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Bob Dylan 970406 in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Subject: Halifax Show Review
From: The Man Who Fell Off The Moon (
Date: 7 Apr 1997 15:57:31 GMT

Sorry I didn't post a review last night, but I didn't get in until 2:30
am. Here goes and sorry if it rambles.

My overall impression? The best show I have ever seen- Bob or otherwise. 

Bob took the stage at 8:05 wearing a grey suit, white shirt, black tie and
white boots and without a word, rolled into Crash on the
Levee/Down in the Flood. 

VERY little mumbling and strong guitar work throughout the show. In fact,
most people I knew who were there and have never seen Bob live, thought
that they were about to be converted. They couldn't believe how good Bob's
playing was. He jammed everything out, never missing an opportunity to
impress the crowd.

Now, having been keeping a close eye on the set lists for quite some time,
I knew pretty much what to expect, although I hoped that there would be a
surprise tucked in there somewhere (like we always hope), considering the
troubles that arose in getting this show on, but nope. After Man in the
Long Black Coat (which was breathtaking), Bob said 'Hello everybody'
and then went into the standard AATW and at that point, I settled in,
knowing that there were only a few more opportunities to throw in
something different. At this point, the people (assholes) behind me
started yelling at my friends and I to sit down. Their yelling got so
loud that they were drowning out the show. They then started poking us.
Security then ordered us ito our seats. They kept the crowd shackled to
their chairs for the entire show. Everytime I stood up, I got a hand on my
shoulder. Heck, even cheering brought disdain from security and the people
behind us. 

It Takes a Lot to Laugh was not completely unexpected as the next song,
but it wrecked me anyway. He was right on, although it was a bit hard to
follow in parts.

Of course, Silvio followed this up. At this point, I believe, I was asked
to sit in my seat or leave. After some arguing, I sat down. 

The lights then went down and the acoustic set began, accompanied by a
nice slide show consisting of black and white drawings on a white
back-drop (I paid more attention to the music, sorry!). O Babe it Ain't No
Lie was better than I could have expected. Voice was very smooth and the
music was solid. Mr T. Man followed this up, with the expected crowd
reaction. He really wailed on the harp during this one. 

This was followed-up by a spectacular acoustic version of Tangled. I
believe that I had a spiritual conversion at this point. I haven't seen
him do this live before and so I am unsure if it was his standard live
version, but it had a completely different tempo than the album cut- it
rocked really hard. At this point, my friends could barely stand it. The
crowd was murmuring. I thought a rush was about to start, but it was not
to be.

Maggies Farm was next and I got the impression that most people didn't
know what song it was. 'She's 16, but she says she's 24' was a humorous
addition. Bob introduced the band after this number, to huge applause.

You're a Big Girl Now was next and it was brilliant. He pulled out the
harp and went nuts.

Everything is Broken was amazing and got a nice crowd reaction. At this
point, a guy got thrown out for dancing, yes, dancing.

The encore followed, with My Back Pages (with harp) sandwiched between

I have to say that I was very impressed with the band. Larry and Tony
smiled at each other a lot. You could tell that Larry was as in awe as the
fans at Bob's playing. Bob and Larry exchanged licks a few times and Dave
and Tony also smiled at each other a lot. Bob did some HUGE extended jams,
which were very impressive. At several points, it looked like Bob was
taunting the crowd with his harp and we all ate it up. In terms of health,
Bob looked very much alive. He looked happy and very into the performance.
Lyrically, he was on most of the time, with only a few slip-ups, one
coming during LARS, where he stumbled through a line or two, but kept on

I very much enjoyed this show (I'm still shaking). I don't really know if
I should expect to see a repeat anytime soon, but I hope to. 

If anyone out there managed to get a bootleg of this show, I would very
much appreciate getting a copy. 

Thanks for your time. If anyone wants any more details, please don't hesitate 
to ask.

Date: Tue, 08 Apr 97 08:47:11 -0700 From: Clayton Lewis ( To: Subject: Here's the review. Hi Karl: Headline in the Halifax 'Cronicle Herald' morning edition, April 7, 1997 reads: 'Dylan wows with full-throttle delivery' (I'm not sure if you want it word for word) but here it is: It was worth the wait. After 35 years and four jittery days, the more than 8,000 Bob Dylan fans who jammed into the Metro Centre Sunday night achieved closure as Dylan stepped out onto a Halifax stage for the first time in his life. It was, in typical Dylan style, a full-throttle delivery of some of his best work, without frills, sucking up to the fans, or showbiz shtick. Lights there were , and pristine sound, and maybe a little smoke and incense at the start of the show, but no circus tricks or side-show hoopla. Just Dylan, three guitars and drums, and a voice whose once youthful in-your-face edginess has mellowed into a melodious growl, though it is as full as ever of moaning vowels and bruised consonants. Dylan addressed only seven words directly to the audience, and they came in the form of a rhetorical question. "How about a hand for this band?" he asked halfway through the show, and intoduced them with his usual flawed enunciation - that is no one could make out a single word. For Dylan fans, it didn't matter a bit. They know all his songs by heart anyway. For others, you could only catch a line here and there, and that was usually a title like "Jase laik a wooman" (translated from the original Dylanese. When he brought out the harmonica, everybody went nuts. There's no sound that better typifies the Sixties as a time of youthful unrest, rebellion and thrilling causes like civil rights and anti-war demonstrations than Dylan's harmonica playing. It's the sound of protest and compassion. There was variety in his show-songs with lyrics that he not so much sang as chanted with a high, raspy croak in a voice like old, cracked, water-burned leather. After 35 years, its remarkable how well many of those powerful songs Dylan wrote, beginning in 1961, have worn. Tambourine Man, the song with which the Byrds invented folk-rock in 1965, can still bring a tear to your eye. Like A Rolling Stone can still bring a crowd of thousands to their feet. The audience was a real cross-section - teenagers, twenty-somethings, aging folkies, fifyish rock'rollers - proof that Dylan is a culture hero with a powerful and universal attraction even though he currently occupies a musical backwater well off the mainstream. It was ever thus. Dylan, of all the great legends of the Sixties, always maintained an aloofness. But today, on the stage, he is kinder. He smiles more. He's jowly, and his guitar has to be pressed into his middle-aged belly. But he looks dignified up there. And he gives an honest show. And people drive miles to see him. Reg Oderkirk and his wife Heather first heard Dylan in 1965. Reg owns all his album, knows all his songs. They came up from Truro on Friday, spent the night in a hotel, went home annoyed and came back Sunday. "He's a hundred percent better than in Ontario seven years ago," Reg says. He had been mad about the postponement, but not last night. "I had fun," he said. "all is forgiven." John Drew and John Cross, scallop draggermen from Lunenburg, set out to drive to Halifax to see Dylan three times over the weekend. Sunday night was the last chance. On Monday, the T.K.Pierce sailed with them on board. "I'm, still shocked he's here," Drew said. "You're never going to see him and hear him again," added Cross. "Bob Dylan's a legend." "He opened everybody's mind to freedom," said Drew, explaining why Dylan is such a hero to him. They are both middle-aged, which might lead you to think Dylan's influence is limited to those who knew him 30 years ago. But down on the main floor of the Metro Centre, two very young women with headbands in their hair, wearing tunics straight out of Haight-Ashbury, throw their arms across each other's shoulders, and gaze up a Dylan with rediant expressions, their faces glowing in the soft light of the candles each of them holds. Want to bet that 35 years from now they'll be talking about the night they heard Dylan sing? This was written by Staff Reporter - Stephen Pedersen I've typed it word-for-word. Please excuse any spelling mistakes. But I have the review and if I messed up something and it's not clear let me know and I can refer back to the article. I know this is Tuesday, and the concert was Sunday, But this is the Provincial edition and some news is late. I requested a Halifax Metro paper to be delivered with yesterday's review but they messed up and I can't get it until tomorrow morning. Am I wasting your time? Karl Erik: NO Later Mary.