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Bob Dylan 2000.09.23 in Cardiff, Wales

International Arena, Mary Ann Street
Capacity: 5500


From: notdarkyet@eircom.net
To: "Karl Erik Andersen" ,
        "Bill Pagel" 
Subject: Cardiff review by Markus Prieur
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2000 14:53:04 +0100

Now, this was a powerful show, last night in Wales. As the Welsh
audience was more responsive than the ones at the huge English
venues before, the energy was clearly flowing both ways. In front
of the nice city centre venue we met Monika and Ulrike, two of
the most faithful continental concert goers, who we had met at
many a German show. They jumped on the tour train last night,
riding along until Paris. When they were spotted by the maestro
on stage, there was a most interesting reaction, including smiles
and guitar pointing. Very amusing.

The show itself was one of the finest on this tour yet, even
though there were but three additions to the (61 by now)
song-list. Ten repetitions from the night before, but each one
was most powerful and special, as if he did not perform them
often. His voice was as good as it gets and standing in the
fourth row facing Tony, we could hear it very good. "MY BACK
PAGES" included violin and harp in harmony, and my third
"DESOLATON ROW" six verses. The guitar-less harp-dance at the end
of "DONíT THINK TWICE" was priceless. The third omission in a row
of "RDW" just added to my enjoyment of the show.

The only song I had never seen before was an acoustic version of
"THE BALLAD OF FRANKIE LEE AND JUDAS PRIEST", which was told in a
manner, which simply left me speechless. Outstanding is the only
word for it. ("Donít go mistaking paradise for that home across
the road.") He could have sung 15 times "TANGLED" after that. But
no, there was more to come, as he pulled out one of his
eighties-masterpieces, "BLIND WILLIE MC TELL", in the number
eight surprise slot. ("God is in his heaven, and we all want
whatís his.") Dylan the band leader beckoned Charlie to play some
nice guitar breaks on this one. (We had seen this gem before in
Essen 1998. where it had not even been on the cue sheet.) The
third addition, "WATCHING THE RIVER FLOW", we witnessed already
for the third time (after Nurburgring and Bremen 1998). I always
like to hear it, especially on a night like this, although I do
think that Bob has much to say these days.

Which brings me to some comments on my two favourite songs of
this great Cardiff setlist, "HALLELUJAH IíM READY TO GO" and
"TRYINí TO GET TO HEAVEN". "HALLELUJAH" was performed for the
second time on this tour, and this time his voice took the chorus
to places I had not heard before. Simply amazing. The lyrics are
as challenging as can be (see the relevant page on my website
"Not Dark Yet"), and the combination with the new and slow
"TRYING" made his confession all the more direct (those two songs
appeared last together on the Horsens-setlist). While performing
"TRYING", Bob mixed up the lyrics, being "all around the world"
already at the end of verse three. He then continued with the
last verse (which he omitted in Dublin and Bíham), inserting
however the buggy ride from verse four in it, and ended with the
"sugar town" line, which I never heard him perform on stage
before. No, I am not going to read a secret message out of it. I
just noticed it, thatís all.

The third verse started with "People at the station (sic),
waiting for the train." We all know, that the train-image is an
important one for Bob. I never saw last nightís opener in
connection with that, but in hindsight he sang "HALLELUJAH" like
someone who just has been handed a vital train ticket, someone
who is "well dressed, waiting on the last train" the slow train
coming, which is picking up speed, as this world canít stand
long. People get ready, thereís a train a-coming. Hallelujah, Iím
ready to go. - Powerful indeed.

As our car is rolling through the English rain towards Portsmouth
(we donít have tickets for the first show yet; it might be my
30th Bob date), I am grateful that the greatest living artist
keeps on using his greatest gift to tell his audience once in a
while: "Donít wait, before itís too late, heís a wonderful
Saviour to know."

Markus Prieur / http://notdarkyet.tripod.com / notdarkyet@eircom.net


From: "Linda.k.edwards" Linda.k.edwards@btinternet.com To: karlerik@expectingrain.com Subject: Dylan at Cardiff Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2000 17:47:49 +0100 For those there on the night the memory will last a lifetime. Bob Dylan at the Cardiff Arena on 23rd September of the year 2000. The concert was like a microcosm of the world that night. Japanese, French, Spanish, Russian, a healthy crop of over 70's and an upcoming generation of the under 18 year olds. There was of course the usual pre-concert speculation about who the support band would be, whether he would be jaded after a full March - September tour of the USA and Europe. Perhaps we would be getting the leftovers, after all Dylan in his 60th year and only recently recovered from a serious heart disorder, could be excused for a small lapse of performance. But nothing prepared us for what we were about to experience. At 7.40pm the lights dimmed and a hush descended in the Arena as shadows of the band began to take their places on the stage. Suddenly, a wave of excitement swept us on our feet as Dylan came out of nowhere and walked on to the stage. Immediately the lights came on to the first chord of a joyful, gospel - fearin', spirit liftin', "Hallelulia, I'm Ready to Go", followed by a nostalgic but poignant slow rendering of "My Back Pages", speaking once again for a whole generation, "Oh but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that, now". The 72 year old man on my left was tearful singing every word and exclaiming as an encore "Magic, Bobby, just magic". Scarcely recovered from this wave of emotion we were walking down "Desolation Row", a muscular version of the song with a tight acoustic set. For the next two hours the audience was stunned. No support group, no interval, no substitutes, just pure undiluted, vintage Dylan. His voice was amazing - light and mocking on tracks like ‘Frankie Lee' and ‘Apple Pie', Clear and demonstrative with the single harmonica solo of the night -on Tangled up in Blue, but the passion and the power of the slow soft ballad of Blind Willie McTell brought the audience to its knees. The song wound down to a lingering end, then silence, for a few seconds hardly anyone amongst the 5,000 gathering moved. We were in a spell. In the power of the maestro. In the presence of a living legend. I know I was not the only one to feel it. Then the hypnotic splattered mist slowly lifted and the thunder of the eternal applause rocked the Arena. Even Dylan smiled and bowed to us all. Words would have been superfluous. After that he could do what he liked with us, and he did. Storming without mercy into a searing version of Tombstone Blues followed by the sad winsome evocative pilgrimage of "Tryin' to get to Heaven". He sang 19 songs in all, most of them wonderfully reworked and fresh, with strong and skilful support from singer-guitarists Larry Campbell and Charlie Sexton, hardy bass player Tony Garnier and drummer David Kemper. His seven-song encore included the litany Forever Young, written for his son Jakob, but a hope for us all. The advance of years had not drained his energy or desire for live performance. For nearly two unabated hours the Cardiff audience were satiated with pleasure. And even the 20 stone bouncer who worked there admitted, "He's better than Daniel O'Donnell".
Subject: Cardiff Concert From: Annie White annie@aj1966.freeserve.co.uk Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2000 22:55:52 +0100 What can I say!! What a concert! Starting at around 7.45 with 'Hallelujah I'm Ready To Go' - through to the final 'Blowin' In The Wind' - it was just superb. Where did two hours go? By the time it had finished I was just ready for it to start all over again. Cardiff CIA is a really nice venue - not too big- we had seats on the side but with a good view - even without binoculars. And there also seemed to be plenty of room for those standing to move around without being hemmed in. The absolute highlight for me was the harp solo on 'Don't Think Twice' - sooooo emotional - also the slow, studied 'Tryin' To Get To Heaven'. And whilst I do love 'It's Alright Ma' I was so hoping for 'Desolation Row' - and there it was! (Whilst driving across the Downs in Bristol prior to going to Cardiff for the concert I couldn't help but notice the Moscow State Circus was in town - was this an omen - the circus *was* in town - yes it was!) A friend of mine (Hi, there Phil!) said just before the concert that it would be really nice if Bob did 'Blind Willie McTell' - can you think of a more obscure choice - but there it was at number 8!! I had thought that I could well live without 'Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat' but it was brilliant when it came.......'Watching The River Flow', 'Forever Young' & 'Tombstone Blues' also highlights. Shame about no 'Mr Tambourine Man' or 'Times' but I guess he can't do it all in one show. I'm kind of glad that I'm not so over-Bobbed/jaded that I didn't enjoy TUIB & would also have loved to hear RDW. Having followed the progress of this tour via rmd & Bill Pagel's site, the concert had a strangely deja vu feel - it was like experiencing something that I had read about - only with subtle differences. Bob's band was superb (loved Tony's purple suit and his ever watchful eye - for UK readers - do you remember the Hofmeister ad's for 'Follow The Bear', that's just what Tony reminded me of - and Larry's cool- and Bob's boots (those on his feet, ok) get a special commendation - as of course does the Main Man himself - looking and sounding great. To those of you who still have concerts to enjoy - enjoy!! My only regret is that I only booked the one concert...I now understand why people are prepared to spend weeks of their life following Bob around! Finally, based on the very remote possibility that Bob might actually read this - thanks for everything - for brilliant concerts and brilliant recordings and just for being everything that you've ever meant to anybody.......may God bless and keep you always!! -- Annie White
Review by Neil Dunlea (Ireland) Dylan Live and in person Tour 2000 I decided aftermuch deliberation and some trepidation to spend a week of my hard won holidays on the trail of Bob Dylan in England. Little did I realise that I was effectively entering another dimension soon to be labelled the Dylan dimension. Took a ferry from Dublin port early in the morning before the dawn had broken and drove furiously from Holyhead to Newcastle. Correction - navigated while my compatriot (who shall henceforth be known as Mr Kearns) drove. Met some Dylan people that night in Newcastle and I have to say I was at first wary of them but also initially surprised by the extent of their dedication to the Dylan trail. Many tales of Dylan delights were recounted and a graph was drawn describing the quality of Dylans' live performances over a period of ten years. The graph bottomed out in 1992, had a high peak in 1995 and the highest peak for most present was 1999 - 2000. There was consensus on the overalldebate centring around a switch of peaks as in 1995 instead of 2000 being a peak. Armed with all this information, I was still not overly excited though I could point to exhaustion as an excuse after the early morning drive and the tasty Spitfire ale and ferry trip. Newcastle Tuesday Queued in the pissing rain and wind outside the venue but met some interesting people. Time has dimmed my memory of the show but I rememberbeing blown away by the white heat rock and roll of many songs once the band found their groove. I found Dylan to be simply superbly professional in Newcastle and in Birmingham and Sheffield. He rarely put a foot wrong except perhaps when his guitar sounded a little out of tune on Rolling Stone in Sheffield but even that sounded charming. I had a small theory that Dylan was almost playing a greatest hits package in these shows to keep his name in lights in England for his next album. Cardiff was the real eye opener for me. Dylan was forceful and in total command from the off. He sang with such assurance and authority and emotional power that the combined effect was almost overwhelming and I now have a strong inkling why people keep coming back again and again and again. They believe in the man and the redemptive power of his songs. They adore his ability to come back from the brink of despair and be reborn before there very eyes on stage. A living breathing monument to self willed action. Something very simple happened in Cardiff. A bunch of overexcited fans caught Dylan's eye as he was romping his merry way through Country Pie. They made him burst into laughter spontaneously and you could see him doubling over as the band played on and a huge grin crossed his face. From that point on the show seemed to explode into life as Larry and Charlie sensed the rising energy levels of Bob. It was like a ripple of inspiration emanating from Bob in reponse to the crowd spreading like wildfire to the band and back to the crowd and Bob again in an ever more active oscillating loop. His version of Frankie Lee was poised and perfect. His voice like an archers arrow ready to be unleashed and hitting the target with supreme precision. Tangled up in Blue was a pure adrenalin rush of poetry and classic rock and roll. Watching the River Flow a rythmic masterpiece. Harp playing of sublime expressive and unusually melodic power on Dont Think Twice. Man I want to hear it all again. Neil
2000: March - April - May - June - July - September

Tour