Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 12/02/97


Atlanta, Georgia

December 2, 1997


Review provided Jerry Hardiman

I suppose I will have to comment on the second show at the Roxy, since it is
now Dec. 13 and so far no one has.

We arrived for the second night's show to find everyone lined up at one door
again, as the night before they used both doors. We were able to find
ourselves front row after the shakedown to see if our tickets were
counterfeit, a pencil mark proves not.

My friend, a relative newcomer to the Dylan experience and myself (a veteran
of some 17 shows, in case you're wondering what give's me the right to
comment) had spent the day in Atlanta at the High Museum Picasso exhibit. I
had to endure the all day commentary stating the 1ST show "sucked" from my
friend and while it was rather slow compared to say Tuscaloosa, which I
thought was a powerful show even
if Dylan was tired, I figure even a bad show is a good show. Oh, well.

We stood at the front barricade until almost 8:30 when Dylan and Co. appeared,
Dylan in his cowboy hat. I was ready and so were they. A righteous Maggie's
opened though I had wished for something different, it was evident we were in
for something special, you could feel it. He surprised me as he would all
evening with "Lay, Lady" which I had not heard since Birmingham, Al. in 1991.
My friend looked over at me and said "I was hopin' he'd play this", sweet
redemption for both Dylan and myself. Cold Irons Bound becomes stronger every
night, Dylan's phrasing is a
complement to the song. I bet cold irons really do bind. Another surprise,
"Your'e A Big Girl Now", as I have just recently divorced(too many Dylan
shows)-it was appropriate, Dylan was definitely on. 

I was playing TOOM recently and my 4 year old states matter of factly "Dad,
this is gloomy", if he could have heard "Can't Wait" live I'm sure he would be
of a different opinion. Larry Campbell is a great technical guitarist and on
these new songs he makes them alive. The whole band is just great and getting
tighter all the time, yes I miss Winston and John but these guys are right for
this time out of mind. Dave Kemperer really added to the show tonite by
pounding the drum kit. Next,"Silvio", which I think I have heard seventeen
times but it's a crowd pleaser. "Roving Gambler" supplied an opportunity for
some very sweet harmonies from the band, I like the song and Dylan's way of
keeping these old songs alive. I would be even more surprised later on. He
absolutely blew me away with "One Too Many Mornings", it was without a doubt
one of the shows highlights. The show began to wain just a bit with none the
less a strong performance of "Tangled Up In Blue" it was just not as good as
Tuscaloosa even if he was tired, call me spoiled after that.

I grew up at the foothills of the Appalachians, so I have seen my share of
bluegrass and buckdancing but it didn't prepare me for "White Dove", yes it
slowed the pace of the show but it was alright. The techs finally got Tony
Garnier's bass on track, he had been communicating all night the fact that he
was'nt getting what he wanted but that changed dramatically and the show took
a significant upswing with "Till I Fell". Bucky Baxter is a master of the
pedal steel guitar, among other instruments, but he is capable of evoking
sounds that are ethereal, spooky and it shows on this song. My friend said
"He's making it sound like horns". Uh, Ok, Uh,Yeah. A kick into overdrive with
Hiway 61, never ceases to amaze me.

Well the boys are offstage for a short break and the excitement level at the
Roxy rises. I have to say I liked the venue and its atmosphere. Now w'ere back
to the same intensity with "Like A Rolling Stone" and everyone just sings
along. Dylan has been most gracious through the evening, thanking everyone in
the band and the crowd, bowing and smiling. What a guy! He picks up the Gibson
acoustic for a great
"It Ain't Me, Babe and the last real surprise, I had'nt heard him play it for
such a long
time it took my breath away. Such a great song and it had held the closing
spot for so many shows but I knew not tonight. Bucky on mandolin and Larry on
acoustic as well as Tony on acoustic bass make for a what is essentially a
four guitar arsenal, too powerful. "Love Sick" sounds "just like the record"
my friend screams and I couldn't agree more. A short stroll to the back of the
stage for more crowd adulation and then "Rainy Day Women" and I felt like
crying because I knew it was over and it was so incredible. Gracious bows from
all and a direct thank you from Bucky and Tony whom I had met the night before
when they walked through the lobby with Larry. 

And so it was back into the Atlanta night with new friends and old friends and
another shared experience with Bob Dylan. He came with the dust and now he's
gone with the wind. 

Jackaroe and Dougster

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