See copyright notice at

Bob Dylan 961020 in Mesa, AZ

Subject: Mesa ,AZ, 10/20/96
From: Connie McCarthy (cvm@JUNO.COM)
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 23:09:12 EDT
(Revised by author's request)

I haven't seen any reviews of the October 20, Mesa, AZ concert yet, 
so I will give a brief, amateurish, one; hopefully someone will 
write a longer, more "historical and professional" one.

Dylan appeared in the same costume described for the two concerts that
preceded it.  He also had the same "artistic" backdrops described
previously.  I was hoping that he would start with something other than
"Crash(Down)," and at first I thought he did, as he rendered it in a
style that was quite new to me (I think it was much slower).  Gradually,
I recognized the familiar words. I was quite astonished when he sang "Lay
Lady Lay," as the second song, since every other Dylan concert I've ever
attended has been fraught with jerks yelling "Lay Lady Lay" throughout
the entire show, although he never gave in to them, and sang it! :)

This review is a brief one; the set list has been published.  Although my
husband and I enjoyed the concert, it did not _ begin_ to compare with
the amazing, magical, musical energy and excitement that he favored us
with last November.  I felt that he spent considerable time and energy
turned toward (and working with) the new drummer.  Either that, or he
spent considerable energy encouraging him, but I think he was unhappy
with the new sound of the band-- they weren't nearly as "tight" as the
old one. I think he wanted to get it RIGHT.

The appearance of Nils Lofgren, and the sparkling jamming that resulted
during the last four songs was as good as it got.

Another huge disappointment was _another_ show without _one_ harmonica
song.  Let's hope that he has a sore mouth, or something temporary.

As I said earlier, we enjoyed the evening; it wasn't awful, but not quite
up to snuff (just my opinion-- let's hope someone will disagree! :)


Connie McCarthy (

Subject: Review: San Luis Obispo to Mesa... From: Christine Consolvo ( Date: Wed, 23 Oct 1996 21:43:48 GMT Josh asked me to post this to the newsgroup as his server is not reliable... ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Why Not Maggie's Tonight, Bob?- A Review by Josh Nelson ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ There's not enough sperm in the world for Bob Dylan in 1966. The title of this review is a quote from Stephan. The quotation comes straight from Homer. I love Bob Dylan. Really, I do. If it wasn't for Bobby, JJ, Santos, and Jules, what would I possibly do for my vacations? Seriously, Bob Dylan is a central, integral part of my life, and I thank God everyday that I am lucky enough to frequently see him perform. No matter what he plays, I will always go to his shows. Even in 1998, when the entire concert consists of a 45 minute electric version of All Along Maggie's Flooded Highway and an acoustic version of Girl of Spanish Leather, Babe, I will go and I will cheer. Concerts are spiritual experiences which help make me who I am. Having said all this, would now like to be slightly critical of the great one. For those who say "How can you be critical of a show?", I respond that art is meant to be criticized and interpreted. Concerts are Bobby's expressions of his art, and I feel that it is my place and duty to give a fair, honest opinion. Perhaps Clinton Heylin would agree. The show in San Luis was the most fun of the three. First, Dave Kemper is a very fine drummer (and a nice change from Winny). Most songs have new arrangements, and the acoustic band format makes everything much livelier. An upbeat Baby Blue was certainly my highlight. The new Jokerman though under rehearsed, was interesting to say the least. Oh yeah, What Good Am I was slowed down (again) and simply breathtaking. Bob appeared to like Kemper (a high five after Takes A Train) and, all in all, while certain songs appeared under rehearsed, the show went very well. Just briefly, I will discuss the following 2 shows. Vegas was, in a word, boring. While the new beat on Flood was a nice change, the rest of the show seemed much like earlier this year. The main highlight was a new, much slowed down version of Mobile. Kemper played on all songs. Mesa was better than Vegas and, in terms of Bobs performance, the best of the three shows. However, for the most part, I was bored once again. Tangled was sped up and tons of fun, and Ramona (with the drummer) had its moments. The guest guitarist was a nice treat, and his acoustic soloing on the sped-up North County was something to hear. Bob kept staring over and appeared quite impressed. He actually hugged Nils on stage! But, once again, the shows were a bit boring. This brings me to my main complaint. We need new songs. I can accept the fact that Bob doesn't want to learn new songs (it takes too much effort, I suppose), but he no longer even plays a bunch of the songs he played in 1994 and 1995. Here are some examples : In the Garden, Joey, Disease, Bells, Never Gonna Be the Same, License, Born in Time, Queen Jane, Lenny Bruce etc. I realize that, some of these, he now plays once a tour, but its simply not enough. The setlists are, in my opinion, just too predictable. When you start praying for Everything Is Broken you know that it has gone too far. I fully understand that these songs are not popular, but to this I respond, are Long Black Coat, Real You, and Ill Remember You any more well known? No! While Bobby may play the big hits for the casual, one time fan (eg. Watchtower, Rainy Day), and this makes perfect sense, who the hell is gonna get excited for If Not For You. Enough is enough. I have built up a tolerance to She Belongs to Me. This is not to say that I don't enjoy the shows...I DO. But they could be even more fun. Imagine if right after Watchtower the band went into License To would be damn exciting. Yes, I realize that Baby Tonight is more popular, and will probably be enjoyed by more people in the audience, but since when is Bob Dylan controlled by outside opinions. He must get bored playing Tambourine Man for the 1,000th time. The title of this review comes from my traveling partner, and is meant to express what Tony says to Bob at least once a night. Why Not Maggies?...because you have written 500 other songs, Bobby! Go for it. You never appear more tickled than when you try something new, and it, please, keep trying. I head to Dallas this Friday, and I will scream my heart out no matter what Bobby plays (with the exception of River Flow). My point is not that the shows are bad, they are really good, but just a bit boring. If you agree, let me know. If you disagree, let me know. Please, however, do not write to me and say that She Belongs to me is an awesome song...sure, it may be your orgasmic high, but I have heard it enough. I would love to hear what other people think on this topic. These are Bob's shows and, while he can play whatever the hell he wants, I would love anything new...for Gods sake, they have a new band. Also, if anyone has any questions about any of the shows, please feel free to ask. I can be reached at (not the address!) Well, all the best to all, Josh

Tour Dates Calendar Expecting Rain