Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 02/09/99


February 9, 1999

Dayton, Ohio
Wright State University
Ervin J. Nutter Center

[Kevin Yenerall], [Bryon Jordan]

Review by Kevin Yenerall

A report on the road from Dayton, Ohio... Let me start off by saying BLIND
WILLIE McTELL! OK, now let me get my bearings, here... This was my 19th
Dylan concert (my first show was the True Confessions Tour of 1986), and it
was easily in the top 5 or so. Campbell, Garnier, Baxter, and Kemper's (and
Dylan's) playing was definitely near perfect. Awesome, in fact. Reckless
abandon bluegrass hoedown during TANGLED UP IN BLUE; rocking,
call-and-response gospel blues during the opening GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY;
spooky, melancholy in LOVE SICK; rollicking rockabilly in the show closer,
Buddy Holly's NOT FADE AWAY; and more, more, and more... the 4,000 or so
who showed up at the Nutter Center last evening were treated to a
tremendous concert.

In short, Dylan's performance was impassioned and energetic; powerful
singing and phrasing, and classic Dylan vocal inflection on many of the
songs.(Dylan devotees and fanatics out there, you'll know what I mean.)
Alongside Pittsburgh 1994, Pittsburgh 1989, Louisville 1996, Dayton 1997
and New York City 1998, this Dayton show is surely one of my most memorable
Dylan concert experiences.

For me, highlights from last evening's show were BLIND WILLIE McTELL, SERVE
and just about everything else. Those out there in Illinois, Iowa,
Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Maine who have the chance to
catch this current tour (w/ either Brian Setzer or Natalie Merchant): turn
off Trent Lott, the impeachment hearings, MSNBC, CNBC, and even NBC's
over-hyped miniseries, and hurry out to the arenas and theatres to catch
Bob Dylan in all his raging glory.


Review by Bryon Jordan

Tuesday night was the 4th time in a calendar year that I've caught 
the mysterious Bob Dylan.  I use the word mysterious because you 
never know which Bob Dylan will show.  Bob Dylan can be like a 
box of chocolates.

Dayton was a good show overall.  My first thoughts of attending 
a general admission show were, "I hope it doesn't get too rough 
with pushing and shoving."  I noticed immediately after walking 
onto the floor there was no protective barrier from the stage.  

The lights went down and the introduction of Bob was 
immediately followed with them launching into "Gotta Serve 
Somebody."  Surprisingly, I though it was a good version.  I 
dislike the song, always have, but Bob's vocals were clear 
though not strong.  I wonder if it's just a matter of getting 
warmed up like most shows I've seen him do.  We were 
about 20 feet from the stage, dead center last night and 
could see all the facial expressions and smiles Bob was 

"Million Miles" followed and was OK.  A fight nearly broke out 
next to us (hard to believe it would happen in Dayton ) but 
cooler heads.  Bob forgot a few words on this one (I think) and 
paused a moment before singing the next line.  It was on an early
song where he paused and missed a line and I think it was this 

"Watching the River Flow" was well done, but no big deal, IMO.  
I never liked the song and was disappointed it was played 
again like the previous show.  

"Blind Willie McTell" was the first surprise of the night, and 
I'm glad I didn't wet myself because I was so excited to see 
this one.  From the opening notes, I turned to Chris with a 
smile a mile wide.  Vocals were strong, the band was solid.  
The second line of the second verse was preceded with this 
great half grin on Bob's face, like a smirk you'd see from 
Bruce Willis.  Bob treated us with numerous smiles and facial 
expressions the entire night, reflecting that he was enjoying 
the moment.

"Silvio" closed the first electric set and seemed slower to me 
than any of the previous times I saw it.  It seemed like it was 
in third gear and I was hoping for fourth gear.  During one of
the verses, Bob did a classic rolling of his eyes/head back 
during "Find out something only a dead man knowssss...."

"Mr. Tambourine Man" opened the acoustic set and it was a good 
version.  The previous two times I saw it performed (in the very 
early 1990's) it was a mess.  The guitar was much slower and the 
vocals much stronger than either of those performances which I 
think were Bob by himself.  This one had the band backing him.

"Friend of the Devil" has been performed a lot Jerry died and 
I could've done w/o it.

"Desolation Row" was great, not quite as great as Indy, but still
had awesome vocals and the band sounded great.  It seemed 
shorter than the one in Indy, don't recall how many verses he
played.  My feet were hurting by this point.

"Tangled Up in Blue" was good and had a lyrical change I don't
think I'd heard before "He went down to New Orleans where he worked
night and day" and I don't recall the rest.  Crowd loved it as they closed
the acoustic set.

"Make You Feel My Love" was the second new one for me.  Great 
version.  Ironically he followed it with "'Til I Fell in Love With 
You" which is the bitter result of pledging you love and it going 
sour.  I don't know if he did this intentionally or not.

"Highway 61 Revisited" ended the set and rocked.

"Love Sick" was awesome.  Maybe the best version I've seen him do.  
Great guitar solo.  I was tired of this song as he's played it at 
every show I've attended since Columbus 1997, but this was awesome.

"Rainy Day Women  #12 & 35" was great.  During the third line 
"They stone you when your trying to go home" someone lit a joint 
and the smell hit me.  Perfect timing.  The audience participated
on the "Everybody must get stoned!"

"Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" was a solid version, but I have
grown weary of him playing it at every show I attend.

The closer is the famous rock and roll standard "Not Fade Away." 
The crowd went nuts for the cover of Buddy Holly's classic.
Buddy Holly died on 2/3/1959 and Bob had only played this song
four times before this leg of the tour.  It was highly energetic and 
awesome. I guess Bob wanted to pay tribute to Buddy with the 
anniversary being last week and has played it at almost every show 
this leg of the tour.  It was slightly ironic considering that Dayton is 
the birthplace of the Wright brothers and Buddy Holly died in a plane 

Can't wait for Columbus tonight!



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