Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 07/10/99


Maryland Heights, Missouri

July 10, 1999

Riverport Amphitheatre

Review provided by Ben Tanner 

As I waited for the show to start, it crossed my mind that it's been a long 
time since Dylan opened for someone (perhaps John Lee Hooker in the 
coffeehouse days?).  He came onstage a little after 8 with the usual intro.   
This was my first(and only, sadly) show of the Dylan/Simon tour, and I was 
anxious to see the new guy in town, Charlie Sexton.  He performed 

Dylan opened with "Somebody Touched Me," a surprise, but I recognized it from 
the lyrics.  I noticed right off that the sound in Riverport Ampitheatre was 
fantastic, I'd recommend to see a show there if you live in the area.  Bob's 
diction was better than the last time I saw him; his phrasing was clear, 
easily understandable.

Next was "Tambourine Man" which was slowed down a bit, with Bob's usual 
phrasing changes to the song.  I noticed he switched the "swirling ship" 
verse with the "empires made of sand" verse, and was exciting when he picked 
up the harp at the end of the song.  He had a nice little solo.  I'm glad 
he's going back to the harp more again.

"Masters of War" was next, one of my personal favorites, that has more 
meaning these days.  Nice lead played by Dylan on this one.

"Tangled" was next, which I love, but not as energetic as the last time I saw 
him.  He had some really cool phrasing in the song and I loved how he 
stretched out the last words before "...tangled up in blue" (like a bird that 
flllleeeewwww, that sorta thing).  His guitar sounded a bit out of tune when 
he played lead, but not too bad.  He played a nice harp solo at the end and 
was really getting into it, they ended on his harp note.

"Girl from the North Country" followed, which I had never heard live, but 
loved this rendition.  His phrasing and picking were outstanding, and his 
vocals were crystal clear.  A great love song.

I was expecting "All Along the Watchtower" next, but he surprised me with 
"Down Along the Cove" as his first electric number.  It was a lively, 
downhome version, and I really enjoyed it.

Next was "Watchtower."  I had been hearing and reading great things about its 
performance, and was really looking forward to hearing it.  They didn't 
dissapoint.  Larry was flying high on lead and it was turned up rock and roll.

I expected "Just Like A Woman" next when I saw Larry move to pedal steel, and 
it was another great song.  I got chills at the phrase "can't you seeeeeeee, 
that IIIII...I just can't fit."  Dylan was unbelievable on this song.

"Stuck Inside of Mobile...." followed, and it was better than when I saw him 
perform it in Atlanta last fall.  Lots of good lead guitar by Bob and Larry, 
and they seemed to jam forever, it was awesome.

It was at this point that he introduced his band per usual, but he stuck in 
his corny joke.  "Larry Campbell on guitar, one of the finest players in the 
country.  Larry almost wrote a song the other day.  Wrote it about his bed, 
he just hasn't quite made it up yet."  He gave Larry a huge smile; it's great 
to see Bob in such good spirits.

"HIghway 61" was next, as I expected, and was the best version I've ever 
heard of it, really got to jammin, with Bob dancing around on stage with cool 
little riffs planted in between lines.

They left stage, and I was surprised that they hadn't played a Time Out of 
Mind song, and wasn't too terribly disappointed by that, to tell the truth, 
and they didn't play one all night.

They came back with "Like a Rolling Stone," which I was looking forward to 
more than any other song.  It was slowed down a bit at the beginning at 
sounded like "Desolation Row" on the intro.   Dylan was showing tons of 
feeling on the "how does it FEEEEEEL" lines.

He finished off with "It Ain't Me, Babe", a great version although much 
different from the recorded version.  I expected Bob to go for the harp on 
this one, but he finished with two nice little solos.

Then Bob brought Paul Simon on stage, who I was also very excited to see, 
albeit not as much as Bob.  Paul came on with his electric, said thank you, 
and began the intro to "Sounds of Silence."  This is one of my favorite 
alltime songs, and Dylan brought it a special darkness with a brooding, deep 
harmony behind Simon.  A very slowed down but powerful version.  About 
halfway through the song, Dylan went for the harp again and played a very 
nice solo in the middle.  It was absolutely amazing seeing those two on stage 
together with Dylan blowing hard on harp.  They looked to eachother to make 
sure not to step on any toes and Bob had some very nice little acoustic fills 
within the verses.  You could tell the two had tremendous respect for one 
another and their work.  The song got thunderous applause, and Paul followed 
by saying, "Thank you, thank you very much. (pause)  You, know, Bob Dylan 
(pointing towards Bob) was the reason I wrote that song" followed by more 

The medley of "That'll Be the Day" and "The Wanderer" was next, with Simon 
taking most of the lead vocals and Dylan backing up.  Larry and Charlie did 
some very nice guitar work on this song.

"Knockin' on Heaven's Door" was next, and sent shivers down my spine just to 
see Bob Dylan and Paul Simon singing it together.  A very powerful song.  
They exchanged verses and sang the chorus together.

I won't say much about Paul's performance, although it was outstanding as 
well.  He is a great live performer, I don't know why he doesn't tour more. 

All in all, the show was probably the best I've ever seen.  The weather was 
nice in a great venue with outstanding acoustics and great performances by 
two legends.

Ben Tanner

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