From: "R. Sweener"
Newsgroups: rec.music.dylan Subject: Bloomington - a review Date: Thu, 9 Nov 1995 15:23:21 -0500 Message-ID: <email@example.com> Well, I've finally found the time to review the Bloomington performance. Sorry it's not more descriptive, but at least it gives you one more perspective. I've listened to Dylan for about 7 years, in ever increasing quantities with each passing year. Started off light, and now I listen to him or play his stuff on guitar about every day. This was my first Dylan show. I was lucky enough to get a second row seat with dylan's mike directly in front of me. Unfortunately, he was still positioned about 30 feet away from where I sat. I had visions prior to the show of being five feet away. Stupid guy in front of me wearing a brimmed hat with a feather in it was often annoying, but I got by. Still loved the seat. (That hat became a Frisbee in my mind many times during the show). Also, I write this from the perspective of someone who has all dylan's albums up to and including John Wesley Harding. None beyond that except Good As I Been To You and World Gone Wrong. I'm buying them in the order of their release, so Nashville Skyline is next on my list. 1 down in the flood 2 senior 3 all along the watchtower 4 when i paint my masterpiece I was immediately struck by the fact that he seemed to be sticking with a melody with the first song. Whether it was the original one or not, I don't know. But at least it was identifiable and enjoyable as opposed to a drone of monotonous notes. Off to a very good start. Senior I had heard once or twice before on an '87 boot. This was very enjoyable as was Watchtower. I have to say that the thrill of seeing him live for the first time (regardless of what he sang) was naturally at it highest point early in the show. I mean, I was still just marveling at his presence so there was that bias at this point in the show. When I Paint My Masterpiece was a new one to me. I liked what I heard, though not as well as the first three. Obviously, this opinion could be totally different had I been familiar with it. 5 pledging my time 6 silvio 7 mr tambourine man (acoustic) Pledging My Time was great. One of my favorites of this show. Silvio I had heard before on a tape of RFK '95. I thought this was up to that standard. As for Tambourine Man, I finally got to hear what everyone has been talking about. I wasn't disappointed. Felt like the show reached it's peak here. It's impact was strengthened by Dylan pulling out the harmonica for the first time in the show. He seemed to care about performing these songs well, not just spitting them out. 8 gates of eden (acoustic) 9 it's all over now, baby blue (acoustic) He was back to his old habit of rattling off lines with not much of a melody, at least not one you could praise. The old 'pick out a string of monotonous notes and stick with it with every single line' tendency. Not as badly as I've heard him do it before. But I was so happy to hear Gates and was still riding on the strength of the performance up to that point that it didn't bother me much. I was enjoying myself, though by the end of this song he was losing his grip on me. All right all you sensitive people out there. Hold your ears. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue was praised as the highlight of the Austin show by Christine. She described it as "mournful", which is exactly the word that came to my mind, and is dead on, I think. But I don't share her enthusiasm for this arrangement. In fact, I have a total opposite response to it. I thought it was worst of the Bloomington show. For me, hearing this song sung with such an overbearing sympathy for Baby Blue (the person in the song, not the song itself) just didn't cut it. Not at all. And it's overlain with that soupy steel guitar that just turns it into a wash. Sorry. Not a fan at all of the steel guitar on most of these "Unplugged" arrangements. If you can identify with a de-toothed It's All Over Now Baby Blue, then you may enjoy it. I can't right now, but I'm only 30. By the time I'm Bob's age, I may have a different perspective on his approach here. It's an entirely different song, so perhaps that's to his credit at least. I just wasn't at all impressed with what it was. 10 maggie's farm 11 disease of conceit 12 obviously 5 believers Don't get me wrong. That last song didn't spoil my evening. He followed with Maggie's Farm, which offered some welcomed energy. Disease of Conceit was another song that was new to me. I enjoyed it. Look forward to hearing the original recording, when I finally get to it. These last three songs were all enjoyable, though I don't think on par with the first half of the set. encore 13 alabama getaway I was hoping he'd play this. This old song was worn out on me with too much radio air play years ago. But it's been quite a while now, and I could just imagine Dylan doing a great job with it. He did. I really loved hearing him do it. Another highlight of the show. 14 the times they are a changin' Again, sorry to say I'm not a fan of these arrangements a la "Unplugged." If only those rumors had been true and he had been playing this solo with guitar and harmonica. Ah, now that's the stuff dreams are made of. Well, at least he did break out the harmonica again. Always glad when he does that. 15 rainy day women # 12 & 35 This is the one song I have always skipped over when listening to Dylan's cds. Come to think of it, this song may have helped keep me from giving Dylan a chance in my ignorant youth. Had he only performed it on Blonde On Blonde the way he did in RFK 6/25/95 (as I have on tape), my opinion would have been different. Thought he did a fabulous job with it at RFK. Thankfully, the performance here was in that fashion, and not of the MTV "Unplugged" caliber. A great finish. I had a great time. Look forward to seeing him again sometime in Louisville, knock on wood. Best wishes, Rick