MAY 8, 2002
TELEWEST ARENA, NEWCASTLE,
1. WAIT FOR THE LIGHT TO SHINE @
2. SONG TO WOODY @
3. IT'S ALRIGHT, MA (I'M ONLY BLEEDING) @
4. LOVE MINUS ZERO/NO LIMIT @
5. SOLID ROCK
6. JUST LIKE A WOMAN
7. SUBTERRANEAN HOMESICK BLUES
8. CRY A WHILE
9. MR. TAMBOURINE MAN @
10. A HARD RAIN'S A-GONNA FALL @
11. TANGLED UP IN BLUE @
12. STANDING IN THE DOORWAY
13. SUMMER DAYS
14. COLD IRONS BOUND
15. LEOPARD-SKIN PILL-BOX HAT
16. LOVE SICK
17. LIKE A ROLLING STONE
18. IF DOGS RUN FREE @
19. HONEST WITH ME
20. BLOWIN' IN THE WIND @
21. HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED
Newcastle revisited. For the second time my wife
and I saw a Bob Dylan concert at the Telewest Arena
(we had been there on 19/09/00 as well). Our seats
in the very center of the 11th row provided a good
view and an excellent sound for us. The five craftsmen
on stage again showed us what kind of wonderful
art they are able to create with their instruments.
There are simply no bad Bob Dylan concerts these days.
I think the main reason why some of us, who go to
several shows, do not enjoy all the songs the same
way the majority of the audience does, is that we
are spoiled, have so many points of reference,
and let our expectations get in the way. ["Oh, I
wish he would have played ... in this spot." Oh,
not ... again." "Well, but the version of ...
in ... was better than this."] It takes a concious
effort to not be fooled by this wrong approach to
Bob's performing art, and sometimes we do not succeed.
But Bob Dylan does not perform a show to please our
high expectations. All shows however are worth seeing,
and often he does pull out surprises, and plays
simply great versions of some of your favorite songs.
That is why I spend my vacation once more going to
several shows. But that is also why I for my part
focus on personal highlights in my reviews.
Last night there were of course some songs I enjoyed
more than other songs, but that does not give me the
right to knock those other songs, for they still are
multiple times preferable to anything else performed
by any other band or artist out there.
My 36th Bob date started with my 2nd
"WAIT FOR THE LIGHT TO SHINE", followed by my 2nd
"Song To Woody", which was performed for the first
time this year. Not a bad start at all. A little
later I saw my 6th "Love Minus Zero", delivered most
beautifully after starting with a nice harp solo.
Next came the 14th "SOLID ROCK" on this tour, a song
I hoped to see once during these British shows,
and which I got to see already twice now in consecutive
shows. With four concerts to go to, chances are I will
see it again. Observing Bob singing these lyrics
once more (as I did in Cardiff), I really do get the
impression, he intents to communicate to the audience,
that he is serious about the meaning of these words.
A definite high point of the evening for me.
A harp solo by Bob always is nice to watch, and
the three he did, when starting "Just Like A Woman",
"Tambourine Man", and "Blowing", would have been
even more enjoyable if some people would not have
tried to sing along with the melody. But no more
about strange audience behaviour. On stage the band
played my 3rd "S.H.B" (you don't need a weatherman
to know which way the wind blows), which was
immensely enjoyable. Also I got to hear my 4th
"HARD RAIN", a lyrical feast in every show it
appears in these days.
The finest peak of the Newcastle show was song
number twelve, which was a superb version of
"STANDING IN THE DOORWAY". It was a bit surprising
to hear it again in Newcastle, as he performed it
on that very stage before in September 2000, which
had been the first appearance of this gem in Europe.
And, to quote my review from back then, this song
again "by itself was worth the price of admission".
The guitar playing by Bob on this song last night
was really beautiful.
Talking about guitars, "Summer Days" was next,
Charlie played awesome on this. The instrumental
part between "you been teasing me" and "standing
by God's river", usually two or three minutes long,
is the most enjoyable of all the predictable parts
of these shows for me. It simply gets to me every time.
The guitars I liked a lot also during "Love Sick",
which Bob even ended with a short guitar solo.
The only song, I never had seen before, was
"If Dogs Run Free", which was quite beautiful
(it had no purple lighting however like the
other songs in that spot). During "Honest With Me"
I really noticed and enjoyed the incredible drumming
of Jim Keltner and the fantastic guitar playing
by Larry Campbell. Some mighty fine musicians
Bob's got with him on stage, rolling out all those
musical carpets for his various vocal gymnastics.
And they all do know how to rock hard, as the curtain
closer, "Highway 61" demonstrated once again.
14 song changes to Cardiff, 6 new songs for the
British tour; 53 songs in 4 shows, no reason to
complain. The Manchester Evening News Arena is next,
in a little over three hours, but nobody in that arena
will be able to predict what kind of news they will
deliver this evening in Manchester. I am hoping for
gems like "Hallelujah I'm ready to go" or "Mississippi",
just to name two on my wish list. But I will take
anything I get. It is Bob's show after all, isn't it?