Bob and his Band in the Maritimes, deuxieme & troisieme nights

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St. Annie

May 23, 2008, 4:43:13 PM5/23/08
Moncton: Driving onto a bridge with a height restriction -- "hauteur
restreinte." This seems to me a good thing to restrain. I giggle.
Wonder if the Bobmobile came this way or had to take a road with
higher clearances.
The entry to town is a huge motor mile, car dealership after
dealership. It turns into Main Street: a likely-looking pub called
the Old Triangle, a less likely looking joint called the Lonestar
Texas Grill. 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
Park and explore. La Tour Aliant is made of cement, put up in 1971,
127 metres high and unpleasant. Pleasant are the little Econo-roules
that are the local government cars for the city -- tiny Smart cars.
The Old Triangle is indeed worth it. The owner's a huge music fan but
isn't going to the show. He loved Neil Young and The Band, and I
sense national pride. He's also glad that Bob keeps coming back to
Moncton -- for a long time they didn't have concerts in the hockey
arena, which the coliseum chiefly is. "He'd never get recognized
here. By me, yes."
The concert hall is another flat hockey bowl, pale blue seats like
Yankee Stadium's, another metal roof that turns out to be super for
acoustics. Old blues are the pre-show soundtrack and I sit and listen
this time. It's like Theme Time Radio without the commentary: blues
and old mountain tunes. Wicked good fiddle playing and blues
guitars. Red Sails at Sunset, Matchbox. I sing along to myself,
"Then I held her in my arms and told her of her many charms...." The
friendliest security guards on record. I spend a long time hearing
about local gal Anne Murray's sold-out show here from one of 'em.
They spend quality time on us; we're in the first row at the aisle.
Presale rocks.
Rampantly varied concessions. The only beer for sale looks to be
Moosehead. No, wait -- there's Alpine, too. Kids are buying shirts
and changing into them on the spot. The only cd for sale is Modern
Times. The male to female ratio is about 30 to one. No lines at the
ladies' room. At 7:15 there are still rafts of seats available but
it's starting to fill -- about 2300 for the show, I'd say. Roadies
scurry around the stage. Oscar's guarding the harmonicas. All is
And Cat's in the Well. Cameras are flashing like strobes, and no one
stops them. The band's in black, Bob in black with blood-red trim.
Same hat. Same lower-register voice soaring up when you don't
particularly expect it to.
A whiny wah-wah start to....what can it be? We start playing name-
that-tune and all win at the same time as we recognize It Ain't Me,
Babe. Bob leaves off the spat-out "babes" at the end of the refrain
lines. He puts a sweet rise-and-fall to the lines: "Someone who'll
die for ya" flies up, and "and more" falls down again. Donnie follows
-- why, I start to wonder, is he the only one without a hat? He's
ALWAYS had a hat. Loved him in hats from the old BR-549 days. Then
from my vantage point I get it right: if he wears a hat it's going to
look for the whole show to everyone front & center as if Bob's wearing
two. Theory, or reality?
Cool boots Bob has on, and flashes 'em with that little left-toe-
grinding-out-a-cigarette-butt move. The reek of stage incense makes
me feel like I'm at Mass. I sorta am. As Bob plays his eyebrows
arch, and even a smile, not a grimace. He crouches and bends low over
the keys.
Rollin' and Tumblin' goes on for awhile, but it's good.
Tangled Up in Blue is great. He shifts from I to he, sings the
"destroyed" line for New Orleans, "don't tell me but I guess I know
your name," "She started ta laugh in my face." He picks up the
harmonica and then puts it down, nods at Denny, who takes to solo.
"Some are truck drivers' wives."
Levee's Gonna Break is all right; at the end Bob's long thin fingers
shuffle the set list and he and Tony consult during the blackout.
Because of the keyboards light and Oscar's little spotlight you can
always see him. Slow going, then George lays down a beat, and the
name of that tune is Mississippi. Beautifully donw, with a long
swinging beat that soothes like a rocking chair. The keyboards drive
the song. When Bob sings "things should start ta get interesting in
here right about now" the audience agrees with him. At the end, he
John Brown's not a smiling song. Audience very quiet. Donnie's banjo
is superb.
Honest With me is too loud -- Bob's words get drowned out too much.
He drags out words: "baaaaaaaseball bat in the air." In the middle of
the song, he takes his hands off the keyboards as the others play,
adjusts his lapels, flicks his fingers through the hair at the back of
his neck. He looks like royalty. Then, tongue out for a moment,
crouching and slinking behind the keyboards, he plays. Donnie's
watching his hands like a hawk.
Just Like a Woman is grand for the shifting lyrics, the harp solo.
It's Alright Ma is crystal clear, every word, but the band's raggy on
it. I just now notice, concentrating on his voice, no tie or ascot
tonight -- open-necked shirt. His throat is white and fine and the
sight of it makes him look younger.
Honky-tonkin and crooning through "Beyond the Horizon" -- and
something makes the band start laughing. Apart from the humor value
in the song itself, the lounge-lizard delivery, what could it be? The
roadies are rushing to fix something. The stage-right sound system
suddenly goes dark. Hmm. But no one cares, because Bob is outright
laughing now, and so is Donnie, and suddenly we in the front crack up
too. They everyone laughs a good long time. Bob takes a good long
hang-out with Donnie before the next song, and he's still laughing
when it starts, even though it's Highway 61. Between the Howard and
Louie verses he has a good solid guffaw. The crowd is delighted to
see him delighted. It's sorta anticlimactic for many reasons when
Spirit on the Water ensues.
Summer Days is okay, but Masters of War is delightful. Bob pretty
much takes the first verse himself, and the band comes in fully on the
Thunder on the Mountain, first encore, and Rolling Stone, second --
something old, something new. Both solid and what the people wanna

St. Annie

May 23, 2008, 6:09:31 PM5/23/08
Halifax: Nova Scotia is gorgeous, even on a misty grey day.
Particularly on a misty grey day. The harborfront is long and feels
like Boston/Charlestown might have long ago. The hotel room is where
Oscar Wilde stayed when he was on his North American lecture tour of
1882. Chive and a pub called The Press Gang and Gio, the restaurant
at the Prince George Hotel right across the street from the show, are
fine places for meals. Barrington Street is littered with funky
little shops, coffee joints, and a labyrinth of a used bookstore,
stacks of books spilling over two floors, where I sit on the floor and
read for two hours while it rains.

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.
xx Annie

really real

May 23, 2008, 11:53:38 PM5/23/08

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.

really real

May 24, 2008, 9:13:22 AM5/24/08

Also, Annie, let me comment on your concert reviews. Once again your
writing is excellent. You give a very fair analysis of Bob's
performance, and wardrobe. I find this kind of review so much better
than the ultra-awe reviews we sometimes get. We all know there are peaks
and valleys in a Dylan concert, and in a Dylan tour, and you elucidate
them very well indeed.

Debra Lind

May 24, 2008, 7:06:42 PM5/24/08
Excellent reviews Annie, thanks a lot!


May 24, 2008, 7:30:07 PM5/24/08
On May 24, 4:06 pm, (Debra Lind) wrote:
> Excellent reviews Annie, thanks a lot!  

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
describe it?

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.

Very weird.


Oh great.

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.


Forget it.

I thought it was a nice thing, and now I feel like the whore of
Babylon, I'm not kidding.


The Hysterical Bride

May 24, 2008, 7:31:17 PM5/24/08


The Hysterical Bride

May 24, 2008, 7:40:17 PM5/24/08
On May 24, 4:31 pm, The Hysterical Bride <>
> whose- Hide quoted text -
> - Show quoted text -

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

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)

The Hysterical Bride

May 24, 2008, 7:41:41 PM5/24/08
On May 24, 4:40 pm, The Hysterical Bride <>
> Omg, I feel sick. (not too bad, but my stomach is doing flip flops)- Hide quoted text -

> - Show quoted text -

I guess I was right.

I feel like cutting my throat.

She wants Bob Dylan to rock on.

St. Annie

May 24, 2008, 7:43:16 PM5/24/08
> > delivers in an almost Appalachian voice, the "Awwwwwwww...hitain't
> ...
> read more »

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.

The Hysterical Bride

May 24, 2008, 10:09:02 PM5/24/08
On May 24, 4:41 pm, The Hysterical Bride <>
> She wants Bob Dylan to rock on.- Hide quoted text -

> - Show quoted text -

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


May 25, 2008, 12:12:43 AM5/25/08
On May 24, 9:13 am, really real <> wrote:
> Also, Annie, let me comment on your concert reviews. Once again your
> writing is excellent. You give a very fair analysis of Bob's
> performance, and wardrobe. I find this kind of review so much better
> than the ultra-awe reviews we sometimes get. We all know there are peaks
> and valleys in a Dylan concert, and in a Dylan tour, and you elucidate
> them very well indeed.

I agree, really real. Always a pleasure to read St. Annie.

The Hysterical Bride

May 25, 2008, 12:36:31 AM5/25/08
On May 23, 1:43 pm, "St. Annie" <> wrote:

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
> honk.


Why not?

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. :( :( :( :(


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-


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.

The Hysterical Bride

May 25, 2008, 12:55:15 AM5/25/08


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.

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