Bob Dylan 970818 in Wallingford, Connecticut - Oakdale Theater
Subject: Rick Danko!!!! From: Anthony Fappiano (email@example.com) Reply-To: Anthony Fappiano (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: 19 Aug 1997 14:30:31 GMT Hey there Wow...what a show last night. Despite asshole security guards, and more than one taper getting busted, still one of the greatest shows I've ever seen. Things we're kind of sullen until they brought Danko out. Then the place went wild. Unfortunately, the Oakdale is a lousy place to watch a concert unless you have really good seats. However, it is impossible to get really good seats because only the corporate scum of CT have access to them. I saw but maybe one or two people even stand up in the lower orchestra section. Most of them we're in their late forties, were wearing too much gold jewelery or had their country club polo shirts on. really kind of sickening. As a few of us tried to get closer to the stage, some of these yuppies began to take an attitude with us. It was not appreciated, and some verbal insults were passed. An ugly scene...I also saw three stealthers get caught, kind of a disappointment because this show needs to be on tape. All and all a great show, but I urge Bob to nevber play the Oakdale again. He'd be much better off at a place like The Palce in New Haven, or the Bushnell in Hartford. Anyway, I had my flower, but didn't see anyone. Hope everyone who went had a good time.
Subject: Oakdale, 8-18, Larry Campbell and Ani DiFranco From: (email@example.com) Date: Tue, 19 Aug 1997 23:35:16 -0700 This is for those of you who have yet to hear the band on this tour. Some of you post and tell the rest of us to tell you what the shows were like, since the tour isnāt coming to your area. Well, here's my two cents. Agree or disagree. It's fine. RMD is about discussion. It's about the celebration of Our Man. It's an open forum for the expression of different views. I've thought some of you on occasion have been nuts. I've always enjoyed the variety of your thoughts and have appreciated reading them and the different perspectives I've gained. I had the opportunity to be in the front row, center, for Oakdale, Connecticut, on 8-18. My 27th show. Two matters: First, Larry Campbell. Second Ani DiFranco. As some of you know who have traded with me, my own preference with Dylan is for the 1988-89 period with G.E. Smith. I've never been moved by the post-Smith bands. No guitarist who has performed with Dylan since then can shine Smith's shoes. He is a musician's musician, the consummate guitarist. Larry Campbell is the first guitarist since Smith to reach out from the stage and grab me. Quite succinctly, Larry Campbell is a wonderful musician. He is the most exciting thing on this tour, imho. Pay close attention to him when he gets to play lead guitar. At Oakdale, he played a blistering version of Silvio, which has become, to me, the highlight of the set, as it was on the spring tour. He also played some tremendous guitar on a wonderful and what seemed like a 10-minute version of Cats in The Well. He makes everything sound better. If you are a musician, as I am, you can appreciate what a fine guitarist he is. He's technically flawless. He knows where he is in the song at all times. His musicianship is sensitive, creative, artistic, yet he does not overshadow Dylan or anyone else (nor did Smith). He knows how to "color" a song. One of the nicer performances at Oakdale was I'll Remember You. Campbell's understated guitar-playing complemented Dylan's own very nice vocal. You knew Campbell was there, but he was not overbearing. It's a shame Dylan does not let Campbell play more lead guitar. I've heard Dylan hired him to be a rhythm guitarist. This is a colossal waste of a fine musician. Despite some of the recent silliness in this group about his guitar-playing, Our Man, as much as we love him and as good a folk-style guitarist as he is, just isn't a lead guitar player. He managed to play on Tangled Up in Blue at Oakdale what to me was one of the most boring guitar solos I've ever heard. Musically, it simply was uninteresting. Didn't add anything to the song, didn't go anywhere musically. A bunch of repetitive, wandering notes. And his guitar, his Gibson Les Paul, sounds as flat in terms of tone as his voice (this is not meant as a criticism of his voice, either). Disagree if you like about Dylan's guitar-playing, but Larry Campbell's musicianship is, undeniably, a treat, worth the price of admission itself. Listen for yourself. I hope he stays around for a long time and that he gets to have a much bigger musical role than he does now. Ani DiFranco. Perhaps it's the age we live in; perhaps it's just some intransigence about being open to what others have to say. Perhaps many Dylan fans have grown fat, dumb and happy in their middle age. The behavior toward Ani DiFranco of some (not all) Dylan fans at the three shows I've seen on this tour has been disappointing. Many of the middle-aged Dylan fans, I think, have forgotten that in his early days, Dylan himself was quite rebellious, uncaring about social conventions and what then passed for political correctness. In short, as virtually all who knew him have remembered for us, he was quite the snot. Ani DiFranco may or may not turn out to be a "voice of her generation," as did Dylan. But she definitely speaks to a major portion of the music-listening audience today: young women. In case it has escaped some of the Dylan aficionados, there is - and has been for several years now - a virtual revolution in folk and pop music that largely has been led by women. Lilithfair is only its latest expression. Ani DiFranco speaks to a large segment of listeners who for so long have had no "Dylan" to look to, to listen to as someone who puts into song what they feel. To those young women (and others, too, who "hear" what she's singing about), she is every bit as important to them as Dylan is and has been to us. Don't mock Ani DiFranco. Don't get caught up in silly threads about her use of profanity. If you do, you're seeing the trees, not the forest. Listen to Bentz Kirby when he writes about being open to others' views. Listen to what Ani DiFranco is singing about: loneliness, fear, exploitation, independence, self-confidence and the lack thereof, what it means to be a young woman today. You may not like her "style," you may not like some of her words -- you don't have to -- but she is real, live, vibrant, energetic, enormously creative in her music, a risk-taker. Respect her and those who listen to her, as we wanted respect all those years ago when Our Man sang about what was important to us. I thought it was quite interesting that this young woman, who utilizes so many styles of guitar-playing and incorporates so many different types of music in her performance (do we know someone who has done that?) was historically aware and appreciative (not that she wouldn't be) of what has gone before her such that she performed a Woody Guthrie song. It caused me to wonder if she might be trying to reach out to the Dylan fans, many of whom sat stonefaced with arms folded in the front rows at Oakdale. Dylan fans can do much better than this. Enjoy the rest of the tour.
Subject: Wallingford review From: MrETramp (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: 19 Aug 1997 21:42:59 GMT Well, I've seen Bob 10 times now, and this was the best show since my first, which was Rolling Thunder in Providence RI, 1975. Probably having good seats helped. I know an earlier poster said only corporate scum got the best seats, and I believe that it is true that the front and center seats are reserved for season ticket people or some such and that there may well be a high percentage of corporate scum in that group. My seats were sixth row, but off to the side, in the non-corporate scum section. I got them by phone the day tickets went on sale. They weren't ideal, but they were by far the best seats I've ever had for a Bob show. Only caught the end of BR5-49; they were a lot of fun. Ani DiFranco was fine, though I must admit I find her a bit tiresome in large doses. Some wonderful moments, though, including a cover of Woody Guthrie's "Do Re Mi" and the "fuck you" song that has inspired a thread here that I have avoided reading. Anyway, I think I'll be filing Ani in the category of artists I admire more than I like (along with folks like Hendrix, Sinatra, and others too numerous to mention whose talents I recognize but somehow fail to completely appreciate). Anyway, Bob's set started a bit slowly. I was surprised to hear "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" in the third slot. I expected "Tough Mama" or, if not that, another rocker. Bob almost spoke "Tonight" rather than sang it. He included one lyric variation: "Shut the shade/Shut it tight/We're gonna make/It last all night." "Tough Mama" came in the fourth slot. Unfortunately, so did the security nazis, who started forcing all of us who had moved up into the aisles back to our seats. Why they had to do this for Bob's set but not for Ani D's is a mystery to me. Anyway, there were many people in the aisles and filling in seats where they didn't "belong," so much confusion and anguish resulted. I really didn't get to listen to "Tough Mama" much. Things really picked up with the acoustic set. "Baby Blue" was spectacular. The arrangement was essentially the same as the one he performed at Woodstock, but the performance felt much more dramatic and powerful to me. A great performance of one of my all-time faves. "Tangled Up in Blue" kept the momentum going; if anything, it seemed to catch the crowd's interest more than anything had to that point. Based on the reviews of other shows, I especially wanted to hear "Cocaine." It did not disappoint. Bob's singing and arrangement were awe-inspiring. I was so blown away, I felt disappointed at would seemed to me to be a lack of response from the crowd. The people I was with, though, assured me that the song got a very positive response and that they, too, loved the performance. I guess I expected thunderous applause, people jumping out of their seats, the sky opening, something more than there was. To me, it was one of those magical concert moments. Now, if he would only play "Blind Willie McTell," I'm thinking, I could die happy. Alas, it was not meant to be. Guess I'll just have to score a boot. Still, the rest of the show had more than its share of wonderful moments, notwithstanding Blind Willie's non-appearance. Not least, of course, was the appearance of Mr. Danko, guesting on "This Wheel's on Fire" and an encore "I Shall Be Released." "Wheel" was especially great. I had heard Bob do "Wheel" earlier this year in Hartford, but this performance blew that one away. As with "Baby Blue," the performance highlighted the song's drama and tension. This was so even though there was a bit of awkwardness between Bob and Danko as they worked out a mike sharing arrangement. Of the encores, "Rolling Stone" deserves special mention. Hard to believe that Dylan can find new ways to bring this song to life, but there was something about the way he sang "How does it feel?" last night. Maybe partly it was that he did in fact sing the line rather than spit it. So it felt like there was some compassion there, that he was doing more than taunt. (Not that there was anything wrong with the song before, mind you. I just liked the change.) Finally, another surprise: No "Rainy Day Women." "Alabama Getaway" makes a fine, rocking closer. RDW will not be missed, at least not by me. Now if we could only convince him to dump "Silvio." David Bachman
Subject: August 18 Wallingford From: "Nishimura, Itsuko" (itsu@HAL.AC.JP) Date: Sat, 23 Aug 1997 07:37:51 +0900 Hello, I went to Canada and US and saw Bob shows 10 times. He's very fine than I was wonderling. I wrote about Wallingford show in long flight to Japan. August 18,1997 Wallingford, Connecticut 1. Absolutely Sweet Marie 2. Pretty Peggy O 3. Tough Mama 4. Just LIke A Woman 5. Silvio 6. It's All Over Now,Baby Blue @ 7. Tangled Up In Blue @ 8. Cocaine @ 9. I'll Remember You 10. This Wheel's On Fire (with Rick Danko) 11. Cat's In The Well -------- 12. Like A Rolling Stone -------- 13. I Shall Be Released @ (with Rick Danko) -------- 14. Alabama Getaway All 10 shows I saw were all good. I know some were average. But it's still great. Bob's movements are kinda strange still. Slowly walks between Larry to Tony. and he looked back David many times and gave him nods with no smile. Sadiejane kindly found me a very good left hand side seat. I could see even Bucky's black hat very well. Bob did almost same songs for 3 nights just before this show. That's why I was very surprised when heard "Peggy O" as 2nd song. Specially on Acoustic set, everyone on the stage were watching Bob's guitar very carefully. It's makes me smile when Tony and Bucky were peeped at Bob's guitar and Bob never looked at them. "Cocaine" is my favorite now! Sorabh told me it's written by SunHouse(spelt right?). Very beautiful song. Bob sang with strong, gentle and sweet voice everytime on this song. I never tired to hear this song. The rhythm are slowly. Must be Bob loves this song very much. After "I'll Remember You". Bob introduced Rick Danko as player for "Wheel's On Fire".I thought He's in Japan! Actuary I thought Danko's voice were kinda weak for me. maybe cause he's singing next to Bob? "Rick Danko from The Band!" Bob said after the song. he keeps smiling. and shaked Rick's hand. I was moved. And "Cat's In The Well"! It's bluesy. not fast but it's made Sadie's dance. Bob shouted lyrics of "Roling Stone". and everybody was shouting the line "How does it feel!". I never tired to hear this song also. Rick Danko showed up again for "I Shall Be Released". He sang very carefully and he looks very happy. When Bob sings with another (specialy female) singer with one microphone. it makes him fun, I think. I love to see that. Finally, they're back to stage but Tony's standing next to Larry. He Counts fast rhythm for David. I never thought I can hear "Alabama Getaway" again! It's last show for me. and it's a great show. John gave me a tape of Bob. It made me very happy I was listening it over and over on a bus to NYC, in an airplane to Japan. I really thanks everybody makes me laugh and made me a great holidays. Many thanks for many people who helped me so kindly and most of them were I never met before. I wish I could speak English well. But I couldn't. I was listening conversation between them. It's very funny everybody just couldn't stop talking of Bob. I didn't go anywhere for sightseeing, Even Niagara Falls, I passing through it. But I stayed at St.James Hotel in New York City last night. I really tired but happy. Thanks everybody. Itsuko
Subject: notes from wallingford...(and others) From: Christine Consolvo (email@example.com) Date: Sat, 23 Aug 1997 18:47:51 GMT Well, there I found myself in Wallingford, Connecticut and my last show of the run...a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Happy that the weather had finally cooled down and looking forward to an indoor venue (this was the one day that rain was not threatening wouldn't you know?) I stood outside chatting with new friends and old. Conversation ran toward what the setlist might be like tonight since the three previous shows had been all but identical. Funny, but even though they were so similar, their mood, tone and spirit differed so greatly that it insured each and every show was set apart from the others. (Some disagreed with this assessment and after the show in Jones Beach I felt I had to remind a few of them that it could have been a moment of silence.) There was speculation that what had happened was just a kind of "dress rehearsal" for Jones Beach...that show being in an important location...and this makes so much sense I tend to believe it is on the mark. But I digress... Bob came out at the Oakdale looking great (just as he had the other nights...only once looking very tired toward the end of the show ....Holmdel?...and actually leaving the stage hunched over. It was easy to envision what he will look like thirty years from now as he leaves the stage :-) He was dressed in the usual black. This night his pants had irregularly shaped (mostly three-sided) buttons made of mother-of-pearl running down the sides. Black jacket, white satiny shirt, black patent leather shoes....and a sparkling turquoise string tie done up in a bow topped it all off. Was this the night he wore the new hat through the entire show? Now I can't remember. I believe it was beginning in Hershey that he took to donning a hat for the last song. The hat was white and almost as tall as his ten-gallon. It had a large, very rounded crease in the center and a wide black band. The brim was short and rolled up on the sides. And it was about 1/2 size too small. My first impression was that it reminded me of something from an old gangster movie. Of course, being white, one of the "good guys" would have worn it... When Bob started into Peggy-O, I am surely projecting, but I think he was as glad to have a change in setlist as we were. At all these shows he would choose a verse in some songs (at random? NO!) and really bite into it. Tonight he really spat out the line about "your guineas are too FEW!!!" with a quick turning up of his nose and a sneer and adding in a short two-step dance away from the mic and then back for "I'm af*RAID* my mother would *BE* (then very gently) soooooo angry-o" with the slightest shake of his head. For quite some time now he has taken to adding these little pieces of acting/drama to his performances, but on this run it was even more constant and more exacting than in the past. On to Tough Mama... Planet Waves has always been one of my favorites perhaps because it was the first released after I became a fan of Bob's and the same year I saw my first Dylan concert (late-comer). I was thrilled to see it showing up on the setlists before I went out and selfishly hoped against hope he would see fit to continue playing it...at least until I got to see it once. The first couple of times I got to witness it in Scranton & Hershey he appeared to be unsure of himself and the lyrics. He was getting them right, but not enunciating them properly. Yes, he was mumbling. Then in Holmdel he began to gain confidence and the song took on the grandeur it deserves. I think documentation will bear me out when I say that even on the "mumbling" outings he was shouting out the lines in the song that always stick with me..."I gained some recognition, but I lost my appetite!" I spoke to another "fan" about this who thought she might have been imagining this, but we decided between us that he *was* emphasizing these lines and what a gutsy, Boblike thing to do it was. On to Cocaine Blues... What a choice. What a guy. What wonderful renditions..... In retrospect, I wonder what Rick Danko thought about this choice as he stood next to the onstage soundboard at the Oakdale taking in the performance. Could his situation have been the catalyst for Bob playing it on this leg? Who knows.... I do know that night Cocaine built to a crescendo...verse by verse....until on the last one Bob was shouting/whimpering/begging as he sang the lines "Hey there Mama, come here QUICK, this old cocaine's 'bout to make me SICK". He was taking tiny breaths between each word and wore a look on his face like I've never seen before. A look you might have when your life is truly threatened as you passionately implore someone to please spare you. A totally amazing and moving little slice of blood and thunder...beginning and ending in a very few seconds. When he finished crooning I'll Remember You, I knew it must be time to bring out Rick Danko since he had moved from his spot on stage right during the song. I'll have to paraphrase how Bob introduced him, but it was something like, "And now I wanna bring out a friend of mine who's had some trouble lately...but I think he's better than ever now." Rick walked out absolutely beaming with obvious pride and delight. He was grinning from ear to ear as he donned an acoustic guitar. Bob said (again paraphrasing) "This is a song we used to do." and they went right into This Wheel's On Fire. They traded verses with Bob taking the first (I think) and I know that Mr. Danko sang the "confiscate your lace" verse. He put every ounce of himself into the phrasing and emoting of his lines and when they would share the mic for the chorus, Bob gave him more than his share of it ....encouraging him to give it his all. Rick looked into Bob's eyes through the entire song not wanting to miss even the most fleeting exchange of intimacy. When Bob would take his turns, Rick stood back (that wide grin never leaving his face for an instant) and watched with what seemed to be a reverence that could not be matched. What a beautiful picture they made... I Shall Be Released went down in much the same fashion and when it was over, Rick went for a high five from Bob, which kind of turned into a low five/hand shake then a most friendly pat on the shoulder. As they left the stage, it seemed to me nothing had changed that much since that first concert I saw...way back in 1974........... Just thought I'd mention it... Christine