Bob Dylan 971104 in Knoxville, Tennessee
November 4, 1997 Knoxville, Tennessee Civic Auditorium Address: 500 East Church St. Capacity: 2410
From: Bill Parr (William_C_Parr/UTK@LN.UTK.EDU) Newsgroups: rec.music.dylan Date: 10. november 1997 19:00 Subject: Review of Knoxville, November 4, 1997 - Belated Finally, I'm getting around to sharing some thoughts on the November 4, 1997 Knoxville concert. Sorry, I've been really busy. But now I've found the time, writing this in the Chicago O'Hare Crown Room (thanks for the hospitality, Delta. Usual good job.) And it's a great pleasure to reflect back on the concert, as I review my detailed notes from the show ? Before the concert, some impressions? A nice-looking venue. Modern looking. From the front row of the pit (where I, four other family members, and five guests sit, among others) the stage is at a fairly low level. I have to reach down a bit to set down my notebook in which I will record the set list and comments. Lots of friends there. I'm struck by how many faces are familiar. Perhaps 200 people - and that's not counting the ones from Knoxville - have faces familiar to me, though many of the names escape me. Those of you who are staying with the tour - you are truly fortunate. I've only caught five shows, counting this one, beginning October 24, 1997. We draw up to 8:00, the scheduled time. Baron walks across stage, reacts with a friendly smile and hand wave to my "Hi." If Baron is in a good mood (even Baron) this could be a really good night! The incense is lit. For me, this olfactory key is one of the things which kicks me into gear, making the anticipated concert experience which is already intellectually real become real at a deeper, more sensory level. Security is a bit tense. Not for getting in (no frisking, none of that!) but instead for anybody trying to get near the front who doesn't have pit tickets. "Ladies and gentlemen . . . ." On comes the band, with Dylan, in darkness as usual. 1. Maggie's Farm The voice is VERY LOW in the mix. Typical for the first song. (One report from a friend's child, from the balcony after the second song, as reported to me the day after the concert - "I'm having a really good time. When do we get to hear Dylan sing?") Bob does a lot of two note noodling. Baron is visibly "grooving" on the side. He's having a good time. Discovered the rhythm to Maggie's Farm. The song ends, and transitions fairly quickly, without comment from Dylan, to 2. Lay Lady Lay After all these years, I still love this one. A simple song. A study in simplicity - how much can you say in so few words? The voice is up some in the mix. Bob takes a guitar solo. 3. Cold Irons Bound Same arrangement as October 24, 25, 26 and 31 on the tour thus far. Some really strong riffs from Bob. And, a treat, some really tasty guitar work from Larry Campbell. Keep it up, Larry! When Bob lets you take a lead, you're doing a fantastic job. Though you could pick up the fiddle a bit more often! 4. Positively Fourth Street This arrangement is a teaser. Not like some of the 1996 versions (From fall in Michigan, as I recall) which were upbeat, almost celebratory. Very slow, stately performance. For such a performance, I would come to a one song show by Bob. And enjoy it. Knowing beforehand it was to be only one song. 5. I Can't Wait The voice is very "scraggly." (My note written as the concert progressed). But, very STRONG. Dylan is perspiring heavily. This is a lot of work for him. This one winds to a close, and the band turns with confidence to the crowd pleaser . . . 6. Silvio Bob actually smiles. Now, before I get an argument - a Bob Dylan smile is not an ear to ear, maximal grin. So just don't start with me on "He didn't smile!" He smiled, as Bob smiles. 7. Cocaine (Acoustic) Oh, this song is nice. The voice is much stronger and higher in the mix. (And anybody wondering "which voice" is reading posts from the newsgroup, is what I've got to say!) The backing voices by Larry and Bucky are good. Someone called it a "gospel chorus" or something like that recently. I think there is indeed such an echo. Some nice little guitar work from Bob. 8. Tangled Up in Blue (Acoustic) This is a typical strong performance. Same arrangement as previous shows on this tour. A friend from the Department of Statistics at UT has joined us, with tickets provided courtesy of me, and is also in front row pit. He and spouse are visibly, obviously enjoying the show. 9. Mr. Tambourine Man (Acoustic) Oh, Bob, how do you continue to make these songs interesting? I've heard Silvio, TUIB and T-Man enough times over the last several years that you'd think I'd be tired of them. But, you continue to deliver sterling performances. My hat's off to you. I don't know what the deal is, but Dylan's usually clear enunciation on this song (so go ahead and flame me - I find his words VERY EASY to understand in concert, as soon as he is turned up in the mix) is surpassed this time. He's tasting every word as it emerges. And what we hear is wonderful. Hope you enjoyed it too, Bob, and know what a good job you did. Dylan is dripping perspiration (in Tennessee we call it "sweat" - is that the same for Mississippi, Joe Cliburn?). Visibly and profusely. Good acoustic guitar by Dylan, some nice fills by Larry. 10. Till I Fell in Love With You I have no notes on this one. It was well done, with the same arrangement as lately. 11. Shooting Star I'm in ecstasy over this one. Splendidly done, with feeling. A nice arrangement. Melodic guitar by Bob. Dylan is obviously proud of this song. You can tell by the look on his face that he knows he's nailed this song. A great job. The highlight of the show, for me. And then I find out, when my son gets the cue sheet, that we missed out on In the Garden, which was also on the cue sheet! 12. Highway 61 (Or, as Jane calls it, "The Highway Song" - and so it will always be referred to at the Parr house, after Jane attended her first Dylan show at Burgettstown on May 18, 1996 and called up Aaron (younger son) from the car on the cellular phone on the way back, saying "He played the Highway Song.") Larry C. - hits his peak for the night at guitar on this one. If he can continue to deliver like this, this band will continue to evolve. Departure of the band after the usual waves, and then return for encores .