page by Bill Pagel
Review by Markus Schrör
It was "some of these days" or better evenings, there are outstanding in
Bobs and the bands performances: not my favourite set list, but great from
the beginning to the end, the more you have to recognize, that the first
set itself took nearly two hours and finally, they played more than 2,5
hours. It was my third concert in three days and even from listening,
watching and dancing I was tired afterwards. The more I admire this man
not only for his music and lyrics, then also for beeing 25 years older
than I am and performing like this three days in a row on the stage! And
he look really tired after blowing` as the usual last song.
So to the concert: a lot of nice soli from all the band, the more Bob gave
us the rock, the better everybody was. Earlier days, I liked more the
calm, slow and acoustic parts, but like he is playing rock and rockabilly
parts now, this has changed in my personal taste.
To the songs:
Humming bird: nice opener in the usual way he is opening in the moment
with halleluljah and so on.
in all the three days for me the weekest song of the show, some little
mistakes I think in Bobs guitar-playing, I hope, he will change the fixed
second song of the concert to something else
Its all right Ma:
I was surprised, that he played the third time in row the same song on
this place, I expected desolation row and waited for that, but also Mama
was good again.
Its all over now:
Very well done, nice harp-intro. Personally, I changed my job after 9
years in these days and I was so pleased to here the
Strike-another-match-go-start-a new-song, specially in this acoustic way
Memphis blues again:
the first highlight of the show: great guitar play between Bob and
Charlie, you could see the fun and the connection between them
I have been reading a review from somebody on this web-side in the last
days, that floater is not working on the stage and I agree. One side, the
song create the atmosphere of sittng in a club in some of these great
american mafia-films, on the other hand the change between the
instrumental and voice-parts is not working very good. I had prefered to
heare moonlight on this point.
Subterranean Homesick blues:
You could definitly find out, where the "inner circle" or however you will
call it was standing: after the first accord, some hundred people were
screaming and waving arms, like a soccer team just shoot the goal in the
world-championship. Everybody hoped he will play it, nobody really thougt,
I guess, that he really would play it a second time on this european tour,
but he played and it was great!
In the garden:
I didnt recognize it, because I never liked the long-play so much, should
hear it again because it was really nice
The next acoustic set was great, some really good parts on Larrys guitar
summer days: which was in all the days one of the best of the show and
seems to be really loved by the crowd
Cats in the well:
incredible: great soli from everybody and a guitar-play between Charlie
and Bob, I never heard like that. The longer the song lasted, the more
Charlie forced Bob to play faster and faster. Bob took it, Charlie looked
and gave something more, they were laughing and Bob was dancing to the
mikro and back like a circus-horse. My absolut favourite of the evening.
Bob was really giving his best, dancing to the mikro and back, standard
song-performance on Rolling Stone and Honest with me, but really great
again on Dogs run free with the best harp-intro of the night.
Everybody I spoke with was happy with this show, for me three great
evenings and great expectations for Nürnberg and Oberhausen. See you than
Comments welcome to
Review by James Strohecker
Bob Dylan rode into Munich wearing a white cowboy hat
and UCSB Gaucho outfit and cranked out what turned out
to be a solid performance at the Olympiahalle last
night – a performance that was as much quiet and slow
at times as it was rocking at others.
The Olympiahalle, a remnant of the 1972 Olympic Games
with a fabric, “Shoreline, Calif.-type teepee roof,
featured one of the biggest fan-configured (not pure
physical area) spaces that Bob and his band have
played in so far this tour. And the Olympiahalle was
filled with appreciative fans who witnessed an
excellent performance led by Bob and his strong guitar
work and singing, and backed by the excellent
musicians in his band.
Bob was really ON, and in strong Tour mode as he led
off with a tight and well-harmonized, Hummingbird,
that featured Charlie Sexton and Larry Campbell on
solid backup vocals and a bright, springy guitar line
which set the stage for the rest of the show.
The band followed this with a solid, Times They Are
A-Changin’ that was slower and quieter than previous
shows and featured Bob’s singing – a little scratchy
but Tour-strong and able to belt out his own material
and take the songs wherever he wanted. They followed
‘Times with, It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding that
further demonstrated this mastery to the audience with
clean picking and his own version of sing-song poetry
in motion that he and the band aced.
The band quickly moved into, It’s All Over Now, Baby
Blue, which featured Bob on biting introductory harp
and some prime guitar picking that they all
demonstrated with grace and skill, including Larry on
the slide steel. Next, the band launched into a nice,
Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
(that was well sung and featured lots of Bob’s
patented “single-note theory. It was just smooth and
well-played and further demonstrated Bob’s strong
energy in this show as he moved around the stage and
led the band in different riffs and through the
This set the stage for a solid, Floater, which was
simply poetry in motion. Floater was highlighted by
more verse and strumming, jazz blues combo-style with
some coolio picking by Charlie.
Bob next dropped in a surprising, Subterranean
Homesick Blues, which was much tighter and relaxed
than the version in Hamburg last week. They rocked
this out into a crowd-pleaser and had some fun doing
it. They soon had the crowd leaning forward and
listening intently as Bob and the boys slid into an
awesome, In The Garden, that seemed almost poignant
for the venue’s history (back in the ’72 Olympics), as
it was slow, deliberate, melodious and with such rich,
brim-full words that Bob crafted around the tight
guitar picking. Most excellent and definitely the
song of the night.
Next, the band delivered an extra-soft yet
quietly-strong acoustic version of, Don’t Think Twice,
It’s Alright, that featured some fine picking by Bob
and a lot of good crowd feedback. They followed this
with a sharp, sultry version of, Visions of Johanna,
that again was very well picked and proved that Bob
was having a good night as he glided around stage and
showed off to the crowd.
This set the stage for a rich, Tambourine Man, that
featured Bob on some randy, early intro harp and his
gigging and showmanship around stage, with some extra
special guitar work thrown in.
It seems that when you’re most worried about Bob being
too tired on a tour, he steps forward with a stellar
performance – and as evidenced by the set list and his
mastery of his songs, guitars and stage showmanship,
the worry turns out to be unfounded. Such was the
case in Munchen.
The band followed Tambourine with a raucous,
boogie-woogie version of Summer Days that was a little
more subdued than previous nights, most notably the
explosive Berlin version, but no less featured a
strong jam session and rock-go-round by the three
guitarists, with Tony and George smiling and enjoying
themselves as they followed along.
They moved into a wise, driven version of, Things Have
Changed, which was strong – being the first time
they’ve played it in the last eight shows. This song
was such a staple of Bob’s tour in 20002 and 2001, and
now that he rarely plays it, it’s all that much better
and appreciated. Bob made the words and notes echo,
and Larry added complex, effective lead guitar work
that brought it home.
And speaking of bringing it home, the band next headed
into the final two songs before the break: Drifter’s
Escape, which featured its usual rocking, upbeat
delivery and Bob on late, wicked harp, followed by …
oh my gosh, Cats In The Well! This was a real
surprise in the pre-encore position and Bob and the
boys didn’t disappoint – they aggressively and loudly
turned this into a serious rocker.
Cats In The Well wasn’t just a rock and roll hottie,
this was industrial-strength rock, played hard and
long and loud – and it just blew the crowd away! Bob
was showing off and he allowed the band for the second
night in a row to show off after he introduced them.
This took the award as the second best song of the
night – it was just amazing how they kept climbing the
rock and roll ladder and made this explosive.
The band started the post-encore set with a strong,
Not Fade Away, a nicely harmonized, good backbeat
version of a song that just keeps getting
progressively tighter the more they play it on this
tour. Next up was the tour standard, Like A Rolling
Stone, that was its usual perky, signature song that
got the crowd standing and clapping along, and
featuring some good fret work by Charlie Sexton.
The band headed into the close with a lugubrious
version of, If Dogs Run Free, where Bob demonstrated
some heated harp-a-doodle as an introduction, backed
by the jazzy combo strumming. They followed this with
a consistent, Honest With Me, into a soulful,
harp-rich Blowin’ In The Wind, that featured some
lively vocals and ominous harmony singing by Larry and
The simple-yet-complex melodies of Blowin’ put the
capper on a solid, Bob-led evening that both showed
the strength and staying power of this band, as well
as their ability to step up on any given night and
rock the house. Don’t miss it.
RANDOM NOTES … After eight shows, I must excuse myself
and leave it up to others to fill people in on the
shows’ strengths and weaknesses. My synopsis, as you
may have surmised is: This group is really, really
good. And Bob is … well, Bob. There’s just nobody
better in his class -- and every night, he always
brings some great playing, incredible singing,
interesting twists and interpretations, of course
great words/poetry, and just a damn good show … But he
couldn’t do it without a tight group, led by Larry
Campbell. He’s just awesome even when he’s not
trying. And when he turns it on, look out … Charlie,
Tony and George are both good and fun to watch. And
hats off to the sound and light crews. Even in the
oddest locations and biggest venue challenges, they
always put on a pro job … Finally, thanks to all the
good tour fans, Thomas from Berlin, Lutz, Hank from
Holland und others, plus the lucky ones who turned out
for the shows. You had super energy and were just
great … And those of you who are at all on the fence
about seeing this “Floating Opera,” just go. You’ll
be happy you did. Tjuus
Review by Carsten Wohlfeld
If you are ever happy to see the tiny village of Mindelheim halfway
between Lake Constance and the city of Munich, you're either a huge fan of
the German countryside or you're running dangerously low on petrol and
can't find a gas station for AGES. So despite minor complications on the
way to and in Munich (I think we all decided that we never want to move
there just to make sure we don't have to deal with the traffic there) Tim,
Regine and I actually arrived early and even had the time to enjoy some
impossibly large cocktails before the show. So we all had a great time
even before the show at the Olympiahalle was due to start at 8.30pm and
Bob did all he could to make sure that wouldn't change for the rest of the
night. I was quite surprised that Bob was able to fill the huge venue, I'd
think there were more than 9 000 people there. Last time he played the
place in 1999 they had seats on the floor, but now fortunately it was
general admission. It was just after 8.30pm that the five guys came
onstage, this time NOT wearing their matching suits for some reason. They
kicked off with a very welcome
Humming Bird (acoustic)
Bob was on from the first line. Larry's didn't get to play his lovely
Johnny-Cash style solo on the elctric guitar that I'd enjoyed so much in
Hamburg the week before, but I'd still think that this was a superior
rendition. Just overal very well done.
The Times They Are A-Changin' (acoustic)
Okay, the lyrics weren't perfect, but it was a pretty decent version
nevertheless. Nothing reminded us of the disaster from the night before,
maybe because they seemed to be playing the song a little slower and with
that a bit more gentle, which seem to work a little better. Still would
kill for some change in this slot though.
It's Alright Ma (acoustic)
The same strong version that we've come to expect from Bob and his gang on
this tour by now.
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (acoustic)
The biggest crowd pleaser so far, Larry did a great job on pedal steel as
usual, although Bob tried his best to bury Larry's opening solo with his
harmonica playing. It was a solid version and a good end for a very
enjoyable first acoustic set. It was at this point that I thought that
they had finally returned to the constitancy of the first shows I saw (not
many highlights, not many lowpoints, just overall very good) and had left
behind the hit and miss approach that had made the Stuttgart show so
weird. But just as I thought that, they just turned around and got better
and better and better.
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
Unlike the Frankfurt rendition, this was energetic and well-paced from the
start. Bob delivered some of his usual one-note guitar solos that were
actually enjoyable, especially as he didn't forget to put a lot into the
vocal delivery at the same time.
Much better than Hamburg. I still miss the violin, but somehow they
managed to fill the gaps better this time around. Yet another chance for
Charlie to show that he apparently is capable of playing anything from
country, to blues, to rockabilly - and jazz! Still find it weird to hear
these jazzy songs in huge 12,000 seat venues filled wth people who for the
best part are waiting for "Like A Rolling Stone" (in the 1965
Subterrean Homesick Blues
I was surprised to hear this again so soon after the not-very-good-at-all
version from Hamburg the week before. This time around Bob and the band
did exactly know what they wanted to to with the song and the result was a
much tighter, yet still very relaxed rendition of the song. Wouldn't mind
hearing it more often as long as they manange to keep it on this level.
But just when I thought it couldn't get any better (or more surprising),
Bob pulled out:
In the Garden
This must have been only the 4th or 5th time they played the song since I
last heard it in Hannover six years ago, but you couldn't tell. I have to
admit that I don't know all of the lyrics to the song, but if Bob messed
them up, he did a very good job hiding that. The band sounded as if they
play the song twice every night as well and not once a year. Very slow,
but very emotional, all five seemed to concentrate really hard to get the
song right - and they did. A stunning performance!
Don't Think Twice (acoustic)
Maybe they needed a rest after the strong "In The Garden"? Whatever it
was, they delivered a good version of "Twice", that - some nice guitar
work from Bob aside - was almost a lowpoint compared to the previous two
numbers, even though it was actually a quite nice version. Those of you
who read my reviews regularly might remember my favourite episode from the
Montreux concert last summer, when Bob played "Visions Of Johanna" and I
had tons of fun watchting my aforementioned friend Tim who was standing
about 10 meters away from me,who totally enjoying the song - no wonder,
you would, too, if you had named your baby daughters Hannah and Louise!
This time Tim and his wife Regine were both at the show and were standing
right in front of me. So I had to smile big time when I realized about
five seconds before they did that the next song was indeed.
Visions Of Johanna (acoustic)
The vocal delivery was a bit rushed at first, but things improved as the
song went on. Not an extraordinarily stunning version, although it's still
always a pleasure to hear him sing it. There are some many fascinating
images in the lyrics, it still blows me away every time I hear the song.
Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic)
Same as it ever was. This time with harp at the start.
The usual fun jamming you've come to expect from the guys on this song by
now. Maybe they didn't get as much into it as the previous nights or maybe
it just seemed like it after the many, many highlights they had delivered
in Munich already, but somehing seemed to be different.
Things Have Changed
Was pretty good as well, although I still want to hear "Suagr Baby" (or
"High Water") in this slot. "Things" worked well, as it was quite fast,
with a good driving beat from George (you couldn't tell that he had
problems with his arm at all). I think the fact that they realy playit by
now helps both Bob and this band to enjoy it more than in 2001, when they
played it every other night. Interestingly enough, this seems to be the
only electric song left that still allows Larry to take the lead.
Solid, rocking version as usual. And even though it was very good, it
paled in comparison to the last song:
Cat's In the Well
Now I know you won't believe me, especially since we're talking about a
show here that featured "Subterrean", "In The Garden" and "Visions"
already, but "Cats" was BY FAR the best song of the night. I'm not a major
fan of Bob's blues numbers, but this was simply stunning. They had played
the song a few times last year and it sounded good, but tonight it was
just something else. I don't know where it came from, but the stuff
Charlie played on guitar - both his soloing and the riffs - were
GRRRRRREAT! The song rocked like no other, it was loud, it was fun and it
was long! I wouldn't be surprised if it clocked in at 10 or 12 minutes.
Bob introduced the band close to the end and this time around let them all
play solos! The song just blew me away - just like the last song of the
set is supposed to be!
Not Fade Away
Was a nice change, although it wasn't as well done as "Constant Sorrow"
the nights before. They have a slightly different arrangement now
(compared to 1999/2000), but Bob, Larry and Charlie are still singing all
the lyrics together, which just proves that we're talking about a real
band here, not just Bob and backing musicians.
Like A Rolling Stone
Especially in a huge venue like this, an obvious crowd pleaser, although
it was "just" the regular version this time, that wasn't as good as the
night before in Stuttgart.
If Dogs Run Free (acoustic)
Same as it always is. The same that applys to "Floater" is true for this
song, so I wasn't exactly overwhelmed.
Honest With Me
Rocked, rocked, rocked. Didn't come close to the version of "Cats", but
sounded better than in Stuttgart.
Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)
Both the harp solo and Bob's singing were a lot stronger than on previous
versions and so the show actually ended on less disappointing note (for me
anyway) than it usually does when this song is aired as the last one.
The lights came on and it was 11.06pm - Bob and his gang had played for
more than two-and-half hours, making this - to the best of my knowledge
-one of the longest shows since the summer of 1993. The whole event was on
a stunningly high level. Both Bob and the band just couldn't do wrong
tonight and while I initially thought I'd just see one more show (my
"hometwon" gig in Oberhausen), I'll see now see at least three more shows
now- just on the strength oft his gig. Which is my way of saying that it
was simply awesome! Many thanks to Tim, Regine et al for the lift and
making this such a fun night! See y'all in Nürnberg!
page by Bill Pagel
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