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Bob Dylan 2000.07.11 in Cincinnati, OH

Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave.
Capacity: 18,000

Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2000 03:53:30 -0700
From: Mark Rothfuss 
Subject: Cincinnati OH 7/11/00 (REVIEW)

What a difference a day makes! I posted a review of the Deer
Creek show from Sunday, which, by my own admission, had a
somewhat disappointed air about it.  However, tonight's
performance couldn't have been a more enjoyable experience for
me.  Riverbend is an archaic old outdoor venue located about 10
minutes from my childhood home (well, Im only 22 so I guess I'd
better call it my home away from college).  I've been seeing
shows there for as long as I can remember and this one topped
them all.  For so many reasons....the setlist, the band, the
voice...and oh, yeah, I met Patti Smith.  It was truly a
remarkable experience. It lived up to all the expectations I have
had reading these fantastic summer setlists.

At around 7:15 I was bolting toward my seats from the crowded
entrance  as I hear Bob and band burst into a rousing smack down
of Duncan and Brady ( I got stuck in serious traffic on
northbound I-75).  I finally found my place as the song was
ending. Already I could tell that this was going to be a great
show. Unlike Deer Creek the instruments and the vocals were well
mixed, crisp and clear. Also unlike Deer Creek the venue was only
about half full at this point (and for the duration of Bob's

Song To live version I've heard to date. Really
articulate and up front vocals. Sweet, sweet country-folk guitar.
 I got the distinct feeling that Bob was really, consciously
paying tribute to Woodrow on this night.  Not like a song about a
fictional character as it is often tossed off, but a very alive
song for a man he truly loves and admires.  And Im sure one
pretty young girl I know out on the lawn had her day made. I told
you he'd play it...Bob knows.

Desolation far we have an exact replica of Sunday's
show. Which is great for me since I missed most of these songs.
And from my perspective this Desolation Row was better. Granted I
was just finding my seats at this point last time.  The audience
was very appreciative.

Love-Zero...Pretty good. Kinda loose. Not much fire here, but
plenty of sentimentality.

TUIB..."mind was being destroyed" = no harmonica.  Its just a
theory with lots of holes, but in my experience it is about 99%
accurate.  Same old fan favorite. The "headin' for another joint"
line never ceases to bring a  smile to my face. Bob's was
stomping, marching and lockin' knees from the first note.

Searching for a Soldiers Grave...the sound system was better
tonight and as a result this song came thru a little clearer. 
The band's harmonies were a lovely  touch.  Yet, I still don't
think this song works outdoors. I hope he brings it out in the
fall when we get back to theaters and arenas.

Country stuff. Nothing epic about it. Just plain
rockabilly fun.

Tell me that it isn't True...this song has always been a favorite
of mine and I was thrilled to hear it in person tonight.   I
guess you could say I know the feeling. Anyway, the actual
performance was a little too scattered for my tastes...but I'd
rather hear a slightly sub-par performance of this than a
well-rehearsed "Silvio" or "RDW."  I think with a little work on
the arrangement this song would make a great staple in Bob's set.
The "outro" was dead on the album version.

Just like Tom Thumbs Blues...First time for me on this one too.
Knew it from the first 2 chords, and boy was it solid.  Really
heavy sound, as opposed to more laid back versions of years past.
 And for the most part Bob was on top of it lyrically and
vocally. His best friend the doctor may not want to tell him what
he's got. But I will - A real grateful fan.

Positively 4th St...retraction time. Just 48 hours ago I made the
assertion that Bob should shelve this song. Well, I was wrong.
Tonight's rendering was simply perfect. Laid back? Yes.
Uninteresting? No! This is the best he sang all night. It was
hypnotic. It was captivating.  He teased and manipulated  the
message and the words like only he can.  Whispers, growls,
pointed annunciation, (plus some well paced guitar) made this a
sublime listening experience.  When you get the tape, just close
your eyes and enjoy.

Wicked Messenger....well, it sounds almost exactly like Drifter's
Escape. Unfortunately if they were identical twins, this would be
the oddly less attractive one. The only obvious difference
(besides the lyrics) is that fiery, choppy guitar riff found on
DE is absent.  And that is what makes DE so special.  To the
untrained ear they could be the same song, but there is that
subtle difference.  Nevertheless, it was still pretty
spectacular.  I love it when the music drops out for the is probably my favorite of Bob's many little musical
tricks.  And we got another brilliant train-whistle harp riff
from deep down in Bob's knee-bent crouch.  He is the master
showman. Bob knows how to get his audience pumpin'.  I hope he
takes these kind of chances on more of his arrangements. HWY 61's old pre-encore spot. It works equally as
well as a means for getting the audience begging for more.
However, for those of us road warriors who chase Mr. Bob around
it can get a bit tiring.  I wont complain though, I always seem
to enjoy it after I accept the fact that I have to hear it yet

SIDE NOTE: It is at this point that Patti "fu*****" Smith walks
right by me up the stage-left aisle. She goes completely
unrecognized from backstage exit all the way up the walkway where
I stop her.  I tell her I think she's great and that she is my
favorite female singer.  She smiles in appreciation then she and
her son continue walking up to the lawn.  I am just in shock!
Total shock.  I thought that was it, but 15 minutes later she and
her son return with beverages passing down the big horizontal
aisle in the very middle of Riverbend. Nobody seems to notice,
which I find odd considering her extremely unmistakable look. 
When she gets to the point where we are sitting I ask her if
she's gonna play w/ Bob tonight. She said no, that she's "just
here to watch" . So I begged for "Dark Eyes" or a reprise of
"Wicked Messenger" and she laughs. Then says "maybe tomorrow." 
Turns out she has a show at Bogart's where Bob played one year
ago to todays date, tomorrow.  I just might have to score some
tickets.   It was short but sweet. She disappeared backstage
before anybody even realizes she was there.

Things Have Changed....much tighter than at Deer Creek.  I am so
happy that so many people recognized it.  Bob was on top of it
from start to finish. Really wrapping his voice around each

LARS...strong enough. Actually a bit less focused than Sunday's
version. Not nearly as dramatic a performance when it is still
quite light outside.

Hard Rain....didn't see it coming. But so glad it came.  Very
pleasant all around. He spoke the verses  more than he sang them.
However, everybody including the audience joined in on the chorus
to spine-tingling affect. It gives me chills to hear that kind of
"one-ness" in a world so mixed-up and at odds.  I think David
Kemper may have possibly changed up his drum pattern for a few
seconds during the "drummers whose hands are a-blazing" portion
of the song.

HWY 61....raunchy jam tonight.  Lots of fine guitar interplay. 
Bob roared and ultimately ripped the roof off this joint. When
the dust cleared, and the smoke settled Bob and band stood like a
bunch of gun slinging gangsters staring down the audience. Hand
on his hip, ax at his side, Bob Dylan soaked up the much deserved
affection then disappeared backstage.  Seeing as I hate to see
someone try to top an untouchable performance, we skipped out on
Phil and his friends once again.  It was still daylight when we
hit the road. I can't wait until we get to see him in the dark

If you are lucky enough to get a cd-r please drop me a line. This
is one show I'd like to experience over and over again.

Yours in Bob,

2000: March - April - May - June - July