July 5, 2014
Review by Steinar Daler
I'm back home in Norway after a special concert Saturday night.I have seen
a lot of Dylan-concerts the last year with almost the same setlist and I
have loved them all. This warm night at a nice atrium venue in Poland, Bob
decided to go for something else, as he did two times in Rome last fall
and in Athens a couple of weeks ago.
It looked like his band was prepared for a different set list. It
started with "Rainy day woman # 12&35". Bob changed or rather made up a
couple of lyric changes as he was singing. I at least remember he was
singing "they stone you when you're at the hotel" (maybe he had some bad
experiences at the very nice looking Dolina Charloty resort hotel -- who
knows?). But, Bob seemed to be in a good mood and to enjoy his time on
stage. The band looked happy too. The concert was a part of a festival
"The rock legend festival" and maybe that's the reason Bob decided to play
so many songs from the 60's and none from his latest album Tempest.
He did very good versions of "Don't think twice", "Tom thumb's blues" and
"To Ramona". The audience seemed to love it and the arrangements were
recognizable and his voice in good form with his brilliant phrasing. Next
song up was a rather new one -- "The levee's gonna brake". A bit boring. A
slow and very nice version of "Shelter from the storm followed" and it was
definitely one of the highlights of the night. A long time since I last
heard this one live and it was another highlight, not only for me, but I
had a feeling the whole audience loved it. "Cry a while" followed in a new
very slow arrangement, at least to me. I liked it a lot.
The next song ; "Girl of the north country" was outstanding. Very slow an
extremely beautiful. For some years I have thought I never would hear Bob
singing any song in such a beautiful way anymore. The whole audience were
almost dead silent during the performance and he got a tremendous applause
when he finished. The memory of this performance will stay with me
"Summer days" was the standard version, but it seemed like the audience
and the band liked it a lot. I'm a bit tired of that song. "Desolation
Row" followed and the audience recognized it immediately. They started
clapping along in a slow rhythm that really worked and I believed we were
in for an extraordinary version.But Bob moved over to the piano from
center stage and started some staccato singing, and then it was more back
to the "so and so" version it has been the last years. "Tweedle Dee &
Tweedle Dum" was also a totally different song from what I have heard
before. I loved the slow arrangement with a nice country feel added by
Donny.Then a real surprise; "Lonesome day blues". Have not been played
since 2009. A real good version - Bob was really on!
Hard Rain was destroyed by Bob. Plonk-plonk. One of the worst versions I
have heard. It's a pity that he too often destroys such a great song. I
felt that at least the people standing close to me were disappointed as
well."Thunder on the mountain" went down well and a lot of people were
almost dancing. Most people enjoyed "Ballad of a thin man" too. It is a
good version, and I also loved it when it used to be the last song before
the anchors. Now I have to say that I really missed "Long and wasted
years". It is so powerful and an even better showstopper.Well, I'm happy
to have seen this concert and a changed set list -- because I see concerts
quite often, but my guess is that the "standard set list" would have been
welcomed in Poland too.
The anchors; "Watchtower" (a bit weaker than normal and "Blowin' in the
wind" a real nice version) was a good ending to a good, sometimes not that
good and sometimes extremely good concert.
I'm looking forward to see him again in my homeland Norway in a few days
(July 11 & 12). My first two Dylan concerts was in Gothenburgh, Sweden
July 11 & 12, 1978. Exactly 36 years later both Bob and I are still going.
I believe we both love it!
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