April 11, 2007
Review by Iain Watson
Last nights show was a tale of two halves as it were.
From the off, when Dylan was on guitar the show was superbly rocking -
Cat's In The Well, It Ain't Me, Tom Thumb and It's Alright were all
excellent, with the latter two being highlights of the whole night. In
fact I have waited 12 years to see Tom Thumbs Blues live and was not
disappointed in any way, it was just perfect. It's Alright Ma is another
track which nevers disappoints in a live setting, and in yet another new
arrangement works superbly well. Bob didn't miss a single word.
Then Dylan moved over to the keyboard. This I have no real problem
with, as the previous shows I have seen have not been affected by this in
any way, although it is well documented that not everyone is in favour.
My only complaint is that it gives Denny Freeman the chance to play guitar
'solos' much more often than he should (which is never to be honest).
Before I go onto that, I'll mention the other highlights of the night.
Firstly, John Brown. Now, I am sure this would struggle to make anyone's
top 30 Bob songs, but tonights was a revelation - mesmeric. The band
played very subtly (nice banjo accompaniment, soundling like Hollis Brown
to start) allowing Dylan to clearly sing the whole song prominently in a
heartfelt way, very much as it needs to be in this day and age. A really
excellent version of a much maligned song, the delivery of those final
lines literally gave me shivers in a way that only Bob Dylan can. Next,
Ain't Talkin. I was really hoping for Nettie Moore, but this was a more
than equal match. The stage bathed in orange light set the mood nicely,
and once again Bob stepped up a gear and really delivered. Another
beautiful moment. It really is great that we still have wonderful new
Dylan songs to hear after all this time.
Most of the rest of the set went along like this. Song starts, crowd
cheers, Bob sings, instrumental break, Denny Freeman plays either one of
his trademark 'solos' (slow or really slow), song meanders or grinds
almost to a standstill, Bob steps in with more vocals (or a harp break) to
save the day, back into vocals, song ends.
And that is the problem with this band. Bob, Tony and George are
excellent and are playing extremely well. In comparison, the other guys
look extremely amateurish and completely out of their depth with Dylan,
almost as if they are scared to put a foot wrong. Summer Days and
especially Rolling Stone almost fell apart completely due to the guitar
solo going absolutley nowhere (slowly).
As it stands, Bob can (and does) deliver the goods more often than not.
However he is Bob Dylan, and for whatever reason, he has a band in which
50% of the players are not good enough. As a result, these guys do not
deserve to be playing these songs, much less be in Bob Dylans touring
One final note about the show - the 'eye logo' became stuck and only
came halfway down during the encores. No-one in the band seemed to
notice any problems (or if they did, it wasn't acknowledged), but the
crowd sure did. Kind of like the state of the band at the moment ....
Review by Craig McAllister
I was at the dentist this morning and I can't make up my mind which was
more painful - being told I need a filling or being forced to listen to
the guitarist in Bob Dylan's band mangle out another elastic band guitar
Dylan last night was on top form. His voice sounded fantastic, his
hat/suit combo was inspired and his choice of songs was just about as
expected, with the odd curve-ball thrown in. No-one would've had their
money on hearing 'John Brown', and in all my times at Dylan concerts, I
think last night was the first time I'd heard him play 'Just Like Tom
Thumb's Blues'. He started great. The first 4 songs he played guitar and I
was thinking 'This is brilliant'. Then the first of many fumbled guitar
breaks came in, and it all went a bit pear shaped. Honestly, Denny Freeman
is no better a guitarist than me. And that's not good enough for Bob
Dylan. Bob must know this. Perhaps he's told the rest of them (with the
exception of cooler-than-cool Tony Garnier) that they're all sacked after
this tour, cos most of his band plodded through the night with no fire or
passion and little musical inventiveness. The 'Modern Times' stuff sounded
OK. In fact 'Aint Talkin" was pretty amazing, but when let loose on the
60's stuff, this band is way out of its depth. No Bob set has room for
both 'Stuck Inside of Mobile.' and 'Most Likely You Go Your Way..',
especially with a band as inept as this one. Christ, they even managed to
mess up the start of 'Like A Rolling Stone'. Instead of the pistol crack
drum intro, it sort of limped along to the first line. Tony didn't even
have his bass strapped on until Bob began singing. At one point Donald
beside me said 'This band sound like Peter Kay's in Phoenix Nights'. And
he was right.
I also spent most of the night looking at Bob's arse. I thought I was
being smart in advance by ordering tickets that would give me a good view
of stage left, where his keyboard has been sat for the past 3 years. But
guess what? The wee contrary bastard decided to move the keyboard to
centre stage! This at least gave us the chance to see what Bob did when he
was really into what was being played. He bopped, he jerked and he looked
like he was humping his instrument. Not so much Jerry Lee Lewis as
Geriatric Lee Lewis. It was highly amusing. Of course, when he wasn't into
it he still looked like a Thunderbirds puppet going out as a cowboy for
Halloween. No review of Bob's current tour would be complete without a
comment or two on Bob's keyboard sound. A cross between a 60s garage band
Farfisa (good) and the ice hockey organ (bad) it was really noticeable for
all the wrong reasons during many songs. But hey. It was Bob Dylan. Live.
In front of me. For the umpteenth time. In some ways much better than
previous times I've seen him - the voice, mainly and in other ways much
worse than before - his band, mainly. But it was still Bob Dylan and he's
still better than the rest. Just think what he could do with a good band
Bob, if you're reading this (hahahahaha) bring back Larry and Charlie.
Review by David Paterson
Bob Dylan in fine form last night in Glasgow. Despite the SECC venue ,
probably the worst setting for a Dylan gig anywhere, Bob once again proved
why he remains peerless. A 2 hour show which featured Bob on guitar for
the first 4 songs included 6 songs from Modern Times as well as a number
of re-worked classics most notably It Ain't Me Babe , It's Alright Ma and
Hard Rain's Gonna Fall. The highlight of the evening for me was a
blistering version of John Brown closely followed by Just like Tom Thumb's
Blues and Ain't Talkin'. As always Dylan is prepared to take risks with
his music which keeps the performances fresh and contemporary. The Never
Ending Tour Rolls on...................
Comments by Les Robertson
Best Dylan gig for years. From the first minute when the lights went up
with Bob center stage complete with guitar it was obvious that he was up
for it and didnt disappoint. In typical Dylan style he surprised us all
with John Brown. Pure magic. i wont forget this for a long time. If he is
as good tonight then Newcastle is in for a treat.
Review by Harry Porter
Only Dylan can tempt me to the SECC. Five times I’ve
endured it and each time I’ve vowed it’s the last.
First off, the acoustics are lousy but when you add
the constant mini ‘Mexican wave’ because of folk going
on a lager run, late arrivals and repeated ticket
checks, getting into the music isn’t easy.
This time, two girls in front added to the distraction
by talking incessantly through every single number.
And that’s a pity because this started off with some
promise. Bob seemed in good voice and that built
steadily through the ‘guitar’ section with Cat’s In
The Well, It Ain’t Me Babe, a bluesy Just Like Tom
Thumb’s Blues and a powerful It’s Alright Ma with
vocals that could have come from the Planet Waves
Only Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way seemed to falter
but, again, given better acoustics and the volume
cranked up a bit it may well have worked.
Then came an almost chilling version of John Brown
though the giggling about haircare products from the
row in front somewhat dampened the impact.
So it wasn’t until after a rather dreary Stuck Inside
of Mobile that things seemed to ignite again with a
very atmospheric Ain’t Talking.
After that it was par for the course. Like A Rolling
Stone closed the show with an audience determined to
deliver a ‘How does it feel?’ over Dylan’s understated
A fine Thunder on the Mountain preceded a predictable
Watchtower as the encore and Dylan’s Scottish visit
came to a close.
Highlights? Definitely the voice, It's Alright Ma and
seeing a guitar strapped on again.
Lows? The SECC (and all that comes with it)… again.
Review by Mikael Peterson
Well time again for a review from me, I didn´t have time to write one on
Gothenburg (very good by the way) since I tend to work so much these days.
Just got back from Scotland and a weeks holyday including the great show
at SECC in Glasgow...We(my long time friend and musician Lasse and I)
arrived at Prestwick on Sunday, April 8 and took a bus to small city
called Irvine were we spent our first night at a charming, ragged old
hotel, bult in 1836, called the Eglington Arms, really cheap and
personal, highly recommended...
Then on Monday we took a boat from Ardrossan to the beautiful island of
Arran where we went north to some place near Lochranza only to find out
that the Hostel was fully booked,no worries, we just strolled along to
the nearest bar and had a few...
Noticed a guitar hanging on the wall so I picked it down and sang a few
songs, "Times they are a-changing", "Boots of Spanish leather" etc and
it totally transformed the atmosphere, people who were scattered all
over the place closed in and we all got into a wonderful groove,that´s
the power of music for you...
Anyway,this nice dude Ian went into some back room and fetched another
guitar and soon the whole place was ´swinging...we later told him that
we had no place to stay so he made a call and drove us in his bus to
these fantastic people in a wonderful house...Ricky and Diane, who by
the way were acquainted to Paul McCartney,who used to have a house
The finest whiskey of the house was brought out and really good acoustic
guitars as well, it turned out Ricky was also into music so we all had a
magical time and in the morning we were served a lovely breakfast, a
real good taste of true Scotland it surelly was, and thanks again Ian,
Ricky and Diane, we love you...
Does this seem more like something out of a travel book instead of a
review? Well bare with me, I´m sure some of you bobfans out there also
like to read the "framework", I know I do...
After that we went for the grand tour at the Arran whiskey distellerys,
great stuff, and then back to Irvine via Ardrossan...
Come Wednesday, we took the train to Glasgow,booked into the first
availeble hotel we could find set out for drinks in anticipation...for
We had a look at the venue and talked to some people, one Norweygan who
was attending his 104th show(wow!It´s only my 24th) and then went to a
hotelbar nearby were I met Jimmy and we had a few drinks.
Lasse had never been to a Dylanshow before so I kind of got the
opportunety to watch through his eyes if you know what I mean...
It was an amazing night!!! Bob was on from get go, every song was
delivered beautifully, the sound was crisp, every nuance came through
and by the third number my friend was in tears...It was absolutely
magical and flawless and I don´t know were all you Danny Freeman critics
are coming from;the guy is great!!! He´s just not Johnny Winter, but a
laidback nuanced countrystyle player who tastes every note before he
delivers them, Tony is, well Tony, Donnie provides a lot of air and
brilliance with his multitalent, Stu right on spot,George as well and
Bob is the ultimate in coolness and proffessionalism, I absolutely
loved every minute of the show and so did everybody I met afterwards, It
has to be said...and " John Brown"!!! Perfectly sung and played, more
than I could ever have hoped for...
I sure hope Tomas booked some tickets for the Herning show.
That´s it from me this time around,and as usual any input is
welcome...my E-mail adress still is:email@example.com
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