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Bob Dylan 961103 in Chattanooga, TN

Date: Tue, 5 Nov 1996 13:27:46 -0500 (GMT-0500)
From: Alan Sims (
Subject: Chattanooga Concert

Hey Everybody,
I'll attempt in my first posting to add to the common good with a report
and a few opinions regarding the Chattanooga show. It was my tenth Dylan
show spread over the last twenty years. It was the fourth time I've seen
him in the nineties. Most significantly, it was my daughter's second time
to see him, and this time was by her choice as a thirteenth birthday
present! I can't help it if I'm lucky (Hootie quote, right?).

The auditorium was the older type which seems to have become common on
recent tours. Built in the 1920's, it was renovated in the late eighties,
and they claim it holds 3800. If that is true, I would guess there were
2500 to 3000 present. As reported from Mississippi, the crowd is getting
to be heavy on the lower end of the age spectrum. There were as many
teenagers and college age people as older ones, it seemed to me.
Deadheads were everywhere evident.

The show opened with unintelligible lyrics to "Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat". I
was delighted at the choice, but as is so often the case, it just wasn't
clear at the beginning. I believe that was followed by "Tonight, I'll Be
Staying Here With You", which also didn't seem to do much for very many
people. The stage rush had started before the show, so many of us were
very close at this time. During the inevitable #3 song (which I always
dread and then love when he does it), the security personnel decided we
should be cleared. The uniformed officers were decent about it, but one
of the theater's employees was quite rude, putting his finger in people's
faces, shouting and carrying one guy away (literally). We cleared the
area and lurked until the next opportunity. A lengthy discussion ensued
between various security and theater employees, with much shrugging, etc.
Body language seemed to say that they may have been discussing whether
they should interfere at all, but they persisted through the next
attempt, which was during the first part of the acoustic set, and sent
us all packing again.

After Watchtower, we got "Tears of Rage", which was musically delightful
(very atmospheric, thanks to Bucky Baxter, I think), but again, the
vocals were very muddy. "Watching the River Flow" was fun, but still Bob
did not seem to have hit a stride. JJ was playing off to himself, and
mostly playing rhythm from what I could tell.

Then it happened. With "Sylvio", the show went to another level. The song
was great (my first time to hear the arrangement with the accapello part),
and the crowd went crazy. By this time Bob was playing the best lead
guitar I have ever seen him play. People around me were talking about it.
The crowd was responding to it. It was wonderful. He was looking more
comfortable, and I think this was when I first noticed him going over to
JJ and attempting to jam. He did this sporadically the rest of the night.

The acoustic set was superb. "Tambourine Man" was beautiful. "Masters of
War", which I also hoped to avoid because I've heard him do it before, was
the best I've ever heard. "She Belongs to Me" was gorgeous, as always.

The final stage rush of the night then happened, this time without
opposition. "God Knows" worked very well in the next slot, concluding the
best stretch of the show in my opinion. It ended because the next song
"Never Gonna Be the Same" did not work. Dylan and the band seemed to be
searching for each other from the start, and though they muddled all the
way through, the audience was lost by the time they stopped. It was
redeemed by the final song,"Highway 61", which was the usual, hard
rocking, jamming version.

"Rolling Stone" was the first encore, and a very nice job. After that
encore, a woman jumped up on stage, hugged, kissed and talked to an
apparently very friendly Bob. He smiled and talked back, though he seemed
a little surprised by her persistence. "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" was
delicately rendered, followed by several very young girls hugging and
kissing Bob. After "Rainy Day", which was one verse and endless jamming,
probably thirty people jumped onstage. I think all were women or young
girls. That got momentarily scary for me. It just seemed like a little
too much pandemonium. Maybe not.

It was much fun. I think the crowd got a good night. The lights were very
clearly on in Bob's eyes (I got close enough to check). An "Infidels"
(her choice) and a "Blood on the Tracks" (my choice) later, we were back
in Knoxville, with a beautiful memory in tow.

Wish everybody could see him, and have their child grow up wanting to do
the same.


Subject: chatanooga review From: Henry Llach (ay858@LAFN.ORG) Date: Wed, 6 Nov 1996 17:43:39 -0800 i was asked to post this by this guy, who has no access to a computer. if you see him on tour be nice to him: hi y'all back from chatanooga. quite a show, one of the best ive ever attended! almost as good as the NWA show i went to a couple years ago. i made the 6 hour ride from yadkinville to chatanoooga in less than 2 and a half hours. unfortunately, the time i made up i lost right before hitting town when i got in a car wreck. dont want to burden you with the dtails but suffice to say that i had to walk the last 4-5 miles. im a bit overweight and suffer from a mild case of the gout so by the time i got to the hall my legs were slightly inflamed,but i was ready to rock! i picked up an SRO ticket outside the hall from a guy riding a tricyle. i later found out the show was not sold out so i found it odd that they would be selling SRO TICKETS for a show were there plenty of seats but how was i to know what was going to happen. the hall looked ok, it was well lit and only a whiff of noxious fumes.the bathrooms appeared to be brand new but luckily i had no need to use them. i walked inside to discover that i was the only person with a sro ticket, so i had to stand by myself in the back. my legs were acting up so tried to sit in an unoccupied seat several times only to be told by the friednly, but firm, usher that i had to circulate. i spoent the first 3 song more or less circumbotulating around the hall-some of you may have seen me- i was the guy who was dancing, and rocking and circombulating all over the place for the first few songs. right after a great on of watchtower i started hyperventilating so i had to locate a place where i could sit down. i found a few mexican gentlemen wearing huge sombreros smoking cigars right outside the ladies room-they had brough with them their own tiny little chairs and they were kind enough to allow me to sit for a while.i could hear the chords to tamborine man so i headed towards the hall once again but decided first to sample the cuisine at the state of the art snack bar; i was soon wolfing down some corn dogs and washing them down with malt liquor, when i heard bob rev up my favorite song. which song, you ask? the one where we are allowed to climb up onstage with bob! its always been a dream of mine to be able to get up there but have always failed in the past, but tonite i was going for it. i, rushed to the front and got to the edge of the stage but was unable to lift my own weight. it was at this point that some kind dylan fans-about a dozen of them-hoisted me up.there i was no more tha a few feet from our hero , when i looked up and locked eyes with was at this point that i lost consciousness. i was found the next morning outside the hall in the garbage dump , butt naked, wrapped in a real big shower curtain with a cue sheet shoved down my throat (i was able to salvage the cue sheet and despite the saliva blotches its actually quite readable!) according to the doctor the hospital i had been savagely attacked with flashlights and brass knuckles. needless to say i was in bad shape and my skull hurt something fierce. despite all this ,though, i had to figure a way to walk out of the hospital because there was no way i could pay the bill. when the beat me they also robbed me of all my posessions-credit card, keys gold chains, pinky rings and they even stole my toupee. you must imagine how hard it is for a 325lb man with his legs heavily bandaged to tip toe out of a hospital at 3 in the morning. im not even sure how i did it but im home now and im jonesin to rejoin the tour in madison. the shows are DOPE !!!!!! dont miss them. if anyone has a car with an ample back seat or a pickup truck that is driving from the yadkinvill area to madison let me know!!! see ya Williamson J Brown se ya
Subject: Chattanooga Show Review From: ( Date: 8 Nov 1996 00:24:05 GMT Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium Chattanooga, Tennessee 11/3/96 Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You All Along The Watchtower Tears Of Rage Watching The River Flow Silvio Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic) Masters Of War (acoustic) Love Minus Zero/No Limit (acoustic) God Knows Never Gonna Be The Same Again Highway 61 Revisited Encore: Like A Rolling Stone Knocken' On Heaven's Door (acoustic) Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35 The hall was about 2/3 full, the balcony was nearly empty. Crowd was a mix of young and old. The youngsters seemed to be having more fun (hint: nobody shouting "down in front" was younger than 40). Folks down front were very enthusiastic, and the band seemed to feed on it (makes me _really_ look forward to seeing Ann Arbor). Bob did not play harmonica AT ALL. I really missed the harp solos since he was playing it with both hands instead of the neck-brace thing last spring. A couple of those solos really blew my mind. And with an electric band yet. I think it one of those things that make Bob Dylan BOB DYLAN. Hope he chooses to pick it up and play it later on in the tour. The new drummer, David Kemper, has realy changed the way the band plays. They are subtle changes, but they are really obvious to me. Winston Watson used to rock the rockers hard but then stomp all over the quiet ones. David Kemper is more of a time keeper on the rockers, he isn't very loud or forceful. Indeed, I would call his playing understated. A plexiglass shield no longer seperates the drummer from Dylan. He seems to still be getting used to the grooves that he is expected to play, so he played the same tom tom run several times in different songs. On the acoustic and slow electric songs, however, Kemper really shines. All those years playing with Jerry Garcia and John Kahn in the Jerry Garcia Band are very much in evidence here. He plays his toms where Winston would bang a snare, and the difference is just amazing. I have a sense that this really pleases Dylan, he smiles at Kemper a lot. Both Tony Garnier and Bob lead him through many of the changes, turning toward and connecting with him in a big way. He nails those changes all the time. There is room for improvement on the rockers, but David Kemper can play the slow ones, particularly the ones he used to play with Jerry, with soul and purpose. THE SONGS: Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat I've always liked this one as an opener, but I really miss the harp solo. It seemed to get Dylan (and the crowd) all greased up for the rest of the show. But the lack of it makes the segue into a slow song easier to manage since I'm not dancing quite as hard. Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You One of the best songs of the night, although I could say that about most of the slow electric songs. Bucky Baxter's steel guitar and Bob's heart-felt phrasing made this a Country Classic, if only Country fans knew it. I very much felt I was in Tennessee. All Along The Watchtower Shouts of "Down In Front" start to be heard. Old Fogeys... Tears Of Rage The Police clearing the isles of cheery young revelers provided a little too much distraction here. Too bad, too 'cause this is one of my favorite Dylan songs, and he altered the tempo so much that I did not recognize it until the final chorus. The performance was choppy anyways, so I hope I see him play it again. Watching The River Flow Having spent time along the Ohio and Tennessee rivers on the way to Chattanooga made this one special. I always sing this song when Kish and I go down to the Huron river here in Ann Arbor, or when we're camping along the Maumee River in Ohio. Kemper made this one much more like a Country song. Silvio Winston's absence most clearly felt here. I like this song, even if I hear it at _every_ show. But Winston made it more dancable. Mr. Tambourine Man The crowd behind us actually stood up for this one. A lot of Classic Radio Rockers back there, I guess. Masters Of War Yet another crowd pleaser, although the Classic Radio Rockers sat back down. Love Minus Zero/No Limit Now this one I had never heared before, and I had no idea what it was. But it was pretty and slow, and I am looking forward to hearing it again. God Knows The live version of this song just kills me. Kemper's understated drumming makes the band work harder to make it work (Winston made it very obvious), but they all were having a good time, as was the crowd. Never Gonna Be The Same Again Songs like this one are why I'll travel hundreds of miles to see Bob Dylan. His delivery, the band's soft touch, and the sloooow rythm & melody really do it for me. Highway 61 Revisited By now we were down front, on Tony's side. Kemper actually showed some confidence on this particular fast one. Not quite as wild as the Highway 61 we saw in Michigan last spring, but it still was fun. Like A Rolling Stone The Classic Radio Rockers just about lost all control of themselves here. Fat guys with beer breath rushing down the had to be there... Knockin' On Heaven's Door He played it more like Jerry used to. A nice change, since I think the MTV Unplugged version of this song just sucks out loud. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 Winston Watson is why I never liked hearing this song very much. His intro seemed to be an arrogant "I am Drummer, Hear me Roar" kind of statement. David Kemper plays it truer to the original (just an observation, I do not want or expect this from _any_ live performance), emphasizing the high hats and a subtle snare instead of Winston's "Cop's Banging At The Door" kind of snarl. The house light went up about 3 beats into the song, much to the obvious displeasure of Bob, and cops were all around the edge of the balcony looking for anybody sparkin' up on the floor. Sorry guys, we're a little smarter than _that_. All in all, a good show. I'm really looking forward to Milwaukee on Saturday. Still have extras. Look me up if you need any. Jeff Knorek

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