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Bob Dylan 980214 in Cleveland, Ohio

 February 14, 1998
 Cleveland, Ohio
 Public Hall
 Address: 500 Lakeside Ave.
 Capacity: 10,000
 Showtime: 7:30 PM
 Ticket prices: $35.50, $24.00

Subject: Cleveland Review and Setlist From: "David A. Davis" ( Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 07:30:55 GMT Cleveland Public Hall February, 14 1998 1. Absolutely Sweet Marie 2. Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) 3. Can't Wait 4. Simple Twist of Fate 5. Silvio 6. Cocaine Blues @ 7. Masters Of War@ 8. Tangled Up In Blue@ 9. Million Miles 10. Queen Jane Approximately 11. Highway 61 Revisited 12. Till I Fell In Love With You 13. Don't Think Twice@ 14. Lovesick 15. Rainy Day Woman I will try to describe the venue and the mood and atmosphere, the music speaks for itself, if you are reading this, you have been there and know what I mean. Had a ticket nightmare at the will call window and didn't get in till after 8 pm. Had seats in the lower balcony a mile or so away from the stage, but as we moved up to great seats in the lower balcony just off stage right, it didn't really matter. My wife and I were dressed up in full yuppie regalia, and while the ushers were checking deadheads tickets we walked right down and never had to move. It was kinda a L.L. Bean stealth seat upgrade. We took somebodys seats just as Kenny Wayne Sheppard was finishing up some "Voodoo Child " meets the ghost of Stevie Ray Vaughn. It was loud and they really worked themselves into some music frenzy. For all the fans of Kenny Wayne, he and his band were very graciously signing autographs and mixing freely with anyone who was interested, out in the street at 5pm. The venue was a large, double balcony, arena type place, high ceilinged, with a big old stage at one end. It has lots of scrool work and murals of Moses Cleveland stealing the place from the Indians and guys building steel mills and ships and stuff. The venue has hosted everything from the Cowsills to the Beatles, with some All-Star Wrestling and Cleveland State Basketball thrown in. At 9:50 the incense was lit, the house lights went down, (but not way down) and we got, "Columbia recording artist....." Bob in black suit with a white stripe down the leg, patent leather boots and a black bow tie. He seems to have lost weight since I saw him in last fall in Huntington WVA and Columbus. Carol was sure he had a big haircut. The band was dressed sedately, and all had hats except Larry who was hatless and had on a red coat. Bucky only had his pedal steel, no fiddle, no keyboard, all extra guitars and mandolins stored off-stage. (Except the upright bass). The stage looked bare. From the first song, I don't know if it was the venue, my location, the time off, or all of the above, but the vocals were crystal, best I have ever heard from Bob. Not much to say until CAN'T WAIT, Bobs vocals were outstanding, he really hit "The air BUURRNNNSSSSS" Silvio still in the 5 spot and I still like it, had some nice lighting going on, and good crowd reaction. Bob went right into playing the intro to Cocaine while the lights were still down and instruments were being exchanged. He just flat started by himself and everyone else had to catch up. TUIB remains strong, we got truckdrivers, and the verse about the pipe and Italian poet left out like always these days. We next got Million Miles which featured some serious lead by Larry. Then we got Queen Jane and the band intros, Bob said something like "This is Larry Campbell who has been playing guitar with me for a while, Lots of guitars." THEN he said "Happy Valentine's day to you and you and you and you ." pointing at the front rows. Then the band busts in Highway 61. Down on the floor, the security guys who had been determined to keep the middle isle open, gave it up as bad business and concentrated their efforts on keeping the deadhead snake dancers from getting in front of the sound boards. Meanwhile Bob is mugging, flirting, and enjoying the view in front of the stage. Highway 61 was really loud. The song ends, Bob throws kisses, and leaves stage. Several girls, and one guy, get up on stage, some dance, some talk to Bob, all are gently escorted back to the front row by stage crew (not security). The venue was wide open up our way, with people openly taping, holding microphones up and even running a VCR. Folks were smoking cigarettes and drugs, and no one really seemed to give a shit. You could have carried any kind of recorder in. RDW with lights up and everyone went home happy. Overall, no suprises in the setlist but really good sound, Bobs voice is STRONG. as good as I have heard in the last 3 years. Nice show. David
Subject: Review of 2/14/98 From: Dave ( Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 14:44:09 -0500 Well, Uncle Bob made his way back to the land of Cleve for the first time since May, 1996 for a Valentine's Day treat for all of us. The opener, Absolutely Sweet Marie, set the tone for the evening... strong vocals combined with the crack backing of his band, which continues to gel since the addition of Kemper and Campbell. A welcome, to my ears, Senor, continued. As many others have commented, the TOOM songs benefit from the live treatment. This being my first show since the release of TOOM, I couldn't agree more with this percepption. The first of four (new) songs, Can't Wait, really rocked, especially during the instrumental passages. In fact, each of the TOOM songs played had beefed up instrumental breaks which demonstrated the power of this band. A highlight of the show, IMO, was the next song, Simple Twist of Fate. Bob sung the hell out of this one, adding a "WAAAAAAAAY to late" and repeating "blame it on, blame it on a simple twist of fate" during the last verse. A real intense moment. Silvio rocked, as usual. The acoustic set is usually one of the highlights for me, but this one seemed somewhat brief. He usually stretches out TUIB(one of my alltime favorites), but this one seemed to clock in around 6-7 minutes. Million Miles was a vast improvement over the studio version and Queen Jane was another welcome addition to the set list. After Jane, Bob wished a "Happy Valentine's Day to you and you and you" pointing to three lovelies in the audience. During the band introductions, he mentioned that Larry is a "man of many guitars" or something to that effect. The encores were good, but nothing special. I wish he'd do somthing besides Lovesick, which I consider to one of the weaker TOOM songs. How about Dirt Road Blues, Bob? All in all, a very enjoyable show for Bob, which means a kick-ass show in comparison to other acts. I went with a friend who isn't really into Dylan(he prefers EL & P), but he came away impressed by the strength of Dylan's vocals and the backing band. On to Toledo... BTW, the sound where I was sitting(6th row) was tremendous. Minimal security also, so I'm sure some tapers got in. In anyone has a copy, I'd appreciate trying to work something out.
Subject: Bob Goes Public : A few thoughts on the Clevland Show - 2.14.98 From: "Beck, Frederick J." ( Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 11:17:36 -0500 The 9 hour plus greyhound journey from NYC to Clevland was very much worth it. Public hall is a fine old venue that has been maintained well. As mentioned in a previous post, security was tolerant, so it was fairly easy to get down on the floor area. Getting into the reserved area was not as easy but we were close enough to see Bob and the band, which is what counts. Bob sounded very good. From the opening song Absolutely Sweet Marie his voice was strong and articulate. Sometimes it takes a while for Bob to warm up to his surroundings but he was into the show from the beginning. That two week hiatus did him alot of good.. The setlist didn't hold any new surprises for the most part for me with the exception of queen jane approximately, which i had never heard him do live before.That alone was worth the trip. However, the performances of all the songs were so consistent and new at the same time, if that makes sense. Standouts for me were Masters of War and a slightly revamped don't think twice (slower tempo) as well asTUIB. What impresses me about Bob as a live performer is that he can take a song like masters of war or don't think twice or simple twist, songs which he's done zillions of times and bring a new interpretation to it, like he's singing it for the first time. Through out the show (especially the first half ) I and my comapnaions were just amazed at bob's emotion and delivery. The new material (million miles, can't wait, til i fell in love, lovesick) just seems to improve every time i hear it live. And the band..never better. Very tight. Larry, especially, has emerged with very fine leads throughout the show. Bottom line: a great show in a great town with a great audience! Thanks Bob!! Fred

February Setlists Tour