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PostPosted: Mon May 8th, 2017, 21:46 GMT 

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homerthes wrote:

That's me finished. Only the two London and Glasgow. Sigh. Not like the old days at all. Back to reality already.


Would be good to know what you thought of the shows, Mr M!


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 00:51 GMT 
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The Phantom Engineer wrote:

Thanks for this review, clearly from a commentator with enough Dylan under his belt to take a rational view.

Although I was seriously tempted to grab a ticket at the last minute (I missed out when they went onsale) I didn't attend the show last night.

Missing a hometown show feels weird (and a bit disloyal!), but I just can't get behind this latest development in Dylan's career. There is absolutely none of the covers that I'd rather hear over a Dylan original, so it seems I made the correct decision.

After seeing him here 10 times since 1995, I just hope I didn't miss his final show in Glasgow ....


Yellowgoat wrote:
Atzmann wrote:


These words describe exactly my feelings. I always loved visiting at least one concert per year. But after my last two concerts in 2015 (Bamberg & Regensburg) I decided, not to visit a Bob Dylan concert again as long as he goes on

- playing more than three or four Sinatra songs per concert and
- playing the same Bob Dylan songs again and again.

Although I agree, that he sings very very smooth since at least 2013, I'm real bored of the SET and of the covers.
Sad (and maybe a bit disloyal for a die-hard fan) but true.


For those in particular who are bothered or discouraged by the covers, I'll point out that combined they take up a total of approximately 20 minutes of the show. The rest of the gig (80%+) is made up of "Bob Dylan songs".

Also worth pointing out: between 2003 and 2012 the setlists usually consisted of 14-17 songs. The current set is 21 songs. In other words, 15 Bob Dylan songs and an extra of 6 covers.

So "the covers" shouldn't be a particularly compelling reason not to attend (for those who are still deciding or being swayed).

Will this be the last Bob Dylan tour of the UK? Hopefully not; he still seems fit mentally and physically, and there has been no dramatic downturn in the quality of the performances. I can quite easily imagine him touring for another 5 years at least.

At the same time, (to take a "rational view", as The Phanton Engineer phrases it), Bob is already well over the life expectancy for an American who has smoked cigarettes his entire life. So don't miss the opportunity to go for stupid reasons, like being unwilling to tolerate 20 minutes of convincingly-performed cover songs.


I missed him in 2016 myself, though if the venue and my financial situation had been better I might well have gone. My enjoyment of the recordings is also SEVERELY dampened by all the similar ones I've heard before, to the point where I hardly bother (which would probably make him happy if he knew, the bastard!!!). When I do listen I can't really say he's singing poorly, though, in fact sometimes his ability to find fresh ways to sing songs like Desolation Row is nothing short of astonishing, plus it's a well-constructed show overall. I suspect he knows how happy he'd make his fans by mixing things up (and he'd surely enjoy himself more, as well) but creating a new persona is no easy task and he's doing it the old fashioned way: live and in real time. He could put on the old harmonica rack and strum a couple as easy as brushing his teeth, too. I'm not holding my breath.


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 01:09 GMT 
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Just what makes you think that 'creating a new persona' is actually what he is doing, as opposed to, say, cashing in with the least possible amount of effort?


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 02:10 GMT 
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Because if he were cashing in he would surely do things much easier and make much more money doing it.

Or do you seriously think he couldn't strum along to his fantastic band on acoustic guitar and sing a reasonable Just Like A Woman?


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 09:49 GMT 

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smoke wrote:

I missed him in 2016 myself, though if the venue and my financial situation had been better I might well have gone. My enjoyment of the recordings is also SEVERELY dampened by all the similar ones I've heard before, to the point where I hardly bother (which would probably make him happy if he knew, the bastard!!!). When I do listen I can't really say he's singing poorly, though, in fact sometimes his ability to find fresh ways to sing songs like Desolation Row is nothing short of astonishing, plus it's a well-constructed show overall. I suspect he knows how happy he'd make his fans by mixing things up (and he'd surely enjoy himself more, as well) but creating a new persona is no easy task and he's doing it the old fashioned way: live and in real time. He could put on the old harmonica rack and strum a couple as easy as brushing his teeth, too. I'm not holding my breath.


Smoke, I understand and relate to the decisions not to go based on the setlist. I was more pointing out that "the covers" aren't by themselves a credible reason not to go, seeing as they only take up a small amount of the show, and are also generally well-performed.

Part of the problem is that we are all sat here, listening to recordings and following the setlists. That can be fun. But by the time you get to the show, we've already taken the journey he has created for us a hundred times, in inferior form; the magic has gone before we even get there. And that's not the fault of the artist, who must create things on his own terms, not ours.

We know his feelings on audience tapes and we can guess how he feels about live setlists, as well (the "by Bob Dylan's wishes, if we see you checking your phone at any time you will be asked to leave" security rule provides a hint).

I often enjoy audience recordings very much myself, and at the very least they can give a good indication to the quality of the performance. They don't however fully capture the cohesive sound of a live show, and it's very easy for Bob's already-indistinct voice to become buried in the recording, or become detached from the rest of the band. Notice how even on Triplicate, his voice often sounds less clear than on Shadows, due to the more crowded production. It's not an easy voice to capture, even for a professional.

At the 2 shows I attended his voice was very clear and concentrated. It was mixed well. Any growling and such-like had a sense of presence and physical impact not captured on an audience tape. Some of the recordings also need brightening up and compressing a bit to bring his voice out and restore it's clarity.

So although the recordings are good quality and a bonus to have, I don't think they are the best way for us to enjoy a static-setlist tour like this one (so far). Best just to go to a show and experience it for yourself. Maybe get a recording as a souvenir. This goes for all of us prone to thinking and analysing and studying and contemplating. Firstly, experience the work as it was intended. Personally I went to two, enjoyed them, but could have made do with one very happily. Not all creative works are meant to experienced again and again.


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 13:33 GMT 
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smoke wrote:
Or do you seriously think he couldn't strum along to his fantastic band on acoustic guitar and sing a reasonable Just Like A Woman?


Well yes, I think there would be difficulties with that, physically at least. Assuming the back problems we've been hearing about are real, I suppose that if he wanted to play acoustic guitar for an hour or two, he'd be forced to do so sitting down. This, I think, would go against his nature of not being stationary on stage. If you ever saw the Unplugged rehearsals (also the closest he ever came to doing an oldies show, Unplugged), you'll notice he has great difficulty staying in one place long. Also it wouldn't allow him to hide, as he does.


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 13:46 GMT 

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Johanna Parker wrote:
smoke wrote:
Or do you seriously think he couldn't strum along to his fantastic band on acoustic guitar and sing a reasonable Just Like A Woman?


Well yes, I think there would be difficulties with that, physically at least. Assuming the back problems we've been hearing about are real, I suppose that if he wanted to play acoustic guitar for an hour or two, he'd be forced to do so sitting down. This, I think, would go against his nature of not being stationary on stage. If you ever saw the Unplugged rehearsals (also the closest he ever came to doing an oldies show, Unplugged), you'll notice he has great difficulty staying in one place long. Also it wouldn't allow him to hide, as he does.


If he's got back problems then jumping up and down from the piano every few minutes is more hazardous than playing an acoustic guitar.

But anyway, that is irrelevant. The point remains that the best way to sell tickets to the mass-market would be a set of 70's/60's classics, rather than the mostly 1997+ set of oddities he's been favouring since 2013. The only realistic explanation for the current set is: it's what he wants to do.

The main difference is that his wants and yours aren't currently aligned. This is a common symptom of being a Bob Dylan fan.

Anyway, changing the setlist and selling multiple tickets to the same customer would be the easiest way of making money. You yourself are evidence of this - you are going to less shows while the setlist is static. And there's little more work involved for him personally in changing the setlist: the basic structure of the sound is made by his band, not by him. For him the hardest part is commiting himself to performing well, to focusing and doing the songs justice, and I feel he has been doing that at the recent shows.


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 14:55 GMT 
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Yellowgoat wrote:
If he's got back problems then jumping up and down from the piano every few minutes is more hazardous than playing an acoustic guitar.


I don't see him "jumping." It's not like he puts on a Stones like act physically. He sits down and stands up as he can and needs to. Plus he doesn't carry any additional weight except for the occasional microphone stand.


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 15:22 GMT 

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Johanna Parker wrote:
Yellowgoat wrote:
If he's got back problems then jumping up and down from the piano every few minutes is more hazardous than playing an acoustic guitar.


I don't see him "jumping." It's not like he puts on a Stones like act physically. He sits down and stands up as he can and needs to. Plus he doesn't carry any additional weight except for the occasional microphone stand.


If someone is prone to back problems then standing up and down is most likely when it's going to be most painful. Lifting heavy weights, too: but an acoustic guitar on a shoulder strap isn't heavy, no more so than a rugged stage mic on a stand. An electric guitar is a different matter.

But regardless, my point (and I think Smoke's also) is: if making the most amount of money with the least amount of effort is the only goal, then a crowd-pleasing greatest hits set of 60's/70's material (on acoustic guitar, piano, or whatever) would be a better way of attracting the big crowds. The recent sets have been closer to the opposite extreme, consisting mainly of obscure songs that many people wouldn't even know.

I'm not saying he doesn't care about money; he's one of the most financially successful solo artists in the world. But I don't think he's chosen the setlist with just his bank balance and ease-of-performance in mind.


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 15:54 GMT 
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Yellowgoat wrote:
For those in particular who are bothered or discouraged by the covers, I'll point out that combined they take up a total of approximately 20 minutes of the show. The rest of the gig (80%+) is made up of "Bob Dylan songs".

Also worth pointing out: between 2003 and 2012 the setlists usually consisted of 14-17 songs. The current set is 21 songs. In other words, 15 Bob Dylan songs and an extra of 6 covers.

So "the covers" shouldn't be a particularly compelling reason not to attend (for those who are still deciding or being swayed).

Will this be the last Bob Dylan tour of the UK? Hopefully not; he still seems fit mentally and physically, and there has been no dramatic downturn in the quality of the performances. I can quite easily imagine him touring for another 5 years at least.

At the same time, (to take a "rational view", as The Phanton Engineer phrases it), Bob is already well over the life expectancy for an American who has smoked cigarettes his entire life. So don't miss the opportunity to go for stupid reasons, like being unwilling to tolerate 20 minutes of convincingly-performed cover songs.


Even if Bob Dylan would play Soon After Midnight five times in a row at one concert, somebody in this forum would be defending his doing.

Let us be quiet honest:
Today most of us are pleased whenever there is a little change in the SET (song chronology, a new arrangement, a Live-Premiere every now and then ...). Actually there are even discussions about Mr. Dylan's hat (on/off).

Ten or fifteen years ago, nobody realized such knickknacks because real changes happend then!


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 16:06 GMT 
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Sometimes I wonder what's more boring, the setlist or the complaining about.

I mean, if he would really do a tour with those 60/70s stuff, I can't imagine what would going on here.
And the recent concerts were great.


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 16:18 GMT 

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Atzmann wrote:
Yellowgoat wrote:
For those in particular who are bothered or discouraged by the covers, I'll point out that combined they take up a total of approximately 20 minutes of the show. The rest of the gig (80%+) is made up of "Bob Dylan songs".

Also worth pointing out: between 2003 and 2012 the setlists usually consisted of 14-17 songs. The current set is 21 songs. In other words, 15 Bob Dylan songs and an extra of 6 covers.

So "the covers" shouldn't be a particularly compelling reason not to attend (for those who are still deciding or being swayed).

Will this be the last Bob Dylan tour of the UK? Hopefully not; he still seems fit mentally and physically, and there has been no dramatic downturn in the quality of the performances. I can quite easily imagine him touring for another 5 years at least.

At the same time, (to take a "rational view", as The Phanton Engineer phrases it), Bob is already well over the life expectancy for an American who has smoked cigarettes his entire life. So don't miss the opportunity to go for stupid reasons, like being unwilling to tolerate 20 minutes of convincingly-performed cover songs.


Even if Bob Dylan would play Soon After Midnight five times in a row at one concert, somebody in this forum would be defending his doing.

Let us be quiet honest:
Today most of us are pleased whenever there is a little change in the SET (song chronology, a new arrangement, a Live-Premiere every now and then ...). Actually there are even discussions about Mr. Dylan's hat (on/off).

Ten or fifteen years ago, nobody realized such knickknacks because real changes happend then!


And if you only go to one show, like "normal" people do ("normal" being neither an insult or a compliment) then it doesn't matter. It's a show designed for one viewing that many of us are judging by the wrong criteria, after attending multiple shows, listening to multiple recordings, religiously studying the setlists etc.

I enjoyed the changing setlists more, as well. But only when the performances were committed, which often wasn't the case in 2008-2012, or even before then.

"10 or 15 years ago" (2002 to 2007) might have the edge on 2017, that is fair enough. Then again, that's the difference between being 61 years old and 76 years old. I suspect in another ten years when he is nearly 86, you will be equally disappointed.

h.egbert wrote:
Sometimes I wonder what's more boring, the setlist or the complaining about.

I mean, if he would really do a tour with those 60/70s stuff, I can't imagine what would going on here.


No one is saying he should do that. We're saying that if his only concern is simply making money (with complete disregard for the Muse, as JP thinks) then he'd surely be playing a Greatest Hits set, rather than the current low-key set of mostly obscure originals and largely-unpopular cover songs.


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 17:15 GMT 
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Yellowgoat wrote:
but an acoustic guitar on a shoulder strap isn't heavy, no more so than a rugged stage mic on a stand.


I'd beg to differ; also, he doesn't hold up the mike stand for two hours straight.


Yellowgoat wrote:
he's one of the most financially successful solo artists in the world.


Yes? Has this been documented, and compared to whom?
Of course he cares about money, otherwise he'd hardly sell thousands of signed art prints. He's basically been hawking his signature for the last few years now.


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 17:46 GMT 

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Johanna Parker wrote:
Yellowgoat wrote:
but an acoustic guitar on a shoulder strap isn't heavy, no more so than a rugged stage mic on a stand.


I'd beg to differ; also, he doesn't hold up the mike stand for two hours straight.




It strikes me you are persisting in nitpicking over this minor and largely irrelevant detail to distract attention from the general thrust of what is being said.

But anyway: just compared the weight of my Martin D-28 (outfitted with 2 pickup systems and internal pre-amp) to that of a stage mic on a stand (with no cable attached). The mic + stand is heavier.


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 19:30 GMT 

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In my irrational view (clearly it must be since I've not been going to Bob Dylan shows for the last twenty five years) and as someone who can't travel to every show that is on the same continent as me the Glasgow show I saw was fantastic. I got four originals I'd never heard live before and actually enjoyed the crooners - despite being totally uninterested in the albums they come from.

I totally get that this must be dull for people who go to every show and it is a shame that the setlists aren't as varied as they used to be. But at least it means that Bobs performance standard has improved. I'll take a consistently well performed but static setlist over an erratic, mumbled, occasionally brilliant but ultimately poorly performed setlist.

That said - I get that for some people part of the fun was the changes and what he would do each night. Maybe I'm more forgiving on Bob cause I've started following Springsteen setlists and have my fill of random setlists there. Anyway - I'll be there the next time he's up at this corner of the world.

He's never gonna please us all


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 20:54 GMT 
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Back problems. I doubt that very much. He seemed strong physically on the shows and clips I've seen.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11th, 2017, 10:00 GMT 
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I've also been to the show, and I have to admit I truly enjoyed it. It was my wife and myself, seeing Dylan for the first time.
I've been collecting Dylan records and books for most of my adult life, but never had the opportunity to see him in concert. I was either in the wrong city or in the wrong mood, so I had never managed to make it. But this time I had the tickets since December 13th, my birthday, the day they went for sale. So I was counting the minutes for the event.
My wife, by the way, was as excited as myself. She could not help shouting a little when he went into the stage.
Great experience.

During the concert, I thought I had seen a guy that works at my office so I asked him the day after. And yes, it was him. We've been chatting for a little while and he seemed to be quite into Dylan. He knew the setlist in advance, he was aware of To Ramona substituting Don’t Think Twice, and other things like that... The kind of things that not every member of an average Dylan concert audience would know, I bet you know what I mean. Maybe he's a member of expectingrain, who knows -I wish he is.

The thing is that he told me he had taken a hotel room nearby the Armadillo, in order to avoid drinking and driving. Apparently he does not live in city centre, so he went for a room in the Crowne Plaza. So, right before the concert, he thought he would have a beer before heading the Armadillo, and he went downstairs to the Crowne Plaza bar.
And guess who he saw there? Bob Dylan himself!
He was having a beer with his crew, apparently he went to the bar himself, to order everyone’s beers (he had a Beck’s, by the way -my work colleague asked the barman afterwards). Apparently, nobody went to speak with him, I suppose they didn’t want to bother the man.
Isn’t that great? I was honestly freaking out when he told me! Great story, isn’t it?


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PostPosted: Thu May 11th, 2017, 11:38 GMT 
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InsideTheMuseums wrote:
I've also been to the show, and I have to admit I truly enjoyed it. It was my wife and myself, seeing Dylan for the first time.
I've been collecting Dylan records and books for most of my adult life, but never had the opportunity to see him in concert. I was either in the wrong city or in the wrong mood, so I had never managed to make it. But this time I had the tickets since December 13th, my birthday, the day they went for sale. So I was counting the minutes for the event.
My wife, by the way, was as excited as myself. She could not help shouting a little when he went into the stage.
Great experience.

During the concert, I thought I had seen a guy that works at my office so I asked him the day after. And yes, it was him. We've been chatting for a little while and he seemed to be quite into Dylan. He knew the setlist in advance, he was aware of To Ramona substituting Don’t Think Twice, and other things like that... The kind of things that not every member of an average Dylan concert audience would know, I bet you know what I mean. Maybe he's a member of expectingrain, who knows -I wish he is.

The thing is that he told me he had taken a hotel room nearby the Armadillo, in order to avoid drinking and driving. Apparently he does not live in city centre, so he went for a room in the Crowne Plaza. So, right before the concert, he thought he would have a beer before heading the Armadillo, and he went downstairs to the Crowne Plaza bar.
And guess who he saw there? Bob Dylan himself!
He was having a beer with his crew, apparently he went to the bar himself, to order everyone’s beers (he had a Beck’s, by the way -my work colleague asked the barman afterwards). Apparently, nobody went to speak with him, I suppose they didn’t want to bother the man.
Isn’t that great? I was honestly freaking out when he told me! Great story, isn’t it?


:lol: :oops:

That wasn't Bob Dylan... that was a Norwegian fellow who follows Bob who looks the exact spitting image of current day Dylan, and also dresses like him too. I know this, because I was sitting beside 'Bob Dylan' when your friend approached him. We really did look like Bob's band and entourage though, we were all in sunglasses and hats. It was too funny/embarrassing to say anything, plus, I didn't want to ruin his experience.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11th, 2017, 11:57 GMT 
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gibsona07 wrote:
InsideTheMuseums wrote:
I've also been to the show, and I have to admit I truly enjoyed it. It was my wife and myself, seeing Dylan for the first time.
I've been collecting Dylan records and books for most of my adult life, but never had the opportunity to see him in concert. I was either in the wrong city or in the wrong mood, so I had never managed to make it. But this time I had the tickets since December 13th, my birthday, the day they went for sale. So I was counting the minutes for the event.
My wife, by the way, was as excited as myself. She could not help shouting a little when he went into the stage.
Great experience.

During the concert, I thought I had seen a guy that works at my office so I asked him the day after. And yes, it was him. We've been chatting for a little while and he seemed to be quite into Dylan. He knew the setlist in advance, he was aware of To Ramona substituting Don’t Think Twice, and other things like that... The kind of things that not every member of an average Dylan concert audience would know, I bet you know what I mean. Maybe he's a member of expectingrain, who knows -I wish he is.

The thing is that he told me he had taken a hotel room nearby the Armadillo, in order to avoid drinking and driving. Apparently he does not live in city centre, so he went for a room in the Crowne Plaza. So, right before the concert, he thought he would have a beer before heading the Armadillo, and he went downstairs to the Crowne Plaza bar.
And guess who he saw there? Bob Dylan himself!
He was having a beer with his crew, apparently he went to the bar himself, to order everyone’s beers (he had a Beck’s, by the way -my work colleague asked the barman afterwards). Apparently, nobody went to speak with him, I suppose they didn’t want to bother the man.
Isn’t that great? I was honestly freaking out when he told me! Great story, isn’t it?


:lol: :oops:

That wasn't Bob Dylan... that was a Norwegian fellow who follows Bob who looks the exact spitting image of current day Dylan, and also dresses like him too. I know this, because I was sitting beside 'Bob Dylan' when your friend approached him. We really did look like Bob's band and entourage though, we were all in sunglasses and hats. It was too funny/embarrassing to say anything, plus, I didn't want to ruin his experience.


Hahaha! That's pretty funny actually. It was not my work colleague who approached him, he told me he didn't dare as he didn't want to bother him. He was staring at him from the afar, but he was pretty adamant it was actually him. I will not let him know, I don't want to spoil his thrill.
Anyway, knowing it was not him makes me feel slightly better as I was actually quite jealous. Thanks for letting me know! :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 11th, 2017, 12:06 GMT 
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Even up close the Norwegian Bob-lookalike looks exactly like Bob. And he wears all the cowboy gear. There was also another older Swedish gentleman in a fringed swede jacket and cowboy hat, so we were getting a lot of stares. Apparently the Norwegian chap was even stopped for an autograph on the way to the Armadillo.

The guy that approached us was a youngish hipster type with a beard. He was visibly very nervous and had clearly been thinking of what to say. I sort of got a glimpse into what it must be like to be Bob. He was so nervous. It was pretty funny though.

Viktor123 can also back up that it was definitely not Bob Dylan in the Crowne Plaza before the gig on Sunday. :lol:

I can also confirm we were indeed drinking Becks.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11th, 2017, 12:26 GMT 
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Oh, he's taller than Bob, and sort of younger, too...


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PostPosted: Thu May 11th, 2017, 18:52 GMT 
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If the Norwegian Bob lookalike is who I think it is, surely he's a lot taller than Bob? I suppose it might be harder to tell when he's sitting down... A funny story, thank goodness he was only approached by a couple of individuals. Who on earth believes that Bob and his crew would all be drinking and socialising together less than an hour before the show? A moment's reflection before approaching would have been a good idea!


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PostPosted: Thu May 11th, 2017, 19:14 GMT 
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People who have no idea about Bob Dylan and think he's leading the wild rockstar's life...


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PostPosted: Thu May 11th, 2017, 22:44 GMT 
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Johanna Parker wrote:
People who have no idea about Bob Dylan and think he's leading the wild rockstar's life...


Haha just like we are lol! I'm 14 years younger than Bob and feeling my age after following him for a mere 4 shows with at least one night at home between each one.


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PostPosted: Fri May 12th, 2017, 05:55 GMT 

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gibsona07 wrote:
Even up close the Norwegian Bob-lookalike looks exactly like Bob.


Haha, any pics?


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