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Bob Dylan 2000.11.19 in Towson, Maryland

Towson State University, Towson Center Arena
4.500 capacity
Show #111 this year, #1276 on the Never-Ending Tour

Subject: Towson Maryland
From: Peter Stone Brown 
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 07:36:09 GMT

So finally I've had enough sleep for the first time in days
(must've been those strange cookies I ate in some casino hotel
room the night before) and my friend Train and his friend Jody
pile into my car for another trip down I-95 South to the college
town of Towson, a tiny bit west of Baltimore, where I'm going for
my all-time record of four shows in three days.  Train and I had
made almost the exact same trip just a little over a year ago and
after a bit of confusion finally find the arena and there are the
busses and the semis all lined up and it being a college, once
again are the separate lines for men and women to get in.  I have
to meet the Mystery Man from Maryland who has my ticket and we're
supposed to meet at Will Call except they're kicking everyone out
of Will Call and there's two lines on either side of the building
to get in, and we didn't know that when we made the arrangements.
 But it was loose and I just kind of wandered up and down the
lines looking for the Mystery Man and finally there he is by Will
Call and everything's cool.  And we're ignoring the men/women
division thing and everyone else is too, and Train wants to stand
in line with Jody since she's his fiancŽ but just as we get near
the door the split up the sexes for the search and the security
guy says to me, "I gotta make sure you ain't bringin ' in no
recording devices," and it's a college gym and we get up pretty
close to the stage, and there's all kinds of people, college
kids, ancient hippies, all talking Dylan, and jostling for
position and there's lots of time because they let everyone in
around 7:30 and the show doesn't start till 8:30, and finally the
roadies in their jumpsuits come out and do the final guitar check
and then they're on stage and then the announcement, and then "Oh
Babe It Ain't No Lie," and it kind of makes sense because the
Seeger family was living somewhere around these parts when Mike
Seeger was floored when Elizabeth Cotton picked up one of his
guitars turns it upside down and starts playing it.

And again Dylan is very much alive and very much on, so on he can
barely stand in one place and then into "Mr. Tambourine Man,"
with sort of a different opening than the last time, and then on
the second verse, whatever it is that possesses Dylan took
possession and he's messing with the phrasing and the melody big
time and there's no real way to explain it on paper the way he
sang "magic sailing ship" and "my senses have been stripped," but
it wasn't like any "Tambourine Man" I've heard before and I' ve
heard many different "Tambourine Man's."

Then it's the thump thump beginning of "Desolation Row" and the
once upon a time and maybe still hippie next to me explains to
his uncomprehending companion "kind of a surrealist view of life"
and the intensity is building with each line but Dylan is doing
his comic thing on stage, constantly shifting position of the
guitar, making a new face every second and it's getting better
every minute to lead to a sublime version of "One Too Many
Mornings" and then "Tangled" which for some reason has been great
at every show and then when you think it's gonna end he picks up
the harp and this time it's none of that two-note stuff he likes
to do to start a solo, he's really blowing the harp and it's

"Searching For A Soldier's Grave" came next and for the past two
nights I've been watching what Dylan does with his guitar,
hitting this double rhythmic strum between the verses, but also
answering his vocal with little licks sliding up the neck and
it's just perfect.

"Country Pie" again tonight is a blast, and it doesn't matter at
all if the song isn't probing the lyrical depths because it's so
much fun watching Campbell and Sexton try to outdo each other
playing superb string-bending licks taking Charlie Daniels'
original solo to new heights every time.

A near-perfect "Blind Willie McTell" came next followed by a
killer "Seeing The Real You At Last" and Dylan is savoring every
line and having one hell of a good time shouting out "Oh Yeah!"
at the end of the two of the verses. Throughout the show it's
obvious he's having fun and unlike at Princeton, he 's not trying
very hard to suppress his smiles.

"Trying to Get to Heaven" with Larry excelling on the
jazz-flavored guitar fills, was also quite good, but keeping with
his habit of mixing up all the verses, he didn't (as usual) sing
"Mary Jane's got a house in Baltimore" which of course would've
brought an easy cheer from the crowd.

They roared into "Wicked Messenger" and Dylan is pulling out all
the stops on his phrasing and then getting almost on his knees
for the harp solo. Then after very quick band-member
introductions, they kept the energy with a "Cats In The Well"
that to put it mildly kicked ass.

"Things Have Changed" was a pretty standard version, but on "Like
A Rolling Stone" also of a sudden Charlie Sexton lets loose with
this truly stellar guitar solo, the kind that perhaps hasn't been
heard on that song since a certain legendary show in 1966.

And then once again "If Dogs Run Free," and this time Dylan got
the words all mixed up, but it was still great.  His delivery and
the expressions he makes are simply a riot and at the end of the
song he walked over to Sexton and as he turned from the audience
you could see he was cracking up.

Dylan barely had his Strat back on when Sexton kicked off
"Watchtower," then back to acoustics for "Don't Think Twice"
which was followed by a "Highway 61" for the record books.  A few
years from now when Dylan fans on the net are still arguing about
what's the best live "Highway 61," someone's gonna say. "Towson
Maryland, November 19, 2000."

"Blowin' In The Wind" again featured Dylan ending each line on a
high note, but on the final verse, what Columbia once called "the
emotional wallop" in an early ad for "Freewheelin'" crept in, and
at the end as Dylan went to stand in line, he actually took a
quick bow.

But then, instead of the house lights coming on after the usual
wait, they came back for "Rainy Day Women" which was mostly the
band jamming, followed by the quickest formation ever, it lasted
about 2 seconds.

About 40 minutes later back on I-95 North, I pull into the
Maryland Turnpike toll booth when I notice behind me pulling into
the next tollbooth, a very familiar black tour bus.  I say to
Train, see if you can see the license plate.  If it's Oregon,
it's the band bus, if it's California, it's his bus. Train and
Jody look.  "California."  We pull out ahead of the bus but I'm
driving the speed limit in the right lane giving it time to catch
up. Finally it catches up, I let it pass me then pull into the
middle lane behind it.  We're doing about 75.  We tailed it for
about ten to 15 miles until the driver realized someone was
following him and pulled into the right lane keeping to the speed
limit, I went back to driving 75 though it caught up to us at the
last toll.

"Where the angels' voices whisper to the souls of previous times."  --Bob
Peter Stone Brown

Subject: Towson Review -- November 19, 2000 From: Stombreeze Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 16:02:15 GMT Tearing Up Towson. Bob was wearing the black suit, white shirt and what looked like a silver tie (I was a few rows in front of the soundboard so it was hard to tell if it was a white or silver tie). I couldnāt see his boots from my vantage point, but you know they were cool. Although I wasnāt up on the stage, Bob looked good, even had some color in his face. He didnāt look like he was on the last show of the fall tour (and just got off a two-show night), but looked rather fresh and laid back. Some general comments about the show. Looked like a capacity crowd that was appreciative and definitely into the entire show. Nice (and totally random) mix of people that made for a cool atmosphere. The sound was fantastic, in fact, the best Iāve ever heard. I could hear each and every syllable that he sang last night and the instruments were clear, up front, and blended nicely with Bob all night. Also, itās important to note that Bob added a string, or two to his guitar solos. He played the lead for most of the evening and really played well, it was quite a treat to see him out front playing loud, competent, and strong. To put it simply, Bob was upbeat, in a good mood, and nailed the whole show. Oh Babe, It Aināt No Lie. Nice opener. The guitar work was especially clear, the band meshed from the first note and Bob seemed to be relaxed and focused. Maybe the band warmed up in the parking lot, because they came out on fire. Mr. Tambourine Man. The best version Iāve heard for quite some time. Bob changed the rhythm; it was like he was singing each phrase to a quick 1,2,1,2,1,2 beat. Fantastic! A show highlight already on the second song. Desolation Row. Subtle then groovy then intense then subtle·.The band jammed. Bob was animated raising his eyebrows about every other word. A musical masterpiece, the first three songs were worth the price of admission alone. One Too Many Mornings. Slow and deliberate. Melodic and nicely done. Bob was in rare form and sang each tender note. Tangled Up In Blue. The obligatory 5-spot tore the roof off the sucker. Iāve youāve seen Dylan, youāve seen this a lot, but last night was awe-inspiring. Dylan and the boys played the heck out of this classic and Bob added a great harp solo at the end. The harp seemed like it was going to be well done, but short. But Dylan directed the band (with his eyes) and he kept on going. At one point Bob was whaling on the harp with his knees bent and his right hand out in front of him like he was trying to stop traffic. Nice to see such an extended, intense harp solo, the crowd was really into it. I love the way Dylan has been moving around on stage lately. Heās quirky, but cool. Searching For A Soldierās Grave. Enchanting. Iāve read that some people donāt like the change of pace, especially from an energetic Tangled Up in Blue, but I disagree. This song really showcases the bandās vocals. They sing as one, and sing it like theyāre really telling us about the time they searched for their soldierās grave. Serious yet soothing. Country Pie. Silly, but when youāre Bob Dylan, silly is cool. Nice chance to see Larry and Charlie cut loose a bit. Vocals were clear and the song was a nice upbeat way to open the electric set. I love the Bob draws out the words·Couuuntreeeeeeeeeeeee·..Pie. Blind Willie McTell. Special. Sung clear and with a bit of a funky groove. Even the slower paced songs seemed to jam last night. Bob gave Blind Willie a nice tribute. I still canāt believe how good the sound was in that place, Bob was singing and his voice was so good that I watched people just stare in disbelief. Seeing The Real You At Last. My personal favorite. Fun and funky. Bob loved this one. Nice to hear him sing·..Seeing the Real You at Last·..OHHHHH YEEAAHHH! at the end of each chorus. I canāt say enough about this band, they are outstanding and worthy to be up on the stage with the Grand Master-D. In fact, I think these guys bring out the best in Bob, itās a nice team effort. Tryinā To Get To Heaven. New arrangement is tender and emotional. Didnāt think I would like it as much as I did. Another chance for them all to showcase their talents. Bob did this one with so much emotion, I felt like I wanted to scream out·.Donāt worry Bob, I wonāt let them close the door, youāre going to make it! The Wicked Messenger. Energetic and nice (although short) harp solo. Seemed to resemble the new arrangement of Drifterās Escape. Another nice song to let the guitar players play. Catās In The Well. Nice groove to this entire song. Really liked the way this one sounded. Formation! Bob and the band stand there and soak it up. The crowd goes nuts; Dylan fidgets a bit and then places his hand on his hip·.pure nobility. Not arrogant, but proud. I think Bob may be wrong, last night, dignity could have been photographed. Encore 1 (yes·they would be back of another). Bob stayed off the stage a little longer than usual. Things Have Changed. Slower and a little more bluesy than the album. I think it was similar to the version that I heard from Anaheim. I remember it being really purple. Iām not fooled, I think Bob still cares, in fact it seems as if he cares more than ever. Like A Rolling Stone. It felt great. Lights shining out in the crowd, people cheering. A regular, but still fun, even after all these years. If Dogs Run Free. Appreciated. Liked this one a bunch. Definitely sounded like Bob and the boys were on stage at the Airport Ramada Inn. In fact, I think Tony really is Larry the Lounge Lizard. All Along The Watchtower. Hendrix couldnāt hang cause Bob chose to be the rock and roll star last night. Donāt Think Twice, Itās All Right. Beautiful and a little more intense than some recent versions. Bob was animated and the boys sounded fantastic on the acoustic numbers. Highway 61 Revisited. Chuck Berry doesnāt get down like that. Bob rocked!. Blowinā In The Wind. Great closer. The band sings this one nicely. Bobās guitar was great and it was hard to believe that the show would be over. It wasnāt. Formation for a while, then the lights went out and the crowd got louder and louder. After what seemed like an eternity, Bob and the boys came back and the crowd was so loud I thought the cheering was going to set off the fire sprinklers. Encore 2 (Canāt believe he came back out·really, really cool). Rainy Day Women #12 & #35. Crowd really enjoyed this one. Upbeat, nice sing along song to get people going. Band was happy. Bob and Tony were laughing back and forth and went off the stage patting each other on the back. Overall, this was the best show Iāve ever been to. Bob was upbeat and having fun. The sound was out of this world crystal clear (Iām sure that some high-quality tapes will be circulating from this show ö please let me know if you have one because Iād love to get a copy), and the appreciative crowd made this truly an evening to remember. Thanks Bob! It was a privilege that I will cherish for some time. Rich
Subject: Re: Towson Show From: Barclay Reynolds Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2000 08:13:40 GMT This was Bob and the fellas in the band at their absolute best. A quirky set list, great vocals with marvelous phrasing and they never missed a beat. All of them were having great fun - with each other, the audience and the songs. Charley, Larry and Bob all cut loose with their playing. Bob even broke out the harmonica for a great solo during Tangled. Bob was mugging with the crowd right from the start - at one point he appeared to be talking to some of the folks up in the very front! I mean they even returned for one more romp after Blowin' and the formation! A very rare event during this recent phase of his touring. And as they left the stage at the very end - with Bob having turned back for another bow to the overwhelmingly appreciative audience - Tony hugged Bob as they passed each other. It was a wonderful moment after such an intense show. I'll leave a song by song break down to some one else, but this last show of the tour at Towson emphasized that you never know when a great show might pop up so you gotta see as many as possible. Also that made fifty one songs between AC and Towson - what a marvelous buzz! Thanks Bob .... Barclay
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