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Review by Jeff Dellin
First of all, THANK YOU BOB DYLAN for playing this tour. I am sure you and
your band are very tired, but this leg of shows in small college town
venues is a blessing. Since I had purposely missed Bob's summer tour with
Phil Lesh, I wanted to make damn sure I saw one of these shows.
Before I get into the show itself, I wanted to say what a pleasure the URI
experience was. We got lucky and parked on campus on the other side of the
Keaney gym in the parking lot of a dorm. We got into what looked like a
single long line to get into the venue but it was no hassle. The crowd was
mellow and relaxed and the venue was tiny as basketball "arenas" go. We
found perfect seats. About five rows off the floor, even with the sound
board, stage right. Just the perfect sized venue for Mr. Dylan. The
"security" was a bunch of college kids in matching tie dyes.
The show started predictably with Duncan and Brady. I had never seen the
song performed live so it was a treat. The sound was decent and the band
sounded pretty much together.
The band totally gelled during the second number, My Back Pages. I have
been lucky enough to see this song performed on several occasions, but
this version was the best in my opinion. Crystal clear and the band was
tight. Larry's fiddle was great and Bob's harp solo at the end was a nice
surprise and truly inspired. This was perhaps the best performed song of
The band continued to be on during Desolation Row -- one of my favorites
and first time live for me. Just a really nice job all around.
Fourth Time Around also sounded good. Clean sound and clear lyrics. It
seemed as if the slower songs were really working tonight. Some of the up
tempo songs didn't work that well this evening -- I don't blame the lads,
they must be (and frankly looked) exhausted!!
Okay, I have heard transcendent versions on TUIB and this one was not one
of them. Bob took all the leads and some of them fell kinda flat. The
verses were mixed up which was adistraction. No offense boys, but this
version was just okay.
Searching For A Soldier's Grave was nice. You could tell they had played
it every night for a while. It seemed slightly uninspired but the
harmonies were great.
Country Pie got the electric set going but the song that followed, 10,000
Men, had the audience scratching its head. I could have sworn I had heard
the song before somewhere, but not being a complete Dylan expert, I didn't
know it. Hearing a rarity was certainly a treat although I have to admit
the song sounded unrehearsed. The lyrics were clear, but the playing
Continuing the theme of beautiful versions of slow songs, Tell Me It Isn't
True was a gem. Just a crystal clear version of a very touching song. Kind
of sad, really, but performed with passion and meaning.
Although Maggie's Farm is kind of rare on this tour, I had seen it so many
times during 1997-99, that I was a little let down that this was going to
be the surprise in the electric set. Time was running out for surprise
songs. Luckily, there was plenty more to come.
I was waiting for Wicked Messenger although I was sort of hoping for
Drifter's Escape, in my opinion a better song from John Wesley Harding.
However, I was very happy with this version. It was extremely well -- much
more complex that the album version and it's always nice to see Bob pick
up the harp.
I prided myself that I was probably the first person in the room to
recognize This Wheel's On Fire. I had heard this rarity once before in '97
and from the opening note I knew what it was. What a treat! I'm not sure
if the crowd got into it but this was a great version of a great song.
Okay, I got my surprise so bring on Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat. It rocks.
I'm ready for a rousing show closer...but no, it's Cat's In The Well --
what a blast. What a cool way to end a set, keeping the folks scratching
their heads. I am sure many were disappointed in an unfamiliar song to
close, but not me. Cats and Dogs in one night -- how sly!
The encore set was pretty typical. Things Have Changed was very well
played, great vocals. They were on. I hadn't seen LARS since 1997 where
they played the best version of any Dylan song I had ever heard. This
version was a bit disappointing. No real emotion, they seemed to be going
through the motions (if it's possible for this band) like they did on
TUIB, but the crowd loved it. The rest of the show has been reviewed by
others better than I can offer so let's just say that I was in awe of how
much Bob Dylan gives to his fans. These guys were clearly road weary but
they played nearly every song with passion and professionalism.
Overall, I'd have to say the slow songs worked better than the rockers.
Also, I was surprised that Bob did nearly all the soloing for much of the
show. This show didn't really showcase the talents of Charlie and Larry,
but who's complaining. It was one of the most pleasurable concert
experiences of my life, the song selection was inspired, and the band,
while not perfect, sounded great most of the time.
Review by Seth Yacovone
No one has written one of these so I thought I would. Just for background
information I'm 21 years old, been a Bob fan since I first heard Like a
Rolling Stone on the Radio when I was 8, and have seen Bob 4 times before
this. Once in 91 (awful), 95 (transcedent), and twice in 99 (powerful and
intense first time very good but mellow second time).
The show was sold out and there were a lot of people looking for extras.
Lots of exciment for Bob and the boys felt in the line which was a nice
change of pace from the last show I saw (2/24/99) where it felt like
everyone was there to see Natalie Merchant or 1963 Bob and that's all they
Due to it being a general addmisson show I was able to get really nice
seats to the right of the stage on the side. This was the closest I've
been at a Bob show and it was nice to see.
The band kicked off pretty much on time with Duncan and Brady which I'd
never heard. I enjoyed the harmonies and the nice bounce to the tune. The
sound was great where I was, I was especially impressed with the upright
bass sound and the Drum sound during the acoustic set. They sounded huge
without over burdening the guitars or vocals. Next up was My Back Pages.
The crowd was very psyched for this one. Larry was on Fiddle and Bob
played a nice short harp solo. He spaced the lyrics a little on one line
but I felt this was a very nice performance. Next up was Desolation Row.
This was nicely done different than the live versions I've heard from this
summer. Much better in my opinion. Bob sang a good number verses and
repeated one. He didn't seem happy he repeated one. The solos were a
little lackluster in this tune. It was just incredible to hear this tune
live for me. So we went 64, 65 and now it was time for 66. Fourth Time
Around done at a fairly quick pace with Larry on Bouzuki and Charlie on
Electric Guitar. This flew by and had some nice phrasing and subtle lyric
changes about the gum. Bob and company did seem a little subdued so far
this show. Alittle bit of going through the motions but not bad or
unispired really just very average I guess would be the right word.
Tangled Up in Blue was next. When I saw this twice in February 99 everyone
was complaining that he played it every night but, the versions I saw
rocked and were very energetic and the music seemed to be pouring out of
the band like tiny waterfalls. Why complain about performances like that.
This version though was a pale shadow of that. It was supposed to be
rocking but it never really got there. I think this tune definetly needs a
break. How about a fast Lily Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts in that Slot?
Searching for a Soldier's Grave was great. Average but nice to hear and I
love the tune and the harmonies. After this they somehow created the
illusion of being unable to see the stage and then Boom the curtiain
parted revealing a new backdrop and everyone was electric and it was time
for Counry Pie. A very fun tune played very nice. Sparkly licks from
Charlie and Larry. Over too soon if you ask me. Then came the world debut
of 10,000 Men. I wasn't familar with this and was wondering what it was
but it had a great funky blues riff and I caught the 10,000 Men lyric so I
knew what tune it was. This is when Bob came alive tonight folks. This was
the first really inspired vocal performance of the night Bob got real into
it. The show up to here, for me anyway, was very average. real good but
not special. From this point on though I thought it really elevated.
Following 10,000 Men we got Tell Me It Isn't True. I'm not a fan of the
Nashville Skyline version but this was great. I loved the phrasing and
vocal performance. Bob sounded so heart broken and sad on the chorus line.
Maggie's Farm didn't excite me too much at the start but once It got going
it was real nice. The band had a great pumping just pushing the time
groove going that seemed to inspire Bob's vocal improve. Good "Nooo
Mooorrre" vocals. So After that they bust into a cool hard rock blues
version of Wicked Messenger. Bob seemed glad to play this and got into
this one. Nice quick blues harp solo. Nice "I've Got a Machine Gun and New
Legs" dancing from Bob. So I'm thinking it can't be time for Leopard Skin
Pill Box Hat yet. The band then went into a huddle and I was psyched cause
I knew we were gonna get a suprise. The first Wheel's On Fire of the tour.
This was a very spooky slow vibey Wheel. A Time out of Mind kind of feel.
This was great. The background vocals again were well done. I knew we'd
get an extra tune before the encore and the started Cat's in the Well.
Again I was unfamiliar with this one (guess I need to get Under The Red
Sky) but It was great. The band had a real nice groove going and Bob was
making tons of Faces and really getting down with the Cat in the Well. The
stopped and what came next was one of the greatest spectcals of physical
comedy I'd ever seen. Everyone put down their Instruments and just stood
there looking angry and stern while the audience went nuts. This was so
funny. I was roaring with walrus inspired laughter. What a riot.
Encore time really is like set two. Things Have Changed was better than
any version I've heard on tape. Bob really delivered it great. It was the
first time I'd ever heard the "Don't get up gentleman" line and heard
these words. I always thought it was "Don't get up too many mornings" .
Some the lines really cut through especially "I'm in love with a woman who
don't even appeal to me." This was one of the highlights of the night for
me. Like a Rolling Stone came next. The audience loved and it was one of the
best recent versions I've heard. Very inspired vocally and instrumentally.
What a great song. It still blows my mind like the first time I heard it.
Next up was If Dogs Run Free. This was cool and funny but I don't think
you'll see it much after this tour there just isn't much to it. It was
enjoyable though. All Along the Watchtower was rocking. Instead of the
ring of nonstop singing versions this version was almost over paused.
"There Must Be....Someway Out Of Here...... Said the Joker...... To the
Thief". Nice guitar from Charlie Sexton. Then came for me the highlight of
the evening It Ain't Me Babe. This was a beautiful quiet performance. Bob
sang great going from his high register before dropping a deep voice. Very
heartfelt and soulful. Bob was with every word. Excellent everything about
it. This is why I go see Bob. Next up came Highway 61 Revisited which I
have seen at every Bob show I've ever seen. This was the first one that
didn't end the pre encore set though. This was a great version! Vocal
delivery and crunching jams. It felt new to me. Then came a good Blowin'
in the Wind very different melody of course nice backgrounds and then
done. Once again the guitars came off and we are back the stare down. I
was laughing so loud I swear the whole band turned and looked right at me.
Bob was standing there with one hand in a fist and the other one spread
open like in Isis in Renaldo and Clara or during I Don't Believe You in
ETD. All in all a very good show that definetly warmed up as it went
along. Thanks Bob
Review by Nicholas Padgen
This show was so great my buddy compared it to Tramps. I wouldn't go that
far but Bob and the band were excellent. The only pain in the ass was the
crew at the university. It was general admission, and when they first let
the diehards in we were told we could stand up front. Then after the
first twenty rows were taken, this "fire marshall" told us we had to take
a seat. Bob's guy set them straight by telling 'em that they could not
stop a rush. As soon as the lights went out, we took our rightful places
standing up front. Bob seemed a little off at the beginning tho Duncan and
Brady was nice. I finally heard him sing "Einstein disguised.." verse in
Desolation Row, but he seemed to stumble upon it accidentally. He sang
one verse twice and I've still yet to hear "Nero's Neptune." What a
treasure it is to hear "Fourth Time Around." He stumbled over the words
here too but the singing was nice enough to make it a highlight. A few of
us had snuck in to hear sound check, and it seemed as tho "Watching the
River Flow" might bump out "Country Pie," but either way both songs are
great electric openers. "10000 men" was the absolute highlight of the
evening. The guitars were pounding. Too bad I dont know Under the Red
Sky at all. Even w/out knowing the words, the performance was amazing. I
could've danced to that song all night. And of course it was exciting to
hear "This Wheels on fire" and "Cat's in the Well." Anyone understand why
Bob does that line up w/the band before and after the encores? He seemed
to enjoy the cheers and did a jerky type of dance. Can't wait til AC.
Review by Tom Gillmore
I wasn't going to attempt a review of the Rhode Island show, but decided
to do so after reading David Bachman's excellent record of events from the
Lowell show. I've often neglected to post a review because I'm not
particularly good at remembering the details of each song. I developed
the habit years ago of writing down the songs played during the show, more
to remind myself later when the buzz wore off just what Bob played rather
than any thought of keeping some kind of record.
So I'll follow David Bachman's lead and share a few of my thoughts on the
I drove nine hours from Ottawa, Canada to get to the show. I left at 6:30
with my travelling companion, Katja, my wife since '87 and friend since we
met in '78. A few weeks back I told her I was going to see Bob in Rhode
Island and asked if she'd come with me. To my huge surprise, she said
yes, but she was even more surprised when I later showed exactly where
Rhode Island was on the map. I just couldn't pass on the opportunity to
see Bob in a general admission show at a university gymnasium.
We arrived at the campus at 3:30, collected our tickets at the will call
and joined the line. I went off in search of a six pack and food, while
she waited in line. Now I know that not all states sell beer on sundays.
When got back to the line about 45 minutes later (I did manage to have a
few beers while waiting for the pizza to cook) Katja whispers to me that
'these guys in line are pretty serious fans, they travel all over the
place to see shows' but what I heard was 'Tom, you're not so kooky after
all for going on the occasional road trip to see Bob.'
Maybe it's the quiet Canadian in me, but I confess that standing in line
before the show with people that have seen the previous four shows and
with tickets to the next three is a bit overwhelming and I generally end
up not saying much. But I go home with images clear as day of the people
around me that I obviously have something in common with. Nobody really
seemed to taken with the fact that we had come all that way to see the
show. Maybe it's because I wasn't the only Canadian there, apparently
there was guy at the front of the line from Toronto, and I got this from
the two guys from Toronto looking for tickets that saw the show the night
before in Lowell. To the people around me that I didn't say too much to
while waiting in line (the couple with tickets to the Atlantic City show,
the fellow that saw the Who at Madison Square Garden, the guy handing out
animal stickers, the jewish legal aid lawyer from Toronto and his friend)
I just wanted to say hey, hope you enjoyed the show. I wanted to compare
notes afterwards but we had to get some air and split right away to find a
We found one only 20 minutes away, and after a very short walk went to
slept in the car in the parking lot only to be rudely awakened at 2:30 in
the morning by a knock on the window, floodlights and a flashlight waving.
'Did you have a long ride?' 'Ah, yes officer, we drove down to see the Bob
Dylan show.' 'Ya, I could see from your license plate that you weren't
from around here. It was a good show?' he asks. 'Ya, oh ya' I say, half
asleep while thinking 'should I attempt to write a review of the show?'
'Are you heading out in the morning?' he asks while glancing around the
inside of our car. 'Uh, ya we're heading out at daybreak.' 'Okay, I'll let
you stay here, keep your door locks.' 'Okay officer, thanks very much,
Overall it was a solid show. I enjoyed hearing 'If Dogs Run Free,' mainly
because it's from off the beaten track. I guess I'm not alone in wishing
that Bob would only pull out a few more of these gems, stir things up a
bit, it's not like there a shortage of material to draw from. I keep
wishing he'll play 'Black Diamond Bay.' Who knows why. It was a blast
though to run into a guy last November at the meadowlands in new jersey
that said he keeps waiting for that day too.
I enjoyed the upbeat version of 'Desolation Row' and the slightly funky
version of 'Cats in the Well'. I couldn't help thinking about the new
crop of Bob fans, wondering what they're thinking during 'Like a Rolling
Stone' or 'My Back Pages' whether there's a message here or not. As for
me, during 'pages' I kept trying to remember the name of the damn song. I
don't know why, but there are half a dozen tunes I just can't remember the
titles. They come to me a couple of songs later and I write them down. No
sooner had I remembered the name of 'pages' when Bob plays '4th time
around'. That's one of the six I can never remember. Go figure.
'Didn't seem like much was happening,
so I turned it off and went to grab another beer.'
Review by Cristin Grenier
It had been a year since I'd seen Dylan last, and man, I'm pleased to say
the rumors are true. He is getting better with time! He didn't just sound
better than when I saw him last with Paul Simon, he even looked better.
Being a genral admission show, I arrived an hour and 45 min. early and sat
12th row. It was about 50 degrees out, but I was doing good as the
gentlemen behind me smoked their pipe. One thing I have to say about this
show, there was more marijuana there than any other concert (Bob or
otherwise) I'd been to. But what does one expect? This is U R High. The
crowd was pretty mixed. Professors with their children, young neo hippie
college students, non purist folkie, deadheads, and some who looked liked
they'd stepped off the set of Easy Rider. 1. Duncan and Brady simply
rocked! What a fantastic way to start the show. 2. My Back Pages had clear
vocals and an excellent fiddle 3. Desolation Row was much better than last
year's version. I like this new arrangement. It goes over very well live
4. Fourth Time Around was a surprise. Very nice acoustic guitar work!
Bob's voice were still going strong here. 5. Tangled Up In Blue was
missing something without that great harp solo from last year. After the
show my sister remarked that Dylan had "screwed up on the lyrics." I
replied, "Bob doesn't screw up. He evolves, he changes, but he does now
screw up." 6. Searching For A Soldier's Grave: This was the first time I'd
heard this song. His singing was so clear I managed to follow along with
the lyrics. 7. Country Pie was just sweet. Some nice electric guitar work
8. 10,000 Men made me really feel like this was no greatest hits show. It
sounded excellent too! Not to mention the fact that this was the first
time it's been played live. 9. Tell Me That It Isn't True: Did I mention
that his vocals were great at this show? I can't stress it enough people!
10. Maggie's Farm was a real crowd pleaser. The seats on the ground were
all over the place at this point. 11. The Wicked Messenger was a new
experience for me. I must say, I was surprised when it started popping up
in the electric sets of Dylan's shows a while back. It wasn't one of the
highlights of the evening, but his harp solo made up for it. 12. This
Wheel's On Fire was a shocker for me. The band was coming through really
strong on this one. Bob seemed really in to it. 13. Cat's In The Well was
yet more proof that this was a show for Dylan and the Dylanites. 14.
Thing's Have Changed was pretty good. This was another new live one for
me. I of course bought The Very Best Of Bob Dylan here in America as soon
as I could find a copy of it. From the beginning I'd loved the song. I was
just a little down about the way he presented it. It just wasn't as strong
as some of the other's he did that night. 15. Like A Rolling Stone was
pretty average for Bob, which of course means it rocked! 16. If Dogs Run
Free was the best song of the whole night for me as well as the other
members of my party. Here's some new line's for ya "it can pay your bills
it can cure your ills if dogs run free" 17. All Along The Watchtower was
great, but still not as good as last years. 18. It Aint' Me Babe sounded
much better than I thought it would live on this tour. There were a few
small changes in the lyrics which made it extra nice. 19. Highway 61
Revisited hasn't changed much since last summer 20. Blowin' In The Wind,
on the other hand, sounds much better. The band sound great backing him up
on lyrics. He seems much stronger on his acoustic stuff than he did on the
If you're looking for a bootleg of one of his recent shows, this one comes
highly recommended. Bob seemed pleased and the crowd was responsive. He
seemed to really enjoy it, and his musical performance proved it.
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