page by Bill Pagel
Review by Tobias Freimueller
It was a hard (and I mean a hard!) rain gonna fall when we arrived in
Schwäbisch-Gmünd. I could´nt believe that the concert could happen under
such circumstances, but fortunately the rain stopped at 18.00 during our
walk to the University Park (and did´nt start again – but everybody was
looking into the sky during the show and expected rain). The Park was much
bigger than expected and the stage was very very huge. Well, we survived
the opening-acts and at 21.40h Bob and the Band hit the stage. I stood way
back this time and this always gives me a totally different feeling to a
show, less „contact“ with Bob, more „objective“ watching. So maybe some
others who were in the front rows have a different opinion on the show?
DUNCAN AND BRADY came first as expected, nothing special.
We discussed before the show, if maybe Bob would take this as a
Festival-Show and play only 15 greatest-hits. It was not the case after
all, but when they started TIMES THEY`RE A-CHANGING it seems to go into
the crowd-pleaser-set-direction. „Times“ was as bad as it was in 2000 mot
times. Even worse I think because he not only forgot the lyrics in the
first, but also in some of the other verses. Voice was bad, too...
DESOLATION ROW was next. Beautiful guitar-work by the band, mediocre
vocal-performance by Bob. During this song I realized that we saw kind of
two Bobs on stage this night at the same time. No, I was´nt drunken – let
me explain: The first Bob was playing guitar like I never saw or heard him
before. There was no single song, in which he did this bizarre noodling –
his short licks and riffs fitted absolutely perfect to the music, he
pulled out another trick in every song. We all have heard songs with Bob
adding some cool guitar work, but I never saw or heard a show where this
could be said for the whole performance. In one word: He played a
brilliant lead-guitar. He had a great time and me too. But what about the
other Bob? Well, this Bob was singing – and he did it really really bad.
Not only that he forgot parts of the lyrics in almost every song of the
main-set. He also was always a half second too late or too early,
absolutely not on focus. I don´t want to believe it, but at some points it
seemed to me as if he had a few drinks before the show. He was singing in
this „Hello, I had four beers but everything is OK“-voice, you know: when
your tongue is not as flexible as it usually is and when pronouncing is a
little difficult... In Desolation Row the result was for example: „Yes, I
recieved you yetters lesterday“, hmmm.... He could´nt be drunk, because
of his superb guitar-playing, but it certainly sounded as if he was. Bob
finished Desolation row with some nice harmonica, as he did on times, what
saved the song for beeing less than OK.
Now the band grabbed their electric instruments, what meant that we´would
get a complete set, and started STUCK INSIDE OF MOBILE. My friend Boris,
who was with me at the show, loves this song - and halfway trough it he
went to get us some beers! That was the atmosphere in the whole audience
(probably not in the first rows...): Bob played and played, but the show
did´nt take off. People started to talk to each other, looking around...
Of course the guitar was again very good, but the mumbled and forgotten
lyrics destroyed that effect once again in „Mobile“. Bob again saved this
song from being a let-down with an acceptable harmonica.
TELL ME THAT IT IS´NT TRUE was a nice surprise, very well played again,
better vocals by Bob now. Best song so far, but far from beeing really
WATCHING THE RIVER FLOW followed, again no „take-off-song“, good guitar,
MY BACK PAGES featured the usual arrangement, Bob started with a good
first verse and then mixed the lyrics up so much, that he had to repeat a
full verse (what does´nt happen so often, most time he manages to get back
into the correct verse again within seconds – not today)
IT´S ALRIGHT MA IS A SONG I really love. It was the best song so far
because Bob got the lyrics right if my memory serves me well, but still
nothing really special.
DON`T THINK TWICE closed the acoustic set, but things did´nt change: Some
nice vocals and some horrid lines in one song...
COUNTRY PIE was a strange choice for the next slot, played not half as
powerful as in 2000.
COLD IRONS BOUND was quite good. Did they use some echo-effect when Bob
sang IRONNN BOUUUUNNND? I´m not sure.
LEOPARD SKIN PILL BOX HAT was more uptempo tonight, acceptable vocals now
and again some unbelieveable good guitar by Bob. But that did´nt save me
from beeing a little frustrated. Te main set was over and besides nice
versions of „Tell me“ and „Alright ma“ it featured one „Guitar-God-Bob“
and one singing Bob who just was not able to bring things together.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED opened the second set and that´s exactly what happened
now: Bob still played very very good guitar, and he suddenly could sing
now! I´m sure you won´t believe me, but things had really changed. What
followed was the strongest enchore-section I ever heard. „Things“ was
harder and more uptempo than usual, Bob played some grat riffs and gave us
four „Oh Year!“´s in one song ;-)
LIKE A ROLLING STONE had been horrid in Braunschweig, it was the best song
of the show so far in Gmünd. They rocked! Bob sang it really good and the
audience woke up.
I hoped (again) for something different than the running dogs for the next
slot – and we got GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY. And it was a stunning
version. There were two rough and „out of tune“-lines, but all in all Bobs
singing was great. His guitar-playing was even better.
WATCHTOWER rocked like hell tonight, Bob´s voice was a bit buried in the
mix, but more because of the volume Larry and Charlie created.
MR TAMBOURINE MAN was a surprise in this position, nice version – even if
I don´t like this new phrasing at all.
HIGHWAY 61 was great too. Another highlight for sure.
BLOWING IN THE WIND was business as usual. The only thing was, that Bob
obviously was so happy with his own guitar-playing, that he gave us at
least two extra Soli during this song.
CATS IN THE WELL closed the show. Bizarre choice! Nobody in the audience
seemed to know it, but everybody had tons of fun. Bob played a simple riff
to great effect again. Best version of this song I ever heard. After the
song when they stood in the formation, Bob lifted up his guitar....
Strange show again. „Two Bobs“ tonight in a way during the mainset, and a
very strong enchore-section featuring „one Bob“ and definitly one of the
best I´ve seen so far. This was my second and last show this year. Hope to
see some reports from the rest of the Tour?!?
Review by Jim Scrivener
This was the first Dylan concert I'd been to since Wembley Arena in
October 97, when he was a distant dot and the voice so thin and so far
down in the mix as to be almost inaudible. This, however, was a bit of a
revelation. The park was small enough that you could get very close to the
front without feeling your ribs crushing. The support bands were fine,
especially Fraser Cameron who sounds like Prefab Sprout meets Travis - but
when you're cold and very wet and your socks are soaking, it's hard to get
through that extra two hours wait. We were all soaked, having walked and
waited through rain that kept coming back again and again.
Then the "Oscar" was put in view mid-stage. The set-lists were distributed
around on stage. The band walk on and from the opener it feels like he's
working it. He doesn't move much apart from a knock-kneed wobble, or a
half-crouch like a Chuck Berry silhouette. He looks alive, well and, while
not exactly looking as he was enjoying himself, he came over as determined
and focussed, his face like an older interpretation of The Times They Are
a Changing album cover more than the shambling tramp I'd half-expected
Despite the list on the pieces of paper, much of the time, I got the
distinct impression that the band were walking a tightrope trying to work
out what he was doing. He doesn't so much play with them as do what the
hell he feels like and they try to keep up. His distinctive expression is
a raised eyebrow shrug of benign contempt for their inability to have read
his mind. Some verses came twice, for no apparent reason other than that
he'd decided to - or forgotten he had already done them. I'd swear at one
point the band played a long intro to Mama You Been On My Mind - then he
comes in singing Don't Think Twice and they have to switch the whole thing
around. Sometimes they look at one another and no-one seems to know where
it is going. But it goes beautifully. Within the pre-planned framework he
is creating the songs again. Or at least for the first half of the
I'd been following your reviews of earlier European tour performances and
was expecting something a bit ramshackle, unclear, unfocussed. I was
beginning to wonder if the day-long trek over from Budapest would be worth
it - but it was. I hadn't expected that voice, loud, sharp, pronouncing
clearly and in some songs so fully in there that it felt like he might be
doing them for the first time.
High points: the eerily beautiful "My Back Pages" more powerful than I've
heard it on any recording - and sung with majesty by someone who seemed to
find it strange and relevant to be an old man singing a young man's song
about being older / younger. Don't Think Twice was also extraordinarily
beautiful, sung with feeling, intelligence and attention to the words. And
just to hear "Girl of the North Country" sung on acoustic - it sent
shivers down my spine.
He got a bit shoutier as the concert wore on and rather too many songs
sounded as if he had reinterpreted them as questions, giving line after
line with a rising intonation. Tambourine Man was drained of life and
tune, as if he had finally sucked it dry. But amazingly, many old classics
rose vibrantly. It's Alright Ma, The Times They Are a'Changing, Desolation
Row, Watchtower (which, re - the reviews of the previous concert now ends
on the line "Know what any of it is worth"!) were all thoroughly enjoyable
and, to my great surprise, Like a Rolling Stone and Blowin In The Wind
It's hard for a non-regular attender to know how this compares with the
other concerts. But on the strength of this, I'd say get a ticket to see
him as soon as you can. There is some majesty and magic at work - a bit on
/ off - but definitely worth catching. With someone like Bob, you hear a
song and you hear his past and present and your past and present all
rolled up in one. To see him stand there, leaning into the mike and
pulling out"as if a wedding vow" with such aching resonance. There was a
lot here not to forget.
Yet how strange that he doesn't say a word to the audience - no "hello" or
"thank you". Apart from introducing the band, he only acknowledged the
fact that we were eavesdropping on his jam twice - once when he smiled at
someone getting very excited down the front - and after the last encore
when someone shouted "more" and he mouthed back something along the lines
of "You want more!!?????" It added a curious, distant twist to the event.
We were there and somehow necessary to the event, like the band was, but
all the same, he was working alone, only with himself. And it seemed to
suggest that no-one, no-one at all could read his mind, play along with
him, really watch him.
Jim Scrivener (Budapest)
Review by Joachim Reinhardt
Everybody was complaining about the weather, but I think it was perfect.
There were some heavy rain showers before the concert started, but it
stopped right in time for the show. The first support act "Cameron Fraser"
from Scotland was o.k., but a bit light-weight. They closed their set with
Neil Young`s "Rockin` In The Free World" which wasn`t that bad but it
didn`t came anywhere near the version Neil`s doing on his current tour
with Crazy Horse. The second support band - Hubert Styz Syndicate, from
Munich, Germany -was pretty good. Hubert sounds a lot like Willie De Ville
and the band with really rockin`. Dylan`s set was excellent! Despite the
cloudy sky and some rain drops the show lifted everybody up. The electric
numbers had a lot of drive and the version of "Cold Irons Bound" was
almost heavy metall. Dylan seemed at bit strainned at the beginning but he
and the band got better and better as the show continued.There was a lot
of harp playing from Bob and he was really in a good mood. "Leopard
Skin-Box Hat" featured some very jazzy guitar solos near the end. "Highway
61 Revisted" was absolutely fantastic! Very close to the version Johnny
Winter did a lot of times. All the rock numbers like "Watching The River
Flow", "All Along The Watchtower" or "Like A Rolling Stone" were done with
incredible power. The highlight for me was "Tell Me That It Isn`t True"
with some excellent pedal steel playing by Larry. The shared vocals on the
chorus of "Blowin` In The Wind" were done with a lot of verve and the
audience reacted with cheers of delight. Dylan finished with a great
version of "Cats In The Well" and everybody I talked to after the show
said it was a real "Bobfest".
Review by Rolf Bergdolt
After a very warm summer week with pure sunshine the weather got nasty for
the weekend, heavy rain in the afternoon with thunderstorms, this day seemed
to become a disaster for an open-air-concert, but then the sun came out
again in the evening, red sky with some clouds, just beautiful.
Bob & the band came out ca. 2037, show ended 2250. It started with
"Duncan & Brady", the well-known arrangement, nevertheless a nice opener.
I always like the chorus lines with Larry and Charlie singing.
Then came "Times They Are A-Changin" and Bob failed again to remember some
lines in the beginning, like so many times last year in this song! But then
everything changed with a great harp solo, Bob's voice getting stronger and
stronger through the whole show. It was my 9th Dylan show, and I have never
heard him sing so great like yesterday, dark, very very bluesy, with a lot
of strange phrasing and always very concentrated. The sound was very good
for this song and also for
"Desolation Row". I have longed for "Visions Of Johanna", but the whole
gig in Schwäbisch Gmünd was very rough, with a few exceptions, in a sense
of a strong new approach to the songs. So this one fits perfectly to the
whole scenery. Bob's second harp solo, very strange, just two notes fighting
against each other in the end, powerful! Even that one was bluesier than
"Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again" was good, maybe
nothing special, but then again(!), a strong harp in the end. Blues time,
going down South
"Tell Me It Isn't True": a smooth break, nicely done, very gentle voice,
the band's playing got tighter. Nashville Skyline revisited, but soon we
hit the Blues-road again:
"Watching The River Flow": was it the spirit of John Lee Hooker that was in
Bob today or what was it? The voice sounded just awesome to me, Bob's guitar
solos very decent and very good complement to his dark and deep singing today.
"My Back Pages": maybe it was not the greatest audience, I mean not very
enthusiastic, but who cares? I just kept listening to Bob's singing, a
little mistake here and there: "I was so much older then, I was younger than
that now" but even that was great, funny and great both. The arrangement with
Larry's wonderful fiddle keeps growing, here it was almost solemn, very
"It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)": it slowly got dark, very good choice
at that time, and one of the best songs of the show. Maybe it gets boring to
say this again but everything in Bob's voice reminded me of all the great Delta-Blues-singers and stories. If a new album comes and he sings with that
voice on it….
"Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" was nothing special, but a well known
song for the audience. Again I hoped for the harp, but Bob seemed to prefer
guitar-playing now, also in the next tunes,
"Country Pie", it gets more and more Charlie Sextons song in my ears. A
funny song, always. I love this rude country-playing.
"Cold Irons Bound": that was punk-blues, psychedelic roar, remember Grateful
Dead, and the best performance of the band and Bob. Terrific is the word!
Here it got obvious how good Tony Garnier and David Kemper harmonize! On
this foundation Bob's singing blew my mind, it sounded out of mind.
"Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat": ok, we have heard this once before, and for me
it got a little bit boring some time ago, and that couldn't even change the
guitar jam, very entertaining nevertheless. Short break, a very short
formation, Bob nodding his head, one bow, they came back for
"Things Have Changed": at this time the concert for me was getting almost
pure fun, good songs, the band played all the encores with a lot of
engagement, Bob seemed a little bit tired for a few minutes,but the
audience's reaction to
"Like A Rolling Stone" brought it all back to the roots, again more a
blues-number than anything else, only because of Bob's deep and powerful
"Girl From The North Country": tender. It always drives me to tears, this
one. What more can I say?
"All Along The Watchtower": great lap steel by Larry Campbell, Bob sung the
first verse again in the end, a new variation. Spooky and: sounded fantastic.
"Mr Tambourine Man": the phrasing on this one always gets a new variation.
It just sounded like the jingle-jangle morning to me, evoking all that
symbolic pictures again, very much Rimbaud-style. What a great song when it
is done by Bob all through the years in those fascinating variations in
singing and playing. His guitar solos were dancing beneath the diamond sky…
"Highway 61 Revisited": I love this one, always, and it was the essence of
the evening's blues spirit. Great, great solos by Charlie Sexton, Dylan
pointing his yellow electric-guitar on him after that. I knew that the next
number would be
"Blowin' In The Wind": I heard it live only one time before, in Munich '99,
and this one blew my mind again. How can such a song, so often played by so
many people all over the world, nothing more than a cliché for a while,
getting so intense and fiery again? Here it seemed, from a little distance
to the stage, Bob being young again in 1963. The same spirit, unbelievable.
He made a few bows to the audience, with the band members with him. Dignity.
Greil Marcus' statement a few years ago, that at the beginning of the
Nineties, he decided to become a good lead-guitar player, has proved true.
Maybe Bob didn't smile a lot, but for me he seemed to be very serious, very
engaged in all songs.
"Cat's In The Well" was the "second" encore after seven encore-songs in a row,
but in fact it is a second set. Last line, the end: "Goodnight, my love, may
the Lord have mercy on us all." Bob holding his guitar in the right hand,
last bows, and they disappeared. Don't you miss it when he plays in a town
Review by Carsten Wohlfeld
It all could’ve gone horribly wrong, but luckily it didn’t. After the
strange show in Braunschweig nobody know what to expect from Bob in this
small town not too far away from Stutggart and since it was an open-air
the weather was also a factor to consider. There had been a hurricane
warning (not the song, a real life one) and as soon as we arrived at the
gate it started raining cats and dogs. Fortunately it stopped right in
time for the support acts to get on stage. Cameron Fraser and his band
were fine, yet unremarkable, a Travis-style pop band with hints of Elvis
Costello. Local hero Hubert Styx (sp?) came across as a second rate Johnny
Winter, which was just about okay, too.
The place was quite crowded, they apparently sold 9,000 tickets in
advance and I wouldn’t be surprised if in the end about 12,000 to 15,000
people turned up. Which would make this Bob biggest show in Germany for
almost 15 years, I believe. The stage was very high so we were happy with
a spot a little further in the back. Bob and band took to the stage at
around 8.30PM, just in time to witness the sundown. First up was
DUNCAN AND BRADY (acoustic)
And while it was a much better choice than „Roving Gambler“ at the
previous show, it only classified as „good without being special“.
THE TIMES THEY`RE A-CHANGIN‘ (acoustic)
Was obviously chosen with the many tourists at this show in mind. It
also was a continuation of the „guess which line I’m gonna forget this
time“ contest from last year. I believe it was verse 1 line 2 this time.
I’ve heard many versions a lot worse though and when he reached for the
harp, hHe made up for the less-than-perfect song selection with a short
DESOLATION ROW (acoustic)
Was the first real treat of the night. Not only did the band a very good
job, Bob‘s vocal delivery was excellent throughout, even though he had
trouble with a couple of lines (I for one heard him sing „I received your
yellow letter yesterday“, or maybe it was yetter?) For the last couple of
verses he even invented this new little guitar riff, somewhat similar to
„Love Minus Zero“ that gave the song a very welcome different feel. He
even followed this with another harmonica solo, quite possibly the first I
got to hear on „Desolation“ – lovely!
STUCK INSIDE OF MOBILE WITH THE MEMPHIS BLUES AGAIN
Might not have been on the setlist, as Charlie had to change guitars a
couple of times. Larry played acoustic on this song, which may as well
have been chosen as an excuse for the third (and last) harmonica solo of
the night. Although a lovely song, the band seem to get bored with it
halfway through, as Tim pointed out correctly after the show. Charlie was
supposed to play a solo, but didn’t do the task justice, unfortunately. He
used the Leslie organ effect for this song though, which worked quite
well, given the amount of keyboards you have on the original.
TELL ME THAT IT ISN‘T TRUE
Not only a pleasant surprise with Larry on pedal steel, but also very well
done. He butchered the song really bad in Australia, but this was probably
as close as we‘ll get to the mighty fine original.
WATCHING THE RIVER FLOW
Was next, a really underwhelming performance, the usual blues romp with
Larry on lapdog steel guitar.
MY BACK PAGES (acoustic)
Nice choice, Larry once again on fiddle, taking a few very nice (albeit
well-known) solos. Bob butchered the lyrics pretty badly though, so only
the fact that it’s a terrific tune saved it from being a disaster.
Although just about made to include another harp solo, Bob decided to end
the song with a guitar solo.
IT´S ALRIGHT MA (I’M ONLY BLEEDING) (acoustic)
The usual arrangement, although played with a slightly harder (=better)
edge to it. Probably the best version I have heard since it was
re-introduced to the set a couple of years ago. Although he had trouble
getting his lyrics right all throughout the night, he managed to get
through „Ma“ just about perfectly. Definitely THE highlight of the night
DON`T THINK TWICE, IT’S ALL RIGHT(acoustic)
Crowd loved it, despite the fact that it was a pretty mediocre
rendition. Only the guitar playing was above average and while Bob'’
voice sounded fine, he had trouble with the lyrics once more.
Not only a weird choice so high in the set, but also very badly done. Not
even Larry’s and Charlie’s twin solo, which made this song almost bearable
last year was half as good as it used to be. Thankfully it was over in a
COLD IRONS BOUND
was quite good, even if David missed a cue once. Very powerful and
energetic with Tony on tambourine.
LEOPARD SKIN PILL BOX HAT
Bob took over most of the soloing from Charlie tonight and he did quite a
good job. Tonight Bob introduced the band DURING „Pillbox“, not before the
song as he did in Braunschweig. So there you had it, a 75 minute mainset
that only included one single repeat („Pillbox“) compared to the pevious
show. Quite impressive and while the song selectin was less than
sensational the show had a much nicer flow than the random selection in
Braunschweig. And we even got a couple of semi-surprising encores.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED
Was an unsuspected highlight. Thankfully done slightly faster than last
fall, it featured what was possibly Bob‘s best vocal rentition of the show
so far. Very energetic and involved. Great stuff!
LIKE A ROLLING STONE
After the rotten version in Braunschweig I’d hoped for the song to be
retired, but instead of going the easy way they did it again and really
improved it as well! Rocking version that was much better than any of the
renditions I remember from last year. A nice surprise!
GIRL OF THE NORTH COUNTRY (acoustic)
Played instead of the usual „If Lapdogs Run Free“ as we like to call it
affectionally - and what a nice rendition it was. Tender and rather slow,
with Bob continuing to sing really well during the encores. A harp solo
would have been even nicer, but I’m certainly not complaining!
ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER
Rocked exremely hard in it’s new arragement tonight, although it also
proved me wrong: When it ended in Braunschweig with Bob holding the last
word I was convinced it was „howl“, simply because it’s the last word in
the original lyrics. What I didn’t notice (I was enjoying getting lost in
the wall of sound too much, I suppose) was that Bob added a fourth verse
(actually a repeat of the first), so the word Bob holds to end the song
was actually „worth“. An interesting detail, I guess.
MR TAMBOURINE MAN (acoustic)
Still had traces of the new phrasing Bob introduced in Australia earlier
this year and was a nice surprise in this slot, although Bob messed up the
lyrics really bad – AGAIN.
HIGHWAY 61 REVISITIED
rocked as hell, just like every other night. A couple of „Oh yeahs“ were
added as an additional value. I guess Bob was enjoying this show quite a
BLOWIN‘ IN THE WIND (acoustic)
Was the usual Bob by numbers, although this time it ended only with two
repeats of the chorus at the end. In Braunschweig it had been three, I
think,which puzzled Larry and Charlie quite a bit.
CAT‘S IN THE WELL
Not a song I’d hope to hear at a Bob show, but still tons better than the
umpteenth „Rainy Day Women“. Quite rocking version too that obviously has
the perfect last line to close a show with: „May the good lord have mercy
on us all“. I guess that’s why they chose it.
As I mentioned earlier, this show was a lot less confusing / confused than
Braunschweig, probably because it featured a setlist that came alot closer
than what you might have expected in advance. A couple of nice surprises
and some exteremly well sung songs meant that I liked this one a lot more
than Braunschweig, although it certainly still wasn’t the kind of show
that makes you give up your day job and follow the tour for the rest of
your living days. Oh yeah Bob didn’t say a single word tonight (bar the
band intros). Still need another show to make up my mind on „Bob 2001“...
Review by Erwin Kanngiesser
I'd like to make some general statements about the Schwaebisch-Gmuend
gig. At first, I absolutely do NOT agree with Tobias Freimueller. I
guess he was at another show. Bob's vocals were really wonderful from
the beginning: crisp,tender, at times raucous, always perfectly fitting
the character of the songs. OK, he had forgotten one or two lines from
the first verse of "Times are a-changin'" and sometimes he didn't
use the right lyrics but that had no effect on his singing in general.
The sound quality was top-notch after some problems during "Duncan and
Brady". My friend Armin, who comes from Austria, guessed that the rain
before the show and the temperature fall of about 15 degrees had somehow
cleared the air and so improved the sound quality and I agree with him.
I was in Braunschweig two days earlier and so I got 36 songs in two shows
and three days. It's hard to find another artist who will give you
such a variety (and quality!). I will go to Bad Reichenhall on July 18 and
I'm sure that there will be another bunch of "new" songs in the
setlist (but I do not hope for a first-everperformance as I had it in
Munster last year). I think that some new arrangements (i.e. "Things
have changed") and the melodic variations that Bob did in his singing
led to some near-seminal versions of well-known songs. In my opinion,
songs like "My back pages", "Girl from the North Country" and
"Mr. Tambourine Man" can hardly be sung and performed better. For
"Tambourine Man" he found a good synthesis between the original
melody and the strange phrasing he preferred during the US fall tour
The tightness of the band was really amazing. It's very obvious now how
Charlie Sexton enriches the quality of the instrumental work.Bob nowadays
gives him a lot of space for soloing and that organ-like guitar effect he
sparely uses adds a new sound colour. Bob himself has improved his
solo-playing a lot since last year and Larry Campbell's playing is
absolutely essential on all instruments he uses. His violin on "My back
pages" sent shivers down my neck.
One last remark about audiences at open-air shows. In Germany some people
are so wealthy that they can buy concert tickets for 70 or 100 Deutsche
Mark just to go permanently to the beer and food stalls. I was standing
nearby a group of people who obviously thought they were at an open air
picnic or barbecue.During the quiet songs they started talking about some
nonsense and then went through the rows for another beer. That's all
very annoying for someone (like me) who drove 550 kilometers that day to
see (and hear) Bob Dylan play MUSIC. But it was an excellent show and that
is what really counts, so I'm looking forward to Bad Reichenhall. Be
there if you can!
Review by Anna Sauer
It is now Monday July 9th and I just decided to write a review of the
Saturday show myself. When I arrived at the Universitätspark at noon
(1 p.m.) the weather was great but soon the sky covered with clouds and
after half an hour it started to rain - and it didn't stop until we were
allowed to enter. Everybody was completely wet except the ones who had
brought umbrellas or raincoats with them. I fortunately was one of the
first to get in and so I got a place in the first row a bit right from
Bob's microphone but almost in the middle. We had to wait two more hours
until the two bands appeared that played before Bob. Their music was not
too bad but everyone was waiting for Bob to perform - it didn't rain but
the sky was still cloudy and it always looked like the rain could start
again. So everybody was happy when the show started with a (at least in
my opinion) great played Duncan & Brady. It was followed by The Times
They Are A-Changin' with Larry on bouzouki (I didn't see that by myself
because the stage was very high and I could only see the heads and the
upper parts of Bob and his band - the information is taken from the
setlist). It was great played and sung - I liked Bob's voice very much
because it was strong and clear - although he forgot some of the lyrics
as he also did in some of the other songs. But it didn't destroy the
atmosphere; I really didn't mind it. When he took the harp everybody was
glad and enjoyed it. Desolation Row was strong played - great rhythm -
and so was Stuck Inside Of Mobile... . On both he used the harp again and
on Stuck Inside ... it was really surprising and he played it wonderful.
He also did a more active guitar playing than usual and I think he was in
a good mood. Tell Me That It Isn't True and Watching The River Flow -
both played very good - were followed by My Back Pages. Larry played
fiddle on the song which sounded really fantastic. It was the first time
for me to hear it live in this arrangement. After It's Alright Ma, Don't
Think Twice ... , Country Pie, Cold Irons Bound and Leopard-Skin
Pill-Box Hat they did a short formation to disappear for ca. 30 seconds.
In Leopard-Skin... Bob introduced the band and he shouted out a long "OH
YEAAAAH!" - Great! He really seemed to have fun although he didn't say a
word to the audience. Then the show went on with Things Have Changed
(very strong played) , Like A Rolling Stone and - very surprising - Girl
Of The North Country. It was very soft played. A fantastic song!! The
encore went on with All Along The Watchtower, Mr Tambourine Man, Highway
61 Revisited and Blowin' In The Wind - these songs were also played very
well; even Blowin' In The Wind - although played so often - hadn't lost
it's spirit. Again they disappeared after a short formation to come back
and play Cats In The Well as a second encore. An unexpected and great
surprise! Everybody enjoyed the show. After the last song Bob looked into
the audience and I thought I could read the word "Why????" from his lips -
he seemed to be asking why he should play another song. I might be wrong
but that's at least what I saw or thought to see. After that he left the
stage and left me and some friends in the great atmosphere he had given
to us. It was a really fantastic show.
Thank you, Bob!!!!!!
page by Bill Pagel
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