Bob Dylan 990128 in Sunrise, Florida
Subject: Fort Lauderdale 01/28/1999 Comments From: Charlie Byrne (CByrne@MediaOne.Net) Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 05:07:36 GMT The Fort Lauderdale show was excellent. The sound was great in the new National Car Rental Center. Bob was very animated and apparently having fun. Tony was grinning like Cheshire Cat on the closer, "Not Fade Away" which really rocked, and also no doubt delighted the numerous "junior deadheads". The arena was not full at all, and so security pretty much let the entire place become "General Admission". You could come and go anywhere you pleased, from the open dance floor and on up to the seats. What a nice change from usual Nazi arena security! There was some dancing but not much. Setzer was a fun opener. All in all it was not as weird as I had expected. Not weird at all in fact. Highlight might have been Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (acoustic) (with harp). Now I wish I was going to some more Florida shows!
Subject: Bob Rocks Fort Lauderdale From: Fschult (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: 29 Jan 1999 04:32:26 GMT Killer Show tonite and anyone who says differently telleth lies. Terrific set opener with Brian Setzer. Bob came on looking like Hank WiIliams, sounding better than ever, no noodling on guitar, great enunciation and Not Fade Away to close. I'll try to say much more, but due to advanced age and work in the morrow got to call it quits. Very sparse attendance was only negative. This show will pick up incredible word of mouth and by the time it hits college towns up north it will be a sellout. Fred
Subject: Setzer & Dylan at Sunrise 1/28/99 From: Richard Batey (email@example.com) Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 08:15:46 GMT Before I go to bed, this first-hand report to you: The setting was as unlike my last Dylan show as could be possible. Whereas the Cameo Theater in Miami Beach holds about 1,500, the NCRC holds about 20,000. If you step off the sidewalk in front of the Cameo, you could be struck by a skater or car. The street to the east in front of the NCRC is a block or so away, and very close to the west is the Sawgrass Xprsway and the Everglades. The Cameo Theater probably dates to the 1950s, but the NCRC has not yet been open a year. I believe Dylan was scheduled to be the first musical performer but something fell through on that show, yes? Anyway, the NCRC is a huge and imposing building of curves, smoked glass, concrete, marble, steel, and crushed alligator bones. Royal palm trees & other tropicals jut skyward from the vast parking lots. This is the tallest structure around and can be seen from a distance on the Sawgrass Xprsway, looming like a huge mound out in the Everglades. Once you get to it, and walk up to it, it seems like a huge platform mound and is impressive. But unlike the Cameo, the stage is farther away from the outer doors & I could not make out what was happening at the soundcheck. By 5:30pm, a small group had gathered under the three flags flying high overhead: the US, Florida, and the green National Car Rental Center flags. Some faces were familiar to me: Peggy from several shows along the Gulf Coast, Nancy from Houston, Mervyn from Zimbabwe (now NC), Andy & Joan from Durban S. Africa who had parked their sailboat and commandeered an old van, and others not mentioned. Doors opened about 7:05 for the 8:00 show. There was more than ample time to get to the front of the stage if that was your plan. Not mine. Reserved seating in stands, general admission and standing on the floor. I sat. About 8:00, Brian Setzer and Orchestra came on. The orchestra is 13 horn players, a drummer, an upright bass, and Brian on guitar with white Fender amps. Right away let me say they are a swinging, swaying, finger popping, high-energy band and not to be missed (in case you might figure you'll just get there late and see the Dylan portion). They played about 55 minutes and it was the quickest 55 min. of music I've ever heard. The crowd loved them. Their set, as best as I can tell (not really familiar with these very much, so the titles may be incorrect), follows: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Let The Good Times Roll, Rockabilly Sound (instrumental, very cool, Peter), Let's Live It Up, Since I Don't Have You (he did a falsetto on portions, very hip), The Dirty Boogie (here he switched from a hollow body to solid body guitar), Sleepwalk (the Santo & Johnny number. Great. back to hollow body), Stray Cat Strut (Mark Winchester on bass did cook), Jump Jivin' Wail (the Louie Prima number, yes? - BS's version is nominated for a grammy, yes?), House Is A Rockin' (Don't Bother Knockin'), and the encore: Rock This Town. That was a hard act to follow and I wondered how Dylan and his band would fare. After a 20 min or so intermission, I found out. Dylan's set was outstanding! Perhaps the best I've ever seen in one of his shows. Dylan looked very fit - as if he had visited the Fountain of Youth on his way into Florida. The overall appearance of the band was very good. Larry's dark slacks, jacket, and white t-shirt were not out of place next to Dylan's black trousers with white piping, white shirt,and dark jacket (no hat). Tony looked stylin' with black leather pants, an ochre jacket, and black hat. Bucky's outfit was similar to Tony's, but more or a bowler hat, and David's evening attire was hidden behind the drums. He did wear a white hat. Ok, I include that for the record. But what complimented their appearance was the use of the lights. The lighting seems to have undergone a change, perhaps slight, but pleasingly noticeable to me. Whereas in the past, some of the light has been blue, red, pink, etc. with not much "white" light; tonight it was not like that. The lighting seems to have been not only simplified, but the trend is towards less colored light (or at least more judicious use of the colors). The result is like seeing a pleasing sepia tone photo or a realistic painting. Clean light. Spruce light. Clear light. For example, on Tangled Up In Blue, blue lights (not over-powering) were on all of the band members except Dylan. His light was uncolored. There was much more clear light tonight and the music reflected it, or at least seemed to be in sync with it. Before I include the setlist, a few words about the music. Dylan's vocals were so strong, so clear, so purposely loosed upon the crowd. If you had ears to hear, you heard it. Larry and Bucky sang on a few choruses and sounded great. These guys were very tight and seemed determined to make powerful music. There doesn't seem to be the length to the extended jams and far fewer wasted notes this time around. Just tightly crafted songs right to the point. The setlist: Gotta Serve Somebody - Larry (and Bucky?) on vocals. Senor - great vocals by Bob. How can I say this, I was moved in this song, so that I wanted to be able to thank him for his music. Silvio - following those two songs, this was perfect, and not only that, the best version I've ever heard. Very fine bass work. Tight band. "One of these days and it won't be long, going down to the valley gonna sing my song, let the echo decide..." Just Like A Woman - very strong vocals. great phrasing on this and all of the songs. not perfunctory. Balloons were flying above the floor crowd by now and landing on the stage. Fine drumming and Dylan enjoyed posing in a very relaxed sort of way. not stiff or awkward, you know? I Can't Wait - strong x2. faster than the album and more to my liking. Stone Walls Steel Bars - Larry vocals. Larry Martin acoustic, Bob Gibson for four songs. Don't Think Twice - sweeter than the original version. The vocals confirmed that there was no blame, whereas even though the lyrics say "don't think twice," some of his vocals have not portrayed a forgiving singer. This version, he sang not just resigned, but at peace and wise. Towards the end, he got the harmonica and shifted the Gibson onto his back while playing the harp held in the left hand. He played not just a few notes but for a while. Wonderful. The Times They Are A-Changin' - I couldn't believe it. Tangled Up In Blue - great vocals again. There is a lyric change, Ben, but I didn't catch it enough to write it down. To Make You Feel My Love - another facet. "written for one of my favorite country singers" then a band intro. Highway 61 Revisited - really cooking! the band was tight all night but this one was ... phew. a serious bass. calls for encores and the lighters came out. Love Sick Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat - headddddddd. steaddddddddd. The song looked like it was about to end as Tony approached David, but perhaps Dylan didn't want to quit just then; rather than it sound patched up or rescued, the arrangement went someplace I'd never heard before and then finally wound down. Blowing In The Wind - Larry & Bucky on the chorus. Who could ask for more? And the finale: Not Fade Away - by far the best version I've ever heard. A perfect closer & the crowd loved it. Normally, I don't solicit tapes like this but I do seek this one. Lots to trade whether tapes, vhs, lps, you name it. Name a desert after you and send you the recipe. Plant an orange tree and call it by your name and send you some of the first fruit. I could go on, but you get the picture. Come on, you know who you are (I don't), arrange to send the tape - soon. Take good care. The End Richard