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Bob Dylan 2000.07.19 in Canandaigua

Subject: Canandaigua, Jul 19 notes
From: Risal 
Date: 21 Jul 2000 11:33:54 -0700

so there I was around 7:15 pm with the sun still high up in the
sky at the open-air theater when without the familiar
announcement (whatever happened to that?) Mr. Dylan and the crew
took the stage. I am sure it's just me but I find something
severely annoying about people sitting -beer in hand- talking
loudly with their friends while Dylan is standing up on stage
singing "Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie." The highlights of the show,
of course, were the two John Wesley Harding songs reincarnated.
The end-of-the-line growls in "Ballad of FL and JP" were,
surprisingly, soothing. And "Wicked Messenger" with that wicked
hard blues delivery... I am surprised that people are not making
a big deal out of this. These songs have not been played often
(never?) before this tour and this performance showed the emotive
depth of these 'biblical rock' songs in a new light.

Then there was "Country Pie." I think Bob chose this just so he
could rip into those scales with his guitar, held close to his
body classical-guitar style. The show ended with "Blowin in the
Wind" and it sounded very fresh, again, to my surprise. The voice
has heen characterized as raspy, quirky or just plain
incomprehensible by writers and critics but I just find it
inspiring and impeccable. Must be just me. Then the frozen
tableau at the end, receiving the accolades. Don't know what is
going on inside his head as he stands there, left hand on hip and
the slight fidget from "Pat Garrette and Billy the Kid" but I
join in on the ovation that rings through the crowd. Nobody else
could play that tune.


Subject: Summer Tour notes From: Jeff Knorek Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 20:09:18 -0400 We saw 5 shows: Deer Creek, Cincinnati, Pine Knob, Toronto, and Canandaiuga Deer Creek was Bob's strongest show and Phil's weakest. We had pavilion seats but they were waaaay over on Larry's side, so we beat it for the hill and grooved with all of the Phish Heads who were in town to see Phish the following three nights. Everybody around us was really nice and a pleasure to be with. We left during Phil's set because we thought it sucked. Cincinnati was Phil's strongest show. Bob was good but not great like DC. We had third row seats right in front of Larry. When Kish realized this, she scolded me for not telling her (I had, but some things just never sink in). Her point was that she would have gotten dressed up had she known that she'd be so close to Larry. So she hiked her dress up REALLY high, which made Larry smile a lot every time he looked our way (quite often). Security kept everybody where they belonged; the folks who had the pairs of seats on either side of us *never claimed them*, so we had tons and tons of room to dance. Everybody behind us were there to see both bands, so none of the DOWN IN FRONT folks were within earshot and we danced all the live long night. After the flatulent Dylan fans departed once their hero left the stage, there was even more room to dance. Easily the most fun we had at the five shows, and Phil's set just SMOKED. Only two noodley songs; the rest had defined beginnings and endings. Pine Knob was a festival for drunk boy Detroiters who could just not shut up. Both sets were fine; Phil was kinda noodley. Security told the DOWN IN FRONT folks behind us to shut up or leave. Nevertheless, drunk boys chatted noisily and so we watched Phil from the lawn, where it was quieter. Toronto's stage was way high, so everybody stood, leaving the DOWN IN FRONT folks with too many happily dancing people to bitch about, so they didn't stand a chance. Both sets were very strong, but I couldn't help notice that Phil's set drew a much stronger response from the audience. Canadaiuga's crowd was the most uptight collection of frat boys and snooty vacationers off of Long Island that I have ever witnessed. They all fled when realizing that Phil Lesh = Deadheads dancing in front of them. Again, both sets were vary strong although the sound in the pavilion was plug awful. The best sound was out on the lawn, delightfully shorn of the vacationers and frat boys. We spent the Dylan set on the lawn but went back to the pavilion for Phil, for whom everybody shamelessly danced. The only downer was Phil's choice of an encore: _Why Don't We Do It In The Road_. So we left to beat the crowd. I was very impressed with Dylan's "police lineup": not a nod, bow, or hand wave to be had. Charlie Sexton, in particular, seemed to chafe at this. After the 2nd encore song, he stood there ramrod straight looking at Bob out of the corner of his eye waiting to see what he was going to do next... as if he was making a parody of that police lineup crap. Sometimes I think Bob Dylan is full of himself, and this is one of those times. Phil, in contrast, was very gracious, particularly at Canandaiuga where the roar from the crowd was particularly loud. He was visibly moved by the response he got Cincinnati, I realized that what makes his shows so good are the songs themselves. For this particular tour he has assembled a competent band crammed with Little Feat and Miles Davis alumni. The arraignments are such that the songs are given the space the breathe on their own. For the first time since 1995, I did not miss Jerry. To wrap it up: I will always go see Bob no matter who shares the bill with him. That he played first this trip was a win-win situation for everybody: Dylan fans could leave after their hero left and the Phil fans didn't have to contend with farty air anymore. I will see Phil if he comes around, but I will likely not tour to see him, Those resources are for Bob, flatulent fans and all. But I assure you that I would much rather pay money to see Phil Lesh play the songs of Jerry Garcia than see Bob Weir play the songs of Bob Weir. -- Jeff Knorek
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 2000 14:19:22 -0400 Subject: Canandaigua Show....... From: "Lawrence Silver" To: Left New York City on Wednesday afternoon, all smokestacks,haze,and people;left it behind for the North Country, a section of the state never seen by this driver. Route 81 offerred a half-rainbow in late afternoon. Ithaca bestowed an art museum. Route 96 North gave gorgeous, rolling farmland with wispy cotton clouds, sky a robin's blue. The river far below, rolling on. Thinking that this must be very similar to Hibbing, which is dairy country, the road presents three hamlets: Ulysses,Romulus, and Ovid. Ulysses, the figure who spent nineteen years trying to get back to Ithaca,tangled with the gods, braving many threats and dangers, but finally returning home. Ovid, the great Roman poet at the empire's peak wrote "Metamorphoses", the study of a man's changes through life, both physical, and spiritual. The master Joyces' Ulysses chronicles a day in the life of Bloom, and exploded many of the parameters of the contemporary novel. The road implores me to ponder this Mr. Dylan, this poet who has moved this nation, and traveled the roads between skinny folk singer, to political fulcrum, to rock star, and back. What will his legacy be? Funny how the road can bring such unexpected treasures. Sitting about thirty rows dead center in a medium sized amphitheater, with the glistening lake far below, the sun pummeling the lawn, I felt this to be the perfect place to see this player. Although Dylan is a very high paid player, he has chosen to remain on the road, relentlessly touring, now morphing into the travelling blues man. Another city, town, or college to play; keep on moving boy, and don't look back. Out comes this minstrel, a Harpo lookalike with white cowboy boots, impishly crossing the stage. Flanked by handsome men much younger, they break into the bluegrass opening, with Dylan moaning, "This life I lead is very hiiiiiggghhhhhh!" A very pretty "To Ramona", then onto "Desolation Row" with a great new arrangement and Dylan missing some lines, but who cares? The circus is in town! After this song, Dylan misses nothing as he steps up to deliver another show for this whistlestop. From looking uncertain, and vulnerable when taking stage, Dylan turns into the seductor in "Tangled Up In Blue." Nailing the song, he begins to dangle the siver harp shining in the lights. He telegraphs this handling to the crowd far back, caressing it gingerly like an object of great value, or merely directing the crowd to the sweet subject; much like an old burlesque queen directs a barroom to what is most important. The harp solo is begun, but at the end of it comes one of the day's most tender moments. Dylan sinks to one knee, nearly genuflecting, in a classic pose that could make a photographer a bundle. Body outstretched, on one knee, finishing the solo to the crowd. Showmanship that tells the crowd that he's giving it up for them tonight, that he's decided to serve them tonight. He does "The Kneel" again during the electric set, which really took off. Other highlights were the great band, with Mr. Campbell, the guitarist, looking very much like a young Mr. Bill Monroe, directing traffic and acting like a liason between Dylan and the rest of the boys. Mr. Sexton looking VERY Robbie Robertson circa '66 with the snazzy duds, handsome face, and retro Robbie hairdo. Garnier in the back with standup base, dressed in black with black porkpie hat, straggly mustache much like Danko in the photos on "The Basement Tapes," But alas, that was so many changes ago for this player; a far away place and time from Hibbing, Gerde's Folk City, The Hawks, Big Pink, The Village, The Band, The Newport Folk Festival, and all the places the road has taken us. Whatever he is, and however he'll be remembered, he did his job tonight, playing hard, singing clearly, passionately, and honestly. That's all a player can do.............
Subject: Canadaigua Review From: Alex Lehmann Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2000 11:41:21 -0500 This is the somewhat proof read version of the review I sent to Bob Links... I'd like to make more improvements, but I'd also like to write about the Tweeter Center show last night... Review: Canandaigua, July 19 Dylan came on soon after 7:00 pm to a full house at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center. There were more people in the arena after Dylan‚s first tune than after Phil and Friend's (which came into shape after a long, meandering jam...) convincing me that the majority of the audience in this case were there for Dylan. However, the scenes at the campground and in the parking lot might provide a different impression... The day before the show the KOA tenting area was quickly filling with the tents and the vehicles of Deadheads and Dylanheads, my wife and myself included. By the afternoon of the show most tent sites were filled with concert goers ... with one unhappy exception. A family set up camp next to a black VW bus with an indeterminable number of Heads occupying the site, the long hairs following Phil in search of a dead Dead scene. While the Heads were nice people and a pleasure to talk with, the unsuspecting family of campers were less than enthusiastic about the music loudly emanating from the site next door. In response to the many strains of Dead and Dylan coming from various tent areas, the non-concert goer turned his car radio onto a local station specializing in the worst of seventies/eighties rock fodder and ignorant radio speak. The Heads turned their music down temporarily. At around one in the morning, however, when the Heads had long ago begun their tapes rolling again, the man had had enough. After aggressively asking the Heads to turn down their tunes (I can understand asking for quiet, but he should have used more tact), one particularly drunk West Coast Dead Head became offended by the neighbors manner and told him so. I was sure a fist fight would ensue, but instead, the single non-concert goer of the tenting area jumped in his car and drove away. A half hour later the police arrived. Three heads and a car from Oregon were taken away and not seen again... Moral of the story? Don‚t be rudely loud at family campgrounds after around 10:00 PM, and don‚t be an asshole when you ask people to cool out! The cops were a regular presence from that point on. The parking lot of the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center was easy to access (if not easy to find due to a lack of sings pointing the way). We arrived early for some tailgating and watched the lot as it filled with the usual assortment of freaks and misfits in search of the fading Dead community. The weather was warm and the blue sky sparsely clouded. This was much closer to the scene before/after dead shows than that which occurred during the fall tour and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. A festive gathering in which fun (and lots of other stuff) were in the air. A lot of Dylan fans intermingled with one another and took in the scene. I definitely recommend arriving early, as we plan to do for the remaining shows, if you‚re into weirdness and a good time... As mentioned, FLPAC, a very nice open air venue, was, if not entirely sold out, seemingly filled by the time Dylan had completed his first number. „Oh Babe it Ain‚t No Lieš was a great opener last summer and I was glad to hear it again. Very similar to last summer's version, with excellent harmonizing and guitar playing, the crowd was into it; a fine, upbeat number. Things slowed down a bit with „To Ramona.š This version seems more subdued than previous incarnations, if not necessarily reworked. By the end of this one, I was ready for... „Desolation Rowš raised the energy level again. Dylan‚s vocal delivery was clear, he really seems to be enjoying the lyrics to certain tunes, playing with his phrasing in ways that add new depth to the familiar lines. (The reference to Dylan's „phrasingš seems tired as I write it here, but how else to describe the way he infuses his songs with such versatile meaning?). Side note: I was somewhat disappointed at the crowd chatter that began during some of the longer songs. When overwhelmed with witticisms, insights, observations, etc. regarding the music (as so many seem to have), the thing to do when the man is playing is SHUT THE FUCK UP. It is rude to the performers and those there to hear them if people talk during the songs. No one cares what audience members think during the middle of a song. I didn't pay fifty bucks for seats to talk about Dylan, I paid to hear him play. If you want to talk during the show, please go out on the lawn, or better yet into the parking lot ... Anyway, „Desolation Rowš was astonishing (once I was able to ignore the chatter) with David Kemper‚s rolling tempo keeping the song ironically upbeat. „The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priestš was recognizable from the opening notes and was a pleasure to hear live. While the familiar melody was well conveyed throughout, the words were not as clearly enunciated as they had been during „Desolation Rowš and were at times hard to follow. Regardless, a rare and musically fine rendition that had many of us in the seats (Dylan fans, as we all seemed to have gotten Priority tickets at the same time from the same place) thrilled. I have been to very few shows in which „Tangled Up In Blueš was not played and of course was not surprised when the familiar chords began the song for the fifth spot. Definitely a crowd pleaser. This version was strong, particularly in regard to Dylan‚s guitar playing. One thing I have noticed in the course of many Dylan shows is that on some nights his jams begin to wander in an uninspired way over three or four repeated notes. Not tonight! Definitely some of the finest guitar work I‚ve heard from Dylan, varied in texture and rhythm and all over the neck of his guitar. He followed his exceptional guitar solo with a great harmonica solo which began quietly and grew into the celebration that defined „Tangledš on this night. The crowd went crazy, a very supportive audience. Dylan and the band were smiling and Bob was quite active during the performance. I had not heard „Searching for the Soldier‚s Graveš before this night although I‚ve seen it on the set lists of past nights during the summer tour. Like the other traditional tunes that Dylan has shared with us in the past few years, this song was a pleasure to listen to and (apparently, judging from the smiles shared among band members) a pleasure to perform. The electric instruments came out at this point and the up tempo sounds of „Country Pieš began. I‚ve heard it on tapes of the Spring tour and was looking forward to the live version. When close enough, one can truly see the intensely intricate, subtle guitar work that Larry and Charlie are capable of. There are precious few bands that could pull this tune off the way it has sounded in concert. Excellent stuff! „Queen Janeš was played very slowly with Dylan providing clear enunciation and humorous, thoughtful twists through his phrasing. I didn‚t bring a notebook, so it is hard to recollect the exact moments when these great line deliveries occurred. Regardless, as an enthusiastic Dylan fan, I‚m always amazed at the subtlety with which he can add meaning to his work. When the first notes of „Tombstone Bluesš began my wife turned to me and asked, „Maggie‚s Farm?š, which is what I had been thinking. However, as Dylan began to sing, the song took on shape and form and all around me people were mouthing the words to themselves. Outstanding guitar interchanges. Hot blues, a great number. „I Don‚t Believe Youš was well performed in its familiar live arrangement. Once again, I was impressed and entertained by the humor and irony with which Dylan delivered his lyrics. „Wicked Messengerš was stunning, a high point of the show and entirely unrecognizable from its original incarnation. If only Phil were capable of such evolution and adaptability. Dylan sang the verses over a raging drum beat to little or no musical accompaniment, the guitars exploding during the refrain. Towards the end of the song the harmonica came out again, Bob stooping low and blowing a great solo over the same driving beat that supported the verses. Outstanding! I‚m not sure I‚ve ever heard Bob rock harder! „Leopard Skinš continued the high energy level with more of the great blues playing that shows why this is one of Dylan‚s finest touring bands, ever. As the final song of the main set ended, the band took the stoic pose in front of the drum kit that I have read so much about. I got a great kick as they stood there, statuesque, and listened as the applause poured over them. The longer they stood, the more enthusiastic the roar of the crowd... „Things Have Changedš did not seem to receive a lot a recognition from the audience who enjoyed it none the less. This version was a bit more slowed down from the versions I have heard from the Spring tour. Great to hear for the first time live. „Like A Rolling Stoneš was another crowd pleaser, well performed in its familiar arrangement. The acoustic guitars came out again for a very low key rendition of „It Ain't Me, Babeš. The harmonizing of past tours was gone with Dylan practically whispering the familiar lyrics. A moving performance. Highway ő61 rocked the house. A musician/neighbor at the campsite with whom I had made friends the previous day was particularly impressed with this number when discussing the show the next morning. As I have seen and heard the song a number of times over the years, I enjoyed taking the opportunity to turn around and watch the inspired audience react to Dylan and his band‚s energetic delivery. The band looked as if they would leave the stage at this point, but Bob gave the signal and they turned around, took up their instruments, and gave us a beautiful „Blowin‚ In the Wind.š The harmonizing during the chorus has infused this song new vitality for me as a listener. A great way to finish another outstanding show. Once again, a very thankful audience provided the applause and hoots and hollers as the band froze in their positions again and lapped it up. As a side note, Larry looked the least comfortable with this new arrangement, appearing very much as if he‚d like to return the thanks to the audience with a wave or a bow; but people seemed to enjoy the pose. After a half hour or so, Phil and Friends took the stage and launched into a meandering jam. I‚m an appreciator of the Grateful Dead, but these shows really haven‚t cut it for me. Very clearly, Jerry was the backbone that gave the Dead‚s musical meanderings meaning. No matter how fine the players, I can‚t help but feel the meaning is gone. Following the third song we joined a steady stream out of the amphitheater and into the traffic that was leaving the show, the high point long past...
2000: March - April - May - June - July