Oslo, Norway
October 18, 2005

[Steinar Daler, Jörgen Lindström and Paul Wultz], [Amund Børdahl], [Michele l'Ulysse]

Review by Steinar Daler, Jörgen Lindström and Paul Wultz

Kicking off the Oslo concert last night, Bob was "on" from the very
beginning.  Even though we have heard Maggie's Farm a few too many times,
his delivery was full and solid.  With a nice harmonica solo on "Tell Me
That It Isn't True" he left the keyboards and headed center stage. 
Continuing with the same set list as at the concert for six
more songs, some of the highlights were a humorous version of "Most Likely
You Go Your Way",  a stunning and heartfelt Blind Willie, and a  "Watching
the River Flow" that as always made your feet tap.  

Jörgen's opinion of "Positively 4th St." was that it was the first song of
the evening where his mind "drifted to far from show".  Steinar however
thinks it was the best live version he has ever heard - "JUST BEAUTIFUL". 
Paul enjoyed the song immensely too.  The three of us agree that "Masters
of War" was a powerful performance of a song that is sadly still relevant
to the world we live in.

Dropping "Rolling Stone" from the encore was nice to see, and replacing it
with "Don't Think Twice" is a great idea, but it was a bit destroyed by
Bob's up-singing.  12 different songs from the Stockholm concert gives us
great expectations of the shows to come.  We felt that most of the
audience enjoyed the show, and for sure the new Prime Minister of Norway
in just his second day in office.   

For those interested in such things, there is a completely new program for
this tour.  We are all looking forward to the 3 upcoming shows in
Karlstad, Gothenburg, and Aalborg.

Cheers and beers, Paul Wultz
Keep on keepin´ on!  Steinar Daler 
Take it easy, but take it, Jörgen Lindström


Review by Amund Børdahl

The apparition of this face above the crowd: Mastering those words right
here and now. Maggie's farm as an opener, but not as a warm-up. The man in
black, his voice deep and distinguished. Concentration, diction. His
musicians, notwithstanding their consistently solid constribution, with
flashes of excellence: on a night like this they are his backing group.
Even when the music flows without words, the singer draws all attention to
him; his facial expression, his chaplinesque movements, his preparing
himself for the next stanza, his overwhelming presence. Tell me that it
isn't true: never heard it more beautifully performed, and this song is
always beautiful. A so-called oh-would-that-he-played-that-song, and then
he plays it perfectly, and rounds it off with a center stage harp. A
magnifique Lay Lady follows I'll Be, then Most Likely, Blind Willie,
Watching the River, all great, and Ballad of A Thin Man was never sung
better: Oh my God, am I here all alone, pronounced like a line for
boothunters. In brief, the first half of this concert is flawless. Compact
brilliance. Floater follows, and stars begin to appear on the blue sky
that has revealed itself behind the heavy red draperies. Don Herron plays
the electric violin. I don't know if they had any dreams or hopes. I had
them once, though I suppose. To go along with all the ring dancing,
Christmas carols and all the Christmas eves. I left all my dreams and
hopes buried under tobacco leaves. Maybe our ears are not fully trained
yet for searching versions of L&T-songs, two more follow, surrounded by
oldies so goldie that they cannot but not win the night, and upsinging, as
it is called, is always a challenge, and few ears would appreciate
upsinging throughout (it occasionally happens, you know), but somehow it
adds to the show tonight, especially on Positively, another inspired, mm,
heart-breaking version of that song. Masters of War my encore, not that I
did enjoy the coda. Sure did. And the rest of the audience? The apparition
of these faces in the crowd: Petals on a wet, black bough (Ezra Pound).

Amund Børdahl


Review by Michele l'Ulysse

it seems my opinion is far different from other reviewrs.

The concert was a flat line with no emotional curves,
I agree that Watching the river flow was the best thing last nite, but
this speaks by itself,

I don't know if I've been too spoiled by Bob or whatever but I do not
really understand all the amazed reviews of last couple of years,

I mean, we have generally professional standard shows,
just a few times we have great concerts,
I ask, how many London 2003 shows we can recall in last 2 years,
I've attended 28 gigs since 2003 and heard many others,

a Bob show was special, good or bad, because of the great improvisations
he used us to, now the concerts are missing something, the special spark
Bob could put in them.

Maybe it's a matter of age,
maybe Bob's voice can't fly in no limits space of fantasy as it did
before, so I mean no harm,

but if I have to give an opinion I don't understand how so many people is
so much happy with these last years performances.

Bob sings and you can easily predict how he's going to variate the tune,
or the phrasing time,

I don't know if it is because there is less energy between Bob and the
crowd, considered he doesn't stand in front of us anymore, I don't know if
Bob choose the piano as an artistic choice or due to a back problem, as
many rumors report, I don't know many things,

but I know what my ears tell me,
things have changed,

the path gotta be more safe right now,
maybe he will change again in the future,

but that's just the way it is,

Michele l'Ulysse


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