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Review by Jan Semneby
As nobody has reviewed the Stockholm show at Bob Links I thought I
should write one. The gig in the Globe Arena was one of four shows I saw
on this tour, Lund, Gothenburg and Helsinki were the others. I must say
that I have´nt seen a series of Dylan shows with such high and consistent
quality. It´s even hard to rank the shows. I think it depends on which
favourite songs you have. There´s been a ”Dylan hype” here in Sweden
around these shows thanks to the Polar Prize. The Globe was almost full
which means abot 12 000. Bob´s appearance at the Polar Prize ceremony was
debated in the media. Bob looked very bored, uninterested and untalkaltive
during the event and some thought that he showed disrespect for the
swedish royal family and the prize committee. But Bob´s task is not to rub
shoulders with the swedish etablishment. His natural element is of course
the concert stage and I think nobody left the concert dissapointed. The
opener was the usual for this leg of the tour; Roving Gambler and was
followed by Mr Tambourine Man. It´s amazing how Bob with his phrasing can
breathe new life in these old and much-performed songs. Then came a fine
Masters of war and then...well I have been waiting for 44 shows since 1978
to hear Visions of Johanna and now I finally got it in a killer version.
Wow! Tangled up in blue was...well I think he should let this song have a
rest now. The arrangement have been pretty much the same for quite a long
time. And Bob was at times singing off-mike which made me worried of what
was to come. But he soon recovered with a very nice Gates of Eden. Country
Pie is perfect as an opener of the electric set, it really gets people on
their feet. Ballad of thin man wasn´t the best version with Bob mumbling
the lyrics at times and Watching the river flow was average but the show
reached new heights with Things have changed and an marvellous Not dark
yet. Another song which I have waited to hear. Thanks Bob. During the band
introduction before a rocking Leopard-skin pill-box hat Bob was
introducing Charlie Sexton with ”Charlie´s made records at his own...you
might find them in the record-stores”. Too bad however that I was in a
position slightly left on the third row which meant that I got more of
Larry and less of Charlie. Sexton is doing a very good job, specially on
Like a rolling stone which was very well done. That song and One too many
mornings which seems to be one of Bob´s favourite songs to sing was the
highlights during the encores. All in all a nice performance and a good
way for Bob to give thanks and show his gratitude for receiving the Polar
Review by Patrik Winquist
This was my last show on this leg of the tour and a fine show it was.
First a note: When I came in to find my seat I noticed a video camera that
was set up in the sound booth but I didnt think much of it at the time.
But during Mr Tambourine man I looked up towards the cieling I there was
Bobs face on a giant tv screen. On with the show. Rovin gambler was as it
always is. then came a surprise for me since I was expecting The times. A
beautiful Mr Tambourine Man with great singin by Bob. but he didn't look
very happy. Then he did Masters a good solid version but still he didn't
smile, looked very concentrated. The next song was a real treat. It
started out slow I couldn't figure out wich one it was going to be. But
when he stepped up to the microfon and sang "Ain't it just like the night"
it suddenly dawned on me. It was Visions of Johanna!!!!!!!! and a very
good version it was to. Great singing (except in the last vers where he
forgot some words) and great guitar playing. thids was the real highlight
of the evening. Tangled was not as good as the previous nights.Bob
sometimes sang to far from the microfon so the words were lost. after the
last verse he stopped playing his guitar and just stood there a few
seconds then he took it of and grabbed a harmonica but still didn'
approach the microfon. when the instrumental verse ended he steppedand
played it, although uninspired. Next was gates of eden which I liked very
much. fantastic frasing by Bob.
Country Pie seemed to be cut short but it might be me. Ballad of a thin
man was a real treat nice guitar playing by Charlie and Bob, Larry wasn't
bad either. But Bob still hadn't smiled once. Watching the river flow was
really fun to hear. I think bob introduced the band after River and
actually said something moore than just the introduction.It went something
like this" Charlie Sexton on the other guitar, he has his own records out.
I saw them in a record store today (the other day)" he mumbled on the last
bit. Things have changed was very good tonight. Not dark yet was just
amazing to hear fantastic singing. Leopard skin pillbox hat was good and
Bob smiled for the first time.
The first to encores went by. Then he sang an amazing It aint me babe. He
sang well after the melody and spit out the refrain at the very last
second. Not fade away was as always great rocking. Then was another
highlight One to many mornings. one of my favourite songs. Fabulous
version. I was excpecting Rainy day but we got Maggies farm insted which I
appreciated and I accually like the version to. Not as loud as I would've
thought. the band left the stage but came back shortley after doing
Blowin, which got the loudest applause of the evening. everybody but Larry
went of stage right away then suddenly he ran offstage. which made me
think that maybe they would come ot again But they didn't.
If anybody has a tape of this show drop me a line.
In conclusion: My three Swedish shows didn't leave me dissapointed.
After all I got to hear All Along The Watchtower, Drifters Escape,
Shelter From The Storm, Down Along The Cove and last but not least
Visions Of Johanna!!!!!.
Review by Per Wallin
I have just got home(Örebro,Sweden)I am breathless !!
What a night!!
Bob Dylan was in his prime,he was exellent tonight!I could even see a
smile upon his lips while singing Maggie´s Farm. This following song did
he preform: 1.Roving Gambler;It was a starter,not much mumbling but a
clear voice for the most of the song. 2.Mr.Tambourine Man;A good version
of the song,I like it. 3.Masters Of War;A great song,which he preform in a
splendid way. 4.Visions Of Johanna;This one I really loved. 5.Tangled Up
In Blue;My pal Anders G.and I think this is one of Bob´s best songs
ever,we even played airguitar where we sat. 6.Gates Of Eden;A beautiful
song preformed in a beautiful way. 7.Country Pie;We expected this one,and
what a reward!! 8.Ballad Of A Thin Man;Still a good version of one of his
masterpieces. 9.Watching The River Flow;A Good Country song,as the most of
his style nowaday.. 10.Things Have Changed;A good song but not a
fullpointer this evening. 11.Not Dark Yet;A dark song but what beautiful.
12.Leopard-Sin Pill-Box Hat;They where rocking down the Globe with this
one,Great!! (encore 1) 13.Love Sick;I can listen me sick to this one,It´s
wonderful!! 14.Like A Rolling Stone;Still a rockin´song..really great!
15.I Ain´t Me,Babe;A expected song very well preformed! 16.Not Fade
Away;Full speed from the beginning to the end. 17.One Too Many Mornings;I
didn´t expect this as far down on the setlist,but it I really enjoyed it!
18.Maggie´s Farm;This one so late too??!!It rockred and rumbled ain´t
gonna work for Maggie´s Ma,Pa and borther no more!! (encore 2)
19.Blowin´In The Wind;they get out for a while,but was soon back to
preform the last song for the evening Blowin´In The Wind, His most famous
song,and most wellknown to,everyone knows this lovely tune.
Review by Tobias Yamabe
I saw Dylan's fantastic show in Gvteborg and liked it so much it was more
than enough for this show as well, so I saw this night as almost a bonus
show, so the excitement I felt before that show wasn't really there - I
just felt very pleased and happy to see him again. I must add that I had a
much better seat in Gvteborg and I had no chance of running towards the
stage tonight. They had the Jumboton (big screens in four directions) in
the sealing on tonight, which made it possible to see his face expression
even if I sat so far away.
Started up with "Roving Gambler" as usual, nothing special.
"Mr Tambourine Man" next, a less regular song and a bit more inspired
Dylan. Specially liked the way he almost whispered the beginning of the
last verse. "Masters Of War" - the same version as in Gvteborg, but not as
good. Dylan is looking a bit tired tonight. Next is a real treat, a
beautiful version of "Visions of Johanna". One of the highlights of the
night. It felt like the show might take off with this one. I hoped for a
harp solo on this one, but he saved it for the next song "Tangled Up In
Blue". Now things started to look a bit poor. He showed clear signs of
being really tired and if he earlier had shown tendencies of singing off
mic, now he sang one and a half line off mic and you could only see his
lips move on the Jumbotron. And then he just stopped playing the guitar on
occasions. When it was time to pick up the harp he just wandered back
without his hands on the guitar and waited a while, picked up his harp,
waited some more and then he played a short uninspired solo, his guitar
still around his neck. Definitely not up to Gvteborg standards. "Gates Of
Eden" next, and just like on "Tambourine Man" and "Visions Of Johanna" he
is more inspired than on the "regular" tunes. It's a beautiful and melodic
version. I don't know if "there are no kings inside the Gates of Eden" was
a reference to the Monday Polar Price awards? It's really an uneven night,
every alternative song is good but the others are somewhat uninspired. So,
out with the acoustic instruments and rave into "Country Pie", but again a
tired Dylan and at one time he just stops playing and takes a few steps
back and puts his left hand in his hip, looking tired and annoyed to be so
tired. After a while he makes an effort and plays some more guitar as they
finishes off the song. "Ballad Of A Thin Man" is the next surprise, and
again he looks better. I like this, but I like the next even more
"Watching The River Flow" in a great rocking version. More of this please.
"Things Have Changed" and Dylan is back to poor standards, although it
always looks like he's trying and that he's really not happy with how
things are going. Stops playing guitar again on occasions. At one time it
looks like he's going to pick up the harp (!), but he seems to be swapping
plectrum or something. "Not Dark Yet" is better. I really liked the
phrasing of the last verse. A rocking "Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat" and
Dylan looks to enjoy it more again, just like on "Watching The River
Flow". It's a night for the heavier stuff it seems. Then they go out and
I'm thinking that he might be cutting this show short.
However, after a bit longer break than in Gvteborg, they get back in, with
"Love Sick". When he sings "I'm so sick of it", it looks like he really
means it. "Like A Rolling Stone" and, again, he looks tired. In Gvteborg
he played most of the solos himself on all of the songs, but tonight it
was rare. Acoustic again, with "It Ain't Me, Babe". A lovely song, and it
starts off nicely, but a tired Bob has problems with his guitar and then
takes it off to play a harp solo. But as he goes back to pick it up, he
turns around, takes a few dancing steps and then picks up the harp and
starts his solo. However, very soon he just quits and tells Kemper twice
to start finishing off the song and he plays harp again on the outro. In
with the electric guitars again for "Not Fade Away", but despite this
being a rocking song, Dylan looks very tired and again stops playing the
guitar and stands back with his left hand on his hip and just watches. I
start to get a bit worried about him, being so tired although he did have
a day off the previous night. He should really need a vacation. Bad gets
worse when they go back to acoustic and play the wonderful "One Too Many
Mornings", but it never takes off tonight. I remember the lovely version
in Stockholm two years ago with the fantastic harp solo, but this one
never came close. Considering the previous harp solos, maybe it was for
the best he didn't pick it up this time. Now he looks to be in a hurry to
go home, since he starts a rocking version of "Maggies Farm" before
Campbell gets his electric guitar! But wait - what's this? Something is
happening here, as Dylan starts to shine, smile and play the guitar very
nicely! This is the Dylan I saw in Gvteborg! Well, better late then never,
I suppose! Say whatever you like, but he's not just going on stage doing a
routine act, he really makes an effort. After the song he bows deep and
they leave. I Gvteborg they made a second encore, but as tired as he
looked tonight I didn't have a thought they might be on again. But Garnier
seemed to be talking to Dylan on the way out and amazingly after a little
while they get back on a plays a nice, but short, "Blowin' In The Wind".
Dylan smiles and loos like having fun with his guitar, a bit simpler than
in Gvteborg, but still.
Overall a very uneven concert, with it's ups and it's downs. Highlights
like "Visions Of Johanna", "Gates Of Eden", "Ballad Of A Thin Man",
"Watching The River Flow" and "Maggie's Farm". Best was the setlist, not
many songs played in Gvteborg was played tonight (and no "Rainy Day
Woman"). And I also appreciate that he never gave up, he really looked
like he *wanted* to do a good job and managed some highs and he finished
off very well.
Now I hope he gets a good night sleep so that our friends in Oslo gets a
fresh Dylan on Friday. I also hope the tour in the UK this autumn will
happen, since I plan to be there then.
Review by Anders Tidström
There are nice patterns connected to culture. When I was driving a
couple of hours to Stockholm, to join the Dylan show, it occured to
me that Dylan goes on tour like a busy bee from stage to stage and
the audience, from the temporary neigbourhood, builds the flower for
him to land in. There is an obvious mutual interest and attraction!
This ongoing pulsating movement is of another kind than common
natural patterns and structures as culture is mostly driven by
decision and free will of the participants. There might be a slight
nature of culture but no culture of nature as we know of - cultivated
nature could be. This very day my article on the Dylan phenomenon,
titled "Catches a Young Audience Without Losing the Old", was
published in a regional paper. My statement was nicely confirmed
halfway to Stockholm as I met a young man jumping out of his car to
take a cup of coffee in a roadhouse. We met on the parking lot and I
happened to know him from his childhood. This 20 years old guy,
Charlie, instantly told me he was going to the Dylan show - very
determined too! This is a great point - that Bob Dylan doesn´t have
much to do with sticky nostalgia. Dylan goes on right now and is not
much of a sentimental journey into the past. (You can also be
sixty-eight but say you´re twenty-four). In the Globe Arena in
Stockholm it was a fine mix of more than 12 000 faces - all ages. I
myself felt just the same as when I first saw Dylan April 1966 in the
Concert House in Stockholm. He looks a bit older though. Others have
listed all the songs of the night. I just comment on some. It was all
a great well sounding night but The Globe itself tends to bounce and
echo the sound waves badly sometimes. The arena is a kind of enormous
egg shell. Roving Gambler was a perfect rhythmic opener and when
Visions of Johanna came up after a while it was almost too good. One
of my definite favourites through the years. Unexpected and
beautiful. Later Ballad of a Thin Man and also Watching the River
Flow passed directly to the heart of the crowd. A warm and tender
atmosphere developed inside this huge egg shell - or is it a golf
ball. The band was tight on Things Have Changed. Next was Not Dark
Yet - what could you say when superlatives are nagging. Anyway this
song is as brilliant as it was executed. Then Leopard Skin Pillbox
Hat - of course a overwhelming rock and roll piece as it use to be.
Who but Dylan could compose something like that - about a hat? Well,
after a couple of hours in the Globe it was all over. The flower of
audience fell apart, sighing of satisfaction.The 58 years young Dylan
went away. A busy bee who cares for money as well as honey. There is
no reason why he shouldn´t care for this permanent confirmation. He
was a little offish compared to the Globe show two years ago. But
that´s what it is - things have changed and are constantly changing.
But change doesn´t tell better or worse now or when. This wasn´t the
best show I´ve been to but it was good enough. On this tour Dylan met
about 25 000 Swedes. Thanks to him I met about 250 000 Swedes with my
newspaper articles. With a smile I could argue that I in a way won by
ten to one. Thank you Bob! You were the ball of the game, actually.
Review by Dante
The show was not as "hot" as the one I saw in Gothenburg a couple of days
ago but still quite an excellent one. It's hard to complain since the
setlist includes some very exciting choices. The problem for me was that
Bob's vocal didn't come through. It was not as upfront as it should be and
he sang off mice several times. He also seemed tired and frustrated about
something, maybe irritated.
Roving Gambler (acoustic)
Not as good as in Gothenburg but still a great opener. Sadly many in the
audience still hadn't found their seats. A lot of chatting and walking
around throughout the first two songs.
Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic)
Finally he did drop "Times"! Quite a good version with lots of soloing
from the guitars. In fact, the whole song almost sounded like an acoustic
guitar solo. I might as well mention it now that Bob's guitar work tonight
was excellent. Not only in the solos but he also ads a lot of short guitar
loops here and there in almost every song that works very well.
Masters Of War (acoustic)
Another good rendition.
Visions Of Johanna (acoustic)
I finally got to hear this one real live! I didn't know before the show if
I wanted to hear this or Gates Of Eden most but as you can see below, that
never became a problem! Maybe I miss Bucky's steel guitar on this one.
With Bob's vocal a bit low in the mix there was too much of an acoustic
rhythm guitar song without any melody or real structure. Maybe this was a
problem only in some parts of the arena but for me it was a bit
irritating. A solid performance nevertheless.
Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) (Bob on harp)
Was like it use to be and the harp solo wasn't very exciting, I'm afraid,
and quite weak as well.
Gates Of Eden (acoustic)
Visions Of Johanna and Gates Of Eden both in the same show! Wow!
Excellently done. Some really fine guitar work by Mr Dylan himself.
Was Country Pie.
Ballad Of A Thin Man
Slow and spooky with great singing by Bob. Brought down a lot of cheers
from the audience when started.
Watching The River Flow
A disastrous start that made Tony bring out his big smile. No one but Bob
seemed to know how to start this one?! After that everything actually went
Things Have Changed
The first few chords fooled me because they sounded much like the intro to
Seven Days but of course, it wasn't that song at all. I do not complain
though because it was THC! I really wanted to hear this. A great version,
sung very similar to the recorded.
Not Dark Yet
A great performance. Bob also played some great guitar fills. This was
maybe the best vocal performance of the evening only in competition with
One Too Many Mornings later in the show.
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
Quite good but nothing special.
A marvellous performance again. They seem to play this one exactly the
same way every evening but it IS a great song so I guess it's hard to get
tired of it. A highlight of the evening even if it wasn't among the best
Like A Rolling Stone
Better than in Gothenburg. More twists in Bob's vocal made this better
than usual I think. Very distinctive guitar playing by Charlie and Larry.
Bob started to ease up a bit during this one.
It Ain't Me, Babe (acoustic) (Bob on harp)
A crowd-pleaser as always. Very well performed with an okey harp solo at
the end, again with one hand waving free!
Not Fade Away
Was NFA. A bit shorter than usual, or?
One Too Many Mornings (acoustic)
A big surprise for me in this spot. A real highlight. Very gently sung
full of emotions.
I saw Bob say Maggie's Farm to Tony two or three times before they
started. Always nice with a change from the usual but maybe RDW is a
better closing song. Maggie's Farm could sometimes be quite boring. But
this time the song sounded more varieted than usual. More worked out with
some nice descending scales played by the guitar and bass between verses.
Excellent vocal by Bob. Eventually he seems to enjoy himself fully for the
first time this evening. Eventually he looked like he did all evening in
Gothenburg. That's why I suspected he would come back for more, and he
Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)
this one again. A very good version. Suddenly Bob found inspiration again
and performed this song very, very good.
I must say that despite Visions Of Johanna, Gates Of Eden and other great
choices in the acoustic set the second half of the show was the best. Not
judged by the setlist but how Bob and the band performed the songs. It was
not until the encores Bob started to look interested. In Gothenburg he did
say "Thanks evrbody" after the first song. Here, we didn't get it until
after the 11th (If my memory serves me well). To me that says at least
something about the show and the mood Bob was in. I thoght it was a great
show after all.
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