October 22, 2015
Review by Graham Cole
Why try to change Him now?
I woke up earlier than usual this morning, just after 6; today was different.
Had an 8 a.m. hospital appointment for my hearing. A crucial day for good
hearing. Bob and the trusty band are in London town. I’d been thinking
hazily about tonight as I slowly emerged from sleep. I was excited.
Mid-afternoon, Loraine and I drove up to Kew; slow traffic meant we got
through two listens to Shadows, before swapping car for tube and heading
for the wondrous building that is the Royal Albert Hall, calling in briefly to the
Victoria & Albert Museum before they unceremoniously threw everyone out
at closing time.
We spied the Beat The Street limocoaches parked up by Door 11, and
decided to hang around awhile. Security said they’d be out and into the
RAH in five minutes. The small crowd waited expectantly, a good few of us
greyhairs hoping in very good humour to spot another Greyhair, however
briefly. Charlie climbed aboard one of the vehicles and then, in customary
leather jacket and well hooded, our man whisked out from the other coach
and straight into building.
We missed a planned meet with Paul and chums (sorry Paul, but we will
see you in Southampton!) and it was time for us to go in too, and into
good seats (thank you John B), left side with a good view of the dimly lit
stage from those nice little swivelly seats they have at the RAH. By 7.30 the
house was full; we had another ISIS-er next to us, Steve Lockwood (good
to meet you Steve) who’d been the night before and was full of praise for
a great show. Our excitement seemed justified, and from 7.32, when Stu
began the familiar welcome (acoustic) strumming, things just got better and
The set list folks will know, so I’ll talk of some of the highlights for us.
We’d been told Bob’s voice is in fine shape this tour, and boy, it is. Clear
vocals, with some wonderful phrasing in several of the songs. The word
“just” popped into a line of She Belongs to Me adding so much, the delivery
of Tangled quite one of the best versions we have heard in a long time, lots
of wonderful activity from Bob creating far more meaningful piano, and yes,
he seems to be working on his latest “dance style”, what we are calling his
jauntystep, during some songs. Both Bob and the band looking as sartorially
elegant as ever they do these days, and good to see Charlie taking a
commanding position musically, including some sweet guitar/piano sparring
with Bob in Roman Kings. Although Loraine is not convinced by the Sinatra
covers covers, for me they worked (and were clearly appreciated by the
audience), and for sure, we agreed the pairing of Long and Wasted Years
with Autumn Leaves was a glorious close to the second half. And if there
are those who debate the oldies, the protest songs etc. there was
Blowin’ In the Wind, with the line “Too many people have died” as relevant
today as ever it was.
Churlishly, the lights were too dark and unvarying (apart from a glorious
backdrop for Wasted Years), and seguing from song to song at breakneck
speed doesn’t easily allow even brief time for between-song appreciation,
but the drive home, with Pure Dylan on the cd player, allowed us time to
reflect on what had been a lovely lovely evening. As others have said, thank
you Bob and Band, this was a great show. And next up for us and
Sam and Chez, they’re soon coming to our home town on the 30th, yay!
Review by Duncan Hume
The temptation is to reflect on the remarkable statistic the Dylan stood on
the same stage more than 50 years ago and in the same way he did then
he managed tonight to hold the audience in attentive silence with stunning
delivery. Something was going here tonight and I kind of knew what it was
didn't I? Uncovering covers. Playing the songs that make up a very part of
I confess pre show to be being a little concerned at the number of Sinatra
inspired songs on the set list (I know Sinatra didn't write most of 'em) and
how that might impact the 'show' negatively. I need not have worried as I
discovered tears rolling down my cheeks as he performed a spelling binding
What'll I Do. The sound was a crisp and perfect as it could be in this glorious
venue. These songs live are way better than those version on Shadows In
The Night. Way way better. Anyone who ever says Dylan can't hold a tune
should be forced to sit in a room with a pristine recording of this performance.
Then go ahead and tell me he can't sing. Staggeringly wonderful.
Others will no doubt deal with the show song by song but being brief tonight
was a glorious concert. Perfect for the venue and an aged and appreciative
audience. It wasn't all spotless. Pay in Blood dragged for me a little and All or
Nothing At All didn't work well. But oh my. The vast majority of the songs
were a wonder. The band is remarkable. Charlie played some simply divine licks
and played off of Bob's glorious vocal with the skill we have come to expect
of his gifted guitar work. The show way way exceeded my expectations.
The generous abundance of giving continues. And it's as good now as it's
ever been. I've seen my share of crappy Bob shows. This was nothing of the
sort. I can't wait to repeat the experience tomorrow night "the good Lord
willing and the creek don't rise."
Review by Mick Gold
I thought it was great. My highlights were Early Roman Kings, building
to an ominous beat, and Scarlet Town, other worldly minor chords from the
land of Barbara Allen. The band were brilliant with fluid guitar lines,
punctuated by Bob's staccato piano, but during Blowin' In The Wind and
Tangled Up In Blue, it's as if the Sinatra material has changed his
singing. It's quieter, less shouty, more nuanced. I'm A Fool To Want You
was gorgeous. I could hear the words clearly enough to realise he
re-wrote one verse of Tangled Up In Blue. (You remind me of someone I
used to know/ Someone I used to trust) Hearing the Sinatra songs
alternate with the heavy bluesy Early Roman Kings with snarled vocals was
thrilling. I was sitting in Choir East which is behind the stage, right
above George Recile's drums so I was able to see him doing subtle things
with his fingers and fabulous little rhythmic patterns on the hi-hats.
Bob was in a good mood and waved at the audience at the end. It's funny
the way Dylan jigs around on stage. I described it to my wife and she
said "It sounds like Rumplestiltskin."
Review by Trevor Townson
Jenny; What; It's me; I know, who else calls at 3 in the morning; Been to
the Royal Hall thing again; What was it like; Ground Hog Day, same set
list; Well you expected that; I know but this is like 2013 all over again,
nine identical shows; You enjoyed them; Yes, but I was so much older then,
I'm older than that now; You been drinking again; What do you think,
expect, is the Pope Catholic; I wish I could have been there, The Royal
Albert Hall in London I can't imagine; You are so easily impressed,
nothing special about London anymore I can tell you, give me Yorkshire any
day; You are lucky just being there; You wouldn't be saying that if you
had paid best part of £5 for a thimble half full of Lager; Well no one is
making you buy it; True, anyway you will be with me soon in Manchester and
it will be the same show so don't think you are losing out; Did you have a
good view; Well it's not exactly a visual extravaganza like seeing someone
juggling with burning rabbits would be; No, but could you see Bob; Of
course, I was actually a bit nearer this time with a really good view,
apart from the end of course, last night I ventured down to the floor for
the encore to say Hi, Brilliant!
Review by Laurette Maillet
2 great shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The best so far ( you have to believe me).
Bobby was Rock/Rolling and Crooning like a professional.
- great venue (Splendid round Theater).
- great sound (where ever you sit).
- great Band (Stu, George, Tony, Charlie, Donnie.)
- great songs (From the past, the present, the future).
3 more shows to go!
Take a chance to see not only a Legend but a magnificent Artist and
Exceptional performer. Don't you dare miss it! See You there to Rock and
Roll and Croon together.
Thank you Bobby to be with us.
I came to you, 'cause you're a friend of mine.
Review by Arthur Deakin
‘Don’t change me know
… because things have changed’ …. OR
should it be ‘Things have changed, so don’t change me now….’
Well here we go, day 2 of my 8 day, 7 night itinerary – RAH
x 5 + Manchester x 2 (sad I know but at my venerable age I can do it), and
it all builds on my first Dylan concert at 1966 Sheffield Gaumont Theatre,
the night before ‘Judas’ at Manchester Free Trade Hall: the night that
my 17 year old brain was rearranged irreversibly by the transition between
subtle lyrical poetry to the loudest ‘American’ music imaginable! PS
very few people actually left the Theatre (that’s grand, it was a
Cinema!), as Jamie Robbie Robinson kicked in. Anyway, last night was very
good in my opinion, but tonight even better – despite the fact that John
Baldwin still evades me so I can say a huge thank you for brilliant
tickets! I suspected the set list would be the same, as I think it was …
but still new things to ponder on. How wide are Bob’s hips? I saw last
night that he sits on his piano stool perched on the short end rather than
the long end – why is that? ; and how come his dancing time-tapping legs
are akimbo at a huge distance apart? – it seems anatomically
unrealistic. I was also impressed by the alligator skin boots (or were
they shark skinned?) My wife kindly had two original paintings
commissioned for my 60th birthday – one of Bob in 1966 and one in
2009.(“I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”) The
latter of which captured Bob’s leg askew at an alarming angle that
seemed totally unrealistic – but tonight I saw it was drawn from life!
Back to the concert – good performances, again, on ’ Long and Lonesome
Years’ , ’Tangled up in Blue’ (great lyrical changes) and, ‘Early
Roman Kings’ – barnstorming! Also Dusquene Whistle captured me for
the first time live. However, ‘Autumn Leaves’ (can I believe I am
writing this?) and ‘High Water’ were outstanding, as was ‘Pay in
Blood’ – this must be my favourite from the new ‘cannon’. I would
love a variation in the set list however so we can have ‘soon after
midnight’ which I rate as highly as ‘Visions of Johannna’ –no
higher praise? So coming back to the heading – I don’t want to change
Bob, despite the fact he has changed me irreversibly since 1966 –
rather, I want himself to ‘keep on keeping on’ – to continue to
rediscover his ‘mojo’ and more importantly to continue to ‘sing’
and also to attack the microphone in a way so reminiscent of Rolling
Thunder Review. I know his animated walkabouts around the stage are very
‘Thunderbirds’ but I take it that he is soaking up the ambiance of his
so brilliant band to ‘hit’ the mike with the right cadence, volume and
enunciation to ‘drive us all wild’.
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