Las Vegas, Nevada

June 26, 1999

MGM Grand
Garden Arena

Review provided by Sean McGuinness.

 "Paul Simon opened and his set was technically solid and flawless, just
what I expected.  Dylan came out for the standard set ("Sounds of Silence".
"I Walk The Line/Blue Moon of Kentucky" and "Knockin' On Heaven's Door).
The duets were very tenatative, but it looked like Paul and Bob were having
fun with it at least.
 Bob started with the gospel/bluegrass number, which really kicked things
off well.  Bob was wearing a black suit and tie (throughout the show he kept
having to rebuckle his white belt as it kept coming unfastened).  I enjoyed
the phrasing in "Mr. Tambourine Man", although the local paper called the
performance of this song "weird."
 "Masters of War" was when Bob captured the audience's attention.  "Don't
Think Twice" was very well received, as was "Tangled Up In Blue."  On the
harmonica break at the end of "Tangled", Bob started playing a nursery rhyme
(he did the same thing at the end of "Like a Rolling Stone" later).
 As they switched to the electric instruments, you could hear the first few
chords of "Highlands," but then they quickly blazed into "All Along the
Watchtower" instead.  This was the best version of "Watchtower" I had heard
for years.
 Next was "Just Like a Woman", which Dylan said he wrote for his wife.  Then
he said something either about him or her being conceited at the time.  Very
solid performance.  A little later, a group of people were escorted to one
of the first few rows by an usher and Bob said something like "you had to go
get another beer"????
 "Stuck Inside of Mobile" was next.  I always enjoy that song, but otherwise
a very standard rendition.  "Not Dark Yet" had the audience's rapt
attention, something you don't see everyday.  "Highway 61" was great.
Charlie Sexton played some lead guitar on that one.
 The encore consisted of "Like a Rolling Stone" (complete with nursey rhyme
ending), a magnificent "It Ain't Me Babe" and then "Not Fade Away."
 Bob was fairly animated and smiled a lot.  He was noticably more
comfortable with his band and set up.  I like the acoustic set first as I
think it helps the pacing of the show.  I've seen 40+ shows and this one
ranks right up there with the best ones.  The setlist was a little in the
"Greatest Hits" garden variety, but I expected that with the Simon pairing.
 I found the entire concert experience a bit bizarre-- sort of like going to
two concerts.  It was a bit of a shock to go from the technical staged
performance of Paul Simon to Bob Dylan's "you can watch me and my band as we
play" spontaneous approach.  I prefer the latter as the performance is more
alive.  Much of Simon's set, while brilliantly executed, sounded just like
what you would hear on the radio (which is probably just what Paul wanted to
convey).  Most of the people in the audience where I was sitting were Simon
fans and some of them left before Dylan's performance."

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