page by Bill Pagel
Review by Peter Mestach
for those who gathered inside the colloseum of what is the eighth visit in
brussels, this review comes as no surprice. for all others please check
out carefully all circulating tapes in the not too near future. after
attending a help-me-to-find-out-where-i-am show in oberhausen mr dylan
rediscovered his homeground at the forest national on sunday night. packed
with bobcats varying in age and sex, but with the better part of the
lonesome young females down in front of bob's mike. the arena has a very
not-arena feeling as the audience hangs in a circle around the stage, so
9000 fans had a perfect view when bob and his great band stepped out and
started the festivities with a very up-tempo and concentrated Hallelujah,
I'm Ready To Go. Bob looking as a replica-copy of the older Hank Williams,
with white suit and black hat. He had the look in the eyes and after the
first verse the left knee started jingling around, and you all know what
that means... Song number two will be remembered for a long time. When I
Paint My Masterpiece in the acoustic format coming two times to a climax
as our dear friend messed up the words and after shouting the word
"Brussels" three times he looked at the arena, laughing, shaking his leg
and clearly having great fun. The audience responded throughout the whole
show with dignity and energy. Dylan always plays one of the better shows
of any tour in brussels, so last night was no exception. to find out what
was played check out the setlist. tonight's show and collected songs made
perfect sense. dylan, the jack-ass moaning at the ladies during Cry A
While and the perfect seducer during a tender Moonlight. All can happen in
ten minutes. Of course, no bob show's correct without messing up the
words, but when hed repeated almost three times the second verse of
masters of war even he did realize it was more than funny as he roared
with laughter to charlie. and please, ladies and gents, let's raise all
hands for the great jim keltner. never did dylan have a better drummer
than this chap. some extraordinary drumming for most of the show and the
engine, the big beat in the mean machine. other highlight? well, i guess
they all vary from where you sat or stood, how you felt, etc. but visions
was mouth-perfect, i believe in you had great phrasing and knockin' was
the best version so fat on the l&t tour. it is not so much the indiviual
highlights that will make this show so legendary, but the whole feeling of
the feedback between dylan and his band and the audience. candycam on
stage for If You See Her, Say Hello (fa-bu-lous, with larry playing the
fiddle), Visions and I Believe In You. standing ovation during several
parts of the encores, and dylan throwing thumbs to the ladies in the front
(don't they treat him kindly???). anyway, for those living in the country,
check out my review in tuesday's edition of "de standaard" newspaper. see
some of you in rotterdam on thursday. rave on, peter
Review by Eddie Janssens
After the show in Oberhausen, of which the first part was very good, but
the second part was a bit disappointing, I was very curious to know what
Bob would do in my hometown Brussels. Would he continue in the same spirit
or would he take revenge for the somewhat disappointing performance the
day before? Traditionally Brussels has a very good reputation when it
comes to Dylan concerts. Especially the 95-, 96-, and 98 shows are
worldwide cherished by the Bob-fans. I had good hopes that it would be
true also this time and thank goodness for me and the whole audience I
seemed to be right. My friend Jan, his father Francis and I had found
place on about the 5th row in the middle, right in front of the microphone
standard of Dylan. My wife and my three kids Eva (11), Hannah (9) and
Jesse (6) had taken seats and were waving regularly at me. At 20h02 the
lights of a sold-out Forest National dimmed and Columbia Recording Marshal
Bob Dylan appeared; white suite, black hat, shirt and shoes.
And the opener was …
Hallelujah, I'm Ready To Go
Dylan took us by surprise. Even he seemed to believe what he was
The band played solidly and it was a pleasure to hear Jim Keltner
What a top-class drummer!
When I Paint My Masterpiece
The first surprise of the evening and, even if the vast majority of the
audience did not recognize this number, the early hour Bob-fans responded
enthusiastically when Bob started to sing 'I left Rome and landed in
Brussels'. Dylan seemed to have problems with the lyrics because he
repeated this strophe once again at the end, with yet another enthusiastic
reaction from the Brussels audience to follow. Also Bob did not fail to
see that and could not suppress a smile on his face. And above all that…
Bob had just only started a concert that was going to be a master-piece.
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
Surely not my favorite song. I had rather preferred him to sing the
beautiful yesterday's 'Desolation Row' once again, but Bob brought this
song in such a convincing way that my regrets quickly disappeared.
Excellent guitar rendition from Bob by the way!
It Ain't Me, Babe
No 'Don't think twice' tonight but instead a beautiful, quiet rendition of
'It ain't me, babe', with Bob on harp for the first time.
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
Charlie in a star role here. This is really a song that smashes things up
when brought live. Sung with a cristal clear voice. Great ! After Bob had
brought me to a climax yesterday evening with the electric performance of
'Positively 4th Street', I was curious which acoustic song he would give
an electric rendition tonight. It was …
If You See Her, Say Hello
Simply brilliant. Larry's rendition on the violin was beautiful and Bob
had still a high-grade voice. I wonder why Larry can not show more often
some of his violin wizardry. Without any doubt THE climax of the evening !
Cry A While
Booming, astonishing version. Much better than what we heard in
Oberhausen. Bob sang this in a tight-lipped, almost sarcastic way,
precisely what this song needs. Fine guitar work by everyone. This song
kicks ass !
After the heavy guitar work, this intimate master-piece. Deliciously
jazzy and again high-grade voice performance. Sophisticated drum play by
the great Jim Keltner.
Mama, You been On My Mind
A song that he already sang more than once in Brussels. Lovely version
without being grand though.
Visions Of Johanna
Although this is one of my favorite songs, I had the feeling that the
potential did not fully come out . A moment of concentration loss? The
song did not seem to get off the ground, even if it did not sound bad at
Masters Of War
Dylan got himself back under control right away. Again a superior
rendition compared to the day before.
Without any doubt a climax again! Fine vocal performance and masterly
solo's by Charlie. The song raised to an unbelievable climax. The band had
a great time!
I Believe In You
Indeed a beautiful song to bring but nevertheless I think that it is
possible to do much more with this number which got a sputtered electric
approach today. But again not bad at all!
The Wicked Messenger
Personally I prefer the alternative 'Drifter's Escape' that sounded
great in Oberhausen.
However neither of both songs really appeal the big public.
But what the hell, Bob and the band seemed to have a great time so … who
am I? At a certain time Bob went looking for his harp and while he was
standing with his back to the audience, we could all see that his jacket
was soaking wet from sweat. Finally a roadie found his harp.
Rainy Day Woman
Without any doubt the best version I ever heard and in a much slower
pace than the 2000 shows. Brilliant work by Larry on pedal steel.
During the bands intro Charlie played a joke. When Jim Keltner was
introduced, he got behind the drums and pulled out a drumstick with 2
balls and showed them to the public. It is obvious the band is pleased
having this class-drummer aboard. Tony had his back turned to the
audience, facing Jim almost all evening and did not stop talking and
laughing at him. Those two are already best palls, that much is obvious! A
standing ovation afterwards and ready for encores.
A masterly version and great vocals. Ominous and dark as it should be.
Like A Rolling Stone
Still the public's favorite. Bob and the band were completely focussed on
this one. Personally a beautiful moment for me when the spots highlighted
the audience and I saw my kids clapping enthusiastically. Isn't it great ?
Knockin' On Heavens Door
Great slow version, grand drums and beautiful vocals by Bob, Larry and
Honest With Me
Again a very solid version of what seems to be one of Dylan's favorite
songs. Fine guitar rendition by everyone.
Blowin' In The Wind
Nice version, altough Bob's guitar work was a bit less on this one.
Followed by a 2nd standing ovation which Dylan undoubtedly enjoyed.
All Along The Watchtower
Here again the very best live version I ever heard. Booming and
Jimmy Hendrix would most certainly have given his OK to this one.
Yet another great applause and Bob kneeling in a showy way to the
Brussels' audience and giving us a goodbye kiss.
What a wonderful night. Thx Bob !
Eddie Janssens, Brussels, Belgium.
page by Bill Pagel
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