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Bob Dylan 980514 in Vancouver, British Columbia

       General Motors Arena
       Address: 800 Griffiths Way 
       Capacity: 20,004 
       Showtime: 7:30 PM 
       Ticket prices: $85, $75, $60 (Canadian dollars) 
       Triple bill with Joni Mitchell & Van Morrison 
       Show sold out 

Subject: Review and Set List - May 14, 1998 From: baja ( Date: 15 May 1998 08:25:01 GMT Organization: A poorly-installed InterNetNews site Review: May 14, 1998 Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell were the opening acts tonight. Van came out on stage looking like on of the lost Blues Brothers. If not for my binoculars it could have been John Belushi up there returning from the beyond. Van had an eight piece band with him and stuck to a bluesy/jazzy theme most of the night. Sorry I cannot offer a set list as I did not know all the tunes. I recognized a few off his latest album and he did some classics like Vanlose Stairway, Cleaning Windows, Tupelo Honey into Crazy love and Saint Dominic's Preview. Solid performance however there was alot of distraction during his set as people were still finding their seats. Van is doing two shows tonight at a smaller theatre so his fans get another shot at seeing him. Apparently his last visit to Vancouver was 12 years ago. Next out of the starting gate was Joni Mitchell. She performed on electric guitar and was accompanied by pedal steel guitar, electric bass and drums. Unfortunately I have not kept up with her recording output so I did not know the songs she played. It was a very contemplative set. She encored with Big Yellow Taxi. "Ladies and gentlemen....." The set list is as follows: Absolutely Sweet Marie, Senor, Cold Irons Bound, Big Girl Now, Silvio Cocaine Blues, Mr. Tambourine Man, Tangled Up In Blue Memphis Blues Again, I Shall Be Released, Highway 61 E. Forever Young, Love Sick, RDW No harmonica as is usual these days. Let me start by saying that this was an inspired and brilliant performance. I had the great fortune of being seated in Row 30 on the floor just to the right and in front of the sound board. This was a really sweet spot for the acoustics. I walked around a bit and went behind the soundboard to dance and noticed that the sound was muddled. You have to be really lucky in these damn hockey arenas. Of course the sound was not as perfect as the show at The Rage last night but for an arena it was very crisp and clear. Bob's vocal performance was strong and confident. It was a very different show tonight. Bob was not hamming it up or mugging as much as the club show. He also played more hits tonight. He received standing ovations after every song. The highlights are difficult to choose as the band was on tonight. As an aside, my binocular closeups of Garnier suggested to my trained eye that the band might have gotten its hands on B.C. finest export. Anyone else notice this? The highlights were a sublime Mr. Tambourine Man and my first live performance of Cocaine Blues. Also, please note that Bob spoke to the audience. Besides the "thanks everybody" and introducing the band, before playing Tangled Up In Blue he said "there is a story behind this song, but I'm not going to tell you". Has he ever introduced this song in this way? Don't miss Bob on this tour. Peace. Baja.
Subject: Re: Review and Set List - May 14, 1998 From: "Emanuel E. Garcia" ( Date: 15 May 1998 13:00:31 GMT This is really a service to us all. Many thanks for your very illuminating comments. EEG
Subject: Re: Review and Set List - May 14, 1998 From: Matt Parker ( Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 12:46:02 -0700 Hi there, Yes, concurring with Baja--I would definately make sure you see Bob on this tour if you can. I didn't get in to the club show (I heard Bob was really hamming it up there) but I would still have to say he did that at this show--(complete with enthusiastic Elvis like knee-shaking!) Saw him smiling sheepishly too (I was 15th row floor)--and he really extended the guitar solos (he didn't seem to want to end Silvio, because everyone was so into it). You can tell he really likes doing Cold Irons Bound too--he played the `tough-assed Bob' during that one by freezing at key-moments and raising his guitar with a big downstroke. The acoustic portion with "Cocaine" (by Rev. Gary Davis, another Dead influence) and "Mr. Tambourine Man" was really thoughtful--some nice picking too, I thought. I was under the impression that he spoke to the audience about Mr. Tambourine Man--because he said, "There's a story behind that one, but I'm not going to tell it to you"--then he did Tangled Up in Blue. Oh well, either way--he seems pretty chatty! You Joni fans will appreciate that during her encore of Big Yellow Taxi she giggled, "And this is how Bob would do it" and proceeded to sing the third verse slouched over, and with a nasal drawl! She is determined to play jazzier, new material, by the way--but it's good. A new one, "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" (based on W.B. Yeats' poem `The Second Coming') was particularly lyrical and compelling. Van Morrison did look like a Blues Brother! After semi-apologizing for not being in Vancouver for 12 years, he said, "It's payback time" and did a really smoking version of James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's World"..."Crazy Love" was also especially liked by the crowd. You know, I wouldn't be surprised if Dylan showed up at his (Van's) concert at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre tonight (isn't it a satellite broadcast?) Back to Dylan--the sound wasn't bad for a big-seat was so loud! Hwy 61 made the place an all-out rock concert, and I think Bob is really in a roots rediscovery mood with this relatively young band of his! Enjoy the music! PS. Now allow me to grovel for a tape of that Vancouver show. Anyone? I have panorama pictures from last night's show, but who knows if they'll turn out... Matt

May Setlists Tour