Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 02/23/99


February 23, 1999

Buffalo, New York
Marine Midland Arena

[Shawn Pulver], [Christopher Kundl], [Martin Abela], [Paul Bagnell], [Carsten Wohlfeld]

Review by Shawn Pulver

I walked out of Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo with some mixed feelings. I
knew that I had witnessed a great show, but something was mising. Set-list
wise, the show looked to be the most interesting of the whole tour. The
main problem was the venue - just too big and too many empty seats. Bob and
the Band, however, still put on a great show despite the arena size.
Natalie Merchant played for about an hour and was enjoyable.  She mad a few
Dylan references throughout the set. Now, the show.
To Be Alone with You
First surpise of the night, as I was expecting Gotta Serve Somebody. Sound
was good from start, and Bob seemed generally happy with his choice.
Security was pretty tight, but I still found myself in front of stage to
the right. The lyrics were mostly correct.
Just Like a Women
In my opinion, one of the best vocals of the night. He did some interesting
phrasing during the "when we meet again" verse. Anything but Million Miles
was welcome here. Bob ignored my loud "Pretty Pegg-o" shout. Too bad.
Right after Women I saw Bob say to Bucky "watchtower" and I was pretty
happy.  It just so happens that I've been at the two shows that he's played
the tune since last summer( Ottawa being the other). The version was
similar to the summer.  Vocals pretty convincing. One problem with the
first electric set was Bob just didn't seem that "into it." It wasn't
untill Cant Wait that things really got cooking.
I'l be your Baby
Another surprise, first performance in at least a few months, I believe he
didn't play it all summer.  Better than the '97 summer versions.
Cant Wait
One of the two TOOM songs on the night. Sure beats silvio, IMO.
I was a little distracted by secuirty, but an average performance.  I think
he needs to bring out another war song (ie John Brown) more often.
Pass Me Not
I had seen this on a cue sheet a few nights earlier.  One of those " I was
there when he played that for the first time" tunes.  Beautiful
instrumental, Bucky on mandolin.  Bucky and Larry sang background vocals on
chorus. Reminded me of White Dove.  First verse wasn't sung so confidently,
but it improved througout. Not exactly a crowd favorite, however,
especially in such a big venue. I still loved it.
Baby Blue
Above average version. Never sick of hearing this.
Started out well, but when Larry broke a sting mid -way it began to fall
apart.  David almost stopped the song and the band looked confused. It was
if only Bob was playing for a few seconds.  It wasn't much better when
Larry's guitar that he replaced with was out of tune. Things did improve
for the last verse and instrumental. After, it appeared they'd be playing
another acoustic number, but Bob finally switched to electric.
Honky Tonk
Great to hear for the first time.  People around me seemed to recognize the
Till I fell in Love
Better then the versions I heard in October, but still not great.
Hwy 61
It rocked, mainly because Bob seemed energized when joined by Paul James.
He played with bob in Toronto and London in '96.
Rolling Stone
Nice surprise. One of the slowest versions I've ever heard. James stayed on
stage. First show without Love Sick in a long time.
Leopard Skin:
Great crowd reaction, Bob doing some nice dancing.
Great phrasing, and always a toucing moment. Crowd began to sing along.
Not Fade Away
Great closer, Bob and band having fun and were all smiles. James was also
on stage. All in all,great set-list and fun show. I just wish he played in
a smaller venue, which I think held Bob back just a bit. Thanks for


Review by Christopher Kundl

If you don't intend on reading this entire review, then pay attention
to the next lines at least: If you have the chance to see Bob before
he heads off to Spain, DO IT. Bob is singing like a god. L,T,B&D have
cemented into a watertight unit. This is an amazing show. Now, about
the 23rd...

Natalie Merchant was boring. She talked too much, and the crowd was
only half into her. She started a little early, and her voice cracked
on several occasions. The only interesting element to her set was a
cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity", which obviously received good
crowd response.

Bob came on around 8:45 or so, wearing a short black jacket that
buttoned high over a shiny burgundy shirt with a silver tie. His pants
were black with white piping and he wore black boots with white
ornamentation on the toes. Bob is definitely the best dressed person
in rock 'n' roll.

They wasted no time in cranking up... Wait, this isn't "Serve
Somebody"... The setlist begins a radical change with 

TO BE ALONE WITH YOU: The first of several surprises. Bob's vocals
were on right away. His singing last night was unbelieveable (a
noticeable improvement even since I saw him in Toronto last October).
He did a herky-jerky phrasing on each of the choruses that served the
song well. After a Thank You, they kicked into

JUST LIKE A WOMAN: I was thrilled that he played this. Again, the
vocals were excellent. This song featured a great, tumbling,
the-song's-over-no-wait-it's-not ending that harkened back to Blonde
on Blonde. I was surprised to see this featured in the #2 slot, but it
fit in well. Then straight into

ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER: Now, I have a beef to make about this song.
I hear WAY too many people complaining about getting bored with this
and other songs that have been played frequently in the past. This
song rocked last night. It was such a treat to hear- take it from
someone who's only seen him once before. Get over your attitude and
recognize the fact that the man is playing astounding music, not just
cliches. The melody was a lot more prominent then in other versions
I've heard from the last few years. Next up is

I'LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT: Another surprise. This contrasted 
well with Watchtower's urgency and venom. IMO, a good choice for #4. 
The singing just keeps getting better! (I'm not exaggerating, folks) When 
this one's over, Bob tells us he's going to play a "new song":

CAN'T WAIT: I was extremely pleased that I got to hear this one
(already having heard "Irons Bound", "Million Miles", "'Til I Fell",
and "Love Sick" in Toronto). It lived up to my expectations 100%. TOOM
is quite an album. You can tell he enjoys playing from it. BTW, it's
becoming evident that Larry has come a long way, although there was a
lot of solo-sharing last night. The electric instruments come off and
the acoustic ones come on for

MASTERS OF WAR: (See notes for Watchtower) This was as menacing is
ever. The strength in this song lies in the understated guitar work
that is just venomous enough without getting in the way of Bob's
vocals (which were nice and prominent in the mix last night, I may
add). Nice trickling ending. Look out for another surprise:

PASS ME NOT, O GENTLE SAVIOR: This was wonderful. Bob must be cracking
open the hymnal lately (ie, "Rock of Ages"). Vocals were touching,
with Larry and Bucky on backup vocals for parts of the chorus. I was
humming this all the way home. Something for the Bob fan who's heard
everything. Next up is

IT'S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE: I'm sorry, but I can't stress enough
Bob's singing. It's confident and strong, and he's hitting notes he
hasn't sung in years. The original melodies shone through on several
numbers that he's previously toned down (including this number). The
bass line was particularly noticable. On to the concert staple,

TANGLED UP IN BLUE: Larry was cranking this one out; so much that he
broke a string, which made for a few bars of percussion and bass that
was actually kind of neat. We got the "truck driver's wives" line. The
melody was strong and catchy. This song retains so much kinetic energy
from night to night. It almost looked like we were going to get
another acoustic number, but Bob went back to the axe for

HONKY TONK BLUES: This was down-home bluesy, and really got the crowd
going. This is when Bob really started letting loose physically;
crouching, prowling around the stage, ankles twisting, etc. Hank would
be proud, to say the least. Back to TOOM for

'TIL I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOU: This was another good reading of this
song, with a lot of vocal Bob-isms. I prefer the
5-electric-4-acousitc-3-electric-4-encore structure over the
2-electric-5-encore one he used frequently last year. After the song
finished, Bob introduced the band, and mentioned that Paul James was
at the concert and invited him to come play a few numbers (This
involved a lot of Bobspeak, which was delightful). Paul came out and
helped out on

HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED: Paul pulled out a solo during this song that
absolutely smoked. It gave the song new energy, and the crowd
appreciated it. Bob can really push out those long notes ("Six-ty
This was my girlfriend's favorite number (I can't blame her; the
energy was great). After a few bows, they leave the stage, and after a
few minutes, come back out (w/ Paul) for... Wait, that doesn't sound
like Love Sick... That sounds like C major he's strumming... "ONCE
upon a time..."

LIKE A ROLLING STONE: This is the highlight for me. Although I'd never
admit it to myself, unconciously I have thought to myself, "God, if
Bob played "Like A Rolling Stone", I'd be the happiest guy on earth".
I was elated, to say the least. And what a version it was... Unlike
the '94 incarnation that was full of regret and sadness, this was full
of power and energy. Bob's vocals, especially during the chorus, were
soaring all over the place. The audience loved it. After a punctuated
ending, they kick into

LEOPARD SKIN PILL-BOX HAT: This had a phony RDW intro pasted onto it,
and I was happy to see which song it really was. This might have been
Bob's best singing of the night, ornamenting one line in each verse
(that I can't remember right now) beautifully. More good solos from
Paul. But he left Bob & co. for the acoustic

BLOWIN' IN THE WIND: Yes, there's a surprise here, too. Blowin' has
been radically reworked, the current version being reminiscent of the
'78 performances in Japan. The chorus is very climactic, with backup
vocals from Larry and Bucky. And- get this- a NEW line: "How many
deaths will it take? I don't know... Too many people have died". A
brilliantly subtle change that personalizes the song perfectly. This
was a real gem. Finally, back to electric (and Paul) for

NOT FADE AWAY: What a great closer! This rocked the house down. I
prefer a real powerhouse rocker to like this for a closer than an
acoustic one (although, IMO, the Toronto show couldn't have closed on
a better note). The crowd loved it, lots of dancing, Bob smiling away.
A terrific end to a fantastic show.

A few general notes:
Security was a real pain about clearing people out of the aisles
(however, I did manage to take about 5 pictures! Take that, you
jerks). My mother and girlfriend loved the show (as well they should).
It was nice to see Martin there. IF ANYONE HAS A TAPE (or knows
someone who does), GET IN TOUCH! Bob is a great entertainer. We're
very lucky to have such a talented performer with such a long career.

Christopher Kundl


Review by Martin Abela

    After publicly complaining in about the high ticket
prices for the Dylan show Tuesday night, I resisted buying tickets until
the last minute. However, I travelled hundreds of miles to Tennessee to
see Bob earlier this month, so I could not just stay at home when he was
performing in Buffalo, only a two hour drive away. I ordered a pair of
tickets the day before the show, and got 26th row floors.
     Arriving at the Marine Midland Arena, I began to realize why the
prices were so high. Buffalo has built a huge temple to hockey, right in
their downtown core. It is a stupendous building, with a grand entrance.
Inside, the ceiling seems to float way overhead. I cannot imagine
watching a hockey game from the last row in a building this big. Inside,
it seems as big as Skydome, the indoor baseball mega-stadium in Toronto,
my home town. As for the ticket price, I imagine there is a rather large
mortgage on this building, and someone has to pay the bills.
    Natalie Merchant played to the home crowd, referring to the old
hockey arena, Memorial Auditorium, just a couple blocks away. Natalie
attended her first rock concert there, but the building now lies derelict
- boarded up and unused.
     Of course, Natalie also made several references to the man we were
here to see. During one pause in the show she said "I was talking to Bob
last night. He said 'Buffalo is one of my favorite cities to play in.' He
said you are survivors here. If you can survive this climate, you can
survive anything." I guess Bob has not forgotten his Minnesota roots, and
the climate up there.
    The musical highlight of her set was just Natalie on the piano,
playing what I assume is a local traditional song, "15 miles on the
Erie canal". Great sound - haunting lyrics.
    Towards the end of her set, she also told us that "Bob told me that
he likes it when you sing along. Bob has been doing some extraordinary
shows. You're in for a treat tonight".
      She was right.
      After her set, I maneuvered down into one of the two aisles in
from of the stage. I chatted to some other Bobfans. Had the pleasure of
handing Chris and Maura their first two Dylan bootlegs. Meanwhile, the
rather overbearing security people tried to clear the aisles. They were
quite persistent, and eventually persuaded me to retreat. However, I
just moved over to the next aisle, arriving just before the lights
dropped, and the band took the stage.
      After hearing "Serve Somebody" open my last six Dylan shows, I was
thrilled to hear a song I did not recognize as the opener. Turns out it
was "To Be Alone With You" from Nashville Skyline. This got my heart
pumping - expecting more surprises to come. The people standing in the
aisle with me were having a great time - dancing and singing along to
"Watchtower" and "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight". This last one in
particular was a great version, with a real country twang to it.
    And then - Bob speaks! I could not make it all out clearly, but he
did say something about a "new song"! I had visions of Mississippi, or
some other rare treat, but it was only "Can't Wait". I good song, but it
has been out about 15 months now. The man knows how to tease.
      As Bob and company went into the acoustic set with "Masters of
War" the good folks in the security detail decided it would be a good
time to clear the aisles! Two large strapping young men forcefully told
each person in the aisle to return to their seat. They did not use force,
or touch anyone, but they were quite intimidating. I got very lucky. I
saw that there was a group of young people in the third row. There was a
girl standing in front of a young man in the second seat, so her aisle
seat was empty. I moved in, and asked if they would give me refuge. They
kindly agreed (thank you!). Meanwhile, the security squad made slow
(but loud!) progress up the ails. As he sang "Masters of War" I could
see Bob appear to be watching the action. No smiles- he did not seem
happy with it.
      But - the music. The second acoustic song was unfamiliar to me. It
sounded like a hymn, so I thought it might be "Rock of Ages" at first.
All I remember of it is the word "Saviour". Bill Pagel has identified it
as "Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior". Two different hymns within the space
of one month. Our man must be having those old time religious feelings
     A woman accidentally hit my head with her arm as she blew a kiss to
Bob. I was in my third row refuge, trying to lie low. She apologized,
and kissed my bald head better! Works for me.... Gotta love good crowd
     Of course the aisle filled up again during "Tangled Up in Blue" -
and again the goon squad tried to clear the way with little success. The
aisle was packed with happy people singing and dancing (including me, of
course). A huge range of ages, with some first timers, and tour
      During TUIB, Bob did switch from third person to first person for
the last verse. How come when Bob does stuff like this, we call it
"lyrical variation" but when Frank Sinatra did it, he was forgetting the
    After the four acoustic songs, I was surprised to see Bob put on
another acoustic guitar, as Tony and Larry were donning electric
instruments. After a couple of seconds, Bob realized the mistake, and
switched to electric as well.
     He approached the mike and said "Our friend Paul James is backstage
tonight. I think he is going to come out and play with us". Paul seemed
very happy to be back out on stage with Bob. He had also joined Bob on
stage at the Concert Hall (Masonic Temple) on Yonge St. in Toronto on
April 28, 1996. A great show, which I attended, and happened to have
been listening to on the drive down to Buffalo tonight.
     Paul played with the band for the remaining four electric songs.
"Highway 61" was really hopping - people around me were going crazy.
Also good reaction for "Like a Rolling Stone" - with many people dancing
and singing /shouting the lyrics. That can be annoying when listening to
a tape, but during the show I find it adds to the excitement level.
    And of course, "Not Fade Away". Certainly the best cover song I have
seen Bob perform. This song must have a lot of meaning for Bob. Many
have mentioned how the title describes Bob's continued performing out on
the road. While making his Grammy speech one year ago we heard Bob talk
about the important influence attending a Buddy Holly show had on him.
He must put all that feeling into this great, rockin' version of a
classic song.
     After the song ended, Bucky, Larry, and Tony walked off stage. Paul
James stood with his guitar on staring at Bob with a hopeful look on his
face. Bob walked up to him, and (as if to console him) put his hand on
the side of this shoulder. He thens hook his hand, and said something
to him which I assumed was "Thank you".
    Then off they went, and house lights came up.

"I'm gonna tell ya how it's gonna be...."

The man knows how to play....

-Martin Abela


Review by Paul Bagnell

I've seen Dylan about 35 times or so (my first show was the 1978 Street Legal
show at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto) and never tire of watching Bob play
music. Certainly, I think his shows over the past few years are among the
strongest I have ever seen.

My view of Dylan and his band is that they are almost always on the money, in
terms of tightness and musicianship. It stands to reason that a group of fine
musicians who play as often as these ones do should have little problem
finding the groove. For me, the things that distinguish an exceptional show
from a more ordinary one are the song selection and Dylan's own feeling for
the show, as best as it can be divined. The February 23 show in Buffalo, I
think, clicked on both counts.

Here are  a few impressions from the eighth-row floor seat from which I was
lucky enough to view the concert.

The highlight of the accoustic set was, without question, Pass Me Not, O
Gentle Savior. Now, this is why I continue attending Dylan shows!. Who else in
1999 performs hymns from 1868 in the middle of a rock show?
One of the features of the now much-maligned shows of the late 80s was an old,
traditional tune played during the accoustic sets. For me, those performances
were where I first learned of songs like Barbara Allen, Buffalo Skinners and
Little Moses. Tuesday night was my introduction to O Gentle Savior. It was was
beautifully rendered, and I wish songs like this were still a regular part of
the shows.
I also miss the days when Dylan would do a song or two solo, or perhaps
accompanied only by another accoustic guitar. In my view, the accoustic sets
have become somewhat cluttered over the years, with more instruments in the
mix than are necessary. There is certainly no need, for instance, for the
drummer to be playing on most of these tunes.
"Thank you, kind people," Dylan said to the applause that greeted Savior's

The rockin' version of Honky Tonk Blues which followed the acoustic set was
also a high point. A complete suprise to me, but the song was rattling around
in my head because my wife Diana and I spent part of the drive back to Toronto
from Lake Placid, where we attended the February 20 show, listening to a tape
of Hank Williams' tunes. Dylan performed it with enthusiasm, smiling every now
and again. It made me think of the story Jacob Dylan tells (in a Rolling Stone
interview, I believe) about taking a long drive with his father when Jacob was
young, a tape of Hank Williams music playing over and over again.

Highway 61 was the last song of the pre-encore show, and Dylan called Paul
James, a blues guitarist who has been a mainstay of the Toronto bar scene for
years, to the stage. He introduced James as "a friend of mine who tried to get
into my band a few years ago." Something like that. With James plugged in, the
band launched into a stomping, jamming version of Highway 61.

James was still with the band during Like A Rolling Stone and Pillbox Hat
(songs that were chosen, I'm guessing, because James knew them well) and that
loud three-guitar jamming continued. Although I prefer to hear new or rare
songs, I've never grown weary of hearing Dylan and his band blast through
these old rockers. By this point of the show, Dylan was full of bent-knee
guitar poses and what seemed to be quick little grins to the audience.

Then an acoustic version of Blowing In The Wind. I was delighted to see this
song back in the rotation when Dylan played at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto
in October. The last time I had seen him do it before than was 1986 in Buffalo
during the tour with Tom Petty's band. They did it country style that day. On
this night, it was done more softly.

Not Fade Away was the closer, and James was back on stage. I was floored in
Lake Placid when I recognized this tune. (I avoid looking at the set lists
when I have a show coming up, so that gems like these sneak up on me) A great,
loud, thumping version of the Buddy Holly classic. Buffalo's performance was
just as good, and I hope this one is still in the playbook the next time

Paul Bagnell


Review by Carsten Wohlfeld

I didn't even want to do the trip to Buffalo (cause it was an extra 700  
miles on my way to Amherst, MA) and for Bob only I probably wouldn't have  
done it. But the chance to hear the, um, wonder that is "Winder" two more  
times was reason enough for me to do the seven hour (one way) bus trip  
anyways. And it really paid off! Despite the freezing cold (minus 5  
degrees or lower) I went the Niagara Falls to do the touristy thang, went  
to see "Shakespeare in Love" (Gwyneth Platrow...*swoon*) and arrived in  
time at the Arena to hear Natalie soundcheck "Wonder". One down, one to  
go! What a day already!

The Marine Midland Arena is either the most impressive or the ugliest  
venue I've ever been to. It's huge, 20,000 capacity and it looks like a  
giant spaceship. Pretty frighetning, if yo uask me. Natalie opted for the  
"Librarian" look today (check the cover of the "Ophelia" album and you  
know what I mean, after the schoolgirl/pigtails look in Lake Placid. At  
7.30pm "San Andreas Fault" followed the usual opener "Ophelia" and it was  
already apparent that Natalie was in poor health but a great mood  
neverthless, recommending restaurants on Elmwood (Ali Baba) and telling  
stories about seeing her first ever rock concert in Buffalo (Stxy, "Grand  
Illusion" tour which would make it 1977) before singing a few lines from a  
Stys song a-capella. The story about her first gig was long and pretty  
funny and included various marihuana references.

She also did a special intro to "Wonder", which I sadly missed cause some  
guys in front of me made a lot of noise while looking for their seats...  
Bastards :-) The song she did (or improvised) ended with the line "from  
Albany to Buffalo" though. "Bob told me he likes Buffalo and he's really  
looking forward to the show cause you guys are survivors. If you can  
survive temperatures like that you can survive ANYTHING" was another of  
her statements before she left us with "Kind And Generous" (where her  
voice left her comepletely due to her cold). She also said "You're in for  
a treat tonight. Bob's putting on some really extraordinary shows and  
we'll get one tonight. I can feel it". I was thinking to myself: "Yeah  
right, what does she know". But of course she was right. The crowd went  
nuts during "Kind And Generous", so she came back to do "These Are The  
Days". An excellent show, despite her rusty voice.

Shortly after 9.00 Bob came on stage to do "Gotta Serve Somebody"... oh  
wait, this is something else...

        To Be Alone With You

Nowhere near as good as the night before, back to the old "this is  
soundcheck, can anybody out there hear me" routine. Nice to hear him open  
with something other than "Serve" though. It was a pretty funny version  
too as Bob made up the words as he went along. I don't think the lyrics  
included much from the original. Unless I completely misheard everything  
due to the bad acoustics of course.

        Just Like A Woman

Thank God, no "Million" :-) "Staying" was the alternative choice on the  
cuesheet, but this warmly received version of "Woman" was fine, too. Did I  
really just say that... I guess it must've been really good then. It had  
the by now common high voice on the verses and the low voice on the chorus  
which is always a very nice "effect".  After that Larry just needed to  
play one chord to make me realize what song was next, my alltime  
favourite, in fact:

        All Along The Watchtower

so what arrangement did they do? The fancy "Series Of Dreams"-like they  
did last summer? No. The spring '97 one with Bucky on acoustic? No. What  
was it like? I iamgine the conversation between Bob and Tony sounded a bit  
like this:

Bob: "I wanna do 'Watchtower' tonight"
Tony: "Which of the two [above mentioned] arrangements?"
Bob: "Summink else"
Tony: "Hmmm, how about this: Larry puts on the weirdest lo-fi sound he can  
find on his guitar pedals and plays Am, F and G as fast as he can and the  
rest of us just *try* to follow *somehow*?
Bob: "Sounds fine to me"

and that's exactly what they did. It was probably the worst "Watchtower"  
ever but I was still happy to hear it. Notably there were no other choices  
for the #3 slot on the cuesheet.

        I'll Be Your Baby Tonight

"May The Lord Have Mercy On Us All"

        Can't Wait

"That was one of our old records, here's one of our new" Bob said before  
the song. "Red Sky" and "Born In Time" were other options. "Can't Wait"  
was okay, but nothing special.

        Masters Of War (acoustic)

Sixth song and only the first repaet from the night before! Very intense  
version, very good indeed. Seems to get better every night.

        Do Not Pass Me, O Gentle Saviour (acoustic)

Listed as "Don't Pass Me By" on the cuesheet. Can't really say much about  
it, expect that it reminded me of the Louvin Brothers in the '50s. Had the  
same kinda style. It also had the usual countryfied arrangements that we  
know from "Roving Gambler" et all. Gorgeous backing vocals courtesy of  
Larry (and Bucky). Yet another song debut... how many different songs has  
he played now on the "Never Ending Tour"?

        It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (acoustic)

Sweet. Always nice to hear as they always get it right. One of my alltime  
favourites as well. Other unplayed alternatives for the acoustic set  
included "Ramona" and "Desolation" btw.

        Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

Had a funny moment three fourth into the song when the whole band except  
for David just stopped playing. Solos afterwards went nowhere, probaly  
cause they were all so shocked about that accident.

        Honky Tonk Blues

Cuesheet's alternate was "Love Sick" (unusually early in the set), but the  
Hank song was a very welcome choice, as i'd never heard it before. Except  
for the fact that it was electric it sounded very true to the original. I  
liked it.

        'Til I Fell In Love With You

Cuesheet had "Love Sick, "Feel My Love", "She Belongs To Me" and "Highway"  
in this slot, but Bob and crew picked yet another one. Not as good as  
before, but still a real rocker. After the song Bob introcuded the band  
and said. "There's an old friend of ours backstage who wants to come out  
and play... Paul James." So Paul came out, Tommy got him one of Dylan's  
guitars and they did the inevitable:

        Highway 61 Revisited

which featured even more useless noodleing (ooops, "creative soloing" I  
        Like A Rolling Stone

This came pretty much as a surprise, as it was the first time since "TOOM"  
came out, that "Love Sick" wasn't played (support slots and festivals  
excluded). Nice version, pretty fast, similar to the one in Wollongong. A  
big singalong (Natalie had said during her set: "You gotta sing along, Bob  
likes that"). Paul James on guitar again.

        Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat

Cuesheet had "Broken" as the only song in this slot, my guess it that they  
wanted to have Paul James play another song and he probaly wasn't familar  
with broken. So we got an even heavier (= the extra guitar) version of  

        Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)

Without James, but a pretty nice version, even if you've heard the song a  
million times before. Great phrasing, very playful.

        Not Fade Away

Again with Paul James on guitar, everybody from the band on stage to the  
people in the cheap seats had a good time.

The verdict? Only four songs out of 16 repeat compared to Troy, a bit  
under-rehearsed at time ("Watchtower", "Gentle Saviour") but still fun to  
watch. The same can be said for Natalie's set. Despite her rusty voice she  
seemed to have more fun at this show than anywhere else so far. This was  
of course a show that Bob almost could've played three years ago. No idea  
waht moved him to drop all the regulars, but I'm still glad he did it, at  
least once. Next up: Amherst, MA! Stay tuned!

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


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