Bismarck, North Dakota

March 29, 2000

Civic Center Arena

[Andrew Moraghan], [Jay Levesque], [Gary D.]

Review by Andrew Moraghan

Bob Dylan's never ending tour pulled into North Dakota's state capitol for
a performance at the Bismarck Civic Center on March 29, 2000.  Jumping
ahead to the punch line, Bob did not disappoint.  Bob and his band were,
in a word, simply awesome.  The evening started out with a relatively
subdued, but appreciative, audience listening to a solid performance by
Asleep at the Wheel.  The lead singer told the crowd that it had been
awhile since the band had been in Bismarck.  When he later mentioned Bob
in comments between songs, the crowd roared.  It was apparent early on
that there was a lot of anticipation in the air as Bob returned to
Bismarck for the first time since 1992.  

The stage was quickly readied for the main event after the conclusion of
the opening act and it wasn't long before the lights went down and we were
asked to welcome Bob Dylan.  The response from the audience was terrific. 
Those of us in the first few rows on the floor got on our feet before the
first chords were played and we remained on our feet for an amazing
musical journey that spanned an hour and fifty minutes.  It was fasinating
watching Bob warm up to the crowd as he gradually got the feel of the
place.  As he moved through Roving Gambler in a workman-like fashion, Bob
had an expression on his face that one might expect to find if one knocked
on his door as he was sitting down to eat dinner.  He did not look
completely comfortable but the gradual transformation in Bob's groove that
culminated during the encores was soon apparent.  

Bob and the boys played a driving acoustic rendition of "Tangled Up In
Blues," complete with extended guitar spots, that whipped the audience
into a near frenzy.  Bob got more playful a couple of tunes later as he
rolled through "Country Pie," followed by "Lay, Lady, Lay," which was
performed for only the second time on the current tour.  Several songs
later, Bob and his band roared their way through "Highway 61 Revisited," 
which was one of the highlights of the evening.  Bob showed that the
rock-n-roll stars twenty or thirty years his junior do not have anything
on Bob when he decides to rock-n-roll.  

As the initial set went on, Bob became more and more antimated, holding
the guitar in a variety of positions and dipping and moving his body to
the musical strains.  Bob occasionally held the guitar in a fairly
perpendicular angle to the stage.  At other times, especially when rocking
out, Bob held the guitar parallel to the stage, thrusting it out away from
his body.  And all the while he began exchanging more glances with those
of us along the railing in front of the stage.  His movements suggested
that he was relaxing and having fun now.  Bob would suddently bend his
knees and dip down for several seconds, waiting for our reaction, which he
got as we roared our approval.  Bob was on his game.  He knew he had us
hanging on his every word, facial expression, and movement.   

Bob had not said much during the initial 12 song list when he and the band
waved and went behind the stage after "Highway 61 Revisited."  He thanked
us as we showed our appreciation following the opening tune, introduced
the band, and, with a laugh, threw in an undiscernible line between a pair
of songs.  The band quickly moved back to the front of the stage for
another six tunes, the highlights for me being "Don't Think Twice, It's
All Right," "Not Fade Away," and "Blowin' in the Wind."  On "Not Fade
Away," Bob rocked out in a way that had been rivalled in intensity only by
"Highway 61 Revisited."  In an extended instrumental into "Blowin' In the
Wind," and before many knew what was coming,  the audience spontaneously
began clapping out the rhythm in unison.  The band visibly appeared
pleased with the audience's interaction and the clapping continued without
any encouragement from anyone on stage until the song's sweet ending.  

On the finale, "Rainy Day Women," the band rocked out a final time.
Throughout the evening, Charlie Sexton frequently had his eyes on Bob,
appearing to be waiting for a nod giving Charlie license to cut loose. 
For the most part, the nods were not forthcoming.  However, Charlie
obviously was enjoying himself on this night as he often smiled broadly. 
The nod came from Bob on the last tune and Charlie came through with some
great playing, not like a guitar rocker with a king-size ego, but an
artist sure of his skills.  At one point, Charlie fell to his knees
alongside Bob and the two jammed together as Charlie grinned.  

Moments later, Bob and the band put their instruments down.  Bob bowed
slightly, moved forward closer to the edge of the stage than he had been
all night, raised a hand to his lips and blew the audience a kiss.  With
that, he turned, went to the back of the stage, down the steps, and soon
was out the door into the cool of the evening, on his way to Fargo, one of
his old haunts, for what should be another rave perforance there.       


Review by Jay Levesque

Hi I just wanted to say I drove about 500 miles to see Bob in Bismarck,
ND. and it was amazing, and worth every penny! I was lucky enough to get
5th row dead center seats by phone, that place was really rocking. Someone
said they wanted a copy of the show...I taped it.(sorry Bob) The tape is
complete and perfect! The 5th row is a great place to record from. Bob's
boots weren't tan colored they were white. He was wearing a blue string
tie. His hair was messy, and at the start I was both nervous and
apprehensive for Bob because I wanted him to do good. I almost thought he
was gonna put in a bad show because he didn't look to be in a very good
mood and those eyes of his could tear the flesh off your face if he were
angry with you. But I was totally off base with my fears because Bob
really tore it up a couple of bars into Roving Gambler. It really helped
when all the fans immediately stood and shouted and clapped as soon as he
came into visions as he quickly turned around into the animated, glaring,
smiling, ultra cool thin wild mercury music rock genius God that he is. If
only all the fans would just remember that the more they scream and shout
for him and support him the better Bob performs...a seemingly grumpy Bob
will turn into the great Bob almost instantly. He got alot of support last
night...and he gave it all back to the audience. Man that show was
awesome! I wish I could just watch him perform every night. There were
some younger kids in the audience that night that were holding up a spoon
right in front of Charlie Sexton. At first he looked at it then looked
back at his guitar. Then he kind of looks back at this spoon then kinda
nods at whomever was holding it...I mean Charlie saw this spoon and he 
wasn't amused at all, then he gave the person a look that seemed to say
Grow Up then he looked over at Bob while Bob  was singing in an expression
that was like " Pay attention to Bob like I am doing." That was really
cool! Lay Lady Lay was well done...I keep playing it over and over again.
For people who like good entertainment value this was the right show to be
at as it was a for listeners like me, I would say this show rates
a 7 and a half out of 10. I wish he would have done Simple Twist Of Fate
or Tombstone Blues or Mobile or Thumbs Blues...this show was like a
greatest hits show just like the last time I saw him. But I will never
complain about anything... it was by far the best show I have seen in my
life. Bob is the best! My Dad was with me and he wasn't much of a Dylan
fan until this show. It blew his mind how great these guys are so now he
will listen to the words with me and he even let me play my tapes of the
show on the drive back to Saskatchewan. Four times straight consecutively!
My dad was really impressed that Bob did Roving Gambler which is such an
old old song...My Dad has the original 78 by someone named
Milton...Yesterday was one of the best days of my life! Thank you Bob! I
don't know if this rant is of any interest to anyone but I wanted to share
it somehow with someone albeit a day late...I was out of town of course! I
also must say that the US is the best and that crowds in the States really
know how to have fun at concerts as opposed to Canadians who are uptight
and boring music fans. Most Canadians listen to garbage music so it is no
wonder they didn't show up to see Bob when he played here. Thanks for
listening to me..Bye!


Review by Gary D.

Having never seen Dylan before, but sharing a kindred
spirit (and having a friend or two in common - Hey
Rollie/Presley/Bruce!!!), I had to take advantage of him being in the
state (and after the show even considered following him to Fargo for his
next performance, I ENJOYED IT SO MUCH)! Like the others who submitted
reviews for the Bismarck show, I, too, sensed a relaxing engagement from
the band in the latter stages of the show, particularily when the clapping
Lesveque refers to began, which was, I thought, peculiar for such a large
crowd (3,500?) in an even larger space (10,100). But in review, being
amidst a smaller, very appreciative crowd was the likely reason the band
seemed to become part of the event rather than being the event, so to
speak. At any rate, while I missed the '92 show, at which several of my
cohorts were privy to backstage passes vis a vis our relationship with the
aforementioned artists (whom Dylan apparently spent some time with
exploring his desire to express himself through the creation of art). At
any rate, I wanted to express my gratitude for the energy the "band'"
expended, making it, for me, a night to remember - and, I am sure, for the
many others who showed! Small venues just lend themselves to better shows
and experiences. Again, I am so very glad I happened to catch him so close
to home and - in great form! Thanks for the memory, Bob, - and, come back
again, many in North Dakota - and, at least one in Saskatchewan are crazy
about you (I just wish he'd posted his address so I can get a copy)!
Standout songs for me were: Highway 61 Revisited, Country Pie, Your Gonna
Make Me Lonesome When You Go, and - Watching the River Flow! You are an

Gary D (from a border town in Northern Dakota)


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