Medford, Oregon

June 20, 2000

Jackson County Expo Hall

[Dan Dillon], [Howard Freeman]

Review by Dan Dillon

The geological fault that runs beneath the Klamath Mountains got  a
little shaking Tuesday night after the big silver and black bus pulled off
Interstate 5 into the Jackson County Expo Park in Central Point.
For weeks the talk was ³Bob Dylan in Central Point?² ³Get a grip!²
Central Point is about six off-ramps before California heading down
the I-5 slab.
When I was standing in line in Grants Pass to get my tickets, a
Deadhead (Phil Lesh closed the Central Point show) asked, ³Hey, I heard
some rumor that Bob Dylan was going to be here this summer.² ³Dude,² his
buddy said.  ³That¹s what this line is for.² ³Oh, my wife said it was Bob
and Phil. I thought it was Bob Weir. Cool.² ³Good thing you¹re not disappointed.²
At the Jackson County Expo Hall ‹ a barn where rodeos, monster truck
shows and county fair vegetable exhibits are the usual fare ‹ nobody left
disappointed on Tuesday.  Bob danced. Bob vamped. Bob played with the crowd. 
Bob looked like he was having the time of his life.
We danced, too. We vamped and pumped our fists and waved and had the
time of our lives, too.  In a metal-roofed building with no breeze 
‹ open those big garage doors next time ‹ Bob was the coolest act to use 
the Central Point off-ramp since the great ice-truck collision which 
never happened.
Thanks to indifference by the local gendarmes,  traffic was backed up
for miles. That was forgotten, though, with ³Ladies and gentlemen, Columbia
Records recording artist Bob Dylan.² And the the dance was on.
Looking Nudie in a black suit with white piping and the cutest little
white neck tie, Bob played coy, testing the audience with straightforward
acoustic readings of ³Roving Gambler² and ³To Ramona.² ³It¹s Alright, Ma
(I¹m Only Bleeding)² got a nice workout. ³Rank Strangers² followed. Then
the dance went from polite to carnal.
³Tangled Up In Blue² rocked like third gear in those usual monster
truck shows. And Bob began to dance. Or at least curtsy and play the audience as
adroitly as he was playing his guitar. By the time he got to ³Positively
4th Street² Bob and the audience were in full boogie. Sweat, smoke and
After three shows (Portland and George, Wash.) of closing the first
set with ³Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat,² Bob took a different route and romped down
³Highway 61 Revisited.² Authorities are still investigating to see who had
more fun when Abe got that killin¹ done. Bob or the bobbers who were
working up a sweat while the barn cooked as hard as the band.
Encore. Nothing but sore palms. clapping. No news flash there.
More rockin¹. ³Most Likely You¹ll Go Your Way² got the bounce going again
‹ look out for that fault.
³Like A Rolling Stone² ended any suspense. Bob was leading this dance
and all the hoarse sing-alongers were happy to follow.
Then he wanted to slow dance. The 50-something next to me, who had as
much energy as any of the Deadhead twirlers waiting for Phil ‹ and a guy who
made us other gray-hairs proud ‹ let the tears loose when Bob implored,
³May you always be righteous.² Father¹s Day was just two days past and
that guy embraced his two teenage daughters in in the tightest hug and
just let loose.
May we all be forever young.
³Rainy Day Women #12 & #35² closed. Bob teased. Bob primped. But he
was through dancing and headed back to the black and silver bus on the way to
about the sixth off-ramp before California on his way to Sacramento.
Same time next year? We¹ll bring the no-fault insurance. You bring the



Review by Howard Freeman

The Jackson County Expo Hall was a real funky place to hold a concert.  A
metal building with no ventilation (hot as hell!).  The first surprise of
the night was Dylan opening the show, we were under the impression that he
was going to close.  However, the heat made his opening a pleasant
surprise. We had seen Bob earlier in March in Reno, Nv. and this show was
by far superior.  Maybe it was the heat or maybe the incredible energy
from the crowd because Bob and the boys really rocked hard. The opening
number Roving Gambler was a fun and loose song that immediately got the
crowds attention.  Next was a nice redention of To Ramona followed by an
energetic It's All Right Ma.  Then came a great Rank Strangers, this song
always plays well live!.  The usual Tangled Up in Blue was actually quite
inspired and got the crowd moving.  Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
brought the energy down a bit.  The electric set started of with the fun
revamped Country Pie, this one surprisingly really works.  Positively 4th
St. was done much slower and bluesier than I had heard before, this
version really amplifies the anger in the lyrics.  Another great rocker
was Crash on the Levee, perhaps the hardest rocking song of the night. 
This one really shows why Charlie Sexton is in this band, the dude kicks
ass!!! Senor brought things down but was still a nice gem to hear. 
Drifter's Escape was greated with lots of enthusiasm from the crowd and
Bob's harp playing really tore the house down.  This led to the usual
Highway 61, although with this band, the song really rocks out.  Next came
the encore set kicking off with Most Likely You Go Your Way...followed by
the standard closer Like A Rolling Stone, still a crowd favorite.  Then a
beautiful version of Forever Young which includes some awsome harmonies
from the band. Finally, the closer was Rainy Day Woman, which was played
with lots of energy  and seemed to go on forever with some fun lead work
by Bob. I'm not sure if it was the intimacy of the crowd (only 5300) or
the fact that it was hot and humid, but Bob and the band played their
hearts out for Medford.

                                     Howard Freeman


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