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Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival 2002. Show review.
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival 2002. Show review.  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 cell phone 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. Cassie, Argot and his friend met me there. Folk singers I didn't know were singing in the background to fill in the space before the D-man hit the stage. sun beating down on my fair, fair skin. 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 3 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." 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 cheesey 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. Consideration 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 Tue Oct 08, 2002 4:12 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Mon Aug 05, 2002 10:43 am
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mr self distrukt

Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 1249
Location: a crew called self
dylanMURDERZ  Reply with quote  

i think the review was placed in this forum because, if bob dylan had AIM, sage would bother him relentlessly.

sageKILLZ: whattup zim?
dylanMURDERZ: do i know you?
sageKILLZ: no, zimmerman. but you should.
dylanMURDERZ: why are you using my real last name?
sageKILLZ: my real name is paul. nice to meet you dood.
sageKILLZ: hello?
sageKILLZ: i heard you need a new drummer.
dylanMURDERZ: no, mom.
sageKILLZ: you're an asshole.
sageKILLZ: slut
sageKILLZ: you're only good because they invented electric guitars. otherwise noone but people in minnesota and midwest faggots would like you.
dylanMURDERZ: don't talk like that, mom.
sageKILLZ: i'm just jokin. you're a great singer... i have a poem you should read...
dylanMURDERZ: i hate poetry.
sageKILLZ: what
sageKILLZ: damn. i was kidding earlier. but your really are an asshole now.
sageKILLZ: really.
sageKILLZ: i've been drumming since '99. but i don't have a car.
sageKILLZ: hello?
sageKILLZ: bob?
sageKILLZ: rainy day women no. 9 really touched me.
sageKILLZ: i mean, number 12 and 36. sorry.
sageKILLZ: i mean, 35.
sageKILLZ: damn.
sageKILLZ: you really are unappreciative.

let me just say, that even the idea of bob dylan using a computer kind of disgusts me/creeps me out... that, and i'm not funny.
Post Mon Aug 05, 2002 1:03 pm
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Post Tue Aug 06, 2002 12:53 am
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
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Post Tue Aug 06, 2002 9:46 am
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props man, that was funny as hell.
Post Tue Aug 06, 2002 10:20 am
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Joined: 03 Jul 2002
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Location: Indianapolis
Re: dylanMURDERZ  Reply with quote  

mr self distrukt wrote:
sageKILLZ: i've been drumming since '99. but i don't have a car.

Classic shit there...
Post Tue Aug 06, 2002 8:08 pm
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pesach with bob!  Reply with quote  

I had Passover at Bob Dylan's house when I was a freshman at UCLA, he read the prayers and sang in Hebrew, it was really cool, just me and my friend, his folks, Bob, his ex-wife and their kids, I sat next to the wallflowers guy but he wasn't famous back then. Bob had a big bul Mastiff sitting by his feet and he snored all through the dinner. I spent a long time just wandering around, looking at the photos he had on the walls. They were all very nice.
Post Wed Aug 07, 2002 3:02 pm
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props against dylan murders  Reply with quote  

u killed dylan murders, that was hillarious, u kill everyone that aims u, u r God sage.
Post Wed Aug 07, 2002 9:44 pm
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Location: frederick, Md
about the show  Reply with quote  

Post Wed Aug 07, 2002 9:46 pm
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Good Review, even better IM Convo  Reply with quote  

Post Tue Oct 01, 2002 3:07 pm
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