Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 09/12/99


Lafayette, Louisiana

September 12, 1999

University Of Southwestern Louisiana
The Cajundome

[Tom Madigan], [James Rushing], [Bengt Lindell], [Carsten Wohlfeld]

Review by Tom Madigan

     The show started just a little later than scheduled. The incense
was ignited at about 7:45, and then the stage lights went into frenzy
     Bob  came out wearing black trousers with white piping down the
sides with an entirely black jacket . He wore a white or crème shirt
with a bow-tie that was studded with rhinestones.
     Bob’s voice seemed a bit hoarse at first but after the first few
songs, it cleared up. His vocals were the best I’ve ever heard. I was
only aware of him forcing lyrics in a monotone but once (one stanza of
‘Tangled’). He was really hitting his notes and maintaining the melody
better than I’ve ever seen live. There weren’t any jokes. There wasn’t
excess verbal rapport between themselves, nor was there much visual
rapport with the crowd. He did a little bit of his ‘leg waddle thing’,
but it was subdued. I don’t recall him doing any ‘leg kick guitar poses’
that build up like a ‘slow train comin’. He didn't do the marionette
thing, either.
     He and the band really meant business this night, and they
delivered. They were really tight and concentrated on the music. It was
a fantastic show. Bob only played ‘name that tune’ a couple of times
tonight and most of the songs resembled the recorded version. The
exception was his ‘country style’ delivery of ‘Positively 4th Street’.
     They went into encore mode about 9:00 PM and since Bob opened, we
didn’t get to hear “Not Fade Away”. They ended with an acoustic version
of ‘It ain’t me, Babe’. His pronunciation and enunciation was perfect.
Almost at the end of this last song, he made a dash for his harp and
provided an excellent delivery with the guitar slung over his back. The
crowd went wild.
     The only offering from TOOM was ‘Not Dark Yet’. It’s really great,
and I’ve heard ‘Million Miles’ at a different concert. But I really wish
he’d done ‘Highlands’. (My dream concert would include Lowlands leading
directly into Highlands.)
     Bob then introduced Paul who came out with an electric guitar. It
made for an interesting sound because Bob and his band continued to play
acoustic instruments (except for the slide or lap guitar). Well into
‘The Boxer’, Bob made another sudden grab for his harp. But this time,
the melody he delivered didn’t seem to be in sequence with everyone
else. Then everybody but Bob switched to electric for the “That’ll Be
The Day/The Wanderer”. I feel that Bob and Paul blend well together. At
this concert, Paul remained turned towards Bob throughout the duets. But
Bob was mostly turned towards Larry, and only turned to flick periodic
grins and nods towards Paul. This was in marked contrast from the
Canterbury Park and Duluth shows in Minnesota, where they were turned in
what appeared to be mutual admiration throughout all the duets. They did
“Knockin’ On Heavens Door” and it very much resembled the recorded
version. Bob delivered the words, and Paul provided energetic background
harmonies. At the very end, there was a short version of “You keep on
knocking…”. In Minnesota, they had exchanged these verses throughout.
     This portion of the show ended about 9:30, and Simon started his
set at 10PM.
     Bob and Paul are two completely different men, with completely
different methods and delivery. Paul has had a few songs that are deeply
reflective and have caused people to ponder complex social issues. While
these important and memorable songs have probably cast these two men in
similar light they remain quite different. Both are excellent musicians,
neither is ‘better’ than the other as each man offers something
different. It’s a narrow band of common ground between them. It appears
to me that Dylan fans are more fanatical, while Simon fans are more
     Paul and his band continue to put on top notch performances. He’s
really assembled a group of talented musicians that perform flawlessly.
     Periodically, huge clouds of smoke would rise and drift through
spotlights and colored lights. At other times a light show was provided
on a screen. It wasn’t overdone and the performance was enhanced by this
added dimension.
     Too bad that “Trailways Bus” was the only offering from Capeman.
I’d been turned off by my first exposure to that album, however I’ve
really come to enjoy it and wish that he’d perform other selections.
      After an encore, Zydeco Joe (Joe Mouton), Danny Kimball (rubboard)
and John Hart (Sax) came out and played "That Was Your Mother" from the
"Graceland" album, with some lyrics about ‘standing on the corner of
Lafayette in the State of Louisiana’. The people went nuts. People had
been dancing in the aisles to both Simon and Dylan, but the exciting
Zydeco rhythm got people climbing up and dancing on the seats of their
chairs. It was fantastic. The last time Paul was here, he had played
with Terrance Simien, another Louisiana Zydeco Master. I hope that Paul
continues to showcase the unique sound of these talented Louisiana
      Paul finished with a delicate and moving rendition of ‘The Sound of
Silence’ and then, this historic concert came to an end at about 11:35.
     Each of the concerts I've attended in this series have been awesome.
I hope that a CD of highlight performances is eventually released.


Review by James Rushing

 The old men were in Cajun country last night, and put on a great show even
though the Cajundome (11,500 capacity) was only about 2/3 filled. I was
worried the show would be lackluster, but there were indeed moments of
 It was a similar show to the night before but no less impressive. Bob
avoided harmonica except for a tiny solo at the end of "It Ain't Me Babe"
and another small one during "The Boxer."
 He took the stage cold and launched into the same first three numbers he
did in Memphis, I think. Nothing particularly special about them except it
sure was night to see the old guy again.
 "Tambourine Man" has to have the most beautiful lyrics ever written, by
the way: "Oh to dance beneath the diamond sky/with one hand waving
free/silhouetted by the sea/circled by the sands/with all memory and fate
driven far beneath the waves/let me forget about today until tomorrow..."
 "It's Alright Ma" sounds as menacing as ever, particularly with a reddish
glow from the spotlights, but "To Ramona" seemed dull. I was hoping for
"Don't Think Twice" or "Girl From the North Country."
 "Tangled" rocked as usual, but I think we all missed the harp.
"Watchtower" and "Silvio" followed and rocked even more.
 "Positively Fourth Street" was a great surprise because it was completely
rearranged. A slow, mournful version with lots of countryish steel guitar -
new and beautiful and with those same hilarious lyrics.
 "Not Dark Yet" was the only new tune we got. Bob seems to really like it,
emphasizing the words a lot. This part of the show seemed a little rushed,
for some reason. Other than band intros, he barely said two words to the
crowd, by the way.
 "Highway 61" was the evening's scorcher. The security guards allowed
people to gather at the front of the stage, and several hundred people in
the place took advantage of it to come all the way down front. It gave Bob
a nice immediate crowd to play to and he played it to the hilt, pushing the
band into a sizzling, extra-long closing solo with those three guitars
blazing away. Almost like "Free Bird." He grinned a few times and did his
crouching thing, enjoying the moment as we were.
 "Like a Rolling Stone" was splendid as usual, but "It Ain't Me Babe" was a
bit of a letdown and created a bit of a dip at the end.
 On came Paul. "The Boxer" sounded fine. It wasn't perfect, but then again
neither is history. Bob threaded his harmonica solo into the horn solo
quite well. They did the "That'll Be the Day"/"Wanderer" medley a little
better than before; the shift into "The Wanderer" was barely noticeable and
they sang it more together instead of Paul going solo. Nice.
 "Knockin'" closed it all out. It's no wonder they haven't changed it
during the tour since it fits so well. I kind of like the "I hear you
knockin'" part, though I know others don't. It's different, at least. Give
him that.

 Paul's set was standard but no less splendid. He doesn't get enough credit
for his lyrics, I've always thought. Read the words and the meanings behind
tunes like "Graceland" and some of the stuff from "Rhythm of the Saints."
The writing is close to perfect. And I'm sorry, but "Trailways Bus" from
"The Capeman" is as good as anything he ever wrote with Art Garfunkel.
 Since this is a Dylan site, I'll stop here and just say it was a night of
brilliant music by two brilliant men. They won't be with us forever, and
when they are gone we will not look upon their likes again.


Observations by Bengt Lindell

 Not a review, but a few thoughts after the concert.
Last time I heard Dylan was in Malmö, Sweden, last June.
Since then I have moved to Louisiana, U.S.A. and this was my first
Dylan-concert since then. I had great expectations after last years
concert, and Dylan didn't disappoint me this time either. Every now
and then I think about the dreadful concert 10 years ago, when he
played at Christinehof  Castle, in the south of Sweden, So I know bad
things can happen ( but even at that concert I did forgive him, after
the encore, which was Give My love To Rose by Johnny Cash. But
yesterday, in Lafayette, I do not think I have ever heard him more
focused on what he was doing. Of course, when Dylan started a lot of
feelings run through me, some of them personal, but most of them was
because of the performer. I was overwhelmed, to say the least. He
started off with a song I never had heard before, and continued with a
beautiful Mr. Tambourine Man, and  a great  It's Alright Ma. The
audience of course responded to the line about The President who
sometimes have to stand naked, and  he has been. A beautiful To Ramona
followed. His band sounded great so far. Tangled Up In Blue......a
great version of a great song, and I don't think I ever heard it with
the band before. Then  it was time to rock'n'roll. The electric part
of the show sounded  great to. All Along the Watchtower with a whining
steel guitar from Larry Cambbell, made me almost forget that it wasn't
a cover of a Jimi Hendrix classic. The slow version of Positively The
4th Street was sung with afterthought. As Oscar Wilde once wrote:
"Revenge is a dish that must be served cold" I think he was right, and
maybe Dylan agrees with that. I was hoping to hear Not Dark Yet, my
favourite song from Trouble Out Of Mind, and I wasn't let down. He
made a great version of it, biting off every syllable like only  Dylan
in good shape can. The final numbers, Highway 61, and the encoresLike
A Rolling Stone And It Ain't Me Babe was a worthy ending of the
concert. On the last one we even got some harmonca, but it seemed to
be just for the sake of it. Just a few notes at the end. After that,
he introduced Paul Simon to us, and smiled once more, yes we got a few
smiles, and they ended  the set with three numbers. A great show. As a
bonus we even got some zydeco-music during Pauls Simon's encores, but
that is a nother story.

Kind regards

Bengt Lindell
Welsh, Louisiana


Review by Carsten Wohlfeld

I arrived in Lafayette after a more than 12 hour busride from Memphis, but  
even though I expected to be completely out of it I still managed to find  
a decent and cheap motel room and then went straight to the venue which is  
just a couple of miles outside of the center of town. Well, Lafayette is a  
pretty small town anyways. I liked the Dome though, probably the nicest  
venue I've seen Bob perform in since the Australian shows last year. Just  
looked like the right place for a good show. They sold about 9,000 out of  
13,000 or so tickets I guess, it clearly wasn't a sell out, but the place  
didn't look empty either. Bob started 20 mins. late at around 7.50

        I Am The Man Thomas (acoustic)

As fast and good as the previous nights. I would've given my right arm  
(well, almost) to hear "Hallelujah I'm Ready (To Go)" but it wasn't to be.  
It actually took them quite a while to get on stage, usually they only  
have the strobe lights on for 10 secs. or so, tonight it was about 30  
secs. I could see the band discussing *something* backstage. I was hoping  
they would discuss what to do first, but I guess it was something else  
after all.

        Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic)

No harp today, but a lot of jangly guitar solos by Bob. Surprisingly they  
were quite good, too.

        It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)

Well, as much as I'm always hoping for changes in the setlist, this is one  
of the few songs I don't mind hearing every night. Already the roar from  
the crowd when Larry starts the song is worth it. I think David missed a  
change at some point tonight and Bob turned back to him and made a gesture  
that seemed to say: "Hey man, let's go, speed it up a little."

        To Ramona (acoustic)

I usually don't like any waltz they do, but tonight I even liked this one.  
Bob seemed to have a great time too as he was *dancing*. Larry on mandolin  
and he even got to play a few solos showing that he's not only a better  
pedal steel player than Bucky, but better on the mandolin, too.

        Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

Wow! Pretty fast tonight, not as playful as before, some good phrasing  
though. Bob seems to care a lot more about the lyrics rather than the  
music on most of his song these days and this was a fine example.

        All Along The Watchtower

was "Watchtower", which is still pretty darn good.

        Positively 4th Street

was the song that completely made the night for me. Very slow, with a  
*gorgeous* pedal steel solo intro by Larry. Bob's singing was great too.  
Magdeburg '96 revisited, with less solos though. Except for a short solo  
brteak before the last verse it was a very lyric-orientated version (cf.  


was "Silvio" and sort of a let down after that amazing "4th Street".

        Not Dark Yet

Larry had the guitar in hands that he usually only plays on "Feel My Love"  
and "Trying To Get To Heaven" both of which would have been a welcome  
change, but then he had to switch back to his old axe as Bob decided that  
he rather would want to do this song again. Nothing wrong with that, it  
was a lovely as every night, but if we really need to hear it EVERY SINGLE  
NIGHT is a different matter. Band intros followed.

        Highway 61 Revistited

featured Larry on stand-up lap steel, Charlie on lead guitar and the first  
real stage rush on this leg of the tour (well, since Nashville anyways).  
The show seemed to improve due to the rush, Bob had a great time and the  
song seemed to go on longer than the previous nights.

        Like A Rolling Stone

was "Rolling Stone"

        It Ain't Me Babe (acoustic)

Good version that featured the nice very slow and long ending. And just  
about as David was ready to end the song Bob realized that he hadn't  
played harp all night, so he quickly grabbed one and gave us a very short  
harmonica solo... Then he introduced Mr. Simon and even clapped himself  
when the short guy came on stage.

        The Boxer (with Paul Simon)

The band was a bit better on this song compared to the dreadful version in  
Noblesville, but it still wasn't all that special. Bob on harp.

        That'll Be The Day / The Wanderer (with Paul Simon)

Bob seemed to feel more comfortable doing the Buddy Holly song compared to  
the "Simon sings the first word of every line and I try to follow"  
versions of "I Walk The Line". It was another last minute change as well  
as Larry already had the fiddle in his hands to do "I Walk The Line". I  
couldn't really see it from my seat, but I don't think that Larry was too  
happy about all the changes, especially since he seems to be in the same  
position now that Bucky used to be in: Bob, Tony, David and Charlie  
discuss the setlist change and Larry - standing or sitting too far away  
from them - basically notices the change when the others start the song.  
It just looks weird.

        Knockin' On Heaven's Door (with Paul Simon)

I prefer this arrangement to the reggae version they do when Simon is  
opening, though tonight it was a pretty average version. I hear you  
knockin' but you can't come in, try again tomorrow and I'll let you in" -  
is that really what they are singing. I sincerely hope I just misheard  

A side note: At one point of the show Bob apparently turned to Charlie  
looking very angry and Charlie tried to hide behind Tony. Don't know what  
happened there and I didn't even see it from my relatively bad seat, but  
that's what happened as people were telling  me the next day. A great  
show, probaly the best one I've seen in years when you just consider the  
quality of the performance itself. On to Austin...

carsten wohlfeld
"i wish i was special - i'm just like you" (the cardigans)


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