Burgettstown, Pennsylvania

August 9, 1997

Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheatre

Thanks to James Busack for the following review:

Over the past 5 years, I've attended over a dozen Bob Dylan shows.  In
my opinion, the show in Pittsburgh last night was far and away the
best.  The venue's large festivel seated lawn, surprisingly, was almost
full (appx. 15,000).  Based upon appearances, a large portion of the
crowd were primarily fans of Ani Difranco (who received a rabid responce
from all the girls wearing Doc Martens).

>From the start, Dylan was in much much better voice than the other shows
I've attended.  This being the first show I've seen since his illness
(leaving one to speculate the effects of his lay off).  But even more
importantly, the passion seemed to be present througout the entire
show.  In the past, it has seemed that much of the time Bob would go
through the motions, waiting for flashes of inspiration.  Last night, it
seemed to be there for every line.

The highlights included:

the welcome addition of Tough Mama

an inspired Roving Gambler (during the choruses, Dylan hushed the
back-up vocals with a hand motion - - taking over the song as it

a new soulful arrangement of God Knows, which included the interesting
opening lines:

God knows that I love you
God knows that I care
God knows there's no one in
the world for me anywhere

a tender The Times They Are A-Changin' (after the line about the present
one day being past, Dylan paused inordinately - - introspectively --
[interesting considering the talk about the new ablbum dealing with the
passage of time]

All and all, a night to remember.

Randall Busack


Thanks to Carsten Molt for the following review:

Dylan came out on stage wearing a grey suit and cowboy boots.
Thankfully, he was hatless, throughout. The general admission crowd
rushed past the security into the reserved seats but the event staff
kept the audience off of the stage.

1. Absolutely Sweet Marie- Dylan led the band through a bouncy rendition
of this tune. Dylan's voice was in mid-set form by the second verse. He
seemed very healthy. The rest seemed to do him a bit of good.(shades of
a certain motorcycle accident.)

2. Tonight, I'll be staying here with you.- Wow! Chills running up and
down my spine. Dylan was enunciating very clearly and with a lot of
emotion. This was one of the shows highlights for me and my

3. Tough Mama- I heard that he had dropped Watchtower(About time) but
I needed to see it to believe it. Unfortunatly, Dylan seemed to be
yelling out the lyrics instead of singing them. The bass was the most
predominant sound during this song but returned to normal before the
next song.

4. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere- Nicely Done with the A Capella final chorus.
A very simialar sound to the Byrds version on "Sweetheart of the Rodeo."

5. Silvio- An amazing version that gave new life to the song. Larry
Campbell finally came to life and actually played some duelling guitar
licks with Dylan. This was a very fiery blues version that was well
recieved by the Pittsburgh crowd.

6. Dont Think Twice, It's All Right(acoustic)- While not one of my
favorite Dylan songs, it was performed well.

7. Tangled Up In Blue(acoustic)- After all these years, Dylan still
sings as passionatly as ever on this gem. The song ending acoustic jam
was as electric as acoustic can be. I was hoping for a harmonica
appearance but it never happened. I can't complain after this great
rendition, though.

8. Roving Gambler(acoustic)- Now I know what the fuss is about. Dylan's
vocals were warm and natural as he softly sang the song to the crowd who
was all but silent for this very country-tinged tune. At first, I
thought the silence was apathy but the applause was one of the loudest
of the night.

9. God Knows- Never a favorite of mine but Dylan was very animated as he
danced a bit and played excellent lead blues licks. Note: Dylan is still
playing lead guitar but Larry Campbell is adding more lead than on the
last tour.

10. This Wheels on Fire- I was hoping for "Willie Mctell" but I will
settle for this any time. This version was pumping as Tony Garnier
actually played a few lead notes on steel guitar.

11. Highway 61 Revisited- Larry Campbell actually smiled as he and
Dylan  duelled back and forth on gutars. This kind of duelling is what
was missing since J.J. Jackson left. Dylan smiled broadly and fluffed
his hair before bowing and leaving the stage.


12. Like A Rolling Stone- Dylan sang this with as much passion and venom
as he did the original. Dylan spit the lyrics out with so much force as
if the song was just written. As hard as he sang, he never over sang or
slurred the words. This was probably the best performance of the night.

13. The Times They Are A-Changin(acoustic)- I was surprised. I was
expecting "It Ain't Me Babe" and was a little thrown. Dylan sang clearly
and used delicate phrasing much like the MTV Unplugged version.

14. Rainy Day Women #12 and 35- As if it could be anything else. It was
well played and well recieved. It was difficult to hear Dylan since most
of the audience was singing along.

After the song, Dylan gave a final bow, a wave and gave a few fans high
fives in the front row and was gone.

 A few final comments:
    A. Larry Campbell did not seem as lost or as wooden as he did on the
spring tour. He actually seemed to seem comfortable duelling with Dylan.

    B. The band( especially Bucky Baxter )
was very animated and in great form. They seem to be in a very tight
    C. Finally, Dylan, while not dancing as much as last year, was
singing with more power and vocal clarity than I have ever seen him. (My
first show was in 1992) Now if only he would bring back the harmonica.

Carsten Molt

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