Reviews

Oslo, Norway
Spektrum
April 7, 2002


[Steinar Daler], [Amund Ove BÝrdahl]

Review by Steinar Daler



About 40 fans from Norway had been on the Stockholm concert, and a few of
us, me among them, was a bit disappointed. Maybe it`s because I saw four
excellent concerts in California in october and not so thrilled to hear
the very well performed songs from L&T. I had a first row ticket in
Stockholm and Bob really looked tired and old, maybe he had jet-lag.

But the same thing happened this year as last summers European tour from
the first to the second show. In Oslo he was in top form, looked 10 years
younger and nailed every song so precise and so clear. I had first row
tickets in Oslo as well, and it was easy to see that he was much more
present from the very beginning. I have rearly heard a better "Desolation
row" or "Mama you`ve been on my mind". And my wish to hear him sing
"Floater" - as I missed it in California - was fulfilled. Just great. "Man
of constant sorrow" was also a real treat - (nice in Stockholm too).
"Knockin`" was even more beautifulI than it has been the last year. I also
like his new slow and less bitter arrangement of "4th street" too - though
I`ve heard some other fans don`t like it. For me it was also the first
show Bob both played "Desolation row" and "Visions of Johanna". Worth the
price alone. Has he done that ever before? (Hav`nt had time to check all
the old setlists yet.

The first song that made you want to get up an dance/move was "Lonesome
day blues" at spot 7. My friends Jorgen L (from Sweden) and Geir O got up
and started to move. A lot of people asked them to sit down, but our old
"friend" Jim Callahan who`s back in business as Bob`s security man asked
them to try to get all the others in the front row to stand up as well. It
did`nt happend til "Summer days".

All in all it was a very varied and well balanced concert in music styles,
Bob smiled a lot, and he gave us "Watchtower" as an extra bonus as he
usely does when he`s satisfied. My wife who has been to 10 concerts in the
last 15 years was in no doubt that this was the best concert she had ever
seen, and myself who have seen 6 times more concerts also rates it as one
of the best. I`m really looking foreward to see Bob again at the two
London concerts in May.

Steinar Daler  

[TOP]

Review by Amund Ove BÝrdahl



There are some of us who would like to see all of his concerts or most of
them or many of them. For practico-economical reasons we do not. We only
see him about once a year. Our expectations each time are so high that we
cannot possibly be disappointed. The highlight of the concert is when he
and his band enter the stage. This highlight lasts for two and a half
hours, and gradually fades into new and even higher expectations of seeing
him next year.
  
Last year I saw him was in Bergen, where I live. The sun was shining, in a
rainy place. It was an unbeatable event. Yet, from a vocal and musical
point of view, he beat it in Oslo Spektrum, a horrible room, but
irresistible on certain nights. The quality of this concert is difficult
to describe. That wild mercury sound? A reviewer of the Forum concert in
Copenhagen the day after (M. Davidsson, see below) comes close with his
scenario of pots of gold and diamonds behind every tree where the rainbow
ends. He and his band managed to turn even All along the watchtower into a
high carat performance, with an unforgettable first verse repetition at
the end of the song, end of concert.

Note. The reviews I saw (Dagbladet, VG, Puls) were enthusiastic, but
Norwegian critics would do better if they translated some select American
or Danish reviews into Norwegian (with the necessary changes), instead of
writing their own. It is for instance not true that Dylan needed a long
time to warm up - the journalist perhaps did. Judging from these reports a
Dylan concert is like a rolling stones concert, where the journalist
sleeps himself through the many real highlights until he wakes up at the
sound of jumpin jack flash or similar, and then 'really enjoys it' while
the stones are going through the motions before the highlight of the
journalist's evening: the fireworks. Now, a Dylan-concert is nothing like
that, and should't be in professional ears (Journalists are professional,
it is their profession). It may be true that he sometimes has his ups and
downs, from a musical point of view (forgetting about the microphone and
things like that), in the course of a concert. But this concert was
nothing like anything. It was fireworks all the way. An unbeatable event. 

[TOP]

page by Bill Pagel
billp61@execpc.com

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