It's a bigger concert hall tonight; bigger city. The average age of
the crowd is 50. Funny to be the kid again. The hockey plexiglass is
still up in a c curve around the back of the stage. The stage has
consistently been set up over one of the goals for these three shows.
Bob as puck. I am thinking of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" when
Backdoor Man comes on over the sound system and clears my head.
Four men on the floor, so far, look exactly like Greil Marcus. None
of them are. Is this a coincidence, or is there a plan here? "Baby
Please Don't Go (Down to New Orleans)" comes on over the sound system
and clears my head. I'm feeling jaggy and denied -- there's a part of
me that is very sorry for gainful employment and the high cost of
airline travel, and that would love to follow the show for awhile --
be 19 and in a car with no showers for two weeks at the end of being
responsible and working all summer vacation.
The security guards here are all huge and young. Most seem to have
thorn-rings tattooed around their biceps. No one is allowed to dance
along the edge of the stage. So we stand there quietly as is possible
in front of our seats, being sedate.
This is difficult when Rainy Day Women's the first song. The boys in
the band in beige, the man in black. And oh my, what a gorgeous
bright-yellow ascot! Thanks, Bob, for brightening up a dour day.
Despite the security guards' immense size they are as if ignorant on
the no-photos front. People are flashing away, recording on cameras
and cellphones and even a Handycam, and no one is even cautioned.
There should be some good footage from this show available from
someone. Not me; they ask for no pictures, and I respect this...but
have a moment's pang as I am in such a prime place for taking a
few... The incense burning adds considerably to this song.
It Ain't Me is done as sweet refusal, no-thank-you. He purrs out, and
delivers in an almost Appalachian voice, the "Awwwwwwww...hit ain't
me, babe"s. Puts the harp down, thinks about it, then picks it up for
a full-force blow to end the song.
Rollin' and Tumblin' again and I like it more tonight -- Bob's got the
bob-and-weave down pat, and his shifty-shouldered dance moves are fun
to watch. Security guards, pah -- I'm dancing too.
the tune-up to the next song includes some goofing on the harp, name
that tune, written in the stars (ah ah ah), ohmigosh, it's Positively
4th Street. Done not as a screw-you but as almost a ballad: he
lingers over the shooooooow it, meeeeeeean it, screeeeeam its, and the
middle of the line rises, on the "hurt" for instance. A really
interesting arrangement and I like it; I feel soothed, mellow almost,
and then suddenly his intensity hits -- during the savage instrumental
his thin body rippling with the melody, his mouth twisting as he
worked the keyboards made me surprised by tears.
Tweedledum/dee has a Summer-in-Siam-ish beginning and a Pride (in the
Name of Love) pulse to it, these both detoxed for me by Denny's
frenetic guitar. High Water had Donnie's fine banjo, but when the
full-on drums set in you can't hear a word Bob's singing. Bob and the
banjo are sorta all you need on this one.
During Beyond the Horizon much of the rest of the front row past us
left to buy beer. They didn't come back for five or six songs.
Levee's Gonna Break starts in before poor Donnie has his mandolin on,
but it doesn't phase him. More people leave. Compared to Moncton,
and particularly Saint John, this is a night-of-the-living-dead
crowd. The 1-2-3 arrangement of Levee isn't helping at this point in
the show, though: woohoo, we can play three chords, garage-band style
rules. I yawn but I have the grace, I hope, to turn my head to do it.
Nettie Moore remakes my evening when it's needed most. Donnie's
fiddle is silky and sad. The first lines of the song are almost
spoken, quietly and clearly. The hurdy-gurdy riffs of the keyboards
guide this number, and Bob's voice is great on it, rising in midline
-- "Oh I MISS ya Nettie Moore." Once he hesitates, then repeats, the
personal pronoun a string of times: "I I I I'm ridin with you ..."
This one number would have been worth ticket price.
Highway 61 is a carnival tonight, and he delivers it almost like a
carnival barker: come and see the show. After, he goes to talk with
George and Tony, and they launch into Workingman's Blues -- Donnie
great on this one. Bob seems to be looking forward to Newfoundland
already, very conscious of where he is, when he sings so clearly a
line about being tossed by the winds, the seas. He punches out that
beautiful qualifier of "continual" crime. He sings the line brand new
wife with a touch of something,
It's Alright Ma is funked up, words not as clear. Muddy sound from
the band. He tumble-falls at the end of the long lines:
"dyyyyyyyyyyyying," "naaaaaaaaaaked." It's hard to make out the
other words except from close by. The rest of the front row return,
and a tall man in Rem Koolhaas glasses demands stridently, "is he
picking it up?" I play dumb out of contentiousness and smile brightly
and stupidly at him. Bob answers him for me by launching into Spirit
on the Water, which makes me laugh. He's got another smile for
Donnie, who has entirely inherited the Bob head-move while playing.
Wrong harp. Roadie flies up with the right one, sets it behind
Oscar. Bob puts a sweet coda to the song with it. Suddenly I realize
he's the only one on stage who never sips water despite the heat, and
the sweat rolling down them all by the end.
No one dances to Summer Days. This is a seaport. Don't sailors
DANCE? Ah. People DO dance to All Along the Watchtower.
Encore: Thunder on the Mountain, Rolling Stone. The walking eye
crowned in flame curtain attempts to fall and gets hung up, twisted in
the middle. The logo looks pleasantly like a giant butterfly. The
band introductions are interesting -- Bob introduces Denny while he's
having a drink of water and comments on this, then gets to Donnie and
announces, "Donnie's from Brazil. Doesn't speak a word of English,
but he communicates" -- does he say -- "without havin to" or "with his
hands"? A new debate for the ages. Donnie grins. Rolling Stone is
somehow fresh on the umpteenth time tonight, and strangely intimate --
not grand and ponderous and marching as it sometimes seems. I don't
realize until the end that my eyes are wet. We walk out of the
terribly designed stadium, all the way up stairs, then back down, into
a chilly windy night. Everyone starts to smoke, and no one wants to
go home. It's before 10. Soon the bars on the hillside are full. A
56-year-old father and his 19-year-old son have both just heard Dylan
for the first time, and stand together in the street, talking, for a
long time. The son wants to take the ferry to Newfoundland, and
they're discussing the feasibility.
What a fine three days. A birthday I'll always remember and for which
I'm most grateful -- in a lovely part of the world, too, where I had a
lot of fun and saw some beautiful places. Put Atlantic Canada on your
vacation list if you like the open sea with whales and iceberg shards
in it, wide open places, hiding out in the woods, excellent seafood,
and every 6 or 10 years or so, a little night music.
This is wonderful writing. I really appreciate your reviews and your
descriptions of the places you visited on this Bob tour of the Atlantic
Your description of Halifax is especially poignant, as I've found the
city, and all of Nova Scotia very appealing the times I've been there.
New Brunswick's biggest city, Moncton, is for me, the weak link of the
Maritimes. St Johns is a nice city and Fredericton nicest of all.
For me, the real jewel is Prince Edward Island, with its pleasant
capital, Charlottetown,which so close to all the beaches and the
wonderful scenic drives.
And best of all is Newfoundland. If you didn't make it this time, Annie,
make sure you get there some day. It's like no where else in North America.
This is sooooooooo trippy.
I was thinking, I don't really remember how to describe it, after I
made my last post, just in theory, would anyone respond to it, and the
first person I thought of was Debra.
It was just in theory.
You know, totally hypothetical.
Wait, That's not really what it was. Well, sort of, yes. How to
I was reading my post up on the Internet, and maybe it was kind of
like, who's support do I need right now, or something like that, and
the first and only person I thought of was Debra.
This is NOT the first time this has happened, either.
You know what just occured to me.
Maybe Debra is there to remind Bob Dylan that I am not good enough for
him, and to keep going being Bob Dylan for everybody else.
I thought it was a nice thing, and now I feel like the whore of
Babylon, I'm not kidding.
The reason I think it's a bad thing is because I am remembering the
very first time I told on the Internet how I cheated on Mr. Dylan,
with Jim, and she/you responded, and INCLUDED a COPY of what I wrote,
and I thought, it's up there as a BAD thing, you want everyone to
always be able (I feel like crying) to see that, that I cheated with a
kiss, and unzipped his pants, I was on MAJOR speed, I was in another
world, but that's where it stopped, I realized, when I saw his penis,
that he wasn't Bob Dylan, it made me realize, BOB DYLAN IS REALLY OUT
THERE, THIS IS NOT BOB DYLAN.
Oh, fuck me, I feel nauseous, I am going to have to go try and look
that up and see what the comment was.
Omg, I feel sick. (not too bad, but my stomach is doing flip flops)
I guess I was right.
I feel like cutting my throat.
She wants Bob Dylan to rock on.
Thanks so much, double-r, for your kind words. I was on PEI once as a
girl (inevitably, the Anne of Green Gables thing) but missed it this
time around. However, there'll certainly be a next time -- I really
loved being in the area.
Omg, This is bad.
I was just going to write, well, at least I know Debra still reads
RMD, with a ":)."
But now I hear the music to Fargo in the background, and I'm pretty
I agree, really real. Always a pleasure to read St. Annie.
Stu Kimball, in hat and glasses and what looks close to
> stage gear, crosses the street while I'm stopped at a light. I don't
Then you could have come onto RMD and written a letter to him and
posted as Simon Dord.
(p.s. ouch i am having terrible sharp pinching chest pain. i tried to
read this, after Babs' post, but i am not in the mood, it's too slow
for me, it's very nice, i saw that part, bob dylan looked like
royalty, that sounded so beautiful, oh great, now everyone is going to
think i am some kind of gold-digger and social climber, it's not fair,
i didn't think bob dylan was social, I THOUGHT HE LIVED AT HOME ALL
ALONE, but that he was depressed and lonely, and I LOVED him, and
wanted to be with him. :( :( :( )
Ok, but I guess he's all happy now, he has a wonderful life, it's ok,
I understand, I will wait for him forever, I'm a bad person. :( :( :(
Bob Dylan doesn't want my children. :( :( :( :(
HOW CAN I HAVE CHILDREN ANYWAY? I TAKE PSYCH MEDS!!!!!!!
Anyway, maybe we are too alike, if I want to have a healthy baby, I
should pick someone totally different than I am. (like an African-
BUT I WANT BOB DYLAN MORE.
Wait. I'm totally confused.
When I wrote earlier today that if I had a child who was mentally
challenged, I would love him more than anyone else in the whole world,
but you know what I just realized?
I was thinking of the Bob Dylan I was loving after I saw him in DLB on
speed, as "retarded."
At first I was horrified, like OH NO! What's happening to my video??
But it gave me all kinds of ideas, and I was thinking about Bob Dylan.
I guess I love Bob Dylan more than I love myself.
If I loved myself, and took care of myself, like everyone says, maybe
I would be brought back to him somehow, or he would call.
As it is, I love him more, and nobody likes my personality.
I WANT BOB DYLAN BACK, AND I WANT HIM BACK RIGHT NOW.
if he doesn't want me, then i still don't want to have sex with anyone
else, or have a baby with anyone else.
You're a great big fart face, Bob Dylan.