Bob Dylan 970813 in Hershey, Pennsylvania
From: ONELATTE@aol.com Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997 00:25:20 -0400 (EDT) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: 8/13 dylan set list and review just got back from the show... this one was great as was only 5 miles from my home... first the set list 1. absolutely sweet marie 2. ballad of a thin man 3. tough mama 4. ain't goin nowhere 5. silvio 6. to ramona (@) 7. tangled up in blue (@) 8. cocaine blues (@) 9. god knows 10. simple twist of fate 11. highway 61 encores: 12. sooner or later... 13. knockin on heaven's door 14. rainy day woman.... ps: I've never submitted anything to a newsgroup before so if this isn't headed to the right person could you forward it to the expecting rain page a hot muggy night... BR came on around 7:30 and were animated tight and sounded great... as befits many opening acts though they mostly played to a disinterested crowd that was filling in...ani difranco was her usual self and is obviously a force to be reckoned with in her own right... about 1-200 fans of hers lined the stage front when she came on and stayed for her entire set (about an hour)... from the screaming it sounded like old beatles concerts from time to time.. dylan came on around 9:45 and opened with asw... it was really rough, in terms of delivery and sound quality.. i must admit i was leary that we were in for a mixed show, but fortunately all doubts were erased with the 2nd number ballad of a thin man... this one really rocked with dylan biting off the lyrics and playing some nasty leads... tough mama followed, and although faithful to the original arrangement and well performed to my taste it was only so so. next came one of the early highlights.. you ain't goin nowhere... great vocals and tight band on this one.. who woulda thought that dylan would have actually rehearsed an ending? :) this one was fantastic and was followed by silvio... not normally one of my favorites, however, i really got into it tonight as did the crowd... next came the acoustic set which was superb: 1. to ramona--i hadn't heard this one live before and dylan sang it like he really meant it... with about 85 degree temperature and horrible humidity (which had ani difranco cracking that dylan's band often played naked and tonight would be a good night for it) its a wonder bob never took off the jacket.... switching from the big gretsch electric to an acoustic had to be a break though... 2. tuib- great arrangement with nice accompaniment on the breaks by the band.. the one thing thats missed from the previos lineup though is another vocalist who can really sing the harmonies... a great version of a concert standard though, and to my ears probably the crowd favorite to that point. 3. cocaine blues- i've read some of the reviews from the earlier shows, and have to agree this one really got to the audience.. you could feel a palpable mood shift as dylan really connected on this one.. a few hoots and cheers at first as a few moron's thought it was maybe a pro-drug song, but then rapt attention as the lyrics sunk in. Bob plugged back in with god knows, a good song but kinda a pedestrian rendition tonight... next came a big suprise (for me anyway), a knock out version of simple twist of fate.. this one started out with a heavily distorted (kinda wah wah) effect from the lead guitar and segued into a beautifully done version of this blood on the tracks classic... Next came a no holds barred version of highway 61... though i've heard this one a lot before live, dylan sang it like he had just written it and the guitar jams were probably the best of the night... the encores: then my personal highlight, Sooner or Later...fantastic song, great performance... i can't put it into words but i really enjoyed this one...bob followed this with a decent version of knockin on heaven's door.. based on the set lists to date on this tour this one also caught me by suprise.. a pleasant change from lars (a classic admittedly, but always nice to hear something a little different)... as usual bob closed with rainy day woman.. not a favorite and i was prepared to be disappointed but it turned out to be one of the stronger performances of the night in terms of rockin and a rollin... one of the repeated licks (played over and over about 2/3 thru the song) sounded to me just like "the boys are back in town" maybe i'm nuts but thats my opinion of the show.. whether you agree or disagree or would like to share some of your own bob news (OR TAPES FROM THIS TOUR?) e-mail me at email@example.com
Subject: 13 August 1997 - Hershey, PA (little music content) From: Andra (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997 04:30:37 -0400 Just back from the Hershey show... Bob was totally smokin'!!! The setlist was amazing... we got Cocaine, Simple Twist of Fate, Tough Mama.... Ah, but I best start at the beginning... (Btw, if you only want to see the setlist, skip to the bottom.) BR-549 was very good. Though I think I would have enjoyed the band a lot more if I could have gotten my mind off of Bob's upcoming set & concentrated more on the music. I was very impressed with Ani's music. She had a very good stage presence, and sung with a lot of emotion. By this time, I was a little more relaxed & I finally convinced myself that I could enjoy her set a lot more if I just forgot about what was to come in an hour, and really LISTENED. (It worked.) I took a quick look at a brochure advertising her albums, and I see she's quite prolific. Something like 10 albums in 3 or 4 years? During her set, the space in between the front row and the metal fence in front of the stage was flooded with people. But when her set ended and Bob & co.'s equipment was being set up, a lot of people didn't want to move, and even more wanted to squeeze into that tiny space. This made it nearly impossible for the people in the first few rows to see the stage unless they were standing (which many ended up doing anyway, but more on that later). So, the security made everybody leave from this space, except those with front row tickets. Then something happened which was truly a sight-to-see... a few people in the front centre moved their chairs up a few feet, all the way to the metal fence. (All of the seating, except for the lawn in back, was plastic patio chairs.) The rest of the first row followed along, and this started a wave... (waves of peristalsis??? mmmm, concerts can really make you hungry! :-} ) ...the second, third, fourth, etc. rows all moved their chairs up, squeezing into about half the space we had been allotted for the first two acts. So essentially Bob's portion became a GA show, with priority to those who purchased tickets the minute they went on sale. I wish every show could be run like this... packed next to the stage, yet still favouring those who bought tickets early. It really is the fair thing to do, all things considered. Now the show... Bob was on top of things. He definitely lead the band; all eyes were on him, each band member intently following his fingers. Larry was very toned-down, strumming mostly, joining in on the singing here and there. Probably doing just what was expected of him, and doing it well. To tell you the truth, I didn't look at the other members of the band too much; my eyes had too difficult a time leaving Bob. I think I can pretty accurately say that Bob dresses to impress. He had on black pants--some strechy material, it looked like--which hugged his body such that the shape of his thin legs was clearly visible. Shoes were black and shiny, with white trim. He had on a black t-shirt, over which he wore a white button-down shirt and a black jacket. He was hatless, except for the last song. And a beautiful hat at that! Almost from the minute he walked on stage, he was sweating... droplets were spraying off his face as he played the guitar, but boy did he look cute! :-) I think he would have been cooler in his jacket from "Renaldo and Clara"! His face expressions were exactly as described in previous posts (the word jaunty comes to mind). He didn't smile much, but when he did it really seemed to mean a lot. (It's amazing what else you can see if sit up close & you bring your trusty binoculars along....) I seem to remember a thread about what BD song is the best for dancing... I think I have the answer: ALL OF THEM!!! About half of the first 4 rows stood for the electric set (very few did for the acoustic set, and for the most part, those who did were asked to sit down). In the latter rows, there were people scattered here and there standing and/or dancing, but for the most part it looked as though most were seated. As for me, I was dancin' through the entire concert (OK, so during the acoustic set it was more like more like squirming in my chair)... I felt like I was 20! :-) Looks like I got through quite a few lines without mentioning about the music! Actually, this is for good reason... I loved every single song Bob & band played tonight. If I broke down the songs one by one, I'd probably just wind up saying the same thing over and over again. They were all fantastic! & let's just leave it at that. I would, however, like to make a comment on Bob's voice. It was AMAZING!!! He seemed to be making an effort to enunciate the words, most notably on "Cocaine." And when he began "Simple Twist Of Fate," I could've died of happiness right there & then! Luckily I recognized the song within the first few measures, and it was still appropriate to express my utter satisfaction by clapping and screaming (yeah, OK, I admit, more of the latter). Between the songs of the acoustic set, the audience seemed to calm down a little & became a bit quieter. It's now or never, I thought. "Make You Feel My Love!!!" "Make You Feel My Love!!!" Hey, it was worth a try! I'd like to think that the reason he didn't comply to this request was because the cue sheets are made out prior to the show. But taking a look at what was listed & what was actually played tonight, I'm not sure this is the best reason anymore [see below]. Guess I'll have to go with Reason B: He hasn't played it live in concert yet. (Hmmm wonder if he's memorized the words yet....) No. Played: Cue Sheet: 1. Absolutely Sweet Marie Sweet Marie 2. Ballad Of A Thin Man Mr. Jones 3. Tough Mama What Good Am I 4. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere Tough Mama 5. Silvio Silvio __________________________________________________________________ 6. To Romona Ramona 7. Tangled Up In Blue Desolation Row - A 8. Cocaine Baby Blue 9. God Knows Maggie's/ Real You 10. Simple Twist Of Fate Simple Twist/ Every Grain 11. Highway 61 Revisited Highway/ River Flow __________________________________________________________________ 12. One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later) Rolling Stone/ Sooner Or Later 13. Knockin' On Heaven's Door Heaven's Door 14. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 I don't recall a cue sheet and the actual setlist varying so much in other concerts. Could anybody cite an example in which it has? There's just one more comment I'd like to make. Hate to end on a sour note, but this is something which I think should be said. I heard one person comment about the audience, "It's all the old hippies and all the new hippies." So true, and I was proud of it. I love seeing the potential for music to tie generations together. Overall, everybody at the concert seemed to get along very well. People were very civilized toward each other. But it was some of the side comments... overhead comments to friends... which bothered me. Several of the older fans (mostly of Bob) seemed to look down upon the younger fans (mostly of Ani), and vice versa. Considering how kindly everybody seemed to treat each other, these comments seemed unwarranted. I don't know if it's just a "Bob's better than Ani"/"Ani's better than Bob" rivalry going on, or something to do with the varying ages (I really hope it's the former--it'd be a real shame if people of all ages can't learn from and respect each other). Whatever the case, I beg everybody who has made it down this far to think next time you make a negative comment about another person--think if you really mean it or if you are just using stereotypes to put somebody else down. Give everybody a chance. Hope to see some of you in Jones Beach on Sunday! Andra
Subject: Hershey From: Peter Stone Brown
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 1997 03:16:45 -0400 Organization: Erol's Internet Services X-Mailer: Mozilla 2.01KIT (Win95; U) Music can be a magical experience both for the listener and the player and when it's really happening and it can take you away to places that can't be described and make you forget everything else. Nobody and I mean NOBODY is better at churning up that magic than Bob Dylan. These days it's when he wants to and he lets the magic happen the way it should happen--naturally. He rarely tries to force it which is the way it should be because the magic can't be forced it has to happen. A truly great Dylan performance should blow you away to the degree that you're not thinking of anything at all, that you're in a daze not only on the way to the parking lot but for hours, maybe days afterwards. At Hershey the magic happened in moments. All day the threat of severe thunder storms hovered over Pennsylvania. Luckily the torrential rain happened on the way to the show, not at it, like it did on another Wednesday night in Hershey 3 years ago. Dylan in seemingly good spirits looked good and was quite animated throughout. He seemed trim and not at all puffy like he sometimes looks these days. He started out with a reasonably rocking "Absolutely Sweet Marie" in a reasonably strong voice. The sound was a little weird at first, his voice almost distorting, but the sound guys eventually got it together. They never really got the guitar sound together. For some reason Bucky Baxter always seems to get sent to the righthand speakers (facing the stage) with Larry Campbell in the left-hand speakers. We were in the center not far from the stage a little more towards the left and Bucky got lost in the mix--or maybe he's not playing as much as he did a while back. It was hard to tell, but there weren't any of the cool pedal steel organ sounds he excels at. I personally don't understand that way of mixing a concert. It's not a CD. There should be equal amounts of all instruments in all speakers. Anyway, Dylan sang the second bridge first and mixed up a bunch of verses leaving out a couple too. The same thing happened on an ok "Ballad of a Thin Man" where the audience who had been standing decided to sit down. Next came an alright, but not astounding "Tough Mama." It had none of the power or force of when he did it in '74 with the Band. Again he totally mixed up lyrics. Actually the wait between songs was almost more exciting wondering whether he was going to do it or do "Watchtower" like he did the night before in Scranton. Next came "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" which lacked the charm of when I saw him do it in Boalsburg in the rain earlier this spring. He also left out the "buy me a flute verse." Now "Nowhere" is a 2 to 3 minute song with only four verses. On some of the long songs with several verses (like say "Memphis Blues Again,") I can see leaving out or forgetting a couple of verses. And when Dylan's really on, you don't even notice it. Not so at Hershey. Instead we got Dylan's guitar noodling. Now asides from the fact that the tone of his Les Paul was totally wrong for the song, way too crunchy or something, he has this ace guitarist there not to mention Bucky on pedal steel, both of whom can easily deliver the guitar work necessary to make that song really happen, but does he let them play, NO! Again it was ok, but not the special song it could be. Boom, right into "Silvio" which is the only time I miss JJ. JJ and Dylan took this song to some amazing almost psychedelic heights. "To Ramona" was a nice surprise, though Campbell's guitar was too loud in the mix, his rhythm overshadowing Dylan's pseudo Mexican licks. Dylan's singing was really good on this one, but he mixed up the verses again. He finally found what he was looking for in his solos about the third time around after a couple of dramatic errors, but when he finally found it, it was great. Don't get me wrong, I like the fact that Dylan searches for a sound or feel on-stage. It's one of the truly great and wonderful things about him. Campbell set up a cool funky riff for "Tangled" but the song never really took off. I've seen Dylan play great two-note leads on this that built incredibly in intensity, but he never really found what he was looking for. "Cocaine" followed and Dylan finally really started singing. It was a relaxed fun version with Campbell and Baxter joining in on the chorus and Dylan really leaning into each verse. "God Knows," evidently back in its traditional and transitional spot was also pretty cool and rocked hard when the band really kicked in after the first verse. This was followed by an absolutely beautiful "Simple Twist of Fate" with stunning echoey guitar work by Campbell and Dylan delivering on the vocals--the first time all night he actually sang a complete song without messing up the lyrics. "Highway 61" was "Highway 61," but the first encore was the high point of the night "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)." Done at a moderate place, not as slow as "Blonde or Blonde" and not as fast as the '78 versions, but somewhere in between, this song had obviously been worked on. Dylan finally let Campbell handle the leads and he provided Steve Cropper styled guitar with more of the echoey delay he used on "Simple Twist of Fate." It was truly wonderful and if they keep doing it every night, by the middle of next week it should be amazing. This was followed by a beautiful acoustic version of "Heaven's Door" and suddenly the energy and passion that would appear only sporadically the rest of the night suddenly coalesced and the magic was happening, proving once again that it really doesn't matter what song he's singing as long as he's really singing it. When Dylan lets his band, or his band takes the incentive to actually work up an arrangement as they did tonight on "One of Us Must Know" and as I've seen and heard them do on "Wheels on Fire" and "Seven Days," the results can be absolutely mind blowing and a lot more satisfying than when they just bang out a tune without thinking about it. And if he started packing his set lists with those tunes (as he slowly appears to be doing) leaving out the songs he's played five million times, what heights could be reached. But maybe that's like hoping he'll bring back the harmonica which in my opinion he plays a lot more emotionally than he does guitar. And don't get me wrong, I like the way Dylan plays guitar. But he has players with him who are wasting their talents while he noodles away. I've seen Dylan play some amazing guitar where I couldn't believe he was doing it. But if he could somehow get it together to save them up and deliver solos on just a couple of songs and really let loose, it would be so much more effective. But that's probably not gonna happen. But then again, I never thought he'd ever perform "Blind Willie McTell" live either. It was on okay concert with a couple of strong moments, especially near the end. But it wasn't anything special. -- "I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity." --Bob Dylan Peter Stone Brown e-mail: email@example.com http://songs.com/psb
Subject: aug 13 (cont'd from Thoughts on 8/12 & 8/13) From: Mananath (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: 14 Aug 1997 23:08:20 GMT Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com greetings fellow dylan fanatics... now before i go any further i just want to clear up one fact... it might be hard to pick out once i begin to ramble about these shows... BOTH SHOWS WERE EXCELENT... amazing shows... that coould be a review right there... but i will go on aug 13 1997 Star Pavilion - Hershey PA well after leaving the 8/12 show my friend and I parked the car at some reststop on Rt 81 and slept for the night. we woke up to a torrential downpour and began dreading the worse (We got totally soaked at the Tanglewood show last week) but luckily as we drove the rain stopped.... we pulled into Hershey at around 12, and they werent letting people into the Areanparking lot so we had to park with all the "tourists" .. we took this time to sample some chocolate and ride the FREE tour of the factory... at around 3 we moved the car into a completely empty parking lot.. i am proud to say i think we were the first ones for the show to park in the lot.. my friend didnt feel like gettin stuck trying to leave so we parked at the very end... not realizing that we were at the wrong spot for the exit... but before we moved the car, the rain and wind came... right after the soundcheck (again no dylan).. for those of you who were there at this point in the parking lot, i was all the way at the end "taking shelter from the storm" by about 6 umbrellas.... after the rain stopped we moved the car up to the first row in the center of the stadium.. hard to explain if you werent there...before i go further it is important to note the size and setup of ths venue..it was liek this: _________________ | stage | ------------------------- | seats | | | ------------------------ | lawn | ------------------------ <--- rickety wooden fence, with a barbed wire one also PARKING * we were at the * around 5 pm the people started arriving and there was a loud accident which left two cars banged up.. i believe they were both trying to make a left or sumthin like that... so that was interesting to say the least... i do feel bad for those involved..so at 730 Br 549 came on (it is also of interest to note that security was doing no body searchs, no pat downs.. just had to open your bag) it was at this point i realized how good the sound was, as we were 20 ft from the lawn so we didnt bother going in at all during the show.. we ended up giving our tickets away to people and helping others climb under the fence (we got about 20 people in)... i think it was better that we didnt go in , i enjoyed myself more than i would have... cause i taped the show and when i tape i am always edgy and nervous and try not to talk at all.. thus not allowing me to enjoy the show as much... luckily for this show i wa able to climb on top of a light pole and place a recorder on it (you can imagine my horror when a family sat down under it to chat.... luckily though they were understanding of my plgiht and kindly moved on shortly).. but anyway back to the show.. (see i told you i would ramble)....so difranco came on and played for about an hour... this got me kinda mad... i got even mader when i found out that hershy has a 11 curfew and difranco ended at 920... (at the 8/12 show, dylan played to about 1145).. but dylan came on... and sounded better than ever... he actually took his time with the phrasing of words and was very articulate for most of them.... he thanked the crowd 3 times thoughout the show and my favorite address to the audience was the following, it came right after "Simple Twist Of Fate" : "oh, i hope I got that one right".... the highlight of the evening was when Knokin on Heavens Door was played... it was totally unexpceted.. in fact earlier that day i was talking to the people next us, and one of them asked if he would play this song (it was the only dylan song he liked) i responded that he would most likely not play it... so the guy left about 5 min before he played it..... oh well ... i noticed that he sang : "Mama wear these guns off of my back"... now im not very familiar with the actual original lyrics to this song.. but i dont recall this line being in them.... Dylan also played an amazing solo at the end of HWY 61... just left me in total awe..... and RDW was once again filled with solos... so around 1115 my friend and I left the venue to drive back home to Long Island, NY half asleep and half in awe.... needless to say, although we almost fell asleep a few times, we made it home an hour a head of time... this has been my favorite show of the tour... the band and dylan have finally clicked and gotten it together... "And if my thought dreams could be seen, they'd probally put my head in a guilliotine" - Its Alright Ma -*- B Dylan -mike Tape List: http://members.aol.com/mananath/tapelist.htm Email: Mananath@aol.com
Subject: Hershey Review (long) From: Joe Olnick (email@example.com) Date: 14 Aug 1997 16:53:01 GMT I've seen His Bobness almost a dozen times over the years, and thanks to camping out in the ticket line, was able to get 2nd row seats for me and my wife. They were right in front of Bob! We were going to skip the opening acts (especially after having had to suffer through that horrible act in Boalsburg this Spring), but the rain stopped and we saw the whole show. BR5-49 surprised me with their great showmanship and killer chops. I'm not much of a country music fan, but these guys impressed me tremendously. I would strongly urge those of you seeing the rest of the tour to go in and check these guys out! We had mixed feeling regarding Ani DiFranco. While she put on a high energy show, the material in her songs seems rather predictable after the first couple songs. A lot of them seemed oriented around either an obscene word, sex, bad relationships, etc. One gets the impression her personal life is rather dysfunctional, but I'm not familiar with her work. I also felt that the encore was totally uncalled for, and she in general overstayed her opening position. The feedback solo at the end did not help matters. By the way, her guitar was way out of tune on a couple of songs; this was surprising, given her guitar tech, but was rather obvious to me (but I play guitar as well). She was entertaining, and could end up being something big, but there's room for improvement. All in my opinion, of course. Regarding the Ani fans, I can understand her wanting them to be near her. Fortunately, I knew what to expect. But we (and numerous others) camped out and paid extra money for golden circle seats. We did not appreciate having 3-4 rows of people scamming in and trying to cram their way in between the front row and the fence. A fight almost ensued in front of me because of one woman in the front row being repeatedly shoved and knocked around; she was only trying to quietly sit in her seat! Numerous people in the front row spent most of Ani's set struggling to find security and get them to clear the area out (for safety's sake, if no other). They were told by security that Ani wanted them there. Also, after Ani was done, numerous people refused to move out. It got to the point where half a dozen security fellows, as well as a number of us sitting in the audience, literally yelling for five minutes at these rude stragglers to get going! It was only after some large security guys literally began pulling people out that we then moved our seats up so that nobody could get in. And some guys still tried to work their way through! How pathetic. Obviously, we were there for the finest lyricist/songwriter of all time, and he appeared shortly after the incense was lit. He looked great, showing up in a white hat (not quite a cowboy hat). The black pants had inverted V's going up the sides. The shiny black loafers looked a bit odd (I would have thought cowboy boots, like Larry had). The new Gibson Les Paul Premium Plus is quite a sight! It's the top of the line Les Paul, with a AAA grade flamed maple top, and a clear pickguard. A nice complement to the extremely expensive Gibson acoustic that Bob plays. My wife was drooling profusely when Larry took off his bizarre red jacket (it looked like the one Bucky wore at Boalsburg). We got Larry to crack a smile when they first kicked off the show; I gave him a big thumbs up! He was really concentrating on what he was playing, as everybody in the band seemed to be. Being up so close, I expected the sound to be less than great. It was surprisingly good, although we couldn't hear much from Bucky the whole night. It was nice to be able to hear the Matchless guitar amps directly, instead of through the PA. Kemper was not overpowering at all, even on the acoustic numbers. Bob seemed rather energetic, sweating up a storm, especially during the very rocking Tough Mama! I was surprised at how well this went. There were a few blown verses during the show, but Bob covered it well, and it didn't impact the energy level of the show at all. Silvio also rocked out nicely. Love those dueling lead guitars! It was great to see Bob getting ready for a solo, actually standing for a second and thinking about how to ease into it. Then he would start jamming, and do his little moves. Like where he suddenly has his right leg pop out to the side. We even got some hip-rolling towards the end that would have done Elvis proud! I had to calm down my wife repeatedly. Cocaine Blues was also exceptional, with Mississippi Bob Dylan making an appearance. To hear him belting out the chorus with Larry was truly awe-inspiring. A weird hush fell over the crowd when he started it. Bob's ability to do an old ragtime blues number like this is just as amazing as his ability to rock out, or do a country ballad. This was one of the high points of the show (along with Tough Mama)! A terrific, inspired choice of material. I can't recall the last time I saw Bob do Knockin'. I know it's been a long time, and I didn't know he was doing it on this tour. He did it faster than I ever imagined him doing it, and it was great. Not quite as sad or mournful as the Dead & Dylan version; more of a mid-tempo mood (seemed just slightly faster than the Unplugged version). We were going nuts by the encores, calling Bob back for each one. When he picked up the white hat on his way out after RDW, we knew our audience with His Bobness had come to an end. This show strikes me as one that the tapes won't do justice to. While there were a few blown verses, the energy level was extremely high. Bob's jamming was really on, for the most part. He was having a lot of fun, especially during the encores. On a different note, there was some incident with security just to the right of the stage during the final encore. All I know is that security ran as fast as they could behind the fence, prompting Dylan & Tony to look over and see what's going on. When I looked over, all I could see was a crowd of security, and A CHAIR flying up on the stage (to the right of the speaker stack). Does anybody know what happened? I thought perhaps somebody might be trying to get up on stage (nobody did). Getting out wasn't difficult at all; the local paper said about 4000 showed up, which seems about right. The reserved seating was totally full, and there were a few empty spots along the very back of the lawn area. Bob looks great, is mixing up the shows more than I can remember in recent memory (No Watchtower? Who would have ever thought?), and is coming along nicely on guitar. Some folks may not appreciate his way of soloing, and playing with space around the notes, but he has a style of playing guitar that is as unique as his vocal stylings. Larry and Bob were trading licks on a couple of songs, although Bob certainly took most of them. Much improved. The fellow sitting next to me had drove the whole way from West Virginia, just to see Bob! He was looking forward to the Virginia shows, and they should be interesting. Who knows what Dylan will do? You the man, Bob! Joe
Subject: Review of Hershey, 8-13-97 (LONG) From: Stasia (A_Karel@ACAD.FANDM.EDU) Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 11:54:46 -0400 Here are my thoughts/notes on Bob's performance at Hershey, PA on August 13th, 1997. (You must realize though that this is only my second time seeing Bob - and I remember very little about the first - 1995.) First, the notes I took while at the show: I missed BR5-49's set due to my parents and the rain, but that didn't really matter. Anyway, Ani came on at 8:25. She was no more than 10 words into the first song when masses of people started filing into the small space between the stage and front row. She was done within an hour (including the encore of one song). Approx. 9:47 Bob walks out with the rest of the band - his white cowboy hat on for a few seconds. They start off with _Absolutely Sweet Marie_, which was expected. I had a little trouble hearing the words during this song, but am blaming it on the sound system. Also, he appears to be scanning the audience (as he would throughout the show). When finished, he says, "Thanks everybody." Second song, _Ballad of a Thin Man_. I wasn't too surprised to hear this, but did notice a change in the order of verses. Going by my memory and notes, this is what he did: skipped the 3rd verse (about the geek handing him a bone), but in it's place did the 7th verse (the one-eyed midget); then, he went back to the 4th verse, skips the 5th (F.Scott Fitzgerald), does the 6th and finishes with the appropriate last verse. Then there is an extended, and very well done ending. I felt it was as good as the original when hearing it. Was very pleased to hear _Tough Mama_ in the third slot; can only be described as awesome! At end, Bob says, "Thankyoueverybody." (that was how it sounded) _You Ain't Goin' Nowhere_ was fourth, and as I'm not very familiar with the song, I didn't recognize it until he sang the title. Also, it appeared that during this song he was attempting an Elvis stance with his guitar!! - the local paper agreed in it's review. _Silvio_ as number five, was expected; in my notes I gave it three exclamation points. There was some great footwork by Bob, but don't remember much else. And now, for the highlight. _To Ramona_ was the first acoustic, a big surprise for me. It was so very beautiful and I honestly do not think I have ever been so moved by a song before. Tears even came to my eyes at one point. _Tangled Up In Blue_ was the next acoustic, which made me happy. There was one interesting thing that I noticed, which was that for the first three verses he sang it in the 3rd person. But then he switched! For the rest of the song it was done in 1st person. And the last verse is still "truck drivers' wives" - but that was expected. (Introduces the band) Second highlight. _Cocaine Blues_, which I was extremely happy to hear. The only version of the song that I knew was the one by Dick Farina and Eric Von Schmidt. But by the middle of the song I was singing along like I'd known it for years (instead of a month). _God Knows_ was next, and although I have maybe heard this song once before, it was of course, easy to tell what song it was. Not much to say, other than Bob was smiling when talking to Tony (think this was at the end of song). And now, another unexpected song! _A Simple Twist of Fate_ was wonderfully beautiful and Bob was in great voice. The different words (from the original) threw me off at first, but I think I like them better. _Highway 61 Revisited_ was the best rock number yet; it had so much power it was incredible. The encore started at approx. 11 pm with _One Of Us Must Know_. When he first started singing, I had absolutely no idea what song it was. By the third line or so I was even singing along, but couldn't think of the title. But I figured it out, sooner rather than later, haha. They leave the stage for a minute or so. _Knockin' On Heaven's Door_ (a) was unbelievable . Not only did I not expected it, it was just so good. Bob gave a half-bow at the end of this. Leave the stage again. Bob's wearing his white cowboy hat for _Rainy Day Women #12&35_ and he was still going strong - great voice and everything - but NO harmonica. I definitely would have remembered it if I'd heard it. Also, Bob gave a really big smile at the end. Oh I just remembered. It appeared that someone tried to get up on stage in the beginning of the song, because I noticed that Bob kind of stiffened up and my dad said he saw a whole bunch of security run to the right side of the stage. Other little things - Larry did not impress me AT ALL, and David was hidden behind his cymbals. But Bucky and Tony were really great to watch; they definitey added to the whole show. Last comment: This was by far the BEST concert that I have ever been to! Stasia P.S. Okay I lied, this is the last comment. My seat was exceptionally good - 6th row, almost dead center. And "sometimes it (got) so hard to see", so I had to stand - I apologize to anyone behind me.