I will never see Bob Dylan live again. And, please, let me tell you why: last night me and my brother had the unique opportunity to see the legend in a club gig(!) in Stockholm! And, knowing I’ll never get such an experience again, there’s no need to take that risk.
Against all imaginable odds, we got two of the 600 tickets available to see Bob Dylan in a small club called Debaser Medis in Stockholm. On forehand, and then around the club, there was a great hype around this spectacular occasion; people hanging out behind the venue to get a glimpse when he were to arrive, desperate people outside who were going to pay almost anything for a ticket. Walking up to the entrance, I felt like some kind of movie star, with peoples’ longingly eyes after me (or, well, my ticket).
And after the concert, people were actually buying the ticket stumps from anyone who was in there, or trying to trade it for pictures taken of Bob Dylan. Such an amazing interest!
Everyone’s expectations were so high, and as already stated in many magazines and forums, this was a legendary night even before it took place. As most people know, it’s always a gamble when you go to a concert with Bob Dylan. If he’s in the mood, it will no doubt be a memorable moment, but more often than not, there’s the risk that he’s in a gruff mood and will sing his songs in some weird, impulsive way, which will seldom be a pleasant evening. And, given that he’s almost 66 years old, I guess it’s ok to have an off night or two…
So, with this in mind, the crowd expectantly saw the band come onto the stage a little after 20:00, with cheers to accompany them. And, lo and behold, Mr. Dylan was in a good mood! He actually smiled several times and sincerely seemed to enjoy himself. Against all odds, he played the guitar for the first half of the concert, something unheard of in a long time. For the latter half he played the synth, which was ok, but personally I would have preferred if he had just kept to the guitar all night through.
One other thing is that he sang the songs as they are best sung (or, as some people would say, are supposed to be sung), making it a lot better than other versions he has played live of the songs at other occasions. He played tunes like Highway 61 Revisited, Lay, Lady, Lay and A hard rainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a-gonna fall, and the gig ended with the best song in the world, All Along the Watchtower, and this time it was delivered in a satisfactory manner (though, my personal preference will always be the Jimi Hendrix version).
It would have been nice to hear something like Things Have Changed, Hurricane, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door or Blowin’ in the Wind, but I guess it can never become perfect. And, as my brother stated, it seems with Dylan that the more famous the song is, the more prone he is to deliver some kind of weird version, so maybe it was for the best not to hear any of those. Afterwards, it was great to hear quotes like:
Dude, he played the guitar! And sang properly! Wonderful!
And that attitude seemed to be the general consensus; Dylan came, saw and delivered. Good things, this time.
Man, I wish every gig for any artist I like was in a small club!
The song list
- Most Likely You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine
- Not Dark Yet
- I’d Have You Any Time
- It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
- Tears of Rage
- Highway 61 Revisited
- Lay, Lady, Lay
- Rollin’ and Tumblin’
- To Ramona
- Country Pie
- Tangled Up in Blue
- A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
- Summer Days
- Like a Rolling Stone
- Thunder On The Mountain
- All Along the Watchtower