Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 09/07/98


September 7, 1998

Glenfield, New Zealand
North Shore Event Centre

Thanks to Peter O'Connor for the following review:

well some of us have been waiting a long time to see the man again and
last nite brought it all back home as they or he said.
Last night on the way to the concert was the biggest goddamned bright
cherry moon hanging over the Pacific that I have ever seen.  The omens
were right.
Its funny for the last year I've been reading concert reviews and
checking the set lists and thinking if if he comes to NZ what will he
play? what will he be like? Its got to be better than when he was here
in 92.  And then you remember back to '78 and 60000 people screaming at
him for more.
so it was a great show to me. I know I haven't seen him umpteen times
like carsten but to me it smoked and maybe you've seen one too many
shows if its Bob Dylan by numbers any night.  I couldn't believe how
thin his legs are and how i read back in the 60s he has a real charlie
chaplin feel to him on stage and it came through, that whole comedic
touch in the harp solo and the piss taking guitar solos like some great
bloody chuck berry.
You'r a big girl brought me the biggest chill. maybe it brought back a
particualr period in my life. I don't know. Then I was really impressed
by Silvio. I'd read all those reviews that slagged it off in australia
and I thought whats wrong with me this band has this song very tight.
TUIB was simply sweet and Times as a waltz really worked. Masters of War
was dark sombre menacing threatening scary and loud as a tank bearing
into your face.  Tambourine man was gentle troubadour and at times you
got the sense of watching the wondering minstrel, the entertainer
pleased to do the tricks with the guitar strut. You actually also got
the sense of someone who enjoys his work.
Then there was the way he would retreat from the mike into the band
huddle sort of well I'll give them this little bit, nod of the head to
the drums and the song is gone.
He didn't say much but the little dance steps and the two shuffle in
those cuban heels reminded me of why the man and style is synonomous.
The suit and bow tie were sharp as a dagger.
oh and rainy days woman didn't just delight the first timers it was a
blast for all us old timers to not merely relieve a memory but actually
to boogie and shake the grey hairs to a bloody good song played tight
and fast.
So it was great night for us who see him all too rarely, good times,
good music and a great moon to drive home to.


Thanks to Rob Zorn for the following review:

I wanted to post a review of last night's concert in Auckland. I would
have done so earlier but am away from home and my own computer. I'm not
sure what Andrew McCallum or Carston have written, if at all. I'm
writing a bit hurriedly too, so 'scuse the stylistic problems.

The North Shore Events Centre is really just a big gymnasium where the
national netball championships are held. The acoustics are only so-so.
We had second-row tickets, but had to stand in a long line for a good
half an hour before we could get through the narrow doors. I thought
that security must therefore be quite tight, but it was not at all.
Being Auckland, of course it started to rain. So there we were standing
in the rain to see a concert starring Bob and Patti, but I'll see him in
anything, so we just stood in line.

Patti came on at about 8:05, and from the very outset she was a
knockout! She has an awesome stage presence, and such a strong voice for
that slight frame. I fell in love with her immediately. Her band were
tight and her vocals were strong and clear despite some initial
microphone problems. She did all she was famous for, spitting onto the
stage more than once, and moving back and forth between the defiant rock
'n' roll bitch, and the warm, friendly, almost motherly figure. She was
having a great time, and talked a lot between songs, especially to the
couple of hundred Smith devotees at her feet, sharing the microphone
with the audience during "Because the Night".

I am only familiar with Horses, and her latest two albums. Was
disappointed that nothing from Horses was included in her set, but
everything else more than made up for that. It seems the usual titles I
have read here over the past few weeks were included. Interestingly,
Dancing Barefoot was her second song, and she did not remove her shoes.
Other songs included Power to the People, Rockin' in the Free World,
Beneath the Southern Cross and Rock'n'Roll Nigger, during which she
played a wild guitar solo, breaking two strings, and pulling the rest
off to throw to the audience.

All up she played about 50 minutes. She came out again during Bob's set
to sit at the side of the stage in full view of the audience with whom
she would occasionally talk. She's a charmer.

After about a twenty minute interval, the houselights dimmed and I heard
those words live that I have heard so many times on tape.... "Good
evening everybody, would you welcome please, Columbia recording
artist... BOB DYLAN!"

And there he was. And there they all were, twenty feet away from me!

Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat
Lay Lady Lay
Cold Irons Bound
Big Girl Now
Can't Wait

The opening five songs were good. Real good, but it was clear that some
warming up still needed to happen. I was astounded at how tight the band
were, how in tune they are, and just how damn good they each are as
musicians. Lay Lady Lay was a sweeter and more sensitive version than I
have heard for a long time, and I heard nothing about pickles in Cold
Irons Bound. Otherwise, the opening five songs were merely wonderful.

Bob was dressed in his shiny grey suit (don't ask me to determine fabric
varieties), white shirt and navy blue tie. He looked pretty dapper, but
still like he'd taken a nap in the suit. Yes, the hedge backwards hair
was there too. He looked good though, good colour and clear eyes.


Okay, now we're cooking with gas. I was disappointed to hear that Silvio
wasn't appearing much in Australia. I've listened to the jamming on this
on so many recent tapes, and was dying to hear it (and watch it) live.
It was all I could have hoped for. Great long jams between verses. It
was a pleasure to watch Larry work. It has taken some time, but I have
come to appreciate him even more than I did JJ as a guitarist. He's
sensitive, technically extremely competent, etc etc...

By the way, I've only my memory to go on for the setlist as I neglected
to bring paper and a pen to the venue. I'll do so tonight. I think I
have remembered all the songs and the correct order, but it was a heady

Tambourine Man@
Masters of War@
Time Changin'@
She Belongs to Me@

All these were extremely clear and heartfelt. Bob was putting himself
into the songs and belting out the vocals with soul. The harp came out
for Times' Changin' and Bob played a good long solo. The crowd roared
when he started blowing the harp (I was already roaring when he was just
fidgeting around by the drumkit trying to find the thing) and Bob
responded with humour, turning away from the audience and then flicking
around quickly to face them again for each new little harmonic blast. It
was funny.

Unlike during Patti's set, security was quite tight up to the end of the
acoustic set. People were not allowed near the foot of the stage, and
those who did insist on being there were finally allowed to stay as long
as they sat on the floor. Two fans were pretty persistent: one man, high
on something (at least I hope that is what explains it) seemed to be
having some sort of orgasmic epiphany pretty much at Bob's feet. He was
a source of great amusement for both Larry and Tony. Next to him was an
attractive young lady who really wanted to do her wiggle wiggle wiggle
at the foot of the stage.  It was hilarious. She was dancing away, and a
security person sitting behind the stage barrier was trying to pull or
push her down. Right above them, Bob had noticed the whole thing and was
playing away to her, pulling silly expressions, duckwalking and hamming
it up big time.

'Til I Fell in Love with You

Out came the electric guitars again, and suddenly security were running
across the front encouraging everybody to go to the foot of the stage. I
burst out of my seat and got in pretty close, close enough to exchange
smiles with Larry and Bucky. Bob just seemed to be still playing to the
attractive young lady; oh well. :-) The spaceman down the front must
have still been up to his antics, though. I couldn't see him, but Tony
and Larry were laughing a lot

There may have been another song here before the encore, but of there
was, it eludes me.

Love Sick
Rainy Day Women #12&35
Blowin' in the Wind @
Highway 61 Revisited
Forever Young @

All terrific, particularly RDW which kinda surprised me. I've heard it
so often, and have always found it pretty ho-hum. But, when you're
watching it done, and seeing the fun that the band are having, and when
you're smack in the middle of a whole bunch of dancing fans yelling
"Everybody Must Get Stoned!" at the right points, there is a certain
buzz to be had. Just a tad. :-)

I stayed around at the front of the stage calling out to the roadies
asking for cue sheets, but they all pretended not to hear me. They were
all gathered up and taken back stage, as far as I could see.

It was good to see and experience things that so many Americans are able
to talk about so often here on rmd. The Beware of the Dog sign is still
there on the guitar rack, I've finally now seen the Egyptian looking eye
thingy, and there was incense all over the place.

Well, it's 3:15 Tuesday, the afternoon after Bob's opening concert, and
my ears have just about come back into their own. In about four hours
we'll be down there standing in line again, more excited perhaps,
because we know better what to expect.

And this time, I'll remember to bring a pen.

Rob Zorn


Thanks to Carsten Wohlfeld for the following review:

I have to admit that I don't like Auckland very much. There's nothing that
would excite me, it's just office buildings in the centre and endless
sububs that surround the city centre. The city has no flair whatsoever. Maybe
that's exactly what Bob thinks too, or maybe he was just tired or sick or both
but the first show in Auckland rates as the worst show of 1998 in my book.

The arrived late and missed the local support act. Patti came out at
8.00pm and before one note was played won the crowd over by saying: "I've played
live on and off for 30 yrs but this is my first show in NZ and I'm happy to
be here". She then launched into "Rockin' In The Free World" which promted a
stage rush circa 30 secs into the show. Some assholes in the frontrwo were
constantly yelling for the security to remove the people from the rail but
Patti clearly wanted the people to stay and so nothing happened for a couple
of songs, everybody had a good time. When she did "Don't Say Nothing" though
the security made ppl on the left side go back to their seats. I was next
in line when someone from Patti's crew fortunately stopped the local
security. Funnily enough there were no people left on the right side of the stage at
that point and when Patti turned around I was the only one standing on that
side. She looked at me and asked: "Where are all the people?" which made me
smile. She was so much into it that she didn't even notice the security at
first. Then she asked the audience to sit down (as she had done in
Wollongong), just to please the front row seat assholes. In Wollongong she had
checked the setlist first and we sat down for "Southern Cross". This time she
thought "Ghostdance" was next. Perfect song to chill out and be seated.... So we
all sat down and Tony started "Because The Night"! Needless to say nobody
stayed on the floor and Patti apologizes after the song, saying: "I made a
mistake" before showing us her irresistable smile. The show ended with a
blasting "Rock and Roll Nigger".

Dylan came out a lil earlier than usual at around 9.10pm, looking pale,
sick and his hair looked as if he just got up 5 mins earlier.

> Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat

Was pale, unconvincing and even worse than usual. Sounded like a bad

> Lay Lady Lay

Part one of an endless greatest hits set. Average version.

> Cold Irons Bound

Wasn't on the cuesheet ("Real You At Last" - in A, was) but they played it
nevertheless, did an okay job but we've heard dozens of better versions of
this one as well.

> You're A Big Girl Now

Was the only song of the night that was as good as usual, even though it
maybe was a tad too fast. I believe it was after this song that Bob  said his
only words of the night: "thank you. thanks ev'rybody".

> Can't Wait

Yet another song that went just never took off the way it
usually does and the band struggled all the way through to find the right

> Silvio

Huge crowdpleaser given that most people in New Zealand haven't seen him
for six years but yet again the version was nothing special.

> Mr Tambourine Man (acoustic)

Badly delivered. He sounded like someone, who doesn't like to sing this
song, which is a bad sign I guess.

> Masters Of War (acoustic)

Was almost as good as it always is, but it was only yet another greatest
hit. Where were the surprises, Bob?

> Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

"Mama" on the cuesheet. For the performance see the comments on "Silvio"

> The Times They Are Changin' (acoustic)

Had a rotten harp solo at the end which almost caused a standing ovation
(people were happy for everything even halfway decent). I thought Bob just
threw it away.

> She Belongs To Me

Replaced "Masterpiece" from the cuesheet, further proof that Bob wasn't
the least interested in the show. He just dumped one hit after the other on
us, and did all the songs he played a million times before and can do on auto
pilot now. Band intros followed.

> 'Til I Fell In Love With You

Yet another average performance that the crowd only appreciated cause it
was a "TOOM" song.

> (encore)

> Love Sick

Same as "'Til I Fell..."

> Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35

No comment.

> Blowin' In The Wind

Was Bob last attempt to save the show. He put more into the vocal delivery
than he did on all other songs but it hardly could help anymore. 

> Highway 61 Revisited

Was shorter than usual and about 15,000 times less inspired. The  usually
red hot solos were just a useless noodeling tonight.

> Forever Young (acoustic)

I had given up counting how many greatest hits the set included tonight
but this was nowhere near as good as it usually is either.

To see Bob play tonight was a sad sight indeed. One can only hope that the
second show tomorrow will be better. Patti clearly won the competion
tonight by a million miles and the fashion award goes to Tony Garnier, dressed in
black leather pants and a very stylish long black coat. Thanks to Andrew for
the ticket! See ya tomorrow! 

carsten wohlfeld
"your girlfriend can leave you but the rolling stones are there forever"
(alan mcgee)


Thanks to Roger Meyer for the following observations:

In the beginning we were greatful for Carstens concert reviews but it is
time he went home.  He has become so full of what happened to Carsten and
Patti and the Roadies and Bucky et cetera et cetera and so critical of
Dylan and his songs that I wonder why he even pays the admission price.
Look at the reviews of the Auckland concert from the first time watchers
and in fact our very critical press and you will not believe we are talking
about the same concert.  I know I am a disciple from way back but everyone
I saw at the Monday concert was all a buzz.  Of course there were flaws but
that is what makes him so appealing still.  You never know what to expect. 
Maybe Dylan has a better feel for his audience than Carsten.  People who 
may get only one or two chances to see an artist they much admire are
entitled to hear "greatest hits" as he so sourly puts it. 
My only regret of the Auckland concert was that I had to travel back North
at two in the morning to work the next day instead of staying for the
second concert.  Carsten's memories may be blurred from too many shows but
the group I was with will keep ours happily (and erase the '92 concert
where the sound was appalling).  After all there may never be another
chance for us at this end of the earth. 

Roger Meyer 

Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going
along,listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.
-Winnie the Pooh

Roger Meyer
New Zealand

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