Ranking Every Spring 2000 Song, Part 2

2000-04-04, Omaha Civic Arena, Omaha, NE

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As we wrap up our look at the first tour of 2000, we continue our four-part ranking of every song he performed on it. (If you missed yesterday and want to start at the real bottom of the barrel, that's here).

60. She Belongs to Me - Competent, but not super memorable. It's been done worse. It's been done better. (That's gonna be a theme of today's batch.)
Times performed: 1

59. You're a Big Girl Now - Blood on the Tracks is my favorite album, and I wanted to love this, but it never quite lives up to the song.
Times performed: 1

58. Tangled Up in Blue - Almost sounds like the original New York recording's Open-E tuning version, rather than the one that ended up on the album. He performed this more than any other song except "Not Fade Away."
Times performed: 24

57. The Roving Blade - He played "The Roving Gambler" a lot. He played "The Roving Blade" once. Shoulda kept it around; it could have grown into something great. Rough and ragged here, it sounds like a holdover from the early '90s.
Times performed: 1

56. The Times, They Are A-Changin' - Like "Just Like a Woman" and "Mr. Tambourine Man" yesterday, a greatest-hit performed somewhat unimaginatively. But he does sing the hell out of it.
Times performed: 2

55. Lay Lady Lay - Beautifully subtle performance by the band. And then there's Bob producing atonal skronks on his guitar. How do I mute that channel?
Times performed: 2

54. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) - One of the longest songs he performs regularly. Squeezing two shorter songs in its place would have livened things up.
Times performed: 12

53. Forever Young - If you like this song, this rendition (featuring opener Ray Benson) might suit you just fine. I don't, and there's nothing in this version to change my mind.
Times performed: 1

52. Gotta Serve Somebody - A plodding and awkward arrangement only saved by Bob's clear enthusiasm.
Times performed: 1

51. The Roving Gambler - The parts on the final lines where the instruments cut out and they all sing together are fantastic. The rest is less memorable.
Times performed: 9

50. Not Dark Yet - An undeniably top-tier song that always sounds great. Do these versions deliver much that the original doesn't though?
Times performed: 15

49. Maggie's Farm - Every night he played this, he moved it earlier in the set. Seems like he didn't quite know what to do with it. Should have kept it around until he figured it out!
Times performed: 4

48. Love Minus Zero / No Limit - In a year of stunning acoustic performances, one that is only pretty-good inevitably seems underwhelming. But still! Pretty good!
Times performed: 4

47. All Along the Watchtower - I pretty much always love "Watchtower," but I can't say there's much in the handful of performance this spring to distinguish it. Many better versions out there.
Times performed: 8

46. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight - Steel guitar? Check. Shuffle beat? Check. The arrangement is unremarkable, but Bob's enthusiastic vocal pushes it up about ten notches. Then Bob guitar-soloing over top of Larry's vastly superior steel-soloing knocks it back down five.
Times performed: 2

45. Gates of Eden - Another big surprise this year, and one that became a setlist staple by the end. It's enjoyable enough, but I think a lot of the other acoustic-set versions of his folk-era songs surpass it.
Times performed: 5

44. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere - So I'd forgotten about this one and had a "sure enough, this doesn't really go anywhere" joke all cued up. But, unfortunately for my dumb joke, it's pretty good. (That line does work for Bob's "guitar solo" though.)
Times performed: 1

43. Song to Woody - Before the Never-Ending Tour, this probably seemed like a song he'd never revive, so firmly was it tied to another era in his life. What's next, "Ballad in Plain D"? But this is, of course, a far better song, and every time it's come back has been a treat.
Times performed: 4

42. Rock of Ages - I love all the gospel songs. This one is just slightly less distinctive than the others. Still great though!
Times performed: 7

41. Desolation Row - What "Desolation Row"s have deviated wildly from this general approach? They tend to be pleasant acoustic ballads where the band doesn't do all that much. It's up to Bob to deliver the calliope of imagery. He does so pretty well this time 'round.
Times performed: 5

Part three coming tomorrow…

2000-04-04, Omaha Civic Arena, Omaha, NE