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Bob Dylan 2000.07.26 a rainy day in Wantagh

From: "Hodah"
To:     "Expecting Rain"
Subject: Rain: The Great Equalizer
Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 23:50:33 -0400

Ahhhhh......... Home in my dry clothes... I have to say the rain
didn't hinder Bob's show at all. It was a great set. Everyone
(including the band as Bob let us know) was wet and getting
wetter. The show didn't seem to have the magic that other shows
were described as having, but it was a great Bob show

The rain added an interesting element to the night. A big cheer
came up during Desolation's....."or else expecting rain.".

My binoculars kept fogging which made Bob and the band look even
cooler than they already do.

Loved Long Black Veil, finally got to hear Frankie Lee......(I'm
sorry, but that is Shelter from the Storm's melody.) Wicked
Messenger was great, but have we forgotten that Patti Smith
RIPPED this song up on the '95 tour???? I'll never forget her
singing the verse "The soles of my feet I swear they're

Things Have Changed...... I like that song alot and was glad to
hear it live.

Girl from the North Country ......the blue tinted
lights......almost brought tears to my eyes.

Yes they did the formation, (twice). They looked so friggen
cool!!! I loved Bob holding his hand on his hip. (He looked so

I was planning on going down to Maryland this weekend. I am
definitely doing so now.

Subject: Re: July 26, 2000 - Wantagh, New York - setlist From: Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 23:49:26 -0400 When the band took stage and we applauded, Larry and Tony (I couldn't see Charlie) applauded as well, I guess thanking us for coming out in the monsoon. Well worth it. You forgot you were getting rained on most of the time. Was it just me, or after something zapped and Bob's mic was lost at the end of Song to Woody and the beginning of TUIB, didn't Bob sound much more upfront and better when they fixed it? At that time I was standing near the speakers on the right and whatever they did made it sound better to me.
Subject: Re: July 26, 2000 - Wantagh, New York - setlist From: Ellen Friedenberg Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 03:19:45 GMT Very wet but definitely worth it. During the encore set the rain was really heavy and, when the lights went on during LARS, you could see how much was blowing around the stage. At one point we were told, "We're getting wet up here too."
Subject: Re: July 26, 2000 - Wantagh, New York - setlist From: byrdsfan Date: Wed, 26 Jul 2000 20:52:34 -0700 had three tickets thanks to guy on this board but having ventured out today decided no way. i called my friend in levittown (he was the third) and say we're backing out. He said i was hoping you'd say that. So we talked for while and he said you know what it stopped raining. well levittown is close to jones beach, so we went. Of course by time we got in car it had already started up agian but we haD THE break we needed. Great show, great seats. Thanks Rob i think it was who offered them. Was this set unusual? No TOOM at all. Wicked Messenger was just that. How did we ever think of missing it?
Subject: Re: July 26, 2000 - Wantagh, New York - setlist From: Wolfds Date: 27 Jul 2000 04:00:04 GMT Ellen Friedenberg" wrote: Very wet but definitely worth it. Agree 100%. The concert was as good as the weather was bad (and it was very, very bad). Highlights for me were Desolation Row, Song to Woody (sounded like a different arrangement than the winter tour version), Wicked Messenger (a wicked rendition w/killer harp), Frankie Lee & Judas Priest (bearing little resemblance to the JWH version--to my ears at least), Things Have Changed (again, totally different than the single), and a really beautiful Girl of the North Country which included some nice verbal gymnastics by Bob. I love the sound at Jones Beach--Dylan's voice comes through clear and strong. Fantastic show; the "this tour is just boring posts" miss the boat entirely. Dave
Subject: Re: July 26, 2000 - Wantagh, New York - setlist From: PHyatt1962 Date: 27 Jul 2000 14:00:59 GMT Dylan was crisp.... Having seen him perform 97, 99, and now, at Jones Beach, each show seemed more inspired than the previous.... This was probably the best acoustic I personally have heard... Wicked Messenger really lit the place up. Bundled under blankets, with two of my sons, with the wind-driven rain... it was a glorious night! Pete
Subject: Jones Beach in the Rain From: Nyy7 Date: 27 Jul 2000 15:09:48 GMT Well I have to eat crow. After posting yesterday at 3:00PM that I was not going and they should reschedule...of course I went.. and had a great time. You haven't lived until you danced, in a drenching rain, to LARS and H61. For a 53 year old guy, I'm pretty proud of myself that i stuck it out.. and was rewarded for it. Long Live Bobby!! Bruce in Belle Harbor
Subject: Dylan In the Rain From: Lloyd Fonvielle Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 13:41:43 +0000 Driving out to Jones Beach in the heart of the storm, part of me felt like a complete idiot -- three inches of rain fell on New York City yesterday, a record for the date -- and part of me felt as though I was zooming towards a rendezvous with destiny, on a mission from God. I'd never been out to the place before. We crossed the causeway over the sound, which was raging with waves and whitecaps, and saw the wide emptiness of the seaside park, with the amphitheater sticking up preposterously in the middle of the open land. We had left early, to be sure of getting there through the flooding streets, and when we got out of the car in the parking lot we heard the band doing a run-through of "Things Have Changed", then part of "Oh, Babe, I Ain't No Lie", then a great version of "Pass Me Not, Oh Gentle Saviour", with Charlie Sexton doing a powerful Dylanesque lead vocal. I knew I was in the right place -- the only place to be that afternoon. My sister had put together an elegant little picnic for us, which we'd planned to linger over at a picnic table by the sea. We ended up wolfing it down in the car, huddled against the rain. Then we donned our slickers, grabbed a bunch of towels, pointed our umbrellas into the wind and went into the arena. For those who don't know it, Jones Beach is open air. The stage juts out into the sound and beyond it you see the flat grasslands of the park. The rain was relentless and the whole scene had a melancholy, romantic glow as twilight came on. Then Dylan took the stage and the band launched into another tight, wonderful performance of "Duncan and Brady", which made us forget the rain. Then they did "Long Black Veil", and that set the mood of the whole show -- which had a mournful country wail to it, emotional and heartfelt, Dylan responding in his own way, I think, to the weather, and to the fact that we'd all shown up in spite of it. It was a brilliant rendition, and after it he said, "That was a sad song, but this one is even sadder" -- and into "Desolation Row", a majestic version, heavy on the wistful side of things . . . Dylan really moaned out the words "he's moaning." When he got to the line "Everybody is either making love --" he snarled out the rest: " -- or else expecting RAIN" and everybody cheered happily. (Funny how people who have suffered together have more in common than those who are most content.) Not as wicked and sharp as the version at Saratoga on Sunday, but sad, almost stately, and very moving. The desolation of the landscape and the darkening sky and the slanting, blowing rain merged into the meaning of the song, and halfway through it I felt a surge of absolute happiness. No place on the planet I would rather have been at that moment, cold and wet and as I was starting to get. The mood continued with "Song To Woody". That hymn to the drifters of the world, to everybody sleeping rough out on the road, just meant more when you heard it under a seriously bad sky, in what looked like the middle of nowhere. There was a scary electric hissing noise at the last line, which distracted Dylan and dispelled the mood a bit (it sounded like a hot spotlight fizzling out because it got wet -- but you couldn't in fact see what it was.) Dylan's distraction continued into "Tangled Up In Blue" and the sound reappeared a few times, and to me the song never really got going. But the show got back on track with "The Balled Of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest", which rollicked along in its wry, insinuating way. "Country Pie" opened the electric set pleasantly enough. This is really not much of a song but works well as a warm-up, I guess. Then a genuine country feel returned with "If Not For You" -- cheers again at the line "rain would gather, too." A rocking "Tombstone Blues", where the band really kicked out the jambs, and then a magnificent "She Belongs To Me", Dylan singing it with some real Hank Williams regret in his voice, with Larry's lonesome pedal steel echoing the elegaic phrasing. "The Wicked Messenger" -- terrifying, raw, almost perfect, with a harp solo that jabbed into you like a knife. "Where did that come from?" said my friend Laura, who was hearing this version for the first time. It really was startling -- like the bolt of lightning one kept expecting from the rainstorm, but which only arrived musically. Then a very hot "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat", which made you feel as though you were standing in front of a roaring fire on a night when a roaring fire was just too good to be true. Another spot-on performance of "Things Have Changed" to open the encore set. "Like A Rolling Stone". "Girl Of the North Country", which got us back to the theme of the night, mournfulness and bad weather, in a version that never quite took off, though -- Dylan's repetitive, mechanical lilts at the end of each line just accumulated, without much of a climax emotionally. Another log on the fire with "Highway 61" and you could feel the heat through clothes that by now were way past the saturation point, clammy and chilly and beyond all usefulness as a defense against the elements. "Blowin' In the Wind" -- then the Formation . . . Dylan not jerking around cockily as he did at Saratoga, but standing with one arm at his side, one on his hip, as though to say, "Well, what did you think of that?" It's almost impossible to sum it up. Dylan's music drags you out of the comfort of normal life, shoves you out on a road that's hard and sorrowful, because every heartache is remembered, in company with the drifters of the world -- but it also offers you the drifter's escape, the sense of endless possibilities just around the next bend, and the joy of just moving, moving on. There's something essentially American about it, the restless, hungry feeling at the bottom of the American dream, and somehow it all made more sense at Jones Beach last night. At some point in the show Dylan said, "You know, we're getting wet, too." And that was what was so cool about it -- the consolation of meeting an old friend on an empty road on a wet night, and making a fire together . . . somehow relieved to discover that there's somebody out there with you, a long way from home. Drove back to my home along the now flooded parkways feeling blessed, unaccountably exalted. Juarez. Eastertime. Lost -- in a lot of old memories, but as always with Dylan, the perpetual drifter, lost in the future, too.
From: Rachel Klingberg Date: Fri, 28 Jul 2000 14:31:30 -0400 Subject: July 26th Jones Beach Review "Rain or Shine", it said on my ticket, so I put on a long sleeved cowboy shirt, long skirt, and Nix-Waxed boots in preparation for the concert at Jones Beach on July 26th. By the end of the night, my feet were the only dry part of me. Not wishing to embarrass my new friends who were giving me a lift, I chose my new grey coat over my duster, which looks like Civil War relic only shabbier. The duster is warm and completely waterproof from neck-to-toe, although pretty decrepit-looking. Some friends of mine have commented that I should dispose of this unflattering garment and are under the impression that it is bound for the Salvation Army. The grey coat is much more stylish, but a few blocks from my apartment revealed that it is not rainproof poplin or even gabardine, as I had thought, but some miraculous fiber that absorbed about five pounds of water before I even reached the subway station. I arrived at the X's full of expectation, for Mrs. X had described their house to me. Being somewhat of an amateur historian I was curious to see it, and I was not disappointed. It is one of those very special houses built early in the last century. I remembered how they had complimented my tiny little crib, which could fit almost in their bathroom. After the grand tour, Mrs. X handed me a much-needed cup of strong coffee. It would have been nice to sit in their cozy living room drinking coffee, listening to Dylan, and shooting the breeze all afternoon, but we had grander plans. I was excited as any golden retriever to climb in the front seat of the car. In the last ten years, I've ridden in a car only a handful of times. This may seem unusual to most people, but Manhattan is not conducive to keeping a car. Because of traffic, driving can be a wretched affair, and finding a parking spot is often impossible even after hours of searching. I must admit I was a little alarmed when, after deciding to get some gas, Mrs. X pulled a sharp turn and we went careening into a gas station. However, the rest of the journey was uneventful except for a little bit of traffic. The rain was coming down in sheets, visibility was terrible, and Mrs. X's superior driving skills got us there in one piece. We listened to FUV till it faded out of range, and arrived at the stadium at twenty to seven. After partaking in a bit of herbal remedy, we got out of the car and started to walk to the amphitheater. "It's not so bad," said Mrs. X optimistically, as the howling wind and sheets of rain blasted us sideways and nearly knocked us flat. We purchased our tickets separately, so Mr. And Mrs. X went to find their seats and I mine, and we arranged to meet up afterwards. The theatre was not half-full at seven o'clock. My seat was in the first tier about halfway between the stage and the very back of the amphitheater. Though blurred by the torrential rain, I had a fairly good view because I was in the first row that inclined. On the floor, where it is level, umbrellas and flapping ponchos and hats would have obscured my view. At about seven-twenty I saw the rowboat, which probably carried Dylan backstage. The only other way to get to the stage is to walk through the audience. I saw him being rowed back at the last show. Of course the ushers shuffled us out, for which I can hardly blame them for we intended to gawk at the odd site of a heavily hooded figure being rowed across a choppy sea. In some ways Jones Beach is a fun place to see a show. You can hang out on the beach beforehand, and there's something majestic about Dylan's performance framed by the water on either side of the stage. I could see the equipment trucks and the very edge of what looked like the black bus in which Dylan travels in the VIP parking area to stage right. This was my third time seeing Dylan there. But that night Mother Nature was not on our side. Truthfully, I've never been so uncomfortable at a Dylan concert. Usually the venue is too warm from all the crowds. The rain blew sideways and I was thoroughly drenched. I had to wring out the hem of my skirt and my sleeves a few times. I found myself wishing for a nip of brandy to combat the rather Hard Rain that was a-Falling. At about seven-thirty the ubiquitous announcer said his piece. I can't recall if he said "Ladies and gentleman, would you please welcome, Columbia Recording artist Bob Dylan..." but considering that is what he said the last seventeen times I've seen him, it is very probable. They began with Duncan and Brady, which I have never heard before. This was an acoustic treat. Long Black Veil followed with Larry Campbell on mandolin. I've never been fond of this tune, although they certainly did it justice and it was a real crowd pleaser. I thought Desolation Row, which followed, was the best acoustic number. I like the way Dylan experiments with Desolation Row, changing it in performance like an impressionistic canvas. The "Everybody is making love, Or else expecting rain" line got a big cheer. Another acoustic highlight for me was Song to Woody, which followed. . I've always thought this is one of his most heartfelt tunes, and as much today as it was thirty-eight years ago. Tangled Up In Blue also got a lot of cheering. It was a good crowd. The weather didn't prevent a copious display of enthusiasm. There were some drunken guys behind me yelling and singing the wrong words, but in a good-natured way. I didn't mind them. There were a few seats around me that were empty, and the guards were letting people come and go into that section. The next tier was the floor where the notoriously mean Jones Beach ushers had a sort of gamut of one orange-slickered and one yellow-slickered guard checking tickets, and I saw them turn away quite a few people who asked if they could sit there in the few empty seats on the floor. It was not one of the most inspiring Tangled Up In Blues I've ever heard. He started in mid-verse, "..wondering if she changed at all, if her hair was still red". Though the crowd seemed not too into this one, I really enjoyed Frankie Lee and Judas Priest. That is another one I had never heard live. However, it wasn't as tight as the rest of the set. It was like they hadn't quite found a groove on this number. Then the electric numbers. Country Pie, which followed, was quite the opposite. Another I've never heard live! I wished it were a little longer because it really was a smoking number. It seemed the band found a better groove after Country Pie. If Not For You was also pretty good. The set list itself was a treat for me. I had never heard this one live either. Tombstone Blues I thought also rocked. It's true that I have heard this one quite a bit in concert, but last night's version was as worthy as any performance of it I have heard. She Belongs To Me with Larry on pedal steel got a lot of cheers from the Dead fans, who were extremely well-mannered and enthusiastic during Dylan's performance. Then, the absolute peak of last night's performance, yet another tune I have never heard live, was the incredible, passionate, kick-ass, white-hot Wicked Messenger. He blew into the harp for a tantalizing few minutes, and then the song was over and no more harp for the rest of the show. Leopard-Skin Pillbox hat was the last of the set. While not as good as Wicked Messenger, the crowd usually likes this one, and Dylan seems to respond to the energy of the audience. Then, what has come to be known as The Formation. They put down their instruments, Dylan stood center stage, one hand on his hip, surveying the crowd, and the band, (hesitantly, I thought, as if it was not their idea) did the same, although without the hands on their hips. They stood this way for several minutes while the crowd cheered, looking a bit like Napoleon surveying his troops. Then they exited. After just a few minutes of cheering and clapping, perhaps considering the non-stop sheets of rain, the band came out for the encore, which was an electric Things Have Changed. I had anticipated hearing this one, as it is nearly as good a song as anything on Time Out Of Mind, my favorite album. However, it sounded pretty much the same as the released version and was a bit of a let-down for me. Like A Rolling Stone followed. I know it is not just that I have heard this too many times, last night's performance of it was, well, not quite together, I suppose. An acoustic Girl of the North Country was very tender and sweet. Then, he was handed the electric again for Highway 61 Revisited, which I thought was quite good and as always, a fun song. Blowin' In The Wind closed the show, with the band singing harmonies, which adds a lovely melodious layer to this old tune. Throughout, Dylan seemed to be in a fine mood. He was dancing around a bit, bending deep, with the usual duckwalking and little flourishes, sometimes holding his guitar aloft in a kind of rockstar way. I don't know if it is the venue, where the sound is not the best because of the ocean behind the stage, or the harsh wind and rain, but the acoustic numbers were not as good, in my opinion. Indoors perhaps it would have been a little different. He didn't say much during the show, just introduced the band and said, "We're getting wet too". I noticed the absence of the typical "Thank you, ev'rybody!". Once again the band lined up for the rather bizarre stance, Dylan put his hand on his hip, and they stood for several minutes while the crowd applauded. People continued to clap and cheer, but they had played seventeen songs and the weather was unrelenting. Because of that and my early interviews and the X's imminent departure, we did not stay for Phil Lesh but drove back through the sheeting rain. We agreed that only for Bob would we subject ourselves to such an exposure of the fierce elements that night at Jones Beach.
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