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Bob Dylan 970829 in St. Paul, Minnesota - Midway Stadium

Subject: St. Paul, 8/29/97
From: "Sandra H. Ramer" (
Date: 30 Aug 1997 19:36:09 GMT

Bob was in home territory last night and fired up to show the
Twin Cities folks  who is Da Man.  It was him, all right.

I hope the media got the message.  The pre-show feature in the
Minneapolis Star Tribune was a smarmy "comparison" of Bob and
Ani, with cartoon caricatures of them.  Ani even had something to
say about that during her set.  Something about the fact that she
has been playing her guitar since she was nine, and the newspaper
pictured her without one. (The cartoon of her looked like the
model was actually Jessica Rabbit.)  Ani is definitely a
charismatic performer, btw.  I could see why the kids like her so
much.    BR5-49, looking like they had found a time machine and
raided some old honkey tonker's closet, also did great, high
energy performance.

But I was there to see and hear Bob.

After walking onto the stage looking a bit frail, Bob tore into
his mission with a vengeance and with obvious relish.  Lots of
grins (not necessarily to us--to himself and to the band), lots
of eyebrow action, and several comments.  Not just
thankseverybody, which followed just about every song.  You gotta
be from around here to sing and play like that!  Maybe not a
direct quote--he said something along those lines after one song.
 Believe it or not.  He also mentioned The Wallflowers! 
Something about BR5-49 being one of best new bands around,
except, of course, for the Wallflowers.

As usual I sacrificed good sound quality for wallowing in
at-the-rail  immediacy.  The drums and bass were what I heard the
clearest.   But there was nothing unclear about Bob's delivery. 
It was just a problem of where I was standing.

It was a tight and hard-driving show of virtuosity, with Bob and
the band whipping through their setlist so fast I couldn't
believe it was over when it was.  I thought for a few minutes
that I had missed the acoustic set--it all seemed to be of one
piece.  It wasn't too long into the show before I realized I
wasn't going to hear Blind Willie McTell.  A different kind of
vibe would have to be going on for that to happen.   Guess I'll
just have to hope for a tape of that.

Larry Campbell *really* knows how to work with Bob.  He got a
chance to do a little fancy stuff  last night, too.  Wish he had
played the fiddle in Roving Gambler, though.

I'm having a hard time remembering what happened during which
song. :-)   We got back to Madison at about 6 a.m., after driving
through a really heaving storm.

Highlights for me this time were Roving Gambler, This Wheel's On
Fire, and Forever Young.

Mr. Tambourine Man was also really special. Well, actually, he
was really *on* for all the songs last night.   The "I'm still on
the road, heading for another joint" line in Tangled was
punctuated with a grin and pointedly raised eyebrow that drew
lots of audience response.   Our troubadour.  Ya just gotta love
the guy.

The whole night had the atmosphere of the last night of a
tour--though they have one more show in Kanas City.    At one
point during BR5-49's act, the bass player left the stage and
Tony Garnier, in his street clothes, came on the stage and took
over.  He was in high spirits.  Soon after that, all the
performers from the tour--except Bob--came out on stage.  Even
Bucky. They danced and clowned around, jumped to the mike for the
chorus of BR5-49's song and even did a conga line or bunny hop or
something across the stage.  It was really cute.

Bob had friends in the audience.  He dedicated one song to his
long-time friend Larry (often seen up front at shows in his
wheelchair), who apparently hasn't been on the tour recently. 
And Tony Glover (someone said) was standing back in the wings. 
Bob didn't notice it until the end of the show, but he also had a
former Hibbing neighbor and friend of his mother's standing at
the rail.  Harriet, in her mid-seventies and wearing a t-shirt
and overalls, had come up behind a friend and I and wanted to get
up to the rail.  Guess she picked the right people to ask. 
Anything for a friend of Beatty's. :-) She wanted to get his
attention by calling him "Bobaloo," a name she had for him in a
little rhyme when he was a toddler.  Later, she wanted to have
her granddaughter join her and actually talked a security guard
into putting the teenage granddaughter *and* her boyfriend over
the rail and into our line.  Thus, my spot in the front of a
speaker on stage left.   Unfortunately it was soon apparent that
she must has dragged the kids along with her.  I finally had to
tell them to stop jabbering.    Anyway, "Bobaloo" finally saw
Harriet, as he was leaving the stage.  He gave her a funny face
and a wave.

That's all.   Somebody who is awake can tell you more.