Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 02/22/98


Fairfax, Virginia

February 22, 1998

George Mason University
Patriot Center

Review provided by Brad Shafran:

Bob Dylan Returns To The Area and Is Better Than Before

I hate to admit it when I am wrong.  I especially dislike having to do it
to a public audience.  However, I have no choice this time.  I was wrong
but, ironically, quite pleased with the turn of events.

After seeing BOB DYLAN play the 9:30 club in December, I believed (and
wrote) that he was at his best.  I thought that the intimate setting had
placed the concert on a level that could not be matched.  Therefore, I
attended BOB DYLAN'S show at the Patriot Center with a few preconceived
notions.  How could seeing him in a basketball arena come close to seeing
him in a club?  How could he sound better than what I thought was his

I guess you know the conclusions since I already said I was wrong.  There
is no need for me to lace this writing with adjectives such as incredible,
brilliant, awe-inspiring.  BOB DYLAN was all those and then some.  He had
the young and old dancing side-by-side as they both received an invaluable
lesson in music history (maybe simply world history for that matter).

Amazingly, songs that BOB DYLAN has played thousands of times sounded
fresh.  Songs that are new to his repertoire sounded like treasured
classics.  Slow-tunes became mesmerizing rockers that had the crowd on
their feet dancing.  DYLAN was having a grand time and his fans were
having the collective time of their lives.

The Patriot Center was only half full for this special occasion.  People
deserved to be in all those empty seats.  They should have taken the
opportunity to witness BOB DYLAN for themselves.  Instead, the people who
were in the venue hopefully left with more than they came and can pass on
their newly gained knowledge to others.

Although details seem redundant, some deserve to be mentioned.  "Simple
Twist Of Fate" was a throw-back to the days of old.  It was classically
Dylanesque.  "Silvio" reached an energy level I have rarely seen in my
life.  "Masters Of War" was biting and meaningful.  "Tangled Up In Blue"
soared.  "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" rocked as
they are intended to.

Words are simply superfluous in reviewing BOB DYLAN.  Witnessing a live
DYLAN performance should be a requirement for all music fans.     

Brad Shafran

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