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Bob Dylan 2001.04.25, Cape Girardeau

Subject: Cape Girardeau 4/25/01 review
From: Glynne Walley
Date: 28 Apr 2001 11:48:08 -0700

Hi, y'all.  I wrote a review of the Cape Girardeau show.  It's
kind of long, but I hope you enjoy it.


So I'm strangely high all day.  I've never seen two Dylan shows
in a row, and I'm really looking forward to the second one,
knowing it will be a different experience from the first one,
but wondering just how different, considering that I know how
it's going to end.

Traffic out of St. Louis heading south isn't nearly as bad as
heading west, so I make pretty good time÷straight down the
Mississippi on I-55.  Keep going on it and you hit
Memphis·unfortunately there's no time to go that far this time. 
But Cape Girardeau is about halfway there.  It's about 110 miles
south of St. Louis, and I keep expecting the signal from good
old KDHX to give out, but it really doesn't until I hit the Show
Me Center parking lot. Amazing.  So I get to head South on the
beam of their Wednesday drivetime blues show, which today is
playing a trunkload of scratchy old Atlantic/Atco 45s:  Big Joe
Turner, Ruth Brown, Ray Charles, and a lot of vocal groups named
after birds.  Incredible stuff, on a burgeoning spring day in
the countryside, with the Mississippi just over them hills to
the left.

I've only lived in Missouri for a year and a half, but I've
never heard of Southeast Missouri State U.  Or the Show Me
Center.  An embarrassing name, though:  I cringe as I type it. 
The website for the center says that the Paducah-Cape
Girardeau-Harrisburg area is the nation's 77th-largest metro
area.  Whoopdedoo.  But as I meander through the town trying to
find the place, it seems like a nice enough burg.  Who'm I to

Already in the parking lot I can tell I'm not the only person
who's made the trek to both of the MO shows:  as I pull in I see
the same bootleg t-shirt guy I saw outside the arena in

The place is another basketball arena, but smaller, and I'm on
the floor this time.  Excellent.  I'm early enough to walk up
near the stage to take a closer look, and the first thing I
notice is the Oscar on the amp.  Plain as day.  I didn't notice
it in Columbia, but maybe my angle was bad÷it's on the amp way
in the back of the stage, next to the one Dylan sets his harps
on. It can't be the real thing÷if it is, then Dylan really
trusts his roadies, because it stays out there after the show,
while they're breaking down the stage.  It's kind of cute that
he's displaying it, though.  He's never done this with any of
his Grammies or anything else, has he?  But he seems proud of
the Oscar.  Not surprising, I guess:  given the number of movie
references in his work you have to figure that like a lot of
American kids he was in thrall to Hollywood as a kid, and not
having chosen acting as his art (we're going to ignore Hearts of
Fire), getting an Academy Award must tickle the kid inside him. 
It would me, anyway.

A nice mix of people again in the crowd tonight.  A lot more
neohippie kids than I'd noticed at Columbia.   I wonder why. 
And then the lights go down, and we're all standing on the
floor, and it's Columbia Recording Artist, Bob Dylan.

"Oh, Babe, It Ain't No Lie."  This is the third time I've seen
him do this song, out of seven shows.  Odd.  No complaints,
though:  I love it.  I love all these folk/bluegrass covers he
does.  I'd be in seventh heaven if he'd release another album of
old stuff.  He's in fine voice again÷when isn't he, these
days?÷drawing out the refrain waaaay past the allotted space.

"To Ramona."  Larry on mandolin, with a great trilled solo.  I'm
close enough tonight to see that Larry has the mustache-goatee
thing going, but not close enough to see whether or not Bob
still has his Vincent Price thing going.  Everybody's in black
tonight except Charlie, who's in a gray suit with a black shirt,
open at the collar, collar plastered over the suit lapels in his
typical Hillary Clinton style.  Tony's in a black coat with
grayish-white stripes down the front, Larry in a knee-length
undertaker coat again, and Bob's wearing exactly what he wore
the night before, it seems, all black, with white piping down
the side of the trousers.  A nebula of unruly gray hair
shadowing his face.

Not only is Bob's band tight as hell, but they look damn cool as

"It's Alright, Ma."  Charlie on dobro, inserting some
gut-twisting fills. Bob takes some solos, and they're good. 
Last night in Columbia he took most of the solos himself, but
they were just the typical search-and-destroy Bob solos. 
Tonight he takes most of them again, but they're a lot more
inspired÷some of his solos are downright excellent tonight.  But
he seems to forget the words momentarily here:  steps up to the
mike midsong, then balks and steps back for another round of

"(Most Likely) You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)."  This is a
surprise. Not too incredibly rare, but I wasn't expecting it.  I
love this arrangement of it.  Very sort of funky/honky tonkish. 
Again, Bob takes the guitar solo, and it's wonderful.  Charlie
is relegated mostly to fills÷and he supplies some that, somehow,
remind me of Garth Hudson's playing on the Before The Flood
version.  The boy's done his homework.  And Bob picks up his
harp on song #4 tonight÷it's a good night.

It's a very different show tonight, I'm thinking.  Last night's
first half told a story (to me at least):  it was a saga, a
novel, all building up to the Tangled/Highlands/Wicked Messenger
triptych.  Tonight there's no storyline (Îcause I don't see
one);  rather it's a series of masterfully-executed vignettes,
each song perfectly realized and utterly different from the one
before.  Fantastic to watch.  In his band intro on both nights
Bob calls them "the finest band in the land," and you can tell
he means it.  And it's true.

"In The Garden."  From the first chords I recognize it, and I
can't believe it.  I love this song, and I don't recall him
playing it recently.  Larry's on pedal steel, and Bob lays out
some really really good solos.  ·This is one of those hot-button
songs, I guess, judging from the amount of debate it's sparked
on the newsgroup in the days since this show, and having
actually been there, seen him do it live, I can't say I'm any
closer to an answer as to what it may reveal about his current
religious beliefs than anyone else.  Here's the deal:  he sang
it with great conviction, passion, and skill.  He also sang
every other song that night with great conviction, passion, and
skill.  And this was a great rendition.  It's a great song. It's
unmistakeably religious, but it's also got that grinding
gospel/blues instrumental part between the verses, it's very
dramatic, and it's a well-written lyric.  It lends itself well
to live performance.  In short, there's a million reasons for
Bob to sing this song in concert today that have nothing to do
with Christianity÷as well as a lot of hypothetical reasons that
may.  The fact that he can put this song across every bit as
convincingly as "Desolation Row" the night before (which I think
is just about his most existentially despairing of songs) tells
us, definitely and beyond a shadow of a doubt, one thing and one
thing only:  Dylan is a helluva singer.

"To Be Alone With You."  From a song of the utmost sacredness to
one of the most joyous profaneness.  It's a truck-drivin' song
in this arrangement÷another fine vignette÷Larry's on fiddle now,
brilliant, excellent solos.  I won't even try to describe Bob's
singing:  gone are the days, it seems, when he could sound
uninterested in a song.

Back to acoustic instruments for "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall." 
It took me a long time to understand why so many people love
this song÷I feel like I'm just discovering it these days.  The
crowd response is phenomenal, though: lots of singing along with
the chorus.  I remember he played this in the first Dylan show I
ever saw, in '88, and my friend was bitterly disappointed
because he wasn't hitting the high notes that he did on the
record.  Well, he isn't hitting them tonight, either, but he is
singing awfully well.

And he does choose to hit some high notes in the last verse of
"Tangled," which is next.  He nails every verse on this one, in
fact, (although it's probably just my imagination that he seems
to take special care with the "Montague Street" verse which he'd
missed a couple of lines on in Columbia). More great guitar
solos from Bob, and a rousing harp solo.  Just before he puts
the harp to his mouth, he leans over and whispers something in
Tony's ear÷wonder what he said.  Maybe complimenting the
band÷they're really laying it down on this song, a nice jam at
the end, David playing throughout with a really Big Beat.

"Soldier's Grave."  A pleasant surprise, since this seemed to be
part and parcel of the format of last year's shows, and to have
been retired, more or less, then.  A treat, in my book, to hear
to Old Songs in one night.  A nice, gentle breather after
"Tangled."  I've decided I really like this tour's pacing÷3
acoustic, 3 electric, 3 acoustic, 3 electric÷better than the old
6-6 format from last year.  There's more of a feeling of variety
to this arrangement, and the show seems to last longer;  also
more variety in terms of instrumentation÷a lot of semiacoustic

"Maggie's Farm."  I hadn't heard this arrangement before. 
Great.  More enjoyable solos from Bob, as well as some tasty,
twangy fills from Charlie. My impression both here and in
Columbia was that Bob and Charlie really seem to be paying a lot
of attention to each other .  The interplay between all three
guitarists is really fascinating at times.  I think Larry and
Charlie switching sides, though, allows Charlie to follow Bob
more easily÷to play leads when Bob wants him to, and to drop
back and play fills when Bob feels like stepping out.  In the
previous stage set-up, he was kind of behind Bob's left shoulder
and the neck of his guitar;  now, that's where Larry is, which
looks like it works better, as he's providing fewer leads and
fills and more rhythms and textures that don't so much depend on
head signals from Bob, or seeing what he's doing on the
fretboard.  Anyway, that's how it looks to me;  in any case,
Charlies spends most of the show watching Bob, it seems.  And
watching Tony when he's not watching Bob:  I'm finally close
enough at a show to observe a bit how Tony kind of leads
things÷picking up cues from Bob and then signalling the others
when to wind down the song, etc.

That's what I'm thinking about, more or less, as "Maggie's Farm"
winds down and the stage fades to black.  Then the normal
tuning-up/random instrumental noises start to coalesce into
soaring feedback, and all my expectations for "Drifter's Escape"
in this slot are left behind as "Cold Irons Bound" kicks in . 
I'm sure everybody has already said this, but it's amazing hpw
this song has evolved from the studio version.  I haven't heard
any recent boots of it, so this arrangement was a revelation
from start to finish.  The stage is dimly lit, with just
shifting shadows of Bob and the band members projected on the
white backdrop.  The intro is noisy and clattery, but Tony drops
the bassline after just a little bit, and next thing I realize
he's playing a tambourine!  The verses are stripped way down
(which, together with TWM and DE makes this the "stripped-down
verses" slot now, I guess): Bob singing over just David's
drumming and a couple of random chords from Larry and Charlie,
but on the third beat of the line (I guess÷I'm too floored to
count), everybody hits this massive, nasty chord to accent
Dylan's singing.  Then into the refrain, which is just all
massive and nasty chords.  They really open it up on this song,
Dylan rocking as hard as I've ever heard him.  "In The Garden"
was special, but this is probably the high point of the evening
for me.

Then it's "Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat" and into the encores.  THC
with the Oscar gleaming subtly in the background;  all the
anthems, professionally delivered, with "Forever Young" the only
departure from Columbia;  "If Dogs Run Free" with Bob treading
heavily on the diphthongs ("it can pay your bi-yills, it can
cure your ii-yills");  "Blowin'" beatific again, with just a
black backdrop like at the beginning of the show.  Then lights
up, cigarette lighters out, and a short orchestral rendition of
"Yankee Doodle" to tell us all to go home.

Yankee Doodle.  And I'm back out on the highway speeding north,
home to St. Louis, city of (so they say) blues.

np:  Grateful Dead:  Dick's Picks 21


Subject: April 25, 2001 Show review: Show Me Center, Cape Girardeau
From: acffh
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2001 16:46:23 -0500

Bob came out a few minutes before the scheduled ticket time of
7:30 PM taking the stage while classical music played loudly. 
Bob was wearing a

black coat, black pants with the white piping down the leg, and
a black buddy holly-style tie.  I was on the main floor, too low
to see his shoes.  Charlie was wearing a grey suit, black shirt,
Larry had a black coat with a blue shirt underneath, Tony wore a
black jacket with very widely spaced pin stripes, black pants,
black tshir, and his ususal black fedora hat.  Kemper was as
ususal, hard to see behind the drums, but seemed to be wearing
the same black beret cap he's worn all week.

The Show-Me center's floor was solid concrete, very tiring to
stand on for a long time, and its ceiling was all metal, with
gridwork hanging below it for rigging, a very reflective room. 
The seating on the floor was fairly full, but there were empty
seats, the uper sections were less

full than that.  People kept coming up to stand in the center
aisle, but

they were told to find a seat and stay out of the walkway. 
Other details of the setup were the PA system, which in Columbia
MO the previous evening had been comprised of left, center, and
right-side hangs, the Cape Girardeau show had only the left and
right line arrays, augmented again by the small trapezoid
cabinets flown out to the side to

cover a wider area.  The first few rows in front of the stage
were filled in by small trapezoidal cabinets facing the center.

Now, my comments: I took notes during the show, so this is not
from memory, but from those notes.  I also saw the Lincoln and
Columbia shows, so my opinions will be colored by the other
shows I saw this week. 1-2-3 Ain't no lie- Ramona- Bleeding  -
LC on the mandolin for Ramona, again the second song: "Two-
Ramona."  For the Bleeding, Kemper used brushes on the drums,
Tony bowed his upright bass, and CS played the guitar with the
metal resonator on the front.  This is a guitar, it is not a
dobro, Charlie does not play a dobro with Bob, never has.  He

a capo for some songs, but not a slide, and he does not play it
sideways, like a pedal stel or a dobro, I wish everyone would
stop referring to this axe as a dobro.  Bleeding was great, but
at one point Bob approached the mic for a verse, sang half of a
word, then backed off

for another round of guitars before actually singing it.  This
was the only thing like a mistake I noticed all evening.

Now electric: Most Likely UGYW & IGM Bob played a yellow
stratocaster, Larry the cream-colored telecaster, Charlie also
on the tele, his was the Checkered one with the black pickguard.
 Tony got out the red 4-string Lakland bass, he didn't use the
5-string in any of the three shows I saw this week.  Bob
finished the most Likely with a ripping harmonica solo, holding
the guitar in his right hand, and playing harp with his left.

5th we heard a nice rare one, which I had been confouned by at
my first Dylan show, but recognized easily here- In the Garden. 
Larry sat down at the Zumsteel, Charlie used his
sunburst-colored strat, bob stuck with

his yellow one.  The chord progression of In the Garden is very
strange and distinctive, and fits perfectly with the way Bob
solos currently.  A

real treat to hear, and friend told me that the song took her
out of her

body at this show!  Powerful stuff, and had only been played
once in the

last year or more. . .last fall some time. ..  (ann arbor?)

In the 6 spot, Larry got his fiddle working and Bob danced and
smiled during To Be Alone With You.

Number seven (7) was Hard Rain!  Charlie on the Red Gibson
Acoustic Always great to hear. . . A white curtain was lowered
behind the performers at this point, and it looked very
different fron the austrian

curtains they had last year, which was curved in a scalloped
pattern. This white one hangs like drapes, but has a part in the
center, and gives a very dramatic vertical-sweeping effect when
it's lit from the sides.  Bob executed some good footwork during
his guitar solo here.

8-TUIB- gotta expect to see this, even if he does skip it
occasionally! A Nice harp solo was the high-point of this
version, with bob holding his acoustic guitar in his right hand,
then slinging it behind his back for the ending of the solo,
when he used his right hand as if to balance

himself like a surfer- (the reviewer for the cape paper also
noticed this surfer move)  Bob was doing his knee-bending dance,
and played the harp softly and sweetly, before stretching the
notes into a long legato style at the end.

9-Searching for A Soldier's Grave- LC on the mandolin, nice
vocal harmonies.

10- Maggiez Farm. .. Charlie with the Checkered tele again,
larry on the

cream-colored one. . .Bob electric with what would appear to be
his new favorite axe. . .the yellow strat. . . pale, not bright
yellow. ..

11-Cold Irons Bound. . . I never noticed last summer and fall,
but now tony plays tambourine on this song- shaking it during
the start of each verse, the tapping it for the later parts, and
setting it down only after the singing stops, so he can kick in
the big bass sound for the jams. . . Great sparse arrangement,
highlighting David's Kick Drum. Big, bassy and solid- Pablo
Wheeler is a very good sound engineer. (Bob's Front-of-house
mixer) Giant shadows from the footlights played on

the backdrop, making the band appear as supersize sillouettes.

12- LSPBH- that Ol' Box hat. . . Bob makes it sound fresh each
time, even three nights in a row with the band introduction! 
Tony picked up his tabourine and shook it when bob introduced
him on the bass!!  each member gets to take a lick, charlie goes
first, the david, larry and tony. . . charlie using his guitar
like a gun or a pointer to aim at the

soloist. . . end of the set, crowd responds appropriately. .
.for "some of the finest players in the land" Bob on yellow
strat, LC and CS on the

sunburst strats for a three-strat attack. . .

encore set:

13- The curtain was drawn farther up each side of the stage to
reveal the flat screen in the back, but the curtain remained
across the top, forming a tent-like look, or a frame for the
stage.  During the first encore, THC, Deep Red light was
projected on the backdrop.  Charlie on Cream tele with a
checkered pickguard, LC on sunburst strat, Bob on the yellow
one. . .

14- LARS- distorted grid-like rotating yellow and blue gobos
were projected on the flat screen behind the band. . . LC-
Sunburst Telecaster for this song, Charlie and Bob keeping the
same guitars as the song before (if I don't note a different
axe, you can assume that the players didn't switch. . . I only
note the changes for simplicity- well, I try. . .for simplicity
that is. . . einstein said "everythiong should be made as simple
as possible, but NOT SIMPLER" [caps mine])

15-Dogs Run Free. . .CS on the Red Gibson Acoustic, Larry- Cream
tele. .. Bob Acoustic. . .(he plays a sumburst- Gibson ??)
Brilliant medium- blue lights on the backdrop.  Tony played
upright bass, which was carried off the stage as soon as the
tune was complete.

16-Watchtower. . . Larry standing at his yellow pedal steel
apparatus. .

.CS- Cream colored strat with checked pickguard, capoed at the
second fret I think. . . yeah, a strat.  He used it to nice
effect on the solo,

then on the line "wind began to howl" Pablo put a big tight
delay on Bob's voice, making it seem extra-huge!

17- the acoustic encore: Forever young. . . CS- Red Gibson, TG-

four-string fretted hollowbody bass guitar.  Easier to get off
the stage

near the end of the show then the upright. . .

18- HWY 61 revisited/- CS on the blue-green tele with the pearl
pickguard. . . ripping a nice hole in the air with his soloing,
LC on a cream-colored tele. . . Green light on the backdrop
here. . .

19- Blowing ITW. . . CS red gibson, TG- acoustic 4 string again,
bob acsoutic too. . .Larry's acoustic I would guess is a martin.
. . big and

light-colored. . .

that's the tech-talk for the show, So long for now, I'll be back
on tour

for the big street parties next weekend. . . Atlanta, Nashville
(skyline) and Memphis (Blues again)


2001: February - March - April -