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Bob Dylan 981107 in Atlanta, Georgia

From: "Adam Selzer" (
Subject: atlanta review
Date: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 09:34:28 PST

Just saw Bob, for the fourth time, in Atlanta last night. Any worries
about the venue vanished immediately- the Alexandre Memorial (Or
"McDonalds Center") is a fine place for a concert.

No real setlist surprises, except for the early placement of BWM. I
hear that there were problems with this one in Baltimore, but they
were certainly fixed tonight! Masters Of War brought spontaneous
applause after each verse, and the harp solo on It aint me babe
brought the house down. Leopardskin Pillbox Hat sounded quite a bit
lke RDW, but is a fine replacement. I still think "If You Gotta Go"
would be better, but I can't say I expect to hear it.

Bucky and Larry provided top notch backing vocals, and Bob played some
outstanding lead guitar. Great vocal delivery on every single song,
almost no opportunities missed. It was evident early on that Bob was
enjoying himself. He was more animated than I thought he would ever
be, and smiled more times per song than in every other show I've seen
combined. He may well have been more animated than Tony, which is a
dificult feat. Very little talk outside of the band introduction,
where he said "some people say this is the best band I've ever had,
and I think they may be right." A fine end to the tour.

Even my father, who was seeing Bob for the first time, without really
knowing any of the songs, thought it was great.  100 years from now,
people will be listening to tapes and reading books, and wondering if
the people at those shows knew just how a special an event they were
witnessing. I'm proud to say that I did.

Subject: Some Comments On Atlanta From: Jack Regan ( Date: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 16:47:30 GMT This was my first Dylan show since the Roxy nearly a year ago. I thought it was a solid show, no surprises (considering that Al Green was in the house, I had hoped for one...can yall imagine a "Gotta Serve Somebody" duet?). It was also my first non-Silvio, non-RDW show. The half house basketball arena was surprisingly intimate, and the sound guys did good work. Both Mitchell and Dylan were clear, and all the instruments were distinguishable from where I was sitting (side view of the stage, left.) I caught Alvin's set from a bad spot, essentially behind the band. Crowd response was more than polite. I hesitate to comment, but it seemed fine. The Mitchell fans were only moved by the "greatest hits" and cover versions. I was pleasantly surprised by the Trouble Man/Come Love combination at the end. She dropped some of the Joni-isms in her voice (possibly due to the bug she was fighting) and I could hear the possibilities of Joni someday doing a "standards" album backed by a jazz combo. In many ways her current band is a jazz combo, albeit unusually constituted with a pedal steel in the mix. Botti added nice colorations on trumpet; the mute always puts me in mind of Miles, and that ain't a bad place to be. Unfortunately, one of the high points in the Mitchell set was her war with a boor to her right during her tale of the Magdalene Laundries (since when does "laundries" have three syllables, btw? Maybe in Canada, eh?). She carried on with her insults to the fool after the song, blissfully unaware that he had been removed during the tune. I'm not one for a song by song breakdown and exegesis of a Dylan set. I'm always impressed with how the changeover to acoustic instruments builds momentum in a Dylan show rather than puts the brakes on. Last night, it seemed that the switch back to electricity after Tangled slowed things down a bit. Overall, I think the energy level was lowered by Stuck Inside as the third song. As played last night, it was more anthemic a balls to the wall rocker like Cold Irons Bound. The comments about Dylan's current guitar hero phase were illustrated fairly strongly last night. Tangled somehow worked a few of the others were fairly painful. It never ceases to amaze me that the man can bring a significant portion of an audience to its feet (and still facing him, not heading for the exits) by playing a dreadful guitar solo. He's quite blessed to have Campbell and Baxter carrying him through his solos. They pretty much took over for the electric encores, fortunately. I think the band's exhaustion (remember, there were but two weeks off after the Australia swing, and the summer Euro-tour was quite long. These guys are kinda used to a month on, a month off) was tempered by the relief of this being the last night. I was quite taken with the reworking of Blowin' In The Wind, particularly the semi-calypso harmonies of Baxter and Campbell. The "Friend of the Devil" intro to It Ain't Me Babe was a hoot, and Dylan pulled his harp solo out from the pits of goofiness with an inspired last chorus that recapitulated the melody beautifully. It's my understanding that a lot of this type of thing is unrehearsed (witnessed by the will he-won't he dilemma that the harmonica provides the band on some tunes); if so, nobody fell off the tightrope last night. And Dylan didn't blow the words to Blind Willie McTell. Hey, how can you knock a show in which two (cliche alert) "icons of American pop Music" encore with fairly radical reworkings of what are arguably their most famous compositions (Both Sides Now and Blowin' In The Wind) and just flat out nail 'em? Security looked light (I got a camera in my eight year old's backpack and never took it out), and I ran into a guy who had his DATin the arena after the show. And finally a big razzberry to the fat fart in the front row who grabbed a few kids by the shoulders during the Tangled stage rush and shoved them out of his way. It was the only time the shmegagy got off his lardass all night, and it was finally fun to watch him get swallowed up when the stage rush swelled and he couldn't figure out whom to bully. Nanny nanny boo boo!
From: Date: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 01:41:05 -0500 To: Karl Erik Andersen ( Subject: Re: Dylan-Atlanta-11/7 BOB DYLAN, GEORGIA TECH ALEXANDER COLISEUM, 11/07/98 I got to the show last night just before 7 pm, leaving only time to find my seat before Dave & The Guilty Men came on. I liked them a lot. Especially, Abilene. (sic?). Great rockabilly music from a talented group of musicians. Wish I could say the same for Joni Mitchell. She opened with Big Yellow Taxi and did a fine job. After that, in my opinion, there wasn't enough variety in her performance. Basically, she used the same slow jazzy treatment on every song. At one point, somebody heckled her from the left side of the auditorium. I didn't even hear it, but Joni did. She stopped telling her story, and asked the guy to repeat what he said. He hollered out whatever it was a few more times and the people around him started booing him. I have no idea what he said. Joni then said, and I don't think I'm paraphrasing, "You're an idiot." After strumming her guitar for a few moments, she then said, "You're not just an idiot, you're a rude idiot. I was talking." The audience cheered her and she went on. The incident left me with a bad feeling, because it seemed to me she forced a confrontation with this jerk. She should have just ignored him instead of giving him a forum (kinda like Dylan ignored Soy Bomb Man). I needed some fresh air, so I left Joni''s show halfway through, and hung out with some people outside. The talk out there was that Joni sounded like she was doing the same song over and over. Take this for what it's worth, because for the few of us out there complaining, there were still 6000+ inside cheering Joni on. They even sang her Happy Birthday. Bob Dylan was in great form. I've had the good fortune of seeing him a half dozen times here in Atlanta (and Athens) in the last five years and has never failed to be anything less than remarkable. When he walked out, I noticed he was a lot skinnier and his hair was longer than it was last year. He wore a black suit and tie with white piping down the sides of the pants consisting of aces and spades. I don't think he ever stood still. A very high energy performance from start to finish. He constantly shuffled, grinned, and struck poses. He made faces at various people up front. Duckwalked a time or two as well. He seemed very happy to be playing and equally determined to keep the crowd on their feet (which he accomplished quite well). His white loafers gathered no moss last night. The opening song, Serve Somebody, was clean and tight. I'd never heard him do it before, and was glad he chose to open with it. Ditto for I'll Remember You. He forced the words and changed the breaks in Stuck Inside Of Mobile:. "Oh mama can........This really be the end to be stuck......Inside of Mobile.....With the Memphis Blues Again." Blind Willie McTell was an inspiring performance. The band sounded great. Mr. Tambourine Man was performed well, almost reverently. Dylan's diction was concise to the point where anyone could easily understand all the words. Tangled Up In Blue was the crowd favorite. That's when everybody rushed the front. It was a more rock 'n roll version than I'm used to hearing. Make You Feel My Love was absolutely beautiful. It had never been a favorite of mine on TOOM, but like so many songs on that cd, it just takes on a life of it's own when played live. It turned out to be one of my favorite songs of the night. Another favorite was Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat, played LIVE 1966 style. Blowing In The Wind sounded great, especially with the band harmonizing on the chorus. He then went on to blow the roof off the dump with Highway 61. I've seen him play it live many times, but I don't remember such a powerful performance of it before. At the end of It Ain't Me Babe, Dylan surprised everybody by picking up his harmonica and closing the show with a haunting solo. It was a moving finale. All and all, a great evening and a wonderful show. I look forward to the next time he visits Atlanta. Ric
Subject: Atlanta Show 11/7/98 From: J Pirkle ( Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 23:05:16 GMT For those who are interested in such ravings, here's what I thought of the Dylan show in Atlanta last Saturday 11/7/98: Some band, that my girlfriend called a *country band* took the stage around 7:00. Played a little too loud for a little over half an hour. Maybe it was around 8:00 to 8:30 when Joni took the stage and opened with "Parking Lot", singing the verses Bob wrote in a Dylan style voice. Very funny actually. Unfortunately, it didn't get much more interesting than that for me as far as Joni went. Too melancholy and jazzy for my mood I guess. Very talented lady though. I thought she handled a heckler that cheered when she mentioned a song about an innocent girl being murdered, with grace. She closed (almost) with Woodstock, which doesn't quite holdup to CSN's, but I guess it wasn't meant to. Overall, she was quite impressive. If I'd had a seat with a back on it, I might've enjoyed her show a little more. Then Dylan came on: 1. Gotta Serve Somebody -Never heard this live. Not a bad opener. Isn't this from his Christian era? 2. I'll Remember You -Really pretty. A good Bob moment. 3. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again -I confess. I didn't recognize it until the chorus. Played a little too fast I thought.... 4. Blind Willie McTell -Didn't know this one. Wonder which Album it's from... 5. Can't Wait -Good to hear this one. One of my favs from TOOM. "Some on their way up..." 6. Stone Walls And Steel Bars (acoustic) -Great harmonies from the whole band. Gave off a *7 bridges Road* vibe. 7. Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic) -A real highlight. Wonderfully done. Not hurried. After all these years, still great. 8. Masters Of War (acoustic) -Never thought I' hear this live. As the old Dylan sang it (quite convincingly), I saw a young Dylan writing it, I wonder what goes through his head on these songs...Its lyrics are just as relevant today as when it was written. 9. Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) -Of course everybody got into this. Started slow and acoustic. Then the whole band kicked in on the first *...tangled up in....* Really rocked. 10. Make You Feel My Love -Better than Garth's version by a long shot. But still a weak spot in the show IMHO. 11. 'Til I Fell In Love You -I like hearing anything off TOOM. Just has a good grittyness to it. Played well. (encore) 12. Love Sick -Works great live. Immediately recognizable. I like it better live than on the CD. Maybe Bob should put out a live Album of this (these) tour(s). 13. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat -I could swear this started with the "Rainy day Women" intro. I did notice he changed the line "I don't mind you cheating on me, but...." I guess he minds now. 14. Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic) -So good to hear. Always wanted to hear him do this. It's only my 2nd time seeing him BTW. 15. Highway 61 Revisited -A real heated version. Bob was right on the whole night. This one rivaled "After the Floods version. Easily. 16. It Ain't Me, Babe (acoustic) (with harp) -An unexpected closer. At the time I thought "No! One more" but in hindsight, he ended the show with a bit of style and artistry. Near the end was when he pulled out the harp, and played, not loudly and wild, but restrained and delicate with bursts that only teased us. His harp danced around the subtle playing of the band and he slowly faded out and walked off the stage. A beautiful lasting impression from a true artist. I enjoyed this show better than the one last year in Atlanta at the Roxy. Even though I was much closer then. You can tell he's in top form from touring so much. Great show. I'd like a boot of it :-) "You would not think, to look at him but he was famous looong ago" ___________________________________________ James R Pirkle
Subject: Sadness @ Atlanta Gig From: John Clark ( Date: 10 Nov 1998 13:47:35 -0800 Let me start by saying that I've been a serious fan since 1963, I teach a continuing ed course on Dylan and this is the fourth Dylan concert I've attended (the first was in 1973 w/the Band). I was not disappointed by Saturday night's (11/7) per- formance in Atlanta, but only because I walked into the auditorium with fairly low expectations. Speaking as objectively as I am able, I'd say that Dylan's performance was musically nowhere near the level of Joni Mitchell's or even opener Dave Alvin. First of all, who ever told him that he should be playing lead guitar? Contrary to what I have been reading hereabouts, (and unlike his bygone harmonica breaks)his gitfiddle solos were barely rudimentary. Embarrassingly simplistic and repetitious is more to the point. I thought the band was fairly tight, although they teetered on the brink of chaos a couple of times. As much as I truly love the expressiveness of his voice, let's admit it, these days, it's pretty well shot to hell. The song selection and the arrangements did show some thought, I'll admit, but as far as imaginative phrasing or subtle nuances of any sort, I didn't hear it. I'll stop here with the criticism. So why did I even shell out 40 bucks to see him, you might ask? He has meant so much to me as an artist and a performer, that I had to see him one more time just to see (1) how he related to the audience (2) what material he would do what kind of mood he was in (4) how good his band really is. I was truly curious to see what all the hubbub was about. Plus I had never seen Joni, another one of my all-time favorite artists, in a live performance setting. I thought her set was exquisite. My overall reaction to Dylan's performance was sadness. I admire him for getting out there on the road again at his age, but he really couldn't even do at the level he has if it weren't for his fans' willingness to prop up a shaky legend with undying adulation. I agree with many of the people who contribute to this discussion that Dylan is very near the top of any list of the most influential popular artists of the latter half of this century, but this doesn't mean that I will continue to uncritically assess his recent performances and albums as reaching the genius level of his earlier work. I happen to own the "Quest" video, a poignant performance on Canadian TV from early 1964, and "Renaldo & Clara," which features fiery renditions of several "Desire" tracks from the Rolling Thunder tour in the late 70's. I saw him with the Band in 1973 and with Al Kooper in 1980. That is how I want to remember him--in his prime. That "prime" lasted a good long time and showed us many different faces. It is an amazing body of work, but it doesn't pain me to admit that his best work is probably behind him.
Subject: Re: Sadness @ Atlanta Gig From: Lloyd Fonvielle ( Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 17:51:04 -0800 John Clark wrote: > . . . I want to remember him--in his prime. That "prime" lasted a good long time > and showed us many different faces. It is an amazing body of work, but it > doesn't pain me to admit that his best work is probably behind him. A lot of people felt this way in 1965. A lot of people felt this way when he got born again. He's certainly not the same guy anymore, not even the same guy he was when he made "Time Out Of Mind" -- some sort of new mellowness and hopefulness has crept in -- and it's not to everyone's taste. But I think his deepest stuff is still ahead of him. "Now his wars on God begin -- at stroke of midnight God shall win . . ." to quote Yeats. Shakespeare was most interesting in this phase ("A Winter's Tale, "Cymbeline"), so was John Ford ("The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence"), so was George Balanchine ("Davidsbundlertanze"). All of them got a little goofier, less interested in the cosmetic discipline of their crafts, but somehow heavier and more sublime. But again, not to everyone's taste.
Subject: Re: Sadness @ Atlanta Gig From: Jeff Knorek ( Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 21:16:10 -0500 I agree that Dylan should let the pros take the lead guitar. And I miss his massive harp blows. But his band is GREAT. His shows are strong. And as long as he is touring, I'll keep going. I welcome you to join us. We have lots of fun at these shows, and with us you will too. Comparing whole eras of an artist's work with one another shall always result in disappointment somewhere, so don't be shocked to be left feeling that it used to be better. It always used to be better, but we are having *fun* now. Just let go and have fun. Some of his performances these days are very, very beautiful. Jeff Knorek
Subject: Re: madness @ Atlanta Gig From: Rib O'flavin ( Date: 11 Nov 1998 03:16:17 GMT ... Thanks teach! Thumbs up on the positive attitude. That's my "uncritical assesment." My critical assesment is about the same, but the expression on my face is a little more stern. Oh, and who ever told you you should teach this kind of class, what value could it possibly have? Just show 'em the Quest video and be sure and tell 'em how it should be and how everything worthwhile ended a long time ago then draw a big arrow on the board and try to show everyone where the fixed path took an unscheduled loop into true life, how someone did what they wanted to do, and be sure and point-out how wrong this was, how it went against everyone in the know's well thought vision and broke their well meaning hearts. Have pity, for it's a sad, broken world and it ain't gettin' no better. Lock-up the doors an' turn down the light, all o' my dreams just bit the big bite. P.S. What'd you think of the parking?
Subject: Re: Sadness @ Atlanta Gig From: Flo713 ( Date: 11 Nov 1998 04:48:25 GMT >Let me start by saying that I've been a serious fan since 1963, I teach a >continuing ed course on Dylan and this is the fourth Dylan concert I've >attended Professor: You sound like a serious person more than a serious fan. Suggestion: lighten up and stop being sad over rock concerts. And how about going to more than a show per decade? You might get the hang of it after a few gigs.
Subject: Re: Sadness @ Atlanta Gig From: Richard ( Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 14:31:22 GMT There are a number of us old times who saw Bob perform live in 1961 and through his early productive years. Many of the tapes and recordings from that period show that at any one time Bob can hit all the right buttons and a few hours or days later drive you to distraction. His changing style and approach has consistently been something to view in amazement. I admit I am stuck in the old days because it made such a profound impression upon me at a critical time in my youth. That some, and only some, of Bob's later efforts and concert performances have made me sad is also true. But it is always a mistake to count Bob out; he is full of surprises. Will he ever have that Power to impact me that he had when the young Bob was a surprise a minute, no. But who would have thunk that Bob at this stage of life would still be performing, writing, winning awards and winning new fans? Some of you apparently can't relate to the fact that some of us old timers, who still are big fans, feel sad when Bob no longer gives us in his performances what we want, what we remember in our gut; that is just part of the generation gap I guess. Don't jump to the conclusion that our gut level reaction is a rejection of the Bob of today, it's just that the early Bob reminds us of that passion we had when we were in our youth. You should have been there, it was something to see and experience. If Bob's performances of today work for you, great, tell it to your grandchildren about this great concert you remember from your youth and see if they can relate to that at all. (My kids just don't get it, this Dylan thing, but I'm hoping for grandchildren some day - I hear the Bob bug skips generations).
Subject: Re: Sadness @ Atlanta Gig From: ( Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 18:55:25 GMT In article <>, wrote: > John Clark wrote: > > . . . I want to remember him--in his prime. That "prime" lasted a good long time > and showed us many different faces. It is an amazing body of work, but it > > doesn't pain me to admit that his best work is probably behind him. > > A lot of people felt this way in 1965. A lot of people felt this way > when he got born again. He's certainly not the same guy anymore, not > even the same guy he was when he made "Time Out Of Mind" -- some sort of > new mellowness and hopefulness has crept in -- and it's not to > everyone's taste. But I think his deepest stuff is still ahead of him. > "Now his wars on God begin -- at stroke of midnight God shall win . . ." > to quote Yeats. Shakespeare was most interesting in this phase ("A > Winter's Tale, "Cymbeline"), so was John Ford ("The Man Who Shot Liberty > Valence"), so was George Balanchine ("Davidsbundlertanze"). All of them > got a little goofier, less interested in the cosmetic discipline of > their crafts, but somehow heavier and more sublime. But again, not to > everyone's taste. Well said, Lloyd. I respect the carefully written critique by Mr. Clark, but there is a danger in dismissing any one phase of Bob's career work solely on a one shot criticism, based upon one show. Bob's work doesn't exist in a vacuum, and is best viewed as a part of the "art history", if you will, of his efforts. Like Rembrandt, whose style changed so dramatically through his life, to dismiss this period of Bob's work is, to me, at least, a bit of a tunnel vision approach. Indeed, however, as Lloyd stated, not to everyone's taste, but one of the constants of Dylan's career is the chameleon-like changing of style. This keeps him interesting, in my book. Best to fellow bobcats, Mitch
Subject: Re: Sadness @ Atlanta Gig From: sonlap ( Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 13:23:58 -0500 Organization: ISPNews Dabnabit! You young whippersnapper! Us folks in their 50's better go back to sittin' on that rocking chair so we don't depress you. Yup. I guess you better put aside some cool photos of yourself so when you are in your 50's (wow = ancient!) someone you love can ignore the new you and just live in the past. Don't blame Bob for your being sad. Sounds like something else is bothering you. The thought that you teach a Dylan course kind of scares me. Maybe you should switch to something happening like Red Hot Chilli Peppers or Porno for Pyros ... at least while they are still young.

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