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Bob Dylan at the 2002 Newport Folk Festival...SUCKAZZZZZZZ
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
Bob Dylan at the 2002 Newport Folk Festival...SUCKAZZZZZZZ  Reply with quote  

Here's the review a couple of you requested.

I drove to Newport by myself. Not sure how to get to where I needed to be, but I had a cellphone incase I got TOO lost.

When I got into Newport all I had to do was follow the signs to the Newport Folk Festival.

Paid $6 to park in a field that was about a mile away from the event.

picture it.

A fort. Outside....right off of the water. Boats everywhere trying to peep a free show. HOT. I jump off a dock into the water with a couple friends to cool off. People I don't care about singing in the background to fill in the space before the D-man hits the stage. Sun beating down on my fair fair skin. haaa. almost time for dilly to hit the stage.
thousands and thousands and thousands of people there. tens of thousands. Mostly families and really rich whities I guess. I don't know, but they weren't a crowd i enjoy being around, that's for sure.
We head to the front of the stage. we look for pockets of space in the crowd an hour before his performance. now dig this...all these old whities...with their fat, bratty kids...sprawled out on the ground...taking up mad amounts of space sitting back in their LAWNCHAIRS. I decide to stand right up in front with my friends. Now...we're just standing there at first....and I'm under the understanding that by the time Dylan starts performing this whole area is going to become crowded, forcing everyone to I didn't feel a need to pretend like I would be sitting down. This dad sitting with his bitch-wife and two piglets behind me was like "oh no no...this won't work." I ignored him at first. The back of my shirt says "That's Right...Fuck You"
The dude stands up...his wife makes the bitchiest face I have seen since my highschool teachers...he goes onto explain how we aren't allowed there and blah blah blah. and I'm like "Listen man...everyone is going to be standing. I paid $60 for my ticket. Y'all have a lot of nerve thinking you can take up all this space sitting down in your chairs when people want to see the concert." i don't think i was that eloquent but that was the jist of what I said. Him and his wife went on to explain how they've been sitting there all day and they deserve this space and we are assholes for obstructing their view...infringing on their space. He said "You have to leave." I looked back and said "We're not leaving...and this is the end of the discussion." hahaaaaa. I felt like an adult when I said it. It was so definite. and he sat down shaking his head...and he really couldn't deal with being defeated in front of his wife and kids so he starts to call for security. "Oh're outta here, buddy. They're coming for you."
I said, "That would be really unfortunate. You know...I am a music lover. I'm here to dig the show."
"I'm a music lover too," he said. Then we stared at each other...faces remained unchanged...and he says "You're a real asshole."
I smile....turn my head....and wait for the show to begin.
And what do you the time the show is about to commence all the space is taken up and these weekend warriors behind me are standing.
We are in the third front of the stage...and this lady behind me has been to every Dylan concert he's had this year. She was cool as shit. "I've never seen him in the daylight," she says.
The last time Dylan played this festival was in 1965. It's the first time we went public with the electric guitars incorporated into his sound. He did three songs and got booed. It has since been speculation whether he got booed because the folk audience disaproved of the electric guitar/rock sound or because his set was only 3 songs long. I heard murmurs of this throughout the day as I walked around the cheesy merch booths.
Whatever it was, he is here in Newport 37 years later and the crowd isn't nearly the same. I think I would prefer the elitist, hardcore folk crowd over the PTA audience but the times they have a changed. Regardless of the demographics of the crowd, one this is for sure. Almost everyone was there FOR Dylan.

He was supposed to go on stage at 5:00. From 5 until 5:30 they played this big intro something you would hear at a movie theater. It was weird. They made several announcements that the next artist will not perform if he sees people taking pictures, so everyone had to put their cameras away. Yeah, ok. The whole front of the stage was laced with concert security, park security, stage security, and state cops...grilling the crowd and pointing out the people with big lensed cameras.
Then, with much built anticipation, Dylan hits the stage with 4 other band members.

The crowd erupts. Dylan and the band look cool as all hell. hahaaaa!! Dylan was wearing a white cowboy hat over LONG, STRAIGHT HAIR....tied into a pony tail in the back...with strands of hair covering the sides of his face in the front. He donned a silverish shirt with a black vest over it...and his maestro pants (as usual.) I'm telling you....this dude looked COOL. And he held his guitar like an old gun. His face was stern and embelished with a long goatee. The rest of the band looked like Beatnicks or all black and exuding this "cooler than you" attitude.

He didn't say hi. He didn't check the mic. He didn't fiddle with his guitar. The music started right away and two bars into it, he steps to the mic and sang. I wasn't familliar with the first song, but two of the other band members harmonized with him on the chorus. Dylan's voice was gravelly...a bit like what Tone Loc would sound like if he sang I think. but the voice gradually got better...and tunes got more familliar. I don't know Dylan's full catalogue so I was fully expecting to hear material of his thqat was completely new to me.
This motherfucker played almost every popular song of his...but he did it in a way that people couldn't sing along. HAhahaa. he did all these new arrangements...and rushed the popular lines...said them with different rhythms and new cadences, most likely because he didn't want the show to turn into a sing-along. I'm saying...he performed The Times They Are a Changing, Tangled up in Blue, Pillbox Hat, Like a Rolling Stone, Mr Tambourine Man, Shelter from the Storm, Blowin in the Wind, and...lots of other songs. haha.
He performed for 1 and a half hours, including an encore.
The music sounded wonderful. The band was tight and they all worked together perfectly. Dylan pulled out the mouth harp a couple times much to the crowd's delight. The lady behind me clapped as much as me...and "WHOOOOOOOOOooooed" much more than me.

The set started off with acoustic guitar and then progressed into electric, and changed styles from Folk to Blues to Rock. No boo's this time around. Every 3 songs or so, the band would change guitars. Dylan would always be very careful not to knock off his white cowboy hat, but it seemed to give him trouble every time. That was fun to watch.

Now...let me make this one point clear...this guy was COOL. He was not a fossil on stage. He held his instrument like a weapon...shook his leg like Elvis at certain times...and sometimes he propped himself into random stances to accentuate whatever he was playing. A couple times he crouched down and eyed the crowd while he pointed his guitar at them. None of this was flashy or corny rock was cool. It was funny too...but cool funny. He would hint at a smile every so often to show that he was having fun but then he'd go right back into his straight face.
When they were finished...Dylan and the band stood in a straight line...paused long enough for the crowd to cheer them...and then exited the stage without even waving good bye.
I can't help but think this show meant something to him. It's like "I win. You know it. I know it. I am the winner. Talk about me all you want and say what you will...but you're here to celebrate what I do. I win."
hahaaa. That's the vibe I got. And i was maybe 20 feet from the stage...looking at this person who's music has been driving me for the past year or so....wishing I could hold onto the moment. It's one of those times when you are completely enjoying the moment...but you know how temporary it is, and that thought takes you out of the moment every so often. And I'm not even going to lie...I felt sad. During his first or second song a wave of sadness came over me. The situation got a little too real. Usually I'm the monkey on the here he is, MY MONKEY to gawk at. One that I never really thought I would see live in person...singing the songs that make sense of my own life. And he wrote them. I wanted to fucking shout at the guy like "HEY...WANNA HAVE A CIPHER AFTER THE SHOW???"
haha. nah, but I couldn't help but wonder what the hell happens with him after a show like that. And how I fit into this world that he works in. And how I operate within other worlds where people shout to me "HEY...WANNA HAVE A CIPHER AFTER THE SHOW???" and I feel compelled to say yes.

Truth is...I don't want to have a cipher after the show. And Bob Dylan doesn't want to hang out with the white rapper guy. Courtesy is a bitch and I enjoy the people who mind her.

I left that show feeling charged. Smiling. Walked a mile back to my car. Sat in traffic for 2 hours. Got home 3 hours after the show. Called everyone I could to tell them what I just saw. wrote this.

Last edited by Sage Francis on Sat Jan 05, 2008 8:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Sun Aug 04, 2002 2:19 pm
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 911
Location: england
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word.... dope review.... thanks for taking the time to do it....

i know you probably can't compare it from your point of view, but when some people (myself included) see you perform live, they have the same feelings that you had towards mr.dylan...... he is important to you as you are to many, many people who watch you..... a mad concept i guess, but the truth....
Post Sun Aug 04, 2002 2:53 pm
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Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7872
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Dope, man....Dylan's gotta be one of my favorite cats...seen "Don't Look Back"?

Highway 61 is pure genius.
Post Sun Aug 04, 2002 4:42 pm
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Joined: 05 Jul 2002
Posts: 228
Location: okc
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thanks for the review it reminded me of when i went to robert plant and jimmy page it was one of those bittersweet moments. you know that you dont want it to end but it must. i really wish i could have caught dylan i really enjoy his music too. i think its cool that he did the songs the way you described and the way he opened page/plant did the same thing and i rember it really had an impact on me anyway thanks again for taking the time to write such a good review.
Post Sun Aug 04, 2002 5:19 pm
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19374
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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Thank you so much for taking the time to write this, I don't know if I'll ever get to see the man perform, but I hope so.
Also I echo what Dense Voi said, and that's got to be a weird concept for you.
Post Sun Aug 04, 2002 5:42 pm
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Tony@Beyond Space

Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 576
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Thanks man I hope to see him some time before i die his live albums are amazing i would love to experince the Atmosphere in person.
Post Sun Aug 04, 2002 6:05 pm
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la raquelita

Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 42
Location: san diego
not that you care, but...  Reply with quote  

i saw dylan in october/november - i can't remember exactly because i lost the ticket stub. i had been hoping that he would play Masters of War, and he did, and it meant so much to me. it was timely and (in my mind) controversial. i was so happy with it. the dylan show was a milestone in my life, and i feel/felt so lucky to have seen it.
Post Sun Aug 04, 2002 10:42 pm
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Joined: 04 Jul 2002
Posts: 1621
/  Reply with quote  

wow, i was guessing that you'd be eXtremely disappointed
I don't know enough of the guy's music but....everyone fan I've spoken w/ has said that his latest rounds of shows have been awful and that he sounds like he's scared to use his tongue

i'd like to take you up on that miXtape offer but if the time is limited, i'd settle for a pre approved tracklisting for a dig
Post Mon Aug 05, 2002 11:50 am
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 5766
Location: Queens, NYC
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Good review. I'm no fan of Dylan's music, but you can't deny that dood changed rock n' roll and all anteceding music.

Sage, you might like Johnny Dowd.
Post Mon Aug 05, 2002 11:58 am
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Joined: 29 Jul 2002
Posts: 254
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thats eery sage. I can picture Big Bob doing all that shit, pulling the strings that make all his devoted fans squirm. if he ever comes down to baltimore, I will have the signature . . . no one has escaped me since my first show (yeah, the Roboto project, where you shook my hand six times for some very bizzare reason).

the guy is everything everyone wants to be, in some way or another
Post Tue Aug 06, 2002 12:02 am
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 71
Location: MPLS / ST. PAUL
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dense voi wrote:
word.... dope review.... thanks for taking the time to do it....

i know you probably can't compare it from your point of view, but when some people (myself included) see you perform live, they have the same feelings that you had towards mr.dylan...... he is important to you as you are to many, many people who watch you..... a mad concept i guess, but the truth....

I'd agree with this. This may be a little late, but I just got a chance to read it now ...and the description is EXACTLY how I feel about Sage shows. After any show I goto and feel, I always get sad from the moment it begins b/c I know it will end. There's nothing and no one and no place that I feel more at peace and happy than at a show I can feel. People will leave before it's over, rush out after to beat traffic, etc etc etc ...and it literally feels like a punch in the gut to think of not staying there, lingering on to whatever feeling is left of that moment for as long as I can after a show. Even after I do that, I still go home and can't sleep most the time because I get so depressed that I'm not there anymore ...I don't mean to ramble ...but I'm SO fucking glad that you wrote that ...and to know that there are other people who share that feeling and understand b/c no one I know appreciates music as much as me ...I goto many a concerts alone because of this reason.
Post Tue Aug 06, 2002 9:28 am
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Joined: 08 Jul 2002
Posts: 161
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Damn wish I could see Dylan live before he stops performing
Post Tue Aug 06, 2002 9:40 am
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Joined: 13 Jul 2002
Posts: 111
Location: Providence
dylan in costume  Reply with quote
Post Tue Aug 06, 2002 11:06 am
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Jared Paul

Joined: 15 Jul 2002
Posts: 3719
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motherf.cker. i'm in love with a bitch called timing.
we can never seem to agree on a meeting place.

sacrifice. i knew the dates and times well ahead
of the fabric, but there was no justification for the

in my life i have spent more than $500 on live
robert zimmerman performances and left each

show well beyond


as long as he keeps playing
i'm going to attempt to be there

this time there was a budget /
client camping trip schedule conflict

there was no way to avoid missing the show.
i taste regret like thick swallows

from a warm glass of oily liquid
composed of molecules charged with

atomic pictures of her
riding in the now boyfriends car,

inside each one them she is playing with his hair
and they are deciding what to listen to next.

*i'm sorry dad.
Post Tue Aug 06, 2002 4:55 pm
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Joined: 14 Aug 2002
Posts: 93
Location: Maine
chillin' like Dylan  Reply with quote  

I caught him twice. Once in Portland Maine at the State Theater which is an
intimate venue. Later I saw him in Orono Maine at the Maine Center for the Performing Arts and I was in the third row dead center. Both very good shows. Dylan rocks and is one of a handful of people that have lasted so
long and maintained their artistic integrity. Sage, it was great to read your
Post Thu Aug 15, 2002 1:47 pm
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