Bob Dylan live Vienna, VA – Wolf Trap Aug 1997 – photo by Dale Loflin
Bob Dylan live, a beautiful cool summer night at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA, just another night for Bob, but a memorable historical experience for me. The show opened with Ani Difranco, a new rising star. When Bob took the stage, he launched into Absolutely Sweet Marie (*see full setlist) and I knew what kind of night it would be. And it was, a perfect night with friends and family, a night when Bob Dylan was on, his voice was on, and the band was electrified.
Some of the crowd was not into it so much. A lot of baby boomers brought their children. It seemed the parents were there to see the legend they’d heard of and show their kids. And the parents around me who did like Dylan, pit and front row, were still not appreciative at the moment of what they were experiencing, Bob Dylan’s voice and repertoire to date, at peak perfection. The few fans that did appreciate what they were experiencing were mesmerized. Bob Dylan was playing Wolf Trap outside DC with some new musicians, Larry Campbell, Bucky Baxters, who recorded with him on Time Out Of Mind. It was his newest and one of his best albums yet. The Wolf Trap show was one of the best concert tickets ever. Shooting Star and Forever Young were both memorable numbers. I had them on cassette I think, but didn’t fast forward to them much. After hearing them live with passion, I played both songs more often, and even more when they were out on CD. Now being played on iTunes.. He played the most rockin version of Silvio I’ve heard to date. It’s a mystery how his voice sings a repetitive tune and makes every verse sound different and interesting.
The staff tried to take my camera. This was well before Youtube. Bob was cordial enough for photographers, Bob just never liked flash photography in his shows. They blinded him. So this was taken into the light without flash, then enhanced and lightened with Photoshop Elements.
His timeless music mellows better than wine as it ages and gets rediscovered and replayed in different tempos. He’ll record a song as a ballad, reintroduce it later as a march, turn it into a roomba until it’s tangled up in blue.
A large group of leftover Deadheads were in the parking lot just listening to the music. Didn’t see them come into the show. Maybe the sound was better out there. It was fantastic down close, but the further the sound carried, the sweeter the air sounded and smelled.
Music Legends Make History At Ball Park
I saw Bob Dylan live in Greensboro, NC years later when he opened the First Horizon Ball Park. Willie Nelson was on with his son Lukas before Bob. It was a small intimate ballpark show where I stood at the stage with my son watching Willie and his son Lukas warm up. Just the four of us. Willie gave us an affirming nod putting his arm around Lukas. After Willie Nelson’s set started, the crowd realized they could come down to the stage with us and we were mobbed by partying concert revelers who probably don’t remember what they missed. Willie sounded like the records, precise and on time. Crazy.., Mommas.., Whiskey River..,
I still can see Bob and Willie’s caravan of Land Yachts everytime I drive by the scoreboard at Grasshoppers Park (former First Horizon).
DigTriad.com did a short story June 2005. Submit a link if you have any pictures or videos!
More pictures to be added..
August 23, 1997. Wolf Trap
1. Absolutely Sweet Marie
2. Man in the Long Black Coat
3. Tough Mama
4. Under the Red Sky
6. Stone Walls
7. Mr. Tambourine Man
8. Tangled Up in Blue
9. Stuck Inside of Mobile
10. Blind Willie McTell
11. Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat
12. Like A Rolling Stone
13. Don’t Think Twice
14. Alabama Getaway