Sunday, July 22, 2007

T-ride (Telluride, 7/19)

First posted here-

I left right after the show to get to T-ride at 9am the next morning, when I was scheduled to set up. I had volunteered to help a couple of months previous, having been told that once my shift ended, I would be allowed to stay in the park, therefore bypassing the line. 
Since Wednesday, I had gotten less then 10 hours of sleep and eaten only an Egg McMuffen (have those things ever gotten small and expencive) and a tube of Ritz crackers, but man, I moved fences (Jesus Christ, those things are heavy!), schlepped the rails out from under the stage in a iron-rich red muddy quagmire, errected huge floodlights, you name it, if it was heavy and NOT enjoyable, I did it; for 5 hours. I felt it was worth it to bypass the line, but I also wanted to maybe run into Tony and ask him about Cry Awhile (or rather, Ballad, since they had played Cry Awhile 2 days ago). 
I got done w/ my shift, got a spot in line for the relatives of a friend, got something to drink, and went back to go wander the park and maybe catch a soundcheck or something. I walk through the gate. 
Security stops me. "Park's closed" 
"Oh, ok, hang on." I dig out the pass they gave me. 
The security man thrusts out his hand. "I need that now" 
"We have to take your laminate now" 
"Wha-wha-wha-wait-well-what-why?" My mind froze. 
"The park's closed" He grabs my pass and speeds away in his golf cart. 
I have never been so livid in all my life. I wanted to hit this man more then I have ever wanted to hit someone. I went down to the next gate, shaking, and asked the guard there if they were taking passes. They were. I was a bit relieved that this wasnt a random act, but I wanted to know what. This guy, a much nicer guy, told me that the shifts were over, so they were kicking everyone out of the park. 
I went back to the spot w/ the friend's relatives still shaking. I was better then the back of the line, but it wasnt the front where I shoud have been (either from working or just driving strait through from Red Rocks). The folks at the front were the awesome folks I'd been hanging out w/ on the steps of Red Rocks for the past two days, and they agreed to try and hold a spot on the rails if I could get up there fast enough. When they finally let us in, I ran as fast I as I could, but days of no sleep, no food and 5 hours of manual labor slowed me down. I still managed to get a saved rail spot, directly in front of Bob's keys. 
We sat on the ground, talking of the previous shows and my royal screwing at the hands of Telluride. A woman to my right said to me "Tony pointed right at you last night" confirming that it want just my imagination, or him straighting his cuff or something. 
Just then, George comes out on stage in his street clothes followed by a drum tech. They tap the snare a few times, twist some dials, and are off. I sit for a second, thinking of how strange it was to see one of the band on stage w/o costume, when here comes Tony, who fiddles w/ his amp for a minute. The crowd seemed completely oblivious to the fact that the band was leaking onstage (it was FAR from a hardcore crowd), so I didnt know if I should stand up and yell at him or not. I didnt, though looking back, I probably should have. 
Tony leaves, and about 2 minutes later, Denny wanders on and just sort of stares blankly out into the crowd. They have no idea who is standing there looking at him. He stays on for a minute or so (perhaps looking at the mountains?) then returns a few blown kisses from the women next to me and disappears. 
I was prepared for MMJ this time, and brought earplugs, making them a far less irritating and more enjoyable band. However, a group of drunk kids managed to push their way through to the second row (like I said, not a hardcore crowd), directly behind me and a Red Rocks friend. The girl behind me was completely wasted, to the point where her beer was pouring down my leg. She kept screaming in a loud, high pitched voice about how her mother was “Bob Dylan’s number one fan” which somehow entitled her to be on the rails, after showing up 5 minutes before gates opened. The man next to her asked her very politely to respect those who paid to hear Dylan and stop screaming, which immediately put her in bad-drunk mode. Her equally drunk boyfriend challenged the man to a fight, of which only the girl seemed to be participating in, verbally. 
I was very happy to finally hear Cats In The Well, but the stage was so high, and they had set the rails up so close, that I couldn’t see him below the waist, missing his dancing. That was the least of my worries, however, as Drunk Asshole began to lean on my RR friend and I. We continued to dance, and the more we danced, the more she pushed. We asked her to kindly step back, which didn’t seem to sit well w/ her. I was able to ignore her as best as I could and concentrate on the music (which was quite good, if a bit more subdued then Red Rocks) until she started reaching her hand up trying to grab the rail and pull herself up between us. We kept grabbing her arm and throwing it back, which had to have been visible to the security guy 2 feet in front of us. He was just some stupid 17 year old redneck, so he did absolutely nothing. Finally, she realized that tactic wasn’t going to work, so she began beating on my shoulders. She was drunk and weak, so it was nothing more then annoying, until she started slapping the back of my head. 
That was it. I started yelling and trying to wave down Young Redneck to remove her. He looked right at me and didn’t move. Since we were right in front of Dylan, I didn’t want to yell “Security” any louder then I already was, because I didn’t want this to bring down his energy down. Finally, the whole section was able to wave down the Redneck, who informed me that he could “do nothing, just push her back”. As if I was mad before. 
The adrenaline from fighting her off did help me enjoy the rockin song like H61 and Honest that much more though. During one of those, I was really into myself and the music, just dancing around, and I look up and Dylan is looking straight down at me, laughing. 
Drunk Asshole then sticks her hand in my pocket and starts pulling at the fabric, I don’t know whether her goal was to rob me or hit me in the crotch, either way it wasn’t working, so she starts reaching for the rail again. We one again take her arm and shove it back, this time violently enough to attract the attention of a competent security guard who threatens to kick her out if he sees it again. We don’t feel her again, but not two minutes later, the security guard who yelled at her leaps the fence and tears off into the crowd. 
Lightning had been illuminating the stage the entire night, but about 30 seconds after Dylan sings “I think the rain has stopped” in Nettie Moore, it begins to rain. The rain gets stronger and stronger, and being so high in elevation, it gets colder and colder (you could see his breath after every line), so they opt for the short encore w/ no band intos. 
My friend from Red Rocks knew one of Dylan’s roadies, so we yelled at him to bring us a setlist. He put his finger to his lips, but waited until the stage was less crowded and tossed Denny’s pick down to him. There was a fair bit of wear on it, but I wonder how often they change picks. I wonder is Denny will be pissed about the lack of his best pick in New Mexico tonight haha 
I really cant wait to hear the boot of this one, because I’m sure I will be able to enjoy it a lot more without a shoe full of beer and a drunk in my pocket. I am highly disappointed w/ the way T-ride handled the show, from start to finish, and if this was anything like 01’s show, they are lucky Dylan came back at all. There was a rumor that Paul McCartney was in town (maybe that’s who Denny was looking for, but he wasn’t scanning the crowd) but I didn’t see anything to suggest he was. All in all, it was a great show.

Red Rocks 2 (7/18)

First appeared here-

Got up to the place at 5.15 or so on Friday, and this time was the 4th in line. Watched the sun rise (and subsequently move across the sky...not a cloud to be found for day 2) A little after 6, a few more folks came w/ a copy of the Denver paper's review. We were all glad to see the reviewer was enough of a fan to get the titles of the songs correctly. It was scorching hot in line this day, but seemed like a shorter wait. 
The dumbass broad in charge of ticket scanning was a fuckin moron(dont get me started on that), and let the upper trough go far too early, so we were a little left of dead center, but still first row (seat 54 the first night, seat 63 the second, I'm not complaining!). They actually ended up being better then dead center.
This time Dylan played 4 on guitar. A most predictable setlist, but the band was so tight, it was incredible! Denny was on fire the whole night, far more animated then I've ever seen him. Dylan sort of boogied out from behind the keys and made like he was going to pick up the guitar on Summer Days, but decided against it at the last second and cruised back behind his keys. The energy was insane for that song, with Dylan so into it that he started just shouting rather then singing (trust me, it was a good thing) towards the end. I dont know how I managed to move around like I did, the folks behind me spilled thier drinks and I couldnt have been more stuck to the floor. 
They closed the main set w/ a kick ass Ballad of a Thin Man. I was so into the show that I forgot this was another song I was close to on bass and forgot to watch T, but who cares, the song was insane. 
During band intros, Tony pointed at me and smiled, which made my night that much better. I used to think people were insane when they talked about making eye contact w/ Dylan, but now I see what its all about. 
This was the best Dylan show I have ever seen. Last nights setlist was insane, but the band was just so tight tonight that it was enough to put this show ahead.

Red Rocks 1 (7/17)

First appeared here-

Got to Red Rocks at 6 the first day, only to find 10 or 11 folks already there. Cloudy all day (though I somehow managed to get a wicked sunburn) and a really easy wait. They soundchecked Love Sick, what sounded like the bass part to the album version of Cold Irons Bound, When The Deal Goes Down, and Rainy Day Women (which they appropriately opened with). When it came to the mad dash up the stairs and into the place, the guys in line ahead of me got the seats dead center, first row, and saved me one as well! 
MMJ are all very talented musicians, but need to put thier talent to work in a far less irritating fashion. They played for over an hour, allowing the wind and the rain to finally reach the venue. 
Dylan was delayed a bit because of the rain but finally came on. The wind started to kick up, threatening to remove T's hat a few times, so he ducked by his amp for the first 3 songs. His bass had been developing some problems, coming to a head on Every Grain Of Sand. So they threw him on standup and played Cry Awhile. 
I had talked to Denny a couple times though email, and last weekend, I asked him if he could ask Tony how he played Cry Awhile on the album, mentioning in the same email that I looked forward to seeing them in Colorado. He said he'd ask Tony, but I got this feeling that they were going to play it at at least one CO show. I almost went on here to proclaim it, but I didnt want someone from the Dylan Camp to read it and think that was why I asked. 
Amazing version, but T was not playing it how he did on the album. However, he didnt move the bass at all during that song, kept it facing forward and fretted very clearly, so I guess I'll just have to settle for learning the new bass part. (Thanks a million!) 
Friend Of the Devil came out of nowhere and took the crowds energy to a new plain (RR was always a huge Dead venue). T got really into it as well, even mouthing the words w/ Dylan. 
The energy stayed up there for H61 (the most rockin version I've ever heard) and the next three songs, so much so that during the instrumental verse of Most Likely, Dylan let his arms just fall at his sides and sort of swayed a little, clearly exausted. 
Masters of War was extremely intense. 
Best setlist of all of 07, and an amazing show to boot. The storm moved past us, but the flashed of lightning lit up the band for the rest of the night. Absolutely beautiful. They were going to have a hard time beating this one the next day. (On a side note, they FINALLY changed the picture on the posters! Did the KC show have new posters as well?)