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Bob Dylan 961122 in South Bend, Indiana

Subject: 11/22/96 South Bend review
From: Tom Stevens (stevens@SKYENET.NET)
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 1996 14:50:27 -0500

November 22, 1996
Morris Civic Auditorium
South Bend, Indiana

1.  Crash On The Levee
2.  Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You
3.  All Along The Watchtower
4.  Just Like A Woman
5.  I Don't Believe You
6.  Silvio
7.  Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)
8.  Masters Of War (acoustic)
9.  Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (acoustic)
10. Everything is Broken

11. Lenny Bruce
12. Highway 61

13. Like  A Rolling Stone
14. It Ain't Me Babe (acoustic)
15. Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35

I'd not seen Dylan since 1991, also in South Bend.  Then he played an
enjoyable, but shaky concert.  His current band (then w/ Winston on drums)
was in its infancy and potential was there, but not fully in bloom.

The Morris Civic, a typical palace-era theater a la the Beacon in NYC or the
Tower in Philly, was packed with graying hippies, high school kids,
sometimes with their parents, and inbetweens like my wife and I.  This was
Dylan's third visit to South Bend, ('91, '93 and '96) all at this venue.  A
February, 1974 stop at Notre Dame was rerouted to Ann Arbor because of a ND
basketball game.

Opening was Kenny Wayne Shepard.  SRV/Hendrix comparisons have hounded him,
and they're dead on.  Kenny proffered a barrage of tried and true blues-rock
licks, with no hint of orginality.  But hey, the kid's 18, thrown into the
Big Rock Concert World.  If he does come onto his own, he could be
dangerous.  After a half hour or so into Kenny's set, increasing numbers
began to wander the lobby, puzzling over the $35. Dylan T-shirts and milling
outside for cigarettes and conversation.

9:10 saw Dylan, with his oversized white Stetson and Nudie outfit, take the
stage.  The expected Crash on the Levee opener had the crowd dancing, as
they did throughout the show.  The seats on the floor at the Morris have
little leg room, so it was more of a head-bop/arm-flail kind of movement.
The acoustic set was ushered in by a descending white projection screen,
showing images as the full band played a great Tangled, Masters and Don't
Think Twice.  All in all, the nearly two-hour show was a fine one.  The new
drummer plays right on beat, with dynamics, opening up more breathing room
for the band.  He's a fine addition, though at times I did miss Winston's

Dylan plays lead?  My wife Elaine pegged it: Dylan plays lead guitar like he
plays harmonica.  Hear the tapes and you'll understand.  J.J. looked
occasionally bored as Dylan indulged and J.J stared at the drummer all
night.  The crowd ate it up with delight.

Chicks on stage count: two.

On the way out, my friend, who parked by the tour buses, noted the DSS dish
on top of one of the tour buses.  We figured it was Dylan's, or else he's
very good to his roadies/bandmates.

The toll road off-ramp (no snow over Interstate 80) was congested at our
Elkhart exit, undoubtedly because the next day's Notre Dame home football
game (Lou Holtz's last) forced fans to stay in surrounding areas.

Tom Stevens

Subject: Dylan in South Bend, Ind. From: Paul Bullen (bul1@MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU) Date: Sun, 24 Nov 1996 14:33:03 -0600 The show in South Bend is the first time I have seen Bob Dylan in concert since March 26, 1966. I was very impressed. I had to leave the building during the opening band (which included a white boy doing an unconvincing job of singing like an old black man) in order to save my ears for the main attraction. I think Dylan would have been even better if the volume had been turned down. Perhaps someone can explain to me why the volume needs to be so loud. I can hardly imagine a better rock concert. I would be interested to know if this one was typical. Are the reports of other, terrible concerts the same as this or worse? Having a familiarity with the songs certainly magnifies the live experience. I greatly appreciate a band that just comes out, stands in one place, plays great music, and leaves. It sure beats the adolescent (and to me embarassing) antics of many popular performers. It would be nice if the audience were either less adolescent or more inhibited. I have a desire now to attend future concerts, if their are any; not so much for the pleasure of attending, as for the way they enhance listening to the music at home. If anyone taped the South Bend concert, I would love to purchase a copy of it. I found the live experience of Crash on the Levee, Lenny Bruce, and I Don't Believe You (even) more enjoyable than the recorded versions. I think that Bob Dylan does a good job of covering himself, although I am quite interested in how others cover him. I am surprised there is not more of it going on. My sense from the concert was that Bob Dylan the performer is a hidden treasure. Strange as it may seem, he is underrated. I am not sure what percentage of even those who attend is really listening to him (I know, of course, that many are). But I wonder about those who shout and wave and dance and talk during the performance. Some young hippy-wanabees behind me kept shouting "Joey" at the top of their lungs. They find the mafia inspiring? They expected Dylan to take requests? Also, why exactly do people stand through the entire show? Is it like gridlock? Two women/girls got on stage and hugged him. That, I did not mind. I thought it was intriguing how this boy who started out singing folk music became, and remains at the age of 56, the king of rock, conquering a few other genres along the way too. I look forward to seeing how this concert struck others. --Paul Bullen

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