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Bob Dylan 2000.03.20 in Medford, Oregon

Jackson County Expo Hall, 1 Peninger Lane, 5,300 tickets

Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 11:35:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: (david harper)
Subject: Dylan Review/Jackson County Expo, Central Point, Oregon

Just off the highway, back in Portland, returning from Dylan at
Central Point, Oregon. Ears ringing, road buzzin as I write.
Jingled and jangled to the max. So screw the guy that said "no
surprises this tour." Down at the Jackson County Expo I was first
surprised to see a Dylan show in the fairgrounds dirt floor
arena,   but thats as American as cowboys and rocknroll I suppose
and besides this crowd liked it down and dirty, you could
truthfully say.

As for Bob Dylans work this June night, it was the best singing
I've heard anywhere including the newest downloads, the latest
record or my favorite boots. No fluffs or missed lines or bad
licks that I could catch. His voice was rich and deeper than any
of the 20 some shows I've seen and heard since 74. But the
amazing thing was the new line deliverys, the phrasing. New
things he could never do before. He sang his ass off. Hit all the
notes.  Laid a few tricks. Same for the song arrangements. The
Ballad Of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest was astounding and sung
anew. Drifters Escape, another astonshment. To me, every song
topped all previous versions, I'd heard, by a long shot.

The band is probably the best ensemble out there. Certainly as
alert and inspired as any band thats played the road. Love their
vocal harmonies too. Bold and proud.  They do country damn right.
In 44 years of radio, disc jockeying, and concerts including all
the country, rock and blues legends since Elvis in 56, this show
with Bob Dylan in a southern Oregon mountain town dirt floor
arena had it all. All this stuff you read about age and old war
horses running down, it's just way off. This is as refined and
sophisticated an engagement as you'd find with Circus Soliel's
Saltimbanco. Timeless and beyond expectation.

Never before have I heard as much energy and control in the
singing. The clarity of the words held every lyric, the nuance
and twists of expression reopened each song, the voice was in
full power and he used it artfully.

Anyone putting out disinformation about "no surprises" resides in
the pit of hell and gets paid to decieve. I couldn't get tickets
quick enough here in Portland so I drove a few hundred miles down
the road to catch this performance. If you have to do the same,
it's alright.

Dave Harper 

Subject: Question: June 20, 2000 Medford, Oregon From: (Tracy LaVere) Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 19:21:29 -0700 Medford, Oregon June 20, 2000 Jackson County Expo I was there. Up front, center, at the pipe barrier! Great concert. However, I have two questions about that evening. 1.) When Dylan first picked up his harmonica somewhat into the set (Drifter's Escape), he seemed to get pissed off shortly there after and he put it back down. Does anyone have any idea what this was about ????????? 2.) At the encore break, he had spotted someone in the crowd (to the right of where I was (center stage)), and was mouthing words to them. It looked like he was saying, "Do you want to hear more?", but I'm not a lip reader. He also turned around to Larry Campbell, (or David Kemper, tough to say) and broke into a big grin (the only grin of the night). I assumed this was in response to something that the audience member had done. This went on for quite a while (in concert terms). I thought this was interesting. Something or someone had really caught his attention there to the right of me. Did anyone in attendance catch this? Tracy
Subject: Re: Question: June 20, 2000 Medford, Oregon From: gmorgan@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU (Gerry Morgan) Date: 24 Jun 2000 01:08:57 -0700 Medford was a great show! I was about three bodies behind you, Tracy, and was once again blown away by the degree to which Dylan seemed to be enjoying himself-- grinning, mugging, duckwalking, having a great time. In response to your questions: 1.) I missed Dylan looking pissed off and putting his harmonica back down. "Drifter's Escape" was actually the first time I've seen Dylan playing a great harmonica bit since a 1994 show in Eugene. The overall performance of the song reminded me a lot of Hendrix' cover. And after the final verse, Dylan took off his guitar and launched into a great call-and-response exchange between his harp and Charlie & Larry's guitar frenzy-- and Dylan aimed his harmonica blasts directly at the audience, crouched over and hamming it up as I've never seen him before. I can't wait to get a tape of this performance... 2.) The person he spotted, and continued to have an exchange with until the end of the encore, was a woman to your (our) right, blonde, wearing a white dress, nearly atop the rails. She was shakin' her stuff at Bob, arms outstretched, and seemed to be mouthing something to him and blowing kisses. Bob was definitely returning her attentions, especially during the last song (RDW)-- blowing her kisses, mouthing words back to her, even wagging his tongue once. I was amazed, impressed, and a little jealous... I saw this woman in the beer line during the break, so I approached her to ask, "How does it feel?" She was much shorter than she had looked on the railing, perhaps 5'1", and spoke with a very rich, thick Mexican accent (she sounded kinda like Charro...) as she described how "I kept saying to him, 'I love you'" (demonstrating by extending her lips into a kissing position as she mouthed the words, which was actually a bit disturbing to watch...). She appreciated the experience, having received such personalized attention from Dylan. I congratulated her (and her husband...), and proceeded to space-rocked into indifference by Lesh & Co. Imagine my surprise the next morning as I passed a Medford Mail-Tribune box to see her on the front page-- pictured outside before the show watching as her hubby plays "Mr. Tamborine Man," complete with acoustic guitar and harmonica harness. It all seemed very surreal... (The Medford paper has already removed the story from their website, but I managed to grab it before it went away, and have posted it to , complete with the picture of Bob's sweetheart). My other favorite moment in the show was when Dylan played "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest." It was enough of a treat just to be there for a rare live performance of this song. But I especially loved the moment, during the third verse, when he messed up the lyrics, made a quick recovery (you could see the wheels turning), and then smiled a wonderfully boyish, self-effacing grin during the next line break. His reaction was a sweet moment. I guess I'm surprised, given his age and his body of work, that he doesnt mess up the lyrics more often. His ability to keep performing and reinventing his songs his what keeps me coming back for more each year... -- Gerry
2000: March - April May June