Bob Dylan 990214 in South Bend, Indiana
Subject: Dylan's not Normal From: jzitt763 (email@example.com) Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1999 18:20:59 -0600 This is in response to what someone said earlier about what Dylan said at the Normal, Ill. show. he actually said: "They always said I'd never get close to Normal.....But they were WRONG!!!" that's very close to word for word.
Subject: Re: Dylan's not Normal From: Jan Susina (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1999 19:37:28 -0600 The Normal show was great! Dylan danced around and seemed happy. We noticed that at least 18 roadies were watching the show at the end. The horn section was reading sheet music, but they seemed to be improvising along. They had different yellow jackets it seemed for the Dylan set than the gaudy lime green ones for Brian Setzer. It was just a 4-piece horn set (trumpets, trombone and sax, I think). Dylan actually spoke more to the audience, introduced the band and seemed happy to be playing
Subject: Re: Dylan's not Normal From: Frinjdwelr
Date: 15 Feb 1999 02:40:47 GMT Indeed he seemed to be especially enjoying the guitar jams with Larry and Setzer. After each round of eye to eye face off he'd break into an ear to ear grin. At one point he was so into it that he seemed to forget about having a horn section too. Tony came up behind him and said something about letting the horns take a lead, which he then did by backing up and cueing them with one of those looks. >They had different yellow jackets it seemed for the Dylan set >than the gaudy lime green ones for Brian Setzer. The first time he called them out he made some remark about doing so because of their outfits. The horns really helped Rainy Day sound classic once more. Performance highlights were Million Miles, Love - 0, a scorchingThin Man, haunted Love Sick and fierce Not Fade Away.
Subject: Re: Dylan's not Normal From: JPORUSSA (email@example.com) Date: 15 Feb 1999 18:11:00 GMT This was definately a great concert... did anyone else think that Bob & Brian Setzer don't play together very much? It seemed to me that Brian wasn't real comfortable at first, and I'm not sure he knew Highway 61 very well because of the way he played so timidly. At times when they were all jamming it seemed like total chaos-- who's turn is it to solo? I don't know, lets all try at once!
Subject: Dylan at Notre Dame-Valentine's Day From: Paul Bullen (pbullen@ENTERACT.COM) Date: 15 Feb 1999 11:45:05 -0800 Organization: None The University of Notre Dame (Joyce Center) is the second Catholic college I have seen Dylan at, and, like the last time I saw him it was in a basketball arena; but it was much smaller than Chicago's United Center, home of the Bulls. At the United Center I was the furthest from the stage I have been, but it was the most inspiring of experiences. University of Notre Dame's Joyce center was the closest I have been (6th row), but it was the least inspiring of concerts. Whether this was because of the performance or because of me, i don't know. Apparently, not taking photographs is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for enjoying a show. (It would have been pretty easy to take photographs. There was no search.) There were three songs that stood out for me last night: 1. Desolation Row 2. Don't Think Twice 3. Not Fade Away. I think I can do without "Silvio". And I suppose I have never really been particularly fond of "Serve Somebody", although any reminder that Bob Dylan, of all people, became a fundamentalist Christian, at least for a few years, is welcome. I prefer the spirit of the Desolation Row performed last night to those of Highway 61 or Live '66, although the instrumental accompaniment of the HW61 is excellent. If my memory is correct it was at the end of Desolation Row that Dylan put down his guitar and concluded the song playing the harmonica. One problem with Dylan's performances is that his voice is not in great shape. It would be nice if one could discern a greater percentage of the words. The songs from Time out of Mind are the clearest. It must be particularly difficult for people who are not already familiar with the songs. I had to stand throughout the entire show. This is because Brian Selzer told everyone to stand up during his concert. Otherwise the comparatively civilized and extensively supervised crowd would probably have sat most of the time. The makeup of the audience is close to the 1966 concert I attended: mainly teenagers and completely white. There seemed to be a lot of 12-year old girls. Were a lot of people there primarily to see the Brian Selzer Orchestra? I enjoyed the middle third of the BSO's set (starting from when everyone stood up). He is a combination of big band and 50s rock and roll (etc.). I have never heard anything they have recorded, but there seems to be a tendency toward being a Johnny-One-Note. I wish performers would aim more at substance than at style. "Not Fade Away" was nice in part because it was something different. Of all the song's Dylan can choose from, what recommends "Silvio" so much? How about "No Time to Think" or "Carribean Wind" or "Tell Me" just once? But it was very nice to be close enough to see Dylan's face. Even from the 6th row binoculars would be a good idea, though. I am very grateful to the person who got the excellent seating for me. Chicago to South Bend is a dismal commute. Could there be a less scenic route? And what happened to good old truck stops, with real waitresses? A 24-hour Hardees is no substitute. Despite this grumbling, I want to say that living in a location where it is possible to see Dylan frequently is a great privilege, and it is good to remain cognizant of overseas fans who would be willing to WALK the dismal commute and listen to a dozen Silvios just for a chance to hear Dylan perform. I look forward to hearing other how others found the Feb. 14, 1999 show. ---Paul (Bullen)
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 20:55:16 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "Cynthia W. Haas" (email@example.com) Subject: South Bend, 14 February, 1999 From John H. Haas Hey Karl Erik, can you add this to the South Bend report that's already up? So what is the story? Brian Setzer joins Bob in Normal on the 13th, and in Grand Rapids on the 15th, but South Bend? No way. Oh well, we only knew the half of it at the time and no one was disappointed then, so why complain. We have orders not to. The neophytes thought this a great concert and I'm not going to argue, it was. When you think about it, Bob really knows what he's doing, much better than we old hands do when we get to criticizing. He knows he's got us, he even gives us (some) of what we want, but he also and primarily and in fact more importantly gets his music across to a wide range of folk, from literally 50-somethings+ who haven't bought an album by anyone since the sixties to teenagers who think it would be amusing to check out Jacob's dad. Everyone comes out raving. I was raving, even though I would in my sober moments rate it about a six on my Bob-Only scale (no one else even gets to zero on that scale!), though that's an average. Some performances were nine's. "Serve Somebody," "Desolation Row," and "Love Sick," for example. In the heads of the die-hards he's competing against himself, and what's the point of trying to please some freak who's going to compare each excellent performance with one he saw two years ago or heard on a tape? Forget it. Allow me to thank my beloved wife for organizing a no holds barred assault on the ticket venues-eyecandy, the radio, and a cast of thousands at the JACC to be sure to get good and close. We did, sixth row center, our best seats ever! Thanks, Cyn!! Brian Setzer, who's CD's I gave a listen to and came away going ho-hum, was awsome in concert, he and his band excellent, funny, likeable. Best opener I've ever seen with Bob. Pure entertainment, nothing to embaress my 13 year-old daughter sitting next to me (unlike Ani DiFranco, for example). The other reviews are right, the security was way too strict, which had a depressive effect. Normally in South Bend Bob plays the Morris Civic, a great old Gilded Age kinda beast of a building, perfect for Bob, and security there is usually pretty lax. In 1996 the stage rush occured about three bars into "Crash." What this does is guarantee that the most excited, enthusiastic, and expressive people are right down front where Bob can see them, which is good for him. But the Morris is being renovated, so he chose a very uptight venue at Notre Dame and you've read the rest. Bob comes out, the place is electric with excitement. I don't like the strobe, it's overkill, a dark stage with just the low lights of the equipment, attempting to discern who's moving around where and then that into . . . call me old-fashioned, that's what I like. "Serve" was fantastic, great opener, great song, should be longer. It's true, lots of the lyrics were hard to get, at least where I was, but I'm not certain it was Bob's fault. It's a hockey rink, after all. Caught one new lyric though: "May think that you're livin', may think that you're dead . . ." "Million Miles" is also great in concert. Bob's own answer song to "God Knows" is my theory. At one point Bob shouts "Yeah, it's true!" He's already into his antics. We're all ecstatic. "Stuck Inside Memphis," just doesn't do it in the three slot. Give me "Cold Irons Bound" any day. Too slow, too lazy, great song on BoB, rarely a sizzler in concert, this one was sluggish until more than half-way through, and they start getting their guitars tangled together and it actually gets pretty exciting, really starts chugging along, Bob's first almost duckwalk across the stage. Tony really starts grinning, actually everyone looked great and happy, even Bucky, usually the grumpster of all time, was very animated and hammed it a bit for the audience. (And btw, thanks for skipping the ridiculous leather pants for tonight, Tony! Listen, hey, I love that man, but we need to have a talk!) "Big Girl," I won't comment, as I've come to not like it in concert, I don't know why. Maybe I've just heard it too much. This version was pretty perfunctory, actually, though some folks really seemed to appreciate it. "Silvio" was needed by now to pick things up, and it did. Crowd gets energized, Bob has picked someone out and is hamming for them, they seem a little freaked by the attention. Uses echo on some verses. No space jam, big bummer for me, one of my favorite parts of the shows! Oh well, Bob knows best. "Tambourine" was beautiful, not transcendent. Lovin' it though. Then, some bluesy noodling, what is it? Some attractive lovely but unfamiliar pluncking, inchoate sounds merge into a melody, recognition AAAAHHHH!!! "Desolation Row"!! I've never seen it in concert that I know of (maybe '74, but I don't remember that show real well . . . we still thought it was the sixties, ya see, and, well . . .) The stunner of the night, wonderful, rhythmic arrangement (oh for a tape!!), Bob is singing the heck out of this, turning up the emotional wattage very high, great reaction from the crowd, they love it. And, Bucky is playing my favorite Bucky-instrument, the dobro. If it wasn't for Bob himself, Bucky would be the man for these 12 minutes of bliss. Actually, on the last verse, he put down the dobro and went back to pedal steel, and it sounded like perfection too!! "Tangled" of course gets a huge reaction; I'm amazed they can keep so enthusiastic about a song they play every night, but they all seem to be enjoying themselves, even Bob, who saves his smiles for the shadows, however. Caught part of a new verse: "he was workin' on a fishin' boat while his mind was slippin' away . . ." "Time's A-Changin'" was sung with great muted passion and care, almost a delicate thing. No fireworks, but who needs them on a song this good and pure and true? "Make You Feel My Love" is a whole 'nother creature in concert, Bob puts a lot into this song, you CAN feel his something, his energy, his concern, alright, sounds mushy, his love, the performance incarnates the meaning of the song, and you'll never convince me it's just a love song with no theological core, uh-uh. This is Bob who wrote this, the same Bob who said "Serve Somebody" is his restaurant song! Reverse his joke, and you've got the key to this song. "Can't Wait" very cool, great staccatto guitar work from them all, Tony over between Bob and Larry, great, great, great. This is why you need to be up front, to see all their intimacies!! "Highway 61" 's power just about floored me, I fell in love with this song when I was 9 or 10 years old and will never tire of it, but I've never been so close to actually feel the blast coming off the stage as they kick into this. Whoa!! Bob starts putting some '65-vintage venom into the lyrics, especially the "sixty-oooonnnnne!!!" My notes have this large scrawl, all in caps, that says "LARRY!!!" Guess he must have been playing some great guitar here, huh? "Love Sick" is simply terrifyingly powerful in concert, all (I've used this before, but I doubt I have a lot of regular readers!) pulse and vibration and rumbling force. This is the best I've ever seen, lights are used to fantastic effect. (On the lights, btw, now I know Bob's an artist, and they see different, but I was not likin' the blue lights on the band on some songs, made 'em look cadaverous.) Don't ever say this song isn't fantastic right where it is. I too was surprised at first back in '97 when it showed up in the encores, but it's right where it belongs. Again, very theologically rich song. "Leopard Skin" Did anyone say the blues? Loud, Sonny Boy Williamson type blues? Killer-diller from the south blues? Man, they are using this song to pound this dumb building to dust, and it works!! Big smiles from Bob, priceless faces. Tremolo vocals on "we'll go out and see it somet-i-i-me!!" Stunning "Don't Think" with great harmonica (finally). Beautiful song, beautifully done. People are gasping. My wife turns to me, "what's he gonna play now?" "I hope Not Fade Away," the drums make a clicking sound and these huge Grateful Dead-like power chords sweep down, pick us up, and take us off to be with Jerry and Buddy and who knows all. My notes: "WOW!!!" And that, my friends, was a concert that registered a 6 out of 10 on the Bob-Only scale of concert greatness. Don't you dare miss it! Next time down the highway and hopin' it's soon!