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Bob Dylan 970812 in Scranton, Pennsylvania

Subject: Watchtower subject revealed
From: john richardson (
Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 11:53:22 -0400

Here is how Dylan introduced 'All Along the Watchtower' 
at the Scranton show on 8/12.

He said, "Here is  a song about . . . . me."

Subject: Montage Mountain review (8-12-97) From: Dan Levy ( Date: 13 Aug 97 15:06:40 GMT Organization: L e v i t y I was at last night's show in Scranton. It was amazing. I can't really find the words to say how much better it was than even the really terriffic shows I've seen in the past couple of years, including several this tour and earlier this year. You know the two dimensions you can use to assess his vocal performances: level of impassioned committment and level of musicality? He was peaking out on both last night. I don't know whether he is just more relaxed playing in out-of-the-way venues, but everything he sang, all night long, was just closer to the ideal. And then to make it the more special, the set list was seriously rich. I think that was the first "Sooner or Later" he's played in almost 20 years, and he sang it like he's been inside that song and working on it like a standard. Joey and Born in Time, too, though more frequently played, a couple of times a year I'd guess, were probably the best versions I've ever heard, and they're among my favorites. I'd never heard "Oh, Babe It Ain't No Lie" before. He sings it as an upbeat folk song, brimming with love, and it is the point in the show that anchors his work in the tradition that he's pushing forward, like Cocaine has at other shows and so many other traditional or old-time songs. The standards, too, were elegantly presented, especially Mr. Tambourine Man, which is now in a stringband arrangement. Bob's singing really benefitted from the 95 tour in which he sang the song without playing guitar, just standing steady with a hand mike and taking it very slow. The band has come together finally, with Larry Campbell seeing deep into Bob's guitar solos and comping so well that Bob can take his solos even further. I have to say, I've been skeptical of Bob's solo guitar, but his efforts over the past couple of years are really paying off. And David Kemper, "the man who keeps the beat," as Dylan introduced him, really gets dynamics. His playing incorporates the narrative of the music and takes the songs from setting to setting quite elegantly, with power. Bucky has been rising to the occasion with some really smart steel guitar playing and Tony looks very happy. This is the best band he's put together yet, dare I say it the best ever on the Neverending Tour. But, as always, the vocals are what I went to Scranton to hear, and they were so good that they show just how good it can be. Imagine the songs are like those balloons in the Thanksgiving Day parade. Every night Bob and the band inflate the balloons, and some nights they're blown up to their fullest potential. Last night was one of those. These shows should be recorded. I don't know if the Dylan organization has a tape setup at the mixing board but if they don't they're really missing out on the real, real deal.
Subject: thoughts/review on 8/12 8/13 From: Mananath ( Date: 14 Aug 1997 22:45:19 GMT greetings fellow dylan fanatics... now before i go any further i just want to clear up one fact... it might be hard to pick out once i begin to ramble about these shows... BOTH SHOWS WERE EXCELENT... amazing shows... that coould be a review right there... but i will go on 8/12 i got to the venue around 3pm and got prime parking which was great... the parking lot itself before the show was interesting.. i noticed a lot of police patrolling it. In fact there was a van filled with kids hangin out in the lot, and then three cars down there was a cop staking them out. About 10 min later 4 cops showed up and raided teh van. After about 15 min of searching (they scared those kids to death and totally ransacked their van) they only found like 1 bottle of liquour and it was the size of one you would get in hotel or on a plane. I think they just took down their names.. although im not sure. The soundcheck was fun to listen to and in fact sounded better than the show (more on that later).. dylan was not at the soundcheck... It was at this time i began staking out the back to see if bob was there... it appears he may have gotten a new bus. I was looking for the bigall black one but it was not there. There were three buses: a red one, a big pink one and a black with silver one. I determined that the red one was either BR549 or DiFrancos because i spotted it pulling away at the Hershye show while bob was doing the encore. either way it looks like he got a new bus... onto the show: we walked into the show just around the time BR 549 was finishing up... waited with a mob of people, in which security would like to cal a line to get in... my tape recorder and i got in no problem. So DiFranco came on and did her thing... i think the thing i like most about her is her stage precense and how she BS's in btwn songs and even sometimes during songs... but she sang and danced and had the fiddle player from BR 549 join her for the encore. and finally the incense was lit and bob appeared , although he didnt come off the rafters, as Ani said he would... :) everyone has seen the setlist by now so im not gonna retell them.. just a few highlights for me.... Joey.... goes w/o saying... never really like this song, but loved the fact that he played it!!.. perhaps the best performance came during RDW... now i have grown to hate this song over the years.. but must admit he was in top form on this song... lyrics lasted about 2 min and then it turned into a huge jam session.. dylan was playing amazing blues guitar solos... just amazing.. he was dancing all over the stage looking great and he played harmonica on it... great great great... my biggest complaint had to be about the job the sound technicians did.... from where i was.. mid lawn... it sounded just horrible... it would be too low at one point then jump up to too loud then down to to low again. or the right speaker would go out and the left one would come on and vice versa.. was really upsetting and it totally screwed my tape :)..... but once u got past this horrible fact.. it was halfway decent sound and luckily not a sign of things to come (more on that later) bob speaks: the following is a list of everything bob said at the show: after Absouletly Sweet Marie: Thanks, Thanks everybody before AAWT: Heres a song about..... ME after Born In Time: Thanks after Tangled Up In Blue thank you, thank you everybody after She Belongs To Me band introductions; talks bout the openers "watch these guys they are moving up fast" well that does it for this show... im gonna write another message for the 8/13 show "And if my thought dreams could be seen, they'd probally put my head in a guillitine" - Its Alright Ma -*- B Dylan -mike Tape List: Email: