Bob Dylan 990702 in Shakopee
From: Comrade Trotsky email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Minneapolis review Date: Sat, 03 Jul 1999 00:40:22 PDT ... A quick review for those who give a damn. I have the Duluth show tomorrow too. Overall, a good show and my first time seeing the new line up. As opposed to Simon's set, Dylan's is very guitar heavy. Also, for those who care, Dylan wore a black suit with a long black tie. Tony Garnier wore a purple suit and black hat. Charlie Sexton wore a dark blue suit. Larry Campbell was dressed in black with that long jacket on, with a aqua-sort colored shirt. David Kemper was wearing a new Texas cowboy hat about the same color white as his old Panama Jack hat. During Simon's set, Kemper could be seen dancing around a little. For my review, forgive me if I am a little vague. I'm trying to remember each song and the performance. I am also, a bit tired. This my first contribution here. Sounds of Silence (Bob-harp) When Dylan walks out, he sort of puts his hand on Simon's shoulder, like hey, but he nearly knocks him down. Simon is kind of, on the shorter side, and Dylan towers over him. Those cowboy boots probably don't help either. Dylan whips out some licks that depart from this song's tender and delicate structure. A good harp break though. I Walk The Line/Blue Moon Kentucky Very quick. It seemed more like a blur. It's hard to hear Dylan when they harmonize. Knockin' On Heaven's Door This reggae version is interesting. After third verse, Simon forgot to jump in and there was some laughing and awkward glances. Dylan gives Simon's guitar player some weird glances too. The guy's pretty good and looks like Sideshow Bob with his tuff of red hair. Hallelujah (Larry Campbell on mandolin) As the band strode on, the guitar tech asked Campbell whether it would be the mandolin or guitar. It was the mandolin. A very quick song. Kemper kicks it off with a trotting rhythm. Great mandolin work from Campbell. He's a real nimble player. The concert both starts and ends with great vocal sing-along type songs. Sexton and Campbell form a nice vocal blend with Dylan. At the end, Kemper took off his hat, which is something, I've never seen before. Mr. Tambourine Man (Bob-harp) A slightly different arrangement. A great harp break for Dylan. A great performance. Desolation Row Before starting this one out, Dylan told Tony Garnier and shouted it to Charlie Sexton and Larry Campbell. Though it appeared before the tour took a break, it was a surprise choice to me. A great vocal delivery. No lyric mess ups, lots of intonation and Dylan put a lot feeling behind it. Betty Davis style got a little laugh from Dylan. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright Some good guitar interplay on this one but within the confines of the song. Sexton is staying steady on the rhythm. He must be the most overqualified rhythm guitarist there is. Great playing by Campbell. He played the finger picking part that Dylan played on the album version while Dylan and Sexton mixed it up a little. Standard vocals. Tangled Up In Blue (Bob on harp) Like usual, Campbell starts this one off. But when you're waiting for Bucky Baxter's mandolin to come in, it never does. Instead, Dylan starts to play the second guitar part and that merges with Campbell. Throughout the night, you got the feeling that Dylan really likes Campbell's playing and they have quite a synergy, if you will. Though Sexton is supposedly the guitar player, it seems Dylan doesn't want to give Campbell up. Campbell seems very locked in with Dylan and is both a great lead player but also good supporting guitarist. Campbell took a majority of the lead work tonight but he often would play rhythm lines for Dylan's lead stuff. What makes him great is that Campbell's guitar parts were simultaneously supportive to Dylan and they're interesting to the song overall. Bob's harp solo was stumbling, sort of like a tight rope walker but in the end was great. He sort of looks for something, a lick or melody and once he finds it, he keeps playing and mutating it. All Along The Watchtower (Bob on harp) Campbell seemed to overdo it a little on this one. I think he accidentally played one segment too long and interrupted a verse. He plays a PRS guitar now and it has quite a thick and colorful sound. Sexton started it off on acoustic. Despite the mess up, it was really good to hear this song and was a good performance. Make You Feel My Love This song sorely missed Bucky Baxter's pedal steel. The steel guitar gave the song great loneliness and lonesomeness. In fact, though it looked ready to go, there was no steel guitar tonight. A great Dylan vocal. Some good melodic interplay. Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again This was quite a guitar workout. It seemed the band was leading the train and Sexton was sort of along for the ride. Good drumming from Kemper. I've always like this song and I've always wanted to hear it. A different arrangement. They don't all come back together hard at the end of the chorus. Not Dark Yet A magnificent version. Positively spooky. The intertwining layers of guitar that permeate the recorded version are perfectly recreated. A lick sort of appears out of nowhere and then evaporates. Some really good subtle guitar work from Sexton and Campbell. Dylan's vocal was tender and straight-forward, similar to the album version. One of the highlights of the night. band intros: Bob said, "I want to introduce you to my band. They're some of greatest players in the country. After going around he said, "We gotta get out of here. We gotta get the hammer and hit the sack." Something like that. It would make more sense to change it around but I pretty sure he said hammer, not hammered. Dylan got a big laugh from Tony Garnier. Highway 61 (Charlie Sexton on lead guitar, Larry Campbell on slide guitar) On the last tour, this song was explosive. It had this intensity and overflowing power. This version, though different, was equally so though very different. Probably the best version of which was on Tonight I'm Playing Here For You. With Campbell playing slide on a road-worn red Gibson Les Paul (looked sort of like one) Sexton played some interesting lead breaks. Campbell's loud slide work was really great. Half way through, Sexton edged toward Dylan trying to make eye contact or get him to do something. It was great to see Dylan, Campbell and Sexton playing all at the same time. It was sort of a blues jam session with each of them working off each other. Campbell took the last solo, I believe, and Garnier puts his head right near his shoulder, seemingly to just try to freak him out. Like A Rolling Stone This one got Dylan smiling. He seemed to laugh at the crowds reaction and then quickly scowl and then laugh to himself. A longer version. Not quite as effective as other arrangements they've done. Solid but nothing more. Near the end, Dylan looked at Kemper to ask for a few moments before they ended it, and Dylan launches into a great little solo much to Tony's delight. It Ain't Me Babe This song has become something of a speedy-little country journey. Garnier's acoustic bass added a little punch to this one. There was plenty of picking on this one. Some guitar weaving and a great Dylan solo. Not Fade Away A very funky version. Garnier was even slapping the bass a little. Again great vocals from Sexton and Campbell. The song has a real crunching sound too it. Sexton played a red Gretch guitar on this one (he played Strats most of the night). I really like this version but you'd almost never recognize it. Very different from other versions of the song. A great closer. A couple observations on Charlie Sexton. He stood at the side of the stage during the Simon/Dylan duet and got a weird glance from Dylan. He seemed to get along well with all the band members and the roadies. Tony often leaned over during the set and would whisper to him. He exchanged laughs with Campbell and could be seen smiling at David Kemper. Kemper was hiding behind his cymbals and couldn't be seen for comment. Though he has a limited role so far, the next tour should be interesting. The band has a different sound than before. Very familiar but not quite as rich as before, in my opinion. With the departure of Bucky Baxter, Campbell has really stepped forward. He plays a variety of instruments and his playing often dominates, though he is very adept at playing supportive lines. Though I like Campbell and his contributions, it seems they are missing something. Baxter's mandolin/pedal steel playing was a nice color to add to the band's mix. And since Sexton is somewhat restrained, the sound is not quite as diverse and dynamic as it once was, in my humble opinion. Hope this is helpful. Now, on to Duluth. Old and young came to hear Simon and Dylan perform (Star Tribune) Dylan and Simon: Pop's odd couple (Star Tribune)
Subject: Minneapolis Concert From: Michael Anderson
Date: Sat, 3 Jul 1999 00:30:05 -0500 I just got back from the show in Shakopee. Dylan was excellent, Simon was boring. I've never checked my watch so much at a concert. When Bob walked onstage to do "Sounds of Silence", it was much needed jolt. When he played his harmonica solo, it was better than the whole Simon show. Unfortunately, the reggae version of "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" suffered from the Simonized arrangement. When Dylan finally started his show, he was "on" from the first note. I'm glad I got to hear "Halleluia, I'm ready to go", which was a spry number. Mr. Tambourine Man was nice to hear in it's new arrangement. I won't do a full review, but I'll just say highlights for me were "Desolation Row", "Make You Feel My Love", "Not Dark Yet", "Like A Rolling Stone", "Not Fade Away". I can't wait to see him tomorrow in Duluth.
Subject: TOUR REPORT: July 2, 1999 Shakopee, Minnesota From: "Morris Z." MorrisZ@OPERAMAIL.COM Date: 29 Jul 1999 21:27:35 -0700 July 2, 1999 Shakopee, Minnesota Tour Report By Morris Z. (Important: This and my other tour reports focus more on the whole experience of attending the July 99 Dylan/Simon concerts, and less on the music itself. You have been warned! :-) Soundchecked (around 2pm): "Tears of Rage," "Highway 61." Our first show of the tour. Not knowing what to expect, combined with having nothing better to do, we decided to arrive at the venue late the night before. It turned out to be a foolish decision to arrive so early, as by lunchtime the next day there were less than 30 people lined up for a circa 25,000 capacity show. However, the night was not entirely uneventful--we watched four teenagers joyride around the parking lot in a maintenance cart. I guess the local Chucky Cheese closes early in this part of the country. There were lots of creative attempts at pushing in at the front of the line. They ranged from the woman who only wanted to "stand in the shade" for a little while, to the man with a homemade printed t-shirt claiming to be with the art team with permission to enter the venue early. About 10 minutes before the doors opened, a guy from the local news station set up a video camera placed so as to videotape everybody running in through the doors. Finally, after more than 20 hours of sitting, laying, and standing (basically moving no more than 6 inches from the same spot), the doors opened and we ran... and we ran. Then we ran some more. A half mile in total--through the grandstand building, around the racetrack, over a bridge, and finally across a field to the front of the stage. Having claimed our territory, the attempts by others to weasel their way to the front of the stage did not cease, they just got less imaginative. "I need to speak to someone," one girl whined. "My friend's up there," said another. You'd bend down to tie your shoelaces and on the way back up find yourself bumping into a newly appeared arm which had mysteriously attached itself to your part of the barrier. The Bodeans opened the show. Paul Simon followed with a nice set containing a surprisingly high number of familiar songs. After about an hour's time, Paul announced, "I'm very proud to..." and before he could finish we knew what was about to happen next. Whether Bob was just on form that night, or whether it was down to the countless hours of build-up, the level of excitement reached fever pitch. It was funny to see that it was Paul Simon wrongfooting Bob, and not vice versa. Usually it is Dylan who sings the wrong words at the wrong times, confusing his duet partner. Tonight, Simon surprised Bob with an unexpected chanting of "You keep a-knockin' but you can't come in" over Bob's singing of the chorus. Bob eventually gave up singing the regular "Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door" chorus, and joined Paul on this new one ("You keep a-knockin', you keep a-knockin', you keep a- knockin' but you can't come in"). However, Dylan knew well enough not to even attempt to join in on a new verse of Paul's, the words of which were unknown to both Bob and us. It was all so much fun that we could not help but laugh along with Dylan and Simon! "Hallelujah, I'm Ready To Go," a joyous and uplifting start to Bob's own set, was quite unlike the solemn hymn we had read about. Instead it turned out to be a jaunty, rocking, and upbeat number. The rest of the show maintained the same high level of enthusiasm, right through the closing "Not Fade Away." Soon after Dylan walked offstage, I was accosted by a portly gentleman with a desperate look on his face and a keen eye on the bottles of ice cold mineral water I had tucked under my arms. It was humid night. "Can I buy one of those bottles?" he asked, his gaze fixed on the cool water instead of on me. I'd bought four bottles earlier, at the horribly-inflated concert venue price of $2.50/bottle, and we had drunk only two. "Sure. They cost me $2.50 each." He agreed and took one of the bottles. I stopped him just as he was opening it and said, "Are you gonna pay for that, buddy?" He gave me a puppy dog look but then Maggie Z. stepped in and volunteered to serve as the mediator for the transaction. Buddy handed Maggie a five dollar note and eagerly drank from the bottle. "Keep the change, you saved my life," he said to me. It was then that I realized my true vocation in life: waterboy. At this point we should have been looking up at a fireworks display planned as the evening's finale. However, an announcement had been made earlier in the day that, to safeguard the welfare of the horses (remember, this is a racetrack), the fireworks were cancelled. Getting out of the car park was easier than we had expected and we made a b-line for Burger King. Having survived on only baby carrots and bread since dinner the night before, the prospect of a more substantial meal was deliciously exciting. Unfortunately, we weren't the only ones with that idea. It took ages for Trevor behind the counter to take our order (#36), and we had to wait while orders #16-35 were prepared. By this late hour and our absolutely horrible state of hunger, staying upright had become a problem. We found ourselves collapsing over the counter, pleading with Trevor to please give us our food. We made our way back to the Budget Host Inn for some much-deserved sleep--but we only afforded ourselves a few hours because we had to get up the next morning to drive to Duluth for the next show. The air- conditioning in the room was broken, and the place felt like a sauna. But by that stage we were too exhausted to care.... Morris Z.