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Bob Dylan 2000.03.12 in Bakersfield, CA

Subject: Re: March 12, 2000 - Bakersfield, California - Setlist
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 11:28:07 -0800

Bakersfield is a city surrounded by towns like Pumpkin Center and
Weed Patch, so I think the Dylan concert was more of an "event"
than it would have been in a less out-of-the-way place. In any
case, the crowd covered a lot more demographic ground than the
mostly middle-aged, upper middle-class folks in Anaheim a few
days ago.

The Centennial Garden is a standard small sports arena, but it
has an interesting exhibit inside, featuring the boots and
red-white-and-blue acoustic guitar of Buck Owens (when he was
just 3 years old, little Alvis Owens renamed himself after the
family's mule); some tiny embroidered slippers for the bound feet
of a 19th Century Chinese immigrant girl; and a photo of Chief
Justice Earl Warren.

For me, stumbling across this exhibit was more surprising than
anything in the show itself, as you might guess from the setlist.
As for the performance, I thought it was consistently pleasant
but probably not worth the nearly 300-mile round-trip from LA.

"Mr. Tambourine Man" was musically lush and melodious and also
featured some inventive singing -- the "oh no not again" twinge I
felt at the start turned out to be unwarranted.

In contrast, I welcomed the familiar tuneful opening of "Love
Minus Zero," but the singing itself seemed a bit bland. The
playing was again first-rate, though.

Unlike the Anaheim show, Bob kept his guitar on for "This World
Can't Stand Long," but he removed it for the harmonica solo and
final chorus of "Blowin' in the Wind."

"Dignity" once again featured a number of lyrical fumbles. But
there was one seemingly intentional change from the official
release. In the Prince Philip verse, Bob sang, "He wanted money
up front before he'd give me any news about dignity."

"Country Pie" didn't have anything near the wildness of the
Anaheim show's, and Bob seemed fixated on geese -- he sang the
goose verse twice and I think he even included "gooseberry" among
the list of pies (though I wouldn't swear to it).

"Stuck Inside of Mobile" was probably the highlight of the show
-- well-sung and featuring some powerful lead guitar from Bob. It
seems like he is amplifying his guitar differently lately so that
it has a thick, fuzzy hard-rock feel with a little chiming
overtone. To my ear it sounds a lot better than in the past, when
it often struck me as thin and flat.

"Just Like A Woman" featured a lot of purposely half-repeated
lines and phrases, suggesting perhaps that 4 shows in three days
was inclining Dylan away from really belting it out.

"Not Dark Yet" was subdued, too, but it still worked very well.
It seems like this song is the closest thing to a sure winner at
Dylan shows these days.

Finally, "Rainy Day Women" was different from what I remember of
past performances. It seems to me he used to always sing just one
or two verses then turn the rest of the song into a catchy
repetitive instrumental.

Last night, the song started similarly with two quick verses and
a long instrumental section, but then there was an instrumental
"bridge" of sorts -- the band changed from a loping "oom-pah"
feel to a charging double-speed thrash-fest. Then after a bit,
they reverted to the original tune and Bob stepped back up to the
mic to sing one more verse.

I also think this last verse may have been a bit different than
I've heard in the past, though I found it hard to decipher the
vocals. Maybe something like, "They'll stone you till you begin
to cry/They'll stone you and then leave you wondering why...
(That could be 100% wrong.)

2000: March
1999: Jan - Feb - March - April - May - June - July - Sept - Oct - Nov