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Bob Dylan 2001.10.09 in Medford

Subject: Re: October 9, 2001 - Central Point, Oregon - setlist
From: Drewlsmith 
Date: 10 Oct 2001 10:10:34 GMT

hey everybody,
i just got back from the 4 hour drive after the show. it's late and i
must go to bed, but here it is.

mississippi was obviously the highlight. it was very simiar to the
album version with larry playing slide. bob's vocals were outstanding.
a lot of confidence as the song progressed. everything you could want
and more. and it is my favorite off l&t. however, i think sugar baby
might have been the best live performance i've ever seen. the other
three l&t songs were likewise incredible. tweedle dee especially.
visions was substantially slower and softer. larry was finger picking.
the harp solo at the end made it. girl from the north country and
tambourine man (first i've heard since towson that isn't trying to
sound like towson) were also great.

the whole show was magnificent. oh and larry played pedal steel on i
threw it all away, not slide. but he did play slide on mississippi and
honest with me.
good night,

From: "Michael Smith" To: Subject: medford review Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 11:20:24 -0500 Last night was my thirtieth dylan show (since 1989) and i would say it was the best. First of all, because it was a GREAT show; secondly, because it happened last night. My friends and I had to drive about 3 1/2 hours north to get to the venue and when we arrived we knew the show would be something special. It was held at an indoor "fairgrounds" - a place that resembled a large barn with a dirt floor and bleachers in the back. There was a very high percentage of casual fans in the audience - people who I felt probably saw every big rock show to come to town - and even though they didn't recognize the new material, they were respectful just the same. Wait for the Light - The first thing I noticed when Dylan took the stage is that he has a new acoustic guitar (almost all black). The second thing I notice is that he has a small white scarf tied around his neck as if it were a tie. The rest of the suit was white and the knee-length buttoned-up coat looked real sharp. This is another great opener - like Hummingbird or Hallelujah, I'm Ready to Go - jaunty, upbeat, bluegrass. And knowing that he's opening all the shows with this one, it was hard not to hear it as an optimistic message to America in the wake of 09/11. Harmony vocals by Larry and Charlie and Larry on mandolin. Mr. Tambourine Man - This is the best version I've heard since Towson and the first one I've heard since then that doesn't imitate that performance's outrageous ahead-of-the-beat-phrasing. Terrific vocal nonetheless and and capped off with a harp solo. It's Alright Ma/ Searching for a Soldier's Grave - Solid versions of familiar songs from the past two years. Tweedle Dee - Yes! What an indescribable thrill I had when they started this song: to hear brand new material by the band that played it on the album. Great playful vocal by Bob. Charlie played the main riff as well as the harmonics. Powerful drumming by Dave who was pounding on something other than his kit to get that bongo sound. Bob sang the final line of the song as "Tweedle Dum said to Tweedle Dee" but the band abruptly stopped after Bob sang "Tweedle Dum . . ." so that he sang "said to . . . " a capella. Then the band came back in for the final "Tweedle Dee". Very dramatic. I Threw it All Away - This was a first timer for me and it was also very well done with lots of "WEEEEEELLLLL, I threw it all away's. Larry was great on pedal steel. Mississippi - It's not often you hear a live debut of a Dylan song, much less one of his greatest songs, so when they played the intro to this I went into a state of shock. This version was absolutely astonishing. Larry played slide guitar, which sounded much more prominent than the one on the album. Charlie and Bob played electric guitars and replicated the album's mandolin riff, which they played twice at the end of each verse. The singing was every bit as moving as on the album - with Bob cutting loose and singing his heart on lines like "Don't even have anything for MYSEEEEEEEELF anymore" and "I'm gonna look at you Ītil my EEEEEEEEEYEs go blind". What else can I say? It was all that and more and then some. Summer Days - Great fun. Like the previous L&T songs, most of the crowd around me didn't seem to recognize this one but this was the one they responded to the best. Everybody was movin'. Larry played the intro riff. As with Tweedle, Bob's vocals were even more playful than the album. Tony on upright bass. There was an extended jam in the middle of the song as the three guitarists huddled together and rocked out. Masters of War - Solid version. Got a big response from the crowd. Girl of the North Country - As gorgeous and tender as a bruise. Very soft and lovely singing by our man. Visions of Johanna - When they started this I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. The playing and singing were slower and softer than the Asheville version from earlier this year but it was incredible just the same. Magnificent harp solo by Bob done in the style of many of his great solos: he blew three notes, waited a few seconds, blew the same three notes, waited, etc. then began expanding on that pattern until they got to the chorus and Bob started blowing like crazy and the whole song exploded in catharsis. Sugar Baby - I'm not trying to be hyperbolic with the superlatives but sometimes only superlatives will do; this was flat out the greatest thing I've ever heard. Before this tour started it was the last song L&T song I imagined Bob playing but just a few notes into it and I'm thinking, "Of course, of course!" Bob, Charlie and Larry all on electric guitars, Tony on upright bass and Dave played the cymbals with mallets during the chorus. They all played very softly and the sound they created was very ethereal and beautiful. As great as the album version is, this one was better. Another tremendous vocal by Bob and the crowd was hanging on every word. There was one minor but crucial addition to the lyrics (complete with pregnant pause) that I found fascinating: "There ain't no limit to the amount of trouble women bring . . . BUT . . . love is teasing, love is pleasing, love not an evil thing." Spellbinding. Tombstone Blues - I keep waiting for a filler song to come but it never does. Great rocking version. Drifter's Escape - As someone noted of Wicked Messenger at an earlier show, this seemed a lot louder than usual. Bob played back-to-back ragged-but-right guitar and harp solos to finish it off. Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat - Everyone onstage had a blast during this song. Big smiles all around. Bob introduced the band midway through the song and they've now graduated from "some of the finest players in the country" to "the best band in the world". Indeed. Formation and two minute break followed by: Love Sick - This song always sounds great to me and I'm glad he hasn't abandoned TOOM from his live show. Appropriately menacing twin guitar solos from Bob and Larry. Like a Rolling Stone - The same "slow" version from last tour. I Shall Be Released - Very nice. Something totally magical happened at the end of this song; throughout the song, Bob and the guys had been singing the chorus call-and-response style. When they get to the final chorus Bob steps up to the mic and sings "Any day now"! Charlie and Larry then sing "I see my light come shining". Bob then sings very rapidly, "I-see-my-light-come-shining-from-the-west-down-to-the-east", just before the boys can follow up with "from the west", etc. This was a great example of Bob screwing up and then saving it by doing something so marvelous that the result was much better than if he hadn't screwed up at all. Honest With Me - As I expected, this has taken the place of Highway 61 as the big encore rocker and it's a breath of fresh air. Larry on slide guitar, though it sounds less prominent than on the album. Also as expected, this turned into an extended instrumental big guitar rave-up with lots of mugging from Bob. Again a terrific vocal - with Bob really milking the lines for comedy in a way he doesn't on the album. The "hunting bare" pun wouldn't have been lost on anyone if you get my drift. Just before the conclusion of this song, Bob stopped playing guitar and very obviously and affectionately pointed at someone in the crowd with his index finger. Would like to know the story on that one. Blowin' in the Wind - A nice familiar finish to an astonishing, breathtaking show. I don't know how Bob's show can continue to get better from year to year and tour to tour but that's exactly what it's been doing. If anyone is reading this and has been contemplating going to see Bob, just DO IT; you won't regret it. The new material alone is worth more than the price of admission. See y'all in San Fran! Michael
2001: February - March - April - May - June - July - August - October -