Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 02/11/97

Tokyo, Japan

February 11, 1997

Tokyo International Forum

The following was posted in by Matthew Zuckerman on Feb. 12 1997:

Tokyo International Forum
Feb 11, 1997

1 Down in the Flood
2 Lay Lady Lay
3 All Along the Watchtower
4 I Don't Believe You
5 Watching the River Flow
6 Silvio
7 Oh Baby, It Ain't No Lie @
8 Mr Tambourine Man @
9 Boots of Spanish Leather @
10 Memphis Blues Again
11 She Belongs to Me
12 Ballad of a Thin Man

13 Like a Rolling Stone

14 One Too Many Mornings @

15 Rainy Day Women

Dave Stewart did the same set with Terry Hall (vocals) and Terry Dizley
(piano) -- at least I guess they did. After Working Class Hero, I'd had
enough and went out for a beer.

The big news today was that the Forum management had finally woken up to
the fact that everybody was having a bit too much fun. Yesterday there were
probably between 6 and 10 ushers in the hall, but today the place is
crawling with them. Every aisle has two or three metal barriers with one or
two security men to stop people from getting up front and the sides are
full of them. There is an announcement over the PA telling people not to
stand and not to dance during the performance. Then we are told that if
there is any rushing the stage the concert will be stopped. This is
announced three times. Even the corridors outside the hall have security
checks. I was asked to show my ticket three times when I went for a pee.
And if they'd asked me more politely I would have obliged. Anyway, this
might have taken a slight edge off the proceedings, but Bob came through
with his best performance so far, so it didn't spoil things.

1 Down in the Flood
A very good run through. It still misses Winston's massive thumps (though
generally the new drummer is excellent), but it was a little more than a
warm-up tonight.

2 Lay Lady Lay
A very nice performance with some lovely bluesy touches in the vocals.

3 All Along the Watchtower
Amazingly, this was really cooking and to anyone not terminally overexposed
to Dylan shows, this would have been one of the highlights.

4 I Don't Believe You
A good performance on this one. Bob starts to relax and to dance around a
little. My wife observes that he seems to be conducting proceedings this
evening with his left leg.

5 Watching the River Flow
Tremendous stuff, particularly for a Sun Studios addict like myself. Right
out of Mystery Train and a true rocker.

6 Silvio
Ditto for this one. The same every night but still hot as can be. Actually,
there were a few atmospheric instrumental passages tonight that he didn't
do the first two shows.

7 Oh Baby, It Ain't No Lie @
A very welcome fixture. The delightful little riff from this one is what's
been running through my mind these last few days, and it will probably do
so for quite a few more.

8 Mr Tambourine Man @
I'd love to have had the slooow 1995 version with great swathes of
harmonica, but this was pretty fine too, with an intensely sung last verse.
Fairly upbeat and full of juice.

9 Boots of Spanish Leather @
One of my favourites, and one that I've never heard him do live. (Not
talking about tapes here.) Before the show, I told a friend that Spanish
Leather and Queen Jane were the two songs I most hoped for, and half a
dream come true is enough for me. I drop my notebook and pen in the
excitement. The performance is everything I could have wished for -- first
verse sung solo with the bass and dobro coming in in the second. (Bucky
started on mandolin but Bob told him to switch.) The drums come in very
delicately on the last verse.

10 Memphis Blues Again
Even better than yesterday's version. Cooks all the way through and
features a lovely, weird guitar solo and a fantastic last verse.

11 She Belongs to Me
A fine rendition, and a little punchier than it has been done in recent
years. Dylan is in particularly good voice tonight on these mid-paced
songs. Lots of emotion in every crack of his voice. (There are a lot of
crack, so that makes for plenty of emotion.)

12 Ballad of a Thin Man
We were expecting Highway 61, so this made a nice surprise. Very well done,
starting slowly and building in intensity.

13 Like a Rolling Stone
Excellent, if just a hair less powerful than the last two days. But that
might be just the fact that security was keeping everyone at bay. Dave
Stewart reappears with his videocamera, walking around as he films,
sometimes putting the camera right up to Dylan's face, sometimes jumping
down off the stage to film him from the audience's view.

14 One Too Many Mornings @
Another fine performance. The drummer really does play beautifully in these
acoustic numbers and he links up with Garnier's double bass very well.

15 Rainy Day Women
This was certainly the best of the three versions of this one. The rhythm
was much lighter and there were a number of good solos from Dylan.
Everybody was up on their feet but the security barriers stayed firm. Then
four young ladies ran onstage from the wings. They looked 'amateurs' so
were probably picked out from the crowd. Come to think of it, I do remember
some movement in some seats on the left and some women getting up and (I
thought) leaving surprisingly early. Dave Stewart came on with his guitar
at last, but after a minute or so, he stopped playing and got his camera
again. The girls danced around on the stage, much to Bob's delight, and
Stewart filmed them. Then one of the girls took the camera and did some
filming. After a few minutes, Bob took it and took some shots of the
dancers and the crowd. He was obviously in a good mood, much more so than
yesterday, and it was a nice ending to the three days.

All in all, I'd say this was the best of the three nights, though the first
night was close. Bob now heads off around the country, but I stay here in
Tokyo. It's up to Masato and the others from now.

Matthew Zuckerman

The following was posted to by Masato Kato on February 12, 1997 Dear Boboholic people, Tonight there were a lot of fences to stop us from rushing to the stage. Cold atmosphere. Less guitar solos. Not that smoking. VEGAS: Working Class Hero ?? (Walk Into The Wind???) Our Lips Are Sealed Here Comes The Rain Again Psychokiller BOB DYLAN Down In The Flood (in the key of E, not G) Lay Lady Lay All Along The Watchtower Watching The River Flows Silvio Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie @ Mr. Tambourine Man @ Boots Of Spanish Leather @ Memphis Blues Again She Belongs To Me Ballad Of A Thin Man ----- Like A Rolling Stone ----- One Too Many Mornings @ ----- Rainy Day Women #12&35 (with Dave Stewart on guitar) Dave Stewart videotaped Dylan on stage during the encores. 4 dancing girls and 1 dirty dreadhaired man appeared on stage on 'RDW', which caused Bob's big big smile. Bob, more than playing guitar solos, gave a lot of suggestion to the band members. While playing 'Tambourine', Bob asked David Kemper to play the drums not with sticks but with brushes. While playing 'Boots', he asked Bucky Baxter to play the dobro (until then Baxter was playing the mandolin). In short, tonight show was "tougher security" "cold atmospher". Tokyo leg of Japan tour is over. Southern leg of the tour will begin on Feb. 13. Hiroshi and Itsuko will keep you informed. See you again until the tour is over. Masato Kato Love Minus Zero/No Limit

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