Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 02/20/98


Bristol, Tennessee

February 20, 1998

Viking Hall Civic Center

Review provided by Richard Genz:

Bristol TN, another night, another stirring show from Mr. D.  Venue was
unusual -- an outsized  high school gym fully set up with big stage and
all equipment, lights, etc.  Very much a heartland USA atmosphere.  Many
baseball caps being sported in the crowd -- Bristol is a NASCAR town
with a gigantic car-racing stadium. 

Kenny Wayne Shepherd was not much -- routine bluesy guitar licks
accompanied by much tossing around of long-straight-blonde hair.

Our favorite Columbia recording artist took the stage at about nine,
after several impatient waves of excited hooting and clapping had swept
through the crowd of 4000-5000.  Looking like a relaxed journeyman, he
worked rock-steady through the first three opening numbers (Sweet Marie,
Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You, Can't Wait), then he really broke
things open for me with Just Like a Woman.  He was doing this great
call-and-response thing with two entirely different voices -- "and she
aches" in a sweet tenor -- "just like a woman" in a cutting rasp.  "And
she even makes love" -- throws head back, drops mouth open for a second
-- "juuust liiike a woman."  

Tangled was not greeted by much applause -- maybe the cult appeal is
wearing out a bit? But he gave it life, as usual, especially when he
crisply snapped out the lines about heading for another joint, we always
did feel the same, we just saw it from a different point -- of view --
with his eyebrows arched up, and acting the lines as much as singing

The crowd was very enthusiastic, pretty young I'd say -- one 20 year old
next to me kept waving his Freewheelin album cover -- and Bob gave us
the full show with all his "moves" and poses, including several
expressions that might have been smiles!  I keep wondering how and why
he does this never-ending show, but when you see him up close, you can
see he's enjoying himself and not having to force much of anything.

As soon as he finished RDW, a guy raced up onto the stage and
bear-hugged Bob, followed by another guy doing the same thing, prompting
a hasty retreat offstage by Bob...someone asked, "did he say anything?"
"No, he just cringed back a little."  Exactly!  Let's give the man a
little space!  Kinda felt like we ran him off the stage.

Thanks for another solid, inspiring show, pulling together all kinds in
the middle of nowhere.

Richard Genz

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