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Bob Dylan 961106 in Charleston, West Virginia

Subject: Bob rocks Charleston 11/6/96
From: Kate and Doug (kv2c@faraday.clas.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 16:25:53 GMT

So much to say...

At 4pm, classes ended for the day and I left Lexington in a storm
of anticipation.  This was my tenth Dylan show, and I hadn't
seen him since Richmond on May 4th.  I've been a bit
disappointed with the set lists, but my finger were crossed in
hopes of a few rarely played jewels.  The drive to Charleston
was uneventful, just me and Dave Brubeck's 'Jazz: Red Hot and
Cool' followed by 'All Things Considered.' I arrived at the
Civic Center parking garage and looked around the venue,
thinking 'You know, this building looks a little to dark for
comfort.' Finally, I asked, and was told that the Municipal
Auditorium was two blocks away.  

Situated firmly in my seat (where I met fellow r.m.der Josh
from Ashland), I was thoroughly impressed with Mr. Kenny Wayne
Sheppard.  If you haven't seen him, do it.  His Eddie-Vedder
wanna-be frontman was a little screechy for me at times, but
Kenny's guitar work is unbelievable for a 20(?) year old.
I knew that we were in for a good show crowd-wise because Kenny
got standing ovations after every song.  I've never seen a
crowd be quite so raucous for Bob, let alone the opening act!
After their 45 minute set, we waited about half an hour for the
announcement.  'Ladies and Gentlemen, would you please welcome
Columbia recording artist Bob Dylan!'

I was hoping for 'Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat' but was pleased
with 'Down In The Flood'.  This is a much less muscular version
than the '95 versions.  No harmonica (I still shudder every
time I hear this song on my tape from London March '95), and a
slightly slower tempo than previous incarnations I've heard.
The crowd was on their feet from the first chords, and danced
along with me :)

Last time I saw Bob, 'Man In Me' got the two spot, so I was
praying for something unusual (to me, at least).  So Bob played
'Senor', I song that I've heard quite a few times.  It was not
a disappointment.  Bob started off very strong, and stayed that
way all night.  This vocal was really quite nice.

'Watchtower' is where I really miss Winston.  To keep me
really interested in this song, it needs to explode, and it
just didn't quite do that last night.  

As soon as Bob plinked out the melody on his guitar, I thought
'Ohmigod! Queen Jane!' This was arguably the highlight of the
musical evening for me (we'll get to the highlight of the whole
evening later).  Bob leaned into the mic, pulled out the
syllables at the end of phrases, and sang it like he meant it.
It was gorgeous, moving, powerful, an incredible treat.
Amazingly, the crowd sat through it (although I guess it isn't
much of a dancing song).

The crowd hit their feet again (and most would not sit down
all night) for 'Watching the River Flow.' I really like
the new drummer on this one, because it doesn't need to be so
damn powerful.  It just needs to bounce along, and it definitely

'Silvio' was a real crowd-pleaser, as was 'Mr. Tambourine Man,' the
first of the acoustic tunes.  I watched the crowd closely,
because they were very antsy about getting up front.  The stage
rush came VERY early in 'Tambourine Man,' so by the end of the
song I was at Bucky's feet.  I miss the harmonica.

'Masters of War' and 'Baby Blue' were both excellent

Nine songs in, I hadn't heard anything new (to me).  So I hoped
and prayed that Bob would pull out one of those nuggets.  He
did.  I thought at first that the band was doing 'Highway 61,'
because I really didn't expect 'Tombstone Blues.' It was just
great fun.  Bob even smiled at a very attractive woman not too
far from his mic.

The concert colcluded with 'When I Paint My Masterpiece'
'Maggie's Farm' (A song that I've now heard ten times in ten
concerts, with a seemingly new arrangement every time) 'Like A
Rolling Stone' (only two verses!) 'One Too Many Mornings' (I
honestly thought that Bob reached for a harmonica before the
song, but no) and 'Rainy Day Women 12+35'

Now for the TRUE highlight of the evening:
It was during the final song that I slipped out of the venue and
went around to the busses.  I had decided that it was time to
try and get an audience.  Along with two security men, there
were only three of us there waiting for Bob. (Hello to the
really pleasant couple from Charleston, if you're reading
this!)  The band exited first.  We exchanged some pleasantries
with them.  And then out came Bob, towel over head, striding
for the bus.  Just as he was about to step into it, he heard us
shouting, and he turned to look.  He walked over and talked
first to the couple next to me.  Then he turned and looked
right at me!  My heart might have stopped.  He said 'How do you
do?' and offered his hand, which I shook.  All I could think of
to say was 'Thank you.' In reply, from under that towel, he
smiled that warm, sheepish Bob smile, and then he was gone.
The man standing next to me yelled after him 'I can die a happy
man now!'  I felt much the same way.

I'll see you all in Bloomington.


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