Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 09/10/98

Reviews

September 10, 1998

Wellington, New Zealand
Queens Wharf Event Centre



Thanks to Andrew McCallum for the following review:


The Queens Wharf Centre is a barn of a place built on the wharf right next
to  the centre of town. Amazingly a lot of people turned up to the Park
Royal pre-concert drinks, which was gratifying. 

Anyway, this time I enjoyed Patty a lot more. She did a very good long
poetic piece to do with vietnam and smashing a cat a against a wall - or
something.

Anyway -  Bob came on and did Maggies :(

To cut a long story short, the first five songs may have been wonderful, but
the sound mix was atrocious. I think he sang a very fine Man in Me, but I'm
not sure. Tears of Rage was a welcome treat, but I had to fill in the words
myself.

The acoustic set was better. Friend of the Devil was excellent, but the
sound still hadn't quite come right.  Don't think twice was the first song
where things were more or less intelligible.

Tangled was great. I've seen it twice now Bob - thanks. You can drop it from
the setlist.
I never thought I'd say this, but Times was a highlight. Very well sung. I
groaned when I heard the opening chords, but somehow Bob made it new, and
even meaningful.

I'll remember you seemed to have a new arrangement and was a bit hesitant I
thought.

The mini concert of the encores was as fun as Auckland, if a little
dissappointing that the song selection was exactly the same.  

"Forever Young", my best friend and love of my life Joanna said, "is a good
way to end the concert. A bit like the end of a meditation", she said,"
wishing everyone well."

Joanna teaches Yoga, and she also said the construction  of the setlist is
quite like constrcuting a Yoga class. She said, "there's things you want to
try that are different and difficult, but there are also the tried and true
things that you know will always work and that the class will love." 

How true I thought.

All in all, a difficult concert to judge because the sound was so bad for
much of it. No shivers down the spine, but enjoyable.

Two down, one to go.


***********************************************


Thanks to Carsten Wohlfeld for the following review:


After a very enjoyable drive down from Auckland to Wellington (we saw   
lakes too big to photograph, amazing geysers and weird waterfalls) the   
Wellington show was bound to be better than the very mediocre Auckland   
gigs.

Patti - the local paper called her the "bag lady" in next morning's   
review :-) - played a somewhat weird set, almost skipped all the classics   
(bar "Dancing Barefoot") and concentrated on her most recent material,   
incluing a nice and soft "Wing", "Waiting Underground" and a very intense   
"Memento Mori" that was so long, it even surprised the band! No stage   
rush at all, which was a little weird too and I think Patti kinda missed   
that. Her set ended with "People Have The Power" and at 9.15pm it was   
time again to welcome the Columbia Recording Artist we all like so much   
:-) They now use strobe lights for the band's entrance, which looks kinda   
weird but it's a nice signal that the show will start any second now.

 Maggie's Farm

Was pretty flat and it this point it looked as if the show wouldn't be   
much better than the gigs in Auckland.

 The Man In Me

Changed it all though, cause it was a wonderful, gentle version. Usually   
Bob's voice sounds a bit rusty on this one, but today he manged to sing   
it almost perfectly. Very, very nice indeed.

 Cold Irons Bound

Was pretty good too, even though Bob's vocal delivery was pretty   
uncaring. He kinda threw the last part of the song away. The crowd still   
loved it.

 Tears Of Rage

Absolutely amazing and probably the best song of the Pacific tour so far   
(with the possible exception of "Every Grain Of Sand")... New arrangement   
with some lovely backing vocals courtesy of Larry and Bucky that made   
Tony smile quite a bit cause on the first chorus Bob just changed the   
phrasing comepletely and it was impossible for Larry and Bucky to follow.   
Lovely guitar solo by Larry as well. Great stuff!

 Can't Wait

was "Can't Wait".

 Silvio

was veeery dynamic and Bob did lots of knee bending. I guess it had   
something to do with the fact that bass drum and bass guitar was fairly   
high in the mix tonight.

 Friend Of The Devil (acoustic)

Great choice (three years after Jerry's death) and lovely done as well   
with a pretty good twin guitar solo. He clearly enjoyed playing this song   
and I think he even got most of the words right. After this song a fire   
alarm went off, thus completely ruining the next two song for the people   
in the bleechers, but Bob and crew carried on regardless.

 Don't Think Twice It's All Right (acoustic)

Louder and faster than usual but apart from that pretty standard version   
much loved by the crowd.

 Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

Tony only plays the double bass for the first two acoustic songs and then   
switches to the acoustic bass guitar. He first did that in Darwin and I   
guess it gives him more space to dance - and he does.

 The Times The Are A-Changin' (acoustic)

Pretty mediocre version, even though the band tried very hard to make   
this a highlight. Bob forgot most of the words though and he made up some   
ryhmes that are not even in the english language...:-)

 I'll Remeber You

Was done in a somewhat weird, but pretty funny new arrangement as well,   
even though it sounded alot like "I&I" and "License To Kill". Band intros   
followed.

 'Til I Fell In Love With You

was "Til I Fell..." which always is a nice way to end a show. Bob seemed   
to have enjoyed himself a fair bit, a lot more than in Auckland.

 (encore)
 Love Sick

Was another show stopper tonight and apart from "Tears Of Rage" probably   
the best song tonight. Great crescendo-solo as well.

 Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35

*Yawn* A guy jumped on stage after the song and tried to hhug/tackle Bob   
but Tommy, Tony and a couple of security guys stopped him just in time.

 Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)

Was actually quite nice tonight even though he usually sounds pretty   
tired on this one. Maybe it's not such a good idea after all to play   
quite acoustic number at the end of a rather long show?!

 Highway 61 Revisited

Much loved by the crowd and the band enjoyed it alot too, judging from   
the smiles on their faces.

 Forever Young (acoustic)

was "Forever Young". One of the effects that the long five star encore   
has, is that he people leave after this one. Nobody expects more to come.   
In the past people were still yelling for more after "just" three song   
encores. I wonder if that's the reason for the neverending encores these   
days?

All in all a pretty good show, not Wollongong yet but we are getting   
there (hopefully). Thanks again to Andrew for his help in getting me a   
ticket and to Rob for letting me use his computer to write this. See ya   
in Christchurch!

Carsten Wohlfeld
please reply to: happyjaq@confetti.ruhr.de
 --
"her name is eve and she lives two floors below, she is 22 and looks like   
linda ronstadt" (birdy num nums) 


****************************************************


Thanks to Rob Zorn for the following review:


Andrew has already written one pretty accurate review of last night's 
show in Wellington. I thought I'd write another, also for the benefit of 
Patti's fans, many of whom, it seems, only have rec.music.dylan to go to 
in order to see how their girl is doing Down Under.

Those Dylanites not interested in Patti are free to skip ahead, or to 
skip altogether.

The Queen's Wharf Event Centre is, as Andrew says, a big barn of a 
place, and it has never been known fro great acoustics. It is a 
Basketball Stadium. During both Bob and Patti's sets there were times of 
great reverberation, the stage and front few rows actually shaking with 
the sound. It was a disappointing choice of venue, and I think, for a 
world class act like a Bob and Patti concert something better could 
easily have been arranged. The Michael Fowler Centre is only just down 
the road, for example.

I enjoyed Patti's set too, but again, it wasn't up to the first night at 
Auckland. Once more, her set was generally more sedate. Generally. 

I am not one long acquainted with Patti fandom, and am not familiar with 
a lot of her stuff, but it seems to me that she doesn't have the 
advantages Bob has and has to walk more of a tightrope between what 
she'd really like to play, and what most in the audience really wanted 
to hear, i.e., her more well-known stuff. The second night in Auckland 
she disappointed many, I imagine, because she played more of what she 
wanted to play, and less of the rock 'n' roll of the first night. I 
confess that I was disappointed last night not to hear Rock 'n' Roll 
Nigger, and Because the Night. I think she's done Gloria in Australia, 
and three concerts in a row without that was a disappointment too. Many 
in the audience were calling for Gloria,. and for a while it seemed like 
she was discussing the possibility with the band, but it was not to be. 
Anyway, who am I to be disappointed? I respect her choices.

There was plenty of pleasing stuff. She is a pleasure to watch perform.

*Wicked Messenger*. Good to hear live. Strong opening. Patti cried "Bob 
Dylan!" over the closing chords.
*Dancing Barefoot* I have only ever heard this three times, all live, 
and all this week. Great track. "Oh God, I'll settle for you!"

After this song Patti congratulated Wellington on its new arts museum. 
By this she means ˘Te Papa÷ our museum opened this year, and quite an 
achievement, though it sprawls around 4-5 floors of an enormous building 
looking for a sense of purpose and identity, much like New Zealand, 
itself. I'll probably get shot for saying that. Anyway, as this 
morning's Dominion stated, "It's always heartening when entertainers 
take the time to know something about the city they are performing in, 
rather than being prompted by a piece of paper."

*Waiting Underground* Nicely done. I love PattiĂs many hand-gestures.
*Beneath the Southern Cross* Always nice when Patti mentions that this 
constellation can only be seen down here. The "Southern Cross" is the 
star group that adorns both the Australian and New Zealand flags. This 
song has a great build-up too, from that persistent jangly acoustic D, 
all the way up to some great rock.

Next came three songs I could not place, though the Dominion tells me 
that one of them was "Wave." One of them was also the poem about Vietnam 
and death, and as Andrew mentioned, the murder of a cat. Patti read from 
a paper at first, but soon left that and improvised something quite 
remarkable, and, I think, difficult to pull off. But she did. This 
sung/spoken poem ended up breaking into a few lines of "Not Fade Away" 
which could have been happily prolonged.

*Power to the People* closed her set. 

Patti enjoyed herself I believe, more than that second night in 
Auckland, but not as much as the first night. She left the stage with a 
few dissonant blasts from her clarinet. She also played a little 
harmonica somewhere in there, but my notes fail to tell me where.

A variation on the spitting motif was to gargle some mineral water and 
spit that out onto the stage a couple of times. It always amuses me when 
she does that; she's like a sweet Mum trying to be bad. :-) But I do 
like about her the fact that she doesn't seem vain. The grey streaks in 
her hair show plainly. Good on her. She is who she is. Even when she's 
doing the rock 'n' roll bitch posturing and staring the audience down, 
there's a smile behind it all. She doesn't take herself all that 
seriously. And neither do I, even when some dedicated fan throws her a 
rose, and she grabs it, tears the stalk off, scrunches up the petals and 
biffs them back into the audience.

I'll probably never see Patti live again. I am glad to have had the 
opportunity.

I had decided not to take as many notes this time. I like to keep 
everybody informed, but it does tend to distract from what is going on 
on stage. Nevertheless, I seem to have emerged with quite a few crumpled 
pieces of paper in my jacket pocket.

My friend had come down with the flu at the last minute, so he gifted 
his ticket to my 10 year old son, Seth. He got to come as a reward for 
sorta sticking up for his dad when the other kids were mocking Dylan's 
voice. It was also my wife's first *ever* concert.

Bob and the band came out under the flickering strobes. He was wearing 
(and I'm only including this for the ladies who wanna know) some sort of 
double-breasted black gambler's jacket thingy, with an embossed 
leaf-pattern down the front. Silver buttons and a black Col. Sanders 
type tie. I can't be more specific than that. In fact I can't believe I 
could pay that much attention to dress in the first place. I asked 
Frances what she thought the fabric was, and she said, "Dunno. Probably 
a cotton/polyester blend."

*Maggie's Farm* and the front of the stage is packed with people 
already. This time security let them stay. As Andrew said, the acoustics 
were pretty poor. I enjoyed it nonetheless.

*The Man in Me* Love the song, but don't like to see it at number 2. 
Bob's voice needs to warm up to do it justice, and it seems it always 
takes time for the voice mix to come right. Tonight it's too gravelly.

*Cold Irons Bound* Enjoyable. Shorter distorted introduction, I think. 
Bob is starting to dance a little, and flirt with the girls down front.

*Tears of Rage* Something I really noticed this concert was the back-up 
vocals, mainly by Larry. They're good here. Words are hard to 
understand. Light show is good for this one. At one point the stage 
turned static black and white, and the whole band tamped right down to 
allow Bob to come to the fore, plucking away on the outskirts of the 
melody.

*Can't Wait* Great bass work from Tony. I think I have overlooked him 
earlier. Throughout the night I think he plays four different bass 
instruments.

*Silvio* I love this live. It is always too short.

Bob is looking good. He looks older than his 57 years, but he looks 
healthy. Must be the Wellington air.

*Friend of the Devil* This was a really pleasant surprise. If he'd only 
let Larry play the fiddle! Nice to be up front and able to see the 
facial expressions between Bob and Larry as they organise who's gonna do 
what and when. I always sorta wondered how they achieved it all on stage 
and brought a song to a tidy finish.

*Don't Think Twice* Country bluegrass style, Bucky's mandolin standing 
in for a banjo. Nice acoustic solo from Larry. Cool, slow ending.

*Tangled* Enjoying this very much despite myself. Seth has been hanging 
out for this one (I assured him it was coming). He has enjoyed making up 
his own verses to this song for a long time - usually involving stuff 
like: "I was laying in bed, when all of a sudden a cat came down and 
landed on my head..." He'll get younger. :-)

I've noticed green lighting for this song each night. Slightly 
disturbing as I've always imagined it in red. At one stage, all overhead 
lighting shuts down and there's only a couple of pale yellow footlights. 
A very awesome dramatic effect.

*Times Changin'* Out comes the chestnut, and my feelings are mixed 
(mixed feelings? 3 concerts in a row and I think I'm getting spoiled!). 
But I'm hoping for the harp. No harp this time, just Twinkle-Toes 
himself.

*I'll Remember You* Painful, Bob. Like Andrew I'm not familiar with this 
particular arrangement Grungy undercurrent. Sublime solo by Larry.

Band Intros.

*'Til I Fell in Love with You* Standard, competent stuff. The boys 
quickly duck out the back for a cigarette as the houselights dim. Crowd 
calling for encores. It's a ritual. I'm expecting five more songs, and I 
get 'em.

*Love Sick* Works well live as usual. Crowd love it. Lights are going 
nuts in time with the music.

*Rainy Day Women #12&35* Great fun again by all. I'm surprised at how 
much I am still enjoying this one live. The jamming I think, and the 
atmosphere that always goes with this song.

Some young guy shoots up onto the stage and heads straight for Bob at 
speed. he makes it through two security tackles, and is stopped about a 
foot short of Bob by a big bouncer. Probably meant no harm, but could 
have hurt anyone because of the speed at which he was travelling. He's 
manhandled off the stage and out, and it hurts him. I can tell. 
Beginning to understand better why security is often so tight, though I 
think it's easy to tell the difference between a lunger like that and 
someone who just wants to do the swim.

Later the stage lunger is outside on the roof of the gantry over the 
entrance prancing around like Mick Jagger with a pretend microphone. We 
see him as we're leaving. He doesn't look well.

Anyway, Bob proceeded nonchalantly into the next song.

*Blowin' in the Wind* Sweetly sung - long drawn out words at the end of 
the lines. Larry is doing great back-up vocals, and both he and Bob are 
giving words like "friend" and "wind" a country western southern nasally 
type feel. If you were nearby I'd demonstrate for you.

*Highway 61 Revisited* Perfection once again. Amusing to watch Larry. 
You can only tell he's really into his guitar work because his eyes, 
nose and mouth twitch more than usual. He hardly moves on stage.

*Forever Young* Yes, a lovely way to end a concert. Bob actually sounds 
like he' losing his voice. In my opinion, it makes the song sound even 
better, though it's a bit of a worry for the Christchurch people.

And that was it. I hope Christchurch is as good as these shows have 
been, and I think it will be. All three shows so far have been very 
similar in feel and atmosphere. Very professional - hard to pick a 
winner.

But it's all over now for this Baby Blue. One can only be foolhardy with 
time and money for so long.

So what stands out in Seth's memory?

- Trying to peer around the head of a big bald guy (hey, not me - the 
bloke in front).
- Seeing Bob Dylan
- That his ears hurt
- That Patti had an ugly nose.

Rob Zorn


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