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Bob Dylan 970418 in Albany, New York

Subject: Re: April 18, 1997 - Albany, New York - Set List
From: Barrie Grozier (
Date: 21 Apr 1997 03:20:11 GMT

Hi everybody!

  I usually don't post, but I just wanted to share my impressions about 
Bob's Albany show.  
  The show was easily the best Bob show I have seen.  The mood of the 
evening was very relaxed, the sound was excellent and the band, who all 
were impeccably dressed, was tight, following Bob's cues with apparent 
ease.  Bob himself was in great voice and his guitar playing was 
  The set itself was performed with a certain casuality; it had a lilting 
feel to it, as if to say "we're in no hurry, sit back and enjoy."
  And enjoy we did.  After "Crash On The Levee" was "Pretty Peggy-O," and 
this was the first highlight of the night.  It had a impassioned vocal, 
and Bob often, as he was apt to do throughout the evening, took extended 
guitar solos between the verses.  This song really got the crowd, at 
least from my vantage point on the floor about 20 feet from the stage, 
into it.   "Watchtower," "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" and "Most Likely You 
Go Your Way" followed in succession--all were performed well. 
  The next highlight was "Friend Of The Devil," the first song in the 
acoustic set.  It featured some impassioned guitar playing by Bob.  When 
looking at his face through the binoculars you could see his emotion as 
he played.  "Mr Tambourine Man" followed; a gentle version made 
especially nice by a group of people standing behind me who sang the 
chorus in harmony with Bob.  "Hattie Carroll" followed, and IMHO this was 
the highlight of the night.  It was a superb version made so by a very 
strong vocal by Bob. 
  "Tombstone Blues" and "Shooting Star" followed, and the main set was 
closed out with "Ballad Of A Thin Man."  This was a raucous version, 
featuring a wonderfully Claptonesque blues lick that Bob played over 
again to great effect, causing the audience to get really charged.
  The energy spilled into the first encore, "Highway 61 Revisited."  
Initially, I was a bit disappointed that "Rolling Stone" had been usurped,
 but this version was hot.   The crowd really got into it, and Bob was 
obviously getting charged up.  While playing a churning riff that meshed 
with the song's groove, he started moving about onstage, smiling and 
pointing his guitar towards the audience like a gunslinger shooting down 
targets.  An poignant "Forever Young" followed, and Bob then returned, 
wearing a cowboy hat for the usually rambunctious "Rainy Day Women #12 
and 35."

Subject: Albany 4/18/97 From: A Pignataro ( Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 14:12:07 GMT I hadn't the time to post some notes about the Albany show so I figured I would do it now. Before the show it seemed as if something by Steve Winwood or Traffic may have been playing through the loudspeakers. Did anyone recognize it? It wasn't something I was familiar with but it did sound like Winwood. Bob came out looking pretty good. Clean shaven, Grey jacket, black pants with white stripe, cowboy boots. During Crash on the Levee Bob definitely seemed pissed about something. He was looking around a lot on stage. He seemed unsettled. Pretty Peggy-O was just pretty average. When Bob has to slow down his voice on songs like this his voice vibrates to much. AATW was very good. Crowd got into it of course. You Ain't Going Nowhere was played with a bit of a Dixie feel to it. Although I had read it here I was surprised that he turned it into a sing-along at the end. It isn't one of the half dozen or so Dylan songs that the masses are familiar with. You Go your Way.. was very good. I wish Bob's vocals were mixed a little higher. He was drowned out a bit. At this point I noticed that Larry spends a good part of the show watching Bob's fingers. Still learning the songs I guess. Silvio. The first real highlight. The band really cooked at this point. I can't say for sure if the interlude in the middle of the song is from Mr. Fantasy. It could be. It was definitely spacey with a little Tex/Mex feel to it maybe. Bob's voice was great. Lonesome Death... was definitely the best part of the acoustic set. Musically and vocally everything sounded great. Friend of the Devil also was very food. Mr. Tambourine man was pretty dull tho. Like I mentioned earlier when Bob slows down his voice, it can be tough. Tombstone Blues. Bob played harp on this, if you want to call it that. He was fumbling with it the first time and seemed to need a holder for it. The second time he pulled it out it was for like half a second and almost comical. It didn't add anything to the song and may have actually taken away from a fine performance. Great vocal performance. Shooting Star. Slightly better then Peggy-O but same type of vibrations problems in his voice. Ballad of a Thin Man. Excellent. Highway 61. Best performance of the night. It just killed me. Bob was doing some unbelieveable things with the guitar. His voice sounded great. He was also taunting the audience. Glaring out at the audience repeatedly with this kind of 'I can't hear you!' kind of look. He really was enjoying himself. He was doing a couple of mini duck walks. He had the band laughing and grinning. I wish I had a video of it. Just great. Forever Young and RDW closed out the show. Two crowd pleasers. During RDW he played with the same spirit as he did on Highway 61. I thought the lighting for the show was great. No real mood lighting that made it difficult to see the band. Plus they had 8 lights that were pointed on the crowd the entire show which was real nice. You felt like that Bob wanted to see the crowd and connect. Periodically there were slides shown on a white backdrop. They were very difficult to see, and I was only 10 feet away from the stage. Except for a quick shot of Ginsberg, they all seemed to be sculpture or abdobe homes or shots of ancient Greece or Rome. Hard to say. Very enjoyable show overall. No real downers. Last time I saw Bob in Albany (1980) he mentioned the proximity to Woodstock, NY and how he used to live there. No chatter like that from the stage this time other then band intoductions. Tony P.
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 22:03:33 -0400 From: Michael Jass ( To: Subject: HELLO KARL HERE'S MY ALBANY REVIEW! ... Twas a cool gray drizzly morning as we set out on our pilgrimage, in good spirits and anxious hearts we worked our way south. It took about an hour, in what seemed like minutes, to reach the Canada / US border. It was still early and there was no line up to cross the gates. A young gentleman sitting in the booth warming his hands with a steaming cup of coffee greeted us at the gate. With a friendly and self assured manner he asked us where are you going? We responded that we are on our way to see Bob Dylan in Albany. He responded with a smile and a gleam in his eye and wished us a "safe journey" and to "Enjoy the Concert". We soon settled in a rhythmic hum of tires and engine punctuated by a swish of the wipers. Enjoying the scenery, we watched the livelihood of man and beast scroll by in the fields and rural towns that line the highway. As we approached Albany the precipitation became more intense and the rain began to evolve into glittering snow. After a six hour voyage we arrived at the focal point where Bob, ourselves and countless others will meet in eight hours. When we arrived at the R.A.C.C. at 11:00, there was no line, the venue was still open with students busily flowing through the building. Once entering the building there were a series of doors that lead to the venue, it was a large gym with stands on three sides and the stage at the fourth (west) side. We entered the venue on the gallery that circles the gym ( people were still jogging laps on the gallery when we arrived). To get to the floor it is necessary to walk down the stands. The stage is elevated four feet above the gym floor. Suspended from the ceiling on either side of the stage were stacks of speakers and three rows of lighting scaffold hanging over the stage ( the lights were being installed on the scaffolds when we arrived . On the extreme right and left of the stage there were floor mounted speakers to provide the bass. On top of these floor speakers the road crew were placing four monitor speakers facing the band, these were quite far away from where Bob would be later standing, and I imagine it would be quite difficult to actually hear these monitors over the slapback from the main speakers against the back walls. They did however provide a very open and uncluttered stage. A white back drop was suspended behind the stage, which Bob later used as a projection screen, in front of this white backdrop was a black curtain. The drum kit was elevated on a one foot high platform above the stage with no Plexiglas barrier making the stage even less cluttered. (The Plexiglas was not needed acoustically as Dave does not hit the drums as hard as Winston did). Also the bass drum had a sealed outer skin which muffled the bass drum to some degree. The only other instrument that was set up at that time was Bucky's Pedal Steel Guitar, that is one complicated instrument! It consists of two electric guitar necks hich have ten strings on each neck, and pickups. There are two levers that are controlled by the knees they serve the same purpose as a Wawa bar to bend the pitch, the pedals raise and lower the strings also changing pitch. The roadies were tuning this guitar of guitars after re-stringing it ( Not a job to be looked lightly on)!! While we enjoyed watching the setup of the stage, we had the pleasure of talking to Vince a security guard for the venue and an avid Dylan affectionado himself, he was coming to the concert this evening as a spectator. Standing on the gallery we got an excellent Aerial view of all the parts involved in the concert coming together. The roadies were unloading furniture for the dressing room, a light beige carpet, four sofas ( 2 Black, 1 Black velvet with gold trim REALLY CLASSY, and 1 Green leather ), there were also an assortment of coffee tables lamps, and what ever creature comforts you may desire. By this time it was two o'clock and it was time for them to close the venue to do the soundcheck, so back in the elements we were. Fortunately the building across the way was open and we stayed there until the line began to form. The first people to show up after us were a couple from New York City who also observed the setup of the stage. Sadie Jane appeared at about 3 o'clock and entertained us with some Kazoo renditions of Billie Holiday songs including "All of Me" of which I sang about 2 stanza's. Thanks again Sadie! The line grew as the temperature fell with the snow. It was a long four hour wait, but worth every second to see our esteemed mentor Bob. The security guard at the door was a friendly and kind fellow who held the door open so that the warm air from the R.A.C.C. would heat our freezing toes. Another benefit from the security guard's generosity was that we were able to hear part of the soundcheck! Some of the songs played as far as Sadie and I could comprehend, "Everything is Broken", "Most Likely You Go Your Way" and a couple others we couldn't hear very well, from where we were situated. Later on we also had the pleasure of meeting fellow rmder's Steve, Dave and Ray who secured front row spots to view the show. Thanks for the opportunity to meet all of you. At ten minutes past seven the flood-gates opened and we were allowed into the venue, everyone was searched at the door. As we raced in Sadie ran like a Banshee to reserve a front row center position for both of us. Thanks again Sadie, I gave her a warm hug. Due to my high heels it made running down the stairs a little difficult, my feet were also numbed due to the cold, slowly defrosting. I finally made it down standing beside Sadie throughout the show with Michael behind me. Ray was a little farther down to the left as was Dave, and I believe Steve, we all had a front row view of the show. First thing I noticed was the "Beware of Dog" sticker on the rack holding Bob's guitars, meanwhile the venue graced us with some Joe Cocker tunes before the show began. Anticipation mounting high, Sadie and I continued with some friendly conversation until the show started. The crowd here relaxed, and ready to have a good time. Lots of youngsters which I thought was fantastic, as well as baby boomers with their children definitely enlightening assuring Bob's music will be kept very alive! I must also note they were very attentive in listening to the lyrics throughout the concert many knowing several songs inside out! Ray was trying to flag down Sadie and I tried to get her attention as she was talking to a gentleman standing beside her, finally they made contact from a distance in the front row. My heart was pumping with excitement as the lights went down and the band walked on, I see Bob approaching the stage, tears of joy were starting to flood my eyes! There he is a few feet in front of me, a dream come true, those piercing blue eyes hypnotize. Here's Mr. Dylan and band's exquisite apparel for the evening, another highlight for me.: Bob looked dashing and elegant in a grey linen frock (one inch velvet band on the collar) and black stitching framing the top of the pockets. A white shirt with big cuffs, black cufflinks, western bowtie, black narrow pants with white piping down the sides, and well polished black boots. He was not wearing his usual Stetson, therefore revealing those lovely curls. Bob looks well and in really good form, despite the fact I thought he had a bit of a cold reaching for a kleenex now and then. A gruelling tour schedule and Bob still gives his 100%. Can't keep this man down! Bucky was wearing a lovely crimson dinner jacket with tails, and a royal blue shirt underneath, pants I do not remember. Tony was wearing a multi pattern silk shirt and silk pants ensemble in earth tones, topped off by a cap. Larry was wearing a grey frock coat, a white shirt (I believe) and black jeans. Dave was quite hard to see behind the drumkit, wish I could give a report of what he was wearing, but I did note he wears glasses. The entire band were a sight for sore eyes, their presence charismatic and captivating. The stage was set, the men were there, Bob front and center, Bucky to the right, Larry to the left, Tony in back between Bob and Bucky, and Dave in behind his drum kit just left of center. 1. Crash On The Levee (Down In The Flood) Bob's getting warmed up this one moves, Sadie and I start dancing. 2. Pretty Peggy-O Very sweetly sung has a wonderful old time country feel, subtle and beautiful. 3. All Along The Watchtower By this time Bob and the band are warmed up and the show finds it's own groove as they slip into that Eclectic Synchronicity where everything just falls in place. Audience very receptive. 4. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere Lovely and entrancing, sung softly with passion, again that warm country feel to it. Bob encourages audience to sing along and we do with delight. 5. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine) Really nice! 6. Silvio Bob did extended solo's on this song having a grand old time, audience drinking it in savouring every moment. Bob did some dancing about grooving and gliding. Pointing his guitar at audience several times, crowd gets charged up. 7. Friend Of The Devil (acoustic) Larry plays the violin in this song that pulls at the heart strings and really makes it special. The only thing is that upfront it was very hard to hear the fiddle, although it came out clear from the speaker stack. I'd love to hear Larry explore the violin more as Bob does his thing with the harmonica. 8. Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic) Larry plays the backup of this in a very gentle lullabye manner adding to the depth and feeling. Images of the ancient city of Petra Jordan are projected on to the back drop, then at the end of the song there is a huge double image of Ginisberg left staring at us. A very moving experience. 9. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (acoustic) Very heartfelt Bob put incredible feeling into this one, the highlight of the night for me! Sung with such compassion and grace. 10. Tombstone Blues Crowd was really moving and Bob grooving, getting down playing guitar, having lots of fun, smiling. Bob plays harp for what seems a few moments and then puts it back into his pocket. The placement of the monitors were such that Bob could not hear himself play :-( Bob introduces each member of the band, insists that Bucky stand up and take a bow,(this was really special) a well deserved applause for Bucky from the audience. It is obvious that Bob truly appreciates all efforts made by his talented band members. 11. Shooting Star Heartfelt rendition, very touching, Bucky's pedal steel really shined beautifully , gave the feeling of a church organ, divine. Bob smiles alot and is very receptive of the audience, Bob makes lots of eye contact with us. 12. Ballad Of A Thin Man "Do Ya Mister Jones" line was emphasized, again Bob was reflective throughout this song. On another note, Larry smiles at Bob several times during the evening appreciating his workmanship. Bob explored a lot of the songs with guitar solos and jam sessions, his voice clear and precise. (encore) 13. Highway 61 Revisited Bob and band are having a great time with this one, audience feeding off it excited and dancing about. Bob pivots on his heels in Chuck Berry style, cool! Great seeing Bob enjoy himself. Mike boosts me up so that I may offer Bob a gift of three red carnations and a card tucked inside. Bob was unable to pick them up as he was walking off stage when he noticed. Tommy observing, immediately picks my flowers up and places them next to Bob's guitar resting on the drumkit platform. (I really appreciated that thanks kindly Tommy!) (encore) 14. Forever Young (acoustic) Heartfelt and spiritual just lovely, bringing to mind the Old Irish Blessing. Bob receives flowers from another female member of the audience, he then goes to drumkit platform and picks up the flowers that I gave to him. With a warm and grateful smile he bows twice with both sets of flowers and looks over at me in appreciation. (encore) 15. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 Bob returns on stage sporting his white stetson with black ribbon really nice touch! As usual the crowd loves this number, Bob and band enjoying themselves immensely. After Rainy Day Women as Bob is bidding his farewells, he blows me a kiss with such fervour, then says "Thank You". I blow one back. Needless to say I was touched. This concert was a really special experience for both Michael and I we left feeling very touched by the mood Bob and band created throughout the show. Greeting Sadie and Ray we wished them well hoping to meet again sometime soon. Thanks for the great time, a memory to behold indeed! All the Best! Ann McEntee & Michael Jass "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14