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Bob Dylan 981101 in New York

From: "Klewan, Andrew" (
Subject: Bob Dylan/NYC 11-1-98
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 11:09:00 -0500 

This is my first time submitting a review to your can't do without web
site.  Last night I had the extreme honor to see my 35th Bob Dylan show
at the arena where I first saw him (9/29/78).  To say Mr. Dylan was
magnificent wouldn't come close to putting the point across.  Serve
Somebody was straightforward and to the pint, with immediate glimpses of
the white shoe shuffling and long, two step strides.  His voice was in
exceptional shape, as was his guitar playing, which was never short of
inspired and concise throughout.  A very pretty I Want You came before
Tom Thumb's Blues with a short introduction that was hard to decipher.
Make You Feel My Love was nice, with a little mention of Garth Brooks,
and how he hopes his own version would be as good as Garth's.  Can't
Wait was punch, with a great part by Kemper on the foot pedal.  The
evening's one harp solo came at the end of Don't Think Twice, with the
foot on the drum riser, bopping to face the back of the stage.  In fact,
it was great to see him never neglect the people in the back.  Without
going through each and every song from here on, Tangled was one of the
best I've ever heard with Bob's and Larry's best playing of the night.

Joey was a nice surprise, as was the evening's best vocal performance,
a delicate and completely unaffected reading of Charles Aznavour's The
Times We've Known.  Aznavour is currently here on Broadway, and Bob
introduced the song with a nice word for Aznavour and of how he has
long admired him.  The most touching moment of the night came next
when, after introducing the band, he told the audience that he hadn't
played at MSG in a long time, and when he last appeared there, he was
the type of person who couldn't appreciate it, "but I sure do now."
Who would ever have thought?  It's so good to see this transformation.
In the 35 shows I've seen, the demeanor has run the gamut from total
disinterest to total appreciation, which was last night.  To all those
who were there, you know what I'm talking about.  To the rest of you,
trade for the tape immediately.  Anyway, lots of bows and waves to the
back of the stage, and then Love Sick, much quieter in the verses than
recently.  Rainy Day Women, which was Rainy Day Women, and a Blowin'
In The Wind, which sounded as though he had written it that day and
couldn't wait to play it for someone.  All in all, the greatest Bob
Dylan concert I've ever seen.  Who is this happy old man masquerading
as Bob Dylan?  Just stick around, that's all I can ask of him.

Subject: Re: NY Rocks From: Clocwyse ( Date: 2 Nov 1998 06:25:36 GMT Ellen Friedenberg wrote: > Dylan spoke before >several of the songs (like I said, he seemed to be having a great time), >though I was far enough back that I couldn't make out all the words. The vocal mix was boomy early on from where i sat, so i coudn't make out a lot of it either. Did anyone out there catch all of loquacious Bob's remarks tonight? He did say at one point that he hadn't played MSG in a long time, and that he used to play it a lot. "I didn't appreciate it then, but i sure do now". He thanked everyone for coming down. It was a very touching moment coming from him. In 93 i saw him at Jones Beach, and by the time Bob hit the stage after Santana's opening set, most people had left. He put on a phenomenal show, playing to the people right down front. In '94 I saw him at Roseland, that little old dancehall in the middle of town, and put on another great show. Now four years later, he's back at the big room--MSG. I wondered if it ever mattered to him what room he played--the prestige of playing MSG was obviously not lost on him tonight. Both he and Joni were great. Bob was in fantastic voice, strong and subtle. All the solos were to the point (well, maybe he lost the point a bit in Joey...but it was still fun to hear him say "Little Italy" again!) and the dynamics of the songs were even more intense than usual. There's a new crescendo before the last verse of Love Sick that was breathtaking--I thought he couldn't top some of the versions of the new material he was doing back in January of this year,especially when i heard him in New London--- but he has. The big "surprise" of the show, apart from Joey, was the Charles Aznavour song. He indeed sang it as if he was alone--it was very personal and open, and Bob easily handled the melody. Has he ever done this before with the band? If not, it was even more amazing, because it was letter perfect. Truth be told, if i knew before hand that the setlist would've included Joey, Masters of War, and To Make You Feel My Love--i would've groaned a little bit. But as a testiment to Bob's powers--he made me hear those songs all over again, as if for the first time, or hear them in a very different way. Masters was especially eerie, with a very understated yet impassioned vocal that drove home its relevance with a vengeance. Bob was really dancing up a storm in the early part of the show, and with his black suit, white tie and shoes, i swear he did look great. >It was a privilege to be there. Indeed it was. From Dave Alvin's solid opening set, to Joni's slinky show, to Bob's barnburner, it was a special night.
Subject: The Return of The Slow Handclap (New York City version) From: Richard Shaffer ( Date: 2 Nov 1998 02:27:07 -0800 Howdy Folks, The following is from memory, so stage chat and other details may not be 100 per cent accurate. Corrections are welcomed. Joni's set was great; stronger than I expected, to be honest. She seemed completely at ease and the crowd was very attentive. There were a lot of people who came primarily to see her. "Comes Love" was the standout..really wonderful. She is a jazz singer. An unexpected benefit of having Joni Mitchell open is that the quiet & attentive mood her music demands seems to spill over into Dylan's set. The audience got remarkaby hushed during the softest moments of Bob's quiet songs. That's pretty amazing for Madison Square Garden. Kudos to the crowd! Plenty of local flavor in the set, with both Tom Thumb and Joey showing up. A special show all around...heres a rundown... Gotta Serve Somebody The whole crowd up & dancing, a great opener. Bob asks "Whaat?" gospel style just before Larry & Bucky sing the chorus. Didn't catch any new verses but Bob did sing the first verse twice. I Want You Standard arrangement, very well played. People around me start saying "Oh my god, I can understand every word he's singing!!" Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues Bob announces this one by saying "Here's a song I wrote right here...". He hits every note, he positively croons. He dances, he duckwalks, he grins, he beams. Back to New York City indeed. To Make You Feel My Love I could have sworn they were starting Simple Twist of Fate! One of those funny Bob fakeouts--fooled me. More crooning, a nice version. Can't Wait Not as intense as usual. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright Fantastic. Not rushed, as it often is when played as an encore. Just sweet & beautiful, building to the fast ending. And yes the harp! He played a lot of the solo with one foot on the drum riser, awkward looking but it sounded fine. Then he turned & played to the "behind the stage" crowd for a while; something he did again & again at this show. Maybe he got it from Joni, who turned around & played for the folks back there a couple of times as well. The crowd in the back sure ROARS when the singer turns & faces them, and Bob gave them more than a few chances to roar. He seemed to love their energy. He ended the harp solo facing back, enthusiastically pointing his finger at fans in the 'cheap' seats as he blew the last few notes. Masters of War The standard '98 arrangement, tremendously articulated as usual. One Too Many Mornings Tender, amazing, 100 per cent there. The huge crowd became amazingly silent. At the end Bob again turned to the crowd seated behind him--they got a heck of a show back there. He ended the tune facing them. Tangled up in Blue Sometimes I get tired of this standard, and early on I thought they were rushing through it--this was a really fast tempo Tangled. But the way Dylan honed in on the instumental breaks was downright wiggy--everyone in the place was egging him on, and man was it hot. A highlight. He plays those four notes GOOD! (the "working on a fishing boat/ his mind was slipping away" lyric change was there.) Joey I love this song. I know i'm in a minority but that's ok. I was overjoyed to hear it. It was damn good, not perfect but damn good. There were two instumental breaks, which made this long song way too long for most--the crowd did get restless. For the record, he sang the first 2 verses, then the "10 years in Attica" verse, the "let him out in '71" verse, the "clam bar in New York" verse, and the "Sister Jacqueline " verse. Every line was delivered with confidence & clarity-- a rarity for this song. God knows when was the last time he got the "clam bar" verse exactly right, but he did this time. (After the song, I thought he said "I did that one for Cher...and I'm not doin' it again!" I'm not at all sure he said "Cher", but that's what it sounded like! Tapers, please correct me! Anyway, he did indicate that it was a request. By the way, Dylan was dressed pretty much like a gangster; black suit & grey tie, so the song, and the "dressed like Jimmy Cagney" line were appropos. The Times We've Known Hooray!! Bob Dylan played a song I didn't recognize at all!! And it was a gem. He nailed it. Bob, his band, and the crowd were all concentrating on this gentle, sad song. I didn't get the whole intro, but Bob did say "I usually just do these kind of songs at home, but I feel at home here". Highway 61 Blistering. Again, I hope someone with a tape corrects me--but I think he announced it saying "I havent done this in a while--and I appreciate it better now" ?? Love Sick They have developed this one a bit, very dynamic, though basically its still the same. Bob's phrasing towards the end was brand new to me... just the way I like it. Blowin' in the Wind Very emotional. Tremedously played. What a closing song. And, during the instrumental break, before the last verse... The Return of The Slow Handclap. No, no, not that British slow handclap that is both dismissive and disruptive. It's the New York City slow handclap that Deadheads remember from any and every live NYC version of Morning Dew. The slow, loose clap along to the beat that starts during the quietest part of the song. It was one of those unspoken, almost involuntary traditions: we're in the comes the quiet part of Morning Dew...wait for it...yes, here comes that slow steady clap, clap, clap to the beat, gaining in intensity as the band cranks up for the finale. Only in New York. I must admit it brought a tear to my eye when that slow dragging handclap emerged during the instumental break of Blowin' in the Wind. The house lights came up full, right at the 11:30 curfew. The blessed faithful behind the stage gamely started another old GD tradition, the Not Fade Away encore chant. Love is Love. Not Fade Away. I guess you had to be there. ;-o G'night, Rich Shaffer
Subject: MSG (PART ONE) From: Herrick Timothy ( Date: 2 Nov 1998 13:55:50 -0800 Organization: None I don't know. I was going to avoid the Madison Square Garden Show on two principals. One, the tickets were too expensive. I'm just allegergic to spending 75 plus , and then the 20 plus charges that ticket master puts on them, for a ticket, especially for Dylan only due to the issue, I've seen him several times recently, and tickets were never that expensive. They just seemed too pricey. Secondly, I just didn't like the idea of Bob playing Madison Square Garden. It's just a big, disgusting place to see music. I hate arena shows. I felt that by supporting this show, us Bobcats would be undermining our own desires. Do we really want to return to the days of high prices, big arenas and hard to get tickets? If the MSG show is a financial success, would that mean this summer there's no Homdel or Jones Beach show and instead some dopey Giants Stadium ordeal? So, I've been busy and all and felt that I good reason to miss the show. I don't play Joni all that much anymore. The setlists so far reveal very few songs that I have yet to hear live. But, as Sunday, All Saints Day came around, I knew all I could think about, what's bob doing? Shit, I had to go. A friend's in town, you take him out for a drink. Like, what else I am going to do on a Sunday night? So, I decide, if it was meant to be. I would go over to the MSG, and if I can get a ticket, why not. It was funny though. I got there about 5:30 or so, had another errand, and in fact, a little known fact, went to the Post Office right across the street which is open 24 7 365 days a year, so I was able to mail some stuff I had to get out and buy some stamps on a Sunday night. Well, so I made enough excuses. I get to the box office, and they have a lot of tickets left. Cheap seats I say. I'm relieved, not just that I can get a ticket but more to the point, he did not sell out the arena. Thank god. The state fair shows will still go on. Homdel and Jones Beach are still in Bob's future. In fact, the seat wasn't half bad, I had a great view even without binoculars and certainly I would have liked to be in the real expensive seats on the floor, right in front of the stage, but in all honesty, there were many 80 dollar seats were just as good as the 37 dollar seat I occupied. By the way, 37 bucks, it was 35 bucks and two dollar handling charge. I bought them at the box office, at the arena. What did they handle? Handling Charge. Pu-lease. New york city, nickels and dimes you to death. Okay, so here's my little Highland waitress incident. I had already eaten, and I had some time to kill and went to this UGGHHHHH sports bar cause there was nothign else around and since I am on the wagon, had a non-alcoholic beer, then some cokes and a lite salad. There were two bartenders. One was really pretty and the other was a little heavier, but they were nice gals. I sat at the bar doing some work in fact. Next to me sit these two big, fat, old, looser guys. They begin to drink their buds. So, the fatter of the two says to the piece of ass, "the last time I was at the garden was to see the eagles about 20 years ago, it was a real good show." He was so fuckin annoying. He goes to me, what are you doing homework. Are you in New York University of somethign." Anyway, so they order like bacon cheese burgers. The two waitresses were serving everybody, they didn't have the bar split up into stations. While the heavier-set waitress, who was still quite lovely, goes to place their order the fat guy goes the playmate bartender, where's pudgy. "Look, don't call her that, I find that very offensive." I couldn't believe it. Look at this guy. No rap, the muscle tone of a bloated hippopatomus, , daring to call somebody pudgy. Anyway, they eat their food and get drunker and drunker, and the other guy starts going to the playmate bartender, "I love you, come here." "You're not my father," she says. "Don't you tell me to come here." "Come here now." "Look you two," she says. "Just calm down." So, they soon leave, but the disgusting thing is, THEY DON'T LEAVE A TIP. They abuse these poor women, and then they don't even leave the tip. What assholes. In fact, I think I left a bigger tip than usual just so they wouldn't hate men or Bob dylan fans. Of course, now I wonder if I am a hypocrit for complaining about ticket master charges and not about tipping waitresses. Well, at least they didn't ask me to draw a picture of them. Nonetheless, these guys were just total gavonnes. Well, on to the show. First piece of advice, get to theses arenas early and catch the Dave Alvin opener. He was awesome. He did some song jubilee or somethign, and this sort of melody which started with a song, called New Deal or somethign, THERE'S A NEW DEAL COMIN. It was great. Then, it was into Do-Re- Me then The Promised Land, Awesome. Awesome. Just really hot kick ass rock and roll. Then he plays Black Jack Davey, introducing it as a song of his new CD, "which is on sale in the Lobby just like at a club." He ends with the Blaster's hit, American Music. He is playing some great guitar, his band is tight, and he's jumping around like he did in Streets of Fire. The arena is filling up, Alvin leaves the stage with a very humble, "thanks for coming early everybody." Then Joni comes out wearing some cranberry colored pants suit, and damn, she still looks good. Big Yellow Taxi, and towards the end she says, here's a verse that Bob wrote and sang, big yellow tractor took away my house and land in her dylan impression. I realized a piece of dylan Trivia. This is the first time, both opening acts, sang Songs Bob has covered. Black Jack Davey and Big Yellow Taxi. I also realize, that it's 22 years since the Night of The Hurricane, which was the last time Joni and Bob shared the stage at MSG. She was great. In fact, it was her night. Her set was a little bit better than Bob's, and I think Alvin pushed everybody up a notch. He brought an energy that these icons played off of. NYC also gave her a warm, loving reception. She hasn't played in this town in a while, and she does have a following here. People came out to see her. And maybe she was alleviating that bad vibe reported in Indianopolis. Her guitar playing was extraordinary,and you can hear it's influence all over the place these days. And, it reminded me of a more jazz orientated version of Richie Haven's open tuning. In fact, in a way she reminded me of what Bob Weir does, Weir in the jam sections of the good dead jams, by redefining the rhythm guitar, making the actual chords the lead, and having the chord changes take shape the melody instead of having the chord changes dictated soley by the melody. It's easier or at least more common to have a lead guitar express emotion, but she was doing solely by her strums and her hand, that is, all the fingers, on the fret board. Now, I have fallen off the Joni band wagon of late. I haven't picked up her last two albums, and quite frankly, I don't listen to her much anymore. Which is probably a mistake. Because her song choice, made me remember what a great song writer she is. Let's see, there was Harry's House, Heijera, Black Crow, Ameila, which was absolutely stunning by the way, just like this Train, sex kills, and then this great version of Don Jaun's Reckless Daughter. This was rarely played even during her shadows and light tour. restless for streets and honky tonks, restless for home and routine. It is an anthem of some sort about lovers, the pain of romance, perfectly fitting in the Dylan context. Then there's really great line, the eagle and the serpent are at war in me, the eagle fighting for blind desire, the serpent for clarity. What an amazingly accurate comment about the meaning of self and all its contents. She also said that this was a union hall, very strict about their curfew so she would just be playing music. Although, she did a long intro to this song I am unfortunately unfamilar with that was about some kind of catholic orphanage. She sang the Billy Holiday song, Come Love, which was great but what was really interesting was that she lit a cigarette when she sang. Didn't she recently get treated for cancer or something? That Joni, she's hard core. There's a standing O call for an encore, and she comes out sans band and plays this truly poignant Woodstock, just her on her hollow body electric. She recaptured that song, and reinvented it. Standing O. total crowd adoration. After hearing some of the crap that the audience threw her way at previous shows, it did one's heart good to see this artist appreciated. So, a dose of blistering rock abilly tinged country and rock and roll by Alvin, and an intenesly personal, electric jazz set of confessional poetry the envy of an Anne Sexton, we're ready for the main event. But, compared to other opening acts, even the great Patti Smith, this time Dylan seemed more overshadowed than usual, which meant he would haave to really try a bit harder to the win the crowd. And that he did. By the way, the sound in the garden has much improved. I always remember hearing an echo there. No echo this time around. Very good sound. So, I am watching them shift the drum set and bring out Dylan and company's instrument. Even though I was in cheap seats, from the side to the back of the stage, I had a pretty good view. There's this one roadie, who comes out with a stack of towels, white towels, instutional brand towels, and he places them at predeterminded locations. Everybody in the band gets at least one towel. Guess it's in the contract. Are there new towels every show? Do they throw them out? Does the same guy collect the sweaty towels and gives them to a laundry service? Just, what is the deal on the towels? Then the same guy comes out with lit incense sticks, like they are in bunches and he places each bunch in these incense holders that look like flower pots or something. Wonder how much the incense/towel guy makes? Do you think he has a special title? The lights go down, and we hear that famous intro, Columbia recording artist, Bob Dylan. Gotta Serve Somebody He transforms this song from the gospel reggage Thump to a high speed rockin opener. He leaves out some of the verses, there's no Zimmy or Timmy. And he repeats the ambassador to england or france verse at the end. It's an electrified romp. These are two impressions of the show. It seemed a bit rushed. I mean, the songs seemed to have an accelerated tempo and I wondered if this was because they were racing the curfew. I remember, in 78, one of the MSG shows the ending tune was Forever Young, which was the last encore but everybody lit a match ala BTF album cover and my buddy, who had binoculars, said that right before the lights went back on Dylan and band were at the edge of the stage, ready for another encore. The union won out. New York's a tough town. My other impression is that compared to some shows, Dylan was psyched from the get go and he was going strong every song. My impression of the Newark show was that he started off sort of pissed but really shined towards the finale. This time, he was on from the start and for every song. Yes, he took most of the leads and while they still had the blues prediliction he's been exhibiting, there was more of a hendrix feel here, even some kind of fuzz effects. They had a real hard rockin edge to the playing, even when the melodies were more light hearted. It wasn't so much a contrast but an attitude, and an effective attitude at that. Thanks everybody, good to be here. I Want You He had a great vocal on this one, almost nashville skyline honey and more uptempo, hence close to the BOB original than the versions one hears on Buduakan or Dylan & Dead. It's obvious Bob is a really good mood. He's haaving fun. He's dressed like the back cover of Under The Red Sky. I think it's a suit. But he has on these white wing tip or sort of wing tip shoes, that are like on that album cover. I could see these shoes even though I was closr to the rafters than to the stage. Okay, now since I had a view of the back of Bob, I noticed something else. Now I know why he often fancies headwear. Bald spot. Not as big as well, I hate to admit it, MINE! (Some insist it's bigger than a spot!) But Bob is wearing a flesh colored yamulke. A small one, Okay. I would also suggest he is making it worse by dying his hair. We all know he dyes out the grey. You know, sometimes his hair seems kind of redish brown, other times black. Well, the guy has never had a good hair day. Perhaprs Rogaine would help, but personally, I hope he lets it go grey and let's it shine. It was nice to hear this one, haven't heard it in a while.
Subject: MSG (PART TWO) From: Herrick Timothy ( Date: 2 Nov 1998 13:56:34 -0800 Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues He introduces this song, "Good to be back in new york.I used to live here and I wrote this one when I did. Seems like yesterday, " (or words to that effect). Hey, pretty cool, him introing this song. He also did another intro, later in the show, I can't remember where, where he made mention of MSG, saying I haven't played here in a while, used to play here every year. It was odd. He was down right chatty throughout. He is working the crowd. I've heard better versions I think but not much better. Again, it was accelerated. Almost rushed. And the crowd just roars on the new york city line. The entire MSG roaring. Something to behold. This strikes me. First of all, there's no Silvio this tour and while I love this song, I don't miss it. Third song slot was for years reserved for AATWT, and Tough Moma held it briefly. But it seems to me the third song, is the first extended rocker where Dylan & Co. get their bearings. Silvio, always more jammy, also served this purpose. Well, this show, Tom Thumb was the beariing gainting rock and roller. And it served this purpose well, even though the jams didn't emerge. He just wasn't into jamming, and again, I think he had to rush through the act a tad. Make You Feel My Love Real quick intro, I wrote this song for grath brooks. Said it real quick. Sounded better than on record. Have to admit, my least favorite song on TOOM. But it had a harder edge, any of the sappiness on TOOM, or added by Garth or Joel were gone. Can't Wait He goes right into this one. Just right into it. And it's blistering. In fact, I think this was the best song of the evening in terms of performance. The air buuuuuuuuuuuuurns. I can't even think straiiiiiight. It has this driving Muddy Waters Alman Brothers thing going on. The crowd is into it as well, although they too are more animated for the more familiar stuff. But I just loved this performance of this song. voice real ragged, combining bitterness with determined survival. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right. When this song opened the acoustic portion, I was like, wait a second, this is an encore song. What is it doing here? Especially hearing reports of Tomorrow Night, Tomorrow is such a long time and lonsesome death of Hattie Carrol, I was truly anticipating a some rabbit out of the hat acoustic tune, something from left field, an underplayed gem. Instead, we get this chestnut and I am like, well this is typical. He never does the really out of left field stuff by the time he reaches the new york ever. I think there's too much attention on the new york shows, too many industry people, too many critics. Of course, I'm soon won over. The crowd loves this song, everybody is singing along too. Hell, why not. It's the garden and there's plenty of people here who haven't gone to a dylan show ever or recently and let's not kid ourselves, this is a new york folk song, one of the early non protest numbers that became and stayed an instant classic. And since Dylan is the comeback kid, this show was a come back for him. Just playing this large a venue, first time he played it, not counting the bob fest, in 12 years, with Tom Petty. And I felt that he was thinking, this has to be done, play to the crowd, keep everybody happy and enthusiastic. I haven't heard this one in a while, and it was great, and of course, Bob plays the harp. He doesn't do the coat hanger thing around his neck anymore, no more harmonica holder, he just picks it up and plays. The solo wasn't fantastic, or say as heartfelt as the trembling solo perfomed at Homdel during My Back Pages, it was a rowdy harmonica version, and he turns around and plays it for the behind the stage crowd, whose response amplfies the arena's euphoria. I got to talking to this real sweet woman next to me. hey, people like to talk to me. I've been told I have the eyes of a priest and people tend to confess. Anyway, we were talking about getting tickets that night and she somehow tells me, oh I left my husband in September and just decided to go. I was like, good for you. But, I glanced at her and she was like really digging, you just kind of wasted my precious time. It was a realy rowdy, HOOTENANY VERSION OVERALL. The celebtratory atmosphere was mounting. And, he ends the song with the harp, but I notice and they come to the end, and he blows his final notes, he signals to Tony Garnier. Garnier signals the other guys. This is definetely how it works. Tony Follows Bob and everyone else follows Tony. Well, at least the harp is back. But I get this feeling that Dylan just was playing it to play it. The 95 shows, he was really doing some harp work of a phenomenal nature. Seems afterwards, he switched his attention to the guitar. When he brought it out, at other shows, it was a minimal appearance whose limited time was made up for some emotional playing. But hey, Bob plays the harp, especially on a song such as this, I ain't one to complain. This is Dylan. This is the man and the icon. This is the sound that started it all, that remains entrenched in American concsicouness. Bob, guitar, harp. Masters Of War Very rushed, again influenced by Vedder's version, but with a harder strutt to it, really playing up the weird folk groove this song has gotten. The crowd loved it, and I guess there's a lot of freewheelin fans out there. Dylan left out some verses, and I didn't really get a relevance rush that I did with other versions, mainly because there wasn't much war in the news or something. Oh, I don't know. It's always good to hear, always relevant, of course, but this seemed closer to a run through than usual Again though, Baxter's mandolin playing really has made this new version. 8. One Too Many Mornings I half expected Larry Campbell to sing BEHIND ala Danko on RAH. This was a nice countrified waltz outing on this classic. Dylan with the post hastioplasmisos ennunciation and TOOM inflection gave this love song a different intrepation. But I was like, gee whiz, TUIB has to be next and this acoustic set was all well known stuff. No weird cover tunes, no White Dove or anything like that. Awe shucks, he's back in the GARDEN and playing to the fairweather fans. Plus, this was another tune that seems to occur more often in the encore slot than highlighted in the acoustic portion of the main set. Bob keeps us guessing. . Tangled Up In Blue Very very rushed. A real big cheer for Heading for another joint, and there was a bunch of pot smoking going on. Truck drivers wives. I love this song, but maybe it is time to hang this one up. I still liked it though, cause it is a great song, and the weird shift of narrator and geography, reminded me of, Don Jaun's Reckless Daughter. But this version was done for the Anthem nature this FM classic has become. How far we''e all travelled since his solo acoustic version of Night of the Hurricane when he first debuted this song live to a big apple crowd. Joey so, they strap on the electirc and they drag this one out, but it is really well served by the uptempo acceleration that marked this evening's performance. He really ran through the Ssister Jacquline and Carmella and Mother Mary all did weep, very quickly sung and I don't think he included all three. But I am like, gee whiz, he played this and Tom thumb in 95, and the acoustic songs often enough and maybe at that beacon show with Patti too.I guess these are the new york songs. But it was a great version and it's a great song and it got a great response. I think there's a real Desire revival going on. Perhaps it is connected to the retro 70s thing and people are sick of goofin on disco. Desire is popular. It is has moved beyond the hard core fan realm and even Joey is recognized. The Times We've Known (Charles Aznavour) So, just as I was about to say oh well, no surpirses this show. Dylan says something about some song writer he likes, didn't quite get it, and then says I usually play this stuff when I'm by myself. But I feel like I'm by myself. I have never heard this song before. I have no idea who this Charles Aznavour fellow is, and quite frankly, the only part of the song I can make out is the refrain, The Times We've Known. I called up a friend after this show, figuring he might know it. I said, it could be a willie nelson song or a Frank Sinatra song. IT seemed to me it sounded like Hank Williams singing something off of Wee Small Hours. It was quite strange. Everyone was baffled. But of course, it just made me love Dylan again and make it worthwhile to hear another version of TUIB. Think of the context. Dylan's return to MSG. So far, the set is vibrant but hit oriented. Everyone is digging it, everyone is welcoming him back. And, it's placement is like at the end of the set. IN BETWEEN JOEY AND HW61. What does dylan usually do here, a TOOM song, or something very recognizable. Wasn't Tom Thumb in this slot. Hasn't a LARS been played here? Instead, he plays this version, which didn't even sound rehearsed which made it all the much better. It's radical. In fact, it is down right peverse. I was like right on, a song I don't know, a song I never heard before. A song I know nothing about. And it is like such a weird cross over, countried rock kurt weil. Was it great. No, not really. Not in and of itself. But, it just shows you that Dylan continues to challenge himself and his audience. Scratch the last one. He doesn't really care what the audience wants or maybe he does, but he also gives them something they do not expect. That is remarkable, that is why he is so great. He is somehow, true to himself, damn the critics, damn what's expected. It would have been a lot easier if he played some well known folk songs when he launched the electric 66 shows. But he didn't. Maybe in 30 years this type of stuff will be the new RAH. And now, I got to find out who this Charles Aznavour guy is? Anyway, that was the highlight, because it was so unexpected and you could tell that Dylan was diggin in even though at times the band seemed as bafffled as the crowd. But the applause at the conclusion thundered. People got it. Highway 61 Revisited A harder edge, a little less riffing and some more Hendrixizing. So, the audience is going nuts of course, having a good time. And they get the encore Love Sick Don't have to sell this song any more. We all know it and dylan played it well. In fact, with a harsher edge. Plun DER and Thun Der. He is drawing out the lyrics too. People love it. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 Yeah, what can you say except that having this second to last makes it shorter. Blowin' In The Wind I used to sing this song in church when I was a kid. But Bob regained this song tonight, a great ending to the show, heavy on freewheelin roots, another song he probably wrote in the new york days. Everyone claps along. It's a nice straight version too. By the way, at the end, Bob waves to everyobdy but he has his hand on his side, I think he was having back pain, he did this a few times during the show. It seemed like siatica, but Iwasn't close enough for a full diagnosis the lights go up, despite cries for another encore. Again, the union was at work here. So, that was my show, from the cheap seats, and I have to point out, that the cheap seats were good, and there were plenty of empty seats. I noticed many tourists. There were was this one group from Italy who jabbered through most of the show and left midway through dylan's set. You are kind of removed from the stage, so there's playing. On one side of me is this couple making out and on the other side, is the gal who left her husband enjoying her freedom. You had to walk out flights and flights of stairs to get outside. Too many people, too much sports paraphenial, too big a place. So, in a way it was anti climatic Bob's return to MSG, and then at the peak of the show, does a Charles Aznavour Song admits what is basically a greatest hit set. We head to the PATH. Autumn in full swing. The feast of all saints day draws to a close.
Subject: Re: Remarks after "Joey" From: Dan Levy ( Date: Tue, 03 Nov 1998 11:40:09 -0500 In article <>, (AxlRoth) wrote: > He definitely said, "I don't think I'm going to play it again." But before > that I thought he said he played it too fast. > > Alex That's right. He said something like, that's a little faster than we usually play it, but we're not going to play it again.
Subject: SADIE GETS PUMPED FOR BOB (11/1/98 MSG, NYC REPORT) From: sadie ( Date: 12 Nov 1998 04:18:01 GMT SADIE GETS PUMPED FOR BOB 01 November, 1998 Madison Square Garden New York City My husband and I had a test run the week before, leaving our 3 month old with my brother (who has a 6 month old) while we went to see Doc Watson and David Grisman play at Town Hall. Some of you gals will know why I did a test run. Leaving your almost newborn baby with a baby-sitter (even if it is your big brother) for the first time is not much fun - no matter how entertaining the evening's event might be. I can't say that I remember as much about that Doc Watson show as I remember how my daughter looked sleeping peacefully when I got back to my brother's after the show (peacefully sleeping what a relief!). So I didn't want this Bob show to be like that. I didn't want to be thinking about my baby all through 'Masters of War' and 'Don't Think Twice.' Anyway. To get back to November 1. Got to big bro's house at 6:45 where I quickly topped the little girl off and left her parallel playing happily on the floor next to her cousin. I put the frozen milk (the precious 4 ounces) on the kitchen counter. Breast milk which I had pumped at various times the week before, whenever she slept through a 4am feeding. [Blurry eyed, stumbling down to the kitchen and squinting at the bright light, nuking the pump in the microwave sterilizer and collecting every precious drop in little plastic bags headed for the freezer labeled "October 27, 4am", "October 29, 5:15am" etc.] All for Bob, or should I say, for my baby so that I could leave her for more than 3 hours at my brothers house while I snuck away to see Bob. I left two other bags of frozen milk in the freezer, and showed my sister-in-law the bag with the pacifier (just in case), her favorite blanket and some burp cloths, her jammies, extra jammies, 6 diapers (size 2 huggies), did I forget anything? um nope I don't think so. My husband rang the bell downstairs and off I went into the night. Off to see Bob. The place smelled like French fries and the ladies room was deserted and super clean. We were hearded down a long passageway with a crowd and into our section. My husband got one of the new tee-shirts (the one with the lonesome hobo guitar player walking down a dark street) and I got the wee gray tank (the one with the Egyptian eye on the front.) We skipped the poster because Joni's picture was better than Bob's. We were in the loge on the house left side which meant I'd get a good look at Bob's guitar but would have to watch Larry's back all night. We were right under some big-ass speakers hanging over the stage. The sound was loud and ugly. Dave Alvin was pretty good - sort of a Bruce Springsteen meets Johnny Cash kinda guy. His deep bass voice was not as memorable as his stylish guitar playing. Joni was wonderful. But it's hard for me to be objective about her. She was the Dylan of my youth. All through high school I listened to her, had every LP and every songbook, knew all the words by heart. The first time I ever went on my own (without a parent) to see live music was when my friend Dossie and I went to see her play at Tanglewood during the Shadows and Light tour. We took the bus out to Lenox, hitchhiked from there to the Twood grounds, leaving our sleeping bags in a field nearby. The show. It was some show. Everyone was there - The Temptations, Jaco Pastorius, Pat Methany, Don Elias, Michael Brecker, etc. Folk/Jazz/Pop/Fusion at its very best. We slept out under the stars after the show and bathed the next morning in the bathroom of a Lenox restaurant before taking the bus back to Boston. Those of you who don't have any Joni Mitchell albums should go out and get that live one, Shadows and Light. It's the best. Any way, as much as I loved Joni - I can't say that I listen to her much anymore. Hardly at all. But in honor of her performance at the Garden I got the new Herbie Hancock album of Gershwin tunes because she sings on two of the tracks (it's a disappointment and I don't recommend the album at all). "Columbia Recording Artists presents....." Clearly Bob was thrilled to be in NY and pleased with himself for selling so many seats in the large venue (based on the crowd's welcome of Joni Mitchell I'm sure that she had something to do with it). The folk on the floor were on their feet for most of the show and they were enthusiastically well behaved. With my binoculars I could see that Bob was playing his J50 and wearing those white, patent leather, grandpa's in Florida shoes, black tux pants and an unstructured jacket with a patch pocket of the left breast, gray shirt with French cuffs and some kinda tie. His hair was on the long side and very fluffy. And I was ready with a pad of paper and a pen to capture as much as I could of the evening's entertainment. Only thing worth mentioning about 'Serve Somebody' was Larry's guitar solo (in fact, that could be said of most of the songs that night.) The backup vocals were almost entirely inaudible, as if the boys were just going through the motions. This new arrangement has nothing new to add and I wish they'd just play a recording from 1980 and leave it at that. Either that or do something really different and WOW us all...but in theory it ain't a bad song to warm up on. All through 'I Want You' Bob treated us to more guitar hero posing, smiling at every opportunity. Last time I looked this was not a smiling, guitar hero song. He introduced 'Tom Thumb' by saying something about how "it seems like yesterday." He played one of his 3 note solos and the crowd went nuts. I don't mean to sound overly critical of Bob's playing. I admire his musicianship and look to him for inspiration. But when I want to be inspired I put on World Gone Wrong, not a recent concert tape. I miss the days back in '94 (or was it '95?) when he put the guitar down and sang a few songs without it because when he isn't being distracted by the spectacle he makes of himself with the deep knee bends and the Chuck Berry vamping, man can he sing! "This is a song played by Garth Brooks, he does it so well I'm going to try to do it just as good" 'To Make You Feel My Love' featured some nicest vocals of the evening and for the first time of the night it sounded as though Bob was connecting with the material. He sang real close to the mic, was right on top of it, and gave the song a sense of intimacy. Sometimes he almost spoke, sometimes crooning, sometimes stretching the vocal line up high in his register and sometimes letting it lay down low where it barely growls. The band did a fine job hanging back until the instrumental break just at the end of the song. Unfortunately Bob didn't reiterate the refrain as he does on the album. Not sure why he cut it short, it was going so well. During 'Can't Wait' Bob and Larry played a tidy little duet together. This is one of my favorite live versions of the TOOM songs and usually I can barely contain myself during it and get up and block the view of folks sitting behind me - dancing fool that I am - but this was a rather flat, perfunctory performance. I danced for a minute in my seat and then gave it up. The acoustic instruments sounded metallic. Like they was playing the show inside a tin can. Not one of the more memorable sets: nothing bad about it nor anything revelational either. During 'Don't Think Twice' Bob took his guitar solo to the folks behind the stage. I turned to my husband and said, "isn't that sweet of him," he answered, by reminding me in a deadpan that "Bob is a ham". The best part was the instrumental at the end of '12 many AMs'. This band has a great talent for framing Bob's guitar so that the his rhythmic play from note back to note works as a percussive harmony with their more delicate phrasing. Even Kemper has been able to perfect a sort of delicate style on the kit which meshes perfectly in the context of more introspective acoustic numbers like this one. 'Tangled' was pretty dreadful as 'Tangleds' go, in that it was too fast, too anthematic and too rocked out for my taste. But then again, I'm always putting on those dark, moody, outtakes from the New York sessions. Joey had a nice funky groove but the arrangement was a bit too fast for the vocals so it didn't really work. Even Bob thought so. Perhaps his mind was already on the next song coming up. One of those "first time performed live anywhere" songs that appear on bootleg CD compilations which he introduced by saying something like, "we played that too fast, I'm not gonna play it again ha ha ha. I'm going to try something here - a guy playing up the street that I've always liked - Aznavour's his name, I guess he's from some place in France. Any way I saw him in France a long time ago he was playing up here now...I'm going to play one of his songs. I usually play these things all by myself, but I feel like I'm all by myself now." This last comment was directed to the audience as a joke about how many people were in the room - it was clearly not meant as some sort of criticism of his band. 'The Times We've Known' (by Charles Aznavour who was in fact playing a run at one of the Broadway theaters in NYC) was the best song of the night. Hands Down. Perfect song for Bob and sung more introspectively and heartfelt than anything else so far. It actually sounded as though he were WRITING THE SONG as he was singing it to us. But that's the miracle of live music. Bob took a chance, and sang a song he wasn't accustomed to sing in his show - and clearly was able to channel himself through it more directly than during any of the songs he sang that night that were his own. "The dream every dreamer takes and makes his own" With hesitations, pauses, some small stammers, and bold singing out on the proud parts. The best thing about it was that there he stood - the king of bitter irony (whose most recent album of original songs capture to perfection the bitterest ironies), singing the most idealistic song you could imagine. "Life was hard and chances few, still I was rich in having you, and people said we wouldn't go far, we went ahead and here we are...." I wasn't expecting to be surprised and caught off guard at this show. And based on the first 3/4 of the show - I was sure I wasn't going to be. And then he went and sang that song. I love it when Bob does covers. Because they're not his he has to reach outside himself farther and we get a glimpse during that reach - a glimpse of something private and inward, and a struggle to make it work because it's not his. And that struggle is often more interesting than any other triumph that is a bit too easily won. What a treat. Can't wait for the CD compilation. Band introductions followed and then Bob said something like, "I want to thank you for coming. I haven't played this place in a long time. When I used to do it I didn't appreciate it but I sure do now" which had me thinking that Bob was getting sentimental in his old age, or was it the early onset of senility? Or maybe I'm just getting cynical. Or maybe I just can't wait for Bob to start playing those small venues again. Maybe *he* won't appreciate it as much, but I sure will. 'Highway 61' featured some wickedly fast and stylish guitar solos from Larry. The bass was turned way up. My seat was shaking. Bob was enjoying himself but after the beautiful singing on the previous song it was anti-climatic. The Master mumbling lyrics and strutting his 3 note playing guitar hero stuff. Lovesick was better. One of the best performances I've heard as a matter of fact. Bob started very quietly - undersinging the first two verses in such a way that made you want to sit on the edge of the seat. The menacing downbeats of the band indicating something sinister to come. He lost some of his momentum during the break but then picked up with the "lover in the meadow" verse, building from the quiet into his best bitter but oh so sexy irony. Sarcazm. He ended with the final verse (after yet another simply spectacular solo by Larry) with an earnest tell it like it is voice, "I'm sick of love, wish ahhhhhhhhh'd never met you" which built into a desperate plea with "I'm sick of love I'm TRYING TO FORGET YOU! I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! " and then his voice slipped down into a lower register grumble with "I'd give anything to be with you". The final song of the night was 'Blowin' in the Wind', a new arrangement (for me), with rousing back up harmonies. Bob sang each verse with sincerity. With a heartfelt poignancy - like he really meant every word. He gave it the treatment that I wish he'd have given 'Tangled': Sing it like it was a new song - not some overplayed anthem. On each refrain, "The answer my friends..." the boys came in with a stirring, rich, resounding harmony. And after the final instrumental they sang the refrain one last time acapella. It was a wonderfully uplifting way to end the show. What a novelty- ending a show on something other than 'RDW' ;+} Then we were hustled out of our seats and hearded with the masses out of the venue. We got back to my brother's and there she was, my little sweetie pie, sleeping peacefully (peacefully sleeping what a relief!) All we had to do was pack her into the baby bjorn snugly (the one with the Egyptian eye patch sewed on the front, or course) and take a cab back home. Delia ain't dead, she let down... xx sadiejane

May - June - July - August - September - October - November 1998 setlists