Bob Dylan 960420 in Portland, ME
From: John Wood (firstname.lastname@example.org) Newsgroups: rec.music.dylan Subject: Portland 4/20/96 - Song By Song Date: Wed, 24 Apr 1996 21:02:23 -0400 4/20/96 - Portland Song By Song: ------------------------------- 1. Crash On The Levee - Rocking as usual, with Uncle Bob cranking into his harmonica solos. The audience is already going bonkers, getting into every note and phrase. 2. Man In The Long Black Coat - Dark and brooding, with an extremely focused performance by the ensemble, accented by an assured, almost spooky Dylan vocal. 3. All Along The Watchtower - Cranking again as usual, especially Winston's drums. 4. Positively 4th Street - With this arrangement, the song becomes more of a self-reflective statement than an anthem, yet it works nicely due to its hushed dynamics. 5. Pledging My Time - Yes!!! A personal favorite that like past versions, shines in its grimy slow-blues auro; the State Theatre was literally transformed into the House Of Blues. 6. Silvio - Lots of nice Garcia-ish leads from JJ during the 3rd & 4th verses, and the band again slams it on home. Man, this arrangement kicks butt, especially when Winston and Tony nail THE SPOT! 7. Mr. Tambourine Man - Uncle Bob on guitar, and the foursome beautifully float around the melody. I would have liked the harmonica to appear, but Bob's guitar solo made its statement in a authoratively restrained performance. 8. Desolation Row - Five verses are better than none, I guess. Superb execution, with plaintively focused vocals by Dylan. 9. Friend Of The Devil - "Now *this* is a repeat I'll take anytime" and again, splendidly done, with a touch tighter execution on the bridge. 10. Maggie's Farm - Kickin' as usual, with a driving pedal steel line by Bucky. The band is playing soooo well. 11. What Good Am I? - A stunningly gorgeous ensemble performance, and Winston's cymbol placement and hushed accents worked wonders. Prior to the encore, my personal favorite moment of the show until... 12. Seven Days - YES!! Goddamn...the band is *raging* through this as if they're going nuts on stage (I was!!:-), but Uncle Bob just rocked the house down, tearing into the lyrics as if every word was pouring from his soul from he to us, Not only does Uncle Bob take back every claim Ronnie Wood had to the song, but I sincerely believe that this band is one of the best *pure* rock & roll bands in the business. Winston just slammed his skins, grinning like a banshee warrior who just devoured his prey! Magnificent! ENCORES ------- 13. Alabama Getaway - This time, Uncle Bob gets most of the lyrics correct, and the band charges through and jams the song enough to sastify the Deadhead contingent. One friend of mine said, "I could hear them do this every night." Know what? The way they rage through this, I can too! 14. The Times They Are A-Changin - There isn't a word in my vocabulary that will adequately describe the emotions I experienced for eight unforgettable minutes. This was Bob Dylan at his best, folks! It was already enough that his reading shined as a master storyteller, but Uncle Bob's harmonica solo started casually, then built up momentum, then found IT and took off into the next stratosphere, going completely over the top in a moment of triumph and sheer heart. Don't read what I have to say; get the tapes and listen to and experience IT! I was so emotionally spent that even after the lights came up, it took me several minutes to realize that if he had played Rainy Day, it would have been a pointless waste of time. Really! This posting would be remiss if I didn't mention the excellent audience, who was clearly into every turn, every phrase, every song...just one standing ovation after another. It was an audience INTO IT without being a hindrance: A far cry from a Rochester '94 show that was ruined by inconsideration and selfishness on many a stage-crasher. John "Come writers and critics throughout the land, Don't criticize what you can't understand..."