Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 11/02/98


November 2, 1998

Onondaga County War Memorial Arena

Thanks to Todd Battaglia for the following review:

First, a few random points:
1) Dave Alvin is excellent, so much so that I may buy some of his music
based on his brief set alone. Unfortunately, I don't think many people were
paying attention.
2) Joni Mitchell - now I'll leave the review of her set up to those who know
and like her music.  Suffice it to say that if any one of her songs were
good, then they were all good, because they all sounded nearly identical to
me.  in adition, she introduced one of her songs with some out random
comment about women in Ireland, up until 1972, being imrprisoned for being
single or attractive.  Now, I don't know much Irish history, so I'll defer
the validity of that statement.  But then she said a similar thing was
attempted here in America.  In all my years of schoolin' I ain't 'member
nuthin like dat.
3)  Dylan came close to filling this 8000 seat glorified hockey shed.  It
was probably 75-80% full.  Still, I wish he were playing the Landmark
Theater with it's perfect acoustics and 2200 seat intimacy.  On that note,
concession stands selling alcohol is standard, but beer venders roaming the
aisles? Are we at a ball game?  Where're the hot dogs and foam fingers?
4)  The sound was not nearly as bad as I had anticipated.  The instruments
were clear, and for the most part so was Bob's voice.  If anything, his
voice was mixed a little too loud, because the only time it became unclear
was we he sang more forcefully.  Overall though, not bad.  I hope this was
true from others' seats as well.

Anyway, to the show
-Gotta Serve Somebody
Completely expected by anyone who's been following the setlists.  Nothing
exceptional, but could appreciate the lyrical changes, including the
"husband - bride" verse.  Bob was completely animated from the start
however.  I often worry that when he strings a bunchh of shows together on
consecutive nights, his shows suffer, but no evidence of fatigue tonight.

-Million Miles
The first of *FIVE* TOOM tunes we'd get tonight.  Well done and rocking.

-Stuck Inside of Mobile
A highlight, especially for the show Bob put on.  He danced, he strutted, he
shimmied, he shook.  Either somebody has been giving him B12 shots or he's
been watching videotapes of a young Muhammed Ali, but Bob moved more in this
song than he's done in the previos dozen times I've seen him.  Great guitar
work to boot.

Make You Feel My Love
- Always felt this was a pretty "cheesy" tune, but it gains something live. 
When Bob carresses those lyrics, they seem to take on a deeper meaning. 
Unfortunately, he didn't do that entirely, as he seemed to sing a little too
forcefully at times.  Speech at the end something like "Wrote that one for
Garth Brooks.  He did it pretty well. Hope I did it as good as he did."

Can't Wait
-Snarling and sneering.  Bob can make this one sound like you've been caught
in the hellfires.  Excellent.

- Mama, You Been On My Mind
Nice guitar intro, Bob steps to the mic, I start to sing along - "They sat
together in the park"..... oops, wrong tune.  Whoever commented in their
review of a recent show about how much it starts off sounding lie Simple
Twist of Fate couldn't be more correct.  Bob fooled around with the harp
during the intro, but never really went anywhere with it.  Beautiful
treatment of the song, however, getting a great response form the crowd.

-Hard Rain
Nothing fancy but very nice. Crowd singing the last line of the chorus adds
a nice touch.

-Tangled Up In Blue
By far the crowd favorite of the evening.  Huge response, crisply played,
even a solid harp solo at the end.

-Don't Think Twice
Band intros were somewhere around this point.  When introducing David
Kemper, Bob says "he's played with everybody from ?????? to Cab Calloway. 
Now he's playing with me."

-Born In Time
Always been one of my favorites.  "I pulled you close and got just what I
deserve" has always seemed to me one of the most heartbreaking lines Bob's
ever written.

-Highway 61
Strong guitar work by Bob and Larry.  Not to judge, but Larry really needs a
haircut.  He looks like he should be in .38 Special of the Eagles (Timothy
B. Schmidt - wasn't that the guy's name?).  Bob takes his guitar off about
30 seconds before the song is over to start his bows.

-Love Sick
No big surprises.  I wonder if Bob would find it funny if someone in the
front row lifted up their shirt and had Soy Bomb painted on their chest.

- Rainy Day Women
The masses love it, but it's time to retire this one, especially if you're
not using it to close the show.  So Many other great tunes can fill this
"loud song" spot.  Still, professional as always.

- Blowing In the Wind
I really like this new arrangement.  Definitive version?  Really nailed the
harmonies on the chorus tonight.

- 'Till I Fell In Love With You
Don't remember any specifics.

- It Ain't Me, Babe
Another song I've heard many times but never seem to tire of.  Great
acoustic work, could hear Tony's bass really well.

All in all, no big surprises, but as this was the first show I've been able
to see in a year or so, it was nice to get so many songs from TOOM.  On to
Rochester with fingers crossed.

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