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Bob Dylan 2000.03.16 Helsinki

Subject: Helsinki review
From: Riitta Laitinen 
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000 13:50:45 +0300

Hi all, here are my comments from last night:

Yesterdayās concert was a very good one! But I had very ambiguous
feelings about it. I could find no fault in Dylanās singing, it was
absolutely beautiful and strong. The band played good, as they always
seem to do. But I felt that sometimes Dylan went on autopilot and at
times I seemed to go on autopilot (even if I donāt see Dylan that
often). Dylanās autopilot just is so damned good these days. But then
again, it might just have been me. Too much of a greatest hits show for
my taste. It really started to bother me at some point. And he chose the
wrong greatest hits for my taste too...

But still, Iām not saying it was not a great concert and I didnāt enjoy
myself. And he looked good too.

The first song, as always, went past in amazement of the situation. It
is so weird, that Dylan is so much of an influence in our lives that
when you see him live you end up thinking is he really there, is he
really a real person. He sometimes seems to be a dream weāve made up.

I didnāt want to hear Times They Are A-Changing and I donāt really
remember much of it. I so much wanted to hear Itās Allright, Ma. Though
I complain about the setlist, not hearing that is my only really big

Masters of War was very good, it seems it never has been anything but
great after 1995.

One of the higlights of the night was Tangled up in Blue. However much
this gets played, itās never too much. It always seemes to do something.
This was a great version. It kind of got both Dylan and the band and the
audience in another gear. It gave me the best feeling in the whole
concert. Was it on this one that they had the great älight showä? The
lights and the background curtain looked really good all along, by the
way. After Tangled the gear changed back (even if Baby Blue was also a
very good performance.) Harmonica without the guitar at the end of Baby
Blue. He had his right had on the small of his back when he played. I
think this was because his back ached. It was later very visible when he
bowed and also at the end of Heavenās Door when he had to put down his
quitar by himself as the roadie was too slow to notice that he wanted to
play the harmonica.

Counry Pie was lovely. I would love to go to a Dylan concert where he
would play just some plain old rockānāroll. I reaaally loved it. Se–or
got quite a response from the audience. The violin made it sound like it
came straight from Desire.

On Maggies and Just Like a Woman I went on autopilot, or he did. There
was nothing wrong with the perfomance but... I donāt know. He did sing
really beautifully.

On Memphis Blues that another gear appeared again. All through the
concert the lights were at times partly aimed at the audience.  Until
this song at those times Dylan seemed to be looking into his music (that
is nowhere visible) but not at us. During Memphis Blues he started to
look a the audience more, directing the lyrics to us more directly. It
looked as he was somehow more focused too. I donāt know if this is just
my imagination. But at one point he seemed to find his way of singing a
line amusing and laughed a bit.

And then Dylanās people by the stage encouraged us to come towards the
stage. (Finland doesnāt deserve Dylan!!). My sister asked after the
concert what was the first song after the rush for the stage. I couldnāt
remember. It has happened before. Another first song moment, you just
enjoy your and his existence. Now that Iāve read the setlist from
Pagelās page to remind me I do remember that Leopart-Skin Pill Box Hat
was one of those great rockānāroll numbers that I thoroughly enjoy.

Lovesick was stupendous!!!!! I just wish he would have sung more newer
songs!! Rolling Stone after that was a bit of a letdown. People around
me seemed to love it though. Got a few hits in the head even, by the
most enthusiastic. Heavenās Door again was very beautiful. And Dylan
escaped the people who wanted to sing along by changing the end of the
chorus a bit every time. Iām glad, because I wanted to hear his so very
soft and wonderful voice and not those around me.

Not Fade Away, again a suitable rockānāroll piece for that concert I
want to hear.  Blowing in the Wind was ok, except I didnāt really want
to hear it. Some glances were exchanged by Dylan and Campbell. Campbell
seemed to be staring into emptiness at this point, maybe Dylan could
hear this on his playing. Couldnāt interpret what they were
communicating but something went on, right until the beginning of Rainy
Day Women. It was interesting.

Rainy Day Women was the same jamming number that it was in the mid-90s.
It was ok. And much of the jamming time Dylan played to a pretty young
woman standing right to my left. Read a lot of comments about this kind
of thing and it was very nice to see that by myself. It was very
endearing and sweet.

So, it was a great concert, but it could have been even greater. And
tomorrow Stockholm. My second time to see more than one show on one
tour. The first was in 1987.


He came, he sang, he conquered - Dylan in fine form - (Helsingin Sanomat) (link found by William Moore)
2000: March - April - May