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Review by Johnny Borgan
Yes - you all should've been there!
Yes - it was a great and very special show!
It was a beautiful day in Horsens, and me and my companions from Norway
arrived early in town. Soon after this we catched a cab right to
the-middle-of-nowhere (the cabdriver didn't have a clue!), Höjballe farm,
a few miles from Horsens - a beautiful farm with the most amazing trees of
life in the backyard, where fellow fans gathered before the show. Bob sang
"Cupid" on the hi-fi, the birds sang back and forth in rhyme and we had a
great time, meeting both new and old friends.
After a great dinner at our new-found danish friends house, we left for
Horsens Theatre, and there it was, just like the picture and the webcam -
and yes, finally we could really believe the unbelieavable - we're going
to the Horsens show! Even the audience got some audience this time. The
citizens were showing up to see us get in! Horsens Town was not very well
known, at least not among the norwegian fans, but now it's on the map once
and for always - and will always be remembered because of this show, not
just among the Dylan fans.
And yes - it really was a small theatre - just 18 chairs at each row, two
balconys in the back of the theatre. And me, blessed and lucky me, was on
the sixth row! The stage was as wide as the rows, and the musicians got
closer than on the other shows.
Bob went on stage about 8.15, and from the first song we realized that
this would be something really special - a new opener for this tour -
"Hallelujah; I'm Ready to Go" is some prologue (and maybe an inspiration
for "Trying to Get to Heaven"?) - and Bob is pointing back to his roots at
this show as he so often have done before. He wants us to know that he
stands in a strong tradition, he wants us to search back to the sources
he's still drinking of. As on the other show I've seen this year, the
sound was crispy clear from the first syllables. The audience reacted
immediately to Bob's appearance. Nevertheless, my biggest disappointment
this night was the audience. I'll come back to that.
Larry fetched his fiddle and we got a nice version of "My Back Pages" who
was followed by a powerful "Masters of War". Then we got some steel intro,
and Bob sang a really, really tender "Tomorrow is a long Time", switching
the order of the verses, maybe with purpose, maybe not.... And then came,
for me, one of the nights highlights - "A Hard Rain's A-gonna Fall" - an
intense and beautiful version with Bobs magical phrasing on all, and I
really mean all, those great lines. It was a killer! Then it was "Tangled
Up In Blue" - great version, but a song we've maybe gotten too used to to
really listen the way we should? And then, another highlight, "The
Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" - a great and dramatic song, this time
sung in a way I never heard it before. Bob sang one line and started the
next in the same breathing, (a little bit like "Changing of the Guards"! )
- it gave both the song and the singing a new and surprising twist, new
dynamics - Bob really is a magician!
And then Bob strapped on his Fender, and we were on for some really dirty,
low-down bluesy version of "Gotta Serve Somebody", one of the best
versions I've ever heard - the audience rocked, and it's funny to see that
the prologue from the gospel tours this time get the same treatment and
reception as a classic Dylan song. Bob really was on fire on this, his
left foot was more in the air than on the floor! Really, really great, and
another one of the highlights of the evening.
By this time I was standing by the side of row one and had really great
view, but two fascistoid guards didn't let us get to the stage, as we've
been allowed on all the other shows I've been to. It was a really, really
big mistake from the guards, knowing that Bob on all shows get fed and
feeds back when the audience rises and dances in front of him. People gave
standing ovations after each song, but sat quietly on their chairs, even
on the uptempo rockers, even on Rainy Day Women, and, in my opinion,
missed their opportunity to contribute to make the show really an historic
event. The audience was too "dead", even if they all seemed to love the
show! Too bad! I mean, a club-sized show with Bob Dylan, and 90 % of the
audience is sitting down on a boogie-woggie-version of "Maggie's Farm" -
that's not how it should be. We can't give the guards all the blame!
Well, nevertheless, Bob continued a great show, and surprised us with a
nice version of "You're A Big Girl Now", then launching into a perfect and
very intense version of "All Along the Watchtower", featuring some great
guitarplaying from Bob. With few exceptions the guitar was great in its
own dylanesque way, commenting the vocal lines, playing it like a little
drum, rhythm and solo in once.
And then, the next highlight, and one of my personal wishes came true, a
beauuuuuuutiful version of "Trying To Get To Heaven", Bob breathing new
life to each and every word. His intense and dramatic delivery of the
"Time Out Of Mind"-songs makes it a little disappointing that we only got
this new song in Horsens. "Cold Irons Bound" was fantastic in Oslo, "Not
Dark Yet" in Stockholm and "Can't Wait" in Gothenburg, "Love Sick" was
great at all these shows, and is important in vitalising the tour as a
whole. In Horsens just two songs at the whole show were younger than
twentyfive years.... Each song was great, but Bob, you have so many
wonderful songs from the last twentyfive years, too....
Ok - after "Trying To Get To Heaven", Bob introduced the band, and
surprise, surprise - "To Be Alone With You" - a really rocking version, a
great alternative to "Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat" - but the audience.....
sitting down..... urrrrghhh!
The encore set was surprising, too, and it seems obvious that Bob really
had planned to give us a "Horsens Special". In the place of "Love Sick" he
gave us a really dramatic version of "Ballad of a Thin Man", making his
66-posing, and yes there were someone who didn't know what was happening.
F.i., one of the reviewing journalists, positive as he was, wrote warmly
about Dylan's versions of "Roving Gambler" and "Tombstone Blues" - two
songs that were not included at all......
"Like A Rolling Stone" was okay, but not as great as the previous shows,
the guitar wasn't too good either on this one. The show heightens again
with an beautiful rendition of "Forever Young" - the audience singing and
blessing Bob, thanking him for giving us this special event. "Maggie's
Farm" rocks and Bob makes his little Bob-dance, but hei makes too many
guitar-experiments and at one point the song nearly falls apart, but Bob
and his great companions, gets it all back on the tracks a few seconds
later. >From the rocker, Bob takes it all down with a very nice quiet "It
Ain't Me Babe" - ending it without the guitar but with the harmonica -
beautiful - why can't you blow the harp even more, Bob? - it's so naked,
so pure, so true!
"Rainy Day Women" is as usual, a crowd-pleaser, but this is the first time
ever I've seen the audience at the first rows sitting down during the song
- I guess it's Bob's first time, too! Ok, I will not mention it
Without any more breaks, Bob ends the show with a really nice "Blowing In
The Wind", with Charlie and Larry singing great harmony at the chorus. And
then - it's over - the lights and "Asleep At The Wheel" fills the air, and
we all look at each other, knowing it really was something special - I
could, in my mind, see Bob, sitting in his bus in the early morning,
scrabbling down this unique set-list, that stands out from all the other
shows so far - to make it really special for "the chosen few". He
succeded. Not even did he change the set from Oslo by thirteen songs
(!!!!), but he also played nine songs that I didn't get on my four
previous shows. Who else would do such a thing, but the song & dance man,
the trapeze artist, the line dancer we knows by the name of Bob Dylan? Who
would take such risks at such a special night? Nobody but Bob! The
audience loved the show, of course, but I really wish they'd shown him in
a much more convincing way!
Review by Michael Niebuhr
It's been over 2 months since I first read on Expecting Rain that Bob
would play in Denmark. I got chills! I called the theater in question the
next morning and got through. "Tell me about this Dylan-gig, please". They
sounded confused. Then irritated. And I got "no comments!". They wanted to
know where I had gotten the information from (I lied and said
bobdylan.com) and asked me if I believed everything I read on the net. I
got out of them that there might be some news on the subject if I were to
call again the next week.
Well, that night it was on the news on national television.
Bob Dylan would give his smallest gig in 26 years in Horsens, Denmark.
There would be 250 tickets sold on April 1st. Another 100 tickets would be
given to sponsors. And a final (estimated) 75 tickets would be withheld
for "the press", and some of these might be offered to people waiting in
line on April 1st. at a later date. It was made clear that it wouldn't
have been able to finance this thing without the help of the many local
sponsors. It was also stressed that even the press had to pay for their
I made arrangements to have a week off from work to go wait in line. I got
somebody to take care of my dog for the week. The first person to form the
line was there on Monday, as the tickets would be sold on Saturday. It was
snowing. It was windy. It was freezing. I was speculating about how long I
could stay home before I had to go get sick down there.
Then I'm told that I can't get off from work after all and the whole thing
is off! I'm a bit sad, but the whole thing is so otherworldly anyway, that
I figure it just wasn't meant to be. I follow the growing line on the
theater's webcam. It's approaching some 60-70 people on Thursday
afternoon. Then things happen. I get a call saying that I'm free to go! I
GO!! I'm off to Horsens with two pairs of underwear, a folding chair and a
toothbrush. On the way I stop to get some money, too.
I arrive at 8 pm, and what do I see? Everybody's having a real good time!
There was no paranoia or anything remotely like that. It seemed like a
scene out of Sound of Music, only Dylan-music. I was afraid I might have
missed my chance already, as there's only 250 tickets and each person in
line can buy 2. That means that being number 126, could be a very unlucky
I ask where the end of the line is and I'm shown. I recognize my friend
Flemming and he says "You made it!" and tells me to sign in. I sign my
name and address in a little notebook and that makes me an official
"liner". I'm number 104. Various people (that I know and some I didn't
know at the time) are quick to offer me beers. There's bootleg music
through loudspeakers. There's gas heaters put up for us to warm us by.
It's okay to move around, you can even go out to eat, shop or to a pub.
The theater has opened it's doors for us to use the toilets (from 11 am to
11 pm) or just warm ourselves inside the theater. There's a
cafe/restaurant, too. A local butcher has made his toilet available during
I chat with a few people and go to check out the bootlegs by the stereo.
They look really familiar and I notice that one of the covers is in
handwriting. Mine! Turns out the guy I borrowed them to decided to bring
them along for everybody to hear. Didn't know what to think about that,
just hoped nothing would happen to them. (I still haven't got them back)
Then it's announced that one of the sponsors of the theater, a brewery,
would like to treat us to a round of free beers. I go get one, and is
tapped on the shoulder by my kid brother. He'd heard I had taken off in a
hurry and brought me a sleeping bag on his own initiative. And a blanket.
Well, thanks a lot bro! (It was just below zero degrees celcius at night)
We're handed candles. I light one and sit down to take it all in. To try
and believe my luck.
A little later, the director of the theater shows up and says that the
city has donated five books for each of us, as well as a flashlight. A
little bedtime reading. Everybody gets books and flashlight.
Suddenly a trio appears. A drummer, singer-guitarist and a double bass
player. They happen to be playing next door, and give an impromptu
half-hour concert. Cheers.
It's bedtime and people start to unfold their sleeping bags and settle for
the night. I go up to the stereo and join a group of people in a...
Dylan-talk! About four hours later everyone seems to think it's time to
get some sleep and we do.
I wake up around 8 a.m. Friday morning. A guy next to me has made coffee
and offers me some. A little later there's coffee for everybody, provided
by the theater. And a little later again, there's bread and butter.
The sun is out this Friday, and most people spend it with a beer in their
hand in these most pleasant surroundings. In the afternoon cars start to
roll by slowly all the time. Everybody's checking out the freaks. Thursday
night's sleep was interrupted by disco-goers on the way home screaming
"Bob Dylan reeks of piss!", "April fool's, haha!", "Didn't you know? He's
cancelled!" and other brilliant, intelligent, adult stuff.
Well, throughout the Friday people stare and stare at these Bob-people.
These nutters. It's Friday night and the mayor of the city has put up a
hot-dog stand. Free hot-dogs for everybody in line. They ask us if we
think it's a good idea to put up a different stand selling beer. We think
so. It's Friday night. Some girls and some guys (myself included) are
asked to entertain a little. It turns out that the only "gear" available
is a junior guitar (right-strung, I'm a left-handed) and a harp. Anyway,
we decide to play Sara and Powderfinger (by Neil Young) with tree girls
singing lead and us guys singing backup. We're followed by a real act
doing covers. They have their own gear and sound really good. All of a
sudden it's a real party and people are dancing. A tall blond girl asks me
to dance. We dance. Everybody's happy. Everybody's happy! I talk to the
nice girl all night and we decide to share sleeping bags (it was really
It's Saturday morning. I go to the local butcher to buy a little coffee.
It's about 9 a.m. A city council official makes a speech. Then he pours
free beer for everybody (remember it's still 2-3 hours until noon). We're
asked to remain patient as a local sponsor wants to provide breakfast.
They do! Hundreds of buns and even some cake, I think. And coffee!
We have breakfast. Then everybody's handed a gift from the sponsors. It's
a picnic basket with all sorts of things in it. From gum to cd's, to beer
(again!) to chocolate. Thanks!
It's approaching the time when the tickets go on sale. There's a lot of
media guys there. There's been fear of people rushing to get the tickets,
fights ensuing and so on, but the reality is quite different. The director
calls people to the box office, "no. 36. No. 36. Please, no. 36. Everybody
try and be more ready, now. No. 37. C'mon, no. 37." And so on. Everybody
gets tickets and no. 1 gets champagne and hugs. The theater is divided
into three sections. Floor and first and second balcony. The first in line
gets tickets for row #1. All the sponsors and press get balcony tickets.
There's A LOT of scalpers. About 50 percent of the people in line are
either buying for somebody else (parents/family or friends) or with the
intent of selling them with a huge profit.
The director announces that he feels sorry for no. 126 so he will sell him
two press tickets. Everybody cheers. Anybody who's interested (no. 127 and
onwards) can go to the box office and submit their address. Should any
seats be available at a later date these people will be notified. Whether
this actually happened I'm not sure of.
Flemming told me that the director wanted to know if there was somebody we
the fans would like to give a ticket to. The people who were asked agreed
on Karl-Erik Anderson from Expecting Rain. Who by the way did a lot of
publicity for Horsens Ny Teater (the theater) by putting numerous links on
his page. The director said that Karl-Erik had also been recommended by
Bill Pagel. Mr. Anderson got a free ticket for the second row!
It was a announced that a party would be held on August 26th so everybody
could meet again. Everybody looked happy and went home.
In the next couple of weeks people wrote and thanked the theater and the
other fans on their homepage. Everybody agreed that the waiting in line
was a onceinalifetime experience. What a joy! And everybody had felt
terribly restless coming home... For days!
Now it was 7 weeks until the day of the concert.
I had promised my extra ticket to the guitar player from our band
(Lovesick), but I also managed
to obtain a third ticket for a good friend (and a huge Dylan-fan). Both
these tickets were sold at face value.
A couple who had waited in line invited everybody to meet at their house
and garden before the show. The theater arranged for a Dylan-buffet at a
Fast forward and it's Sunday - May 21st 2000.
I'd been checking the setlists from the rest of Scandinavia and I couldn't
help hoping for something special. Something to signal that this was a
Well, my friends and I took the train to Horsens and got a ride to the
farm where the pre-concert gathering was. We entered the garden and it was
just beautiful. Like a miniature Garden of Eden. And no gates! There was a
lot of familiar faces and the rest was just as friendly. Again, the media
was there which was a bit weird. I mean what did they want? I don't know
what the purpose of meeting there was except for spending the time before
the concert with other people with a similar good taste in music. It
wasn't front-page-material for chrissakes.
I had to leave a little early to meet the girl from the line again.
But just as I was leaving some guy handed out the lyrics to Forever Young
and requested that we all sang it after Bob's last encore. As a tribute. I
thought it was a little hippieish, but after a quick trial run (with the
media filming), it was decided against. You didn't miss anything,
apparently people have different perceptions of how to sing this fine
song. (And in which key).
At the hotel people were beginning to realise how close we were to the
concert. There was a lot of chatting and mingling and a really nice
atmosphere. A lot of people had dressed up for the night and I got the
idea that this felt like being at one of those parties for someone you
don't know, where you're just sorta there at the end of a looong table
because you're with somebody.
We got to the theater and there was lot of spectators taking it all in. We
got in line, and was joined by "Face of the Eighties" (model) Renée Toft
Simonsen and her rock-star boyfriend Thomas Helmig. Suddenly there was
paparazzi photographers all over the place screaming "you look great, the
camera loves you, uhmm, one more, yeah, yeah". I was further surprised
when someone wanted MY picture. I kept looking away, but in the end she
got one and confided with me that she was happy to have a picture of both
me and the two celebs. Dumbfounded we went inside. Apparently the theater
have been doing some lobbying. A friend of mine was to sell two tickets to
someone of the Danish rock royalty, but he called saying he'd gotten one
for free. So had a lot of other celebs apparently. Cause they were all
there. Maybe they'd gone to scalpers, but I doubt it. So for you Danish
readers who might be interested there was Filmdirector and Dylan-writer
Christian Braad Thomsen, Dylan-writer and poet Asger Schnack, model and
talkshow-woman Lotte Heise, cool rocksingers - CV Jorgensen, Sort-Sol's
Steen Jorgensen, Allan Olsen, Michael Falck, Johnny Madsen, Sebastian,
Bamse, former member of the Government Mimi Stilling Jacobsen, upandcoming
singer-songwriter Marie Frank, Peter Viskinde, lots of clubowners and
what-have-you. I mention this because I had feared what an audience of 50%
sponsors and celebs would be like. Would they cut loose? Footloose? Would
they feel as competitive as musicians usually do or would they scream
their heads off?
This is a fine theater. The floor is mechanic and there was not a bad seat
in the house. When we were waiting in line in March the whole line was
invited in to take in the atmosphere. The place is SMALL!! It's only 16
seats wide. We got to stand on the stage and to sit where we would
approximately end up. We were told that Dylan didn't want anything between
the stage and the audience so that would free up some seats. On the other
hand he demanded that a lot of seats be taken out to fit the huge mixing
and lighting desks. Also a lot of the balcony seats were reserved for
extra lighting gear. There was virtually none of that at the show, so in
the end they must've decided against that and gotten even more seat. There
was an estimated 450 people at the show. In the press the following day
you could read about how Dylan didn't want to be seen before and after the
show. Before the show his bus with dark windows rolled up to the side of
the theater and everybody was waiting for Bob to come out. At the same
time a small mini-bus drove up behind the theater and Bob entered through
a back-entrance. After the show two "Bob" came out of two different doors
with towels over their heads and jumped into different cars and speeded
It was 20 pm and everybody was in their seat. There was a smell of Nag
Champa in the air. Soon it was 20:15 pm and the lights went down. "Ladies
and gentlemen..." Everybody got on their feet and clapped like madmen, but
then quickly sat down for
Hallelujah, I'm Ready To Go (acoustic)
The sound was fantastic from the very first note and Charlie and Larry's
harmonies were right on the money. Larry played the mandolin. After the
show everybody was asking what the first song were. Virtually nobody had
heard of it. I was happy and knew this hadn't been played in 2000. I
haven't checked but I don't think so. One of the biggest newspapers
reported the opening song to be Roving Gambler. They also wrote that
Tombstone Blues was excellent. But it wasn't played. Still, they gave the
show a five-star review.
My Back Pages (acoustic)
Wow! Larry on violin. No Times They Are A-Changin'? Cool!
This was very beautifully done. The acoustic set was really going strong.
Pleasing, indeed. Ever since I heard this song on Bathed In A Stream of
Pure Heat I've wanted to hear it done with Larry on violin. Everybody
clapped and cheered and then we got
Masters of War (acoustic)
Okay, so we got one of the old war horses. Hmm. It sounded good as did
everything. It seemed to me that Bob had turned the rhythm around and was
singing almost "towards" the song. Interesting and well done. Throughout
the concert Bob would take most of the solos. There was a lot of mediocre
playing at those times, but nothing really fell through and occasionally
it was quite good.
Tomorrow Is A Long Time (acoustic)
The third very slow song. We all cheered but it seemed that Bob had a very
quiet concert on his mind. The sound was excellent throughout the concert.
I'd been telling a lot of people that I thought it was such a kick when
the first song just blew you away with sheer volume. But the volume stayed
down. Now I was telling my friend and first timer at a Dylan concert
(though he'd seen a bit at a festival five years ago) that he was in for
one of his favourites - Tangled up in Blue. Instead we got the fourth very
slow song in a row
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (acoustic)
Hard Rain and Masters of War has always seemed a tad "old" to me. It was
just fantastic in '75 and I liked it in '94 in Japan. But in this slot it
seemed a bit dull. Not because of the playing, but because of it's slot.
Everybody was sitting quietly in their seats. A girl in front of me who
lended me her theater-binoculars in every song had explained how her
boyfriend was up-front and asked me if I thought there would be a
stage-rush. I said it might happen in
Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)
Well, it didn't. This was the song I expected to really get things going,
but instead it was almost falling apart and nobody seemed to think it was
special. No stage rush, either. And no harp solo.
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (acoustic)
Was really good. Soothing. I took it all in and it was just beautiful.
Those three guitar players and the stand up bass. What a sound. The lights
went down and it was time for the electric set. I was expecting Country
Pie but we got a hard rocking
Gotta Serve Somebody
that really did the job. Now things were rocking. Everybody seemed to like
this. And everybody stayed put and enjoyed a good show. Just as things was
rocking we got another slow song (or beautiful heartfelt ballad, depending
on how you look at it, right?)
You're A Big Girl Now
I've always wanted to hear some of the Blood On The Tracks songs live. I'd
previously only run into Tangled and this was only the second song from
BOOT that I heard live. Larry had switched to pedal steel. It was good but
not stand-out. Larry switched to steel guitar and it was
All Along The Watchtower
time again. I'd previously heard this twice. As opener in '98 and
show-saver in '96 (along with
some good acoustic songs in Aarhus, Denmark). As always it was a little
bit different. Not very fast, and as everything else not very loud. I'd
been afraid that people wouldn't be enthusiastic towards specific songs
and I guess I was right. There was the exact same cheer after every song.
The exact same level of excitement. So either it was amazing all along and
every song equally good, or people were being polite. For everything
people stayed put, where I had hoped that for the faster songs people
would stand and clap or dance a little to contribute to the club-feel.
Instead we got a good chance to sit and and watch a master at work. Maybe
this was what Bob wanted? I mean, he did play an extended acoustic set
(compared to recent concerts) and kept the rockier songs in a short leash.
My friend had a seat at the balcony and he told me how lots of people
wandered off during the first hour, looking like they'd been eating
nothing but lemons all day. Next up was a slow song from Time Out of Mind
Trying To Get To Heaven
A wonderful song and very beautifully played.
Bob introduced the band and Tony looked at Charlie who was messing about
on his guitar. Tony shook his head and Charlie ripped into
To Be Alone With You
done as real rocker! He was giving the blues-element of this song a new
coat of paint and it was just a lot of fun. That was the end of the
"electric set" and everybody cheered and we got the first encore. I poked
my friend and said "here comes Lovesick". Well, we got
Ballad of a Thin Man
Lovely choice, and nobody seemed to miss Lovesick too much. I've been
getting into this song the past couple of months and I really appreciated
it. At the beginning of the song I noticed that a small group had gathered
at the right side of the front rows. Not dancing or anything, just staring
at Bob. They looked harmless enough and none of the security guards gave
them any hassles. So I walked down and joined them.
Like a Rolling Stone
Here was the chance to dance a little bit.
And I did.
Forever Young (acoustic)
Was really beautiful. Here was the chance for people to sing along. And
some did. A nice arrangement and a very, very clear and crisp sound. I
knew it was time for Not Fade Away but didn't recognise the intro because
with Larry on pedal steel (or steel guitar can't remember which).
Somebody commented afterwards that this really wasn't happening, but
rather falling all over the place. I dunno, I enjoyed it very much as a
rockin' feelgood encore. Bob didn't leave the stage and we got
It Ain't Me, Babe (acoustic)
This was done very slow. At the end it seemed to drag on and on and I
asked the guy next to me (who I'd talked to at the garden-party earlier)
where he'd been sitting. He'd mentioned that he'd gotten tickets through a
radio-show and was gonna sit in the seat normally reserved for the queen.
He pointed it out and then somebody told us to keep it down. I was glad
cos I hate that kind of behaviour, myself. I kept quiet and returned my
focus to the stage. Bob was taking off his guitar and I figured he had
broken a string. But he picked up a harp! There was a cheer from the
audience and I was listening hard, trying to be receptive towards his
solo. It only just got started and then after about 30 seconds he ended
the song. It was time for
Rainy Day Women no. #12 and #35
Bob was doing a lot of lead playing and some cool knee-bends. He would
lift his guitar up towards his chin and do rock'n'roll postures when
Charlie was playing lead. Cool version. Very good. Bob then almost left
the stage (or did he leave?) and was handed an acoustic guitar and came
Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)
This was done very firmly with razor sharp harmonies. Very nice, albeit
more of a sing-a-long than a sonic adventure. Bob left the stage and there
was a massive noise for minutes on end as everybody clapped, cheered and
stomped their feet. Still, the lights came up in the end and it was all
Bob Dylan, thank you!
p.s. A nice roadie gave me Bob's guitar pick and a setlist. I was
surprised to see that the setlist didn't have any alternatives on it. I
had the idea that there would be several options for Bob to mix up the
setlist depending on how he felt and what response he got, but the setlist
read just what I've reported above. Except for the encores which read:
Lovesick, Like A Rolling Stone, Forever Young, Not Fade Away.
Review by Carsten Wohlfeld
So there you had it, the smallest Dylan show (as far as regularly sold
tickets are concerned) since the early 60s, his smallest show ever in
Europe, the show some people spend ridiculous amounts of money on. The
“people had to queue up for the days to get ticktes”-show. A legendary
concert even before one note was played. Now obviously we’ve all talked
quite a bit about the gig, but it was actually up to Bob to really give it
the legendary status it deserved. I mean, small shows are not THAT rare
for Bob anymore and do we still talk about Chicago ‘97 or Melbourne ‘98?
Not really. Maybe we still talk about Tramps ‘99, but that’s because not
only it was a very small venue, but mainly because Bob played a killer
show. Anyways, we all hoped Bob wouldn’t to “Times”, “Tambourine”, “Lay
Lady Lay” and “River Flow” in Horsens and somewhat “ruin” our legendary
expierence. On to the important stuff: Gunter (I’ll be forever grateful to
him for letting me have his spare second ticket... thank you!!!) and I
arrived at the theater at around 4pm to meet and greet the usual suspects
who where obviously there already. They even sold a few tickets at the
door, because the had initally thought the soundboard would take up more
The doors opened at 7.30 and we took our seats in the last row (which was
not as bad as it sounds, cause we actually could do whatever we wanted
without bothering anybody). The Ny Teater is a beautiful small theater,
with a two storey balcony and since their was basically no space in the
aisles left and right of the seats we knew very early on that there would
be no stage rush tonight. Actually, the auidience was very well bahved
throughout the night, an audience you’d usually expect at a theater like
this, but some people seemed to have forgotten that this was not
Shakespeare, but a rock ‘n’ roll show there were about to see... anyways.
The lights went down at 8.15pm and there we were on the tiny stage:
Bob, Larry, Tony, Charlie and David... “Ladies And Gentlemen Would
You Please Welcome Columbia Recording Artist.... Bob Dylan!”. Much
to my surprise Larry grabbed the mandolin and I knew it was time for my
favorite among the current opening choices and a song I’d never had heard
Hallelujah I’m Ready (To Go) (acoustic)
seemed to have a new arrangement, slower than before, but every bit as
good, with Larry’s and Charlie’s answering chorus vocal. It was apparent
from the start that Bob wasn’t singing was smoothly as he did during the
first week of the tour, maybe this was due to the scandinavian weather,
maybe just due to the fact that he played too many shows in too little
time, but at least he was trying and his phrasing was definitely better
than the shape his voice was in. Great start, loved it already! Larry
hands Tommy the mandolin and picks up the violin.... thank god, no
My Back Pages (acoustic)
Better than Zurich. Bob’s singing wasn’t as strong, but at least his
guitarplaying was much better. He did only four verses I believe and at
one point he and Larry couldn’t decide who was supposed to do the solo,
but it still was a very solid rendition.
Masters Of War (acoustic)
Oh well, the first song of the night that you usully wouldn’t expect at a
“legendary” show, but then again, Tramps had a slow start with “Babe It
Ain’t No Lie” and “Times”, too. They either tried to change the
arrangement and failed miserably or David just wasn’t concentrating -
either way he cae in way too late and only when both Bob and Tony turned
to him and seemed to tell him: “Hey, wake up, it’s your turn now!”. The
last verse was sung very well I thought, but all in all it was a minor
Tomorrow Is A Long Time (acoustic)
wasn’t as good as the incredible Hannover version a week ago,
but it was just Bob’s voice that made it slighty worse. Larry’s
backing vocal was perfect once more and if there’s one song that
he band seemed to have prefected, it’s definitely this one. With
one word: Lovely!
It’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (acoustic)
The usual arrangement with Larry and Charlie on backing vocals
for the chorus. It still doesn’t work out as they never know where
Bob will pause inbetween the lines and it’s always a mess.
Obviously the song ios too strong to be “distroyed” by such minor
mistakes, but I for one think it would work much better without.
And it was a very welcome alternative to “Tangled” in the
number five slot, or so we thought until Larry hit the riff to
Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)
“one song too late”. Rotten version, too. They visibly don’t enjoy
the song anymore (at least definitely not as much as say 18
months ago) and it seems to have less verses now as well. I guess
they are looking for a rocking acoustic song and Gunter and I
have rattled our brains on the way back but there really seemes to
be no alternative in the “rocking/acoustic” department, unless he
rearranges one of the eletric songs to be an acoustic one.
Anyways, the first lowpoint of the night had arrived. Fortunantely
Bob and his crew made up for it with the very next song... My
jaw dropped and the did a completely rearranged version of
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (acoustic)
that still sends shivers down my spine every time I only think
about it. It was sooooooo good. In fact, it was perfect. The only
think I didn’t like about the current live rendition before was
David’s waltz rhythm, and tonight he hardly played drums on this
song at all, save for the last couple of verses. It was a very
stripped down version musically that was very good already, but it
really was Bob’s vocal delivery that made this such a KILLER
preformance. Very intense. He was talking rather than singing
(cf. the current “Positively 4th Street”), skipping the pauses after each
line and even he though mixed up a couple of lines once (Hattie took out
the garbage twice tonight :-)) the song still was the one single highlight
of the show. Awesome!
Gotta Serve Somebody
was not only a nice alternative to “Country Pie” which was
dropped from the setlist for the first time in Europe, but it was also a
new arrangement. Yet another one! The band must’ve spend a whole lot of
time rehearsing lately! It lacked the cool “female” backing vocals that
made the 1998/99 version so special, and instead it had similar start and
stop parts like the newly arrangend “Cold Irons Bound” debuted in Germany
and Scandinavia last week. Cool stuff!
You’re A Big Girl Now
Nice version of a song that doesn’t do too much for me. Larry on
pedal steel, doing a great job as always. I really like the way he
played the pedal steel as a lead instrument whereas Bucky only
seemed to “fill the holes”.
All Along The Watchtower
Yay! Another song you probably wouldn’t expect on a setlis
that’s supposed to be special, but hey, I still love the song, Charlie
rocked and they seemed to enjoy it a lot (and so did the audience), so I
guess it was alright that they did it after all!
Trying To Get To Heaven
was another semi-surprise and actually they did a pretty good
version of it, too. You probably know that Bob usually skips the
“shook the sugar down” verse, probably just because it#s on the
bumper stickers they sell. Anyways, he skipped it again tonight,
well, sort of, becuase when he came very close to the end and
reached the line that was supposed to be “I’ve been all around the
world, boys” he subsituted just that one line with the “sugartown”
line, which sounded very funny indeed. The song also had a
reworked, extended ending that sounded pretty good, too. Band
intros followed, Bob’s only words to the audience apart from a
“thank you” or two.
To Be Alone With You
was the very unlikely closing number and actually it sounded a lot
like “Sweet Marie” when they started it. As you’d expect, Bob
mixed up all the lyrics, probably sang all the lines from the orginal but
most definitely not in the correct order. Lots of soloing from all three
guitarists, as well. Fun version, but not exactly spectacular.
Ballad Of A Thin Man
very strong version, although I still tend to miss Winston Watson’s
thunder drums. Bob played around with the phrasing quite a bit,
his singing was probably the best of the night and Larry’s pedal
steel solo was excellent as well. The whole band seemed to enjoy
playing this one a lot.
Like A Rolling Stone
Okay, after a main set that basically was a greatest-hits-free-zone
it was now time to make the tourists happy. Judging from the
audience’s reaction it worked quite well. Makes you wonder who
actually queued up for those three days... Bob played a rotten
lead guitar, one and a half notes, punk rock 2000!
Forever Young (acoustic)
nicely done, but due to Bob’s less-than-perfect voice it wasn’t a
“Not Fade Away” became the last song this year to get dropped
from the set. “Maggie’s” was the usual country-fied rock
arrangement complete with an extended, modified ending.
It Ain’t Me Babe (acoustic)
I still don’t know why anybody wouldn do a seven song encore
and apparently Bob and band don’t know why either, because
they tend to sound very tired at the end of the two hour show.
Bob did play the harp at the end, but the solo was very short and
not very good either. There was the traditionally huge cheer when
he picked up the harmonica though. The fact the he didn’t put it
down properly on his amp again after he had finished but actually
threw it away showed how much he enjoyed it, too, I guess.
Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35
Larry expected them to do “Not Fade Away” it seemed as he
plugged in his guitar and looked very surprised when David
started “Rainy” and he had to switch to lap steel. It was the usual
jam-packed version and Bob sang a third, improvised, verse
tonight after all the soloing.
Blowin’ In The Wind (acoustic)
Very short version (e.g. no real solo before the last chorus), tired, and
quite boring. Not the best way to end a show that actually was quite
special after all.
I had a great time throughout, but to repeat what John Paul Jones
from Led Zeppelin told me when I asked him what was on his
mind when he became the first one Jimmy Page played his new
composition “Stairway To Heaven” to. He said something along
the lines of: “I thought it was really good, but there was no gold
dust falling from the ceiling, when he played.” That’s exactly how
I felt about Dylan in Horsens.
“love is not a victory march” (leonard cohen)
Return to Bob Links
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Go to the Set Lists (by date) page 1999 Tour, 1998 Tour, 1997 Tour, 1996 Tour , 1995 Tour, Pre 1995 Tours
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