Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 2/20/99


February 20, 1999

Lake Placid, New York
Olympic Center

[Jed Lipes], [Bill White], [Michele Simpson], [John Wood], [Karen H.], [Carsten Wohlfeld]

Review by Jed Lipes

  Wow.  This was an unbelievable show!!! The drive from Montreal was
  definitely worth it (as if any drive isn't worth seeing him). The sound was
  great and Dylan's voice based on my experience in the last few years has
  never sounded better. (even a non-Dylan fan would be able to understand the
  lyrics).  Dylan in this one was smiling and dancing up a storm!!! Great to

  Gotta Serve Somebody was very strong, not usually a favorite of mine,
  but it was powerful. A great opener.
  Million Miles was really together, great vocals and guitar work, the
  best version I've heard.

  Watching the river flow, not a big fan of this one, but it was soothing.

  Make you feel my love.  It made you feel his love.

  Silvio was amazing...Really rocking, great guitar soloing, a lot of fun.

  Masters was earth shattering.  It seemed to come from Dylan's inner most
  corner of his soul.  really touching.

  Tambourine man was a crowd pleaser...Everyone knew this one.  it was
  great, and a better arrangement from last year's versions.

  Tangled was toned down a little bit , but powerful nonetheless. Gotta
  love tangled.

  The highlight for me came next with Girl from the North Country.  It was
  sung so beautifully, the vocals were just so crystal clear.  Can't ask for
  much more.

  'Til I fell in love with you was also great.

   Shelter from the storm surprised me.  This one was really strong, bob
  was smiling and dancing through this one.  A great  #11 song.

  Highway 61, not a personal live favorite, but tonight this was one of
  the best songs.  it was really well done, loud,rocking...great guitar

  Love sick was the first of the encore , it was the typical love sick,
  nothing extraordinary, but still very good.

  Leopard-skin really caught me off-guard.  A very upbeat, full of jamming
  version.  It was great.  Bob was really singing the chorus, extending the

  Dont think twice, was moving.  Quiet and powerful.

  Not fade away...I dont think I could ask for a better closer (and I'm not
  a dead fan)...The lights went on, and once Dylan said " I'm gonna tell ya
  how its gonna be", the crowd went wild. A great song to end with...The crowd
  after this song was begging  for more ( seemed like 5 min until the house
  light went back on).

  Just wanted to thank the crowd for being so energetic!!! the entire show the
  people were up on their feet screaming and cheering...unlike the ottawa show
  i was at a few months ago where the front row was standing and that was it.
  Also, thanks to the relaxed security anyone in the stands was able to walk
  onto the floor and get all the way to the front.

      Jed Lipes


Review by Bill White

Well, this was a treat: to see Bob in a "small" auditorium, nestled in a
really pretty town, itself nestled in a beautiful Adirondack valley. 
I'd never done the cross-border thing to see anybody before, but my
friends Paul and Diana had me convinced about two weeks before the
tickets went on sale that this could be a very special evening.  It sure

The venue -- where the infamous "miracle on ice" occurred 19 years ago
-- still has a brand-new feel.  The rink was still filling up at
showtime and Natalie Merchant took the stage after about three minutes
of some pre-recorded violin music on the sound system.  It took a couple
of songs for her voice to start coming through clearly, but once the
problems were sorted out, she was fully into delivering an excellent set
that included "Wonder" from the Tigerlily CD and a really good version
of -- of all things -- Bowie's Space Oddity.  Seemed like 60 per cent of
the crowd was under 25, and most of them were likely on hand for
Merchant with Dylan as an added attraction!

By about 9:30, the place was more or less packed.  I figure most of the
town was in that hall.  The first two offerings were exactly the same as
the last show I saw -- at Maple Leaf Gardens back at the end of October.
Million Miles was a bit fast for my liking, but then Dylan whipped into
a "rockabilly" version of Watching The River Flow, and I began to
understand what he'd been up to during a week of rehearsals in January! 
Make You Feel My Love is something I'd prefer not to hear (for me, it
has that awful "You're Having My Baby" sentiment about it...), but he
did it anyway, and the "Nashville" treatment made it almost palatable
IMHO.  I don't recall hearing him play Sylvio live before, but some of
the shops on the Lake Placid strip sell Dead memorabilia (and there's
the Ben and Jerry's joint, which we checked out on Sunday), so it was
probably on the cards that this one would pop into the set.  It killed
and the crowd unleashed the first of several loud ovations.

The acoustic set was really good, although I seem to recall Tangled
having much more impact in Toronto.  Mr. Tambourine Man started as a
lament, Bob singing in a monotone, but it began gather more melody and
power -- and the crowd was swept away with this version by the end. 
After Tangled (with the "psychiatrists wives" change substituting for
"politicians wives"), Bob called a huddle...  and when everyone took
their places again, this amazingly beautiful "Girl of the North Country"
floated out over us.  Reminded me of the version on the 30th Anniversary

Back into the electric set with a rocked-up version of Till I Fell In
Love with you and then Shelter From the Storm.  "Two songs off Blood On
The Tracks in one night!" I exclaimed to my friend Paul.  He grinned!

Now, by this point, Larry Campbell has been playing his heart out -- and
probably straining at the leash all night, I figure.  Frankly, for all
his flash, G.E. Smith was just a bit too brash for Bob's band -- way too
much forced competition for my liking -- but Larry's the Man, and as a
result, I believe this is the best band I've ever seen Dylan front --
including the "orchestra" in 1978.

In any case, Larry cut loose on Highway 61 and this one slayed the
place.   I remember seeing Springsteen's E-Street Band back in 1981 (The
River tour) when they cooked like an sweetly-tuned 8-cylinder Detroit
engine -- and Bob had That Same Thing goin' on Highway 61.  This, Ladies
and Gentlemen, is rock and roll.  The Real Deal.  With Bob drawling
nonchalantly "... highway sixxxxteeeeeee... one."  Killer contrast
between the slow drawl and the pulsating rhythm of the piece.  When they
were done, jeez, it must have been about that loud when the yanks
toasted the russians for that gold medal...

So after 70 minutes, there's bedlam.  Then the encore, which, like the
show at Maple Leaf Gardens, was a set in itself...  Love Sick might have
been a bit disjointed, but it sounded damn close to the CD, with Larry
pulling a few crafty six-string tricks.  Leopard Skin didn't attract
anyone up on stage like it did at the Molson Amphitheatre in '97, but
everyone loved it anyway, and Don't Think Twice was delivered with
supreme style and grace.  

Then came the big surprise.  It sorta started out a little funny..
clumsy even, but then "Not Fade Away" was THERE, it just reached out and
grabbed every single heart in the room, jerked us to our feet -- if we
weren't already standing -- and then into a frenzied dance.  More
8-cylinder stuff and this one really killed.  An absolute showstopper of
a number and you could tell Bob knew it from the gitgo.

Then boom! it was over, the band split after some bows and the
houselights came up.  As we left, people were still howling about a
great show.  They continued cheering, walking out of the arena and up
the main street, with Huge snowflakes fluttering down.

Be a long time before Lake Placid sees something to top that one!


Review by Michele Simpson

First off, the drive from Toronto was so worth it. And thanks to all the friendly people in
Lake Placid. An amazing show, this being my 20th "experience" !! Just when you think it
can’t get any better than this, Bob pulls off another one. Bob and his Travellin Band !!

"Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome, Columbia Recording Artist, Mr. Bob Dylan" – the place
goes crazy – at this time I am about two feet off the floor doing the high five thing with a
State Trooper !! The band was dressed in their usual attire. Bob was wearing a black jacket,
black pants with silver piping, silver buttons from the knee down, a white shirt with a
white tie that had cranberry diagonal stripes, black cowboy boots with white leather design.
No hat. Larry was hatless also.

Instead of running down the set list, I want to convey to you the highlights, as I saw them.
Watching The River Flow – what a treat. Bob laughed and smiled throughout the whole song.
Make You Feel My Love was so precious. It was beautiful to hear Bob doing this, his own
song. Timing was appropriate in light of the upcoming Grammy’s on Wednesday. Silvio was done
so intensely, I have never heard this played so together before. This band could not do
anything wrong. The entire crowd on the floor is standing and has been since Bob came out.
The whole arena is rocking ! I often found myself just staring and swaying, mesmerized,
drifting in and out of mania. 

Wow, Masters of War – acoustically – pinch me. The crowd was ecstatic. He played Masters of
War here in Toronto last October, but not acoustically. What a treat (another one). Mr.
Tambourine Man brought the house down ! And a new arrangement at that – very nice. Girl From
The North Country…..what to say, what do say…lyrics clear and beautiful as ever. Bob enjoyed
this one himself ! Shelter from the Storm, another surprise – Bob smiled all through this
one too. I have never seen Bob have such a good time on stage. He was groovin the whole
night, but absent was "the mashed potato" . Anyone that has seen him live, knows what I mean
by that !!!

Highway 61 – well, well, well – Bob and Larry’s pores cried together. Although their sweat
did not fall at the exact same moments, we were witness to the best synchronized guitar
playing out there today – Bravo - even while they both had their eyes closed. Unbelievable.

Well that closed the main set, can one ever get enough? Bob thoroughly enjoyed himself. You
could tell as he took gracious bows and swaggered backwards on his toes, all the while
smiling and pointing fingers at the crowd.

The crowd showed their appreciation with great volume, and they came back out. Leopard Skin
Pill Box Haaaaat !!! This killed me. I have never heard this live before. Bob is cracking up
during this song. He is not tiring !! How come ? I think he is on some reversed road…Not
Fade Away was a grand closer too. 

Bob took a final bow, and there he was, gone………

The crowd was left with the feeling he might be back. Seemed like 4 minutes of applause
before the house lights came on. I was hoping Bob would come back out alone, just him and
his guitar and harmonica. Maybe play Desolation Row (my favorite) or Forever Young
(appropriate for him, don’t you think?), or how about The Highlands, that would keep him
there. Anyway that didn’t happen, like I said, can one ever get enough ???

Sadly missed tonight was the harmonica in its entirety. I have never seen a show without it.
Reading some other recent reviews, it appears he is bringing out the harmonica less and
less. Does somebody know something I don’t ?

If there are any "powers that be" reading this review, maybe you should discuss with Bob the
possibility of making a live album from this stage of the tour. The difference between
October and now is remarkable. Can it get any better that this ? This show should be
recorded legally for all to hear !! 

Don’t miss it and don’t be late.

In closing and in Bob’s own words "thanks ev’rybody". No Bob, thank you. 

By Michele Simpson,


Review by John Wood

While Uncle Bob has clearly played in some cool places,
it was even cooler to see him in a building with true
historical significance! The US Olympic Hockey Team's
unforgettable upset, Al Michaels uttering "DO YOU 
BELIEVE IN MIRACLES??? YES!!!!"...ok, the references 
are obvious, but a constant snowfall turned Lake 
Placid into a sparkling winter wonderland; to the point
that just walking around the town before and after
the show was as much fun as the show itself.  Another
key factor was that it was Dave H.'s b-day, so we 
were already in a festive mood.

Adding to the fun was after we got inside:  As we sat
down in our 14th row center seats, up came two New 
England amigos Manny & Rob, whose seats were right
next to ours to the left.  Then, Matt C. and his
new SO stopped by, their seats next to ours on our
right! Thank you, Bob Dylan Ticket Sales!:-)

Natalie's opening set ran smoother than in Binghamton,
primarily because there were no high school/college
folks rushing the stage to interrupt her.  Once again,
she fared well, and well over half the crowd awarded
her a standing ovation by set's end.

Admittedly, while I would have preferred a couple 
less repeats -- especially in the beginning -- the
bottom line is that the quality of Uncle Bob
performances were consistently high throughout.
River Flow had me boogeying just as hard as in Bingo,
for example.  Then again, Silvio was a song that Uncle
Bob overplayed to the hilt the last 4 years until
just a few months ago.  On this night, Silvio smoked!
The band's backing vocals on the choruses are now more
forceful, and the fivesome produced powerhouse rock &
roll that was lean, mean & to the core!

Once again, the acoustic segment shined -- Masters 
once again contained that intensity, but it was a
beautifully upbeat Tambourine Man where the crowd
became emotionally involved.  Tangled sparkled
throughout, but given the location we were at, Girl
>From The North Country was the right choice.  Uncle 
Bob carefully chose his phrases, ringing clear and
concise, and the guitar interplay 
between Bob & Larry contained these intricate 
conversations where at its close, I turned to Dave 
and said "Happy Birthday!"

After another rocking 'Til I Fell In Love With You, we
received another treat:  a jangling Shelter From
The Storm.  Uncle Bob spit out the first few verses,
then for the last few, broke into guitar breaks between
each verse.  Another fine b-day present for Dave! Once
again, Highway 61 scorched to bring the set to a 
most sastifying close.

Love Sick once again contained plenty of punch, 
although I preferred the intricacies of the 
Binghamton version.  But then, the band just *killed*
on a FAT Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat; hitting these big
blues-rock grooves that literally *ordered*
you to boogie to your heart's content.  That
playfulness continued on a sweet & bouncy Don't
Think Twice where you just had to love Uncle Bob's
phrases:  "I ain't sayin' you treated me un-KIIND/
you could've done better but AH don't mind/ You
kinda wasted MAH precious THY-ime/ so Don't Think Twice
It's Alllll Riiiiiiight!"  Finally, NFA cranked, 
played even tighter than in Binghamton, and it was
great just to see Uncle Bob and the entire band 
grinning -- I sure was!

The rest of the weekend was spent between a 
late-night pitcher at a nearby pub, relaxing
in a cozy woodsy lakeside hotel room, and a
gorgeous drive back to New England where we stopped
several times to enjoy the scenery of the 
Andirondacks.  I certainly won't wait another
21 years to visit Lake Placid again.;-)


Review by Karen H.

Oh, first I just want to say that Natalie Merchant was a 
complete delight to listen to and she is an excellent *dancer* 
as well.  I wasn't really familiar with her, but I had heard her
voice on the radio in the past, and like someone else has recently 
mentioned, you really need to see her in person to appreciate 
her multi-talentedness (is that a word?)  She is beautiful of 
voice and graceful in body.  There were some people down 
in front who were handing tiger lilies up to her, which she very
graciously accepted.

Our seats had a good view of the entire room, being 
three rows up on the first rise, but we were fairly faraway from 
the stage, in line with  the back of the floor seating.  There 
was a good-sized dancing space behind the floor seats and 
soundboard, and people were dancing there the whole evening,
young folks whirling and twirling, even some older folks dancin'
cheek-to-cheek. The whole entire floor section were on their 
feet right from the very beginning of Bob's set.  We were up
too, but had to periodically sit down to accomodate the more 
sedate people up behind us... until the encores, when 
ABSOLUTELY EVERYBUDDY was up and dancin', all having a 
butt-shaking great time.

...."she said 'you look diffrent, I said 'well I guess'...."
Bob's appearance seemed very different this time around.  Last 
time I saw him was February '98 in Springfield, pre-grammy time
and he did not appear to have any grey hair showing.  This time 
however, there was *quite a bit* of grey (we were spying on him 
with binoculars and they worked really well!).... looks now more 
like his hair of the leather and earring years, ahem.  Also, he 
looks decidedly leaner of physique, and his facial 
expressionism reminded me of many years ago... certain 
characteristics and mannerisms
are now evident that have been hiding away in recent years; he 
seemed, this time around, more like the enigmatic younger Bob 
(despite the grey hair!)...."she said 'you been gone', ...he said 'it's only 
natchrul'...she said 'are you gonna stay?'....he said 'if ya 
want me to'.........'Yeeeeaaas!'..."   oops, got carried away 
there.. ;-)   Anyway, although he had lotsa grey and was a 
little bit pale (might be fighting off a cold or flu?), he was 
thoughout the evening, it was truly heart-warming to see him 
enjoying himself so much.

I won't trek through the setlist, as I'm no musician and so 
not very good with music commentary, but the highlights 
for me were definitely:
- the very rousing opener Gotta Serve Somebody, 
  which received a majorly enthusiastic response from the 
- that swampy-jazzy Million Miles,
- the emotionally intense Masters of War,
- a beautiful (but sadly lacking harp) performance of Mr. Tambourine
- and (my favorite of the night) Girl from the North Country....
  an exquisitely intimate rendition ......I pretended he was 
  singing it to me, ;-) 
- Oh, and Leopardskin Pillbox Hat, always such a rocking good time, 
  (especially since I wore mine....and it's really the expensive 
- and Not Fade Away is such a grande across-the-years kind of 
  closing to yet another superbe and magical concert/dance party
  given to us by Bob.  Before each of the encores there were 
  many little flames/lights out in the audience, it was a 
  pretty nostalgic sight to behold.  

   And, after Not Fade Away ended, the little flames flickered 
again and the applause/cheering went on and on, feet stomping, etc. for a 
*very long time*, longer than usual, the house lights stayed 
off for a long time and I was beginning to think that he 
would actually come back again for a fifth song, but...alas, 
no such luck, .....he has to sleep *sometime*  I guess. ;-)

Just one more observation, ...those leather pants that Tony has 
been wearing lately... where have I seen those before? I 
remember Bob wore a pair that could be identical, back during 
that earlier grey-hair period... do you suppose they are 
hand-me-downs? Well, they sure look great on Tony, and ...don't 
you just love to watch the way he rocks and dances around in 'em?

Anyway, it was yet another in a long line of MAGICAL 
evenings that he has given us, a wonderful concert by the 
best and *most moving* performing artist of our century!  "Don't 
you dare miss it!"

Karen, in the highlands (looking forward to an upcoming trip 
to the lowlands of Massachusetts, yeeeehaa!)


Review by Carsten Wohlfeld

So Lake Placid was next. You'd think a town that has hosted the Winter  
Olympics *twice* (everybody knows about 1980, but in fact they had the  
Games there in 1932 as well) has *something* to offer. Well, not really.  
You get there by driving two hours on the loneliest road you're likely to  
find outise of Nevada. Very strange indeed. Interestingly enough, Lake  
Placid supposedly is much nicer in the summer cause in winter the one road  
that basically *is* Lake Placid (it's called Main Street, what else)is  
just covered in snow and on either side you'll find hotels, gift shops and  
restaurants. Nothing else. The few things that you can do include climbing  
icy mountains and die, go skiing or go ice-skating or enjoy dodg-sledding.  
Or go and watch Bob and Natalie @ Olympic CEnter, which is what a great  
deal of the people there did. The show was A BIG DEAL, everybody was  
talking about it and they even had custom made parking signs. Outside it  
was supposedly minus 10 degrees at night, but even inside the Olympic  
Center it wasn't warmer...*freeze*

Natalie cut her set short, only played for 50 minutes and didn't seem very  
happy and talked less as well. Not sure what happened, if she just had a  
bad day or if Bob's peopel told her to play less after the stage invasion  
/ Natalie on top of the piano happening the night before. "Wonder" was  
again superb, "Dust Bowl" (the 10,000 Maniacs oldie) was even better and  
"Life Is Sweet" was sweet. During the intermission they 'forgot' to clear  
the aisles so there even was no need for a second stagerush during Bob's  
set. Lots of laughs from Bob tonight, who was pulling faces all the time  
as well, right from the start at 9.30pm. Unfortunately, that didn't  
necessarily improve the performance of the songs, making this a waeker  
show that the two previous ones.

        Gotta Serve Somebody

Was merely okay, but not at all as good as the nights before. The power  
was missing.

        Million Miles

Reinvented every night, Larry played a pretty good solo, which made the  
song worth listening too.

        Watching The River Flow

Now when I said I liked the new arrangement that didn't mean I desire to  
hear this song every night now, Bob :-) It was great - again. But is was  
note for note the same - again - as well.

        Make You Feel My Love

Cuesheet had "Under The Red Sky" which I personally would've prefered.  
"Somebody in the audience who likes to stay anonymous shouted "great Bob,  
really deep". I don't know about America, but in Germany we have this  
saying about how God punishes little sins immediately. This must've been  
one of the cases, because instead of "Memphis" (only choice on the  
cuesheet for #5 and a personal favourite of the guy who shouted) we got  
the unlisted


and badly done it was too :-)

        Masters Of War (acoustic)

I said to Josh: "He plays this every time the Americans are bombing  
somebody". - Josh: "NO, I don't think so. He plays this every night..." To  
which I reply: "Point proved, the Americans are always bombing somebody".  
Isn't that (almost) true? The well trained cynic that I am I nearly would  
say continue to do so, cause we'll get lots of amazingly good versions of  
"Masters" out of Bob that way. I turn to Josh and say: "The only way it  
could get worse than 'River Flow', 'Feel My Love', 'Silvio' and [the  
overplayed] 'Masters' is with 'Tambourine'. I really only whispered it,  
but Bob must've heard it and he punished us

        Mr Tambourine Man (acoustic)

which was done instead of the cuesheets choice "Baby Blue", which I  
would've loved to hear. Still made the tourists very happy.

        Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

was "Tangled" with the last solo going nowhere.

        Girl From The North Country (acoustic)

was beautiful and to me the highlight of the show. Slow, soft and simply  
gorgeous. "Love Minus Zero" and "Baby Blue" were listed as well, but this  
really was a fine choice.

        'Til I Fell In Love With You

which can be said of this tune as well, as it sounded completely different  
yet again and had a few new tricks here and there. It also had an new and  
improvised ending as well, which made everybody on stage smile.

        Shelter From The Storm

Same arrangement like last year, had the same feel to it that made "North  
Country" so adorable. Soft and sweet. Band intros followed.

        Highway 61 Revisited

rocking as ever.

        Love Sick

again it was nicely done, as it was the night before and the night before  
that and the one before that (you get the picture).

        Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat

Rocked, was nowhere near as good the the "Everything Is Broken" the night  
before though. Sadly it lacked the strechted out end of the lines that  
made the Bethlehem version fun to listen to as well.

        Don't Think Twice (acoustic)

"Blowin'" was the only option on the cuesheet, but this one I liked a  
whole lot better, very nice and playful phrasing, especially close to the  
end. I believe he messed up the first line, but it didn't matter. No harp  

        Not Fade Away

Very well received by the audience again, who usually get to see Phish and  
- in the old days - Grateful Dead in this very venue.

The verdict? A good show with bad songs. Bob had more fun than the nights  
before, but the setlist was for the tourists only. After the show there  
was a day off which I spent in Albany. Next up: Troy, NY! Thanks to Josh  
for the ride!

carsten wohlfeld
"you wish that you were special - i'm just like you" (the cardigans)


Return to Current Tour Guide page
Return to Bob Links
Go to the Set Lists (by city) page
Go to the Set Lists (by date) page 1998 Tour, 1997 Tour, 1996 Tour , 1995 Tour, Pre 1995 Tours
Go to the Cue Sheet page