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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 23:08 GMT 
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dvdunplugged wrote:
A very strong performance, I rated the first 6 or 7 songs as good as Bournemouth. Hat news - it was ON for THC. it was OFF for DTTIA, HW61 and BHLN. It was ON again for WTTCMN. After that I can't really remember - it was OFF for Tangled. Still can't find anything nice to say about Stormy Weather though, wouldn't matter to me if it was ON or OFF or if he had an umbrella, Gene Kelly style Singing In The Rain. Love Sick he again did sitting at the piano. I was in one of the front rows of Block B3, at the end of Autumn Leaves I stood in the aisle applauding and joined the stage rush to the front, got to about nine rows from the front of stage. Thin Man was majestic. The audience was much more vocal than Bournemouth, I really enjoyed.



Sounds like a good time.


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 23:30 GMT 
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Just typing on my phone..without going into details.. That was great. Not sure if it was just how I perceived it, or the weather, or something like that..but I felt Bob was..somehow different to all the other shows in England. In a very good way. Not that I didn't enjoy the others.

All or nothing at all ..I remember thinking..something has changed here. Maybe it was in me. Desolation row..no hat, glanced to audience behind him to left, seemed really at ease, focused, and I can't seem to type well here..but it was great

In Bournemouth, I felt this change a bit earlier.. In tangled. Tangled on piano from start I enjoyed. The piano he plays. ERK his soft singing on those lines. Old black magic..seems to get faster and faster. Thought it was really good tonight. Bob really sang it well, pretty straight threw using same part of his voice, soft tone, I suppose that unusual compared to a lot of the other songs. All through the show I just thought his voice, the way he used it, the feeling of experimenting with voice, words, phrasing..like almost in a recording studio somehow, playing around, but also mixed with the focus and band sounding great, the mix of it, the guitar...maybe where I was sat but sounded better than all ptevious nights to me. All the above I suppose applies to all other shows I have seen, to me it seemed ...hmm ..I imagine you maybe know what I mean, even though I haven't described it really. A meeting of senses and things, a few waves joining together in a certain time, making things change, or like I said above, just as likely I dreamt the whole thing..


Last edited by nightly moth on Tue May 9th, 2017, 23:55 GMT, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 23:36 GMT 
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Soon after midnight. It was wonderous

Ballad of a thin man.. He somehow out sang the other shows, the tax deductable line..I nearly jumped in the air with joy

Stading for the encore. Made it even better

I would prefer to stand for whole show

Good to do some leg dancing, felt miles better whrn stood up. Not cramped in seats


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PostPosted: Tue May 9th, 2017, 23:59 GMT 
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Really good performance and Bob was the best vocally I've heard for some time. Highlights were Desolation, Tangled, Soon after Midnight.
My only show this tour so can't compare.

My god though Wembley Arena is a bloody awful venue.
Massive queues to get in to the point that despite arriving at 7:15 we barely got to our seats before he started. One person slowly and perfunctorily searching bags. All seated cavernous hall with terrible acoustics. The worst of all though was the security staff constantly walking up and down the aisle and flashing strobes lights in the face of everyone throughout the evening. Nearly provoked a riot during Desolation Row.

Apologies for the rant but the place is the absolute pits. Dire. Dire. Dire.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 00:09 GMT 
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I think someone put a drug in my wine last night, felt pretty ragged and lowdown most if the day, long bus journey, no wine for a change, just about made it on time to the show..afterwards I left without saying hello/goodbye to some familiar faces, not sure why.. I think I feel a bit like bob felt at the end of the 66 tour .. 'I just want to go home..' Well, either home, or Dublin. I really feel like I wish I had another 8 shows to go to. With good hotels and trains though. The long bus rides and hostels have been making me weary. In a room here with three stangers, one snoring loudly. I have earphones in listening to the sound of a rain in a forest ..pretty good. 7 minutes long, on repeat. Anyway, I kind of went off the subject.

Thank you again Bob. You and your music mean more to me than most things.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 00:18 GMT 
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Is this still the only photo we have of His Royal Hatlessness? What about that gig a few days ago?
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_alVKDWAAACwdT.jpg


Edit:
Slightly better.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_agyKNXsAAe4YW.jpg


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 03:08 GMT 

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nightly moth wrote:
I imagine you maybe know what I mean, even though I haven't described it really. A meeting of senses and things, a few waves joining together in a certain time, making things change, or like I said above, just as likely I dreamt the whole thing..

thanks moth


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 05:27 GMT 
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nightly moth wrote:
Soon after midnight. It was wonderous

Ballad of a thin man.. He somehow out sang the other shows, the tax deductable line..I nearly jumped in the air with joy

Stading for the encore. Made it even better

I would prefer to stand for whole show

Good to do some leg dancing, felt miles better whrn stood up. Not cramped in seats


nightly moth wrote:
..afterwards I left without saying hello/goodbye to some familiar faces, not sure why..


There should be laws against standing when Dylan's playing Highway 61. I totally agree about Ballad Of A Thin Man, it really was good. I believe he feeds off of his audience, the Wembley audience were much more vociferous than the Bournemouth one. I didn't hang around long afterwards, TDave just got to his seat for the start the queues were that long, he was sitting near me somewhere but I didn't see him. I did see some other people before I went in though. I must have enjoyed it, as the merchandising wasn't busy I did buy one of the blue Modern Times shirts as I left.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 05:35 GMT 
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nightly moth wrote:
Just typing on my phone..without going into details.. That was great. Not sure if it was just how I perceived it, or the weather, or something like that..but I felt Bob was..somehow different to all the other shows in England. In a very good way. Not that I didn't enjoy the others.

All or nothing at all ..I remember thinking..something has changed here. Maybe it was in me. Desolation row..no hat, glanced to audience behind him to left, seemed really at ease, focused, and I can't seem to type well here..but it was great

In Bournemouth, I felt this change a bit earlier.. In tangled. Tangled on piano from start I enjoyed. The piano he plays. ERK his soft singing on those lines. Old black magic..seems to get faster and faster. Thought it was really good tonight. Bob really sang it well, pretty straight threw using same part of his voice, soft tone, I suppose that unusual compared to a lot of the other songs. All through the show I just thought his voice, the way he used it, the feeling of experimenting with voice, words, phrasing..like almost in a recording studio somehow, playing around, but also mixed with the focus and band sounding great, the mix of it, the guitar...maybe where I was sat but sounded better than all ptevious nights to me. All the above I suppose applies to all other shows I have seen, to me it seemed ...hmm ..I imagine you maybe know what I mean, even though I haven't described it really. A meeting of senses and things, a few waves joining together in a certain time, making things change, or like I said above, just as likely I dreamt the whole thing..


Thanks for these, sounds like a great show.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 06:39 GMT 
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- Wembley is a shit hole of a venue. As my mate said, it's like a demilitarized zone. Twenty quid for two pints of piss and a double scotch, cattle class plastic seats with less than zero elbow room, in a room with all the warmth and charm of Donald Trump and Theresa May on a blind date.
- We sat down on the floor, a few rows from the stage. Sound mix was weird, hardly any bass, all about the guitars, piano and Bob. Nice and crunchy for the rockier numbers, just plain bad for the slow ones and the covers. Compared to the comforting sympathetic sonics of RAH 2 years ago, this was troubling.
- First three songs were great, loved that 'Highway 61' in particular, but my attention span wore out quickly after that. It all became rote so quickly.
- The covers mostly come across as surreal comedy sketches, with the incredibly shrinking Bob (he seems to get smaller each time I see him) coming out front, doing his Thunderbirds-on-acid-meets-that-strange-pissed-bloke-singing-in-the-the-pub act to hilarious effect. Just plain mad and totally interrupts the flow of his own songs
- Tangled was pretty good in its new electrified arrangement, had a bit more attitude to it than before
- Desolation Row....first part great until Bob somehow locked into a brain breakingly naff up'n'down vocal mannerism that he mirrored on the piano, which continued to the end of the song as if he was one of those malfunctioning robots from Westworld.
- Band look utterly bored with the whole affair, like the core cast of a long running soap opera locked into a haunted compromise between money and art. It might have been the sound mix but they sounded sloppy and rigid, worse than any time I've seen them. I asked my mate what the opposite of 'swing' was. Apparently, it's 'ming'.
- Dylan's utter lack of engagement with the audience had me comparing him sadly to Cohen's latterday shows. This is the ultimate Shrodinger's Cat of a show, both happening and not existing at the same time.
- Had a nice burger in the pub beforehand.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 07:00 GMT 
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If you didn't enjoy Wembley then it's a good job you didn't make Paris or Bournemouth, I rate it higher than those two - he seemed more engaged and the audience made themselves more known. Up to Stormy Weather I really thought it was good, he seemed to loose it's way a bit after that but there were still some very strong performances. I agree the place is a bit of a cattle market but as I was near the front of Block B3 on the floor that didn't really matter.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 08:26 GMT 
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I saw The Grateful Dead at Wembley Arena in 1990 (10-31-90 & 11-01-90) and that was an OK venue for them (the Halloween show was outstanding) but for nowadays Bob........ NO.

Ramón




McG, take a listen to Spot's Copenhagen 04-07-2017, that was the venue Bob deserves. A remix from you will be a treat.


Last edited by Scarletbegonias on Wed May 10th, 2017, 08:35 GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 08:32 GMT 

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McG wrote:
- Wembley is a shit hole of a venue. As my mate said, it's like a demilitarized zone. Twenty quid for two pints of piss and a double scotch, cattle class plastic seats with less than zero elbow room, in a room with all the warmth and charm of Donald Trump and Theresa May on a blind date.
- We sat down on the floor, a few rows from the stage. Sound mix was weird, hardly any bass, all about the guitars, piano and Bob. Nice and crunchy for the rockier numbers, just plain bad for the slow ones and the covers. Compared to the comforting sympathetic sonics of RAH 2 years ago, this was troubling.
- First three songs were great, loved that 'Highway 61' in particular, but my attention span wore out quickly after that. It all became rote so quickly.
- The covers mostly come across as surreal comedy sketches, with the incredibly shrinking Bob (he seems to get smaller each time I see him) coming out front, doing his Thunderbirds-on-acid-meets-that-strange-pissed-bloke-singing-in-the-the-pub act to hilarious effect. Just plain mad and totally interrupts the flow of his own songs
- Tangled was pretty good in its new electrified arrangement, had a bit more attitude to it than before
- Desolation Row....first part great until Bob somehow locked into a brain breakingly naff up'n'down vocal mannerism that he mirrored on the piano, which continued to the end of the song as if he was one of those malfunctioning robots from Westworld.
- Band look utterly bored with the whole affair, like the core cast of a long running soap opera locked into a haunted compromise between money and art. It might have been the sound mix but they sounded sloppy and rigid, worse than any time I've seen them. I asked my mate what the opposite of 'swing' was. Apparently, it's 'ming'.
- Dylan's utter lack of engagement with the audience had me comparing him sadly to Cohen's latterday shows. This is the ultimate Shrodinger's Cat of a show, both happening and not existing at the same time.
- Had a nice burger in the pub beforehand.


Unfortunately the sound mix very near the stage is always going to be weird (unpredictable, dependent on your location) at any gig. As a musician yourself I realise you are probably aware of this:


yellowgoat wrote:
seats at the very front will generally have muddier sound and a less balanced sound mix. The first few rows will often be hearing more of the onstage mix than the beefier PA mix intended for the audience. This lack of clarity and definition particularly affects Bob's voice, which can obviously sound quite indistinct even at the best of times.



The "slow ones and the covers" are played on acoustic bass, which isn't amplified onstage like the guitars are. So that's probably why it sounded quiet near the front. If you go and remix Desire, randomly pushing the faders up and down and extracting the bass to create a front row-style mix, that will probably sound poor as well.

And in particular I get what you are saying about Desolation Row, it was good at the Palladium, but in Cardiff that vocal mannerism had started to creep in. Reminded me of a few years back when entire songs were routinely performed in the same way.

You can't really compare him to Cohen, I made the same mistake a few years back of comparing him to Neil Young (to be fair, that was when his show had hit rock-bottom, performance-wise). Bob's live show will not compare favourably to either, but it's not without it's own merit. JP reminded me that he doesn't really compare to anyone. If he again starts singing every song in that Desolation Row "up and down" voice then I'll no doubt find myself agreeing with you again.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 09:11 GMT 

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Johanna Parker wrote:
Is this still the only photo we have of His Royal Hatlessness? What about that gig a few days ago?
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_alVKDWAAACwdT.jpg


Edit:
Slightly better.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_agyKNXsAAe4YW.jpg


I saw a couple from the Palladium night 3.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 09:57 GMT 

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Yellowgoat wrote:
Unfortunately the sound mix very near the stage is always going to be weird


Considering that the most enthusiastic reviews have come from about the first row center, the sound on row 5? must be quite good. Can’t imagine how heavenly it must be further back. But maybe the "first-rowers" haven't heard the real Dylan and that's why they think he's tolerabe?


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 10:07 GMT 
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Still Go Barefoot wrote:
One Night!

Tuesday
9 May 2017

London, England



The SSE Arena, Wembley
Capacity: 12,500
Showtime: 6:30 PM

This is the 27th show of the 2017 Never Ending Tour



---
Blast from the Past
Bob Dylan Back in Peak Form
London show brings to mind his 'Blonde on Blonde' days


By Johnathan Cott
August 16, 1984


It was his biggest concert in England since the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival, and Bob Dylan, appearing before 72,000 people at London's open-air Wembley Stadium on the evening of July 7th, 1984 turned it into one of the highlights of his performing career.

The show was Dylan's next-to-last appearance on a twenty-five-date European tour, and as he sat backstage before the concert, he seemed positively relaxed, cheerfully greeting such old friends and musical colleagues as Mick Jagger, Mark Knopfler, Chrissie Hynde, Steve Winwood, Van Morrison and Eric Clapton. But when Dylan bounded out onstage later that evening, wearing a black frock coat and sporting a shock of wild, curly hair, he looked, from a distance, like nothing less than a holy man possessed. And from the moment he and his band (ex-Faces' keyboard player Ian McLagan, ex-Stone the Crows drummer Colin Allen, bassist Greg Sutton and ex-Rolling Stone Mick Taylor) broke into an electrifying Chuck Berryish version of "Highway 61," it was clear that Dylan was once again a devoted rock & roller. Moreover, his voice – full of passionate declamations and dramatic vocal leaps, and displaying an emotional palette that ranged from proud anger to unabashed tenderness – immediately brought his audience back to the days of Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde.

During his two-and-a-half-hour performance, Dylan sang twenty-five songs. The first part of the concert included excellent renditions of three tracks from his recent Infidels album: "Jokerman," "I and I" and "License to Kill." But Dylan and the band were most impressive in the way they gave new life to his older songs, turning "Just like a Woman" into a rollicking waltz, "Simple Twist of Fate" into a sensual rock samba, "Every Grain of Sand" into a haunted Basement Tapes meditation and "Maggie's Farm" – with the rhythmic riff of "Obviously Five Believers" – into a sardonic and fierce protest song (lately the unofficial anthem of "Maggie" Thatcher's opposition, the British Labour party).

Dylan also performed three acoustic numbers: a gentle version of "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," a folk- and bluegrass-tinged rendition of "Tangled Up in Blue" and a searing reinterpretation of "It's Alright, Ma." With only his guitar and harmonica, Dylan somehow made the vast spaces of Wembley Stadium shrink into what seemed like an intimate circle around a campfire, as the crowd accompanied him in the refrains to each of these songs.

The audience continued to sing along when Dylan brought the band back to conclude the first part of the concert with an ecstatic version of "Like a Rolling Stone."

For his encore, Dylan did three more acoustic numbers: "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Girl From the North Country" and "It Ain't Me Babe." Then, from out of the wings, the band reemerged, along with Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Chrissie Hynde, and the entire entourage proceeded to give an amazing performance of "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat." As if that weren't enough, Van Morrison joined everyone onstage and sang a soulful, unsurpassable version of "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," with Chrissie Hynde and Dylan providing backup vocals. After receiving a tremendous ovation, Morrison left the stage, and the remaining musicians launched into high-powered performances of "Tombstone Blues," "Senor," "The Times They are A-Changin' " and, finally, "Blowin' in the Wind."

Thousands of people danced, and matches were lit. A half moon appeared, then one nearby star.

This story is from the August 16th, 1984 issue of Rolling Stone.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/ ... m-19840816


This is the closest I've ever got to the stage, at a Dylan concert. It took most of UB40's set, but eventually I only had two girls between myself and the centre of the stage, with Bob right up above me, eyeliner melting in the heat, and 72,000 souls ranged out behind me. This must have been the hottest day of the year. Luckily, I was so dehydrated that there was no need to lose this precious spot in order to liberate the contents of the many cans of Stella we'd consumed going in. Other than clearly remembering Clapton, Carlos Santana (who preceded Dylan's closing performance), Chrissie Hynde up there, and Van Morrison's It's All Over Now Baby Blue, the Rolling Stone account strikes no memory chords. I still remember the rather fruitful party that we headed off to afterwards, though.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 10:27 GMT 

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Futile Horn wrote:
Yellowgoat wrote:
Unfortunately the sound mix very near the stage is always going to be weird


Considering that the most enthusiastic reviews have come from about the first row center, the sound on row 5? must be quite good. Can’t imagine how heavenly it must be further back. But maybe the "first-rowers" haven't heard the real Dylan and that's why they think he's tolerabe?


Of course reviews from front row/center will be good, and justifiably so; people typically spend the most money on these seats (or queue up for days) and are most likely to be "hardcore" fans. On top of that, the experience of being 10 feet away from your favourite artist/hero/God (delete as applicable) can undeniably also be an exciting one. The extreme closeness will make even the most minor of movements from the artist seem like a grand gesture.

But my observation quoted above is specifically about sound quality (and how this can affect perception of the performance). Which is only one part of what contributes to the quality of a show. But for many of us, it's a signifcant one.

Have you ever been to a small pub gig? (Briefly) go and stand behind the PA, but directly in front of one of the guitar amps. Or the drums, or the bass amp. The sound mix will vary dramatically depending on your location. That's what it is often like in the front row of a large venue, except more exaggerated due to the wider space and more complex stage monitoring.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 10:59 GMT 
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Yellowgoat wrote:
Johanna Parker wrote:
Is this still the only photo we have of His Royal Hatlessness? What about that gig a few days ago?
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_alVKDWAAACwdT.jpg


Edit:
Slightly better.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_agyKNXsAAe4YW.jpg


I saw a couple from the Palladium night 3.


You wouldn't have a link handy?


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 11:04 GMT 

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Johanna Parker wrote:

You wouldn't have a link handy?


There's one on Paolo Brillo's Facebook, the other was also on a Facebook account but I can't remember where.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 11:48 GMT 
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nightly moth wrote:
Just typing on my phone..without going into details.. That was great. Not sure if it was just how I perceived it, or the weather, or something like that..but I felt Bob was..somehow different to all the other shows in England. In a very good way. Not that I didn't enjoy the others.

All or nothing at all ..I remember thinking..something has changed here. Maybe it was in me. Desolation row..no hat, glanced to audience behind him to left, seemed really at ease, focused, and I can't seem to type well here..but it was great

In Bournemouth, I felt this change a bit earlier.. In tangled. Tangled on piano from start I enjoyed. The piano he plays. ERK his soft singing on those lines. Old black magic..seems to get faster and faster. Thought it was really good tonight. Bob really sang it well, pretty straight threw using same part of his voice, soft tone, I suppose that unusual compared to a lot of the other songs. All through the show I just thought his voice, the way he used it, the feeling of experimenting with voice, words, phrasing..like almost in a recording studio somehow, playing around, but also mixed with the focus and band sounding great, the mix of it, the guitar...maybe where I was sat but sounded better than all ptevious nights to me. All the above I suppose applies to all other shows I have seen, to me it seemed ...hmm ..I imagine you maybe know what I mean, even though I haven't described it really. A meeting of senses and things, a few waves joining together in a certain time, making things change, or like I said above, just as likely I dreamt the whole thing..


Moth! Had no idea you were at the Bournemouth show, we should have gone for a pint!


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 11:51 GMT 
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Futile Horn wrote:
Yellowgoat wrote:
Unfortunately the sound mix very near the stage is always going to be weird


Considering that the most enthusiastic reviews have come from about the first row center, the sound on row 5? must be quite good. Can’t imagine how heavenly it must be further back. But maybe the "first-rowers" haven't heard the real Dylan and that's why they think he's tolerabe?



I was 14 rows back, or something like that. I would have expected the sound to be way better than it was from there - Tony might as well have f*cked off for some beers and a curry, for all he added to the mix.

I dunno, last time I was at Wembley was for Bob as well, but back in 2000 - both nights and 2 different positions - and the sound was infinitely better then.

Maybe it's my ears though, or that chilli burger I had before the show. But something was just off.

On the other hand, maybe Bob's going for a deliberately more roadhouse feel to the sound, rather than the lounge-lizard vibe I got a couple years back. Haven't heard enough of the recent recording to tell.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 12:06 GMT 

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McG wrote:
Futile Horn wrote:

Considering that the most enthusiastic reviews have come from about the first row center, the sound on row 5? must be quite good. Can’t imagine how heavenly it must be further back. But maybe the "first-rowers" haven't heard the real Dylan and that's why they think he's tolerabe?



I was 14 rows back, or something like that. I would have expected the sound to be way better than it was from there - Tony might as well have f*cked off for some beers and a curry, for all he added to the mix.

Maybe it's my ears though, or that chilli burger I had before the show. But something was just off.

On the other hand, maybe Bob's going for a deliberately more roadhouse feel to the sound, rather than the lounge-lizard vibe I got a couple years back. Haven't heard enough of the recent recording to tell.



Then that's fair enough, the sound should have been a bit better balanced from there, agreed. I was roughly the same number of rows back in Cardiff (admittedly a smaller venue) and the sound was full and good. Making an exception for the out-of-tune piano, which I suspect was more to do with the guy playing it than the instrument.

Haven't been to the London venue myself (luckily, apparently!) so I can't comment from personal experience.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 12:24 GMT 
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McG wrote:
- Dylan's utter lack of engagement with the audience...


This isn't a surprise, though, right?
Pretty standard, no?


Thanks for the comments and thanks to everyone else who attended for jotting a few notes!
Good stuff. Love the live opinions, whatever they are, of concert goers while it's fresh in their minds.
The truth is obscure, so profound and so pure.
Helps those of us not there, a bit.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 12:32 GMT 
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Still Go Barefoot wrote:
McG wrote:
- Dylan's utter lack of engagement with the audience...


This isn't a surprise, though, right?
Pretty standard, no?


Sometimes I think you've never actually been to a Dylan show, or else not paid attention.


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PostPosted: Wed May 10th, 2017, 12:47 GMT 

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McG wrote:
-
- First three songs were great, loved that 'Highway 61' in particular, but my attention span wore out quickly after that. It all became rote so quickly.
- The covers mostly come across as surreal comedy sketches, with the incredibly shrinking Bob (he seems to get smaller each time I see him) coming out front, doing his Thunderbirds-on-acid-meets-that-strange-pissed-bloke-singing-in-the-the-pub act to hilarious effect. Just plain mad and totally interrupts the flow of his own songs
- Tangled was pretty good in its new electrified arrangement, had a bit more attitude to it than before
- Desolation Row....first part great until Bob somehow locked into a brain breakingly naff up'n'down vocal mannerism that he mirrored on the piano, which continued to the end of the song as if he was one of those malfunctioning robots from Westworld.
- Band look utterly bored with the whole affair, like the core cast of a long running soap opera locked into a haunted compromise between money and art. It might have been the sound mix but they sounded sloppy and rigid, worse than any time I've seen them. I asked my mate what the opposite of 'swing' was. Apparently, it's 'ming'.
- Dylan's utter lack of engagement with the audience had me comparing him sadly to Cohen's latterday shows. This is the ultimate Shrodinger's Cat of a show, both happening and not existing at the same time.
- Had a nice burger in the pub beforehand.


Pretty much my experience of Palladium night two. Highway 61... and Tangled..were highlights, long after I thought Dylan had milked those songs dry. Desolation Row was poor; I remember it starting with the sort of familiar intro and thinking,'Aaah...' then Bob started doing that 'I'll sing a phrase and then echo it on the piano ad infinitum' thing (much like he does on Early Roman Kings, but that's an awful song to begin with; all style and no substance, like most of Tempest actually) and it just ruined any kind of emotional impact the song might have had. The fact that he hardly allows the band ANY solos at all just compounded the issue; the song was crying out for it. The same could be said for most of the rest of the set, with nothing really standing out in a good way except Love Sick and then Autumn Leaves in the encore.
Don't get me wrong, I knew what to expect, and while comparisons may be odious they are also sort of inevitable. Forget Cohen, or Young, I saw John Prine at the same venue a week earlier and he was streets ahead of Dylan in my opinion. Great band, clear sound, a set that covered most areas of his career, engagement with the audience and a set that left me genuinely moved.
I don't expect any of that from Dylan, but it is kind of sad.


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