Bob Dylan 961026 at the Austin Music Hall, Austin, Texas
Subject: Austin/10--26 From: LTorn (email@example.com) Date: 27 Oct 1996 01:36:13 -0400 Hello all: I see Bill Pagel has already beaten me to the punch w/ his usual sterling work regarding the setlist. Thought I'd throw in my two cents w/ a brief review. Seems the addition of the new drummer has changed the feel of the shows quite a bit. I'll echo earlier reviews in that the sound is cleaner, crisper, and has more of a folk/country edge to it. Though a few of the arrangements/timings seem off from the Winston version of the band, all of the songs have some changes. Dylan seems to be going more for that locomotive, train track rhythm throughout, most evident tonight on Man of Peace and the new Maggie's Farm--NOOOOOOOOOOOOO more. The highlight was easily Baby Blue, with Dylan really leaning into the vocals. The acoustic arrangements have more of a backbeat, and more of a sing-songy rhythm to them--this seemed especially true with Tambourine Man, but Baby Blue benefitted the most from this new approach. It Ain't Me Babe also was folksier somehow, with Dylan really making thisone feel like some back porch singalong. The second electric set rung some major (these days at least) changes, with a rearranged, very bluesy sounding Man of Peace, a real surprise. It sounded like it had been rehearsed quite a bit--virtually flawless. Where Teardrops Fall was even better--almost like a lullaby, with Bucky playing some unreal, ethereal steel parts--a very intoxicating song, and like so many of his songs, it made a whole new impression when compared to its studio Oh Mercy incarnation. Must say I was surprised to hear LARS instead of Alabama Getaway, even if it was a shortened three verse version. Still, it sounded very fine, like (has this been mentioned before?) it was written last week. All in all, a very good show, slow to start, but absolutely stunning from midway of the acoustic set to the end. Perhaps there could be some more surprises tomorrow? I wouldn't be surprised to see quite a few more rarely played songs for the rest of the tour--the new drummer and chemistry in the band almost demands a bit of a rethink. Peace. --Luke
Subject: Austin - Oct. 26 - RE: Set List From: "Stephen M. H. Braitman" (braitman@SIRIUS.COM) Date: Sun, 27 Oct 1996 17:17:52 -0800 I attended last night's Austin show, much to my surprise! I had flown into Austin the day before to simply see the town (my first trip there). And lo and behold Dylan was playing. So I of course had to see him.. Regarding the set list: The last three songs were all done as separate encores, Dylan and the band returning each time. Very generous show. I hadn't seen Dylan since the S.F. shows last year, and some new wrinkles were apparant to me: 1) A different drummer--some skinny white guy. Very uninspired drummer. Almost irrelevent. 2) The show took a few numbers to heat up. "If Not For You" was very ragged and lackluster. Unfocused. They didn't have an ending worked out for the song, either. "Silvio" actually got everyone together. 3) Another arrangement for "Mr. Tambourine." No longer the ethereally paced rendition of last year, this new version involves the whole band in an acoustic-electric mode, doing a rather jaunty, uptempo version. A lot of fun. 4) "Masters of War" perhaps the emotionally sung highpoint of the evening. Very ominious and low. Dylan's repeating guitar figure seemed new to me and, although sometimes awkwardly performed, was a greattouch. 5) The rarity of "When Teardrops Fall" did not belie the tame, superficial version of the song. Charlie Sexton kind of snuck in and simply appeared. 6) Sexton didn't really make his presence known until a phenomenal guitar solo in "Like a Rolling Stone." This song, in fact, was an artistic triumph, with a completely new ending (to me) of mandolin & steel guitar-accented slow magestic rises and falls. Simply gorgeous. 7) "Maggie's Farm" was also reconfigured and featured wonderful guitar signature from Dylan. Thumbs up. 8) Dylan scratched his head several times throughout the show, apparantly perplexed as how to finish songs which had no endings. The rock jam mode of many of the songs was a hit-n-miss affair, particularly early in the evening. (It was a 2-hour show) 9) The sound was very good and clear. Unfortunately, the Music Hall is a pit, a big ugly room that's uncomfortable and -- typical for Austin, no doubt -- reeking terribly of cigarette smoke. (The other kind of smoke was practically absent.) The crowd was a genuine mix of old and new Bobfans, from moms and dads to babies. This was the big show for a Saturday night in Austin and even some alt.teens were in evidence. I hope they had their mind expanded. I know I did.