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


Augusta, Maine

November 11, 1999

Civic Center

[Brian Norris], [Jared Ishkanian], [Anonymous], []

Review by Brian Norris

Phil's excruciating set did have some substance. To summarize, it's
difficult to be the leader when you play the bass.  Lennon's Come
Together and the Allmans' Mountain Jam and Blue Sky intertwined with
Eyes of the World and Terrapin.  Did I hear Sampson & Delilah?  The
System and The Mole claim no. The Government Mule guitarist and Butch
Trucks' son refused to play rhythm, only constant leads.  Don't get me
wrong, they were good, but I was here for another reason…

Bobby D was dressed to the hilt.  Pressed white collar inside of his
jacket.  Black boots with funky white designs on the toes.

He opened with this tour's Ralph Stanley staple, I am the Man, Thomas.
I was looking forward to catching this one and was not disappointed. 
I'll have to ask Ralph what he thinks about this next time I run into
him at Winterhawk.

Song to Woody was next.  Always nice to see Dylan reach way deep into
his repertoire.  Little-used nuggets are always refreshing.

It's Alright Ma, Baby Blue and Tangled up in Blue had been observed
again & again in my past Bob experiences, and all worked well. 
Especially Tangled which took on a several-minute ending where Bob
traded in his guitar for the harp and went on and on with a two-note
solo that got the place rockin'.

Willie Dixon's Hoochie Coochie Man with its Mannish Boy rhythm shook
the house.  Dylan was obviously having fun.  Tony was as relaxed as
I'd ever seen him, whooping it up with Bob at times.

Absolutely Sweet Marie was also an unexpected treat.  I Shall Be
Released was pretty standard.  The crowd loved Everything is Broken,
but Dylan quelled them right down with a very slow & sad version of
Queen Jane Approximately.  The high energy burst back into the Civic
Center with the set-closer, Highway  61.  The band was obviously
having fun.

The crowd was going wild for the band's return and Dylan simmered
everything down again with another evening treat, What Good Am I? 
when everyone was expecting Love Sick.  Thank you Bob!   I winced as
he broke into Rainy Day Women for the millionth time, but was soon set
straight by a sizzling jam session, with most of the leads being taken
on by the man himself.  Dylan likes to hold his electric guitar out to
the side with the neck vertical these days.  Lots of eye rolling and
Elvis moves too.

The energy was turned down again for Don't Think Twice and then pegged
back to full throttle for Not Fade Away.  Phil never showed up for
this, oh well.

The crowd was successful in calling them back for more and got Blowin'
in the Wind and Silvio.  Still no Phil.

Overall I'd give this show an 8 on a scale of whatever.  Thank you

Note: The crowd was effectively controlled with lots of light during
the show and Miles Davis before.  And by the way, if Larry is playing
pedal steel, where the hell are the pedals???


Review by Jared

Calculated Chaos
There's regular anticipation for a Dylan show, and then there was yesterday, 
with those diehards knowing that anything could happen, and with the right 
amount of luck, it probably would. Unfortunately, the cold weather made the 
seven and a half hour wait in line less than endurable. For those at the 
concert, I was on the right hand entrance, next to a large Saint Bernard 
named Emmett and a group of mostly Dylan, and some Phil fans. In between runs 
for blankets and hot cocoa, conversation was high on the last four nights: 
the setlist changes, brilliant reviews, Phil/Dylan duos, etc. Two older men 
sat in lawn chairs, discussing Dylan's delivery, shunned those who use the 
excuse that he mumbles by countering, "If you're a Dylan fan you should know 
all the words anyway." It was a classic moment among diehard fans whose God 
is a Jewish Harmonica Player.
    At 5:15, with forty five minutes before the gates would open, lines 
really began to form in front of the Civic Center. I walked out to the 
parking lot, where my car was parked directly in front of what can now be 
referred to as Shakedown Street. Countless Phil fans (I assume) were setting 
up shop out of their cars, selling glass pieces, jewelry, tacos, and cold 
beer (probably the least popular of choices on this frigid November night). 
The atmosphere was unlike any Dylan concert I've ever seen, although this was 
my first Phylan Show of the year. Personally I found it refreshing after nine 
stale pre-concert routines, but I'm sure some Dylan traditionalists weren't 
too thrilled about the rampant drug scene.
    So at 6, they began lightly padding people and letting them in. Friends 
and I rushed to the stage, and sat down behind a tall Italian man and his 
wife, dead center of the stage. There, I met two more friendly "tour heads" 
who seemed just as excited about the upcoming show as I. Among all of us that 
followed Dylan through the net, or from show to show, there was some playful 
conversation as to what he would play. Highlands possibly? Another Visions to 
match the Portland show in the winter? And where was Silvio, the perfect 
anthem for a group of Dylan and Dead Heads?
    But first I had to "endure" Phil, or at least this is what I was 
expecting from the stale reviews on RMD. In actuality, Phil was quite 
entertaining, opening up with a long jam followed by Come Together, a perfect 
sing along for the cross sectional generation fans. But a lot of the set did 
drag (no doubt a result of my anticipation for Dylan's set), and by the time 
it ended around 9:15, I sat down and began to rest up for Dylan.
He appeared at 9:40 dressed in a black suit with a white shirt, insents a 
backdrop, breaking right into I Am The Man Thomas. This was expected so I'll 
skip any comment, but what came next was definitely not, and I had to ask one 
of the "hardcores" next to me what the tune was. Song to Woody was done 
rather slowly, with lots of passion, but I can only wonder why he choose 
tonight to start playing it, especially when his good friend Johnny Cash is 
so sick. Anyway, It's Alright Ma was arguably one of the best of the night. I 
wasn't officially "singing along," but if he skipped a verse it was only one 
or two at most. Not only did Dylan project his voice with each razor sharp 
lyric of Ma, but the guitar had been severely reworked and fit in well 
acoustically. It's All Over Now Baby Blue was a rather disappointing 
appearance at slot four, but well played none the less. Then came Tangled, an 
inevitable force that cannot be defeated, so it must be held with a grain of 
salt. On this night though, Dylan played with new energy and excitement that 
I hadn't seen before. He skipped a large amount of the lyrics, and his guitar 
work was average, but the ending Harp solo (unofficially two and half 
minutes) was absolutely brilliant, and just when you thought he would end, he 
started back up again on the harmonica like the world was on fire. 
    Hootchie Cootchie Man wasn't recognized by myself, or nearly anyone else 
in the audience, and my mind is blurry at this point, so I don't have 
anything to say about the tune all RMDers want to hear about. Sorry. Sweet 
Marie was tenderly played….and I loved every minute. By this point, Dylan was 
in full dancing form, interacting with the other members more than normal, 
and apparently enjoying the response from the packed Augusta crowd. The venue 
was filled throughout Dylan's show: the entire floor was covered, and those 
in the upper seats had to struggle to find a place to view the stage. 
Basically, it was oversold, and it made for a very loud concert all around.
    I Shall Be Released came next (despite reports that Everything came 
before), and was another high point for me. I always love to hear this song, 
and tonight Dylan gave the lyrics new life, nailing the "All day long I hear 
him cry so loud, shouting out that he's been framed" line. Everything is 
Broken wasn't anything out of the ordinary. Queen Jane on the other hand was. 
Nothing can be said besides the song was performed in peak form, well sung 
and the band as tight as a drum. The guitar jams in Highway 61 were only 
matched by those during Everything, and the crowd was dancing on the floor by 
the time he left the stage, which only lasted for a second or two before he 
turned right around and came back on.
    What Good Am I was very enjoyable, soft and tender, but not widely known 
by the audience so the response wasn't the same at the ending. Rainy Day was 
a perfect anthem for the Dylan and Dead Heads of young who were in abundance 
on this night. Don't Think Twice was nailed with improved guitar work from 
previous Dylan performances, which goes along with the overall improved 
guitar work of the band. I miss Bucky, but his absence has left more room for 
great jams and enhanced creativity between Dylan, Larry, and the young guy 
that I idolize as the luckiest man in the world.
    Not Fade Away was disappointing in that Phil never came out, and at this 
point we all gave up hope for his appearance. Fade was rockin, but mostly I 
was dreading it as Dylan's last song, so when he came back out for another 
acoustic, my heartbeat shot up. What would he knock us off our feet with? I 
was hoping for Love Minus Zero, what I got was a stale version of Blowin', 
played for the clueless Dylan fan who longs to sing for a verse. But his 
ending was perfect: I had been asking in line where was Silvio, the perfectly 
suited song for this tour, and much to my delight, he ended with it. Everyone 
was dancing like it was 1999 (to use an overly stated pun), and when the 
lights came on with a collective sigh, I walked away happy. Augusta had 
yielded a group of new songs that I wasn't particularly familiar with, but in 
no way was I disappointed. The show rocked all around, and on Monday everyone 
at my high school (20 minutes from the venue) would know why I hold Dylan in 
such a high place. Besides, there still is UNH to hear that once in a 
lifetime performance of Idiot Wind I cross my fingers for.
    Outside, the air was impossibly colder than during the day. Shakedown 
Street was still full of life, and I walked around for awhile, waiting for 
traffic to filter out. The wind continued to chill all the crazy bare- eared 
youngsters, and slipping in my car, one thought came to mind that captured my 
feelings on the night. Dylan had orchestrated calculated chaos, and had all 
been taken hostage for the ride.



Review by Anonymous

It took three hours, but I finally made it to Augusta.  Good thing it was a 
holiday. I arrived during Phil Lesh's set. I was expecting the dancing dead 
heads (although not their pre-school children) . . .but I was surprised that 
I was diggin' the music.  I've always liked the Dead, but to me, Jerry was an 
essential part . . . like Lennon in the Beatles.  But this was different . . 
. a mix of Allmans and the Dead . . . kinda like Watkins Glen 1999 ..  . all 
that was missing was The Band  . . .hmmm . .  wonder if Bob will pick up the 
vibe and revisit the Basement Tapes?  Seemless medleys of songs from both 
Allman and Dead camps . . . Mountain Jam, Eyes Of The World, Blue Sky, I Know 
You Rider , etc . . .  nice having two Allmanites on guitars . . .            

9:40 - ish . . .Bob appears with the band . . . it's nice to see him so often 
. . . yet I'm always surprised by the way he looks and carries himself.  He 
is the man!  If fact he says as much as the beginning of both the acoustic + 
electric sets.  "I Am The Man Thomas" was cool, but it was the first time I'd 
heard it.  Looking forward to a tape of the show.  Next, it's "Song To Woody" 
. . . I'd only heard him do this at Bob-fest . . . this version was so 
moving, 99 Bob revisiting 62 Bob.  even repeated the first verse at the end.  
Already worth the 3-hour drive . . .Next, "It's Alright Ma", a new 
finger-picking version.   Of course, this is one of Bob's best songs, and 
always great live.  This new version (also done at Bob-fest) was fresh, 
re-vitalized.  "It's All Over Now Baby Blue"--the great slow version of 
recent years.  Great to hear it again. "Tangled" , as well as other staples 
like "Silvio" and "Highway 61" all sounded superb:  committed and energetic.  
I felt something weird when Bob started his harmonica solo .. . He stood 
angular, like 1966 . . .His solo got better + better . . .   Very effective . 
. .    

Then . . . Bob goes Electric . . ..    I sure hope we get a Johnny Cash song 
. . . huddle on stage . . . Clapton must have sent Bob a "Crossroads' video ( 
wait, probably a DVD) . .  Its . . . HOOTCHIE COOTCHIE MAN!!  And Bob did 
something Eric couldn't do . .. make the song entirely his own .. . Even a 
slight lyric change! . . . Seemed like Chicago 1966 . . .Then while he's 
there . . . "Absolutely Sweet Marie " .. . great to hear this one! . . . Then 
Bob slows down for "I Shall Be Released"  (Basement Tapes .. . see above .  . 
.)  Surprised it's so early in the set . . . I'm noticing that Larry Campbell 
is so comfortable in the band .. .to me his is the MVP of the band . . .plus 
he was happy + smiling when I got his autograph at Atlantic City in February 
. .. but I was worried . .. he didn't have to even check for Bob's musical 
"clues" . . .uh oh. . . watch out Larry . . . Bob's gonna getcha!  Next was a 
smokin "Everything Is Broken" . . .with Bob staying away from the 
middle-eight until he has everybody's attention (including Larry's) . .  Then 
. ."Queen Jane" nice + slow + majestic . . . Then Bob brings things to a 
close with a rockin' "Hwy 61" . . .  

Encore time . . . will it be "Love Sick" . . . no . .it's too slow . . . wait 
.. . could it be  . .  "What Good Am I?" . . omigod . . .  very powerful . . 
. then a huddle . . .the Rainy Day Women # 12 + 35 . . . Cool, kinda slow . . 
. Bob couldn't wait to start his riff.  After a couple of verses, Bob , I 
guess, opts for a dead-like noodling .. after a while Bob isn't even playing 
. . he's fixing his hair . . . is he bored . . nah, he's just playing with us 
. .  he's actually gonna play a solo AND SING A 3RD VERSE . . .! ! ! ! "Stone 
ya but be back again" . . . Then , the acoustic encore . . "It Ain't Me 
Babe", or "Blowin"? . ..  No, it's "Don't Think 2Xs" , actually, I prefer 
this one now ...  the quick chord changes keep this one fresh . . .then Bob 
plugs back in . ..  "Not Fade Away" ..  given an extra boost playing to a 
tie-died crowd . . .then the stately, moving "Blowin' In The Wind" . . Then 
Bob is gone . . .or is he? Bob returns . . . with another Grateful Dead 
related song "Silvio"  . . . done with conviction . .  then  . .it's over . . 
. almost 2 hours of Bob . . .   then a 3 hours of Bob in the car . . . 
"Folksinger's Choice" and the 1969 Johnny Cash sessions, for starters . . . .

I keep thinking .. . "Yeah, but it can't be as good as the last tour", then 
it it is . . .possibly better . .  infinity on trial .. . see you in 
Worcester . . .  and NH. . . . and Amherst . . . and  ?  ?  ?  Rave on .. . . 
Peace . . .Anonymous . . .


Review by

  I had the BEST time at this show. I got there after they had opend up the
gates and was worried I'd get a bad seat. I ENDED UP IN FRONT ROW!!!  I was
near the left. About Four or Five Feet away from the big Amp. Phil did his
songs. I really enjoyed "Come Together" since I am a big Beatles fan also. For
everyone who might have seen me, I was the kid who Phil's drummer came right
over to me and gave me his two drumsticks!! Can't get any better than this! I
was wrong. 
      After about 20 mins after Phil left, The lights started Flashing! Dylan
came out  and did "I am the man Thomas" and then started "A song to Woody." I
was holding up my record of Bob's first self titled album. Larry and Bob liked
that. They both smiled at me and that was great.  It'll take forever if I say
every song so I'll just skip to Highway 61. This was a great song, better than
the last time I saw him in Mass. at the Tweeter Center with Paul Simon. Bob 
the Band left and came back out with "What good am I?" and "Rainy Day Women 
& 35" which was great. He came bac and did did "Don't think twice It's all
right" and then, My Favorite of the whole show, "Not Fade Away" which I have
seen him perform three times so far. He came back out and  put on his acoustic
and did "Blowin' in the wind" and then an Awsome version of "Silvio".


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