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Bob Dylan 981030 in Ottawa (Corel Centre, Kanata, Ontario)

Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 01:37:11 -0500
Subject: Dylan in Ottawa

Hi. Great site. I've been visiting it for over two years now. Anyways, I
just got back from Dylan's concert here in Ottawa.... WHAT A SHOW!! So
here it is, the setlist and my first ever review....


1. Gotta Serve Somebody
2. I Want You
3. All Along The Watchtower
4. Simple Twist of Fate
5. Cold Irons Bound
6. Girl From The North Country @
7. The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol @
8. Masters of War @
9. Tangled Up In Blue @
10. Positively 4th Street
11. Highway 61

12. Love Sick
13. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
14. Blowin' In The Wind @
15. 'Til I Fell In Love With You
16. Forever Young @

Well, tonight was my third Bob Dylan show. I saw him in Toronto for the
other shows, this one came from Ottawa. There's no doubt in my mind,
this is the best one I've seen... maybe the best concert I've witnessed.
The Big Bobino was totally on tonight.

The show started promptly at 7:30 PM Eastern time with Dave Alvin and
the Guilty Men. I'd never heard of them, but they have great chops. All
their songs except one featured extensive jamming, Alvin's a great
guitarist whose voice is a cross between The Boss and Mark Knopfler, and
that keyboardist could really tickle the ivories. They played blues,
folk, country rock and rockabilly in an entertaining gig. There wasn't
one song I didn't like. As far as warm-up acts go, we sure got more than
we bargained for tonight. I may have to pick up their CD(s).

Next, Joni came onto the scene to a warm round of applause that slowly
built up into a semi-standing ovation. She started off with Big Yellow
Taxi (with her little Bob parody), which I was thankful for seeing as
it's the only song of hers I know. She played a couple more solo numbers
and then her band joined her in what was an overall jazzy, intimate
show. It's amazing the passion she has in her voice. The band played
quietly, letting her guitar and voice be the governing force, and it
worked. She is a very involving performer, and was very friendly with
the crowd. As for the music, the songs started sounding the same a
couple of times, but she played very well and really put a lot of
emotion into the performance. She must've played a few more hits besides
'Taxi' because a few times the crowd really started cheering..... not
that they weren't appreciative all the way through. Like Dylan, Joni's
great at phrasing, and her voice is nothing to sneeze at either. I'll be
picking up some of her recordings in the near future.

Next, The Bobino came onto the stage. The announcement was made, the
crowd thundered, and the show began;

Gotta Serve Somebody - The first line he sang of this song was barely
audible and I thought,,,,,, uh oh, this could be a long night.
Fortunately, I jumped the gun a bit and he quickly got on track. The
band's overall sound seemed to escape organised mixing at times, but
overall, the sound was really great and they played really well. Dylan
played some great guitar himself. By the end of the song the crowd was
hoppin', good opening.

I Want You - Awesome! Bob really nailed this one, as he did just about
everything all night. Slower arrangement than the original (or
'blueprint'), Bob was already getting giddy onstage and starting to move
around. Oh, and he'd already said 'Thank you' once, too. Things were
really starting to shape up.

All Along The Watchtower - Surprise surprise! I read the setlists quite
frequently on Expecting Rain and this one hadn't been in the list for
quite a while. The crowd loved it, it rocked, it was great to hear. He
was already showing surprises in the setlist. His voice was clear....
the band sounded great. There is absolutely nowhere else i'd rather have
been tonight.

Simple Twist of Fate - One of those songs that is pretty high up on my
list of personal Dylan favourites. Not quite as good as the previous
two, but excellent nonetheless. Bob was doing a good solo almost every
song, and didn't screw anything up. The lighters started coming on at
one point.

Cold Irons Bound - YES! One of my fav. TOOM songs and he did it just
great. Crunching sound and he gave himself a great vocal workout. He was
in great voice all night. If I'm not mistaken, he did one of his better
solos of the night (electric, that is).

Girl From The North Country - WHOA! Another surprise. And really well
done. Accoustically, the band could do no wrong tonight. Great reading
with Dylan displaying his great accoustic skills....not to try and under
appreciate the rest of the band, they complimented each other well.
Really in sinc.

The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll - By now the pot smoke was really in
the air and at first I didn't believe it, but YES! This was just
amazing. Perhaps his most emotional performance of the night, and that's
saying a lot. A couple in front of me just looked at each during the
song and smiled. The audience was absolutely stunned and appreciative of
yet another shake up in the setlist. Dylan started playing harp for a
few notes then put the harmonica down. I think he may have screwed up a
bit but the band covered him. He played again at the end. A nice little
riff and then stylishly fixed in some extra notes at the end. Alas, this
was only only time we were to see it tonight. Dylan was really dancing
around the stage now. You should've seen him! Did I ever laugh so hard.
He was having a great time.

Masters Of War - HOLY COW! Another unexpected turn. And another well
done, emotional performance. Again, the band was just great. Audience =
stunned. Now I was sitting there wondering what POSSIBLY could happen

it's played nearly every night. Still, it's the first time I've heard it
live (Dylan in person, that is) and I was not disappointed. An uptempo
version, Bob had another strong performance, as if I need to tell you
that at this point.

Positively 4th Street - Another sort-of surprise....... and another
welcome one at that. If I was forced against my will to pick a low point
of the show, I'd say this song. Then again, I'd be lying because there
really was no "low" point. I've always liked the slightly more uptempo,
rocking version of this tune, but I'm not complaining, there was nothing
wrong with this performance.

Highway 61 - The band was rocking, so was the crowd. Great loud bluesy
version, the best rocker of the night (sorry Watchtower).

Love Sick - One of those songs that Bob seems incapable of doing badly.
Not quite as good vocally as the grammys, but his guitar solo was
better. Man, he may be a bit of a noodler (not that I should talk), but
he's a damn good one when he wants to be.

RDW #12 & 35 - Seemed sort of gratuitous, but the crowd just erupted
and sang along with the chorus. More great instrumental work from the
band. You know the story by now.

'Til I Fell In Love With You - More good rocking. I was glad he squeezed
in another TOOM song, I thought maybe he'd play Million Miles again, but
I didn't really care. Not much else to say except how good it sounded.

Blowin' In The Wind - I was sort of hoping he'd play this one. This
capped a tremendous night... the amazing part being it didn't even end
with this song. Seemed a little lost on the way he was singing it for a
line or two, but that didn't bother anybody. Great backup singing from
the band.

Forever Young - Out came the lighters again. The people in the seat
beside me were getting ticked at a guy a couple of rows up (in all
honesty, if they didn't want people standing up in front of them, what
were they doing on the floor level?) He played this last time I saw him
too, it's gotten no better or worse. Great performance.

So there you have it. I bought a T-Shirt and a poster, talked to a
hippie for awhile, then went home. What a great show. All the acts were
great, and everyone had a good time. There were a large chunk of people
on their feet for all of Bob's set, and Joni got a nice ovation too....
not to mention the opening band turned more than a couple of heads.
Anyone who attended tonight's concert, congratulations.

Subject: Ottawa,oct 30 From: ( Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 19:55:04 GMT This will not be a cool and dispassionate review by one carefully weighing the pros and cons of last night's performance. Basically what you have here is your unadulterated fan of 30 plus years who went to soak in all the glory of Bob Dylan coming to town and came away with a smile on his face. To set the mood the skies had turned clear and dry and after the sun set the horizon turned one of those "they must of touched up the photo'" shades of orange. A 'v' shaped formation of Canada geese drifted across the sky. It was your basic Girl Of The North Country kind of evening. I got in early. My seat was on the floor, centre, 14th row. I brought along binoculars which were attached to my forehead BORG-like for about a third of the evening. I was completely assimilated. Dave Alvin and band cranked it up right on time at 7:30. They delivered some funky rock and roll with a bit of steel guitar country & folk blended in. The audience was polite and supportive. He'd finish one song and then quickly move into the next before the applause had died down. They looked to be having a good time; a big smile on the keyboard players face. People were not familiar with his stuff so that made it a bit harder. He did one tune (I think his own) that turned into a medley that included ╬If you ain't got the Do Re Me' and "Promised Land". It was great and got things rocking. He followed this with the title tune off of his latest CD, 'BlackJack David'. Also great!! They played for about forty minutes. There was a brief intermission and then the true Girl Of The North Country came on stage. Joni Mitchell looked great. She began her set just herself and her guitar. She was dressed in a long orange cranberry velvet outfit. She looked very comfortable swaying to the different rhythms of her music. A very interesting instrument she was playing. It looked like an electric, a nice dark wood, but I believe it had a midi out option. What you were hearing was definitely guitar but I think it gave her more control over just what sounds she was getting out of different strings. She was getting great bass presence out of the low E. I found myself looking around to see if a bass player was accompanying her. It was very expressive . She started in with 'Big Yellow Taxi'. The crowd was with her all the way. Through her set she sprinkled in a number of old familiars such as Free Man in Paris and Woodstock. This was helpful to someone like me who is not that familiar with her newer material. Haunting textures. Jazz tones. A bit of rock . Varieties of rhythms. The drummer playing with brushes, mallets, his hands at times. Some great bass drum work. Hey, that's something you don't hear too often. A tight band. This was a night of poets and her words came through clearly and passionately. ╬The streams of jets leaving trails like hexagrams acrossthe sky' (my paraphrase, sorry). Sex Kills. Happiness is the best Facelift. A song for mothers and daughters. Amelia. She was very comfortable. A couple of songs in a guy in a white tux followed by a guy in a cowboy hat paraded by the front of the stage and each brought her a rose. She seemed surprised and pleased and made a point of going to the front of the stage and picking them up after her last song. Not too much talk. She said she wasn't going to talk too much so she could try and squeeze in another song in the time she had. She led into one song and then stopped it with a laugh saying that they were just learning it. Maybe something from her new CD. For one or two numbers she put down the guitar and just sang in the spotlight. Kind of bluey torch songs. The crowd loved it. Woodstock, just Joni and guitar, was her encore. Warm applause and then the lights came on for intermission two. Interesting to listen to the talk in the crowd before Dylan came on. Some people taking about seeing him with the band in the early seventies. Someonesaw him down east with Rolling Thunder. Some, like me who had seen him in Montreal a couple of summers ago. What do you think he'llopen with? Who was that opening group? The legend came on stage after about twenty minutes. Silk shirt and tie in different tones of grey. Black jacket with embroidered patterns in dark grey. The incense had begun to pour out from the stage about five minutes before. Aroma therapy? It works for me. You Gotta serve Somebody. People are on their feet moving and dancing through the first three numbers. Then settling back and enjoying the slower ones. Simple Twist of Fate. I won't take it through song by song. Just a few highlights. Rocking into All Along the Watchtower. The harp comes out for Hattie Carroll. His delivery of 'with a six month sentence' is kind of like a question. He raises his eyebrows a bit. His face is beautiful to watch through the evening. It sort of punctuates things just as must as his voice. It sort of says did you get that last little bit. Even as he's playing harp towards the end of Hattie Carroll he's kind of playing on a simple three note pattern, rocking back and forth, legs spread, almost dancing but his face is saying 'do you get that last little bit'. I had the same feeling when I watched the Presidential awards ceremony last year It was wonderful just to watch the different emotions shift across his face. Cold Irons Bound sizzled. Strangely, Tangled up in Blue is a great song to dance along with. Positively Fourth Street was delivered not with venom but with a 'that's just the way life is' frankness. The voodoo rhythms of Till I feel in Love with You were there and were great to move along with. Musically, in general, I'm reminded of what somewhat had said about the Time Out of Mind sessions, about how there were a lot of musicians but no one was trying to pull into the foreground. As you listened you didn't suddenly switch you attention to what Bucky or Larry was doing. Steel guitar was there below the surface drawing out certain ideas. Bob and Larry's playing was very complimentary. Highway 61 Revisited and stately bows as he left the stage. Returning for his encore set. I notice the extra mike he used for the Grammy awards Love Sick performance was being used. Blowing in the Wind. Some nice gentle accompanying guitar from Bob for some of these slower numbers such as North Country. Rocking away with Rainy Day Woman and then in the end he sent us on the way with blessings and best wishes, Forever Young, a benediction. And with our ears ringing and hearts warmed he sent us out into cool dry crisp October night. Hardly a trick , mostly treats. Look forward to a great show if the tour heads your way. Cheers, Ted
Subject: Re: Ottawa,oct 30 From: Stephen Burridge ( Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 22:24:53 GMT A few comments onlast night's show from another attendee. Dave Alvin was great, very good guitar player. I'm not a Joni Mitchell fan. She sang well, but for me, her set dragged. Many of her songs sounded much the same to me. Her best song IMO was a performance of the standard "Comes Love", without guitar, last song of her set (before the "Woodstock" encore.) "Gotta Serve Somebody" include a line something like "Might be a homeless [?] eatin' from a garbage can." The beginning of "All Along the Watchtower", Bob's guitar beginning to pick it out before the lights came up again, was for me one of those hair-raising moments. "Cold Irons Bound" didn't seem to me to come together too well, but it's great to hear these TOOM songs. "Girl From the North Country" felt perfect. There was a little swell of applause from the floor in response to Bob's guitar soloing, which I imagined he was aware of. "Hattie Carroll" is one of my favourite songs. He started this one with a harmonica intro, then near the end picked it up again, holding it in one hand while holding the guitar at his side/behind his back with the other, & did an odd little dance as he played, while the band maintained the waltz rhythm of the song. An inimitable Dyaln moment. "Love Sick" was another one they really seemd to nail, & I really like this version of "Blowin' in the Wind." I don't know how those who see many Dylan shows would react, but the crowd last night was very happy with the show, as far as I could tell. I certainly was. (I was way back, in seat purchased at a downtown Ticketmaster outlet 20 minutes after they went on sale, watching through binoculars.)
Subject: Ottawa 10/30/98 (Part Two) (Long) From: xplanet ( Date: Mon, 02 Nov 1998 20:19:50 -0400 Part Two - Dylan 10/30/98 Ottawa Corel Center (Part One was Non-Dylan) Around the hall, anticipation & expectation...and smoke began to billow from stage right. Incense? (I saw this on the tour with the Band in mid-Seventies - is this a constant? Why? Cheap special effects to show off the lighting?) 1. GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY. Perfunctory. Dylan dressed in gray jacket halfway to his knees, gray shirt and pants with the piping, white tie and shoes. Colonel Sanders on Acid in Miami Beach. Bucky Baxter on pedal steel in red jacket & bowler hat. (Mick Fleetwood's brother?) 2. I WANT YOU. Tasty. And not that frequently performed. So Uncle Bob's makin' an effort for us. Floor dancin' behind the soundboard. Teenage Deadhead girls in tank tops and cotton hippie skirts, doin' the wiggle waggle snake arms dance. Lotta smiles. We join the modified stage rush - up to behind the first block of high-priced seats. It's a varied crowd - pasty-faced middle-aged ladies, goateed college boys, the boss and his staff of six in their suits with no ties, bikers, the bald guy with the gray ponytail, the girl in black with Buddy Holly glasses, tie-died Ben & Jerry kids, parents and kids, grandparents...a tribute to Bob.... 3. ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER. It's baaaack. In the 3 spot! And for us! Now I know why it was there for so long. Bob gives us a fleeting smirk and a crouch! "It looks like I'm movin' but I'm standin' still." Everybody's happy, everybody's boppin', lotta smiles. Tall geeky stoned white guy with long black hair and white sweatshirt and no rhythm spazzes about - think Dan Ackroyd's nephew. 4. SIMPLE TWIST OF FATE - provokes a single Bic lighter up front. Security started to ask people to take their seats. As Good Canadians, in the Nation's Capital, 5. COLD IRONS BOUND You all know. Snakey bluesy thing. Great. 6. GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY @. Bob, was that a nod to us? How sweet! I think it's Bob playing the lovely lead guitar. 7. LONESOME DEATH OF HATTIE CARROLL @. Bob pulled a harp off an amplifier at the start and almost broke a lip. Does the song & dance man scowl or crack up? Couldn't tell. He tried again at the end while doing a twelve step crouch/walk playing (possibly) the first line of 'Frere Jacques.' The crowd went wild. I swear - it was just like that. 8. MASTERS OF WAR @ a nasty whiplike rhythm. This must explain the Buddy Holly reference & what he re-learned from the Dead - the sound built around a monster acoustic rhythm guitar. Also, my favorite moment of the night - midway through this Protest Song, he lifted both hands from the guitar and mussed his already rumpled hair, then cricked his neck, as casually as if he was in his hotel bathroom mirror. Then resumed playing, stone-faced as usual. 9. TANGLED UP IN BLUE @ is a foot stompin', hand clappin', butt shakin' STOMP. Crowd pleasin' too. Bob gave a right knee bend (as opposed to previous left knee bends). Does Bucky play lead on this? Insanely good. 10. POSITIVELY FOURTH STREET kind of a laidback milk & cookies version. I thought he was going to sing 'Buy me a gun that shoots and a bird that toots' and segue into You Ain't Goin' Nowhere. But he didn't. Intros. As usual, who can figure out what he said? An electronic board with simultaneous translation, as at the opera, would help. Or not. 11. HIGHWAY 61 Women and men of all ages and styles of dress pop up to dance behind the soundboard. A steady stage creep began again. Bob & band left the stage. Applause. Then returned for - 12. LOVE SICK. I think of this as white reggae - the rhythm guitar's similar to Bob Marley's Exodus.... A guy in a blue shirt and dark gray suit said 'Excuse me' and went to the back of the aisle, then moved forward again urging people to 'Move forward' (as if us Polite Central Canucks would physically push Security back 20 rows to the stage). 13. RAINY DAY WOMEN 12 & 35. Boom. Finally, even the expensive seats get off their rear ends. Although 3/4 of the non-floor crowd remained seated. (Janice Joplin in Montreal in 69/70?...'C'mon people, stop sittin' on your hands.' or: 'Get off your asses.' Wish one-a the band did the same). By their huge response to the oldies, the crowd proved to me that they don't know TOOM. But somehow they heard that Bob is Back, so they showed. The band played fookin' loud. 14. BLOWIN' IN THE WIND @ prompted 3 Bic lighters and one actual candle. Are these misplaced Elton John fans or sentimental throwbacks? Anyway, the performance was so involving, I forget to count into how many syllables he stretched the word "wind." Quite often it's three...right? 15. 'TIL I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOU. Only a few heads bobbin' and weavin' to this glorious blues. Let's hope they all went out and bought TOOM the next day. The band took its bows. 16. FOREVER YOUNG. One of our lullabies to our girls, so this really made our night. And he clearly articulated the words. Thanks, Bob! After less than twenty seconds of clapping, lights go on at five minutes to Pumpkin Hour and the Good Citizens turned to leave, feeling good. Apologies for the lateness of the post (life & Halloween got in way) and also for switching between past and present tenses. Ooops. Hope to meet RMDers in Montreal next time. Hello to Johanna, who I did meet. Thanks to for the previous Ottawa post and to all RMD-ers who post reviews. This is a great newsgroup. Andy.
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998 09:50:06 -0800 (PST) From: Michel Jacques ( Subject: Some comments on Ottawa show To: Good show! Some surprises: Bob played "All Along the Watchtower" for the first time in a while! "I Want You" was superb but the best moment of the night was his great acoustic version of "Girl From the North Country", and also "Blowin' in the Wind" with the back vocals. Dylan didn't look too tired for this third concert in a row. I think he was having fun. After the first or the second song, he said in French "Je vous remercie beaucoup" which was a bit surprising in Ottawa. I don't remember he ever said that in Montreal! When he presented David Kemper, he said something funny, I don't know what, but the crowd laughed. I was happy to hear some TOOM live for the first time (except for Love Sick at the Grammys) but I'm sad he didn't play Can't Wait and Million Miles! Next time... This was my 7th Dylan concert, and I would say this was the 4th best, after: 1.Toronto 1992 (the second show at Massey Hall), and Montreal 1996 (ex-aequo), and 3.Ottawa 1992. Hope he'll be back around real soon!

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