Bamberg, Germany

brose Arena

June 23, 2015

[Markus Atzmüller], [Bernhard Roth]

Review by Markus Atzmüller

First of all: Although I'm disappointed with the setlist, Bamberg was a
very good but not necessarily excellent concert.

Here are some of my impressions and observations:

Venue & crowd
Great acoustic. Nice indoor arena. Excited but not exalted crowd and
atmosphere. Hope for a great recording!

Bob and his Band
Very concentrated and high quality performance - as usual since 2013.

Short after 7:00 p.m. a stage-crew member brought the setlist-sheets on
stage. About 7:55 p.m. the same guy removed the first sheets and replaced
them with new ones. Finally, during the intermission, the sheets were
again exchanged! I wonder, what was going on behind the stage?

Love Sick as closer
I don't think, they've planned this encore choice before the show or
during the intermission. At the beginning of LAWY I've done it from row 16
to the front of the stage. So I was able to observe Bob walking after BITW
to each band member to tell them, that now Love Sick will be played.
Interesting. Like Linz 2010 (where they changed spontaneously from AATW to
Forever Young).

Althougt I liked THE SET in the past, now I'm a little bit tired of it. I
really hoped for more changes. The recording from Mainz (an outdoor venue)
promised a lot. But my apprehensions proven true - indoor they'll play THE
SET again. In my mind, songs like "Waiting For You", "Beyond Here Lies
Nothin'", "Things Have Changed", "Soon After Midnight" or "Duquesne
Whistle" are quite okay - but why play them almost to death when you have
a song catalogue with countless classics (respectively songs, thousands of
fans like to hear live) or live unplayed pearls as "Narrow Way", "Someday
Baby", "Dirt Road Blues" or "Tin Angel"?

But nevertheless, the concert had a few highlights:

She Belongs To Me: I still enjoy this arrangement and can't get enough of
it. Pay In Blood: Strong & powerful. Long And Wasted Years: Usually not my
Tempest favorite, but on stage always impressive. Tangled Up In Blue &
Simple Twist Of Fate & Scarlet Town: Very nice and smooth singing.
Forgetful Heart: I felt like crying. Just wonderful. Best performance of
FH, I've witnessed so far. I'm A Fool To Want You: My absolute highlight
of the evening. First live-perfomance. Great. Love Sick: The perfect
closer. Consideralby better than AATW or SWM at this slot! I think, Bob
liked it very much, too (at least he smiled a lot during the performance).

And here are my personal lowlights of the evening:

Beyond Here Lies Nothin' & Waiting For You & Soon After Midnight:
Overplayed, boring and worn out a bit.
Blowin' In The Wind: Still a horrible arrangement. Why not a softer or
more melodious version like they've done in Sydney, Australia (9/8/2014)?
Or better: Why not Forever Young, Knocking On Heavens Door .... instead?

Anyway, a very good but not necessarily excellent concert, as advocated

Markus Atzmüller


Review by Bernhard Roth

Well, why investing two days of time off to drive 250km to Bamberg
instead of watching the show in nearby Tuebingen two days before?
Old age, simply put. I'm not in the mood anymore for an open air event,
with the big weather dependency.
On one hand I was proved right when I learnt about the rainfall last Sunday.
On the other hand I wish I was there when I read about the set lists
of the first two shows of the European Tour.
Hard Rain in Mainz and Desolation Row in Tuebingen! Wow!
What a miss, despite 'only' 17 songs vs. 19 from the 'almost static' set list.
So, positively biased, I drove to Bamberg where I have never been before, and,
since I often heard it to be a beautiful city, I took the chance to check it.
Beautiful, indeed. Medieval buildings, small roads, nice colorful houses
on the waterfront of "Little Venice".
Now, for the rest of this review, I just pretend Mainz and Tuebingen never happened.
Otherwise a dose of frustration would linger over my writing...
Found my seating place close to the center of the venue which is the home
of Germany's basketball champions. Next to me was an elderly couple from
Bayreuth, just 60 km away and famous for Richard Wagner. It quickly turned out
that they  happen to share with me the very first Dylan show we attended,
namely the legendary July 1, 1978 in Nuremberg, also not too far away.
So, we had a lot to reminisce about the past 37 years in Dylan context.
Now to my Dylan show #27.
Soon after the first two songs I had the strong feeling of deja vu
and that this will be an evening like the ones which ended the American Tour,
at least from the set list perspective. Since that's the way it is and nobody
can do anything about it, I concentrated on listening and enjoying it.
A lot has been written here about these same songs in the last years,
so I don't go over them piece by piece. Overall, my impression was that
Bob's voice, his singing and harmonica playing is really strong these days,
better than Munich last year and Luxembourg the year before.
My personal highlights were Pay in Blood, Forgetful Heart and Love Sick.
The audience was very disciplined and sometimes enthusiastic, a good mixture of
old folks like me and surprsingly lots of young ones.
Back to the hotel, some more Bamberg the next day and a relaxing drive home.
Hopefully until next year, somewhere in Germany.
Bernhard Roth
Stuttgart, Germany area


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