Bob Dylan 960718 in Oslo, Norway (Spektrum)
Johnny Borgan (jobo1@MAIL.LINK.NO): 1. Leopard skin pill-box hat (without guitar - perfect starter) 2. Man in the long black coat (beautiful - crispy clear vocal) 3. All along the watchtower 4. Positively 4th street (beautiful version - slow, with interesting breathing technique!!) 5. Most likely you'll go your way (and I'll go mine) 6. Silvio (great rolling version, with stop-start music and backup from Jackson/Baxter - now the house was really cooking) 7. Tangled up in blue (AC)(very intense version with great phrasing and nice harmonica ending) 8. The lonesome death of Hattie Carroll (AC)(soft and tender - beautiful) 9. The ballad of Hollis Brown (AC)(biting version - great) 10. Absolutely Sweet Marie (uninspired version) 11. Ballad of a thin man (uninspired version) 12. Highway 61 Revisited (slightly better than the two previous, but not great!) 13. Girl from the north country (AC)(very nice and intense version, with great harmonica ending and Dylan dancing and pointing, "talking" with his harmonica and facial expressions - superb!) 14. Rainy Day Women (Dylan sings just two verses, and then starts really flirting with audience, especially some blonde girls from the north country - he's fooling around with his guitar, jumping and smiling - very, very funny, we all had a good time, Bob too!) We thought maybe it was over, but the audience was very convincing, and Bob came back for one more song, a beautiful reading of 15. My back pages(AC) (great timing and phrasing, and once more a very long harmonica ending, where Dylan walks around without guitar, "talking" through his harmonica and very intense communicates with his audience. All in all - great show, but a few uninspirede moments after the acoustic break. Still, very good performance. His opener, Pill-Box Hat, was sharp and rocking from the first moment.
Erik Langholm (langholm@SN.NO): I'd like to add some comments on the first show in Norway. I was a bit ancious for Dylan to do an inspired effort, due to the fact that my girlfriend attended her first Dylan show (for a price of 60$, my pocket of course). And at least to my slightly paranoid mind, Dylan got irritated during Watchtower, both because of the trouble with the forth gitar as well as the passive audience sitting like unmoved bleachers (if you allow a well used simile) when the lights in the hall went on. From there on the next two tunes,(Pos. 4th St. and You go your Way,) seem harsh towards us, and not Dylans ex-friends. "I wish for just one time You could stand inside my.." and the obligatory sneaker comes flying almost hitting Dylan in the face. He seems uninterested playing the guitar, and sneers out the lyrics. When you feel Dylan attacks you, first then do you get what theses songs are all about. I love it, but my girlfriend looks at me a bit worried. Even when Silvio is rockin' the audience isn't showing any response. But when the acoustic set gets goin', all the forty-ish, balding Norwegian starts to acknowledge Dylan. He seems to recognize the different attitude, and starts givin smiles to JJ and the others. Three songs later the isles are filled with dancing people, and the last electric set is hard, rollin, and enjoyable (but perhaps not artistic inspired, J.B.). By this time Dylan is in excellent mood and jokingly presents the band. And add something like (paraphrased by memory): "Say hello to Eric Andersen. I know you're out there somewhere. He is a good friend of mind. I think he lives here by now." Reassuring to se the ugliest man in showbiz dressed in black leather pants, rose-coloured silk shirt (only in America..) smiling and flirting with the front row girls. We had a great time, and although I found last year's Oslo concert slightly better, I think the encores were superb. Does he normally do a third encore after RDW 12&35? All of the above, mho of course Erik