July 2, 2011
Review by Anders Tidström
Mostly forgotten small town of Borlänge is already on the map this year as
the place where the world famous opera tenor Jussi Björling was born - a
hundred years ago. Joan Baez put a flower on Jussi´s grave here the other
year. He´s in fact been her favorite since childhood. But it seemed like Bob
had nothing of that in mind when in town. Or was opening act Rainy Day Women
("everybody most get stoned") dedicated to Jussi? Last concert on the
European leg of Bob´s current tour.
Thanks to Carsten Molt, Pittsburgh, USA, my two hours by car to the concert
was the most suitable starter. An old boot leg from the 1966 Stockholm
concert followed uphill and downhill through the Swedish wilderness. A shadow
from Bob´s debut in Sweden and my first step into journalism, reporting for
my hometown newspaper. Bob was 24 and I was still a teenager. He´s always
been a young old guy. When listening to yesterday´s Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat
it´s true humor, swingin´ rock ´n roll and very well sounding. The spirit of
Borlänge? No, festivals are not "my cup of tea"! I could have a party another
day in another place with other fellows. Add it´s proudly entitled Peace &
Love - a little too much of everything. Nevertheless I headed for Bob at this
spot for once. Soon it appeared that when Jussi had to listen from six feet
under I was lucky to capture my claim fifteen yards front stage. Promising.
Well, an hour before entrance the crowd of 50 000 kids finally was mixed up
with all kind of Bob-fans. All shapes, all ages, all looks. A two hundred
years old guy predicted Bob´s opening with Rainy Day Women just a few minutes
in advance of fact. There were of course hopeful jugglers and clowns around.
A real riverboat captain expected rain. Absolutely sweet Marie waved her hand
to a sad eyed Lady of the Lowlands in sight. The funniest thing was a bunch
of gay football players, happily here on the command of a jealous monk. Tell
me who wasn´t there. Rumors said Mona-Lisa didn´t smile tonight as she had
had no highway blues recently. But another rumor mentioned Swedish ex prime
minister Mona shamelessly entwined with Tom Thumb throughout the show. Story
teller: Mr Jones. Thus nice crowd for a show - maybe. A newcomer had to
rearrange several faces and give them all another name. The only sure thing
was Bob Dylan on stage.
Though Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat never showed up the set list was loaded with
other good stuff and Bob enjoyed the show from the very beginning. Smiling
now and then and also taking several dance steps center stage. One and a half
hour, fifteen songs and a constantly good response from the audience. An
even and good show and Bob almost succeed in taking the festival out in space
(not only on the tenth song:Tryin´to get to Heaven). A show where Dylan was a
little more dominating instrumentally than usual . or was the band unusually
laid off? He was stuck to the keyboard less than half of the time. Bob in
focus center stage singing, along with his guitar and harp. Several inspired
harp solos (especially Things have changed as the third song and Blowin´ in
the Wind as a passionate final good bye).
There were some highlights in the first part of the show: a sensitive Simple
Twist of Fate, a thoughtful Beyond here lies Nothing, a pounding Thunder on
the Mountain, a mystified (echo effected!) Ballad of a Thin Man. The encore
was a true crowd pleasers: a bumpy Like a Rolling Stone, a true rocking All
Along the Watchtower (thanks once more George Recile for your swirling drum
exercise) and finally Blowin´ in the Wind free from sticky nostalgia.
When I on my way home passed midnight a line from Dylan´s New Morning (1970)
sneaked into my mind: "so happy just to see you smile, underneath the sky of
The steel plant of Borlänge continuous to produce the hard stuff, Jussi
Björling is parked on the graveyard and 70 years young Bobby Dylan is back in
the land of Coca Cola. Things have normalized. Thanks for the Saturday night
Review by Lena G.
"A giant on a giant stage. Two big screens on each side of the stage with no
close-up filming and the band looking smaller in their grey suits than they did
on the real stage.
I was standing on his left side about forty metres away. They entered one minute
after 8.30 and continued until two minutes before 10 pm.
As expected he started with Rainy Day Women and then I was hoping for It's All
Over Now Baby Blue. It never came. I´m totally crazy about that song since it
fills me with absolute perfect vibrations.
Dont Think Twice It's All Right almost made me cry of happiness. Well every song
almost made me cry of happiness. Beyond Here Lies Nothing, perfect! Isn't there
a law that says that this song must be played every day all over the world? It
starts so cool and that song made me cry of happiness.
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum has never been one of my favorites but Dylan was on
fire and it was the most outstanding song this time! Indeed! I love surprises
like that. I have always been jealous of people hearing A Hard Rain's A-Gonna
Fall live and now it was my lucky time. One of the best songs ever written and
the performance was excellent, what else?
Dylan on harmonica ruled the world this evening. People went TOTALLY crazy when
he played, like it was the first time we ever heard a harmonica in all our
He really turned us on and left us burning.
And even more - he was banging his keyboard with a frenzy I never seen before
not even after hours and hours and even more hours studying his shows on
Youtube, before Sony Music...you know the rest.
He did it so well, I expected the best but this was better.
I thought the band was all in the background and I didn't see George Recile
behind his drums at all, just his drumsticks.
I was hoping for Make You Feel My Love because it was a Peace & Love festival
and I was not all well myself but I dressed up in black and blue and went hungry
to make him feel my love. I stood on my toes for 1,5 hours - to my own surprise.
I waved my hand everytime he did something extra and it was all the time. Hands
up for the echo effect on "do ya,ya ya, Mr Jones and trying to stay away from
another joint (even hip joints I suppose) and him looking good in his white
shirt and suddenly it was all over now, so sad, and I wanted them to play it all
"da capo" because I felt like the show only lasted ten minutes and I cried.
I tried to stay on that empty place to take it all in when people slowly moved
away but then came this strong feeling "just remember that death is not the end"
and its NOT all over now, Baby Blue and how much I ever love him and his music
and his voice it couldn´t replace the total feeling of seeing his art the Brazil
Series last year. In that moment I knew that he had switched something in my
brain and my love will continue on a different level and it is a gift for me to
find out how.
He turned us on, left us burning and reflected it from the mountains so ALL
SOULS could see it.
And what about the good news that he is coming to Sweden in November again. I
will be there in Stockholm and go hungry and go black and blue ..."
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