BIRMINGHAM 2000



BOB IN ABERDEEN FOUR DAYS EARLIER

SEPTEMBER 20, 2000



NEC, BIRMINGHAM,

ENGLAND



1. I AM THE MAN THOMAS @

2. THE TIMES THEY ARE A- CHANGIN' @

3. IT'S ALRIGHT MA @

4. ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS @

5. TANGLED UP IN BLUE @

6. SEARCHING FOR A SOLDIER'S GRAVE @

7. COUNTRY PIE

8. BALLAD OF A THIN MAN

9. DOWN IN THE FLOOD

10. TRYIN' TO GET TO HEAVEN

11. COLD IRONS BOUND

12. LEOPARD SKIN PILL BOX HAT

13. THINGS HAVE CHANGED

14. LIKE A ROLLING STONE

15. IT AIN'T ME BABE @

16. HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED

17. FOREVER YOUNG @

18. EVERYTHING IS BROKEN

19. BLOWIN' IN THE WIND @







Initially my wife and I had planned to skip
the shows in Birmingham and Aberdeen. But we
did go to both of them anyway, and we are glad
we did. By the time we arrived at the N.E.C.,
we found out at the box office, that only seating
tickets were available, way in the back (standing
was sold out long ago, because it was only a small
section in front of the stage at this one). The
scalpers outside wanted 50 Pounds for each standing
ticket. It was almost opening time and they had let
some standing ticket holders inside to a small area
next to the box office. I asked at the window, how
many standing tickets were sold, and found out that
three of those just went back on sale. So we bought
two for 46 Pounds and joined the small crowd just
mentioned, waiting for the “real door” to open.

Now, we had heard, that at other shows on the tour
security people had picked out some people out of
the waiting crowds outside, and had led them through
side doors to the very front, before the doors
opened; to ensure that Dylan and the band would not
always see the same faces. Well this time they chose
to do it another way, and two minutes after we had
purchased our tickets, we were walked in and ended up
front row center (I mean like “CENTER”).
One hour of chatting to our next neighbour from Spain,
and to a friendly security guard (as this was not
Newcastle), and we were almost as close to Dylan as
we were at Vicar Street a week before, but this time
with no one obstructing our view. And a memorable
view it was. The only downside with having the
best spots to watch this show was our position
exactly between the main speakers, which meant,
that Dylan’s voice in the mix was not so clearly
audible for us; but his guitar we could hear very
well through his Fender amps. So I am really looking
forward to hear a field recording of this show some time.

For again it was a fine setlist with four additions
to this tour. “ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS”
we had not seen since Gotha 1994. Bob was playing
his harp at the end, dancing and bending his knees.
“BALLAD OF A THIN MAN” and the new and
powerful version of “DOWN IN THE FLOOD”
were performed back to back, and Bob’s third
eighties-song for this tour, “EVERYTHING
IS BROKEN”, even had his first stage
appearance for this year, after appearing already
on the Glasgow cue sheet.

Two notable first repetitions for this tour were
the challenging opener “I AM THE MAN THOMAS”
and the magnificent show stopper,
“TRYIN’ TO GET TO HEAVEN”,
both of which he also performed at the second
Dublin show. Again simply beautiful.

For him who has ears to hear I would like to
add some observations about the order of the setlist
by quoting some lines of some songs in the order
he performed them. I know, some of them are
quoted out of context, and I don’t want to read
too much between the lines which is not there,
but I juxtapose them anyhow, in order to spotlight
what Bob Dylan actually said last night merely
twelve feet away from us, starting with his own
vocal spotlight on his risen saviour:
“They nailed me to the cross …
they laid me in the tomb …
in three days I rose …
I am the man …
look at these nail scars here in my hand …
the first one now will later be last …
not much is really sacred …
the day is getting dark …
the night comes in a-falling …
something is happening here …
if you go down in the flood,
it’s gonna be your fault …
I’m trying, trying to get to heaven
before they close the door …
people are crazy and times are strange …
I’m well dressed, waiting on the last train …
it ain’t me you looking for …
you are looking for …
someone who will die for you and more …
may you have a strong foundation …
may you always know the truth …
people bending broken rules …
everything is broken …
how many ears must one man have?”




SHEFFIELD 2000
BOB IN ABERDEEN FOUR DAYS EARLIER