John Lamb, Published August 14 2012
The songs of Dylan: Fans share wish lists as singer comes to Fargo
Since the tour started in 1988, two things have remained constant among the approximately 2,400 shows: Dylan rarely repeats the same set and has been known to rearrange songs, making even well-known tunes sound new – though maybe not always improved.
With 35 albums to pull material from, Dylan’s song selection is anyone’s guess.
We asked area fans to pick some tunes they’d like to hear in Sunday’s set.
According to Dylan’s website, www.bobdylan.com, “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat,” “Tangled up in Blue,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” “All Along the Watchtower” and “Blowin’ in the Wind” all were performed during last weekend’s shows in Canada.
“Sara,” says the Cat Sank Trio, guitarist. “I don’t think he does it too often, and I think it’s his most personal song. With Dylan there is always such an avalanche of images and allusions, it’s easy to get either carried or buried by them all, and that’s why I especially like the directness of this song. … I’ve seen Dylan before, and I know what I hear is not going to sound like anything I’ve heard before, but this time I’m bringing my daughter to hear him for the first time, so I hope he does any song that she’s able to recognize.”
Jessica Mikkelson Cristol
“ ‘Hurricane,’ ‘Blowin’ in the Wind,’ ‘Forever Young,’ ‘Tangled Up In Blue.’ ‘Tangled up in Blue’ reminds me of Greenhouse, remember that local band?” says the Fargo fan. “Quite honestly I just want to hear him play the harmonica. … The songs where he plays harmonica remind me of sitting around a bonfire on a cool autumn night with good friends, Bob Dylan playing the in background.”
James Ingberg Jr.
“ ‘Father of Night,’ the last song on the ‘New Morning’ album. Couldn’t tell you what else was on that album, it’s just that this one stuck with me,” says the Fargo man who will attend Sunday’s show with his father, James Ingberg Sr. “ ‘Girl from the North Country,’ a duet with Johnny Cash, first song from the ‘Nashville Skyline’ album, this is the song that made me a Johnny Cash fan for the first time. ‘Wanted Man.’ I believe Dylan co-wrote this one with Johnny Cash. I have heard Johnny play it, but I would like to hear Dylan play it.”
James Ingberg Sr.
“ ‘Isis’ and ‘Sara.’ I have been listening to these way back before
CDs,” says the elder Ingberg of the two songs from 1976’s “Desire.” “These two compositions are so vivid in my mind. I feel I am right there on the journey when listening to them.”
John D. Peterson
“ ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,’ ‘Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat.’ These haven’t been performed in Fargo since 1990,” says the KNDS DJ. “ ‘I Want You’ – not sure that has really been in any concert in the past decades.”
“I was listening to ‘Blonde on Blonde’ last, so I’m hoping he sneaks in ‘I Want You’ or anything else off that album,” says the SOL guitarist whose been known to play Dylan tunes like “All Along the Watchtower,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and others. “I also have ‘Time Out of Mind’ on my MP3 player and songs like ‘Million Miles’ or the Grammy-winning ‘Cold Irons Bound’ hit it for me.”
“I would initially be inclined to say ‘Boots of Spanish Leather,’ but Dylan played the song at the 2006 Newman concert. Even though he did ‘Boots’ at 14 shows in 2006, the tune has recently been pretty scarce, and Dylan only performed it twice in 2011 and not at all in 2012,” says Carlson, a Fargo filmmaker and assistant professor at Concordia College. “Since Dylan is pretty consistent with a heavy rotation of signature songs, I would be elated to hear ‘Sweetheart like You’ from ‘Infidels,’ which as far as I know never gets dusted off live. …
It is a gorgeous lament with sensational timing and phrasing. I am also a sucker for Dylan songs in which the narrator poses impossible, loaded questions, and ‘Sweetheart like You’ ranks high on that list for me.”
Colleen McDonald Lewis
“ ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ is such a quintessential 1960s song and I love it,” says the Fargo fan, adding that she’d like to hear “Like a Rolling Stone” for the same reason.
“ ‘Desolation Row,’ I just always loved the tune.
‘All Along the Watchtower,’ The lyrics are awesome. ‘Hurricane.’ Adam (Lewis, her husband) wants this one; he loves a good protest song.”
“I will take anything that Dylan offers,” says the director and CEO of the Plains Art Museum and editor of “Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan’s Road from Minnesota to the World.”
“I’m more interested in seeing what he wants to play now than what I want to hear. But, if I could stack the set list, I would slip in ‘If Not for You,’ because it’s one of his most beautiful love songs, and I’d love to hear anything off the upcoming album, ‘Tempest.’ I would be happy if he does not play ‘All Along the Watch Tower,’ which I have heard is the song he plays most often in concert.”
If you go
What: Bob Dylan
When: 7:30 p.m., Sunday
Where: Civic Memorial Auditorium, 207 4th St. N., Fargo
Info: Tickets are $54 plus fees.
Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533