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Bob Dylan 990614 in Eugene, Oregon

Subject: June 14, 1999 - Eugene, Oregon - subjective review
From: Leonard Coop (
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 13:54:39 -0700

Warning: contains naive gushing (only show of the tour I got to see this
year; this was ca. my 20th Dylan show since 1978; in case you start
wondering I had just 2 cups of coffee as my only stimulus that day).

First I just want to say how grateful I am to the kind fellow who sold
me his two tickets at face value ($30 each) in front of the venue, when
dozens of my ticketless brethren were actually chanting "$100 for a
ticket" as I showed him the way to will-call (I just happened to
approach him first as he walked up). That man obviously knows that a
Dylan experience is not about money, but much higher goals indeed. 

I was so happy at my good fortune that I was shaking and didn't even
check to look in the envelop he handed me when I gave him the cash (it
was 2 tickets to see Dylan!). The least I could do now with my one extra
ticket (rather than conduct a bidding war as had already started for a
ticket earlier that evening), was to miracle the kind and patient woman
(Kathleen) whom I had first commiserated with about the nature of
ticketlessness just 30 minutes earlier. She too went into a state of
shock, and I trust her concert experience was as life-reaffirming as
mine was last night (didnt run into her after that).

Anyway, I queued up happy and with heart pounding and within 10 minutes
was inside, sitting on the floor, dead center, 25 feet from where Bobby
would soon be. Great "seat" in a venue that I had come to really enjoy
recently (I actually saw the Clash there about 1983 before it was
acoustically refined).

At 8:14 pm they started, played until 10:00 sharp, for the best Dylan
show I have ever been to. I always believed, that the smaller the venue,
the better the Dylan show, which is why I skipped the Portland Rose
Garden when I thought I had a chance at the 1000 capacity EMU Ballroom
(should have done both). But that postulate of mine was proven more true
than I had ever suspected...

1.   Cocaine Blues (acoustic)

As a warm up song this worked well - started rough, but got everybody
into a fun and relaxed state. In general for the night, the band (or
some members) could be pretty darn ragged to exceedingly tight sounding,
depending partly on familiarity. I think that only Tony Garnier on bass
was ALWAYS playing on track and on key, he was my favorite band member
by a mile. The sound was not concert hall quality, and tapes may suffer
from the boxy echoness of the EMU ballroom. It was also too loud for me
towards the end, even with my hifi earplugs. Next time bring the foam
ones too.

2.   My Back Pages (acoustic) (Bob on harp - Larry on Fiddle)

This was nicely done with mostly clear vocals, getting the crowd to pay
attention to new meanings to this 35 year old song. Harp solo was circa
1963, fiddle was off at times.

3.   Boots Of Spanish Leather (acoustic)

This was a bit more rowdy and driving than I expected; vocals not as
clear. Nice version. Dylan was sweating profusely now and for the rest
of the night. I loved seeing him jerk his head over to Tony and count
the drops flying! Bob's new weight loss program!

4.   A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (acoustic)

This song was a huge highlight with the band mostly spot-on. I have to
say that the Eugene audience IS worth Dylan going out of his way to play
for. I was loving the crowd and the way they respected and dug the band
and the music.

5.   Love Minus Zero/No Limit (acoustic)

Another favorite gem done well.

6.   Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (acoustic) (with harp)

This song was so nailed by both Bob and band that I was beginning to
break down in joy and tears - I felt that Dylan was 22 years old again,
as I repeatedly "got" throughout the evening. This guy is having fun, in
fact a blast! I can no longer regret never seeing him pre-1975. Now it
is like I have been there. Yes I am serious.

7.   Down Along The Cove

Now this was TRIPLE GREAT - I was so overjoyed at this first full
electric song, I continued to struggle to compose myself. The band was
even tighter, now in their true element, and the song boogied and
bounced like CRAZY and, for many I am sure, added a couple years to our
life expectancies. 

This was a dream come true that I personally connected with, like he
knew *I* had always wanted to hear this one live, and like he appeared
to wink at me personally when I (only 25 feet back), regularly watched
him through the binoculars. But he was interacting with the ENTIRE
audience this way, making eyes and smiles and ticks and swaggers in
cahoots with the audience. We were all connected like I have rarely
experienced with ANY performer. This song was a peak experience from
beginning to end.

8.   Blind Willie McTell

This brought me back to earth with struggling at first to hear them play
*together*, and catch the lyrics. But the song built steadily and
mid-way turned out to be quite a good rendition, and the crowd was right
with them by the end.

9.   Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)

Back to ecstasy land with this one - here it was sealed that no one
would walk out without knowing that Dylan makes Rock and Roll a BE HERE
NOW experience. This was truly a circus on wheels.

10.  Simple Twist Of Fate

I thought this was also very well done, but I was in recovery mode from
what had just happened and didn't notice much else about it.

11.  Can't Wait

This one had me struggling to understand, not already knowing the

12.  Highway 61 Revisited

They nailed it, BIG TIME FUN CITY in Eugene tonight!

13.  Not Dark Yet

Soulful and well done. I need to listen to that album more often. 

14.  Like A Rolling Stone
Romping and tighter than I expected. Another gift to Eugene.

15.  Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)
Also excellent. Played with attention to detail and topical relevance. 

16.  Not Fade Away
My god Dylan knows the spirit of Jerry lives in Eugene and we are
invoking it tonight!
Best way to end the show that I can think of.

After that the only thing is to grovel for a tape of it! My good buddy
in Portland didnt even get in to see that one, so I mainly want a tape
to send him in consolation.

I could tell that this whole tour must be a hoot, but again I feel
triply lucky that this was the one I got into. Whew!
Leonard Coop

Eugene review at

1999: January - February - March - April - May - June