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Review by Markus Prieur
It is nice to stay in an old farmhouse B&B east of Glasgow, where they
kindly let us use their PC. My wife and I did not plan to go to Aberdeen
at first, but after "The Point" we had little choice. If we would not have
found fuel or tickets or simply would have stayed in Glasgow, we
definitely would have regretted it soon. We took the scenic route, passed
through some Scottish ski resorts, and arriving at the venue, it was a
matter of minutes to buy tickets for a sold out show and to stand amid
friendly people we had met in Dublin. This time we were again quite close
to the stage, enjoying good sights and sounds. Being able to breathe and
not being pushed and shoved to and fro made the evening even more
enjoyable. And enjoyable it was, as the setlist might probably suggest,
with Bob throwing eight more songs into this tour. But even the
repetitions were brilliant, especially "DESOLATION ROW" (this time even
seven verses) and "THINGS HAVE CHANGED", the two he had only performed!
at "Vicar Street". The band is as tight as can be and Bob Dylan prooved
once again that his voice is the finest instrument in music history. And
he played it great, right from the start, opening with the only song of
the night I had not seen before and was actually hoping to see last night,
"HALLELUJAH I'M READY TO GO", which he performed for the second time in
Europe. This time there were more than 550 "sinners" present (like in
Horsens last May) who were advised: "Don't wait, before it's too late,
he's a wonderful savior to know". Bob Dylan chose to tell us last night,
that he let his savior in and he saved his soul from sin, and that he fell
on his knees and his savior answered all his pleas. ( For all the lyrics
of this jewel see the relevant page of my website "Not Dark Yet" :
"TIMES" and "BOOTS" are always nice for me (I was born in October 1963),
and "WATCHTOWER" even comes across as a nice surprise nowadays. The finest
electric songs of the night for me were the two each from his last two
original-material-albums: "UNDER THE RED SKY" and the new "COLD IRONS
BOUND"-version with Tony on Tambourine, as well as the first (!)
performance of "NOT DARK YET" in the English-speaking part of Europe (and
a nice one it was) and a strong version of "CAT'S IN THE WELL", with Bob
checking left and right to make sure that the band stopped before he
delivered the last line: "Good night, my love, may the Lord have mercy on
This time the closing song "FOREVER YOUNG" had Bob raising his eyebrows
(see my point review) when singing: "May you always know the truth." This
concert was just beautiful. Three hours left until showtime in Glasgow, so
I gotta go and gather some more nuggets.
Review by Idham R.
Aberdeen the city of Granite. This review is a tad late mainly because I've
just got back home (London) and am writing this review having just finished
taking a long deserved shower. The set-list was taken from Bill Pagel's site
and thank him for aiding me (somewhat) with this review)
Bob came on at approx. 19:50, in Dublin after 20:00 so to me it was a
surprise. Lights down, "Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome Columbia
Recording artist - forgot what his name is…"
Halallujah, I'm Ready To Go - a song that I didn't recognised but was told by
Philp.B what the opener was.
The Times They Are A-Changin' - opening chords gets a cheer from the crowds
since its easily recognisable.
Desolation Row - I LOVED this, it was strong, and well played. Fantastic.
By this time Bob thanks the crowd with his well known, "Thank-you".
Boots Of Spanish Leather - A surprise addition. Cheers when Bob sang the
lines, "Boots of Spanish Leather".
Enough of the acoustics, yet? Aberdeen wasn't and the crowds were pumped when
the opening chords of Tangled Up In Blue were strummed. Nice lighting for
this song, dimmed the on the band and the lights moved from larry to Bob and
to the rest of the band. Hard to explain the lighting for this. Oh, did I
mention that Bob played the Harmonica during this song?
Searching For A Soldier's Grave
Country Pie the electric set starts. Love this song.
The following two songs were, IMHO, unpredictable additions:
Under The Red Sky
All Along The Watchtower
Both were marvellously played.
Then came two songs from Time Out of Mind…people were predicting "The
Highlands" since their hometown were referred to in the song.
Not Dark yet
Cold Irons Bound - Alas, the crowds didn't get what they had expected.
Witnessed a new dance craze A.S.J.U.I - A "Scottish Jig" Under the Influence
(of something). The song definitely got the crowds jacked up.
BTW, through out the gig, it was clearly visible that Bob was enjoying
himself, dancing, doing a kind of Elvis right leg back, left foot forward,
left knee bent and pretend to step on a cigarette type dance.
Then the main set ended with Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat - kinda short, but
time was made up with the encore.
Things Have Changed - a surprise addition. Best sound live. IMHO.
Like A Rolling Stone - oh how great it FEEEEEELS to be at a Dylan show.
Wonderful. Bob/Dylan whatever you want to call him going down on one knee
during solos. He's digging it, and so too were the fans of Aberdeen.
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right - I love this song. Well played, and great
to hear a personal favourite live.
Highway 61 Revisited - Excellent (don't want to over use
Blowin' In The Wind - Just like the album version (CD2 of Best of Volume 2)
but live sends chills down everyones spine. As Ali G would put it,
Cat's In The Well - I've used excellent, and marvellous in this review
so…this song was excel-marv.
Forever Young (acoustic) - Another personal fav. Again played live.
I wished I could have heard though, Rainyday Women 12+35 (because everybody
needs to get stoned) and Duncan and Brady which I've remembered the words too
because I'd thought it might have been the opener (maybe because I've been on
the job too long?).
BTW, the concert got a kind of a review in the Scottish Sunday Times which
promotes the SECC gig, so enjoy GLASGOW.
Review by Peter Rice
Fine show tonight in Aberdeen. First Scottish date for a couple of years.
No he didn't play Highlands but we did get a nod to Andy Stewart with
Under The Red Sky and also got Cats In The Well.
Venue was a square shaped tin box multi purpose thing but great sound
right from the start. No support, Bob on at 7.45pm (7.30 start on
tickets), there will be a few disgruntled latecomers, but there's a lesson
The band (and it really feels like a band now) starts with Hallelujah I'm
Ready To Go, same arrangement as we've heard for the last while. Sounds
Times They Are A-Changing up next. Lovely Bob singing on the chorus
starting way up high then swooping away down for "chan---ging". Sang it
this way each chorus. Seems like his vocal range is really coming back.
I'd felt for a long time now he's learned to sing in a narrower vocal
range, but tonight it seemed he could do whatever he liked with that great
Desolation Row. Kind of martial rhythm he's used on this for the past wee
while. I think there was a minor lyric fluff, but I can't recall what it
was now. Pretty straight version.
Boots Of Spanish Leather. We got a magnificent version of this in Glasgow
in '98, but this surpassed it. Sang it in a low register, but loads of
emotion in the vocal. Why does this song sound so great these days?
Something about the arrangement sounding like a constant journey
reflecting the change in mood of the protagonist with the passing of time
in the story I think. And the way Bob's voice conveys regret and
resignation so well now. Anyway just wonderful. Hear it if you can.
Tangled Up In Blue. Again familiar recent arrangement, but a few vocal
tricks. Great big long Taaaangled at end of first verse. Sounded quite
Searching For A Soldier's Grave. Great harmonies, melody so similar to
Deportees. Real Scottish ballad type tune, but the lyric about "All the
Americans who died true and brave" (is that right?) seemed to just leap
out to remind us all that this is an American artist and great American
Under The Red Sky. Nice surprise even for us setlist watchers. I couldn't
see Larry Campbell much from where we were sitting, but I'm pretty sure he
played pedal steel on this. (I know it should be obvious, but sometimes
his guitar sounds like a pedal steel to me.) I've always loved this song.
Arrangement pretty similar to the record. "Let the wind blow low, let the
wind blow high" will remind anyone raised in Scotland of Andy Stewart's
song "Donald Where's Your Troosers" complete with Elvis impression. I
don't know if this phrase (Bob reversed the order) was original to Andy
Stewart's song. If not I'd be interested to hear where it came from.
Country Pie was the first electric song. The way the three guitar players
work together is great now. Charlie Sexton soloed a bit on this, but for a
lot of the time all of them seemed to be playing lead together and it all
came together. They sound really tight now.
All Along The Watchtower. Charlie has changed the sound of this quite
noticeably. Big loud chords at the start and less of the wailing guitar we
used to get. I think this suits the song, and it seems more than just the
rocking out it used to be. On this and other songs seemed less doodling
than in the past. It would be interesting to see if the song lengths are
really getting shorter. Seem that way to me.
Not Dark Yet and Cold Irons Bound back to back next. Both now evolved a
bit from recorded versions. In NDY Bob sang with a wider emotional range
angry as well as sad. I was struck by the funny angle Bob held his guitar,
sort of upright. Odd shapes with his left hand moving slowly all over the
frets, does he play barre chords on this? Again Larry on pedal steel (I
think). CIB gets better and better. The jumpy rhythm at the start seem to
stay right throught the whole song now with big slashing chords from
Charlie. Seems to fit the disconnected theme really well.
Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat. This band plays blues really well. What a funny
Things Have Changed. Nearly all of the new songs over the past decade have
sounded like hard work to write, this sounds like it just rolled off the
pen. The melody rhythm images sentiment all fit so perfectly. Great live
song. Arrangement as per usual, but Bob singing it so well and it'll be a
bit different each time.
Like A Rolling Stone. Hard to say why, but it was like hearing this song
for the first time again tonight. Bob again seemed to be very engaged in
this though he's done a thousand times. Great stuff.
Don't Think Twice. Pretty regular version of a great song. Funny how
familiar things jump out at you. "You could've done better, but I don't
mind". What a thing to say. Bob, tell us, how do you think these things
Highway 61. Good old rock'n'roll. One of the few things that felt a bit
Blowin' In the Wind. Charlie and Larry on the chorus. Bob behaving himself
with the phrasing. Nice straight version. Wouldn't really think you'd need
to hear it again, but you do.
Cats In The Well. Done pretty well spotting the songs early up til now.
Boogie intro, vocal starts, who'd have guessed it? Sounds great. Right up
Charlie Sexton's rockabilly alley. "Goodnight my love, may the Lord have
mercy on us aaaaaallllll." Try to hear this too. The Red Sky album came
out just after my younger son was born and I used to drive around with it
on to get Lawrence and Matthew, who's two years older, to sleep. The
nursery rhyme songs seemed to fit the purpose. So there I am, thinking
about my children and he plays...
Forever Young. Again good harmonies on the chorus. Treated to yet more of
Bob's guitar, he's playing a lot and so well these days. Sounds a lot like
Willie Nelson's playing I think. Lovely.
So there we are. Great show from "Something for everyone" Bob. That's not
a criticism. Good playing, singing well, band getting better and better,
he seems to trust and maybe even like this band. Doesn't make life hard
for them like he used to with others. Makes it dependable enough for him
to take a few risks which all come off now, I think. Nice to see him on
his own. Last couple of shows I've been have been with Van and Paul Simon,
and while that's fine, there's something special about Bob and the boys
Nearly forgot, they did a funny line-up at the end of the main set and
encores. All (except Kemper) stood in straight line gazing ahead (I think,
I was off to the side) for about 60 seconds. Charlie had his guitar turned
round , not sure what Bob was doing. Looked like they were lined up to
have their medal inspected, or to see if they'd washed behind their ears.
Then the line broke, no bow or anything, and they walked off, Bob last to
go. Funny.but I think effective wee routine. Reinforced the notion of a
united band which was certainly how they played. Has this been a regular
Review by Stewart Roberts
On stage promptly at 1945hrs with basic lighting--no flashy effects
here--no words to the crowd from Bob, just the usual 'Columbia recording
artist intro.-- straight into 'Hallelujah, I'm ready to go'. A rousing
welcome from the crowd but the song is clearly unfamiliar to many. The
stripped down acoustic set continues with 'The times they are a-changin',
a flat delivery with Bob's voice not showing much range but a more
familiar song increases the applause of the keen Scottish audience and the
first words of 'Desolation row' brings loud cheers.Again a fairly flat
delivery with a lack of range of expression but the acoustic set up is
sounding very clear and is really working well. Straight on into 'Boots of
Spanish leather' and the gentle acoustic sounds blend well with Bob
singing more softly resulting in an excellent version, basic but potent.
The 'Tangled up in blue' intro. brings the most enthusiastic crowd
response yet and much of the first few lines of the song are difficult to
make out through the crowd noise but a strong delivery although that voice
is still sounding a bit rougher. The short harp solo goes down well. The
last of the intial acoustic set is 'Searching for a soldier's grave'
which benefits from the same gentle delivery as 'Boots---' and sounded
great.'Country pie' changes the tempo and starts the electric stuff. If
you like the song it was clear and lively but I shared the view of many
that it was an odd choice (although it could be predicted that it would be
played as it seems to have become a very frequently played number). A
lovely version of 'Under the red sky' carried on the set and Bob's voice
is really suiting the softer numbers.The lighting effects are now more
complex!--with about four different colours bathing the stage in turn--no
freqent shifts, just a bit of one colour then the other, no real effects
being used, but the magenta was especially lovely! The tempo really does
pick up with 'All along the watchtower' and the crowd noise really picks
up for the rest of the pre-encore electric set as he stormed through 'Not
dark yet', 'Cold irons bound' (an odd version which pushed the songs tempo
changes to the limit and did not have the cohesive strength of earlier
versions and it did not work well), and 'Leopard skin pill box hat'
(during which the current relative weakness of Bob's voice was
evident).The end of the set, was this to be a bit of a short show?--but
the band are only off stage for a short time before starting the 5
initial encores,which are then followed by another return to stage and 2
more encores (i.e. 7 of the 19 songs were encores). 'Things have changed'
sounded clear and much like the studio version and this was followed by a
shaking of the auditorium as 'Like a rolling stone' started. Another
stripped down acoustic song next, 'Don't think twice, it's alright', then
a bouncy clear 'Highway 61' with backing vocals adding much the strength
of the delivery.That voice really seemed to be picking up towards the end
and the acoustic 'Blowin' in the wind' was done simply, clearly, and
strongly. Off stage again for a few minutes with the crowd now very loud
and back with 'Cats in the well', not I think what people really wanted
but the real buzz returned with a strong, brilliant, acoustic 'Forever
young'. The additional backing vocals added range and clarity to the song
and the set really ended on a high note.
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