Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 11/03/99


Columbus, Ohio

November 3, 1999

Ohio State University
Jerome Schottenstein Center
Value City Arena

[Joe Hollon], [Mark Rothfuss]

Review by Joe Hollon

Wow.  I'm still dizzy from this one!  Bob completely out did himself last 
night.  I got to the show about an hour early.  Lesh came on stage right at 
7:30 and played until 9:10.  Lesh was MUCH better than he was last Friday.He 
played a great Sugaree.  I still have to say that the "jamming style" just 
doesn't do anything for me.  After Phil's set we were able to move up a bit 
and by the time Bob came on at 9:40 we were
about 30 feet from the stage and just slightly off to the right...wonderful 

1.  I Am The Man, Thomas @- I knew to expect this song as the opener by now 
and I enjoyed it.  Catchy tune, good opener.

2. Girl From The North Country @- Very good, slow song.  Several people 
around us were very pumped up to hear this song which kinda surprised me but 
it was a very nice version.

3. Hard Rain @-  Surprise number one!  The light effect on this song was 
really neat and when I heard the first line I let out an "Oh yeah!"  I'd 
never heard this live and it was great!  THe crowd sang along to the 
chorus...great stuff.

4. Tomorrow Is A Long Time @- I had just recently been listening to this song 
quite a bit (you know how us Bobcats go through phases) so this was a very 
welcome surprise.  Very nice version, Bob's vocals were as good as I've heard 

5. Tangled Up In Blue @-  This is the only song I've heard live at all six 
shows I've seen.  This was without a doubt, by far, the best version I've 
ever heard of this song. Period.  The vocals, the music...unreal.  The crowd 
loved it.  I hope everyone appreciated this song as much as they should have.

6. To Be Alone With You- Absolutely perfect version of this song.  The sound 
and tempo of this song was exactly as it appears on Nashville Skyline.  This 
was the song I left the show singing to myself and I took Nashville Skyline 
with me in my car today.

7. Senor- Very nice song done very nicely...harmonica solo at the end too!

8. I Don't Believe You- Another very welcome surprise!  Never heard this live 
before and I really liked it!

9. It Takes A Lot To Laugh ...- This was absolutely amazing that he played 
this song.  It is one of my brother's favorite songs and I don't ever 
remember seeing it on a setlist before.  Thanks Bob!

10. If You See Her- Very good version again, Bob's voice was great.  

11. Silvio- I've had my fill of Highway 61 in this position so I was glad for 
the change.

1. Love Sick- Maybe the best version of this I've seen live.

2. Rainy Day Woman- Very rockin' and rollin' on this one!  The crowd loved it 
and everyone danced and bobbed their heads!

3. It Ain't Me, Babe @- Again, I hate to sound repetative but....the best 
live version I've heard.

4. Not Fade Away

Absolutely amazing show!  Best I've seen and I've seen 6 in just over two 
years!  I'm still stunned....-Joe Hollon


Review by Mark Rothfuss

        Last night I witnessed the greatest Dylan show ever. Well, that may
or may not be true.  One thing is certain I stood there at "The
Shot" arena it sure felt like it.  Ive seen his Bobness around thirty times
in the last three years. In fact, I just saw him at MU last friday. But I
have never seen him like I did last night. He is always good...often times
great, but last night he was PERFECT. The setlist will obviously go down in
Dylan history as an obscure footnote, but to the fans in attendance it
should remain a vivid and astounding reminder of just what Bob's all about.
It was an absolutely inspirational experience.  For the first time in years
I was unable to predict but a few songs. My jaw dropped to the ground so
many times, that halfway through the electric set it just stayed there.
What's more, the many surprises were played and sung with palpable care and
dedication. Not a throw away in the bunch. 
This show was for the fans...the serious fans!  Instead of a greatest hits
package with a few gems tossed in, this show was a show of gems with a few
greatest hits for contrast.  Thus everyone, including all the little Phil
Phan neo-hippies, went home happy. 

        Now let me lay out a few technical kudos. First of all, the sound
system was top notch. It really accentuated the delightful whispers and
roars of our hero. Secondly, the venue, while larger than one would like,
was state of the art. I didn't watch any of Phils set, because I was too
busy scoping the giant arena out. The floor was general admission (standing)
and it was a mess of hippies, college students and full fledged working
class adults.  The seats were occupied by a slightly more conservative
group, but ive seen worse. I was off to Bob's right, in the seats, and had
an excellent view.

Onto the review.....

        Dressed in black with white stripes on his pant seams, a big haired
Bob busted out on stage with his band of gangsters for a rousing "I am the
man, Thomas." I excpeted this one...and was glad to get such a superb
version. Clear, crisp vocals and excellent musicianship from the start. My
prediction for song two was fortunately not as accurate. 
We were treated to a beautiful "Girl From the North Country." Bob used his
best raspy whisper to deliver this simplified, countryfied, masterpiece. The
audience showed a great deal of appreciation for his exceptional effort.

Well, I was pleased at this point but I have seen him do both before. "Hard
Rain," on the other hand, was a first for me. Always a favorite, I was on
the verge of tears when I heard the familliar chord structure. Then when he
sung the first line my joy was uncontrollable. The articulation was
remarkable. He was really doing his best Dylan impression. This is now my
2nd favorite version next to the symphony backed version of Nara in '94.
Larry and Charlies backing vocals on the refrain were also a very cool

Then, much to my enthusiasm, we were blessed with "Tomorrow is a Long Time."
I knew the show was a special one at this point. Also aided by backing
vocals on the refrain, this was a lovely performance. It had its rough edges
(probably a result of the insufficient rehearsal time) but that only added
to its uniqueness.

Finally at number 5 we fell back to Earth for "Tangled Up in Blue." However,
this was no ordinary "tangled." Much like the Miami version it was a
phenomenal reinvention of a very often played song. It just kept picking up
steam as it rolled along. Bob did fantastic harp work, but left his harp on
the stand. For that reason alone, I give MU's rendering the first place
prize (though this was a very close second).

Ok, 6th song, time to strap on the fender. But what's this?? "To be alone
with you!" I was just listening to the version on the way to the show
and made a comment to my brother(who is of course a big bob nut) about how
great it would be if Bob played this song. Obviously, I was just being
wishful, just kidding around...but my wish came true. I could not believe
what was happening...I mean what are the chances? (get out your calculator
and spreadsheet A.J.) In any event, it was a great version...though I was in
such shock that I could barely listen.

My shock quickly turned into complete paralyzation when Bob began "Senor."
This was the song my brother had been wishing for. I was like, "not gonna
happen." Turns out I was wrong. Tonights rendering was extremely unique.
Larry played the fiddle and Bob played a fantastic harp solo. Reminded me a
lot of the Brixton version from 95, but with more tex mex flavoring. Oh, it
was heaven! But how much longer could it go on this way??

Well, with the intro chords of "I dont believe you" my question grew more
intense. This was the 3rd song I'd never personally witnessed live. Probably
my least favorite of the surprises...but still pretty damn good. Bob seemed
a little confused...but he was with it for the most part. He just had to
think a little know, "how does this one go, again?"

Time for some dark, swampy, muddy, electric blues! "It takes a lot to
Laugh." Damn it! What a perfect version.  Bob's vocals were raw and intense.
The guitars were at war with one another. He really wailed on lines like "If
I die on top of the heeeeeiiiiilllll!!!"
Ive never personally seen this one either, but ive heard dozens of
bootlegged versions. This one topped 'em all!

Ok, Bob I'll play your game...what are you gonna do next? You gotta be
kidding me! "If you see her say hello." Wow! Mine and Keith Richards
favorite Blood on the Tracks tune. Amen! Thank you, Bob...THANK YOU!!! In
addition to the initial coolness of the fact that he is actually playing it,
he played it very well. Faster than the original, even a little faster than
most late-90s versions. He dropped the "If youre makin love to her" verse,
but so what? It was a sheer joy!  

After the band intros, I was certain we'd get HWY 61. Once again I was
wrong...we got Silvio. Not a personal favorite...but very tight on this
night. Really rocked without relent. Next was "Love sick" and it was love
sick. Always sounds great! Hell, even "RDW" couldnt dampen my spirits
tonight. For the first time, I actually enjoyed it. Pretty similar to other
90s versions.

"Please, Bob, no Blowin in the wind!" "Ok, Mark...I'll play It aint me
Babe." Its as if Bob was picking up on my brain waves. What a lovely song.
Timeless beauty. He wrapped his voice around every line...and did the quick
"Nah, na, Naaaah it aint me, babe" on the boogyfied chorus.

The final nail in this perfect show was "Not Fade Away." Bob was on fire.
You could feel the ecstacy in the air. He knew exactly how good he was this
night. It was so loud and powerful that the hairs on my neck stood on end.
My heart stopped beating and I lived through the music. With the applause
and cheers roaring in his ears, he disappeared behind the curtains. For what
seemed like hours we stood there awaiting his return for one more song...but
he was off..."heading for another joint!"

I was blessed to be in attendance for this epic show. 5 stars...A+....3
thumbs up! Do whatever you can to get a copy!  

Thanks everybody,
Mark Rothfuss


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