Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 12/13/97

Review

Chicago, Illinois

December 13, 1997

Metro


Review provided Stuart Levitan

How can you not love a show with tour bust-outs of Shooting Star and
John Brown (each delivered beautifully to boot). Add the coffee and
donuts provided for the folks waiting in line (which the club insists
were ordered and paid for by Bob), and itís another fine night on the
Blow Your Mind Tour í97. If the soundsystem had been a bit more
balanced, and didnít have those godawful squeals on some of the vocals
(especially prevalent early in the set), it would have been even better.

Bobís voice strong and precise all night; particularly lovely on If Not
For You, poignant on Shooting Star and weighty on Blind Willie. A small
lyric muff in John Brown couldnít diminish the haunting impact of this
incredible song, powerfully delivered. He must have stretched out
Memphis Bluuuuuuuuuuuues and Til I Fell in Looooooooooooove with you for
just short of forever. After over 90minutes, to be able to deliver Ainít
Me, Babe with the poignant feathery whisper (esp. on "Önot alone") was
just remarkable. Come to think of it, everything had some vocal
highlight in it. 

Also some wonderfully animated moments. Bob did a hilarious
knee-knocking movement, then sort of a mini-split, in Cold Irons Bound;
some great eyes and eye-brow action in Silvio (which had a shorter
guitar jam than Iím used to recently, but a great vocal) and Tangled Up
(which, with its two great guitar breaks, had the 18-year-olds next to
me bouncing and squealing with delight. Now I know where all the Sugar
Magnolias have gone) People going nuts in the balcony for Memphis Blues
got his attention, and were rewarded with some lingering eye contact and
a great smile of mutual appreciation. People in the front row got the
same attention (and an even bigger smile) on Love Sick. And for the
final bow, right hand on high on the hip, very cool.

Thereís an underlying narrative to the set-list -- a discourse on
isolation, desperation, temptation, fear, risk, rambling,  defiance,
independence, anger,  need, want, disgust, salvation, redemption and
loveĖ that puts Time Out of Mind in fuller historical context. Heck, for
historical context, how much cooler can you get than opening an
anachronistic small club tour with the same song you blew Ďem away with
as the first  electric song at Newport? 

Iím very thankful I had the opportunity to experience this historic
event (and that I have friends who made it happen).

       


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