Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

November 5, 1999

Civic Arena

Review provided by Carsten Molt.

There was a definite magic in the air as Jillsy and i entered the 
Pittsburgh Civic Arena on November 5th.  We managed to get right 
up to the barricade that seperated the crowd from the stage. Phil 
Lesh and his Friends came out at 7:35 and played a jam packed hour 
and  a half that featured a solid "Dark Star" and a "Help on the
Way".  Slipknot>Franklins Tower set closer.  Of special mention was 
the slide guitarist Derek Trucks who was phenomenal.

At approximately 9:30, the houselights dimmed and Dylan and his band
took the stage.  Dylan was dressed in a white suit with thin black trim 
along the sides and  his country squire black tie.  After a quick 
discussion, they launched into...

Roving Gambler(acoustic)- The first tune of the night was the first
surprise(it wouldn't be the last) Dylan's vocals were strong and true
from the first note and he looked fit and trim and in good spirits.  i
was expecting "I am the Man, Thomas" but this was very nicely done.

Love minus zero/No limit(acoustic)- Larry sat down at his pedal steel
and after a few seconds of tuning, the band broke into a very sweet
version of the tune. It seemed to be the first tune that the majority of
the crowd knew. Dylan was already dancing around quite a bit and

Desolation Row(acoustic) - Another pleasant surprise as i was waiting
and hoping for "It's alright, ma" but i can't complain about this pick.
It was briskly played and Dylan nailed every line with conviction and 
intensity. He evidently knew that he had nailed it since after the tune 
was finished, he fluffed his hair and smiled broadly.

Cocaine Blues(acoustic) - another surprise. The harmonies were a bit
ragged at times but they were clearly having a great time.

Tangled up In Blue(acoustic with harp) - There was no surprise in this
slot but it was nicely played as always and the crowd was very into it.
Dylan played a lengthy and inspired harp solo at the end of the song 
which redeemed hearing this song again.

On to the electric set...

Tom Thumb's Blues (Larry on pedal steel) - The first big surprise of the
evening. It was very loose and raw but it was a lot of fun. Dylan did a bit 
of dancing and leaned into the lyrics with a lot of passion. He was 
definitely enjoying himself by this point.

Shelter From the Storm(Larry on pedal steel and Dylan on harp)) -
Another surprise and a very welcome one at that. This was high on my
list of songs I'd love to hear live. It was a minor disappointment as
the band seemed to fall out of sync as Kemper was off in his own world
pounding away like  mad on the drums. A couple of mean glances from
Dylan did nothing to soften Kempers pounding. Dylan attempted a harp
solo after the last verse but gave up when it was evident that Kemper
was going to bang his drums as hard as possible no matter what the rest
of the band was doing.

(Side note)    After "Shelter", Dylan walked over to the front of
Kemper's drums and mouthed what seemed like "simmer down" or "settle
down', maybe "slow it down". It was something like that. Dylan said to
the crowd "We're tryin' to get it together" but before he got all the
words out the band started the intro to ...

Tombstone Blues - This was played loud and fast and totally redeemed the
minor disappointment of ‘Shelter". Charlie Sexton and Larry Campbell
were both given ample room to play some great guitar leads. Sexton
definitely seems to be the lead guitarist now that Campbell sems to be
filling in the color that was missed when Bucky Baxter left this spring.

Blind Willie Mctell(Larry on Dobro) - Another high one on the list of
songs i hoped to see live and it didn't disappoint at all. It was played very 
slow and passionate with great vocal nuances by Dylan. His vocals were 
very strong and upfront all night long and especially on this tune.

You Ain't Gon' Nowhere(Larry on pedal steel and Dylan on harp) - This
was great to hear and this was played very tightly and the vocals by Larry 
and Charlie were angelic. Their voices blend very well together along with 
Dylan's deeper growling sound on the chorus.

Highway 61(Larry on steel) - As usual,  this was a great set closer and
always a great time for band and audience. Charlie Sexton played some
very good solos while Tony and Garnier laid down a very rocking groove
behind him. Dylan was hamming it up with his hopping around and leg
wiggling. The song raged loud and strong leaving the crowd in rapture as
they left the stage.


Lovesick- After all but abandoning this tune over the summer, Dylan
reworked and reintroduced it with a few vocal changes("i want to take to
the road and plunder" became "i feel plowed under") and a slightly
darker groove. Dylan was singing very loudly and distinctly into the mic
and grinning at the first few rows of the crowd between verses.

Cat's in the Well-Wow! Another surprise and a terrific one at that. Lots
of soloing and fiery fret work from Sexton again. He was really taking
charge in the instrumental passages all night.
They played the song as tight as if they had played it every night. It
was that technically perfect.
Dylan also was leaning hard into the vocals and interacting with the
crowd. He was very animated and did several little dances between
verses. He did quite a few knee bends and his head bobbing was working
overtime. The biggest highlight among a night of highlights!

Don't Think Twice(acoustic with harp)-Anything would have been a let
down after "Cat's in the Well". This was decently played but nothing
special. It was played slower than i remember it being played earlier
this year.

Not Fade Away- It brought the house down and Dylan was dancing wildly.
Campbell smiled for the first time all night as his pick went flying
during the instrumental bridge. He half shrugged at Dylan who didn't
seem to notice.  The crowd was singing along for the whole song and it
was as usual a great way to end a great show. Tomorrow, we'll be attending
a show at Penn State and after a show like tonight, we can only dream of
the possibilities.  Onward to Happy Valley.

Carsten Molt

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