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Bob Dylan 971005 in London, England

Subject: Re: Wembley Oct 5 songlist
From: Hugh Eaton (
Date: Mon, 06 Oct 1997 09:25:43 GMT

Every time I go to Wembley, I swear itÕs going to be the last time.  The
traffic is appalling, the car park is extortionate, the staff are
hopeless, the acoustics are lousy and there are endless queues for a beer
and the toilet in life threatening levels of smoke.  I spend Anni de
FrancoÕs set wondering what I am doing in this wretched place, and why I
didnÕt join EdÕs seaside frolics in the genteel climes of Bournemouth.

Owing to traffic I didnÕt meet up with fellow rmderÕs before the show, but
from my seat up in the balcony I can see them partying in front of the
stage.  However my seats are well forward, so I get a good view onto the
stage, and I am close to the speakers too.

Ladies and gentlemen would you please welcome.....western style pale blue
suit with black stripes down the trousers, sunburst Strat.  Blimey,
doesnÕt he stoop?  The band is incredibly tight. Tony Garnier is playing a
five string bass which really fills the sound out.  The sound is so
different from the Brixton shows in 95.  There is much less guitar
noodling, with Dylan and Larry CampbellÕs guitars really meshing.  Bucky
Baxter sticks to pedal steel and mandolin, so thereÕs no lap steel or
Dobro this time round, but he seems to be quite low in the mix.  ThereÕs
is a real energy to everything tonight.
Sweet Marie rocks along, Tough Mama - is this funky or what?  Great to
hear You AinÕt Going Nowhere live at last.  The acoustic set is very
upbeat, One too many Mornings, Tangled, Rank Strangers - great backing
vocals.  The arrangement of Blind Willie McTell is very different from the
recorded versions.  If I wasnÕt half expecting it I wouldnÕt have known
what it was.  Highway 61 has a bit of  Ōhey guys, get a move on, weÕve got
a plane to catchĶ about it, this and the acoustics of the place donÕt do
much for the subtleties of some of the songs.  The audience on the floor
who have been standing for the whole show party even more for LARS, which
has some great guitar breaks in it.  DonÕt Think Twice although acoustic
is really loud.  Just as you think Ōhey, hasnÕt he got a new album out?Ķ 
comes Love Sick, a very strong version.  A shame he didnÕt play any other
TOOM songs.  Rainy Day Women, as is its wont, rocks, perhaps a bit too
long for me, but such is the way of things.  Dylan punctuates the evening
with a series of hilarious stories about meeting Roger McGuinn, why Red
River Shore was left of the album and a long story about a
misunderstanding with the Pope and a bottle of Campari.  NOT, but you can
only hope, canÕt you?  Actually we get a couple of Ōthank youÕsĶ and a
band introduction.  Not even a Ōgreat to be hereĶ.

Oh, no harmonica or guests either - perhaps they managed to lock Ron Wood
in the dressing room.  ItÕs amazing how Dylan is playing with such an
intensity after all this time, and how he constantly re-interprets his
work. HeÕs on the front page of most of the newspapers this weekend too. 
Who would have thought it?

Subject: Reflections from Wembley - better formatted version From: Tim Anderson ( Date: Mon, 6 Oct 1997 10:24:47 +0100 Bob Dylan - Wembley Arena, 5th October 1997 Wembley Arena, who needs it? Big hangar, no redeeming features. Plus my wife was taken ill and we had to rush to the doctor a few hours before the show, not an ideal start. (Sorry folks, that was why I mised the pub etc). There was a bonus performer before the announced showtime of 8pm, we listened to one song then I must admit we went out for a beer. We were back in good time though for Ani de Franco who was excellent. Apart from a naff do-re-mi song that is. Good voice, good songs, good sound, good delivery. Can anyone recommend one or two of her CDs to buy? But on to the main event. Bob came on to a warm welcome from a full house. As the band crashed into Absolutely Sweet Marie one thing was immediately obvious. From where I was standing the sound was appalling. If I bought a hi-fi which made a noise like that it would be back at Dixons the next morning. There were two problems to my non-scientific ears. One was some horrible resonance at the lower end which was muddy and almost painful. The other was that Bob's voice could hardly be heard. It was almost as if someone has decided, "his voice is shot to pieces, let's mix it way down low." But that voice was what I came to hear. I felt Senor would have been pretty good if I'd been able to hear it properly. Ditto Tough Mama although I don't like the song a great deal, it stops and starts too much. It all felt low-intensity which is a shame because it is those dark intense moments which I like best. So we got the throwaways - Nowhere, Sylvio, then a frankly poor acoustic set with Mornings, Tangled and Rank Strangers. At Phoenix in 1995 I nearly cried listening to One Too Many Mornings. The man's whole life was pouring out before me. Wembley 1997 he just sort-of got through it, probably as depressed by the horrible Wembley non-atmosphere as I was. Rank Strangers was, well, a novelty but hardly a highlight. Then back to electric and Mobile, except he couldn't be bothered to enunciate Mo-bile and sang "mole". Down a long dark hole is where I would put this particular rendition. Could there be redemption? Things looked up with Blind Willie. It is just a wonderful song and I was glad to be there, hearing it live, even through the worst the sounddesk could muster. It was followed by a strong H61, Bob had drawn inspiration from the blind bard. Then to the encores, a loud LARS, an OK Think Twice, and then the real highlight. By this time I had moved to just in front of the mixing desk and the sound was a little better. Love Sick was fantastic. I closed my eyes and was walking those dark streets, enjoying the masterful ambivalence of love sick - sick of love. The sound was flowing in great waves. Worth it after all. RDW and out. Not a great evening, and sadly my Dylan experiences over the last few years have been going in the wrong direction. Brixton 95 was breathtakingly good. Liverpool 96 was special. Wembley 97 was poor, partly the sound, partly the environment, partly Bob who looked tired. He's all there though. Tim (warning - set list from memory) Absolutely Sweet Marie Senor Tough Mama You ain't going nowhere Silvio One too many mornings Tangled Rank Strangers Stuck inside of Mobile Blind Willie McTell Highway 61 Revisited Like a Rolling Stone Don't Think Twice Love Sick RDW
Subject: Lovesick at Wembley From: DE Reid Date: Mon, 06 Oct 1997 11:05:38 +0000 ... Hi, Bob at Wembley. It was hell getting there, only just made it into the areana by a bag of chips after 41/2 hour car ride [are the roads always that bad down south ]. But phew we are there, havingbeen thinking we wouldn't arrive and Bob's on stage and nothing can stop me enjoying this now, well theres Bob of course. He looks more stooped than when I last saw him, Liverpool, more weight on the face, pasty, looking like a man who has really been ill, yet I have been more concernd for him before him in the past. The band are more controlled than I have ever heard them, plenty of power, and that sludge sound has been dredged out, the undertow beneath Bob's voice is way strong. The problem from where I am [row A5] is his voice is submerged beneath the band sound,what I can hear of it sounds as if it shouldn't be out there at all, it ought to be home resting someplace. Overall things arent bad but I am waiting for some sparks to fly. Marie, Senor, Tough, Nowhere, Silivo go by without incident. One Too finds the voice emerging, Tangled is chirpy for Tangled and the voice and Bob are getting there. Rank Stangers is stop start raw with arresting harmonies. Mobile is way up above, magnificent. McTell [is this order of song right ? ] is too; desolate and awful. Highway, well, I take time out to think about revisiting the road home; there's a jolly good jam at the end of Highway though that stops too soon. Then they are on and off a few times, Rolling is fair enough, Don't Think, jiggles, jangles and races along and is YEESS so bloody good that I am very happy to be there. Lovesick, as much as I have heard this on the album [50 times or more?] I didnt expected it to sound so powerful. A solid rock of a sound from the top of a mountain of stone [with some echo? ] again Bob's voice a little too low in the mix from my position. but what a group sound, never heard anything like it from Bob before. Straight into Rainy Day with a fixed mask of a grin, lots of bows and nods and gone. OK? David.
Subject: Re: London, England, 5 October 1997 - Setlist From: Carsten Wohlfeld ( Date: 06 Oct 1997 20:19:00 +0100 > London, England > 5 October 1997 > Wembley Arena > I could rap on endlessly how I went from Germany to England for one day only and how I just moved the other day and quit my longtime job this week and that all that brought with it a lot of emotional stress etc, but I decided to drop all that and come straight down to the point - my first ever Bob Dylan show without JJ Jackson on guitar and the first show without "All Along The Watchtower" and number 3, too. *Sigh*. The show started at 7.45 with the horrible Dana Gillespie - showing us all that is just isn't enough to have Roger Taylor on drums. Her Blues songs missed any emotion and to paraphrase Mister Dylan: "everybody can sing the blues like Dana Gillespie". Ani DiFranco followed this weak start with an amazingly good show. She seemed very nervous, giggled a lot and described the huge Wembley Arena (nearly sold out with about 11,000 people) as a "coffeehouse" and made fun of the omnipresent "Way Out" signs. She also sang the best part of a song to a guy who screamed at her "you're full of shit!" earlier. Very amusing. Her Woody Guthrie cover was excellent I think and I generally really liked her short solo set. She might as well become the Patti Smith of the 90s. Respect. But - at 9.30 it was time to "... welcome Columbia Recording Artist Bob Dylan". Dressed in a grey suit with no hat, the first surprise was that Bob didn't play his Les Paul, but his old Strat again. I'll leave it to Sadie to investigate why :) > > Absolutely Sweet Marie Kickstarted the show in the best imaginable way. People keep saying that it takes Bob a couple of songs to warm up but tonight he was on fire from the start. Surprisingly good sound right from the start too. > Senor "Sweet Marie" was hardly over when David started to count and they jumped right into this beautiful song. First real highlight for me as I just *adore* this song. I only wish that they wouldn't have taken "jump right into" quite so literally. Maybe it was a little bit too rushed. Bob started smiling and grinning during this song and didn't stop till the show was over. > Tough Mama I never liked the song on the record nor did I liked the version I heard on tape before. But live it sounded just perfect, really rocking, the perfect song to put all the energy into, that made them "Senor" play so fast already. > You Ain't Goin' Nowhere I really had hoped that they would play this one. An in-concert debut for me personally and I still can't get the chorus out of my head - now, 24 hours later. His voice isn't really up to singing this song anymore and sometimes it sounded strangely out of tune when Bucky and Larry joined him for the chorus, but the great a-capella bit at the end made up for it. > Silvio Same as it ever was. I was a bit surprised that it still rocked so much even though David and Larry are normally no rock 'n' roll animals at all. > One Too Many Mornings (acoustic) I may be compeletely wrong and the beauty of the performance just ate my brain, but I think he left out quite a bit of the lyrics on this one. Pretty cool guitar solos from Bob instead. Especially during the acoustic set it was funny to see how Larry looked at Dylan during Bob's solos and "guided" him through them with his eyes. Both of them smiled a lot tonight. > Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) Same as it ever was, slightly faster than the versions I heard in 1996 but apart from the fact that the drums were way to loud on this one - no big change. Could need a rest as well, I think. > Rank Strangers To Me (acoustic) What a wonderful song! What an awesome performance! For the first time in 9 years, 11 months and 2 days, the best song off "Down In The Groove" made it back into the live repertoire. Very slow lullaby-ish arrangement with a slight country-ish flavour, two "fake endings" and wonderful echoing/ repeating backing vocals courtesy of Bucky and Larry during the chorus. Uttlerly brilliant. > Stuck Inside Of Mobile I was a bit disappointed to hear this, cause it obviously meant that there wouldn't be any new songs ("Standing In The Doorway", "Til I Fell I Love" and "Can't Wait" reportedly have been rehearsed) and no electric "Desolation Row" either. But after a few lines Bob won me over with a great vocal performance. Apart from "Lovesick" there was no song played tonight that fitted his ever-changing voice better than this one. Great phrasing, no mumbling. The music sounded very much like the 60s original too (more so than the JJ/Winston versions). Was it just me or did Bob actually *looked* much younger during this song too? For the last couple of verses all I could think was "and now Larry, purleeeeze put away that geetar!!!" He did and I had the biggest smile on my face, cause now it was time for... > Blind Willie McTell The song I travelled all the way for, the song I wanted to hear live since I first heard it on the radio very late one night in the summer of 1991. I'll leave it to others to describe this performance, I just stood there and listened in awe. > Highway 61 Revisited Followed the band introduction (no jokes, just the names, actually Bob sounded a little tired doing them, he didn't say anything else except his standard line "thanks ev'rybody" here and there) as expected. Great rock workout for the band, much better than any version of "Maggie's Farm". Then the left. Bob drenched in sweat... > > (encore) > Like A Rolling Stone I don't know what went wrong when JJ/Winston played it, but they never seemed to get it right. This sounded very 60-ish (just like "Mobile") and was definitely one of the highlights performance-wise. All five on stage smiling throughout. Then they left again only to come back to do. > Don't Think Twice (acoustic) Even though I'd prefered "Hard Rain" or "Forever Young", this was a very nice uptempo version of this groovy song with the usual nice jams courtesy of our Bobness. Tony (best dressed man tonight) on acoustic bassguitar rather than his standard double bass. Then they disappeared for the third time. > Lovesick Bucky started it with the spooky Pedal-Steel riff and it was definitely the highpoint of the night. I don't think I ever heard a better live performance from Bob (bar a very memorable "4th Street" in Magdeburg in 1996). The song (and the whole new album) just seems to fit his current state of mind (and live show antics) perfectly and the crowd reacted accordingly. Breathtaking! No break after this, and straight into: > Rainy Day Women Nos 12 & 25 no comment other than Bob was striking some funny poses and grinned even more than during the rest of the show. The houselights were turned on for this one, in order to amke sure that everybody noticed that the show is over after this one. All In all a very memorable 95 minute show with a great setlist and very energetic performances from Bob and the guys. Thanks to Mira, Larry, Craig, Sadie and all the others who made me enjoy this short trip to England so much. See y'all next time. Special thanks again to Ray for taking care of my tickets this summer and for this show, too! (as always, all mistakes in this review are dedicated to those who care about that sorta things) -- carsten wohlfeld "her name is eve and she lives two floors below, she is 22 & looks like linda ronstadt" (the birdy num nums)
Subject: Re: London, England, 5 October 1997 - Setlist From: Alan Fraser ( Date: 7 Oct 1997 03:10:14 -0700 In article , says... > [good stuff snipped] >All In all a very memorable 95 minute show with a great setlist and very >energetic performances from Bob and the guys. I'd just like to echo what a great performance it was. My son and I came down by train, and stayed at the Hilton next door, so we avoided all the travel hassle. I also met some great folks at the EDLIS lunch - thanks to all. We had what dedicated Bob concert goers would call poor seats, high up and about half-way down the arena, but the sound was good where we were, with an excellent view of the stage, so that and my new Chinon binoculars made up for everything. My son Andrew was sceptical about going to see a 56 year old artist with his Dad, but he thought the concert was amazing - it was the blazing performance of Silvio that first caught his imagination and convinced him that these guys knew the business. On the way home yesterday I picked up the London Evening Standard to read on the train and saw a very good review by Max Bell. Quotes: "Old Bob ain't nothing but a revelation." "The singer may have told the New York Times that he's inconsistent, but here he was just consistently brilliant." My view entirely. Thanks to Bob and all at EDLIS, etc. Alan
Subject: Short Wembley report! From: Sigurjon Thor Fridthjofsson ( Date: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 15:03:15 +0100 Hi all! I saw Bob Dylan in concert the day before yesterday. I don't think that I'm very good at this, but I'll write a short review rather than none at all. I don't really understand how it is possible to translate a musical experience into words (Paul William's sometimes manages to come close), so I'm not going to pretend. I was standing pretty close (with binoculars!) so I could examine every expression on Bob's face while performing and strange as it might sound, it really did add to the overall enjoyment of the show. At the start Bob looked like a statue of himself from Madame Toussaud's wax museum. After the first few numbers he brightens up, moves around more and starts shaking those legs. Bob did much less guitar noodling than I've heard him do in the recent past. Larry looks a bit lazy compared to JJ but he is a very competent player and makes no effort to out shadow Bob - I like him. I thought all performances on Sunday eve were explosive. Highlights for me were the following: 'Love sick', 'Blind Willie McTell', 'Rank strangers to me', 'Stuck inside of mobile with the Memphis blues again', 'Tough mama' and 'Don't think twice, it's all right' (this list could be longer 'cause I thought everything was so terrific). 'Love sick' was not so far from the album version, with Bucky filling in those organ notes with his table instrument. Bob's singing was even better than on TOOM - incredible. 'Blind Willie McTell' is very close to The Band's version of it, but of course being a Dylan fan I prefer listening to Bob do it and I don't think it's possible to do it much better than he did at this show. 'Rank strangers to me' was THE surprise of the evening. Not a so much a crowd pleaser but I didn't come there to dance anyway - hey but I did, I DID! It certainly didn't ruin the evening for me either meeting up with a lot of nice people for lunch at the 'Curry craze' and then afterwards for drinks at the Hilton hotel. An evening I'll never forget or regret. I have now seen him 6 times in concert counting last night. I would rate this show as the second best I've seen, the best being the 3rd February 1990 show at Hammersmith Odeon. The Lollipop festival show last year in Sweden was also very good. sion PS - if somebody has a good quality tape of this concert than please don't keep it a secret. PS 2 - Ben (Rainman) I accidentally left the Dylan chat last evening before writing down your e-mail. Could you please contact me
Subject: UK Tour Thoughts.... From: Martin Cowley ( Date: 8 Oct 1997 14:26:35 GMT So we got our Summer Tour after all - 77 degrees in Bournemouth on 1 October (with dry sunny weather for the whole tour) - nobody seemed to have mentioned this to Bob however and by show's end his natty grey suit was saturated. No doubt someone has already done the fashion report, but for those who missed it, and are interested, we got the grey suit with black piping etc. for 3 out of the 4 nights. In Cardiff, a similar suit, but the jacket was black and only Bob could have got away with those purple (maroon?) trousers. He must have left the cowboy hat in Bologna. Can't decide which night was best so here's an overview of the tour writ large.... Sweet Marie was a boisterous but tight opener each night, not quite as memorable as the anthemic '95 Down in the Flood or the '96 Pillbox Hat with harp, but powerful all the same. Bob played nice guitar all tour (at least it sounded good to my untutored ears) and Larry had more room to manouver than I was expecting. David Kemper is very solid, despite looking more like someone's uncle than one of Bob's band members, and Tony and Bucky are as good as ever - don't ever lose these 2 Bob! From the seemingly ever shrinking pool of second song choices, Senor at Wembley was my favourite, but the others were good also, if a little predictable. Good to hear Tough Mama and it works very well, but after 4 nights of it you wonder if you would like it for 4 years, as happened last time in this slot. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere was great fun on the 2 nights he did it; lovely swing to it and the acapella ending was sheer perfection. I'll be your Baby in Cardiff was almost as good - the new band seems very suited to anything countryish, despite the fact that I thought Bucky was quite low in the mix at all the shows. Silvio - why??!! It works if you're on the barrier and watching his every move, or maybe if you're seeing him for the first time, but I could probably think of a hundred songs I'd rather see him do. And if he's going to have a ritualistic 'play it every night' number I'd prefer Watchtower to Silvio any day. The acoustic sets were the highpionts of this tour for me (the opposite is usually the case). Nice to have the (subtle) drums in this section and my only quibbles were the absence of the harmonica and I thought Tangled was a bit weak most nights. The cover/rare number in each acoustic set was always a treat, especially Cocaine, with Roving Gambler maybe not being quite as good as I remembered it from Spring '97 tapes. Rank Strangers to Me had been threatening all week on the cuesheets and finally took delivery at Wembley. This was wonderful; fantastic new arrangement with lots of backing vocals. Good as these 'unusual' choices were, the 2 acoustic standouts for me were Baby Blue in Cardiff and One Too Many Mornings in Wembley. Not 2 songs I would normally get very excited about with their mid 90s slowish arrangements, but somehow these were Bob's 2 best vocals of the tour for me. One of the main reasons (of many) that I listen to the man is because he's the most expressive singer I've ever heard and the way he sang these songs on these nights would break your heart - lovely inflections and phrasing - I hope the tapes will back me up on this. His '97 voice may be huskier than in '96 but to me it's more expressive despite this. He seems to be finding ever more interesting ways of singing as each year passes - of course being a Dylan fan has always been like being a fan of about 20 different artists anyway. The 1st song of the 2nd electric set tended to be a bit lacklustre - God Knows and 3 Mobiles, but the next song was special each night. For most of us it was the first time to hear Blind Willie McTell live. I think he skipped one of the verses and as has been well documented the arrangement is borrowed both from the originals and the Band's versions. More importantly he sung it very well with clear and heartfelt enunciation. On the nights we didn't get Blind Willie we got This Wheel's on Fire, a more than worthy substitute in my book. The main set, which was quite short, was closed with Pill Box Hat once, and otherwise with Highway 61. This song has sounded a bit pedestrian to me in some of it's incarnations down the years, but it really rocks in '97. Bob and Larry's guitars seemed to be almost bouncing off each other - very high energy performance. Rolling Stone is having a good year and this tour was no exception. When you see Bob a few times its easy to become blase about the emotional impact of some of the so called greates hits, but I defy anyone not to be moved by this song this year - he's singing it so well. I especially like the way he repeats the 1st few words of some of the lines. The acoustic encores were mostly nice. I do like the bluegrassy Don't Think Twice but twice in 4 nights Bob! - once would have done. I suppose I was rather hoping for Hard Rain or Forever Young in this slot, on the strength of previous '97 performances. The biggest surprise of the tour has been well documented by now I supppose. After determinedly not promoting yet another new album for what we thought was the whole of the 1st show, he slips in Lovesick in what is usually the RDW slot. Good performance too and judging by the audience reaction, and the soundchecks, he will hopefully slip in some more new ones on the next tour. No surprises after Lovesick though, and RDW was fun on the night as ever, although it was possibly the only number on which I missed the more aggressive drumming of Winston Watson. I would recommend anyone to go see him who has the opportunity - who'd have thought after June that we'd get such a vintage Bob year - great shows, great new album, Popes, Presidents etc. He did look a bit stiff/tired on stage at times and had one alarming near miss from falling when he tripped over his mike lead as he was about to take a bow in Bournemouth; but there was plenty of facial animation - some of it hilarious, and lots of eye contact - so he looked like he was enjoying himself - no Bob chat though other than band intros and ''thanks everybody''s. Finally a big hello to all the nice people from the queues (at the standing shows) and to all who were at the parties and gatherings (thanks to Andra and Craig for organising these). Til next time, Ken, Dublin.
Subject: London 5 Oct Review From: Martin McGowan ( Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 11:50:37 +0000 Wembley Arena - London - England - 05 Oct. `97 Absolutely Sweet Marie Senor Tough Mama You Ain't Goin' Nowhere Silvio One Too Many Mornings Tangled Up In Blue Rank Strangers Memphis Blues Again Blind Willie McTell H61 Like a Rolling Stone Don't Think Twice Love Sick Rainy Day Women ------------------------------------- Wembley Arena holds about 11,000 people and this is the first UK tour in a few years now that Bob has played a venue this large, so although I had great seats (Thanks John Baldwin) I wasn't really looking forward to the concert as much as I might have been. As it happened, the one good thing about large venues is the sense of occasion that they provide. The place was full, and really buzzing. This was going to be an event, and the seats were really good, so my fears were totally unjustified. Dana Gillespie opened the show (and requires no further discussion), Ani De Franco did her thing (very well!) There was no Dylan cover version tonight, but a splendid version of `Do Re Me'. There was a huge roar as the house lights went down and the band took the stage, and they were straight into `ASM'. The crowd was standing and cheering from the moment the lights went down. This was a really great start, to a really great show. Bob was right on the ball from the very beginning - no warm up number this! The band were really cooking too, a terrific start, just as it had been in Cardiff a couple of days ago. Straight into Senor after this....a very tender, careful rendition.....excellent! Tough Mama was next up, and once again the band were as tight as hell, picking the rhythm out and really driving this one along. Bob's singing was good, but not quite as good (IMHO) as the Cardiff performance, where he really dug into the latter verses. Excellent non the less, and as good an opening 3 numbers as I've seen for a few years. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere was great.. easy and ramblin'. Nothing earth shattering, but well performed and loads of fun.....then Silvio. I think Silvio has just about out-stayed it's welcome in this slot, but bloody hell....this really rocked! Great guitar work from our hero and a really dynamic effort all round. Bob had played (I think) Cocaine, Roving Gambler and Stone Walls/Steel Bars in this slot over the previous 3 nights, so it was a real surprise when the first acoustic number was One Too Many Mornings. But what a surprise.....a beautiful, delicate version....superb. This was turning into a really great show. A fine enough version of Tangled Up In Blue followed and then a wonderful Rank Strangers. It took a couple of lines for me to realise what Bob was playing........not a regular visitor to my CD player this one. Great harmony vocals from Bucky & Larry. All in all an excellent acoustic set. All through the show Bob had his harmonica mic. at the ready, but didn't blow a single note all night. Memphis Blues was good - mainly for the care with which Bob enunciated and phrased the lyrics. He was really trying on this one. Blind Willie McTell was next up, and although it was never going to reach the heights of the studio versions it was absolutely fantastic. Moody, sounded like it belonged on TOOM. A real highlight. H61 closed the main body of the show. Another terrific vocal performance from Bob, and another blistering display from the band - they really were rocking! Like a Rolling Stone was the first encore, and whilst it went down well with the crowd, I felt that it struggled a little. Bob just didn't seem very comfortable with the arrangement. Perhaps he was trying too hard, perhaps it was just me....the other 11,000 people in the place seemed to enjoy it! A great Don't Think Twice really rocked along.....another massive crowd pleaser and another great performance. Love Sick was the penultimate song of the night. This seemed to have evolved from the performance in Cardiff. It seemed very brooding in Cardiff, eerie & sombre, yet this version felt much more dramatic and ominous....thunderous drums and bass.....absolutely magnificent....Bob just has to introduce more TOOM songs for the next set of shows....this just worked so well for me. The house lights came on, that familiar drum/pedal steel intro rang out, the place went wild and everyone seemed to be dancing and shouting along with the `everybody must get stoned' chorus, as a great show came to an end. It wasn't the best Bob show I've ever seen, but it wasn't too far behind. It was lots of fun, Bob worked hard...his jacket was soaked with sweat by the end....and the band were great. It was a fantastic set list -not too many `greatest hits' - and a good time was had by all - well by me at least.
Subject: London, Wembley Arena - 5 Oct. 1997 From: Daniel Baars ( Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 02:37:15 +0000 Like an earlier post already said, Wembley Arena is hardly the ideal place to go and see Bob Dylan and his band play live. Strange than that this would prove to be the best Dylan concert I have personally witnessed. I've seen him in 1989 (very good), 1991 (pretty good), 1993 (pretty darn awful) and 1995 (from pretty good to pretty bad and back). Except for G.E. Smith I've never been a fan of the Never Ending Tour musicians but it seems like I was wrong about some of them. Apparently J.J. Jackson and Winston Watson were the cause of all the problems. Now they've been replaced with far more capable musicians Tony Garnier and Bucky Baxter suddenly were able to show their true selves. I was already pleasantly surprised by this 'new' band after hearing a tape of the Wolftrap concert on August 24 but I was positively stunned by their performance on sunday night. Apart from the opener, 'Absolutely Sweet Marie', the band was tighter than I've heard them before. The second song, 'Senor', was an early highlight. The version of 'Blind Willie McTell' was incredible. The absolute highlight for me was the intense rendition of 'Love Sick'. Obviously well-rehearsed and played with great attention. I hope I will be able to see this band again very soon... Kind regards, Daniel Baars. p.s. Does anyone have a good-quality DAT-recording of this concert... ;-) :-) :-)))
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