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Bob Dylan 990217 in Cleveland, Ohio

Date: Thu, 18 Feb 1999 09:50:30 -0400
Subject: Cleveland show
From: Matt McKenna (

With no suprise, Bob Dylan awed a crowded Cleveland State University
Convocation Center. After only a few chords of Gotta Serve Somebody, the
stage was showered with carnations. The crowd, filled mostly with people
with the,"This is my chance to see a living legend before he dies" attitude,
seemed a tad apprehensive about Bob's performance until he played his
setlist standard, Friend of The Devil. But the other 15% of the crowd
enjoyed every muddled word as it spilled out of Bob's mouth.

A nice surprise was Positively 4th Street, I personally enjoy that
song----maybe Bob was dedicating the tune to the 85% of the crowd that
abandoned him in the time between Desire and Time Out of Mind. The layered
version of Don't Think Twice It's Alright was vintage Dylan.

I have no complaints about this show, with one exception---no harp. I saw
him in Columbus last week. Columbus was better, although Natalie Merchant
was a better opening act than Setzer. 

Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 02:03:20 -0500 From: Jill Clemenich ( To: Subject: Carsten Molts review of Cleveland show on Feb. 17th Bob Dylan Feb. 17th CSU Convocation Center Natalie Merchant opened her new Tour in great fashion with a tight and very animated set that got the audience dancing. She is much better live than on record and has to be sen to be totally appreciated. After a lengthy intermission, The house lights dimmed and Dylan and co. ambled on stage. Dylan was dressed in his customary black pants with the stripe down the side and his black boots with white trim. He wore a large silver bow tie instead of the black tie he has been wearing. 1. Gotta Serve Somebody- It was evident that Dylan was here to rock from the first chords. He stretched out the phrases and really leaned into the guitar passages. His vocals were strong and true on this song and would remain so throughout the show. Bucky Baxter and Larry Campbell added good back up vocals. This ending seemed different than other recent shows. 2. Million Miles- After a spooky new intro, Dylan proceeded to turn the tune into a slow blues burner. It had many of the same qualities that "It Takes a lot To Laugh, Train to Cry" has with extra room for some vocal flourishes 3. Watching the River Flow- Always a great jamming tune that got the crowd dancing. During the end jam, Larry Campbells guitar string broke. Dylan glanced over at him and stuck his tongue out at Larry. Dylan used this opportunity to play some leads of his own he went into deep knee bends and pointed the neck of the guitar directly at the crowd. 4. To Make You feel My Love- A simple love song that didn't really take off. The band seemed to be sleepwalking through it and Dylan didn't give the song the powerful vocals that the song called to in this large venue. 5. Stuck inside of Mobile(With the Memphis blues Again)- I had a feeling that we were not going to hear Silvio and we got a fiery version of "Stuck inside of Mobile" in its place. Dylan and Larry Campbell traded licks between every verse and Tony Garnier danced up a storm behind them. 6. Mr. Tambourine Man(acoustic)- Aver good version of "Tambourine Man" started the acoustic set off on a good foot. Dylan enunciated the vocals clearly and he belted out the chorus with serious gusto. 7. Friend of the Devil(acoustic)- The Grateful dead classic has ben a frequent acoustic highlight of recent Dylan shows and tonight was no different. After a great vocal performance by Dylan, He lead a long jam that brought the song into a very laid back country groove that elicited great applause from the crowd.. Dylan took his time playing out the ending taking the song's length into the 11 minute range before bringing it around to the closing. 8.Tangled Up In Blue(acoustic)- The concert warhorse had a lot of life in it tonight. Dylan stretching out the last word of each line as the band rocked on behind him. At one point, Bucky was given a several note solo during the bridge. He was wailing on the mandolin maniacally during the songs long end jam also. The song went on and on with much guitar hero posing by Dylan. Probably the best version of "Tangled Up In Blue" I've ever seen. 9. Forever Young(acoustic)- After a long discussion between Tony and Dylan, the band launched into a laid back version of this crowd favorite. The energy sagged toward the end of the song as Dylan tried to stretch out the jam but abandoned it after a few seconds and brought the song to an abrupt end. 10. "Til I Fell In Love With You- They brought back the electric with a powerful rendering of "Til I fell In Love With You" with Dylan smiling a lot and shuffling his feet. Larry Campbell stepped onto the Drum riser and delivered several runs of chords that propelled the jam deeper into a swamp rock groove. 11. Positively 4th Street- Dylan delivered a snarling vocal on this tune with a lot of fire. He repeated the last word of each line which allowed the lines to build to a climatic end. Bucky Baxter played several beautiful notes on Pedal Steel that sounded organ-like in nature. Garnier added a couple lines of bass chords as the song faded out. 12.Highway 61- After the band introductions and a couple words between Dylan and Kemper, they delivered a rocking Highway 61 that gave both Larry and Dylan the chance to take long solos. This song has taken on new life and got the crowd up and dancing again. After a quick bow, Dylan and band left the stage. Encores 13. Love sick- Dylan began the encores with a good "Love Sick" that was well-executed. Dylan sang the song into a different microphone than the other songs during the evening which gave the song a shadowy echo effect that worked well. 14. Everything is Broken- A very Funky surprise that was well received by the Cleveland crowd. Dylan dove into the lyrics with a lot of passion and energy. He did some in place marching while allowing Larry to take the spotlight with some tasty guitar work. 15. Don't Think Twice(acoustic)- The crowd sang along with the beautiful rendition that contained some delicate finger-picking guitar work from Dylan. David Kemper propelled the song along with some soft metronome drumming that was never obtrusive. 16. Not Fade Away-After a brief discussion between Garnier, Kemper and Dylan, The band launched into a scorching version of the Buddy Holly classic "Not Fade Away". This drew the loudest crowd response of the evening as the crowd danced, clapped and sang along with Dylan and the band. A great climax to a great show. Some final notes of interest, There was no security at the doors at all so there should be great tapes of the show circulating soon. There were many very young concert-goers it seemed. They seemed to know most of the songs that Dylan played. All in all. It was a fantastic evening of rock-n-roll by one of the originators of the form. Sorry for the length of the review. I hope you all have a chance to see Dylan in the near future. Carsten Molt

1998: May - June - July - August - September - October - November - 1999: January - February