October 13, 2013
Review by Simon Freeman
Was it purely a coincidence of independent timing that saw Dylan perform
in Stockholm at the end of the week in which Alice Munro was confirmed as
2013 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature? Great as her stories are it
is surely hard to weigh the contribution of Munro over Dylan, the latter
wins by no little distance. This continual side-lining of Dylan merely
because he sings is nothing but what it appears.
So to two tremendous Stockholm concerts, in particular the Sunday night.
Perhaps it was the setting of the Stockholm Waterfront Congress, or
perhaps the more educated Scandinavian audience that added a classical
feel enhanced as it was by the intermission and the library like hush of
anticipation. Two beautifully delivered nights, controlled, far more so
than last fall’s North American Tour. We had attended the Chicago,
Madison, St Paul and Milwaukee shows which, with the exception of St Paul,
were half empty, ragged and half-hearted. Bob was out-performed by a
refined if somewhat repetitive Knopfler.
The focus on Tempest in Stockholm was welcome, all of the songs much finer
renditions than their album counterparts with the possible exception of
Scarlet Town in which Bob couldn’t resist plinking and plonking about on
the piano. The tour de force was Long & Wasted Years – a true monster of a
live song, Charlie’s guitar sensational, Bob’s ambition for the song
knowing no end.
Buy tickets, travel and let the world be your witness
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