Dylan Does It All!

Bob Dylan

Star Plaza - Merrillville

August 26, 1994

First Appeared in The Music Box, Sept/Oct 1994, Volume 1, #4

Written by John Metzger

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On August 26, Bob Dylan settled into the intimate confines of Merrillville, Indiana's Star Plaza, and other than the gestapo tactics of the venue's security force, the show proved to be a remarkably enjoyable endeavor. Dylan, looking great, solidly blasted through 14 tunes, opening with a 1-2-3 punch of Jokerman, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, and All Along the Watchtower. His band proved to be a formidable force, and many times throughout the concert, the music made more than a parting nod to Neil Young and Crazy Horse. Dylan, forever playing with his songs, added a very different twist to Shelter from the Storm, but no matter how much he rearranged his material, it still packed quite a punch and certainly kept the audience on its toes.

Dylan's vocals intonations continued to improve over years past, and they ranged from a scream to a near-whisper as he packed volumes of of emotion into each verse he sang. On Masters of War, for example, he borrowed from Eddie Vedder's performance of the song at the 1992 tribute concert that has been dubbed BobFest.

For years, Dylan has placed a mini-acoustic set into the middle of his show, and this one served up three perfect gems. In addition to the aforementioned Masters of War, he pulled out a fabulous rendition of Desolation Row and a very touching version of One Too Many Mornings.

Other highlights from the concert included country-style versions of She Belongs to Me and Like a Rolling Stone, both complete with pedal steel guitar musings. On Dylan's final encore, his band returned to its acoustic framework for a heart-felt rendition of It Ain't Me, Babe.

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Copyright 1994 The Music Box