Stockholm, Sweden

Berns Salonger

March 22, 2009

[Steinar Daler], [Jim Nolan], [Trevor Townson]

Review by Steinar Daler

What a night! It is allways with a stange feeling in my stomach I go to a
Dylan concert, specially if it is the first of a tour. We had to que up
outside in snow and cold before we were let in to this beautyful venue. A
lot of us were hoping for David Hidalgo to turn up in Bob's band, but alas
it was only the familiar faces from last tour that took the stage together
with Bob. Danny, Stu and Tony in a row on the left side of the stage,
facing Bob on the right side. George and Donnie in normal positions. First
up was an ordinary You go your way, and then Senor. It seemed like the
audience were very happy to hear that one. Nice version, reminded me of
Dallas last spring. I'll be your baby tonight and Stuck inside of Mobile
followed and it felt like this was going to be an average night. Then we
got a really good Trying to get to heaven with some really nice harmonica
blowing from Bob. Back to normal again with Things have changed. As far as
I remember it and my notes is correct, Bob did not played guitar on this
song, as is mentioned elsewhere. But for Watching the river flow Bob
picked up a huge accoustic guitar and moved center stage. A really niice
version and a feeling that this could be a special night wwere spreading
among the audience. Blind Willie as the next one did not let us  down, but
I have heard better versions. For the only time tonight it took a while
before I recognised the next sonhg. I could not hear the lyrics (the sound
was not very good in this hall) and the tune remined me of two songs he
had allready played; You go your way and Things have changed. It turned
out to be I don't believe you. I have heard it better, but on the other
hand I have not heard a better version of the next song; I believe in you,
for a long time. The audience loved it. Honest with me, usually a boring
song in my opinion, followed in a very good version. Blistering guitar
solo from Stu. When you are a Dylan fan sometimes you get a question like
this: "If you met Bob before a concert and he asked you what song do you
want to hear tonight, what song is your chice?" When I have been asked
this, I have had the same answer for years: BILLY. I have never expected
it to happen. Tonight he played it. Beautyful version, what more can I
say. Tears running on a lot of faces, first time for me since 2003 in
Hammersmith when he played Romance in Durango. Maybe a once in a lifetime
experience. Who knows? Good solid versions of Summerdays and Watchtower
ended the main set. The first encore; Cry awhile was a surprise. It was
nice too0 when Bob halfway through moved senter stage. LARS followed and
then another small surprise at the end; Forever young with great harmonica
playing from Bob. do you think I look foreward to the next show? YES, I DO!

Steinar Daler  


Review by Jim Nolan

When I heard that Bob would be playing a Club show in Stockholm I promptly
checked out flights and hotels to see if it was possible to go without
much hope of actually being there. I tried to buy two tickets online when
they went onsale for Ken Cowley and myself but had no luck. I think it was
sold out in less than a minute which is no surprise. After which Ken sent
out an SOS to his friends to try and get us two tickets. Before the weekend
was out one ticket was in our grasp.I then booked the flight still
doubtful that I would make the trip. Fast forward to last tuesday when Ken
got confirmation that Yes! he had secured the second ticket. A huge thank
you to Pers for my ticket. I owe you several pints!
As Bob has been somewhat of a Travel Agent to me since the 90's this was
yet another new Country and city for me to visit. Since my first show in
Slane Castle in July '84 Bob has taken me from The States, all through Europe 
on to St Petersburg in Russia. When we arrived in a very crisp and frozen 
Stockholm we quickly checked in to the hotel and headed down to the 
Old Town. We paid a visit to the National Museum to admire the various 
Rembrandts and other great works of art. In the early afternoon we headed 
to the venue to see the lie of the land. It was very well organised with a 
numbering system for a place in the Q.I got number 82!. This meant you 
could wander off for 'refreshments' and come back to your place before a 
6.30 addmission. It was snowing steadily as we waited to get in.
When we got in we were given wristbands and directed downstairs to the
Cloakroom as everybody had to check their coats in before entering the
concert room located upstairs. And what a room! All ornate craved walls
and ceilings with three huge chandeliers down the centre and smaller ones
dotted around them. It is the sort of room you would expect to hear
chamber music and not a full on rocking Bob show. Although I have seen Bob
in "Clubs" before (Vicar St ,Barrowlands,Stodola Warsaw Etc.)  it is
without a doubt the swankiest venue I have been in for a Bob show. When I
entered the room I spotted Ken left of centre and about four people
back. A great spot and a great view, and as it turned out it was a night of
gasps and revelations. I wont go into every song but here are my highlights

The first thing when the band came out was their position on the small
stage. Bob on the right side with Donnie behind him. George in the centre
and all in a line on the left side was Dennie Stu and Tony. Tony did
venture across stage on occasion but for the most part the three boys held

MOST LIKELY YOU GO YOUR WAY..: This a great opening tune.I thought Bob
might start singing quietly and build up the volume slowly but no, Bobs
voice was powerful and clear. I actually heard audible gasps around me when
he started singing.

SENOR: This was the first Jawdropper for me. I have heard many great
versions over the years ( Acoustic in the M.E.N. springs to mind) but this
is certainly up there with the best of them. Bobs vocal was fab and  then
for the first of many times he blew some fantastic harp.

TRYIN TO GET TO HEAVEN: This was possibly the best version I have heard
to date. Bobs reworked vocal delievery and and harp playing beggered
belief. Just Awesome!

WATCHING THE RIVER FLOW..: Now laying on its back in front of George was 
a large bodied Guitar which Bob strapped on standing centre stage. And by
golly did he play it! A few lovely solos throughout the tune. Alas just the
one song on guitar but it was great to watch him play them solos and not
just scratch at it.

BLIND WILLIE Mc TELL..: This was another fine performence.Bob did pick up
a Harp during this song, he gave it a blow off mike then thought the
better of it and left it back on his table

I DONT BELIEVE YOU..:Terrific vocal , keyboard and harp solo by Bob.

I BELIEVE IN YOU..Up until now this was the song of the night for
me. Excellent vocals and harp from from Bob once again.

HONEST WITH ME..: Bob was centre stage singing this with the three boys
watching him like hawks. He only retreated behind the keyboard when he 
sang the " got a face like a teddybear" line. Also Stu played a rare and
excellent solo midway through.

BILLY ..: Well now here we are. What can I say about this? It was just one
of those moments when Bob takes everyone by surprise.(Million Dollar Bash 
in London to name one). Never in a million years did I expect to hear
this. Now I don't know if Bob added verses to this song but there was a hell
of a lot of lyrics with blistering harp too. For the closing refrain when
Bob was singing  "Billy You're so far away from home " I had goose bumps
on my arms, I shit you not.

CRY A WHILE....: This was first encore of the evening and Bob ventured
centre stage yet again to sing a few verses and wail away on the harp.

FOREVER YOUNG.. This was the last song of the evening and sounded  just
great with a piercing harp solo at the end.

When we emerged with broad grins from the venue there was a blanket of
snow covering everything. Stockholm looked amazing. I would like to thank
everyone who I met in the venue including Jonas, Andrew, Tim, Trevor, Kim,
and the four boys from Liverpool who we met at the airport on our
arrival.I hope you all got in! Thanks to Lena for pointing me in the right
direction to try and get a ticket. Lastly Thanks again to Pers for getting
me my ticket. On last nights evidence this will be an amazing tour. All I
can say now is enjoy the shows everybody and roll on the UK and Dublin

Jim Nolan 


Review by Trevor Townson

Seven days, or should that be Seven daaaayyyyyyaaaeeeeaaaaaeees before
this  show I was not going to it, the Copenhagen show was going to be my
first. The previous Sunday a friend encouraged me to buy a ticket off 
e-bay. Having fallen into the trap previously of  "You know you are a  Bob
fan when you buy a ticket and have no way of getting to the venue" I
thought  a bit of home work prudent before hand. Perhaps some of you have
done this before, check diary, all clear,  check out flights, gosh it
fits, check out hotel deals, hey that is  reasonable. Eyes closed, its
only a small touch of one key, Buy It Now! Within an hour the whole deal
was done including flight and accommodation.  How much a Bob show? Very
interesting and very varied I am sure but without  giving too much away
this was not my most expensive show but it was my  most expensive single
ticket purchase. The venue was pretty unique so not grumbling and I know
having once chanced  it to Dublin without a ticket and almost failed to
get one I was not going  to do the trip without a ticket to a much smaller
opening show like this. Buying from a Swedish Bob fan however does have
added hidden value, a phone  call on arrival welcoming you to Sweden, a
phone call the next morning telling  you that the queue is forming so best 
get down there half an hour earlier than previously advised if you want a good 
spot!  This was my first trip to Sweden so having nothing better to do I 
thought I  had best hot foot it down to the venue to join the queue. Many 
books have been written about Bob and I probably have as big a shelf  full as
most but never read them because there is never anything of too much 
interest in them for me. Things about a black and white New York era long
gone and a Big Pink  House and some kid falling off a motor bike, right,
yeah!  Is the  saying not, "if you didn't, you were not trying hard
enough?". What would be useful however is a book on Bob Fan Culture! In
Sweden to join a queue means you get up early, before the head ache has 
gone, dash to the venue and get a ticket, a number. I was Number 10 so
coming from the UK probably quite appropriate. Only two further
requirements, return at 1.00pm to register again and  then return back at
5.00pm. Being dutiful and one of the worlds best at following instructions
without  question it was a pleasure returning at 1.00pm to say "here". You
will however have to use advanced Calculus to work out how from  having
ticket Number 10 there is about thirty plus people in the  place before
you on the rail, anyway as it happens I was nearly centre  stage with just
the one row in front so my full day queuing had paid off! No matter, for a
country that had a guy called Nobel who invents  dynamite only to issue a
world peace prize I guess it makes sense. Anyway the system was probably
the fairest I have ever come across but not  sure Bob would agree however
as a very attractive and sophisticated  looking lady was turned back from
trying to get forward and I think if  I had been stewarding I would have
exercised artistic licence on the part of the  artist on that one! I am
sure Bob would have liked her up front more than me or some of the 
others. It was a really beautiful day, that was until 5.00pm when the
pseudo  queuing stopped! From 5.00 to 6.30 it snowed, sitting relaxing all
day drinking coffee  was fine and the weather good but for proper queuing
we had snow, great! Of course being English I was told that I should have
brought my  umbrella! Going inside we were given a wrist band, not sure
what that was for but it  gave me something to do whilst standing inside
as like some contortionist I  wriggled out of it. Now the technical stuff
which is not my strong point so critics  please exercise mercy. Firstly,
due to the small stage, many thanks and great to see  Mr Stu Kimball
joining the band. At first I thought a guitar was missing but it was just
the size of the  stage, all three guitars were in fact together and facing
 Bob. So the first talking point solved, no change to band members. The
highlights of the set list will be clear without me telling you  but for
me it was (above face value) ticket paid for with I Believe In You  and
still Billy to come as a unique bonus on top. When he started to play
Billy you could just sense that the whole place  knew this was something
special and new! When he started with the words you could feel everyone
trying to  work it out, I was listening but not with a Bob song in mind as
I was  thinking cover version of something. It was only when the first few
people got it and some cheers broke out  I reverted to thinking Bob song
and twigged soon after that by picking up  on the odd word or two. Bet it
got a lot of people rushing home thinking "What did I do with Pat  Garrett
and Billy The Kid, I know I have a copy somewhere now where did I put  it,
will have to dig it out for a listen even if it means having to turn  the
whole place over to find it". Just goes to show there is no such thing as
a bad Bob Dylan album,  just those that you don't play very often and even
now many of his albums  still include an amazing amount of untapped gems
and rarities. Check out the set list just to see how many songs Bob played
harp on,  usually on more than one occasion and there were other moments
where you  could sense that he could have played or introduced even more
but it just  did not work out or fit in. Watching The River Flow was the
only number on which Bob played guitar and  what a guitar it was, he
stopped strumming at one stage, I think the effort  of both holding and
playing at the same time such a majestic instrument perhaps  proved too
much. Prior to the show starting a roadie had been checking out the
guitars  on the stage but I think he should have had a look at the violin
which Donnie  started with on Things Have Changed but quickly changed over
to  electric mandolin due to some technicality. Having now had Billy, if
Bob ever gives Donnie his big break by  putting Turkey Chase on the set
list best be careful to check that the  violin is actually plugged in
first ! It was good having true confirmation after attending the show that
the  ticket had not been over priced after all but worth every penny, I
guess Billy takes the public spot light and will be what this show is 
remembered by but I Believe In You was my song of the night, to hear that 
performed like that live, Brilliant.

Trevor Townson


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