Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 02/24/99


February 24, 1999

Amherst, Massachusetts
University of Massachusetts
Mullins Center

[Joe Epstein], [Larry Fishman], [Wendy Gell], [Gil Walker]
[Jared], [John Wood], [Carsten Wohlfeld], [Ian Campbell]

Review by Joe Epstein

First and foremost, thanks to Jay for driving all over the place, Nukes for
being there, DJ Cal for offering to let us stay with him, and the Tide for
making it up here, to UMASS, back to here, and back safe and sound despite the

Natalie Merchant impressed me more than in Binghampton.  She was more laid back
but her performance was spirited.  Thankfully, no one jumped up on stage to join

Bob came on around 9:30 and opened with Gotta Serve Somebody.  Rocked as usual.
It ended a bit abrubtly, right after the repeat of the first verse.  There was
still a nice jam near the end but the ending made it bit different.  Million
Miles was strongly sung.  Maggies was good but the ending got messed up which
sounded awkward.  Make You Feel my love was as passionately sung as always.
Mobile rocked too.  The chorus didn't sound as strange as in Binghampton as
Bob's phrasing was slightly different.  Masters was great as was Pass Me Not
which featured Bucky and Larry on the chorus.  It was sung with a lot of emotion
and was very nice to hear.  Tanlged was faster than in Binghampton and had
everyone up and dancing.  I noticed that Bob stopped singing the "working night
and day..." line and went back to "right outside Delacroix..."  Awesome version.
Girl Of The North Country was very passionate and I really enjoyed it.  I also
enjoyed I Don't Believe You.  It's one of my all time favorites and I was
unbelievabley psyched that Bob played it.  It was a very good version and Bob
seemed to be really into it.  Love Sick came next which kind of through me.
Tremendous version with a lenghtier jam than usual.  Bob was totally into it.
Highway was Highway and Larry provided some mean solos as he did throughout the
night.  Like A Rolling Stone was a lot slower than the past year or so and was
quite enjoyable.  Everything Is Broken was also good.  I did notice that Bucky
joined Bob on the chorus of the 3rd verse.  Bob looked toward him but I couldn't
see his expression.  Bob also went over to Bucky during the jam and come the 4th
chorus, Bucky was silent.  Don't Think Twice was its usual pleasant and rocking
self.  Not Fade Away had everyone dancing and was tremendous!  Again the house
lights stayed off for what seemed like an eternity, but after about 5 minutes
they finally came on.

Jay said it was the best concert he's seen and I'm glad I let him drive me there
:-)  Bob was clearly into it all night long.  There weren't several periods of
high energy or dancing, instead it was a good amount of energy evenly disbursed
throughout the evening.  Larry was the most animated I've ever seen him.  He
stepped up and took some awesome solos and Tony was dancing as usual.  I also
think the songs that weren't played the night before (Serve Somebody, Love Sick)
really benefitted from the night off.  Overall it was another great show!!!

-Joe Epstein


Review by Larry Fishman

First some general comments:

Opening act:   Natalie Merchant warming up crowd, looking a tad zaftig, she
sang to a receptive crowd.  Backed by 6 pieces, she has a distinctive voice -
highlight was a cover of Bowie's Space Oddity.  Natalie sort of dresses like
a doily and spins around  from time to time, but all in all - good.  There
were groups of young women with nose rings whom came to see her.

Sound system:  Particularly good mix throughout, audience tapings might even
come out okay.

Voice:   I think Zim hasn't sounded this good for some time.  Exhibited
extraordinary range and enunciated all the words.  I think his recent layoff
really helped his vocals.  I last saw him w/Van Morrison and thought his
voice was shot.

Overall approach:  All of the songs had a snappy, almost light arrangement to
them.  Past shows had more jamming. instrumentation and longer versions.
This show was a marked difference from the last 4 or 5 that I have seen.
Loved the brisker pace.

How'd he look:  Pretty good.  familiar dark suit with the lines up the sides
of legs and arms.  Wore a white tie with a dark shirt (as best as I could
tell) rather than the old bolo tie.  Plenty of goose stepping and leg
movements throughout the performance.

Biggest disappointment:  No harmonica

And on to the show:

1.  Gotta Serve Somebody.  Was glad to hear the song for the first time live,
but it had a muddled delivery and was too slow.  He flubbed the lyrics -
twice mentioning "heavyweight champion of the world."  The sound mix was off
slightly as well. .

2.  Million Miles.  The sound improved, but Dylan and Larry Campbell kept
stepping on each other's guitar solos.  They were out of sync and it got
sloppy - ugh.  It was not one of the better starts.

3.  Maggie's Farm.  The concert begins to take form with a killer take.  All
is well with the world.

4.  To Make You Feel My Love.  So many of Dylan's songs take on a new life as
they are worked and reworked on the road.  Excellent version of the song -
along with Can't Wait  (from recent past gigs)- comes alive in concert.

5. Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis-Blues Again.  Solid version with a
couple of guitar jams.

6.  Masters of War - Acoustic.   What can I say:  A religious experience.  A
haunting vocal;  when he sang, "Judas of Old..." I got chills.

7.  Don't Pass Me By - Acoustic   It seems he does one of folk tune per show
(Bob's History lessons).   Loved Cocaine Blues and O Babe It Ain't No lie
from previous nights - this one as well.  The crowd seemed a happily mystfied
by it.

8.  Tangled Up In Blue - Acoustic..  Like seeing an old friend, it is always
nice hearing this again - never tire of it like say Rainy Day Woman.  It is
such a crowd pleaser - can't see him ever retiring it from the live show.
Delivered the song pretty much as he has in recent performances reving the
guitars riffs into the lyrics.

9.  North Country Girl - Acoustic.  Along with Masters, the two best reasons
to pray this show gets bootleged.  Delivered the first verse in almost a
whisper.  Always love the acoustic mini-sets - his vocals tend to be gentler
and more nuanced.  Beauty.

10.  I Don't Believe You.  A Fabulous plugged in run thru.  Again like the
whole evening fast, light and free.

11.  Love Sick  Didn't expect its arrival until the encore, had a short
almost heavy metal guitar solo in it towards the end.

12.  Highway 61.  Another real crowd pleaser, had the folks dancin', jumpin'
and jivin'.  I have always found this song musically on the simple side.

13.  Like A Rolling Stone.  Another popular choice and one of the reasons why
we worship this guy, right.

14.  Everything Is Broken.  Glad to seem him haul out this Oh Mercy nugget.
Thanks Zimmy.

15.  Don't Think Twice.  Back to acoustic,  we were one harmonica solo away
from heaven on earth.  An exquisite version of one of  Bobby's great laments
"I gave her my heart and she wanted my soul" Oooooooooooooooooooo.

16.  Not Fade Away.  A quick (must have been 2 minute) nuclear explosion of
the tune.  The Crowd exploded on the lyrics and the guitars were loud, messy
and oh so glorious.

Can't wait to see him soon.

Larry Fishman


Review by Wendy Gell

Review Wednesday Amherst Mass Feb 24,1999

" Bull frog croaking  
 Everything Is Broken"
Bob sang with  ironic  delight, savoring every lyric,  smiling all the while.
I was scribbling on folded copies of the show poster. I bought two, I thought I'd 
use as collage. They grabbed my jeweled video camera on the way in  and made 
me check it ,  I  left the paper I was going to write on. So  I wrote on the back of 
the posters and then  the front and the edges  and every little place left to write 
all over.
Thank you God!  What a night. It was the Grammies  and the planets  Venus and 
Jupiter were in conjunction- making everything especially magic and transparent, 
people were celebrating, 
shining thru was Love.
Bob tonight and being in the crowd was Ground Zero Epicenter Bliss.
Natalie Merchant I adore. Tigerlily is one of my favorite albums. Live  she is so 
exotic , charismatic and sexy, her moves so intuitive and spontaneous  you can't 
see it on her music videos..
Jewel, Ani de Franco, Joni Mitchell and now Natalie .I got to see all these great 
artists who opened for Bob.
The audience was very young, teenage  girls in long cotton dresses talked to me . 
A whole band of bright faced kids smiling and dressed for the 60's, a love cult,. 
Costumes American-Folk-Pop-Elizabethan?. What was it ?  An attitude of optimism 
intact. One girl was wolf calling as we passed by  on the way out. whhoooooo 
I had a sort of epiphany half way thru one of the songs , I think it was Tangled Up 
in Blue. 
"Bob is  probably going to read this."I thought.
He probably checks  in at Bob links all the time. I would if I were him on the road ,  
wouldn't you..?
Boblinks had posted my review from Nov 1st in NY so I thought Bill would probably 
post this.
I spilled my cocacola, I dropped everything, had to get down this longest staircase
in the dark. No flashlights. Found my seat,
dropped my ticket and a woman in a leopard skin  pill box hat found it and handed 
it back  to me I was totally discomBOBulated, til Bob started to sing.
"It's all New to me, like some mystery  
it could even be like a myth," sang Bob.
Seemed like that lyric was  sung twice, did anyone notice that? (Don't think twice 
it's alright.)
Natalie really got my imagination going. I imagined  clouds  full of butterflies and 
as she spun her hair wildly comets flew. I didn't know if that was her vision or my 
imagination or both, but they were flying.
"Bob's never been better,"  Natalie told us before his show, he's  standing stronger 
than ever before, we were in for a treat. It was true. She kept talking about him.
Oh Bob.Song after great song and the surprise songs, I love that.    Charles Aznavor 
last time, Times We'vE knowN, and tonight a hymn from 1868 , ( Pass me not, 
O gentle savior ) There was a couple behind us who had a two year old and a four 
year old. The little boy was riding daddy's shoulders face illuminated -
"Trusting  only in thy merit,   would I seek Thy face,
Heal my wounded broken spirit , save me by Thy grace".
Driving home  the dark highway south on  Interstate 91,   my friend was sleeping, 
Dylan was on the tape as always and the numbers flipped  91 was 61 Revisited, and 
it was for me an All Bob Live all the time broadcast. Highway 61, highway 91, it's 
all the same.
 (And I'm still a million miles from you.)
The sunset on the way up was hall of fame and I stopped to shoot some tape with 
my jeweled video camera. It's been my  often active companion (even took it on QVC ) . 
Volunteering my self as "Wendy Warhol At Your Service" have been taping the life 
and times, since March,  a "What's Up Doc' umentary"  I   guess. So I got tape going 
there and after the concert  the audience leaving, some waving at me, walking, my 
parked car in the furthest lot 
near a big yellow work truck. I have a bumper sticker from the 
last show and  I Voted  Today .
Girl from the North Country was sublime , very romantic , wish 
I had it on tape.
Bob was singing Tangled up in Blue, when I wrote down
 "Bob is going to read this tomorrow isn't he?"  
"Both agreeing it was best," sang Bob instantaneously. I laughed out loud.
The room began to glow- "All the people we used to know
They're an illusion to me now.
Some are mathematicians
Some are  programmers  wives."
Bob. Changing the lyrics, always making it NEW.
Make You Feel My Love was too good, "W'en the rain is blowing in your face," you 
could feel the  cool wind rushing thru  the air in the audience , and Masters of War, 
Holy God it was amazing!
Waves of sound came thru the stadium of 10,000 over the crowd, roaring like tidal 
waves, here was Bob on Grammy night 1999 doing the Best  Songs of the Century! 
We were there.
"inri guard to your recent inquiry
bring to Bob your ecstasy."
Like a Rollin Stone --ecstasy.
I thought he repeated some lyrics on Gonna  Serve Somebody.
Not fade Away -- the band and Bob did it so good,  I had to hold onto the seat in 
front of me for dear life. It was the best Dylan concert ever. Bob looked forever 
young.  On the way home I  remembered  there were no blues harp on any song. 
None I think. How could it have seemed that complete and no harp solos?  
You guys going to the rest of this tour and lucky duckys. This is the best happiest 
I've ever seen Bob. I wish I could go to Las Vegas. We are so glad you are touring 
so much, everyone loves you, especially me.
So Bob if you are really reading this-
 "There's a lonesome freight at 608, I'll be heading home, winters almost gone ,yeah, 
summers coming on,"
I Don't Believe You -one of my favorites - was  very believable.
The weirdest thing  was I left one of my wristies  in the car, I always  wear two of my 
bracelets, always, and my left  wrist was drifting away.
I don't know who won the Grammies tonight, here   in New England we saw the Heart 
of the Art, what a night.
My posters are all folded up and half the writing I can't read, but it'll wind up in the 
art gallery in my website where all my Bob inspired art work is kept. It's at , come visit.
It's called  wenDYLANd.
We are putting up 5 new pieces of Gelastic art  this week, real pop culture  stuff,  the 
Double Fantasy black and white John Lennon and Yoko Ono album cover , a framed 
picture of Dorothy Gale from Kansas  and Toto too.  A Time magazine cover American 
Visions with an American  flag  and of course cut up pictures from  Bob's CD's  and 
ticket stubs,  the bumper sticker from the last show "It's not dark yet but it's getting 
there." and TICKETS,  always the tickets.
Baby Let Me Follow You Down.


Review by Gil Walker

     At about 11pm last night, as Bob Dylan and his band were
walking offstage after finishing "Highway 61 Revisited," one of the
two local collegians sitting behind me, who had been sitting
lifelessly without applauding for most of the show, turned to the
other and said, "Awesome guitar jam, man."  His friend agreed.  But
neither clapped.  Too much of the audience around me seemed to
react in the same way, as though they were watching a broadcast, or
a recorded performance.  That moment crystallized my impressions of
the evening, but let me go back to 8 o'clock. . . .

     The Mullins Center appeared nearly sold out for Wednesday
night's show, with students continuing to straggle in throughout
Natalie Merchant's set and into Dylan's first few songs.  From my
seat (somewhere near the outskirts of Northampton, thanks to
TicketMaster), the sound was consistently clear.
     About Natalie Merchant's one-hour performance, which was
accomplished and musically effective, the less said, by me, is
probably the better, because I would describe it more in terms of
what Merchant did not do than what she did.  My overall impression
was one of a skilled, carefully controlled performer.  I was not
surprised when the most enthusiastic response from the audience
(except during her encore) came when Merchant, after warning that
she had a head stuffed with memories of bad 1970's song, vamped
through a few verses of "Sweet Home Alabama."
     Late in her set, Merchant gently chided the audience for its
listlessness.  Usually, this is a sign of a performer who simply
isn't doing what it should take to reach an audience; but Wednesday
night, there was nothing wrong with Merchant's efforts -- far too
many in the audience, especially away from the front of the floor
section, were vegetative.  
     After a reasonably brief intermission, the audience greeted
Dylan with its first display of genuine enthusiasm of the evening. 
>From my unhappily distant view, he appeared younger and more fluid
than he had at other shows I've seen in the last two years.  He
tore through "Gotta Serve Somebody," rocking hard and occasionally
bringing parts of the crowd to their feet.  At one point, I took
the impression that he and Larry Campbell were playing
simultaneous, complementary guitar solos.  The tight, intricate
interplay among the three guitarists was probably the most striking
change from the last show I saw, about a year ago.
     "Million Miles" had harder edges than versions I'd heard
before, without losing any of its slinky rhythms, and Dylan's
phrasing seemed a bit more jagged.  Despite its solid performance,
though, it wasn't an anthem, and anthem seemed to be all that most
of the audience responded to.  Near me, fewer than half the
audience applauded at the end -- an unhappy event that repeated
itself after most of the songs.
     "Maggie's Farm" was a step down in the intensity level, in a
lighter, slightly countrified arrangement with some of the rhythms
used in 1997's version of "Watching The River Flow."  An effective
performance, an interesting way to handle the song, even though it
tended to defuse it.
     The next two songs, despite being solidly and effectively
performed, seemed to me to be missteps in the construction of
Dylan's set.  "Make You Feel My Love" was slow and deliberate, and
it seemed to leave the audience cold.  Dylan followed it with as
good a version of "Memphis Blues Again" as I've heard in person
(and when did Shakespeare get his pointed shoes back?)  And, on
quite a few lines, Dylan seemed able to float a convincing
facsimile of his Blonde On Blonde snarl over the music.  But the
arrangement didn't have any room for the rabble-rousing
instrumental work that characterized so many performances of
"Silvio," and Dylan's first electric set, which could fairly be
faulted only to the extent that "Feel My Love" was a bit staid,
simply finished rather than climaxed.
     "Masters Of War" engaged the audience again.  The arrangement
seemed to me to have grown leaner, drawing its effectiveness from
smaller, instrumental phrases.  Again, Dylan's vocals stuck me as,
well, younger and clearer than most of his work that I've heard
from 1997 and 1998.
     Next came what seemed to be a letter-perfect rendition of
"Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior," and, at least around me, most of
the audience received it with a chilly indifference, perhaps even
a bit of resentment.
     The familiar opening to "Tangled Up In Blue" recharged much of
the audience, but a surprising number seemed not to recognize the
song until Dylan sang the opening lines.  His performance was very
solid, though less energized than some others I've heard, and he
didn't play any harp (here, or at any point during the show).
     The acoustic set finished with an exceptional rendition of 
"Girl From The North Country."  It had the quiet intensity of his
best love songs.  I was particularly struck by the phrasing on the
"darkness of my night" verse.  David Kemper's carefully restrained
drumming kept the song moving along unobtrusively.
     A surprisingly light arrangement of "I Don't Believe You"
followed.  An effective if unexceptional performance, and an
appropriate bridge to the evening's biggest surprise -- "Love
Sick," making its first appearance in the body of a show rather
than as an encore.  Dylan's vocals seemed unusually warm to me, and
he pulled the song off nicely -- to no discernable response from
the audience.
     The main set closed with a howling, energetic "Highway 61
Revisited," with all three guitarists pouring out sheets of sound
that filled the arena.  An impressive climax for a first-class
show; there's just not much to say about it that's articulate.  And
the crowd began, inexplicably, to trickle out.
     After a short break, Dylan returned with "Like A Rolling
Stone," which brought a rare burst of enthusiasm from the audience. 
I don't know that this song has ever recovered from the (entirely
successful) 1974 Dylan/Band arrangement, a blast of power that none
of his subsequent backing groups has been able to rival.  Tonight's
retinkered arrangement sounds interesting, and Dylan's performance
was certainly successful, but it's not a song he and his band have
mastered right now.  
     "Everything Is Broken" was unquestionably first-rate, ominous,
galvanic, and driving.  Worth noting, too, was what struck me as an
unusual bit of stage business, with Tony Garnier moving from
Dylan's left to his right, playing shoulder to shoulder with
Campbell (and sometimes with Dylan as well).  I don't remember this
from previous shows -- is this a development in the last few
months, or is it something I've just missed noticing before?
     "Don't Think Twice" was performed with an unusually light
touch.  Garnier was not playing upright bass, but what appeared to
me from my distant vantage point to be some sort of acoustic
guitar.  Could someone enlighten me further?
     And the show climaxed with a surprisingly weighty "Not Fade
Away."  It finally roused most of the audience, and capped the show
nicely.  Then, with the crowd finally responding and pressing for
another song for several minutes, maintaining its energy -- the
lights came on, and the enthusiasm just reflexively disappeared.
     Overall, a bit of a dispiriting evening, not because of
Dylan's performance, first-rate, nailing, in my mind, 15 of 16
songs.  But to what effect?  Perhaps, down on the floor, there was
a more receptive audience, but that wasn't visible from above. 
When a large segment of the audience provides no perceptible
response to terrific music, how can an artist respond?  Last year's
audience at Springfield's Symphony Hall was considerably smaller,
but gave back much more, in both volume and enthusiasm.
     Perhaps the Mullins Center isn't an ideal concert venue. 
Perhaps it operates to deaden all but an overwhelming audience
response.  But that wouldn't explain the hundreds and hundreds of
concertgoers I saw virtually sitting on their hands, often not even
applauding in the most perfunctory fashion.  Perhaps it's the
neighborhood.  About eight years ago, in the fall of 1990, Dylan's
best efforts on classic material left a most collegiate crowd
unmoved, when Lenny Kravitz's superficial antics had roused them.
     What Dylan's doing with his music seems remarkable to me. 
Perhaps this is a metaphor, perhaps it just shows off my musical
illiteracy, but I'd say he's trying, most of the time, to play rock
music in a bluegrass mode, most of all in the interplay among the
three guitarists, who very clearly aren't playing the lead, rhythm,
and fill roles that they did in the mid-1990's.  Dylan's guitar
work seems to have evolved a bit, too; it's no longer so clearly
suggestive of Willie Nelson's style.  
     Why do I seem so unsatisfied with a first-rate musical
performance?  The tapes will probably seem terrific, but the live
music experience isn't just what comes through on the tapes. 
Sometimes an audience just doesn't respond appropriately to an
artist -- and I'm left wondering if Wednesday's concert would
actually have been better (or, merely, how much more I would have
enjoyed it) if it had been staged in a smaller arena for the five
thousand concertgoers who'd really wanted to enjoy it, without the
five thousand who'd wanted passive entertainment. 


Review by Jared

Hey everyone- I'm allready late for school but i thought i would do myself
justice to post some thoughts on Dylans show last night at Amherst.
Sixth show- deffinately one of the better that I've seen. Pretty young crowd
(I'm seventeen myself) but as expected for sight of venue. First few songs
started off relatively slow- nice opening version of "serve somebod" and
"million miles" but they would pale in comparison to later performances of the
night. "Mobile" got the crowd dancing (they had spilled over into the aisles
now), and that moved into the accoustic set.
"Masters of War" sung very emotional, and after a moment, got a strong
response. Then traditional version of "Pass Me Not," and into "TUIB," one of
the "rockingest" versions of this song that I have heard in a long time- crowd
Beautiful version of "Girl of the North Country," soft strumming of guitar in
background, and this is where concert really picked up.
"I Don't Believe You..." was fairly average, but what followed was the best
rendition of "Love Sick" that I have ever heard in concert- and ironically
enough, on the night of the Grammys, the sight of the infamous "SOY BOMB"
incident of last year. This time during the guitar solo, Dylan ripped apart
audience with some fierce licks, by far his best solo of the night. "61" again
got everyone dancing and chearing for an encore, to which Dylan came out and
played an extreamely ironic, but equally powerful version of "Like a Rolling
Stone." With all the publicity given to the 1966 version, this one was
in comparison- very soft, but filled with emotion in the words. Dylan sung
one sympathetically rather than out of anger, and he had me hanging on every
word. "Everything is Broken" set up nicely- but "Don't Think Twice..." was
more meaningful for me- well played and sung, just a brilliant song and
adequate perfomance to say the least. Finally, Dylan ended with "Not Fade
Away," which left the crowd chearing for more, and for a moment I thought
might flatter us and come play one last song, but fitting with the tour, the
lights come up and everyone shuffled away buzzing. 
Overall, very good to great performance, much better as the night grew longer,
with North Country, Love Sick, Rolling Stone, and Dont Think Twice the
This wasnt as short as I planned, and now I'm very late, but I'll see most of
you tonight in Portland- I'll be the teenager in the white shirt, row 4, front
and center, come up and say hi. Hope to see you all there, in praise of a
legend and an idol.


Review by John Wood

Ahhhh...a Wednesday night at UMass.  First, I had to
pick up Andy H. (who substituted for the Clawman),
then my near-UMass friend coaster; who had cool
gourmet pizza slices waiting for us. Yum!

We arrived at Mullins Center a touch late --
approximately 15 minutes into Natalie's opening set.
Natalie was being a trooper, as she had a cold in
Buffalo, and noted at the end of her set she was
fighting the flu.  It showed in a few numbers where 
she used soft dynamics as a form of restraint, but she
fared well and had many people dancing before Kind &
Generous.  I know coaster loved it!

Almost reminiscent of the Spring '97 Uncle Bob Goes To
College tour, the atmosphere was a mix of old fogeys
with plenty of college students.  When some people
started to get impatient beyond necessity waiting for
Dylan, Rob Turner came up with the perfect response:
"You don't rush greatness!" Indeedy, Rob!

Serve Somebody opened solidly, with Uncle Bob prominent
in the mix.  Million Miles continues its cool 
silky slow-blues feel.   Maggie's Farm is
back to being a country-rocker, and didn't sound far
off from the versions the Dead played in the early
90s.  Pass Me Not is a 130-year-old gospel/folk ballad,
and in the hands of Uncle Bob and a supple country-folk
backdrop provided by the band, here's hoping the song
receives more play in the near future.  Tangled
crackled with spark and energy -- the type that made 
it a show highlight.  Finally, there was a sweet 
North Country where Uncle Bob was softly singing his
phrases with extra care. 

Other highlights for me sometimes were visual, like
turning and seeing coaster dance and smile during
Memphis Blues.  The only lame part of the night was
a college kid near us playing security too seriously
and a few people yelling during the acoustic songs.
Hey, kids, do that BETWEEN tunes, ok?!;-)

The most pleasant surprise for me, musically, was
Rolling Stone.  In past years, this really served
as an excuse just to jam the anthem -- this night,
it was Like A Rolling Stone! Uncle Bob carefully
sang each verse, enphasizing certain points where
you'd expect him to and not.  Still, he asked
us How Does It Feel, and it felt pretty damn good!;-)
Everything Is Broken was a blast again; this time,
the Garnier-Kemper groove felt a bit chunkier, which
made for another cool dance.

The rarity of the night was a way cool I Don't Believe
You, with its original engaging melody intact (accented
by Bucky's pedals).  Love Sick made an early appearance
and was played straight & to the bone.  Don't Think
Twice was a blast as always -- that neat country boogie
with some cool accents by Bucky's mandolin and Uncle
Bob's oddball leads.  Finally, there was the crankin'
Not Fade Away, one last opportunity to dance merrily.


Review by Carsten Wohlfeld

I love Amherst. I really do. I arrived after some ten hours on the  
overnight bus from Buffalo only to find out that somebody else had been  
sleeping on the bus too. Right next to Amherst College I noticed a couple  
of Nightliners in front of a pretty nice hotel...the unmistakable sign  
that Bob and crew were already in town.
Amherst is a typical college town of course, very nice, oldfashioned and  
very laidback. Gotta love that. After wandering around for a couple of  
hours, getting ready for the show, I took the bus - they have a bus there  
that brings you from the bus terminal to the shady motel and back to the  
venue within 20 minutes and best of all, in the winter it is FREE!). On  
the bus I fell in love with the cute girl with the gorgeous smile and the  
corduroy skirt, but even though she even talked to me for a minite I  
didn't get her phone number or address. Don't even know her name... (So I  
just did what you'd expect of me :-))

At the show - the girl was going to the show as well, btw :-) - I wasn't  
surised to find a rather young crowd that was pretty much into Natalie.  
She had been doing various verses from different 70s songs a-capella  
throughout the tour, but tonight the band even joined her for an impromtu  
version of - would you believe it - Lynard Skynard's "Sweet Home Alabama"!  
Hilarious! "Kind And Generous" was the obvious crowdpleaser, she  
apologized for having the flu but said: "Bob's fitter than ever". She left  
with her usual encore "These Are The Days".

At 9.40 it was showtime for Bob and crew and after the strange setlist in  
Buffalo he went back to normal with:

        Gotta Serve Somebody

It was actually done quite well. Bob seemed to be very much into it.  
Always a good sign of course.

        Million Miles

was "Million Miles". New and improved formula (C) 1999.

        Maggie's Farm

good version again. Bob had fun and we got some nice phrasings.

        Make You Feel my Love

Well, it was Grammy Night... The folks around me thought this was either a  
Garth Brooks cover or a Billy Joel song. The world is a funny place  
sometimes, isn't it?

        Stuck Inside With The Memphis Blues Again

Thank God, no "Silvio". Pretty rocking version (more so than the nights  
before) of this amazing song. He mixed up the "debutante" verse. Did we  
care? No, we didn't!

        Masters Of War (acoustic)

Adored by every single soul in the crowd, actually got the loudest cheer  
so far. It's not getting better every night anymore, but it might as well  
have reached an alltime high. For the acoustic band version at least.

        Do Not Pass Me, O Gentle Saviour (acoustic)

Done exactly the same way as the night before, again with the lovely Larry  
backing vocals.

        Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

Crowd: nuts. Very fast version as well.

        Girl From The North Country (acoustic)

Sweet and tender as always, every bit as good as the version from Lake  
Placid. Especially the last verse was a killer.

        I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)

As those of you who read my reviews regularly already now, I don't like  
the electric version of the song all that much. Since they played this on  
a gazillion soundchecks on this tour already, it actually sounded pretty  
good tonight though.

        Love Sick

First time the song wasn't performed as an encore at a regular (non  
festival, non-support) show . Faster and liuder than the version in Troy,  
but not exactly better. Band intros followed.

        Highway 61 Revisited

Usual high octane version, Larry played some pretty hot solos, I guess he  
had to make up for Buffalo, where guest Paul James "stole" a couple of his  
solo spots on this song :-)

        Like A Rolling Stone

Not as good as Buffalo, but I'm sure nobody else of the 10,000 folks in  
the Mullins Center cared. A lot slower which didn't improve the  

        Everything is Broken

Great version once more, had some new lines that I've forgotten about  
already, Josh will be able to tell you. Larry shines on guitar.

        Don't Think Twice (acoustic)

followed as expected and was very well done.

        Not Fade Away

Most fun song of the tour. Lots of smiles on stage every time they play  
it. It's a song you can look forward to every night. You really gotta stay  
til it's over.

I guess it was a pretty good show, I was a bit to tired to really enjoy  
it, so for me the girl in the corduroy skirt remains the highlight of the  
day. To others it probaly was "North Country" and "Everything Is Broken".  
Next up: Portland, ME. Thanks for reading and goodnight!

carsten wohlfeld
"alles, was man anfassen kann, ist ein problem" (wiitgenstein)


Review by Ian Campbell

Thought I would throw my two cents worth in on the Feb. 24th show.
First, I was in the 6th row and as for audience apathy, we stood the entire
show...people around me seemed very involved.

The song list was a little disappointing to me as he seemed to want to make
it a sixties greatest hits show ( the college venue?)  Gone were the
incredible Long Black Coat or Blind Willie McTell or the Basement Tapes
material that was such a surpise over the past few years. The highlight to
me was an incredibly moody performance of Love Sick as the lights remained
low through out.  And the big highlight was Everything is Broken.  I love
discovering the new lyrics he continually introduces on this song...

"Broken leaves on broken trees,
Broken ships sailing on broken seas,
Broken hands on broken ploughs,
People breaking broken vows."

How do get any better than that?

All in all...a great show.  Dylan came out and I remembered the 60's
interview in which he responded to a question as to how he got his hair like
that by responding that he slept on it.  That was how he looked!  he kept
trying to fluff it up during the show.

Man with the blizzard, I am glad I didn't try to drive the five hours to


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