Bob Dylan 2000.03.14 in Visalia, CA
Subject: Re: March 14, 2000 - Visalia, California - Setlist From: Zardoz
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 22:46:06 GMT This review is a couple days late, but I just got access to a computer again, and I don't see any mention of this show yet. Anyway, I think it was very good -- mostly well-performed and well-paced, and yet still containing a couple of surprises. Some random memories (or delusions): If you've ever been to a lecture or something at a convention center attached to a hotel, you know the basic setup of the hall. Just a bunch of rows of chairs all at the same level on a concrete floor. When Bob first came on stage, people stood up only briefly. Then they mostly remained seated until a stage-rush before "Not Dark Yet." One verse of "My Back Pages" began with "Girls faces form..." but Dylan soon started mumbling and when he was singing clearly again, it had turned (appropriately) into the "confusion boats" verse, which he then went on to repeat in its entirety. "Girl From the North Country" opened with Tony using the bow on his bass and ended with another long bow stroke. The performance was slow and sad. "Blind Willie McTell" was slower and had a less angular arrangement than the last time I heard it (Concord, 1998?). Larry again played that odd-looking guitar-like instrument (a bouzouki?). As with Bakersfield, "Memphis Blues" was a highlight. Then "Dear Landlord" really surprised me. I can't say I especially like the song, but the arrangement was pretty good. Sort of a standard mid-tempo blues number on the verses (da-dum da-dum da-dum...), followed by very loud instrumental breaks where the band basically just bashed three chords for a short time. It was along the lines of "Ballad of a Thin Man" in terms of the structure -- where the musical riff is especially prominent between verses. When Bob finished singing the last verse, all three guitarists hit the same three chords like bam-bam BAM (pause) bam-bam BAM, and the song was over. Then he laughed and mumbled something that included the phrase "pay rent." "Cat's in The Well" was really well-played, and I remember thinking that one lyric sounded different -- I think Dylan sang something like "the beast is at the door" rather than "wolf" (if I heard correctly, though maybe he just sang "leaves"). So, even though the whole song is about beasts of various sorts, it took on an even more apocalyptic tone than it already has, I thought. Finally, "Blowin' In the Wind" started unpromisingly with "How many years must a man walk down...." but quickly turned into an excellent performance -- Bob received a lot of cheering when he really stretched out the line "Tooooooooooooooooooooo many people have died." And when he finished the song, he flipped his harmonica up in the air just a bit and caught it again, sort of like a movie gunslinger who gives his pistol a nonchalant twirl after blowing someone away. Incidentally, I saw Blondie's drummer Clem Burke standing backstage surveying the crowd. I think he played with Dylan sometime back in the '80s or so. ----------- > Visalia, California > March 14, 2000 > Visalia Convention Center > > 1. I Am The Man, Thomas (acoustic) > 2. My Back Pages (acoustic) (Larry on violin - Bob on harp) > 3. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (acoustic) > 4. Girl Of The North Country (acoustic) > 5. Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) > 6. This World Can't Stand Long (acoustic) > 7. Country Pie > 8. Blind Willie McTell > 9. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again > 10. Dear Landlord > 11. Not Dark Yet > 12. Highway 61 Revisited > > (encore) > 13. Love Sick > 14. Cat's In The Well > 15. Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic) (Bob on harp) > 16. Not Fade Away
Subject: Re: March 14, 2000 - Visalia, California - Setlist From: LAWRENCE J HAYES
Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 10:26:41 -0800 > Then he laughed and mumbled something that included the phrase "pay rent." It was something like: "That one was so I don't have to pay rent."
Subject: Bakersfield and Visalia and some thoughts on the current tour From: subterraneansean1
Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2000 04:07:53 -0800 Bobfolks, The Tour of 2000- Have we ever seen such variation within the setlists? Have we ever heard such a unique sound from the NET band? Has Bob's electric soloing ever been this solid? Has Bob's harmonica playing been this strong in years? Is this the best Bob tour of the last 25 years and maybe ever? The answers, my friends, are No, No, No, No and only time will tell. I know that since most of Bob's recent stops have been in out of the way places many of us RMDers haven't been able to get to the shows. I've had the good fourtune of attending two of the shows (Bakersfield and Visalia) and I must say that I was absolutely OVERWHELMED by what is currently going on with Bob and his boys. Here are some comments and observations that I'd like to share- 1. The sound that Bob and the band is creating is so tight and direct that it is nearly incomprehensible. My brother (who has a great musical ear) and I spent a few songs of both concerts attempting to isolate the sounds created by each instrument and found it nearly impossible to do so! The guys work so closely together within the spaces in the songs that the music that they make almost seems artificial in some crazy way. I can only very rarely hear Tony Garnier's bass guitar. I'm wondering if anybody else has any thoughts on this. Is this the type of sound that Bobby Blue Bland's band had? Can you compare the NETB muscially to any other band that you have heard? 2. Bob's electric soloing has never been better. No longer is he limiting himself to the "dat-dah, da-da-da-dat-dah, da-da-da- dat-dah," that we have grown used to in the last few years. He is now ripping off the occasional blues lick along with some pretty intricate work that seems leaps and bounds beyond what he was doing even last year. His poses and struts with the guitar have taken on a life of their own and prove how into the shows he is this time around. 3. Bob's handling of the harmonica within his shows is becoming a very interesting part of his performances. Now, he only picks up the mouth organ twice a concert, but each time that he does he really makes a production out of it. He will usually turn away from the mike, dramatically sling his guitar off to one side (or take it off completely and set it down) and then go back and grab the harp from in front of Dave Kemper and his drum set. Then he appears to hold the harp up into the air, almost saying, "Look what I got here." -until the crowd realizes what he is doing and begins to go crazy- and then proceeds to blow out a few tunes. In Visalia during "Blowin' in the Wind," Bob had set his guitar down and was blowing in the middle of stage, holding onto his harp with his left hand and making nearly comedic (but very cool) guestures with his right hand!!!!! I really think that the comparisions to Charlie Chaplin that we used to read about may have been dead on! For some reason the harmonica, during almost any musical performance, drives audiences into an uproar. I've always wondered why- what do you think? BTW- Bob's harp playing is stronger and louder than it has been in I don't know how long. The quality of his harp solos still seem a bit mediocre though. 4. Obviously the amazing variation in his setlists is the most enthralling thing about this tour so far. Here are some ideas about some of the songs that I have heard so far that he has not played frequently (or ever) before: "It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding"- This appears to be becoming a staple for him on this tour. I saw it twice and was not overly impressed by either time, mainly because the words were not always audible in front of the music of the band. Lyrically this is undoubtedly one of his greatest works and when you can hear the words -especially the last lines of the verses- it can be very powerful. It's my belief that he is playing the song in honor of his recently departed mother- but who knows? "Country Pie"- I have loved this song for as long as I can remember- it's funny, fast, jaunty and excitingly short. The version played now is very similar to the Nashville Skyline recording- except that he leaves out the "I won't throw it up in anybody's face" line. "Here's a little pie for all you hungry people out there," he remarked after playing it in Bakersfield. "Dear Landlord"- This has never been one of my favorites, I usually skip by it on JWH, but the live version was very cool. Especially the ending where the unique changes really came to the forefront. This song is supposed to be about Albert Grossman, I guess. Very good stuff. "Dignity"- Bob's best 90's song prior to Time Out of Mind, the band really rips through through this one. It was the first electric number in Baskersfield and was absolute magic. I find it more interesting than "Watchtower" but I would love to hear both of them back to back. "Things Have Changed"- The live version, not surprisingly enough, is very similar to the song on the video and on the soundtrack to Wonder Boys. It's a pretty good song, but nothing really that special. Bob's vocals seemed kind of distant during the performance in Baskerfield. Alright, I guess that's more than enough, I had a lot to say about the shows and now I've said most of it. Take care everybody!! -in Bob we trust- subterraneanSean "Cause I get paid by the word." "He not busy being born is busy dying." "Of all those who eyes and all those who have ears, it is only he who can reduce me to tears."