Bob Dylan 961115 in Columbia, MO
Subject: Show Review - 11/15 Columbia - Stephens College Auditorium From: Brian Muirray (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 13:21:39 -0600 11/15 Columbia Setlist Stephens College Auditorium 1. Crash On the Levee 2. I Want You 3. All Along the Watchtower 4. A Simple Twist of Fate 5. It Takes a lot and a Train to Cry 6. Silvio 7. Mr Tambourine Man 8. Masters of War (acoustic) 9. Don't Think Twice Its Alright (acoustic) 10. God Knows 11. I&I 12. Highway 61 Revisited Encores 13. Like A Rolling Stone 14. It Ain't Me Babe (acoustic) 15. Rainy Day Women 12& 35 By Brian Murray: Hello Bus248 Let me start out by saying this show was absolutely amazing! This was my 3rd Bob show in a span of 12 months, once last October in Springfield, MO, second this summer at the big Prince's Trust show in London, and then last Friday in Columbia, MO. Last year's Springfield show was an experience I will NEVER forget. I could not believe how powerful, how tight and together Bob and his band were, and how well it all sounded. With this in mind, I could not wait to see Friday's show. Four of us drove 3 hours from Lawrence, KS and had plans to spend the night at the luxurious Motel 6 in Columbia. We listened to Bob tapes all the way there in my car, while getting pumped up to see the show. We brought one guy along who was had never seen a Bob show before, and was a casual fan. He told me he had heard many stories about how Dylan kinda sucks when playing live. I told him he had no idea how good the show he was about to see was going to be. I just left it at that, and figured I would let the music do the talking! We got to the arena, and were surprised about how small it was. We had 18th row center seats. We also made elaborate plans to try and meet Bob after the show as he was leaving the arena and getting onto his tour bus. Once in the auditorium (looked like a really old converted gymnasium) we were treated to a sizzling blues display by the opening act, Kenny Wayne Shepard. This boy could play! He reminded me of the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughn The moment we were all waiting for: Bob & Band arriving on stage. Bob was wearing a grey suit with a white cowboy hat. 1. The band launched into Crash on the Levee. A great rendition, however it was a little too short! 2. I Want You was done nicely. It was a completely revamped version slowed down a bit. 3. As predicted, the band ripped into All Along the Watchtower with brutal force. This one set the place on fire, and got everyone to their feet. The band jammed on and on for almost 10 minutes. 4. I knew Bob and the his band could play the hard rock numbers, but could they make a beautiful song like Simple Twist of Fate sound good. The answer is a resounding yes. Dylan did something with his voice that made this sound SO good, combined with the skilful way this was played (especially the nice skiffle beat) made this one a highlight for me. At this point in the show, I knew I was seeing something very special. Those in the audience who knew this song were cheering all the way through. 5. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry was done very nicely - A slow, down and dirty, very bluesy arrangement. I liked it a lot. 6. SILVIO! A relatively obscure song, that is an now an live classic! Man, this one sizzles. He blew the roof off the joint with Silvio. After the show, I heard several people commenting that they had never heard Silvio before, but were absolutely amazed by it's live treatment. This was the best version I had heard so far. Bob played Silvio in Hyde Park this summer, and it got just about all 150,000 people going crazy. 7. Out came the acoustic guitars for the next couple of songs, then Mr. Tambourine Man. Kind of a paint by numbers version and not one of the concert highlights. 8. Masters of War. This one was real special for me. The thing that turned me on to Bob was his now historic "incoherent" version of Masters of War, and his hilarious acceptance speech at the 1991 Grammy Awards for his lifetime achievement award. I was a 17 year old college freshman when I saw that, and I realised that anybody who could be so bold, and so funny, and so absolutely poignant at the same time was right on with me. I've been hooked ever since. By the way, I think the '91 Masters of War was awesome! Anyway, tonight's version was very memorable as well. 9. Don't Think Twice It's All Right. A very nice countrified rendition of this song. At this point, people started rushing the stage, and so did two of the guys I was with. Unfortunately I held back, but my two friends got up to about the 4th row for the rest of the show. 10. God Knows - I didn't recognise this for the longest time, but I liked it a lot. 11. I&I - ditto for this song. I'm glad he played something relatively new! 12. It was time to rock out again when Highway 61 started. Bob gave this one a little extra. This band seems to be at it's best when it plays the fast, rock and roll numbers. I thought this was a show highlight. 13. Like a Rolling Stone. I mean the crowd was really into it at this point, with most realising it was indeed a very special night. 14. It Aint Me Babe (acoustic). I really liked this finger picking acoustic version of It Aint Me Babe. Its got a great sound. Bob and Band can definitely handle the acoustic side of things, and they come off sounding very together, and very tight. 15. Rainy Day Woman 12 & 35. About 8 girls hopped onto the stage and started dancing and jumping around. A couple of them were quite attractive too. Bob smiled a bit, and looked onward like an old lion who could probably go in for the kill, but choosing instead to not. After the song, they all took turns hugging and kissing him. Lucky Bob! I was rolling with laughter at this point. Oh yeah, the song was good too. Bob was smiling widely when singing "Everybody must get stoned!" The show was over, and we were on a mission to get outside and to the back of the theatre to meet Bob Dylan. We ran all the way back there, but much to our disappointment, off in the distance, the tour buses were leaving the parking lot! After the show, I heard numerous people raving about how much better it was than they thought it was going to be. My friend, the casual Dylan fan was shocked at how good it was. It was even better than I thought it was going to be too. Later, we all went out on the town, and had a few drinks, played some pool, and enjoyed the memories of an amazing show.
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 13:37:07 -0800 From: Lynda Hawkins (hawkin@SLUVCA.SLU.EDU) Subject: [Fwd: Dylan, Columbia, Mo. 11/15/96] To: email@example.com DYLAN COLUMBIA, MO., NOVEMBER 15, 1996 Deciding to check out downtown Columbia pre-show we accidentally passed Stephen's Auditorium and just happened to see Dylan buses on the back parking lot and felt the urge to go and hang out. Only us and a kid that drove 100+ miles from Kansas City in hopes of adding to his collection of 4000 autographs. Fat chance, I thought. Actually it was quite unbelievable how lax security was at this venue. We were able to walk backstage and watch the set up. We had already missed JJ's sound check. Roadies feasting in the back room off a hallway. We left our new found friend and bid him good luck in his quest. I've read all the Kenny Wayne reports and not being a fan I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I found him to be a guitarist that obviously spent a lotta time on the edge of the bed. Actually this guy knew his way around the fret board so well I wondered if he ever did anything else in his life but play the guitar. "Ladies and gentleman please welcome".....the time had come. Bob wearing a suit that looked strangely similar to the Sinatra special garb coming out of the gates with Down In The Flood singing strongly as if the previous night off lent favorably to his strong vocal. Next the most gorgeous I Want You that I have heard in a long time. Tender and well paced. The perfect number two selection. Then a more than familiar Watchtower. We were surprised how casual and laid back the audience was. Then Simple Twist Of Fate. A heartfelt vocal, maybe even a little extra effort since the audience at this point seemed well settled in their seats. A gutsy, ballsy, bluesy It Takes A Train, quite a different arrangement from the previous year. Then house lights and Sylvio. That was it, we couldn't stand it any longer and just had to dance, I mean this is Rock n' Roll isn't it. Still the audience didn't flinch, more polite applause. Acoustic time with Tambourine Man, Masters, and Don't Think Twice complete with Elvis Jailhouse Rock ending. At that point Bob's security turned loose the aisle dancers who up till that point had a tough time with hall security. The guy in front of us was bound and determined to keep order, until the word came to let'em go. We bolted and ended up stage left in front of JJ. A sedate God Knows then a fantastically sung I & I. And still no stage dancers. It was cool as it gave a great opportunity to appreciate the music for what it was. Dylan and the boys didn't really seem to smile much or get into it until the stage rush. We were allowed better position as a result of a couple of people getting tossed for picture taking. A fired up but sparse Highway 61, much different than previous shows I've seen in the last year. Three verses of a majestic LARS. This is my first show being in front of JJ, and I must say his guitar ability knocked me out. Talk about restraint, this guy knows what not to play. An acoustic It Ain't Me Babe, then party time. I gave my better half a boost up to the stage and 5 or 6 other girls were released stage left and it was like I'd never been away. Bobby singing a verse and just sheer playing from that point forward. I'd pushed the BOB CD sleeve to my love and by this time she had it and a sharpie well in hand, making her move as Bob took off his Strat. A kiss on the cheek telling him she loved him and OH MY GOD he's actually scribbling on the Blond booklet, after a brief exchange with her. All in all a great, no legendary night. Hello to my friend that I ended up to from Chicago, I hope you had as much fun in Davenport. See ya' in Bloomington. -Don Meyer
Subject: Review Columbia (11/15)--LONG!!! From: Amber Sparks (c695374@SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU) Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1996 23:36:41 -0600 Well, first a disclaimer. I'm only 18, and this was only my fourth show, so I'm not exactly the best critic, and this is my first review. However, I do know Bob's music pretty well for someone my age, I think, so I decided to post a review, even though I realize it won't be as good as those who are more experienced than myself. I also feel obligated to post a review for those who didn't get to see the show, as I thought it was an incredible one. It was the best of the four that I have been to. My mom has been to quite a few more than I have, too, and she agreed that it was an excellent show. We (my mom, my 15 year-old brother, and me) drove into the parking lot at around six, to make sure we knew where to go, and more than that in hopes of seeing Bob and to check out where the buses were. There were two silver buses there, and a beautiful maroon one was just pulling in. Normally there is a black bus which everyone tells me is Bob's, but this time I saw no black bus. There wasn't one at a little after seven, either, but he could have not come until right before the show, and left immediately afterward in it, and I wouldn't have known it. That seems very probable, but we guessed that Bob was using the maroon bus, just because it made it more interesting that way. =) There was a TV on inside of it, and as I don't watch TV very often I couldn't have said what it was that was on, but my brother (I won't call him by his name for fear of confusion with Bob--his name is Dylan) said that it was Saturday Night Live. They were doing the sound check when we got there, and we stood outside the doors and watched and listened for a little while. Didn't see Bob. =( Then we went to eat, and came back at a bit after seven. The show was scheduled to start at eight, so we had plenty of time to check out our surroundings. The new shirts they were selling were very intriguing. I like the one with his picture inside of his name on the front. Our seats were the best I've ever had at a show. We were in the orchestra section, where they didn't even have any permanent chairs, so they had set up folding chairs for us. We were in the second row of this section, and my chair was the second in from the middle aisle, about five feet from the stage. It was a perfect position. The stage was a large one, and the curtains on the sides were so positioned that we could see the people coming in and out of doors backstage from where we sat. We could also see the opposite side, where Bob would disappear to before each encore, which later turned out to be amusing... The opening act was Kenny Wayne Shepard, who I had never heard of before, and who I was desparately hoping was not a country singer. He was not, thankfully, and he turned out to be a pretty good guitar player from Louisiana. He couldn't have been much older than I am, and my brother was impressed (he plays guitar as a hobby himself). I may have enjoyed him thoroughly if I hadn't been there to see Bob; since that was not the case, however, I hoped that every song would be his last and that we could get on with the show. I had never been to a concert where there was an opening act, and I made a mental note that it might be good to simply avoid any opening acts in the future. Some more experienced had done just that, and the few seats that had been left empty during KWS filled quickly right before the lights dimmed once again and the announcement came that "Recording artist Bob Dylan" was coming onstage. Bob was wearing the now-famous white cowboy hat with a grayish suit that looked a little big on him, but stylish, and black cowboy boots. He was also wearing a black tie, I think, but it was tucked into his suit in an odd way, I guess to keep it out of the way of the guitar. I wondered why he bothered. Anyway, he looked like he was in much better health and spirits than when I last saw him, which was last year. He looked younger, even. I was a bit disappointed that he had abandoned his seventies garb in favor of a country style, but he looked more comfortable. The set list: 1. Down in the Flood I get the impression he really likes opening with this song. He opened the last concert I saw with this also. And why not? It's a good song. It was well done, and it seemed that he was making more of an effort to really sing the words than I have heard him do in the past. I thought as I was listening that if I hadn't known the words and the way he sings I might actually have been able to interpret them; then, I think we all reach a point where we are no longer able to empathize with those people who can't understand a thing he says--probably about the same time we stop understanding how his voice could sound anything less than beautiful. I agree with whoever said it seemed short, though. It did to me, also. 2. I Want You I really quit the little critiquing I was doing altogether when I recognized this song--I love this one. I have always been fascinated with just watching him while he sings. For those of you who want a musical critique, you will probably be better off getting it from somewhere else, because I was lost in listening to his voice and watching those eyes. Who said the light in his eyes had died?! Not from what I saw. 3. All Along the Watchtower Last time I heard this one live, it seemed he was bored with it, but I got that impression from none of the songs this show. Also, Bob was definitely taking more of an interest in playing guitar than in the past. I had heard this, but it was interesting to watch. It went throughout the show. Bob would take a couple steps backward and get a look of absolute concentration on his face, then start playing some lead. Sometimes this provoked a look from JJ that said "What in the world is he thinking this time?" but Bob didn't even really look at JJ much. JJ didn't seem his usual self, either. He used to have this smile on his face the entire show that I had thought might be a permanent fixture. Not this time. Perhaps these things were a sign of the tension that has been in the band. Anyway, sometimes Bob's and JJ's ideas of what to play when would conflict, not making the song sound bad by any means, but just a little bit confused. Then other times they would come together beautifully. Those times there was a conflict it was almost like a power struggle. JJ would come closer to Bob, seeming to be wanting to get together, and Bob would get an even more concentrated look on his face and play as if JJ weren't even there. This happened at least a couple times. It never lasted long, though. Other times JJ would look at Bob and smile with a look that seemed to be a mix of amusement and admiration. 4. Simple Twist of Fate He sang this song more from the female point of view this time, at the beginning. She felt alone and wished that she'd gone straight. Does he do this often? I don't remember hearing him do that with this song before. I've heard him switch from third to first person in Tangled before, though; this is similar, I guess. Interesting. His vocals on this were excellent. 5. It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry Excellent. His voicings and his expressions were fascinating, as always, but this song is so casual and easy-going that he seemed to reveal a little more of himself in it. You should have seen his face on "don't my gal look fine when she's comin' after me" =) 6. Silvio I couldn't believe we were on song six already! This was done superbly, but it too seemed to go too fast for me. Not that I mind him playing fast--not by any means. What can I say? It was great. I always get a kick out of hearing him sing "I'm an old boll weevil looking for a home" 7. Mr. Tambourine Man This started off the acoustic set, which I always enjoy. Really nothing different about it, it didn't seem to me, but I enjoy the classics, too. 8. Masters of War I'm not too crazy about this song; the apparent feelings of hatred in it have always bothered me. However, I was pleased to note that he didn't sing the verse about Jesus never forgiving what these people do. Wondered if he did it on purpose or not. As far as the music goes, every note made a tremendous tension that built to the very end. It was an excellent version of it. It was also during this song that I first noticed pictures in the background. I generally have this tendency to block out all but the man in the center of the stage, and so the little skills of observation I was given are pretty much rendered useless for anything but him. These pictures, however, demanded my attention. They were photographs of people with ghostlike faces in pure agony. If anyone has the earlier book of Bob's lyrics, look up this song in it, and you will find cartoon-like drawings of the same thing. 9. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right I love this song, and he played it well. Any further comment on it would only seem to belittle it. 10. God Knows Right before this song, as I was still off in another world due to the wonder of the last song, the stage rush occurred. Mom had told me before the show that I would have to be the one to get out and run up to the stage since I was the closest, but I was lost in the music. Only her yelling of my name brought me back to reality, and I scrambled to the front. I managed to get a very small space next to the stage right in front of Bob, standing about three feet from him, and I was very grateful that the man next to me took pity on me and tried to give me some more space. By the time I had gotten adjusted, he had started this song, so I hadn't been able to focus on the opening like I would have liked. It was beautiful, though. This is another song I like a lot. I think he played a tremendous setlist this concert, although I'm still waiting to hear Isis live... 11. I and I This song is always beautiful. I was personally glad he chose it instead of Joey. I enjoy hearing the vocals on "I got nothin' t'say, 'specially about whatev'rwas" much more than on "Jo-o-o-o-o-e-e-e-e-e-ey." 12. Highway 61 Anyone who saw my post of the setlist knows that I forgot this one. Thanks to those who corrected me. Both my mom and I forgot it in our fatigued attempts to recall the songs after the concert. That doesn't mean it wasn't important, though. It was good, and very upbeat--a nice one to follow the two slow songs preceding. After this song, he disappeared to his left and our right backstage. Everyone applauded him, and we knew he was still back there because we could see his white cowboy hat in the darkness. =) So, which encore would he play first? 13. Like a Rolling Stone Everyone was pretty excited by the time they recognized this one, and I was wondering if there was going to be a mass swarming of people onto the stage, as I had read that there had been at other shows. There was not, which was perhaps due at least in part to the structure of the stage. It wasn't too high, but the top of it projected out a ways, which gave nothing to get a foothold on to boost yourself up. I at least would have had to have help and probably a lot more space before I could get up without some trouble. Another reason why the stage thronging didn't occur, I think, was that the people in a position to do so seemed as a whole, or at least those around me, to be an older crowd. Those in their middle years seem to try a little harder to give the guy some space and just let him play. Anyway, I have always liked this song, and this version only made me appreciate it more. People were singing to it a little bit, and I have thought before that this bothered Bob a little, but he didn't seem to mind. He disappeared again after it, but once again the hat was in plain view in the background. 14. It Ain't Me, Babe Sorry, I can't tell you whether he fingerpicked this song or not. I was watching his eyes. I'll try to remember to ask my brother; he might remember. Regardless, though, it was beautiful. 15. Rainy Day Women 12 & 35 He didn't sing a whole lot on this one, but they kept it going for a really long time. It seemed that the whole band was having fun with it, and certainly the whole audience was. I thought we were going to get through the whole show without anyone getting on stage who didn't belong there, but partway through the song some girls (just two at first, I think, and then a few more) came out from backstage and started dancing over by JJ. When they did, JJ suddenly got his fixed smile back, which remained on his face until the end of the show. Bob was rather distant, but seemed surprised at the distance the girls were keeping from him. He turned to look at them several times, and even walked closer to them. It seemed that he was glad they were up there, but he didn't know how to react to them. He smiled a few times, which he hadn't been doing a whole lot of this show. After the song was over, a couple of them came up and gave them a hug and kiss, at which he grinned widely. Immediately after the show many people who knew that Bob was probably already gone dashed outdoors in hopes of catching him anyway, but those of us who had the advantageous position during the concert were in no position to do that. We hoped to get a copy of the setlist, anyway, and when the lights came on we pleaded with the stage crew. This goal was not achieved, but one of the dear men decided to give me a C harmonica as a reward for my patience. I was speechless. I had never gotten anything before. My mom had gotten setlists and guitar picks before, and even my brother had gotten one of Winston's drumsticks from JJ, but I had figured that I'd probably be like my dad someday, having gone to 68 concerts and never having gotten a thing to show for it. A kind lady who I had seen before at concerts but who I don't know by name, and who had gone up and given Bob a big hug after the show, told me to be sure I kept it safe, because she had seen people snatch them out of little kids' hands. I took her advice and put it in my pocket, and I made it home with it all right. I'm looking forward to showing it to my dad over Thanksgiving. Well, needless to say, we didn't see Bob after the show, but I was satisfied. I had lots of great memories, and I was going to be busy until the next time learning how to play the harmonica...