Glasgow, Scotland
Hall 4
June 23, 2004

[Brian Reid], [John Archer], [Toby Richards-Carpenter], [David Lyall], [Martin Hewitt], [Jon Henry]

Review by Brian Reid

The emphasis of the gig was definitely more rock than country or folk.
Some songs suffered from Live at Budokan style arrangements, notably Boots
of Spanish Leather, Forever Young and Don't Think Twice. There was an
almost twee pop song feel to the arrangements that made me a little
uncomfortable. Especially with Bob's propensity for high pitched
inflections at the end of each line.

The good stuff for me was all the "recent" songs. Cry a while, Honest With
me and Summer Days were splendid romps, fairly bristling with verve and a
good sense of fun.

Personally I'm fed up with Like A Rolling Stone and Watchtower as encores.
Though again Watchtower was a powerful finale, a surprise would be

The audience clapping along to Bob songs weirded me out. Ban the sale of
greatest hits albums.

On a negative note, a gang of touts from Manchester were on door duty
offering slips for tomorrow night's gig for up to two hundred pounds. I
hate those guys. brian


Review by John Archer

A magic evening of great Bob ­ beautifully conceived, from the opening
"Wicked Messenger" to the closing "All Along the Watchtower" - there must
be some way out of here.. A further encore would have spoilt the symmetry.
Sitting really close to the stage, with Bob straight ahead. Great band.
Bobıs voice sounding wild ­ even when he keeps to the lower registers you
can hear the higher melody in your head. Long Black Coat came over as a
pitch for a movie with sparse dialogue. Spanish Boots was spine tinglingly
brilliant, it must have written itself all those years ago. Every Grain of
Sand is this tourıs record of time passing for Dr Bob (honorary doctorate
in Music from St Andrews University today). Donıt Think Twice a wonderful
acoustic, waltzy version. By the end the band were ready to begin ­ but
then we have tomorrow night at Barrowlands.

Jack O Hearts


Review by Toby Richards-Carpenter

Another big city, another big arena and the house sold out: it was business as usual on the NET last 
night, both in terms of the venue and the performance. It was a show I sloped away from feeling 
fulfilled by a couple of personal highlights, but slightly bemused that the surreal heights of 
Tuesday's Newcastle show had drifted so far so fast.

Like the Cardiff and London shows before it, the magic was present in controlled doses at the first 
Glasgow show. Casting its shadow longest was an immense rendition of 'Trying To Get To Heaven', in 
which Bob captured a sense of dislocation and quiet despair through a searching, sympathetic 
performance. At times during the show Bob's voice opened up and yielded a broad, sweeping 
expressiveness, and 'Trying To Get To Heaven' benefited the most.

Curiously, 'Forever Young' also appeared as a showcase for Bob's vocal range, and he dived deeply 
into the choruses to sing for the full age spectrum packing out the SECC. I saw enough children to 
cancel out the old codgers, and somehow this seemed to add to the resonance of a charmingly sincere 
'The Times They Are A-Changin'', which was my second personal favourite of the night after 'Trying'.

This 'Times' flowed with greater purpose than I'd ever heard it in live performance previously, and 
its directness took me unawares. I may, in all honesty, have sighed when I heard the opening chords, 
but I was quickly stopped in my tracks by Bob's vocal commitment.

Attending Dylan concerts is such a rewarding pursuit because, even at their lowest level, there is 
always something meaningful that can be taken from them. Tonight's show was far from the lowest 
level, but for long periods it failed to click into top gear. For me, it was the versions of 'Trying' 
and 'Times' tonight that gave it meaning.

Bob showed his band off to marvellous effect tonight on long songs such as 'It's Alright, Ma (I'm 
Only Bleeding)' and Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again'. The memorable performances 
from Bob himself, though, were thin on the ground. Perhaps affected by the emotional outlay of the 
previous night's show, and indeed an afternoon collecting a degree in St. Andrews, he let his 
professionalism take over from his muse.

Which meant faithful versions were delivered of some wonderful songs, particularly 'Boots of Spanish 
Leather' and 'Every Grain Of Sand'. For a Glaswegian crowd starved of live Dylan of late, it was 
stirring stuff, and the seething bearpit atmosphere reflected the appreciation these songs generated. 
By his own lofty standards, though, it wasn't vintage Dylan.

So, it was an all-round decent performance with a couple of breathtaking highlights. No-one could 
reasonably ask for more, but that doesn't stop some of us hoping. Come on Bobby!


Review by David Lyall

Having missed only one Dylan Scottish concert since 1966 I went along to
the SECC on a miserable June evening filled with my usual hope and

Hope that I would hear a song or two I hadn't previously heard live in
concert and expecting to listen to some that I had already witnessed and
were already among my personal favourites.................

As is now the norm for me I was not to be disappointed as Dylan yet again
came up with the goods. I had been a little anxious as to how I would
react to him now playing keyboards as opposed to his usual stance centre
stage playing guitar.

The concert started briskly enough but both Dylan and the band only seemed
to get it together during an excellent Times They Are a Changin'....a pure
delight. Tryin' To Get To Heaven was his next masterpiece and by now the
band were red hot with Larry Campbell's pedal steel playing a pure delight
to listen to. This man is such a brilliant musician he brings every song
alive and seems to push the other members - including Bob to heights of
excellence previously unsurpassed....what a gem he is. Always a huge grin
on his face - surely the sign of one who knows that both he and the others
are enjoying themselves.

I'm not going to list each song played but the set continued at a fairly
blistering pace until my personal highlight of the evening.....Every Grain
of Sand. I hadn't heard this one live before but recognised it instantly
from Larry's introduction on - yes you've guessed it - pedal steel. Bob
Dylan sang each word as though right from the heart and every word could
be heard clearly by the sell out audience. Absolutely brilliant and worth
the admission price alone.

The encores began and the new arrangement of Don't Think Twice was not
only an excellent choice but was performed as though a brand new song.
Spellbinding !! Like A Rolling Stone followed and on a personal basis I
never tire of hearing this. It always takes my mind right back to the
sixties when I was so knocked out by its sheer forcefulness not to mention
word content.

Not long after the show was over with Bob and the boys taking the applause
centre stage as usual. Then the house lights went up and he disappeared
behind the stage to thunderous applause.....also as usual.

Reflecting upon the concert on my way home I just can't figure out how
Dylan - particularly at his age - manages to undertake such gruelling
concert tours and yet appear to come up with the goods night after night.
The answer my friends is that he surely enjoys playing to live audiences
and long may he continue to do this. Obviously he cannot do this without
help from his friends in the band - particularly Larry Campbell who surely
deserves a very special accolade of his own.

I always approach the end of every Dylan show with a degree of sadness -
fuelled by the thought that I may never see him again but within a short
time I find myself wondering when he'll be back - bringing with him a
fresh collection of songs - new arrangements and all.

Bob - thanks for the thirty eight years of sheer pleasure you've given me
- and as we say in Scotland - a very very heartfelt Haste Ye

David Lyall


Review by Martin Hewitt

I last saw Bob at Sheffield last year the show then certainly was not one
of his best !

Nevertheless I headed North hoping for something better.

Got into the arena found that our seats were well away from the stage and
over to the side, not the best place to be as we soon found out. When the
band came on Bob was stood behind his keyboards with his back to us !

But even with all this the sound was excellent and the band were  
brilliant. Bob`s vocals were a lot better that than I had expected.

Beautiful clear versions of Boots Of Spanish Leather, Every Grain of Sand, I
Don`t Believe You in fact what a great set. His voice is certainly suited
to these types of songs rather than pieces such as Cry A While.

Thankfully the "high pitched inflections" in his voice were only noticable
to me in a couple of the later songs.

I can only imagine what a great concert this would have if we had been
nearer the stage, but other than that a night of some wonderful fresh
versions of some classic Dylan songs not to mention some great harmonica

Just one thing next time please strap on a guitar !  


Review by Jon Henry

I was concerned beforehand about Bob's vocals but he sounded really great.
The band were tight as ever & new guitarist was excellent too.

The Wicked Messenger - Good opener.
The Times They Are A-Changin' - Solid but not spectacular.
Cry A While - Lively & getting crowd warmed up.
Tryin' To Get To Heaven - Nice version.
It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) - Really good brooding arrangement.
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again - Great. The Man In
The Long Black Coat - A regular at SECC. Pretty good Tweedle Dee & Tweedle
Dum - Both the band & the fans seem tired of this. Boots Of Spanish
Leather - Love this, but a lacklustre effort I Don't Believe You - A
surprise. Brilliant. Forever Young - Good. Honest With Me - Same comments
as 'Tweedle' Every Grain Of Sand - Tremendous ! Very sweetly sung. Summer
Days- Heading for same comments as 'Tweedle' until middle part saved it &
really ROCKED the house !
Don't Think Twice, It's All Right - Was expecting the usual encores but a
very pleasant surprise here. Great stuff. Like A Rolling Stone - Played so
often surely the guys would go through the motions here...? Not a bit of
it! A truly ROCKIN' classic. All Along The Watchtower - As above.


page by Bill Pagel

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