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Bob Dylan 990209 in Dayton, Ohio

Subject: Quick Dayton Review
From: Michael Roos (
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 10:39:55 -0500

Let me add my assent to those who've been saying Dylan is better than
ever.  Last night's performance was the best I've seen in the 90s and as
good as ever, going all the way back to 74.  The vocals were very
strong, clear and impassioned.  Lots of smiling, weird facial
expressions for the audience,  dancing around.

Incredible versions of
Serve Somebody (amazing how this song works even in a secular world)
Blind Willie (the best of several live versions I've heard, the only one
that comes close to the studio versions)
Tambourine Man (tender, plaintive, truly lovely)
Desolation Row (really really incredible, maybe his greatest song, and
this arrangement and performance is the way it should be done, except
for the omission of a few verses.  For me, it could've gone on forever)
Tangled Up in Blue (yet another BEST live version and lord knows there's
been a ton!  This really cooked!),
Don't Think Twice (again very heartfelt and tender).
Not Fade Away is a perfect closer for Dylan.

A few small complaints:
The inclusion in the setlist of four of (IMHO) the least strong cuts off
TOOM (would much much prefer to hear Standing in the Doorway, Trying to
Get to Heaven, Cold Irons Bound, and Not Dark Yet instead)
And just when you think he's gotten rid of it, Rainy Day Women turns up
as the second encore.  It's still a throwaway, only two verses sung,
just an excuse to rave up and celebrate.  Anything else would be better.

Also, the crowd was surprisingly small, only 5 or 6 thousand out of a
capacity of 12 at the Nutter Center.
It was my son's fifth Dylan show and he agrees.  It was the best of the
five.  Despite the complaints, we had a great, great time.

I know of at least one taper there.  I would dearly love to trade for a
copy of the show.  Email please.  You know who you are.

Tonight, it's Columbus!

Mike Roos

Subject: Dayton OH review 2/9/1999 From: Bryon Jordan ( Date: 11 Feb 1999 23:42:35 GMT Tuesday night was the 4th time in a calendar year that I've caught the mysterious Bob Dylan. I use the word mysterious because you never know which Bob Dylan will show. Bob Dylan can be like a box of chocolates. Dayton was a good show overall. My first thoughts of attending a general admission show were, "I hope it doesn't get too rough with pushing and shoving." I noticed immediately after walking onto the floor there was no protective barrier from the stage. The lights went down and the introduction of Bob was immediately followed with them launching into "Gotta Serve Somebody." Surprisingly, I though it was a good version. I dislike the song, always have, but Bob's vocals were clear though not strong. I wonder if it's just a matter of getting warmed up like most shows I've seen him do. We were about 20 feet from the stage, dead center last night and could see all the facial expressions and smiles Bob was making. "Million Miles" followed and was OK. A fight nearly broke out next to us (hard to believe it would happen in Dayton ) but cooler heads prevailed. Bob forgot a few words on this one (I think) and paused a moment before singing the next line. It was on an early song where he paused and missed a line and I think it was this one. "Watching the River Flow" was well done, but no big deal, IMO. I never liked the song and was disappointed it was played again like the previous show. "Blind Willie McTell" was the first surprise of the night, and I'm glad I didn't wet myself because I was so excited to see this one. From the opening notes, I turned to Chris with a smile a mile wide. Vocals were strong, the band was solid. The second line of the second verse was preceded with this great half grin on Bob's face, like a smirk you'd see from Bruce Willis. Bob treated us with numerous smiles and facial expressions the entire night, reflecting that he was enjoying the moment. "Silvio" closed the first electric set and seemed slower to me than any of the previous times I saw it. It seemed like it was in third gear and I was hoping for fourth gear. During one of the verses, Bob did a classic rolling of his eyes/head back during "Find out something only a dead man knowssss...." "Mr. Tambourine Man" opened the acoustic set and it was a good version. The previous two times I saw it performed (in the very early 1990's) it was a mess. The guitar was much slower and the vocals much stronger than either of those performances which I think were Bob by himself. This one had the band backing him. "Friend of the Devil" has been performed a lot since Jerry died and I could've done w/o it. "Desolation Row" was great, not quite as great as Indy, but still had awesome vocals and the band sounded great. It seemed shorter than the one in Indy, don't recall how many verses he played. My feet were hurting by this point. "Tangled Up in Blue" was good and had a lyrical change I don't think I'd heard before "He went down to New Orleans where he worked night and day" and I don't recall the rest. Crowd loved it as they closed the acoustic set. "Make You Feel My Love" was the second new one for me. Great version. Ironically he followed it with "'Til I Fell in Love With You" which is the bitter result of pledging you love and it going sour. I don't know if he did this intentionally or not. "Highway 61 Revisited" ended the set and rocked. "Love Sick" was awesome. Maybe the best version I've seen him do. Great guitar solo. I was tired of this song as he's played it at every show I've attended since Columbus 1997, but this was awesome. "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" was great. During the third line "They stone you when your trying to go home" someone lit a joint and the smell hit me. Perfect timing. The audience participated on the "Everybody must get stoned!" "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" was a solid version, but I have grown weary of him playing it at every show I attend. The closer is the famous rock and roll standard "Not Fade Away." The crowd went nuts for the cover of Buddy Holly's classic. Buddy Holly died on 2/3/1959 and Bob had only played this song four times before this leg of the tour. It was highly energetic and awesome. I guess Bob wanted to pay tribute to Buddy with the anniversary being last week and has played it at almost every show this leg of the tour. It was slightly ironic considering that Dayton is the birthplace of the Wright brothers and Buddy Holly died in a plane crash. Bryon
Subject: Review of Dayton show 2/9/99 From: "Gary M. Youra" ( Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 20:57:28 -0500 In one word: awesome! Setlist (with comments) 1. Gotta Serve Somebody--pretty good, skipped some verses (no "you can call me Zimmy"), different emphases than on the album. 2. Million Miles--one of my favorites from TOOM, and this one live was even better, very low-down. 3. Watching the River Flow--rockabilly style, certainly different from the original (30 years ago!), enjoyable 4. Blind Willie McTell--with full band, drums, and with a great deal of feeling. Wonderful. 5. Silvio--a rocker. I always enjoy this one. 6. Mr. Tambourine Man--sung in beautiful voice and gorgeous guitar work. Sung as though he meant every word. A revelation. 7. Friend of the Devil--nice song, done well, slower than the Dead. 8. Desolation Row--again sung beautifully, with lots of guitar interludes that were done with Larry Campbell. Again missed some verses (no "Einstein and Robin Hood", no "jealous monk", no "Nero's Neptune"), but what was sung was great. 9. Tangled Up In Blue--never tire of hearing this. Interplay with the other band members is great. Couldn't catch the change in lyrics in the second verse when he drifted down to New Orleans. 10. To Make You Feel My Love--my least favorite cut from TOOM, this was as good as the album, not better, not worse. 11. Till I Fell in Love With You--about as good as the album 12. Highway 61--Missed a verse, but who cared? Rocked on, with the band just playing their hearts out, and Bob obviously enjoying himself, making goo-goo eyes to the girls in the front rows and dancing and prancing around the stage. 13. Lovesick--great on TOOM, even better live. What a voice, and how it matches to the lyrics! 14. Rainy Day Women--I had hoped he wouldn't play this, but I guess he's gotta. Even though I'm tired of hearing it on tapes, he kept the singing to a minimum and mostly kept it instrumental and rocking. 15. Don't Think Twice--absolutely stunning. Worth the price of admission alone. His voice was beautiful, phrasing masterful. The guitar interplay was again gorgeous just to listen to, but it also added to the story being sung. If someone tells you Dylan can't sing anymore, just get your hands on a tape of this and play it. 16. Not Fade Away--a rocking closer.

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