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Bob Dylan 991031 in Chicago, Illinois

Subject: 10/31 notes
From: Jim Campbell 
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 01:06:07 -0600

Thanks to those who posted the setlist.  It looks accurate to me.
 And, yes, Bob did throw his harmonica to someone behind the
stage at the conclusion of the show.  The guy caught it on the
fly, too -- good catch.

One interesting point to the show... after Lesh's set (when they
had Bob's stuff all set up on stage) I hear that one guy (Bob's
manager?) say, "Good evening ladies and Gentlemen..." but then I
don't hear the familiar "would you please welcome Columbia
Recording Artist...".  Instead, tonight we get, "Would you please
welcome, from Boston, Steven Wright."  Yeah, that's right. The
comedian.  He "opened" for Bob on Halloween.  He did about a 5
minute gig.  I don't remember too many jokes, but he did say
something like, "Thank God for gravity, otherwise when birds died
they'd just sort of hang there." Sounds a lot like a lot of Bob's
recent material...

Simple Twist of Fate was very good tonight.  So was "It's all
right, Ma." Bob got ALL of the words right on that one tonight. 
Bob's vocals have been way out front in the last couple of shows.
  You can really make out what he's singing.

If you ask me, Bob just blew Phil Lesh right out of the water.  I
enjoyed some parts of Phil's set, but when you stretch three
songs into 1 1/2... I don't know about you, but I started to
wonder if they were ever going to take a break.  Maybe I'm just
new to this whole "dead" philosophy (which I am).  Phil (and his
wife (?) and kids (?))  were watching Bob's set from near some of
the sound equipement on the side of the stage.  They seemed to
really be getting into the show.  Phil was slack-jawed and
grinning.  His wife (?) was dancing... .  One of Phil's
guitarists (He's younger, and Phil introduced him as having
played w/ the Allman's... "Truck" something?) was sitting just
inside the railing on the ground level during Bob's set.  He was
taking it all in.  I didn't see Bob watching Phil play, though,
which makes me think of something in golf...  someone once asked
someone else who they thought was better, Nicklaus or Hogan.  The
other said "Hogan."  When asked why, the person said that
Nicklaus watches Hogan practice, but Hogan doesn't watch Nicklaus
practice.  I hope that makes sense, but it is late. I guess I'm
writing that in response to the deadheads who wondered why Bob
doesn't open the shows.  Because Bob rocks that much more.

This has been The Week of Bob for me.  4 shows in 6 days.  I'm
going to be done for a while, I think.  I really enjoyed myself,
though.  Bob just keeps turning out great performances.  You
can't go wrong in seeing him on this tour.

Until later...


Subject: Re: 10/31 notes From: David Lipowicz Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 02:24:06 -0500 Organization: Yale University On Mon, 1 Nov 1999, Jim Campbell wrote: > > One of Phil's guitarists (He's younger, and Phil > introduced him as having played w/ the Allman's... "Truck" something?) was > sitting just inside the railing on the ground level during Bob's set. Just to clarify, the guitarist in question -- and one who will be joining Phil Lesh's band for the majority of the remainder of the tour -- is Derek Trucks. As of this past summer, Trucks is a full member of the Allman Brothers Band, occupying the slide guitar seat that originated with Duane Allman and has been filled in recent years by Warren Haynes and Jack Pearson. He is Allman Brothers' drummer Butch Trucks' nephew, and -- though I'm not sure exactly -- is somewhere in the 20-21 range in terms of age. He also has his own group, the Derek Trucks Band, and has been a member of Frogwings, a band fronted by John Popper of Blues Traveler. David
Subject: Thoughts on Dylan in Chicago From: Scott and Lisa Bauer Date: 1 Nov 1999 15:15:51 -0800 Friends- The Dylan concert last night in Chicago was the best I had ever seen him play. Keep in mind it was the first time I had seen Dylan since 1994 (a long, long time). I knew he would sound good based on tapes that have circulated from recent years, but there is nothing like being there in person to see him hop, skip, jump and jive across the stage. The show at the UIC Pavillion was definitely the most animated I had ever seen the Bobster. Before the show, as I was waiting to enter with my brother (who has seen Dylan 9 times since 1981) and two other friends, I was struck by how young the crowd was. The majority of the people we saw appeared to be well under 30. I think the Lesh influence had a lot to do with that, but the last time I saw Dylan I remember the crowd being much older. I probably should point out at this point that I am a big Grateful Dead fan so I was looking forward to the Lesh set. I hadn't seen any member of the Dead perform since the last Dead show I was at -- the group's penultimate performance in Chicago four years ago. The crowd of Dead/Lesh fans also struck me as being less jovial than in the past. This may be an unfair comparison since I did not spend any time in the parking lot or on the main floor of the auditorium. But the vibe to me just wasn't the same as before (this is the old geezer talking, I guees). I must say, a fair number of people were dressed up in Halloween gear. I spotted Santa Clause, two Brownies (the Girl Scout kind, not the edible ones), an Uncle Sam, Gumby and several ghosts and goblins. Anyhow, on to the show. Lesh and his bandmates began picking up their instruments at 7:25 p.m. when the houselights were still on. They struck the first chords of St. Stephen before the lights went down. Hearing that tune brought back pleasant memories of Dead shows past, and the crowd was appreciative. The floor was rushed as the first song began and security guards tried in vain to keep the people back. That led to some unpleasant scenes of fans getting jumped, tackled and even roughed up by guards. After the first five minutes or so that all subsided as the guards realized they were overmatched. The Lesh set was well received and well played. However, it seems like his band is still finding its sea legs. Some of the jams lacked direction, but I could not complain about the song list which included ``Mountains on the Moon,'' ``Fat Man in the Bathtub'' and ``Casey Jones.'' The most telling moment in the Lesh set was when he played ``The Wolfman's Brother'', a Phish song that fit perfectly for a Halloween night concert. When Phil belted out the first line of the song half the audience roared its approval. The other half, me and my mates included, turned to each other and asked what it was he was playing. Once the chorus came around I picked it up and spread the word that it was a Phish tune. It seemed to me that the guard was being passed with that song. Half the audience (likely the younger folks) knew it right away as a Phish song and became jubulant. The other half, who were more Deadheads than Phisheads, were at a lost. Lesh played for a little more than an hour and a half. Before Dylan came on stage we were in for more surprises. As they were getting the stage ready for Bob I noticed that a foot stool had been placed out there. Hmm, I thought. Could it be that Dylan will just wander on with an acoustic guitar and regale us with some solo tunes? Well, it wasn't quite that good but we were in for a surprise. Comedian Steven Wright was announced and proceeded to tell about 10 minutes worth of his patented deadpan standup comedy, including our group's personal favorite of the night: ``Everybody is unique. Except for that one guy.'' After Wright left it was 10 more minutes before Dylan took the stage at about 9:50 p.m. He opened with ``I Am the Man, Thomas'' an infectuous tune that I woke up singing this morning. From there the always pleasant ``Mr. Tambourine Man'' followed. It sounded great, though it would have been better if Dylan would have broken out the harp. Then came ``It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding).'' This is a song I used to love but have grown to get bored with. Not last night. He took his time with the lyrics, reworked the arrangement into a rollicking country western-ish flair, and won me over. The president standing naked line drew the loudest applause, of course. ``Love Minus Zero/No Limit'' and ``Tangled Up In Blue'' rounded out the acoustic set. As much as I didn't need to hear ``Blue'' again, it did energize the crowd and I thought Dylan gave an inspired performance. He made it new again through his phrasing and emphasis. ``Love Minus Zero'' was as pretty as always. My friend who had never seen Dylan before was jubulant when he opened the electric set with ``All Along The Watchtower.'' It wasn't a highlight for me, although it wasn't bad. Dylan kept the noodling to a minimum and I would guess the tune clocked in at less than 5 minutes. A highlight for me was next with ``Simple Twist Of Fate'' and Bob's first use of a harmonica all night. He grabbed it with his left hand and let his guitar dangle as he blew his brains out. As he was playing he would lean toward the audience, almost jabbing them with the harp and his body. It was weird, but cool. ``Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again'' was next and it was alright. Then the other highlights, ``Not Dark Yet.'' Dylan really takes his time with this one and it is beautiful. What a difference to his concerts in the early 1990s when he seemed to be on a race to finish each song faster and faster. Not on this one, not tonight. He closed the show with a rollicking ``Highway 61 Revisited'' that was a real rocker. For the encore there was the obligatory ``Love Sick,'' performed without the benefit of an organ. For some reason the guitar replacement made the song sound angrier. ``Like A Rolling Stone'' and ``Don't Think Twice, It's All Right'' were next and for two songs that have been played hundreds of times they both sounded fresh and exciting. He closed with a pounding ``Not Fade Away'' that got the crowd on its feet begging for more when the houselights came on. We cheered for several minutes, hoping for the best. But when the houselights came on you could hear a collective sigh of ``Awwwwwww.'' Dylan was already on his way to another joint. Our group was elated afterwards, all areeing it was the best we had ever seen Dylan. And Lesh was great too, and probably will improve as the tour progresses. If you are anywhere near seeing Dylan this tour, catch him. If you already have plans to see him, I am envious. He is putting on great shows. And for anyone who taped that Chicago show last night, you have my address. Scott
Subject: UIC Pavilion Halloween Sunday 10/31/1999- Show review From: acffh Date: Thu, 04 Nov 1999 22:43:15 -0600 Bob Dylan Halloween Night October 21, 1999 University of Illinois- Chicago Pavilion Phil Lesh and Friends Opened (Alias Toofeats Two Trucks ;*D) featuring Paul Barrere and Bill Payne from Little Feat on guitar and Piano and Korg Keyboards respectively, John Molo on Drum Workshop Drums, and Derek Trucks, of Allman Bros, Frogwings, and Derek Trucks Band playing a Gibson SG, I do believe. Mr Lesh picks his six-string Modulus electric. . preshow and venue notes: The UIC Pavilion is located in the downtown area of Chicago, close to where Interstates 90 &94 intersect when you're coming from Wisconsin. It's a city-type show, but has one parking lot right across the street, the rest of the parking is nearby ramps and surface lots. In Milwaukee the previous evening, the venue seemed to have had no exclusive parking of its own, everyone parked nearby and crowded onto the sidewalk adjacent to the building. At the UIC pavilion, most of the frenzy before the show was confined to the lot across the street, whilst the area nearest the building was primarily occupied by people waiting or holding places in line, and folks trying to meet up with friends. Our party was in the latter group, and we found it simple enough to meet at the large LCD light-up sign on the corner of Racine and Harrison, I believe. Because most of the bizarre halloween tour-lot randomness was across the street, our meeting area was easy to navigate, and by the time we quickly met up for our pre-concert tailgating and ticket adjustment- when we went to get in line for the floor, there was no line, just a brief wristband check. Arriving so early, we positioned our variously costumed selves somewhat in front of the soundboard. I noticed that John Molo's drums had a regular DW head, not the custom-painted Michael Everett Drumhead present in Champaign on October 27, the first night of the tour. Phil and his friends' opening set began with a bang- St Stephen is a beloved tune for the deadheads, and hearing Phil sing this once-rare melody is a special treat, considering Phil is cruising on a recycled liver. During the Wolfman's Brother,a Phish song, the left side of the PA system was crackling loudly, and the right side shut off for several seconds during the music. It must have been a very small problem to cause such a large crackle. It sounded like it may have been the capacitive element in one of the stage microphones, possibly Phil's vocal, leaking charge, and causing a fizzing crunch sound which was, at times, painfully loud. I put in my hearing protection and did my best to enjoy what they were playing. The Wolfman's>Viola was marred by nasty noise, as was the Casey Jones encore. It was really a shame Phil's audio was crudded up so badly, but I enjoyed Derek Trucks' playing pretty much. I thought he had plenty of confidence up there, just hanging front-centerstage jamming with Phil, Molo, and the Feats, I bet he gets into some good stuff with Warren and Phil over the next fortnight. I hope to hear good reports of their shows, and I hope there is some level of intermingling between Phil's camp and Camp BobbyD. Tony and Phil in a big bass duel on trampolines? Molo and Kemper on Runaway Drums? Derek, Charlie, Larry and Warren onstage together? There could be some massive musical experimentation here. One's imagination could run amok. . . Ladies and Gentlemen- From Boston, Columbia Recording Artist- Steven Wright! Live comedy is a hoot, and Wright took us near the edge with his material. He told some good ones, and some strange ones. I even think he did one line that wasn't funny whatsoever, just to see if we were understanding him, or patronizing him, or simply laughing at his delivery, or his hair. I'll type you some samples, and you can see if your computer screen is as dry as his wit: I poured spot remover on my dog- He disappeared. They should have Osh-kosh-B-Gosh Straightjackets for kids. I almost broke both my arms trying to open a revolving door. Teachers always ask you what animal you'd like to be- I said a bird, my teacher said "why, so you could fly?"- but I said no, I wanted my shit to be white. Ba-dumm. Our treat Wright was the funniest thing I heard in an arena since Steve Martin's 1978 tour. (Now for those of you in the back of the building: the hidden dime trick- which hand? -SM) Bob Dylan's set: I should start by mentioning that "I am the Man Thomas" seems to be, from the lyrics, a gospel tune, sung from the perspective of Jesus. From the way Bob and his band rip this number to shreds, I had figured it was a Johnny Cash or Merle Haggard-style tune, but the content of the lyrics is fairly non-secular. Thanks to SW who mailed me these: Here are the lyrics, not sure if Bob plays them exactly. 1 They drove me up the hills Thomas I am the Man They made me carry the cross Thomas I am the Man chorus: I am the Man Thomas I am the Man Look at these nail scars Here in my hand 2 They crowned my head with thorns Thomas I am the Man They nailed me to the cross Thomas I am the Man (chorus) 3 They pierced me in the side I am the Man I died on the cross Thomas I am the Man (chorus) 4 They buried me in the tomb Thomas I am the Man In three days I rose Thomas (chorus) So it's hard, as much as I love Bob's music and his voice, for me to make out what lyrics he sings in concert. I know I've got hearing loss from exposure to loud sounds, but when Bob's group gets a-rockin', It's a struggle for me to catch his every drift. It's not that Bob sings unclearly, actually his voice is as strong as I've ever heard it, and his memory capacity seems uncanny as well. My guess about the vocal intellegibility is that that electric guitars are really good at making sounds in the same frequency range as that occupied by the human voice. Bob, Charlie, and Larry's guitars, Bob's voice, and the reflections of these sounds in the room are all in the same audio bands. I love Bob's style, but I will admit that Paul Simon's vocals this summer and fall were amazingly easy to understand. Now, perhaps having several opportunities to hear the same set of tunes gave me the repeitiion I needed in order to comprehend the thoughts behind the rock and the roll- Simon's band cooked, but rarely changed up anything from show to show. On the other hand, Simon's band had a nice variety to its instrumentation, and had a pleasing overall sound. Dylan's band is somewhat more limited, but by limiting themselves to "only" acoustic and electric guitar rock, they have an unbelieveable depth of material they can whip out. Since active listening is required in order to understand his lyrics, Mr Dylan's concerts are that much more compelling- the audience's concentration is rewarded with breathtaking thoughts executed elegantly and at top volume by our living treasure. After Bob took the stage in a flurry of strobe lights, the acoustic set was highlighted by a very well-sung "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" to make up for the less-perfectly executed model the prior night, and a touching "Love Minus Zero/No Limit". Bob and his band pulled a radical variation on the music during the "Advertising signs that con you into thinking you're the one. . ." verse of "Bleeding" which reminded me of Tom Lehrer's "Vatican Rag." It was really quite twisted. The second four songs of Dylan's set were familiar material to the Deadheads, Jerry Garcia Band often played Tangled and Simple Twist, and Grateful Dead used to play Memphis in their first sets after 1987's crossover tour, and frequently would come back from their sonic exploration known as "Space" and proceed to romp all over Watchtower. Bob set up tthe closer with Not Dark Yet, which just keeps getting stronger. I guess Bob just can't seem to go wrong with Highway 61, but it would be cool if he had some other tunes he wrote that rock so hard he could use them to close a headlining show. (warning NDC for next 1/2 paragraph) Grateful Dead and Phish used to have the same problem- they could hook ya, but couldn't boat ya with an original very often. In their late years, "Standing on the Moon" and "Morning Dew" could be used to close shows, but I recall a lot of Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding-closed shows from the boys. Phish finally is using their anthems to their advantage, ending shows with "Slave to the Traffic Light" and "Harry Hood", the first a 1-4-5 rocker, the second bearing close similarity to a Brubeck version of Louie Louie. They have also realized the need for more anthemic originals, and have come up with Guyute and Character Zero as big finish-type numbers. Rock and Roll concerts have to end with a bang, and I hope Bob Dylan can keep it fresh- if he can do it, he has access to the most loyal and loving fan base of any in music, sports, or religion today- the tourheads! The encores: When Bob sings of the silence that can be like thunder, he is expressing a similar sentiment to Miles Davis's assertion that it's the space between the notes that matters. . .bweeep. . . I think the tourheads know as well as any how to get used to living out on the streets. If any Phil Phans didn't like Bob when they started, but stayed and listened with an open mind and still didn't like Bob, it's alright. My friends who were new to live Dylan have had to put upwith me listening to and thinking about Dylan practically non-stop for the past year-and-a-half, now they've seen why my excitement will not fade away. Bob rocks. Tony Swings, Charlie shreds, Larry gets down, and kemper kicks some serious &%#@!
1999: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - September - October -