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Bob Dylan 960725 in Malmö, Sweden

Subject: A (bit more than a) Handful of Thoughts on the Swedish Concerts ...
From: Lars & Andreas Gustavsson (gson@LSG.PP.SE)
Date: Sun, 28 Jul 1996 21:36:59 +0200

- Part 1 / "Bob Dylan for President!" (audience-member in Malmo)

   Finally Bob Dylan came to Sweden again  (last time he was here was in the
summer of 1992).  Two concerts we had  to look forward to:  one in  the city
of Malmo in southern Sweden,  and one at the  Lollipop  festival  in Lida, a
couple of miles outside of Stockholm.


   The venue for this concert was Slottsmollan, a grass field in front of an
old windmill in downtown Malmo.  The stage was set up right  in front of the
windmill -- those standing in the back of the field could still see parts of
the mill reaching over the top of the stage, an interesting view ...

   The event started at  18:30  (6.00 pm)  with  Nationalteatern,  a Swedish
band, on the  main stage  (there  were two stages  set up).  Following their
set was Hoola Bandoola Band,  another Swedish band with  their roots back in
the 70s (as far as I know),  they have reunited  this year for a summer tour
in Sweden. One of the members of this band is Mikael Wiehe, who recorded his
own album with Dylan-tunes (translated to Swedish) some years ago. This band
had  their  own stage  located  in the  back of the  field so  we that  were
awaiting Bob's set (and wanted to keep or spots in the front row) were stuck
there and could only listen to their show from the distance ...  seemed like
an alright show but,  as a Swedish  reporter put it:  "How can  you yell for
encores with Hoola Bandoola,  when Bob is  expected on the stage in a couple
of minutes?"

   Bob was scheduled to take the stage at  21:15 (9.15 pm)  and sure enough,
there he was, right on time.  Bob really seemed to be in good shape.  He was
wearing a pair of dark red pants  with some sort of decoration on the sides,
a  white shirt  tucked loosely into a belt.  Certainly makes him look like a
Russian import of  some kind ...  (BTW,  the stage  was  too high  for us in
front  row to see  what  kind of shoes  he was  wearing,  as  if that  would

   The show took off with  "To Be Alone  ===================================
with You,"  and to be honest, I did not  | Setlist (Malmo)                 |
like  it!  Of all  the show  openers he  -----------------------------------
has   tried  over the past  few years I  | To Be Alone with You            |
think few  work  as well as  "Jokerman"  | If Not for You                  |
and  "Crash on the Levee  (Down  in the  | All Along the Watchtower        |
Flood)." The other ones just don't seem  | Just Like a Woman               |
to have that fire and energy that is so  | Watching the River Flow         |
much needed to get the show going.       | Silvio                          |
                                         |                                 |
   Following  that  came  "If  Not  for  | @ Ballad of Hollis Brown        |
You."  I totally missed out on this one  | @ Tangled Up in Blue            |
because of a drunk person behind me who  | @ Don't Think Twice,            |
had great difficulties with  the simple  |      It's All Right             |
task  of  standing  up.  After a  brief  |                                 |
confrontation  he  (read:  me  and  the  | Stuck Inside of Mobile with     |
other  audience  members  he  bothered)  |    the Memphis Blues Again      |
decided  that maybe  he'd be better off  | I Shall Be Released             |
somewhere else. So off he went ...       | Like a Rolling Stone            |
                                         |                                 |
   Third  song,  same  one  as  always,  | @ The Times They Are A-Changin' |
though it was  a good performance there  | Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35       |
is not much to say about it ...          ===================================

   We were then treated  to  a  marvellous version  of  "Just Like a Woman."
A  truly  great  performance  from   Bob.  Vocals,  guitar,  and  harmonica,
everything clicked on this one  ...  especially the harmonica solo stood out
as being a true masterpiece.

   That was  followed by  "Watching the River Flow," which  was the same  as
always, and then  "Silvio"  with the same arr. as was used during the Spring
Tour, good performances of both songs ...

   The  first surprise  of  the evening  came with  the first  song  of  the
acoustic set:  "Ballad of Hollis Brown."  A nice surprise,  never heard this
one  live  before.  It was  given a slow  and gentle  treatment,  with  John
Jackson on banjo. Very good ...

   "Tangled Up in Blue" came next.  Was not too thrilled  with the choice of
this one until Bob started  to sing.  The song  had definately  been given a
new phrasing  by Bob.  It's hard to describe it  (read: get the tape!),  but
he certainly blew some fresh air into this one.

   The acoustic set came to an end with "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right."
Although  definatley an over played song  in the acoustic set quite a treat.
Excellent guitar playing from Bob ...

   We  were  then  taken  back  into the  electric set with "Stuck Inside of
Mobile with the Memphi Blues Again" followed by  "I Shall Be Released."  The
first one was alright,  but the second one was  definately a  highlight!  It
was  performed  a bit slower  than what I  am used to  hearing it  and Bob's
singing was truly great!

   The main set of the concert closed with an  electrifying  "Like a Rolling
Stone." A crowd-pleaser,  but nevertheless a great version  ...  BTW, before
this song there was a brief  band introduction from Bob: "Give a hand for my
band." No invividual presentations ...

   Bob then took some bows, looked out over the audience, and left the stage
only to come back a few minutes later  for the first encore  "The Times They
Are A-Changin'." Great performance again, with extended solos from Bob  both
on guitar and harmonica.

   Then came the closing  song for  the night:  "Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35."
This is one of the songs that you can enjoy tremendously when you are at the
concerts, but always skip when you're playing the CD-bootleg at home ... For
some reason the appreciation of this song (at least for me) heavily  depends
on the circumstances under which you hear it. Sure, it is a great way to end
a  rock'n'roll concert,  but definately  nothing worth  playing when  you're
relaxing on a Friday evening after a week of hard work ...

   All in all,  another great evening with Bob,  who seemed to be in a  very
good mood throughout the whole evening,  with lots  of interaction  with the
audience and the other band members.

   The concert  lasted for  110-115  minutes,  and there  were approximately
7,000 in  attendence. The  crowd  featured  people  of all ages  and  social
classes ...


- Part 2 / I got shoved down 'n' pushed around ... Stockholm 960727

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