Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 06/06/99


Colorado Springs, Colorado

June 6, 1999

World Arena

Review provided by Ann A.

What I have to say about the Colorado Springs show I'll keep brief.
Firstly, this show that Dylan's touring now is NOT by any means a stadium
rocker' show, but rather, with the exception of a few electric songs, a
finely crafted, acoustic-based collection of dazzling numbers that should
be heard in full and clear detail, in a small and as acoustically perfect a
venue as possible.  Obviously, this is not the case for any of the upcoming
shows, or indeed, even the next smallest venue in the tour to the Denver
Fillmore, which was this next night in Colorado Springs.  After the
so-called warm-up show, it was not easy to sit through the next night's
show with such horrible accoustics.  The whole ceiling was metal, giving
the sound a incredibly tinny and absolutely annoying resonance, which
damn-near ruined it for me.  Well, maybe it did. Everything sounded like it
was coming from inside a big culvert, especially the vocals, which were so
warbled and muddy sounding, it was almost impossible to distinquish one
word from the next, and I know all the lyrics!  Then the worst aspect of
this acoustic nightmare was the way the sound bounced off the back wall,
creating an echo. It's bad enough to hear the din but to hear it bonce back
is just a crime.  Well, there surely outta' be some kinda' law against it.
'Course, it was Simon who opened up the show with his big-band set, 12
musicians counting him,to be exact, and at least 2500 musical instruments.
Okay. I'm exagerating, but it was too many, for my simple tastes.  Pardon
the bias.  I can't navigate around it.  But did he play ANY new songs?  I'm
not a big fan of his current and even not-so current stuff, but there was
only one song I didn't recognize.  I mean, all the Graceland and Rhythm of
the Saints hits.  Yawn till dawn.  Rhythm of Saints when they're sleeping,
you ask me.  There's some rhythm to snoring, I've heard tell.  Okay, they
blew the whole deal, I'd say. Shoulda' saved the duets to be the
super-grande finale, but instead, Bob walks out after this very dull and
hugely noisy Simon show and they try to find the same momentous atmosphere
from the night before with the same duets, and it just didn't happen.
Anyway, the rest of the stage was darkened, but it was possible to see that
Tony had come out to play upright bass and one of Simon's band members was
there on cello.  Then Larry on fiddle for the rocka'hillbilly medley. Yeah
-yeah but something was lost in the shuffle.  Wrong place mixed with the
wrong time and you get too much o' nuthin'.  And I'll say this much more.
Oddly enough, though I think TUIB didn't work so well at the Fillmore, it
was great in the Colorado Springs tin can arena.  Go figure.  Another point
or two and I'll sign off.  ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER was excellent and
especially for the moments when Larry got to shine on it.  He's such an
immensely talented guitarist and it's a never-ending puzzle to me that
Dylan doesn't let him play lead more often.  Just as he got off some
brilliant licks in this great song that opens itself wide up to endless
jamming potential, he gave the nod to Tony to close it down. Dang. I swear,
for a brief moment, I could even see the disappointment flash across
Larry's face.  So what about Charlie now?  In my opinion, there's plenty of
very skilled studio musicians that are capable of doing the job of playing
rhythm guitar.  If he's not going to be used to his full potential, Charlie
Sexton should follow his own star, since it's shining so brightly already.
There's plenty enough wasted talent up on that stage as is, but I predict
he won't last.  He's too young, too talented and too restless to take the
backseat, when he's already been at the wheel of his own damn car since
near-birth.  Then again, he's ridin' 'round the world in Dylan's cherry-red
El Dorado.  Can't beat that, I reckon'.
Yeah, maybe he'll just kick back and enjoy the ride for a while.
Guess that's a whole other fruit pie.


'Shake me up that old peach tree
 Little Jack Horner's got nuthin' on me'

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