Oslo, Norway

Oslo Konserthus

October 3, 2015

[Johnny Borgan], [Laurette Maillet]

Review by Johnny Borgan

"Why try to change him now?"
Thoughts after three transcendent shows in Oslo.

It is possible to see 200 Bob Dylan shows and still don´t understand what
Bob Dylan is really about. In the 50th anniversary year for the first
booing of Dylan, the new hecklers are again attacking Dylan for being
himself as an artist, doing the next moves that makes his spirit blossom
and his voice burn of passion and soul. It´s the same old story, fans are
claiming ownership to Dylan, and gets provoked over the artistic moves
they themselves can´t understand – it happened at Newport and the
following year of touring, it happened when Dylan went country and when he
went gospel, when he rewrites the words and the tunes of his songs and
when he doesn´t sing the «right» songs and the right tones. And it happens
when Dylan makes «Shadows In The Night», and when he sings the songs from
the same album. Boooo! It´s rubbish! It´s boring! Booo! Once again he
proves them wrong.

A poem is a naked person. And Bob Dylan, singing «I´m A Fool To Want You»
is a naked soul. It´s like the audience, the once with open eyes, ears and
hearts, is holding its breath not to miss a word or a sigh from the
performance, and the trapeze artist without any security chooses the
highest mountain to climb as a singer, songs that are merciless and in the
wink of an eye will make you stumble and fall. he doesn´t these nights. He

Bob Dylan continues to open doors, as he always has – between renewal and
tradition, between poetry and music, between musikal genres – these nights
he channels both Sinatra and Billie Holiday, both Muddy Waters and Hank
Williams and once again illustrates the obvious – when it comes to music
there is no need for border patrol. He makes the timeless tunes his own,
and refills them with meaning and compassion. Through his own songs and
through the evergreen standards  fittingly blended together, he´ll take us
over a sea of heartbreak, ending in an existensialist cry in «Love Sick" -
I´d do anything to be with you.  And here he is again – still standing –
heading to another joint and towards 75 years, still using all of his
carburators through the onlys stable in his life -  change, shedding off
one more layer of skin, showing us that he still cares after all these
years. Boring? No - it´s only boring people who get bored these nights.
Bob Dylan & His Band will never be just a cover band. Evry song he sings
he makes his own. What more can we ask for? He´s an artist, he don´t look
back. He will give us all or nothing at all. We are lucky to be alive in
the same time as him. That doesn´t mean we have to like everything he does
– of course not, but we should respect that he is stil hunting more of the
hidden secrets in his own voice and soul.

Johnny Borgan


Review by Laurette Maillet

Alright, lately discussions had been going on after the 3 Bob Dylan shows
in Oslo, Well! I was there. I have also seen about 400 shows over the years
so… My first impression was “too many Franck Sinatra covers and not
enough Bob Dylan songs” Particularly that he didn’t change the
songs from the last setlist. I am not fond of the Sinatra album, but Dylan
is Dylan and I will listen to it some in a while at home. For the shows
themselves, the sound is always perfect, the musicians always great, Bob
Dylan doing his best to be professional. So, if you see only one show or
two you might like it (or not)… Problem is… If you are a dedicated Fan
on the road after 2 or 3 of the same (or almost as he will change some of
the Sinatra songs) shows you might feel that this is a rip of.
Particularly if you pay a lot of money for the tickets. But…Bob Dylan is
not a prostitute and he will not do what you like just because you paid.
On the top of it…he never asked any one to follow any Tour. So…you
follow and you like or you quit following and just say you don’t like
the new direction. My state of mind after Oslo was to quit: thank you and
bye bye! Well, I am now in Stockholm and changed my state of mind. Bob
Dylan doesn’t have to change for me I just have to change my
expectations. Considering who is Bob Dylan and considering what I have
done so far…I will give him one more chance. I will go to the shows with
gratitude for his presence, he could have died so many times or retire. I
will be open minded and respectful for his decision and courage to face
the critics. After all…he doesn’t need the money nor the glory so he
is entitled to have some pleasure for himself and do what pleases HIM.
Maybe he is tired of being Bob Dylan and wants to try to be somebody else, who
knows? So considering he is an Artist : a free man with a free spirit. Go
on Bobby, be happy and see you around. 


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