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Bob Dylan 950902 at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH

Date:    Sun, 3 Sep 1995 07:58:56 GMT
From:    Tim Anderson (freer@CIX.COMPULINK.CO.UK)
Subject: Here's a review from Addicted to Noise

Hall of fame concert:

11:53 PM EST Bob Dylan is in a gold lame shirt and is performing "All
Along the Watch Tower." Backed by his reg touring band--bass, drums and
guitar--Dylan looks plastered, but he's singing and playing really well.
I mean I haven't seen this out of Dylan since the Band backed him for the
'74 tour of the U. S. Dylan himself takes a succinct solo that is so
minimal. Then a very strange version of "Just Like A Woman." Pedal steel
guitar. The melody is almost not there. But Dylan's vice sounds really
good, like on his cool '60s records. Then on to a very bluesy song that
is completely unrecognizable, but it doesn't matter because Dylan is
really on tonight. A rethinking of "Highway 61" is brilliant. Dylan has
managed the impossible, making himself relevant again after all these
years of just fucking everything up. Now if he can just write some great
new songs, and can take this band into the studio and cut an album,
quick. Don't hold your breath.

Bruce Springsteen is brought out. "Let me hear you say Brooce," says
Dylan. Springsteen joins Dylan in a duet on "Forever Young," that I hope
is being recorded, because it is an amazing thing to see the two of them
digging into this song. Springsteen idolized Dylan and now so many years
later, they are doing a serious performance. It's weird to see Dylan, so
physically fucked up from whatever abuse he's done to himself, and
Springsteen so fit and vibrant. It is a kind of rock 'n' roll yin yang,
and a chemistry is clearly there between them. The audience goes wild and
for once, their reaction makes sense.


Now, the same writer a little earlier in the review said, "Dylan and
Jagger are delivering 'Saturday Night Live" satires of themselves" these
days, that was before he heard him play. Yes, you can email your comments
on these remarks :-)


Date: Sun, 3 Sep 1995 10:14:51 -0400 From: Dennis Dubrow (TheDube@AOL.COM) Subject: Re: dylan in cleveland Terrific set from Bob with his usual Band. They opened with Watchtower, Dylan playing lead, including a very cool little distortion seque' between the last verses where the band brought it down and Bob just played guitar god. Dylan really comfortable in a gold lame' shirt, tight black pants and those cowboy boots, he followed Watchtower w/ Just Like A Woman. eDylan still looks the same today as he did thirty years ago when the camera and lights are right and shooting from the rear. Then a great surprise. Seeing The Real You At Last. 'Well I thought the rain would cool things down..." This song id played with great gusto, sung w/passion and pride, Bob reaffirming his songwriter stature with an unheralded song that is poignant and rocking at the same time. After Dylans set the HBO people went down his list and said that Dylan did a song they didn't know. I just love that Hwy 61 Revisted followed and was an absolute rockfest. I love how Dylan can step up and show off his craft, that of the lead guitarist, in front of all these great players, with such verve. But then the kicker. "I got somebody to come up here and help me play one of my songs, mr. Bruce Springsteen....let me hear you say Broooce. And they do Forever Young as a duet and it's an absolute mindblower. It does not get any better. Bob on electric and The Boss playing an acoustic. They swap verses, they make the chorus soar and seem as real as rain. I'm totally enthralled to see these two guys play together. I hope you enjoy this as much as i did.
Date: Sun, 3 Sep 1995 12:21:48 -0400 From: U0A75@WVNVM.WVNET.EDU Subject: Dylan on R&R Hall o' Fame Concert No, I don't get HBO...but I can hear it even though it's jammed. It's very psychedelic. ;-) And sometimes I get a swift vision of the faces the hands the guitars the clothes.... shifting back and form between white and black and colors... Last night I danced to the music of the Concert for the R&R Hall o' Fame. I really enjoyed it... since I couldn't SEE it very well, I was much more into the audio. And when Dylan came on----o Lord. Satin Shirt...was it blue satin? Mmmmmmmm-Mmmm. ;-p The music was spectacular... *All Along the Watchtower" (John Jackson smokin'!) *Seeing the Real You at Last" (Dylan's words crisp and clean) *Highway 61" (Rock and ROOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!) Then, Bob brought Bruce Springstein back on "He's gonna help me sing one of my old songs..." Bob says to the audience, "I love to hear you say Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuce." Bruce comes on and they do a passionate duet. yeah. I'll look forward to when I can see the images on this, but meanwhile, I just keep remembering the music. I tried to watch the whole concert, but ran out of steam around 1:30 am. Does anybody know if Dylan came back and jammed with anybody else? (I was kinda hoping he'd sing something with Little Richard.) Marguerita
Date: Sun, 3 Sep 1995 14:17:54 GMT From: "Jesse J. Anderson" (ba892@YFN.YSU.EDU) Subject: Hall of Fame "Here's one of my favorites, Bob Dylan" I got up and screamed (after all, he was unbilled) and every looked at me and he hit the Em chord and I yelled "Watchtower." What astounded me were the solos. God almighty. The crowd recognized the song by the end and the they blew in JLAW. A cool thing. SO dylan goes back to JJ and I can almost hear them saying "Shit what do we play now?" Here goes a song that could be Maggies farm or Maybe hiway 61 and we get Seeing the Real You at last. Leave it to dylan to play some song nobody knows (this is why he's so cool, of course) Went into hiway 61, called out Bruce ("everybody say bruuu") and they did an absolutely beautiful Forever Young. I guess most of you know all that by now tho. What suprised me was that the crowd didn't really care. They were cool with him and everything but yawned when they saw me dancing and singing along (which to Real You, by the way, was no easy task. Shoulda brought my record sleeve along.) The killer came when I met a friend of mine in the parking lot. He's a sorta punkish guy and didn't want to shell out the $110 I did for a ticket. But he slid in about 1:00 and ended up backstage after the show. Of course he got Dylan's autograph, which really pissed me off. He handed him what he had handy, which happened to have "Fuck Racism" scrawled out acrossed it. He said Zimmy said something like "i like the message of that notebook," in some jokingly brooklyn accent, and signed it. Sure as hell looks like Dylan. (I know, I know he fooled me. But I don't think so.) BTW, the whole thing was absolutely amazing. The best concert in a very, very long time. SO what if the hall sucked. Jesss (sorry for the grammer) Anderson
Date: Sun, 3 Sep 1995 17:30:22 GMT From: Mark Troyer (troyerma@PILOT.MSU.EDU) Subject: Hearing the Real Bob At Last (Hall of Fame) What follows is one clueless fan's assessment of Bob Dylan's set at the Hall of Fame concert last night. It's all IMHO, and I apologize in advance for the length. Well, here goes. It was 10pm; I was driving back to school from a Detroit Tigers baseball game where I had met some friends, and I had the bright idea to try to stop in at some restaurant or bar which had HBO so I could watch the concert. I knew it was somewhat in question whether Bob would play, but I also knew I would never forgive myself if he sang "Hazel" or "Brownsville Girl" or something like that and I missed it. . . Needless to say, no place that I stopped at had HBO. I wasted at least an hour driving around, but in the meantime I found a Detroit radio station which was doing the simulcast. As I pulled out of the parking lot of the last place I tried, I heard Robbie Robertson say that his "old friend" Bob Dylan would be playing shortly. Oh well, at least I would hear the whole thing. Wrong. I had to listen to at least 10 minutes of the most inane and exasperating commericials I have ever heard on the radio, then out of nowhere a voice says, "And now, Bob Dylan live on stage" or something. He was already into the third verse of Watchtower. Damn them! AATW sounded good, but nothing spectacular. Just Like a Woman was also just O.K., not the equal of the D.C. rendition from last October 30. The phrasing was of the "rush-it-all-in-before-the-music-is-even-halfway- through-the-line" variety, and his voice was sounding a bit rough. I have acquired a taste for how Bob sounds in concert these days, but those who hadn't heard him since the sixties probably were shaking their heads. I figured it would be only those two songs since most sets seemed to be only two, so I was a little disappointed. It had been a solid outing, but nothing spectacular. But wait! They're playing ANOTHER SONG! And it sounds familiar, it's . . . SEEING THE REAL YOU AT LAST! I pump my fist in the air (and maintain my minimum 45 mph speed down the interstate so I don't drive out of range of the radio signal). I have only the studio version to compare to, but this version kicked. The band was really cooking, I think this was a much higher gear than the first two songs. Wow. Thank God he's doing at least something recent, and playing the hell out of it to boot! Now I have another problem, the signal wavers a bit. So I pull off at the next exit and pull into a gas station. The song comes to an end and there's more! Highway 61, though not quite as inspired as "Seeing. . .," still rocks and surpasses the version from the Woodstock CD. He's into it. This is where Bob belongs, I think joyfully, rocking out for the whole world to hear. HWY 61 ends with a bluesy little tag. Great way to end the set, I think to myself. And then, the thing with the audience, "Let me hear you say 'Bruuuce'" (shades of Toad's Place!), and my God, is it. . . could it be, oh please let it be, "Every Grain of Sand?" But no, just another greatest hit and my spirits fall. But only for an instant, because this is Bob Dylan's performance of the decade. He sings this song so sweetly, so graciously, so clearly, even Bruce seems to fit in; it seems to me (sitting in a car at a gas station off of I-96) to be perfect. It reduced me to tears. Damn that Westwood One announcer who "honestly just couldn't make out what song" Bob was singing, who went out of his way to praise Dylan's band and Bruce's performance and hinted that Dylan's just a washed-up relic. Part of me thinks that maybe it was just the emotion of the moment, that "Forever Young" was the cheesiest of sell-outs and that Bob was just cynically crooning and the performance won't hold up. But I hope that that part of me is wrong. I hope it gets released as a single & a video and that every mindless consumer of homogenized pop has to, at least once, hear a touch of greatness. I hope it goes to number one and gets played into the ground and makes a ton of money (and because of Springsteen, it probably will); Bob should have at least one more number one single in his career. And with this performance, he's earned it. I WILL see a show this upcoming tour, even if I have to sell my textbooks for a plane ticket to Memphis :-) That's my story, thanks for reading, Mark
Date: Sun, 3 Sep 1995 18:25:43 GMT From: Ed Taylor (edtaylor@DIGITAL.NET) Subject: Dylan, lead guitarist? It seemed that Bob was trying to play lead guitar last night in the Cleveland show...something that I found more distracting than pleasant. I wish he would focus on his singing rather than trying to redefine himself as a lead guitarist. We are going to see the Bobster during his Florida tour. I was somewhat disappointed in last night's performance after relishing the "Unplugged" concert where it appeared that he was concentrating on singing his songs. The duet with Springsteen was good.
Date: Sun, 3 Sep 1995 17:20:48 GMT From: Douglas Paul Evans (dpe2c@FARADAY.CLAS.VIRGINIA.EDU) Subject: Rock Hall of Fame Concert Well, as most of you probably already know, Bob did show up. I was thoroughly impressed, even with 'Watchtower'. And I couldn't help but smile halfway through the short set...the Kinks play 'Lola', Aretha does 'Natural Woman', Bob sings 'Seeing The Real You At Last'. Just like our man to pull out the obscure. It was nice to hear 'Forever Young'. Maybe he'll remember it on the fall tour. Doug
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 1995 15:05:13 GMT From: Joseph Cliburn (jcliburn@FLINTCREEK.WIN.NET) Subject: Re: Hall of Fame Random notes on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame thread... First, good to read postings by someone who was on the scene and one from somebody who just got the audio. Any stereo simulcast listeners out there on rmd? I couldn't find a FM station carrying the simulcast here... Second, nobody bothered to post the setlist in a list, so here goes: - intro by Bruce Springsteen - All Along the Watchtower Just Like a Woman Seeing the Real You at Last Highway 61 Revisited - Dylan introduces Springsteen - Forever Young w/Bruce Springsteen Okay, so Bob started his set with the 3rd song & worked from there. ;-) JLaW was been almost as firmly entrenched at cleanup in the batting order (4th) as Watchtower's been at 3rd lately... Several rmd'rs missed recognizing the Real You at Last... My first reaction was that BD's choice for 3rd song was the only flaw in his set. The selection is perfectly understandable - something a little less obvious - and it ends up working quite nicely. But so many other choices would have had the entire audience melted into a blubbering mass of endoplasm. Imagine: an acoustic Times or Boots of Spanish Leather, the standard 1995 rendition of Tangled Up in Blue... on & on. But that would be too obvious & Dylan took a bit of a risk. However, the Real You at Last churns into a tremendous blues rocker. So it works anyway. Bob takes a risk, wins the bet, takes a bow, all of that :-) Nobody's mentioned Bucky Baxter's steel work on H61R. So I will. Bucky *propels* that song! I'd like the see J.J. & Bucky's effects racks. Dylan has one hell of a good looking band. Winston Watson was the cameraman's darling, dreadlocks dervishing & all. Bucky with his cap turned back. J.J. & Tony in their white hat/black hat get-up. Bob in his gold lame tunic. Does anyone else think of a rockabilly band 40 years on? Those suits & hats, well, I for one think they should be touring in a big pink Cadillac... Several other folks have posted about how Robbie Robertson might have jammed with them. My initial reaction was the same: why not Robertson? On second thought, though, Dylan is playing (with exquisite coverage by J.J.) a lot of lead breaks. He had already done Robbie a big favor by simply showing up "unannounced." Dylan has a tremendous band, one that he can play true front man to & if one has been partying a little bit, why risk disaster? Bringing out G.E. Smith or Robbie Robertson might have created some very bad on-stage chemistry...or at least some basic confusion. Dylan's band has now been together for a nice, long while. There also might be a fuzz of loyalty to Levon, Rick & Garth involved. Now, had The Band shown for a reunion with Robertson...that might have been another story. But I'm not sure the story would've involved Dylan... I didn't notice anything other than good-humor in "let's all say "broooce" either. Springsteen's "reserved" introduction & Dylan's "Mr Bruce Spring- steen" call-out were both stiff & in general keeping with the festivities. The "let's all say..." followed by the inevitable booing from the audience broke the ice so to speak. Bruce cracks a big smile walking onto the stage. This might be an old "in joke." No doubt everyone noticed the reverential, blissed-out expression on Springsteen's face during his duet with Dylan. Did everyone notice the expression of delight on his face while the E Street Band backed Jerry Lee Lewis at the beginning of the show? There were a couple of snafu's in the duet: notice that Bruce meanders around trying to pick up the key from the band. (Both Dylan & J.J. were 'way up the neck picking counterpoint, a steel player is impossible to key off of unless you're from Nashville, & Garnier was off on one of his jazz-inspired runs that should *all* be played on a string bass. ;-) Also, I got the impression that Springsteen "slept" through an opening line at the end of the long lead break, forcing Bob to take a bit more solo & opening the verse himself. Other than that, the two guys did a creditable job with the duet, hit some good harmonies, etc. Springsteen never attempted to steal the stage from Bob, either. My blood would have run cold had Sheryl Crow trotted back out there. Aren't her 15 min of fame just about up? So, my conclusions... Dylan takes a couple of risks (4th song selection & a duet with Springsteen) but basically sticks to what he's been doing well in concert recently. His band has been together a long time, it is photogenic as hell & is tighter than an Arkansas virgin. He showed very emphatically that he cannot be counted out -- he's no "reunion tour." This performance proved that BD can deliver in an uncontrolled environ- ment what he did very well in the Unplugged sessions. Those of us who have heard '95 performances or tapes know that there have been even better nights, but it is truly wonderful for Dylan to have two "on" performances on legitimate TV in less than a year. The set list might have been stronger, but, hell, he stuck to the game plan & won, so who cares? :-) I think the old boy done good. Real good. :-) Gotta go rewind that tape...
Dates 1995