Reykjavik, Iceland


May 26, 2008

[Steinar Daler], [Trevor Townson]

Review by Steinar Daler

I have never won the big lottery, but this consert was something like it.
I just happened to be in Reykjavik in connection with my work while Bob is
her. Travells and hotel paid. I only paid for the ticket. I have never
seen so few familiar faces on a Dylan consert before, but at least a
couple - one of them a taper, if you wonder. And yes, I very much want to
hear that recording. Last time I saw Bob was the 3 conserts in Dallas in
February, three great concerts and I'm happy to say that Bob kept up the
same standard today, if not even better, and the band were in top form as
well. Bob wore a dark grey hat today that I have not seen before - same
kind as the white one he has used most recently. Stuck inside of Mobile
was a good starter and Bob was defenitely on. A really beautiful Don't
think twice followed and Bob's vocal was outstanding. The Levee's gonna
break was another highlight. top vocal and more SWING than usual. I'm not
sure about the arrangement for Trying To Get To Heaven, Bob stretches the
words too much. But nice to hear a not too much played song. Rollin And
Thumlin' was good as usual, with grat slideguitar playing by Denny. Nettie
Moore is just wonderful, and Bob is back to the arrangement with the great
dynamic change beetween the verses and the choir. Next up was my highlight
of the evening; best version I have everheard of I'll beyour baby tonight.
Bob and the band were for sure satisfied too. Lots of smiles, not at least
from Bob himself. Bob ended with great harmonica playing. Honest with me
was nothing special - as usual, but the next song; Workingman's blues was
another delight. Bob is so in to that song and Dennys guitarplaying is
outstanding. Highway 61 as usual, and a crowdpleaser as usual as well.
Spirit on the water also worked very well today. It was interesting to see
Bob almost wondering if he would get any response to the "I'm over the
hill"-line, here on Iceland - but he soon found out that the audience here
have taken notice of that line here as everywhere else. It's allright ma
was another strong performance. George's drumming tonight made the rythm
of the song even stronger than usual. Nice sologuitar from Denny on When
the deal goes down. Some times Denny just shines. On Summer days the whole
band were shining. Smiles all over and a more lively Bob playing his
keyboards and giving small gestures with his hands and body better than
most times I have seen him, and at least on this song that we often feel
is overplayed. To night it was next to I'll be your baby tonight the
highlight of the show. Bob looked proud at the end of Summer days. A great
verson of Ballad of a thin man ended the show before the two anchors
Thunder on the mountain and Blowing in the wind. Maybe not a too
interesting setlist but it does not matter when Bob's 100% on all the way,
and his cowboy band are riding so close to the great horseman in front.
You got something to look foreward to Europe!

Steinar Daler  


Review by Trevor Townson

"Business or pleasure", the words again echoed to catch my attention by
the  lady seated beside me on the Flybus. Turns out that she was part of a
group of Americans travelling the  Scandinavian area on some kind of
research mission, her husband seated elsewhere  being the host on a US
radio show that covered Scandinavian issues. Saying "Not sure really, I
was only in Iceland to take in a Bob Dylan show,  other than that I really
had no desire to travel, "holiday" or to take in  foreign places, have no
interest in a volcanic rock, ice peaks or not, fumeroles  or not, geysers
or not, whales and Puffins or not......." Turns out that she was in fact
Icelandic, originally from Reykjavik  but she had lived in the States for
the best part of 40 years! She was quite amused by my views on things and
the fact that my only reason  to travel would be to see a Bob Dylan show
and asked if I ever take  anything away with me from any country I visit,
"of course" I said, "a ticket  stub with the name of the place on it". She
seemed to enjoy talking to me and remarked how green the country was  now
since she was last here -to me it still seemed a bit charred compared to
my  Yorkshire Dales home but she was smiling and looked very sweet and
happy  being "home" so I kept those particular opinions to myself. Seems
in Iceland everything starts late but wandering down to the venue at 
5.00pm there was still a feeling - was there a show on? Apart from a
handful of Dylan world travellers and a ticket hut not  much more
sign of life. Even collecting my ticket from the hut I had to stir myself
to speech  and asked "is Bob Dylan on tonight"? Came to pass that even the
Dylan world travellers had been uncertain if  they were at the correct
venue or not. I had not particularly been bothered about front of house
this time,  feeling that you can be too much in his face but even leaving
it to what I would  normally consider very late I find myself with only a
handful of people in line  in front of me. About half an hour before doors
open the crowd begins to build a little,  then the inevitable lets play
about with the doors as two more entrances  are made available. Entrances
open, bit of a dash inside only to find yourself facing another  set of
doors and another 30 minute wait until they too are opened. I may have
broken into a slow trot at this stage but even so it was  remarkably easy
to find myself on the front rail - failure really as this had  not been my
original game plan for this show. Looking around the sports hall I thought
the sound would be poor from  where I was standing but this did not prove
to be the case as the sound was  excellent from up front. The set list you
can read elsewhere with no real surprises although Trying  To Get To
Heaven did seem to be a change to the original play list as Bob  shuffled
around the band in the dark pause as if telling them we are going to  play
this one next instead? Playing music to me is akin to performing magic so
I am always amazed by  the seemingly endless numbers of sounds and
arrangements possible for the same  songs making them different almost
every time. As usual I really enjoyed the show, to me I am not there to
see some 60's  icon or whatever, I just enjoy the music and the sound -
the Song & Dance  man did good again. Highlights for me would be the 
most rockin' The Levee's Gonna Break that I  have ever heard, Honest 
With Me, different but to my taste, really enjoyed that  one - thanks Bob. 
Highway 61 of course, one of my favourites in any guise, Yet another 
slightly different arrangement of It's Alright Ma. Then Summer Days - a  
song that has gradually grown on me somehow, guess I must have
liked it all  along and Bob knew that so has had to keep drilling it
home. No guitar from Bob but some brilliant harmonica to compensate 
including within Don't Think... - what else do you need. Heard Denny
Freeman good but tonight I thought he was absolutely  outstanding and a
star in his own right. Not really looked Denny's way much before but this
night you just could not  help to. During the later numbers Denny produces
what looks like a guitar he has  made himself. No doubt it cost a fortune
and it sounded fantastic but I could  not help looking at it and thinking
that Bob had bought him a make your own  guitar kit for Christmas and he
just got it finished. Probably all you technical people seen it before but
it caught my eye,  looks like it is made out of parts from a 1930's
Studebaker  interior or my mothers old 1950's 
radiogrammyaltadeccachamagramogragmyphone...... As yet I am not sure 
where my next place of no interest apart from this  unique artist, songs, 
sounds and band is going to be or where I will be standing  or seated. The
volcanic rock had however served it's purpose for this particular  visitor
to it's shores so thank you and goodbye Iceland, thank you Bob and Band 
and everyone else who makes it all possible - BRILLIANT

Trevor Townson


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