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Bob Dylan 961112 in Dubuque, Iowa

Subject: if it's tuesday, this must be dubuque....
From: Bill Pagel ( 
    - Written by Christine Consolvo!
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 16:01:24 GMT

Well, I'm trusting Sadie to fill you in on all the graphic details
from Milwaukee & Mankato...except to say that I left Mankato fearful
that I was just plain getting too old to go to the stage at a Dylan
concert. Not a revelation that I welcomed...Sadie assured me that the
situation at the stage that night was highly unusual (so much pushing
and rude kids in the audience). I couldn't argue that fact, but was
wary of what might happen at the six upcoming shows I had made plans
to see...A day off after Mankato was more than welcome...

When we checked out the venue in Dubuque, we were somewhat relieved to
find that the stage was much higher than those previous, making it
possibly more of an effort to jump on the stage. Of course, it would
still happen but, we hoped, not to the same extent. Someone reported
between acts that there had been young people crowd surfing during
Kenny Wayne Sheppard's set...I hoped they were joking, but...

When Bob hit the stage looking good in the silver snakeskin pants,
black jacket with silver, western style piping and black & white polka
dot tie  (cravat, says Ray) there was immediately a surging forward
down the left aisle. Security was ineffective in trying to get them to
clear and there they stood during the first three and a half the stage, but with a security person intervening an all
out rush. The pushing began down there and no help was coming for the
lone guard, who eventually (I believe it was during You Go Your Way)
had to give up his position or die trying. Thankfully, I was on the
right where security was able to keep the aisle completely clear and
it was at this point that we went down to the stage. Immediately, the
kids down front began to surf the crowd...jumping up on stage and then
diving back off into the audience. At first this was mainly going on
at the side opposite us, but it soon became universal and I spent much
of the show  watching over my shoulder for incoming boots. I hadn't
been in a situation this extreme since the Beale Street Festival in
'94 where the crowd went totally insane during Beck, who was the act
just before Bob. A little comic relief was found during You Go Your
Way when he sang "watch out they don't fall on you"! Here in Dubuque,
they started out being mainly interested in just jumping off the
stage...not bothering Bob while they were up there. Many of the guys
did the bowing-to-Allah motions before doing a cannonball back into
the crowd. Pretty soon, the girls were going over to him for the hugs
and kisses that are becoming the norm and the guys were professing
their love for him and adding a pat on the back or a handshake. The
music was great, but it was hard to concentrate on it with all the
commotion...I did my best. I had decided early on that I would stand
my ground NO MATTER WHAT. These kids couldn't get the best of me...and
if I could survive this evening, I could survive others...With so many
young folks interrupting his performance, it was choppy...many times
with the vocals suffering in lieu of kisses and the guitar in lieu of
handshakes. Twice, men put their hats on JJ, then took them back off
him before leaving the stage. One young man got up, beat his chest ,
then unzipped his pants and pulled them down before taking his leap.
In all, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that before it was
all over, 250 young folks had had their five seconds of fame on stage
with Bob Dylan. The pushing didn't begin in earnest until late in the
show and I have to thank Mark W. and Ray for helping to keep our space
protected. All in all, I came out of it relatively unscathed...a few
"barrier bruises" to add to those acquired in Mankato and a sore neck
from having to keep my head spinning around checking for trouble on
the way. Madison tonight...looking forward.......?

Just thought I'd mention it...


Subject: Pandemonium - November 12, 1996 - Dubuque From: Jamie L Peterson (peter131@GOLD.TC.UMN.EDU) Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 20:55:42 -0600 I have never in my life been to a concert quite like this one in Dubuque last night... First of all, I am not exaggerating when I tell you that there were kids crowd surfing and landing on stage from Song #1 until the last dog was hung. It was total pandemonium up there. These kids were unbelievable. First, as I said, they threw at least 6-15 of themselves up there - dancing, writhing, hugging, kissing, high-fiving, jumping, twirling, ring-around-the-rosying, etc. for the WHOLE SHOW. They were literally hanging off of BOB and the rest of the band members. It was VERY distracting - to say the least. Then they would start grabbing the mike and saying profound things like, "BOB DYLAN RULES!" etc. The thing that was so mysterious about all of this craziness was that the bouncers didn't even make an effort to stop it - with maybe a very few exceptions. And good old Bob just kept grinning and playing. - It was nuts. The really strange part was that I have NEVER heard better music from this man! - After seeing shows starting back in 1966 to the present, he was BEYOND AWESOME last night. - His guitar work was the best of all time. - It was incomprehensible that anyone could sound as good. - I do believe that this whole mob scene in some way did contribute to the ecstacy of the music - but it sure was a big pain for the rest of the audience. I had NO IDEA that Dubuqueans were so darn rowdy! - We had seen Bob in Milwaukee and Mankato over the weekend - both of which were great and fun concerts - but the music in Dubuque was definitely cosmic (which is still not anywhere near explaining how exhilarating it was). - I do think that there is some kind of "resurrection of the Dead" thing going on here - at least from the looks of last night. - My only concern is that the music is getting tangled up in the orgiastic nature of this "kid thing." - Old Lady from the North Country
Subject: Re: Set List - November 12, 1996 - Dubuque From: blackdog ( Date: 15 Nov 1996 05:02:17 GMT I was there. The Five Flags Center was smaller than I had imagined, about like a high school gymnasium. The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band opened and played for about 45 minutes. This band can really rock! That boy can play the guitar! He closed out his set with Voodo Chile (slight return), although he's not exactly Hendrix, he's damn good. Bob and his band came out about 30 minutes after KWS. It quickly became general admission, and people were crammed in front of the stage. It was my first Dylan concert, but I was amazed at the number of younger people (teenagers) there. These teenagers started crowd surfing and stage diving, which I thought was kind of strange, being a Dylan concert and all. Bob was doing a very good job, and I was impressed. Then all those teenagers decided that since they were already on the stage they may as well go meet Bob. This was kind of interesting to begin with, Bob seemed kind of suprised as well at first. Of course, once one person did it, everyone else decided that they did too. This, in my opinion and also those around me, got very annoying as it continued throughout the show. At times Bob also seemed annoyed, but generally accepted the fact that security was pretty lax. I was disappointed that the concert could have been better if they would have left Bob alone and let him get through the verses of the songs, but overall, I'd say that the band played great and Bob sang very well (except for the parts when the fans were bugging him)
Subject: Milwaukee, Mankato and Dubuque From: "Mark H. Withrow" ( Date: Sun, 17 Nov 1996 10:26:20 -0800 Friday night I had the pleasure of seeing Nicholas Paytonās very talented quintet at the Jazz Showcase. Sadiejane had stopped by on her way to the Milwaukee concert, so the company was good. Although I would be attending three of Bob Dylanās concerts in the next four days, this would be the last time I would be part of an attentive audience that had come to listen to the music. Saturday it was off to Milwaukee for my first Dylan concert since the powerful House of Blues concerts last August. Joined by Beth (soon to be starring in the Milwaukee production of The Greatest Christmas Pagent Ever), we were now a threesome. We hit the door at Katyās diner and Christineās warm smile brought back my fond memories of those August shows in a rush. Had the distinct pleasure of meeting Bill & Ray and other Dylan fans. Do others share my conviction that admirers of Dylanās music are some of the finest people oneās likely to meet? Winterās wind had swept in, driven down from the boundary waters across the land of 1,000 lakes like a dog in flight to the doorstep of the Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee. The ballroom had certainly been easier on the eye at one time, but the same could be said of this fan. Point is, it was funky room. Couples had danced here in tender embrace once, gliding across the floor in a graceful steps to sounds that echoed off of paint now peeled, cracked and crumbling. Whether or not Kenny Wayneās collection of lifted riffs peeled further the paint, none can say. Bobās people cleaned up the sound rather nicely and it was show time. What had been done with the seating charts was very much in the wrong. Also wrong were the three talking drunks to my right. One slumped in his chair, chin on chest, whilst his buddy pawed at the hair of a woman whose Other had left his seat. The third went to procure more refreshments. His loss. Bob and band hit the stage. He was in strong voice from the start. Simple Twist Of Fate was the first surprise and very pleasant one at that. Some have noted that the autumn tour is producing fewer surprises than normal and this seems a fair gripe. I suspect that the new year holds surprises we canāt now imagine. When it comes to the art of Bob Dylan, there is always reason for optimism. I miss the quieter acoustic sets of the past couple of years. The drummer should go away or, like Sadie sez, join in on the wee drums for something completely different. (Itās not too late for a violinist to be added for Ī97, is it?) It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry was very nice. Silvio needs a rest, even if it does get people up and dancing. One Too Many Mornings was especially memorable. I like the arrangement. This was about the last time Iād really feel the audience listening for the next couple of shows (as opposed to concerts). By the time I And I started I was at the edge of the stage. This special song is a most welcome addition to the autumn tour. It wasnāt Oslo or Brussels ā95, but Iām not complaining. I love this song. J. J. had room to groove on this one. The rest of the night was predictable, if solid. The stage antics had started and would build to a Dubuqueian crescendo by Tuesday evening. I saw Dylan at Minneapolisā Target Center in ā95 and didnāt care for the space. Over 12,000 attended and the intimacy factor was next to zero. The Civic Center in Mankato is like Son of Target: A smaller, if equally sterile venue. I clicked my heels together three times, whispering, "Thereās no place like the House of Blues," to no avail. Another strong performance from Bob and band. Highlights for me included Tom Thumb's Blues, My Back Pages, One Too Many Mornings and Iāll Remember You. The stage antics were more pronounced than in Milwaukee. Iāve always appreciated the stage rush being allowed/encouraged, but young men thumping their chests before diving off of the stage into the crowd bores me. Also, there seems to be a fine line between the type of dancing on stage that reflects being into the music and another type that reflects narcissism. At the Five Flags Center Arena in Dubuque, Iowa, things only got worse. I had a great time despite the nonsense, and donāt expect to ever attend another show like this one. Many highlights to these ears: Shelter, Most Likely and Sweet Marie really stood out. Still, the stage diving, body surfing and kissing/high-fives detracted from the music. This time things went way too far. Vocals and riffs were lost to the well-wishers and cheek kissers who had little interest in listening. Had this been my only Dylan concert of the year I probably would have been pissed. Down front with Christine and Ray, I couldnāt help but smile, shimmy and shake. The dancing is important. Hell, Iām not yet so long in the tooth as to have forgotten that. Yet my smile faded when the acoustic set came and the diversionary antics did not subside. Would a simple gesture from Bob have calmed the stage-climbing youths for a few songs? I suspect so. To Ramona and Friend of the Devil never had a chance to gain any momentum or build any intensity The listening is important, too. Bruised but not broken, distracted but not too disappointed, I look forward to the South Bend concert. The people and the places from my tri-state trip will linger in my mind longer than the shows this time out. Iām richer for having been to see the Gypsy again. Those who never stopped jumping and diving long enough to listen are the poorer for it. If this is what it takes for a 56 year old artist to keep his share of a market dominated by 20-somethings, Iām glad I have tapes to LISTEN to. Mark

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