June 11, 2010
Review by Steinar Daler
Prague is definitely a nice city. I have been here before and knew it was a good
place to be. Still high summer. We met up with a lot of other norwgians, swedes,
englihsmen, germans and more. In the 02 aena 15 out of 20 seats on first row
were occupied by us, and as Bob entered the stage we rushed to the rail and
hundreds behind us did the same. Very different from Bratislava. I believe this
made this concert better and Bob even more on! 7 different songs from
Bratislava. Just like Tom Thumb's blues was great as allways, and this time the
audience joined Bob on Just like a woman. Not the best version we have heard of
Mr. Tambourine man, but anyway we loved hearing it. Cold Irons bound was one of
the higlights too. Bob was playing guitar, harp and singing from center stage
almost half the concert. Standing on the rail in such moments is just what we
want. The real highlight of the night was Ballad of a thin man. I guess i have
seen Bob doing that song maybe 20-30 times since 1978, but I have never seen it
as good as tonight. All my friends agreed on that. Well, it's late night and we
have to go on to Linz tomorrow - and if this can be even better there or in
Ljubljana, we will remember this tour for a long time. Thanks Bob!
Steinar Daler (on tour with Geir, Thor, Lasse - and a lot of other good friends
Review by Malgorzata Büthner-Zawadzka
This was my fifth Dylan's concert (after Warsaw 1994, Warsaw 2008, Ostrava 2008 and
Berlin 2009) and I think the best. Or I was just in a very good mood, traveling all by
myself abroad, being on my own, with no direction home, etc. I really enjoyed the show
and Mr Dylan looked like he was enjoying it too. I think changing the instruments made
him great pleasure: keyboard? guitar? harp? - just guess friends what I will do in a
moment! :) It started perfectly for me with Rainy Day Women, I waited the whole day
for the words: well, they'll stone ya... and they came! During Lay, Lady, Lay I was so
happy- he was singing like good old Bob - not just telling words, but really singing - I know
he is always singing, I love him anyway - buy I'm sure you all know what I mean. Another
brilliant moments for me were: Just Like A Woman - Bob wanted us to sing it with him
and it was a great honor, nice version of Shelter From The Storm and Mr. Tambourine
Man, which simply brought tears into my eyes. I was also glad to hear three songs form
the album Together Through Life and some powerful stuff like Honest With Me.
Great evening. I don't know if I believe in god, I don't know if I believe in love, but
I do believe in Bob Dylan! :)
Review by Gary Galbraith
Just a few notes from the show I saw in Prague on Friday night.
Apart from the Barrowlands club show in Glasgow in 2004 (and maybe the two
Brixton shows in Nov 2005), it was possibly the best of the 15-16 Dylan
shows I've been at since September 2000 - a European leg which I consider to be
the absolute high water mark of the entire Never Ending Tour.
Was very pleasantly surprised it was so good as for the last year or so, a
lot of the shows have got a bit too predictable for my liking. However, this was
the first time I've seen Dylan since Charlie Sexton returned on guitar in
October last year after a 7 year absence.
The difference is like night and day. Sexton is the most perfect lead
guitarist Dylan's ever had in his band (and considering some of his
predecessors have been the likes of Robbie Robertson, Jerry Garcia and Mick
Taylor) thats saying quite a lot. The kick in the arse that his presence has
given Dylan is noticeable from the first few notes. Sexton is all over the
place, roaming the stage, crouching down beside Bob and doing a great job in
working the crowd up.
Bob spent a lot more time away from his keyboard than at any show I've seen him
do in many years. Much more than he's been doing for a long time, I would say.
On a couple of songs (Cold Irons Bound and Ballad of a Thin Man) he spent the
entire song standing at the mic with just harmonica in hand. The setlist was a
bit less 12-bar blues based than many shows in recent years - a good sign, I
think. I dont know if there's a connection but Dylan's bassist and bandleader
Tony Garnier spent the entire show sitting on a chair - I can only assume he's
done his back in. He still seemed to having a great time, with quite a bit of
banter going on between himself and George Recile on the drums right behind him.
To the songs - Rainy Day Women as an opener. Usually the opening song is a
bit of a plodder, but this was much better than it has been in ages. Bob
came out front halfway through and played guitar for the rest of the song.
The icing on the cake though was Stu Kimball playing the riff of Link Wray's
"Rumble" over the arangement for the last couple of minutes.
Lay Lady Lay - Nice vocal performance by Bob, Charlie's guitar licks on the
chorus were quite similar to the Nashville Skyline version.
Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues - One of my favourite Dylan songs ever, and a
version for the ages. Bob still on guitar and the latter part of the song
saw him doing a magnificent little duel with Sexton which I just didnt want to
end. (I was shouting "keep it going keep it going" like a madman)
Just Like A Woman - Bob back on keyboards. The audience even sang along on
the chorus, and Bob, unusually for him, sort of allowed them to.
Beyond Here Lies Nothing - First time I've seen him play this one. Back on
guitar and growling the words out, with some nice trumpet by Donnie.
Shelter From The Storm - Pretty nice arrangement. Never ceases to amaze me
how many ways he can rearrange the same song from one year to the next.
Honest With Me - This one has just passed its sell by date for me when it
comes to being played live, although nowhere near as much as is the case for
it's 'Love & Theft' stablemates 'Tweedle Dum' and 'Summer Days' - both of which
were mercifully omitted tonight. This wasnt bad actually - at least they
reworked the arrangement to keep it a bit fresh.
Mr Tambourine Man - Lovely slowed down version, with Bob out front second
half on guitar.
Cold Irons Bound - usually a hellacious, noisy rocker, Bob was out front
doing some bizarre harp wailing, but a good vocal and a nice arrangement.
Workingman's Blues No.2 - First time I've seen him play this one too, and it was
absolutely beautiful. He wrung every emotion out of the lyrics, and then came
out front to nail a great harp solo.
Highway 61 Revisited - Nothing much changes with this one. Thunderous as
I Feel A Change Comin' On - Quite a pleasant surprise to get this one. I
dont think he plays it too often and it was really good.
Thunder On The Mountain - Never had the same impact live as it is on record.
Always sounds a bit rushed. This was no exception.
Ballad of a Thin Man - Six years ago I saw Dylan play a version of 'Like A
Rolling Stone' at the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow which even Bob said
immediately afterwards got the greatest reaction between himself and a crowd
ever. This may well have been the nearest thing to that moment for this song
from the same album. It was fucking incredible. He stood at the mike, harp in
one hand (it was almost 'Renaldo and Clara'-like for those of you familiar with
the versions of 'Isis' from that era) , arms outstretched,
crouching and pointing at the crowd as he did so, gesturing backwards with his
other arm at George Recile as he crashed down on the cymbal - and absolutely
roaring and snarling the lyrics. When he got to the line about "F Scott
Fitzgerald's books" he spat the 'f' out as 'f, f, f, f' as if he was reciting
Hannibal Lechter's classic line in 'Silence of the Lambs'. Absolutely no
question - this was the best version of the song since 1966 - and it brought the
Like A Rolling Stone - always goes down a treat. Terrific vocal performance by
Bob (if a bit too much arseing around on the keyboard) and the crowd enjoyed it
Jolene - another new one for me. Not one of my favourites off 'Together
Through Life', but it was pretty solid.
All Along The Watchtower - still manages to get the crowd worked up, and
understandably so. Terrific version to close.
At 69, I was starting to wonder how much more he can wring out of this
endless touring cycle, but just when you think he's starting to lose his
edge a bit, he draws you back in with a performance as glorious as this.
May his song always be sung.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Review by Miroslava Pirklova
A different concert than concert in Bratislava, the best Bob´s concert for me
again (I think, every Dylan´s concert will be the best for me). HOT and STRONG!
I don´t want to write a long review - so shortly, as usually. O2 Arena –
stupid security precautions, but I´ll expect it. I saw Joe Cocker´s concert in
2007 there and the precautions were the same. But never mind, we can see Bob!
The crowd – great, a lot of Norwegians, Swedish, Germans, Englishmens, I
think, nearly sold out. We have tickets at second row, but because of the fact
that many many people rushed to the stage, we were standing from very start to
end of the concert. We had a great view on Bob and we enjoyed it very much. Set
list – no big surprise, but very very strong rendition of each song. Bob - Bob
was loud and very very energetic, he gives us a lot of great solos, mainly on
keyboard. Highlights – Lay Lady Lay, Highway 61 Revisited, Just Like Tom
Thumb´s Blues and Honest With Me. .Absolutely highlight of the evening was
the song Ballad Of A Thin Man. The best rendition of this one for me. Bob at his
best, thanks Bob, I love the song very much. Thanks for Lay Lady Lay, too, I
wish to listen to the song very much and my wish came true. All at all –
another brilliant concert, I hope, we´ll meet with Bob next year again. Maybe
he´ll play my others very popular song – My Wife´s Home Town, Masters Of
War, Love Minus Zero/No Limit, Se?or or Bllind Willie McTell.
The Czech republic
Review by Wojciech Banan
It was a great pleasure to visit such a great city. I've never been in Prague
before. But deifnitely it was fantastic place for Bob Dylan's performance. It
was high summer and I felt something different in the air - it was announcement
of this evening.O2 Arena has typical ambience: fantastic. I can't find better
place in whole country to present such a great singer.It started perfectly with
Rainy Day Women, band just came on the stage without any word! Suddenly I
understood that music will talk this evening. Audionce was very calm. I think
that too calm - but maybe it was for this reason I was surrounded by older
people. :) What can I say: Lay, Lady, Lay sounds great after 40 years since the
recording. Version of Mr. Tambourine Man wasn't the best but it didn't matter at
all. The greatest moment of this evening was Ballad Of A Thin Man - I felt like
in a theater, Bob stood in the center of the stage with his harp and all lights
were directed at him. His shadow was on the curtain behind him. Just imagine:
shadow of a legend.Beautiful evening, I will never forget about Prague, about
Bob, about O2 Arena and all people who were with me.
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