Hammerstein Revisited Night 3 (finally)

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Peter Stone Brown

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Aug 21, 2003, 5:12:34 PM8/21/03
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It was not without some trepidation that I got in my car for the third time
to go to New York for the third Hammerstein show. Would some denying the
responsibility inept power company in Ohio miss an alarm again? Would there
be a massive 20 miles backup on the Jersey Turnpike? What could possibly
happen? For once it wasn't raining. It was in fact a beautiful, though
oppressively humid day. So I breezed up the Jersey turnpike in possibly
record time, sailed through the Holland Tunnel and found myself a free place
to park my car. Grabbed a cab to the Upper East Side, well Midtown actually
to sell an extra ticket to a friend who treated me to what I like to call
"inspiration" and played me the SACD bonus tracks from the "Masked &
Annonymous" soundtrack on a super duper sound system and grabbed a cab to
the show. All seemed right with the world. Got in the same place in line I
was in the other days with just about the same people, old and new friends
and even got the seats I wanted.

Mary Lee Kortes and her band Mary Lee's Corvette came on. Strangely she
introduced herself as if she was someone else, saying something like "The
Hammerstein Ballroom is excited to present.. " that was both amusing and
strange at the same time. They were okay, and probably would be a lot more
effective in a smaller room.

The stage was quickly resent for Dylan with an extra microphone stand that
was there for the first Hammerstein shows, but not for the second one or at
Bushkill.

Dylan took the stage wearing the same red suit he wore the first night at
Hammerstein and rocked "Maggie's Farm" with a lot of energy. "Senor"
followed with a harp solo at the beginning and then a couple of more. The
show was off to a good start. Tommy Morrongiello was playing guitar from
the beginning of the show. "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum" came next and I
thought it was the best version I'd heard on the tour so far. It seemed
more than the walk through of the previous shows.

"Watching The River Flow" came next with a harp intro and suddenly Tommy
wasn't the guitarist, it was some other guy, but no one seemed to know who
it was. He wasn't bad at all, got in some hot solos, but did not have the
excitement of Nils Lofgren the previous week. The mystery guitarist (who
unlike everyone else on stage was wearing jeans and sneakers) stayed on for
"Things Have Changed," and then vanished for "Highway 61 Revisited which
featured a very hot guitar solo from Larry Campbell.

The guitarist reappeared for the next song, "This Wheel's On Fire." Now
this happens to be one of my all-time favorite Bob Dylan songs, and I was at
the Madison, New Jersey show where he debuted it totally blowing my mind.
The band ran through an entire verse with Dylan blowing fine harp before he
started singing. However it was the way he sang it that made this version
special, doing some sort of weird staccato-like enunciation throughout but
really emphasizing the "If your memory serves you well" part of the verse.
The mystery guitarist disappeared again and the familiar into to "You Ain't
Goin' Nowhere" started and my friend who might be known as Luke Einstein
said, "Two 'Basement Tapes' songs in a row, is this a first?" This was
easily the best version of the three I'd heard on this tour with Dylan
taking an extra long, very wild harp solo that seemed to last at least two
verses and choruses and maybe more.

Another guitarist, in fact the guitarist from the opening band, Andy York
appeared on stage and the band went into "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues."
York took a very good if not spectacular solo and of course the crowed
erupted at the "Goin' back to New York City" line.

York disappeared and the sonic noises that can only mean "Cold Irons Bound"
emanated from the stage and Freddie Koella, yes, Freddie Koella took a great
solo.

Dylan then pulled a surprise by pulling out "The Lonesome Death of Hattie
Carroll," with Larry and Freddie on acoustics. And while Dylan blew the key
line on the last chorus (easy to do) it still was a good reading and brought
me way back to the first time I heard this song a few months short of 40
years ago maybe 20 miles to the east in the next (sort of) big city across
the Hudson.

Tommy was back on guitar for "Honest With Me' and then came "Mr. Tambourine
Man" with Larry and Freddie on acoustics and the mystery guitarist playing
subtle electric. This version of this song just doesn't do it for me, and
again it took Dylan till the last verse to really start singing the way he
can.

Bob then introduced the band and both guitarists, the mystery one being
Chuck Loeb and the band went into a strong "Summer Days" with Tommy back on
guitar.

They returned for a not bad at all "Like A Rolling Stone" with Bob really
playing around with the vocal and then "Watchtower" with both Chuck Loeb and
Tommy.

The audience, which seemed a bit smaller than the other two Hammerstein
shows refused to leave and the lights stayed down, and after a short break
the band returned to the stage. I was hoping that Dylan would pull out a
real surprise like say, "Million Dollar Bash," but it wasn't to be and
instead we got "Rainy Day Women" which as usual was more of a jam than
anything else, but it was okay.

I don't know if this show was the equal of the other two Hammerstein shows,
but there was no way for Dylan (or any performer for that matter) to regain
the momentum of a three-night stand almost a week later. The show had none
of the weirdness reported at the intervening concerts.

I liked the Hammerstein a lot and thought it was the perfect place to see
Dylan, though the security staff could be slightly less efficient about
rushing people out of there. Closing the bathrooms before the end of a
three hour concert that people paid a lot of money to see is not a decent
way to treat your customers.

If this review doesn't generate the enthusiasm I would like it to have, let
me just say that I got home about 12 hours later than I wanted to with very
little sleep and whatever you do, never break down on the New Jersey
Turnpike after midnight.


--
"I'm having a hard time believin' some people were ever alive" -Bob Dylan
e-mail: p...@peterstonebrown.com
http://www.peterstonebrown.com


PGPearson1954

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Aug 22, 2003, 2:42:48 PM8/22/03
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>From: "Peter Stone Brown" ps...@earthlink.net

>Mary Lee's Corvette came on.

>They were okay, and probably would be a lot more


>effective in a smaller room.

From the floor, her vocals were totally drowned. Too bad---It's got to be
tough to shot gun for Dylan.

>Dylan then pulled a surprise by pulling out "The Lonesome Death of Hattie

>Carroll,".....

>Dylan blew the key
>line on the last chorus (easy to do)

Take the rag away from your face.
Now ain't the time for your tears.

Instead of

Bury the rag deep in your face
For now's the time for your tears.

Derails the impact, but still an overall nice version.

>"Mr. Tambourine
>Man"

I can't remember the last time this was enjoyable live. BD sounds bored and
forced with the lyrics to this song.

This was my first show of '03---Charlie is missed and so are the rare vocal
harmonies.

Overall, Dylan was in fine form---Vocals strong throughout most of the show.

Thanks Peter----Hope you get back to NYC for one of your own shows soon.

Paul Pearson

robertandrews

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Aug 22, 2003, 5:05:33 PM8/22/03
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"PGPearson1954" <pgpear...@aol.com> wrote:
>Too bad---It's got to be tough to shot gun for Dylan.

Why? Too much crowd noise?

Peter Stone Brown

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Aug 22, 2003, 6:47:19 PM8/22/03
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"robertandrews" <robert...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:xAv1b.274$081...@nwrddc02.gnilink.net...

> "PGPearson1954" <pgpear...@aol.com> wrote:
> >Too bad---It's got to be tough to shot gun for Dylan.
>
> Why? Too much crowd noise?

Actually the crowd was pretty respectful.

Bkindmoore

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Aug 23, 2003, 12:30:24 AM8/23/03
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<< Actually the crowd was pretty respectful. >>

Except for those shouting out
"Dylan! Dylan!"
Mary Lee Kortes was a pretty good sport,
I thought. She tried to win the crowd over
with humor. I could understand everything
she said but hardly any of the lyrics. The
vocals were drowned, sadly, for those in the
mezzanine as well.

PGPearson1954

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Aug 24, 2003, 7:34:12 AM8/24/03
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>From: bkind...@aol.com (Bkindmoore)

>Mary Lee Kortes was a pretty good sport,
>I thought. She tried to win the crowd over
>with humor.

Yes----And her/their BLOOD ON THE TRACKS song for song live duplication CD is
worth tracking down (Except for the guy from the crowd who "guests" on "Lily,
Rosemary and The Jack Of Hearts" ;)

I would like to see them at one of their own shows.

Paul Pearson


karen

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Aug 26, 2003, 10:11:24 AM8/26/03
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The crowd for the Dylan/Dead show in Darien was mostly not respectful.
The medical tent, the beer booths and the riot squad of police saw
continuous action. They had to get a fork lift to clear away the
mountains of garbage left everywhere. Exiting the parking lot through
the broken bottles and mine fields of dead head party after show
matter that was strewn all over was difficult in the dark. I nearly
got a flat tire.

The Dylan/Petty Holmdel audience was a bit better but worse in other
ways and highly annoying. Mostly rich kids from NJ that were not
there for the music.

The Hammerstein line was quite civil since it was all bob fans only.
The head of security said it was a pleasure for him to work with us
for the 5 days for three shows... Nearly everyone on line sat and
read the NY Times or foreign papers, did crossword puzzles, drank
coffee, water, soda and juice. We cleaned up 90 percent of our own
garbage and were for the most part courteous, kind and organized. We
policed our own line cutters etc. and all entered the building in a
calm yet highly excited and happy manner.

I was there one day from 10 am on (bob didn't get on till after 9 pm)
yet the crowd made each day enjoyable despite the "95 but with the
humidity makes it feel like 105 degrees" forecast.

During the blackout i couldn't think of a better place on earth to be.
NY Bob fans looked out for each other and even inside there were acts
of kindness.

"Peter Stone Brown" <ps...@earthlink.net> wrote in message news:<X3x1b.1425$1Q3...@newsread1.news.atl.earthlink.net>...

Ron Ruiz

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Aug 26, 2003, 1:54:04 PM8/26/03
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rin...@yahoo.com (karen) wrote in message

>
> The Hammerstein line was quite civil since it was all bob fans only.
> The head of security said it was a pleasure for him to work with us
> for the 5 days for three shows... Nearly everyone on line sat and
> read the NY Times or foreign papers, did crossword puzzles, drank
> coffee, water, soda and juice. We cleaned up 90 percent of our own
> garbage and were for the most part courteous, kind and organized. We
> policed our own line cutters etc. and all entered the building in a
> calm yet highly excited and happy manner.

That is all very true and as always it was really cool to see people
there of all ages ............


During the blackout i couldn't think of a better place on earth to be.
NY Bob fans looked out for each other and even inside there were acts
of kindness.


There was a guy that I saw walking up and down the Hammerstein line
with a sign that said " I need a free ticket for tonites show" and
sure enough, he did eventually get a ticket from one of the people
waiting in line ....

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