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Bob Dylan 970823 in Vienna, VA (Wolf Trap)

Subject: Wolf Trap, Va., Aug. 23
From: (
Date: Sat, 23 Aug 1997 23:32:34 -0700

1. Absolutely Sweet Marie
2. Man in the Long Black Coat
3. Tough Mama
4. Under the Red Sky
5. Silvio
6. "Steel Bars and Stone Walls"
   (apparentely and old folk song, but I don't know the name)
7. Tambourine Man
8. Tangled Up in Blue
9. Stuck Inside of Mobile
10. Blind Willie McTell
11. Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat

12. Like a Rolling Stone
13. Don't Think Twice
14. Alabama Getaway

  Quite a nice, enjoyable show, with Dylan by far the most animated I've 
ever seen him. I thought the high point was the song with the unknown 
title (I listed the phrase that occurred most often) that opened the 
acoustic set. He sang this with more feeling than anything else, and L. 
Campbell and B. Baxter sang fine harmonies.
  As Peter Stone Brown pointed out, the concert mix is done in stereo, 
which seems very odd. Larry Campbell's guitar is in the left speakers, 
Bucky Baxters in the right. Since I was slightly to the right, I heard 
pedal steel all night.
  I thought Dylan was more of a comedian tonight than in any show I've 
heard except the Halloween 1964 show. But rather than doing it verbally, 
he was physically funny, making faces and striking comical guitar poses 
all night. When he was looking right at me several times and struck that 
sort of blank look of his, he resembled one of those "two Darrells" on 
the Bob Newhart show -- the blond-haired one. That's not a very 
flattering comparison, I know, but it was only when he was mugging for 
us. (Also, I thought Larry Campbell looked a lot like the guy who plays 
Hercules on the TV show. He's way too good-looking for this crew.)
  I guess because he's the new guy, Campbell seemed quite amused by 
Dylan's antics. He was laughing at him even more than I was.

 -- Bob G.

Subject: Re: Wolf Trap, Va., Aug. 23 From: ( Date: Sat, 23 Aug 1997 23:56:39 -0700 Gee, I forgot to mention the most striking episode of the show: During Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat, a girl from the fifth row (one in front of me) walked past wearing -- you guessed it -- a leopard skin pillbox hat. Security must have let her get right up front, because a minute or two later she suddenly emerged from the crowd there and started dancing onstage. Well, mostly she was just jumping up and down, but anyway she quickly became part of the show. She tried to put her hat on Dylan, who was very visibly and obviously genuinely amused, but he wouldn't let her. She sort of bowed at the end of the song, and he bent down to kiss her head, but she straightened up at that moment and appeared to bump right into his advancing lips. He might have a fat lip tomorrow, but he didn't seem to mind. He actually stopped walking offstage to say something like, "I don't know this young lady's name, but she was really good, wasn't she?" Earlier, when introducing the band before "Leopard Skin", he said Bucky Baxter's daughter was in the audience: "I don't remember her name, but she's here somewhere." Bucky indicated the front of the stage, and Dylan looked into the mob there and seemed to recognize her. He said something like, "Later she's gonna come up and give us all a hug." Or maybe that was just my imagination. I'm pretty critical of Dylan's guitar playing (particularly on the electric), but he did play a couple of pretty good solos on "Don't Think Twice". And for a few bars of "Tambourine Man" I thought he was doing well, but he couldn't keep it up. Otherwise, he just doodled away on his two-, three- and four-note phrases, occasionally playing in the wrong key for variety. Two songs escaped the usual drawn out instrumental treatment: That old folk song whose title I don't know, and "Man in the Long Black Coat". The former went verse/chorus/short instrumental/verse/chorus/end. The latter had a single instrumental verse at the end; Dylan and Campbell started playing at the same time, but Dylan nodded to Campbell, who played one nice solo and then the song was over. -- Bob G.
Subject: Re: Wolf Trap, Va., Aug. 23 From: Rcsjones ( Date: 24 Aug 1997 07:43:20 GMT I also was at this show, and, just for a different perspective, I thought Dylan looked and sounded as good as I have ever heard him live. I thought the first two songs, "Sweet Marie" and "Black Coat" were both muddled and rather uninspired. I thought things really got into gear with "Tough Mama" and stayed there throughout the night. Personal highlights for me were "Under the Red Sky", "Silvio", "Stuck Inside of Mobile" and "Don't Think Twice." But overall, I can't complain about any of the songs, except perhaps to say that I was surprised he ended with "Getaway" rather than "Rainy Day Women." Dave
Subject: Vienna, VA, 8/23--Songs of the South From: thwilliamson ( Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997 02:43:06 -0700 August 23, 1997. Wolf Trap 1. Absolutely Sweet Marie 2. Man in the Long Black Coat 3. Tough Mama 4. Under the Red Sky 5. Silvio 6. Stone Walls 7. Mr. Tambourine Man 8. Tangled Up in Blue 9. Stuck Inside of Mobile 10. Blind Willie McTell 11. Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat 12. Like A Rolling Stone 13. Don't Think Twice 14. Alabama Getaway Beautiful cool summer night at Wolf Trap, and after Ani Difranco finished entertaining the mix of Dead-style youth followers and staid Washington types 'neath a falling sun Dylan took the stage. This show had an obvious theme in my listening that played directly off the setting of summer night, suburban Virginia, 1997: echoes of the experience of the American South. The three most powerful, anchor songs of the night, Black Coat, with its talk of clothes hanging on lines and preachermen speaking of sin and vile consciences, Blind Willie McTell--sung by Dylan for the first time ever in a slave state--recalling bootleg whiskey and moaning tribes, and the surprise prison song Stone Walls all evoke the South. Strong performances on all 3, causing one to just suck it in and savor the moment while occasionally glancing off stage at the night sky. Then, besides, the 2 rockers which use southern geography as their takeoff point, Mobile and Alabama Getaway, you have the references to the south in Tough Mama--with daddy in the big house and all--and Tangled. All in all, a night for music appropriate to rolling roads across farmland--and just the right songs for this place and audience. Bob's voice is better than in '96 though not extraordinarily so. I didn't think the vocal tonight on Tough Mama was too impressive. Stone Walls turned things around in terms of Bob's end of the bargain--great performance, and they all were from then out. The band is much better, in a real groove. Larry Campbell not only plays different licks than JJ did--change would be welcome in itself--but he plays better ones too. If this band only played instrumentals of the songs it would still be pretty enjoyable (indeed, that was definitely the best part of Tough Mama and Sweet Marie.) Like A Rolling Stone was actually, dare I say--tasteful; no more pounding away at the chords, instead some gentler licks being played. That song also definitely benefitted from Bob skipping the 3rd verse and having the band play a verse instrumentally, which was excellent (and pretty unusual during the long tenure of LARS). Dylan's harmonica is missed but not too badly. The new arrangement of Tangled Up in Blue hits the spot perfectly, it captures the pulse of the original better than any attempt at this in years--acoustic instruments plus driving drumbeat. On Tambourine Man, Bob's changed his phrasing again. Stuck Inside of Mobile started very, very restrained before really rocking out at the end. Would have been nice to hear the senator's son verse. Don't Think Twice was splendid, Bob smiling while delivering the punchlines. Highlight of night was when Darlene Mann (that's her name, she told me), who wore a leopard- skin pill box hat to the concert, got to dance on stage with Bob during song of same name. Bob was very appreciative, told the crowd she was "pretty good". It was great to see, she was just dancing totally unself-conscious, then when the song ended you could see the "oh my god what am I doing up here" look cross her face. Just before that song Bob had introduced the band rather extensively, even pointing out Bucky's daughter in the crowd, and praising Ani Defranco "she's real good, everybody knows it" and br5-49 "they're going to be around for a lonnng time" in a highly articulate fashion. On the other end of the spectrum, a 75 year old lady in our row left with her daughter-aged companion during Silvio, either because of volume or because she just couldn't see amidst the dancing. They were obviously disappointed, like they had no idea they were getting into a real rock and roll concert. Too bad. All in all, a very memorable performance, Dylan aware and in synch with the setting, doing his thing and throwing out a suprise or two in the process. Thad
From: (Tim Rahto) Newsgroups: Subject: Dylan at Wolf Trap: Aug. 23, 1997 Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997 17:59:12 GMT I got back into Baltimore at 4 AM this morning and havent had a chance to post my thoughts on the show until now. Last night was my 4th Bob show and, without a doubt in my mind, this was the best of the lot. I have never seen Dylan as animated or having as much fun as he had last night. I honestly thought he was going to launch into a Chuck Berry impersonation during Silvio for a bit! His leads were great, and you just cant get a band to play any tighter than that. Highlights? The version of 'Tangled' was beautiful, Silvio was rockin, and Man in the Long Black Coat was great. Bob invited a young lady wearing the appropriate head gear up on stage during Leopardskin Pillbox Hat. She danced around, waving her hat around and having a ball. She got a kiss from Bob after the song. But hearing Blind Willie McTell in concert is a highlight in itself. I can die happy now. :) Lets face it though. The highlight of the night is just seeing Bob again. His illness scared the hell out of me and to see him return to form like this is such a relief. Thanks for everything Bob. A note on Ani DiFranco: Ani seems to be getting mixed reviews from the group as a whole, but Igive her an unconditional thumbs up. Her guitar playing was great, her voice is wonderful, and she can write a great song. I have never seen an opening act cover a song of the headliner before until last night when she did a beautiful cover of Most of the Time. That took some guts, but she did it more than justice. Great job all around. SETLIST: ------------------------- 1. Sweet Marie 2. Man in the Long Black Coat 3. Tough Mama 4. Under the Red Sky 5. Silvio 6. Steel Bars and Stone Walls @ 7. Mr. Tamborine Man @ 8. Tangled @ 9. Stuck Inside of Mobile 10. Blind Willie McTell 11. Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat ENCORE --------------------- Rolling Stone Dont think Twice @ Alabama Getaway