Stockholm, Sweden

Ericsson Globe

June 26, 2019

[Krister Törneke], [Robert Blasiak], [Laurette Maillet], [Anders Tidström], [Tuulikki Borgman]

Review by Krister Törneke

The Globe arena may not be my favorite venue for listening to Bob Dylan live. 
Still it has been the place for most Dylan shows that I have attended through 
the years. 

This time my anticipations were modest, partly because I had seen the setlist, 
which has been more or less identical since last fall. Although I have learned 
that the arrangement and performance is far more important for my 
appreciation than the choice of songs, it is nice to have some surprises once 
in a while.

So Bob and his excellent band came on stage about 10 minutes after 
schedule and started off as expected with Things have changed. And as 
expected I was slightly disappointed. Having heard so many versions of this 
song, it is inevitable that some of them have been better than this one. 
This was the case with some of the following songs as well. However the 
sound was good, at least where we were sitting on row 24, and Bob's voice 
was clear. I have difficulties understanding those who complain about the 
way he uses his voice at the age of 78.

The following It ain't me babe was a nice exception to the feeling of 
"having heard better versions before". Bob's piano playing was more 
emphasized than I can remember from earlier, and it added to my 
experience. When Cry a while was replaced by Can't wait I didn't even 
notice. Somehow I consider them the same category and neither is my 

The show picked up and I began to feel more satisfied after the first seven 
or eight pieces. Tryin' to get to heaven, Scarlet town and Make you feel 
my love (with some beautiful harmonica solo) were all great performances.
I had been looking forward to Pay in Blood, which is my favorite from the 
Tempest album. But again I was disappointed with the arrangement, 
missing the heavy bass that I have appreciated on earlier versions.

The great surprise was Girl from the North Country. I had certainly been 
looking forward to Don't think twice, which was replaced at this point, 
but this was a far better treat and the definite highlight of the evening. 
The beautiful tune, great harmony and on top of that Bob's piano playing 
was fantastic. It was followed by good versions of Love sick, Thunder on 
the mountain, Soon after midnight and Gotta Serve somebody.

The band went off stage and we all asked for more, knowing that we 
could expect another two pieces. Of course they came back on and 
delivered a great encore. As I listened to Blowing in the wind my thoughts 
drifted away. Dylan has been associated with this song for so long, and it 
would be easy to consider it part of a distant history. But tragically the 
words are so relevant today. How many ears must one man have before 
he can hear people cry? Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows 
that too many people have died? … And how many young people will be 
deported to Kabul before our government stops committing this crime? 
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind…

Leaving the Globe arena I got on my bike and was back home within a few 
minutes, thankful to Bob and his band that they are still touring and giving 
us new experiences from the treasure that has been created over a period 
of some 60 years.


Review by Robert Blasiak

I didn't know what to expect at the Stockholm concert. The Rolling 
Thunder Revue documentary had just come out - would it earn a special 
nod in the setlist? It was his first concert in Stockholm since getting the 
Nobel Prize - would this come up? And it seems the next volume in the 
Bootleg series will focus on the Nashville years - so would this be on his 
mind and reflected in the setlist? The answers: no, no, and maybe? The 
highlight of the night was a lovely near-solo version of Girl from the North 
Country - the first in years - clear, warm and convincing. I heard an 
interview with David Bromberg in which he said something along the
lines of "No one can put a song across like Bob Dylan". I often think of 
that when I listen to the Sinatra covers and Triplicate - they ring true. 
And that same earnestness and connection was all through Girl from 
the North Country. That alone was worth the price of admission. 

I was miles from the stage, so can't say much about stage presence - 
basically, Bob's at the piano, and occasionally comes out to center stage 
at the end of songs - there's a little shimmying now and then, and he 
likes to wave the microphone stand around. Fun ambience with warm 
speakeasy lighting that kind of slows you down, like watching a black 
and white movie. But that relaxation is juxtaposed by a rapid fire setlist: 
no intermission, just a couple seconds between songs, 
one-after-the-other. It would be nice to have the song sink in a little 
more before jumping to the next, but even that creates an 
interesting dynamic, because the whole evening becomes almost 
like a single long bedtime story from Bob.

Other highlights from the night: Can't Wait - funky and fun, and clearly 
the band was having a good time with this. Thunder on the Mountain 
also with a nice drum solo that shook things up a bit. Otherwise, lots 
of the oldies have a very similar sound, feel, instrumentation, tempo, 
etc, so almost sound like different chapters of the same story (It Ain't 
Me Babe, Simple Twist of Fate, etc). Early Roman Kings is still a mystery 
to me - what is this song about?! I've seen it twice in concert now, and 
could understand next to nothing except the title (ah-hah, so this is 
Early Roman Kings!) But the band is great, so it's fun just for the energy, 
and it would feel like a defeat to look up song lyrics, so it's fine to leave 
this as a mystery. Gotta Serve Somebody - love the album version, and 
last night it sounded like maybe there were new lyrics, but then again,
it's a bit hard to tell. Maybe someone can decipher the bootleg someday. 
Scarlet Town intense and apocalyptic, great instrumentation - loved it. 
The only real stinker of the night (for me) was Like a Rolling Stone. Like 
so many of those early songs, Bob has reworked it so many times over 
the past 50 years. But while lots of the rearrangements add fun new 
flavors to the original, this never seems to have clicked with Like a Rolling 
Stone. Last night's version featured a switch to half-time right before the 
refrain, coupled with ascending nasally questioning phrasing "Now you 
doooon't… seem so prouuuuud…. " before going back to full tempo on 
the refrain. Then back and forth again and again for each verse. But
David Bromberg is kind of right. Because the first time he did this, I 
squirmed in my seat. The second time, I winced. But after a few more 
verses, I felt myself kind-of-sort-of coming around to this version. 

The concert closed with a great bluesy version of It Takes a Lot to Laugh, 
It Takes a Train to Cry. Another mysterious song that I've always liked a 
lot, and it really felt special to see this performed live. So Bob's final 
message to Stockholm? "Now the wintertime is coming…" Ouch! But of 
course he's right…


Review by Laurette Maillet

Stockholm.I go back to the commercial center and bump again into
Frederick, a fan from Sweden. We have a pleasant conversation.We go out
around 6 pm as the show will start at 7.30 pm.The crownd arrives mainly
from the metro station and this is a good thing for me.Some scalpers are
around but they are nice and polite with me. Rapidly a nice woman hands
me a ticket. She asks nothing. Just says she is happy to please me. Whoa!2
good people I don't even know...and they don't even know me.I enter the
huge arena. I want to be down on the floor. So I find my way.The stage is
large but all the instruments are now centered ; Bob's piano is center ,
behind on the right Donnie's instruments, behind Bob left stands Tonny,
then George's drums and left left Charlie.Weird. Unless you are on the
right side facing the stage you don't see Bob. Just a hat when he is
sitted and half his body when he stands behind the piano.The music starts
as George takes his stand then the others followed by Bob. For 
 what I see he is wearing a black hat. And this is all I can tell. I had
 to move far away at the end of the venue on the floor to find an empty
 seat.The sound is not the best at the beginning getting better after ....
 "Can't wait"...I can't believe my ears. Fantastic! Bobby is center stage.
 The Band is obviously enjoying a new song. Tonny is moving right and
 left.The public also enjoys. Behind me they clap in rhythm.Thank you
 Bobby!Then the same songs but I suddenly woke up and I know this is the
 reward for my .... Trials! :)"Make you feel my love" is great even though
 this is not my favourite one."Scarlet town" is again center stage with
 Bob standing and holding the mic.Then another surprise. " Girl from the
 north country" instead of "Don't think twice" but same style; just Bob on
 piano. Sweet melody.Also few lines changed on " Simple twist of fate", 
 a story about a new date! A complete changing of tempo on "The early
 Roman kings".And a surprising blank on "Gotta serve somebody" . Bobby
 missed a couple of words. Blank!A fantastic "Love sick" that should have
 been center stage.Not too much reaction from the public except
 LARS.Applause on Thunder for George.And a long time before all the public
 realized the show was over.A bow , hat in hand ....and Bob is gone.What a
 day.The lesson is ; when the dreams you dreamed don't come true do like
 the GPS....recalculate.


Review by Anders Tidström

Now 53 years since I first saw Dylan in concert. That was also in
Stockholm, on Bob´s first world wide tour. He´s actually in the same
good shape, considering several decades has passed by. I´ve seen Bob in
Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland and Canada through the years and
it´s always been a thrill, mostly something unexpected, version of song,
handling and choice of instrument, shape of voice, set list, costume and
manner. This night in Stockholm the expectation was though that things
would be mostly expected and thus not much space for great surprise. The
set lists of 20 songs, for example, has constantly been almost identical
for more than a year though Bob travelled Europe, Far East, Australia, USA
and more. And 19 of the songs appeared as expected. But obviously
Stockholm 26th of June was time to kick out good ol´ Don´t Think Twice
which has paraded number 14 on the set list since the 4th of October last
year. Suddenly and for some interesting reason Girl From The North Country
appeared on that position. A wonderful version with all focus on Bob
singing and playing the grand piano, just a slight background back up by
Tony and Donnie in the band. This song about Bob´s high-school girlfriend
Echo Helstrom. A Swedish-American, who passed away last year, now honored
on Swedish ground? For any reason but beautifully performed. Likely Like a
Rolling Stone and Blowing in The Wind also were performed in exceptionally
great slow and thoughtful versions. Much more could be said about the
concert but I prefer this brief selected report here. In all, two hours
very well spent by Bob as well as by the audience.

But next time in Stockholm Bob, avoid The Ericsson Globe! The acoustics
are terrible, bad circular echo phenomenon, etc. Stockholm Waterfront is
the ultimate arena for a Dylan concert - an intimate stage with a perfect
sound – already proved twice. Next time a third time?

Thanks Bob for your resolute and intense creativity that inspires. 

Anders Tidström


Review by Tuulikki Borgman

Regardless who he will frame his poetry, how well he sings or how
fantastic his band will support him, he can´t fool us. As Leonard Cohnen
pronounced it ” It´s coming from the feel that it aint exactly real or
it´s real but it ain’t exactly there”.

He came and sang to us, and we went to listening  unforced and in all the
Concert was better than before, can´t deny it. Still  we are his
supporting team and deserves  better in the matter of interaction.

It’s so sad.

Between the lines he destoys it all with a subtile message of a worn out
lover sick to saticfy his thousand headed mistress.

Why can’t anyone tell him?

*   He’s  better off at a seat with dr Phil to solve his problems?

Tuulikki Borgman


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