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Bob Dylan 990210 in Columbus, Ohio

Subject: Columbus OH review - 2/10/1999
From: Bryon Jordan (
Date: 11 Feb 1999 23:48:03 GMT

I have a nephew who is now over two.  At 18 months he brought
me a book to the couch and I read it to him.  "Do dog's go
meow?  Nooooo.  Dogs go woof, woof."  He'd shake his head
side to side when I'd say "No" because he learned that
from his mom.

Next time I see him and read that book the exchange will be
something like this:

"Do cows go moo?  Nooooo. COWS ATTEND BOB DYLAN CONCERTS

I apologize for losing it folks.  I needed to vent.

I just kept mutter to myself the mantra of Mr. Garrison in the
Weight Gain 4000 episode, "The bitch must die."  I was spoiled
by Bruce Springsteen's last tour, dubbed the "Shut The F&$# Up"
tour because Bruce would ask people to do so before the second
song every night.  Sorry, I have a temper sometimes and it's
annoying @#$% like this that can ruin an otherwise perfect evening.
My reviews usually try to give a reader a feel for what I
experienced at the show, so with that in mind...

Bob and the band opened the wheeeeeeet  versions of
"Gotta Serve Somebody" and "Million Miles."  It wheeeeeeet
song that they wheeeeeeet when they tore into "Stuck Inside
of Mobile with wheeeeeeet Again."  Great version.
"Simple Twist of Fate" was wheeeeeeet.  Terrific vocals
and so well done.  "Silvio" wheeeeeeet electric set.

The acoustic Yeah Bob Dylan!!!!! a strong "Mr. wheeeeeeet
and a decent "Friend of the wheeeeeeet the North Country"
was excellent and "Tangled Up wheeeeeeet Dylan on
harmonica.  Then Dylan!!!! Columbus!!! Wooooooo!!!!
into high gear.

The second electric set opened with wheeeeeeet tune
"Honky Tonk Blues" and featured Dylan wheeeeeeet chorus.
It was awesome.  A good version of "Can't Wait" followed and
a blistering wheeeeeeet wheeeeeeet wheeeeeeet
main set.  Larry Campbell's guitar was unreal.

We were  rendition of "Lovesick" and the
classic "Maggie's wheeeeeeet what must be the 6th
different sound I've heard him play it with wheeeeeeet.
The song had wheeeeeeet to it last night than the previous
rock versions I witnessed.  A hauntingly beautiful "My
Back Pages" followed with wheeeeeeet harmonica Bob's ever
played.  "Not Fade Away" closed wheeeeeeet woman jumped
up on stage and was ushered wheeeeeeet before she got
close to Bob.

And to that 40-something @#$#% that wouldn't shut up, I hope
all your teeth are knocked out by Joe Pesci with a Louisville


Subject: Columbus Show on 02/10 From: "Phil, Kathy, Eric and Emily" ( Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 22:08:13 -0500 I had just seen Bob the night before in Dayton and I could not believe he could be "improved" overnight.... but he was. This was my 14th Dylan show which is a good start. (I know many have you have seen that many in the past year) I saw Bob back in the early nineties when some of his shows were not quite, so good lets say, so its not like I'm just saying that "this show was the best ever", just because it was the most recent show I had seen. You know what I mean?? But to the point. His performance, as well as the band, was FANTASTIC in Columbus. The auditorium was full and that of course helps. I can't get over the smiling this guys does these days. He is a happy, healthy, rocking guy! Highlights to me were the closer Not Fade Away (Bob's voice is made for that song. When he sings, "I'm gonna tell you how it's gonna be."... I would swear it was written for Bob!!) But the topper was "My Back Pages." I spoke about my feelings during this song with a few others and they told they felt the same. In the middle of the song he played his harp with no accompaniment. I thought I would literally cry. It was so emotional. Did anyone else get choked up? When you hear the words..." I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." sung by the man, then listen to a heart rendering harp solo...well it hit me like a ton. As I saw him standing up there all I could see was a young, thin, boyish 22 year old Bob out there and I couldn't help but think how lucky we are to have him, yet how sad all of our aging can be in some ways. What a powerful , powerful performance of this song. My wife and I were engaged last Valentines Day in Cleveland right after Bob's Public Auditorium show so this was nearly a one year anniversary and we got to spend it with Bob! One other note, we drove to Columbus from Newark, Ohio which is about 30 miles to the east. As we approached the city we could not miss the beautiful "red sky." Did anyone else notice? We thought for sure that was good omen. My wife and I were married this past Jan 16th and we danced to Under the Red Sky for our Bride/Groom dance after the wedding toast. It was neat how many people loved our choice. Thanks Bob for staying out there and working as hard as you do. Your fans love you for it and Kathy and I will make as many shows as we can. Please make it a point to go see Bob and the band if they come near you.. "The stuff they got will bust your brains out!!!" Phil Annarino PS For those in Dayton on 2/9....Did you think Tony looked ill?? I thought he was going to pass out once? I was second row (standing) and center stage and I was worried for him a couple times. Any comments???
Subject: Re: Columbus Show on 02/10 From: Michael Roos ( Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 10:19:33 -0500 Phil, I was at both shows also and fully agree with your assessment. I loved Blind Willie, Desolation Row, and Don't Think Twice in Dayton, but overall I think the Columbus show was better. My Back Pages really gave me chills. What a moment! I too noticed Tony didn't seem quite himself in Dayton, though I thought he got better as the night went on. Mike Roos
Subject: Re: Columbus Show on 02/10 From: Wallace ( Date: Fri, 12 Feb 1999 21:25:38 -0500 I was a little stunned by the care with which Dylan sang 'Back Pages'; I'd heard him do a decent version about ten years ago but this was very intimate and sung with some conviction. I was moved if not quite choked up. What really impressed me was the improvement in the arrangements and in Bob's voice. The voice improvement was something I hadn't expected. Now he only struggles occasionally when he tries to drop to a whisper. The TOOM songs in Columbus were all better than their recordings. 'Serve Somebody' was very good also. This tour is certainly worth your while.
Subject: Columbus 2/10/99 Bob Dylan Show Review From: Jeff Knorek ( Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 18:31:02 -0500 February Dylan concerts in the Great Lakes seem to be a new slot on his recent rotation of appearances. Because the weather can be so squirrely here this time of year, we made plans to go to Columbus but didn't buy advance tickets in case the weather turned foul. We'll come back to this point soon. NOAA had been saying since Monday that the expected temperatures for mid Ohio on day of the show would be in the mid fifties, and then started ratcheting up the pleasant factor in the forecast to include sunshine and a southern breeze. A February thaw in Michigan and Ohio is truly something to behold. Kish and I became very excited to shake off the stiffness of cold, gray, snotty Ann Arbor and drive back country roads through the thawing, joyous earth to a distant Bob Dylan concert. For us, the journey is every bit as important as the show itself. We kitty-cornered the old Chesapeake and Ohio railroad line that runs south out of Toledo toward Columbus (and thence onward to the coal fields of Kentucky and West Virginia). It more-or-less parallels US-23 from Michigan all the way down to Pikeville KY, near the Virginia border. During the War, tens of thousands of workers traveled this corridor from desperate Appalachian poverty to work the armament production plants in southeast Michigan. These folks stayed on after the war to work in the booming post war automotive economy. Whole generations of them traveled home to visit kin over Christmas or during summer retooling, or to care for ill parents and bury those who had passed on. This was the route they took back to the backwoods and hollers, so you can feel a lot of ghosts along this road. But only the happy ones were with this day; the sun shone bright, hawks wheeled in the sky, and the songbirds sang. I peeled off my overshirt at noon as we posted a letter in tiny little Rising Sun OH. It was 60 Degrees F. The sky was a soft blue up high, and yellow-white on the southern horizon, backlighting distant tree lines with the smoky haze of a vernal afternoon. Deep in my soul I felt and quiet and contented sense of release. Shortly we were in Fostoria having sandwiches at Dell's Diner, and then shopping at the Saint Vincent DePaul store across the street. Kishie found a hooded flannel shirt for me, which I would not wear until much later in the evening, for the air was so warm and luscious that it could have passed for an afternoon in the month of May. We had two of our four cats with us, Sparks! and Petite Le Mew. They traveled with us to the last two sets of Ohio Dylan shows, and spent this trip hiding under the driver seat or napping in Kishie's lap. They are great company. On this trip they saw their very forst train. Boy, did their eyes get big! While we had plenty of time to get to the motel and then to the venue, I was still half-focused on our goal of the day. Remember, we still did not have tickets. So we blew off the back roads and drove on US-23 south out of Carey, making a beeline for the motel room. Settled in by 4:30, I started dialing to find out about ticket availability. Ticket Bastard had put me on hold for 10 minutes when I called to inquire about tix earlier in the morning. Now they did it again, only to tell me (once I got through), that they cannot even reveal if shows are sold out on the day of the show. Now that's what I call SERVICE. So I called the venue itself, and their ticket office's phone tree defaulted to, guess who, Ticket Bastard. Finally, I spoke to some manager at the venue who told me the show had in fact *just* sold out. -Fuck!- And we were juuust starting to relax and unwind after an afternoon on the road. Now we had to quickly call a cab and get on down to the venue to find us a spare pair of tickets. The Cabbie was the first of three Guardian Angels we met, and needed, that night. Under a dazzling sunset we made it to the venue on a six dollar fare. Along the way, we chatted with the cabbie about our dilemma, and she with us about her lousy day. Upon arrival out front of Vets on Broad Street, with traffic whizzing by, she called over one of the scalpers to the cab (have you ever noticed that the only black guys at Dylan shows are scalpers?), whereupon we haggled over some pricey seats ($75ea) that he claimed were 7th row. Foolishly, I was leaning on getting them and getting it over with when the Cabbie stepped in: "Lemmie look at them tickets" she says. After a cursory perusal, she quips "These say limited view, you don't want 'em". "Limited view" in the 7th row means waaaay over on the side in the 7th row of the second section from the stage, right where the sound will suck good and hard. "No thank you" I tell him. We give her a 100% tip and she set us off at the north gate after threading our way past all of the parking staff. We hurry over to the box office and discover that they sold their last ticket ten minutes ago (I didn't tell Kish this until the next day). Still, we kept out composure. Everything so far this day worked out just dandy. It was not hard to imagine why this show sold out at the last minute; here it was the most beautiful day in any February to date. A good day to blow off work or classes or whatever, play around in a park and get all good and happy, and say to a friend "let's go on down to the Bob Dylan Concert tonight". Who could blame them? I was convinced that everything would work out just fine. We wandered around looking for that friendly face, and found one. Our second Guardian Angel. Once inside the hall itself, we went to the way-back of the balcony and parked it right in the middle, all the way back, where we can dance without blocking anybody's view. Brian Setzer came on and did his thang. And I have to say, he has some great guitar licks. I still have to get past his dopy rooster-boy trip, but his set was fun. Toward the end he really started to let it hang out. The swing band was good enough, and I bet this show would be a whole lot of big fun in an outdoor setting with a beer tent and grass to dance on. As far as swing bands go, though, Doc Severson's band would blow these guys out of the water. But as far as opening acts go, this package was just what Dylan needs to kick his ass into bringing home the goods. Natalie Merchant will have a hard time doing as well, IMHO. Some folks came up to our spot and, lo, I was in one of their seatd (did I mention we got in without tickets?). They were VERY cool about it, and after hearing our story they accommodated us by letting Kishie remain seated next to them while I stood behind her (in the seat on the isle that remained unclaimed by it's rightful owner for the rest of the night). One of these fellows said this was his first Dylan show, and man, was he ever STOKED. As it turned out, they would join me to dance on the platform behind us while Kish stayed in her seat for 2/3 the show. Everybody around us turned out to be really nice and friendly, even the tobacco smokers who respected our request to exhale in a direction away from us. After a remarkably speedy stage change, Bob came on and opened with: Gotta Serve Somebody: I notice right away that there is something different about his presentation. I can't put my finger on it at the moment, but later on it occurs to me: he is delivering this song with a sense of CONFIDENCE, or at least, this is my perception. The whole show will be this way. The band seems every bit as confident, and subtle changes in the arrangement of songs so familiar now explain how they spent the four days of pre-tour rehearsal. Workin' it out. And the sound is crisp, like they are hitting every note just where they want to. Tonight's show would be like of the good ol' Dead shows of yore, when the band could take you to new places as they take the songs to new places. Million Miles: I read a review of this one where the author says it sounded flat. I respectfully disagree. To my ears it was smoky and warm, with a full, rich sense of being in some downtown dive with the amps turned up. The Detroit '98 version of this was weak, and this one set it to right. We now had high hopes for the rest of the show. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again: When he came around to the end of the first chorus, the crowd responded with their first big hurrah of the evening. It is then that I notice just how many Deadheads are here. The isles up our way were writhing with gaggles of them. Simple Twist Of Fate: Without question one of the most beautifully rendered songs I have ever heard performed live by anybody. Having seen something like 1000 rock and jazz concerts since 1976, that's quite a statement. It sounded a lot like the _Love Sick Vol 1_ version of _Born In Time_. Bob's few guitar leads were not only accomplished, they were GOOD, although he smudged the outro jam a bit. This is when I notice that he is actually letting Larry Campbell take most of the leads this evening. That rehearsal is bearing handsome and rich fruit! We have to wonder when the lightning bolt hit him..."let the pros play lead, you just stand there and be Bob Dylan". The crowd was very polite and attentive, no drunk asshole Frat Boys yelling "Baw-Beee!" like the GR show a few nights later. There is a mix of ages here, but we are up in the cheap seats with all the college kids. Big fun! Silvio: The reason that Kish is not up dancing yet is because she has a sore back and shoulder. All evening I have been giving her a pounding message with the heels of my palms in sync with Kemper's drum track. We do this for very nearly the whole show. Silvio is a great song for this (normally we use rubber mallets on spring steel stems with wooden handles, they are called bongers, but we forgot them in our rush out the door of the motel). People kinda stare, but don't say nothin'. It is about now that I realize that every song we've heard so far tonight is the best version I've heard Dylan perform with Larry Campbell. The rest of the show will be this way, even the acoustic set. Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic) Friend Of The Devil (acoustic) Girl Of The North Country (acoustic) Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) (with harp): Easily the best acoustic set we've ever heard. Dylan does take the leads here, and they are muuuuuuch better than I could have dreamed. Kishie remarked how good Tambourine Man sounded for a song that she did not want to hear. FOTD really appealed to the Deadheads, who went ape shit. As a matter of fact, 7 songs that Dylan played this night had been covered by the Dead or Jerry Band, or, >gasp<, written by Garcia/Hunter. North Country was sweet and heartfelt, and sounded like it could have just as easily been _Boots of Spanish Leather_. Dylan ends TUIB with a showy harp outro, which the crowd just eats right up. I need to point out that I miss the days when his harp solos were more substance than show. Spring '96 was the last time you could rely upon getting at least two of them. *sigh* Anyways, he has the audience in the palm of his hand and can take us anywhere he chooses. Everybody up where we are is having a GREAT time. The sweet, skunky aroma of good, fine weed is everywhere, shamelessly. Honky Tonk Blues (Hank Williams): Oh, pissy, pissy me...if he is going to cover Hank, I would prefer to hear _Your Cheatin' Heart_. It is better suited to his vocal range, and keeps the cheerful _Love Sick_ theme, IMHO...but I am psyched that he is covering Hank at all. A good but not stellar performance. Let's see it this one remains in the rotation. I bet not. Can't Wait: For those who wish they had seen the Grateful Dead I say: Find a tape of this show and listen to this song. It has a funky-kinda-shuffle-groove to it, I mean, FUNKY. On really good nights the Dead give the same treatment to _Feel Like A Stanger_ and _Althea_. This is Kemper and Garnier hard at work here...Gosh, what a band. THESE GUYS ROCK!!!!! Highway 61 Revisited: Bob tells us that this is the best band he's ever worked with. Another writer says Bob said "tightest band", but I think the interpretation is identical. He is real happy to be with them. By now the whole room is on their feet and just SHAKIN' lucky we are to be here together, oh, how truly blessed. They fucking CRUSH this Highway 61. (encore) Love Sick: The versions on the Live European import EP's already sound dated. How does he do that? He has the whole crowd on the edge of their seat, er, try to imagine that standing up...real tense. Man, this show just won't quit. Maggie's Farm: JJ was able to do his country licks seemingly without effort. It appears to have taken Larry Campbell longer to get them down, but finally he has. This version was so Country-Roots sounding that I reckon' country radio DJ's wouldn't recognize it...Country Music has gotten THAT shallow. Funny how it takes someone like Dylan to get it right. My Back Pages (acoustic) (with harp): Another nod to Vegas give-em-what-they-want style harp outro...this time the crowd was so excited that it was hard to hear, and Kish had to cup her ears to block all that white noise. I know what the last song is going to be, and have kept it a secret from everybody just 'cause I want to see their reaction.... Not Fade Away: The crowd just EXPLODES with joy! Bob borrows from the Dead's arrangement, which is decidedly different than the Buddy Holly arrangement. We are all just happier than little ducks in water. This is the tightest, most energized Dylan show I have ever seen with Larry Campbell. The GR show a few days later will be very nearly so, but this one was exceptional in that it happened without Brian Setzer joining Bob onstage like he would in Normal and GR. Larry Campbell's leads are great and full of spirit. Our THIRD Guardian Angel of the evening turned out to be the cab driver who picked us up after the show...he called us over from the opposite side of Broad St. at a time when the wait for a cab call would be an hour or so. We shared the fare with a couple of very friendly college gals whom we promised to see somewhere on down the road some fine day. The ride home was every bit a gracious as the trip to the show, with the temperature hitting 70 degrees F. Kish blew off work and we spent the day walking in the woods. This was the start our midwinter vacation, to follow would be a performance of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (the digital music was just mind blowing) and two more Dylan shows; one each in South Bend and Grand Rapids. And the weather was as close to perfect as could be expected for those two as well. Details at eleven.... Jeff Knorek

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