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Bob Dylan 950523 San Francisco

Date:    Wed, 24 May 1995 06:25:27 GMT
From:    "Jay S. Luxenberg, M.D." (naj@ITSA.UCSF.EDU)
Subject: Warfield 5/23

This a feeble attempt at a setlist for tonight from an addled memory.

Watching The River Flow
I Want You
All Along The Watchtower
Queen Jane Approximately
Mr. Tambourine Man (a)
Boots Of Spanish Leather (a)
Dont Think Twice, Its Alright
God Knows
Never Gonna Be The Same Again
Obviously 5 Believers

Stuck Inside Of Mobile
The Times They Are A Changin' (a)

An excellent concert. The first two songs were done sans guitar for Dylan,
and he was animated and articulated the lyrics well. Extremely rockin'
version of 5 Believers and very interesting arrangement of Never Gonna Be
The Same Again with introduction were highlights for me.

Jay Luxenberg

Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 06:38:02 GMT From: Arthur Siegel (arto@WELL.SF.CA.US) Subject: Re: Warfield 5/23 Good show indeed! Corrections to Jays setlist: first song was Down in the Flood Jokerman came between Queen jane and Silvio. Sitting behind the mixer, I could see the printed setlist. Shooting Star was the other choice for the Never Gonna Be the Same slot. Tombstone Blues or Obviously 5 believers. It Aint me babe or "Times they are a'changin'" Glad Bob picked Times as the final encore. It was an excellent version.
Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 13:34:42 -0400 From: Braitman (braitman@AOL.COM) Subject: Warfield/23 May 95 Last night's show (5/23) was very different in spirit. Only four songs repeated from Monday ("Down in the Flood" as opener, "All Along the Watchtower," the poignant "Mr. Tambourine Man," and a pumping iron version of "Obviously 5 Believers"). Generally, I felt the band was less fiery, less insistent on the beats, but perhaps more genuinely emotive at times. Surprises included a slow, soulful "Spanish Boots of Spanish Leather," and a set-closer of "The Times They Are A-Changin'. This latter was substitute for Monday's highlight of "My Back Pages" (disappointingly missing), though "Times" was close and attempted the same stately grandeur of singing and instrumentation. My favorite was a totally blasting version of "God Knows," which minimized his vocal participation and gave all the musicians a long robust turn at hard, hard rock. Excellent tempo changes and dynamic modulation. Riveting! Examiner and Chronicle reviews out of the Monday show, and they're typically stupid boosterism. Craig Marine of the Ex has now shown himself a real silly writer a few times, with such banalities as "one of his most inspired, moving and beautiful performances, leaving those lucky enough to be in attendance with a lasting vision of greatness." Yawn, yeh yeh yeh. Joel Selvin, of course, is beneath contempt, and-typical-he left before the end of the show (as revealed by his comment that "Lenny Bruce" was the encore. Wrong. There were at least four songs after that.) Speaking of "Lenny Bruce," I think I've finally figured out what Dylan is trying to do with this. The lyrics are so straightforward and plain, very mundane in fact, and the melody almost so. I think he's written a song in the style of the very early rustic folk ballads, using as a kind of modern irony a quintessentially sophisticated subject. The problem is in making the two elements works together, and I don't think Bob has ever done this successfully. It doesn't work as a full modern rock band version, and it doesn't work (like Monday's version) as a moody modern acoustic string band piece. Better, perhaps, to do it true primitive style, solo acoustic guitar and voice. Give it a try, Bob. Bob even made a couple jokes and laughed once when he was introducing his pedal steel player. Couldn't make out the words, though; have to wait for the bootleg.
Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 13:40:10 -0400 From: Braitman (braitman@AOL.COM) Subject: Re: Warfield 5/23 "Times" was neat to hear, but not as effective as MOnday night's "My Back Pages," where his voice had greater emotional power. Also, his harp was stellar.
Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 14:13:51 -0400 From: Fess (fess@AOL.COM) Subject: Re: Warfield/23 May 95 I'm afraid Lenny Bruce was in fact the first of 2 encores.
Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 18:52:23 GMT From: Raegen Rasnic (raygin@NETCOM.COM) Subject: Re: Warfield/23 May 95 Braitman ( wrote: : Joel Selvin, of : course, is beneath contempt, and-typical-he left before the end of the : show : (as revealed by his comment that "Lenny Bruce" was the encore. Wrong. : There : were at least four songs after that.) Well, I was there too, and I definitely remember it as the encore, just before "My Back Pages". It was great, though, wasn't it? : Bob even made a couple jokes and laughed once when he was introducing his : pedal steel player. Couldn't make out the words, though; have to wait for : the bootleg. I didn't see a pedal steel from where I was sitting, but when he introduced the dobro player, he made some reference to the guy being "the ex-mayor of Buckley, West Virginia". Must be a private joke or something. Just helping keep the record straight. -RR
Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 19:45:31 GMT From: Seth Kulick (skulick@ZEBULON.CIS.UPENN.EDU) Subject: 5/23 SF Examiner Review This just came over the Van Morrison mailing list. A bit silly, yes, but it's nice to see Bob get such good press. Sheesh, all these positive comments almost make me want to go to Giants Stadium. Actually, I think it would be really great if Bob took advantage of playing a small theatre like the Warfield by opening up, with, say, "Gotta Serve Somebody" and "I Believe in You" and then playing all new songs, never before performed live, with a good chunk not even officially released yet. Top it off with lots of talking to the audience, and maybe standing at the mike singing without a guitar, for, say, "Pressing On", and that would be guaranteed to get even better reviews. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Thought this might be of interest to the Van group: oo The best side of Bob Dylan by Craig Marine Tuesday, May 23, 1995 TWO days shy of his 54th birthday, Bob Dylan treated San Francisco to one of his most inspired, moving and beautiful performances, leaving those lucky enough to be in attendance with a lasting vision of greatness. As anyone who has ever seen more than one Dylan show can tell you, going to a Dylan concert is a bit of a crap shoot. When he is in a foul mood, there is no one in show business who can touch Dylan for tossing away a song in a mass of mumbles or frustrating his own band members with such petty annoyances as neglecting to inform them as to which song he might be playing next. But when he is fully present and focused on his material, as he was Monday night at the Warfield Theater, Bob Dylan shows why he is far and away the most gifted singer / songwriter of the latter part of the 20th century. The wealth of the material he can choose from is staggering, and Monday he was in a generous mood, reaching into his catalog for such gems as "Obviously Five Believers" from "Blonde on Blonde," "Tears of Rage" from "The Basement Tapes," and "Lenny Bruce" from the underrated "Shot of Love" album. This was not, however, a trip through the arcane Dylan. Instead, it was a masterful demonstration of musicianship by Dylan and his four man backup band. The group, the same basic quartet that backs Dylan on his latest "Unplugged" record, has worked up fascinating and original new arrangements of some Dylan classics that prove how vital these songs -- some of them more than 30 years old -- remain today. During the course of two hours, Dylan played just 14 songs, giving each his full attention and drawing every possible hint of emotion from each. Although this was a full-on rock band, they were also capable of nuance, lending a country sound with Bucky Baxter's slide guitar to tunes such as "Man in the Long Black Coat" and "She Belongs to Me." Lead guitarist John Jackson let fly with some dog-whistle high notes during a rollicking "All Along the Watchtower," which, as the show's third song, served notice that Dylan had come to play this night. However loud the music was, it wasn't necessary to strain to hear the lyrics, as Dylan was in an enunciating frame of mind and the band brought the sound down some when it came time to sing, making some of the songs clearer even than they sound on the original recordings. Dylan, while not exactly a chatterbox, did acknowledge the crowd's applause after each song and -- surprise of surprise -- even cracked a bit of a smile once or twice. This last development may have accounted for his refusal to allow photographers into the hall. More than anything, however, what lent Monday night's show its magnificence was a stunning, three-song, half hour acoustic segment in the middle of the show. Following a particularly rocking "Tombstone Blues," Dylan stood alone in a spotlight holding a microphone in one hand and a harmonica in the other and sang the most tender and pure version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" imaginable, accompanied softly by his band. The effect was mesmerizing, as Dylan seemed to put his soul into the song, allowing a glimpse into the vulnerable heart of the man capable of writing such a gem in the first place. He then picked up an acoustic guitar for a monumental version of "Desolation Row" and closed the acoustic segment with a version of "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" that made it clear to all that they were in the presence of genius. There may be only three true geniuses in the history of rock: Dylan, Brian Wilson and John Lennon. All right, four if you toss in Boy George. But rarely does the public get an opportunity to witness genius at work. That said, Monday night's brilliance is no guarantee of the quality of any of the many Dylan shows taking place around the Bay Area in the next several days, including two shows at the Berkeley Community Theatre this Thursday and Friday and an appearance atop this coming Saturday's bill at the Laguna Seca Days outside of Monterey. It may be difficult for Dylan to stay attentive night after night, or perhaps more accurately year after year, as he continues the "Neverending Tour" through which he is attempting at least partially to separate Dylan the man from Dylan the myth. By making himself so accessible and touring so constantly, Dylan becomes less the reclusive genius of years gone by and more as he views himself, as a troubadour with a guitar and a few songs to share. When Dylan closed Monday's show with an acoustic rendition of "My Back Pages," finally standing alone after yet another wonderful harmonica solo, he seemed all of his nearly 54 years. Yet the song never sounded better, and the chorus, with Dylan singing, "But I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now," never seemed more suited to an artist who clearly still has so much to offer the world. 05/23/95 18:09 PST (c)Tuesday, May 23, 1995 San Francisco Examiner, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication Prohibited.
Date: Mon, 29 May 1995 13:50:35 -0400 From: Ragman10 (ragman10@AOL.COM) Subject: Belated Concert Review 5/23 Ok, it's a bit late but I took a few notes after the show... I arrived at the Warfield at around 3 pm to find the same people who had been there the day before, just in a slightly different order. Seeing my friend Stephan in front, I, being a New Yorker, immediately jumped in line with him. He had arrived at 10:30 and was the third person on line. There were Taco Bell wrappers everywhere and the whol setting had a "picnic in the park" sort of feeling. Well, I sat down and, after meeting the two guys in front of me, talked about Dylan for hours. People are usually interested when I tell them that I attended an Unplugged taping and we spent a good deal of time discussing the song selections, the European CD...Bob's shirt. Anyway, the line was not as large as the day before and, to everyone's surprise, unlike the night before, they did not brake up the line at 4:30. At 4:30, I took my customary trip for dinner. After visiting Wendy's for the second time (I had gotten locked IN the bathroom the day before), I returned to the line, quite pleased with my spot. At 7, the doors opened and, even though this annoying and rude lady tripped me and stormed through security, Stephan saved me a spot, front row between Dylan and Garnier. I had never been at the rail for a whole show and I was very excited. Once again, compared to Roseland, there was no crowd. Big Bob took the stage at about 8:25 and performed a very strong version of "Crash". The vocals were clearer than the night before and he appeared to be a bit more physically animated. At one point towrds the end, he took his arms and covered up his face, almost as if he were a boxer covering his face. He appeared to be enjoying himself. Along with "Tombstone", "I Want You" was the other song I desperately wanted to hear and Bob did not dissapoint. The tempo was much like Brixton March 29 and, though I was thrilled he played it, I didn't think his singing was as powerful as that show. Still, it really is beautiful how he has slowed it down. I thought the Unplugged version was too slow but, on this night, I was still very moved. I think Bob not playing the guitar makes this one somehow more powerful...more sacred. "Watchtower" was, well "Watchtower". "Queen Jane" sounded a bit different than 1994 versions. Not in terms of vocals, but in terms of the instrumental introduction. I usually recognize the first few chords but, on this night, it took me awhile. For what it's worth, Stephan recognized it immediately. Nothing particular stands out about this song except I have a vision of Dylan, up at the mike, the light striking his face so perfectly, enunciating "Jaaaaaaaaane". It is not my favorite song but I still recognize that it was very well done. "Jokerman" was my highlight. It amazes me how, after playing it at every 1994 show (sans Paris), he can still make it sound different. While the instrumental part is the same, the vocals are somehow more poignant. Perhaps the song has been slowed down a bit. Whatever, maybe it's the fact that, with it being played first in 1994, Dylan's voice was not warmed up. He seems to sing a bit higher on it now. Though he continues to sing the same verses as 1994, it is all more meaningful. Before the show, out on line, I told my friends how great 1995 "Silvio" was...and they just laughed it off. Well, on this night, this song rocked like no other. Winston changed the drums a bit from Santa Barbara, and the excitement in the crowd was unmatched. The chorus just explodes. This song was Stephan's favorite. "Tambourine" was excellent as usual. "Boots" was the last of the songs that I desperately wanted to hear and Bob did not dissapoint me again. For anyone who has not heard a 1995 tape of this song, get one. It is as powerful as "Tambourine" but it just gets played less frequently. JJ playing on the song is really breathtaking, not to mention Bob's vocals. I have heard enough versions of "Don't Think Twice" that I thought that I could never enjoy it again. Well, for one night at least, I was wrong. This one was very well placed (after the relatively slow and beautiful songs before it) it picked up and woke up the crowd. In the middle of the song, the stagelights went off. Then, to make up for the darkness, they turned on the houselights. A few seconds later, they got it fixed. Dylan smiled and just kept on playing. It was a funny moment. "God Knows" was "God Knows". "Never Gonna Be The Same Again" was very well done. Dylan's vocals were once again as powerful as "Jokerman" and I felt very lucky to hear this one live. It's not much of a song,IMHO, but it seems to mean a lot to Bob. I have its chorus stuck in my head. "Five Believers" was good, but did not rock like the night before. It seemed to be a bit shorter as well. It seems to me that the quality of this songs varies by night. On this night it was good, not great. "Mobile", my favorite song (ie. Ragman hah,hah, get the point) was well done. Dylan seemed to stumble through some of the lyrics but he picked it up in the chorus. As usual the song was very long but was a real crowd pleaser. "Times", with a complete band, was excellent. Very powerful, very moving. Excellent Dylan solos on both guitar and harp. They do something with the red lights on the final song of the hight which makes them all stand out in my mind. Compared to "Me Babe", thank God he chose this one. Though we all expected an additional encore, we left very happy. In other news, "Same again" could have been "Shooting Star", "5 Believers" could have been "Tombstone" and "Times" could have been "Me Babe". All in all, a very good to excellent show.