Ranking Every Spring 2000 Song, Part 4

2000-04-06, Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO

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We made it!

When I first decided to spend a little time looking at Bob's Spring 2000 tour, I wasn't planning on going this long. A week or two, probably. Not the whole thing. But world events conspired to give me more time at home to write. Probably some of you have more time to read too. So I wrote about all 25 concerts.

Well, sort of. In the introduction to this newsletter in January, I promised entries inspired by Dylan concerts of yesteryear. Not necessarily reviews. And some of my favorites this run have been pretty tangential, like when an onstage shoutout to a Santa Cruz restaurant led me to following a trail of suspected arson. Or my data dive into Bob’s longest songs. Or even the four-part series looking at the bluegrass and gospel covers he played this spring - more closely tied to this tour, certainly, but the covers didn't necessarily appear in that day's given show. My attitude is, you can always download the day’s show and see if it's any good yourself. I'll start there and then just see where the wind takes me.

After today, we'll be going back to the original premise of this newsletter: Jumping around from year to year, decade to decade. They'll be once or twice a week again too. Even self-isolating, I can't keep up this pace indefinitely. I’m sure your inboxes could use a break too.

But for those who did follow along, I'd love to know what you thought. Do you prefer jumping around? Do you like the following-a-tour approach? And, if so, any suggestions of tours you'd like me to tackle - notably good, notably bad, or otherwise just plain interesting? Maybe I'll do another extended run in the summer.

Until then, we finish our four-part series (here's one, two, and three) looking at every song performed on this tour. In a week or two, I'll be back again with a random show. I don’t know what it will be. I just know it won’t be from the year 2000!

20. Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie - An underrated opener! Played a ton in the late '90s. Maybe fans were getting tired of it by this point. Or maybe Bob was. But it still kicks!
Times performed: 1

19. Blind Willie McTell - He should have performed this more. I always like the cadence of the "I can tell you one thing / Nobody can sing" chorus rewrite.
Times performed: 2

18. Tomorrow Is a Long Time - The acoustic sets were highlights every night. This should have been included in more of 'em.
Times performed: 1

17. Not Fade Away - The only song he played every night, and a barn-burner in every one. In shows otherwise full of nuance and subtlety, it's a loud blast of simple joy that cuts right through.
Times performed: 25

16. Masters of War - "Swampy" and "acoustic" don't usually go together. They do here.
Times performed: 7

15. A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall - Beautiful arrangement and killer backing vocals. Sounds like something they'd play every night. They should have.
Times performed: 1

14. I Am the Man, Thomas - You know how much I love these gospel-bluegrass covers! Okay, it's no "Hallelujah, I'm Ready to Go," but what is?
Times performed: 5

13. Cat's in the Well - A low-down, grimy performance. The lead guitar growls almost as much as Bob. Cut out Bob's endless two-note guitar solo and it'd be even higher.
Times performed: 1

12. Make You Feel My Love - I'm a "Make You Feel My Love" skeptic, and I have to admit it's pretty moving this tour. He reclaims it from the lounge-singer mush it was already becoming elsewhere.
Times performed: 5

11. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright - Larry could just record his guitar part as an instrumental and it would be all you need. Bob's fine, but to me, that guitar’s the star of the show.
Times performed: 8

10. Dignity - Bob hadn't performed this in five years. He hadn't lost a step.
Times performed: 4

9. When I Paint My Masterpiece - The entire ensemble in total sync. David Kemper's drumming particularly shines.
Times performed: 1

8. My Back Pages - If Larry picks up his violin, you know it's going to be good. And it is!
Times performed: 6

7. Born in Time - After a long run in the '90s, this song's single outing was its third-to-last-ever performance. Hopefully he brings it back one day.
Times performed: 1

6. Country Pie - This works great in its usual spot opening the electric set, rollicking and loose and low-stakes. Funny that a song with "country" in the title would be one of the harder-rocking songs of the tour.
Times performed: 20

5. Boots of Spanish Leather - Only played once. It's like hitting a home run your first time at bat and them immediately retiring.
Times performed: 1

4. Señor (Tales of Yankee Power) - Certain songs Bob never seems to break out unless he's gonna mean it. "Señor" is one.
Times performed: 1

3. Positively 4th Street - Really gives this song a different tone. More resigned than angry.
Times performed: 1

2. Hallelujah, I'm Ready to Go - I've already written about these bluegrass-gospel covers at length. They're all great. This one is the greatest.
Times performed: 7

1. Blowin' in the Wind - Simply put, I don't know that this song has ever been better than it was this year. Larry and Charlie's harmonies on the chorus bring a new vigor to a song that sometimes gets relegated to the '60s-cliché bin.
Times performed: 21

2000-04-06, Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO