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Review by Markus Prieur
What can I say? I am still in shock after last night's show. It was my
25th Bob Dylan concert and he again pulled out four songs I had never seen
him perform. I almost expected the opener "SOMEBODY TOUCHED ME", as "it
was on a Sunday" and as he dared to play "I AM THE MAN THOMAS" in Dublin
and "HALLELUJAH I'M READY TO GO" in Aberdeen. Those three openers top the
list of the 12 songs performed occasionally both in 1999 and 2000 on my
website "Not Dark Yet", as the bottom of this list consists of my three
favorite "Time Out Of Mind" songs: "Trying To Get To Heaven", "Not Dark
Yet" and "Highlands", which again he performed in Dublin, Aberdeen and
Glasgow, in exactly that same order. Funny! His vocal performance was
abslolutely awesome from the start, as he told us about the touch of the
hand of his Lord. Yes he even performed "HIGHLANDS", for the first time
outside the US, and as I have heard all the previous live versions, I
might say, this one was as good as it gets. He was not!
listening to Neil Young this time, but to Annie Lennox, but his heart
still is in the Highlands ("I can't figure out any other place that I
wanna go"). The other "first ever in Europe" performance was a magnificent
"THIS WORLD CAN'T STAND LONG", a very serious warning about the state of
this world "full of sin", which is "going to be destroyed again", offering
the way out by giving our hearts to God and let him lead us by the hand
(connected to the same hand that Bob sang about in "SOMEBODY TOUCHED ME" =
the same nail scared hand he sang about in "I AM THE MAN THOMAS" in
Dublin). Lyrics to "THIS WORLD..." are also to be found on the relevant
page of my website. He actually did performe 7 of the 12 songs on my list
in three consecutive shows. Amazing.
He also performed a strong "MOST LIKELY YOU GO YOUR WAY (AND I'LL GO
MINE", which I had never seen before. Also new for this tour were a very
slow and nice version of "IT'S ALL OVER NOW, BABY BLUE" and the first
acoustic encore "IT AIN'T ME BABE", (which was second choice on the cue
sheet, which they do not give away anymore, but with my binoculars I could
spot the bottom of Bob's copy hanging over the edge of his amp). First
choice was "MR TAMBOURINE MAN", as for the next slot, where he played
"H61", the first choice was "WATCHTOWER".
The last electric song (also new for this tour) was a rock-and-rolling "TO
BE ALONE WITH YOU", which I had seen before in Zurich last year. This one
was even third choice on the cue sheet. Second choice was "EVERYTHING IS
BROKEN" and first choice was "MAN OF PEACE".
Review by Michael Toal
A tremendous show, even better than last time. The set list published is
bang on, and the sound has come out really well on tape, considering the
poor acoustics of this shed. Bob was in wonderful mood, even on occasion
posing as "Guitar Hero" during some of his solos. He still plays with the
neck pointing downward, still playing the Sunburst Strat with the rosewood
neck, dark jacket with what looks like silver studs down each sleeve.
Maybe it's the young age of his Glasgow audience that propels him along
tonight, but this was no night of homage to a past master from kids who
had heard great things from parents and uncles, this was genuine
excitement and knowledge of a wonderful performer.
Smiling and laughing were the order of the day, and at the end of the
show, as band lined up for the final goodbye, was that the oft heard of,
but rarely seen "Bob bop", that gentle to and fro from side to side ?
Yes, The Man looked well please with the way the evening had gone, and
quite right too. The band were in excellent form, with great shading in
their playing, reminiscent of a much rougher but on the money version of
The Band themselves, though much, much harder. The massed acoustics
moments, the Rainy Day Women solos, the re-inventions of The Master
himself, it just gets better and better each year.
I'll stop before I get too carried away, but petrol shortage or not in
this country, I'm looking at other gigs in Newcastle and Birmingham. Those
of you who have tickets for the Portsmouth Guildhall show are in for a
very special evening. Enjoy yourselves.
Thanks Bob, don't wait too long before next time,
Review by Stephen Boag
As a fairly recent convert this was my first first ever Bob Dylan concert.
I have to say despite reading ecstatic reviews from his recent tours It
exceeded all of my expectations.
Unfortunately, having waited outside for a friend who arrived late I missed
the opening song. This, however, was almost a blessing in disguise as it
meant that my first ever experience of Dylan live would be an excellent and
fresh sounding version of 'The Times They Are A-Changing'. Right from the
start of the concert, well the start for me anyway, Dylan's guitar work was
excellent. It was imaginative and tight with his band at all times. After
equally superb versions of 'It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding' and 'It's
All Over Now, Baby Blue', he began the seemingly essential 'Tangled Up In
Blue', which featured the first harp solo of the evening and an excellent
one it was too. On this version of the song he repeatedly switched person
starting in the third (They were standing on the side of the road, Rain
falling on their shoes). Later returning to the first person as on the
A couple of songs later the electric part of the set opened with 'Country
Pie'. This part of the set saw Dylan resort to less lead guitar after his
brilliant and somewhat surprising solos of the first few songs. It then
became evident exactly how good the rest of his band were, with the two
other guitarists soloing tremendously throughout the rest of the
A bit later, in his rendition of 'Highlands' he changed the lyrics again (as
expected) with Neil Young becoming Annie Lennox, I can only assume because
he was in Glasgow. On this song he came the closest he came to smiling all
night with slight grins at the end of several lines. With 'Drifter's Escape'
he recieved a wonderous response from the audience when he pulled the harp
out of his pocket and embarked on the second harp solo of the evening,
equally as good as the first.
Dylan them spoke to the audience for the only time other than several 'Thank
You's, in order to introduce his band. He then began 'Rainy Day Women' prior
to leaving the stage before his encore.
In the encore came 'Things Have Changed' followed by another string of
classics including 'Like A Rolling Stone', 'Blowing In The Wind' and
Throughout the concert Dylan seemed to be enjoying himself. He sang and
played brilliantly with excellent support from his band. All in all the
concert far exceeded my greatest hopes, let alone my expectations.
Review by Peter Rice
My second show of the tour after Aberdeen night before.
Good sound again in a big metal box. For the first time I saw the
"Ladies and Gentlemen will you please welcome Columbia recording artist.....Bob
Dylan." being spoken live by a burly man in a grey beard. Looks like Allen
Ginsberg's brother, said my friend Tom. Anyway, answered the "is it live or is
it a tape?" question for me.
Good start with "Somebody Touched Me". Then "Times", less stirring than
the night before. About 15 feet away, Bob looked a bit surly, and no
communication with the band or audience, but that was all to change.
"It's Alright Ma" next up. Lovely version, lots of inflection in the
voice. Then long intro, a few guesses from people round about, settles into
"Baby Blue" very atmospheric. Helped by the lighting, which is really good
these days. Remember the 60 watt light bulb 10 years ago?
"Tangled Up In Blue" very lively. Pretty standard version, but Bob
getting warmed up and more responsive.
Things really took off with "This World It Can't Stand Long." What a sad
and beautifully written song. I'd been reading an article about Charlie
Sexton's background, http://www.mca.com/mca_records/library/bios/bio.sexton.html
and this apocalyptic gospel song seems to fit with that and Bob's world view
on the World Gone Wrong sleevenotes.
Electric set start with now familiar Country Pie. Band sound just great
now. Struck me as a very Southern song, as with "This World". Maybe again
Charlie's influence. "Just Like A Woman" was sung with a lot of emotion and
facial expression. Eyebrows raised with each vocal inflection. Lovely version.
"Most Likely You're Go Your Way" similar to "Before The Flood" arrangement.
Wrong to compare, I know, but sounded at least as good as The Band. Bit of
shuffling around, Charlie puts on big red ?hollow bodied guitar, Larry on
mandolin (I think) and it's into "Highlands". Faster sounding version, which I
think fits the unfolding narrative very well. The waitress bit is so funny!!.
"I'd change places with any of them in a minute if I could." really hit home.
Does he think that about his audience? I guess hearing this in my native
Scotland which is sort of idealised in the song heightened that sense. Annie
Lennox (I wish it had been Bobby Lennox, but you can't have everything.)replaced
Neil Young in the lyric. She's from Aberdeen , could Bob have picked up the name
from her? We'll never know, and neither we should. A great live song, which is
not what you would have expected 3 years ago.
Drifter's Escape as per recent "big rock" version. You wonder how Bob
can make his harmonica heard among the loud guitars, but he does and it sounds
perfect. Rainy Day Women sometimes sounds routine, but not tonight. A supremely
daft song, Bob revelling in that riff. Doing his modified Chuck Berry routine.
Into the encore, Things Have Changed was great, again.
Rolling Stone seemed to have a different sounding intro, would like to
hear this again. It Ain't Me Babe was sung in a wistful sort of style. Some
people tried to join in the "no, no no's" and start a
handclap, but the song wasn't done as an anthem and this didn't fit the
mood. From where I was standing the handclap was out of time, for a
moment it sounded like a slow handclap like on Live 66. Quite dramatic, until
you realised what was going on. Faded away quickly.
I've never been a great fan of Highway 61, and tonight was nothing
special, but "the next time you see me coming you'd better run." leapt out
tonight. Great image, wouldn't we all be running at the Second Coming??
During Blowin' In the Wind there was this strong sense of here's this
man, who's done all this work, and means all these things, standing a few feet
away, singing this song that I've known for as long as I can remember. Lucky us,
he's still on the road. Funky intro into "To Be Alone With You" never heard this
live before. Again a very Southern sound. Great guitar, tight arrangement, How
many songs have this lot worked up? Lovely Forever Young to finish. I think
Larry/ Charlie on the choruses works really well. Bob fits in round about them
whatever way he wants.
Another great show. Two hour show. 8 repeats from last night, but felt
like a very different show. The mid section from This World to RDW felt pretty
adventurous. A good time to be a Bob fan.
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