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Bob Dylan 970422 in Indiana, Pennsylvania



From: Krista Elizabeth Graser (keg117@psu.edu)
Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 00:47:07 -0400


>    1.   Absolutely Sweet Marie
>    2.   Lay, Lady, Lay
>    3.   All Along The Watchtower
>    4.   Shelter From The Storm
>    5.   Pledging My Time
>    6.   Silvio
>    7.   O Babe It Ain't No Lie (acoustic) ( 1964 Elizabeth Cotten)
>    8.   Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic)
>    9.   Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)
>   10.  The Wicked Messenger
>   11.  Shooting Star
>   12.  Maggie's Farm
> 
>      (encore)
>   13.  I Shall Be Released
>   14.  The Times They Are A-Changin' (acoustic)
>   15.  Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
> 
Are you all jealous???

It will be hard to top this one... will Olean,  Boalsburg or Wheeling
even come close??

Wicked Messenger was slow and bluesy... I guess.  More country bluesy...
I don't know,  really.  Bob cued the ending with a sweep of the arm,  to
make sure everyone was together,  or whatever.  You know what I mean, 
don't you??  Kind of what Tony does with the arm of his bass sometimes? 
I was so shocked to hear it.... "A mind that multiplied the smallest
matter................."   A *huge* surprise,  to say the least.  I
don't think many in the crowd knew it,  but I sure did smile.  

What's going on with Watchtower? Has Bucky been playing an acoustic
guitar on this for a while? The intro wass him strumming that acoustic, 
and for about half a second I thought it was a different song.   Maybe
JJ used to handle that intro?

Half the auditorium was on their feet for the entire show.  The front
and the first third of the two aisles were full of people.  There wasn't
really a stage rush,  more of a general meandering at the beginning of
Sweet Marie.

That's all.  I'm not much of a reviewer.  All I know is that I had an
excellent time tonight... No negative comments from me.  It will take me
a while to fall asleep.

Take care everyone,  
Krista

Subject: April 22, 1997/IUP From: Margaret Andreas (U0A75@WVNVM.WVNET.ED) Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 00:49:04 -0400 Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) Fisher Auditorium, April 22, 1997 Sun in Taurus, Full Moon in Scorpio (Warning: Those who are offended by astrology and mysticism need read no further! ;-) The full moon shown creamy yellow, like a butter mint. It's a good thing the moon wasn't shining inside of Fisher Auditorium, because it would have melted into a creamy yellow puddle...from the heat...whew! It was about 45 degrees outside and 80 degrees inside, when me and Greg took our seats in Fisher. We had just had a nice little chat with a bevy of RMDers on the edge of the Oak Grove, enjoying the ambience of the evening. It was a real treat seeing you all again, and meeting some for the first time! The ushers (the sisters of Gamma Sigma Sigma who had donated their services) handed us Programs (!!!) and showed us to our places. (This was a regular concert that was part of the "Artist Series" of IUP. Bobby McFerrin had canceled and, luckily for us, another Bobby stepped in to fill the bill. The Program features a nice picture of Dylan with his electric guitar, in his satin overshirt...maybe from around the time of the RocknRoll Hall of Fame concert. Inside is a nicely written biography and a discography. The only problem with the biography was something that Greg noticed--"John Baez" instead of Joan. ;-) As the auditorium (a shabby 1940s-style theater) filled up, the gorgeous strains of Van Morrison set the mood. (Was Bob getting ready for his summer sojourn with the Irish R&B-Bard???) Some of the audience were season-subscribers to the Artist Series, many of whom must have had no idea what they were going to be hit with! Then, there were the IUP students, many of whom had certainly attended the historic '94 concert at the Icy Lite Ampitheater in Pittsburgh and the smokin' '96 concert at Star Lake. They seemed (along with the RMDers present) almost vibrating with anticipation. The excitement was building. Around 8 o'clock or so, there was a clamor sent up--howling, screaming, general sighing and whirring. It turned into a rhythmic roar of: Dy-LAN, Dy-LAN, Dy-LAN! As if in answer, the scent of incense filled the air, a message to the Winds, to the powers of voice, vibration and music, to be welcome, to be free. Abruptly, the lights dimmed. A small group of men sauntered out onto the darkened stage. One of them is impossible to miss, shining in his impeccably white jacket, his long legs in black with a long white stripe up the side, his hair silver wire on fire. The roar becomes deafening! The men seem unaffected, however. They pick up their instruments and get themselves situated...the one in the white jacket leans over and says something to the drummer...and at the first beat, the stage is filled with beautiful colors! And Dylan launches into a kick-ass version of "Absolutely Sweet Marie"! Ah, I would like to describe the details of the music for you, but I am too shaken by the moment! The whole downstairs of the auditorium seems to shudder for a second and then, as one, surges toward the stage. It's almost like a chemical reaction! For the rest of the concert, the audience is crowded near the band--though they never breached the stage. The lighting and the music work well together in Fisher! This is the first time I've heard Dylan and the band inside in a small space like this. It is a bit overpowering for me--but I love the soaring electric music---more like Uranus music tonight than Mercury music! Dylan himself seems immediately energized by the crowd; he knows they are there for him, no matter what he chooses to do tonight. He starts, already, tearing into some hot licks and moving in his "rocknroll spider" patterns across the stage. Dylan's voice starts off clear; later it will become quite hoarse and even include some "hacking." Then, toward the very end of the concert, it will seem to reach deep inside itself and pull out some new stronger tones...something that seems to be coming THROUGH him when he relaxes enough to open to it. But how did he GET there?!! The band is obviously in a transition-phase. Not everything works..especially the stuff left-over from JJ and Winston. I miss them both very much; however, I realize that "everything passes and everything changes." As mentioned with other reviews, the bass (as much as I love it, Tony!) was mixed way too high. (Except for nate, who likes it that way.) And the way the band physically arranged themselves on the stage seemed a bit awkward at first. I'm not sure Bucky is very comfortable yet being out there like he is. On the other hand, the new mixture of musicians has great potential, and might be jelling in a whole new way. There were staccato moments of little "break-through's" here and there throughout the night. There is definitely a whole new dynamic involved here. The new drummer keeps a steady beat, though I wish he'd be a little more experimental...and he seems to play the same whether the songs are acoustic or electric. Larry Campbell, the new lead guitarist, was watching Dylan like a hawk the whole time, trying (it seemed) to follow what he was doing, and being very serious and intense about it. (And Sadie, you were right about him! Oo la la!) Dylan, to me, carried the whole show. It seemed he had things to say and he realized that he needed to say them: his phrasing was knife-like and aimed for the jugular. The young (and young-at- heart) audience at his feet was listening as well as dancing...learning as well as levitating. ;-) "Lay Lady Lay" was a welcoming early song, featuring Bucky's pedal steel; then "All Along the Watchtower" had everybody moving to the music. Well, not everybody. The temperature had now risen to about 95 degrees, and downstairs, the audience was packed so tight that (to quote a frequent RMD poster who shall remain nameless) "If I had been any closer to the guy in front of me, I would have had to have a blood test!" I kept waiting for someone to pass out, hopefully not Bob! After the third song, there was a small exodus of audience members who realized that Bob Dylan was nothing like they remembered, and he certainly was nothing like that nice Bobby McFerrin! ;-) Now the party could really get underway! Bob seemed visibly moved by all the attention of those who stayed (most of the audience) and began to really coax from his axe all kinds of magical sounds. Whatever colors we had in our minds, he showed them to us and we saw them shine! Bob as the Moon reflecting the light of the audience and us reflecting it back to him again. "Shelter from the Storm" seemed to me a hymn to that interplay. It was a new version, one I'd not heard before, new phrasing, new beat, but it was heartfelt and real. "Pledging My Time" brought some Blues-feel to the show, always a big hit, especially with the Blues-loving Pittsburgh crowd. Bob strutted his stuff with the rocknroll guitar, pacing the stage as he played, doing his tip-toe Chuck Berry, and more... If I do a blow-by-blow report, I'll be here all night and I've gotta get some sleep! But I'll tell you a few things: "Silvio" was a crowd-pleaser, as usually, with some very psychedelic play between the lighting and the music. At the choruses, the lights would turn on the crowd, who loved it! This ended the electric set for the moment. (There was a rumor that Bob Weir was in the audience; I hoped he enjoyed this song. I know *I* did!) The Acoustic section was a bit hard for me at first; Tony's bass was vibrating so strongly I had to concentrate really hard to listen to the other instruments and Bob's voice. "Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie" was new to me, and I wish I would have been able to listen to it more closely. "Mr. Tambourine Man" was a familiar version ("Play a song for ME!"), another very popular song with the audience. "Tangled Up In Blue" was played in a very unique way, though...Bob was definitely trying to do something new with this song. It was almost comical to watch Larry straining to anticipate what Bob's next move was gonna be, and then failing at every turn. Still, and all, he was a trooper, and I think he might have caught on to something (?) right toward the end! The acoustic songs had the screen backdrop, with the old-fashioned sepia-toned photos projected upon them. They reminded me of old photos from 1930s/40s _National Geographics_, only someone had taken only PARTS of the photos, such as geometric forms--such as staircases or towers--and used them as an abstract statement. I thought I recognized one of the photos as being from Angor Wat! The last photo projected was the face of a beautiful young man; later I was told that was Allen Ginsberg. One nice lighting effect was to light the band from the front so that their huge silhouettes appeared on the backdrop. The Electric Instruments were back with a bang: "Wicked Messenger"! Greg said, "That's his Passover song." And it was. It was country and rock and also had some intense chording, a la Patti Smith. A powerful version, that still needs some work. Bob finished the song by repeating the beginning: "...for his voice it could not speak, but only flatter." This song seemed to say a LOT tonight, and the young people WERE listening, as well as the young-at-heart. "Shooting Star" followed, and was done very nicely. Bob's voice, though hoarse, carried much emotion in it for this song, it obviously means a lot to him. A rollicking version of "Maggie's Farm" was next...a real anthem of free-will, with everybody singing along. Bob was smiling and pointing to some of the audience members, "zapping" them with his bliss. The encores were my favorite part of the show! Bob's voice seemed to get better and he also seemed to access a deeper level in his expression and his guitar-playing. He also began encouraging the band members, especially Larry Campbell, to express themselves. "I Shall Be Released" was beautiful in its simplicity, with a nice long jam that went on and lasted into eternity. I swear he changed the words to "...somewhere so high above it all." The audience applauded his words and rippled with an energy that lit up in some arm waving and bic-lighting. The acoustic guitar came back for "The Times They Are A-Changin'," another crowd-pleaser. The words as Bob spoke them, so clear and to the point, were saying something about Truth, Time, and Change...and the music that binds them in ever-changing relationships. The last song "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" was, unexpectedly, my very favorite of the evening. Bob kicked out the jams and the whole band began to work as a whole. Bob goaded Larry Campbell into some very Blues-y guitar work, and Larry challenged him back to "tell him something" with that guitar of his. The whole place was rockin' and rolling' and some kind of THING happened that I just can't describe. All I can say is that, at the end, Bob did this gesture where he opened his arms to the audience and brought the energy back to himself and then sent it out again. It was very tender and very sincere. (He does the most marvelous things with his body!) And then he walked offstage by going toward Larry on his right (where previously he had exited stage left), and Larry gave him a little pat on the shoulder. Then they walked all the way around the back of the equipment and finally exited stage left. We walked out into the night and saw the Moon. I remembered the astrology reading for this particular moment in time: Full Moon squares Neptune, then enters Scorpio. Neptune sometimes leads to confusion, and Scorpio takes no prisoners. Be careful misreading someone, then holding it against them. If you care enough to pay attention to the subtle clues, listening as much with your heart as your head, it's possible to deepen relationships now. This is the Buddha Full Moon, and it speaks of comfort versus desire. Late tonight, Venus squares Uranus, and both are aspected by the Moon. Volatility in relationships is possible, but this can also be a time when breakthroughs in partnership, love and self-worth arrive. We walked through the night, not able to relax until we had walked across the whole campus. The concert had again accessed something deep inside. The yellow moon was beginning to look less like a butter mint, and more like a shining gold doubloon. x, Marguerita
Subject: IUP highlights From: Mike Fallon (ffrink@telerama.lm.com) Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 04:12:18 GMT Well, not mentioning Bob's tux and the pants with the stripe, some highlights. The show kicked off with a fine 'Absolutely Sweet Marie',a nice surprise. The early stage rush was also a nice surprise. Then a surprise addition to the set list , 'Lay, Lady, Lay'. 'Peggy-O' was scratched off the set-list. (Damn!) 'Pledging My Time', also was an early hi-lite. 'Silvio' was a nice version that featured, to my ears, a tease of 'Dear Mr Fantasy' for several slowed down bars, before ending up-tempo. The acoustic set opened with 'Babe, it Ain't No Lie, followed by 'Mr Tambourine Man'. Then a nice 'Tangled Up in Blue' that had the crowd raving. The post acoustic set featured a hot 'Maggies Farm' and a moving 'Shooting Star' The encore featured 'I Shall Be released' followed by 'times they are a-changing' then the perfunctory ' Rainy Day Women #12 and 35' Bob seemed in great spirits, smiling when the crowd responded to those three and four note solos....well. off to bed, for me, mike fallon off to wheeling in a week, hoping for an FOTD or a Nowhere
Subject: Concert Review - Indiana, Pennsylvania April 22, 1997 From: "William C. Parr" (wparr@UTK.EDU) Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 00:40:56 -0400 Indiana, Pennsylvania, April 22, 1997, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Fisher Auditorium Lots of material in this long post. Miscellaneous events surrounding the concert, information from cue sheet, set list, review of the concert, and then, last of all, some thoughts on the current band. I had originally thought I wouldn't be able to make the show, but a change in my schedule and an assist from a friend worked together to land Jane and I in the car Monday afternoon, driving to Indiana, Pennsylvania. Checked in late Monday night to the Holiday Inn, where we spotted the equipment vans. Tuesday we got up, ate breakfast (spotted some of the roadies in the restaurant at the Holiday Inn, confirming our observation from the night before) and drove over to check out the venue. I strolled into the Fisher Auditorium, acting like I knew what I was doing (contrary to fact). After about 10 minutes of looking around, someone spotted me, and asked me to leave. Oh well. Nice looking auditorium. Looks like all seats are good seats. Well, we spent the afternoon in Amish country, and went by a local music store. They gave Jane a copy of the concert poster, which amusingly lists on it "only 900 seats remain!!!" (Amusing since the venue seats less than 1800 people.) Talked to the clerk at the store. He indicated that some people were seriously disappointed that Bobby McFerrin had canceled, and that Bob Dylan was the substitute! The poster says "The first 700 seats were previously purchased by Artist Series Season Subscribers for the "canceled" Bobby McFerrin show. Bob Dylan is the replacement." Well, finally Jane and I meet up with some folks before the concert, and then travel to the Fisher Auditorium. They have PROGRAMS!!! With about 3 pages of text on Dylan's career, a discography, list of Grammy Awards, Books, Motion Picture Roles, CD-ROMs, guest appearances, . . . A few minutes after 8:00 p.m., the lights darken and..... On come Dylan and the rest of the band. Fashion report (brief): Dylan is wearing the white tux. No hat (Thank you!). It looks hot. And, obviously, becomes so as the night goes on. Larry Campbell looks extremely young. 1.Absolutely Sweet Marie Not a total shock, of course, but nice. Very well done. Dylan's voice hits its stride after a couple of phrases. None of the "my voice shows up in full strength for Watchtower, and not before" that I've noted in shows in the past two years. Dylan is there, and ready. Something which shows up very obviously in this first number, and continues unabated: Dylan is playing lead. I doubt that Larry played lead for more than about 2 minutes total THE WHOLE NIGHT. And the concert lasted over 1 hour, 50 minutes. Something else: Garnier, Baxter and Kemper are rather subdued. Not nearly as outgoing and interactive with the crowd as Garnier and Baxter have been for the last couple of years, and Kemper for the few shows I've seen in which he has performed. Something begins to happen with this song, and continues through Watchtower: Folks begin to leave from the front section! The typical person: In their 40s or older (Hey, I'm 43!) and dressed a bit formally (often at least a sport coat for the men). Leaving with a look on their face which suggests that they're wondering "what happened to that nice young man with the charming folk songs. Marge, I think we've wandered into a rock concert by mistake!" The stage rush began when the lights went down, before the start of Absolutely Sweet Marie. I hesitated, and we never got any further up than Row C. 2.Lay, Lady, Lay Soulful. Thoughtful. Some softness to this one. I'm glad Dylan's voice was strong, because the thought of Lay, Lady, Lay with the voice breaking is not pleasant. Good, solid job. Larry Campbell hardly moves anything except his hands during the entire song. 3.All Along The Watchtower This one starts off, with Dylan clearly playing lead. He wants us all to know who is playing lead. Dylan as guitar hero. Bended knees, stepping back, and then rushing the front of the stage. I sense he's having a lot of fun with this one. A few smiles find their way onto his face. 4.Shelter From The Storm This is done so well that if the concert had ended immediately after this song, it would have been worth the 11 hour drive from Knoxville to Indiana, Pennsylvania. Slow, careful phrasing. In fact, something I noticed the whole night: Dylan doesn't seem to be rushing lyrics! Haven't timed this objectively, but the clear impression I got during the concert was that Dylan was handling the lyrics slowly, carefully - not rushing through to the finish. 5.Pledging My Time Thank you, Bob. This is getting to be a really good setlist. But the surprise (psst -- don't tell, it's Wicked Messenger!) is yet to come. 6.Silvio Typical of the Silvios I've heard from November 1996. Which is to say, very good. Some very interesting guitar work, which sounds extremely familiar, but I can't place it. Anybody got a clue? I think that some of Dylan's lead work is a direct echo of something I've heard before. Not much of a lead, in fact not any, but perhaps someone else has noticed it . . . About 1/3 of the way into the song, Dylan breaks out into a really big smile. He continues to smile for about 10 - 15 seconds, then seems to notice what he's doing and contains himself. The smiles break out from time to time through the rest of the night, but nothing as big as we see here in Silvio. 7.O Babe It Ain't No Lie (acoustic) ( 1964 Elizabeth Cotten estate) So, that's what all the fuss has been about re this song. This song is just ABSOLUTELY GREAT AS PERFORMED. When Dylan returns to "Babe, It Ain't No Lie" time and again, you know that he loves this song, that he loves performing it, and that his voice is strong, strong, to deliver as he does. I note that there were no alternatives listed on the cue sheet for O Babe It Ain't No Lie, as there were none for Sweet Marie, Watchtower and Silvio. 8.Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic) Well done. I've probably heard this live so many times that it's hard to identify anything special about this performance. Well, quite competently done, gets a strong response from the audience. 9.Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) Again, very well done! 10.The Wicked Messenger Joy, oh joy! The bass on this is absolutely, shall we say, throbbing! Never heard this one before live, in person. Very well done. The phrasing is great. As on all the numbers this night, Bob is enunciating carefully and clearly - loving treatment on the lyrics. I've got to get the tape and see what kind of lyric variations we have. 11.Shooting Star Thanks again, Bob! "Last fire train from hell......... Last time you might hear the Sermon on the Mount." Again, this song is worth the trip. But look at what else it is surrounded with. 12.Maggie's Farm There's passion in this Maggie. No ordinary, cursory version. We care about that misrepresentation of age (smiling!). And we ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more. Dylan and the rest of the band leave. And, after a couple of minutes return to play: (encore) 13.I Shall Be Released Really interesting choice for a first encore. It's played with strong instruments. 14.The Times They Are A-Changin' (acoustic) Well done. An obvious crowd favorite. Except, of course, for . . . 15.Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 No surprises here - except that I enjoy the song! This has never been my favorite. I do greatly enjoy the double entendre which is the core of what makes the song work. The cue sheet (songs not played were scratched out on the one Jane got from the stage - which was by Kemper, where Dylan turned around to look between songs). Songs in all caps are written in handscript on the cue sheet. The cue sheet will be available on the WWW beginning Thursday afternoon (annotated as described above before the concert, by we know not whom - though Jane got it by direct handoff from the person who took it from its place on the stage, walked to her, and gave it to her) at http://funnelweb.utcc.utk.edu/~wparr/SlowTrain.html Just follow the link to Concert Reviews, and take the one for April 22, 1997, Indiana, Pennsylvania. SO, HERE'S THE TYPED VERSION OF THE CUE SHEET: 1. Sweet Marie 2. If Not For You / Peggy-O LAY LADY 3. Watchtower 4. 4Th St./Shelter 5. Pledging My Time (G or A) / I Don't Believe You 6. Silvio ---------- 7. Oh Babe 8. Desolaiton/Baby Blue/Tambourine 9. Mama/Desolation/Tangled/Masters ---------- 10. 5 Believers/Wicked Messenger 11. Shooting Star/I Believe You 12. Mr. Jones/Maggie's ---------- 13. Highway/Rolling Stone RELEASED 14. One Too Many Mornings/Times 15. RAINY DAY WOMEN 12 & 35 Just the plain set list (as reported on Bill Pagel's excellent Tour Update page): 1.Absolutely Sweet Marie 2.Lay, Lady, Lay 3.All Along The Watchtower 4.Shelter From The Storm 5.Pledging My Time 6.Silvio 7.O Babe It Ain't No Lie (acoustic) ( 1964 Elizabeth Cotten estate) 8.Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic) 9.Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) 10.The Wicked Messenger 11.Shooting Star 12.Maggie's Farm (encore) 13.I Shall Be Released 14.The Times They Are A-Changin' (acoustic) 15.Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 Some closing thoughts: 1) Dylan has obviously decided that he is the star, that people come to see and hear him, and that he should play lead guitar virtually all the time. That the other instrumentalists should fill, provide background, but in general not stand out. And they didn't. I like it. Though I do sort of miss the cohesiveness of the previous band (going back to before Winston's departure.). 2) I have no clear idea of how Larry Campbell is going to fit in. He played rhythm guitar virtually the whole night. Didn't pull out the fiddle. Nothing special. 3) This show is a must see. IMHO, we have seen a continual climb in the quality of Dylan's performances, from 1994 to early 1995 to late 1995 to early 1996 to late 1996 to now. 4) This was a fine setlist.
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 12:41:55 -0500 (EST) From: SCOTT E BURNS (S_SEBURNS@MAIL.CLARION.EDU) Subject: Bob Dylan at Indiana University of Pa To: karlerik@online.no Hey, love the site...here's a review of Dylan's show at Indiana University of PA if you're interested. It was great!!! A rainy day, an intimate campus setting in a equally intimate performance hall, and the poet that has been painting crazy patterns on the sheets of American consciousness for more than thirty years--this night he wore his absolute best Bob Dylan mask. The setting was buzzing with listeners of all ages, filling in the arena and waiting for the man who has drifted into the memories of the more anonymous poets who have listened, contemplated, shared and experienced over and over through the years. The people who attended ranged from those who have been experiencing Dylan for over thirty years to those who were freshly introduced to these rhythms of one of the most important souls of American consciousness: a true poet for the common man and woman. And you could feel it. None of it could have been any fresher than when Dylan broke out "Absolutely Sweet Marie" to open the show. I am just familiar enough with the tour to know that this was something special, and you could hear it, see it, damn, you could even smell it in the aisles. Dylan, in a outlandishly stylish white jacket, immediately was all over the rhythm, once again reaffirming my faith in the power and beauty of rhythm guitar (and the fact that Dylan is among the best ever at switching between rhythm and lead). The Lay Lady Lay was an equally rare treat and was done with a bite that took hold of all my memories of the song in a brand new way; It was funny that a friend of mine who had commented on how many ways he had heard Lay Lady lay performed by Dylan (and hoping he would play it this particular night) turned to me at the beginning of the song's second verse and said, "damn, I just figured out which song he is playing." But he loved it. i loved it. The crowd loved it. Dylan sang each word, played each guitar riff, as though something was at stake. When he broke into Watchtower (a touchstone for his shows) the conviction continued to pour through. Dylan's rapport with his band kept it all sounding fresh and as though it was all reinvented on the spot, reinvented just for this night. I've heard so many covers of Watchtower (by both friends and famous strangers) that it was worth the price of admission alone to see the man who penned it jamming on it. "Shelter from the Storm" and "Pledging My Time" reminded me of the deep sense of poetic brilliance that Dylan possesses, has always possessed. From the angry, wailing conviction of the invocation of "Twas in another lifetime" to the softening touch of "try imagining a place where its always safe and warm/ come in she said I'll give you, shelter from the storm." Dylan wrapped rhythm around emotion and experience in ways no other artist can. "Pledging my Time" was simply beautiful and was the point of the concert where I truly felt that this was the most important concert I had ever seen for that rare intimacy and genius pouring off of every word, every note Bob Dylan played. This was the real thing. The fact that the concerts accommodated such small crowds made it even more special. The part of me that wished so many more people could share this experience was confronted by the realization that something is lost and something is gained in everything we encounter, a sentiment that so often dances through Dylan's songs, a sentiment I was feeling as I listened to the beautiful delicacy of the acoustic set that came in the middle of Dylan's show. The upright bass was esthetically welcome for the sound as well as the appearance. The lighting cast Bob larger than life against the backdrop as he strummed through 'Silvio' and the lesser known "O Babe it Ain't No Lie." Watching Dylan's fingers as he played through the intricate rhythms, his hand never resting, yet alternately flying across the fret board and slowing it down to a softer, subtle touch. The crowd was so responsive and I sensed Dylan was feeding off the crowd just as much as the crowd fed off of him. Nowhere was this more apparent than as he led into "Mr. Tambourine Man". The crowd loved it and Dylan, characteristically, performed it with his own unique flair. The backdrop flashing images behind the band culminated, at the songs close, with Allen Ginsberg's photo--a nice tribute Dylan has been offering up for his longtime friend. It meant a great deal to me as my mind flashed through the past and made me, once again, recognize the importance the man on stage truly encompassed. Having played "Tangled up in Blue" countless times on my own guitar, I loved every second getting to hear the one who penned the words perform such a classic--the crowd was unanimously with me in feeling this way--fifteen-hundred people dancing and cheering the bittersweet love song is something i will never forget. Dylan has such an amazing ability to pour emotions on just the right words of a song, an ability that was shining through on both this song as he sang "the only thing i knew how to do was just to keep on keeping on" and in "I shall be Released" when he sang the powerful words "Way down next me in this lonely town, there's a man who swears he's NOT to BLAME, All day Loooong, I hear Him crying out loud, just calling out that heeee's been framed". His words seemed so damned appropriate in the small, lonely town setting. "Wicked Messenger", a song Patty Smith just covered on her recent album, was a rare, unexpected treat that Dylan got good and funky in on the rhythm. "Maggie's Farm" was amazing. Exactly the kind of a song college students need to listen to every so often to keep their heads together. When he sang "I try so hard, to be just who I am, but everybody wants you, to be just like them", I couldn't help thinking that not enough college students are listening to the words and ideas this artist can lay bare so well. As mass media continues to commodify American consciousness, few artists have been able to remain the enigma that this man on stage has. Anyone who values the ability to look at things through their own experiences and interpret them through their own poetic imagination (and the minds of William Blake and Shelly come to mind here), should definitely try and catch this performer in one of the intimate settings of this tour. The crowd was fervent about the encores, and although it can almost be cliche in concerts these days, Dylan played up to the part extremely well. The crowd knew he would be back onstage and (as I imagined, right or wrong, the band slipping off-stage to, as they say, get their heads together) the hall filled with chants of Dylan and various shouts and clapping of hands that erupted even more as the white jacket Bob wore appeared on stage. The crowd blended beautifully with the mood Dylan poured through both "I Shall be released" and then "The Times They Are A-Changin". The latter, a friend commented that, although he had heard the song a thousand times, sounded as though it had been recreated for just this moment. The whole show seemed that way to everyone I spoke with afterwards. The people who lingered outside the small university hall appeared delighted with all they had experienced. It was a special night made possible by one of the greatest artists of my lifetime. The poet Michae l McClure, writing about Dylan's 1974 concert , that "It is a mistake to wonder which poetry will matter 30 years from now. We should wonder what is wrong if Dylan's songs do not mean something to us today". The Bob Dylan who sang of protest throughout the sixties and sang of tangled love, religion and family through the seventies is still singing today; age and experience has brought all the protest and questions into a emotional, lively performance that allows intense emotional harmonies and melodies to be played off of a good time. Dylan actually seemed to have fun as he clowned it up for the crowd during his final songs, it was funny and i found myself laughing on top of all the other mixed emotions that swept over me throughout the evening. Dylan's signature closer(and closure) for this tour, "Rainy Day Women", was one of the first Dylan songs I ever encountered and was a nice culmination to the evening. if there was one song everyone knew, this was it. You could feel everyone letting go, feeling good, sharing something that didn't need to be put into words beyond what Bob himself was saying. Everyone knew, and everyone carried off a bit of the evening into their own mythologies, into their own songs--the kind of songs that mean a little more each time you hear them. scott burns clarion pa s_seburns@mail.clarion.edu
Subject: Indiana PA--hot hot hot From: dwb (dwb99+@pitt.edu) Date: Wed, 23 Apr 1997 17:54:10 +0000 since no one else has given a long review (no surprise, as there wer just 1500 lucky ones in attendence), here goes: Bob was clearly delighted to be in such a small and intimate hall. he wore that vegas cowboy outfit, without the hat. sweet marie was in a word, sweet. and set a powerful and inspired tone for the night. all bob on the solos, as throughout the night--perhaps campbell is still learning the songs or is more comfortable with the fact that he's second chair to a throne. bob's solos were fine for the most part, save for the stuck on the note solo during tangled, but more on that later. lay lady was slow and taunting, a seduction of blues with a hint of what comes next. watchtower once again proved itself a song that can't be killed. how many years has it been in this spot? and yet the energy was tactile. nice acoustic opening from tony, and some raucaous additional choruses in the jam. campbell again had no solo space, but his rhythm playing is competent, though not particularly stunning. perhaps he'll grow into the spot. shelter was the creme de la creme, too good to be described. slow and smoldering. not at all the song from rolling thunder, and somehow better even. pledging my time was mistaken by many at first as lot to laugh, but by the time the verses started, everyone knew what they were hearing. it was a treat, heavy on the backbeat and powering towards the finale. already by this point bob was grinning and teasing the crowd at the front of the stage. not a single softhead rushed the stage! how nice, probably because the band was set back nearly 20 feet. silvio was silvio, and did what it was supposed to. poor campbell, who has a simple expression on his face sometimes, didn't know the words to the chorus, but hey, he'll have plenty of time to learn them still. a strong, if ordinary version, with the highlight being an allman brothers-like break and space jam in a different key and tempo. really quite nice. oh babe was delish, tamborine man wonderful, full of extra choruses, but no harp, and tangled, well tangled had a few problems, not the least of which was that bob missed a number of verses and couldn't find anywhere to go with his solo and settled on the same triad for 6 minutes--it got a little silly--and campbell wasn't living up to bob's expectations for the musical foreground. still, the acoustic segment was terrific. wicked messenger lilted and tilted, done in at half speed reggae. hello, this was the best i've seen in 5 years or more. everything about it, including the long jam, was inspired. shooting star, tender and potent, tears a flowin. maggies stands the test of time. released was written in on the cue sheet, and it was the treat we couldn't really expect after everything we'd gotten so far. times a changin was solid, but when bob went for the harps, he couldn't find the right one and cmae back with a guitar solo that revealed his aggravation. rainy day, well hey, so be it. all in all a terrific show, better than the last i saw, ann arbor last tour, a show ruined by flakes running to the stage as though they think they're somebody. anyway, a tape exists of the show last night--5th row--and will circulate sooner than later. dwb
Subject: IUP Student Paper Review From: Margaret Andreas (U0A75@WVNVM.WVNET.EDU) Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 10:52:00 -0400 _The Penn_ Wednesday, April 23, 1997 Indiana University of Pennsylvania BOB DYLAN PERFORMS TO SOLD-OUT CROWD IN FISHER AUDITORIUM by Mike Russo, Penn Staff Writer It's been almost four decades since Bob Dylan struck his first chords at a University of Minnesota coffee house. And for the young men and women who stared in awe at his dimly lit figure hunched over his guitar, Dylan left each a mental snapshot frozen in time. It's amazing the memories and feelings we can retain in such simple melodies, and looking into the nostalgia-glazed eyes of the over- thirty crowd at Tuesday night's Major Events, Fisher Auditorium show, it was apparent that, to them, time continues to stand still. And why not? Four decades, forty seven albums (twenty two of which were released before I was born), three Grammy awards, five motion picture roles and two CD ROMS later, he's still churning out memories for the youth of today. While socio-political climates may change, the driving forces behind his music are as crystal clear as the purple haze they were first witnessed under. Bob Dylan has taken America's most honest musical forms, blues and folk, and made his mark manipulating them in such a timeless way that junior high schoolers bumped hips with aging hippies. This potential cacophony of diversity was instead intertwined into one big, glorious wall of energy that could be heard well outside the auditorium walls. Taking all of the grandiosity that was the Sixties and Seventies, papa Dylan showed his young proteges exactly what it is to rock 'n' roll. Dipping liberally into Nineties technologies and glittering his stage with startling visuals, Dylan brought the visions in his head to the fore in a previously impossible way. Cascading lights fell against imaged backdrops in such a mesmerizing way, I was beginning to form some permanent freeze frames of my own. At 56, Dylan is still living the life every young artist dreams of. He is one of the few personalities who can rely on the power of his name to propel his legacy. For every kid out there who's never heard "Like A Rolling Stone," there are five more raiding their parents' record collections and turning on their lava lamps. As we move farther and farther from our apple pie roots, it's comforting to know that we still have a handful of artists reminding us what it was that got us here. Yes, these times they are a changin', but for those two hours, time stood still.
Subject: Indiana, PA (long and frenzied) From: Tom Lace (tomlace@WESTOL.COM) Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 01:13:41 -0400 Dear rmd folks, I composed this review (actually as part of a letter) as a personal account to a generous friend and fellow Dylan fan, then thought I'd send it along to rmd for general comsumption. Here goes: Scene From A Different Point Of View ....Now the show! From my view atop a steep balcony--this place seats about 1500, a bit long and narrow--reminds me a lot of a high school auditorium (maybe reminded Dylan this way also?)--and I listen to a final sound check of bass, and notice it too loud to the point of vibrating. I think this got turned down a little, but the bass remained pretty prominent the whole show. Next I see the vague forms of figures approaching from the right rear of the stage (as I face it), one of whom is recognizable by his white outfit. He carried a tall cowboy hat but set it down at the back of the set, before coming into full view, and before the lights came up. When lights are up, I see the layout (again as I face it) with rhythm guitar on left, drums behind on left, on a higher sub-stage. Dylan is center, with bass just behind and to the right of that. On right sits pedal steel guitar, with string bass idling on its side on the floor in front of the steel. They move quickly into Absolutely Sweet Marie and seem instantly in form. Dylan's enthusiasm and voice (of course, relatively speaking) seem fine. While I never much paid attention to it before, rmd has tuned me into his wardrobe, which tonight included a matched basic white western suit. Pants had black trim up side seam, coat had thin black trim around cuffs of coat sleeves and side pockets of jacket. Thicker trim up coat sleeves along vent, and around neck portion of lapel flap. Black boots, white shirt (mostly hidden by buttoned coat), and western tie la Bat Masterson (maybe James Garner sent him this thing). Along with the hat, which he never brought out into full view, this looked like a matched set. Where do you buy this stuff--Hollywood set leftover shop?? Another comment on his appearance. I thought I noticed this last year, but from quite afar through binoculars I wasn't sure--he's got a paunch that fits just right above the curve of his electric guitar. In fact he seems to use the guitar to support it, just as a pregnant lady supports her belly with her hands. Oh well, his current fashion as seen by me. Part way into this first number, the crowd had *rushed* the stage. *Drawn in* would be more like it. This wasn't the wild, attention seeking, who-is-really-the performer-here? stuff I've seen in the past. These people just had to get closer to the source. I was trying to mentally note the above mentioned layout and dress, and the next thing I notice is that his stage is surrounded, and he definitely fed on this all night. Tony G. at bass was Mr. Kool --seems to love what he's doing up there, and plays role as back seat quarterback to the group--he and Dylan conferenced after many of the tunes at the front edge of the drum stage, where a small gooseneck lamp lit what must have been the cue sheet (although another sheet was taped to the floor below Dylan's mike). There seemed to me a role reversal thing involving Tony G and the new guitarist. I'm used to aloof bass players (not that I've ever liked this stereotype) who move hardly a muscle above their elbows, often looking off into the void, in their own world the whole night. Tony seems attuned to everyone around him, smiling, grooving, and fully enjoying the entire deal, while the new guitarist seemed to be the motionless/emotionless one. Potted plant (a pretty one at that) would better describe it. He played virtually no lead guitar all night (actually did a little very late in the show) and looked extremely tentative. With his comparative youth he seemed a kid who had been told to behave and listen--and he obeyed to the letter. Probably he's just not yet found his place in Dylan's orbit. Anyway, his was the traditional bass player's one as I saw it. Dylan took an early and obvious up front lead guitar role, and the crowed cheered this from the onset. There was a synergism this night--Dylan, the stage rush, the crowd's vocal response, the venue--that began early and grew. One of those had-to-be-there things, but quite tangible to those present. The second number was Lay Lady Lay--it took awhile for me to identify it. You know how his songs have structural similarities, and I think he plays with the intros as a musical intrigue to his astute audience, or maybe I had too many beers! This version was slow, but percussion line marked by a cowbell (or some such clanker) for the main rhythm--not much snare noise here. He finished this one with his "thanks evrybudeee!" and got an absolute roar from the crowd which I think raised him another notch. Watchtower was next. I've grown tired of this one, but have begun to pay attention with the viewpoint that he must have a purpose in these fixed numbers. I found myself really liking this version. His lyrical performance was tops. The clarity, even the timbre of his voice was surprising. He seemed to be trying for good diction, as if to say, *OK, this audience is a good one, let's give them a show to remember.* Of course I'm reading a bit into this, but he did seemed determined. He also seemed to be using his quirky voice as a tool. Tonight, when in the lower end of his register, the voice was clear and strong (as above), and when he moved up it cracked and moaned and broke. He was using this for effect and expression, and I found it appealing. He was again on this song thoroughly into lead guitaring. Now I'm not a musician, but this guitar playing was no joke. He did a fine job, was obviously totally focused on the task, and got excellent crowd feedback. When guitar soloing, he'd back off the mike, legs apart, swaying with the beat of the solo, then would knock his knees during riffs, even squatting into them, seemingly lost in the music, brought back to us by the crowd response. It was something to see. Next was Shelter From The Storm which he sang in an unreal voice--a voice and delivery reminiscent of Brownsville Girl. The song actually gave me the tingles, with a tear or two appearing to boot. The power of this performance was moving. It was during this number that I realized a strong interplay between his lead guitaring and his vocal strength/performance. As he got more and more positive audience response from his guitar playing, the level of his vocal performance was raised. After he'd shoot out the *shelter from the storm* refrain he'd back straight back from the mike with a shuffle and then stop, legs part, locked, and assume the lead guitar role, then bending, writhing, knee-knocking, and squatting through the instrumental portions--all to the delight of the crowd. Pledging My Time followed--a bluesy, bass-rattling version. The pedal steel on this was intense, Tony G. seemed to be loving it all, Dylan was full speed into being the main guitar man, and the new guy was motionless, a mechanical fixture seeming too timid to get into the flow. Next, Silvio. This got the crowd jumping, which still from my back row balcony view I could watch spreading through the house. The stage rushers caught the spirit first, and it pulsed its way backward in a visible wave. Once the crowd was fully revved, I saw Dylan give a huge smile, unlike any I'd ever seen on stage, which he aimed right at the front row folks. He seemed to lean into them, as if trying to hear what they were yelling to him. Before this number was finished, Dylan was gliding, prancing, dancing, and smiling his way through his center stage space. The ending instrumental portion of the song segued into a free-from jam la the Grateful Dead, only to find its way back to the Silvio structure before ending. The crowd loved it all, giving Dylan a huge ovation after the tune, which he answered with a conspicuous bow . Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie was the first acoustic number. I'd not heard it before. I basically loved it. The band seemed together on this one. Dylan's phrasing and playing were again tops. Baxter played Dobro on this one, and new guitarist seemed to come alive here. Tony G. was all up and down the neck of his upright bass. The whole thing had a harmonic, down homey feel to it. I think it was during this number that I noticed projected pictures on large screen behind the stage. I was so into watching Dylan and the band members that I focused little on the content of the background images. These changed sometimes quickly, and randomly. Near the end of this tune the images stopped, and a front stage ground level light source projected a silhouette of the entire band onto the screen--this was great--wish I'd of had my camera for this effect. Mr. Tambourine Man was next. This began with little instrumental intro. Voice was tops, crowd was at first cheering in recognition, then more mesmerized. A steady stream of background pictures ran the entire song. Dylan is still running the guitar show. I feel like I'm witnessing the Pied Piper up there. I'm thinking what a stubborn, independent, often argumentative person I am (probably like many of the others in this hall), and here I am ready to follow this guy anywhere. I remember thinking at the moment, *this guy just doesn't own this song, he owns the spell that goes with it.* As the song ends, the final screen image, taking up only the upper left corner, is a shoulders up photo of Alan Ginsberg, suspendered and pensive looking. This image is up for maybe 3-5 seconds and then gone, and the song is over. I think just then, *we all have our Tambourine Man--I'm here realizing Dylan is that to me--maybe Ginsberg is that to him.* Who knows? Tangled Up In Blue was next. Baxter brought out mandolin for this one, the drum beat was nice, and I've by now abandoned my back row view for the front crowd. This may qualify for an X file. Wicked Messenger followed. Oddly, I knew immediately what he was playing, even though I hadn't heard it in years. I was, at that moment, not aware of just how infrequently he's performed this one. This version had a twangy, mid-speed feel to it. The lyrics were easily discerned, he repeated the first verse again at the end, stopping abruptly after the final line *for his tongue it could not speak but only FLATTERRRDD!* He wanted that line to be heard and remembered. Next--Shooting Star. The voice here was strong and loud--let's say it had a mature husk to it. His articulation and timing were wonderful. This was sung in his World Gone Wrong voice. He sang it slowly, pensively, as if pondering every verse, every phrase before he uttered them. The final *I seen a shooting star tonight, sllllliiip away.* was sung painfully, like *why why did I let this happen!* Maggie's Farm followed. He started slow--slow tempo that is. He seemed to want us all to get the message on this one. This time the refrain went *ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm noooooo more! As the song progressed, so did the tempo, with us all pretty well wound up by the finish. I noticed during this number the oldest person I've yet to see at a Dylan concert--70 plus woman, attractive, white haired, staying put in her seat but still there for the twelfth tune (she probably was one of the folks there by virtue of an artists series subscription, for which Dylan was a fill in performer for a canceled Bobby McFerrin show). While on this topic, in addition to the usual age mix, I saw an older couple up front, enmeshed in the stage rush. The more robust looking male was sitting and tired looking, the frailer female companion, with her cane, was up the whole time, bouncing to the music, and stayed right there 'til the show was over! Lastly, I saw an adult Down's syndrome man, with his older parents, who was on his feet and boogieing along to the whole show--no one had a better time tonight!. The ovation after Maggie's Farm was stunning. The band left the stage, the roar just lasted and lasted, turning into rhythmic clapping. Dylan and the boys returned within a minute, the clapping returning into a roar which filled the hall. A very inspired I Shall Be Released was the first encore. And this was a serious encore--an *OK you earned it* totally dedicated effort on Dylan's part. Thoughts of an old friend who sang this song to ease his personal pain during the paying of his conscientious objector dues way back when came to mind. I'd have given about anything to have my old pal here to listen to this version. Dylan got every emotional drop he could out of this song, and sang it as if he wanted us all to hear his every word. A very personal sounding performance. Between verses he'd scan the crowd, I think just sucking in the vibes from all the rapt faces aimed his way. The final three notes of the song had him signaling the end with the neck of his guitar--as he often does to the drummer--only now it was to us all. He then bowed, and received another explosive ovation, one of true adoration. The Times They Are 'A Changin' was encore number two. There was little cord play or disguise at the beginning of this one. Pretty directly he hit into *Come gather 'round people...* And we were all gathered 'round, from the stage rush to the closeness of the entire room. Tony G. sported an acoustic bass for this one, B. Baxter the mandolin. Dylan ran through another lead jam, this time on the high end of his guitar neck. He seemed to be using his guitar as his harmonica tonight. He received that same crowd response from guitar soloing as I've seem him get from the harp, yet this seemed to turn him on more. During this jam he got into a guitar repartee with the front row folks, him sucking up their praise and applause, smiling, playing, bobbing his head, staring, and carrying us all along on his musical ride. Don't think I've ever seen him smiling so much--and sweating--the guy was working his but off for us. When this one ended, the roar went up again, and Dylan bowed, while holding the tips of his Western tie up in a gesture of (?) thanks and again left the stage. As they returned for the final encore, I saw him pick up the cowboy hat from the far back darkened stage, only to set it down on a stand before entering the lights, never (tonight) to wear it. Rainy Day Women #'s 12 & 35 was the finale, as usual. It began with drums alone for a four beat bonka!,bonka!, bonka!, bonka! .......and on into the guitars and lyric. The crowd was reeling now, after a verse or two the band, with the new guitarist now into things a little, turned this one into a fairly long jam. They seemed to want this to go on longer as much as the crowd did. Far different than the lights up, this is it, we're out of here feel to this tune last spring. When this was over, and to a truly thunderous applause, Dylan gestured with open arms/hands to the room, then folded his hands into and touched his heart. He repeated this again, very distinctly--as if to say we'd given something to him--what irony. He then blew the crowd a kiss, walked over to the new guitarist, patted him on the back, and they together walked around the left side of the stage, around the back of the drums, and to the right out of sight.
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Tour