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Bob Dylan 2000.03.17 in George, Washington

The Gorge, 754 Silica Road NW, 18,500 tickets

Subject: Some thoughts on the Gorge show--first night
From: Don Helling
Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000 17:45:29 GMT

I almost didn't attend this one (last day of teaching the
kiddies, grades due Monday, etc.)  Needless to say, I checked my
priorities and picked up my ticket Friday, headed out early Sat.

The day was scorching, but there was an intermittant breeze
coming up out of the Gorge that helped a bit. Because of the rush
for the pavement next to the stage, there were plenty of great
seats on the close-up grassy ledges. Maybe I'm getting old, but
laying back on the grass with a pair of binoculars, having the
full visual backdrop of the Columbia river and basalt cliffs
behind the band, as well as eating a picnic lunch, beats the
crush at the front of the stage any day.  As David Lindley
pointed out a few years ago, the view here is "biblical, man",
you don't get that from down front, and of course the sound is
best from the grass.

Charlie was out on the side of the stage tuning his guitar during
the setup prior to the show, and again later checking out the
crowd during String Cheese Incident's set (he was joined for a
bit by Larry). I'm not entirely sure about the draw of STI.  They
did very little for me, but a few folks around me seemed to come
mainly to see them.  STI introduced one song by stating that
"we're going to do a little bluegrass, if that's okay," followed
by cheers and a song that was as far from what I consider
bluegrass as you can get.  Let's just say that it was no
"Searching for a Soldier's Grave."  Maybe Colorado supports a
different kind of country music than I'm used to.

BTW: is throwing hundreds of tortillas in the air a Grateful Dead
thing, or something the Pepsi generation has come up with to
enliven concerts?  I'm glad there were only a couple of them
thrown during Dylan's set and the offenders were quickly put

After a short break, the band came out quickly and were strapping
on the instruments before many knew they were there.  Charlie and
Larry had changed out of casual attire and now they all sported
dark suits and slacks, Dylan's with the white stripes down the
side.  Very sharp.

You've got the setlist (and I'm a field recording neophyte) so
here are some random notes:

Somebody Touched Me -- was the first of many songs that
emphasized the great kinda rough harmonies that this group is
capable of.

Long Black Veil -- Wonderful version, with Dylan seeming to throw
in some Cash-like inflections throughout.

Desolation & Baby Blue -- Both subtly changed from the last time
I've heard them.  Very impressive.  Dylan's harp on Baby Blue was
an amazing building series of single notes, if I remember
correctly.  During this and the solo in Drifter's Escape, he was
mugging for the audience and stalking the stage with his
harmonica as he does sometimes when playing guitar.

Tangled -- Great showcase of acoustic instrumentation as usual.

Soldier's Grave-- I liked this a lot, although it didn't seem to
do much for the dancers that had worked up quite a froth during
Tangled.  Larry still needs the cheat sheet taped by his feet,
for the lyrics I presume.

At some point during this song, I believe, something happened to
Tony's acoustic bass.  A roady tried to tape something up, then
Tony conferred with Charlie and Bob about something and the rest
of the show they had discussions about song choices more than I
believe is normal.   Many times a couple of them seemed to confer
and then let the rest know what they planned to do.  I may be
wrong, but that's what it looked like from where I was.  At one
point Larry went to the pedal steel at the start of a song and
quickly changed to electric guitar, plugging it in just as the
song got off the ground.  All in all, the instrumental work
tonight seemed a bit loose, but Dylan seemed to be on a
roll--Tony and Charlie were amused by his playful vocal improvs
throughout the evening.

Country Pie was fine.  Kind of got things going again for the

Tough Mama was pretty close to the version that I have on tape
from Wolftrap? 1997.  I liked it, didn't do much for the crowd,
it seemed to me.

Crash on the Levee & Drifter's Escape were rocking start to end. 
Crash was better than the 1995 opener in Seattle that I thought
was outstanding.  This song seems to be one that he can change
pretty easily.  Drifter's Escape was a revelation to me.  It had
more of the Hendrix version in it than Dylan's. The harp solo was
explosive, starting with the one note repetition, just when you
thought that would be it, he hit an amazing riff.  A very strong
backbeat, that on some verses/chorus was brought down to just
drums and vocals.  My favorite of the evening.

The rest were very good versions of "the hits."  Dylan was
animated throughout, Charlie got to showcase some great guitar,
but this has always been my least favorite part of the show. 
What was fun for me, (although this might be normal) was the
lyrics additions to Rainy Day Women.   He might do this all the
time, and frankly I usually skip this on the field recordings,
but lines like "they'll stone you when you're sitting in a chair"
and others that I hadn't heard before were fun.  My favorite of
the encore's was Not Fade Away.

The evening ended at this point for me (and a pretty sizeable
number of others).  It was a huge relief to get out the parking
lot without the usual hour-long wait and crowded roads leading to
the freeway.  I was home by 2:00 AM instead of as the sun's
coming up.

Subject: Re: Some thoughts on the Gorge show--first night From: BlackClouds76 Date: 18 Jun 2000 19:46:58 GMT Whats STI? Its SCI!!! As in String Cheese Incident. I'm sorry you didnt get into it. SCI is an incredible band that is on the cusp of being HUGE. Not to long will they be headlining at the Gorge. Keep your eyes open for this band, who will be playing at Red Rocks in CO and the Greek Theatre in Berkeley this Summer and all over the rest of the USA.
Subject: Setlist 2000.06.17 Gorge, WA Dylan, Lesh From: Seth Green Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000 12:23:48 -0700 Hello- Here's my setlist for the show followed by a bit of a review. *String Cheese Incident* *Bob Dylan* Somebody Touched Me Long Black Veil (M. Wilkens & D. Dill) Deselation Row It's All Over Now, Baby Blue Tangled Up In Blue Soldier's Grave (?) Country Pie Tough Mama Down In The Flood Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You Drifter's Escape Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat Ballad Of A Thin Man Like A Rolling Stone Blowin' In The Wind Not Fade Away Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 *Phil Lesh* Opening Jam Mountains of the Moon In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel) Shakedown Street Crazy Fingers Terrapin Station Brokedown Palace Casey Jones [Encore] I've got to start out by saying what a great day it was! Sunny and hardly a cloud in the sky; perfect weather for an outdoor show. The sun was hot, but not so bad that you had to cower in the shade. String Cheese Incident started the show with some very tight jams and got the crowd moving. I liked their style. Quite instrumental; I could've used a few more lyrics though; especially being followed by Dylan who's all about lyrics. Tortillas went flying and everybody looked like they were having fun. As STI was leaving the stage they thanked "Robert Zimmerman" for letting them play :) Dylan came on at 7:30 and started with a gospel tune to warm things up. Things got serious quickly with Long Black Veil, a great Desolation Row, and Baby Blue. The next song was probably the best of the evening (yeah I know it's been played so many times before but it's still my favorite)... an scorching all acoustic version of Tangled Up in Blue. I couldn't' believe they got that sound unplugged; my hats off to the band. Lyrics were still in 3rd person but otherwise pretty close to the Blood on the Tracks cut. I stood on the floor and was close enough to see the band play well. I was impressed by the amount of lead guitar that Dylan played! I thought for sure it was all Charlie Sexton having sat much further away last year but Dylan showed his skill. The crowed got very pumped. What happened next though struck me mighty weird. Bob took all the energy he had built up with Tangled and basically shelved it. The next track I couldn't identify but others are listing it as Soldier's Grave. Slow, melancholy. I thought it was out of place. I saw Dylan last year with Paul Simon and was relieved and surprised that the setlist shared only one song! (Tangled) However here come my big complaint of the show... My Dylan knowledge drops off sharply after "Blonde on Blonde" and only pick up in pieces after that. The next few tracks really left me cold. "Country Pie" and "Down In the Flood" seem to be a big hit on the group. But the truth was I didn't know these songs and Bob did nothing to help me get into them at all. To me Dylan's all about lyrics. If you can't figure out what he's saying you're really left out in the cold. I'd never heard "Somebody Touched Me" before, but I could hear every word. By the middle of the set though Bob had reverted to his trademark mumble. I'm thrilled that this wasn't a greatest hits parade; but during the middle of the show I felt left out. OK, and one more major concert grumble too... why didn't Bob and Phil share the stage at least once??? Dylan even played "Not Fade Away" which Phil undoubtedly knows by heart. Oh well. Things picked up again for me with "Pill-Box Hat". I love that one! The humor brought me back into the show again. "Blowing in the Wind" was also fantastic to hear; there's so much truth to those words. After "Rainy Day Women" Bob raised his guitar to the audience and walked off stage. After a break the sun was set and Phil and Friends took the stage. The setting was perfect. The stars were out, the scenery was beautiful and the lighting was pale purple. The show started off with an ethereal jam. The whole setting gave me a new age feel and reminded me a bit of (don't laugh :) Yanni at the Acropolis. The first named track was "Mountains of the Moon". I'm not a dead head myself and had never heard the song before. In contrast to Dylan though I got into it immediately. I can't emphasize enough how perfect the atmosphere was for this. Nex t came a surprse for me, a fantastic version of "In Your Eyes". Probably my favorite Peter Gabriel song. Phil and co. handled it wonderfully wandering, but always coming back tight. I think at this point the crowd used up most of the dancing energy they had. Those of us on the floor had been standing mostly for 4 hours at this point! Phil's set consisted of at most two discreet songs. I can only remember once where the music stopped. Otehrwise it was 2+ hours of straight jamming. The whole eveing had a very ethereal feel. Just jams under the light of the stars. Towards the end I must admit Phil lost me a bit. I think the group got a bit more improvisational and I was tired. The show closed with an encore of Casey Jones which I knew and gave me the feeling I was at a Dead show. Double time... triple time the last verse was smokin'! That gave us the energy to treck to the parking lot under the light of a full moon. All in all a great time!! Don Helling posted a great review of Dylan's set to, so check that out too if you're interested. My concert buddy Dave Norberg compiled Phil's setlist. Seth
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