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Bob Dylan 990711 in Cincinnati

Date: Mon, 12 Jul 1999 10:11:49 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Cincinnati 7/11/99 Review

Bogart's in Cincinnati is a great place for a Dylan show: a small
club with a capacity of about 1,300. Needless to say, everyone
felt very lucky to see bob in such an intimate venue. This was my
5th Dylan show, and the first in a such a small setting.

Show time was listed as 7:30, but Bob and the band actually came
out exactly at 8 PM, with  a strobe light providing very spooky
effects. Dylan looked a little fatigued, but very slick in his
black outfit and blue undershirt.

"Somebody Touched Me" was pleasant enough, but "My Back Pages"
got the show started properly, and roused the crowd unfamiliar
with the opener. Larry played some very nice fiddle and Dylan
played a nice harp solo, which was sadly his only harmonica of
the night.

"Desolation Row" was probably my favorite performance of the
night: it has a great groove, and Bob's singing was very tenderly

Other highlights were a sweet "Girl from the N. Country", a
rollicking "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," the always well sung as of
late "Not Dark Yet" and a truly rocking "Not Fade Away."

In "Love Sick", he sang the "feels like I have been ploughed
under" lyric.

During the band intro, he introduced Charlie Sexton by saying:
"Charlie visited his cousin at the Hamilton County (in
Cincinnati) jail today... brought him a cellular phone! He almost
made it to the show!"

"Blowin' in the Wind" was very well sung, with Cahrlie and Larry
both singing also on the chorus (as they did on "You Ain't Goin'
Nowhere) and was a fine finish. As he left, Bob picked up his
white cowboy hat which he hadn't worn all show from behind the
speaker, parted the curtain, and was gone.

Max Brzezinski

From: "phillip dokes" To: Subject: Cincinnati review Date: Mon, 12 Jul 1999 10:25:16 PDT Oh dear me...I've just driven back from the gig at Bogarts (5 hours) and it's now about 4:00am Monday morning and I'm feelin' NO PAIN! Does that tell ya anything about last night's show or what?!?!? Not going to go into a song by song breakdown because words just ain't ever come close to doing justice when the man pours out his heart, lays down 'is soul, makes that joyful noise..."singin' just for you & You & YOU!". There wasn't a place in my world he didn't touch tonight, THIS is why we do it, hell, this is why HE does it too. It's like a volleyball match between the audience & Bob, we lob this big 'ol ball of adoration up there and he serves it right back! >From Somebody Touched Me onwards they were THERE, so, auch, the frustration at trying to say it all, to even come close. As crazy as it sounds just imagine all of the songs played on Sunday night to be easily amongst the best versions you have ever heard them live! Man, I know that sounds like too much too soon in the praise department, but that's just the way it is people, that's just the way it is... The only thing I heard them have a little bit of difficulty with was "Most Likely..." but they got over it fairly quickly and found it's clunky center and played it on out. And special kudos must be given to Mr. Sexton (haven't seen him enough times yet for the informal greeting of Charlie :)) 'cause all throughout Highway 61 he had to play around the guitar tech. there was something amiss with his gittar and the only thing he could move for quite a stretch up there was his hands over it, and he didn't miss a beat! Amazing, just amazing! Larry came to the 'fore on that one with some very tasty slide- Larry Campbell-Mmm mmm good! (Hey if Bob can crack a groaner, why can't I? :~) I think that's about it, starting to feel a "little" tired now so it's best to end it here. But before I go I just have to say a big hello & thanks to ALL who were there on line in what could have been very lonely/boring hours pre-show. Nice to meet those who have only been a name till now, and even better to see the ones who have been there oh so many times before! All the best & all the rest-Phil
Subject: Cincinnati 7/11 REVIEW PT1 From: Mark The Neon Madman Rothfuss Date: Mon, 12 Jul 1999 10:45:55 -0800 Last night's show at the ultra-intimate Bogart's club could best be summed up as "The Night of The Eye Brows"....Bob's that is! However, before I get into a review I would like to say hello to all of the other diehards who arrived early in the a.m. to get a good spot in line. They know who they are, and I want to thank them for basically being so cool! My brother and I had a blast shooting the breeze with all of you. Just in case anyone is as bad with names as I am, I was wearing the tie-dye with the "Concert for Bangladesh" era picture of Bob. So after a long day of waiting they finally let us in the door at about quarter til seven. I for one bolted towards the stage and reserved my first row, right/center position. Bob and band appeared on stage, after what seemed like an eternity, at around eight. With the strobe lights on overdrive I could make out Bob's legendary figure perfectly and he looked great! Black suit, black cowboy boots, white belt, and a satin blue shirt which seemed to have some sort of nautical pattern on it. His hair was big and his over all appearance was as youthful and vital as it has ever been. Ive been first row several times, but this stage was so tiny that he was literally standing in front of me. I could see the intense blue of his eyes clearly and dramatically. He opened with the sublime new cover "Somebody Touched Me." It was by no means a soundcheck song, they were on top of it from the get go. Already Bob was hamming it up, his facial expression would turn from "I just woke up" to "I just had some Ginseng with my 50th cup of coffee" in a matter of words. Next he pulled out "My Back Pages!" Can I have an AMEN??! Wow, he was wrapping his mouth around every single syllable in the way that only Bob can....and then of course, we got a lovely and piping harmonica break. From this song on, whenever Bob sung an acoustic song he would raise his eyebrows and squint his eyes. I am certain that he can do more with the slightest facial twitch than any one else could do with a full scale facial parade (a la Mick Jagger). In any event, I still got chills. For our next suprise, a very deliberate and direct runthrough of Desolation Row....good job on the lyrics and good job on the singing. But excellent job on guitar! It was nice to see again, but To Ramona really took me by surprise. Really nice guitar work here on the part of Mr. Dylan. Lots of little country two steps and marching too. I think Larry played mandolin on this tune. Now we move into the easily recongnized intro of TUIB. As with most fans I think this song has lost something in its arrangement with the new band...but it still rocks! Now, whats this? He keeps his acoustic guitar strapped on??? As if we were not lucky enough, Bob gives us Girl of the North Country to ensure we will never forget tonight. Sung delicately and perfectly, it was another among many high points. Subject: Cincinnati 7/11 REVIEW PT2 From: Mark The Neon Madman Rothfuss Date: Mon, 12 Jul 1999 11:11:20 -0800 Now, the fabulous ELECTRIC set!...... Ok, I hear a riff...but no, it cant be! Can it? Yup, Bob pulled out a rock, rock, rock, ROCKIN' rendition of Seeing the Real You at Last. He was splitting his feet and bending at the knees and singing like a hell cat! The look on his and band's face looked as though they were just as surprised to be playing it as we were to hear it. By the way, now would be a good time to mention that Bob and the band interacted a lot tonight. An unusual degree of in between song joking, talking and even hugging (Bob hugged Charlie). Next we got a rough and somewhat harsh Lay Lady Lay...but it worked well in this intimate venue. It became a different song...very little tenderness...more silliness and irony. Oh, the faces he made! Moving on....we got a radically reworked and beautifully chaotic "Most Likely You go your way" of which its greatness resided in the near formless nature of the arrangement. It also ROCKED OUT! The next 3 songs were all great and pretty similar to most other recent recordings Ive heard. Nice back up singing on You Aint Goin Nowhere, made it fairly some new words??? Love Sick was the first encore, I think, and it sounds better than ever. I love the new guitar arrangement. It is so menacing and overwhelming! Bob really nailed the spooky voice. Next we got a nice, at times unfocused, but very loud version of LARS. I wasnt in to it much until the last chorus, then Bob broke it open and wailed out the "Howwww Duz it FEEEEEEEL! After the lovingly loud cheers died down Bob reemerged with his gibson acoustic and played a near perfect, but ordinary, It Aint Me Babe. By ordinary I simply mean, same arrangement as usual. I thought we were done, but Bob just switched guitars again and ripped into a VERY SOLID Not Fade Away! I like it better with Charlie on guitar. Vocals sucked as always, (high and nasal) but isnt that what makes this song great, live? After nearly 2 hours of chaotic, rough, formless, spontaneous, brilliant, touching, inspired, unrehearsed, perfect history making live performance Bob closed with a very sweet Blowin in the Wind! Nobody wanted to leave, but nobody went home unsatisfied. Of the 21 Dylan shows ive been to in the last 3-4 years this was by far and away the best. And that is saying something considering I have loved every one. I know people taped it, so please contact me! I will make any deal you want to get a copy of this surreal experience! I am born a new, I know with certainty that Mr. Dylan is the most important human being who ever lived, or ever will!
Subject: Bogarts Review From: Michael Roos Date: Mon, 12 Jul 1999 10:31:05 -0400 Another fantastic show at Bogarts in Cincinnati last night. I haven't seen any of the Simon shows, but saw the Dayton and Columbus shows in February, both of which were excellent. This was their equal in terms of Bob's performance, and the set list was full of fun and surprises. Somebody Touched Me got the show off to an old time gospel revival start with Larry and Charley chiming in with rousing harmony on the chorus. Great fun. Bob looked great in black suit, blue silk shirt open at the collar, and a funky white belt. The band members were obviously in high spirits all night, perhaps feeding off a sardine packed standing crowd that was "in the mood" from the get-go. It was a LOUD night. Many great performances, but none better than My Back Pages, an absolutely transcendant spine tingling rendition with Larry on fiddle and a harp solo at the end. But it was Bob's vocals that were truly special. Such incredible resonance and emotion. I've heard the song many times in many different contexts, but never as good as this. Get a recording of this (I'm telling myself) and your hair will stand on end. The show could've ended at that point and I would have left satisfied. Desolation Row didn't quite match the emotional intensity, but it was still excellent, though abbreviated I think to only four sung verses. To Ramona was another truly lovely performance, another recording to die for. You hear it again after all these years and you still marvel at the songwriting mastery of the guy. Not to mention, his incredible talent as interpreter of the wonderful words. It can leave you breathless. Then the obligatory Tangled was next, which you might expect to be growing tired by now, but no, it was a highly energetic performance. Bob was playing with the timing of the lines in most of the acoustic songs, delaying the lines slightly, often with a sly look as though he was waiting for us to fill in the blanks. And he surprised us here by singing the long missing "Italian poet" verse instead of the topless place verse. It was at least comforting to know that he still considers that verse to be part of the song. For me that verse has always established the link between the song (and life's experiences in general) and poetry. The link that Bob himself helps perpetuate. The acoustic set concluded with a quiet rendition of Girl From the North Country. Six acoustic songs certainly gave the show an acoustic feel, compared to the Chicago bluesy feeling of all the recent Time Out of Mind shows. Things really cranked up for Seeing the Real You at Last, an absolutely searing, hard driving performance. No doubt the best performance I've ever heard of that song. Another recording to die for. Then Lay Lady Lay, a crowd favorite, with Larry's lone performance on pedal steel for the night. Nicely done. Followed by another surprise, Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine). Some interesting little chords in the arrangement. It seemed a little rough. By this time, it seemed that Bob was throwing these songs at the band spontaneously. There were huddles among band members between each song, with Bob giving directions. Charley, by the way, a handsome young kid, still seems to be finding his way into the group, still seems to be marveling that he's lucky enough to be on stage with Bob Dylan. I think at this point that the group misses Bucky Baxter's versatility on the pedal steel, but there was an undeniable energy and youthful exuberance with this band though that helped make up for it. Next was a wonderful, fun version of You Ain't Goin Nowhere, with harmonies from Larry and Charley. Everyone having a great time. Then things turned serious for Not Dark Yet, another awesome vocal performance by Bob. The arrangement didn't quite match the majesty of the TOOM recording, but the vocal was out of this world. What a night. Then the band intros, with the joke about Charley's visiting his cousin in the Hamilton Co. jail, which I heard as to bring him a cell phone. Any way, Bob and the band got a big charge out of the joke. And then they launched into a blistering version of Highway 61, with Larry's great slide. A crew member had to rescue Charley's guitar, whose strap had come undone. Instead of replacing the guitar, the crew member came out with a screw driver and screwed the strap holder back into the guitar as Charley was playing. The encore set was more predictable, but still full of noteworthy performances. Love Sick had a harder edge, due to Charley's guitar. I liked it. Like a Rolling Stone was majestic, with some more incredibly emotive singing from Bob. About as good as a live performance of this classic can get. Then a countrified It Aint Me Babe and a rattle your bones Not Fade Away. The crowd was NOT ready to fade away so the band returned for one more acoustic number, the new arrangement of Blowin in the Wind, featuring harmonies from Larry and Charley, a reminder of the Budokan version, but with more of a country twang. Very nice. We still wanted more, and for a moment the stage lights teased us as if they would come back out, but that was the end. Another wonderful show. If there has been a better show on this tour, I would certainly be amazed. I know this show was being taped by a guy near me, with a surprisingly elaborate and not very well disguised setup. How he got in with it, I'd like to know. Any way, I have some stuff to trade. Any one who gets their fingers on a copy of this show, please let me know.
Subject: Cincinnati Review From: Joe_Cox Date: Tue, 13 Jul 1999 08:04:18 -0800 With another night of sleep under my belt, I'm now ready to step back and put the greatest Dylan show I've seen in full perspective. The venue is an absolute and complete shithole, really and truly. It's in a somewhat less-than- respectable part of Cincy, in what looks to have once been a movie theatre and now is a mildly skanky little bar and club. It was such a pitiful little place that it was quite atmospheric. The high-school gym comparisons I've repeatedly heard hold up pretty well. I waited in line most of the day; would've had a much better place if not for the wonderful folks who decided that standing in line with the rest of us was too taxing, so they'd just go down to the other end and form their own line, but I couldn't really stay angry; I was still quite close to ol' Bob. This crowd was a breath of fresh air after St. Louis; they were either hardcore fans or at least people who knew enough to be reverant. Security let us in at about 6:45 instead of the pre-arranged 6:30, so it wasn't much of a surprise when the show didn't open until 8:00 on that TINY Bogart's stage. 1.Somebody Touched Me After spending too much time in St. Louis trying to figure this one out and not enough enjoying, I was almost praying for it again. Well, lo and behold, somebody touched me, or at least my request. For selfish reasons, I'd kind of like it if he never played this again, so I could say I'd seen the only two performances ever, but for the good of the world, I hope he keeps it. Everybody needs to hear this one. I'll quote a friend, when we were discussing the church roots of this one "If they sang more songs like that, I'd go to church." Just a great, great opener, with the band in fine form. Bob looked snazzy in the blue shirt, and Larry and Charlie were both backing him up with everything they had. I was singing along on this one, so much that when the tape surfaces, I expect to be credited on backing vocals. Really kick-started the evening. 2.My Back Pages I saw Larry move over to the fiddle and I knew this was what we'd get second. I was thrilled with this, as I wanted to hear Larry fiddle and I'd never pass up a harp bit. Bob flat out nailed this. It was as good of a performance of "Back Pages" as you can ever hear. The crowd was loving it, Bob was dead-on vocally, and Larry's fiddle playing was just as brilliant as his guitar work. I can't really talk about the harp work too much, because when he picked the harp up, the crowd got so loud that I could barely hear him, ever from my vantage point of 10-15 feet away, dead center. But I didn't mind at all; I love the enthusiasm these folks showed, and I think it really rubbed off on the band. All in all, a terrific, terrific performance that had the crowd at Bob's mercy. 3.Desolation Row It sounded a lot like Love-0 at the outset, as it was kind of quicker and jauntier than I would have expected. Not too many people are talking about this one, but it blew me away. Bob managed to make the vocals accurate and interesting without being overstated. It was the first time I'd ever seen Desolation Row and I really hope it's not the last. A terrific performace, that left a very warm Bob wiping his nose off at the end. 4.To Ramona Larry broke out the mandolin! I might be world's biggest Larry Campbell fan, and for that alone, this show was just one long highlight. Larry played everything and played it all so well. He is a musical god, and one with a small enough ego to play rhythm guitar when asked. His mandolin riffs quickly told me that it was "To Ramona", another rarity. Bob got behind this one just enough, and it was a solid performance. Not earth-shaking but very musically sound, especially the mandolin playing. 5.Tangled Up in Blue Old reliable was back again. This got off to a very strange start. Bob was walking around the back of the stage and it rendered the first verse as a false start. Bob finally sauntered on up to the microphone, at which point the song almost died off, and a very glazed looking Bob suddenly lurked forward (scaring the Hell out of me) and broke into the lyrics. It was the usual solid performance, with Bob running just a little behind the lyrics. We got the Italian poet verse again, and yes, he sings that the girl read it to him, instead of handed it to him. No harp here, but the three-note guitar solo was milked for all its glory. Very solid. 6.Girl of the North Country The second straight night of this one for me, so maybe it dulled my enthusiasm a little. Technically proficient, with the vocal almost whispered. Virtually indentical to the St. Louis version. Both times, it seemed to really slow the crowd down. Bob was dancing away with the guitar, working to get the people back into it. A good performance, but it seems to be something of a sedative. 7.Seeing the Real You at Last Not a song that I know too well, so I had to ask just what it was at the outset. This really impressed the Hell out of me. What a brilliant, brilliant version. The guitars were rockin' out on this one. Bob threw himself into it 110% and Larry and Charlie were playing riffs that might be illegal in certain states. This alone would have been worth the price of admission (Of course, my admission was $25, not the $175 or $180 I was hearing about on the street). 8.Lay Lady Lay This one was high on the wishlist of the folks I was with. Larry dominated the sound with some great pedal steel work on this one. One of the songs that I don't think Bob plays anywhere near enough and this was quite a solid version of it; named as the highlight of the show by one of my friends. After it finished, Tony walked over to Bob, grinning and said "Will you tell me what's going on?" 9.Most Likely You Go Your Way This arrangement is downright bizarre. I'm not sure that I really like the arrangement, but the performance was flawless. The band tore this one apart, with Charlie playing that "duh-duh duh-duh duh-duh-duh" riff on about the 37th fret of his guitar (OK, so I exaggerate a little). The melody doesn't much resemble any version of this I'd heard before, but the band and Bob were good enough that it didn't really matter. A pleasent surprise. 10.You Ain't Going Nowhere When Larry Campbell fiddles and sings on the same song, Joe Cox is one happy individual. Especially on a rarity like this. The performace was excellent. Bob sang "Ghengis Khan and all his sheep", which almost messed up the lyrics, but Bob pulled it all back in. Larry and Charlie were great on the harmonies, and the country-flavored days of Bucky Baxter were remembered with this one. 11.Not Dark Yet Probably the biggest downer of the night for me. Bob was right on it, but the sound isn't quite right. This is one which could really use some pedal steel; it just sounded kind of naked without it. It was the first TOOM song I'd heard in the two shows I'd seen. Bob tried to make up for the sparse arrangement with some great singing, but it was fairly mediocre. Band Intros The joke about Charlie Sexton- "Charlie went to visit his cousin in the Hamilton County Jail. Had to bring him a cell phone." He said something else too, which I later heard was "He almost made it to the show." but alas, my own hearing failed me. 12.Highway 61 Another old standby, which became the Charlie Sexton mini- soap opera. He started the song with one guitar, threw it down in about two seconds, and grabbed another one. Then he ripped the capo off of that one. When his solo came, the guitar tech was fixing the strap for him, so Charlie played a kick-ass solo with the guitar about shoulder high. He also had to move to the back of the stage and play for awhile, as the guitar people continued to work. That aside, it was still a great version. The usual, bring down the house, leave 'em dancing rendition, with great guitar work from all. Encores 13.Love Sick Bob came back out with this one... which sounded strange without the pedal steel. Charlie compensated by playing a chord and then kind of sliding down the guitar. He also damn near began the song in the wrong key, as he hit the opening chord about five times before realizing it was the wrong chord and sliding to the right one just as the rest of the band came in. The loss of pedal steel didn't hurt this one too bad, it was just heavily guitar dominated. Bob pulled out a few bars of nice solo work. Solid. Bob sang "Sometimes, feels like I've been plowed under" instead of the plunder line. It was either after this song or LARS that Charlie came over and said something that cracked Bob up. The band was very talkative and Tony was all over the place, all night long. 14.Like a Rolling Stone Some people think you can hear "LARS" too many times. I'm not one of them. I always love to hear this one. And I felt like Charlie and Larry were working overtime on this one, riffing each other into near oblivion. Bob was effective, heavily emphasizing the "feeeeeeeel". This one rocks almost as much as Highway and always makes me glad to hear it. 15.It Ain't Me Babe Two night in a row on this one didn't make me all that happy. Anoter workmanlike version, pretty similar to the way it was in St. Louis. This song has a very confessional feel to it, and anytime you can stand close enough to Bob to watch the sweat drip off of him, to see him squint the baby-blue eyes (at least, that's how they looked Sunday) right at you and sing this, you can't not get involved in it. Again the crowd tries to sing along at "no-no-no" and again it fails. 16.Not Fade Away One I've heard before but can't help but enjoy. Larry and Charlie were right on it, with Charlie playfully tapping his ear, encouraging a little sing-along action. Charlie will be a great great guitarist for Bob, just give him about a year to develop some confidence from Bob, which will lead to more daring guitar bits. I remember Larry Campbell playing a lot like Charlie does now back in '97 and with time, look how he's blossomed. Charlie shows his potential with these great little mini-solos he tosses in, one of them in this song. Bob was still accurate with his vocals at this point. 17.Blowin' in the Wind The band left but returned for this one. I never liked hearing this one before, but I enjoy the current arrangement. Larry and Charlie were harmonious as usual, and Charlie showed off some falsetto qualities on the word "wind". Bob was very solid on this one, but I think he cut a guitar break short at one point to start another verse. All in all, a very nice closer to a great, great night. Bob stuck on his cowboy hat and left, though I thought we might have gotten "RDW" out of him. What a great show! In a ratty little club, surrounded by diehard Dylanites (not to mention the occasional pickpocket, God bless security) hearing so many rarities was a great time. $175 tickets blew my mind... but it was also blown by the people with signs asking for miracle tickets, yet they expected them for FREE. I mean that really would've been a miracle! I don't think that paying face value is too big of a sacrifice to ask, but to some folks, I guess I was wrong. Great crowd, great show, a great time. I've already seen a post that said that somebody taped this one, so please, if you've got a tape, mini-disc, CD-R, vinyl album, wax cylinder, or 8-track of this one, let me know. I'd love to hear a tape of this great event. All the Best, Joe
Subject: Dylan at Bogarts--thoughts on my first Dylan show From: "Daniel R. Smith" Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 19:58:50 GMT Organization: IgLou Internet Services, Inc. Here are some comments I typed up on Monday night regarding the Cincinnati show I wanted to share. Feedback welcome. Bob Dylan Cincinnati, OH Bogart's, att. 1475 July 11, 1999 My first Dylan show. After some sort of divine intervention arranged for me to get in the door (thanks, Andy), after the longest five hours of my life (spent in comfort on the sidewalk with two close friends and five soon-to-be-friends), we were allowed in the building at 6:30. We found ourselves slightly right of center, perhaps eight feet from the stage, with an unobstructed view of the stage. Unfortunately, at 7:20 the predictable assholes came bombarding through, multiple beers in hand, making a mess and cussing at the kids trying to get a view of their favorite singer. These folks planted themselves directly in front of a girl I allowed to stand in front of me (being 6'1 and she 5'4 it seemed like the thing to do), blocking both of our views, as well as those of most of my friends. So we had to move to a much less appetizing position, but the palpable excitement remained as minute after minute after 7:30 ticked away. Finally, at about 7:55, Bob himself emerged, flanked by band, and I was just staring, so excited I don't remember the introduction or even the first couple verses of "Somebody Touched Me." Two hours later, with Charlie Sexton still ringing in my right ear (and he is just now getting fainter, some 26 hours later!) I realized it was pretty much the best concert of my life and a definite experience to remember, a once-in-a-lifetime intimate Dylan show. ACOUSTIC SET 1. Somebody Touched Me Really cool, all three guitarists singing. Crowd clapping along, cheering every chorus. I wasn't sure how I would feel about the traditional song Bob usually performs, as I haven't heard any of them before, but this was such a happy, catchy tune that it was really enjoyable. 2. My Back Pages Larry on violin here, playing his heart out. Great soloing in the opening, then Dylan began the song to great acclaim. Much crowd participation, everyone singing the chorus. Bob sang the first three verses, played a couple lead lines on acoustic, then sang the second verse again. Then went back to get his harmonica, crowd goes apeshit, Bob blows a two or three minute solo. Great enunciation and emotion in the voice, Bob squinted at me (I think) at one point (I assisted him by mouthing the next line--yeah right!). Band huddles up, comes out and starts... 3. Desolation Row This started really weird, Larry back on acoustic, drummer laying down a monster beat. It sounded like "It Ain't Me, Babe" until the vocals came in. Dylan sang five verses...the first three, then the "at night all the agents of the superhuman crew", and then the last verse. While this wasn't, perhaps, as energetic as Back Pages, it was also very well-received. Bob was very impressive, taking up the lead lines on occasion. I'd say it ran six minutes or so. 4. To Ramona Larry on mandolin. Very Spanish-sounding. It was the first time I'd heard this tune, although the more hardcore Dylan fans appreciated it quite a bit. 5. Tangled Up In Blue This was the second BIG highlight. The band looked like they really love this song, and the crowd was singing along, stomping feet, generally having a great time. Dylan, doing some impressive rock-star posturing while trading leads with Charlie, was all smiles and played with the pace of teh vocals as he is often wont to do ("Taaaaaaaaaaaangled upinbloooo"). Tony's upright bass playing was particularly good here, had the wood floor bouncing and the whole room clapping along. 6. Girl of the North Country Great version. I enjoyed this a lot, even though I've only heard the tune once or twice. One of my friends turned around and screamed at me (did I mention the volume?) "NASHVILLE SKYLINE!" Wasn't the last time, either! ELECTRIC SET 7. Seeing the Real You At Last I gather it's not often we get a tune from the Empire, so this was a treat. The second song of the night I was hearing for the first time, this one was pretty good. Very, extraordinarily loud, though. 8. Lay, Lady, Lay A really pleasant surprise, this. Cool steel guitar. This was the one tune of the night where Bob's voice was a little off, but I guess you can't expect him to duplicate that sublime croon from the studio version. 9. Most Likely You'll Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine This was the biggest rocker thus far, although it seemed most of the audience didn't recognize it till halfway through. Bob and Charlie exchanging riffs and leads. The highlight was easily the big chord change leading into the chorus, where the lights all of a sudden rose and Bob blasted out the lyrics. 10. Not Dark Yet Time Out Of Mind, for me, ranks up among the classics, and we hadn't gotten a song yet--I was hoping to hear three, but he did play my two favorites from the record. Really good vocals, the song was treated with the solid stately grace it deserves. 11. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere This one was fun, everyone was singing along with the chorus and dancing about. Dylan's joke of the evening, at Sexton's expense, was something about him nearly being late for the gig due to having to give a cousin of his a cell phone at the Hamilton County jail. Everyone had a good laugh at that, it was the only time Bob spoke to the crowd on the evening. Larry on fiddle again. 12. Highway 61 Revisited This was a blistering jam, Dylan screaming out the lyrics and laying down some killer leads between the verses. "Take it on down to Highway Seeeeeeeeeeeex-ty Oooone!" The funniest thing of the night was the roadie screwing Charlie's strap back into the guitar while Sexton was trying to play some intricate solo...finally the roadie succeeded in getting it back in, only to have to come back and give it another go about a minute later. The main set lasted for about an hour and fifteen minutes. ENCORES 13. Love Sick They came back shortly for the staged encores (I think the plan was to do the first four). Bob playing the eerie chords while the other two bashed out the big buildups before the chorus. The audio was positively chilling, although Bob's big smile belied the fun he was having performing the tune. 14. Like A Rolling Stone A crowd-pleaser. I'd have to say I'm not fond of Dylan's phrasing on the vocal, nor the guitar-based instrumentation. Perhaps this one should be retired for a bit, at least until Bob grabs an organist to really put some balls into this song. I think I'd have rather heard a reinterpretation of something like "Tambourine Man" done up electric as heard on Budokan, or "Watchtower"--which was the only track I really missed from the set. 15. It Ain't Me, Babe (acoustic) Country-fried, well done. 16. Not Fade Away Love this song anyway, but Bob and the boys did a really good job with it, a neat rave-up to get everyone dancing and provide a climax to the scheduled show. 17. Blowin' In the Wind (acoustic) It's always nice when a performer actually does something special, and I think this fifth encore was really a treat. First off, the crowd wouldn't let him leave after Fade Away, and second, it was a really special show that needed a huge cap-off. And this version was phenomenal, with the three vocalists blasting the chorus, accompanied by fifteen hundred of their sweatiest friends. The perfect climax to a night of magic, Dylan-style. I think Bob really treated Cincinnati well last night--a set full of well-played rarities mixed with beautiful greatest hits. Definitely worth the hassle of sitting on Vine Street for five hours to be within ten feet of a true legend and the greatest American musician ever born.
1999: January - February - March - April - May - June - July