Bob Dylan 991117 in Durham, New Hampshire
Dylan show #116 in 1999.
From: Jishman@aol.com Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 22:21:33 EST Subject: UNH Review To: email@example.com MIME-Version: 1.0 Status: When the Levee Breaks I didn't arrive at UNH until late: 6:30 that is. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the doors hadn't opened yet, so I got into the middle of the line and waited - and waited - and waited. By 7:30 (not 7:15 like someone reported, the fifteen minute difference was huge!) I was eating the guy's shirt in front of me, ready to fight off the near-riot that was brewing. When the doors finally did open, there was a mad rush forward, and security was non-existent. The man in front of me failed to have his ticket ripped, and tons of fans brought in backpacks, something that security had announced prior to opening as against venue policy. Phil's set was much more impressive last night compared to Augusta. The new guitarist, Warren Haines (spelling?) really added to the sound, making it much more "rockin" and less spacey show than before - Attics included great harmony, and the trade-off guitar leads by Warren and the other guitarist (sorry, I'm a Dylan fan) were nothing short of breathtaking. Anyway, when Dylan opened with a song I didn't recognize, I started to feel like this would be a special night. Duncan and Brady sounded more rehearsed than a first time appearance, and lasted longer than I Am The Man, Thomas, the opener in Augusta. GFNC was a disappointing presence at 2, and nothing extraordinary. Contrary to a review I read, Desolation Row was average to good, nowhere near the incredible version I was treated to in Boston in 98. Rock of Ages on the other hand was memorable - followed by a harpless TUIB. Sitting in the stands for the first time in my 10 Dylan shows, I never realized how much this song reaches "the mainstream fan." Right from the opening chord, the young attendants, mostly appearing to be Phil followers, flooded down to the floor and began to dance. Myself being 17, I couldn't help but smile to see that Dylan has made such a strong connection with this age group (even if just for the "danceablility"), and this alone overshadowed the staleness of TIUB. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues was hard to recognize at first, sped up and louder than the album version, with impressive leads by Dylan (the entire night he was taking them with this guitar perpendicular to the ground, almost in a Hendrix style). Ballad was one of the standouts for me, always a great concert song, followed by a decent version of Cove. Then the show really picked up! Senor was only recognized by a few people who let off shouts of surprise. It was played similar to the 98 versions, softly song with a light electric arrangement. If You See Her was so unbelievably disguised, very loud and miles from the BOTT acoustic feel, sung well by Bob but overshadowed by the strange musical accompaniment. Every Grain of Sand was the personal highlight for me. All the words were very clearly pronounced, and if I remember correctly, all versus sung. I believe then Dylan introduced the band ("Kemper only lies when he's in bed" joke), and then 61 with some of the best guitar solos in recent memory. LARS was disappointing, but in contrast, Rainy Day Woman was the finest version I've ever heard (and if I'm not mistaken, he's played it at one of 10 concerts). The band jammed for awhile on this, all taking turns on solos, and the hippies were in full dancing form. Then DTW, which was also brilliantly played, with great solos, and then just when I thought they would end, Dylan brought out the harp and played a beautiful, soft solo that lasted right up to the ending drum beat. Followed by a longer, louder version of Not Fade Away, these three songs back to back to back left (almost) nothing else to be desired. Hands down, the second half of this show, starting with Senor, rocked just as much, if not more than any other Dylan show I've seen, and was superior to the Augusta date. Finally, there was a non-existent security policy inside the gym, contrary to another review I read, and some fans who were very clearly tripping were left along and allowed to "do their own thing" by nearby security guards. Just thought I'd state my observations on this - If anyone has a copy of this (or the Augusta show), please email me privately. Hope Amherst continues the energy that the end of this show produced, and I'll be waiting for another NE tour. And Bob, if you take time out to read more than just song requests (insider RMD joke by now), thanks again. You continue to amaze me. -Jared Ishkanian