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Bob Dylan 960803 and 4 in Atlanta, GA (House of Blues)

Subject: House of Blues first night impressions
From: DuncanHume (
Date: 4 Aug 1996 10:02:54 -0400

The whole show was filmed for some future broadcast "maybe VH1" I was
told. As has been the form for the last several months the whole show was
tight and I hate to say professional but that's really what it was. Bob
thankfully avoided more questionable outfits in his wardrobe (you know the
ones that make him look like a  hot dog or make you feel like demanding to
see the person who made the things and ask them why they did). Bob really
got in to It Takes a Lot to Laugh, knee bends wiggles etc. "Boots" was
marred by the chatter of the audience (why do they come to show, spend $85
and talk throughout) but Bob had won their attention by Don't think twice
and held it for the rest of the show. The highlight for me was a quite
magnificent harp solo on My Back Pages. I've seen some shows (too many
probably) and  that harp solo was quite simply wonderful, and Bob knew it.
One of the audience handed Bob a fake Gold medal at the end of the song
(another was thrown to his feet). Bob picked them both up and held them
for the crowd to see. If only I could have got the camera out of my pants
in time...
"And the Gold Medal winner for being simply the most unique performing
artist in modern history goes to ......" .

Great night, ok, safe set list but then there's tonight isn't there. And
why the filming. Well could they be trying to get a decent record of a
whole Bob Dylan show (ok so Woodstock was pretty good) ? Or could it just
be that the House of Blues is filming all the shows for some dreaded
compliation. Don't know but it's fun to speculate.

Thanks Bob

Subject: 8-3-96 Atlanta Review From: Keith Lane Wigington ( Date: Mon, 05 Aug 1996 12:23:47 -0400 After what was a very eventful, long tour of Europe hardly anyone was expecting US dates to be out soon. To everyones surprise less than a week after the final Europe date two shows in Atlanta were anounced. That the shows took place the very same weekend of the closing of the Olympics made for a very interesting situation. This I had to check out, the new House Of Blues, Centinial Park, and the fact that there was so little time to prepare led me to believe this was going to be somrthing very special. As it turned out it was indeed very special, but in a completely different way than I had imagined. That the ticket price was a vulgar $85 did not bother me until we got in line for the general admission show. In the past I have had wonderful experiences at GA shows, especially Bob shows where the venues are small and a wide range of folks socialize and exchange various Dylan stories as anticipation builds.

This time around the venue did absolutly nothing about forming anything close to a line where people did not cut in front of others of bully there way through just for the sake of passing through. Everyone handled this in a good natured way until the security guards informed us that doors would not open at 11:00 as planned, but they would open the doors "when we damn well please". Many people had already been standing in line for two hours and tentions continued to mount as more and more late arrivals tried to cut in line. When the security let abot 100 "press" members in pushin and shoving became rampant and a very tense situation was at hand. If this had been any other crowd I'm sure there would have been serious stampeeding and turned ugly real fast. However the unique cross section of old folks from way back to 15 year olds turned on to Bob via Unplugged took it all in stride and a few youngsters eased tentions in the line by lighting up some joints and reminding everyone we were here to have a good time. Finally everyone got inside and all tention and harshness was a memory. Not that the House Of Blues emplyees did anything to make us feel welcomed, most were rude and at best nonconfrontational and the expensive drinks were not nearly stong enough. So much for southern hspitality. The venue itself was very nice with two small balconies and no seats on the floor with plenty of room even close to the stage.

Then the show started finally at 12:45. Bob sounded a little rusty at first, but the gloius delacasy of Shake Sugaree was nice. I'm assuming that if you are reading this you are already very familiar with what Bob is doing so I won't waste your time with blow by blow reviews of each song. I will share what I thought wre some high points however. Big Girl Now was delicate yet sung with much power, Bob seemed to get his focus here. Boots was hypmotic, sung and played to absolute perfection-pooring emotion from each note. Hollis Brown was as good as anything I've seen him preform-stinging and powerful-jj on banjo. Don't Think was great-I know it's always great,this band could't possibly play it less that great,-but this particular one was indeed spectacular receiving a thunderous approval from the crowd. This was one of the strongerst accoustic sets I've seen in recent shows. She Belongs To Me soared to even greater heights this time around-this is one of the finest songs you can see Dylan play these days-long deliberate drawn out-the influence of Garcia is all over this one. Higheay 61 was GREAT-I would have to say this was the best one I've ever seen-unbelievable. It was nice to see Alabama Getaway back after so many shows-it was rusty but that was what iI enjoyed about it. Back Pages was spectacular-I had never seen him do this one, so I thought it was one of the best songs of the evening. So, thats my take on the midnight show in Atlanta-crazy crazy. It was worth all the trouble to see Bob, but I'll never go to another House OF Blues. Unless Dylan is pling of course.If anyone has this tape please let me know-I have many to trade. Thanks and keep on keepin' on. Keith Lane

Subject: HOTLANTA! From: Joseph Bair ( Date: Mon, 5 Aug 1996 14:12:50 -0400 Well, I just got back from Atlanta and I was surprised to not see the set list posted yet for Sat. mornings HOB show. My memory doesn't serve me well, and I didn't write down the set list so I'll try to put together a story of the night. I took a bargain flight from NJ to Atlanta on Saturday afternoon, with Linda who was looking forward to her first Bob show. The arrival in Atlanta was a pleasant feeling for being in the most happening place in the world at the time. The rapid transit MARTA (which was clean and efficient, albeit crowded) took us to 5 points which was the geographical center for the Olympics. Although I knew from when the torch pasted through Princeton that the Olympics are major advertising for land of Coca-Cola, they really outdid themselves with the giant monoliths of Coke Bottles everywhere. Heh, heh, "You don't say-Coke can raise you ancestors from the dead." Sheryl Crow was warming up outside Underground Atlanta and there was live entertainment everywhere. Baby steps was the best way of transportation. TIME FOR A BEER. We got directions to to Buckhead, where there were two brew pubs - it seemed that everything in Atlanta is on or near the key word "Peachtree." We had some "honest food, good beer" and partied in the park before making our way back to the center of town. We baby stepped from the MARTA through the carnival (the reverse bungy ride was the closest thing a near-death experience I've ever seen), It certainly wasn't a normal penny arcade - "three shots for a dollar with a real live dog", then into Centennial Park (where they didn't search Linda's bag, but searched mine), it was very crowded. There were the biggest and clearest TV screens I've ever seen, the "Dream Team" was on and the other team was just fish in the barrel--not very exciting for the $220 ticket price. The place looked like a high-tech Woodstock, and like any festival with that many people the sanitation, garbage system was just too overwhelmed. Your walking along in such a great place, but then you catch a wiff of rancid sewage an decide that its time to move on. It took about an hour to go the next 200 yards to the HOB's, everyone was pouring into the Centennial Park and we were leaving-we finally cut through the parking lot turned into a desolated flea-market for Olympic memorabilia (and definitely not doing a ll that well in sales) to the red-orange glowing lights of the HOB. The will-call window line took about 1/2 hour and we went to the front of the line to see sj, marks, charlie, and numerous other rmd'ers who were there since 6PM! Immediately Linda's camera was confiscated by the HOB staff, because Bob "would leave if he sees a camera". We went to the end of the line and the line seemed to get fatter in front of us. Now we have been standing in line for 2 hrs at the HOB and it was 12:30AM and we were not even in the door. We were kinda stressed at this time. A protester hit me in the head with a sign about not violating the house of god. I don't know what the true story is, but apparently the HOB used to be a church (you can see the organ pipes behind the stage, partially covered by the 50 ft patchwork quilt) and HOB Inc. converted the place in two months to the most abolutely coolest concert place I have ever seen. Rumor is they will close it when the Olympics are over? Finally we were in and up in front. There were VIP seating i n the 2 balcony's above. Don't know how they got the seats, but the lights never went out, and click, Columbia recording artist Bob Dylan, blam, WERE THERE! We were about 4 feet from Tony and could see sj et al. directly in front of Bob. about 6 ft. (i.e.10 people away) to the left. It took awhile before the show kicked-in, "Shake Sugaree" was almost hard to hear, but once going by the electric AATWT, and keeping the momentum going with Silvio, Highway 61, Alabama Getaway the show was a full high-heel to the gas pedal, "Your a Big Girl Now" was delicate, "Ballad of Hollis Brown" was spooky, "Don't think twice" was sincere, "My back Pages" was refreshing, "Boots of Spanish Leather" was melancholy, "She Belongs to me" was mystical, it was all great! Bob was really animated this show, he seems to make faces at the crowd when he is happy, and he gave the audience contorted faces, convoluted duck walks and pantomines worthy of being in the best of silent films. I noticed that sj and bob had a few words going on after "It takes a lot to laugh, a train to cry". Maybe something about the brakeman and the double E? The show ended with "Rainy day Women" and that is when I passed out many ceremonial olympic torchs. Then everyone was crowned popes by Bob and it was over. We reclaimed the camera, and it was still crowded outside, we were given complimentary tickets to see Dead Nude Girls, but regretfully declined. The MARTA ride b ack was exciting with many drunken people nap-jerking and getting on and off the wrong train/station the whole way back. The hotel shower was just a "box of rain " and we were hygienic again! I finally got to meet the Marks and Charlie and li stened to some boots and drank some good beer before the restless night was over. Linda and I were sleepyheads most of the time getting back to Princeton on Sunday. When I got back my friends Steve and Kent who helped me by keeping my Small Change Homebrew Store open while I was away related a good sales day on Saturday. So, in the end, all things worked out and although I paid the same price I paid for the Bobfest - It was well worth it! joe
Subject: 2nd Night HOB experience From: "Robert L. Holland" ( Date: 6 Aug 1996 20:19:21 GMT I'm sorry to hear so many reports of unpleasantness with the show-going experience from the Saturday night show (apart from the actual performance, that is). The Sunday night show experienced far fewer of these, for a number of reasons, I think. Sunday was a somewhat less crowded situation downtown in general. Where folks seemed to be trying to cram in one last night of frenzied Olympic partying on Saturday, by Sunday a more resigned and calmer mood prevailed. The street in front of HOB wasn't particularly crowded and the line was orderly. It was also 8:30 in the evening and a less-drunk city in general. Also, I think a lot of press and other guest-listers who were more into making the scene than actually caring about Bob Dylan had attended the first show rather than the second. Once inside, the floor in front of the stage became comfortably full, but not at all packed, with the crowd just barely reaching the over-hang of the balcony. Quite easy to move around to get a beer and return to your spot. Before show time, someone in the crowd spotted Bill Walton in the balcony and called out to him. He good-naturedly responded with a few windmills, a la Pete Townshend. I too was surprised when the lights didn't dim as the band took the stage, but then it was lit for video-taping. My overwhelming sense as I stood there during "To Be Alone With You" was "my God, I'm seeing Bob Dylan in a club!" I sat in the front row of the Fox Theatre at a show in 1988 and didn't feel anywhere near as close as I did standing 8 or 9 people back from the stage Sunday. My next thought, as "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" began, was "well, wouldn't that be interesting...the all "Nashville Skyline show!" The setlist has been posted so I'll only add that from quality of musicianship to level of enjoyment on Bob's part to breadth of song selection, this was unquestionably the best Dylan show I've ever seen. My show-going experience is clearly more limited than that of many on this list, but it extends from 1978, through the several 1980's incarnations, and includes a few during the current period. Nothing has matched Sunday night. As for the staff at the House of Blues--it's a corporate operation, so it's what I've come to expect. They've done a wonderful job with the renovation of the building, which only a company with lots of resources could do. But as long as I've been going to shows in Atlanta, the bigger and more corporate the venue one attends, invariably one finds more attitudinal employees. It's to do with taking people of limited intelligence and giving them power, I suspect. And at the HOB, throw in a headset, and well, watch 'em go nuts. Smaller places always have nicer folks (in my experience, at least). As a corrolary, it also seems to be true that big shows held in smalller towns generally seem to be staffed by less-anal people. That's why I like to go to places like Birmingham or Knoxville or Nashville or Athens to see shows that are also playing Atlanta. I usually enjoy the overall experience more than here at home. Still in all, wih the less-crowded situation on Sunday, I didn't have any run-ins with the staff. The last point, which I haven't seen raised, is why we were denied the traditional final encore, "Rainy Day Women": the pastime of the deranged these last couple of weeks, the bomb scare! After a long and wonderful "It Ain't Me Babe," the staff came out and began demanding that we leave. I was reminded of the staff of goons at the Center Stage Theatre, a now-defunct (I think) thousand-seater here that always set the security-dogs loose immediately upon the conclusion of a show. Anyway, I heard one of the guys on stage lean over to a member of the crowd and say "brother, there's a bomb in the building." I didn't know whether he was serious or if this was a particularly cynical excercise in room clearance. But as we departed, the downstairs coffee bar was being cleared and we were made to move away from the building once we were in the street, so it appears to have been a genuine bomb threat. Now that it's apparent that there was no actual bomb and no one was hurt, I feel free to speculate that the threat was called in by someone who likes "Rainy Day Women" about as much as I do and didn't want an otherwise delightful evening blemished (yes, I'm kidding, but also yes, I would be pretty happy to never hear that old warhorse again)! Anyhow, it was a wonderful evening. For those who've posted who feel that their experience with the crew of the House of Blues was a true manifestation of Southern manners, please be assured otherwise. I don't know what's to become of the HOB after the Olympics. But if prices come back closer to reality, then in spite of a humorless staff, it's quite a place to see a show. Now that I've been spoiled, how will I ever enjoy Bob in a big old theater again? Robert
Subject: notes from atlanta... From: Christine Consolvo ( Date: Tue, 06 Aug 1996 23:40:42 GMT Well, as it turns out, our fears of the situation in Atlanta being a logistical nightmare were largely unfounded. I heard no horror stories from anyone about navigation around the city and have to commend the city of Atlanta for having made everyone as comfortable as possible considering the vast number of people who had descended upon their city for the Olympics. The weather was entirely tolerable with highs in the 80's and a slight breeze blowing. The doors at the House of Blues were left open with blasts of air conditioning pouring onto the street which helped make waiting in the general admission line bearable. It was nice to see familiar faces and also get to put a few new faces to familiar names while we waited on line. On Saturday, the start time of midnight and the notable events going on around us in the city gave the evening a unique mood. There was some concern about how Bob would react to having four video cameras trained on him during the show, but we needn't have worried. I'm not sure if they factored in, but I have never before seen him in such an animated mood. He was working the crowd most zealously-and not just those in front of the stage! Even folks in the balcony were given special little displays of showmanship. Many times he wandered to the stage front to flaunt his unrestrained ability to cast a spell over the audience. He was also playing guitar with greater authority than I have ever witnessed. He exuded mammoth confidence, bordering on cockiness, and it was well-founded! It appeared to me that the minor power struggle he has had with J. J. in the past has been resolved to the satisfaction of them both. I don't believe I've ever heard such a strong crowd reaction to Don't Think Twice as here in Atlanta. There was a roar from the crowd as he sang the chorus and consequently each verse built to a mighty crescendo. This is on my all-time favorites list and it had to be one of the best renditions ever. This show was a sight to behold...As he left the stage before the encore, a fan in front handed up one of the gold medal replicas being hocked out on the street and Bob took it, then gave a precious, ever-so-humble "for ME?" gesture with it. Another one was thrown onto the stage which he also picked up. We were just sorry he didn't put them on... The show on Sunday contained all the above elements and more. The "more" part was his ensemble...He was wearing a glittering black waisted jacket with velvet collar, cuffs and inset pockets which went beautifully with his shiny, shiny, shiny gold snakeskin pattern trousers with black piping up the sides. Even those who are sometimes derisive about his choices of costume (not me!) approved of this regalia. Again he was blatantly dangling his talent before our eyes like a carrot before a horse. At one point while playing guitar he jumped into a "spread 'em" stance so wide I feared he might fall over, (others feared (?) for the seam in his pants) but he was in *total* control--of himself and us! Unbelievable... There was some speculation that there may have been a bomb threat late in the Sunday night show. Several things pointed toward this idea. Firstly, there was no Rainy Day Women. Hardly conclusive. However, as we stood by the stage after the show hoping to get a cue sheet we realized Bob's crew had taken his guitars and disappeared. Very odd...they *always* start breaking it down immediately. So we asked a House of Blues staffer for Bob's sheet and when he couldn't get it off the floor on the first try (it was taped very well) he said, "You must all leave *now*". Naturally this didn't deter us from trying again and this time he said very calmly, "I've asked you to leave. Go *now*, for your own safety." Strange words to choose if there was no danger...and they had not been in any rush to get us out on Saturday. He didn't have to say any more. We left! Then, as the crowd milled around in the street out front, venue security came along and nearly mowed several people down as they hurriedly formed a semi-circle far out into the street around the front of the building with metal barricades. They had been using these to form lines along the walk to different doors for separate events in the past two days, but they had never taken on *this* configuration! Like I say, who knows...I'm not one to sensationalize, but their behavior was very erratic and we truly began to wonder then...We may never know... Just thought I'd mention it... Christine
Subject: Atlanta From: "Mark H. Withrow" ( Date: Wed, 07 Aug 1996 16:39:40 -0700 3 August, 1996 House of Blues, Atlanta, Georgia 4.You're A Big Girl Now It was with this fourth song that Bob started to get into the concert. Sadie Jane observed that once Bob realized that the crowd was "his people," he relaxed and started to focus and have fun. I agree. After a sluggish start, Bob found the groove and from Big Girl on it was varying degrees of excellence, to these ears. 7.Boots Of Spanish Leather (acoustic) Boots was a bit too up-tempo for my taste. The sense of loss was lost. Still, Bob was in fine voice and the next two acoustic numbers were stunning. 8.Ballad Of Hollis Brown (acoustic) For me this was the highlight of the acoustic set. Very powerful. Dylan delivered this with great feeling and commitment. 9.Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (acoustic) Usually I don't care for this one. It's a very fine song, but not one I really need to hear in concert again. Was I in for a surprise. The crowd roars at the first notes and Bob responds with a killer version of DTT. 11.She Belongs To Me Beautiful. He really nailed this one. 12.Highway 61 Revisited By now the whole place was up for grabs. Our man is having a great time. It shows on his face. You can hear it in his voice. His guitar playing is confident and powerful. Sometimes I've wished Bob would allow J. J. more leads. Not at the House of Bob. Christine is right on the money in her glowing review of Bob's guitar work in Atlanta. 14.My Back Pages (acoustic) This was another highlight. Unbelievable and unforgettable. I had noticed an elderly couple in the middle balcony÷the white hair was hard to miss÷and checked on them now and again, curious as to what their reaction would be to such a rockin' show. By H61R the man was on his feet, a big ol' grin spread across his mug. He stayed standing for the rest of the concert and his wife rose to her feet at the close of Back Pages. It was a treat to see them so into the music. You gotta hear the tape÷or see the video if the TNT rumors are true. 15.Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 A rockin' close to a special evening of music. The setlists for both shows held few real surprises, but Bob was loving it and his joy is so infectious. Bob and the band rocked out in fine fashion. I'll never forget his face & that "for me?" look when he was handed the gold medal. More medals were passed up and the crowd roared its approval as Bob held them aloft. My pleasure was increased by the presence of other RMDers who made a memorable evening even better. We left exhausted (how does Bob do it?) but anxious for another night of the music of Bob Dylan. We were not to be disappointed. 4 August 1996, House of Blues, Atlanta Georgia 1.To Be Alone With You 2.Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You 3.All Along The Watchtower No slow start tonight. Bob is into it from the very beginning, as are the rest of us. 4.Under The Red Sky This was a very pleasant surprise. Bob delivered this with force and purpose. 7.Love Minus Zero/No Limit (acoustic) 8.Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) 9.The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (acoustic) Even more powerful than the first night's acoustic set. Hattie Carroll was delivered as though it had just been written. A major highlight for me. I wasn't the only one getting misty during Bob's exceptional delivery of this classic song. Oh, mercy! 11.Ballad Of A Thin Man 12.Tombstone Blues Back-to-back winners! I can't remember the last time Thin Man sounded so fresh. Bob's mugging and posing only added to the fun. While the crowd was smaller on the second night, it was still "Bob's people." The response was fantastic and Bob fed off of it. 13.Alabama Getaway 14.It Ain't Me, Babe (acoustic) The rumored bomb scare seems likely to me. There was no way we were ready for things to end after a very fine It Ain't Me, Babe. If these were indeed the last concerts of 1996 (as is now rumored to be the case), then Bob and his excellent band went out in style. I was lucky to be in attendance. A tip o' the hat and deep bow from the waist to all RMDers in attendance, especially Sadie for telling me of the shows and challenging me to be "as wild and spontaneous as any real Dylan fan has to be!" Such a night! Precious memories, indeed. Mark
Subject: SADIE's HOB report PART 1. From: sadiejane ( Date: Fri, 09 Aug 1996 18:33:42 -0500 Organization: home (Later Sadie wrote me this: >Joe Cliburn created a web page for my HOB review which includes text >slightly edited since it was originally posted and gifs of concert >tickets, poster and the grave rubbing I did at Rose Hill Cemetary. Feel >free to link it to anything you already have of mine in the concert >review area :+} > Sadie's Web Page HOB1 It all happened so quickly. Two days notice. Barely time to pack my poor car to the shop for a new radiator and get a rental, pick up maps from AAA, paint my toenails red, conclude some recent tape trades, rent books on tape from the public library and arrange a place to stay half way between Boston and Atlanta. All this and still I managed to find time to get a bag of my favorite coffee from the bakery around the corner *and* a bottle of Old Grand-Dad Bourbon *and* 2 dozen assorted fresh bagels for my host in Atlanta. Then me and the GM Monte-Carlo (loaded with automatic EVERYTHING) hit the trail big time. Girlie roadtrip extraordinaire. Sunglasses, pink lipstick and three bottles of Perrier (lightly chilled). I listened to George Orwell's "Coming Up for Air" between Boston and DC and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein from DC to Atlanta (the story climaxed conveniently in the middle of a thunderous, blinding downpour in South Carolina). 1100 miles in 18 hours (I stay with traffic unlike some other women of RMD who I could mention but won't ;+}). The general admission line in front of the House of Blues was a breeze. Entertainment provided by Todd, the happy House Of Blues T-Shirt salesmen whose table was set up right along side the barriers provided to keep the crowd in order. He was very hospitable answering questions, letting the press into their side door entrance, and most importantly, keeping the riff-raff from the first show (8pm Junior Brown and the Mavericks) out of our line. There were all sorts of people there, tourists with shopping bags full of Olympic souvenirs, hippies from the Carolinas, good ol' boys from Texas, and of course RMD'ers from *everywhere*. Being reunited with old friends who I've never met is always a distinct pleasure! The House of Blues: a very large church converted into a music theme park every square inch of which decorated and painted and adorned. The sound suffered though - even with the huge 50 foot quilt on the back wall as a possible acoustic barrier. It just bounced off the cavernous walls and distorted and muddied the mix. There was no separation between the bass and guitar at all. The sound board was on the stage - a mistake I think - and there was certainly room on the floor for it (like in the strand, Providence where the sound was so good) - the only adjustments that were made throughout the evening were in the monitors. This was one general admission show where I was lucky to be right up in front of Bob's monitors both nights and so could hear a certain amount of separation and clarity. I'm hoping that the soundboards from the show will appear - or at least that someone I know with cable will be watching TBS when they broadcast highlights from the show. THE SHOW: Bob came out with his guitar strapped on and his "firstnightinanewtown" face. His eyes scanned the crowd with no expression in particular. By the time he hit the watchtower he had loosened up, perhaps because he saw that the house was packed to the gills with friendly Dylan fans :+} as well as Olympic VIP's. My favorite group was in the top balcony: four boys about 12 years old who stood on their seats in the back row, boogying down and giving Bob the wave. He started smiling and styling and didn't stop until the show was over. It was a high energy effort. The place was crawling with video cameras: one on a crane, floating high above our heads, one guy with a video on his shoulder running up and down off the stage, and at least three more circling the band all night. Bob, usually so camera shy, was giving them the highlights of all his best moves including the spread 'em wide and the chuck berry profile deep knee bend. My first thrill came when I heard the intro to the second song. Because I didn't recognize it. I knew I was in for one of the new songs from Europe and it turned out to be Sugaree. A sweet, sentimental country ballad which featured beautiful duets between bucky and bob..."I gotta secret and I ain't gonna tell, I'm going to heaven on a split pea shell" lilting and lyrical. Perfect for the number 2 spot. During watchtower he stood back and held back, staring out into the house with a challenge - then letting fly a few short explosive licks, punctuating the silence with syncopations and expressive angles from his fender. In general his playing is getting more expressive and angular and so is JJ's. This makes for an interesting night, musically, but one without a strong melodic backbone - I'm not sure what's going on with JJ - but he barely played lead or even duets with Bob - it's as though he has stepped firmly into the background and decided to stay there. Bob is so theatrical and dramatic to watch and to listen to - but I prefer to see him more challenged and complimented by his lead-guitarist. Takes a train was lazy and slow. Bob ventured into solos that left him on the wrong frets a few time - but he didn't seem to mind, and neither did the audience. I admit I wrinkled my nose up at him once, and then laughed at how he had gotten himself into a spot that he couldn't noodle out of. Now Joe thinks some words were passed between bob and I during this song. This honor he reserves for Lambchop and Lambchop alone. I was, however, standing right in front of Bob's mic in the front row, doing my "in a formal life she was a table dancer" dance and bob came downstage and started shaking his head in shoulders at me/with me, a big toothy grin, eyes wide into mine. Then he did this sort of synchronized pointing routine, repeatedly aiming his index finger down at me in time to the music. Now, my mother always told me it wasn't polite to point - but I went ahead and pointed back- in time to the music of course. Hey, I can take it but I can dish it out too ;+} The two gentleman standing next to me grabbed me after Bob moved back and started insinuating all sort of vulgar things regarding my brief interaction with the maestro. I shrugged them off - All night bob moved from one end of the stage to the other - seeking out real contact with whoever was game. In general he avoided those with looks of imaginary awe and intense infatuation and favored those who were romping it up and having a good ol' time. :+} The acoustic set was uneven - boots was a bit nervous and I think Hollis brown lacked focus though was stirring nonetheless. Bob undersings it, as though he's as worn down and broken as Hollis. It would have been nice if the crowd had settled down more during the acoustic set. I think that a little bit of reverential silence is perfectly appropriate - why anyone would pay $85 dollars for a ticket and then talk through the whole show is really quite beyond my comprehension. I guess chalk it up to the lives of the rich and fatuous ;+} He finally got into the groove during Don't Think Twice which had everyone jumping and romping and shaking (not just me ;+}). It wasn't his sarcastic bitter version but a devil may care, jaunty one. We were all sort of bouncing up and down and Bob was skipping across the stage jumping from foot to foot as though barefoot on hot sand. He rocked down on his gibson and blew like the dickens into his harp. JJ was holding down the melody on his hummingbird, Bucky providing rhythm with the mandolin and Tony, with his eyes shut, slapping away on his bass - till I do believe I saw the spirit of Bill Black, that famous bass beater, rise from the shadow of Garnier's signature fedora. My Back Pages, the acoustic encore, stole the show. It was grand and spacious - very different from the versions he had been doing earlier in the year that were touched by a sort of subtle urgency. Bob lingered on each phrase, singing more fully than he had all night. And he finally won the crowd's complete attention, their reverential regard. Delia ain't dead, she's at the end of PART 1
Subject: SADIE's HOB report PART 2. From: sadiejane ( Date: Fri, 09 Aug 1996 18:33:45 -0500 Organization: home HOB 2 Great day in Atlanta, late breakfast (late even for lunch), and then return home to fill up the pint of Old Grand-Dad, change into jeans and pack my "dress" T-Shirt and show shoes into a bag. We got to the HOB by about 4pm and lounged for the day on a comfortable curb, our backs leaning against the metal barriers between the sidewalk and the HOB T-shirt stand. We all said "hello" to Todd, who returned with a "*YOU* again?" and teased us mercilessly (to our delight) throughout the afternoon. I reapplied my lipstick and pee'd for the last time at about 8:00pm in the bathroom in the basement of the HOB, a smoke filled bar set up with computers and concession stands. Then when the doors opened at about 9pm, scrambled in and took my place at the foot of the stage right in front of the Bob's mic stand. I knew I was having a good night because the guitar tech came downstage to flirt with me while taping the cuesheets down :+} To Be Alone With You. I don't care what all you Jokerman fans say, this song makes a great opener. Saucy and playful with Dylan starting on this second night show right on his marks. He strode out in *that* outfit (which only Christine can do justice to - I daren't even try!) and planted his feet, looking straight out at the audience, tearing into and through the little country ditty with merciless naughtiness. No extended solos here. It was short and man, it was sweeet.. "I wish the night were here, bringin' me all of your chaaaaaahhhhrms" flatting the hell out of the third and modifying the vowel so that we'd know *precisely* what kind of charms he was referring to ;+} Right after the song ended Bob turned to JJ and wound up for a big high five with his sideman. Bob was in a very very good mood from the get go. River flow was country swing on amphetamines. I almost wondered at how they kept it together - Winston's rattatatat raced relentlessly ahead but the boys rode behind him steadily without losing hold. Dylan treated us to some very stylish doodles right before they slowed into the half time finale. The acoustic set was stronger the second night - though the selections were more ordinary. Hattie Carroll was....breathtaking. His voice barely singing as he catalogued the events, perfunctorily setting the scene and describing each player in it. The power of that song, and the reason for the nary a dry eye in the house that night, was not because Bob sang a tragedy to us, but because he sang about the event as ordinary and commonplace. Spinning the story, calmly and quietly, inflecting the lines rhythmically, with the intonations of natural speech, with every word calculated to convey action rather than emotion. "William Zanzinger, who at 24 years, owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres..." "Hattie Carroll was a maid in the kitchen, she was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children..." "In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel..." Bob at his unsentimental best. I once had an acting teacher (who now lives in Atlanta of all places) who used to say, "You don't need to show emotion to inspire it in others". And this is a lesson Bob understands. He didn't end with the usual harp solo, but with solemn strumming punctuated by riffs that echoed the speech patterns of the refrain. One little digression (well I'm sure you can depend on more than one from me before this report is over ;+}): Bob is in pretty desparate need of vocal rest. His voice is sounding rougher than ever before (I've noted a steady decline since '94) - and it is keeping him from being able to alter melody lines and phrase as much as he has in the past. He is having to use his spoken voice more and more to put the songs across. I don't think he needs major surgery or even to quit any vices - just a good spell without singing would do. Nuff said, back to the show :+} Stuck Inside Of Mobile, with Bucky on "Hammond" Pedal Steel, was an anticlimax, stuck inside of the bridge between acoustic and electric settings. Even Thin Man, usually so effective, seemed ordinary and vaguely lost. Then Tombstone Blues took over and buoyed us all up with a campy, string bending motif and Winston's drums iambing and Bob and JJ really jamming it up together for the first time that night with alternating licks and only occasional ventures onto the wrong frets ;+} Bob ended the song, taking the band down to a quiet but intense climax and then right before the final cadence throwing in two little jagged descending pentatonic scales, high on the fretboard. Too Cool. During It Ain't Me, Babe (final encore) Dylan returned from one of his many jaunts to the house left side of the stage and caught me dancing it up downstage center and came dancing towards me during his guitar solo. I remember reports of him directing this song sarcastically to admiring women in front rows and so I shook my finger at him as if to say, "you come any closer and you're dead meat mister" and then I emphatically mouthed the words "It ain't *ME*, Babe" and shook my head "NO!" at him. The more fiercely I protested the more he mugged at me and danced closer with a wicked smile and glint in his eye which I returned as an even fiercer glare. Mark W. was next to me and started laughing at the little pantomime. I finally gave bob a big smile and he stepped closer to the edge of the stage, at which point I was surrounded by a surge of audience high-fivers. Now I've never been into the high-five thing - so I backed up and let them forward giving Dylan a little "bye-bye" wave - at which point he grinned at me and turned (to the disappointment of the many high-fivers) on his heel, heading for his guitar stand. During his harp solo, whenever he would take a step in my direction, I would dodge behind one of my neighbors at the front of the stage, a little cat and mouse game, which won me at least two big {{{goofy}}} smiles. At the end of the solo he came down one final time, and the sea of arms all reached up around me towards him. I caught his eye and then reached my hand through this wall of flesh with my palm up my arm parallel to the stage, the back of my hand brushing the cables coiled around the monitors. I couldn't see him anymore, but I could feel his hand as he placed the harp in my palm and when I pulled my arm back, there it was shining up at me. I immediately blew on it a few times and then handed it over to the two women standing next to me so they could inspect it with reverence. "Go ahead" I said "give it a good blow". Then before I could say "Jack Daniel" the stage was cleared and I was busting my butt to get that one cuesheet off from the stage floor where it was taped. "PLEASE LEAVE THE THEATER FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY" We were hustled out into the street. Personally, I think they had the place reserved for some sort of post Olympic private party and this was their way of clearing us all out fast. It worked :+{ Then it was out for a late night dinner and bed. The next day a few of us went on a little excursion to Macon to visit Rose Hill cemetery and make grave stone rubbings of Duane Allman's tomb, a large white slab engraved with a guitar and an angel. The only Olympic event that I saw during the weekend in Atlanta was watching Big Bill Walton, former Center for the Boston Celtics, dancing the night away in the VIP balcony on Sunday night. It was a gold medal moment, if I ever saw one :+} Delia aint dead, she's done with PART TWO....
Subject: House of Blues First Night From: Mark L Troyer Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 14:05:45 -0400 HOB I Review and Thoughts It was an instantaneous hunch which sent me to Atlanta 11 days ago. And it really didn't turn out at all like I'd expected. The "House of Blues" was a larger venue than I'd thought it would be. Dylan's setlists were much less adventurous than I'd anticipated. Dylan's voice was, for the most part, not as strong as it was at the shows I saw in May. And I ended up falling on the floor after slipping in a spilled puddle of the "black water of imperialism" in the Werld o' Coca Cola and became a spectacle for tourists from all over the world. It was a great, great weekend! I'd love to tell you all about the inebriated gentleman in Tennessee who thought I was going down to Atlanta to participate in the Olympics as an athlete, but most of you are probably mostly interested in the shows themselves. (And have already read myriad reviews of them, but here's one more anyway.) The first night started off with To Be Alone With You, Dylan's vocals mixed pretty far down. A nice opener, Dylan warming to the setting. I was glad to hear Shake Sugaree, but his vocals were still mixed down, and it seemed from my vantage point that Dylan was really working hard to get the notes he was going for, seemed a bit labored. (However, I was up against the stage so admittedly not in a good position to hear the sound.) Watchtower came next, then a gorgeous You're a Big Girl Now. For me, the 4th spot performances were worth the price of admission both nights. The phrasing on this song was brilliant, and I was very happy. Takes a Train was a perfect choice for the House of Blues, and was also very nicely done, with Dylan putting down his axe for a very nice finishing harmonica solo. Silvio seemed to lack a little something, and we were into the acoustic set. Boots of Spanish Leather was a bit odd, with Dylan tacking on a jarringly loud series of strums at the end of each line. I thought Hollis Brown was going to be John Brown at first, and was pleasantly surprised (though John Brown would have been great too). A nice performance, with JJ on banjo and Bucky playing a 12-string guitar (?). However, people behind me were shouting "Sing the blues, Bobby!" *during* the time he was trying to sing. A bit distracting. . . why would you want to sing for someone not listening? And of course, Don't Think Twice went over very very big. First time I'd heard it live, sung in a bit more of a monotone than usual I think but it still worked. Onto the second electric set, and Maggie. Oh well. There was an interesting interchange between Dylan and his lead guitarist/backup singer when Dylan drew out "noooooo moooooore" on the first verse in a way JJ hadn't been expecting. Jackson proceeded to back away from the microphone, shooting Dylan a bewildered look. As Dylan sang the next verse he looked over in Jackson's direction, and JJ's look seemed to say, "Hey, do it however you want but don t expect me to try to sing along!" For whatever reason, Dylan swallowed the verse, singing about Maggie's Ma whose bedroom window is guarded by national guardsmen who hand out nickels and dimes. . . . JJ finally returned to his mic as the verse ended, staring down Dylan during a long "nooooooo moooooore." An amusing moment. He nailed the rest of the verses, and next did She Belongs To Me which concluded with a very nice guitar duel. No band introductions (either night!), just a blazing Highway 61 Revisited which was really great. Honest! Dylan collected his "Olympic Gold Medals" and the band departed for the first planned intermission. They finally came back out for an Alabama Getaway which Dylan decided to remember all the verses to : ) The second planned intermission ended to a wonderful My Back Pages which was about as good as it gets. The looooong harmonica solo, the short intermission, and Rainy Day pours down and is great fun because everybody is so into it. The HOB had been rocking nonstop since Don't Think Twice, and this was a great way to end this show. Many have commented about Dylan's energy and enthusiasm onstage at these shows. It seemed to me, however, that the TV cameras might have been restraining him a bit; if anything, at the shows I saw in May his onstage antics were even more outrageous and over the top. Also, on Monday I happened to meet two different people who'd been to Saturday night's show, and they both commented favorably about Dylan's energy and enjoying the shows. But it seemed their appreciation stemmed more from seeing a "living legend" who still looks alive rather than someone who just sits down on a stool, plays his songs, and leaves. The second guy said something to the effect of, you don't go to see Dylan to hear him sing, but to see the energy and enthusiasm he puts into his performance. "Heavy energy, man!" I'm someone who believes Dylan is a great singer, but Saturday night's show did seem to put more emphasis on Dylan as an energetic performer. His vocal chords do seem to need a break to rejuvenate after all the recent touring. . . We crowded out of the HOB at 3 am or so and the streets were still packed. The MARTA back to the hotel was jammed. The next day had another great concert in store. . . . Mark
Subject: House of Blues Second Night From: Mark L Troyer Date: Wed, 14 Aug 1996 14:12:43 -0400 HOB 2 Review and Thoughts The line outside of the HOB Sunday night was, if possible, even more poorly organized than the night before. Joe's comments about the line getting "thicker & thicker" certainly apply here :-p Not that I had anything to complain about: I still ended up in almost exactly the same place in front of the stage as the night before, and waited through the half-hour delay or so talking to a recent high school grad who'd been "on tour" with Phish. "Do ya think he'll play Hurricane?" To Be Alone With You kicked things off again, and a rocking rendition it was too. Dylan's vocals seemed mixed right up there from the beginning. And it only got better with the second Nashville Skyline cut, Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You. Dylan was really feeling his guitar oats, taking astonishingly good leads. And singing very strongly. Even more animated than the night before right from the start. They then launched into an amazing Watchtower, Dylan's guitar giving some extra fire to the old chestnut. Finally, the excitement moved up yet another notch with an unbelievable "Under the Red Sky." There had been a rumor before the show that Eric Clapton was going to be sitting in with Dylan. I assume this originated with someone who wasn't familiar with the band mistaking JJ for someone else. It felt like even if Clapton had been up there, Dylan wouldn't have given an inch on lead. Dylan exchanged a triumphant high five with "Clapton" after a triumphant final electric flourish. So far, this had been an amazing show. I was very excited about what might be in store for the remainder. So you can imagine how I felt when I saw Dylan say to Tony "I wanna do Watching the River Flow" Aaaargh! But yes, he really did wanna do it and pulled it off well. The inevitable Silvio also seemed to have a bit more bite than the night before, and led into a good-as-it-gets acoustic set. Love Minus Zero had me blinking a bit. Dylan sang this one beautifully, his voice expressing about everything human beings can ever hope to understand about life and love. It was very powerful. This brings up a dilemma I had: how to react to Dylan being that close to the stage? I certainly didn't want him to see some pathetic freak with tears on his cheeks. All the hands extended for a "high five" every time he got close to that part of the stage didn't seem the way to go either. I aimed for enthusiasm, but I'm afraid too often I ended up with that look of "phony reverence" (I think Sadie called it?) on my face. Oh, well. I *was* in awe at many moments :-) Tangled was a good but standard reading, again with a bit more monotone than usual I thought. A huge response for this one, with everybody excited about the harmonica. And then we got a Hattie Carroll which was perhaps the high water mark of the show to that point. See everyone else's descriptions of this performance, I can't hope to even hint at what it was like. Stuck Inside of Mobile was simply great, and then Thin Man blew me away. For a moment I thought we'd been transported in time by 30 years and were hearing Bob Dylan urgently trying to put across this song he'd just written. Great guitar work. One of the highlights of the weekend for me. Tombstone Blues to close out the set was good, but I confess I prefer the "Unplugged" arrangement of this one to the "chug chug" electric version we got. Alabama Getaway after the intermission was rollicking but standard and they could've blown the roof off with West LA Fadeaway. After the second intermission we got an intense "It Ain't Me, Babe" which Dylan was serious about making us take seriously. We weren't ready to go, but the security came out to tell us there'd be no more. For some reason I now believe that perhaps "Rainy Day" had not been in the cards. I think Dylan really wanted to start us off with "to be *alone* with you" and "tonight I'll be staying here with you" and then dismiss us with "go away . . . I ain't *alone*" :-) I got a peek at the cuesheet which my Phish-phollowing phriend snagged. If memory serves, I'll Be Your Baby Tonight was the alternate for Riverflow, Shooting Star was an alternate in the second set, Girl of North Country was the alternate for It Ain't Me Babe, and Friend of the Devil might have been on there somewhere in the acoustic set. Positively 4th Street was another alternate in the second electric set. Maybe LARS too, but I'm not sure about that one. A random thought on both nights: it seemed like Tony Garnier was doing a little bit more on bass than usual. But that just might have been because I was next to his monitor and thus hearing his bass more clearly than usual. So the setlists were not too adventuresome, the venue was bigger and its workers brusker than I'd anticipated, and I got a bad sunburn from lying out by the pool Sunday afternoon. Yes, it was truly a great weekend that was worth every penny and every mile on my battered Buick :-) Plus I got to meet/see again quite a few interesting and friendly folks, including several from this group. If you're ever in Atlanta, don't miss the Atlanta History Center. It's very, very good. They had great exhibits on Southern musical culture, the civil war, the city of Atlanta, Southern politics (including campaign posters and literature from Sen. Strom's presidential run -- talk about scary!). I got my first glimpse of footage of Jimmie Rodgers singing. The motto of the museum is "please touch." Very highly recommended! I do have negative feelings about the Werld O' Coca Cola, but that's perhaps just me. . . The only reference to the shows I could find in either Monday or Tuesday's "Special Commemorative Editions" of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was in "The Best of '96 Buzz" by Miriam Longino: "BEST NIGHT SPOT: It was overhyped but it was hot. The House of Blues. The long-vacant Baptist Tabernacle on Luckie Street more than exceeded expectations for drawing the famous and their fans . . . Owner Issac Tigrett's magic even managed to make Bob Dylan sound good. Prices were high, but so was the buzz. Question is: Will they ride off into the sunset or stick around?" Grrrrrr. Yeah, I saw Uma Thurman was there Sat night. So what? Who cares? "even managed to make Bob Dylan sound good"???? That's about it. Oh, yeah, for any Simpsons fans out there: I got a very strange look when I stopped in at the Sunsphere in Knoxville Tennessee on the way home and asked about the wigs. . . . Peace, Mark

Setlist for the 3rd - Setlist for the 4th
Tour Dates Calendar Expecting Rain