Reviews

Oslo, Norway

Spektrum

June 29, 2019


[Steven Jackson], [Laurette Maillet], [Amund BÝrdahl]

Review by Steven Jackson



Canít Wait to See Bob Again 

Time for another Bobcat City Break. This weekend sweet Jane and I flew to
Oslo to see the great man. We got to the Spektrum nice and early after
visiting the Nobel Peace Prize Centre and the Edward Munch Museum. There
were more screams to come...

We were especially excited to have general admission standing tickets and,
Bob, of course, was bound to buzzing with the triumph that was the
Scorsese Rolling Thunder film. Anticipation levels were fever pitch and
suffice to say, Bob did not disappoint. 

The first of numerous highlights was the lovely harp playing in Simple
Twist of Fate which, I think, included a new verse. The first major
surprise was a rollicking Canít Wait during which Bob - in full defiant
Billy the Kid mode - duelled with the always superb Charlie Sexton. When I
Paint My Masterpiece was, well, masterly. After the wonderful and dramatic
new arrangement of Like A Rolling Stone, there were screams aplenty. By
now a smiling Bob was floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee
and a rapturous Oslo was loving every minute of it. 

Next was the surprise of the evening, a sumptuous, haunting, fragile and
exquisite Boots of Spanish Leather. Reader, it was magnificent. No one who
was there will ever forget it. Gotta Serve Somebody was an absolute blast
- Bob laughing and winking throughout. The night was rounded off perfectly
with a serene and grooving It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To
Cry. A couple shimmies, hands on hips, grinning from ear to ear and Bob
was gone.

Thankyou Oslo, thankyou band, thankyou new Norwegian friends, thankyou
Jane for putting up with up me. And, most of all, thankyou Bob for a
magical evening. It was a scream! 

Canít wait for Hyde Park in 2 weeks with Neil...

Steven Jackson
Merseyside, UK

[TOP]

Review by Laurette Maillet



Oslo.I walk inside the venue, the Spektrum with a standing ticket and
realize there will be no way for me to see Bob front.I take a position all
the way on the right of the rail which will be behind the sound board.The
soundboard man will block partially my view. At the best I see the back of
Bob, the beautifull embroidery jacket.At times I see the fingers moving on
the piano.When the view of the stage is not clear I can focus on Barron
and Robert doing their job. Mainly making sure no one takes photos.What
else?I wish I could get that job. Easy; if you see someone opening a
mobile you signal him/her to one of the venue security and that's it.Some
in a while you quick one Fan out obviously and it should frighten all the
rest. Boo!So sad!The profile of Bob is not the best. He looks like an old
turtle.After ERK he will take his hat out and I see the bald spot on the
top of his head!The sound is great and I do my dancing and karaoke
alright.Robert and Barron look at me as if I'm right out from a 
psychiatric asylum. And they believe they are SO SMART!They do
their job alright. But what job! Chasing the Fans around. They should
remember the Fans pay their salary. No Fans no tickets sold. No tickets
sold no show. No show no tour. No tour no bodyguards.Well! I enjoy
anyway.And suddenly I hear the lyrics of "Spanish boots".I know that one
by heart. Whoa! Splendid surprise.Almost acapela and Bob moves center
stage which I don't appreciate. I don't see him at all.I see the front
row rail enjoying but not any hystery from behind.A loud reaction on
LARS.On BITW Barron moves away back and on "It takes a lot to laugh..."
Robert moves away back.Time to take photos!And time for me to search for
Marie out.The handicapped Bob Dylan follower from Germany.She is not
there!Back to the YH?Nope. A miracle for her.She had no possibility to
buy a ticket at the box office.Security people had pity on her; found her
a ticket and took her inside!Whoa!Some human people exist.Maybe not the o
nes you expect.We call a special taxi as Marie can't move from her chair
and we have a lite dinner before she crashed in dorm D. I crashed in dorm
C with....19 other crazy travellers.Tomorrow is another adventure

[TOP]

Review by Amund BÝrdahl



Oslo Spektrum is not a favourite venue with Norwegian bobcats. If they
don't happen to live in the capital but, say, are from FoldrÝyhamn, they
sometimes skip Oslo and go to see Bob in Sweden (Stockholm, Karlstad,
Gothenberg...) or Copenhagen (Germany, England, Ireland, Spain...)
instead. But the Spektrum remains the site Bob Dylan has most often
visited when in Norway; of his 28 concerts here (if my memory serves me
well), twelve have been played in Oslo Spektrum, including this year's
concert. And never has Bob had the entire audience in the Spektrum in the
palm of his hand from start to end like now. Well, there are memories from
the past, 2002 in particular comes to mind, but if we stick to modern
times, the atmosphere was especially good tonight. Each song was received
as a highlight, deservedly so. The new "Like a Rolling Stone" is simply
amazing. Always a crowd-pleaser no matter how it is done, this reworking
truly works - in earlier decades it has in my humble opinion not often
been nearly as interesting, musically speaking, as its famous "B-side"
counterpart "Positively 4th Street", which as a rule has been a (bootleg)
keeper. At least I have never found LARS (as it is called in bootspeak) so
much fun; while a number of sceptic old-timers most probably can be found
among a crowd this size, the general response was overwhelming. And "I
Can't Wait" (not played in Bergen) certainly never has been so
entertaining before! Wow version. Dear to our ears was also the "Boots of
Spanish Leather" that was performed in the "Don't Think Twice"/"Girl from
the North Country" slot between "Early Roman Kings" and "Love Sick". Oh,
would that I could go to Karlstad tomorrow night! It takes a ticket to
laugh, it takes a bus to ride.

Amund BÝrdahl

[TOP]

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