page by Bill Pagel
Review by Peter Meerman
Here, my first, some notes from a fan from Holland who saw Dylan about
40-50 times over the years, and still drives 9 hours to see him somewhere
out there........This is my first show of the tour.
Arrived at the Jahrhunderthalle at about 17.30, most of the usual faces
already standing in front of the door. At about 18.30 the doors went open
and off we went into the main hall. We were stopped at the stairs because
the band was still soundchecking. Honest with me, Knockin'on heavens door
and Man of constant sorrow were clearly recognizable. No vocals though. At
about 20.10 the lights went out and off we were. I stood 2nd row,in front
of the mike. Full house. Dylan was again dressed in a black suit, white
shirt and with black boots with red marks all over them. He looked fit.
1. I am the man,Thomas
Nice surprise, strong vocals, Dylan not quite 'stage-awake'yet.
2. The times
Steady performance, no mixed up versus or forgotten lines this time, Dylan
seemed very focused on the lyrics.
3. It's alright ma
He was really into this one, the drumming gave it a very doomy sound and
Dylan was definitely awake an delivering a powerful performance! Nice
playing from Larry.
4. My back pages
Oh yes, with fiddle this time! His phrasing came out very good,
emphasizing really gently. Really focused on the lyrics, very very nice..
5. Stuck inside
Rocked the house and Dylan took his first electric solo's of the evening.
Almost 'Standard performance' only with Larry backing acousticly.
Very impressive performance, again sung with great tendernes and care, he
went for the high notes and found most of them, some nice Dylan guitar
solo's as well.
7. Solid rock
Strong deliverance, the new arrangement works wonderfully.
8. Lonesome day
Steamy performance, Larry on slide, really brought the house down, Dylan
just couldn't stand still and had some great fingerwork on the guitar!! Oh
yes, definitely a favourite!!
9. Mr. tambourine man
A hesitating start, laid back and solid version though.
10. Mama you've been on my mind
Again very powerful vocal performance, tender at times and with some great
solo's as well
11. Tangled up
Crowd responded very loud when the first notes were hit. Steady
perfomance, some leg work as well which received great cheers.
12. Summer days
Shook the house on it's feet, could easily turn into a live-classic (if it
hasn't already), full of life and you just had to move and dance on this
one. Somewhere near the end Dylan couldn't keep track or something like
that, started lauging out loud and turning back to Tony who also broke out
in laughter and was almost hanging on his bass!
13. Shelter from the storm
A real gem, treated with great care and supurb vocals. When it started I
thought Shooting Start was on, as did a lot of other people I spoke with
14. The wicked messenger
The usual stuff, nice rocker though..
15. Rainy day women
Very long and strong version. Dylan was really really into this one,
taking solo's and stretching it out.. His usual posing, leg work, dancing
and the song sounded great as well, everybody was dancing around and
having fun. No sophisticated stuff, just having a ball.
16. Man of constant sorrow
What can I say, really works well live, this new arrangement. Nice
17. Like a rolling stone
A crowd pleaser, Dylan starting to get tired a bit. A very laid back
18. Knockin'on heaven's door
Was also treated with great care, vocal wise. The vocal backing Larry and
Charlie give it a nice push.
19. Honest with me.
Steamy version, eveybody went all out, no holding back, some great solo's
from almost everybody. Rocked the boat, works extremely well live.
What can you say, the usual perfomance, Dylan was really tired, but a
great vocal performance anyway.
Some general remarks:
1. After each harp intro/solo he just threw his harmonica behind him on
stage! Didn't look back and just went ahead with the song, a few times he
almost stepped on one of them...
2. Again lots of young people in the crowd, recognizing songs..
3. Dylan and Charlie were constantly in eachothers neighborhood, lots of
eye contact and standing side by side. At one point Charlie was almost
putting his head into Dylan's right arm when the first one bent formward.
4. Again a great show, almost 2,5 hours.
Hope there's something there for you.
Am glad that you keep track of things, hit your site everyday,thanks man..
Review by Markus Schrör
Last concert I saw was Taormina last summer, so my personal problem was:
how can I enjoy a concert after beeing in this 2000 years old greak
theater, under the star-sky with looking to the Ätna! But definitly: I
could enjoy it! First of all: good acoustic in the Jahrhunderthalle and
from the first moment a great sound of the band. Bob was on, very clear
voice, partly with agressivness and pain in his voice (Its all right
Ma!.) Very surprised I saw the bongo-player on the left side of the stage,
good fullfillment of the show anyway. I am the man Thomas was a nice
opener, Times as usual with than on 4th my first absolut highlight of the
show: My pack pages, one of my favourite ballads. Very well and slow
played, Larry on cittern gave the song something very special. Next
highlight was the "club-version" of moonlight, the girl next to me - her
first Dylan-concert - couldn`t believe, that he is able to play a song
like that. Lately at this point you could feel, that this will be a really
great performance at this night. Surprisingly for me, parts of the
audience seemed to be quite calm, even after a song like tambourine man,
erverybody knew. This changed finally at the End of the first set, with
very hard rocking versions of summer days and wicked messenger. Inside
this two the song, which really made me lucky: my absolut all time
favourite Shelter from the storm. Never heard before in something like 20
concert, very unlucky last year, when I went from Anzio to Taormina, I
left out Naples, where he played it. After that, I thought, I missed my
chance forever to hear my favourite, he played very suprisingly with a
great harp-intro only two songs after Tangled. So, after Taormin, I knew
there can be some increase in my personal concert-goal!! Thanks for that
Bob! The encores: Honest with me for me the top-song of the second part
and a well played acoustic version of Blowing in the wind with some
problems in coordinating the voices together. Finally, great evening for
me with Shelter from the storm, Thanks for the evening, see you tonight in
comments welcome to Irontravel.Schroer@t-online.de
Review by Carsten Wohlfeld
Question: what do you dislike about a lot of the Dylan concert reviews on
the net? ¾ of them say: “I never saw a better Dylan show”. So I try hard
to put things into perspective, but my remarks about the Hamburg show will
make me look kind of silly now. Because I said that Hamburg was one of the
best Dylan shows I remember – and Frankfurt was actually better! And there
were somevery plesant surprises again as well.
I think most of the people who saw Dylan play a pretty strong show at this
lovely and rather small (>3500 capacity) venue in 2000, probably returned
for this show, so it was nice to meet up with someof the “regulars” before
the show. The soundcheck featured (among other songs) “Man Of Constant
Sorrow”, “Honest With Me” and “Knockin On Heaven’s Door”. They opened the
doors quite late and when they finally did open them, you could see that
something was different on stage. George’s drum set features some
percussion stuff (shakers, bongos, etc.) usually places on the right side
of his kit, obviously in his reach. Tonight they had set up that stuff a
lot further on the right side, directly behind Charlie’s amps. At first
Gunter and I figured they didn’t finish setting up the stuff in time, but
as soon as the lights went down at five past eight and Bob and his gang
(this time wearing custum made grey/silver suits) walked out, we knew why
the set up was different: there was a fifth band member (or rather: a
guest) on stage tonight, playing percussion on all songs! The guy in
question was Brady Blade, as Bob introduced him later, a smart looking
black guy probably in his late 20s, who turns out to be the brother of
Brian Blade, who played drums on most of the “Time Out Of Mind”
recordings. On to the songs:
I Am The Man,Thomas (acoustic)
By far the worst choice for the opening song, yet nicely (=fast) done. Bob
wasn’t quite “there” yet, but the strong backing vocals from Larry and
Charlie made up for Bob’s substandard performance.
The Times They Are A-Changin’ (acoustic)
A miracle happened! Bob made it through the whole song without messing up
the lyrics! Hallelujah! He seemed to really focus on the singing so not
very surprisingly he didn’t play the harp like he usually does on this
song. I still don’t get why he has to play the song every single night,
but at least he managed to do a decent version tonight.
It's Alright Ma (acoustic)
Great version, very good performance from the band and Bob, too!
George’s drum part had negatively afftect some earlier versions of this
song, but tonight he found exactly the right groove to give the song a
gloomy feel, yet make it sound very groovy indeed.
My Back Pages (acoustic)
Larry picked up the fiddle and there’s a big smile on my face: Yes, it’s
gonna be “Back Pages”! Unfortunately Bob picked up a harp as well and
decides to bury Larry’s quite nice opening violin solo with some
uninspired harp blowing. Oh well, he’s in charge after all! Once he got
rid of the harp (you may remember that I told you about this strange “what
can I do with the harp once I’m finished with the solo?” ritual from
Hamburg, now he just throws it away and Tommy picks it up and pust it back
on Bob’s amp!!!), he really got into the vocal performance and even though
he missed out on a line or two, he played around with the phrasing quite
successfully - it was actually a quite nice rendition.
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
Started out slow and tired, but somehow it picked up on speed and power by
the time of the second or third verse. Bob put a lot into the vocals
(epecially during the second half) and it really rocked in the end. I
believe there was a rare verse in there a well (“the senator”), that I
don’t think I’ve heard before (or at least not very often).
Probably my least favourite song on the new album and previous live
versions I’d heard on tape seem to prove that he just can’t sing that song
live. Tonight it was different though and Bob delivered an staggeringly
good rendition of this chestnut. The singing was surprisingly good, gentle
and passionate and always hitting the right (high) notes. A very pleasant
Yes! After he had skipped the song in Hamburg I finally got to hear it!
The messed up the first few bars, but after that it really RAWKED! I have
no idea why he wanted to bring back this song, but I’m glad he did and
that he kept the original arrangement (always a favorite of mine) as well!
Great opportunity for Charlie to show that he’s an amazing guitar player
(if you actually let him play the solos)!
Lonesome Day Blues
It’s loud, it rocks, but it’s a slow-ish blues, so it was bound to be sort
of a let down after the steamroller performance of “Solid Rock”, but I
guess it still was as good as it gets with this type of song. Larry played
the slide, Charlie and Bob were trading licks during the solos.
Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic)
Boston folkie Mary Lou Lord (http://maryloulord.yi.org) has a song
inspired by this Dylan tune (and Kurt Cobain), called “Some Jingle
Jangle Morning”. I’d much rather would heard that song in this slot. Yet
another crowd pleasing standard “Tambourine Man”.
Mama You Been On My Mind (acoustic)
Bob on harp (he did start of “Tambourine” with a less-than-perfect solo as
well), again with the “let’s just throw the thing away after I’m done”
trick. Much better version than Hamburg last week, but still not
spetacular. I rattled my brains what song could possibly follow
“Tambourine” AND “Mama”, but I couldn’t think of ANY, as I completely had
forgotten about my “former favourite song” (oh, the irony!)…
Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)
Very rocking version (thanks to George on drums), with lots of jamming and
looong soloing. Huge crowd pleaser as usual and actually more enjoyable
that most other versions I’ve heard over the last two years or so. I think
the song needed a rest and as long as he’s not gonna do it every night
again, a welcome alternative now.
Very similar to the Hambirg version (or indeed every live version that
I’ve heard of this song). Great rockabilly performance from all band
members, with extended solos and a lot of smiles (Bob even laughed out
loud once close to the end!) on stage and in front of it. Great stuff!
Shelter From The Storm
Probably the biggest surprise of the night, but a very welcome one.
Larry on pedal steel guitar. Gently played and stunningly well sung,
this was one of the unlikely highpoints of the night, although it’s
worth pointing out that – similar to Hamburg – there were very few
standout songs, but absolutely no real low points either. Very solid
The Wicked Messenger
This song as well has now an extra guitar solo break before he regular
harp solo ending – very similar to the reworked “Drifter’s”. It rocked,
the crowd loved it and that was it! Larry goes over to the steel guitar
and we don’t get “Pillbox” as the last song, but:
Rainy Day Women Nps. 12 & 35
Strong version, although nothing tolose your sleep over. Bob introcued the
band during the end part of the song, there was the usual formation after
it had ended and then they were gone, only to come back for:
Man Of Constant Sorrow
Yay! It was the same strong performance that most of you probably have
heard as an mp3 from Stockholm, which is actually a 1:1 rip off from the
excellent “Brother Where Art Thou” soundrack, down to the lyrics change
(“Kentucky”) and the harmonies at the end of each verse. To disguise that
fact Dylan plays it electric, but what the heck, it’s a nice rootsy song
and a very good arrangement as well! I couldn’t get the song out of my
head for hours after the show had ended!
Like A Rolling Stone
Too slow still, and because of that not THAT good.
Knockin' On Heaven's Door (acoustic)
Still love the backing vocals, so I always enjoy this one. Regular
Honest With Me
Brady got his “big” solo on the bongos on this song. Apart from that it
was the usual bluesy rocker with Larry on slide. Who needs “Highway 61” if
you can have a similar song that Dylan visibly enjoys more?
Blowin’In The Wind
Starts off with a harp solo, then turns into the regular tired and
boring crowd pleaser that now ends with a different semi-a capella
ending. If this would lead into “Watchtower”, I probably would’ve even
liked it, but as the last song I always think it’s a let down – for me
But as I mentioned earlier, it was a really solid 2:20 hrs show
nevertheless, Brady didn’t add a lot, I think he was just there to hang
out with the band afterwards and have some fun. How he ended up on stage I
don’t know. Bob and his band seemed to really enjoy themselves on stage
and Bob kept his experiments down, mostly it was new phrasings and he
didn’t try to mess with thesong structures too much, and if he doesn’t
challange his band too much, they are just great, one of the tighest bands
I’ve ever seen actually. Looking forward to Stuttgart, more soon!
Review by Claus Panert
It is time. He is ready. I am ready.
Two and a half hours over the highway to Frankfurt.
Over highway 61. Well, if that is no sign.
Then, 5pm the first impression in front of the hall.
No chance for the first row. To many in front of me.
But after counting how many people are waiting
it looks better - it can be a good place.
There is the old woman which I saw 2 years ago in Münster.
There a young girl with overwrought nerves was looking for the first row
like I did. Next door 2 guys from the Netherlands, sitting cooly on the
ground. Over there, I have seen them before, a couple, may be 40 years
old, with grandma in tow. I asked them how many concerts they had been to.
He said about 40. I stoped talking and was jealous of him. The suspense
went up. In a moment we can go in. 6:30pm, the bouncer opened the gates
and everyone squeezed in. A quick bodycheck from an overemployed security
guard. I took out my opera glass to save time. The man asked me if opera
glasses were allowed. I answered yes and left him alone. I started to run,
like all the others, mechanically programmed to get to the first row.
Nothing else. But then inside the buiding on the stairs to the pit more
security. We have to stop. The band is rehearseing. Waiting .... 30
minutes waiting. I can see everyones elatedness. Everone knows, it's neck
or nothing. Then someway, somewhere the security opened the doors.
Everyone started to run. Like the 100m finale by olympic games. The only
difference you only need a ticket. I run upstairs on the best stair
because I know the hall from the last year. Reaching the hall I wonder.
Nobody was there but me. I started my turbo for the last print. I felt the
hot breath from Michael Johnson, Carl Lewis und Maurice Green in my neck.
I just managed it. The first. I was out of breath but lucky like all the
others who get to the first row. Even that grandma is there. I don't know
how ? She must be flown. But I, -WOW- the first row in front of the
microphone ! On this evening, without a doubt, the best place in the
universe. Someone said, a place in the first row in a good Dylan concert
is one of the 10 best things which can happen in everyons life. What a
wise man. I can confirm that. I can not explain in words what happened
between 8:05pm and 10:25pm Someone, not from this world, with the best
musicans of the planet. You have to be there - I was.
page by Bill Pagel
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