page by Bill Pagel
Review by Stephen Lawrie
Fantastic night! My 20th Bob show I can't say that I've seen Bob enjoying
a show so much before!
The Barrowlands is a former dancehall near Glasgow city centre. It
carries quite a reputation locally as a crowded sweatpit. It has a really
low roof, featuring sparkly white stars on a blue background and a big
dancehall mirrorball. The "Rolling Stone" lights were above my head. I
felt as if I could have stretched up and touched them. I've never seen
them so close. The stage is about chest high and the crowd stood on a
wooden dancefloor. A couple of bars at the outside of the venue completes
The setlist changes over the last three nights have been great. I've only
followed the tour from Newcastle to Glasgow and Bob's played 38 different
songs in three nights.
Highlights of the show were Just Like A Woman, more later, Floater with
Larry on fiddle, which went down really well with the crowd, I Believe in
You, much better than Brussels 2002, and Rolling Stone.
What set this show apart from me was Bob's icy facade finally broke. The
crowd at the Barrowlands is always lively and when we started to sing
along to Just Like A Woman Bob allowed the crowd to sing and seemed to
sing along, smiling and looking very happy. We gave it a go at It Ain't Me
Babe with less success, because it was played louder than was practical
for a sing-a-long. When Rolling Stone kicked in straight after Don't Think
Twice the crowd was ready to sing again and Bob seemed quite happy to sing
along. I never dreamed he would enjoy the audience participation so much,
but by his actions, he obviously did. After the encores he said something
like " You're a great crowd. We've played that thousands of times and
people try to sing along, but nobody can ever do it... Nobody!" He was
smiling and laughing and looked really to be having a whale of a time.
Bob loves crowds that respond to him. The Glasgow crowd yelled and
hollered like hell after every song. When he went off after the main set
he must have heard the noise of hundreds of feet pounding on the wooden
dancehall floor - quite an effect.
The band really seemed to gel a lot more tonight. Stu seemed more
prominent in the mix and played some fantastic solos, often following the
original versions more than we have heard for some time. Larry swopped
instruments so often I lost count - guitar, pedal steel, cittern, violin,
slide guitar, pedal steel again. The rhythm section has been outstanding
over the last three nights. Take a bow Tony & George.
A performance I will cherish the memory of for the rest of my life -
Performing artist indeed!
Review by Mrs. Henry
Dr Bob leads a singalong
The Barras venue in Glasgow has a reputation for bringing out the best in
Not only did we get an absolutely on song Bob and his band but the fans
Stealing the chorus from Bob on "Just Like A Woman", "It Ain't Me Babe"
and "Like A Rolling Stone" the band were having fun. Bob full of smiles.
At the end Bob grabbed the mike and said something along the lines of "We
play these songs a thousand times and no one can sing along"
Well the Barras gave it laldy.
Thanks for a great concert Dr Bob and Haste Ye Back
Review by Toby Richards-Carpenter
Would you be prepared to believe that a great Bob Dylan show could occur without necessarily containing
a set of great Bob Dylan performances? Tonight was the night, truly the 'You Had To Be There' gig to
end them all.
In broad terms, the Glasgow Barrowland crowd generated a wall of noise, a noise of such force that Bob
Dylan was coerced on occasion, (and you're not going to believe this), into duetting with his audience.
For whatever the volume of support, and it did overwhelm the music coming from the stage at times, this
was not an unthinking or disrespectful barrage of shouting.
It was just that, on occasion, the entire crowd sang along. In a place the size of your average village
hall, this didn't have the usual irritating, cheesy effect of a good-time clap-along for people who knew
the songs only off the record. Oh no. This was Bob Dylan's music crossing boundaries, forming a state of
unity between song, audience and performer in the profoundest sense.
This first occurred during 'Just Like A Woman', and Bob acknowledged the collective power of the moment
during the final verse. "You fake… like… woman" filled in Bob through a huge grin, surfing the wave of
sound that flooded the room. As this continued to the song's conclusion, the sense of euphoria grew and
the reception given was tumultuous.
People were cheering Bob of course, but also celebrating their own joy at being part of such a moment.
The only comparable feeling I can think of occurred during 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall' in Bournemouth
in 2002 when Bob's microphone cut out, for those of you who remember.
After the reaction to 'Just Like A Woman', which had clearly taken Bob aback, it seemed that he was
actively trying to steer clear of the big chorus-laden songs. People were rapt in attention during 'It's
Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), 'Girl Of The North Country' and 'Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll
go Mine)', although the level of adulation never dropped below the deafening between songs.
It was during this middle portion of the set that the show's centrepiece unravelled, a heroically
vengeful 'Ballad Of A Thin Man'. On a day when Bob Dylan's image adorned the front page of every
newspaper in Scotland, alongside insulting headlines criticising his appearance at his degree ceremony
in St. Andrews on Wednesday, 'Ballad Of A Thin Man' was the only response.
The bit between his teeth, Dylan tore into the song, and how glorious to hear it sung with genuine
purpose, with a target, Bob getting even with his accusers in the press. He'd literally been with the
professors, discussed matter with scholars, and none of them knew what was happening. The Barrowland
crowd knew though, cheering and hollering at the level of Bob's response.
Along with 'Ballad Of A Thin Man' there was one other performance that Bob claimed as his own, separate
from the insane din that elevated and defined the show. 'I Believe In You' took exceptional willpower
for Bob to sing with such searing gospel heat. The selfless religious intensity was generated from Bob's
commitment to sing from the bottom of his heart, not to mention his lungs.
One passage in particular took on the verve and menace of the 'Born Again' era:
"Oh, though the earth may shake me
Oh, and my friend for sake me
Oh, even that wouldn't make me go back"
I was close enough to see Bob's shoulders rising and falling as he took deep breaths, reaching and
drawing out the notes as though offering his voice as a sacrifice, and I saw him give a little cough
afterwards and a flicker of a smile to George as if to say "That's it - that's all I got nowadays!".
It's plenty, Bob, plenty.
Although five rows or so back from the rail, and directly in front of the drum kit, I was still within
15 feet of Bob's keyboard in this tiny venue. It was a fabulously intimate vantage point, and a
privilege to get such a close-up look at the workings of the band. I could see beads of sweat, Larry
smiling, Stu grimacing, George's legs shaking, and Tony looking a little scared. And if I paused for a
second, I could feel the barrage of noise pressing against me from the back of the room.
The encores were the pinnacle of this communal elation. Bob sang 'Don't Think Twice, It's Alright' with
a smile as the audience harmonised, and during 'Like A Rolling Stone' he was actually pointing at us,
conducting us, telling us when to come in! For all concerned the effect seemed to be utterly surreal
yet, to me, wonderfully pure as well. Bob had finally surrendered to the collective ascendancy of the
When the time for the band introductions came, Bob took the chance to acknowledge what was happening.
Most of his words were inaudible above the hysteria, but I think he began with something like "My, it's
loud in here" and, in reference to 'Like A Rolling Stone', said "I must have sung that a thousand times
and nobody could ever sing along with it".
I may be wrong about these words, but what was clear was that Bob was touched and somewhat overwhelmed
by the level of reaction his mere presence had generated. I say his mere presence, because the chaotic
buzz was there in the room before a note had been played, and many of the songs' performances, as far
as I could tell, were routine in their execution by Bob and the band.
But the Barrowland gig wasn't about inspired interpretations by Bob of individual songs. It was about
the power of music. It was about the human spirit. And, above all, it seemed to be about the fans in
the venue expressing their unconditional gratitude to Bob Dylan for all he has done. That this
expression was recognised, acknowledged and finally appreciated by Bob means more than I can say.
So, for reasons that may baffle those who weren't present, who may just hear a recording, Glasgow
Barrowland was one of the all-time great Dylan concerts. You just had to be there.
Review by Steinar Daler
I can`t say much more from the Barrowlands concert than the two before me,
but I just have to add a few words. I saw a good solid concert with Bob in
the SECC-hall the night before. Precise singing, a nice setlist - allmost
one rock n` roll song and one softer song after each other all the way
gave great dynamics to the concert. Also some real good arrangements - in
fact ecpecially AATW. Well then of course I had great expectasions for
next night in Barrowlands. And I`ll tell you: Bob`s singing was not as
good as the night before, the set-list was more a greatest hits plus Love
and Theft songs (only I believe in you - fine version - from between 1968
and 2001) and there was nothing extraordinary with the music - at least in
my ears, but yes indeed, it will be a concert to remember for ever. It was
my 76th Bob-concert and I have never seen anything close to it when it
comes to the atmosphere. What an audience? I think Bob called them/us his
best audience ever at the end of LARS. Listen to the mp3`s you`ll find on
the net of LARS and Just like a woman and you will get a feeling of what
happend or maybe say that you want Bob to sing and not the audience. But
if you had been there I know you would have loved it if you`re a normal
person enjoying the good and happy moments of life. I never saw so many
smiles at a Bob-concert (from Bob to) before.
Thanks to all my fellow audience and Bob for a night who made me happy for
hours and gave me a memory for ever. Hope to see some of you in Barcelona
(my next concert) - then he`ll do Romance in Durango!
Steinar Daler (sunset)
Review by Chris Clarke
I'll be short and sweet here - so no song by song
breakdown. Barrowlands was a rare treat. 1900 lucky
souls packed into a decaying East Glasgow ball room,
were treated to a new phenomenon "sing along with
Bob". Of course there's the odd bit of terrible
cacophanous singing from inebriated fans at most
shows, but this was in time, in tune and
inspirational. It happened during Just Like a Woman,
and it had the band and Bob grinning like kids at
Christmas. What's more, the crowd did the verses too.
Perhaps only a Glasgow audience can do it this way -
it's called the Hampden roar and by the time it
re-appeared for Like a Rolling Stone, Bob was moved to
say "you're just the best audience, we've done that
song 1000 times and no one's kept up like that."
Indeed there were moments during this show when Bob
and the audience were one and the same, every
characteristic re-phrasing or tempo variation somehow
being matched by the delerious throng.
To look at the set-list you'd assume a fairly ordinary
show, but a directionless You Go Your Way aside,
nearly everything about this was special. Stu Kimbal
who plodded through the show and earned some raised
eyebrows from the Recile and Garnier was the only let
down, but even this was a blessing in disguise; Larry
played lead most of the night and was sensational.
I've been to shows where Bob is carried by the band,
tonight it was the Bob Dylan show and during the
quieter moments, a heartbreaking I Believe in You, an
amazing It's Alright Ma and a Girl from the North
Country just for the Scots girls in the crowd, the
sensistivity of his performance was stunning.
One of the many great things about Dylan shows is the
way they can fuse three generations of hipsters into
an ageless whole. Tonight's show had more than the
usual show of young faces (maybe they'd graduated with
their hero the day before), proving perhaps that these
songs will live on after their creator has shuffled
off to the Hootenanny in the sky. Not yet though Bob,
keep on keeping on.
Review by Jon Henry
The atmosphere was as I expected for this intimate venue- more akin to a
Cup Final feeling & Bob didn't let us down.
Drifter's Escape - The ideal start.
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight - Good 'un.
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum - Oops, a tired sounding effort.
Just Like A Woman - That's better ! A fantastic version of the classic.
Bob was out-sung by the crowd at every chorus. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only
Bleeding) - I like this arrangement. Girl Of The North Country - A bit of
a let-down. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)- Superb - back
on track. Ballad Of A Thin Man - Close to the original & enjoyable.
Floater (Too Much To Ask) - The LAT songs are sounding a bit worn out.
Highway 61 Revisited - Standard rendition of this crowd- pleaser. It Ain't
Me, Babe - Another sing-a-long & another cracker. Honest With Me - Time to
drop this I think. I Believe In You - Nice to hear Bob doing this again.
Summer Days- Saved by middle jam-session.
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right - Great fun with much audience
Like A Rolling Stone - WOW!!! How could anything match the original
all-time classic ? Well the answer is: have 1900 vocalists singing along
with Bob ! It was so good that Bob just HAD to speak to the crowd
(something he hadn't been doing recently). He said something about playing
the song 1000 times & no-one managing to keep up- until tonight that is.
He also mentioned how good a crowd it was tonight. Needless to say his
words brought the house down ! All ALong The Watchtower - The fun
continues as Bob deliberately mimes the first three lines to see if the
audience will do the singing ! A Grand-Finale !
Review by John Archer
Bob really enjoyed himself tonight – and so did the crowd. As described
Barrowland is really just a large club, and we all felt close to Bob and
the band. It was great to hear the sweet I’ll be your baby Tonight. The
vocals were much clearer tonight, and the band appeared to be having more
fun. The bitter Ballad of a Thin Man was offset by the closest we got to
Gospel Bob tonight, I Believe in You, which I suppose is really more of a
lovesong of commitment. Bob’s piano playing really came into its own on
Just Like a Woman. Girl of the North Country was a romantic high. Perhaps
the most surprising arrangement was the marchlike accompaniment to It
Ain’t Me Babe. And he did love us singing along to Like a Rolling Stone.
According to my friend John he said: “We musta played about 7000 different
towns and NOBODY can sing with us like you!” The Barrowlands crowd loved
it . “Goan yersel’ Bob” and many shouts of “Dr Bob”. Shame he didn’t
reward us with a bonus encore after the enjoyable standard three. But I
can’t complain after a really fine night, enjoyed by all. John Archer
Review by David Wood Paterson
What a wonderful evening at the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow.
A perfect intimate setting for Bob.
The band were really on fire knocking out blistering versions of Highway
61 , Drifter's Escape, Honest With Me & Tweedle Dee - even these staples
sounded fresh. The highlights were the SING ALONG WITH BOB songs - Just
Like A Woman / It Ain't Me Babe (despite new version) and Like A Rolling
Stone. Never seen Bob & Band enjoying themselves so much at a gig . So
much that these songs were extended to allow audience participation with a
delighted and happy Bob leading us all at the choruses. At the end Bob
took up microphone at centre stage and told us that we were the best
audience in the world and that nobody has ever been able to sing along
with them . Must mention I Believe In You - a heartfelt rendering if ever
there was one. Congratulations to BOB TONY GEORGE STU & LARRY What a show
David Wood Paterson
Comments by Kevin Richards
I would just like to reiterate what a fantastic performance it was last
night. Also, Bob actually said at the end something along the lines of
“Well, Glasgow, you’re just about the best audience we’ve ever had”, just
before he talked about having played these songs 5000 times and nobody has
been able to song along. He then said something else at the end which I
couldn’t catch as the place had erupted by then.
Thanks Bob, see you next time.
Comments by Joe McAllister
This was only my second Dylan show and my first one before that was the
previous night in Glasgow, I bought my ticket on ebay for a heavy price
but it was worth every penny. I feel privileged to have been at this show
and I am thankful for it. I have been to the Barras before for concerts
and they have always been good but this one tops the lot for me. My
highlights were Just like a woman, Don't think twice and I'll be your
baby tonight. To be in a venue as small as this and see Dylan is some
thing, I can say this as I know how hard it was to get tickets for this
concert. I have seen my musical hero and I am forever grateful for it.
bob you made me a happy man indeed!
page by Bill Pagel
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