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Bob Dylan 990707 in Clarkston

From: "BOB"
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 1999 12:32:14 -0400

Subject:╩ Report From Pine Knob  Music Theatre, Clarkston Wed 7-7-99 ╩ 
From: Bob, Email Hwy61@Prodigy.Net ╩ 
Date: Sat 7-10-99╩ Noon ╩ 

Belated Report (Was Out Of Town Last  Couple Days): ╩ Arrived
around 6:30 pm at pine knob  music theatre, row "yy" center of
pavilion, weather  clear but not as hot as night before at st 
andrews.╩ Bigger contrast though was crowd this night which  was
largely  "corporate" looking that took their time getting there
with food  and drink in hand.╩ Like myself,  I felt that a lot of
people probably didn't work real hard for tickets except to pay
the somewhat  outrageous prices, another contrast to St Andrews.
╩ Here goes, this time through  binoculars: ╩ immediately
surprised to see Bob's equipment on the  stage; expected him
second since he opened in  Milwaukee. ╩ About the time the drinks
and cue sheets  were being placed on stage, i could see Larry at
the left of the  stage behind some of the equipment fussing with
a violin, which  I hoped was a sign of something special to 
come. ╩ Pavilion was only a little over half  filled when band
came out, lawn was closer to full. It's irritating to me that
people aren't  on time, at least as a courtesy to the band  and
to the true fans that have to╩ watch people stroll  in leisurely
during the first 45 minutes of  the show....╩ But that's pine
knob, shades of Bob Seger, J Geils, Genesis shows of the late
70's, when shows started at  9:00 pm and everything else was

Show started a little after 7:00 pm  (didn't have a watch). ╩

Roving gambler---amazed at how good the accoustics  were, not
like aug 97 when  I was far right in the pavilion and there was
too much bass and echoes. ╩

Tambourine man----always liked the guitar work on this  one and
this night wasn't disappointed and got special  bonus of
excellent harp ending. ╩

Times---two things began to set in; how clear (enunciation) his
vocals are this night╩ and two songs  in a row that everybody in
this place will  recognize, including people who last heard bob
dylan or  singers that covered him on a.M. Radio in the 60's. It
was at the beginning of  this song that the guy next to me on the
 right arrived with two others and asked me when the show had
started and then  started eating and drinking and talking loud to
his friends (no respect for the  cassette walkman buried in my
clothing  which behaved amazingly well for row 51 at this big
kettle drum  of a music theatre. Listenable, but i'll be 
searching for a better tape.) ╩ ╩

Love-0 --absolutely stunning again, couldn't believe  two nights
in a row. My view is that this one and senor  below were
especially for true fans that couldn't get into st.  Andrews. ╩
Sometime, in the accoustic set, maybe now, maybe  later, when bob
turned around and changed guitars there was  a large diagonal wet
spot across his back  where the guitar strap goes.╩ He came out
working real hard for us and  didn't let up all night.╩╩ Can't
give a detailed fashion report but  bob had a grey suit on and
the other band members  I believe all had suits or at  least
coats on. ╩

Tangled---place was beginning to rock.╩ Harp  ending outstanding.

Pillbox hat---╩ a guy to my left who looked my age (55) smiled,
as if "oh yeh  I  remember that funny song". To me though, a
treat, again two nights in a  row, a bit brief but i could tell
some  serious stuff might be  brewing. ╩

Senor----now the absolute highlight for  me.╩ Larry playing a
haunting fiddle intro.  I knew now why he was fussing with it
before  the show.╩ Then a solo part way through and again at the
end of the song. Absolutely amazing....╩ This song and long black
coat  from night before are quite a pair for me  especially on
days when it's hot and humid here in  michigan. ╩

Mobile--- I really like this song, and  this night╩ enunciation
was clear, guitar work  excellent. As if "i'd like to show you
(other)  people  I really can sing" and of course just a treat
for╩ true  fans. ╩

Make you feel my love---tender, one of  my favorites from the new
album (along with not dark yet last night) ╩ "thank youuuuu....
Ladies and gentlemen.╩  I have to play that
(uninteligible)......Number one country  song here, wrote it for
my  buddy garth brooks...(Uniteligible)".╩ Best  I can do  from
what  I consider my contingency tape, will be searching  for a
better one. Also no nightly joke. ╩

Highway 61---how many times can  I say how penetrating  this is
live, my alltime favorite rock and roll song. ╩

Like a rolling stone---need to revisit this one on recent good
tapes  I have.╩ Tonight renewed my interest big time. Unusual
guitar ending for last  minute of the song. Something like a
little kid saying this is mine i'll let you see it  but you can't
have it "nah, nah...Nah, nah, nah".╩ Also the  crowd, now close
to 100 percent, enjoyed this one, including the "other" people
there that might of last heard it in  1966. ╩ Vocals and guitar
holding up exceptionally well at  this point, under extremely
trying physical conditions╩ as  I viewed >from my binoculars.
Bob's front side was saturated  as the sun was shining directly
on the  stage now from its setting behind the hill where the lawn
fans were  located. ╩

Blowin in the wind---another crowd-pleaser.╩ Glad  to be hearing
this one again for the past year after the couple outstanding 
versions in 96. Only wish he'd lenghten it a bit like the cottbus
jul 96 version and maybe play it less often.  ╩ Bob introduced
paul simon and  ╩

sounds of silence----bob's first contribution was  delicate harp
two minutes in. Can only seem to here paul simon vocals though.
Third time through tape can hear what sounds like larry's pedal
steel???  Don't remember what  I saw though. ╩

That'll be the day/ the wanderer---hadn't noticed this  change in
the milwaukee setlist so  I was surprised to here  them. These
songs were extremely entertaining╩ and reminded me of the  covers
that bruce springsteen opened a lot of his 1978 shows with (sorry
for switching subjects but  I can't help it i'm  also a bruce
springsteen pre-1985 addict). ╩

Knockin on heaven's door---bob's vocals predominated  except for
the " I can hear you knockin but can't come in" of paul  simon,
which my first reaction was how can he desecrate an epic anthem
with such  a lame attempt at humor(?).╩╩ But  towards the end
when bob was singing the same line, and smiling like  I have 
never seen him do quite like that since maybe videos from the
60's, i'm now  wondering if that line was bob's doing for 
showmanship sake. If anybody knows...... ╩

Band left╩ the stage to the right with Bob and  Paul Simon's arms
around each other's backs. What seemed like  a minute (probably
seconds) later, Larry walked left to right across  the back of
the stage  with two instrument cases, smaller one maybe the
violin. Truly an unusual sight  and treat, at least for me to see
a real band member before and after the show  doing what he did.

╩ Band equipment change was interesting to see while  everyone
else went to the concession stands to stand in line forever and
pay an  arm and a leg for nachos and a beer, another Pine Knob
"have to" ( I  didn't have a date with me tonight thank
goodness).╩ The back wall of the stage opened up to reveal a huge

They wheeled out Bob's equipment in about two minutes and then
wheeled in two  huge rugs followed by the massive drum equipment
and other instruments.  I  wondered how they know things are
working without a sound-check that the   audience can  hear, but
in this day and age of no vacuum tubes..... ╩  I saw someone's
watch and it was 9:15 pm. It still  wasn't totally dark yet.

All I could think of was the 15,000 cars in the parking  lot and
the absolute ordeal it is to get out of this place in the
humongous traffic jam.╩ So  I began to rationalize, i'll stay for
half the show.  Fatigue and an indescribable "completeness" began
to set in from two  nights of being blessed with the best, most
intense experience.  I found myself  having to concentrate to
listen to someone else's music under  this influence.╩  I left
after three  songs and zipped home in record time (sorry  to any
Paul Simon fans.  I really do like some but not  all of his
music. Listen to the 91 Central  Park cd mainly...) ╩

P.S. Apologies to readers of my review from St Andrews  the other
day for any profanity that crept in but  I was still under the
unexplainable influence of being so close to the  band during
that show and maybe a litlle  second hand smoke. ╩ 

Thanks. ╩ 

Bob╩╩ ╩ ╩

Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1999 21:15:17 -0400 To: From: HUGH MAHLER Subject: Clarkston Show I saw Bob and Paul last night, and was totally blown away. That was the first time I saw Paul and the sixth or seventh time I've seen Bob since '96. Bob played first. He played six acoustic and six electric. When the band came out, the sun was still high in the sky, and the audience was sparse. Everyone was seated except for me, my friend, and a hippie girl down in front. People were walking around and talking to each other, as old Bob played to the first, thinly occupied fifteen rows. The show had a different feel to all the other Bob shows I have been to. This was much more casual than the usual packed theatre and virtual darkness. So that's Roving Gambler, eh? I had never heard it, believe it or not, until last night. Bob's antics during it were hilarious, getting laughter from Larry, Tony and Charlie. Since about summer of last year (correct me if I'm wrong), Bob has been much more animated and playful. Telling jokes, kicking his cowboy boots at young hot teens, moving like Mick Jagger when he plays harmonica. "Believe I'd rather die, Lord, b'lieve I'd rather die..." Tambourine Man. Highlight of the show? I don't know. I will have to hear a tape, but the way Bob sang & played harp (harmonica) on this was unlike anything else last night. He sung a chorus as a caricature of his Blonde-on-Blonde self and twisted and contorted the melody of the song so mastefully, I was laughing at almost every line. It was a laugh of incredulity, not a laugh at what one may percieve to be his lack of melody. Am I making sense? Times they are a-changin. Bob kept messing up the lyrics. This song hasn't changed much from the version on Unplugged. Of course it has changed some, but the way Dylan and Tony Garnier are constantly reworking songs, I am a little suprised that the curent version can still be compared to a version from almost four years ago. Bob played almost all of the lead guitar on this and the rest of the songs. Like many have said before me, Charlie sexton, the new boy, didn't do too much at all. Love- 0 / No Limit. This is the best I have ever heard it. Larry Campbell played pedal steel for this one. Bob sang flawlessly. No tripping over words, and plenty of hilarious antics. Tangled Up in Blue. This is the first time I missed Bucky all night. It took five songs, but, now that I think about it, I really miss his pedal steel and mandolin. I figure Bob knows best. One lyric change I noticed. "...great North woods, workin' night and day, working for a while on a fishin boat, but his mind was slippin' away..." During this song he danced, soloed, played harmonica with no guitar hanging from him and kicked his feet at the hippie girl dancing down front. The only one dancing. Electric Guitars came out for Leopard-skin Pilbox Hat. I can't remember if he played harmonica on this one. This song had the tightest ending I've ever heard from Dylan live. I loved the arrangement on this one. When I heard it first, though, i thought it may be Rainy Day. Thank God it wasn't. Also, the phrasing on the "I asked the doctor if I could come see you.." verse had me and my friend in stitches. Kemper really started to display his talent (on drums) when the electric guitars came out. Senor. Larry on fiddle. You heard me. Fiddle! I love to see Dylan's shows constantly, and consistently, changing. The Dylan of two years ago would have scoffed at a fiddle and hramony vocals. I don't know this for sure, and you may think I don't know what i'm talking about, but it seems Bob is diversifying the show in ways he never has before. I mean, yeah, when he had an eleven-piece band in the seventies there was a bigger variety of sounds, but now the man is working with an all strings line-up (save Kemper, of course) of four men, and he can go from a blues romp to early 20th-century folk (usually vice-versa) in minutes. At the end of this song Bob said something like: "that's a song we play called 'Senor,' It's for all you bilingual people..." Memphis Blues Again. Another song constantly morphing. Missed Bucky's pedal steel again. This was a stupendous rendition in spite of Dylan's timing being off and Tony cutting the ending short. Charlie, who wore a light tan suit with no tie, played an inaudible acoustic guitar during this song, but still laughed and joked with Tony and Larry throughout. It was at this point that my friend said to me: "Look at him. Why does he play the guitar like that? What advantage does that have? He plays it Penguin-style." Penguin-style, eh? I bet no one's ever thought of that one before. After they played MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE, Bob said: "That was a number one country song that i wrote for my buddy, Garth Brooks." By this point in the night, Bob's silver suit was half-soaked in sweat. Speaking of the silver suit, I was thinking: he must have more than one of those things. In almost every picture I see of him these days he is wearing his "Grammy" suit. I can't believe that same suit has withstood all the shows since I first saw the thing at the Toledo show in Feb98. Maybe it is made out of some really sturdy material. And if he only wears it for two or three hours at a time, it may not be as torn-and-tattered as one would think. Okay... When Bob introduced Larry, he called him "one of the greatest guitar players in the land." What is it with Bob's recent extolling of Larry, in particular? He never used to mention his band members as they compare to the rest of the population, although in Oct 98, Bob said: "let me introduce the band to you; my best one yet..." HWY 61. For a song that gets played at almost every show, it still packs a punch. "Let me think for a minute... SON!" The guitars were going crazy on this song. I think even Charlie played some lead. This one has a great ending, too and shows off the dynamics of the band. Yes, I know that was a vague statment. What i mean is that this band has great communication and knows how to pick up cues and raise and lower the volume by the lifting of an eybrow or a glance at Kemper. I was not expecting to hear Like a Rolling Stone. After Dylan sang the phrase: "Like a rolling stone," Charlie Sexton stomped on one of the many unused effect pedals and did that infamous five second wank on the major lift. You know what i mean, right? Blowin in the wind. When they sang the word "WIND," I loved it, I thought it was great, but my friend was cringing. The way that they sung "WIND," is one of those moments that make you love him or hate him. Maybe those moments don't actually inspire such a decision, but I feel like there should be something dramatic to say about such an assassinating moment. "Now... (mumble, mumble, mumble)... one of the greatest songwriters this century, Paul Simon..." Sounds of Silence was absolutely beautiful because the song itself seemed to rise out of two old men fiddling around on their guitars until the rest of the band jumped in. Larry on a very spooky, eerie, time out of mind-ish pedal steel. In fact, as the song got rolling, it sounded like it could have easily been a track off TOOM. Paul was looking good in a baseball cap and olive t-shirt. He was playing an electric guitar, and Bob was still acoustic from Blowin.' Tony's Uprite Bass was used for this song. Their voices together actually sounded good, but it looked like it could have come crashing, crumbling at any second. Bob and Paul were watching each other with great uncertainty, until Bob walked away to the place where he kept his harmonicas. He searched for the harp in the right key, found it, put it to his mouth and blew pure magic. The crowd, finally beggining to wake up, went wild. It ended in the classic Dylan way; a drawn-out hum on the chord that begins the song. A-minor? They did two buddy Holy songs that got the crowd rockin'. Paul sang most of it. He knew the words, and didn't fumble around like Bob did, so Bob let him sing, but Paul kept inviting him with winks and nods. Finally, Knockin' On Heaven's Door. Bob sang a verse, then Bob, Paul, Larry and Charlie sung the chorus. After the chorus, the drums came in and Bob soloed. Paul sung the next verse, with the chorus sung by the four men. Bob did the final verse : "Mama, wipe the tears outa my eyes..." and as they sang the chorus, Paul started to insert a rather corny phrase, which I had read something about, a few days ago: "I hear you knockin' but you can't come in..." Many of the online Dylan fans were rolling their eyes at Paul's daily insertion of this phrase, but Dylan, who has recently been showing how much of a "cornball" he is (with play-on-words jokes and comments like the one after 'senor'), jumped right in and sang with Paul: I HEAR YOU KNOCKIN BUT YOU CANT COME IN I HEAR YOU KNOCKIN BUT YOU CANT COME IN I HEAR YOU KNOCKIN BUT YOU CANT COME IN Etc... Before that, though, was a little bit of singing over each other and around each other and "Knockin'" and "so many times before," and "I hear you knockin but you can't come in" which made them arrive at the aforementioned verse. The song closed, however, with the following verse, although the last line was different for Paul, Bob and Larry: JUST LIKE SO MANY TIMES BEFORE JUST LIKE SO MANY TIMES BEFORE JUST LIKE SO MANY TIMES BEFORE Larry: JUST LIKE SO MANY TIMES BEFORE Bob: I HEAR YOU KNOCK IN BUT YOU CANT COME .... INNNNN!!!!! Paul: KNOCK KNOCK KNOCKIN ON HEAVEN'S DOOR Chalie: (silent) They ended with huge smiles on all of their faces, and Paul came back, forty minutes later, with a set that impressed the audience more than Bob's. But what do they know? Right? Yeah. Okay... Well, I would just like to request a tape of this show or any show this year. email ---Kevin
1999: January - February - March - April - May - June - July