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Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket summer tour


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When Elvis Costello opened for Dylan there was no interaction until the very last show (if memory serves), then they did Tears Of Rage together. So that $5 bet may go down to the wire.

 

Wilco should break out We've Been Had on this tour. "Every star that hides in the back of the bus..."

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When Elvis Costello opened for Dylan there was no interaction until the very last show (if memory serves), then they did Tears Of Rage together. So that $5 bet may go down to the wire.

 

 

 

Yeah, you are right - I am guessing a Forever Young or maybe even a Blowin in the Wind sing a long at the last date --- kinda of sucks.

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You know, I'm really trying not to be pissed off at Bob for being such a recluse. I've always felt that he's a genius and he's entitled to his idiosyncrasies. I don't think anyone was expecting him to be a glad hander. I remember reading President Obama's remarks about him after the Medal of Honor award presentation.

 

“He didn’t want to take a picture with me; usually all the talent is dying to take a picture with me and Michelle before the show, but he didn’t show up to that,” [Obama] told the magazine. After performing “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” the President reported that Dylan “Steps off the stage – I’m sitting right in the front row – comes up, shakes my hand, sort of tips his head, gives me just a little grin and then leaves… I thought, ‘That’s how you want Bob Dylan, right?’ You don’t want him to be all cheesin’ and grinnin’ with you. You want him to be a little skeptical about the whole enterprise.”

 

So OK, Bob's not going to have a personality transplant. But during the living room show I attended Jeff responded to a question about the tour by saying that it wasn't officially going to be promoted as having collaborations between the performers, but he alluded to it having been presented to Wilco as being hopefully Rolling Thunder-ish. No promises, but that was the hoped-for outcome. He sounded genuinely proud to have been asked to do this tour and he clearly has huge respect for Dylan.

 

Also, at Solid Sound, I attended the Saturday night dinner and had the thrill of getting to sit next to Tony Margherita and Deb Bernardini (Wilco's manager and publicist). Deb and I chatted very briefly during dinner about what to expect for the tour, and we agreed that maybe this was Bob's way of acknowledging that he's past his prime as an actual performer of his own brilliant songs, and maybe he would be encouraging the other performers to carry some of the weight on vocals during his set. Now, she didn't say this with any implication that she knew what was really going to happen, but it made so much sense and I kind of figured she was right. So, once again, Bob confounds and frustrates us!

 

I still do think he'll make some grand gesture toward the end of the tour, but I feel like I'm losing some of my tolerance for him, and when he does throw a bone to the other performers to allow them on stage with him it might be too little, too late. But maybe I'm just being a whiny, entitled fan.

 

On the plus side, it's certainly got to be a boost for Jeff's and Wilco's self-esteem to feel the love and enthusiasm from the fans. I think it's clear that they are the standout performers on this tour.  

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You have to figure people have been bothering him for over 50 years, so he is probably tired of it.

 

I was amazed the first time I saw this:

 

 

I read something last night about him having mirrors on stage to mess with people trying to take photographs.

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Deb and I chatted very briefly during dinner about what to expect for the tour, and we agreed that maybe this was Bob's way of acknowledging that he's past his prime as an actual performer of his own brilliant songs, and maybe he would be encouraging the other performers to carry some of the weight on vocals during his set. Now, she didn't say this with any implication that she knew what was really going to happen, but it made so much sense and I kind of figured she was right. So, once again, Bob confounds and frustrates us!

 

Not to put too fine a point on it...but is it really Bob confounding and frustrating you when he doesn't meet your completely unrealistic expectations for the tour, based on unfounded speculation from Wilco's publicist?  You thought Dylan would bring Jeff and Jim James up to sing his songs, even though that would be completely unprecedented?  Dylan has been doing these baseball festivals for years -- I'm not sure how this one is any different just because his management brought in two "younger" bands instead of Willie Nelson.  

 

But I'm certainly enjoying the collaborations among the different supporting acts.

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I don't know if Bob is actually aware that MMJ and Wilco are blowing him off the stage, but they are. There will be many people who will go to these festivals and really dig the shows before Dylan, and when he comes out barking and whispering, they will be like, "WTF?" Looking at each other in disbelief, having been blissfully unaware (until that moment), that ol' Bob doesn't sound like he did in 1975.

 

For that reason alone, I can understand him not interacting with the musicians who just ate his lunch.

 

By the way, there is a precedent for the roles being reversed: I saw Dylan open for The Dead in 2003, and his set was pretty pedestrian. The Dead came out and not only was the sound better, the performance was incredible. I could see something like that happening with Wilco, if they had the name recognition and were playing big barns. It would be appropriate from a pure performance standpoint.

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I don't know if Bob is actually aware that MMJ and Wilco are blowing him off the stage, but they are. There will be many people who will go to these festivals and really dig the shows before Dylan, and when he comes out barking and whispering, they will be like, "WTF?" Looking at each other in disbelief, having been blissfully unaware (until that moment), that ol' Bob doesn't sound like he did in 1975.

 

For that reason alone, I can understand him not interacting with the musicians who just ate his lunch.

 

By the way, there is a precedent for the roles being reversed: I saw Dylan open for The Dead in 2003, and his set was pretty pedestrian. The Dead came out and not only was the sound better, the performance was incredible. I could see something like that happening with Wilco, if they had the name recognition and were playing big barns. It would be appropriate from a pure performance standpoint.

I saw that too and Dylan came out to play with the dead at the beginning of the Dead set.

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I think it's clear that they (Wilco) are the standout performers on this tour.  

says the person who isn't an MMJ fan? IMO (and that of all the MMJ fans I know), MMJ are kicking ass just as much as Wilco are on this tour in varying their setlists, making the most of their shorter than usual time slots and engaging in collaborations with one another and whoever is the 4th band on the bill.

 

Expecting anything from Dylan is probably going to end up in frustration. I gave that up years ago :) I'd suspect that concepts like "being blown off the stage" don't even occur or matter to him. He does what he does on and off the stage, take it or leave it.

 

 

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I am inclined to agree with this. To add to the speculation, I doubt he knows he is being blown off the stage because he likely has not seen MMJ or Wilco play on the tour. Ignorance is bliss.

 

Well, the show was interesting. RT, MMJ and Wilco were all great. I have never seen the first 2 and was pleasantly surprised. That said, the venue and crowd bummed me out. I'm so used to seeing Wilco at smaller venues with a Wilco crowd. It's hard watching them with as much crowd noise as music. I was very distracted for that reason and several others. First off, they should ban smart phones at concerts! Sorry, but it is really getting ridiculous! I saw people just sitting and surfing the web, texting etc. not to mention holding them over their heads. Many we're so drunk they had to use them as flashlights just to make it up the stairs! Speaking of drunk, holly sh*t! By the time Dylan came on at least 1 in 3 people walking up the stairs was stumbling! I had no less than 3 people literally fall on me. I should say that at one time I may have been that person, for good reason, I no longer drink. I really felt uncomfortable at a point, the only way I can describe it is sloppy... The crowd, not the bands. I wish I had a pocket full of rocks, I would have tossed a few to get people's attention!

 

I made the mistake of sitting in an aisle seat. Normally good, it would have been a great seat but it happened to be the aisle everyone used to go up and down from the floor. It was like a parade, seriously, it rarely stopped and was plain dangerous the drinker people got! That was a great distraction and probably my fault for not thinking about that when I sat there. I made the mistake of buying the VIP package. If the show was at the ballpark, they would have had a section for VIP and I think early admission at 3:45. Most of us in line thought that. At the civic center, they gave us a 5 minute early admission. I really only bought that package so I wouldn't have to stand in line. The folks next to me had regular tickets. Again, my fault for paying extra. The venue filled very slowly.

 

Anyway, onto Dylan. It was about what I expected. The stage was nice, couldn't understand a thing he said, well a few words. I will admit that I haven't kept up with his music but it all sounded about the same to me and I had to keep myself from dosing off.. I did hear many people complaining. It was really something, the floor was packed for the first 3 bands, by the middle of Dylan's set, it was about half of what it was, at least it looked like it to me.

 

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining so much as making observations. It really was what I expected except for the parade of people in the aisle. I can't wait to see Wilco back in their element. You kind of forget how nice a true Wilco crowd is and the etiquette at the shows. I hope everyone enjoys the upcoming shows.

 

Steve

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I am inclined to agree with this. To add to the speculation, I doubt he knows he is being blown off the stage because he likely has not seen MMJ or Wilco play on the tour. Ignorance is bliss.

 

 

Taking into account what Dylan has done with his live show over the last ten years or so, I suspect he would find much of Wilco and MMJ to be excessive and sort of tasteless.  I bet he'd like the Mermaid Avenue songs, though!

 

If Dylan were interested in "competing," he could very easily have Charlie Sexton shred for 10 minutes and get the crowd fired up.  He could also play the songs "just like on the album" and have a "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Rainy Day Women" singalong each night.  Dylan simply isn't interested in pandering that way, and I can't see any scenario where he's threatened by Wilco or MMJ in any way, even though their AmericanaramA performances are more exciting.

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Well, I agree that Dylan is Dylan, and does what he wants. His level of interest in the openers may be minimal, but he might want to think about it a bit more. He may not feel "threatened" by them, but what hinko posted - "the floor was packed for the first 3 bands, by the middle of Dylan's set, it was about half of what it was" - would be a good wake-up call. Maybe time to hang it up, or at least don't have people whose shows are much better than yours opening for you.

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Well, I agree that Dylan is Dylan, and does what he wants. His level of interest in the openers may be minimal, but he might want to think about it a bit more. He may not feel "threatened" by them, but what hinko posted - "the floor was packed for the first 3 bands, by the middle of Dylan's set, it was about half of what it was" - would be a good wake-up call. Maybe time to hang it up, or at least don't have people whose shows are much better than yours opening for you.

Exactly.

 

Also, think about what it means that none of the other bands have even met him. It means that in all likelihood there's a "no eye contact with Bob" rule for everyone on the tour. The other bands/crews are probably pretty limited in backstage space and even access. This sort of thing happens more than people think. I've seen it first hand and have always considered it a dick move on the headliner's part.

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Exactly.

Also, think about what it means that none of the other bands have even met him. It means that in all likelihood there's a "no eye contact with Bob" rule for everyone on the tour. The other bands/crews are probably pretty limited in backstage space and even access. This sort of thing happens more than people think. I've seen it first hand and have always considered it a dick move on the headliner's part.

 

That's what kinda turns me off too. I know, Dylan is Dylan, but that's bizarre not to mention pretty inconsiderate to the other bands who probably have a great deal of respect for him. I wonder how JT feels about it. He probably didn't expect anything different, but still. I couldn't decide if I was a little sad for Dylan or a little angry or both. Nevertheless I have more respect for Jeff and Wilco than any other band. They are truly real people that want to play music for there fans. Sure, Jeff can get a bit testy with unruly crowds, but he just wants the experience to be good for everyone. I'm always amazed at the connection he makes purely through his music. He will always be my musical hero as goofy as that sounds.

 

Steve

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I have more respect for Jeff and Wilco than any other band. They are truly real people that want to play music for there fans. Sure, Jeff can get a bit testy with unruly crowds, but he just wants the experience to be good for everyone. I'm always amazed at the connection he makes purely through his music. He will always be my musical hero as goofy as that sounds. Steve

My thoughts exactly!

 

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I don't really blame Dylan for this bizarre, Howard Hughes-like behavior. It must have been a heavy trip living in upstate New York in the 60s, having some fuckstick knock on your door every other day wanting to know the meaning of life and whatnot. And he was all of, what, 26 or 27? Eventually you go from being willing to stand around and rap to wanting to break out the shotgun and yell, "Get the hell off my property!" when you see another one coming. Kind of inevitable, really.

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I don't really blame Dylan for this bizarre, Howard Hughes-like behavior. It must have been a heavy trip living in upstate New York in the 60s, having some fuckstick knock on your door every other day wanting to know the meaning of life and whatnot. And he was all of, what, 26 or 27? Eventually you go from being willing to stand around and rap to wanting to break out the shotgun and yell, "Get the hell off my property!" Kind of inevitable, really.

Yeah, I can see being a bit wary of the general public, I guess (although wouldn't it be easier to stay home & collect his own urine?) - but what's he afraid of backstage? Does he think Wilco's going to bug him fan-boy style?

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