Review

Langesund, Norway
Krogshavn
June 28, 2001


[Erling Johansen]

Review by Erling Johansen


The outdoor show at Langesund was one of the best norwegian Dylan shows
ever, perhaps the very best. The concert arena was a football ground, just
a few 100 meters from the ocean. I was standing just in front of the sound 
booth when Bob and band appeared 30 minutes before announced show start, it 
seemed even the sound mixer was taken by surprise for a little while. The 
opener - Humming Bird - took most of the audience by surprise, not a regular
opener but a cute little song. Lots of the audience were younger people,
and they must've wondered what this was all bout. Bob was seemingly in
good mood, greeting us with a mumbled 'hello'. Next came a quite trivial
Mr. Tambourine Man followed by a short easily forgettable Tangled Up In
Blue. After this he went electric with a very rocking Watching the river
flow. Up to this point there were few surprises in the show, but Maggie's
Farm really got the crowd started, with brand-new arrangement (very
different from the far east shows earlier this year). Next was probably
the best live Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall i've ever heard, with a tender and
emotional delivery of the questions from the father to the son during the
first verses, then thru the last verses - now assuming the voice of the
son - he was literally spitting out the words, filled with anger and hurt.
Brilliant! Then followed a standard reading of It's Allright Ma, and a
nice version of It's All Over Now, Baby Blue with Larry on pedal steel.
Bob and Charlie seemed to be having a good time on stage, ad libbing
frequently. A dark and sinister Things Gave Changed followed - and yes
there it was: his Oscar statuette on top of a guitar amp. The regular part
of the show was concluded with a cool Cold Irons Bound, and Leopard-skin
Pillbox hat, including a chuckling Bob during the first verse (something
to behold), and band introduction during instrumental break. The crowd was
very receptive to Bob and he seemed to appreciate it. Bob returned for
encores with Country Pie - with great guitar work from Charlie. Then
followed a superb reading of If Dogs Run Free - with Bob pronouncing every
word clearly and insistent: "My mind weaves a symphony And tapestry of
rhyme.
                        Oh, winds which rush my tale to thee
                        So it may flow and be,
                        To each his own, it's all unknown,
                        If dogs run free."

So true indeed. He was really delivering the words like a teacher making
sure his pupils would hear his every word. After this he did All Along The
Watchtower - a strong and inspired version, followed by Knockin' On
Heavens' Door - and what a surprise he had for us there: What seemed to be
a brand-new arrangement, he had altered the actual melody of the classic
chorus of the song - breathing new life into it. Marvelous! Then followed
a nice Highway 61, before he rounded off with Blowin' In the Wind. This
was remarkably intense, with some delicious singing from his choir-boys ,
Larry and Charlie. Eventually Bob returned once more for a rockin' Rainy
Day Women, with extra long instrumental breaks. 

[TOP]

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