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Bob Dylan 991026 in Chicago, IL (Park West)

(Two shows!)

Subject: park west early show *through my eyes*
From: lily 
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 09:04:28 +0100

* through my eyes*
the park west early show
chicago, illinois

i‚ll start at the beginning...
we in milwaukee were frozen out of the ticketmaster outlet tickets for
park west, chicago for the first 15 minutes after they went on sale, and
they were all sold out by 10:12 am....and no one could get into the
ticketmaster online thingie at, so i was freaked...spent most of
the rest of the day trying to calm myself down by having an inner
dialogue which went something like this...‚it‚s‚ve gone to
over 50 shows...this is the only one you have ever wanted but couldn‚t‚s okay..calm down..calm downš, etc....and spent some of the day
at dylan chat complaining and being pissed off...then, because someone
came in and said „Atlantic City, the Copa..2 shows..Quick!š i went back
in to look for it at the online priority secret scarlet thingie, and
telephoned my bro‚ in New Yawk Citay to tell him to call his
ticketmaster  (which he did and he got them).

anyway, just for the hell of it, i scrolled back up to the park west
gig..and lo and be-hold! there was an asterik next to it..ohmygawd,
ohmygawd..quick click quick visa card em‚ !  :-)
a bob miracle had happened..

24 hours later....the band walked off the bus carrying their
guitars..charlie was carrying his suit...i asked him for an autograph
and he courteously obliged. what a gorgeous man...his face was a few
inches away from mine..his eyes were bluer than bob‚s.... then we waited
in line with all the real bobfanatics. the whole pagel contingent was
there...those famous fans..the dudes and know who you
are ;-)...the doors opened..a beautiful small and comfortable club.
there were no bad seats...i took a seat...just because i was tired of
standing in line. but as soon as the music started electric..on
watchtower, i swivel-hipped my way to the stage....i was at the lip of
the stage, behind a pretty young asian girl. maybe that‚s why bob was
looking in my direction...i was leaning back into the chest of  a famous
bootleg trader.....and the whole crowd was swaying together..and bopping
and dancing..and all eyes were on the guru. he looked frail. he looked
waxen. he was sweating...but he was playing like a master..and his voice
was tremendous. you can really tell that he had been on vacation for 6
weeks. probably up on the minnesota farm... in the fall, with the
colors. the thing that struck me as odd was that none of them were
wearing hats (except for david who you can never really see). tony
wasn‚t wearing a hat either...i adore bald men..and speaking of bald,
bob is losing his hair..what he has left is grey..not even salt and
pepper anymore..mostly grey. and it was all matted down..and so
cute..and his eyes were darting around the room, stopping here, resting
there..and his teeth were big and white...and he was dancing and moving
and gliding across the floor....he was grimacing and bowing and leaning
backwards. his guitar work was wonderful, so quick and energetic. i
noticed for the first time the sort-of strange way he holds his pick,
between his thumb and forefinger, but with his middle finger then
resting on top of his forefinger. i am not a guitar-player, but it
looked unique and a bit alienish. for such a small man, he has very
large hands.  he looks so he could use some herbal tonic
brewed up by an indian shaman....but he played like he was 24 years old.

there‚s still that same spark..still the magnetic pull towards him, the
pull that just forces us to stare....

a few other quick notes:
the acoustic material is getting alot more strongly-stated..more evenly
balanced with the electric..years ago, it started out that it was a
quaint addition to the electric majority of the show, they would bring
out the stools and sit down with the guitars....the guitars would sound the acoustic instruments were more directly amplified and
have more presence...much stronger, it‚s not a cameopiece anymore.
there‚s less sonic distinction between the acoustic set and the rest of
the show, even though the electric numbers give an added drive to the
vector of the set...

the acoustic portion is now used more as a pumping mechanism to change
the psycho-neurology of the show...
tony garnier gets really happy when he plays the stand-up bass during
the entire acoustic set ...

the 2 guitar players have finally been able to completely subsume their
own guitar-playing stlyes into dylans‚ idiosyncratic one, thereby making
dylan‚s guitar less of a disjunctive element in the instrumental
interludes (for better and for worse)
when dylan does watchtower he imitates hendrix‚s version, which is the
one that is more stamped on our culture, even for dylan himself....

because the hendrix guitar is more emblematic and iconic than anything
instrumentally contained in the original dylan version, circa John
Wesley Hardin....

dylan‚s harmonica playing: after years of deterioration into an almost
zen-blankness, it now resembles a button-down, well-rehearsed and
controlled imitation of his earliest harmonica playing on records
(midnight special) but without the sense of danger or looseness...i
think that the harmonica at it‚s best is an instrument that demands
taking chances to acheive profundity....

okay, and kisses to all of you...hope you all got the
tickets you wanted...

and i still have the milwaukee show on saturday :))))

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