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Bob Dylan 980904 in Sydney

Subject: Fw: September 4, 1998 - Sydney, Australia - a review
Date: Sat, 5 Sep 1998 15:43:01 +1000

> 	Bob Dylan & Patti Smith
> 	Sydney, Australia, September 4, 1998
> 	Sydney Entertainment Centre
> 	A review by Carsten Wohlfeld

Well, there's just three words that I need to describe Patti's set
tonight: Absolutely fucking amazing! Actually Townsville was even
better (mainly because she did her "Visions Of Johanna", "Horses"),
but Smith and her band were ON FIRE tonight. After opening with
"Wicked Messenger" (always a good sign), she did "Dancing Barefoot"
(First time she didn't take off her boots during this song, I guess
she was still a lil sick), a couple of songs from her new album,
including a rare "Spell", before dedicating the new song "Wild Leaves"
to the families of the planecrash victims. Very moving moment and a
beautiful song as well. She also had some nice conversations with the
audience, who were yelling for "Pissing In The River" and "Because The
Night". She declined to play the former, but did play the latter even
though it wasn't on her cuesheet. Storming renditions all night with a
very emotional "Beneath The Southern Cross" thrown in for good
measure. The ended the set with a punkrocking "Rock And Roll Nigger"
which gave James the chance to sing along with Patti. I think he liked
that :-) During the break we were all discussing whether Bob would be
able to top this splendid show or not. If he would play the same
boring set he did the night before, he'd clearly lose. So we were all
hoping for some nice surprises. Showtime was 9.15 again and they
started, not very surprisingly, with
> 	Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat
Which was solid. Bob didn't move an inch during the first three songs,
which was kind of unusual, but I guess he was determined to deliver the
good today.
> 	I Threw It All Away
Now THAT was a nice surprise! First rendition of this song since 1978
(that's twenty long years) and it was nicely sung at least. That the band
butchered up the intro badly and their playing was less than impressive
throughout did hardly matter. Everybody was happy to hear this very nice
song again. You just can hope it wasn't a one-off! Sounded a lot like the
other "Nashville Skyline" songs in the #2 slot, too. The arrangement is
basically a "Tonight I'll Be Stayingˇ" spinoff.
> 	Cold Irons Bound
A little slower than usual and that was nice to hear, band made a couple of
mistakes but all in all it was a pretty good performance.
> 	Just Like A Woman
Not as good as the version from the Nuerburgring in late May, but pretty
impressive nevertheless. Very fine guitar solo at the end.
> 	Can't Wait
Well, I told you about my "oh honey" theory the other night and tonight
that line was fantastic. Even though they got the intro wrong they hit the
perfect groove on this one and for me it was one of the night's
> 	Silvio
Great version. Usually Kemper misses one of the breaks (I don't blame
him, there are so many different parts in this song), but today
everything went as planned and Bob finally started to relax a little
more, making eye contact with the people in the first few rows and he
started to move around a little more as well.  A black haired woman
rushed to the rail during that song, standing just a meter or so away
from me, right next to Andrea actually. Guess who it was? Patti Smith!
> 	Stone Walls And Steel Bars (acoustic)

Hmmm, again? Same as it ever was: solid.
> 	Love Minus Zero/No Limit (acoustic)
Even though I'd still prefer a full band electric arrangement or an
acoustic renditions sans drums I have to say that this was the highlight
of the night by a million miles. Bob's singing was just heartbreakingly
beautiful. Pretty slow version as well. Just very, very nice.
> 	Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)
Again, pretty good version with a lot of guitar soling going on at the
end. Bob let Larry play a little more tonight, which was nice to see cause
Campbell is obviously the better guitarist.

> 	My Back Pages (acoustic)
Was another highlight for me even though Bob seemed to have forgotten the
words at one point. Ended with a harmonica solo that was better than most
of the others in Oz so far. An unexpected singalong as well.
> 	She Belongs To Me
Not one of my favourite songs, but the slightly slower arrangement that
they debuted the other night suits the song just fine. Crowd loved it as
usual and that made Bob smile quite a bit. After the band intros it was
time again for:
> 	"Til I Fell In Love With You
which was a solid. Nice way to end a show. Bob unplugged his guitar approx.
30 seconds before the song ended, took a few bows and then turned to David
as the song ended, pointed at his drummer Elvis-style and siad something
like: "good one". Maybe it was "well done", I can't remember but it was
something along those lines. 

> 	(encore)
> 	Love Sick

The guitar solo was not as godd as the night before, but it was yet
another beautiful rendition nevertheless. 
> 	Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35
Yup, that one as well. 
> 	Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)
Was okay, but has seen better days before. At least most of the 11,000
people in the venue were happy. A cute girl managed to jump on stage
during this song (she wanted to hand hima poem, apparently) but she
almost knocked over Bob (I guess she was pretty excited) so Bob just
smiled and backed off before Tommy came and took the girl back to the
side of the stage.
> 	Highway 61 Revisted 
Was very, very intense. One of the best version on this tour actually
but to me it doesn't make sense to play "Rainy"/"Blowin'" and the come
back for "Highway"/"Forever Young". The latter two instead of "Rainy"
and "Blowin'" from time to time would be just fine I think. Would mean
a change that was would be nice as well.
> 	Forever Young (acoustic)

Pretty tired version, much loved by the crowd though. The show was a
little shorter than the first one in Sydney, around 105 minutes. It
was one of the best of the tour as well, maybe even coming close to
Darwin. I guess we can hope for some more surprises for the rest of
the show as well now. Cheers to Brett for getting me the ticket!
Thanks for reading, see you in Wollongong!
Carsten Wohlfeld
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