Glasgow, Scotland

Braehead Arena

October 9, 2011

[Steinar Daler], [Trevor Townson], [John Hayes],

Review by Steinar Daler

We were at least 20 Norwegians in Glasgow for the two concerts at 
Braehead arena. Six of us arrived the evening before the first concert 
and went to a restaurant close to our hotel. A couple of us spotted a 
guest at another table, that looked very much like Mark Knopfler. To 
stop the discussion about if it was him or not, I walked over to the 
other table and asked him "Are you Mark Knopfler?" If you decide so, 
then I am" he said. I told him our party were going to see him in 
concerts the next two evenings, and he answered "Well, then thank you 
for paying my dinner". I told him that we all liked his music, but that 
we primarely were here for Bob. He laughed,and the conversation ended. 
When they left he came over and gave an autograph to one of the ladies 
in our party.

The first night in Braehead was good. Most of us liked Knopfler's set a 
lot. Sometimes his music is on the borderline of being muzak, but most 
of the time it's really brilliant. He have a 9 man strong, really good 
band. Bob was good as well, and we were all happy that he played 6 songs
he had not played in Dublin.

The next night was really great, maybe Knopfler was not as good as the 
first night, but Bob was in real good shape. 4 songs in a row center 
stage (Things have changed/Tangled up in Blue/Cold Irons bound/Simple 
twist of fate were stunning. Never seen Dylan so animated for such a 
long time before. On Simple twist of fate his voice sounded real good, 
and his guitarplaying was great as well. On the low side (both days) we 
all agreed that there was too much barking/shouting on the vocals 
compared to the summer tour -- but on the other hand there was only 
small traces of the stacoto singing, a bit of it in an otherwise 
brilliant Desolation Row. On a very welcomed Blind willie McTell he and 
Charlie had a kind of dueling instruments at the end of the song. Donnie
Herron and Bob did something similiar at the end of Watchtower -- both 
of them smiling from ear to ear. 5 new songs to the previous day and two
very different arrangements of Honest with me. The second day it was 
ordinary, but the first day it was very different from what we have 
heard before. More bluesey, and very much better. All in all we were all
very happy with the concert and are looking foreward to see him again in
Sweden and 3 x Hammersmith. The second concert was my 150^th Dylan 
concert since 1978, and one of the ladies in our party; Randi, had her 
100^th concert. Our good friend from Belfast, the legendary John Hume 
had his concert# 350!!!! He told that to someone who asked, and the 
person said: "Then you gotta have a party tonight." John answered. "I'm 
travelling with Norwegians and they have a party every night, so there's
no need for special arrangements".Thanks for a nice weekend to all my 
fellow travellers and to all the other good friends from Great Britain 
and differnt other countries. See you again soon!

Steinar Daler 


Review by Trevor Townson

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones:
So let it be with Caesar.......

It needs to be remembered that this was 1980 so there were not many about
outside of Saudi Arabia at that time as I only knew of three. One was
owned by Princess Anne and one had been owned by John Steed in The New
Avengers whilst the other belonged to business entrepreneur, horse rider
and otherwise well to do Julia from Burley in Wharfedale. Whilst these
days every Tom, Dick and Drug Dealer owns one back then they were far more
exclusive and quite a step up in more ways than one from my battered Ford.
Yes the British Leyland Range Rover in British Racing Green with sound
system courtesy of Dire Straits By Appointment To Her Majesty The Queen.
Till that time I had only really listened to Bob Dylan and had never had
the need or time to listen to anything else as I was still making my way
through the even by that time very extensive back catalogue. Unlike Julia
I was not the pushy or overly assertive type of person and even if I had
been I saw no purpose in explaining my liking for some strange hobo like
folk singer who was probably dead already as far as I knew at the time. So
as men do at such times of bonding it was the most natural thing to
announce concurrence of a mutual love of Dire Straits so that is how I
ended up listening to Mr Knopfler and all those smoochy and jingly tunes
whilst feeling like Only A Pawn In Their Game because All I Really Want To
Do.......Two nights in Glasgow at the Braehead Arena which adjoins the
Braehead Shopping Centre and as can be the case when visiting some shows
the challenge can be to actually find the venue itself and no more so than
this time as the entrance to the standing area was actually within the
shopping centre itself adjacent to Costa Coffee so it was actually
possible to spin a chair of theirs around to sit instead of stand in line
if you were towards the front of the queue. Both days all the die hard
early bird fans in the queue were Bob Dylan fans so obviously the rail and
front section of the standing area was going to be predominantly Bob Dylan
biased. Two nights running we got that Money For Nothing performance from
Mark and his band as they play through what seems is going to be a
standard set list without so much as any of them showing any signs of
breaking into a sweat. I thought Mark might have been under some legal
restrictions or something not to play any Dire Straits stuff but then we
are treated to Brothers In Arms which was absolutely Brilliant to see and
hear. OK, so confession time who does own the Brothers In Arms album, many
amongst us must have a copy as it was pretty damn popular. Actually I do
have a copy myself but I do not recall actually buying it. I think I
obtained my copy as a freebie from one of those "record clubs" for buying
a number of proper albums, probably given a choice from lots of crap, you
know Albanian Shepherd Songs, Roman Catholic Masses, Salvador Roberto
Plays Status Quo On Pan Pipes, or Brothers In Arms (because all the world
apart from me already owned it so they could not get rid of anymore of
them properly). What must be pretty unique is that Mark and band even end
with an encore by playing So Far Away and how many acts get to do an
encore before a Bob Dylan show. Apparently Mark Knopfler is ranked #27 on
Rolling Stone magazines list of "100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time".
Although we could not get anyone of better standing or within the top ten
to tour with Bob it was still quite an honour to see Mark playing close up
like that and yet again another unique experience that would not have
happened but for Bob. Why Bob is touring with Mark I do not know but I am
now in danger of having Mark Knopfler as my second most watched act after
Bob Dylan to a tune of at least eleven concerts in total before the tour
is through and I am not sure that I have heard too many Bob Dylan songs
performed eleven times or more live apart from the obvious ones. Night one
and there was nothing Money For Nothing about Bob's performance as he was
sweating buckets and giving his all with such an energetic performance
(can somebody remind me please, how old is this guy). Not a particularly
good set list from my side but you cannot knock the delivery. Tangled Up
In Blue was worth the wait and money alone by seeing Bob's eyes peering
from under the brim of his hat as he belts out those immortal lyrics which
was akin to watching a scene from Rolling Thunder. Set list aside it was
still a cracking concert but even better was to come on night two. Second
day we are joined by my Glasgow concert buddy Chris who had not seen Bob
since the last concert we attended together at the SECC in 2009. You will
see some changes I told him and we begin to chat and catch up on things
both personal and Bob. Chris tells me he had recently to exert his
authority when his youngest daughter declared to him that she was going to
get a tattoo done, "but darling did God not make you ugly enough" was
Chris's stance, needless to say the tattoo went ahead despite his fatherly
concerns. Also with me at these shows was my friend Jennifer with night
one being her very first concert and she was still on a high as we waited
in line on day two. Jenny had really been taken by the interplay between
the band members especially George and Tony and said George was a good
drummer. Not sure about Jenny's credentials for assessing that but I did
say that I had seen an interview with Keith Richards when he got asked who
he thinks are good drummers and he mentioned George Recile as one of them.
Second night beat the first for me and not just because night two offered
for me a more favourable set list or for Bob playing on guitar during
Simple Twist Of Fate (Brilliant!) or for Blind Wille McTell done in a stop
start fashion to end. 	Somehow it was just a better performance for me
even with the bar being raised high day one. Chris could not believe it
and just said "he gets better and better". Jenny and I since did
Manchester and I feared that the reduced set list was putting those of us
that are doing multiple shows in danger of lack of variety that additional
songs such as a sixteen or seventeen song set list would give us. Then I
went to Nottingham to be left thinking, where did that lot come from.
Nottingham to my mind was not as good sound wise as either Glasgow or
Manchester, not sure why that was as it did not seem to effect Mark
Knopflers sound at all so who knows perhaps Bob's set up was a little too
loud. Also no Encore at Nottingham as Bob and band play through without
leaving the stage, not sure why we call it an Encore as it seems more like
a smoking break to me. Well that's all, gosh almost dropped a big bollock
there not giving due credit for this review so here goes - Opening by
William Shakespeare 1564-1616 Playright, Poet and Bard (whatever that is),
Semicolons as used but hated by George Orwell 1903-1950 Novelist and
Freedom Fighter, Introductory paragraph by Enid Blyton 1897-1968
Storyteller, The 'the' word by Jack Kerouac 1922-1969 Novelist and Poet
who used the 'the' word extensively throughout his writings including
within his book titles such as On The Road and The Subterraneans to name
but two. In addition all references to persons within this review either
living or dead is purely coincidental and I do not mean them really. That
should cover me against any criticism and keep the lawyers happy me
thinks, Brilliant!

Trevor Townson 


Review by John Hayes

I have enjoyed the 6 previous Dylan concerts that I have seen dating back
to the eighties. Each time I am a little apprehensive and think that maybe
this time, he will disappoint, and that I will just be there for who he
was, rather than who he is now. When he was stuck permanently behind the
organ, I assumed that he would stay there  till he called it a day WRONG!

Last night's show was as good as I have seen in the last 10 years at
least. My son Robert and I made the relatively short trip down to Glasgow,
(like others I have traveled further afield to see him) We had dinner with
my daughter who lives there now, before heading out to Braehead arena

The venue though not perfect, was fine and we were positioned not too far
from the stage . So after a pleasant enough set from Mark Knopfler  ( he
needs to strike the balance better between new material and what the crowd
really want to hear), Bob and the band arrived on stage. The setlist
beginning and end was as expected with the first one and last 4 being the
same as the first 2 nights, so it was possible to predict a lot of what
was to come. Even the songs that I don't really rate too much (to be
Honest with you, I'm not too keen on Honest with me!) were performed
really well with the band gelling well and clearly enjoying themselves.
But Simple twist of fate, which was a first for me, and real favourite of
mine left me speechless. t was fantastically delivered and Bob rolled back
the years with a guitar solo. Nothing mattered too much after that, as I
knew it was going to be ..all good. Willie McTell and Thin Man were real
standouts for me and the 2 encores although I have seen them often never
disappoint and were great too. He was also really animated at the end of
the show laughing and waving at the crowd So if you have the chance to go
and see him this time round GO

John Hayes


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