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Bob Dylan 970810 in Clarkston, Michigan (Pine Knob)

Subject: 8-10-97 Pine Knob
From: Jay Obermark (
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 01:12:27 -0500

Just back from a stupendous show at Pine Knob. Bob comes out in black
coat and pants with the braid down the side. He looked a little stiff at
first but did some great guitar posing and the inimitiable Dylan
sidelong glances. By You ain't going nowhere he was looking more

Phrasing was full and beautiful, the vocals loud and strong. Silvio had
a nice instrumental slow down that was new to me. The crowd really got
into don't think twice. This was followed by Tangled, a fairly standard
version. Cocaine was next. Great haunting voice on this one. He started
solo into God Knows and did the slow band building crescendo  getting
the crowd back on its feet. But the real news of the evening was Blind
Willie. They played this one without the afore-reputed  awkwardness. It
was simply gorgeous although only a few people recognized it. What a
moment that was as he croaked out the arrow on the doorstep. The typical
hw61 and lars followed. Then a very melodic and engaging Forever young.
He was giving great looks into the crowd and playing funky little guitar
step throughout the evening.   There was a big stage rush at the end
engulfing the band and making Bucky retreat. Leaving his setlist

let me just say grovel grovel grovel if anyone has a tape, I would
dearly love a copy grovel grovel

what he played:

Sweet Marie 
I shall be released
Tough mama
You ain't going nowhere
Don't think twice
Tangled up in blue
God Knows 
Blind Willie McTell
Highway 61
Like a rolling stone
Forever young 
Rainy day women

here's the printed setlist:

sweet marie
released/tonight i'll be staying
I don't believe you/tough mama
born in time/tough mama/tears of rage
baby blue
God knows
blind willie/born in time
highway 61
rolling stone
back pages
rainy day

catch this tour!

Subject: 8/10/97 set list (Pine Knob/Michigan) From: John Hinchey ( Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 04:21:47 -0500 Well, here is tonight's set list: Absolutely Sweet Marie I Shall be Released Tough Mama You Ain't Going Nowhere Silvio (acoustic) Don't Think Twice Tangled Up in Blue Cocaine God knows Blind Willie McTell Highway 61 (encores) Like a Rolling Stone Forever Young Rainy Day Women comments: It was a so-so show until 'Dont Think Twice," despite the presence of "Tough Mama," one of my favorites. Dylan used the original arrangement, and the he & the band sounded like they were still groping for a way to handle this song. Interestingly, the lyrics were scrambled: The first verse ended with the latter part of the last verse (ending with "meet me at the border late tonight")--and the end of the first verse appeared at rhe end of the 3rd or 4th verse. My impression was that Dylan had bot forgotten the right words but was trying to re-work it. The show got rolling with "Dont Think Twice," especially Dylan's guitar parts. I wont try to explain this, but listening to Dylan play lead guitar tonight reminded me of listening to Miles Davis. "Cocaine" was one of the hight points. When it started, I thought it was "Disease of Conceit," and indeed, toward the end there were lines to the effect that "the doctors say it will kill you, but they dont say when," which echo lines in Disease of Conceit. But the best part was the chorus, "Cocaine, all around my brain," which was dont is 3-part vocal harmonies that sounded like a white gospel jug band. The other true hight point was "Blind Willie McTell," which Dylan sang wonderfully, and with a slight lyric change: Instead of "And I know there is no one/ who can sing the blues/like Blind Willie McTell" it went "I know one thing/no one can sing/ the blues like/Blind Willie McTell." The arrangement & the band's playing was gorgeous on this--especially at the end of the next to last chorus (I think) where the blend of Dylan's guitar and Baxter's mandolin (I think) sounded like a gorgeous Dylan harmonica. "Highway 61" was also splendid. By the way, the best line of the night belonged to BR-549, the first opening act (Ani DiFranco was the 2nd)--BR-549 is very good, but the audience was ignoring them, and toward the end of their set, one of the two lead singers stopped to say, "Dont be afraid folks, it's only country music."
Subject: Aug10 show From: KEN SMITH (HYWY61@EBTECH.NET) Date: 11 Aug 1997 15:53:44 GMT After two great opening performances by BR4-49 and Ani Difranco at Pine Knob, and after many teenage Ani Difranco fans left, Dylan and the guys appeared, looking quite ready to rock. Dylan wearing a black jacket with what looked like purple pants with silver braid down the sides and some pretty cool boots began with a rocking version of Ablsolutely Sweet Marie as expected. Here's the rest of the set list: I Shall Be Released Tough Mama You Ain't Going Nowhere Silvio Don't Think Twice It's Alright Tangled Up In Blue Cocaine God Knows Blind Willie McTell Highway 61 "encore" Like A Rolling Stone "encore" Forever Young "encore" Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35 Just a great show. Dylan seemed to be smiling, looking at the audience in front of him, and having a good time. Quite a few young hippy chicks jumped on stage to dance around and give Bob a hug or a kiss and he didn't really seem to mind. In Rainy Day Woman, about 20 people managed to get on stage and dance, first they surrounded Dylan, but he and the boys just kept playing. I got down to the front of the stage and saw that the bodyguards had got Dylan and Garnier to the back of the stage and formed a fence around them. Dylan didn't really seem to mind, he left the stage smiling and talking with the band. Anyways the set was pretty great, Silvio really rocked with some a cappella singing, Cocaine was really great blues, the whole band really got into the mood. Forever Young was beautifully done, Dylan's singing really clear. Basically everything was done great. The whole audience was having a good time, dancing from Sweet Marie on. Dylan introduced the band quite friendly-like and talked about both of his opening acts. Awesome job Bob. Jocelyn Smith Wyoming ON
Subject: Pine Knob Review From: Jeff Knorek ( Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 17:51:32 -0400 Bob Dylan August 10, 1997 Clarkston, Michigan Pine Knob The weather was warm and muggy, partly sunny. With a lot of luck and a little bit of ticket savvy, Kish and I managed to score front row center seats, so we sold on our row TT tickets in the parking lot. Since this was going to be our only show of the tour (we are presently raising 4 kittens), we were stoked. The Jimmy Buffet show the night before in evidence as beer cans were laying around everywhere, even in the waterfall by the east gate. We ran into my trainspotting pal Brad (the GTW Freak) Kindshy who had just come from Holly, MI where he'd been watching trains. Kish and I had originally planned to have brunch at the Holly Hotel and then nap in the little park there in town where Brad was, but the kitten's mother, Noel, was deathly ill so we spent the day dealing with her instead (BTW, she is now doing fine). We went inside at the beginning of BR5-49's set. I always try to give the opening acts a chance (Kenny Wayne Shepherd got just one) and these guys were up to the challenge. If you like country music of any kind, you'll love this band. I look forward to seeing them in a bar someday where I can get good and loaded. After their rockin' set was over, I asked the bassist for his bottled water, which he kindly obliged (Pine Knob doesn't allow you to pack your own liquids, and while they sell bottled water, they decant it rather than let you keep the bottle...kinda hard to put a cup of water in your pocket). Much as I liked the view (we would have been right in front of Larry Campbell...Sadiejane, had'ja been there Hon you'd have had my ticket), the sound that close just sucks...all you get it the reverbs off of the ceiling. So after hanging out in the Bake Zone prior to Ani Defranco's set, I wandered around for the best sound during her set while Kish rocked out in the middle of the pavilion pending my decision. The best sound was about 15 rows back in the center section. This is Corporate Seating Land there along the isles...seats that have little brass tags riveted onto the backs with the name of whomever purchased that seat for the entire season stamped into the tag. Blocks of seats are so marked, and this looked like a safe bet: some Corporate folks won't want to see Bob Dylan. Sooooo....we went down to Row H on the left side of the center section. The name on the tags on the four seats in from the isle was Miller. We had those four seats to ourselves for the rest of the night. Whoever dreamed up the idea of Ani DiFranco and BR5-49 opening for Dylan deserves a gallon of Ben & Jerry's...What a lineup!! Two very strong acts opening for Bob. All the festivals touring this summer _wish_ they could score like this....Ani DiFranco just _smokes_, her fans made their presence very well known and by the time it was time for her to cut out, the !!Whole Crowd!! was up on their feet screaming for more. She came back out twice, and I gotta wonder if it was Dylan himself telling her it was okay to go back on. The set break was remarkably short. I kept waiting for the stage monitors to be brought out, but none were set up. Since I didn't see anybody wearing earphones, I don't know how the band was able to hear each other or themselves. Anyways, they came on and after about a minute that recorded voice introduced Him for the benefit of those who didn't know why they were there, and then: 1. Absolutely Sweet Marie I wish he'd mix up his openers, but this one is new to me as an opener. I listened intently, but Kish had to tell me what it was (just like last time). After 18 months of _Crash on the Levee_ I was ready for a change. I paid close attention to Larry Campbell. The sound was blisteringly loud. Could hear all but Bucky, who was weak in our mix all night. 2. I Shall Be Released Ever run into an old friend but embarrassingly forgot his name? It took about 45 seconds for me to get it. Duh....I've never expected to hear it live out of Bob Dylan's mouth (I once saw the Dead do an _Uncle John's Band_ *after* space, and I swear I didn't know what it was...). 3. Tough Mama SUH-MOKIN'!!!!!!! Now I really like Larry Campbell. I forget the name of the fellow who posted his review of a recent Dylan show to RMD...but in it he mentioned that he listened to Garcia Band's latest album _How Sweet It Is_ and, in particular, the _Tough Mama_ within it on the way to said Dylan show. So the power of suggestion being what it is, this is what we listened to on the 70 minute drive to Pine Knob. I knew the name of _this_ old friend this time. Again Larry Campbell just crushed it, and the melody was going over and over in my head on the way home later on. About this time it was looking like this was going to be a very good show. 4. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere Way, way fun. By now I notice that the folks in the rows all around us are up and dancing...from smelly hippies to middle aged folks looking more at home at Bill Knapp's, EVERYBODY was up and groovin'. Sections around us remained seated, but on all sides of us there was a serious dance vibe happening, even through the slow ones. Some of these people looked so straight, THEY LOOKED LIKE MY DAD'S BOSS, and they were just as involved in the fun as the teen murfins looking to get onstage at the end of the show. 5. Silvio I'll never tire of hearing this one. 6. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (acoustic) 7. Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) 8. Cocaine Blues (acoustic) Cocaine Blues set itself apart from the others because of the way Campbell and Dylan had to harmonize the chorus. And the downbeat was there, way there. I really like David Kemper here. I'll say that over and over. Winston Watson stomped all over the slow songs, and it is wonderful that many acoustic songs were played live without him. But Kemper's approach is subtle enough that he blends in while he drives the band down whatever path they are on. His drum riser is now set somewhat off of center on Dylan's right side, and to a 30 degree angle towards him. This appears to be to facilitate eye contact when Bob is signaling changes. They nailed their changes all night, all of 'em. The band was way tight all night. 9. God Knows 10. Blind Willie McTell 11. Highway 61 Revisited Crushing, crushing, smokin'...hard to say more. Dylan actually introduced the band this time (one of my big criticisms of him last autumn...he didn't introduce the band and just sucked up all the glory). He then actually addressed the crowd, although I couldn't tell what on earth he was saying ("mmmm mmmmba, hmmmmmhhh"), and then Kemper just lashed out with the opening drum to _Highway 61_ ...he just fucking crushed it, they all crushed it, and it even rivals the version of this song they did here at Pine Knob last year. (encore) 12. Like A Rolling Stone 13. Forever Young (acoustic) 14. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 Forever Young was beautiful, and all the couples in the house were close-dancing. Kinda gooey, so I won't elaborate...but I gotta tell ya', I am so sick of hearing _Rainy Day Woman_ that we immediately snapped out of the romantic thing and gathered all our stuff and split just as the stage rushing scene happened. Notes: The Shower Head wasn't anywhere in sight. This bugs me... No Harmonica,...some changes are better than others, I guess... Kish really, REALLY dug Larry Campbell..."uh...heh heh, Kish, get back here...uh, huh huh huh, don't make me kick his ass"... If you are on the fence about going to any show left to go on this tour, jump off the fence and go. Great show. Go for it. Jeff Knorek
Subject: [long] August 10, 1997 - Pine Knob, Clarkston, Michigan From: Tim Lundgren ( Date: 12 Aug 1997 20:16:01 GMT We had terrible seats for the 8/10 Pine Knob show - at the very left edge of the left section. This we were able to improve, as I will relate. There seemed to be little that could be done to improve the sound quality, though. Moving from the left section to the center section (as we did during the latter portion of Ani D's set) helped things a bit. But having been to see Dylan 3 times now at Pine Knob, and having seen him elsewhere on several occasions on the same tours, I can say that Pine Knob just has bad acoustics. You know how Phil Spector was known for the "wall of sound?" Well, Pine Knob should be known for the "wall of noise," for that's what the tin roof over the pavilion makes the band sound like. That aside, we sat in our center section, not-half-bad stolen seats for about 2/3 of Dylan's set, i.e., up until God Knows, when the ticket checker stationed in the middle of the aisle (they were checking tickets right up through the encore until overwhelmed by the stampeding horde, but more on that in a moment) was distracted and, siezing our opportunity, we slipped by him and moved up to somewhere nearer the front where we could actually see Bob's expressions and etc. The sound, though, did not improve. It only got louder. Others have stated that the band was tight knit, but to me it seemed like they missed their changes several times early on. In fact, 2 or 3 times parts of the band would slow for the operatic ending so loved by rmd'ers ;) while the rest of the band plowed ahead at the usual tempo. This lead to some confusion about when a song was ending and where the ending lead guitar work was supposed to go. During God Knows (I believe - or was it LARS?), for instance, after one such moment of confusion, Dylan turned and signalled the drummer, who backed down, as did the rest of the band who then turned to Bob as if he were going to play some lead guitar, but instead he suddenly brought the song to a close and they hurried to catch up. Bob did not seem particularly engaged during the first half or so of the show. He was stiffer and less gestural than he was before his hiatus, and didn't really mug for the audience (guitar-hero poses he had been working on) at all. Then, before I or the security people knew what was happening there was a girl on the stage hugging Bob (which song was this during? I forget) and he even came in late on the next verse in order to lean over and talk to her and give her a smile as the security people were escorting her away. This courteous and seemingly welcoming treatment on his part appears to have encouraged others and for the remainder of the show the security people were busy and only semi-successful in keeping people off the stage. The crowd reacted to the first girl's success with a roar, and Bob seemed to awaken from his stupor. From that point on he suddenly began throwing himself into the songs, doing the guitar-hero poses, and even waving and pointing rather animatedly at the audience before leaving the stage after a blistering Highway 61. The crowd was mostly sitting until God Knows got many of them up, and then Blind Willie McTell and Hiqhway 61 swept the rest onto their feet. Blind Willie McTell was stunning. I was so swept away by it that I couldn't even remember afterward (until I read it here) whether he had used the original chorus or the Band version. I was so caught up in the song that I couldn't take time to analyze it. This, actually, was a problem the whole night and explains my lack of specificity about exactly when and were things happened. An odd, but oddly satisfying concert suddenly turned truly bizzare during RDW. The crowd was by then at a fever pitch, and after the band took the stage again, as the opening chords played and the crowd went nuts, the house lights came up on a sea of dancing people. Everyone was on their feet, from the lawn seats up on the hill all the way down to the front of the pavilion. Bob was part way through the first stanza when a woman made it up on to the stage and began dancing in circles around him. He seemed to ignore her, and the two security guys on either side visibly vacillated over whether to run out in front of Bob to retrieve her or to wait until she came closer to the ends of the stage. This hesitation was fatal. After what seemed a minute or so of her dancing and no visible response from the security, people began to flow up over the edges of the stage like a dam springing a leak, and the flood grew larger each minute it was unchecked. Security initially struggled to contain and reverse the flow, but within a minute or two they were standing helplessly by while dozens of people clambered up onto the stage. Security then moved to circle the musicians, and at this point I could no longer see Dylan or the band, except for a bit of the drummer. I expected at any moment to hear the song come to a sudden halt while Dylan and band disappeared backstage, but instead they kept on jamming. They had been pushed back away from the microphone and so there was no more singing, but they kept playing for several minutes while a huge crowd, jumping up and down and dancing around them, completely enveloped them on stage. Meanwhile, hundreds of people rushed from the back seats down the aisles, scattering the ticket checkers, and tried to get onstage as well, but it was already full. When the song finally ended - in an orderly way, not as if they musicians suddenly took flight - I saw the roadies hustling the guitars offstage, and saw a couple band members exiting, but I didn't see Bob make his get- away. Walking away from the venue I wondered if Dylan was as frightened of the crowd as I was for him and what effect this might have on security at future shows. Would they tighten it up, keeping the crowd further back from the stage? Deal more strictly with stage-jumpers? (The men were pitched unceremoniously back to floor level, while the women were gently lowered down to the waiting floor-level security who ushered them [men and women alike] out.) It was an unfortunate end to a concert that built up incredible momentum in the final numbers. Tim L.
Subject: pine knob mich 10 aug 97 From: "Matthew A. Okraszewski" (mokraszewski@ALPHA.ALBION.EDU) Date: 13 Aug 97 03:26:35 GMT Organization: Albion College, Michigan well this was only my second time seeing bob with the last being the previous november. i was coming into the show hoping for a couple things 1, a little change in the set list, 2, at least a few spoken words scattered somewhere between the songs (like the previous criticism bob didnt even intro the band in nov), and c, a little taste of bobs harp. as meatloaf put it two outta three aint bad. sorry for the off the wall reference. i totally loved the set. the only two songs i didnt recognize were blind willie mc.. and the one he played either before or after. i enjoyed them nonetheless. had great15th row seats (thnks again shannon) and everything sounded great. highlibhts for this novice had to be his flooring hwy 61 and cocaine blues. also thought lars and asm were nice touches. as my friend and i were right on the isle i talked to the isle attendant about the security for the evening and she said everyone was on higher alert at hte request of bob and his people. personally i saw a number of people snap what hopefully will be some nice pics. and of course now i will make my all out plea for a tape of the show if one is to be had. but for this bob fan i wil another thing worth comment is the stage jumping that went on. a number of people were able to make it right to bob and pay their respects towards the end of the show. but it got outta hand on rdw and bob was only able to make it thru one verse of the song before he could no longer make it to the mic. it was kinda annoying to not be able to catch a last glimpse of the man but i guess he envokes all sorts of responses from all sorts of people. oh ya, another funny thing was that apparently jack kevorkians lawyer was sitting one row ahead of me and a couple seats over. this was according to one of the ladies working the venue. so it goes. as has been said before, if it is at all possible for you to catch bob this summer... grab that ticket and dont look back. -\/-- matt "it's a wonder we can even feed ourselves"