Bob Dylan European Tour summer 2014.
Cork, Ireland - Live at the Marquee (Festival)
Dublin, Ireland - The O2
Istanbul, Turkey - Black Box Istanbul
Thessaloniki, Greece - Limani, Thessaloniki Harbour
Athens, Greece - Terra Vibe Park
Bucharest, Romania - Sala Palatului
Kosice, Slovakia - Steel Arena
Vienna, Austria - Stadthalle
Klam, Austria - Burg Clam
Munich, Germany - Tollwood
Prague, Czech Republic - O2 Arena
Zwickau, Germany - Stadthalle
Slupsk, Poland - Festiwal Legend Rocka
Rostock, Germany - Stadthalle
Flensburg, Germany - Flens Arena
Aarhus, Denmark - Amfiscenen
Stavern, Norway - Poles Festival
Kristiansand, Norway - Bendiktsbukta
Helsingborg, Sweden - Sofiero Castle
Goteborg, Sweden - Tradgardsforeningen
Pori, Finland - Pori Jazz 2014
After the Japan Tour in the spring I decide to do my second passion and activity ; WWOOFing. The meaning is Willing Workers On Organic Farms.
The principle is to volunteer on a farm in order to help some private farmers to develop an agricultural activity respectful of the environment.
Few hours of work every day in exchange for room and food.
I will go to a farm in a small village called Azuz in the Negev.
I will stay and work until the show in Istanbul. I will miss the two first shows in Ireland.
I fly to Istanbul on the 19th of June.
I will meet Hubert (a Bobcat from Amsterdam) with whom I’m supposed to travel to Thessalonica, maybe Athens then I will join him again in Vienna and on until Zwickau.
I will be on my own going to Bucharest, Kosice and Vienna then Slupsk and on.
This is the plan.
I join Hubert in the Hostel room in Istanbul and right away with have a raw.
For a stupid question of telephone, I get angry and he leaves the room.
Whoa! Men are complicated, they believe a woman is a beautiful doll, quiet and submissive.
They have the right to be angry but not women. We have a long way to go to reach total equality and respect. An explanation and a pardon is not even a possibility, he’s gone!
Alright! So it is right away a changing of plan. I’m on my own.
The 20th of June Istanbul.
In the afternoon I take a metro to the Tourist area.
I go to the Blue Mosque but it is time for the prayers so I can’t go inside.
It’s too bad for this is in my opinion the most beautiful Mosque in Istanbul.
I lost myself in the Big Bazar ; colorful and odorous.
The temperature is 26° C. A bright sunny day.
At 4:00 p.m. I go back to the Hostel to be ready for the show. The website says ; show at 8:00 p.m.
It takes me one hour to find the Black Box Istanbul. The venue is in a middle of nowhere and it is indeed a …Black Box.
Nothing happens until 6:30 p.m. Then the crowd begins to pack up at the doors. Why queuing when it is a seated concert?
I try to find myself a free ticket. Since Japan I had decided not to pay for any.
The show is Sold out. A seat could be 36€ which is an excellent price ticket compare to Japan.
At 7:45 p.m. a nice Lady hands me a ‘charity’ ticket. Thanks.
Inside it’s a little bit chaotic as the inside doors are still closed.
The show is not programmed for 8:00 p.m. but 9:30 p.m. Whoa!
At 9:00 p.m. I take my seat. I’m surprisingly surprised. I am on the floor, on the right, 8th row from the stage. I have a perfect view on the piano.
9:00 p.m. Stu is strumming his guitar and the Band takes place on stage one by one.
The lights are on and the Band appears dressed in …RED!
The jackets look pink under the lights. Weird!
Bob is in black, fortunately. The suit with the white embroidering. White hat on his too dark hair.
“Things have changed”.
Public is enthusiastic, clapping along.
Bob seems electrified, like suddenly plugged in. He’s wild and his voice full of energy. The contact had been established.
The audience is respectful and obviously knowledgeable about the setlist.
Some Fns try to reach the stage but are pushed away by the security.
Some Bobcats from Europe gathered in Istanbul but the communication is not working.
After the show ending at 11h45 p.m. I run to catch the last metro.
I go to bed happily.
The 21st of June Thessaloníki.
I get up early, pack and walk to the bus agency.
At 7:45 a.m. a shuttle bus takes me to the central bus station.
9:15 a.m. the bus leaves towards Thessalonica.
That will be 11 hours of a nice trip. I relax and enjoy the landscapes.
8 p.m. the central bus station is outside the downtown area. A shuttle again and the bus n° 23 to the “little big house”, my youth Hostel.
Beautifully located on the top of the hill, over looking the sea.
The owner is a happy Lady, warm and enthusiastic.
I have a good night sleep in a semi-private dormitory.
For 2E I get myself a continental breakfast.
I walk with joy to the harbor , looking for the venue.
There is not any venue. The show will be out door right by the harbor on a platform stage among the cranes.
The public will be standing up.
I say hello to Jason and inquire about Jules :”he had been sick in Japan. He had bee inhospital for 2 weeks. He’s doing better now”.
I take a long walk along the harbor before retrieving to my Hostel.
At 6:00 p.m. I move down to the harbor. I meet with a Fan I have a chat and by 7:00 p.m. I put my sign out : “I need a free ticket, please”.
No luck for a while though thousands of people are packing up against the door.
Then a young man knocked me on my shoulder and hands me a ticket. Thanks.
I move in and squeeze myself until the 4th row.
Right away I feel the atmosphere is not the best.
It doesn’t seem a Bob Dylan crowd. Too many young follows who don’t realize ho’s bob Dylan and what he will do tonight.
They flash like crazy with their cameras and cell phones.
Bob looks unhappy. The sound is not correct. Kids talk incessantly around me.
Bob flunked “what good I am” and “Waiting for you”.
After “Love sick” Bob moves to Charlie and Tony and right away they do “High water”.
There will be no intermission.
“Spirit on the water”
He flunked “Scarlet town” and do “Summer days” followed by “A hard rain a-gonna fall”.
The spirit is not there, the crowd un-impressed.
At 11p.m. the show ends on “Long and wasted years”.
Bob rushes out from the stage.
There is no applause. The audience is wondering what’s going on.
2 more songs and the show is over.
I will skip Athens as I lost my driver and my bus to Bucharest will be leaving from Thessalonica.
I enjoy a nice stay in that beautiful little city.
I eat good food.
The 25th of June Bucharest.
I reach Bucharest at 2:00 a.m. That was 11 hours in the bus.
The bus station id not in the downtown area.
I do have a reservation in a youth Hostel.
A supposedly taxi driver offers to take me there. As I found out, he’s not an official cab driver and doesn’t know the direction to my Hostel. He will drop me to another one. I’m not happy but at this time of the night I take a bed right here.
Next day I move to the other Hostel, not too far, also close to the venue.
The venue is a theater. The security is tuff but fortunately a journalist hands me a press ticket. I’m V.I.P.
One more show.
One more move. The next concert is in Kosice, Slovakia.
I’ve decided for a train.
The 26th and 27th of June Kosice.
I’m happily surprised by the little town. The downtown area is pretty with a pedestrian street.
There is an handcrafts market. The youth Hostel has a friendly atmosphere.
At the venue I beg again for a ticket.
No luck but I never give up until after the intermission. And I’m rewarded. A Lady who belongs to the venue organization talks to me. I explain my ‘mission’ and she takes pity on me. She will find me ticket. I also ask one for a young Fan waiting next to me. She finds two tickets and we rush inside. Bob’s is already singing the third songs but it’s alright.
I have a nice memory of Kosice. That was a nice stoover.
The 28th of June Vienna.
There is no day off. I have to catch an early train.
There is a changing of train at the border.
The first train is terribly slow. We are two hours beyond schedule.
If I miss the correspondence I might not make it to the show.
I talk with the train conductor. As I am not the only one the second train will be waiting for us. It’s a relief!
I check in my Youth Hostel and rush to the venue.
Vienna will gather a bunch of Fans from all around Europe. The venue is big.
My only concern is to get a ticket. I will be lucky. I’m in.
No after show party. I just go to sleep all alone in my bench.
Next day Klam. On the move again.
The 29th of June Klam.
After the big city of Vienna the tiny village of Klam.
The only attraction in Klam is the Castle.
I take the little train to the village and for the first time meet with Johannes, a Fan from Germany.
I don’t have any plan for a place to stay after the show. At the worst I will hitchhike to the next big city.
To makes things more difficult it starts raining.
I start to worry about my luggage when a car stops next to me. It’s Hubert who will rescue me. Luckily for the rain will not stop all afternoon and evening.
We spend time in the car before heading to the line. It is a General Admission and a chance to be right in front. I get an easy free ticket and find myself right in the front.
The rain is pouring down. The public is drenched to the bone even the stage is splashed.
After the show Hubert and I share a room and we plan for the next few shows.
It feels better to be in company, a lot easier to travel by car.
Hubert will drive to Berlin and then leave the tour. I will go on all by myself.
The 1st of July Munich.
In Munich we’ll chose the camping site as an accommodation. Not such a bad idea but since it’s raining so much I don’t feel like being inside a damp tent. I will sleep inside the car.
The venue is inside a Fair Ground. General Admission again and a possibility to be in front.
Too many Fans had the same idea. The crowd at the door is too much nervous.
I have to ‘fight’ to be on the rail. We are packed and there is ‘electricity’ in the air.
For the first time at a Bob Dylan show I faint, I lose consciousness.
They want to call the security guards. I resist for I don’t want to lose my spot.
It is when I decide that never again I will be in line. What the point? Are we supposed to be enemies?
I enjoy the show none the less. Bob is in front of me at the piano. I can’t be unhappy!
We drive to the camping. I sleep again inside the car. I don’t mind.
I wash and dry my cloth in the sun (the rain had stopped).
I had bought a Global Train Pass at the train Station in Munich for the next 2 weeks.
I will train after Berlin.
The 2sd of July Prague.
Hubert drives all the way to Prague. We had booked a private room inside a Youth Hostels.
Prague is pretty. We take a walk and buy food at the farmers’ market.
We go to the venue.
One more show that didn’t wow me.
The 3rd of July Zwickau.
Another small town.
We booked a room in a Hotel in the next little town, after all we have a car.
The room turned out to be a whole apartment with kitchen, living room, bedroom.
Unfortunately we have no time to appreciate.
Already we drive to the venue.
Another General Admission. A Fan I met in Kosice promised to give me a ticket in Zwickau.
I chat with Johannes. When I get my ticket I rush inside.
The audience is warm. I feel ‘comfortable’ and in ‘peace’.
After all everything is suddenly easy : a car with a driver, friendly chat with nice Bobcats (I never met before), an easy ticket, the security of a nice bedroom in privacy.
I’m in ‘luxury’. I just wish it could be with someone else. D. is always in my mind and my heart. Traveling with him was a real adventure though complicated. I miss him.
Hubert will drive me to Berlin. He will stay there for few days and I will move to Slupsk Poland, al by myself. The luxury is over. I’m a free wheeling.
The train to Slupsk takes forever. I change train at 1 o’clock being sure it will be empty.
It’s so full I can’t even seat.
We reach Slupsk at 5 a.m. Slupsk (impossible to pronounce) is not a nice city.
The show is few kilometers away. My mission is to find a way to go there. I inquire at a Travel Agency. They did organize a bus going there. Cool!
I don’t have anywhere to go after the show but the train station, hopping it will be open.
I lose my soul and hurt my feet walking around the emptiness and sadness of that lousy city.
The worst since Evansville in the States. Not even a descent cup of coffee. It must be Sunday for all is closed.
I take a nap on the lawn of the City Hall, the only nice building.
I catch the bus at 6 p.m.
The venue is open air in the middle of nowhere. The only building is a fancy Hotel being a S.P.A., surely where Bob and the Band are staying.
Some Bobcats traveled all the way here. We all try to find tickets. Not so difficult as thousands of Fans are crowding here from all over Poland.
The set list is different from the Theaters.
At last a change for me. That pay for the hard traveling.
I enjoy and rejoice.
After the show the bus is waiting for me.
I’m going strait to the train station with a dozen of poor souls.
We wait for the first trains leaving the ‘emptiness’ of Slupsk.
I will never take any vacation in Poland. So sad!
The 6th and 7th of July Rostock Germany.
Another youth Hostel. Another show.
The 8th of July Flensburg Germany.
This is a nice Youth Hostel by the train station.
A pretty little town with a pedestrian commercial street.
I buy some food, drink some coffee.
The venue is walking distance, inside the University Campus.
I pull my sign out.
A nice Lady invites me to follow her with an extra ticket she’s holding for me. We chat about Bobby Dylan and we comment on the show.
A pleasant stay.
Of course Bob is back with the ‘inside’ set list.
The 9th of July Aarhus Danemark.
The train takes me to Aarhus.
I booked a Youth Hostel. This is a splendid building next to a Canal.
This is the most fancy Hostel I’ve ever been in.
The bed is a king size bed. The kitchen and dinning room are spot less.
I buy myself some food and cook a nice meal of pastas and tomato sauce. I relax some time before walking to the venue. It is an open air show.
The ticket is easy to find. The show without surprise.
I feel good and rested. Though I’m all by myself I don’t feel sad or lonely.
It might be the fact that I am on the move day after day. I have to think about my logistics. I have no time for sentimental dramas.
The 9th and 10th of July Stavern Norway.
The only way to go to Stavern is the boat.
I join Tim, Che, Siobhain and off we go.
Norway is an expensive country, I fear the stay there. I didn’t plan any accommodations.
Che and Siobhain invite me in their room. I don’t feel comfortable. Tim will join also.
We take a walk to the beach with Che and Siobhain. They are a couple and I don’t feel at ease.
We catch a bus to the ‘festival’.
It’s a mess. Thousands are concentrating on an open field.
I sneak right to the rail with a free ticket. Bad idea. The stage is so high that I can’t see Bob on the piano, just the top of his hat. I hardly see him in center stage.
The set list is the one of the ‘Festival’ but this is no surprise any more.
We all sleep in the same room. I’m safe but not over happy!
The 10th of July Kristiansand Norway.
Train train train….bound for glory!
Kristiansand is nice. I put my luggage inside a locker at the station I walk to the harbor.
I take a nap on the lawn. I don’t eat in Norway. The food is so expensive. I survive on bread and water.
The show is a ‘festival’ (only Bob) on an Island.
A free ticket is easy to find.
I stay away from the stage. Dance and sing on the lawn all by myself. I’m not even drunk or stoned. I usually don’t drink alcohol or smoke anything ‘funny’ on the road. I need my head on my shoulders.
I enjoy the show.
The after show is more problematic.
I have a sleeping bag. So I find a safe area behind a tree, roll myself on the ground and snooze for few hours. I found out that when you’re exhausted you sleep anywhere, anyway.
The rain wakes me up in the early morning. I move under a roof. I try to keep dry and warm at least.
The next stop is Helsingborg Sweden.
A long , long way.
The 13th and 14th Helsingborg Sweden.
I sleep on the train.
I walk around the city, nice and close to the sea.
I breath the fresh air.
The show is inside a Park, few miles away at Sofiero Castle.
I decide to walk all the way. Nice walk.
I manage to sneak inside the Park but I’m caught by a guard who asks me to walk out.
I beg for a ticket for a long while in spite of the thousands fans pilling up inside the Park.
At last a generous man hands me a ticket.
The surroundings is agreeable.
The set list the one for the festivals.
I enjoy myself though I’m physically tired.
I’m not sure when I ate for the last time, I don’t feel angry anymore.
The 15th of July Goteborg Sweden.
Viktor promised to help me with a bed. At last I will sleep well.
The venue is inside a splendid Botanic Garden. The Garden will be closed at 4 p.m.
I spend the afternoon with Bjorn, inside a café, away from the rain.
Before the show, and for the first time I join a group of Bobcats in a bar.
I know all of them but I feel like a zombie, an outsider. I don’t drink.
I’m over tired if I drink only a beer I fall asleep. There is a show and I need a ticket.
It seems so difficult to understand from all of them.
Money is really a divisive factor.
I leave the group, go to the venue, beg for a ticket.
I got one right away.
I’m so happy that I return to the bar and can be more open.
We all move to the venue.
The line is moving slowly but we are all in.
That will be my last show.
There will be another show in Pori Finland but It would cost a fortune to get there.
I will miss the last show as I missed the two first.
I enjoy the show.
The after show is festive as Viktor, Bjorn and few Bobcats are going to a bar.
I don’t drink but I participate.
Viktor , Bjorn and myself take a last bus to Viktor’s house.
The mattress on the floor is more than welcome.
The breakfast in the morning is a relief for my stomach.
That’s the end for me.
Back home on a long train journey that somehow brought me thru Amsterdam.
Hubert is not home.
I catch a bus from Amsterdam to Paris then Angers.
I’m exhausted and starving.