SEPTEMBER 23, 2000
INTERNATIONAL ARENA, CARDIFF,
1. HALLELUJAH, I'M READY TO GO @
2. MY BACK PAGES @
3. DESOLATION ROW @
4. BALLAD OF FRANKIE LEE AND JUDAS PRIEST @
5. TANGLED UP IN BLUE @
6. SEARCHING FOR A SOLDIER'S GRAVE @
7. COUNTRY PIE
8. BLIND WILLIE MCTELL
9. TOMBSTONE BLUES
10. TRYIN' TO GET TO HEAVEN
11. COLD IRONS BOUND
12. LEOPARD SKIN PILLBOX HAT
13. THINGS HAVE CHANGED
14. LIKE A ROLLING STONE
15. DON'T THINK TWICE, ITS ALRIGHT @ (BOB ON HARP)
16. WATCHING THE RIVER FLOW
17. FOREVER YOUNG @
18. HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED
19. BLOWIN' IN THE WIND @
Now, this was a powerful show, last night
in Wales. As the Welsh audience was more
responsive than the ones at the huge English
venues before, the energy was clearly flowing
both ways. In front of the nice city centre
venue we met Monika and Ulrike, two of the
most faithful continental concert goers, who
we had met at many a German show. They jumped
on the tour train last night, riding along until
Paris. When they were spotted by the maestro
on stage, there was a most interesting reaction,
including smiles and guitar pointing. Very amusing.
The show itself was one of the finest on this
tour yet, even though there were but three additions
to the (61 by now) song-list. Ten repetitions from
the night before, but each one was most powerful
and special, as if he did not perform them often.
His voice was as good as it gets and standing in the
fourth row facing Tony, we could hear it very good.
"MY BACK PAGES" included violin and harp in
harmony, and my third "DESOLATON ROW" six verses.
The guitar-less harp-dance at the end of
"DON'T THINK TWICE" was priceless. (see pics below)
The third omission in a row of "RDW" just
added to my enjoyment of the show.
The only song I had never seen before was
an acoustic version of "THE BALLAD OF
FRANKIE LEE AND JUDAS PRIEST", which
was told in a manner, which simply left
me speechless. Outstanding is the only word
for it. ("Don't go mistaking paradise for
that home across the road.") He could have
sung 15 times "TANGLED" after that. But no,
there was more to come, as he pulled out one
of his eighties-masterpieces, "BLIND
WILLIE MC TELL", in the number eight
surprise slot. ("God is in his heaven,
and we all want what's his.") Dylan the band
leader beckoned Charlie to play some nice guitar
breaks on this one. (We had seen this gem before
in Essen 1998. where it had not even been on
the cue sheet.) The third addition, "WATCHING
THE RIVER FLOW", we witnessed already for the
third time (after Nurburgring and Bremen 1998).
I always like to hear it, especially on a night
like this, although I do think that Bob has
much to say these days.
Which brings me to some comments on my two
favourite songs of this great Cardiff setlist,
"HALLELUJAH IíM READY TO GO" and
"TRYIN' TO GET TO HEAVEN".
"HALLELUJAH" was performed for the
second time on this tour, and this time
his voice took the chorus to places I had not
heard before. Simply amazing. The lyrics are
as challenging as can be (see the relevant
page on this site), and the combination
with the new and slow "TRYIN'" made his
confession all the more direct (those two
songs appeared last together on the
Horsens-setlist). While performing
"TRYING", Bob mixed up the lyrics,
being "all around the world" already at the
end of verse three. He then continued with the
last verse (which he omitted in Dublin and B'ham),
inserting however the buggy ride from verse four in it,
and ended with the "sugar town" line, which I never
heard him perform on stage before. No, I am not
going to read a secret message out of it.
I just noticed it, that's all.
The third verse started with "People at the
station (sic), waiting for the train." We all know,
that the train-image is an important one for Bob.
I never saw last night's opener in connection with that,
but in hindsight he sang "HALLELUJAH" like
someone who just has been handed a vital train ticket,
someone who is "well dressed, waiting on the last train",
the slow train coming, which is picking up speed,
as this world can't stand long. People get ready, there's a
train a-coming. Hallelujah, I'm ready to go. - Powerful indeed.
As our car is rolling through the English rain towards
Portsmouth (we don't have tickets for the first show yet;
it might be my 30th Bob date), I am grateful that
the greatest living artist keeps on using his greatest gift
to tell his audience once in a while: "Don't wait, before
it's too late, he's a wonderful Saviour to know."