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Bob Dylan 2000.11.11 in Lowell, Massachusetts

Paul E. Tsongas Arena, 300 Arcand Dr.
7.800 capacity

Subject: Re: November 11, 2000 - Lowell, Massachusetts - setlist
From: Scratchie 
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2000 05:10:15 GMT

Bill Pagel  wrote:
:    1.   Duncan And Brady (acoustic) 
:    2.   Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic) 
:    3.   It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (acoustic) 
: 	(Charlie on dobro) 
:    4.   The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (acoustic) 
:    5.   Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) 
:    6.   Searching For A Soldier's Grave (acoustic) (Larry on mandolin)
:      	(song by Johnnie Wright, Jim Anglin and Jack Anglin) 
:    7.   Country Pie 
:    8.   God Knows 
:    9.   Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again 
: 	(Larry on acoustic guitar) 
:   10.  Not Dark Yet 
:   11.  Drifter's Escape (Bob on harp) 
:   12.  Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 

:      (encore) 
:   13.  Things Have Changed 
:   14.  Like A Rolling Stone 
:   15.  If Dogs Run Free (acoustic) 
: 	(Larry and Charlie on electric guitars) 
:   16.  All Along The Watchtower 
:   17.  Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (acoustic) (Bob on harp) 
:   18.  Highway 61 Revisited 
:   19.  Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic) 

Hattie Carroll was really nice tonight. I couldn't help thinking
of George W Bush during this song.

It's Alright Ma started out very eerily, with lots of blue lights
on stage, then moved into a strange, almost bouncy feel. It
seemed a little odd for that song but it worked. Bob had one of
the most twisted smiles I've ever seen while he sang the
"Guillotine" part.

Country Pie and Drifter's Escape rocked. Don't know if this has
been mentioned before but the new arrangement of Drifter's Escape
sounds like Cream's "Crossroads".

I was a little underwhelmed by most of the encores but I think I
was just tired, with a really lousy day (prior to the concert)
finally catching up with me.

Big bitch about this venue: They only had one set of doors open
for people coming in or going out. Each operation took a
ridiculously long time for an arena this small. They had everyone
lined up for entrance in one line -- almost single file -- that
stretched for at least 1/2 a mile. Very strange, but at least it
moved fast. Getting out was ridiculous, as everyone had to file
down two staircases to get to the main entrance (The only one
that was open for people to leave by).

Only complaint with the set as a whole is that Bob seems to be
woefully under-utilizing Larry Campbell and Charlie Sexton in the
guitar solo department. I realize that (a) that's his prerogative
and (b) Bob's shows have been generally excellent in the five or
six(?) years that he's been actively taking more guitar solos.
Bob's quality of solos seems to be down noticeably since a few
years ago, and there were numerous times when Charlie seemed
about ready to really let it rip -- and I know he can be a great,
great soloist -- and Bob would just cut him off to play some
meager two-note solo. Some of Bob's two-note solos can be great,
but tonight they were just sort of flaccid, IMO.

Otherwise, though, another typically great Dylan show. Wish I
could go to RI tomorrow!


Subject: Lowell - Guitars blazing From: Jeff Klepper Date: 11 Nov 2000 21:48:28 -0800 A great, great show at the Tsongas arena. Superb mix of songs. Even the slower songs zipped along. Guitars blazing was the order of the day (Charlie switched among seven if I counted right - the red acoustic, two strats, a telecaster, a red Gretsh, a black and white Epiphone and and a resonator (dobro type) electric). And Bob was in great voice. Great new arrangements of God Knows and Not Dark Yet. With all its hype If Dogs was the only minor letdown. Terrific sound and tasteful lighting. What more can you want!
Subject: Some thoughts on Lowell From: MrETramp Date: 12 Nov 2000 21:08:31 GMT I'll leave the song by song reviews of Bob's excellent show last night to others. Here are some of things I'll remember about yesterday. 1. The Doubletree Hotel: The day gets off to an auspicious start as I pull into the parking garage for the Doubletree Hotel. The hotel is walking distance from the Tsongas Arena and there, right there, in front of the hotel are two very suspicious looking buses. I park my car, thinking, "Where's Peter Stone Brown when you need him?" and set out to try to determine if these buses are indeed Bob's. California license plate on one, Oregon on the other. Curtain pulled around the driver's compartment in one. Looks pretty much like Bob's buses. As I check in, I lean over the counter and ask the clerk conspiratorially, "So what room is Bob Dylan in?" Avoiding eye contact, she tells me, "He's not staying here." "Aw, come on," I try again. "Those are his buses." "No they're not," she quickly tells me, still avoiding eye contact. So Bob or His People, if any of you are reading this, you can rest assured that at least this one Double Tree employee did her best to keep your whereabouts a secret. She just made a really, really bad liar. 2. Meeting Tony Garnier: After an amble over to the Arena, seeing that the line was still very short, I head back to the hotel, relax a while and then head over to start my long stand in line. If I needed any other confirmation that Bob was at the Double Tree, I got it. Walking toward the hotel, and thus, unavoidably toward me, was Tony Garnier himself. Me: (thinking) Oh, my God, that's Tony Garnier. (speaking) Tony Garnier! Tony: (thinking) Oh shit, this guy recognizes me. (speaking) Hey! What's going on? Me: (reaching out my hand to shake Tony's) Not much. Looking forward to the show tonight. Tony: (submitting politely to the handshake and breaking away as soon as he could) All right! It was a short encounter, but I feel Tony and I really bonded. 3. Meeting Nate: I always enjoy putting a face to the names of veteran posters to rmd. For this show, I met Nate of the MIT email address. We had exchanged emails prior to the show and I easily found him, holding a place for me in line. We swapped Bob stories and generally made the time pass more quickly as we wait. Nate complains, with justification, "Why don't they just open the doors and let us wait inside?" Instead, we herd together in a mass pressing toward the doors and then, when they finally open, a mad scramble erupts as everyone scurries to claim prime real estate. Nate and I are separated, but I see he has secured a slightly better vantage point than mine. We meet up again after the show but our attempts at a post-show discussion are thwarted when the funky neighborhood bar I had noticed earlier turns out to have a live band blaring the '70s Greatest Hits as we drink our beers. 4. The Shriekers: Who'd a thunk it, but here, in the year 2000, as he edges his way toward the grand old age of 60, Bob Dylan is once again a Babe Magnet. The last time I heard so much shrieking from teenage girls and college age women at a Dylan show, it was for Ani DiFranco. Except for the real ear drum piercers, which are thankfully infrequent, the shrieks don't bother me too much. But two prime offenders are right in my vicinity and one in particular really bothers Molly From Manhattan, a very friendly sort who has left her party of fourteen to work her way toward the stage. We bond in shrieker antipathy. Of the shrieker directly in front of her, she asks me, "Do you think she could shriek louder if I stuck my finger up her ass?" "Try it!" I urge her. Later I accuse her, "You did it! You stuck your finger up her ass." She denies it and I couldn't swear to it because I didn't see it but something brought out a super shriek. I will carry my suspicions to the grave. I do make myself useful as, when Bob goes for his harmonica, I put Molly From Manhattan on Shriek Alert and she is able to plug her ears and avoid, or at least mute, the inevitable. 5. The Mustache: I was looking for it, and I have to say, I didn't see it. Nate, who was closer, assures me it was there and it was pathetic, "like the mustache your grandmother might have had." I wonder how he knew my grandmother and decide to take his word for it. 6. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll: At most Bob shows, at least the good ones, there is at least one transcendant moment when Bob absolutely nails a song. Last night at Lowell, it was Hattie Carroll. He had been building towards this one, each song amazingly better than the last, when he sunk his teeth into this old favorite. The song came alive, like today's newsflash, as Bob shifts the focus of the narrative, introducing as if for the first time the dastardly Zanzinger and his "high office relations in the politics of Maryland," the humble Hattie Carroll and the sinister Judge "so deep and distinguished" who lets Zanzinger off with a slap on the wrist. By the time he gets to the end of the song, if there's anyone in the arena unconvinced that NOW is the time for their tears, well, that person is no friend of mine. After the show, virtually everyone I speak with, after agreeing that it had been a fine show, feels compelled to add, "Could you believe that Hattie Carroll?" or some variation on that sentiment. Note to bootleg compilers: When you put together Fall 2000's version of Bathed In A Stream of Pure Heat, omit The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll from Lowell at your own peril. History will mock you. Fittingly, the next morning, an article in the New York Times Week in Review section alludes, uncredited, to one of the finest lines from the song. Discussing our quadrennial election ritual, the writer describes the early morning returns from Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, always the first locale to announce its vote, as our attempt to prove "the ladder of politics has no top and no bottom." And so another great Bob Dylan line quietly slides into our lexicon. 7. Bob's Vocal Mannerism of the Month: As at least one other poster has noted, Bob has taken to a new little musical tic as he sings, namely, going up a few notes (the other poster said an octave; that may be right, but my ear is too untrained to venture such precision) at the end of a line or a phrase. This mannerism was particularly noticeable on Don't Think Twice and Blowin' In the Wind. For example, he sings, How many roads Must a man walk down going up the scale on "roads" and "down." I found that this device worked a lot better on "Blowin' In the Wind," where it was used to set up a line, often the chorus, sung closer to original melody. On "Don't Think Twice," where he used the device on the payoff lines, I found it more distracting than effective. 8. Other Things I'll Remember About The Show: So many highlights -- the bristling God Knows, a Drifter's Escape where you still don't exactly know why these things are happening or what you should think of them, but the music propels you forward with the story and damned if you're not exultant when the Drifter does escape. Then there's Bob, hogging the guitar solos, but inspiring shrieks and wild applause as he punctuates a line with a little wiggle as Larry looks on and grins. And Larry, making the most of his opportunities to add a riff or the perfect phrase to fill out a song. Surprisingly, some of the most memorable moments came during the old chestnuts. I think of the guitar jam at the end of Rainy Day Women, Bob enjoying himself as he plays guitar hero, my new best friend Tony Garnier watching for the little nod that means it's time to end the song, but Bob having too much fun and the nod doesn't come right away. Bob continues noodle, Larry looking on with that bemused smile. Then on Highway 61, Larry's guitar riff anchoring the song and giving it a new rhythmic dynamism like he does (at least I think it's him) on the recent performances of Tombstone Blues, and Bob leaning into the last line of each verse, shifting the emphasis as the song moves along from "Highway Sixty Waaaannnnn" to "Highway Sixteeeee One." And the band. This band knows how to build tension in a song. They leave spaces where you might expect notes and then fill them in later as songs like It's Alright Ma build to a climax. This, my friends, is a fine, fine band. But you all knew that already. 9. The Formation: I was able to warn my rmd-deprived friends about The Formation prior to the show. Having met Molly From Manhattan only minutes before the music (and shrieking) started, however, she experienced The Formation completely unawares. After it ended, she says to me: "What was THAT? I couldn't tell if they were going to bow or machine gun us. That was scary." So all you rmders out there, I beseech you, you owe it to your friends, WARN THEM ABOUT THE FORMATION BEFORE THE SHOW. Well, I've babbled for long enough. If you can, see Bob Dylan play. As often as you can. You'll hate yourself if you don't. David Bachman
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2000 08:25:30 -0800 (PST) From: Jason polanski Subject: Lowell review To: Here's a review of the 11/11/00 show at Lowell,Mass. Last night Bob Dylan played at a hockey arena in an old New England mill town that also happens to be the birth and resting place of Jack Kerouac. It was an all general admission show and I would say a large number of the people were already there by 6:00. Doors opened at 7:00. It was interesting that you had a choice to sit in the seats or go down to the floor. Myself and fellow UConn area fans went to the floor to dance. I think the people who like to sit for these shows went directly to the seats and they really did sit through almost every song. Bob came out at 8:15 and played DUNCAN AND BRADY. It was an intense version from the start. For the second song, the band started playing what I though was "Times", but was actually a rather different intro to MR. TAMBOURINE MAN. This song works in the second spot. Bob's phrasing was completely different then I've ever heard it and the crowd cheered after almost every unique delivery of every line. Bob was IN TO THIS SONG. Far from the spoken-sung versions of the mid 90's. Bob continued the playful intensity for IT'S ALRIGHT MA. The crowd of course cheered loudest during the line about the president, but the best delivery was during the last verse. "If my though dreams...could be seen....they'd probably put my a....guilitine!" Bob smiled, the crowd laughed, and life came into perspective. Listen to the tape. After a band huddle, they broke into THE LONESOME DEATH OF HATTIE CARROLL. Continued intensity. Sang the last verse like on the Rolling Thunder Review. Sang louder for the choruses then for the verses. Bob even played some beautiful lead guitar. It's too bad he couldn't put together a good solo on the expected TANGLED UP IN BLUE, because it was strongly sung. Included the "working for a while on a fishing boat while his mind was being destroyed" line. The amazing acoustic set ended with SEARCHING FOR A SOLDIER'S GRAVE. The electric set started with a jammed out version of COUNTRY PIE. Most of the hippies were smiling and dancing. Bob actually hasn't toured the northeast without Phil Lesh in over a year. I think even without Phil, there was still a good number of circle dancing hippie girls and boys. After "Country Pie" the band huddled. While still in the huddle they carefully ran through a chord progression, without David playing, and I could not figure it out. Turned out to be a reworked and seemingly unrehearsed version of GOD KNOWS. David's drums came in at the point that Bob let out a yell into the mic, which was apparently David's cue. Although a fun performance, Bob seemed to make up the words as he sang them including lines about walking in candlelight and that God knows every circumstance and you only have one more chance and etc. Next was a rocking STUCK INSIDE OF MOBILE with the stretched out phrasing on the "Memphis blues agaaaaiiiin!" Probably the only song that didn't work last night was NOT DARK YET. Bob had trouble with the high notes having to drop down at the last minute during some lines. Bob's vocals quickly recovered for DRIFTER'S ESCAPE which was very very strong and included some great blue's harp, although the people in the seats were still sitting! After the band intros, instead of going into "Pillbox Hat", they huddled and came out with RAINY DAY WOMAN. Lot's of jamming, Bob took an extra solo, and he also sang some weird lines about "riding in the car, didn't go to far" during the last verse. It was clear that everybody MUST get....attacked by throwing rocks. First encore was an intense THINGS HAVE CHANGED followed by an equally intense LIKE A ROLLING STONE. As expected and anticipated, Bob played IF DOGS RUN FREE with the delivery of a man who really has been on this job so long he's really really good at it. Tonight's performance of ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER rocked, but Bob's seemed confused as where to go vocally. After yet another huddle during this show which was slightly varied song-wise from recent shows, Bob started DON'T THINK TWICE IT'S ALRIGHT. The singing was beautiful as he went back and forth from the low strong voice to the soft high voice. He continued this for every single line, except, with perfect delivery, he changed his style on the very last line, and the crowd that was hanging on every line broke out in cheers. Of course, Bob made the version even more perfect by giving a harp solo that actually brought the people in the seats to their feat! HIGHWAY 61 rocked and Bob took an extra long solo at the end. To end the show, Bob gave us a very interesting performance of BLOWIN' IN THE WIND. As he did all night long, he phrased the song like I've never heard before. Not even close to anything, and I've seen him do it 10 times. Really great show, Jason Polanski
Subject: My review of Lowell From: Blade421 Date: 12 Nov 2000 17:16:17 GMT This is my review of Bob's show in Lowell, MA at the Paul E. Tsongas Arena. I don't know what happened that magical evening, but for a concert (and setlist!) that astoundingly spectacular, I've come to two conclusions: 1. Bob Dylan must really love Lowell, MA. 2. I am the luckiest son of a bitch alive. ______________________________________________________________ 1. Duncan and Brady--- Just like I hoped, Bob opened with this song that I have grown to love (from his performance of it in Hartford and repeated Napster downloads). Making particular emphasis on the line "Been on the job...TOO LONG!", every lyric rang out clear, and Dylan sounded better (and younger!) than ever. 2. Mr. Tambourine Man--- I was ready to expect "To Ramona", when I was treated to this...the first of many pleasant surprises of the evening. I had heard "Tambourine Man" in the encore of Bob's Hartford show, but this one knocked my socks off, despite the fact that it didn't have a harp solo like last time. The guitars were great, and Bob put a lot of effort into the vocals, staying on key most of the time. 3. It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)--- "You've GOT to listen to this one", I told my dad, sitting next to me. "It's got great lyrics". Of course, you couldn't understand them as well as the version on BIABH, but Bob proved that he could still entrance you with those enigmatic lyrics and the haunting guitar. 4. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll--- Again, another surprise. I never heard this song before and I mistook it for "My Back Pages" at first (probably from the mention of "crimson" in the first verse), but I found it to be a very moving number. 5. Tangled up in Blue--- From the beginning of those instantly recognizable guitar chords, I knew this would be the highlight of the show. And just like Hartford, it was. A great rendition, once again in the third person (how long has he been singing it like this?). 6. Searching for a Soldier's Grave--- The beautiful three part harmony made this a standard for a Dylan concert, and tonight was no exception. 7. Country Pie--- This one ROCKED!!! A wonderful choice for an opener of the electric set. The guitar and Bob's vocals shined, but of course, the guitar stole the show. Even better than the original song on "Nashville Skyline"...listen to those killer solos! 8. God Knows--- "Hmmm...nope, I have absolutely no idea", I said after being asked which song this was. Is it by Bob? Is it a cover? I only know two bits of info though: One, I heard Bob hadn't performed this one in a year, and two, that was one awesome guitar riff. 9. Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again--- ANOTHER surprise! And ANOTHER highlight! Those surrealistic lyrics never sounded so alive. 10. Not Dark Yet--- I almost thanked God Himself for this song from TOOM to be performed. Being only three years old, Bob's singing sounded, word for word, almost exactly like the original album version. Very beautiful and moving, although it sounded too short for some reason! 11. Drifter's Escape--- It was nearly unrecognizable from JWH, but who cares---Bob played harp!!! 12. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35--- And now for the part I've been waiting to tell everybody...anyway, Bob introduced his band, signaling the last number for his setlist was to follow. "'Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat', of course", I thought, as the latter song had been the closer for months. But something miraculous happened. Maybe Bob could sense that it was time for a change. Thus, those legendary opening drum beats began, and the people sitting in the Paul E. Tsongas Arena got to hear the first performance of this song in months (and the first change in a closing number in God knows how long)!!! I nearly died, I was so happy. Everybody was having a rowdy good time, sometimes even singing along with the chorus. WOW. (encore) 13. Things Have Changed--- If we're lucky, Bob could be performing this one at the Oscars next year, if the Academy recognizes the brilliance of this new song. A lot more rocking than the original version, with some pretty mean vocals. 14. Like a Rolling Stone--- He's sick to death of performing this song, but God knows we aren't. Great vocals and guitars for this landmark song. 15. If Dogs Run Free--- I thought it was a joke at first when I heard that this obscure (but irresistable, in my opinion) jazz track made it into the encore, but ever since then, I was amazed at how excited I was to hear this one. An odd but ultimately satisfying choice. If only Larry could do the scat singing in the background...! 16. All along the Watchtower--- "WATCHTOWER!!!" screamed many of the anxious (and stoned) fans. We all got what we wished for. Great guitar and vocals. 17. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right--- Not only the best surprise of the evening, but maybe even the best song performed. The guitar picking was very true to the original version, but Bob's vocals really stole the show. I loved it how his voice raised an octive for the last word of each verse (which he also did for "Blowin' in the Wind"). And---you ready for this? --- ANOTHER HARP SOLO!!! And an incredible one, too. Wow, two harp solos!! Is this a night of "firsts" or what?! 18. Highway 61 Revisited--- A hard rocking rendition with some great guitar, even though I couldn't understand one word Bob said. Who cares, we all know the lyrics anyway. 19. Blowin' in the Wind--- A triumphant conclusion to a wonderful concert. I really enjoy the way Bob and Larry harmonize on the title refrain. More brilliant than ever!! ___________________________________________________________________ Without a doubt, the best concert that I have ever gone to in my 15 years of living. Not only that, but it totally blew the Hartford show away. But not only THAT, let's take a look at the things that made this concert so incredible... 1. RAINY DAY WOMEN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MONTHS!!! 2. Not one, but TWO HARMONICA SOLOS!!! 3. Not Dark Yet! 4. Mr. Tambourine Man! 5. Stuck Inside of Mobile...! And so on. If anyone has any complaints about this show, I'd like to hear them, but I won't believe them. Spectacular, definitely one of the top 10 highlights of my life. Unforgettable.
Subject: another Lowell review/please post but exlcude my name Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 13:34:16 EST This was my eleventh or so time seeing Bob. Perhaps he's been on the job a little too long. Bob looked a little paler than usual but very dapper in his all black suit with his Han Solo racing stripe up his pant leg. Maroon? tie with a white trim along his butterfly collar. Show Highlites: Hattie Carroll, God Knows-the more rareties the better. Great image of Bob posing just before his second harp solo, the crowd really dug it. Singing his well worn set-list, I personally think Bob especially enjoys singing Like A Rolling Stone. He seems to challenge the crowd as he he grinds out the sarcastic question "How does it Feel..." His voice was good but perhaps a little more weary than usual since he was playing back-to-back nights. Don't get me wrong, I would follow Bob on tour if I could, but I'll never understand the man. We left during Blowing in the Wind which turned out to be a good decision since there seems to have been problems with the traffic. But, on our way around the traffic cirle in front of the arena we were stopped by a cop and two tour buses cut in front of us. Before we could follow, a third vehicle, this time an ambulance cut in front. Couldn't help but wonder which vehicle Bob was in. We ended up catching and passing the busses on 495. Cheap thrill.
Subject: Re: November 11, 2000 - Lowell, Massachusetts - setlist From: J Buck Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2000 23:12:26 -0500 (EST) My concert going companion, Nay, though not a subscriber (yet) to r.m.d. wrote this about 11/11/00 Lowell. not so in tuned I guess with the musicality (not a word, I'm nearly sure of) of Bob Dylan, but his demeanor seemed very delightful and positive and he closed his eyes much of the time he was singing, I feel an easy way to isolate that an introvert is getting really "into" an experience. He moved and danced comfortably, making it seem like he really didn't mind performing for me more pleasure in being there. The words that he sang, for the most part, 'rang true' for me sort of speak, so I felt my usual connectivity to them. So nice to see him play harmonica, such youthfulness in the ability, making me feel that greatness never goes away with time. His strength and ability to "remain" in a world that is forever changin' with the status quo makes me feel a great sense of hopefulness about music in general. He was refreshing in his style and of course the lyrics were right on. So nice to sit there with other Dylan fans.... All this combination adds up to probably the best Dylan show I've ever seen, even without "Visions of Johanna", such a tortured tune, I think it was most superb... "we always did feel the same, we just it from a different point of view....."
THE BEAT Things have changed, but not Bob Dylan by Seth Rogovoy (WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., November 13, 2000) -- One could be forgiven for being tempted to read too much into the songs Bob Dylan chose to sing in his concert at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell last Saturday night. But Dylan's songs and his enigmatic approach invite such conjecture. Dylan was in fine apocalyptic form, breathing fire through his phrasing, his lyrics and band arrangements that sacrificed no attempt to heighten the songs' drama or impact. It was easy to conclude that the show - which included vintage protest songs like "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" and "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," Biblical midrash like "All Along the Watchtower" and "Highway 61," and screeds of personal angst like "Not Dark Yet" and "Things Have Changed" -- was in response to a world gone wrong, one in which the aftermath of an election has plunged a nation into limbo at the same time that the Middle East threatens to succumb once again to the flames of war. Lines like "Even the president of the United States must have to stand naked" from "It's Alright Ma" elicited cheers of recognition and assent from the arena crowd, but led one to wonder who stands naked if there is no president? And did Dylan purposely follow "It's Alright Ma" with "Hattie Carroll," perhaps his finest topical protest song, to suggest that the ascendancy of George W. Bush would set back the clock on race relations nearly 30 years? Bob Dylan was performing yet again with a well-honed road band including guitarists Larry Campbell and Charlie Sexton, bassist Tony Garnier and drummer David Kemper, as part of his seemingly never-ending tour. He continues to mine his impressive catalog of material, reinventing old favorites like "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again," "Mr. Tambourine Man" and a particularly intense version of "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," and resurrecting obscurities like "Country Pie," on which Campbell shattered guitar-shrapnel worthy of former sideman Robbie Robertson, and "If Dogs Run Free," perhaps Dylan's only jazz tune, given an incredibly faithful reading, minus the shoo-be-do's of the original. It's hard to know whether to take Dylan at face value when he sings lines like "God knows there's gonna be no more water but fire next time," from "God Knows," or "If the Bible is right, the world will explode," from "Things Have Changed." He offset such prophetic doomsaying somewhat with glimpses of humor and absurdity during "If Dogs Run Free," on which he declared "If dogs run free, then what must be, must be, and that is all," or when he sang with utter resignation and abject surrender, "I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from," from "Not Dark Yet," a sentiment that evidently resonates deeply with his audience, as the line got the most vocal response of the night. Bob Dylan turns 60 next spring. Next year will also mark the 40th anniversary of his arrival on the Greenwich Village folk scene and the recording of his first album (which was released in March 1962). Last week Columbia Records issued a two-volume retrospective, "The Essential Bob Dylan," which traces the arc of his career from "Blowin' in the Wind" to his most recent recording, "Things Have Changed," previously available only on the soundtrack to "Wonder Boys." What is most astonishing listening to early songs like "Don't Think Twice," "The Times They Are a-Changin'," "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" and "Mr. Tambourine Man" are their naked immediacy. The young Dylan sang with utter confidence and authority that cannot be easily explained by reference to the unimpressive biography of his early years. Clearly the young Dylan was channeling some heavy influences, musical, spiritual and otherwise, and he could easily be have been mistaken for a 60-year-old given the maturity and sound of his voice. Dylan continued in this vein for the next 40 years or so, through "Like a Rolling Stone," "Just Like a Woman," "Lay Lady Lay," "I Shall Be Released" and "Tangled Up in Blue." No songwriter of the rock era can stack up a list of songs to match these, and this isn't even the half of it. What rings true is Dylan's unwavering commitment to truth-telling, be it the political outrage of "Hurricane," the personal anguish of "Shelter From the Storm," or the spiritual heartbreak of "Everything Is Broken." It was clear at Lowell, and it's clear listening through 40 years of "The Essential Bob Dylan," that Dylan is a modern-day prophet. He is driven to prophesize nightly on college campuses or in secondary or tertiary markets like Lowell, and with occasional bolts of lightning like "Things Have Changed." We ignore his prophesying only at our peril, for as he sings in his latest tirade, "People are crazy, times are strange/I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range/I used to care but things have changed." [This column originally appeared in the Berkshire Eagle on Nov. 17, 2000. Copyright Seth Rogovoy 2000. All rights reserved.] (Posted with Seths permission, via Peter)
Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2000 18:48:45 -0500 (EST) From: "S.L. PULVER" To: In terms of Lowell, things were crazy before the show even started. I had been lineing up with many others on the grass in front of the venue. At about 5:45, the organizer decided it would be fun to get everybody to move in front of the venue in an organzied fashion. It turned out to be a disaster. We were packed in line for an hour directly in front of the doors. When they were finally opened, it was chaos - ie they opened two doors and they were about twenty people at a time trying to fit through a 5 feet wide door. Anyways, I still found my way on the rail, and was ready for the show. Highlites included Hattie Carrol, which just seemed to to build and build, and God Knows (maybe Bob was listening to my Wiggle Wiggle shout, more on that later). God Knows featured a slow Larry lead, and a very good Bob vocal. Not Dark Yet, Its alright and Tambourone Man were the other stand-outs.
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