Brussels, Belgium
Forest National
October 2, 2000

[Eddie Janssens], [Luis Quevedo], [René Voncken]

Review by Eddie Janssens

This Brussels show was my 10th Dylan concert (first time
in 1984). In the past all concerts Bob gave in Brussels were
very good (87, 89, 96 & 98).  And this night, once again,
would turn out to be a date to remember !
I was lucky to find myself standing in the second row, 
just in front of the man.

Duncan And Brady (acoustic)

Bob started off at 8.25 pm with a song most people didn't
recognize at all.  It wasn't my favorite opening song either, but
what the hell... the band did its work and Bob sang with a clear voice.

To Ramona (acoustic) (Larry on mandolin)

I was happy to hear this song for the first time.  I think it's a
Real classic.  You could understand every word Bob sang.

It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (acoustic)

First I was hoping that Bob would skip this one.  I heard it in 84,
90, 96 and May 2000.  Something different would have pleased me more, but
as the song went on, I realised it was, without any doubt, the best
version I had ever heard. It was really rocking!

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (acoustic)

Not really special.  Not better or worse than any other version.

Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

Although everyone heard it - more than once - before, it still is
My favorite Dylan song.
In my opinion it's Bob Dylan's most representative song.
So the only thing he can do is "keep on keeping on"  doing this

Searching For A Soldier's Grave (acoustic)

Just a great acoustic song.

Country Pie

The beginning of the electric part, which was surely the better
part of the show.  In the past, I always preferred the acoustic part, but
this time it was different.  The 'country pies' this band bakes are the
very best you can get...  So, I'll have another piece anytime !

Standing In The Doorway

Wow ! Magnificent version.  Bob sang as if he meant every word of
it. Heartbreaking!  And while 'standing in the doorway' Bob found a
new love : his electric guitar.  Just love those strange Bobsolo's

Tombstone Blues

This must be the highlight of the electric part.  Played real tight
And with a fantastic outro.  The band were enjoying themselves
perfectly. Nobody can match Bob in this kind of blues.

Tell Me That It Isn't True

Liked this one too.  Heartbreaking lyrics again.  And in that sense
related to 'Doorway'. Was Bob lovesick tonight ?

Cold Irons Bound

Spacey intro.  Not as good as he did it in Köln this year, but
still very nice.

Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat

More of that Dylan blues.  Sharp and tight as it should be.

Things Have Changed

A version that was a lot different than the Köln version in May (a
Bit slower).  Still this is the song of the year.
It doesn't get much airplay over here.  It's a pity !

Like A Rolling Stone

Always a crowdpleaser.  I've heard better versions before but I am
not complaining.

If Dogs Run Free (acoustic) (Larry on electric guitar)

Yes, another highlight of the show.  Not because it was the second
Live version ever.  I just loved it because it was sooooooooo jazzy - Jazz
is my second love.  I often wondered : Bob & jazz, do they match together
?  Well, the answer is YESSSSS ! If he had been born 50 years ago, Bob
would have been someone like the male version of Billie Holiday meet Louis
Armstrong, I'm sure. In 1991 Bob shouted to the crowd, after a long outro
: 'It's like a Coltrane ending out here'.  Can we conclude that Dylan is a
jazz Fan too ??

Seeing The Real You At Last

The intro sounded like it was played by the Rolling Stones
(70ties, sticky fingers).  Man, it was rocking and rolling!
Surely a highlight too.

I Shall Be Released (acoustic)

The crowd recognized this one and it was beautifully sung too.

Highway 61 Revisited

Going back electric.  These words are crossing my mind : energy,
power, explosion,  exciting !!

Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)

A great end to a great show.  Another date to remember in Brussels'
Bob history.

Keep well, all of you Bobcats !

Eddie Janssens


Review by Luis Quevedo

Bob Dylan has been giving strong performances in Brussels since, at least,
1995, the fist time I ever saw him live. Last night's was no exception.
The band sounded very tight, Bob was in top form and the crowd seemed to
enjoy every minute of the show, well almost. I don't recall seeing Foret
Nationale so full for a Dylan concert. It was really packed with people of
all ages (and eras) and you could unwillingly inhale smokes from all
varieties too.

As for the songs, It's Alright, Ma, had a very country flavour, quite
different from what I'd heard to this date. Searching For A Soldier's
Grave is just a beautiful and very suitable piece of music for a concert
that conjured up images of what a Hank Williams' concert probably looked
like, which could also apply the waltzy To Ramona. Country Pie was quite a
fun opener for the electric section of the concert, very joyful and
polished, but Standing In The Doorway was just too big to be matched. Bob
put on an amazing performance, articulating every word, accentuating every
meaningful syllable, grimacing every rough moment. His guitar solo was
untidy but tasteful, his Fender acting as a throwback from the 50's, but
his voice just too old to be that old (if you catch what I mean). Cold
Irons Bound has improved quite a lot since the last time I heard it in
Köln, the start-stop new arrangement flowing much freely, probably because
the drums don't seem to get so much in the way. Things Have Changed is a
winner and a welcome addition to live performances, but the surprise of
the night was obviously the inclusion of If Dogs Run Free, with some very
jazzy arrangements, just soooo cooooool, with Bob thoroughly enjoying the
new trick he managed to produce. It has to be one of the memorable moments
of the night, so out of place but yet so fresh (who knows, we may be
treated to things like Sign on the Window in the future_). For the rest,
the old numbers sounded rock solid, bluesy and very pleasing. I Shall Be
Released probably ranks with the most successful renditions of the song
from the NET, and with the band doing The Band's chorus too. On the weak
side, well, Tangled Up In Blue, which is just more of the same, pure
senseless repetition, just killing off the song. 

All in all a quite strong performance, very countryish, some remarkable
musicians, genuine solos by Sexton and Campbell, loose and
who-cares-about-solos solos by Dylan and, of course, Bob not thanking or
waving goodbye after the show, just facing the roaring audience, posing
like a defiant torero in the center of the arena (or should I say a rodeo
cowboy?), and probably asking for the next bull. 

Luis Q


Review by René Voncken

We arrived at Forest National (Voorst Nationaal) at early 7 o' clock in
the evening to pick up our reserved tickets. After a drink and a talk, we
entered the hall at a quarter to eight, found a good place near stage and
looked at the nearly empty seats. Around eight, the place started to fill
up with audience and at half past eight, the place was literally
stockpiled with people. After the concert, it took us more than 15 minutes
to get to the exit, just because of the enormous amount of people in the
relatively small venue. Exactly on time, Dylan was announced and the band
kicked into:

1) Duncan and Brady

One of my favourite songs performed by Dylan since I first heard it on
mp3. Dylan's voice seemed powerful and pretty solid. Interaction between
the backing vocals and Dylan was good, as was the guitarplay. Dylan
immediately started off with some nice little riffs, alternating with
Sexton and Campbell.

2) To Ramona

Dylan's voice deteriorated during this song and after the first couple of
verses, Dylan started to almost shout the lyrics, making it sound more
like a protestsong than a lovesong. To my humble opinion, a pretty bad
version altogether.

3) It's alright ma (I'm only bleeding)

To my great relief, Dylan refound his solid voice and played a wonderful
version of this song. Much better than last time I heard him play it in
Köln. In Köln, the song lacked a climax and yesterday's version was just

4) Don't think twice, it's alright

Good one, well played, huge crowd pleaser. I was hoping for a less-played
song, but you can't have all in one night!

5) Tangled up in blue

Before the show, I was actually thinking about taking a sanitary pitstop
during this way too much-played song, but from the first second on, the
version was great. For the first time in the last shows I've heard him
play it, I was actually glad he did! He handled the lyrics (especially the
chorus!) perfectly, with strong guitarplay by everyone.

6) Searching for a soldier's grave

Absolutely great. Wonderful. Outstanding.

7) Country pie

Good rocking version. Like this song very much. Audience danced wildly.

8) Standing in the doorway

Well, needless to say it was great; what a superb song! I borrowed
binoculars from the man next to me and Dylan really looked funny singing
this song, grimacing all the time, looking extremely serious, stern and
grim. Especially with the line "even if the flesh falls of my face", he
frowned A LOT, then shaked his head, looked at the audience and with an
appreciative smile, sang "I know there will be someone to care".
Highlight, definitely.

9) Tombstone blues

Another marvellous version of a great song. I've heard him play it quite
some times before, but it was always sung indecipherably and noisy. This
time it was clear, powerful and strong, with great guitarplay, lots of
good Dylan-dancing, holding his guitar like a true guitar-god.

10) Tell me that it isn't true

I didn't expect this one, nice surprise and well-played!

11) Cold irons bound

I was a bit disappointed with this song, heard it too often. I would have
preferred "Million miles", but still a nice version.

12) Leopard-skin Pill-box hat

Good strong version, quick band introduction and away they were. Dylan
seemed to shake his arms and legs to loosen up stiffened muscles. Dylan
and the band were very funny during the huge applause, standing still in a
row like stone sculptures, looking sternly at the crowd without a single
move, Bob with one hand on his hip.


13) Things have changed

Good version, though a little sloppy and careless at some points.

14) Like a rolling stone

Again very good, crowd backed up during chorus.

15) If dogs run free

Amazing, so much different from the other songs in style. Sublimely tender
and well judged vocals and music.

16) Seeing the real you at last

Great song, with just the right portion of anger.

17) I shall be released

Another true highlight, perfectly sung and played with great balance
between the voices of Bob and the band.

18) Highway 61

It rocked!! It truly rocked!

19) Blowin' in the wind

Great version, good set-closer.

After this, Dylan and band acted as described after Leopard-skin Pill-box
Hat. After they were gone, a devasting aplause broke loose, the
stagelights went on again and Bob and co. did their "statue-thing" for a
third and last time.

Altogether a good and solid performance. Too bad he didn't play his harp,

René Voncken


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