Highland Heights, Kentucky

Northern Kentucky University
BB&T Arena

November 8, 2019

[E.B.], [Laurette Maillet], [Kevin Waters], [David Di Menna]

Review by E.B.

“I crossed the river just to be where you are....” but the young lady next 
to me drove up from Alabama, so a hat tip to you young woman! While 
he didn’t play Mississippi, a favorite of mine, we knew very well the playlist 
of this tour ahead of time and it is a joy to behold.... Bob Dylan and his 
band are firing on all cylinders and putting it into overdrive.

Bob Dylan commands the stage, even playing with his back to the band! 
He plays guitar on just the opener but it was a treat to see and 
throughout the evening he comes center stage to embrace the crowd 
and sing, and see and be seen, and deliver the goods. A powerful 
commanding and intense embrace it is.

Our audience this night in Northern Kentucky, comprised of residents and 
travelers, and we were adoring, enthusiastic, happily affectionate and at 
times giddy, at times somewhat somber (appropriately) and throughout 
very grateful and respectful. A few flash photographers were escorted 
out, thankfully, because, hey, it is annoying people! Knock it off! Some 
dancing in the aisles ensued, civilized swaying and muted dancing was 

My doubts over what the quality of the sound would be in a college 
basketball gymnasium were put to rest from the jump, it sounded great. 
The sound technicians were able to achieve an intimate soundscape 
with dynamic range and lots of clarity in the mix, Bob sounded absolutely 
great, the band was loud and ferocious and I loved it.

The Highlight for me was, first off: no doubt about it, hands down, worth 
the price of my ticket and then some, “Not Dark Yet.” Amazing. Touching. 
Artistically performed and delivered with care, craft and emotion beyond 
any description in written form, it is like .... seeing the steam rising from a 
lake on a crisp November day backlit by the sun, at dawn celebrating the 
breath of life and knowing those breaths are numbered perhaps but 
precious... it’s like that.... okay, you can’t write about it, you have to 
sense it in person, so .... go do that, go, get yourself there. Then try 
and write about it, good luck.But you will feel it, that is the important 
thing. You owe it to yourself to go.

Somewhat off topic: some thoughts that may be of interest, perhaps you 
may not know, as the Kentucky residents next to me did not know, Bob 
Dylan has a line of spirits, which includes a “Tennessee Bourbon” Straight 
Bourbon Whiskey, that’s what the label says, now.... but if you are from 
Kentucky bourbon is only made in Kentucky, so.... delve into it people if 
you have an interest, it was a matter we “discussed” cordially.

Also: coming soon to Broadway, if you are not yet aware, there is a 
production of “Girl from the North Country” at the Belasco theater 
previewing Feb. 7, 2020 and opening March 5, 2020. It is described like 
this: “Bod Dylan’s inimitable songbook is authentically transformed into 
this achingly beautiful story of a down on its luck community on the 
brink of change in Duluth, Minnesota in 1934.” Note: Bob is not in it, it’s 
his music, .... I know nothing else about it except you may be interested 
to find out more, if that’s your thing.

And thank you Bill, your web site is a treasure to behold in all these 
various reviews of people trying to convey what it means to each of us 
individually and collectively to be a Bob Dylan fan. Keep on Keeping On!


Review by Laurette Maillet

I leave Ann Arbor at 5a.m. after waiting in the cold for more than one 
hour. Fortunately not alone. A group of three students are also 
unfortunate. The Greyhound station is closed for the night. I arrive by 
Greyhound after a layover in Detroit in early afternoon. Cincinnati looks 
like a pleasant city. The sun is shining. I managed few hours of sleep on 
the bus. I'm feeling good. I decide to walk the distance to my AirBandB 
to discover some of the city. One hour and a coffee later I check in. The 
house is huge , so are the two dogs barking at me. One is about my size!
The bed looks comfy but against all wisdom I will go straight to the 
venue instead of taking a nap. I'll sleep when I'm dead! The city bus 
trip is one hour and 1.50$. Cool.

The BB&T Arena is a sport arena, capacities 10000. I worry not for a 
ticket. The buses are parked in the parking lot. Only one guardian is 
taking security measure. I spot a man and a kid who carry a Bob Dylan 
album and a pen. An autograph Mr. Dylan? Nope. "Security Bob" will 
talk to them and they will move away. I'm sorry for the kid! Barron walks 
Bob to his bus after the soundcheck and that's it for the afternoon. All 
disappeared in warm and comfort: food and a nap. I find a warm building 
inside the campus. Unfortunately the restaurants are close, so is the 
Starbuck Coffee. I will starve a little bit longer!

By 6.30p.m. the doors open and the folks get in. I am confident. 
Before 7p.m. a man walks to me and says " yes, I have an extra ticket 
but on my telephone." He seems kind and pleasant so I go with him. 
No heavy security tonight : no metal detector and they don't even 
search my bag. We take our seats all the way up, plunging again to the 
stage. Far far away! He explains to me that he got two free tickets from 
the Veterans association. They gave away 320 couples of tickets. Woah! 
More than 600 comp tickets tonight. His girl friend is sick and couldn't 
make it. So he decided to use the ticket for good. Me. Thanks Randy.

The show. Right on time...
Bob is wearing is white/cream jacket and black pants. And this is all I can 
see. The sound is good and right away "THC" is powerful. The Band well

1.Things Have Changed (Bob center stage on guitar, Donnie on violin)
2.It Ain't Me, Babe (Bob on piano, Donnie on violin)
3.Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on piano, Donnie on lap steel)
I jump on my seat and dance.
4.Simple Twist Of Fate (Bob on piano then center stage on harp, Donnie 
on violin) The changing of the lyrics are not new to me.
5.Can't Wait (Bob center stage, Donnie on lap steel)
Strong tonight.
6.When I Paint My Masterpiece (Bob on piano then center stage with 
harp, Donnie on violin) Always beautiful. And if only I could paint my 
masterpiece and make things different.
7.Honest With Me (Bob on piano, Donnie on violin)
I start to appreciate the rythme. The Band is good tonight (or is it me?)
8.Tryin' To Get To Heaven (Bob on piano, Donnie on violin,
Tony on standup bass)
I am in Heaven.
9.Make You Feel My Love (Bob center stage, Donnie on violin)
Sweet but never my favorite.
10.Pay In Blood (Bob center stage, Donnie on pedal steel)
Oh yeah! Strong. And I hear 
"I got dogs that could tear you limb to limb
I`m circling around in the southern zone
I pay in blood, but not my own"
11.Lenny Bruce (Bob on piano, Donnie on violin)
Not sure I will ever like it.
12.Early Roman Kings (Bob center stage, Donnie on pedal steel,
Tony on standup bass)
I'm a little bit tired of it. What about " Mississippi "? For a change.
13.Girl From the North Country (Bob on piano, Donnie on lap steel,
Bob Britt guitar with bottleneck, Tony on standup bass)
Bob Britt is doing a good job.
14.Not Dark Yet (Bob center stage, Donnie on pedal steel)
Tonight I hear some lyrics' echos bouncing on the top of the arena. 
Is this new? It gives an even more sinister effect.
15.Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on piano, Donnie on lap steel)
I can't stop stamping my feet. 
16.Soon After Midnight (Bob on piano, Donnie on lap steel)
I do my karaoke. That song is so sweet!
17.Gotta Serve Somebody (Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)
Might be the Devil, it might be the Lord!

I signal Randy that I have to move down. My last bus is due at 
22.15p.m. I don't want to miss it. I go down the floor.

18.Ballad of a Thin Man (Bob center stage with harp, Donnie on pedal 
steel) Incredible version. He should do this one before in the setlist.
19.It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
(Bob on piano, Donnie on pedal steel)  I wait for the final bow and 
run out.

Waiting with me at the bus stop is a young Mexican student. This 
was his first Dylan show and he is satisfied. (The two Dylan buses are 
passing by us. I wave bye to the drivers. Dylan's driver answers by 
blinking his lights! Cool!) We talk more on the bus ride. Axel is 
studying philosophy. I recommend him to focus of the Bob Dylan 
songs from the 60's and he recommends me to read Hume(the 
philosopher).That bus takes me right to my home and I go straight 
to bed with.....a satisfied mind.(but an empty stomach). Cincinnati 
was a pleasant trip. I met great people. The weather was agreeable.

Bobby is still in full capacity.
So see you in Akron.


Review by Kevin Waters

Another outstanding show. Bob & his band were excellent. The set list 
is amazing, incredible. All the songs feel so damned “personal.” Almost 

The arrangements are always unique & interesting, and I appreciate how 
new arrangements keep us listeners on our toes. The balance between 
‘rockers’ and ‘ballads’ is perfect. Mellow piano, then serious guitar work. 
And Tony, of course, keeping it all together.

Things Have Changed — I like seeing Bob on guitar. Lovely opener. “I’m 
trying to get as far away from myself as I can...”
It Ain’t Me, Babe - mellow, Bob on piano. It may be my least favorite 
song in the set list, but it comes off beautifully. Singing along is easy.
“...a lover for your life & nothing more...”
Highway 61 - “God said to Abraham, ‘Kill me a son.’” What else needs to 
be said? Very cool version. The night is getting hotter.
Twist o’ Fate - Bob on harp near the the sweetest sound ever. 
I never get tired of Dylan “soloing” on the harp. A tender version. He 
played with the lyrics on this tune. Very well done. Touching.
Can’t Wait - rocking. Hard not to dance. The band is so solid. They’re 
fun. And gifted. With chemistry, it seems.
Masterpiece - Bob’s singing here is good. He has plenty of energy, 
interest, & engagement. “Got to hurry on back to my hotel room...
”followed by something like (this is a close approximation, but only that)
“gonna wash my clothes, lock the door, keep everybody out; til I paint 
my masterpiece.” The second (or was it the 3rd?) verse with new lyrics 
was even better, though the exact words escape me (should’ve wrote 
them down). The last 2 verses ended with “everything’s gonna be 
beautiful, (pronounced “beee-you-to-full”) when I paint my masterpiece”. 
A definite highlight on the night.
Honest with Me - more raucous cacophony on this one. The band having 
fun. Bob on piano, singing with gusto. “Lots of things get in the way 
when you’re trying to do what’s right.” This isn’t one of my ‘super-special 
favorites,’ but it was smoking tonight.
Trying to get to Heaven - “...before they close the door.” As with last 
week, he sounds like he sincerely means every syllable. As someone else 
said, listening to Dylan sing this is surreal. Like VanGogh-ish.
Make you feel my Love - “put your hand in mine; come with me” was, I 
think, an alternative lyric here. Cool version. 
Pay in blood - the band was grooving here. This song was meant to be 
played live. I love the studio version, but it truly soars on stage. “My 
head so hard must be made of stone; I pay in Blood but not my own.”
Lenny Bruce - sooooo cool. “Never did make it to the promised land, 
never made it out of Babylon.” Piano & vocals were both superb. It 
seems like he enjoys playing this song. Glad to see it in the set list again. 
I’m not sure I can get tired of this song. Donnie’s violin is haunting 
whenever he plays it, & especially so here.
Early Roman Kings - potent. Another chance for the band to play loud. 
I thoroughly enjoy Dylan, center stage, singing his guts out. “I’ll drag 
you down to the house of death...”
Girl from the north Country - lovely. Really beautiful. Soft & quiet, but 
packing some emotional wallop. Bob’s piano playing was cool. His vocals 
were even better. I think the crowd loved this song.
Not Dark Yet - maybe the pinnacle of the evening. Powerful version.
“...don’t even hear the murmur of a prayer...”
Thunder on the Mountain - Jamming! Electric & wild. They were all 
having fun on this one. “Some sweet day I’ll stand beside my king...”. 
Several extended riffs here. When it was over, I needed a cigarette 
or a shot of something. Really, really good.
Soon after midnight - great piano playing. Singing was serious & soulful. I 
thoroughly enjoy hearing him sing, “I’ll drag his corpse through the mud.”
Gotta Serve Somebody - “you may be in a honky tonk, may be in a 
nursing may be on the wagon, may be on the road....” - 
Bob played with the lyrics on this tune more than any other.....And it 

Ballad of a Thin Man - great phrasing. The band was hot on this one.
It takes a Lot to laugh...- perfect finishing song. Bob Britt lit it up, & 
Dylan’s singing was brilliant. “If I die on top of the hill...”

I’m not sure where, but in one of the songs Dylan sang an alternate line
(Masterpiece?) about feeling like “my cup is running over.” I always, 
always enjoy the Biblical allusions.

I love the mannequins & the stage lighting.

Randy, if you read this, thanks for the book. Enjoy Akron & Pittsburgh. 
My friend Dr. Johnston & I were glad to make your acquaintance. If you 
make it back to Cincinnati, I’d love to see you again. Or maybe I’ll catch 
you on the road someday.

Another wonderful show. The man keeps on keeping on.
Can’t wait to see him again.

Kevin Waters



Review by David Di Menna

Voice? Strong! Band? Tight! Age? Fuhgeddaboudit!! All around great
performance! Bob was in his element and did not disappoint!! He was having
fun, smiling (at times), and absolutely jammed on the piano and harmonica.
Highlights (for me) include Pay in Blood, Lenny Bruce, Girl From the North
Country, Not Dark Yet, Ballad of a Thin Man, and Highway 61 Revisited was
an absolute jam and alone worth the price of admisson! The band was
dynamite and on point, the stage lighting was simple (but very effective
and moody), and the crowd was a mixed bag of raucous and silent. (I don't
get the whole silent, sit on my hands, hero-worship thing.  Bob even says
to get over it.)  Anyway, if your on the fence on whether or not to get
tickets, GET THEM!! Don't know how much longer Mr. Dylan will be doing
this but, whatever juice he's drinking, I want some! Special thanks to
Bill Pagel for all you do at boblinks, all expectingrain contributors, and
to John Hammond Jr. and Johnny Cash for believing when not many did!!


Click Here
to return to the
Main Page

page by Bill Pagel

Tour Guide
Tour Guides
Bob Links
Set Lists
by Date
Set Lists
by Location