carried you in our arms on Independence Day..." Tears of rage. Passionate, heartfelt, tortured. It was a raw rendition of the song with Bob's voice often straining as though in a great struggle for some kind of resolution - some kind of relief. The band introductions were a bit digressive: "Thanks everybody. On my right here tonite, playing the guitar, Larry Campbell, give him a hand. I want to thank you for coming out in the drenching rain." Then sudden mayhem. One young man got a real running start and dive bombed onto the stage - landed just in front of bob and then grabbed the maestro's feet and kissed them! Bob appeared a bit surprised at first but was laughing when he made a comment which none of us could decipher. Encouraged by this success - another male admirer lunged up and bowed down on hands and knees. They were both quickly removed - but it didn't take long for the ladies to make the try and one managed to get by security and get a good long hug and a kiss on the cheek from Bob - who appeared to be perfectly happy to accommodate her. Suddenly there were hippie kids tearing down to the front - and leaping stageward. The band backed up, the crew moved in protectively toward Bob and The Red Baron finally rallied the security staff to clear the stage, and the also the pit area. The stage cleared, bob continued... "And then on the drums tonite, give him a big hand, Larry (at which point he realized his mistake and switched gears)...on guitar tonite. On the drums, David Kemper, he's alright. Then on the bass guitar, Tony Garnier, he's been with me awhile. And Bucky Baxter he's playing the steel guitar. He's the former mayor of Bluefield, West Virginia. He was gonna quit me last week and get a real job and I talked him into staying. I'm glad I did. We're gonna get outa here now." LSPBH. A lusty version - Bob's phrasing going off in every possible direction. Boasting, surprised, pouting - the melody line swinging recklessly. "Your brand new leopard skin pill box haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!" FINALLY the staff start letting the crowd, finally all on their feet, approach the stage. I made my way down early enough to be right at the stage in front of Larry Campbell (but I made eyes at David Kemper the whole time- cause I hafta admit that he's really more my type ;+}). A KILLER guitar duet between Larry and Bob - with Bob questioning in the lower register and Larry answering him wildly wailing from above. "I see you gotta new boyfriend, I never seen him before. Whoah!!!" "When I saw ya making love with him, you forgot to close the garage door." (after which he through in some comment which I could barely make out - something like: "That's something you gotta do girls" Then the last line started out singing and ended in a gleeful, wicked shout: "You think she loves you for money but I know what she really loves you for your brand new leopard skin- PIIIIL BOOOOX HAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!!" LARS. Standard version. Bob animated, mugging and dancing with the crowd (going totally nuts.) Security grabbing the projectile hippies as they hit the stage running. The Red Baron grabbing cameras left and right. I started doing the bump with one of the security guards to my right - but then thought better of it. "You could get in trouble if they see you having too much fun" I said to him. Bob played a very long, extended 2 note jam. Larry came in at the end with a nice descending scale. Then he sings up high on one note: "Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people, drinkin' thinkin'" then finishes singing in a downward progression, "That theeeeeeeeeeey got it made." Does the same with the next line. Can't finish the last refrain because of another projectile female. He backs up and noodles with Larry for a while before finishing up and walking off. It Ain't Me, Babe - Bob quieted down for this one. Singing it tenderly, punctuating the vocal phrases with little guitar dances. David very lightly drumming. Larry picking and Bucky strumming. "It ain't me you're looking for, baaaaabe. It ain't me you're looking for." and adds in a spoken voice, "No it's not" He got even quieter in the second verse - singing almost apologetically, "I will only let you down" "You say you're looking for someone who will promise never to part. Someone who will close his eyes for you, someone who will close his heart, someone who would die for you and more" all sung as if to say that these were very nice things and he was sorry that he couln't oblige. Very gentle and sweet. "It sure ain't me you're looking for, babe, it ain't me you're lookin' for." All the while looking deep into the eyes of anyone who dared to look up. Skipping from foot to foot across from stage right to left. Alabama Getaway. was very alabama getawayish. A young girl about 8 years old made it down with her mother and I offered to let her stand at the stage, in front of me. At the end bob came down and hi-fived the entire front row. Well almost. He stopped about 3 people shy of me :+{. David Kemper tossed his sticks down to us (they were quickly snapped up by two very thrilled women). It was a wild night. Not as musically strong as Oakdale (which had a Cat's In The Well so good that I swear I could hear it every night!) - but the most high energy, rocking, risk-taking, full of life and fun and goofiness and silliness that I'd seen in a long while night. xx sadiej Delia ain't dead, she's strung out....