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Bob Dylan 2001.07.13 in Stirling



From: "Michael Gibb" MGibbie@bobdylan.fslife.co.uk
To: webmaster@expectingrain.com
Subject: stirling review. bob dylan
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 02:28:05 +0100

what a bloody gig.

he got better and better.

tho he had a face like a slapped arese all night.

he seems to have fallen out with larry campbell and i think hes
not got long left in bobs band.

there was a divide. garnier, sexton and kemper agaisnts
cammpbell who was left on his own.

bob was superb this evening.

a solo on just like a woman was very good.

superb infact.

the bands own soundcheck was interesting though. i heard born in
time. then bob showed up for a few numbers.

this is where it got good.

bob showed up around 5:30 pm outside the venue and just mingled
with the crowd. i thought it was great however i completely
missed him at first. he wa standing behind me and i walked back
to the queue. then i walked back and bob was approaching the
stairs to the castle. i was a few feet away and everyone shouted
and he looked behind. he looked healthy. dreesed in black coat,
black leather panbts and a black cowboy hat.

he drifting up the stairs with his bozos.

he did a mini soundchyeck and then knicked off again.

meanwhile we're all waiting to get in the venue.

when we got in me and me dad went staruight to the front. got
cosy and waited until at least 8:20pm or something before we
actually saw bob.

its my 2nd show and possibly the bets ive saw him. newcastle
alst yera was a highlight but this was  constanmt. he nebver
smiled much all night, he seemed tense, he seemed to go through
thye motions. often stopping playing guitar completetly until he
found his way.

his guitar work was however splendid. there was some badn
tentions however. it has been noted at previous concerts. he
scowled at least once toward garnier and charlie. but seemed to
ignore old larry completelely.

larry looked distant but lightened up during the band intro
because we all screamed for him.

i think larry will be leaving the band.

anyways the performance iin some ways was transcendant.

his phrazing and singin was good. the vocals were clear, however
i was standing 6 rows from the front very close to bob. his
oscar up on his amp. i dont think larry or charlie got a solo
all night and from where i was their guitar volumes were low.
bob took all the solos this night. he plyed most of them well.
most of them fantastic and most just for the sake of it. he did
show however that his slo work has improved and he knows a few
scales. but he played loud turning up his amp and stopping charlie
from letting loose. i never noticed a single solo from charlie
unitl a bit in watchtower. its a shame. so bob did all the
soloing.

ok in order:

1.  Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie (acoustic)

pretty good runthrough, bob looked like thunder but.

2.  To Ramona (acoustic) (Larry on mandolin and Bob on harp)

bob and the band started this one hatily and before larry had a
chance to strap on the madolin or whatever it is. a great
delicate harp solo. we got a lot of harp fomr bob tponight. he
often looked as if he didnt know wot to do and he'd either play
a god, greta or average solo. or he'd walk off and get a harp or
he'd just stand and not play for a few seconds.

3.  Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic) pretty good i cant remeber
much. theres a new arrangement i heard the same on ashville.

4.  Maggie's Farm (Bob on harp)

very good a nice bob solo pretty gopod.

5.  Tell Me That It Isn't True (Larry on pedal steel)

a nice addition bob played the riff form the album himself which
was special and i think he made up a vers eon this im not sure.

6.  Just Like A Woman (Larry on pedal steel)

bloody climax. great solo, great singing great version. he
really did this justice.

7.  Gotta Serve Somebody (Bob on harp)

a nice suprise, a nice made up verse a greta solo. a few smiles
and nobbled form the nees.

8.  I Shall Be Released (acoustic) 

great i love the harmonies.

9.  Visions Of Johanna (acoustic) 

another dream come true sang well with hinting at the rain.
conmsidering we got drenched.

10.  Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (acoustic) (Bob on harp)

a very quiet version. the guiars were low except bobs. sang very
well and sweet, a great crowd pleaser.

11.  Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again (Larry
on acoustic guitar)

pretty good again.

12.  Not Dark Yet

absoloutely amazing a geray version nice guitar work form
charlie, nice effects. bob nailed it. although becauses its a
toom song there needs to be a bit more atmostphere. 

13. Drifter's Escape (Bob on harp)

a great rendition rocked the house./ but im never keen on it.
its too much like maggies farm and wicked messenger adnm so
forth.

14.  Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (Larry on slide guiter)

actually pretty good. got the crowd singing.

(1st encore) 

15.  Things Have Changed

approached by bob in a typical bob way. he used ot care but
things have chnaged he nailed it.

16.  Like A Rolling Stone

great agiain. but its resorted to a waltz. 

17.  Girl Of The North Country (acoustic) 

great so good. perfect atmosphere crowd loved it. bob sang it great. 

18.  All Along The Watchtower (Larry on steel guitar) 

i love this new version. repetition of the last line is great. i
headr a bit of charlies nice guitar work. i love the little
effects he brings out with his effects pad and so on.

19.  Knockin' On Heaven's Door
(acoustic) (Charlie on electric guitar)

 i love the enw version in the key of E and very well done. love
 the harmonies a pleasant rendition.

20.  Highway 61 Revisited as normal. but swell. 

21.  Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic) 

absoloutely
fantastic. well sung great harmonies.

(2nd encore) 

22.  Cat's In The Well

and of course good night my love may the lord have mercy on us
all.

wot a gig. up and down but superb anyway.

bob was concentrated and looked ill at ease. his quitar
technician was playing tricks all night before bob came on he's
a funny guy.

i feel it for larry they need to get this abdn fall out forted.


it got better my sister caused a traffic jam by driving down a
one way road as she explored stirling while we stood at the
venue. she stopped a large white limo at 7:30 from getting into
the no access raod at the back of the castle. later to tell us i
nearly killed bob "im sure it was him" she said.

well a weird night for me. i wonder who'll give a more round
view of the whole thing.

Thanks Trev Gibb writing at this moment from aviemore scotland
soon to return back to newcastle at 8:30 this morning.

thanks


Newsgroups: rec.music.dylan Subject: Stirling Review From: PeterRice peterrice@aol.com Date: 14 Jul 2001 13:13:17 GMT Bob Dylan - Stirling Castle 13th July 2001. We last had Bob and the boys in Scotland less than a year ago. This was an outdoor show for 7000 people in the Car Park of Stirling Castle. We've had cold and rain for most of the last two weeks, so there were lots of Hard Rain references in the build up (no he didn't play it) but it was dry for the show and started bucketing down right at the end. How does he do it ? No support act, good clear sound. Different stage set up from last year. Charlie Sexton on Bob's right, Larry Campbell on the left, David Kemper set up close to Charlie, Tony Garnier lurking behind Bob. Start up with Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie. Followed by To Ramona and Tambourine Man. Kind of a slow start. On Ramona, Dylan's vocal just didn't make it. I've been listening to this song a lot recently, mostly the great 1965 Hollywood Bowl version, but tonight, he just didn't sound engaged in the song, until he played a lovely harmonica at the end. Tambourine Man also sounded like a bit of a throwaway with some fumbled lyrics. I think we got three "windy beaches" in the Smoke Rings verse. It was all feeling a bit flat, but took off into the first electric set. You might think you've heard Maggie's Farm enough, but this was a fine version, much of which was down to how well this band plays blues. Dylan started to get his phrasing back. Then a real treat, Tell Me That It Isn't True. The way Bob sang "All of these awful things that I have heard, I don't want to believe them, All I want is your word." was just great. I'd always though this was such a funny old-timey phrase. Then Just Like A Woman, sung beautifully, as it was in Glasgow a few months before. Dylan played lead guitar lines right through the verses along with his vocal. Fine stuff. Gotta Serve Somebody next, again the band hit a good groove and Bob improvised lyrics. Usual themes of betrayal and infidelity, rhymed "king sized bed" with "You may look like the living dead." Back to the acoustics next. I Shall be Released. Larry and Charlie sang fine harmonies on this. Bob sang "they tell me" rather than "they say" I think. Seemed to change the sense of the song a bit, made the singer sound a bit more sceptical. Lovely version. Then a very fine Visions Of Johanna. Sometimes he does a version of a familiar song that makes you think about it from scratch and this was one of those. Seemed to be played a bit faster than recently. Then Don't Think Twice, which people seemed very pleased to hear, relishing the put downs. Why are people so mean? Just the way it is I suppose. Played a really triumphant harmonica solo at the end. His playing was great again on Stuck Inside Of Mobile as was the band. Again a groove based version, some times I find this song a bit stop-start, but this version just flowed. Beautiful Not Dark Yet, which I hear he's not been playing so much lately. Charlie Sexton played superbly throughout this. Then into a ripping Drifter's Escape, similar to last year's arrangement and finish off with Rainy Day Women, Larry playing the horn parts on pedal steel. Everyone singing along, Bob's phrasing throwing them off, does he do it on purpose? Probably, that's why we love him. Into the encores, Things Have Changed with Bob playing a funny guitar figure which didn't quite fit. Like A Rolling Stone as per usual, then a highlight, a version of Girl Of The North Country, with Dylan sounding absolutely inside the song. All Along The Watchtower with Larry on pedal steel and a repeat of verse one at the end. The Harmonies were great again on Knockin' On Heaven's Door. The recorded version of this is so perfect, it's one of the few songs that I think has rarely sounded better live, but this was very good indeed, true to the sentiment of the song, I think. The was some local significance to this. Some local musicians had put out a charity version of this, with altered words permitted by Bob after a school massacre in Dunblane, 5 miles up the road from Stirling, a few years back. Usual good cause, terrible record dilemma. In a previous tour (1995, I think) there had been a press campaign to get Bob to do Heaven's Door with the locals joining him on stage. Never likely to happen, and of course it didn't. Anyway, I'm sure he is unaware of this, and was just singing a great song as best he can on the night, which is what we need him to do. Storming Highway 61 and anthemic Blowing In the Wind, again, lovely harmonies from Charlie and Larry. Last song has a funky rockabilly intro, and it's cats In The Well, which he played in Aberdeen in September. Great groove again, suits Charlie's playing really well, a little bow, and we're home happy and Bob's off to Kilkenny. Overall, I think Bob's in consistently good form over the past 4-5 years. Perhaps there's not the thrill of it all going horribly wrong anymore, but we shouldn't take that, or him, for granted. I hope he has made the new album with his touring band. It seems like they can play anything and keep it rootsy, which is when I think Bob is at his best, sticking close to Blues and Country. Aren't we lucky he's still doing it like he does? Peter
Newsgroups: rec.music.dylan Subject: Stirling review (rather long) From: Matt Reading matt@grassmerecottenham.com Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 23:48:09 +0100 Following the good, but not great gig in Liverpool, Stirling last night showed a sparkling return to tip-top form for Dylan. Having seen 3 shows this tour, and heard tapes from shows throughout the year, I had developed the view that Dylan was not on song this year as much as the tail end of last. Despite the more interesting setlists and change in structure, it seemed to me that Dylan's voice had further deteriorated and, worse, that the last couple of weeks he hasn't exactly been enjoying himself up there. Stirling last night threw all that out the window, and the difference in performance quality between Stirling and Liverpool was startling. We set off on the drive from Liverpool to Stirling at about 10am, having picked up our passenger for the day - Irishman Brendan who remarked as soon as he laid eyes on Ed and I that we looked like students. Hmm. Anyway, he had a fab CD collection, and over the superb soundtrack to 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou', we discussed last night's show and all things Dylan. The general feeling was that Liverpool had been pretty good, but certainly not up to scratch when compared to last year's UK tour. We felt that Bob's voice has steadily deteriorated, and that it wasn't helping that he seemingly wasn't very happy. His attitude to Larry, in particular, over the last few shows seemed to point to a band change on the horizon. The 3 shows I had seen this tour (Gothenberg, Helsingborg and Liverpool) had left me rather satiated in terms of setlists, having seen many of my favourite songs live for the first time..I was looking forward to Stirling, but at the same time was feeling a little apprehensive. The drive up was lovely, certainly compared to the drive to Liverpool from Cambridge the day before. The weather caused some concern, being more suited to February than July. Brendan bought Ed and I a slap up lunch at a service station, and we made it to Stirling by about 3pm. Having met my girlfriend from the train station and had a pint to keep us going, we headed on up to the castle, where a fairly large queue had developed already. Clearly we weren't going to be right at the front, but we were pretty happy anyway. I only mention all this queueing malarkey because, maybe an hour before we went in, Ed noticed a commotion near the front of the queue. Apparently, Bob had been out, signing autographs! He ducked away before I could get there, but a little while later he popped out again to cross the street and walk up the hill to the venue. He was wearing his stage clothes and that stetson that he looks so cool in. Perhaps this meant he was in a better mood than previously? They let us in half an hour later than they said they would due to an extra long soundcheck, and after a short sprint we got to our places, about 7 people back from the front, with a great view. The gig, rather than being in a castle, was in the castle's car park. Slightly less romantic, but you could see the mountains, shrouded in mist and cloud to the side of the stage. Surely he would play Highlands in this setting? Before showtime we were treated to quite a downpour, but spirits in the crowd were still high by the time Dylan came on stage. Right, I'm sure you're wondering when I'm actually gonna get round to the gig! Dylan came out looking pretty good, and the band launched into 'Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie'. It wasn't anything too special, but it was well played and sung. Bob really stopped me in my tracks with 'To Ramona'. It had been good the previous night in Liverpool, but this was something else. Bob's voice was clearly back to it's best, softly singing (REALLY singing)this tender song. He was in a good mood, with the occaisional smile or wink, and he really got inside this song. A glorious lilting harp solo finished the song off wonderfully. The familiar chords to 'Mr Tambourine Man' began. I was worrie he would 'sing' it like he has the last few months, ie extracting the tune and massacreing this wonderful melody. My fears were allayed when Bob began. This was beyond fantastic, Dylan's voice lilting over those glorious acoustic guitars. It was amazing to hear this, one of my favourite songs being - to me - reborn. There was one (minor) lyric flub, but it couldn't detract from what was for me a wonderful performance. My main concern now was whether Bob would be able to keep this phenomenally high standard up for much longer. The other gigs I'd been to the last couple of weeks had had 2 or 3 really amazing highlights per gig - Hollis Brown, Boots and I Want You in Gothenberg, Dignity and I Threw It All Away in Helsingborg, for example - with the rest either good or average. 'Maggie's Farm' opened the electric set with a great countryish shuffle, Bob's voice that velvet sneer as he belted out the lyrics, the band throwing licks all around his vocals. The harp solo he finished the song off with was glorious, Bob blowing that poor harp as hard as he could. The country mood deepened with 'Tell Me That It Isn't True', and Bob's voice actually seemed to be getting better! He was clearly gaining in confidence and his range was audibly improving, really letting go on some of the lines, echoing the vulnerability in the lyrics, and Larry's pedal steel providing the perfect backdrop. When I thought it couldn't get any better, the intro to Just Like A Woman came floating over, and the performance was maybe about 15 million times better than the previous night's reading of this song. It was a tour de force as Dylan stayed true to the original melody, but stretching the phrasing here and there, getting right inside the song itself, rather than just playing about with the melody as he had in Liverpool. Towards the end he got as excited as I was...'you make love, yeah you make LOOOOOOOOVVVVVEEE just like a woman!'. It was perhaps the highlight of highlights. Even Dylan's guitar solo was, well,bloody good. Indeed, Dylan's guitar playing was pretty good most of the night apart from when he just seemed to get bored with the intrument. Then we were surprised with a 4th electric song, 'Gotta Serve Somebody'. I'm not too keen on this as a song, finding it hard to reconcile the sentiments with my own beliefs, but it was impossible not to get caught up as Dylan barked the lyrics, ad libbing some extras and the band generally letting go. Great stuff, with Dylan's vocals really holding up on the rockier songs, something that had been lacking at previous shows. 'I Shall Be Released' was something of a surprise next, but was certainly well done. It made me think they might do something funny with the encores.... Next came the second 'Visions Of Johanna' in 2 nights. Ed thought that Liverpool was better, but I would disagree. In Stirling, Dylan was a man on a mission, setting out to nail probably his greatest song, and enunciating the lyrics so perfectly and with such precision you were completely absorbed in the performance. Not for a moment did you think 'oh, it's not as good as in 66'. Ed tends to applaud what he sees as particularly well sung lines or pieces of phrasing, having read that Dylan appreciates this. He did this last night although it was rather superfluous - every single word was bang on (I think there was one minor lyric mumble in Visions, but hey). Could this possibly continue? Bob and band, having wound up 'Visions' with a gorgeous playout, relaxed into a quiet, achingly regretful 'Don't Think Twice'. The way he sung one of my absolute favourite lines - 'I gave her my heart, but she wanted my soul' was masterful, and the extended harp solo at the end was absolutely bang on, Bob skippig all over the stage and conducting the band with the neck of his guitar, building the song to a crescendo. 'Stuck Inside Of Mobile' has been played a lot recently, and although this was nothing special it was well played and gave us what would prove to be a well-timed breather from the emotional intensity. I was slightly deflated, as I thought that would be the last 'interesting' song choice, and was all set for Drifters/Messenger etc. and then the encores. Bob had no such ideas. After a little huddle around the drum riser, those atmospheric opening bars of 'Not Dark Yet' came soaring over the crowd, just as it was beginning to get dark. As usual, Bob nailed the vocal, occasionally getting excited and pulling something extra special out of the bag. A set with 'Visions Of Johanna' and 'Not Dark Yet', I think my favourite two Dylan songs had to be amazing, and Bob made it so. All the opportunities for the one song conspicuous by it's absence, Highlands, seemed to have gone, but I shouted out the title anyway for the hell of it, and again in the encores. It didn't happen, but never mind. Next was a killer version of 'Drifter's Escape', much better than Gothenberg with some fantastic playing from everyone in the band, along with the usual harp solo from Bob. It may not have been much better than normal, but it certainly seemed it after what had come before. Then the main set finally (!!) ended after 14 songs with 'Rainy Day Women', which I must say I prefer here than at the end where it's always a bit of an anti-climax. It was a good-humoured version, with some funny ad-libs from Bob and a spliff being thrown on stage. There isn't a whole lot to say about the encores, although that hardly does them justice as all were suerbly played and sung, although Bob couldn't quite scale the vocal heights of earlier in the show. Well, not all teh time, anyway. 'Things Have Changed' had that perfect mix of resignation and paranoia, 'Rolling Stone' was a great singalong and 'Girl Of The North Country' was just gorgeous. The way Bob sang 'See for me if her hair is hanging long' has to be heard to be believed. 'Watchtower' rocked like a bastard - very cool, and 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door' was simply sublime, much better than Liverpool. The guys nailed the harmonies, Bob nailed the vocal, Charlie nailed that fantastic guitar solo. 'Highway 61' was a lot of fun, as was 'Blowin' In The Wind', and 'Cat's In The Well' finished it off in fantastic style, much much better than 'Rainy Day Women'. So, after a mammoth 22 songs, we all filed out. It was an amazing gig - certainly the best I've seen, beating the second Portsmouth shoe last autumn and Gothenberg. It was just so consistent. One of the hallmarks of Dylan 2001 style has been the inconsistency of the shows. One or two great performances a show, then lots of good-to-middling stuff. This show was different. He showcased his best songs in the best way possible - what more could you ask for? Right after 'Blowin In The Wind', he gave the crowd a thumbs-up, and that seemed to sum it up. Absolute killer versions of Ramona, MrTMan, Just Like A Woman, Tell Me That It ISn't True, Visions, Don't Think Twice, Not Dark Yet, Girl Of The North Country and Knockin', along with the great high-energy rock-out songs made for a fantastic gig. Well done Bob, now let's have that new album! Matt (m.reading@ucl.ac.uk)
From: "Michael.Toal" Michael.Toal@btinternet.com To: webmaster@expectingrain.com Subject: A Very Hard Rain in the gateway to the Highlands - Stirling Review 13th July 2001 Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2001 22:11:15 +0100 On a night like this, we were so glad He came along in the mood He was in. I've decided to abandon professionalism and objectivity, and write this review just as someone who went along in anticipation of seeing a possible great show.The past year personally has been pretty well standout for me, in many senses, and Bob has played a direct part on many occasions, but I promise no gushiness. Besides, since last seeing Bob on 17th Sept last year, the acknowledged finest show on the UK tour, I'd seen The Who five times, plus Neil Young and even Limp Bizkit (God bless the Children). How would The Master shape up ? Some early reports had expressed minor concerns, some alleged average shows in the US and Europe. But this wouldn't happen in Scotland, Bob just does not play╩average shows in Scotland But before the review, some little background: Stirling Castle in situated in the crossroads of Scotland, site of the legendary historical battle where the smaller forces of King Robert the Bruce defeated and humiliated the much larger forces of the most hated man in Europe, King Edward II of England, for reference go watch "Braveheart"). On the Castle esplanade (car park with a slope) high up above the central plain, within sight of the William Wallace Monument, we have Our Hero, to whom a car sticker refers as "Bob Dylan:Voice For Every Generation". A fitting setting, heroes and history. The only down sides to this outdoor, wind swept location is the wind and rain, which can blow away any atmosphere, min crowd noise, and keep you soaked for hours. Bet no-one told Bob about that, or that he was playing in traditionally Scotland's wettest two weeks of the year, the famous "Glasgow Fair Fortnight", what used to be the annual tradesmen holiday time. So tonight it was wet, very wet, and the appalling crowd control did not help.╩Climb up one steep road to the Castle, get sent back down the other side to come back up the same way. And all in the rain. Why ? With the crowd becoming increasingly restless and vocal, due to the long queues and poor stewarding, Bob hit the stage running at 8:18pm, and left it later at 10:38pm. Sensing the that the audience wanted a good tim after all the rain, He was straight down to business, and what a show we got. For the thousand (and I mean thousands) of younger kids in attendance (and not with elder relatives either, it was thru their own choice) and many long time Bobfans, we were treated to one of the IMHO all-time great set lists. Best ever ? Yes, I believe so, and not a Tangled in sight. From the opener "Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie" to the closer "Cat's In The Well", there wasn't a weak song or performance all night (I'd said earlier that when I saw the Liverpool setlist that I thought I'd lost out on hearing some eprsonal faves, but no, Bob played 'em. Does he read our News Groups then ? Maybe). No doubt some people who attend a high number of shows during the European tour will nit pick about the occasional bum note (one ALL night) and some word changes (who cares?), but this show is there to be enjoyed, to breathe it in, to sing and dance (we did) and to let it make you want to go to more starting the next night in whatever country. Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie (acoustic), traditional opener, nice warm-up, followed by a lovely╩To Ramona (acoustic) with Larry on mandolin and Bob on harp. This bit was a laugh, as Bob stopped playing guitar and walked backstage to get the harp. Cue numerous worried looks from fans thinking the weather was affecting the show. Mr Tambourine Man (acoustic) was next up, and the groove was firmly established, with an early outing down at╩Maggie's Farm (Bob on harp). A lovely change of pace for Tell Me That It Isn't True (with Larry on pedal steel), a real late night number, going straight into╩Just Like A Woman (Larry stays on╩pedal steel), and hot on the heels a surprise in my mind, but╩one which was most welcome, namely╩Gotta Serve Somebody (with Bob on harp). Bob's harp playing was excellent all night, and any time he reaches for it there comes the big cheer. I swear there are times when he does it just for fun. Another change of╩pace for a poignant╩(acoustic) I Shall Be Released,╩the biggest singalong of the night so far.╩ If this╩wasn't already great enough, now we have╩Visions Of Johanna (acoustic, and even more acoustic bass from Tony - how come he gets do few mentions compared to Larry) and my night was almost complete, and trying to get to Heaven for Bobfans became much , much closer when out comes Don't Think Twice, with Bob on harp. My, His Bobness is on top form tonight, this is not just another night on the NET, and it is so far ahead of what I've been reading about other shows since April.╩We're Stuck Inside Of Mobile next, back to electric, and then back down for╩Not Dark Yet. Best version I think I've ever╩heard, it should have been a huge hit, and it was crying our for inclusion on another soundtrack somewhere. As we head╩for the end of part one, Bob closes with a strong double, Drifter's Escape (Bob on harp)╩and those very appropriate Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (with Larry on slide guitar). We thought that at some point we would get either Rainy Day Women or Hard╩Rain to celebrate the weather. If part one╩was storming (spot the irony), then part two was even better. Straight back into top gear again with Things Have Changed (what, not even "And now I'd like to play my Oscar winner...?), then the next biggest singalong for╩Like A Rolling Stone the now standard "Guess-Which-Lyric-Tonight ?" as Bob begins the arrangement which could give us either Boots of Spanish Leather/It Ain't Me Babe/ Girl from The North Country: and the winner is Girl Of The North Country (acoustic) which we in Scotland like╩to claim as our won (well, we are in the north and we do have lots of lovely Girls...). Then it was on to a charging version of╩All Along The Watchtower (Larry on steel guitar) which was a particular favourite of the younger Bobfans, with much dancing and shaking of hips, especially from my own wife. This was followed by a sad version of Knockin' On Heaven's Door (acoustic). One Scottish newspaper had conjectured if╩Bob would play this, so close to the site of the horrible Dunblane Massacre╩(18 small children, 5-7 years old, gunned down╩in school. It was recorded but other children as a charity song ), so it was a hard song to listen to in those circumstances, but hey, music has to be upsetting at some point, or else it's just entertainment, and Bob is not just about entertainment. Supercharged Highway 61 Revisited powers into the night, a cracking number, and finally the biggest singalong of the evening, having lost not one bit of it's power, a wonderful╩Blowin' In The Wind, Bob on acoustic, bits of rain here and there, but seemingly waiting for Bob to finish before pouring down on us. Back off again, keep us waiting╩briefly for Cat's In The Well, a few smiles, a bow or two, and he's away.╩Back onto the NET, next stop Kilkenny. I wish I was going there. One show isn't enough any more,╩but then it never was. Come back real soon Bob, and please, release some official live material form your Scottish shows, because they really kick up a storm. Michael
2001: February - March - April - May - June - July -

Tour

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Newsgroups: rec.music.dylan Subject: Stirling review From: Edward Nash Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 14:37:06 +0100 Organization: ntlworld News Service X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2615.200 Does anyone else share my terrible habit - whenever a Bob show ends, I immediately feel the need to start thinking about whether it was as good as the other ones I've seen. I've still only seen 7, so I can remember them all pretty well. I seem to have an uncontrollable urge to fit any new experience into a ranking system with the others. I know I shouldn't do it; it always makes me feel like I'm criticising more than I should be, and it makes you lose any sense of perspective on the night. Well, I've been thinking about Stirling for a day or so now, and it's all decided. It goes into the official list at number 1, the best I've seen. Best build up, best setlist, best performances, best guitar solo, best harp, best post show drink and bag of chips... Although recent tales, and first hand experience, of Bob's current gloomy mood had worried me, I didn't quite share the apprehensiveness expressed by many in the run-up to this show. No mishap tonight could really stop me looking back on this early Bob-filled Summer with great contentment. Furthermore, apprehensiveness tends to give way to some much more enjoyable brand of agitated excitement as show time approaches. This was triply so on Friday due to the soundcheck - Born In Time and Not Dark Yet specifically - and the appearance of Bob outside the venue. I mean, you go to the toilet, usually an unremarkable experience, without a second thought, go for a stroll to see if you can find a burger and instead find yourself standing just a single person (albeit a large one) away from Bob Dylan. In a cowboy hat. If anything's going to get you excited as you wait for show, that's it. It was fairly obvious from the off that tonight Bob was in a better mood than of late. He seemed to actively enjoy the opener, rather than just using it as a vocal warm-up. It obviously had that effect as well, however, because on To Ramona he pulled out a stunner. I've heard recent versions of this criticised as "to sweet", in both vocal and music. Neither was true tonight. Tenderness on the more romantic lines was mixed with harshness in the song's more critical moments, as Bob really seemed to explore what the song is supposed to say. Meanwhile, Larry's mandolin was not so dominating (in fact, it wasn't even plugged in for the intro - he had to go and find a lead himself), and it didn't feel so much as though we ought all to be waltzing around in couples. The harp solo with which the song closed was just beautiful. It's hard to know what else to say. The identical opening numbers had immediately raised the question in my mind of whether Visions would be appearing twice in succession, but I didn't dwell on it for long. It's quite hard to keep these kind of questions in your mind whilst in front of you Bob is singing Mr. Tambourine Man as though he's only just written it. This was an acoustic set of the highest quality, and this level was maintained for the following electric segment. Maggie's Farm, somewhat less of a noisy thrash than the previous night, was doubly effective. With the decibels slightly reduced, it was much easier to enjoy the new arrangement with it's almost-solo drum section in each verse. However, tenderness seemed to be the order of the day, so it was time to slow things down a bit. I don't think I've heard a bad performance of Tell Me That It Isn't True. It's always pretty faithful to the original and is well sung. But Bob's vocals were something special in Stirling. It was a real thrill to hear him hit some notes I really didn't think he could manage anymore, especially on the last verse, in which each line rose to a top note which sounded quite desperate - this guy definitely needed some reassurances, and pretty fast, it seemed. Do you know how sometimes on Just Like A Woman, the band plays great, Bob plays some good licks between lines, but he just doesn't seem to find the tune with his voice, he sort of ends up half speaking it? Not tonight. This was very close to the original, and Bob was really singing. He also played an excellent guitar solo. I wasn't looking when it started, and I thought it must have been Charlie - honestly. Gotta Serve Somebody is not one of my favourite songs, but it was great to have a bit of non-60s stuff appearing, which always keeps the interest level of a show up. I Shall Be Released was something of a surprise in the main set, but I couldn't dwell on it for long. Up until the previous night, I had hoped that every acoustic song in every Dylan show I'd seen would turn out to be Visions of Johanna. When it finally came, in Liverpool, I completely failed to recognise it. In Stirling I was totally unprepared - twice in two nights? But that's what it was, and I'm not complaining. That side of me that seems to want to rank everything tells me that Liverpool was better, but the side of me that just likes hearing good music says it doesn't matter; they were both wonderful, and I will remember how I felt hearing this song live for a very long time. Bob by now seemed well aware that his vocals sounded amazing, and he made sure not to miss the opportunity of Don't Think Twice. This was no casual throwaway performance, and by the time the final verse arrived, everyone around me was going wild. The reception for the harp was, as ever, ecstatic, but it was wholly merited here. Bob was in control of the harmonica, the band and the crowd and the song concluded with a defiant, almost jubilant, high-pitched blow on the harp. Absolutely stunning. I wasn't overjoyed to hear Stuck Inside of Mobile. It seems something of a fixture at the moment. But this was slightly quicker than it sometimes is and Bob was in no mood for holding off. He really attacked the song and it was impossible not to enjoy it. However, that was surely it for interesting song selections. Just a case of whether we'd get something else not from the 60s to add to the interest level. The first few chords revealed that it wouldn't be Drifter's Escape or Wicked Messenger, and in fact it appeared at first that it was definitely the only other option, Cold Irons Bound. But after a few seconds it kind of morphed, and the big crescendo of noise never came. Instead we got a longed for and quite gorgeous Not Dark Yet. I wonder whether this might be something of a one off - it was, after all, sung in an open air venue just as it was not qutie dark yet, but definietly getting there. But then again, after reminding himself how great this song always always sounds, maybe Bob will want to retain it. I hope so, for the good of everyone who goes to any of the remaining shows on this tour. It was now time to simply smile and enjoy being at a Dylan gig. Rainy Day Women was much more fun in a slightly different spot, and as the band stood in formation at the end Bob's bow and thumbs up showed that he had enjoyed the gig too, and knew it was a good one. Girl From The North Country was a final highlight, with Bob now overplaying the rediscovered softness in his voice to good comic, but also emotional, effect. Some of the lines seemed to go on for twice their normal length - "see for me that her hair hangs do-ow-ow-own". The new arrangement of Knockin' On Heaven's Door suits Bob's current voice perfectly, and Cat's In The Well is a much more effective closer than Rainy Day Women, being twice the pace and much more fun. And so we filed back down into Stirling, filling the previously deserted streets. It was great to see so many people and know that they were all Dylan fans. And happy Dylan fans at that. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Newsgroups: rec.music.dylan Subject: Re: Stirling review From: "Trev (bob Fan) Gibb" Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 14:48:51 GMT Organization: Freezeout.8m.com X-Newsreader: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2919.6600 yeah Ed the just like woman solo was feckin great. he took the solos all night. bron in time and not dark tey during the soundchecks sounded great. i belive stirling will be one of this years highlights. ive got the Ashville show and i reckon striling is 1o times the better gig. dylan cheered up a bit from wot ive been told, larry seemed left out but bob sang well didnt seem to have a go at the band much but he took all the solos charlie didnt get many outings although Not Dark Yet was a great highlight. Girl From The Noryn Country was a highlight for me, i wnated to hear it live but i thought it may have been "It aint me babe" or "boots.." but it wasnt and it was one of the sweetest versions ive heard. he played 22 songs which made things even better, my father who was with me thought the crowd throughout werent as enthusiastic as they had been in wembley in 98, but i sed that he'd just recoverd his heart illness and thus people were bound to be more uplifted. i really couldnt stop thinknin after the show about how the show had went. i reall kept tryin to picture it. i was caught between thinkning it was at and thinking it wasnt. the guitars apart form dyalns were very low, but now my memory serves me better and it was a transcendant. a great show. lots of harp playing. i think bobs voice has deteriorated so much that the hard edge is disapearing his voice has broken into a gorgeous helium sweetness. u can ehar the old voice just like u could in some of the 88 live songs. Trev