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Bob Dylan 2002.05.08 in Newcastle

From: Jill Richardson
To: "''"
Subject: From Shields Gazette
Date: Thu, 9 May 2002 10:36:47 +0100 

Bob Dylan,Newcastle Telewest Arena,Newcastle.

It'S awful when old friends let you down. It's even worse
when that old friend is rock music's premier singer-
songwriter. On the back of last year's quite wonderful Love
And Theft album, fans may have expected a rejuvenated Bob
Dylan to bring a new vigour to his old and new material.

Sadly, it was a rather tired and distracted Dylan who graced
the stage of a packed Newcastle Telewest Arena this week.
Nattily dressed like Hank Williams' natural successor, a
white cowboy hat perched on top of his trademark curls,
Dylan started strongly with the country gospel singalong,
Wait For the Light To Shine.

With the world's most famous drummer, Jim Keltner, hitting
the skins and flanked by guitar heroes Larry Campbell and
Charlie Sexton, plus band stalwart Tony Garnier solid on
bass, Dylan had all necessary ingredients for a great show.

Sadly, after an atmospheric Song To Woody and a spirited
It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), the show's momentum
started to prematurely evaporate with a ramshackle version
of his gospel foot-stomper, Solid Rock. With Dylan insisting
on playing some annoyingly eccentric lead guitar, rock
music's most illustrious poet never seemed fully engaged as
the show progressed, despite decent stabs at Standing In The
Doorway, Summer Days, Cold Irons Bound and the jazz-
inflected 1970 rarity If Dogs Run Free.

Of course, we had crowd-pleasing versions of Like A Rolling
Stone and Blowin' In The Wind during the encores, but
Dylan's heart and mind seemed to be elsewhere.

Terry Kelly

From: To: "Karl Erik Andersen" Subject: NEWCASTLE REVIEW MAY 8TH Date: Thu, 9 May 2002 16:22:14 +0100 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 than, 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? Markus Prieur NOT DARK YET A WEBSITE FOCUSING ON SOME OF THE SONGS PERFORMED OCCASIONALLY BY BOB DYLAN IN 2002, IN 2001, IN 2000 AND IN 1999
2002: Jan - Feb - April - May -