Other Horsens reviews
Three concerts, Two Dogs and the One and only Horsens 21.05.2000 (c) by Karl Erik Andersen Tuesday, and finally time enough with Flemming's PC after Sunday's event in Horsens. Yes, I got a ticket, in the most surprising way, to this Bob Dylan show for 450 people. It all started on a Thursday in March... We had received word about a date for the Oslo concert, and in the process of looking for ways to get a ticket, I also was forwarded a list of the European spring dates. Therein was one hell of a surprise, inasmuch as it said May 21 NYA Horsens, Denmark. I posted this list on my site and to rec.music.dylan, the USENET newsgroup. This certainly came as a surprise for the staff at Horsens Ny Teater, a theater in a Danish town previously known mostly for its State Prison which contains a lot of motorcycle Banditos. When the phones at the theatre started ringing, all they would offer was a standard "no comment" to every question, real or hypothetical or what's not, that touched upon Bob Dylan. Although they had made a bid for the star to stop by if possible, the final confirmation had not yet reached them, or if it had, they believed they would be able to time the announcement so that all arrangements for tickets and such would be in place first. But after a weekend, we could read at the HNT website that tickets for 250 seats would be available on April 1 to those willing to stand in line for them. A further 100 tickets would be sold to journalists, and the remaining 100 tickets were for the sponsors, without whose millions there would not have been a theater, and without whom these tickets would have cost two or three times more. As it was, the price was certainly noteworthy anyway: DKK 995, or around $110. Since I wanted the readers of Expecting Rain to have a chance to know what was going on, I emailed the theater, suggesting they add some information in English about the concert. I submitted my translation of their Dylan page and as they had the exciting webcam on their page which showed the stage "right now", I said why not move the webcam outside to show the ticket line which was bound to form long before April 1. I did add that I considered myself a relevant web journalist in case tickets would be available to such species. And I did not refuse when Foggy offered to put in a good word for me. (Thanks, Dan!) After this nothing more happened until early in the week preceding April 1. A report showed up on Yahoo, saying the first Dylan fans had settled outside the Horsens Ny Teater, some five or six days before tickets were to go on sale. Each person would ba able to buy no more than two tickets, meaning there would be little hope for those at number 126 and further back in the line. The last two days and nights we could watch the ticket queue on the webcam, and it clearly showed that a good time was had by all, not only due to the friendly attitude that all Dylan fans are known for, but also because the Teater and the nearby shops chipped in, making the queue thing an event in itself.
F FWD to April 1, 2000 (April Fools' Day) Well, I had forgotten about my very unrealistic ticket request and was enjoying the webcam and the Danish newspaper reports about the happening in the Horsens Teater square. Then, late in the evening on the Saturday the tickets were finally sold, a message appeared in my inbox. It was from Flemming Madsen, telling me both he and other fans in the line had been talking about Expecting Rain and discussing the possiblity of letting me have one of the tickets they were going to get, as a sign of appreciation for Expecting Rain. Then the Director of the Teater, Frank Panduro, came by, saying he was considering offering one free ticket to a candidate chosen by the fans in line. - Convergence! They agreed I would be the lucky bastard, and so I was informed by Flemming that night that he had a ticket for me safely safeguarded in a safe. And for free, too! You say you'd rather hear how Bob played the songs at the concert? I'm afraid I won't be saying much about that, but if you add together my piece and all the other wonderful reports, I think you'll get the picture in total. Although I soon noticed that Flemmings inflammatory message was composed and sent on April 1, he reassured me that this had no impact on the validity of the information and promises contained therein. So, I started making my plans. I have a job, and it appeared I would be able to go to a relevant conference in Copenhagen on May 25, just a few days after the Horsens concert. I had also planned to wing on to another conference in Tallin, Estonia later in the week. In short, I could go to work, I could take a few vacation days; I would be able to visit my grandchildren (Yes, I have them, too) and I could fit in some Bob Dylan Live. After all, that is what this story was supposed to be about. I ordered a couple of tickets for the Oslo show, and with the help of Norwegian and Swedish Dylanologists (Thanks Steinar and Jörgen) I had tickets for Göteborg.
F FWD to Göteborg, Sweden May 14, 2000 Inevitably, when I start out in great detail, the degree of detail fails a bit into the story... We went to Göteborg, me and my daughter Ellisiv, who brought her husband and two litle girls. We spent the day at Liseberg amusement park, and in the evening Ellisiv and I went to the concert at Scandinavium. The music was fine, the lighting added to the show, and Bob played well. When the electric set began, people from the back magically appeared on all sides and up in front of the stage, making it necessary for the seated ones to stand up, and later even to stand up on their chairs to see. In the 22nd row we could see no more, so I stood and I watched, and I made a trip up front too, from which I eventually returned. Ellisiv, who wasn't feeling 100%, had to just listen to the show from then on, though. I have mixed feelings about this stage rush business. While I don't feel like doing it myself, and while I believe people should be able to see the show from the seats they have paid for, I also must admit that the presence of happy people who are into the music, swaying and dancing close to Bob and the band up there, does make for better music. In this respect I agree with Johnny B in his Horsens review. But in Horsens there was hardly any room to rush anyway.
In the centre of Göteborg you always have two or three McDonalds restaurants in sight at the same time.
F FWD to Oslo Spektrum, May 19, 2000 After spending May 17, the Norwegian Constitution Day, a day for schoolchildren's parades, marching bands, hot dogs and soda, with my grandchildren in Sarpsborg (actually the kindergarten parade was the day before), I went up to Oslo and stayed with my brother's, also putting in a working day, paying a visit to my colleagues at the Norwegian Music Collection at the National Library in Oslo. Looking for Dylan compositions in their database, we found a single with a Norwegian cover of Mr. Tambourine Man from 1972 by Margrethe Thoresen (Tamburinegjøgler / Protesten i min sang; TN 620). I met up with a former colleague, Inger Karin, we ate and stopped by the Two Dogs pub (mentioned later) before entering Oslo Spektrum. About 6000 seats, some behind and to the side of the stage not sold. Seats on the floor and up the hill to the sides and back. Our seats were perfect for me, since they were a bit up the hill, but still quite close. Not close compared to Horsens, but through my binoculars I had a good view of Bob's expressions. There is a difference between a smile and baring your teeth, and what I saw, was a few glimpses of teeth. Smiles or no smiles, Bob was doing an excellent job, opening with a surprising "I've Been On The Job Too Long" song, later identified as "Duncan And Brady". From what little research I have been able to do, Bob Dylan laid down a recording of this song in June 1992 (Heylin: Bob Dylan; A Life In Stolen Moments; Day by Day: 1941-1995, page 351), but did he ever perform it live? Tell me if you know! No Beat About A Bush: The Great Music Experience for me at Oslo Spektrum was "Cold Irons Bound", a strong stop-start arrangement unlike any I have heard of this song (but I haven't heard them all, mind you).
F FWD to Two Dogs, Oslo May 20, 2000 Steinar Daler, of the ad hoc informal Norwegian Dylanologist society, had asked me if I would be at the 4th Dylan meeting at Two Dogs Pub in Oslo. When I said I wanted to come, he asked me if I would give a short talk around Expecting Rain and the work surrounding it. Sure I wrote, and that is why I cased out the joint the evening before (and even the week before, when I was in Oslo, too). (Don't I just love it when I can write so long solong solong? It can be very easily done, because I will put this on my site, where noone needs to be bothered and no editor can cut me down. Of course, I hope it will be of interest to some, but feel free to leave if this is not what you wanted.) I met up at Two Dogs with Inger Karin and her boyfriend Rolf, former colleague Håvard, Magne from the Norwegian Music Collection at the National Library, and there were three or four faces I could recall, too: Magne K, Geir O, Dag and Jörgen from Sweden. And many more I got to meet, it was fun shaking hands with people who knew my site almost as well as I do myself. I'm not very good at putting faces to names, so please forgive if I need a reminder the next time we meet! There was an hour of intensive but unsuccessful video hookup attempts, so I did not come on until after nine. There were maybe thirty or more people in the room, and I gave a talk about the beginnings of Expecting Rain, the fun of doing it, the favourite sections of the site, and about my future plans. You can read some of the same stuff at my Real homepage and in Isis (Issue 82?). I had a nice response from the listeners and felt quite good afterwards. The meeting was not over, we had a Dylan Quiz with 20 multiple choice questions made by Dag. There was a second round for the six people with the most right answers, and for the final round two people, a Norwegian and a Swede were sat back to back, while questions rained upon them with hardly enough time to write down the answers. Victory finally went to Sweden, represented by Danne Lindström. (Please forgive and correct any mistakes here, I had to leave to catch the last subway.) I expect the quiz and a picture report will appear on Geir or Dag's site soon, just as last year. There was music in the ear, too, it sounded quite like the preceding night's concert. After a few videos and more beerbuying, the live attractions came on. Two solo acoustic singers and an electric band calling themselves the Joker Band. They made the evening a real live event and gave us good performances including the year 2000 Dylan song "Things Have Changed".
F FWD to Horsens, Denmark, May 21, 2000.
Waiting for Bob (Click for 368 K image) Got up early next morning, flew in to Kastrup, Copenhagen and sat me on a train to Horsens. At the station I was met by Flemming's two sons holding up a sign with my name. They drove me to the farm Højballegaard, where there was a preconcert party for the people who had been on the ticket line. I met many people whose names I had only seen on my screen before, and some whose work I had also seen in print. Even some Norwegians: Johnny Borgan, Håvard Rem, Kim Larsen, and it was very nice to see them.
Me and Johnny Borgan - Håvard Rem and me. I met the hosts, Pia and Jørn, and Ian the man who had the special "I was number x in line at Horsens T-shirts made. Flemming who had my ticket, was Number Nine, so I got me some with that number. - Bound to become an item, don't you agree? Nice many hundred year old farm, special attraction was a huge tree named Yggdrasil that had been carved into a sculpture of great power. See pictures at their web page. The Horsens concert was a sponsored event, although the fans were definitely winners throughout. All the same, the Dylan gourmet lunch at the hotel was a bit over the top. But the food was good,and the company too. I'm glad they did not do the menu as a Minnesota hometown special, that would have to include some Scandinavian-American food, I imagine. We took a walk through the town over to the Teater about an hour before the show was to start. In the square, excitement was in the air, there were national TV teams, the local people were looking on, and several Danish showbiz personalities were in evidence, I was told. To me, we all looked the same, humans exited because we were going to hear Bob Dylan up close and personal. A bit more about my host, Flemming. Although I am sitting at his computer in his little two-hundred-year-old under reconstruction house enjoying his hospitality while he is at work, it is without undue pressure I can say that he is the top! A hard core Dylan fan, very hospitable, and he is running a 70-child kindergarten in half of his daytime job. They have horses, pigs, and chickens. In fact, Flemming became a media celebrity himself when he participated in a call-in Dylan phone quiz on national Danish Radio and won, just a day before the concert. The prize: Two tickets for the Royal Box in the Horsens Ny Teater at the Dylan concert, plus a free hotel room, almost like a Royal suite, with a huge bathroom. So his two sons got to sit in the Royal Box up in the balcony, and his girlfriend Tine had a seat around all the celebrities. After the concert Flemming was among those interviewed on TV. No "Judas!" there!
Dennis Cleary of Dylanbase and me. Our seats were in Row 3, which actually was the second row, because they had to remove the first row to make room for technical installations. The soundboard took away further seats in the back middle. So in total there were 450 seats. Entering the the Teater we were frisked, and I was happy that my camera was back in my hotel room. Although my mobile phone was safely switched off, I had to deposit it at the wardrobe. Then on in, and I could take in the place where it was going to happen. It's been said many times, but the Teater is small. Yes. The most seats per row is 18, there are 15 main rows, then 10 more a bit higher up in the back, and two balconies along the back wall with 75 and 93 seats. Even here, some seats had been removed for technical reasons. They had all 250 fans in the front, the 100 journalists had been given the end seats at each row, and the 100 sponsor seats were in the back and in the balconies.
Map of the Horsens Ny Teater.
Row #1 was not there and the soundboard took away seats from the 16th row and further back. (Flemming & I had the circled seats). So here I stood, in the middle of the second row of a historical Dylan concert, and Bob would soon be singing about 6 meters from me.
F FWD Or Cut to the Chase
My free ticket to see Bob Dylan in Horsens Bob and the band came on at about 2015, he wore his long black coat, black and white shoes and a tie with red in it. We gave them a standing ovation when they started the first song, which was "Hallelujah, I'm Ready To Go", the Stanley Brothers song also done in several US concerts this winter. Zzzzzfffffffftt...... mprrrrrr...... ... Just as white noise contains all the music you've ever heard, just as a sculptor only needs to find the sculpture that's already inside the block of marble, everything that's been said about every Bob Dylan concert before is true, you need only dip your hand in the stream and gather the words. All the words can be used again (A Norwegian newspaper is doing an advertising campaign right now where they list the letters of the alphabet and say here you are, this is what we serve you every day, but it's all in the way we put them together.) It was Bob, it was Larry who kept a watchful eye on Bob to get his clues, Bob who just had to turn his head in the direction of drummer David Kemper when the song weas about to end, or look benignly at Charlie Sexton to allow a guitar solo, wish there would be many more, it was Bob on his feet with one leg dangling free, even once retreating to the drum platform putting his back foot against it for support while bending the strings in a new way, and did you ever see the rugs that Bob's people lay on the stage? And did you ever see them roll out the rug trolley with the name "Bob's Marley" on it? And we got to see every box of equipment rolled out through the vestibule of the Teater after the concert since that was the best way And we all kept looking for Bob's smile, but what was there to smile about? Bob was busy doing his job, and he did it well. It became evident from the songs that he and his musical director Tony Garnier had pondered the uniqueness of the event - no smaller Dylan concert has been played since Rolling Thunder a quarter century ago - and wanted it to influence the setlist. Compared to Göteborg and Oslo there were 12 songs that were not on those lists. The cue sheet was special in another respect; no alternatives were listed, and it had only seven acoustic, five electric and four encores listed, the ending being up to Bob's fancy. Here are the cue sheet titles for those who like to read and analyze: hallelujah, back pages, masters, tomorrow is a long time, hard rain, tangled, hattie carroll serve somebody, big girl, watchtower, tryin' to get to heaven, to be alone with you lovesick, rolling stone, forever young, not fade away It was a memorable and milestone concert, but it was not the perfect 100% sublime never-to-be-topped-again performance either. On a couple of occasions there were rhythms that came out of step and had to be regathered But the voice! The voice was great! And the ways of the voice matter, they do. Bob was high and low, slightly ahead or slightly behind, but always in time, his own so sweet time. The feeling came through, we knew what he meant, there were trains of thought running through our collective brains just like the ones set off by the little cookie that Proust ate but which I never read. And/Or, Just let me get another beer, the Danish beer is not bad, Flemming's house will be a Dylanist's heaven, just look at the rack to my right the pictures on the wall and the boxes still unopened. - C.P., I passed my copy of your book on to Flemming, what's a guy to do, his TV is in for repairs his house in disrepair at least for a while, at least he can read about the visions of Bobdylan until the TV is back. Can we pleease get back to the concert. In Horsens, Denmark, 450 people gathered to hear Bob Dylan sing. Why was that so special? - No answer, my friend. But it was special.
Frank Panduro, director of Horsens Ny Teater, talking to Flemming and Tina They say the event's entertainment slot newsworthiness was slighly defused in the following day's media because Lars von Trier and Bjørk won the Cannes Gold Palm, let them have it, they deserve it. But a hundred years from now? Let's go and see. I'll meet you there.
Flemming reading the Horsens reviews