Review by Herbert Adam
I'm just back from tonight's show - and it was a great one!
It was scheduled for 9pm, started with 15 minutes delay and was finished
about two hours later. I don't remember all of the songs and the correct
order, but I'm sure someone else will send in the setlist soon.
The whole concert hall was seated, but seconds after the band appeared
on stage the audience in the arena rushed to the stage - bad for the
guys who were in the first rows. I had row 13, which was ok, since the
crowd didn't bother me, even though I had to stand during the whole show
in order to see the stage.
The sound was very good, which was astonishing, since usually it is
awful at the Olympic Hall. The capacity is about 10.000, but it wasn't a
sell-out. About 7000 or 8000 were in the audience.
Bob was in good shape and looked like enjoying it and being in control
of the whole show. He wore a black suite, a white shirt and something
like a tie. His body language was very reduced and very Dylan-typical.
He didn't talk to the audience except of presenting the band and three
or four 'thank youuuus'.
He started with a couple of accoustic songs, switched over to the
electric part and played one accoustic and three or four electric
encores. There was no harmonica playing.
He played a lot of guitar solos and enjoyed playing and jamming with the
band. So they made long songs out of normal songs and out of long songs
they made even longer ones.
The first part was very folky - of course, since it was accoustic. The
electric songs were some sort of smooth rock'n'roll with a little
country and western influence - except songs like HWY61 with was wild
rock'n'roll smasher. The softer love songs were played with some ironic
undertone, like with a twinkle in the eye.
There were many highlights. I just mention a few ones:
Masters Of War was dull and dark and roaring. In Tangled Up In Blue Bob
was jamming with the band and played a long solo. Not Dark Yet was the
highlight of the whole show. He really performed it perfectly and the
voice was at the point. Maggie's Farm was a smooth rock'n'roll song and
HWY61 was a real smasher. I never really liked Blowing In The Wind, but
even this one was very beautiful.
The three new songs were pretty close to the CD version. All the other
songs were 'phoenix songs'. Bob destructed them, put them together in a
new order and made them new songs in complete new arrangements.
I've seen Bob a couple of times before, but this show was the best of
all of them. It was the concert of a guy who looks back to more than
thirty years of stage appearance, picks up a couple of his songs in
order to play them the way he wants to do them without caring about
anybody else's opinion - and probably this is the secret.
This show was really a graet one!
Review by Carsten Wohlfeld
Well, it was not only the last show of a month-long european tour, it was also the sixth
show in as many days and that might explain why tonight was less than special. It was a very
professional 115-minute show with a few highlights and about 8,000 happ y people in the
audience, who didn't know that Dylan was way better at almost every show in Europe. It was
apparent from the start that Dylan was tired and somehwhat bored and so it came as no
surprise, that this was the sole show without any harmonica playing. The stage rush happened
as soon as the lights went down and Bob and crew opened with:
Friend Of The Devil (acoustic)
which kicked off the show at 9.15pm and the best thing about it was Tony Garnier's outfit:
He looked as if he had to attend his mother's birthday party and / or a job interview later:
He wore his best black suit and a gray vest underneath - he als was s weating like a pig,
cause this was definitely not an ideal stage outfit.
Mr Tambourine Man (acoustic)
Bob usually starting smiling and hopping around during the second song on this tour - not
tonight. "Tambourine" was only average, maybe not even that. Bob didn't forget the words as
he did in Ljubljana, but he mumbled half of them...
Masters Of War (acoustic)
Mama You Been On My Mind (acoustic)
followed a long discussion between Tony and Bob and was give the usual treatment. Boring
song, nicely done.
Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)
Neil Young once said: "It's better to burn out, than to fade away". "Tangled" is doing the
It's All Over Now Baby Blue (acoustic)
Gets slower and slower again every time they play it, which is very nice. Bob forgot some
lines of the last verse and what he actually sang didn't rhyme. Not a very exciting
rendition, despite some nice phrasings, I'm afraid. Bob also stared at the cues heet for
about 15 seconds before the song and afterwards we found out why. They cut out one acoustic
song and started the elctric set early with:
which was a litlle better than in Graz but still nowhere near as fun as the renditions on
the US spring tour. Larry tried to do the "Girl Can't Help It" solo again, but it didn't
sound as good as a few days before.
Tryin' To Get To Heaven
was a treat even though Bob played a baaaad lead guitar. Funnily enough he always leaves out
the "sugartown" verse, the one that gets quoted on the stickers they sell. That's so typical
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
Lyrics less than perfect, nice phrasing on some of the later verses and the first smiles
from Bob all night.
I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
I don't like the song all that much, but tonight I enjoyed this performance, which must mean
that is was *really* good, probably even the set's highlight. Bob put a lot into the vocal
and actually dlivered a nice guitar solo, too.
Not Dark Yet
Has seen better days on this tour but still sounds way better than any of the '98 versions.
Band intros followed.
Highway 61 Revisited
was another highlight tonight as Bob and Larry trade more and more licks each time they play
with tune. Then they left...
Returned to the set and was played very slow tonight. Another highlight, probably one of the
best versions ever. The hardly ever get the balance between the vocals and the music rigt,
but tonight everything fell into place. Great!
Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
One of Bob's worst songs, played very, very badly. Do I have to say more?
Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)
Was as nice as it gets, but it probably only sounded so good cause "Rainy Day" was so
horrid. One of the few solid acoustic songs of the night, after a generally disappointing
opening acoustic set.
Not Fade Away
was "Not Fade Away".
Like A Rolling Stone
Was a tad too slow tonight, but the phrasing on the first verse made up for it. Nice one
without being sensational.
So there you go, Bob's first euro tour this year is over, the shows all have been very high
standard, even though it was funny to see that he never really managed to deliver both a
great acoustic set and an equally nice electric set on the same night. O f the seven shows
I've seen Ischgl was by far the most fun (and the weirdest, too), Graz had the best
acoustic set you could hope for and Vienna was the overall best show cause it was solid
throughout with a few real highlights like "Boots" and "Heaven ". Thanks to Gunter for all
the driving and you for keeping up with my insufficent english. See y'all in Hartford this
summer! Cheers & goodnight! -- carsten wohlfeld (email@example.com) "i wish i was
special - i'm just like you" (the cardigans) ## CrossPoint v3.1 ##
Review by Rene Voncken
It took us quite a bit of time before we arrived in München; it was a 500 mile-drive,
the traffic kept jamming, but we had something to look forward to. After a good
night's rest in a hotel in München-nord, the next day we took the train to
Olympiapark and walked towards the venue. It was a great hall, almost entirely
made from glass and steel cables and glimmered beautifully in the dusk. The
venue was large, about 15000 people, but to my opinion, there were only about
10000 people present.
Friend of the Devil:
A very strong version; it was the third time I heard the song live; very strong, playful,
temperate. A good opener, especially since I've been used to the electric openers from
his tour last year, like Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat, Gotta serve somebody, All along the
watchtower and such. He played great with Larry Campbell, good acoustic solo's etc.
Mr. Tambourine Man:
Since Brussels (1998), I had the feeling Bob owed us one good version of Mr. Tambourine
Man. And, although I was a bit down when he started playing it, it was an awesome version.
He sang it slowly, like he was reinventing the lyrics, paying attention to every word; he
rearranged the couplets, alternating verses and making it one of the best songs of the
Masters of War:
Well, what shall I say; great venue, great song, great performance!!!!! A classic
Mama, you've been on my mind:
A great song, as well as a good performance; it wasn't as good as the Brussels 98 version,
but the crowd loved it, cheered and a good choice to play in the set.
Tangled up in Blue:
One of the true highlights of the show; I must admit I felt a little uneasy when he first
started it (I've been to Dylan 8 times and he played it 8 times), but it really rocked;
he made it last forever, gave great guitarplay, great solo's, seemed to enjoy
himself like he was digging in a goldmine (and maybe it was). Dylan made sure
the music dimmed in the end, but came back twice as hard, grinning and walking
across the stage, obviously loving every minute of it; and so did the crowd!!!
It's all over now, Baby Blue:
Great; no more, no less; to me, it was another greatest hit and I was desperately hoping
for a "non-usual" song, but I really loved it……….. "Crying like a fire in the sun!!!!!"
His voice was very strong, actually it was very strong during the whole show, emphasising
Now he really started rocking!!! It must be the best version ever played; he made it last
for a lifetime, singing it loud, singing it strong, letting the echo decide wether he was
right or wrong. To me, it was the highlight of the show!!
Trying to get to Heaven:
The first time I have ever heard this song live; he managed to recapture the sound on TOOM,
teasing the words, making you feel as if you were on the platform, waiting for the train to
Stuck inside of Mobile:
This was the song I was hoping him to play; it lasted for a lifetime, the crowd rocked and
although his voice didn't sang it as clear as it could, the sound of the guitars made up
for it and I shouted along from the first word to the last.
I don't believe you:
Not my favourite, but done nice anyway.
Not Dark Yet:
Well…….. I was really hoping to hear this song, especially since it's my favourite on TOOM
and he had been playing it quite some times; my expectations weren't too high, since
he managed to do what I wanted to hear in the song; more heartbreak, more desire,
more breaking voice than on TOOM. Definitely The highlight of the show, to me.
As good as ever, although he played less lyrics, but more guitar than usual, quite loving it
himself and especially Campell did a lot of good work here, although Dylan's solo's were
very good as well, much better than the solo during the Grammy performance, anyway.
Nice, very up-tempo and quite different than the versions during the 1998 tour. A big cheer
for the light-management by the way!
Blowing in the wind:
Good, especially the last few verses. Can't blame him on this one!!
Rainy Day Woman:
Nice, though quite short and the fact that his voice cooled down a bit.
Not fade away:
It was loud, rocking, awesome and short; a great crowd pleaser although little people
were familiar with it, I think.
Like a rolling stone:
The perfect end to a perfect show; Brussels 1998 is said to be one of the best around
but this one was just as good, easily; I was hoping to see Bob in a good condition and
he was!! Great European Tour ender.
Review by Sven Wittorf
I've seen Bob Dylan 10 times within the last seven years and he never started
with an accoustic part, so I was looking forward to that one a lot. But to my
sadness it was bit disappointing. Even in wellknown songs like Mr. Tambourine
Man one couldn't understand much of the lyrics and Bob seemed to have more fun
stepping back from the microphone and play endless (but fine) guitar solos.
Masters of War, however, was a great performance, very roaring and with a
threatening tone and voice.
Bob blew the harmonica away from the microphone once at the end of It's All Over
Now, Baby Blue, but that was the first and last time for this concert. To my
surprise there was no seventh accoustic song in the set. But the quality of the
show and the clearance of Bob's voice raised to a high level when he picked up
his electric guitar and played a rocking version of Maggie's Farm.
A very good one, followed by Trying To Get To Heaven with words even clearer
than on the studio album.
Bob almost stumbled over the cable of his electric guitar when doing one of his
typical backward moves during a guitar solo, getting ready for my personal
highlight of the night: Not Dark Yet. A very emotional song, with a clear and
oh-so-sad voice that told us so much about the emotions of the singer, who (as
always) hided them totally on stage. There were just two "thank yooouu"'s after
the first songs, and not even a little bow after the last song of the night. He
just put away his guitar and left the stage and Europe.
The last song before the encore was a really loud and rocking version of Highway
61 Revisited, which made the audience ready for more. Love Sick was as good as
always, with nice light effects during the chorus.
I never heard Bob's version of Not Fade Away before, but it was a rhythmic and
straight one, every word sung in harmony with Larry and Bucky.
After that Larry wanted to take off his guitar, when Bob decided to play Like A
Rolling Stone as the very last song of the set. I was surprised by his decision,
too, but I enjoyed it even more then.
I never ever have seen a bad Bob Dylan concert, and this one was not bad at all,
but I must say that I've already seen and heard him better.
Maybe only because I waited in vain for Forever Young and Cold Irons Bound.
Well, next time.
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