Bob Dylan 2000.07.01 in Del Mar, California
Del Mar Fairgrounds, Grandstand, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Subject: Re: July 1, 2000 - Del Mar, California - setlist From: email@example.com Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 11:38:54 -0700 Before the show started I noticed that, unlike Ventura, they'd put up a semi-transparent black backdrop behind the stage, despite the fact that there was a pretty hill with a lot of white mediterranean-style cliff-houses in the near-distance. But I think maybe they were trying to obscure our view of a giant construction crane just behind the stage. Several stories high, it had two cables attached to it and was being used as one of the fairground attractions -- sort of a giant swing-set or human wrecking-ball set-up. So, intermittently throughout the show, the audience would see a couple of people at the end of these cables swinging back and forth in a wide arc, with their arms outstretched like they were pretending to fly. While not a big deal when it happened on a fast song, it was a bit distracting on something like "Long Black Veil." Anyway, the show itself was good, but despite the excellent set-list, most of the performances seemed merely professional, not inspired. Some of the slower songs probably contained subtle effects that I didn't pick up on, but on first hearing, this was the least enjoyable of the four shows I've seen in the last week. I've always liked "Long Black Veil" since I first heard Nick Cave's and The Band's versions of it many years ago, and Bob's was fine last night, but a little too low-key for my tastes. "Visions" was heavily instrumental -- I think they played a whole verse and chorus before Bob started singing, and then did the same during the middle and at the end of the song. While it didn't seem like he seriously mixed up the lyrics, I don't think he got them quite right -- something like, "The peddler now speaks to the countess who's pretending to say a prayer for him/Saying name me someone who's not a parasite and I'll go out and say a prayer for him." This was my first time hearing "Tears of Rage" in a few years, and it had really pronounced background vocals on the chorus -- for instance, Bob would almost speak, rather than sing, the title phrase, then Larry and Charlie would repeat it, singing loudly and mournfully. The same thing with "tears of grief," etc. (if I'm remembering right). In all, the show was consistently well-performed, but except maybe for "Down in the Flood" and "Wicked Messenger," it didn't really seem to take off.
From: "Kimberly Wade" firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 11:39:29 -0700 I felt compelled to write after reading the review you posted of the Del Mar Fair show. I was also at the show and had a radically different opinion of it. Of course, I have only seen Dylan on one other occassion, when he was at Coors, Chula Vista last year. The contrast between these two shows was startling. I came away from the Chula Vista show feeling somewhat concerned about Dylan, who had seemed tired and stiff. I remember wondering if he was ill. At the Del Mar Fair this past Saturday he appeared so much looser and more relaxed he looked years younger. He looked out over the audience frequently, whereas at Coors I don't remember a single glance at the audience despite our ability at that show to crowd very close to the stage, not ten feet from where he played. I remember standing there so close to him with the audience all being very still. At Del Mar the audience was all bobbing and dancing despite the greater distance. Most endearing was seeing Dylan tug at his hair between songs causing the bush to grow higher and crazier. It was longer and grayer than last year. A highlight of the show was the brief interlude with the harp, when Dylan threw his guitar to the side and knelt on one knee with one arm in the air and blew the sweetest, clearest notes I've ever heard, really fine. At the end of each set, Dylan stood with the rest of his band in a line facing the audience. Except for Dylan, the band looked incredibly uncomfortable in this position, especially Charlie Sexton, who stood with his head down and guitar in front of him. The lights were on us and Dylan surveyed us directly for a full minute or more before turning cauusually to leave. The band followed. It was a gesture unlike anything I've ever seen from a performer. I expected them to take a bow or something, but they simply stood for our scrutiny, a moment of mutual acceptance that was really grand. I can't imagine not being moved by it. I dare say your previous reviewer has seen too many Dylan shows (if that is possible), although if I had the means to do so I imagine the temptation would be great. I hate to think I could ever reach a point where I would take him so for granted. An un-jaded fan.