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Bob Dylan 991102 in East Lansing, Michigan

Subject: michigan 11/2/99 Review
From: Shawn Pulver 
Date: 3 Nov 1999 14:29:29 -0800

Michigan State University November 2, 1999

I arrived at the Breslin Center around 6.30pm. A very nice venue, which
actually seemed very cozy for a basketball arena. Phil came on right after
seven and played Terapin Station, I believe, and a bunch of other songs I
didn't recognize. The whole set was enjoyable, but not exactly my cup of tea.
Some of the songs seemed to go on for a half an hour at a time. The set was
over around 8:40pm and Bob took to the stage just after nine.

I am the Man Thomas
Fun song to open with - never heard it live before. I was directly in front
of the stage (security was very nice) and the sound was not very clear for the
opening tune.  It was very short, but enjoyable. The sound improved
dramatically for:

Back Pages
Larry on Violin, which was a treat. Bob's vocals very high in the mix. Even
though I've heard this song many times live, it just never seems to sound old.
Bob's phrasing was great and he seemed to be having a good time. The harp solo
that closed was one for the ages - it just seemed to go on forever.

Masters of War
I must admit I was dissapointed with hearing Masters again. However, it was a
strong performance and had kind of a weird new intro from Larry. I almost
didn't recognize it at first.

Don't Think Twice
Another slightly dissapointing choice, but once again his performance was so
good that I didn't care. It seemed to explode in the last verse and the whole
crowd, which was pretty animated, seemed to love it. The song concluded with
another great harp solo.

After the show I got a cue sheet and realized that Hard Rain was in this
slot, not Tangled. Although I would have prefered Hard Rain, and was even
screaming at Bob to play it without even realizing it was on the cue sheet,
the performance was still strong. It seemed a little more laid back than
usual, Bob having no trouble spitting out the words in sync with the band
(sometimes it seems he has trouble keeping up to pace with the band). Another
outstanding harp solo concluded the acoustic set in fine fashion.

Maggies Farm
Nice change from Watchtower. Same arrangement that he played this summer. Fun,
but not exactly an adventerous choice. It was the next performance that
totally made my night.
Positively Fourth Street
Now I've heard this song on hundreds of tapes and Cd's and numerous times in
person. Other than maybe the Berlin '96 performance, this was as good as it
gets. Slow and almost spoken, with Larry on steel, it is hard to describe how
good it was. Get a tape, that is all I can say.

Can't Wait
A nice change in this spot. He hasn't really played it in a while and it
seemed like a slightly new arrangement. Larry was playing some cool licks and
the whole performance seemed laid back and casual.

Just Like A women
Another good performance of a song that might have seen better days vocal
wise. A major shakeup in this spot could help (ie Born in Time, Shelter,
Trying to get to Heaven, to name a few). Larry was playing some beautiful
steel as well. Band intros followed. "On the Bass guitar No,
I'm just kidding, that is Tony Garnier."
Highway 61
The usual hysteria. Crowd was nuts and Bob was doing some of his classic
Elvis moves.

Sounded great. Bob threw in a new line at the end (he either forgot a line or
made it up on the spot, not too sure)I think that the song could use a bit of
a rest, however.

Bob was playing to the crowd by this point and loved the reaction that the
song recieved. The whole band was having fun by this point.

Rolling Stone
Larry had put on his acoustic and Bob decided to add an extra electric encore
(I guess he was having a good time). Another crowd pleaser and always good to

Blowing in the Wind
Very nice phrasing, and as good of a version as I've heard in either on tape
or live in a while.

Not Fade Away
He couldn't resist another great crowd reaction.  The fans, many there just
to see Lesh, couldn't have gone home any happier. The verdict: a great show,
despite not exactly the worlds greatest set-list. It seems that Bob is working
off the crowd and wants to play what he thinks will get the best reaction. I
am not complaing, since I am always happy to see Bob, regardless what he
plays. I think that things could improve set-list wise as the tour progresses
as Bob becomes more comfortable. All in all, I came home a pretty happy
camper. Thanks for reading, Shawn.

1999: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - September - October - November -