Bob Dylan 2000.03.21 in Marysville, California
Sacramento Valley Amphitheater, 2677 Forty Mile Road, 18,500 tickets Subject: a hot time in marysville 6-21 review From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jesse Shanks) Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 14:33:42 -0700 Man, it was hot. Sacramento Valley Amphitheater is a new venue that has been open less than two weeks and is located in the sun-baked boondocks of California, north of Sacramento. Very well organized and easily accessible, the SVA is a fine facility. I found the atmosphere a little commercial, but that's the 00's - God bless 'em. It was not sold out (they even ran TV commercials the night before the show on local TV) and at 15 mintues to show time it was about half full and the crowd was milling around. The sun was drilling down on me over my right shoulder as I eyeballed the empty stage. I had seen pictures of Phil's setup on Dead.net and this didn't look like it. I saw them bring out the standup bass and I realized that despite what I had read on Bob Links, Bob was opening this show. Sure enough, a few minutes later out onto the stage strode Columbia recording artist Bob Dylan and his band. I had expected Bob to be wearing sunglasses, so that we could spin back to another time and place with him. However, despite the fact that the entire band was wearing shades, Bob was not. With very little fanfare, they launched into Hallelujah, Stone Walls and Dark as a Dungeon as a traditional/gospel/bluegrassy trilogy opening. I had only seen him sing one of these so I was glad to add to my unique song list but I am with those who have mixed feelings about these song choices. The mandolin by Larry was crystalline and Bob's singing was clear and quite emotional. His enunciation was clear and he really sang the words in context. Then I thought I heard Don't Think Twice, but rather it was Mama, You Been On My Mind. This was a personal treat for me. I have loved this song for years and had hoped to hear it. Bob's performance was very sweet. TUIB was typically rocking and affecting. The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest was a total treat. The ironic twists of Dylan's voice were delightfully as he talked/sang the sardonic mini-morality tale. "'Eternity?' said Frankie Lee." It was one of several performances this evening that seemed to lovely re-reading of the original recordings. With almost no time lapse, they strapped on the electrics and popped off Country Pie, another song that I had not heard live. "Raspberry, strawberry, lemon and lime/What do I care?" The precise guitar played by Larry and Charlie was great fun. I Shall Be Released and Memphis Blues were nicely rendered. I was amazed in the case of Memphis Blues, how close it seemed to the original recording... right down to the nuances of Bob's phrasing. I even expected that little editing glitch at "40 pounds of headlines stapled to his chest" Simple Twist of Fate was moving and Bob's performance was just stellar. Powerful steel buitar from Larry on this one, like a whole orchestra. Drifter's Escape started up and I thought for a second that Larry's intro sounded like "Crossroads." This was one of the most unusual performances I have heard from Bob and I enjoyed it. He seemd to have some difficulty with getting a harmonica he liked and the song seemed to end abruptly with a very short harp solo. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat was rocking and seems a quintessential set-ender. There is so much room for stomping, loud guitar and the words are so essentially Dylanesque. This was another occasion where Bob's performance, even at this volume and energy, was very subtle. The Band stood frozen in the applause for what seemed like a long time and then filtered off the stage. They very quickly they came right back and launched into Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues. This was another personal thrill. I had never heard this song live in a concert and it was great to sing "If you see Saint Annie/Please tell her thanks a lot" along with Bob. This was followed by Like A Rolling Stone. The vocalization that Dylan used in this concert made this song in particular such a fine experience. Even though I have heard Bob sing this one live many times now, it never loses that sensation of something being proved or something being revealed. Just to shout out "How does it feel?" into that swrling mix of guitars (and the ghost piano of Richard Manuel and the whisper of Al Kooper's organ playing and the immortal stamp of Mike Bloomfield) was an affirmation and acceptance of life. It Aint Me Babe with long harmonica solo capped off the night. From the whispery personal sound of Bob's voice to the laughing, descending "No, no, no it aint me, babe/it aint me yer looking for" made this song into an absolutely singular joyful noise. The the band slapped on the electrics and ripped out the distorted noises that announced Rainy Day Women. I welcomed it because I knew they would play effin' loud and they did. Once again the band stood for a long time in the applause before leaving the stage. Another fine night of Dylan songs! I personally feel such a gratitude to the band. They provide such a powerful, professional and comfortable place for Bob to float and weave his magic night after night for his fans.