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Bob Dylan 950621 in Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Inquirer Review
Date:    Wed, 21 Jun 1995 23:28:50 -0400
From:    "Rufus T.Chintendrils" (zym@CNJ.DIGEX.NET)
Subject: Setlist TLA 06.21.95 Phila, PA.

TLA Setlist  Summer Solstice 1995

8:15 pm
Down in the Flood
If Not For You
All Along the Watchtower
License to Kill
Most Likely You Go Your Way...
Mr. Tambourine Man (*)
Visions of Johanna (*)
Girl of the North Country (*)
God Knows
Never Gonna Be the Same Again

Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Tangled Up in Blue (*)
Rainy Day Women #12 & 35

(*) Acoustic

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 01:13:10 -0400 From: Ragman10 (ragman10@AOL.COM) Subject: Philly June 21 Setlist All I can say is, "Oh my God"...a full review will follow. Here's the setlist (I was front row center and stole Bob's copy off the stage). Abbreviations are NOT original. Caps are what was played Down In The Flood TLA Long Black Coat/IF NOT FOR YOU/ What Was It You Wanted Watchtower License To Kill Drifter's/YOU GO YOUR WAY Silvio Tambourine (a) Visions of Johanna (a) North Country Girl (a) God Knows She Belongs To Me/NEVER GONNA BE THE SAME Unbelieveable Cat's In The Well (Heaven's Door was not listed but was played instead) Tangled (a) Rainy Day Women was not listed but played as a third and final encore Yes, Tangled was acoustic...breathtaking.
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 13:41:50 GMT From: Seth Kulick (skulick@ZEBULON.CIS.UPENN.EDU) Subject: Re: Philly June 21 Setlist "oh my god" indeed! Perhaps in a year or two, listening to a tape, comparing it with other shows around this time, I can be more objective - but probably not. And certainly not now. I've seen 30 or so Dylan shows since 1981, and this was the most intense, enjoyable one that I've ever been to. I'll try to babble some more about the show when I can. I think that we can expect a long, detailed review from Sorabh! btw, there was a guy taping from slightly in front and to the right of the soundboard. I lost him after the show. I'd love to get a copy of that tape, not just because I want a tape of this show, but because there's a chance that that tape might have me uncontrollably shouting "Oh my god!" at the start of "Visions of Johanna". >setlist (I was front row center and stole Bob's copy off the stage). >Abbreviations are NOT original. Caps are what was played >Down In The Flood TLA >Long Black Coat/IF NOT FOR YOU/ What Was It You Wanted this makes more sense than what I posted before - I saw What Was it you Wanted listed on a separate line and so I took it to be a different song slot. It was just eerie seeing Visions of Johanna listed on the setlist. I'm sure glad that I didn't see it beforehand. >Watchtower Ragman10, it looked like somebody gave Bob a book or something at the end of the show and Bob took it and nodded his head and acknowledged it. Did you happen to see what it was?
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 13:48:59 -0400 From: Ragman10 (ragman10@AOL.COM) Subject: Ain't It Just Like The Night...Philly Review There was something very strange about being the first person into the theatre. Granted I had arrived at the TLA at 1:15, a full hour and a half before anyone else, and I was, of course, first on the line, but there was still something very eerie about entering the totally empty venue. That said, I walked straight down to the very front and positioned myself directly infront of Dylan's mic. The stage was not very deep so there was literally two feet between myself and where Dylan would actually end up standing. Then, I waited.

I had been waiting all day. Having taken the train down from NYC, only to arrive and find not only no other fans, but the crew still unloading the equipment trucks, time no longer meant anything to me. The TLA is a renovated movie theatre which holds only 800 people. At 4:00, there were still only ten fans waiting outside.

Dylan took the stage at around eight fifteen. The setlists did not arrive until after the second song. Bob wore black and white patent (sp?) leather shoes, black pants with a white stripe, an undershirt, a black vest, a silver shirt (open but tucked in), and a black jacket. I will not say that he looked ridiculous, but it was quite a site.

"Down In The Flood" started thing off and was quite good. Given my location (right up against Dylan's amp.), I heard his guitar much louder than anything else and I was surprised, throughout the night, not only by how much he solo'd, but how awesome the solos were. From where I was standing, at times his guitar was pretty much all I could hear; and what a treat it was. Anyway, during this song, his singing was strong. There was nothing exceptional, but the song was solid. "If Not For You" followed and Dylan began to show a bit more emotion. Just lookking at his face as he sang you could see the effort involved. Not too much stands out about this song except Dylan's passionate singing. "Watchtower" was "Watchtower".

It is at this point that the show became, in a word, awesome. "License To Kill", while being on of my favorite songs, was simply beautiful. JJ strumming the chords in the background, Dylan changing the phrasing on each line until he found one he liked. The song was slowed down and Bucky's steel guitar was strong in the mix. The audience was silent as Dylan sang. God, I wish he'd do this song more. "Most Likely" and "Silvio" rocked as usual. I could see the setlist from where I was standing (I stole Bob's copy at the end of the show) so I knew that the alternate to "Most Likely" was "Drifter's Escape". While I would have rather heard "Drifter's" , I saw that we were in for other surprises later. "Tambourine Man" was very nice except for people screaming thing out to Bob in the middle. What followed "Tambourine Man" made the night..."Visions of Johanna". A bit slower than 1992 versions, this time without drums in the background. As usual, JJ played the chords in the background as Dylan sang and then solo'd up and down in guitar. I honestly can't remember which verses he did and did nt sing, but I can say that his singing was clear and he did appear to remember the words. I can't get this song out of my head. It not only appeared rehearsed but, if you didn't know, you'd think they did it every night. As fellow RMDer Dan Levy put it on the train home, "If he's gonna play 'Visions of Johanna' every night, I'm just gonna have to go to Europe". It was beautiful. It was passionate. It was that good. "North Country Girl" was next and was just great to hear. Given how often he plays "Boots", this on was a nice change. It sounded a lot like "Boots" but was a bit slower. Also, during it, Dylan played guitar. "God Knows" was "God Knows".

"Never Gonna Be The Same" was very nice. Granted, about 30 seconds in, JJ looked over at Tony and screamed "What are we playing". Bob's gestures during this song were a lot like those during "If Not For You". The singing was clear and, while not particularly loud and strong, very passionate.

The band introductions were long and, at times, funny. Dylan made the Memphis, Ice Tea, Former mayor, and Monkey Wrench jokes (at one point he ever started to laugh.) "Unbelieveable" Followed and was awesome. It sounded a lot like Fuerth, except Dylan did all the solos. He tripped over the lyrics a bit but he still managed to make it ryme. It was upbeat and still sort of bluesy. Dylan did about a six chord sequence at the very end which made JJ turn and smile. After, Dylan slapped five with many people in the audience (Including myself), took a few bows and left. "Heaven's Door" was nice but not special.

What followed again made the evening...acoustic "Tangled Up In Blue". No drums and very slowed down, Dylan sang the lyrics so all could understand. I was in shock and have still not fully recovered. It was one of the greatest things I've ever heard at a Dylan show. It put the electric versions to shame. "Rainy Day Women" followed and was, for me at leaat, anticlimactic.

After, Dylan once again slapped five with everyone in the front (including myself) accepted a book from a lady next to me and a tape from some other guys. When he took the book, he said "I'm gonna keep this one...ok?". It was real cool to see him smiling so much. As he walked off the stage, I realized that the night could not have been any better! Oh yeah, he played guitar during all songs other than "Tambourine Man".

Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 13:58:48 -0400 From: McDade (zym@CNJ.DIGEX.NET) Subject: Re: Philly Show The whole show was absolutely AMAZING!!! "Visions of Johanna' was sublime. I've been waiting years to hear that song performed live. "Mr. Tambourine Man" was seductive with Dylan performing sans guitar, with just the microphone in hand. I'd like to be more descriptive but I'm not very good with words. Rufous
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 19:15:55 GMT From: Seth Kulick (skulick@ZEBULON.CIS.UPENN.EDU) Subject: Re: Philly Show my reaction I have already reported on. Pretty much everybody around me was the same. I've never heard such mass,well, enthusiasim is not the proper word, at a Dylan show. Usually, I'm one of those calm types at a show, taking notes, etc. Last night, I spent so much time jumping up and down, etc., that I noticed at one point, right after Visions, I think, somebody next to me nudged the person next to him and pointed to me saying, "Look at that guy." From where I stood, the first two lines of Down in the Flood were mumbled, but after that everything was totally clear. His singing swooped and sailed, with many Dylanesque turns of phrases. He left out the verse of Visions with "Jeez, I can't find my knees", I think. When he sang "the ghost of electricity", a giant roar followed. It was wonderful. >Where are the TAPES of this show? please let me know, whoever has one!
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 16:08:45 -0400 From: SLOTH9318 (sloth9318@AOL.COM) Subject: Re: Setlist TLA 06.21.95 Phila, PA. Just want to add that he did Mr. Tambourine Man without a guitar, holding the mike like a typical Vegas singer might. I thought he was just having fun, and the slow and clear version of the song was a delight. Also--what the heck did it say on the back of his jacket? It looked like "Lucio Nom Uro (or Uno)." What might that mean? Everyone around me was having a great time, and I thought it was a wonderful concert.
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 1995 20:18:31 GMT From: Eric Rathgeber (eric.rat@IX.NETCOM.COM) Subject: Re: Philly Show >The whole show was absolutely AMAZING!!! Couldn't agree with you more. I had the wonderful fortune of a good friend who showed his appreciation for old boots by taking me to this incredible show. I was not even aware that he was coming to town, let alone to such an intimate venue, when I recieved a call informing me that he had a ticket for me. Needless to say, I jumped on the chance at seeing Dylan with 800 other fortunate souls, and had an incredible time. The whole show was excellent, but the highlight had to be hearing Tangled up in Blue played acoustic. It was almost surreal hearing Dylan in such a small theatre, and I was really impressed by the sound quality. All I can say is does anyone have a tape of the show, if so I would be eternally grateful. :-) BTW, could someone post a copy of the set list, or better yet tapes from 10/21/94 @ the Tower.
Date: Tue, 27 Jun 1995 13:07:54 -0500 From: BGENDLEM (bgendlem@AAAS.ORG) Subject: Philly Show 6/21 Sorry I haven't been able to post for awhile, but skipping out on work for a mid-week trek to Philly cost me time. However, I have read the reviews of the show and I think there's some tinge to them, since only 800 people in the world saw it. It was not nearly as impressive as stated, and aside from the acoustic versions of VoJ, GftNC, and TUaB (which were incredible, worth the price several times over) the show was disappointing for the venue. Certainly that is due to an overactive and unrealistic imagination that he may appear in such a small place sans THE BAND, but even so, his selection could have been better. Half the show was excellent, half was whatever. Mr. Tambourine man was awful to my ears, and the other songs that he did differently could have been good if he didn't end them ALL the same way, and cut the jams in was boring. You go your way was good, but the rest really just had a long jam, followed by the same ending. So don't cry that you missed it, I'm sure you'll hear most of it again (though I hope he never does RDW to end a show again, it was heartbreaking, cheap, and he knew-which saves it a little bit).
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 1995 16:04:28 GMT From: "Sorabh Saxena; Masters" (ssaxena@COE1.ENGR.UMBC.EDU) Subject: Never-*Ending* Review (TLA -- 06/21/95) I thought I had named this review quite aptly as the Never-*Ending* Review, with all the implications taken care of, but jnb pointed out that it might be more apt to call it the Never-*beginning* review. In order not to live up to jnb's expectations, I am posting the first *half* of the review -- sorry, but with my present situation I couldn't do better. "Now its long and winding, and it won't happen pretty quick, and you might not bother to get all the things and all the words, but I will be available afterwards to waste more bandwidth, because, err..because I haven't done it in quite a while.";-) June 18th, 1995 00:45 am EST The answering machine is a wonderful thing. Without it I would not have had the pleasure of being at the Theater of the Living Arts. I had just arrived home after an evening with Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead, and I was looking forward to not going the next evening - more on that on a later day - and just when my weary head was ready to touch the bed while my finger crawled towards that sleek machine -- *A push of the button, and shot the world bright*... announces that there is great likelihood of me getting tickets for the TLA shows! Apart from being forever indebted to the kind souls who helped me --"I couldn't sleep at night for trying..." June 20th, 1995 4:15 pm EST Steven Sickles and I roll out of New Jersey in his Station Wagon and headed towards the city of brotherly (sisterly) love. With lot's of Dylan music loaded in the car, and a great guy like Steven to talk to time was easy passing. The hardest part was yet to come, however, as we didn't have our tickets and were waiting for Bill (non-RMD) to arrive. Standing at the crosswalk from 6:15 pm, time slowly ebbed by. All that was unimaginable was imagined in the intervening hours till Bill finally arrived at five to eight. He handed us the tickets and went back to park his car, as it appeared to have been left stranded in the middle of South Street somewhere. We made our way inside and I met Gary, the t-shirt guy. He recognized me out of sheer overdose and said, "I have seen you around," to which I replied, "I've been around a couple of times." I asked him, "so, what's up with Bob opening for Dead?" and Gary responds,"I dunno, but I think there is too much pressure on him.....he also wants to get the crowd back." Trying not to be too pushy and forcing him to lift his guard, I deftly changed the topic to Bob's performances and commented that they are much better than before, infact the only other period that might compare(with a backup band) was the Rolling Thunder Revue, and could all this be due to the rumors that Bob has quit drinking? Now, if Bob and his crew were seriously against bootlegging, don't you think Gary would have immediately escorted me to the nearest cop? While I was wondering, if Gary ever pondered over my age and came to the rightful conclusion that at the time of the Rolling Thunder Revue I must have been sucking my thumb, he replied, "Well, yeah.... I think he drinks much less now." Just then, without paying any mind to the fact that I might be getting *the* inside story in quite a while, a young kid interrupted our conversation and asked for a t-shirt. Inside, the atmosphere was charged! Everybody knew that it was a special occasion, and mostly, everybody seemed to be relieved that they were finally *there.* A million and one things could've gone wrong -- this whole thing might have been a dream -- but nothing did. I ran into Seth Kulick inside and his face was radiating like a 300 Watts Halogen bulb. He had his pencil and paper in one hand, and was all ready to document this momentous happening for generations to come. We took our place a few steps in front of the soundboard. The crowd nervously clapped in an attempt to end the torturous wait. Closer to 8:15 than to 8:10 pm, a voice with prominent bass announced, "Ladies and gentlemen (why is it that gentlemen always follows ladies??), would you please welcome Columbia recording artist, "BOB DYLAN." The stage lights up ever so teasingly, cymbals are crashing, guitars are wailing, and just when you think that you can't top it, "Crash on the Leveeeeee.....," there's Bobby in his usual *fashionable because un-fashionable* attire. As I discovered the next day - I was much closer to him - that he has atleast three layering of clothes on! Yes, Bobby is painfully thin. It was a decently strong performance but quite a few got lost on this ride along the Levee. I was hoping that they will play some songs from Blood On the Tracks, but Bob started with this familiar riff, and it appeared as if he was trying to serenade the crowd with "If Not For You." As far as I was concerned, this was the low-point of the evening, starting from song selection to performance, nothing was inspiring. The band also seemed slightly casual. "If not for this song, the set list would look pretty good..." "Let's get 'em ol' war horses out of the stable." Something about Watchtower though, it makes you shake and groove from the word go. To qoute Marguerita, who happened to mention in a discussion, "When it works, why abondon (change) it." Or something to that affect. He really has worked it out to the hilt! It clicks every single time for me, more importantly from his point of view -- always get's the crowd going. By this time, I had ambled up front in an attempt to see Bobby's face more clearly. I had assumed, on the basis of what had unfolded till now, that this is going to be just another concert for Bob, and why not? He treated Woodstock like just another concert so shouldn't he let this one also fly by him? With this sound, logical conclusion overpowering my mind, I was ready to predict every song just a few milli-seconds into it, and boy, was I in for a rude awakening -- "License To Kill!" I hadn't heard it live before, and I always had a soft spot for this one back from the heady days during my Undergraduate when nothing was more important than Idealism - " *Aaaah* , but I was sooo much older then, I'm younger than that noww (more on this song, and its performance in the next installment)." I don't think that it was an execptional performance but very nice nonetheless. Surely, much stronger than "If Not for You." Bobby was trying harder to articulate, and stress upon words. "May be a actor in a plot..." verse had very impressive phrasing, if I remember correctly. Hitherto, no unbelievable singing in terms of stretching his voice to the limit. The musical arrangement didn't leave much to desire (I'm still talking by negating the negative... if you know what I mean). "You go Your Way, I'll Go Mine," was a pleasant hearing experience. The band members were working harder, and Bobby's phrasing was get better, but I don't think his heart was still quite into it. He didn't seem to be having a great time. Was in one of his darker and sombre moods, and this song seem to suggest the same. However, with Bobby you never know -- in the light of the next show, it might have been only because there wasn't a pretty damsel standing within his very limited visual range! I think Silvio is so much liked by him for its theme. Notice the similarity: "Silvio, silver and gold won't buy back the beat of a heart gone cold" "All the money you make will never buy back your soul" "You won't take nothing with you when you gooooo" (might not be exact) I am sure many more similar citings can be made by researchers. The three songs that I qoute from are regularly performed in concert. It appears that one of the strongest thread in his life has been his belief in the other-worldly quality of life, far away from the ephemeral and shambolic nature of material objects, symbolized by money. I think, its not only his belief, but ironically, his succumbing to temptations (at times) himself which makes it all the more necessary to *say* these words and sing these songs. Another phrase which might be attractive to Bob is, "I'll go down to the valley and sing my song, let the echo decide if I was right or wrong" Strains of,"If you don't like me just leave me alone"..... "Who are you, that I should have to lie?" Only he knows (maybe not?) what he like most about Silvio, I present the working and re-working of this song alone as a challenge to all the critics who think that Bob was never very musical, and especially in his later years. They need to hear this one! A very delicate arrangement, much different from the rest of the electric songs. The band will be going full steam ahead when suddenly, everyone except for Bob and JJ will stop! Bob will be frenetically working on the lower frets, and JJ on the higher, almost as if they are attempting to fill the gaps left by the other. Then, a reversal of role, or should I say, an alternation of role. While all this time Winston is keeping a count of the beat, and exploding at the seams to jump in anytime, and then he does jump in, followed by (joined by) Tony Garnier and Bucky Baxter. Bob does strike quiet a few Rock Star poses throughout the song -- of course, in his own peculiar way! All in all, a definite crowd pleaser and at the same time, good musicianship -- now how many times does that happen for our man? I don't see this song leaving the setlist for quite sometime! *************TO BE CONTINUED*************************
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 1995 10:41:17 EST From: Seth Minsk (Seth_Minsk_at_PO.FRF01@SMTPLINK.INFORES.COM) Subject: Philly 6/21 - comments Just got my hands on tapes of the two Philly shows, thought I'd chime in with my $0.02 on at least the first show, which I'm sure we *all* wish we could have been lucky enough to actually attend!! This seems to be one of those shows that exemplify why I think we all are Dylan fans. The last couple pages of "Dylan: A Man Called Alias" provide a pretty touching description of Dylan's then seemingly free falling career. To paraphrase: He just doesn't seem to give a crap anymore, delights in torturing his fans by butchering old songs, but you never know when he's going to let loose with something of historic proportions, and that's why we all keep coming back, hoping for that one brief glimpse of the 1966 model Bob that made occasional appearances in the late 80s/early 90s. The author (Paul Williams I think) gives the example of Queen Jane on Dylan and the Dead, an otherwise cruddy album, but a performance of "epic proportions, marooned in a sea of dross." But anyway, I digress. The show in Philly on 6/21 was definitely one for the ages, even against the backdrop of the much consistently higher quality shows from 1992 to the present. The show demonstrated Dylan's two greatest qualities, in my opinion: one, that the man is pulling out *anything* at any time, there are so many rabbits in his hat that he could never pull all of them out, not in a hundred years on the road. (Maybe that's why he needs a dumptruck to unload his head!) Secondly, above all else, Dylan IS rock and roll, plain and simple, in its purest form. No flashing lights, no fancy choreographed shows (well, at least not since 1978 :-)... just great, gritty rock and roll. I think Unplugged is what really proves this... in a forum where so many great artists reduce their great songs to mush, Dylan ROCKS. But anyway, I digress again. On to the show! Down in the Flood - standard for this tour. Only problem is that the first couple minutes of the tape I got are messed up. After that, though, it seems that Flood was properly miked and mixed, which certainly wasn't the case the prior two shows at Giants Stadium. If Not For You - Bucky's sweet steel really makes this song stand out from other renditions. Done in a soft, tender country version that really harks back to the mood of the New Morning version. Watchtower - just keeps getting better. Dylan's been getting a lot of comparisons to the Allman Brothers this year, but remember, this is a five piece band rocking harder than the 8 or 9 or so that the Allmans put up on stage! License to Kill - an unremarkable arrangement, nothing compared to the studio version, but nice to hear nevertheless. Very slowed down version, extra space thrown in between lines a la this year's Silvio. Most Likely You Go Your Way - same arrangement as played at Roseland in October. Nice. Silvio - One of 1995's great reworkings. My mental image of this song will forever be Bob and JJ standing back-to-back onstage at Giants Stadium, thrashing away at their axes during the twin-guitar breaks. Mr. Tambourine Man - I'm still not terribly sold on this version... just too slow, too.... I dunno. I like the late 94 version better. Hey Bob, pick up the damn guitar and play! Visions of Johanna - why, oh why, will he never play this at a show I'm at? I'd love to know what makes him dust this song off once every couple years. While this version doesn't come anywhere near the 1966 solo version (definitely one of the top few Dylan performances ever!), like License to Kill, it was nice to hear. The arrangement borrowed heavily from Desolation Row. Girl From the North Country - Another one I'd like to hear more often, though this time it sounded remarkably like Boots of Spanish Leather. God Knows - pretty standard Never Gonna Be the Same Again - I don't really know this song well enough to comment. I've always found it kind of a weak song. Unbelievable - a great song for this band in 1995. A real rocker. Knockin' on Heaven's Door - Not bad, not mangled like he's been known to do. A nifty instrumental break midway through the song. Tangled Up in Blue - wow. Along with the version on Bootleg Series, this has to be THE definitive version of one of Bob's all-time classics. He strips away 20 years of screaming guitars, pounding drums (not that I didn't love Winston's drumming on the 94 version) and rushed vocals. The big deal with this song since BotT has always been how Bob always plays with the perspective of the narrator and the time sequences. Well, now Bob uses his GAIBTY/WGW "I've been all around this world and seen everything there is to see" voice and brings the original wistful atmosphere of the original to just a completely different level. Vocals delivered with perfct, slow timing. Absolutely enthralling, I just can't say enough. If this starts making regular appearances in the set as it appears to have, I just hope he doesn't get bored with it and start rushing the vocals. Rainy Day Women - I'm not a terrible fan of this song live (I do think the studio version is a masterpiece though). I was especially disappointed when it made an appearance at Giants Stadium - pointless pandering to the Deadheads. Anyway, it is a good rocker to finish off with. Well, sorry for carrying on at such length. The show is definitely worth getting a hold of! Seth
Dates 1995