Nottingham, England
Nottingham Arena
November 15, 2005

[Jimmy Row], [Mick Bamford], [Bob Juska], [Dave Richardson], [Martin Butler], [Matthew Hisbent], [Mr. Jinx],
[G.L. Thomas], [Rob Hastings], [John Gulzar], [John Stolarski], [Steve Haynes], [Steve Hastings]

Review by Jimmy Row

So Dylan sang during a storming Lonesome Day Blues. Unusually for Dylan shows I have seen over the 
years the whole crowd at the front remained seated. I hope it was not taken by the maestro as a 
sign of disrespect. I was told this was for "security" but I wonder if it reflected a tendency to 
be underwhelmed by Dylan's current tour, about the merits of which there has certainly been debate 
among Dylan fans. Certainly none of us are getting any younger and it made for a different viewpoint 
to watch Bob and band from a seated position. In truth there seemed to he a fairly high proportion 
of younger fans in the audience whose excitement made up for some of the old hands.

Appearances can be deceptive as the three - let us talk plainly - older men (two guitarists) strung 
across the front of the stage did not really look like a Bob Dylan band (especially if you have been 
watching No Direction Home); and they sound different again from any previous incarnation of Bob 
Dylan and his Band. The New Orleans contingent on bass and drums provide a foundation exemplary and 
out of the ordinary: Tony Garnier's bass playing solid rock from electric to double bass bowed and 
plucked, more mobile around the stage than the other members of the band as his bass threaded through 
the music; George Recile's drumming was flexible and incendiary as necessary - for example lighting 
the touch fuse in a scorching reading of Masters of War. Centre stage behind Dylan and his keyboard 
we find the unique multi-instrumentalist Donnie Herron. One of the very many greatest things Dylan 
has done in the studio was to draft in steel guitar - Pete Drake on Tell Me It Isnt True, or Buddy 
Cage on Big Girl Now - just so the addition of Bucky Baxter into the Never Ending Tour 4 piece band 
made a huge difference; Herron sounds different again as an exponent of marvellous versatility to 
make his own the role played by Baxter and then with admirable dexterity by Larry Campbell. This Bob 
Dylan is a different creature and this Bob Dylan band is a different beast again, but different is 
not inferior; plus ca change c'est le meme Bob Dylan. In the same way as the river we watch flowing 
is never again the same water, the Bob Dylan who performed Tell Me Mama or Caribbean Wind from the 
stage can never now be quite the same. So often Dylan has managed to equal what we knew could never 
be surpassed, by doing something more or less subtly different. I made the mistake of clinging to 
the idea that Larry Campbell was a hard act to follow, which is true; I did not think the 
Campbell / Sexton Honest With Me or the Campbell / Koella Summer Days would ever be matched but this 
band actually pulls it off with aplomb - of course they are Bob Dylan songs and Dylan pulls the 
strings. Kimball and Freeman trade solos from opposite ends of the stage patiently waiting for their 
turn to contribute rather than dominate but each taking charge of their moments, Kimball with an 
impressive array of guitars, Freeman sticking (I believe all night) on the far side to the same 
yellow and white guitar nevertheless providing an exciting variety of solos and frills up and down 
the neck. It may be that this band did not display as much variety as we have seen from other 
groupings on other nights - even when Stu played acoustic guitar the attack was fairly ferocious; 
there was no sign of the acoustic interplay that took the stage when Dylan was joined by Campbell 
and Sexton, or Jackson and Baxter, on a range of acoustic instruments The choice of material did not 
perhaps allow for maximum variation as Dylan on this occasion eschewed the country lilt of Tell Me 
It Isnt True, Lay Lady Lay, Baby To night; and it has probably been a misnomer for a long time to 
call any performance acoustic.

Dylan also eschewed the notorious upsinging until we get to John Brown - and what a momentous arrival 
in this most profound of anti war songs, at # 10 in the set paired for the fourth time on this tour 
with the equally powerful and damning Masters of War at # 13. What resoundingly beautiful performances, 
different again but just as good as any that have gone before of these great and powerful songs: 
Herron's articulate banjo, Kimball's powerful acoustic, Freeman's superb soloing, Dylan's dead centre 
delivery - complete with upsinging: this is just one more weapon in Dylan's vocal armoury - it gets 
irksome when it is used repetitively without variation, but on this occasion he takes a line up, then 
down or keeps it level. Spellbinding. Sure Dylan's vocal range has been somewhat limited by the 
passing of time but there were plenty of examples of the unique Dylan vocal dexterity and acoustic 
phrasing amidst the mature delivery of these great songs. It occurred to me that Dylan has constructed
with this band another wall of the sound, the musical equivalent to the great wall of China. The sound 
is thick and pervasive without seeming excessively loud (as it did at Wembley 2003, 2 years ago to the 
day, for example - in person but thankfully not on disc - from a similar vantage point fantastically 
near the front) with Dylan's vocals loud and clear throughout. Yeah so in fact Kimball, Freeman, 
Herron - just another brick in the wall. Take for example the only creed or statement of faith you 
would ever need, It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleedin); yet again Dylan has once more managed to repackage 
this great song in another devastating rendition. This time with Herron on violin but you can hardly 
distinguish that (most delicate of instruments!) or any other instrument from the edifice which Dylan 
sends tumbling out into the night until the time comes for the violin solo which Herron sears and 
scrapes through the song. There were times when I just lay back in my chair and let myself feel the
sound physically pulse through my chest.

Perhaps it is no mistake that the less than stimulating printed programme includes Muddy Waters talking 
of Dylan the blues singer. The reading of Blind Willie McTell was just awesomely magnificent: Dylan's 
magisterial vocal and blazing solos in turn from Stu, Denny and Donnie; wouldn't it be nice, I was 
thinking, if we got a keyboard solo - but Dylan picked up his harp, tried it out, wandered around before 
deciding not to bother, while the band played on; maybe he decided it would have been superfluous; is 
anyone to argue?
So this band can "play fucking loud" if necessary but they also deploy to brilliant effect the tried 
and tested techniques of diminuendo and crescendo: Highway 61 - like Maggie's Farm quite an achievement 
how Dylan manages to keep these songs fresh but tonight he did - receives another new arrangement with 
Dylan taking it up and down the garden path. The thought occurred to me that this is about as close as 
Dylan is going to get to a "space" segment (Deadheads will know what I mean) as Dylan's keyboards 
explored the music before Recile led the band back in to order again and it surged back down the highway.

Tweedle Dum excites some criticism because of its regular appearances and its perception as relatively 
lightweight, in similar fashion to Wiggle Wiggle in past times. Certainly this song has its musical 
function - and the bands have clearly enjoyed playing it - but lyrically it should not be under-rated. 
As Shakespeare might have said "words, words, words" and the song exhibits the wordplay Dylan savoured 
in Love & Theft; but also for example I have seen the lyrics "my pretty baby looking around .. multi 
million gown" in new light since reading of Dylan's two "multi-million dollar marriage settlements" in 
the Sounes biography. Tonight's performance was a revelation.

The one question mark for me tonight was Floater taken for my taste at too fast a tempo for the fiddle 
to express itself. I usually prefer Dylan slowing down - exemplified by the gorgeous rendition of Like 
A Rolling Stone which Dylan took at majestically stately pace complete with the stop-start which has 
been toyed with in many ways over the years. But another highlight - yet one more new arrangement for 
Love Minus Zero with a subtle bridge between verses. To me, as with previous bands it was a joy to 
watch the concentration each player bestowed on Dylan and on each other, and this was exemplified in 
this song as Herron like an eagle watched Dylan's every move. I have not mentioned excellent 
performances of Under the Red Sky and Watchtower in which the band were in a forcefully sophisticated 
groove. During the last song, when a limited number of the audience made their way to the front, 
uncharacteristically for me I pushed my way to the front of the stage; it was not difficult and the
crowd did not seem to be exactly animated - in complete contrast to the music. My excitement seemd out 
of place and I soon withdrew.

Though most reviews in this site have been positive there have been some negative comment. But it is 
true, Bob Dylan is very much alive and well on stage; as Van Morrison said in 1998 it is about here 
and now. My conclusion from Nottingham is that this is definitely a tour I did not dare miss, nor 
would I want to. The show I think a resounding success. I only look forward to seeing more shows and 
wish I could catch them all.

Jimmy Row


Review by Mick Bamford

Nottingham Arena welcomed Bob and the boys for the first time and to my
eyes looked to be as close to sold out as you could imagine, there were
very few empty seats. This is the first all seater show I've been to in a
long time and the seating policy was enforced by the Security staff again
very rare over here. What was unusual about this show was that the sound
was spot on from the first notes of Maggies Farm, and Bob was in fine
voice to match. I was too far back to see any expression on Bobs face but
he seemed by his movements to be enjoying things. A different stage set up
tonight with from left to right looking at the stage  Stu, Bob more
central than usual, slightly behind and raised up Donny - which restricted
Bob's walkabouts, George raised up as usual, Tony roaming around in front
of George and Denny far right. There appeared to be quite a number of
older fans who perhaps haven't seen much of Bob in recent years and
comments were made about him not playing guitar. In fact the chap next to
me had difficulty deciding which was Bob and asked me several times, when
I finally said he's the one in black his exclamation was "Is that him on
keyboards!?" On a further occasion whilst I was making notes on the set
list the same chap asked what I was doing his response to my reply was
"Oh! you can tell what each song is?" he later told me that the last time
he had seen Bob was 84 at Wembley and he was brilliant, it was around this
time that his colleague walked off in disgust muttering this is crap,
never to return. Weaknesses of the set list to me were surprisingly  some
of the newer stuff particularly Tweedle Dee and Floater, highlights for me
were Love Minus Zero, John Brown and Masters of War. Thankfully tonight
the audience didn't cheer to the naked president line in It's Alright Ma.
Vocally I would say that this was one of the better shows in recent years
and he made a big effort with his phrasing and annunciation, Overall this
was pretty good effort with some different arrangements particularly on
Times, Blind Willie and H 61 this is definitely a show to watch out for
when the "tapes" are circulated. Roll on Brixton


Comments by Bob Juska

Last night I and three friends went to Nottingham Arena.The sound quality
was unacceptably poor to the extent that it was impossible to distinguish
what song Bob was singing for most of the time. I complained to the Arena
manager and we were moved to other seats closer to the stage. The view at
the new seats was better but the sound quality was still very poor. I
suspect that because the audience were polite and applauded at the right
time Bob thinks he had a good concert but listening to comments of people
whilst leaving we are not the only ones disappointed. I hope we were
denied a good concert because of technical problems but if what we
witnessed was a fully functioning Bob Dylan concert he should retire. Here
in Nottingham there are at least four people who feel robbed and think Bob
Dylan owes us a proper concert for our admission charge.

Bob Juska


Review by Dave Richardson

Dylan’s first-ever appearance in Robin Hood’s home town of Nottingham
didn’t produce Outlaw Blues, but there were many other highlights in
an intense set that hardly paused for breath – or applause. Fears that
his voice is permanently wrecked were once again unfounded. He  hit high
notes I haven’t heard him sing for years and his delivery and 
phraseology were usually spot-on – a wizened old performer reminding
everyone he can still cut it when he’s in the mood. With nearly a third
of the show – five songs – from Love and Theft, he reminded everyone
how good his recent stuff is and how much it’s appreciated.  But Love
and Theft is over four years old. Where are the new songs, Bob? We  think
you’ve written – possibly recorded them. New songs are all that’s 
missing. Blind Willie McTell and Under the Red Sky were the only bridges
between the 1960s and the 21st Century. Not often you hear John Brown and
Masters of War in the same set – is he trying to tell us something? No
need for  new “protest ” songs with these around. The band was
certainly on song and very enjoyable, once you get used to the idea that
Stu Kimball looks like a failed insurance salesman and Denny Freeman his
absent-minded second cousin. Donnie Herron switched easily between  pedal
steel, banjo and violin and I particularly enjoyed the violin on It’s 
Alright Ma and banjo on McTell.  Despite his ambivalent attitude towards
his fans, I reckon Dylan has grudging respect for his British followers
and goes the extra mile. It bodes  well for Brixton – could he pull
stuff out of the hat from 30 years ago, like he did at Shepherds Bush on
the London “tour” two years ago? There was another first at
Nottingham, at least in my experience.  Block AA (fan ticket allocation)
stood as usual but were told very firmly by stewards to sit down – and
they did. I wish all venues would do the same so we can sit and enjoy in 
comfort. Roll on Friar Tuck Blues!


Comments by Martin Butler

I just felt it was necessary to comment on last nights concert which I
felt was in parts legendary but my only complaint if BOB realises but
there must have been a couple of thousand people sitting to the left of
the stage as you face it at Nottingham never really got to see the legend
as he spent the whole gig with his back to us. I know you cannot please
everyone all the time but I went to see Bob not his back side, the
keyboard was facing to right all night so even a wave to the other part of
the audience would have appeased most people but all I heard from all
people leaving from my side of the venue is we wish we could have seen his
front as well as his back. It  is a shame that this is what most people
will remember instead of the great man.


Martin Butler


Review by Matthew Hisbent

52 years old and I've never seen Dylan live until last night in
Nottingham. My partner Sally is a devotee and going to the concert was
something of a pilgrimage for her - and having watched the Scorcese film
on tv recently - of course I went along. We bought our tickets after the
initial rush and were consigned to the ground floor towards the back of
the Arena. The Nottingham Ice Arena is well-named - there's a cold,
desolate, cavernous air to the place that would make you wish that Bob had
done four nights in the Concert Hall instead. The band was loud - I don't
recall hearing anyone that loud since I last saw Judas Priest. They came
onstage around 19:45 and blasted straight into Maggie's Farm - great song
to start with but immediately alarm bells were ringing. What had happened
to his voice, and where had that strange guttural growling in the middle
of songs and that oddly sounding rising inflection at the end of each line
come from? Bizarre. From then on I found it difficult to identify songs
through the wall of noise and when Bob and the band drifted off into some
jazzy noodlings I thought I was listening to Jools Holland and his big
band. These comments are not a re-run of the Free Trade Hall debacle all
those years ago - I'm okay with the electric Bob and 'Times they are
a-changing'; "Masters of War"; "All Along the Watchtower" - three of my
favourites - plus "Highway 61 revisited" were clear enough to stand out.
The crowd roared their approval at every turn - Bob could do no wrong for
the Nottingham fans - but the diminutive figure in black way off in the
distance didn't seem to engage with the crowd at all. Standing profile on
to the main bulk of the audience at his piano his singing seemed to suffer
from his constant bobbing back and forward to the mike. Between songs he
seemed to drift off into the shadows at the rear of the stage - perhaps to
lubricate the throat, when some conversation/ banter would have lifted
spirits. I wasn't the only one who longed for a short acoustic
intermission - a couple of songs would have been sufficient. They came
off-stage around 21:30. The band rock - two great guitartists, good pedal
steel, banjo and fiddle work - solid base and a crunching drums -  I loved
the electric dimension to Bob's songs. Maybe the sound system in the Arena
is to blame - to appreciate Dylan the words have to come through with more
clarity. I 'enjoyed' the concert in an intrigued "I've just watched a
legend in his almost legendary 'you haven't heard it done this way before'
mood"  - Sally was disappointed with the incoherence and lack of even one
song from the guitar.


Matthew Hisbent


Review by Mr. Jinx

So, which Bob Dylan turned up at Nottingham Arena at the start of this
fall UK tour?   The answer is an emphatic . I DON'T KNOW!  Like that other
illusive figure of legend Robin Hood, Dylan dodged detention and slipped
our grasp.

This was an odd performance.  At times it bordered on sheer
brilliance and at others it seemed gleefully incoherent.  In
the former camp Dylan's audacious new arrangement of Love
Minus Zero - complete with heart-stopping minor key shifts -
in the latter a Summer Days seemingly phoned in from some damp
corner of Sherwood Forest.

This was a set that appeared on the surface to be combative
and warlike in tone. Both John Brown and Masters of War -
particularly brilliantly rendered - had me all ready for
battle.  Add to that Dylan's claim in Honest With Me that he's
'glad we fought' and the world war being planned in Highway 61
and the lines seemed clearly drawn: bows raised, arrows about
to fly.

How then to reconcile all of this military huff and puff with
the chiming innocence of Under the Red Sky and the tender
aforementioned Love Minus Zero?


Friar Tuck in the tour T-shirt at the back there?


Many of us come to Dylan shows in the hope of leaving with
more questions than answers.  Tonight we were not
disappointed. Artists baffle; artisans merely seek to
entertain. Dylan is, of course, an artist (amongst many other

My own personal highlight of this push-and-pull show was
Tweedle-Dee & Tweedle-Dum.  Tonight it was both spooked and
haunting.  The band took it down to a sinister whisper and
George eased off the backbeat just enough to let the guitars
and pedal steel ghost: Goose bumps!

Oddest synchronicity of the night?  The way that Dylan's
microphone fed-back with a clear ringing sound right after the
line'. a thousand telephones that don't ring' in Highway 61. 
Paul Williams would doubtless call this 'accidental art'.  I
call it 'feedback' but I'm very glad I heard it.

Oh, and I really must tell you the big news:  Blind Willie
McTell was a hundred kinds of fantastic: the entire sweep of
American history compressed into five minutes with an aborted
harp solo thrown in for good measure.  Priceless!

Welcome back, Bob, whoever, whatever you are.  Thank you and
your merry men for another fascinating evening of high
thievery and wealth distribution.  Two fingers to the sheriff
and all those who seek to capture, limit or define you.

Mr. Jinx


Review by G.L. Thomas

I first saw Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight. Last night I saw him at
Nottingham. In between I‘ve seen him many, many times in the UK in a
variety of venues, ranging from the enormous Blackbushe to the close-up
Brixton. Last night concert was musically so good. Bob and  his band play
the music that America gave the world. Hot, rhythmic electric guitar music
that rolls and flows and jives and rocks and swings in all its myriad
forms. He sang like an electric guitar: the instrument America gave the
world. It was sophisticated and raw and immediate and crude all at the
same time. He sang a folk song, John Brown, like a jazz singer. He sang
‘It’s alright Ma’ like a preacher and he sang ‘Under the Red Sky’ like a
father. He worked his musically socks off and his voice was sonorous and
on the ball.

However there is one thing I’ve done that Bob Dylan has never done. I’ve
seen Bob Dylan in concert. 

Last night, in Nottingham, after the lights went day, Bob had the audience
in his hand and then he lost them. He actually lost them before he
appeared. The recorded pre-ample lost them and he so nearly got them back
with his presence but then he lost them again. The full house mainly
hadn’t seen Bob live before, judging by the accents I heard from all
around me. I think this was the first time Bob has played Nottingham. Some
people have been waiting a very long time for this event. When the words
‘Bob Dylan’ ended the pre-amble there was an incredible, audible in-take
of air from the audience as they realised who was actually going to sing
for them. They all stood up in the main arena and cheered and then they
all sat down again and stayed there until the encores.

I think if Bob Dylan could do what he never has done and sit in an
audience and watch Bob Dylan he would be very surprised. He is still
performing as well as ever and I loved the concert and his music and
performance but he didn’t engage with the audience last night. It’s like
if he were a stand-up comic he wouldn’t be getting the laughs. The
audience get the joke and love the comedian but they are not part of the
performance. Ask any comedian what its like to lose an audience and then
try to get them back. Ask any schoolteacher. Ask anyone. The Jokerman is
the last to know and until he watches his own show as I did last night or
someone tells him he’ll never find out.

G.L. Thomas


Review by Rob Hastings

No support act? The main artist onstage at 7:30? If you think that breaks the usual rules for a 
modern rock gig, Bob Dylan did not even turn his face to the crowd until the very end of his set, 
during the first night of the legendary misanthrope's latest UK jaunt. However, Dylan is probably 
the only musician alive who could do this without alienating his fans, as the man labelled Judas 
by angry folkies back in '66 is viewed as no less than a Jesus-figure by his most loyal followers 
today. You only had to see one particular fan's T-shirt proclaiming 'In the beginning God created 
Dylan,' to realise this is no exaggeration.

Beginning with an incendiary version of 'Maggie's Farm,' the set was bursting with bluesy 
rock 'n roll throughout. His accompanying five-piece band were of the utmost quality you would 
expect to be fleshing out such legendary songs, and 'Highway 61 Revisited' was certainly a 
highlight thanks to their efforts. Meanwhile the exquisite poetry of 'Love Minus Zero' glittered 
even more than the star lights on the stage backdrop. Admittedly, Dylan's vocals did turn into 
the breathless husk of an obese Texan stuck in his favourite armchair at one point, and 
'John Brown' sounded more casino musak than classic rock.

Yet this was instantly forgivable when the opening chords to Bobbie's crowning glory, the 
universally adored 'Like A Rolling Stone,' rang out to mark the beginning of his encore. 'All 
Along The Watchtower' was just as great, and finally the odd air guitar was whisked out among 
the conservative crowd. On tonight's evidence, Dylan is every bit as enigmatic, but also every 
bit as compelling as he ever was.


Review by John Gulzar

Most of the crowd left a little dissatisfied, maybe even dissapointed with
the start to the UK section of the tour. From the opening 'Maggie's Farm'
and 'Times-they-are-a-changing' it became clear that the singing was going
to be a problem (even his harmonica let him down). Undetectable lyrics and
lots of upsinging. It's all right ma (I'm only bleedin') was a real losing
battle. His position on the left of the stage alienated much of the arena
and he remained there behind the keyboard for the entire show (some
guitar playing would have been appreciated). Interaction with the crowd
was nill and when he managed to finally get a response with a rousing
Highway 61 it was followed up with lower tempo stuff. Although I enjoyed
'Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee' and 'Masters of War' was well recieved it
wasn't until the encore 'like a rollin' stone' and 'All along the
watchtower' that the audience relaxed. At that point it was game over.
Bob's at his best when he's enjoying himself and tonight he just wasn't.
As rock concerts go it was pretty good stuff but sometimes being in the
presence of genius isn't enough.


Review by John Stolarski

As far as I know, this is Bob’s first concert in Nottingham, near which I
grew up. The first Dylan performance I saw live was way back in 1969 at
the Isle of Wight, of which I have only vague traces of skipping reels of
rhyme – but I recently acquired a bootleg recording of this. After that,
it wasn’t until 2002 that I saw him at Birmingham’s NEC, then again there
in 2003 and at Finsbury Park’s Fleadh in 2004. This year I went with my
brother, a Dylan (classics) fan but more into Brian Wilson and Nancy
Griffiths. My brother was born just as Dylan’s career was getting started.

So how did I rate this performance? I have to say, like previous concerts
I have attended, good in parts. Starting off with a belting Maggie’s Farm
was a good choice – making me think that he might go on to excite the
audience like he did way back when he first performed this. But he slowed
things down a bit with Times They Are A-Changin’ – fluffing the second
line by singing the third and repeating it, but he does have a lot of
songs to remember! Both these songs I thought were performed with
appropriate feeling coming through. After a couple of greatest hits, the
first of five songs from his ‘latest album’ – Lonesome Day. I like Love &
Theft but I would have liked to hear at least one track from Time Out Of

Back to the classic period for Love Minus Zero, done again with feeling,
then into a souped-up boogie style rendering of It’s Alright Ma, which I
felt was one of the best performances of the evening. After that, for me,
downhill with Red Sky followed by Tweedle Dee. I’ve never liked either of
these. Looking again at the lyrics, they are actually reminiscent of some
of the seemingly meaningless lyrics in songs from the Genuine Basement
Tapes (and the story of Frank on the sleeve of John Wesley Harding).
Perhaps they are his answer to people who are looking for the message in
his every song.

Blind Willie McTell was marred by poor sound – it was just too loud, with
Bob’s words almost indecipherable. (My brother later said that generally
the sound level was too high for him, too. Perhaps people elsewhere in the
Arena got the sound balance differently – we were right at the back.) Most
of the audience seemed to be about my age – people who bought the albums
when they were first released, and perhaps some of them were unfamiliar
with his later work, and would have struggled to make out any of the words
to this song. A not very impressive Highway 61 followed, which contained a
‘featuring Bob Dylan on keyboards’ bridge which did nothing to rescue a
rather muddled arrangement.

Just when things seemed to be fizzling out, a great performance of John
Brown – and most of the words were audible, because mercifully the band
was turned down. They are a good band, but they shouldn’t overpower the
main attraction, as they often did. If I remember rightly, there was some
tasteful (sorry to use the word!) banjo work by Donnie Heron. Then Heron
turned to violin for Floater, which my brother liked, but again Dylan’s
words were difficult to hear because the band were again louder. Honest
With Me followed – not much to say about that, save that it sounded much
like the album version. Next a rendering of Masters Of War which reminded
me of the version done by Pearl Jam at Bobfest 1992. Judging by the
favourable reaction of the audience, they were more familiar with this
song than with John Brown, but I thought the former was better performed.

Finally, to close the show, with the statutory exit and re-appearance in
between, Summer Days, Rolling Stone and Watchtower. Nothing out of the
ordinary here, although the band went to town on Watchtower with some
Hendrix-style breaks.

All in all, a good evening out, with some impressive performances, but I
don’t think I will be going to any more Dylan concerts. The last four all
seemed much the same (except Bob was playing guitar in 2002; if he’s
playing piano, at least let’s hear what he’s playing). I’ll continue to
collect boots of some of his outstanding performances.

John Stolarski


Review by Steve Haynes

Not sure if there's room or a need for another review  - I agree with a
lot of what's gone before - for me the concert delighted and frustrated in
almost equal measure - when Bob was good he was very very good (It's all
right ma, Masters of War, John Brown and above all Highway 61, were all
superb) BUT when he was bad he was pretty awful - for me Floater was an
incoherent mess and I will never understand how Tweedle Dee earns its
place on a set list when the Desire,  Blood on the Tracks and Street Legal
are so often missing in their entirety. 

I do think a lot of the problems with the gig were down to the venue I
thought the acoustics were shocking. After the Birmingham NEC last time I
vowed not to bother with large stadiums - but when he turns up on your
doorstep it's churlish not to go - I guess as long as he keeps coming I'll
keep going!  Like a lot of people I can't wait for Sunday at Brixton.

The only other reason for writing is that contrary to some of the 
reviewers above I don't think it is Bob's first visit to Nottingham - In
Don't Look Back there's a  toe-curlingly embarrassing  "reception" with
the lady mayoress of Nottingham and her sons. I guess Dylan must have been
in town to play on that occasion - of course that would have been well
before the arena was built - happy days!

Steve Haynes


Comments by Steve Hastings

I went with a coach load of people from Burnley and other parts of
Most of us after the concert went home very disappointed.
In this day and age to pay £35.00 a ticket and not be able to see a
large screen is poor. Also i have seen better light shows in pubs. 
The sound system was terrible,most people around me were talking to
each other and the lyrics to these great songs was inaudible.
I left my seat half way through and i have never seen so many people
having a pint and not bothering to go inside again.
It was a major disappointment  not to see him play the guitar and he
never engaged the large crowd at all.
The band were static,and the guitarist next to the drummer had his back to
the crowd for most of the concert. I still love Bob, but i think he should
go and see a Paul McCartney concert to see how it should really be done.

Many thanks
Steve Hastings  


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