Sioux Falls, South Dakota

April 1, 2000

Sioux Falls Arena

[Bob Keyes], [Cory Hawley] [Scott Hudson]

Review by Bob Keyes

    Bob Dylan completed his fourth show in as many nights at the Sioux
    Falls Arena on Saturday, giving a sometimes spectacular but mostly
    routine performance before 4,500 fans. After a near-disastrous showing
    at the Arena a decade earlier, Dylan's Saturday night concert here was
    widely anticipated. Hard-core fans who have seen him since knew he
    would be in good form. Other more casual fans were skeptical, which
    probably accounted for a the several hundred seats that went unsold.
    Dylan did not disappoint. He was in good voice, and his musicianship
    was on target. The band -- with a couple of exceptions -- played well,
    too. The crowd loved the show. But in my opinion it fell into the
    routine category instead of exceptional. He played nearly the
    identical set as the night before, inserting only "It Ain't Me, Babe"
    in place of "Girl From the North Country" during the encore. Otherwise
    the show was the same in terms of content and also performance. The
    problem was the crowd. The Sioux Falls audience seemed lackluster. It
    was a quiet crowd, perhaps numbed by the over-zealous security that
    has a reputation for throwing people out for the smallest of
    infractions, including smoking cigarettes. Although he has a
    reputation for being immune to audience reaction, Dylan clearly feeds
    off the crowd. He seemed distracted Saturday, content to run through a
    routine set list. This was my third Dylan show of the week (Rapid City
    and Rochester were the other two) and Sioux Falls was without a doubt
    the weakest of the three. Having said that, though, there's no
    escaping the fact that this current tour is among the most rewarding
    he has played in many years. In terms of song selection, performance
    and crowd interaction, Dylan has rarely been more rewarding. 

    Bob Keyes


Review by Cory Hawley

Boy, I’m glad to have gone to the Fargo show 2 nights before! Sioux Falls 
has got to be the most boring crowd I have ever seen. There was just as 
much energy for opening act Asleep at the Wheel as there was for good 
‘ol Bob. I have been going to school here in South Dakota for 3 years now 
(I am from Batavia, NY), and the people out here are just plain boring. 
They do not know how to have a good time.  I have always wanted to hear 
“Roving Gambler” live, and that is what Bob opened with. It was even better 
than the versions I had previously heard. When Bob came onto stage, 
everybody came to their feet, but half way through the song; some folks 
began to sit back down? Even people in the front row were sitting 
back down. Next, Bob and the Band broke into “My Back Pages.” Larry 
broke out the fiddle on this one. I absolutely loved the way this song was 
delivered. Bob even brought out the harp for the close of the song. The 
crowd cheered, which surprised me as they had showed little emotion up 
to this point. Next, Bob played the gritty “Masters of War.” Almost the entire 
crowd sat down for this one. I was beginning to become distracted by the 
crowd’s lack of emotion. Bob’s fourth song was “This World Can’t Stand 
Long.” Larry played mandolin on this one and it was absolutely incredible. 
I was surprised to see the variation of instruments used by Larry compared 
to the Fargo show I went to. The crowd actually came to their feet for the 
ever-popular “Tangled Up in Blue.” The crowd began to show a little 
movement. That was until Bob ended “TUIB” and started into “Gates of 
Eden.” The crowd, entirely, sat back down. I understand that some people 
cannot stand for an entire show, but the entire crowd? “Gates of Eden” was 
a great song that I have never heard Bob play before. Larry picked up a 
strange looking guitar for this one. A man in front of me told me that it was 
called a bazouki. That ended the acoustic set and Bob quickly cranked out 
“Country Pie.” My new favorite song to hear live. The entire band just seems 
to be having a great time with this one, and it’s good to hear solo’s from 
Larry and Charlie. I had heard just before the show Bob played one of my 
favorites, “Tell Me That It Isn’t True.” It is without a doubt my favorite from 
the “Nashville Skyline” album. He and the band played it very well and 
moved on to “All Along The Watchtower.” I got sick after hearing a couple 
of people behind me say, “Why is Bob playing this one? This is Jimi 
Hendrix wrote this song.” Oh boy!  I have heard this one at every Dylan 
show I’ve been to and it just keeps getting better! After the crowd had 
somewhat woken up from that one, Bob continue to rock it with “Watching 
The River Flow.” I am glad that Bob continues to mix up the songs he plays 
from tour to tour. Next, Bob played “Make You Feel My Love.” I was waiting 
for the same people behind me to say that this was Garth Brooks’ song. 
This slowed everything up for “Highway 61 Revisited.” Of course, Bob 
introduced the band before this one, but no jokes this night (other than that 
Larry needed a tow-truck). I think Bob figured the crowd wouldn’t get it. The 
band left the stage, for a very long time. Though, immediately after they left, 
so did people in the stands. They thought it was the end of the show. After 
about 2-3 minutes, they all came back out for the encore. Everything was 
the same as previous nights except for one song. “Love Sick” sounded 
the best that I have ever heard it played. I complained about the way “Like
A Rolling Stone” sounded in Fargo. Bob must have heard me as he played 
it much better in Sioux Falls. Next, was the only change of the encore. 
Instead of playing “North Country Girl,” he played, in my opinion a better 
one: “It Ain’t Me Babe.” I love this song live. The way he speeds it up, and 
slows it down. And if he didn’t play the harp (which he did) I was going to 
scream. Bob on the harp just completes this song live. He was even 
doing the conducting with one hand and playing with the other. Just 
awesome! “Not Fade Away” came next and I like the way he sang it 
this time. He sang the “I’m Going To Tell You How It’s Going To Be” part 
a little faster and all in one breath. I guess you had to be there to 
understand. Next came “Blowin' In The Wind.” The crowd even sang the 
chorus on this one (faintly though). He got down and dirty on the finale, 
“Rainy Day Women #12 & #35. For the most part, they jammed on this one, 
and only sang three of the verses. That’s the way I’d rather hear it! Great 
show Bob. I kind of wonder if Bob will ever return to Sioux Falls? Hopefully 
he’ll tour the East Coast this summer (July-September) because that’s 
where I’ll be!    


Review by Scott Hudson

I've come to the conclusion that maybe we don't need to know 
everything about every show. This conclusion came around 
halfway through the show, when instead of "Things Have
Changed" we got to hear "All Along the Watchtower." Or when "Gates of
Eden" was played instead of "This Wheel's on Fire." Or just knowing that
the entire show was almost exactly the same as the previous evening in
Rochester, Minnesota. (The only difference was the inclusion of "It Ain't
Me, Babe" instead of "Girl From the North Country." Not that I was upset
with the show, or Dylan's performance. Over half the show were songs new
to me in concert, and Dylan himself was in fine musical and vocal form.
But imagine what my reaction would have been if I didn't know the opening
song would be "Roving Gambler", or that unlikely material such as "This
World Can't Stand Long," "Country Pie," or "Tell Me That It Isn't True"
were in the setlist. I probably would have come unglued. Sure, it was
obvious at times that Dylan was clearly tired after four straight evenings
of performances. And there was a time or two when Bob seemed to be just
going through the motions. But overall, this was the best Dylan show I had
ever witnessed. "Roving Gambler" definitely set the tone for the evening,
featuring great three part harmonies from Dylan, Charlie Sexton, and Larry
Campbell. A countrified "My Back Pages" was next, and the extended grand
entrance of Dylan's harmonica brought a smile to my face. The acoustic set
concluded with "Tangled Up In Blue" and "Gates of Eden", classic epics
released a decade apart. Unlike past performances, Dylan skipped few
verses, and his added emphasis on certain words and phrases brought chills
down my spine. The rockers were for the most part playful, particularly
the already-mentioned "Country Pie," "Watching the River Flow," and a
firey "Highway 61 Revisited." After a spooky version of Time Out of Mind's
"Love Sick," it was greatest hits time. "Like a Rolling Stone" benefited
from a slightly slower pace than usual. "It Ain't Me, Babe" featured the
second and last appearance of Dylan's harmonica, and "Not Fade Away" had
all the young Deadhead-wannabes dancing in the aisles. After the
obligatory "Blowin' in the Wind", "Rainy Day Women #12 and #35" ended the
show in a party mode. Adding to my fun was the fact that my son was
sitting beside me. While friends and relatives thought I was crazy for
taking Alec to the show, he actually enjoyed most of the concert. Some of
the lesser known acoustic tunes bored him a bit, and he hated "Blowin' in
the Wind", but he absolutely loved the rocking portions of the show,
particularly "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Rainy Day Women." More
importantly, he understood that witnessing a Bob Dylan concert is
something that he'll appreciate for the rest of his life.


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