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Bob Dylan 2001.11.24 in Boston

Subject: Boston review (long)
From: Glynne Walley 
Date: 25 Nov 2001 00:50:13 -0800

Thoughts on the afternoon of the show, part one:

I've only been in Boston a few months, but that's been long
enough to pick up on one time-honored local tradition: 
resentment of New York.  At first I thought it was primarily
a baseball rivalry¸Red Sox fans hating the Yankees¸and I
found that attitude pretty congenial, as a longtime Orioles
fan.  But I think it goes deeper:  I begin to suspect that
it has something to do with the nation's first big cultural
capital and metropolis never having quite forgiven New York
for eclipsing it.  I could be imagining things, of course: 
I've only been here a few months.

But if it's true, I can understand it.  I feel kinda guilty
saying anything negative about New York and New Yorkers this
year, but then again Mayor Giuliani wants us to get back to
normal, and normal to me includes resenting the way New
Yorkers and (especially) the New York-based media make
everybody else in the country feel like victims of some
horrendous karma not to have been born in, or not to be at
least living in, New York.

That may seem like a pretty strong charge to make, but think
of how many movies, books, television programs, songs, and
other cultural products are explicitly set in New York City.
 It's out of all proportion.  There are 270 million people
living in the US, and believe it or not, most of them don't
live in NYC-

I usually have a lot of fun thinking such thoughts as these.
 It's one of my favorite pastimes:  arguing against New
York's cultural hegemony gives me the same sort of hopeless
pleasure as rooting against the Yankees.  But this season
all the pleasure has gone out of that pastime.  It's no fun.
 I feel bad for what New Yorkers have had to endure this
year.  I feel sick about what happened.  I find myself
sympathizing with the city and its citizens. Hell, I almost
found myself rooting for the Yankees to win the World Series
this year.  (Almost, I say.)

But it's a complicated thing.  Take this week in
Dylanolatry.  Bob played Madison Square Garden on Monday,
and by all accounts it was a fantastic show.  There were
some excellent, transcendant reviews¸both in the sense of
being full of high praise for the show, and in the sense of
being wonderful pieces of writing.  And the consensus seemed
to be that Dylan is in spirit if not in fact a New
Yorker¸with all that that implies (I don't know just what
that implies, but it can't be good news for an Oriole fan).

Now, don't get me wrong:  I'm glad Dylan put on a great show
at MSG, and I'm glad he feels a special affection for the
city, and I'm glad he said things that meant a lot to people
who have suffered a lot this year.  And then, too, I don't
pretend to know how he feels, etc. etc.;  and then, too, it
really doesn't matter anyway.  It's none of my business.

But that's on an intellectual level.  On a gut level-

Is Bob Dylan a New Yorker?  He was born in Minnesota and
supposedly still maintains a residence there.  I suppose
that could make him a Minnesotan. He did live in NYC for
several years in the 1960s, and then in upstate New York for
several more years.  But it's been a good thirty years since
he left, and in the meantime he's been living in Malibu,
right?  Sounds to me like he's a Californian now, if
anything.  He's written several songs that seem to take
place in New York (for example, "Visions Of Johanna"), but
he's written more songs that don't take place there: 
"Highway 61," for example, about a road that doesn't come
anywhere near New York City.  And with all the Harry Smith
and Charlie Patton-type references, the spiritual home of
his work these days seems definitely to be in the
South--maybe a South more mythical than real, but still
recognizably Southern.  And dig:  he's spent most of his
career, and the last twelve years in particular, travelling
to every part of the US and a whole lot of places beyond,
just exactly like a rolling stone.  It really seems like
Dylan has made a career out of *not* being at home
*anywhere.*  "No direction home," right?  He sings it every

And yet he has said all these wonderful things about New
York, about how thrilled he was as a youngster to be there,
and how wonderful it was to be there Back In The Day, and on
and on.  And I believe him.

I'll be honest here:  like a lot of Americans, I've moved
around enough in my life (both physically and spiritually)
that I feel a bit rootless, a bit homeless, a bit of an
Outsider.  I have an emotional stake in the Outsider aspect
of Dylan's music:  it's gotten me through more spiritual
Tight Spots (George Clooney in O Brother Where Art Thou,
caught in a burning barn: "We're in a tight spot!") than I
can count.  If Dylan is a New Yorker, he's in a very
important way an Insider.  And the Oriole fan in me
begrudges him, and New Yorkers, that.

But then, the Orioles have sucked so hard for so long that
the Oriole fan in me is just about dead.  I like the
Cardinals these days, which doesn't so strictly require
hating the Yankees, them being in different leagues and all.

Sorry.  Does this make any sense?  Is it totally heartless
to feel this way this year?  Hey, at least I feel guilty for
feeling this way this year.

Thoughts on the afternoon of the show, part two:

Took a walk around Cambridge this afternoon, down by the
Charles River, listening to a Dylan mix tape I'd recently
made.  It starts off with "1913 Massacre" from his Carnegie
Chapter Hall show in November of 1961, and then it goes into
"Mississippi" off the new album.  I didn't really have any
plan when I put those two songs on in that sequence, but it
struck me, this afternoon, as a very fortuitous
juxtaposition, lyrics-wise.  The Guthrie song, of course,
tells the tragic tale of copper miners' children smothered
to death, trapped in a locked building while scabs and
mine-owner-types outside trick them into thinking the
building's burning down, panicking them and causing their
death.  "Mississippi"'s first verse laments that "we're all
boxed in, nowhere to escape."  Forty years of age and art
separate these two performances;  in spirit, nothing at all
separates these two performances.

Bob's a genius.

I'm going to see Bob in concert tonight!

Thoughts on the show:

The cool thing is, this isn't baseball, it's not a
competition, and the fact that Dylan gave a great show at
MSG doesn't mean he can't give another one at the Fleet
Center.  So it's with high hopes that I hop on the subway.
It's the last show of the tour, so I figure he can either be
pulling out all the stops, or he can be on his last legs. 
I'm counting on the former.  I will be correct.

My last show was Springfield, Illinois, in August, and that
was the first one I'd attended with a companion in a long
time.  This time, too, I have a friend with me.  A different
friend.  A different city.  A vastly different venue:  that
time was at a vast lonely fairground in the vast lonely
Midwestern night¸in its own way, probably the most
symbolically Right place I've ever seen Dylan.  This time
it's in a big old basketball arena (actually, a big new
basketball arena¸replacing Boston Garden), and immediately
out of the T station at the Fleet Center we're swamped in
this big confused sea of people.  "People with tickets to
the right," they say, but there are no lines, no gates, no
signs, only crowds milling in the most general of
directions, and guys selling bootleg t-shirts.  And it's
already eight o'clock and I'm afraid of missing the opening
gospel-bluegrass number, maybe my favorite part of the show.

But the crowd moves pretty fast, the security check is
alarmingly minimal, and we find our way up escalatorage and
then up more escalatorage past the transplanted Celtics and
Bruins memorabilia and find our seats, and the house lights
are still up and the Nag Champa hasn't even started
billowing yet, so we're fine.

It's my companion's first Dylan show.  But she does have
"Love And Theft." But she hasn't listened to it that much. 
But she wanted to see Bob live. All those buts, when
properly executed, mean that we're primed to have an
enjoyable evening at the Bob Dylan Concert.  And now the
pre-show music starts playing, and it's orchestral again,
but this time it's Aaron Copeland, "Hoedown," which is just
damn perfect for a Dylan show.  House lights down.  Stage
lights up.

I've told my companion that the first thing to expect is
this guy, always the same guy, to say, "Ladies and
gentlemen, will you please welcome Columbia Recording Artist
Bob Dylan!"  And I've told her my private theory as to why
they include the "Columbia Recording Artist" bit.  And she's
kind enough not even to roll her eyes.  And now Brother
Santos says those blessed words, and we're off.

Wowee-zowee.  Bob's in an all-white suit, and I forgot my
binocs and we're far up in the stands so I can't tell what
color shirt he's wearing, but Brothers Sexton, Garnier, and
Campbell are all in maroon suits.  Very, very cool.  Brother
Kemper's in black but he's also all but invisible there
behind his kit, so the main visual impact is Bob in white
and the Outlaw Pips there in their color-coordinated
crimson.  Damn, it looks cool. Curtain back of stage just
like the spring and summer shows I saw.  But the stage
surface is different:  big black-and-white checkerboard
pattern, maybe six or eight feet square for each square,
like some kind of marble floor in a kitchen or a ballroom or
something.  Fantastic.

"Wait For The Light To Shine."  Nice.  I can't even tell you
how much I look forward to these old-timey openers.  Not
just because they signal the start of a fine evening of
musical entertainment, but because they're generally corkers
in their own right.  This band is, among other things, a
top-flight string band, and Brother Campbell and Brother
Sexton provide fine backing vocals, and tonight Bob's voice
blends in beautifully.  Bob's not a great harmony singer,
but he can sound real nice in front of great harmony
singers.  Think of how great he sounded with Ralph Stanley
on "The Lonesome River."  That's how great he sounds here

"It Ain't Me, Babe" is kind of jarring, this early in the
show.  Immediately after that positive opening, he feels the
need (lyrically speaking) to tell us not to depend on him
for our fulfillment.  He's giving us the traditional
kiss-off right up front.  It's a wake-up call, is what it
is.  Vocally, too: it's a searching vocal, trying out
different approaches, different feels, challenging,
sneering, experimenting.  It's not a comfortable
performance, but it is attention-getting, and it is
authoritative.  Bob's in command. And he reaches for his
harp and goes into a long, low solo, huffing and chuffing
away.  Verrry nice.

"A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" is sung with great urgency. 
It's a song that has definitely taken on new meaning for me
Since, and I'm hanging on every word.  It seems like every
one else in the room is, too.  It's a good crowd, at least
from where I sit, and it will get better.  Bob really nails
this one, his voice glinting off of every diamond phrase.

"Searching For A Soldier's Grave."  The volume is higher
tonight than at any Dylan show I've been to in the last
several years, and it doesn't really serve this particular
song well:  the chorus bits are so loud that it's actually a
bit hard to make out the lyrics.  But again the sound is
wonderful, passionate.  Brother Campbell is the man!

Lights go out and I can dimly see them switching to electic
instruments, and then "Tweedleeee Dee and Tweedleeee Dum"
comes scrambling out of the darkness.  This is like a
revelation.  The first live "LAT" song for me, and even
though I had expected it I wasn't prepared for it, if you
know what I mean.  I am once again astounded at how damn
good this band is.  They negotiate the song's rhythmic
wiredness perfectly, right down to an instrumental breakdown
in the middle that's not on the studio version; right down
to those icepick guitar licks.  Meanwhile, Bob's growling,
barking, howling the lyrics like a moonstruck wolf, it's a
beautiful thing, as those lyrics, that psychotic slapstick,
come to life before our very ears.  And the way they end the
song¸stopping dead on a dime as Bob sings, one last time,
the names of our heroes.  Like running into a brick wall:
just that totally efficient a stop.

"Just Like A Woman."  Well, it's only fair to let us all
come down a bit after them Tweedlees, but we don't come down
far.  This is a just exactly perfect performance of this
song, with some just exactly perfect pedal-steel work from
Brother Campbell.  Bob's singing gets stronger and surer as
the night progresses, and I'm lost in wonderment.

And then it's back to the old bump and grind for "Lonesome
Day Blues."  The band seems to shift into some unsuspected
higher gear, to drop it into overdrive, for the new songs,
to play with a certain added measure of zest, or pride.  As
well they should:  "Love And Theft" is as much a triumph for
the four brethren of the backing band as it is for Bob.  On
record this song starts fairly unassumingly, although it
quickly gains in intensity.  Tonight they're whaling on it
from the first notes, and Bob is right there with them,
spitting out those lines with fine venom.

And then a roadie hands Brother Campbell THE BANJO, and I
know what's next, and I'm already whooping.  "High Water." 
It's recognizable as a second-cousin to the studio version,
and a lovable one at that, with the banjo laying out that
same ricky-ticky background rhythm, but it's only a
second-cousin, because Brother Sexton adds some nasty
slide-sounding guitar licks that I don't remember from the
record.  Especially with the basketball-arena reverb hitting
us in the back of the head, it's not as pristine as the
studio version, but it's if anything more ominous.  Bob
gives an unbelievably intense performance on this one, and
I'm in trouble because the show isn't even half over and
I've already used more adjectives and far more superlatives
than anybody should be allowed.  Brother Sexton is the man!

"Don't Think Twice" is its usual self, performed expertly. 
But the intro is new:  at least I haven't heard it like this
before.  They start it off, Bob and Brother Campbell, with
some gorgeous acoustic guitar stuff that I recognize as
"Don't Think Twice," but only barely.  They dance around the
outskirts of the melody , teasing the audience, tantalizing
them, before finally resolving into the song.

"John Brown" was another one I'd expected, but I am
surprised at how different the arrangement was from what I'd
heard before.  It seems to be a very malleable song.  And
it's one most of the audience shouldn't be familiar with,
but they are transfixed.  The place is dead silent.  It's
awesome.  Previous arrangements emphasized the melody or the
musical context, conjuring up a vaguely Civil War-feeling
atmosphere, but tonight it's the lyrics that are at the
center, and Bob is singing carefully so as to allow for no
misunderstanding.  I think everybody in attendance probably
understands every word, and every emotion, in this song

"Tangled" is also its usual self, but I am once again
reminded that I just can't seem to get tired of this song. 
I love to hear it.  It starts off interestingly, as well: 
the stage is lit by a single spot, trained not on Bob but on
Brother Campbell, as he charges into that familiar opening
riff. Bob's standing just beyond the light, letting his
sideman get the glory, before edging in to sing.  But the
real star of this one, for my money, is Brother Kemper:  he
gives the performance great drive, energy, and even joy.
Brother Kemper is the man!  ÷With wonderful illogic, the
lights, which heretofore have been basically white, choose
"Tangled Up In Blue" to turn magenta.

From strength to strength:  "Summer Days" rips the roof off
the joint.  The boys in the band explode into action again. 
More brilliant singing, and at the end it's three lead
guitar players all speaking at once like characters in a
Robert Altman movie.  Golden lights.

"Sugar Baby."  Swirling blue-green patterns on the curtains
behind the band. Brother Sexton perched on the edge of the
drum riser.  All eyes on Bob. Somehow they manage to
recreate the Lanoisish production onstage, and even surpass
it as Brother Sexton and even Bob himself add
heartstring-twanging fills here and there.  And Bob sings
the living bejeezus out of it.  From the first verse, where
he announces that he can see just what his listeners are all
going through, to the last verse, where he tells his
listeners to look up, look up, it's an aching, heartfelt

"Wicked Messenger," more chaotic than it used to be, the
melody line not as clear and the harp break not as piercing,
but chaos here is not a bad thing: it's a rave-up that lifts
the show just one notch higher.  And then it's into
"Rainy-Day Women," shaded just slightly away from the party
anthem it normally is and into the kindasorta-almost
melancholy bluesy thing you can hear it as, sometimes, when
you're in the mood.  Brother Campbell on the steel guitar.

And that's the end of the main set.  I'm transported.  I'm
amazed.  I'm pretty damn happy.

The "encore."  The curtains are open now.  "Things Have
Changed" is perhaps not quite as well done as it was back in
the days when he had his Oscar replica sitting on his amp,
but it's still nice.  "Like A Rolling Stone," "Forever
Young," the usual suspects, performed as nicely as usual. 
"Honest With Me" adds an welcome interlude of urgency
because it's a new song, but that's not to say that the
whole encore isn't enjoyable.  It is.  The main set is
on-the-edge-of-your-seat exciting, as you wonder what's next
and how that will change the story taking shape in your
brain as suggested by the songs as they accumulate.  The
encore is predictable, and you know the story, but it's a
good story, and one worth hearing again and again. "Blowing
In The Wind" with those glorious bluegrass harmonies,
closing the show the same way they opened it.

Except they come back out for another encore.  You could see
Bob talking it over with Brother Garnier as they left the
stage (which means Brother Garnier is the man!). 
"Watchtower," taking shape out of some of the baddest sounds
I've ever heard from an electric guitar, courtesy of Brother
Campbell.  And then "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," and the
concert is really and truly over, and so is the fall tour. 
Happy Holidays, Bob and the Finest Band in the Land.

Me and my companion make our way through the labyrinthine
halls of the Fleet Center/North Station complex, through the
crowds, and outside into the cool night air.  We walk past a
late-night sausage vendor guy (I gaze longingly, she
doesn't¸a vegetarian), spy the crowd jamming the T entrance,
and decide to mill around the neighborhood for a while.  One
Slurpee and thirty minutes of discussing the relative merits
of Michael Jackson's and Prince's respective ╬80s oeuvres
later, we finally manage to squeeze onto a train. ÷She seems
duly impressed with the show and His Bobness.

Bottom line:  this was the best show I've seen Bob give. 
It's only my ninth, so it ain't like I'm an expert, and
maybe it was just the presence of so many new songs, songs I
hadn't seen him play before.  But more than that, it was
just a great, great show.  Every song was right over the
plate, and they knocked every one of ╬em right out of the
infield, and several of ╬em would have made it over the
Green Monster, but for the fact that this was the Fleet
Center, not Fenway Park, and so that metaphor won't work. 
But in any case, it was a great, great show.

Maybe if the Orioles or the Red Sox would actually win once
in a while nobody'd resent the Yankees at all.  Moral of the

np:  Bob:  "Love And Theft"

Newsgroups: Subject: Boston - the end From: karen Date: 26 Nov 2001 09:34:20 -0800 Boston It was the last stop on this amazing leg advertised as "In Show and Concert" Remember how we all wondered, now we know. As speculated by some RMD'ers, it was a 'magic show'after all. We wondered what he'd play from L&T and how they would sound live, now it's been done and we know we were right when we first said these songs are great. They, for the most part, stood the test of tour worthiness and proved interesting new additions to the amazing body of work we all love. Boston is an old haunt but it was my first Bob show there. I had hard boiled eggs and dipped bread (no brains) in a bowl with garlic and olive oil. The crowd added a whole new level of excitement, they know how to throw a Bob party from the first note of Rodeo to the last note of Knockin. Smiles on every face on stage and in the crowd. What a great audience. If it wasn't for the accent and the complete SPORTS infatuation everywhere I'd think I was home in NY. We drove 1000 miles to Bob gigs this week and I was sorry it had to end. Bob seemed to bring us back to reality tonight. The song and dance man of this weeks shows, went back to being the ominous tale teller. MSG and Philly had a rollicking fun feel to the songs and I forgot about the war while I was at the shows those nights. I didn't forget for very long during Boston. I felt like Bob was reminding us again that this ain't Disney World. It's not like he was proselytizing but nevertheless he was telling us how he feels about the war. It was the importance, the tone and image he puts on individual words that gets the meaning across and tonight, to me, it was at times horrifying images. Wait for the light keep looking for the sign. Oh boy, joyful apocalypse written all over it. When he talked about the hard rain that's gonna fall I cried full fledged tears not just watery eyes. Now I've heard this song umpteen times over the decades and must have 50 versions of it, and tonight it got through the shields and I felt it once again. The search for the soldiers grave was intense to me tonight and very moving. High water everywhere, things are bad out there, sliding down and breaking up. John Brown sat before us in his wheelchair and he wasn't pretty to look at and I shook my head in wonder and took this one to heart tonight. It was stunning in Philly and here too. Then he rocked the house with a song that hasn't excited me since fall of '99 TUIB, he did it in the best all out rocking version I've heard from this tour.( it was sad to hear the heading for another joint line, because HE ISN'T) It was instantly followed by an equally hard rocking summer days and I couldn't help but wonder how he had the strength to go all out on both. Sugar Baby - his song has been so wonderful on tour. Wicked messenger brought the ominous feeling back and then he went joyously right into RDW (a song I never wanted to hear again but when it's played like this you just get into it all anyway, especially with THIS crowd) Bob went all out on the guitar Great mood and hamming it up, not at all like the lack luster version from Portland. In Things Have Changed any minute now I expect all hell to break lose came through morosely. I was soon realizing how much I wanted Bob to stay forever young. Blowin - Oh - Blowin the best song ever written by anyone and tonight he sang it and made sure we knew that he still thinks too many people have died. We took a walk on the watchtower and he emphasized the two riders that were approaching and the winds howling and the 11th all came back to me. I was dumb struck by another song that I have heard countless times. Just amazing. And then he left us knockin on heavens door and I was very glad we put the guns in the ground. When Bob attacked the masters of war on this tour he was able to do it without offending anyone or causing people to boo at this delicate time. Speaking of booing, when the men in the audience whoop it up for "the amount of trouble women bring" I say a gentle boo, ya'll don't have to get so much pleasure out of it! Bob, Enjoy your time off and come back soon. We need to hear you just as much now, if not more, than ever before. We have gone through so much in the last 40 years with you and we need you. So long and thanks for all the fishes. Love, Karen
Newsgroups: Subject: Boston 11/24 notes From: David Godlis Date: 25 Nov 2001 11:07:53 -0800 Okay so I saw the MSG show Monday nite. Easily the best arena Dylan show I've seen. Peter Stone Brown nailed it. Then up here to see the Boston show. Gwynne Walley pretty much got that one down. These were essentially the same set lists. I thought the sound was actually better in Boston. Bob's voice was mixed higher and yeah things tended towards distortion. But that's what those 1966 shows were like. Revved way up for the electric stuff. In Boston things started quicker. I thought Wait for the Light to Shine was much better than NYC. And things started with Ain't Me Babe much the same. But much less harmonica tonite after that. Difference for me was that the new stuff really was up a notch in Boston, and conversely the older stuff was just a bit less intense. Big difference also in having the curtain and lighting behind him (see Gwynne descrip)in one sense, but missing that audience behind that he saw when he headed for the harp(hence less harp). Bands burgundy suits - great. B&W tile floor- great. I noticed he dropped Tom Thumb out in Boston and so I expected some later addition. KNockin on Heaven's door was the gift at the end. I gotta say all the encores were great in Boston. Rolling Stone top notch. Things Have Changed ("I'm not that eager, not that eager, not that eager..."). Honest With Me (WOW!) I think there were a couple of flubs in Watchtower but "you and I we've been through that". No big deal. Really a treat to hear the revamped Knockin', and perfect way to end the tour. Hail Bob!
Newsgroups: Subject: Boston 11/24 notes From: Greg Tuft Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 15:01:09 -0500 Hi. A few notes about the show last night. The sound was the loudest I've ever heard at a Dylan concert. At first Bob's voice came through kinda muddy, but they cleared that up pretty quickly. I hope the trend continues, 'cause it really added immediacy, and to some extent, intimacy to the performance. By that I mean that the volume kept you focused on the music. I have a tendency to be distracted by cell-phoners, seat moochers, and dancing ladies of all shapes sizes and ages, and the volume helped me focus on the main event. I was still aware of the other stuff, but it didn't intrude. Being mindful of the tendency to overstate things (as pointed out by someone earlier), I'll claim only one performance as a personal 'best ever.' That would be John Brown. The audience was indeed silent and rapt, the cell phones pocketed, the seat moochers frozen, and the cute dancers converted momentarily to wallflowers, all intent on following the story of John Brown and his mom to its chilling conclusion. The singing was incredible. Really. Other highlights for me included: * Highwater: Whereas the other LaT soungs were pretty true to the studio versions, this song has much more of a groove live. Really funky! * Tangled up in Blue: I'm pretty tired of this arrangement, but it worked last night. The Fleet Center appeared to be full and the whole place erupted when the familiar intro rang out and then again when the band shifted into overdrive after the first 'tangled up in bluuuuuueeee'. I'm not sure if it will be as effective on the field recordings, but in the moment it was cool. * Sugar Baby: Very true to the CD, but somehow better. For some reason I always wince at the line "you ain't got no brains no how" (and yes, I know the narrator is just lashing out, trying to rationalize the situation ). Anyway... It's less of a speed bump live. * Forever Young. Very well sung. General Thoughts: * The LaT songs received the most attention, in the vocal department. * Some of the warhorses seemed, in my estimation, a bit halfhearted (Rolling Stone, Rainy Day Women). Of course, I listen to many more field recordings than the casual concertgoer, so it's probably just me. * The jettisoning of the standard pause between encores (and the attendant lighters, bellowing, footstomping, etc.) was much appreciated (by me, at least). It really seemed to me like they were chomping at the bit to be playing again, each time. * I love the little shuffle he does when they do the formation. Again, he can't hold still. * I think the two and a half hour concerts did affect the voice last night. It was really cracking in places he'd normally sail right through. Of course, he integrated it quite nicely into the act. * Great crowd, at least from where I sat. * Loved the classical intro music! That's it. I enjoyed it thoroughly and really felt I got my money's worth (all that and more and then some). In addition to enjoying the performances in the moment, I really think that the experience of seeing Bob Dylan live is still (even after 20+ shows) a very special thing. I don't think many of us would turn down the opportunity to see Louis Armstrong or Django Reinhardt play today, given the chance, right? Same thing here... It's just that the resource is so abundant at the moment that it flies under (over?) most peoples' radar screens. Greg
Newsgroups: Subject: Boston: The town that almost ruined great show From: Joshua Fisher Date: 26 Nov 2001 17:57:03 -0800 Boston was my third show in Massachussets since 1999 and the audiences continue to get on my nerves. Can any of you up there relax and enjoy the show? can you sit or stand for just one song without climbing over people to get a beer? It had never been harder to enjoy a show ¸ a great show at that ¸ then it was on Saturday night. I'm from southwest Connecticut, a convienient area to be ¸ bob visits many venues in the area. The shows I've seen in New York, New Jersey, Maine, Columbus, Pennsylvania, New Haven and Hartford (many of the towns more than once or twice). And these placed all had crowds that know how to enjoy a concert. In Mass. everyone has a chip on their sholder or an empty glass to fill. I was on the floor (section F). Bob came on around 8:15 (according to my watch) and people were still trying to find their seats at 8:45. Come on people. Your tickets say 8 p.m. be courteous and show up on time, especially when you have floor seats and espescially for bob. Then once these people sat down many Bostonians decided they were thirsty. Instead of being able to concentrate on bob i had to move my head left and right as drunk guys stumbled through the rows to make their 3rd, 4th, 5th (how many songs did bob play? 22?) . . . 22nd trip to the consession stand. If you are going to spend so much time refilling your mug you should hang back or stay home or hit up cheers. you may be more interested in beer, but many of us were a little more interested in the living legend standing on stage. And was this an opera or a rock concert? For those who stayed in their seats, they stayed in their seats. If people want to get up and dance and enjoy the show let them. if you cant see because someone infront of you is having a good time on their feet, maybe you are missing something. I got very sick, very quickly of listening to people yell "sit down." My friend, who i picked up from Providence College on the way up, and I are both more used to New York area crowds, who get into the shows. Who cares if the person infront of you is dancing, that's an excuse to get on your feet. My brother and I have a philosophy: If bob is on his feet, you should be on yours. One more thing: rythmn clapping. Sometimes it is fun, like during LRS. But one of the last songs that calls for this action is "John Brown." Were you listening to the words? Luckily it did not catch on in the entire arena, and i think it was for good reason. The show was great, probably one of the best i've seen. it is strange because some of the best shows i've seen have been in Mass. the best was Lowell last november. does anyone remember hattie carroll? i could have died when he finished that. But just think how great these shows would be if the people around you were fun? When you gonna wake up boston? I hope you do it soon. jF
Newsgroups: Subject: Tangled Up In Boston!!!! From: The Freewheelin' Josh Zitta Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 16:22:45 GMT First show last night, i couldn't believe that Bob Dylan could ever look so REAL. I kept waiting for him to disappear in a flash. From the moment he walked out in his wonderful vanilla ice cream suit he was grooving. I've never seen anyone walk cooler in my life. It was some insane crossbreed between cowboy swagger and Little Richard strut. He didn't make a move all night without throwing in some little twist or juke. Maybe it's because he was in a basketball arena, but he definitely brought his moves last night. He seems so proud of his knee twist too, every time he nailed a lyric, or hit a great guitar riff the knee would start swinging and it was swinging alot last night. At times it looked like both knees were in on the act. Musically he was on right form the start, Wait for the Light to Shine was very similar to the version i've heard on bootlegs, but it was exciting nonetheless. Just the fact that I was THERE was more than enough. It Ain't Me Babe was a nice surprise, I've never heard him sing it like that before. A lot of times throughout the night he changed the delivery to compensate for the changes in his voice. Amazing to hear. The harp solo at the end was interesting, kind of chugged along. I almost jumped out of my seat when i saw him going for the table behind him. Hard Rain's A-gonna fall was bar none the best version I have ever heard. his voice grew in strength as the song went along. Soaring up to sing the chorus, riding along on the wave of the instrumentals which were dead on all night. Searching for A soldiers grave was good, it didn't really do ll that much for me. Very well done though. Bob seemed to be enjoying himself more and more as the night went along. The first electric set was great. The band was so tight, it's so exciting to actually see them play, it's alot easier to tell who's playing what. Bob's wild when he does his little guitar solos, he starts bending his knees and twisting around. Tweedle Dee blew the album version away, Just Like A Woman was exquisite, Lonesome Day Blues was out of control, he was twisting and growling into the mic, the old songs are always wonderful, but he's so into the new material it adds something to the performance. I saw a lot of high fives around me when Larry picked up the banjo, High Water was a little different than the album version, it seemed more chaotic than the album version, with some subtle lyric changes throughout. I like the drive of the released version, but this arrangement seemed to suit the lyircs better. Don't Think Twice was for me the highlight of the evening. The acoustics were so gentle on the intro, they flirted for awhile with the melody of the song, familiar but very different. The song got a huge response from the sellout crowd after each verse. He plays with his voice so well now, completely aware of it's limitations and using them to his full advantage. Great rendition. John Brown was tight, i don't know how many people recognized it but everyone was rapt throughout. Very powerful and impressive. Tangled Up In Blue had everyone up and cheering, i wasn't overwhelmed by the singing on this one, it's one of my favorites so I might be overcritical, but the long instrumental at the end made the song work. They played the acoustics louder and faster than some of the electric songs. The acoustic section is definitely where Bob's playing strength is. The rest of the main set was electric, literally and figuratively, Summer Days had Tony spinning the big standup base and Charlie and Larry tearing into the song. Sugar Baby was incandescent, the lyrics just shimmered and floated down, lingering after each verse. Something went worng during the ahrp solo at the end of Wicked Messenger, Bob was having problems, something was wrong with the volume or his mike, towards the end he pointed to something (amp?) and then kind of abandoned the song. Rainy Day Women was fun, he did the band intro "Best Band in the Land" in kind of a sing song voice. I think the encore was similar to the ones he's been doing all tour, Things Have Changed was so-so, the corus was strong, but the verses were mumbled. Like a Rolling Stone, always a pleasure in any form, they would sweep the crowd with the spotlights radiating out in a wave when he sang "How does it feeel!" Made me feel special when the light hits you. Nice touch. Forever Young, solid, very tender. Honest wiht Me rocked. Blowin' In the Wind was superb, nice little guitar bit at the end. All along the Watchtower was LOUD & FAST, they ripped the song apart just cuttting loose. Lots of fun. Bob took a bow and pointed to a few people, then after consulting with Tony they came back for Knockin' on Heavens door which is just sublime in the new arrangment. Wow. During the course of the show Bob was eveything he has ever been and everything he is now. His list of influences has grown to include even himself. He looked so proud of the new songs last night and sounded more than sincere when he proclaimed that his band was the best band in the land. I think the reason he keeps his head down and does all the twisitng and jiving is that if he looked up at the crowd he would be grinning just as big as the rest of us. He has to keep his up his facade of cool detachment. He tries to hide the fact that he is absolutely beside himself with glee. Imagine him dancing and carrying on like this during the 60's. His faithful fans would have been mortified. After all these years, he's up there having just as good a time as the ret of us. I feel I can say now that I have seen Bob Dylan in his prime. (One of the many primes) Last night was special. (and they had medium shirts! a major blessing for the tall scrawny distance runners among us) -- Take it easy, Josh ( "How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned"
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2001 08:25:48 -0800 (PST) From: Jason polanski Subject: concert review To: Here's a review of the 11/24/01 Dylan show at the Fleet Center, for your website. It was great seeing Bob again, this time on the Love And Theft tour. The main pre show anticipation, of course, was centered around what the new songs would sound like. The other thing about the pre show It was amazingly present. Lot's of event staff and police walking around and a long line to get in. We acually got to the show early and still missed the first song, which sounded like WAITING FOR THE LIGHT TO SHINE, while we were waiting in line. Bummer. We were escorted to our floor seats as Bob started to play IT AIN'T ME BABE. Very nice performance. Bob's singing was playful, almost to the point of being a parady of his own playfullness. And the harp solo was odd. Not the kind that builds to a peak, but one that spoke of grunge and down home grit. The next acoustic number was A HARD RAINS A GONNA FALL. I saw this once before, but this one was not laid back, not hesitant. Every line was sure the rain would fall as the vocal delivery was raised. Every time Bob sang "hard" you could here rolling thunder in the distance. A rather interesting SEARCHING FOR A SOLDIER'S GRAVE ended the acoustic set. Bob was having fun not singing in harmony. The electric set opened with a dancable TWEEDLE DEE AND TWEEDLE DUM. The laid back crowd had yet to come to it's feat, but I danced anyway and had fun!! Next was JUST LIKE A WOMAN. I noticed he's been playing harp a lot on this song, on this tour. Not tonight, though, as this would be the first real great lead guitar from Bob. He played a four minute solo to end the song. He was into it. No need to carry the solo with the harp when his guitar is so good. I was then very suprised as he went into LONESOME DAY BLUES after seeing that he played it in Portland. I really did want to see it though. I was concerned that it would be hard to improve on the album performance which I consider to be one of Dylan's greatest moments ever. Tonight the jam's were longer and the growl was harder. It was simply great. HIGH WATER started to get the crowd going. Larry on banjo. Dylan in some Leadbelly Crossroads Robert Johnson state of mind with the devil hanging out in Blind Lemon's grave and Cuckoo birds flying around. An average version of DON'T THINK TWICE ITS ALRIGHT started the second acoustic set. Dylan again opting for great lead guitar jams at the end. JOHN BROWN was intense. The band really played behind against and with Dylan as he went through this war story choosing his jams carefully. Next was TANGLED UP IN BLUE, just in time to get the crowd dancing. Dylan was fired up and having fun. The end of this song was the first amazing highlight of the night. Bob played lead guitar for a long time reaching a peak that could never be orchestrated or planned, but a single amazing moment of inspiration by the unlikely guitar hero. SUMMER DAYS kept the crowd dancing. This time Dylan let Larry play the leads I think Larry was trying to out do Bob here. Sounded good. Bob really belted out the line "everybody get ready to lift up your glasses and sing". The next song was a little breather in the action. Bob sung SUGAR BABY with a careful clarity not given to the rock songs of the evening. The crowd reacted to several lines with applause. Then WICKED MESSENGER hit the opposite extreme. A tight version throughout the verses, but they started jamming at the end and Bob ended up picking up the harmonica at the end. RAINY DAY WOMEN closed out the first set. Bob sung a third verse of lyrics which seemed pretty improvised, but I can't remember them exactly. He also introduced his band, "the greatest band in the land" during the jam. No getting stoned though as security was tough. The second set/encores opened with THINGS HAVE CHANGED. About halfway through the song, Bob started really getting into it. This turned out to be an intense version. He even repeated the line "I'm not that eager" three times! LIKE A ROLLING STONE was next as it pleased the crowd. Dylan sang it very anti climatic. Acoustic guitars again and I got to hear FOREVER YOUNG for the first time in 25 shows. Thank you Bob. It was sung in the low to high vocal style. Next was what I would consider to be the highlight of the night. Bob sang HONEST WITH ME with a vocal delivery and intensity I have never witnessed. It was like a style that I've only heard on bootlegs from 1974 except he went every where. Low to high, growls to melodies, spoken lines to absolute release. Please listen to this on tape or CD if you can get it. BLOWIN IN THE WIND kept the crowd standing, clapping and cheering. A punk version of ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER followed. I couldn't believe the second guitar solo. I heard this crazy riff being played and I looked and noticed that it was once again our guitar hero: Bob. KNOCKING ON HEAVENS DOOR closed out a great set. Can't wait for the 2002 tour!!!! Jason __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Buy the perfect holiday gifts at Yahoo! Shopping. Seth Rogovoy's Boston review
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