Brussels, Belgium
Forest National
November 12, 2003

[Stijn Buyst], [Jeroen Bol], [Mike Sim], [Mateo Huessy], [Jan Verschooren]

Review by Stijn Buyst

A short review of tonight’s show.  
The show started very strong: Maggy’s farm blew a couple of people away
there…  This being only my second Dylan show, I had a déjà vu on Baby
Blue.  He sang it using the same up-going melody he used on every second
song, the last time he passed by in Brussels, last year.  He also was
mumbling a little bit on that one…  I started to fear a little bit, by
then. Fear was unnecessary, cause the rest of the show I just found
superb. Dylan teasing his roadie, and then bursting into evil laughter,
starting the next song: great to see he still has the sharp touch he
displayed in ‘don’t look back’.  Personal highlights: Girl of the North
Coutntry, Highway 61, Summer Days, Mobile, Wicked Messenger.  But then:
All Along the Watchtower, which’ opening chords just left me in plain
tears.  Don’t know why, but I’ve just been listening to the version on
before the flood, which I normally like a lot, but tonight’s powerrock
intro and the rest of it were just so mindblowing for me…  Also: very
happy he performed love-0, a song I really was hoping for.  


Review by Jeroen Bol

It was a great show again last night. The atmosphere in Forest National
was very fine. Bob is doing a magnificent job this tour, singing his songs
very carefully and with great conviction. Freddy Koella was in splendid
form tonight doing several terrific solos, real fireworks. Koella has a
very original personal style. I got the impression that he has the
potential to grow to still greater heights in this band.  I was in a
position in which I could observe George Recelli very well. What a very
solid drummer he is... Together with Tony Garnier, standing next to him,
they make a rhythm power machine that almost never fails. Great to see how
the two interact and enjoy themselves. Once in a while Tony stood right in
front of Recelli, face to face, Recelli grinning with big smiles
completely enjoying the whole thing. Great to observe those kinds of
interactions.  Every song was good tonight but special highlights for me
were Man in the long black coat, Love sick, Honest with me, Girl of the
North Country, Cat's in the well and All along the watchtower. I'll give a
few comments on some of the songs. Honest with me was really fantastic
with the band jamming and rocking that made you want it would go on and on
but it doesn't. Right in the middle on the top of the rocking, which was a
real treat, Bob stepped from behind his piano and walked to the middle of
the stage. And then he stood there dancing like a Jew in the synagogue
with his hands up high and thumbs up facing his outstanding very hard
working drummer. Dylan seemed to be extremely satisfied and happy. It was
a spectacular and very nice sight, the band so completely into it,
everybody laughing and enjoying themselves to the utmost. Pure joy! And
then Bob turned around and for a while did this dancing thing facing the
public and the whole Forest National went mad. It was one big celebration
of the magnificent art Dylan and his crew can make out of rock and roll.
The whole scene was something I'll never forget.  With Girl in the North
Country following Honest with me we seemed to be in a completely different
world. Yet it was still 'Dylan country'. The band played an almost
classical music version of this beautiful song. Very quietly and Dylan
almost whispering the words sometimes. The song was sandwiched between the
exuberant rock spectacle of Honest with me and Summer days. I had hoped
for The man in the long black coat and they did it. I was very satisfied,
only missed the harmonica that would fit so very well in this melody.
Cat's in the well was done again in the new great rock version, a real
treat. Downright spectacular was All along the watchtower. Let's call it
Dylan classical music. The song in itself has developed in a kind of
legend to me. It stands as a monument at the end of the set list. They do
it in a great new version this tour. The intro is kind of spooky which
really fits the growling wild cat outside in the cold distance, the
howling wind and the two mysterious approaching riders.  Dylan is a poet
indeed, painting with words a  scenery that we'll probably never totally
grasp but that keeps on intriguing us. The song is being played nowadays
alternating quiet intervals with full-blown power rock. Awesome is the
right word. I love those phrases: 'There are many here among us who feel
that life is but a joke, but you and I we've been through that and this is
not our fate, so let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late'.
There must indeed be someway out of here and for sure there is a great way
out of the overdose of confusion, which is called life. He didn't sing
Trying to get to heaven this time but I'm confident he'll make it that
way. Not a bad choice indeed.  

Jeroen Bol


Review by Mike Sim

To start with the overall sound:
I was sitting stage right, facing Bob, result of which a little
disturbance from sound bouncing on the back of the hall. The band has a
huge, fat sound, close to the sound he has on \"Gonna Change My Way Of
Thinking\" from the Gospel of Bob Dylan album; with a little less gravel
in the voice. On the Man ---------- Bob spent the evening playing the
keyboards & doubling on harp, lots of harp, compared the the three
previous shows I've been to. On the band ------------ Larry Campbell on
guitar Tony Garnier on bass Was it Harry Something on rythm guitar (played
an awesome lead on Like a Rolling Stone) Who played drums, extremely well
by the way? Was it David Kemper? I ain't sure. On the set; ------------
The set details, you have them so I won't go through it in detail. Just
the choice of material, the overall sound and the vibe. Bob selected
material from as far back as his Freewhelin days in '63 (Girl of the North
Country); played in the strangest of ways. A classical music approach;
right trhough to stuff from Love and Theft in 2001. That's something like
40 years of music. A lifetime in music, without a doubt. If I'm not
mistaken Bob selected for us the following songs from these albums: 1 song
from Freewhelin' Bob Dylan / Nashville Skyline - Girl From the North
Country 4 tracks from \"Subterranean Homesick Blues\" 1965 - Maggie’s Farm
1965 - It’s All over, Now, Baby Blue - It’s Alright, Ma (I’m only
Bleeding) - Love Minus Zero/No Limit 2 from Highway 61 Revisited - Highway
61 Revisited - Like a Rolling Stone 2 from Blonde on Blonde - Visions of
Joanna - Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again -- Jeez was I
happy to hear that live 2 from John Wesley Harding - The Wicked Messenger
- All Along the Watchtower 1 From Shot of Love - Every Grain of Sand --
Thank you Bob 1 From Under the Red Sky - Cat ’s in the Well -- Couldn't
figure where that came from, sounded like the Blues had landed in the
house 1 From Time Out of Mind - Love Sick and 2 from Love and Theft - Cry
Awhile - Summer Days -- Bob was obviously happy on this song, he left his
keyboard and went straight to the band smilin' broadly and with his handds
in the air -- Praises to all on board To conclude: ------------- I'm sure
you've heard this all before Bill, but, to me, Bob Dylan is the heart of
Rock & Roll today. He's always been on the fringes, always been up front.
As far as I'm concerned Bob is years ahead of our time (out of mind).
You've led, you've followed, you're there and on time. Thank you Bob, 


Review by Mateo Huessy

in the Belgian rain was worth every second to secure the best place
possible, right up next to the stage, with bob and the keyboard some mere
10 feet from me. I had a nice chat with another fan, an electrician from
anvers, if you're reading this "hi" and thanks for the ride back to the
center of the city. Dylan treated us to lots of harp, he played on 9
songs. HIghlights for me were its alight ma - a fantastic driving version,
bob hanging on to the end of each phrase. Love minus Zero, ahh sung with
such passion and tendernes as was Girl from the north counrty, the best of
the show for me, and such a change from what i saw in 2000. The Wicked
Messanger had the hall vibrating, as did Honest with me - the best rocker
i,ve evr heard; Cats in the well, of course no surprise on this tour, but
how well sung, dylan and the band really tight on this number, the key
changes are really effective. All along the wathttower a great powerhouse
to to an end the evening, ahhh but all to soon. My personal thoughts are
Bobs very Happy, Lots of Contact with the band, especially with charles
ricellie. Vocals were excellent, dylanesque at its best, perhaps playing
the piono on the side of the stage gives him more conrol of the band. as
usual bob didnt even say thankyou, but after the lights went out he blew
us all a kiss, did anyone else see? I saw as i was soo close. Thankyou all
u fans for a great time with u and most of all my love and respect to
someone who's songs stand by me in happy,but also difficult times as a
comfort - a guide. Thankyou Bob.   DONT YOU DARE missssssssssssssssss


Review by Jan Verschooren

This was about my 22 concert of Dylan. I have seen him all over Europe the
end of the eighties. What Brussels considers this was far the best I have
seen him doing. A night of great rock and some moments of deep intimacy.

Great musicians and Dylan walking over the scene from time to to time like
Santa Claus with his hands in the air. It looked sometimes like he was
soliciting to become the new pope. The piano was serving him not to fall,
but what a great performance! His voice sometimes cracking, but clear. The
band rocking like hell.

Visions of Joanna was superb, just like Man in the long black coat. And a
version of Like a Rolling Stone like I heard never before. Most surprising
was Maggies farm, a song which I normally do not like that much, but now
brought very nice. And this from the start of the concert. I could not
believe my ears.

He did it again, he touch the audience with something that is not to
explain. My two sons of 17 and 19 years old where with me, and though they
are not real fans, they where really enthousiast and surprised. Some of
their friends would have liked to go too, but, and that is the only sad
side, found it too expensive.

Hope we can see him for more years again, performing like this.

Jan Verschooren


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