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Bob Dylan 2002.05.06 in Cardiff

To: "Karl Erik Andersen"
Date: Wed, 8 May 2002 17:34:09 +0100

Since there was one day off (the only one during this
British marathon), I had no deadline yesterday to type this
review. But something to review I do have indeed, and I am
glad I had some more time to do it.

As I looked again at the Cardiff setlist on the morning
after, I had an interesting thought. If I would have been at
home and would have read the setlist online, I might have
said: "Wow, Solid Rock, oh, Visions and Moonlight, nice, but
otherwise just more of the same." But I was not at home, I
was in Cardiff, underneath those left speakers, some 30 feet
away from the greatest living artist performing his 24th
concert of his finest European tour since 1981.

And, being fully aware that every concert experience is
subjective, I have to say, that this show in Cardiff was
many, many times better than the setlist might suggest. It
is true, every song had been played at least four times
during this tour ("Baby Blue", "Stuck" and "Things"
appearing for the 5th time, "4th Street" for the 6th time,
"Visions" and "Knocking" for the 7th time, etc. etc.), so
there were no real surprises concerning the song selection,
the biggest surprise being song number two, which had rested
for ten shows. But I am getting ahead of myself.

On the way from Bournemouth to Cardiff my wife and I had
been listening to "Cardiff 23/09/00" (which we also had
attended), and I wondered if Bob would top this show, which
had been one of the finest of the ten fine shows we had seen
that September. For my money he did top it, and it would
have been worth to cross the Irish see just for this one
concert, which seemed to have one main objective; to
demonstrate to every one present the simple fact that Bob
Dylan's voice is the greatest instrument in music history.
Period !!!

Personal highlights always stick to memory best, so I will
stick to those as well. "Humming Bird" was my first one, a
lovely song it is, with brilliant harmonies. I really love
Tony's bass playing on all the openers. "Times", like I
said, had not been played for ten shows, so it was
surprising to hear these opening chords, instead of another
round of "Guess that tune". But what followed was quite
astonishing. For one Bob Dylan had memorized all the lyrics
of all the five verses (gather/ writers/ senators/ mothers/
line). There were no (I repeat: NO) half forgotten lines !!!
What was more, the phrasing was very strong and Bob was
really putting something special into this old chestnut.

My 7th "Baby Blue" started with a nice harp solo. Minutes
later, as Bob had just finished the last "strike another
match" line, I said to my wife: "The next words we will hear
from him might be 'I'm hanging on' ". They were indeed the
next words, and we were quite joyful about that. I had seen
"SOLID ROCK" before, on my first Bob date in November 1981,
but to see him sing this bold confession now, on my 35th Bob
date, was sure something very special to me. As I am hanging
on to the same Solid Rock, Bob was singing about 13 times so
far since coming to Europe last month, I do relate to these
lyrics. And I believe Bob. He won't let go no more the one,
who has been chastised, hated, and rejected for him. This
Jesus, Bob Dylan keeps singing about, remains for him a
wonderful Savior to know.

My 3rd "4th Street" was my first since 1994, and my 2nd
"L.D.B." was quite intense. Bob's singing was brilliant
throughout, and his vocal delivery alone of my 3rd "Visions
of Johanna" would have been worth the price of admission.
Amazing stuff. The next song I had seen 26 times before, so
I had not planned on writing down the following three words:
"Tangled was outstanding". Perfectly sandwiched between this
acoustic rocker and "Summer Days" (the only repetition of
the main set from the previous show) was a simply beautiful
"Moonlight", which was the second song of the night I had
never seen live (making it 13 songs in 3 shows, 8 of them
from L&T).

After the always hugely enjoyable "Summer Days" (did I ever
mentioned those guitars?) it was clear to me once more that
Bob was intent to deliver a top class show, as he set aside
his harp to end "Wicked Messenger" before the song even
started. "Things Have Changed" sure is a different
experience when not appearing almost every night as it did
in September 2000. The "purple lighting" song, "Knocking",
had again those nice strong harmonies, with Bob singing this
way, and Larry and Charlie singing that way. Very
interesting to watch them do this. The same they did also
with "Blowing", which was sung by Bob in a very beautiful
soft voice during the verses, and more intense during the

It is easy to tell by my ramblings that Dylan's vocal
performance in Cardiff impressed me big time, and indeed I
did feel great awe and respect for this man's artistic
output these days, as I was standing for the second time in
this Welsh venue. So don't be fooled by the setlist (;-),
which nevertheless had seventeen (!!!) changes to
Bournemouth, featuring eleven songs played neither in
Bournemouth nor Brighton. We did see 63 songs in 3 shows,
and 47 different ones; and I do believe Bob Dylan will pull
out some more real surprises, as he hits those large British

But no matter what the last five setlists might look like,
the artistic performances of this finest band on this planet
will be great and worth seeing, no matter what the critics
say. Whoever does not like this art created on stage, does
not have to go again. I do like it, so I'm ready to go, less
than three hours before showtime in Newcastle.

Markus Prieur

IN 2002, IN 2001, IN 2000 AND IN 1999

From: "Linda.k.edwards" To: Subject: Review Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 20:12:26 +0100 Dylan Review, Cardiff International, May 6 2002 After the last Cardiff Dylan concert in September 2000 we thought it couldn’t get any better. We were wrong . Last Monday ( 6th May) the packed all-ages audience experienced a generous 2 hr 20 minutes worth of magic as Bob, in his 61st year, in suite and white stetson, steered us through a varied collection of his back pages. He was again supported by the excellent Larry Campbell and Charlie Sexton, muscular bass player Tony Garnier and Jim Keltner (who toured Europe with Neil Young And Booker T & the MGs), although on a personal note I preferred former drummer David Kemper who always seemed to hold both skill and intuition well in place giving a complex subtlety to things. We got off to a slow yet nicely paced four song acoustic set, – “Humming Bird” country and laid back, then into a well-arranged but non-vibrant “Times” where we got that kind of mumble he has been doing followed by high note nevertheless the band provided definition and there was wonderful strong cohesion on “It’s Alright Ma”. The acoustics ended with “Baby Blue” which for me would have been mediocre had it not been lifted by the winsome harp. Then without warning we were thrust into "Solid Rock" with punchy base by Tony Garnier and some great vocals. "Positively 4th" came in ballad form and "Lonesome Day" was traditional 12 bar delivered with tight precision and receiving mega applause. The low point of the concert was undoubtedly the lackluster “Memphis Blues but the re-worked arrangement of "Masters of War" was spit out and fabulous. We were now warming up to something special and it came. "Visions of J." What a superb extended harp intro, and his voice did something great on this track. It was almost liquid, flowing but without too much sentiment, leaving you aching for more. An eternal moment, I could have stayed there forever. There followed 11 more songs – a masterful version of “Tangled up in Blue”, great flare and disregard on “Summer Days” and a slower “Rainy Day Women”. The first encore gave us a tight “Thing have Changed” and then far off lightening flared on to the audience during “Rolling Stone” which is now resigned to being his theme tune. Oh but it was not over yet. No No No. The best was yet to be. We were given the performance of a lifetime on the acoustic “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” – here the lighting flushed everyone in majestic purple, and with an apocalytic hush the audience stilled. Not even a cough . The hairs on my neck lifted; it was simply magnificent. I want that version that night at my funeral, it was quite simply the best I have ever heard from him. The concert finished long and strong with a gripping version of “All along he Watchtower” prefixed with the first bar from the musical “Exodus”. Thank you Bob for a glorious performance. When I am old I shall sit in the old rockin’chair sipping Rioja and blowing smoke rings and remember it all, and smile. I . Songs like blowin in the wind and times were sung as usual in and compensates for the voice. Like A Rolling Stone Again, the energy from the mainset was gone, Keltner messed up the ending and underlined that this was a sub-standard version During the concert Bob Dylan had the habit of raising one heel and twist his leg. He was in good shape, singing strong. The sound mixing (from my place at least :-) ) was good. I could hear the different instruments he didn't smile, although he seemed to give a sly nod once or twice to his band members as if to say he was enjoying the sound. he blew kisses at the end but it seemed like this was an ironic gesture rather than love for the audience. well worth seeing. Good morning all from rainy UK: Just a few notes on last nights Cardiff concert (nice hat, Bob!): It didn't have the spark of Bob's last Cardiff gig in 2000 but then again, that one was a bit special. However, despite a bit of grumpiness at the start and some crazy notes, it was excellent!!!!!!I have never seen Bob perform Visions of Johanna before and that was worth the entrance fee alone. Tangled Up In Blue has defenitely regained its touch and I was also very very plesantly surprised with the awesome performance of Heaven's Door. 4 from Love and Theft were brilliant-I would have liked to hear SHB for the novelty but we can't have everything; he played lots of harp and he is looking great. I know its been commented on before but for a man of his years, Dylan's stamina is very impressive. All the best to everyone still with shows to attend. God speed Bob Dylan down the M4. I should be in work,but what the ..... Why not share Cardiff with my friends out there in Cyberland. They'd taken out ALL the seating at Cardiff , except for the balcony's where yours truly was, I had dead centre aim, but missed having some Binoculars, having said that it's true Bob Did arrive in disguise , is that Stetson getting bigger? One wird, lighting ,no one ever mentios it , but , at Cardiff it added to the ambience.the place was packed, and again it was pleasing to see the wide range of ages. I hadnt heard Hummingbird before, a very laid back intro, nice gentle vocals, it's looking promising. "Times" sang with great authority and phrasing, it didnt sound nearly 40 years old , sometimes it can. "It's alright .." Wonderful! cohesion between singer and instruments , sublime "Baby Blue" Slightly re-worked phrasing, good harp "Solid Rock" - As much as Garnier provided some punch bass, something was lacking, well sung though "Positively 4th" - Sung almost like a ballad or lullabye - At one point I wondered if he wwas talking about us - different "Lonesome Day" - in my view , it's an overly long 12 bar blues, but it got a great reception "Memphis Blues" - curiously flat,I mean it WAS well sung , well played and yet...cant put my finger on it "Masters of War" - Never a favourite of mine , but this version breathed new life and venom into it, fabulous arrangement "Visions of J." Now it's starting to get GOOD ! a marvelous extended harp intro, and a melody with a roundness about it,thank God he didnt put blue notes into it, theres always one song in his sets that gets me in the throat and tonites version of this was it,worth £25 on it's own!! "Tangled up in Blue " Yes, well Ive heard it sooo many times , he always does it at Cardiff ! but , like "Master" once more he resurected it and made alive once more, great musicianship "Moonlight" interesting- oh what the ...I didnt like it ! lets put this down to taste, Summer days was brilliant for the Jam session and the three of 'em taking turns at lead guitar at least this one sounded better than the album Rainy Day - A slower than usual version,again good musicianship prevails however 12 bar blues can be made to sound good because of the space it allows a guitarist OK that over and done with it was time for the "charade" of the encore - we know he's going to come on and so does he, why doesnt he just say he's off for a leak or something "Things have chanhged" a slightly different arrangement - excellent LARS - I thought "Oh no !" but , give him credit and the guys in the band , he sings this now in such a sympathetic resigned way and the band are once more buying into Dylans revisionist themes, brilliant - I especially liked the way the lighting was beamed on the audience "Knockin.." As above really, it could easily have been boring but No! possibly apart from the album version, the best Ive heard him do it "BITW" Before this started a funny little guy in shorts went round the stage picking up ..litter ? if this bemused Bob it didnt show, lovely rendition. More Charades...... "All along the Watchtower" and a weird moment, as the song is prefixed with the first bar from the music from "Exodus" - absoutely spitting version. Thanks Bob - yet again you gloriously delivered, great vocals [ he surprised me with some high notes ] great band
2002: Jan - Feb - April - May -