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Bob Dylan 990222 in Troy, New York

Subject: Troy Show
From: BotchAlism (
Date: 23 Feb 1999 16:36:15 GMT


 Just got back from Troy. My third Bob concert my first was in 91 my second in
95 and my fourth will be tomorrow night.

 Natalie Merchant was good. She is what she is if you like her records you'll
like her live. She had a cold but you could only tell when shee talked. She
cried during her encore.

 Bob Dylan.
The band comes out to flashing strobe lights and kicks of Serve Somebody. I was
suprised how it has lost it's real minor key flavor and now is a lot more
dominant kind of Leaopard Skin Pill Boxish. Lots of missing verses but Bob was
really into it from the get go. Laughing and just kind of dazed looking. Lots
of missing verses and maybe a little rushed but a good opener.
Bob says Thanks Everybody and then Million Miles. This was nice and I think was
missing a verse or two. Still warming up but an enjoyable warm up. Bob says
thanks everybody that was a song called million millleesss. Maggie's Farm was a
ripping delight. Bob spit out the lyrics in that great late 90's roar of his.
No Maggie's Pa verse but the jams in the middle and they way he sang (said)
Everybody wants you to be just like them nearly knocked me off my feet.

So Bucky starts up this pedal steel intro and I think it is Big Girl Now and I
get excited. When I realize it is Tears of Rage I almost lost it. This is my
favorite song for 2/99 at least. I didn't think there was a chanceBob would
play this so it was a great suprise. A Concert Highlight. Bob sang this one
great with alot of care and soul. The guitar interplay of Larry and Bob was
just fabulous. The back up vocals were really nice as well.

So my night was made everything else was just gravy. Silvio was fun youheard
better not bad.
Masters of War was truly haunting. Bob played the first verse by himself. He
whispered the lyrics almost all the way through with a few nice guitar breaks
and then brought it up in intensity to blow out that great final line.
Boots of Spanish Leather was the 2nd of the four songs that had not been played
yet this tour. A beautiful private feeling performance like there was only
twenty people in the room instead 4,000 or so.
Tangled up in Blue was great. Not as jammed out as much as it was a few years
ago but a touch slower so Bob could really sing it.
Times was also nice. Bob messed up the first two lines.
Cold Irons Bound was awesome! Powerful and slamming. Bob sang it great and the
guitar rave ups really were powerful.
Suprise three. I Shall Be Released. I hadn't been too impressed with any of the
NET versions of this I have heard but this was great. Bob sang this one with a
very nice sense of pace like he was really feeling it. He repeated the second
verse twice.
Highway 61 ripped it up. He sang the Roving Gambler verse which I didn't think
he had been singing. Is this true? Rocking nice lead into the encore.
Love Sick was softer vocally than usual with Bob really getting into it.
justlike in Masters of War he built each line until he just moaned the great
final line I'd Anything to Be With YOU. 
To Be Alone With You was a big suprise and really good. I hate this song on
Nashville Skyline but iwas fun rockabilly last night.
Don't Think Twice although again the first two lines kind of miffed was
special. Really great singing and performance.
Not Fade Away. Bob singing low all night and all decade pretty much. I figured
his high end was gone. So when he started almost sreaming the first line way up
in his upper octaves (think of the Yeah from Goin'; To Aculpulco) it really
freaked me out. This was real inspired!
Awesome show. Great setlist 4 suprises great playing a slightly dead crowd.
well worth the 4 hour drive one way. I can't wait for Amherst!
                                   Seth Yacovone

Subject: Troy, NY 2/22/99 From: Seth Rogovoy ( Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 00:47:35 -0500 Bob Dylan, Troy, N.Y., RPI Fieldhouse, Feb. 22, 1999 1. Gotta Serve Somebody 2. Million Miles 3. Maggie's Farm 4. Tears of Rage 5. Silvio 6. Masters of War (A) 7. Boots of Spanish Leather (A) 8. Tangled Up in Blue (A) 9. The Times They are a-Changin' (A) 10. Cold Irons Bound 11. I Shall Be Released 12. Highway 61 13. Love Sick 14. To Be Alone With You 15. Don't Think Twice It's All Right 16. Not Fade Away A really great show, one of the best I've seen of the Never Ending Tour. Each time out, the band and Dylan just seem to get better, working better together. They really serve him well: his vocals especially were so well emphasized, so well-supported by the arrangements, which really stay out of his way and let him sing the songs. While I've heard tapes of nights where Dylan sang more melodically than he did tonight, and while he seems to emphasizing the lower registers at the expense of the higher, on the other hand Dylan's singing tonight was passionate and in the moment, full of life and urgency and all kinds of resonances. Here are impressions gleaned from my notes: 1. Gotta Serve Somebody: Dylan comes out swinging, literally laughing his way through this song. I'm not sure what he was laughing about - perhaps the nursery-rhyme-like nature of the song? It was very good-natured. 2. Million Miles: Haunting, spare. Dylan playing and singing in a figurative and literal smoky haze. He sneaks up on the microphone to intone the lyrics, which are enunciated with great drama. 3. Maggie's Farm: country swing. It's like he's saying the words, speaking them, and is surprised by them - like he doesn't know what he's going to say until he opens his mouth. Almost like they're not coming from him, but from somewhere else. The song has almost a "Mystery Train" feel musically. Includes one of several great guitar duets between Bob and Larry Campbell that we will hear throughout the night -- these have almost entirely replaced Bob's "search and destroy" solos (as per PSB) - instead Larry takes the lead and Bob plays around larry's lead. It works great. 4. Tears of Rage: vocals mixed WAY out front. Taken at a slow, majestic pace with an anthemic feel. Every word falls with great weight. Larry and Bucky do great, Band-like harmonies. Whoever says Bob's band needs an organ isn't listening to Bucky, who gets that great organ sound out of the pedal steel, somehow. Bob is singing this song like a prophet, and with the added weight of the years of experience since he wrote it. Another great Larry-Bob guitar duet, focused. 5. Silvio: Bob has pretty much had a poker face since "Serve Somebody", but something someone is doing up front (I'm standing on the floor about 5 rows of people back) is cracking him up - I think I see someone signing back Bob's lyrics at him - and he smiles and gives his quizzical look. There's a neat guitar riff in this song in between verses, almost a "Cat Scratch Fever" riff. Otherwise, for Dylan fans, this is a throwaway. 6. Masters of War: very intense. 7. Boots of Spanish Leather: the singing not quite as melodic as the live version on one of the recent European import singles, but some very dramatic singing, esp. near the lines "How can you ask me that, it only brings me sorrow." 8. Tangled Up in Blue: This song sure rocks hard for a folk song! Bob and audience really come alive on this number. Bob really plays up "Me I'm still on the road/Heading for another joint" and raises his eyebrow archly at "point of view". On this song he takes his first guitar solo (without Larry) and does a tiny little shuffle dance, but doesn't overdo either one, and it's over. 9. The Times They Are a-Changin': I think he muffed the first two lines of the song, tapers will have to verify this. Otherwise, he sings this beautifully, quite tenderly, considering what a clarion call this song still is. I'm amazed at how all these years later it still resonates. Of course there's no objective correlative for what he's singing about these days, but he still sings with great emotion, almost pity, for the senators, congressmen, mothers and fathers who just don't get it. This song has a very pretty melody. Bob sings the chorus, "The times THEY ARE" and "THEY ARE" is like a siren. 10. Cold Irons Bound: Great eerie intro. Bob seems to be perturbed about something technical throughout this song - a problem with the stage monitors? - which is just as well, as this is a song of ultimate perturbation. Electric, bluesy dissonance. 11. I Shall Be Released: What a beautiful, welcome surprise! Delivered very straightforward, with Bucky and Larry harmonies (OK, not great). Twice Dylan sings the "they say every man needs protection" verse, and sings "they TELL ME every man must fall." That line resonates, it's almost like he's saying "they tell me I must fall, but I won't." Sings with great kavannah. Tender vocals. At the end he says, "Thank you everybody, you're too kind, too kind." And Introduces the band. 12. Highway 61: There's that "Cat Scratch Fever" riff again. "Sam said tell me quick man IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII got to run." He draws out "I" that much. Clowning on guitar, plucking out big chords. Suddenly his face tightens, the band is really rocking, it's 25 years ago and it's "Before the Flood." Another great guitar duet. 13. Love Sick: Very quiet and reflective, that pedal guitar ostinato is much more laid back. This only lends it an even eerier quality, as Dylan practically whispers the pain. 14. To Be Alone With You: Rendered utterly rock and roll. Another great surprise (at least to me). He's got a million rabbits in his hat. 15. Don't Think 2x: I think he flubs first 2 lines (Tony seems concerned) but recovers. "I gave her my heart but she wanted my soul" line invested with great passion. Song ends in a half-time, burlesque tempo. 16. Not Fade Away: Knowing this was coming, I was hoping for more Buddy Holly and a little less Grateful Dead, but that wasn't going to happen with the arrangement they're doing, especially with the backup vocals and with how the instruments drop out on the vocal lines. The saving grace is Dylan finds his upper register on this song. A great, wonderful show.
Subject: Re: Alternative View on Troy. From: Richard ( Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 11:18:00 GMT Others have covered Bob's performance nicely except failed to note Larry Campbell's playing was first rate on acoustic and electric guitar, even if his singing was too laid back in the mix. Bucky Baxter was super on steel guitar and acoustic mandolin. But: Both Natialie Merchant and Bob's performances were too loud with excessive low end in the mix. Bob's vocal clarity was far from his prime but better than the Bob of the Never Ending Tour appearance at this venue with Mr. Smith. With ear plugs I was able to lower the inner ear distortion and enjoy the fine seats the ticket connection sent me. (A great service). I am just blown away by the technical improvement in the sound systems over the years, truly a major breakthrough. But the play way too loud. Other observations: Not one black face in the audience, or in the sound crew or in the roadie pack, not one! (And RPI is a college setting). When Natalle (with a bad cold) started her set, only 1/3 of the seats were full. We had to put up with continuous lines of people filling in their seats through her set, and even through the start of Bob's set. When Bob started 90% of the seats were taken. Yet the crowed was very well behaved; still, this is not a good trend and not very respectful to the paying audience who would like to enjoy the entire show. In years past if you did not get there in time you had to wait for a break. Today that would result in a riot I am sure. Still, it was a very enjoyable show, but if you did not know the words you would never make them out. This is a real contrast to the Bob I used to see on stage in his early years when the words rang true with every note. I had to leave at 10:00 for personal reasons so I missed Bob's last few songs but was pleased to get one more chance to see the man. (But these large loud venues are not my cup of tea).
From: amy foss ( Subject: Riding Home from Troy To: Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 22:49:31 -0500 (EST) Reconciled but Exiled: On the road from Troy to Saratoga She asked if he was married- If he ever had been- To be more precise and true. I said not now; At least I thought that was so. I didn't ask her if she was Or had been. She was nineteen, I guess. She liked his face- Those lines- Where no emotion showed, She said. But she doubted his paternal role, And wondered, unspoken, about her face If she were ever to be a Mom. We hadn't said What being a Dad or Mom is. We drove right out of Troy Without a license In that conversation... Not this one. She couldn't see Dad or Mom With a face like that. He'd just sung "...I spoke like a child You destroyed me with a smile While I was sleeping...", Not twenty minutes before. He didn't keep quiet Because she was there But only nineteen. He did all he could Even though she was there. She couldn't see Dad or Mom Speaking Like that face- Speaking like she would like. She said he mustn't be married Because he showed no emotion. I've thought I'd rather be like by children When they are grownup And grown wise Than by someone Who couldn't yet speak. Who is your audience, Anyway? What if they couldn't let a face like that Be. How could she ever have though of one Since she is nineteen And they didn't Or haven't And won't. There was no emotion, she said, But she liked the face: She hadn't or couldn't say What she felt. She had never given Mom and Dad words, At all. Mom and Dad talk But not like that. They talk with emotion, They groan and smile, But they don't talk like that. And that's talking. And so the humanities Get another bad rap. (Is business all that is left?) Because to be Mom and Dad, In this world, You cannot think nor sing. The humanities' power begins at home, And you may never have seen one. Because what makes throught true in life: (Emotion) Isn't, There's nothing but baby talk And despair where heart should be. The lines on that face Escape us Because our emotions Aren't true. Mom and Dad are only fools around here And they needn't be. All she could imagine Is a husband With no voice. who'd want him anyway, I thought. -Spotty
Date: 04 Mar 1999 13:46:00 +0100 From: (Carsten Wohlfeld) Subject: February 22, 1999 - Troy, New York - a review Bob Dylan & Natalie Merchant Troy, NY, RPI Fieldhouse February 22, 1999 A Review by Carsten Wohlfeld "It's on days like this that I really ask myself: ' why do you live in New York'" Natalie said halfway through her show, apologizing for the bad cold she had. Up to this show she always had worn a rather thin and short black dress, so she was bound to get a cold. The barefoot dancing during the encores didn't help either, I guess. So today she took to the stage wearing a heavy coat and three layers of clothing underneath it. She was wearing boots, too. If you thought that would've had a negative effect on her performance you were wrong. She played what was definitely her best set yet, 70 minutes long, including songs she hadn't done before (San Andreas Fault" was an early highlight) on this leg of the tour, lots of smiles and freaky dancing... She also aksed the people in the front row about the most significant event of the 20th century. The answers included the atom bomb, Martin Luther King's assassination, BOB DYLAN and 'what was the question'. For Natalie herself it was space travel, a good way to launch into "Space Oddity" as well! What a great song that is too! "I appreciate that you all came out tonight despite the cold and I'm sure that Bob will too". ot too sure about that, Natalie, but at least we loved her enough to get an encore, which wasn't the usual "These Are The Days", but a cover of a song by Katell Keineg, a pretty much unknown Elektra recording artist from Wales. Now I'd read on the internet before that this rendition of "Gulf Of Araby" was bound to be a very emotional performance, and it was *very* moving indeed. So moving in fact that Natalie started crying before she finished the last lines. A very special moment... Bob seemed to be very relaxed after the day off and in a good modd, too. He switchedto rock star mode - which means lots of knee bends - the minute the show started. Gotta Serve Somebody Regained some of it's power and was much better than in Lake Placid. Sung more concingly as well. Million Miles was "Million Miles". Maggie's Farm I knew that Josh wanted to hear this one, so I was pretty happy for him to hear Tony say "Maggie" when asked by Bucky what song would be next. Got a huge cheer from the crowd (not only Josh). But where was the funny space guitar? Tears Of Rage They rarely mess up this one, but tonight it was even better than usual. Can't remember now if the backing vocals from Larry and Bucky were there the last time I heard Bob sing this one in New Zealand but the echoing "so alooooone" was worth the admission price already. Spectacular! Silvio Had some new tricks, would you believe it? Rocked harder due to Larry's upfront lead guitar. He was really into it, playing all the solo with twice the determination than usual. The stop/start parts of late 1997 (or whenever) made a welcome return). Masters Of War (acoustic) so who are you Americans bombing this time? Boots Of Spanish Leather Best performance of the four shows I'd seen so far. It was perfect. Period. If I read Tony's sign language correctly, Bob was very impressed/ happy with it too! Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) still "tangled". Nice phrasings here and there which made it a little more bearable than usual. The Times They Are A-Changin' (acoustic) Only really bad performance all night, still much enjoyed by the crowd. Cold Irons Bound They hadn't played it in so long, the guys completely forgot how to play the intro. It was just a bit of random noise and then Tony started his famous monster riff. Rocked much harder and ater hearing this version you know why Bob got the Grammy for 'beswt vocal' for it. Quite hot indeed, despite the freezing temperatures outside. I Shall Be Released I wish they had brought out Natalie for this one. I fact, Bob didn't even mention her one time, which was a bit sad, I thought. Anyways, for the first time in agaes they got the intro to this song comepletely right and the rest of it - including the echoing backing vocals - sounded pretty nice as well. Before the show I'd told somebody that I thought it was odd that no 'Basement' songs had been played so far this year. Tonight we got two... Band intros followed and tonight started with David. Highway 61 Revisited Unbelievable. Actually a pretty much different version with great phrasing. Bob was not only signing the song, he was playing roles on stage as well. Hrad to describe, but fun to watch. (encore) Love Sick Sounded very much different as well, as it was deadly slow. Never ever heard them do this one so slow and I've heard them do it more than fifty times. I actually enojoythis one more, cause Bob had more room to stretch out the lines. To Be Alone With You Best version I've heard so far. Much better than the "this is Bob's soundcheck" renditions at #1, sounded a lot like "Broken" actually. A lot of the songs played in this slot are former openers. "Broken", "Pillbox", "Maggies"... wonder if they do that on purpose. Don't Think Twice (acoustic) Good version, this time he even remembered the first line he missed in Lake Placid. Not Fade Away Larry starts singing the third verse too early and messes up his guitar part accordingly. They all laugh - I guess they really don't take this song too seriously. Another very good show, even though Natalie was slightly better than Bob tonight. She'd come close in Binghamton but tonight she did it. It was only a two hour drive from Troy to Amherst, but I decided to do the trip to Buffalo first. So I took the overnight bus at 1.30pm. Glad I could leavy Troy and Albany behind. Despite the fancy buildings you have in Albany, there's really not much to do there. And it was coooooold, too :-) So, next up is Buafflo. Thanks for reading and: Stay tuned! carsten wohlfeld

1998: May - June - July - August - September - October - November - 1999: January - February