Return to Current Tour Guide page
Review by Bob Ferdman
Bob Dylan, Park West, Chicago, 10/26/99, late show
"Ain't no use jivin', ain't no use jokin', everything is broken," howled a
tuxedo wearing Bob Dylan to the crowd late Tuesday night at Park West in
Chicago. For the most of the night, that line couldn't have been more true.
The security induced crowd maneuvering and unnecessary crowd chatter of lots
of baby boomers looking for beer took much away from what could've been a
magical night at the dinner theatre sized club.
But, that must be what happens when a legend announces a small club gig just
a few days in advance. (The show was announced Thursday, tickets went on
Just as Dylan and band headed into the first number of the evening, the old
gospel, "I Am the Man, Thomas," security began directing the aisle-heavy
crowd to the already filled center floor area. Unfortunately, that
commotion continued through just about the entire five song acoustic set
that opened the show.
But, fortunately for the rest of the crowd, the commotion didn't seem to
bother Bob. In fact, it didn't seem like he would let anything bother him
this night. Maybe it was his appearance on a recent episode of Dharma and
Greg that did it. Who knows, but at least this night, Bob Dylan seemed
downright happy, smiling often and even joking with the crowd.
When not re-phrasing stretches of some of the acoustic numbers, like he did
to great effect on "Visions of Johanna," he played electric guitar hero,
even nailing the classic Keith Richards pose near the end of "Tombstone
Review by Jim Campbell
There were thirty-some people in line for tickets at
my local Dominick's, and with the lottery I didn't know
if I stood any chance. But my roommate wound up 3rd in
line, and I was 6th, and with the help of a speedy TM
employee, I got tickets to both shows. I can't help it
if I'm lucky...
So on to the show... The set list for the first show
may not appear all that adventurous, but I hadn't seen most
of these songs performed live before (had only seen 4 of
the 12), so I was duely enthused. Bob and the band had
some last-minute talking about which song they were going to
play first, then broke into "Babe, it ain't no lie" which was
great. (Note: some guy from Ireland was able to glimpse
the set-list and saw an alternate for song one that he & I
had never heard of before. Don't remember the title
now, but it was made up of two boys names... anyone else
catch it?) But "Times" really blew me away. The phrasing
of the first half of the song... it may have been just a
personal moment, but he seemed to be speaking to us *right
at that moment*. Like we'd really better start swimming.
Bob was full of scowls and glares (and the *occasional* big-Bob
grin) in the first show. In some of the numbers his "happy
feet" were in full effect. (Btw, this was my first time seeing
Charlie Sexton playing, and for some reason I thought he'd
have a beer gut.)
His voice was in fine form tonight. He seemed to be playing
up the humor in the first verse of "Desolation" and then
caculating happenings in the "Superhuman crew" verse.
Watchtower (yes, it was my first time seeing it live...)
rocked the casbah. No extended jams to be found, just
getting it all across real strong. Not Dark Yet's
arrangement sounded very little like the album arrangement...
wasn't able to pick it out at all prior to the first words.
Lovesick was a standout. The phrasing! Each word told
like I haven't heard it told before. Plus, a line change...
"Sometimes I wanna take to the road and plunder" became
"Sometimes I feel like I'm being plowed under." When the
show ended I was hoping they'd be doing one more electric
number. I was hoping for "Not Fade Away" figuring that it would
be a good warm-up for the upcoming tour. But alas... the lights
came on and the show was over.
So there is my non-song-by-song review of the show. The
venue was great... was able to get right up against the stage and
there was not-bad security. Great sound. Great people (Thanks to
Christine and her gaggle of friends). I'll try and get on a
review for the second show (18 & over Bob) soon... Much peppier
show and more interesting stage banter, so stay tuned!
Return to Bob Links
Go to the Set Lists (by city) page
Go to the Set Lists (by date) page 1999 Tour, 1998 Tour, 1997 Tour, 1996 Tour , 1995 Tour, Pre 1995 Tours
Go to the Cue Sheet page
Return to Current Tour Guide page