Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 04/27/99


Linz, Austria

April 27, 1999

Sporthalle Linz

[Carsten Wohlfeld], [Josef Wolf], [Christian Zeiser]

Review by Carsten Wohlfeld

After a very relaxing day off in Uberlingen at the Lake Constance (thanks
again to Tim and Regine for red wine ‘n’ sympathy) we all travelled on to
Linz. Amazingly enough Christian didn’t even get in trouble with the austrian
border guards and we all arrived way before the doors were opened at 5.45pm.
Unfortuantely we neither have the time nor the patience to do a small
sightseeing tour of the city, but from what we saw driving around it was okay
without being special.

The show at the - compared to Zurich - rather small venue (which was about
2/3 full) only started at 8.30pm though. Tim had hoped to get to hear
„Friend Of The Devil" tonight and you can imagine the gigantic smile on his face
when the opening song was indeed

  Friend Of The Devil (acoustic)

Lovely performance, much better than Zurich’s opener. Great backing vocals
by Larry ‘n’ Bucky as well. Right from the start it was apparent that Bob
was in an even better mood than in Switzerland two nights before. He smiled
constantly and did this weird one-legged dance than I’ve never seen before.

  My Back Pages (acoustic)

Another great choice, always very welcome. Too bad though that it was a
very quick performance, cause I don’t think he sang more than three out of the
six verses. He ended with my favourite verse, though, the „equality" one
followed by a long harp solo. It wasn’t *that* special but better than the
quickies we got recently.

 Masters Of War (acoustic)

Great performance as usual. It might be somewhat diappointing that he
plays it every single night, but rarely sounds a song this good nevertheless.

 It’s All Over Now Baby Blue (acoustic)

A repeat of the fast version we already got to hear in Zurich. The vocal
delivery kinda reminded me of the classic version from the Madison Sqaure
Garden Theater shows last year. Very nice indeed.

 Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

was „Tangled", just a little longer and louder than usual with Bob playing
all the solos himself. Bob: grinning, crowd: nuts

 It Ain’t Me Babe (acoustic)

Another song I can’t stand anymore that sounded pretty good tonight. It
had the long slow ending that always indicates that it’s one of the better
„Ain’t Me Babes". When he sang the first verse he made this funny apologetic
face, as if he was gonna say: „It Ain’t Me Babe" and I’m really sorry for
it... Before the song Tony had asked Bob if he wanted to play „4th Time Around",
but obviously his Bobness wasn’t in the mood. A pity, especially when
you’ve heard the staggering performances from the spanish leg of the tour... oh

  Desolation Row (acoustic)

Absolutely fucking amazing! Apart from the Madison Square Garden show in
January ‘98 I never ever heard a better „Row". It also had the „Ophelia"
verse, which just means that Bob was really into it. By this time I thought: If
he follows this up with a half decent electric set, it’s gonna be the best
Bob show you’ve ever been too. And as you might know, I’ve seen a few!  After
the song he was striking some funny poses, as if he was to say: „Look at
me, wasn’t that fab?"

 Can’t Wait

Was a disappointment at the start of the electric part (see also  my
comments on that for the show in  Zurich), even though it was much better sung
this time. On all the song Bob’s vocal delivery was really good and even his
guitar playing was way above average.

 Not Dark Yet

Another lovely performance, very much the same as in Zurich. Unfortunately
it also meant that there was very little change to be expected for the
electric set. And yup, they also followed it - again! - with:

 Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again

Which gave Bob another opportunity to flirt with the girls in the front
row and to show that he hasn’t lost anything of his charme. He actually had so
much fun goofying around that he missed the first line of the „Mona" verse
cause he was too far away from the microphone.

 She Belongs To Me

Only „new" song to the electric set and a very „unnecessary" version, as
Robert put it afterwards. It just went by without offering anything exciting.
Band intros followed, funnily enough Bob said „and on LEADguitar...Larry
Campbell", which I never heard him say before. Tonight it was especially
ridiculous, cause Larry hadn’t played a single solo up to this point.

 Highway 61 Revisited

About three minutes into the song Kemper wanted to end it and played the
closing part, while the other four were still going on! To save the situation
Larry put in a somewhat new and interesting solo. A couple of minutes later
Bob turned around to Kemper (usually the sign that the song is about to
end) and shook his head a if he was going to say: No, David, it’s still not
over!" - David almost fell of his chair laughing. Bob also couldn’t remember
the first line of the last verse, funnily enough.

 Love Sick

Much better and more concentrated version than the night before. Also, the
solo was a lot more energetic.

 Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat

Longer and louder than usual with a lot of nice interplay between Bob and
Larry. Then again... it was just „Pillbox", so nobody got over excited.

 Blowin’ In The Wind (acoustic)

It was there, and a graying guy next to me was close to tears.

 Not Fade Away

Closed the show as expected (even though Tony tried to persuade Bob to do
„Maggie") and was fun as always. It’s interesting to see that Bob usually
opens his song with a cover and closes it with one, too! Tonight it was even a
Grateful Dead song at the start and one the Dead made famous at the end...

The show lasted for about 100 minutes and was just about as enjoyable and
good as Zurich. The crowd was *very* ethusastic and I’m sure that fired Bob
and crew up a fair bit. In Zurich things iproved during the electric set,
tonight the acoustic set was a killer, but the second half of the show was
kinda boring, cause it was basically a repeat of the night before. Still worth
the money (and more). Many thanks to Robert aka Shelter for letting us stay
at his place! See ya in Slovenia!

carsten wohlfeld (
„i went to college - i got a fancy car - drop dead apartment - and now i’m
a shining star / but she never made it / she’s selling avon / but she had
you"  (nick saloman / mary lou lord)


Review by Josef Wolf

It has been 7 years since I last saw Bob Dylan live. So the show in the sports centre in
Linz (during a thunderstorm) was a real surprise. It seems that after endless touring Mr.
Dylan has got his live act together! A pleasant (because simple) stage setting, a tight and
caring band, a charming front man (“thank youuuuu”) and a careful singer. Laid in a mixture
of country-rock (gram parsons?!) and rhythm, bogie and blues Mr. Dylan’s songs and cover
versions blossomed and rocked.

Highlights: Friend Of The Devil and  My Back Pages opened the show fittingly and set the
tone. The lyrics of Masters Of War are as revealing as ever. A lovely It Ain't Me, Babe. The
TOOM-songs Can't Wait, Not Dark Yet and Love Sick stark and powerful. My personal
favourites:  Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again  and Buddy Holly’s Not Fade

Mr. Dylan’s music will certainly not fade away. At the age of 58 he is now a true
entertainer, a powerful sing and dance man, an artist who carries, explains and eases the
weight of the world. 



Review by Christian Zeiser

As usual, Dylan and the band came our pretty on time and went into Friend
Of The Devil. The crowd was on their feet immediately, climbing over the
chairs that were used to make the venue look fuller than it really was. The
atmpshere in the venue was very intense and relaxed at the same time, a
fine audience that consisted of people of all ages. The renditions during
the acoustic set made it easy to forget the lack of setlist variation: each
song was performed with great care. It's lovely to watch Dylan perform: he
is both very relaxed and concentrated, clearly in good shape and mood.
highlights of the acoustic set were (for me) It´s All Over Now Baby Blue
and Desolation Row, which is performed with a heavier beat than formerly
and almost turned into a danceable song, weird as this may sound.

The electric set started with Can't Wait once more. Somehow I think that
this song should be featured later in the set. As an electric opener, it
doesn't do a very good job - a more fast-paced number like one of the
former show openers would fit in better and help get the second half really
One of the highlights was Not Dark Yet. It took Dylan long to figure out a
good live arrangement for this song, but now it reflects the dark and
dramatic tension that is there on the studio recording. The line 'I was
born here, and I'll die here' gains a very special meaning when sung on a
concert stage, by the way.

Again, it was *loud*, like at the Zurich show. Highway 61 Revisited rocked
like hell, as did the final encore Not Fade Away (thanks to Bob for pulling
this one out night after night, I just didn't get enough of it).

So again the setlist could have been more interesting, but Linz was no
doubt one of the two best performed shows of the ones I've seen recently. I
don't like to compare shows usually, but Linz was so totally different from
Zurich - where zurich was more of a party (and a fine one, too!), the
performance in Linz was concentrated and deep, the audience being not as
cheery as in Zurich, but a very animated and grateful one nevertheless.
After two shows, I left Linz pretty exhausted but excited, looking forward
for the things to come.

.... to be continued ....



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