Blackpool, England

Opera House Theatre

November 24, 2013

[Alan Manley], [Simon Godley], [Trevor Townson], [Roger Colli], [David Lindsey],
[David Blunt ], [Jennifer Martin], [Chris Euesden] [Patience Swan]

Review by Alan Manley

It was a joy to see Dylan at such an intimate venue rather than the vast
sheds we usually have to put up with.  This intimacy was also matched by
the music Bob is bringing now, which seems more restrained and subtle than
I remember from his last UK tour.  Then, when he was in Manchester, it was
loud and intense, with Bob riffing his keyboard chords with Charlie
Sexton.  This time, with the grand piano, Bob's playing was more
intricate, again blending mostly with Charlie, and created a mesmeric
mood, underpinned by Stu's acoustic rhythm and Donnie's pedal steel. 
George's drumming was beautiful, and of course Tony held it all together.
It seemed to take a couple of songs for Bob's voice to get into its
stride, but it soon became clear that the positve reviews of this tour
were well founded. Highlights for me in the first half were waiting for
you, a wonderfully sad tangled, and a blistering love sick. But all of the
songs were underpinned by sympathetic playing by fully committed
musicians; this was proper music, and reflections of the human condition.
The second half just got better and better, a tender twist of fate and
soon a simply magnificent forgetful heart, Bob's voice as clear as a bell,
with Donnie on violin and Tony bowing his bass providing a great backing.
Every song after that was great, finishing the main set with long and
wasted years, played with more strength than on the album, a great finish.
But the best was yet to come. A nicely acoustic based watchtower was
expected as an encore, and then the stage darkened again as we expected to
hear blowing in the wind.  Some notes on the piano, then there was cheers
from the crowd as it became evident that Bob was singin Roll on John, a
beautifully moving song on the album, but tonight it just took everything
to another level.  Bob simply brought it all back home, sang it
beautifully and sadly, and we knew this was imply one of those magical
moments, the first time that he'd sung this live, a few miles up the road
from Liverpool. Really there was nowhere to go after that, the crowd
roared again, and wonderfully numbed, we walked out into the night air. 
This was something special, and I'm still buzzing today.


Review by Simon Godley

From having first entered the public’s consciousness as a young peak-capped 
folkie more than fifty years ago to a 72 year old man stood on stage tonight 
looking like some high class riverboat gambler, things have certainly changed. 
This is the same man from Hibbing in Minnesota who surfaced in New York’s 
Greenwich Village coffee bar scene of the early ‘6os and through his protest 
songs and strong association with both the folk and civil rights movement of 
the day provided what was the essential soundtrack to the early part of that 
decade. But it was a soundtrack that was to dramatically change. He grew his 
hair, ingested amphetamines, picked up an electric guitar and produced what 
must still be the three greatest albums in the entire history of modern music 
that have ever been released consecutively – Bringing It All Back Home, 
Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde – and in doing so completely 
revolutionised the face of contemporary music. His was undoubtedly the 
voice of a generation.

He went on to crash his Triumph Tiger 100 in mysterious circumstances and 
re-emerged some 18 months later with first John Wesley Harding and then 
Nashville Skyline and thus staked a strong claim to be heralded as one of the
inventors of what we now know to be country rock. Painting classes and a 
bitter divorce contributed towards the absolute masterpiece of wretched
love-songs that make up Blood On The Tracks before born-again Christianity 
and a further descent into drugs put paid to the best part of the ‘80s in any 
meaningful creative sense.

The late ‘80s did see a return to form with the consistently excellent Oh 
Mercy though the following year’s abysmal Under The Red Sky meant that 
those “Bob Is Back” banners were only ever going to be unfurled temporarily. 
They could, though, be held aloft once again come 1997’s Time Out Of 
Mind – a bunch of survivor’s songs of the very highest order – and the rather 
unnecessary Christmas In The Heart aside they have continued to be so ever 
since with as strong a run of albums as he has produced since the 

And it is these more recent recordings that are to lay the foundations for this 
evening’s performance, the last of three nights he is to play at Blackpool’s 
Opera House Theatre, an opulent 3000 capacity venue housed in the seaside 
town’s equally magnificent Winter Gardens. He will be backed by his really quite 
outstanding touring band, the one that has been with him pretty much since 
the start of the new millennium and the release of Love And Theft. The 
internet may well have dampened the element of surprise by forewarning us 
what the set list will include, the fact that an intermission has now been 
introduced at the mid-point of the evening, and that even the formalities of 
introducing the individual members of his band have now been jettisoned, but 
what it does not prepare you for is just how completely and utterly compelling 
and nigh on damn perfect this show will turn out to be.

Gone is the man’s more recent compulsion to focus almost entirely on his earlier 
material and to then feel he has to adopt a scorched earth policy towards it, 
rendering most of it barely recognisable and, at times, almost unlistenable.  In 
marked contrast to those times, a nineteen song set features only two songs
from the ‘60s – an unerringly true ‘She Belongs To Me’ and the initial encore of 
‘All Along The Watchtower’, a most lovely, serene version of which owed far 
much more to his own original than ever it did to Hendrix’s cover; a couple from 
the following decade – ‘ Tangled Up In Blue’ in the first half, ‘ Simple Twist Of 
Fate’ in the second – both taken from Blood On The Tracks and both reflecting 
the emotional intensity and pain of that record; and just one each from the ‘80s 
and ‘90s. The former is represented by ‘What Good Am I?’ – his then brittle 
confidence recreated here with startling acuity and feeling – and the latter by 
‘Love Sick’ in which the song’s dirty groove crackles with energy and fire, his 
harmonica blisters the song’s middle bridge and he spits out the emotional 
ennui of the lyrics with scarcely concealed bile.

But it is perhaps the newer songs – most memorably those from last year’s 
modern classic Tempest – that leave the greatest imprint on this evening’s 
experience. ‘Early Roman Kings’, a sprawling travelling blues of a tune is 
resounding.  Vaguely reminiscent of ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ had it been slowed 
down by a couple of revolutions per second and if such proof were needed a 
song that firmly reinforces the singer’s assertion that “I ain’t dead yet, my bell 
still rings”. There is probably no better word to describe ‘Soon After Midnight’ 
than beautiful, whilst you physically will the closing ‘Long And Wasted Years’ just 
to go on and on forever. Much has been said about the disrepair of the singer’s 
voice, how shot it has become, how it has been reduced to some indecipherable 
croak. Here it sounds exactly as it is, an indefatigable instrument that has been 
immersed in more than fifty years of experience; half a century of heart, hope, 
humanity and history.  Things may well have changed but this is the voice of 
Bob Dylan. It is still the voice of a generation. Cherish it while you still can.

Simon Godley


Review by Trevor Townson

Tram conductors in Blackpool certainly have the gift of the gab and the
ability to entertain, they must get plenty of practice especially during
the summer months with the number of holiday visitors up for a good time
and a bit of a laugh, a group of us had joined up on the Saturday for a
tram trip and a Fish & Chip lunch, on arrival at the Fleetwood end of our
round trip journey, the conductor seeing that we were the only people not
getting off makes out as if calling to the driver, "there's a group here
going to be on all day", the conductor then engages in conversation with
some in the party and finds out that we are all here to see Bob Dylan,
someone tells the conductor that the people sitting over there are from
Norway, this guy is from the USA says someone else, "I'm from the USA too,
Uver Side of Accrington" said the joking conductor, someone in our group
says to the conductor that they are from Oxford, "sorry" says the
conductor as if mishearing, "Oxford" the person said again, the conductor
replied back "No, I did hear you, just saying sorry that's all", the tram
was rather full at certain points of the journey, at one such place the
standing room only tram comes to a halt at one of the stops and the
conductor shouts as if to everyone on the tram, "all off , I've had
enough", at a busier central area the conductor calls out the name of the
stop then says "shops, entertainments and plenty of boozing establishments
- that should get a lot of them off", on us arriving at our stop to go for
lunch the conductor calls out to all of the other passengers, "the Bob
Dylan Appreciation Society is getting off now", we leave the tram to the
bemused looks of all the other passengers as they watch us disembark,
Blackpool has seen better days, being hit hard when the Spanish holiday
trade took off and the masses first started to get the opportunity to fly
off to guaranteed sunshine, Blackpool had always been rather tacky but to
be fair that was the biggest part of its charm and why so many people
loved the place, compared to its past glory years looking around now it is
plain to see that many parts could do with more than a lick of paint here
and there, by no means dead yet though and already there is a bit of a
buzz around the place that Rod Stewart will be coming to perform at the
football ground next summer, the fact that Bob Dylan has chosen to come
here too is a massive boost for the area and one of which they are
mightily proud, already in time for the first performance on Friday night,
2013 Bob Dylan had been added in gold lettering to the Roll of Honour
board on the wall within the entrance to the Winter Gardens building, a
very long list of famous names dating back to 1889, only the one name
however is chosen per year to make it onto the board, lots of famous
names, some more famous than others but non more so than 1904 Charles
Chaplin, no doubt Bob has now also been made a freeman of the town so
probably he now has the right to drive sheep any day that he likes all the
way up those golden sands, night one there was some initial minor sound
issues which seemed to be soon tweaked out but other than that it was as
good as you could possibly ever get as far as from what Bob and the band
put into it, for me probably the best singing that I have ever heard from
Bob and this remained consistent throughout, night two you could already
over hear people during the intermission making comparisons and discussing
things such as the second night being better than night one etc, how you
can really tell the difference is beyond my abilities, if you had done
just either one of the shows on their own I feel sure, either way, you
would be claiming to have seen one of the best Bob shows ever, if not the
best Bob show ever, night three was such a pleasure to attend, I must be
getting far too relaxed by the comfort provided by this static set list,
songs that would not be considered stand outs from previous performances
seemed better or improved on night three, by these songs I mean What Good
Am I?, Waiting For You and Love Sick, a surprise for me on night three was
to find that Spirit On The Water had also seemed to have gone up a few
divisions as well, probably more to do with familiarity now than anything
else but Scarlet Town also seems to be growing better each time, Early
Roman Kings was a powerful performance night three and seemed to grab your
attention more than on previous airings, see what is happening folks, even
I am now falling into the trap of making comparisons, comparisons that are
only relevant to me from my own experiences, comparisons that are totally
irrelevant to how others would both hear and view these shows and songs,
the way in which each of us views Bob and his songs is like snowflakes or
the drum techniques of George, infinitely variable, we no longer get any
announcement of the band members from Bob, I never really understood the
relevance of someone being from Boston or New Orleans anyway as to whether
they could play a guitar or the drums or what difference that made to the
music, what we get now though is much more valid as the band are allowed
to introduce themselves by their musicianship alone, they all get their
moments and are allowed to be both seen and heard to be contributing in
some way, Stu now has notice and recognition for some of the acoustic
openings to some of the songs and is becoming well known for his walk on
introductions to the sets, Tony on base could never really be faulted but
at least he can now totally focus on his playing without having to live on
his wits as to what happens next, George is able to let us hear what an
important part he can play and you can now hear real music coming from
that drum kit, Charlie gets to shine on guitar without having to over show
himself in order to get the notice he deserves, Donnie can be both seen
and heard and gets the opportunity to make certain songs stand out with
his banjo and violin playing, Bob seems to be placing much more importance
on his own musicianship too and we can now hear that piano keyboard being
treated with respect, his harmonica playing now no longer has you
wondering how successful it will come out, not having to rely on the band
guessing or having to catch up with where Bob is going you can relax in
the knowledge that his harp playing will be nailed perfectly every time,
importantly Bob is now using what has been termed his most effective
instrument, his voice, as I always thought that he could if he wanted to,
the wolf man barking and up singing is all but gone, to just keep it down
and low seems obvious to me, does Bob need any advise from anyone, no,
would Bob take any advise from anyone, no, these are the best Bob Dylan
shows that I have ever attended, these are possibly some of the best
performances that I have ever heard from his band, will Bob keep it the
same, no, night three we get a glimpse, this is the seventh time that I
have watched this show, boy I am so comfortable by now that I could be
sitting there wearing my slippers, just as I have got my Horlicks in mind
I am kicked out of my relaxed posture by Roll On John, I am no expert but
was that not a word perfect rendition, first time live too, if I had to
bet on any song from Tempest to join all those from Knocked Out Loaded it
would have been that one, even Highlands got an outing so Tempest the song
even had a chance but never Roll On John, it did seem strange actually
seeing Tony scurry across the stage to Bob in the darkness before the song
began, he must have gone across to ask for confirmation from Bob, are we
really going to do it, so there we have it, Tony already back to living on
his wits again, following Bob around can take you to many interesting and
varied places, seemed rather strange however for once being somewhere so
familiar, both myself and my friend Jenny who was attending the concerts
with me have visited Blackpool lots of times over many years, we were
delighted to find the perfect tacky taste shop on the front, this is what
Blackpool has always been about, ...Jen: did you notice that Yorkshire man
reference in The Blackpool Gazette review, Me: might have, Jen: he said
the musicianship was tighter than a Yorkshireman's pocket, Me: only a
figure of speech, obviously he is a Lancastrian and as such obviously
envious of Yorkshire as the superior county so decides to have a cheap
pop, Jen: I thought it was very funny, Me: well you would originating from
Lancaster, anyway he should stick to the point if he is reviewing, Jen:
well you never do, Me: I am not a professional, anyway I need to create a
distraction from my lack of knowledge, Jan: I thought Andy wrote a really
good review, Me: so it is Andy now is it, Andy, Andy, Andy bloody Andy,
Jan: lovely lunch that Carole arranged for us all, Me: bit bloody
expensive though, Jan: it was under £15 for the two of us, that's not bad
for eating out in a restaurant, Me: I would expect to buy the restaurant
for that where I come from, anyway I was kind of relying on Jeff Rosen
turning up and treating us all, he must be loaded, I have to work a 60
hour week down the pit to pay for that, Jan: stop exaggerating, Me: I was
on edge all through the meal hoping that nobody wanted pudding, did you
see the prices of them, Jan: they did look good though, Me: would need to
be, there was plenty of money folk on that trip so it was a worry, imagine
being rich enough to live in Oxford, that guy from the states looked
minted too, Jen: how do you work that out, Me: you can always tell, they
dress in an understated way, Jen: that could just be because he is a Bob
fan, one of the great unwashed so to speak, look at you, Me: yes but he
probably owns the corporation that built your car, Jen: what British
Leyland, Me: I thought you had a Ford, Jen: don't you just love all these
tacky things, Me: funny how most of the things come in the shape of a
penis, Jen: gosh look at that, how about wearing that whilst you are doing
the barbecue, disgusting but really very realistic, Me: I wish, anyway how
many real ones have you seen that look like that, Jen: here a key ring
with Trevor on, only one of them pushed to the back, Me: OK don't rub it
in, Jen: probably been here for years, Me: OK, I said don't rub it in, be
mentioning bloody Andy next, bet there are lots of key rings with his name
on, Jen: I bet that if you don't buy it they will never sell it, Me: best
make an offer then, no point paying full price as I am obviously the only
surviving Trevor in the Universe ever to visit Blackpool, Jen: hey look,
one with Bob on, Me: may be a better option than that pink Kiss-Me-Quick
cowboy hat I was thinking of getting him, he may have got the wrong idea,
the last time I had a misunderstanding like that I decided to shave my
moustache off, Jen: get him the key ring then, Me: it is only right that
we should get Bob something, gosh this guy is the reason that at times I
still have the will to live, just would not have gotten through certain
times of my life without this guy, even with the inclusion of backing
singers on Street Legal, Jen: get him the key ring then, Me: hell Jen the
key ring is £2.99 and unlike the Trevor box the Bob box is perfect so no
chance of any discount, Jen: look for something else then, Me: I was
thinking about a pen but they all look like a penis so he may get the
wrong idea again and my moustache has already gone,  they are only 99p
though so I am tempted, he doesn't need the money anyway so it is the
thought that counts, he is bound to find a Blackpool penis pen amusing,
Jen: how you going to get it to him, Me: I have seen people hand him
things on stage before, someone handed him a cross once and that lead to
an whole new direction, still with backing singers in part though so not
all good news, Jen: I don't know, we paid a lot for those front row seats
so we don't want to get thrown out, a cross is one thing but I am not too
sure that the world is ready for where a Blackpool penis pen could take
things, Me: see, not so tight now are we Andy, bloody Andy, what's the
best thing about Lancashire, the M bloody 62 out of there and into
Yorkshire, Jen: lets just relax and enjoy the show, I think it best if we
just drop the pen idea, Me: look at that, penis rock on a stick, Jen: look
there are even bigger ones above, Me: that really is top shelf stuff, you
would never manage anything as big as that, anyway I thought that you were
not too keen on liquorice, Jen: let me be the judge of what I like best,
Me: I could get you a penis whistle instead, they are good value, you get
a bag full of them for £1.99 Jen: where have you seen them, Me: over
there, hey we could hand Bob one of those, I bet it would just be a great
addition to Blind Willie Mc Tell when he starts to change the set lists
again, do you think that the girl behind the counter looks like she knows
what key it is in, I have heard Bob asking for an E harmonica so we are
probably safe if we go for getting him a penis that he can blow in that
key, Jen: why do I get the feeling that we should drop this idea, lets
just get a couple of those top shelf rock penis instead, I don't really
think that liquorice is really that bad, Me: I love liquorice but I am not
too sure that I would feel comfortable sucking on that, even in the
privacy of our own apartment, probably play it safe and go as usual for a
bar of Cadbury's Whole Nut instead but you feel free, after all it is
Saturday night, Jen: have you made a decision yet on the Royal Albert Hall
shows, Me: yes I am going to go, anyway I forgot to buy the paint but in
any case I need to wait till it is in the sale as it is damn expensive
stuff, Jen: you can see Bobs art exhibitions, Me: yes, that was a deciding
factor as I believe that they are both free, if not I will not go in, Jen:
well behave yourself and don't get drunk, you could end up buying some
gates, remember it is not e-bay prices and you do not even have a garden,
Me: Things Have Changed now anyway, I just want to hear those drums one
more time, Jen: don't forget to pack your slippers this time in case the
set list is the same, Me: that was a good joke on that "comedy carpet" on
the sea front, "if I had all the money that I had spent on drink, I'd
spend it on drink", Jen: not exactly a joke in some cases, Me: you see
Andy bloody Andy is not correct about a Yorkshireman's pocket, we are just
selective as to how we distribute our wealth,      ...what a benefit and
big difference it makes being able to see a Bob Dylan show without the
need at the end for a tiring drive or long haul flight in order to get
back home after the event, where Bob goes with his never ending tour after
this I do not know but he certainly has more than just that one Golden
Mile left in him yet if he wishes to continue on his never ending travels
next year, may be after all we do need another new Bob Dylan album, may be
after all we do need some new Bob Dylan songs, may be after all we do need
lots more new Bob Dylan concerts, there was nothing superfluous about this
weekend so let's hope there are plenty more to come, "Oh, I do like to be
beside the seaside!", Brilliant!

Trevor Townson


Review by Roger Colli

This was my first opportunity to see a show since Cardiff 2011, also for
the first time ever, I could go to more than one on a tour. I chose
Blackpool, Saturday and Sunday. However this did not sync. with
Ticketmaster’s desire to sell, in spite of being logged on at 0900 on
the first day of sale. Of course for each concert the process is separate.
Eventually, success for Sunday, now return to Saturday, no tickets
available, still only 0945, only choice, buy on the after market. Is it me
or do the freedom police have  a down on me.  Do not fret, friends, it’s
just the kids inheritance.

Travelled Saturday am, not looking forward to our wonderful M5/M6 roads.
actually it was ok. Stayed at the Hilton (seen one, seen all, staff
friendly. I am one, so most Lancastrians are). The Opera House is a great
place, with a cheap bar and again friendly staff with minimum security .

I was up in the gods with a fine view of the top of a magnifcent hat and a
strangely patterned black jacket  with Coldstreamguard type trousers. More
detail is not available owing to the set lighting,very moody.

Many other people are better able to give a musical critique and much has
been written about this tour. I had another great evening, made a few new
friends and saw the band later at their Hotel, pizzas much in evidence,
but no Bob of course.

Sunday dawns and I travel to Blackburn to the house of my lifelong friend
Mike and his wife Dot.

The point here is that it is now 50 years almost exactly since we
travelled from Southport (where we were born, near Blackpool) to London's
Royal Festival Hall to see a young American sing Blowin’ in the Wind.

The purpose of a second concert used to be to hear a few different songs,
a further mistake, which I knew after following the tour reports. Another
visit to the House bar where I heard my quote of the day. ’The thing
about a Dylan concert is that you never fail to be disappointed ’.

Both nights were sell outs, and we were in the gods again. One day I will
succeed and get a prime seat. Friend Mike gave him 3.5 stars, but he has
fallen by the wayside in recent years.

From me ? 5 of course, because we heard the  first public version of
‘Roll on John’. I choose to believe it was owing to the closest
proximity to Liverpool in a long time, and I say thank you Bob, so no
disappointment there.

Finally, for a considered piece of writing , checkout the review  from
Glasgow in the Observer  newspaper, and ignore the one in the Guardian.

Finally, finally, Bobby won’t you give me one more chance for a prime


Review by David Lindsey

More or less everything has now been said about this set list. But one
thing did strike me whilst watching Bob in certainly the most comfortable
surroundings for a number of years. Maybe there was some planning in the
organisation of this tour. If you are going to perform almost an entire
set of recently written material then the last thing you want is an
audience expecting a 'greatest hits' package. And the way to ensure you
get your hard core fan base there is by playing small venues which sell
out very quickly. So Dylan certainly had a receptive and knowledgeable
crowd in attendence.     And then there was 'Roll on John'. I must admit I
didn't notice Donnie fail to pick up his violin but clearly something was
coming. And it was some sort of gesture, the only sort, as a Dylan
audience that we ever get, that it wasn't just one more night and one more
town and one more show on this never ending tour. And I thought about that
taxi ride in 1966 when they were the two coolest guys on the planet and
the history that all of us share which Dylan was in his own way
acknowledging. And how many other artists could have resisted milking that
moment and consequently ruining it.    
David Lindsey


Review by David Blunt

It just shows, when it comes to Bob Dylan you never know
Saw the last night in Blackpool, my twelfth Dylan concert and looking
forward to seeing the band in great old venue Fantastic sound, top, top
band and Dylan delivering his songs directly with a twinkle eyed relish We
got talking to a lawyer from Alaska who had seen Dylan 140 times including
all three nights at Blackpool, after some spellbinding performances
notably Pay in Blood and Long And Wasted Years the evening ended with an 
All Along The Watchtower that ebbed and flowed with its original power
undiminished and that  Dylan seemed to enjoy, Our lawyer friend left as it
finished, presumably expecting a Blowing In The Wind but instead we were
treated to Roll On John, in a Lancashire theatre, the nearest venue to
Liverpool he sang that for us Unforgettable night and hoping for more in
the future

David Blunt 


Review by Jennifer Martin

Blackpool, the Tower, the Pleasure Beach, the Promenade, the home of 
ballroom dancing and now the venue for three nights of Bob Dylan and his 
Band; how could anyone stay away from such delights?  Well, we didn't, 
my friend Trevor and I arrived on Friday afternoon to take over our little 
apartment in this mecca of entertainment full of anticipation and we were 
not disappointed.

The weather was lovely, bright and sunny but cold.  The only slight 
disappointment was the famous Blackpool illuminations had finished. 
The first night we were sat second row from the front in this old theatre, 
The Opera House.  Very intimate although we could see straight away 
from the setting that Bob and Band would be quite a long way back from 
the front of the stage.  You people (Trevor for instance) who have been 
to countless shows when I have only 'done' seven would not have 
expected anything else from Bob.  The lighting was very low and the 
audience further back must have seen very hazy figures indeed.
But, as Bob and Band drifted in the darkness onto the stage, the whole, 
sell-out audience erupted into massive applause and Bob was greeted. He 
launched straight into 'Things Have Changed' and they have!  Bob's voice 
was clear and gone (or almost!) has that growl.  He is animated and 
actually seems to enjoy himself.  I know, or think I do, that Bob wants his 
music to speak for itself and it does, it really does but I still wish that he 
could just allow us to see things more clearly.  He needn't interact with 
us, in fact he doesn't need to speak to us at all but please Bob can we 
not see you just a little more clearly?  You see we are just an audience 
and maybe we could be from anywhere but you are a legend, like it or 
not, and how often do we, any of us, get to see a legend?

The set list was as it has been from the last number of shows but, who 
cares about that, it has everything it needs to have, the balance is great.  
Bob sang, centre stage, Forgetful Heart as good as any of the great 
crooners, it was beautiful and sensitive and emotional.

The finale came around too quickly and as Bob took his bow with his 
Band he had the look of a man who knows he has done a good job.

On Saturday we boarded a tram bound for Fleetwood with a bunch of 
Bob fans.  They were all very experienced fans who know their man well.  
A lovely lady named Carol arranged the trip.  We had fish and chips at an 
award winning restaurant. Great!  The rest of the day we mooched about 
taking in the tackiness but also the pride of this ostentatious resort. It is 
what it is. 

This evening's show, we were still on the second row and it was a deja vu 
experience except that it was still exciting and one could listen to the 
same set list but pick up the nuances that had been missed from the 
evening before.

Sunday, we contemplated the Tower but, alas, I could not see myself on 
the lift let alone the Sky Walk. It was with a sense of absolute joy that 
Sunday's performance found us on the FRONT ROW!  We sat back to 
enjoy, for me, the last performance of Bob's 2013 UK tour.  No Royal 
Albert Hall for me. It was quite wonderful, Bob's voice was more than up 
to scratch and the musicians were faultess.  All the songs sung so well 
and each one greated with great applause and appreciation  And then 
and then..... what was going on the boys were having a quick conference,
it was as though they weren't sure themselves but yes they did it in this 
place so near to Liverpool - Roll on John, sung, and played, perfectly and 
with the emotion it deserved, (a lady near us had tears rolling down 
her cheeks).    Well I never.

Jennifer Martin

Who needed the illuminatons?


Review by Chris Euesden

Several people I know who are always there for at least one show when 
Bob Plays the UK opted not to step out for a concert this time having 
seen the static set lists on the European dates so far. It was more than 
proven tonight that this was not a wise decision, I've seen many Dylan 
performances over the years and this was by far amongst the best.

For me seeing him perform in a medium size venue after years of 
cavernous arenas and festivals was a real buzz. Tonight from where I was 
sitting about three quarters of the way back in the stalls the occasion 
could almost be described as intimate with the sound well controlled to 
suit the size of the auditorium and an almost laid back feel throughout.

Does Dylan think things through regarding his choice of material etc? Of 
course he does and the first proof of this came with the first number 
'Things Have Changed'-'don't get up gentlemen I'm only passing through'. 
Bob centre stage minus guitar but with the celebrated alternate leg 
wiggle. This was followed by 'She Belongs to Me' and the trade mark
'up-singing' at the end of the lines plus some fine harmonica playing. The
band were tight and accurate and the stall was being set for a great night.

'Beyond Here Lies Nothing' wound things up a notch with Bob moving 
over to the grand piano. The piano sound is much preferable to the 
electronic keyboard  sound which was the order of the day for some time. 
'What Good Am I' was full of atmosphere and 'Duquesne Whistle' without 
the slide guitar 'Tempest' intro rocked unconditionally.

After the country feel of 'Waiting For You' the film soundtrack song which 
must have passed many Dylan followers by 'Pay in Blood' had a menace 
which played live overtook the darkness of the studio cut. Next up 
'Tangled Up In Blue' with several lines of new lyrics  'drove that car as far
 as we could abandoned it in the wilderness' and then a truly classic 
 version of  'Love Sick' rounded off the first set, every word sung as if it 
 came straight from the soul.
After the intermission it was straight into 'High Water'. I get the feeling
 this is one of Dylan's live favourites and the band as on every song 
 tonight really stepped up to the mark, Donnie's banjo cutting right 
 through. 'Simple Twist of Fate' with more alternate lyrics 'you should've 
 met me back in '63 we could've gone somewhere' and then onto Early 
 Roman Kings which hit a groove from beat one. I missed the accordion 
 on this one but you can't have everything.
Next up was a highlight, a truly sincere version of 'Forgetful Heart' with 
Donnie once again adding some real atmosphere to the song this time on 
violin and Tony moving on to stand up bass.

'Spirit On The Water', 'Scarlet Town' and 'Soon After Midnight' were all 
delivered in fine style and the final song the aptly titled 'Long and Wasted 
Years' was as appropriate as the opening tune had been. 

'All Along The Watchtower' the first encore rocked along but was held 
back and controlled' Bob on grand piano and the rhythmic chord sequence
cutting through on acoustic guitar. The best road version of this song I've 

Finally the wild card. Everyone who'd checked out the set-lists was 
expecting 'Blowin' in the Wind' but instead Bob's grand piano intro 
morphed into 'Roll on John' Dylan's heartfelt and poignant tribute to John 
Lennon, his fellow icon from just down the road.

A stupendous evening. The lighting has been criticised as being too dull 
but that's clearly the ambience that's wanted for this kind of show. Why 
on earth the theatre staff had to rush around trying to shut down every 
mobile phone-camera in sight is beyond me. Who's asking them to enforce 
the no photography rule, theatre management or artist management?

In his seventies Dylan is proving he's still a contemporary artist who doesn't 
survive on nostalgia alone. If you want to see a Greatest Hits show go and 
see The Eagles.   

Chris Euesden
York UK


Review by Patience Swan

My First Bob Dylan Concert
By Patience Swan (Aged 7)

On the 24th of November I attended my first ever rock show, and my dad 
said that there aren't many little girls at the age of seven who get to see 
the genius that is Bob Dylan. I had a great day, we walked along the sea 
front and got some fresh air in our lungs, and then we went to see where 
they film Strictly Come Dancing.

Then we made our way over to the Winter Gardens to find our seats to 
watch Bob Dylan, I met lots of nice people who complimented me on the 
special concert T-shirt my dad had made for me, this started to get me 
very excited. I loved walking into the old theatre it was very beautiful, 
and it was nice to see all the different stars on the roll of honours list who 
had played their over the years, and Bob Dylan's name was the main event 
for 2013 which made my Dad very proud. Next we went to see a Dylan 
tribute act called Simply Dylan who sang some of my favourite songs 
like - Make You Feel My Love, Is Your Love In Vain, Precious Angel and 
Forever Young. My Dad's favourite tribute act is Dylanesque he saw them 
at The Cavern, Liverpool. Bob Dylan never played there but Adele did. I like 
her too.

Before the show started my Dad sat me down on Bobs stage and took a 
picture of me before the grumpy security staff spotted what we were 
doing, I was dying to run on stage and blow on some of his harmonicas :-)

With 15 minutes to go we found our seats which were central to the
stage and about 15 rows back. My dad told me to take in the atmosphere 
and remember it forever, as Bob might just decide to stop touring one of 
these days

On one side of me was the tour manager for Robert Plant and on the 
other was a Lady who was watching Dylan live for the first time ever , she 
remembered Bob Dylan when she was a young girl in the 60s. When the 
lights went down the crowd got very excited, my Dad told me to get the 
binoculars ready, I could see on the dark stage lots of movement but I 
couldn't see Bob Dylan, then my Dad tapped me on the shoulder as the 
crowd went wild and pointed to Bob with his big hat on, my Dad was 
over the moon.

I enjoyed the show very much, sometimes I couldn't always hear the 
words he was saying, but it was very funny to watch him with his hand 
on his hip then doing the odd shuffle of his feet, he looked lonely on the 
stage, I wanted to get on with him and keep him company and give him
a hug, his band looked too far away from him.

I loved the sound of his mouth organ it was brilliant, not quite as good as 
me my Dad and Samuel when we go bonkers in our living room :-) I think 
my Dad is a really bad dresser , but I think Bob is even worse his outfit 
was really funny he looked like he had just been playing ten pin bowling :-) 
but somehow he really suited it.

My favourite songs where Forgetful Heart, Scarlet Town and Long and 
Wasted Years, I got a little bit tired towards the end of the show because 
it had been a long day, but I just about managed to stay awake for one of 
my Dads favourite songs, Roll on John Dad told me that we where the first 
people to hear him sing that live to an audience which is really cool. I was 
hoping he might sing All the Tired Horses to get me to sleep for the 
journey home but he didn't :-)

For a while we stayed near the stage entrance. I was hoping to meet Bob 
and get his autograph for Dad and see if he wanted to come to MacDonald's 
with us, but I never saw him :-(

It was a great day and a great show, I am a very lucky girl to have seen 
him, I hope I get to see him again one day.

Thank you Bob,
Love Patience Swan
Runcorn England


Click Here
to return to the
Main Page

page by Bill Pagel

Tour Guide
Tour Guides
Bob Links
Set Lists
by Date
Set Lists
by Location