Hartford, Connecticut

July 24, 1999

Meadows Music Theatre

Review provided by Carsten Wohlfeld 

It was hot. Very hot indeed and you wonder why Bob picks the end of July 
to tour the east coast. Probably for the same reason that he piked 
February for his first tour of the region. Even though I don’t like those 
US ampitheaters at all, I have to say that the Meadows was quite nice. 
Seemed to be pretty new (or very well kept) and you had a pretty good 
view even from the (still-not-so) cheap seats in the back. A guy called 
Stephen Smith opened and he was pretty good, looking and playing like 
Dylan in 1964.

At around 8.10 the strobe lights signalled it was time for the show: 
"Ladies and gentlemen, would you please welcome...“ They opened with:

 Friend Of The Devil (acoustic)

which was okay, but Bob’s singing sounded a bit tired all night, so it 
wasn’t very smooth and that didn’t exactly improve any of the acoustic 
numbers. Larry played the mandolin and proved that you can play a rather 
decent solo on that tiny thing, too. Something which Bucky never really 
did. A new variation to the routine followed. Not "Thanks ev’rybody“, but 
"Thank you ladies and gentlemen“ 

 My Back Pages (acoustic)

Then Larry grabbed his violin and started off this song with a long harp 
solo that just can be described with one word: spectacular. For that solo 
alone it would be worth hearing the song every single night. Larry joined 
Bob with the fiddle during every chorus and when it was  time for another 
fiddle solo at the end Bob cut it short by starting a harp solo. He 
didn’t even wait for Larry to finish, he jumped right in. At least it was 
a pretty good and long solo. None of the recent noodleing, but more 
reminiscend of those gorgeous long solos from around ‘95.

 Masters Of War (acoustic)

was next, of course. Charlie Sexton, who so far had only been looking 
great playing his red acoustic guitar switched to dobro, though you 
couldn’t really hear it in the mix. Very strong version actually, as 
Bob’s singing was better on this one than on the first two.

 Tomorrow Is A Long Time (acoustic)

A very pleasant surprise, got a very strong reaction from the crowd 
(about 20,000 people I guess), which I wouldn’t have expected. The song 
itself sounded a lot like the ‘98 version - lovely without being 
spectacular. Larry alone sang backup vocals and cause Bob was strechting 
out the lines it was almost like a duet sometimes. Nice!

 Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

was there as well. Changes evvery single night these days, kinda like 
"Watchtower“ used to don in the mid 90’s. Weird phrasing, too or was it 
just the fact that it was too fast for Bob? He looked very frail and some 
of the long pauses inbetween lines didn’t really seem to be there on 
purpose as he had trouble catching up during the next lines then. You 
were almost hoping that he did it on purpose nevertheless and didn’t do 
it cause he had trouble remembering the words. Interestingly enough, the 
„italian poet“ verse was featured for the first time in ages (not only 
today, but on this summer tour, or so I’m told).

 All Along The Watchtower

Charlie on acoustic for am, f and g and the rest of the band electric. 
Sounded like a cross between the recent versions with Bucky and the 
famous Hendrix arrangement and suffered from the fact that Bob ended the 
song when Larry was just about to start what sounded like a very very 
promising solo. It was pretty short too.

 Just Like A Woman

must have been great on some of the last nights according to various 
reviews, but tonight it kinda suffered from Bob’s somewhat rusty voice. 
Larry on pedal steel.


Very good version actually, as it included all the original lyrics and 
the backing vocals courtesy of Larry and Charlie sounded a lot better, 
too. I guess it makes a difference that Charlie is a singer in his own 
right as well.

 Not Dark Yet

Sounded a bit rushed at first and Bob’s singing was way to loud as well, 
but he rreally nailed the last couple of verses and it was clearly one of 
the highlights of the night. Band intros followed... "some of the best 
players in the country“... a joke about David and some cartoons on TV 
that I didn’t get...

 Highway 61 Revistited

Amazing! Larry on slide guitar and he ROCKED the house. I thought I would 
never enjoy hearing this song again but they proved me wrong. It was - 
for me at least - the highlight of the set. Then they were gone


 Like A Rolling Stone

when he returned, Bob was wearing his huge cowboy hat. "Rolling Stone“ 
was a bit too slow for my liking, but hey, we’ll have to get used to 
that. Very good vocal delivery though, way above average compared to the 
rest of the evening. Crowd: nuts

 Blowin’ In The Wind (acoustic)

Failed to make any impact on me. The Bob stepped up to the mircophone for 
his little speech: "And now it’s time to welcome to the stage somebody 
who really needs no introduction. One of the finest musicians of our 
time, Paaaaaul Simon!“ (or words very close to that).

 Sound Of Silence

Very, very enjoyable version. One of the best duets I ever heard from 
Bob, much better in fact as I had expected it to be. Very slow version, 
too which made perfect sense with thse two ‘oldies’. Larry on pedal steel 
and Bob on harp for a short solo at the end. Another highlight!

 I Walk The Line / Blue Moon Of Kentucky

Well, it was forgettable, which of course is a nice way of saying that it 
sucked. At least you could hear Bob singing which is very rare on any of 
his "duets“ of course and Larry played his fiddle again which was a very 
welcome change as well.

 Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Larry, Charlie and Simon supplied the „oooo-oooo“ intro and it was a 
lovely sing-a-long with the "... and I can’t come in“ lyrics at the end. 
Fun song to watch, probably not as hot on tape....

90 minutes, including the duets and that was it. All in all it was a very 
professional show that obviously included too many overplayed old songs 
for the real fans but was still quite enjoybale de to the fact that the 
new band is really sensational. Charlie is not doing much (yet) but he 
gives Larry the space to play new and improved solos. They also had some 
extra lights and the light show was very nice indeed. If the show was 
worth the $100 some people paid for the best seats is not up for 
discussion really. It was a very good show, but not necessarily a good 
concert, if you know what I mean. Entertainment was more important than 
artistic innovation... Wonder what he’ll pull out for Tramps? Thanks for 
reading and keeping up with my far from perfect english.... so long!

carsten wohlfeld
"the light at the end of the tunnel is a train“ (unwound)

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