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Bob Dylan 990714 in Raleigh

Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 01:12:02 EDT
Subject: Dylan in Raleigh
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1. Hallelujah I'm Ready
2. Mr. Tambourine Man (with harp)
3. Masters of War
4. Tangled Up in Blue
5. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Larry on pedal steel)
6. Rainy Day Women 
7. Just Like a Woman (with harp, Larry on pedal steel)
8. All Along the Watchtower
9. Not Dark Yet
10. Highway 61

11. Like a Rolling Stone
12. It Ain't Me, Babe (with harp)
13. Not Fade Away

Paul SImon's opening set:

1. Bridge Over Troubled Waters
2. Can't Run But
3. Boy in the Bubble
4. The Coast (? -- from Rhythm of the Saints)
5. Trailways Bus
6. Mrs. Robinson
7. Me and Julio
8. Further to Fly (? -- from Rhythm of the Saints)
9. Graceland
10. Cool, Cool River
11. Slip Slidin' Away
12. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
13. You Can Call Me Al

14. Late in the Evening
15. Still Crazy After All These Years

and then with Dylan:
1. Sounds of Silence
2. That'll Be the Day/The Wanderer
3. Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Paul Simon opened and did a fine show. I got the feeling it was
pretty much the same as most of his other shows -- the tunes were
the same, the band was very tight, and the performance was highly
professional -- which is not to say that it wasn't enjoyable. He
put a lot into some great songs and the results were a very good
opening act, all in all.

The duet was quite entertaining. I'm not sure it was necessarily
fantastic music, but it was certainly worth seeing. Dylan seemed
pretty stiff and deferential during Sounds of Silence, kind of
goofily lost during the medley, and much more playful on his own
song. I'm glad they did the songs together, but it wasn't the
highlight of the evening.

That occurred for me when Dylan came out for his own set. This is
the thirteenth time I've seen him, but the first since 1995.
Consequently, I'd never seen 3/5 of the band before and I was
really looking forward to seeing (and hearing) what I've been
reading about here for the last year or so. I was not
disappointed at all. The music the band created was thrilling to
hear. Larry Campbell is an amazing player. I wish Charlie Sexton
had a bit more to do because the couple times he stepped out (on
Highway 61 and Like a Rolling Stone) were pretty cool, but it
seemed like he was still working his way into the mix. I loved
all the guitars, Dylan's too, playing with and against each
other, particularly in the acoustic set, which actually seemed
more "electric" to me than, say, Rainy Day Women, which was the
only performance that felt a bit flat. The song selection may not
have been out of the ordinary, but my wife, who is not a huge
Dylan fan, was glad to hear some she knew. It seemed to me that
Dylan was really playing for that type of audience tonight, the
kind that may not have come out just to see him. Whether it's
because he wanted to win them over, because he hasn't played in
the area for a long time or just because he was in a good mood,
he was very much the performer tonight. He danced, contorted,
scowled, smiled, and accepted flowers from a girl in the front
row with a big thank you. He seemed to be having a great time, as
did the crowd around me. I loved it, too. This was one of the
best shows I've seen since... well, since the last Dylan show I
saw, I guess.

(Dylan's big joke tonight during the introduction of Larry
Campbell was that Larry had been talking with Neil Young on the
phone earlier in the day and Neil was complaining that there's no
rock and roll anymore. Larry's helpful suggestion according to
Bob was to hold a stone up to one ear and a hamburger bun up to
the other -- rimshot from the drummer. After introducing David
Kemper, Dylan clarified for the audience that he had just been
kidding. In actuality, Larry had been talking to Elvis Costello.)

Subject: Ultrashort Raleigh Review From: Gert Webelhuth Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 10:26:29 -0700 I'm too busy to type much, but here are a few lines on last night's show in Raleigh. I haven't seen Bob so loose and in good spirits in a long time, including the small club shows a couple of years ago. He was dancing, prancing, smiling, taking roses from the people in front of the stage, overall obviously having a very good time. He came out after a very enjoyable set by Paul Simon and dueted the usual encores with him. My wife particularly loved Sounds of Silence, the combination between Simon's sweet voice and our man's raspy voice. I loved Heaven's Door. Then after a short break our man comes back. He starts the show with some Jesus song, what a disappointment - a man of his intelligence wasting his talents on such outdated crap! But this was quickly forgotten, as one great song after the other came our way. Tambourine man wasn't special, I've heard it too many times. Just like a woman was wonderful, every syllable clearly pronounced with feeling. Tangled was indeed tangled, he got lost in the middle and sang a verse twice, I think that song might benefit from a rest as well. Watchtower was very nice, here one sees that a song wins by being given a break from being played over and over again. The additional guitar makes it a very nice rocker. As I recall, that was one of the songs where Larry was let off the leash and could show his guitar skills. RDW was the predictable crowd pleaser, that song somehow never needs a rest. HW61 is an energy bundle, you just can't sit or stand still the way it affects every one of your nerves. There were three encores, RS, It ain't me, Babe, and Not Fade Away. I suspect that they had to be out of the arena by 11 and that is why they didn't play more encores. I saw him in Chicago last Friday and there they played 5 encores, until after midnight. But Not Fade Away was a fitting end to a wonderful night where he was really alert and trying to get every note right and every syllable articulated just right. To me it showed again why he is the best show on earth and when he is on nobody can touch your soul like him. Given the identical or almost identical setlist from the Chicago show, I wouldn't have minded to hear some different songs, especially from the Rolling Thunder period, but it was not to be. We gotta get to Tony someday and make him choose better songs for Bob! The ones he sang can't be sung much better, though, than they were sung last night. Thank you, Bob and shame on you for coming to my hometown the one time I am gone for six weeks during the summer and have to fly home to see your show! Stay young and hopefully see you next year during a club tour that you owe us for milking us with $86 this summer! (Oh, yes, if somebody by mistake had their tape player running during the show and can spare a copy, please get in touch!)
From: Carter Lewis To: "''" Subject: review for dylan 7/14 at walnut creek, raleigh, nc. Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 10:59:36 -0400 .... first off, paul simon was pretty good. better'n i thought he'd be. he played a set which featured you can call me al, graceland, trailways bus, me and julio down by the schoolyard, mrs. robinson, still crazy after all these years, diamonds in the soles of her shoes, further to fly, slip slidin' away, bridge over troubled water . . . blahblahblah. then, he introduced bob. they started a way-mellow version of sounds of silence that was awesome. the medley of the rock classics was decent, but short. knockin' on heaven's door was great. they traded verses and played it reggae-style (a la live at budokan -or eric clapton's version). very nice. harmonica by bob, and complete with the new line (in addition to "just like so many times before") "i hear ya knockin', but'cha can't come in." the first song (hallelujah) was one i'd never heard. but, damn. it was bluegrass to the bone and it was terrific. tambourine man was nothin' really special, but cool. masters of war was the best version i've heard. it was like a two-string blues riff without much of the turnaround of a 12-bar shuffle. very nice. baby blue - first i'd heard it live and it was very good. tangled, always my favorite, was as nice as when i saw him in nashville in february. harmonica. then, i have no idea what happened next. i was expecting leopard-skin pillbox hat. the music started like a cross between that and rainy day women. so, he starts about people stoning you... then a chorus. second verse he says "they'll stone you and then they'll be back again" three of the four lines, then a chorus. then, he turns to the band and they end it. bob kind of starts waddling and crouching/slouching back toward the drum set, seemingly laughing. i have no idea. then, one i was looking forward to - all along the watchtower (which i'd never heard, either). it was amazing. i was bummed by the mix-up on getting stoned and this got me back up off my chair. after two riders approached and the wind began to howl, though, it got cut all of a sudden. they were in the process of building up and just stopped, suddenly. now, i'm thinkin' bob's on the sauce again. or worse. there was a shirt thrown onstage during this song - and i'm not sure if it was the same girl who took hers off earlier in the song, but i'm guessin' it was. on another note: not sure if it was at this point or when exactly but he wanted to introduce his band - "some of the finest musicians in the world." he introduces larry campbell (guitar) and makes a joke about larry discussing rock 'n roll with neil young and neil tellin' him to hold a rock up to one ear... then introduces david kemper (drums) and makes an elvis costello joke and chuckles. kemper gave a drum roll after the first joke. then, he introduced the rest. just like a woman was decent, but not as great as other versions i've heard before. he did have a little exchange with an audience member and security pulled him back. as dylan walked with the guard, he ducked and turned like a kid at an amusement park and got away long enough to get some flowers offered up by a fan. i wonder if that was the same one who threw the shirt? not dark yet was amazing. i was hoping for this gem. it sounded similar to the studio recording, but still had a dylan live-ism quality. highway 61 was terrific, with bob holding out the number (highway sssiixxxtyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy-ooonnnnnnee!) then he bowed out and gave another (complete w/midwest-drawl) "thank you, ladies and gentlemen." not too long after, the encore began. true-to-life version of like a rolling stone and then it ain't me, babe. if you never hear bob dylan play any other song, make sure you hear him play not fade away. a bit different from what buddy holly did originally, and god bless it. it's just straight-up rock 'n roll. period. he played this as the lights came on (shows at this amphitheater have to stop at 11) and rocked it for a good 10 minutes. i honestly think he wanted to play more, judging by the way he shimmied to the mic with his guitar as the band stopped the song. oh well. this was the greatest hits set, with more acoustic than i've seen. a few misfires intact, a great showing from mr. dylan. carter lewis
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