Tuesday, May 5, 2009

the Scottish shows

So, Bob wraps up his UK tour with a fine brace of Scottish concerts!

I mean, when was the last time he played a bad show in Glasgow? Amazing audiences in this city. Bob really appreciated it too, standing out front for ages at the end, and touching his heart in a gesture of gratitude. Jeez he even looked like he might have meant it!
Some people like a nice quiet audience, but I reckon gigs are a two way street, and for atmosphere, Bob’s best audiences are arguably Glasgow and Italy, plus possibly Ireland.
Anyway, the SECC was also the best and most consistent show I’ve seen on this tour. Extraordinary vocal performance on many of the songs, certainly as good as those battered vocal chords will currently allow.
He opened with this newly countrified and rocked up Maggies Farm and followed with a perfect Don’t Think Twice. The harmonica is having a good tour, and I suggest you check out this performance for a fine example.
Next we got the great current arrangement of Till I fell in Love with You, a good example of this bands strengths, despite Bob’s current habit of keeping the guitar players tightly reined in.
Other highlights of this fine concert were a contender for my favourite ever vocal on Workingman’s Blues and a gorgeous Every Grain of Sand.

On then to the prettiest city on the tour, and despite rumours that Edinburgh audiences are too posh to cheer (?!) there was a great atmosphere in the beautiful Playhouse theatre for what I thought was a fine show. Some others thought it a bit dull.
Again, a good night vocally with Tangled and Trying to get to Heaven early set highlights.
But, the real meat of this show for me, was the fact that he played FOUR songs on guitar. This really gives everything a lift, it was just like old times with Bob out front, quite a bit more animated than usual, and playing some ragged but solid leads on this nice new guitar he has (a Gibson?).
The best of these songs was I Don’t Believe You, a song that is usually a bit of a snoozefest for me. And, of course, to get Just Like a Woman on guitar as 2nd encore instead of the relentlessly overplayed Spirit on the Water was a big bonus. Other well performed songs were Po’ Boy, Rolling Stone and a seemingly slower than normal (?) Blowin in the Wind.
Admittedly there was no ‘rare’ song in ‘slot 12’ as hoped for, and I don’t really find the song he played in this slot, Ain’t Talkin, too exciting any more, but hey, a good show overall, and fingers crossed for two good nights in Dublin to wrap up this long and eventful European jaunt..

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