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Bob Dylan 2000.10.05 in London, England

Wembley Arena, Empire Way
Capacity: 12.000

Subject: wembley question
From: ramblin man
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2000 00:50:17 +0100

why was there a seperate standing
section at the very fron of the stage?
I first heard it was VIP/guest list which
made me want to throw up and then heard
it was 200 picked at random beacuse `he
doesnt want the same people at the front
every night and its been like this on the tour"
That was from an Oaf employee at wembley.
It certainly was the first time i have seen it on
this tour.

Everyone in the standing area bring a joint to
smoke tomorrow night.


Subject: Re: wembley question From: Sarah Poynting Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2000 02:33:58 +0100 Took me a long time to get back to Oxford, so this is being done ludicrously late, but I wish someone from The Organisation did read rmd, because I'd like to say that I think the separate area thing that was started in Germany and appeared tonight at Wembley really stinks. It wasn't so bad when they scooped up people from the back of the queue and let them in first, as at earlier shows, because if you were near the front of the queue you could still get a decent standing place close to the stage. Now, with an area railed off, it's impossible, and there seems no logic to it. I queued from about four; in front of me was an 18-year old girl who had never seen Dylan before, and a young Greek guy who had flown over from Athens for his first concert of the tour. According to the supposed criteria, ideal candidates for the front area, and also fitting the less official criteria (suggested by a security guard) of young and pretty. But despite being at the front of the queue, they, like me, were at the second rail, quite a long way back, having to watch the empty space in front of us slowly filling up with the fortunate few. I was surrounded by others in a similar position, and the whole experience created a considerable amount of resentment, which took some time to dissipate, I thought, when the concert started, because of the 'us' and 'them' atmosphere. It was like being at one of those nightclubs where you only get in if the doorman thinks you're cool enough (not that I've ever been to one, but I've read about them!); and I don't think Dylan concerts should be like that. It didn't help that there was a kind of corridor between the two rails patrolled by security guards. Their comings and goings were distracting, and made it harder to get engaged with the concert than at earlier ones. I sincerely wish they would abandon this system for tomorrow (today, now, actually), but I'm sure they won't. Having got that off my chest, I did really enjoy tonight, though I wouldn't swap it for Cardiff or either of the Portsmouths (not even for If Dogs Run Free). Highlights for me were Standing in the Doorway, which I'd been hoping to hear; a great AATW; and Wicked Messenger I thought had the edge over Portsmouth - the intro to this really reminds me of Junior Wells's great song Messin' With The Kid. And he really is doing the regular rockers (Tombstone Blues, Highway 61 and Pill-Box Hat) with great verve. Finally, to add a bit more to the 'Bobspeech' - he said something like (as we have all, cautiously, said): 'It's really good to be in this country, in Great Britain ... (mumble) ... growing up here (??) ... the Battle of Britain and the RAF ... Winston Churchill ... this country stood alone, and that means a lot to me. We've been here before, and we'll be back.' Then the band introductions. He had obviously picked up on the Battle of Britain 60th anniversary commemoration. The speech was, though, greeted in the main with bemused silence, as everyone tried to work it out, rather than a roar of patriotic pride, so I doubt if it'll reappear tomorrow/today. Sarah (must now get some sleep so as to be back on the road heading for the same joint soon).
Subject: Re: wembley question From: ramblin man Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2000 03:19:18 +0100 I totally agree with what you said sarah. Apart from looking at bob, I had my eyes on the 'second' front of stage crowd and figured out that there will be some pissed off people in there who would have been at the venue from early afternoon to secure front of stage places, only to find the hideous and disgusting 'separate' area. It really pissed ME off and i wasnt even standing (I will be tomorrow). As much as i loved the show, it put a bit of a dampner on it, it was as if Bob was playing to a selected few rahter than the full arena. Is this bob's management that decided upon this crap? It really was a dreadful thing to witness, certainly not what a rock and roll gig is meant to be about. One other thing, I nipped down to the toilet and on the way out, I saw 3 lads who were trying to get into the standing area ('second' area). Their seats were right at the very back of the hall and said bob looked like an ant, They asked could they go and stand because their was loads of room available but of course were told 'no'. Wembley arena is a pile of shite. My girlfriend said on the way home : "Neil young, Brian Wilson, not even a reformed Beatles gig would bring me back there for a second night at that place, only Bob can do that". Says it all really. Dont forget the joints tomorrow night. RM.
Subject: Wembley 5/10/00 - thanks Bob From: Nick Johnson Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2000 00:37:21 +0100 The last time I saw Bob was back in the mid '70s, and I have to admit that I didn't rate his live shows then. Tonight was so much better... for instance... It's all right Ma - the way he sang "I've got nothing more to live up to" - yes that rang true. Tangled up in Blue - Wembley moved with it. Couldn't really hear the words but the music soared. Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat - I loved it. perfect. Like A Rolling Stone - By now I knew I would go home happy. So good to hear it played like that. All along the Watchtower - I had just said "wouldn't it be nice if he did Watchtower and then he hit the first chord .. I jumped. ... joy. The band were so tight it felt like an electric wall. Yes that was might highpoint. Thank you Bob, Its been a long time. Past tears are all smiles now. Nick
Subject: WEMBLEY REVIEW From: IdhamR Date: 05 Oct 2000 22:40:16 GMT Well, apart from the fact that Dylan came on very, late (20:15ish) the concert was just ELECTRIFYINGLY FANTASTIC!!. My last concert for the year (unless he decides to do another UK round) but enjoyable nevertheless... Opened with Duncan and Brady - a song which I have been dying to hear live since Aberdeen was opened with Hallelujah (Ready to go), and Portsmouth with Somebody Touched me. Then came To Ramona which was just beautiful. The crowd remained silent during the following two songs which were Its Alright Ma (I'm only bleeding) - for which Bob's voice was just brilliant and Forth Time Around. Bob gave us, the London crowd, the Happy London crowd a bow, as a way of thanks. Which I thought was cool, and never saw Bob do that before. The London crowd got pumped when the opening chords for Tangled up in Blue were struck. That got everyone going. According to Bill Pagels site (for which I have have referred to - with thanks) Bob played the harp, can't remember him doing so, but perhaps I was so struck at the fact that I'm seeing Bob again...Apart from that, Bob enjoyed it. He was dancing around, doing his jigs and all. The crowds went back to silent during Searching for a Soldiers Grave - a song that is really starting to grow on me. The opening electric set (which seems to be a running theme) was Country Pie which rocked the Wembley crowd. Standing in the doorway came up next. A slow song to allow the crowds to recouperate after hearing Country Pie. I love the song. Tombstone Blues came up next, but the next song was a total surprise. Well, not quite, Trying to Get to Heaven, but it was the style it was done in that shocked/amazed the Wembley audience. It was very bluesy/jazzy and done in red backdrop - totally different to the album version, and unless you know the lyrics then you would only have recgonised it by the chorus. It was fantastic. I was amazed on how graciously done this song was sung. I loved it. The next song I love too, Wicked Messenger. Then came the introduction in which I witnessed (first time in my life) Bob talking to the crowds. How he was saying how he grew up in London (something, something) RAF. I liked it, no matter what he said. Then came Leopard Skin to end the main set. Things Have Changed opened the encore to a great reception from the high demanding (they wanted more) London crowd. Like A Rolling Stone came up next and things slowed down a notch with If Dogs Run Free. The chords for All Along the Watchtower excited the people of north west London, with the concert winding down with I Shall Be Released and topping off with Blowin In the Wind. All in all a great concert, a great UK 2000 tour all around, and, wishing, hoping, praying that Bob comes back. Perhaps do a show from my back garden. The London crowd will get to see Bob again tomorrow, and I sure wish that they have as much fun as I did, this evening. Enjoy, and thanks Bob.
Subject: Wembley Thoughts From: Jim Johnson Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2000 00:45:37 +0100 Great show, infact the best songs seem to be the ones we dread hearing on a tape of a show we were not at. Songs like Tombstone blues, Watchtower and H61 were all show stoppers. An amazing show. Great little speech about learning about Britain when he was young, "Battle of Britain, RAF, Winston ChurchHALL" He even said "it's not the 1st time we've been here and it sure wont be the last" or words close to that! Never heard so much Bob talk in England since 1966!! He even laughed at the end of If dogs run Free! Only dissapointment was the lack of additions to the songlist. No new songs for the tour! Don't let that put you off. this was great stuff! Time for Bed Jim
Subject: Wembley (thursday) thoughts From: Matt Reading Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2000 18:47:31 +0100 Okay, then...the morning after I'm going to give you some of my thoughths on Dylan's Wembley gig last (Thursday) night. I can't really be bothered (and don't have time) to write a fully-blown review. Overall it was a very good, spirited performance from Bob, who seemed in an unusually jolly mood straight from the off. I've seen 2 other shows on this tour..Birmingham and the second Portsmouth one, and this came somewhere between the two (Portsmouth on top, partly because of the fantastic setlist). Anyway, the first highlight for me came straight away with a rollicking 'Duncan & Brady', my favourite fo the current openers. On the chorus Bob was always a step behind LArry adn Charlie, so that when they'd finished singing you heard Bob drawling '....too laaaawwwwwnngg', if you can imagine what I mean. It was great fun, anyway. 'To Ramona' was nice without being especially special, and although I was disappointed to hear It's Alright Ma again (3 times in 4 gigs) it was a very very good performance..I think Bob really enjoys this one and I actually quite like the current arrangement (unlike mst people I know). The next song was a treat...4th Time Around, wonderfully sung and with that lovely circular rythmn. The next 3 songs, Tangled, Searching For A Soldiers Grave and Country Pie were routinely (if very well) done...I'm not complaining as I enjoyed them loads at the time, but there's nothing special that I can say about them. 'Standing In The Doorway' was the follow-up, sung with a great deal of humour ('I'm strumming on ma gaaayyyyy guitaaaaaarr' etc) with a good dollop of emotion in the relevant bits. A real thrill o see this one live. Tombstone Blues was fun (although not quite as energetic as Portsmouth) and another reading of the new Trying To Get To Heaven was again the most beautifully sung thing all evening (you guys in the states will get a treat when you hear this!). A raucous Wicked Messenger followed...I just love these souped-up JWH songs with the wailing harp. Then before the band intros Bob gave a little appreciation speech of Britain. I didn't catch all of it but it went something like "...great to be in Britain...ya know I usedd to learn in school 'bout the Battle of Britain...the RAF...Winston British always step alone an' that's why people like you. This isn't the first time we've been here and it won't be the last"...anyway, that was the general mood. After Pill Box Hat there seeemed a rather long break, before the bets Thing Have Changed I've seen...the other two times he seemed a little subdued when he came out after the break, but this time he was right with it. Rolling Stone was perhaps slightly above average, or perhaps I was just very in the mood for it..I dunno, I enjoyed it immensely anyway. If Dogs Run Free was laid back fun that sounded so lounge you felt as if you should be in an armchair smoking a cigar...what's he going to dig out next, I wonder? All Along The Watchtower was of the songs I'd wanted to hear on this tour, with Larry's stell guitar solos sounding like Jimi Hendrix had come on for a guest slot. Fantastic. I Shall Be Released was well played and sung, followed by fairly standard performances of Highway 61 (a live favourite of miine...the band always rip it to pieces) and Blowin In The Wind. So overall a very good gig..not up to the standard of the second Portsmouth one but very spirited and energetic, and Bob's voice pretty much on song. Don't get the idea that the songs I haven't atlked about were bad....I enjoyed everything but tehre isn't much to say about many of them to you lot that insn't just "it was an excellent performance" if you see what I mean. Thankfully the second show is sold out, which to the relief of my wallet has made the decision about whether to go or not for me. Hopefully he won't play Highlands or Visions! Till next time (whene'er it may be) Matt x
Subject: Re: Wembley (thursday) thoughts From: ramblin man Date: Sat, 7 Oct 2000 01:31:17 +0100 11,000 the first night. 7,550 on the second.
Subject: Re: wembley question From: Russ Fox Date: Sat, 7 Oct 2000 16:10:47 +0100 It Was: "Great Britain..When I was growing up I read about the battle of britain... The R - A - F, Winston Churchill and all that stuff. Your country stood out there alone for a while, and that means a lot to me and the people I grew up with"
Subject: Re: wembley question From: Russ Fox Date: Sat, 7 Oct 2000 16:21:39 +0100 Organization: Virgin Net Usenet Service Having attended many shows but never being too close to the stage, I was determined to fulfill my ambition of being at the front. I qeued in freeeezing cold for two hours and got to front of the barrier, then saw people from WAY behind us in the queue ending up in front of us. At first the criteria seemed to be: female, young, blonde. But then all types were let in and people turning up five minutes before the show ended up right by the stage. It really soured an otherwise excellent show. I find it discraceful that we paid the same money for our tickets as the others. I thought that the determination of those who waited in the queue should have been rewarded regardless of sex, attractiveness or any other odd criteria. It created a resentful atmosphere among our crowd which at least served to bond us during the wait for bob to come on stage. Bob was brilliant - his voice just seems to be getting better and better recently. But i wondered who thought up that arangement - was it Bob or Wembley?
From: "Tobias Levander" To: Cc: Subject: Review: London Oct 5th Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2000 19:25:30 GMT It was almost five months since I last attended a Bob show. An addict needs his fix, so there was only one thing to do: cancel everything else and book a flight to London. By Thursday the 5th, I had already been in London for a few days, breathing the atmosphere of this hectic, cosmopolitan and extremely expensive city. I had only at the last minute secured tickets for the sold-out October 5th show (thanks Geoff!). Standing tickets, of course. However, ominous reports were coming in from mainland Europe about a priority area in front of the stage, where only people who were selected by Security came in. These strange rumours were true (more about that later). After spending two contemplative hours in the British Museum, I took the tube out to Wembley Park, and then I spent about one hour looking for a pub called The Old Post Office, where Dylan fans, according to a Swedish fan, were supposed to meet. The only people I found there were a couple of old men and about a dozen sport fans, watching a big TV. After a while, Benke, a fellow Swedish fan, turned up. We drank a couple of pints and then walked to Wembley Arena, where a few hundred fans were waiting for the gates to open. When we got there, it sounded like they were still soundchecking inside. 15 minutes later we were inside. After finding out that the reports from Brussels were correct, we decided to spend the next half hour drinking some more beer outside the auditorium before finding the best available spots in the crowd. After getting into the auditorium, we tried to get in touch with the guy who selected people for the priority area. It was futile, and we soon accepted that we wouldn't get in. We watched the familiar process when the cue sheets were placed out. At 8.15 the lights turned out and one after the other the band members walked on stage. Of course, Bob came last. All members of the band were dressed in red suits. Bob wore black. After a few guitar strums, Al Santos bawled out the well known introduction. Bob and the band launched straight into a fine "Duncan & Brady". Bob was word-perfect and put some special emphasis on the words "too long". Wembley Arena has a very bad reputation, but at least the sound was fine. Then "To Ramona", always nice to hear. Then came one of the highlights for me; "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding"). I have heard several recent versions where Bob to been having problems getting the lyrics right. Not so this time. He was word-perfect, and he sang with great intensity. "4th Time Around" slowed things down, and was performed with great care. "Tangled" was "Tangled". Very fast, and possibly a tad better than it was last spring. No harp solo, to my surprise. "Searching For A Soldier's Grave" is not one of the better of the many covers Bob has been doing lately, IMHO. Still, nice to hear. As expected, the electric set started with the energetic, but not very substantial, "Country Pie". Next up was "Standing In The Doorway", and it was just great. Not very different from from the TOOM version, but a little more dramatic. "Tombstone Blues" was OK, and after that one, Bob and his band started playing something slow, jazzy and unfamiliar. Bob started singing. "The air is getting hotter". Oh yeah! The arrangement was dramatically different from the TOOM, almost resembling some kind of cocktail jazz, but it was "Tryin' To Get To Heaven" and I was almost there. Next; a rocking, take-no-prisoners version of "The Wicked Messenger", with some great singing and a brief harmonica solo. Actually, the only harmonica solo in this concert. Then Bob, to my astonishment, held a little speech about Great Britain's role in World War II, that went something like this; "It gives me a lot of pride to play in Great Britain. The RAF...the Battle of Britain...Winston Churchill, all that. Great Britain has always stood alone, and that meant a lot to me and the people I was growing up with. We will soon come back here." Then the usual band introductions, with the spotlight on each band band member as they were introduced, and then Bob and the band rocked the house with a "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat". After that they remained on stage for a while, before heading for the exit. The lights went down. After a few minutes of applauding, they reappeared on stage. Bob came once again last. As expected, "Things Have Changed" was the first encore, and what a great version it was, with some very convincing vocals from the man himself. "Like A Rolling Stone" was much better than anyone who followed Bob's tours just a few years ago could have expected. I expected "If Dogs Run Free" after that one, and "If Dogs Run Free" was we got. Nice to hear such an obscure number, but lines like "In harmony/With the cosmic sea" just makes me cringe. Bob has never been known for making jazz music, but tonight we got two really jazzy numbers. Maybe he has been listening a lot to Frankie or Satchmo lately, after his intense recent Stanley Brothers period. A great, hard rocking "Watchtower" (Charlie is just amazing) followed, before a stately, almost gospel-ish "I Shall Be Released" with some very strong back-up vocals. A highlight, which is something I have rarely said about live versions of that song. "Highway 61 Revisited" was just pure blues rock, and deserves the highest praise. "Blowin' In The Wind" closed the show, and then Bob took of his guitar, and stood for perhaps a minute center-stage, surrounded by his band, and received thunderous applause from the 12,000 people in the arena. It was over. It was great. I didn't feel like I had much to say as I headed for the underground station. I just knew that I had been to the best of the 12 Bob-shows it so far had been my privilege to attend. Had to get back to the hotel. Another show the next day. /Tobias.
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