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Bob Dylan 960418 at The strand Theatre, providence, RI

From: (Debess Rogers-Grabazs)
Subject: Providence R.I., April 18,1996 (reformated for your reading pleasure)
Date: 19 Apr 1996 20:06:59 GMT

Strand Theatre
Providence RI
April 18, 1996

..well!  Dylan's neverending tour is certainly taking us to some 
of the funkiest theatres around ;-)  I can't help but contrast the 
venues of the show I just saw in Springfield - a beautiful 
symphony hall - to the show last night in Providence - a bar, a 
very big bar!

Picture, if you will, the first thing you see is the vertical 
STRAND sign outside the theatre, with the R and the A kind of 
blinking on and off.  Inside, on the floor, all the seats are gone 
and a very-crowded clientele standing around almost unable to 
move, but moving nonetheless ;-)  Throughout it all, even after 
Dylan's encore, a continuous shuffling down into the crowd (down a 
small flight of steps) and up back to the bar, waitresses with 
little round trays held aloft, filled with cups of beer and water. 

We managed to get in at the right time to scoff a spot on the 
stairs, right next to the soundboard.  So we were a bit above the 
crowd on the floor, clear view of the stage, good sound, and we 
had room to dance cause the security kept the stairs "cleared" for 
the continuous movement of waitresses-with-beer.  It still managed 
to get quite crowded there too though.

Dylan was in a red silkylooking shirt, with black collared shirt 
underneath, gold/bronze! lame pants.

I heard a different opening than in Springfield - I know that 
they're the usual openers - but since I'm only seeing him twice 
this tour, it's cool that I got to see both of them.  Good, high 
energy start.

"Senor" cooled things down, beautifully.  Can't say it enough, I 
love the pedal steel sound.  If I remember correctly, Dylan didn't 
play guitar on either of the first 2 songs - nice harmonica 
though; he has played maybe as much on the harp as on the guitar, 
maybe ;-), in both shows that I saw.

"Watchtower" was the first repeat BUT it was SO DIFFERENT from 
Tuesday night, the jam at the end was so different, much more 
spaced out.  A trend that continued all night.  I was in heaven, 
knocking on heaven's door, so to speak.

Hearing "This Wheel's on Fire", expecting it this time, so just 
really leaning back and listening and enjoying.  Nice long opening 
instrumental. I believe that JJ and BB were singing backup on the 

"Silvio" (SILVIO!) was the highlight of the night for me.  When 
this song was played, there was no doubt (in my mind) that this 
show was a tribute to Jerry Garcia.  The jams were so reminiscent 
of the Grateful Dead sound, I was just floating in space, and I 
was loving it.  And, I couldn't help noting that this song was 
done very differently than how it was done on Tuesday.  Very cool. 
Some think that his setlist is so predictable, and that is true, 
but -how- he plays these songs on a given night with this band 
that he seems totally at ease with, -that- is totally 
UNpredictable - the man must have a million tunes in his head.

"Tangled up in Blue", Garnier played the standup with a bow.

I, unbelievably, cannot remember the next tune - all I can 
remember is that it was so beautiful, I just fell into the mood.

When the band played an acoustic "Friend of the Devil", complete 
with the sound of the peddle steel that Jerry filled that song 
with, and JAMS, wonderful acoustic jams...heartfelt voice...the 
deadheads in the audience were grateful, excuse the pun ;-)...that 
song was really moving.

And then "Maggie's", which to me, again had the Dead touch to it.
Some great spaced out sections.  I couldn't believe it.

"She Belongs to Me" was beautifully done.

"Joey" was unexpected.  I always say that I don't like this song, 
but when I hear it live, I seem to enjoy it.  I think the last 
time I heard it was in Foxboro, with the Dead.

"I Shall Be Released" was undeniably sensuous.  Whoa.

So, then we walk back to our car, and we pass by the back of the 
theatre and see Dylan's bus.  We meet up and visit with a friend 
for a while.  As I'm driving north to New Hampshire up 95, I'm 
passed by Dylan's bus going to Maine!  Followed it for many miles, 
our car full of happy smiles.

Setlist Tour Dates Calendar Expecting Rain