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Review by Jan Böhm
What an excellent concert! I have never seen Bob Dylan live on stage
before. I was somewhat scared because I have read bad reviews in the
past. But this was a really good show. Excellent guitar play, both
acoustic and electric. These guys really know their stuff.
9th row somewhere in the middle, it is hard to read from Bob Dylan's
face (was there a smile!?), but if I am not terribly mistaken, he
enjoyed himself and so did the rest of the band. No real encores - but a
complete concert with two sets, first acoustic guitars then electric (o.k.
some acoustic again in the end). Again, excellent show!
Review by Horst Jungbauer
I never missed a concert by Bob nearby since the early 90´s, when his
musical output had become more solid then the decade before – milestones
for me OH MERCY and MTV UNPLUGGED. If the band is still more tight
together, i think, the current european tour could become one of the best
in the last years.
Why? Well , because of the many new arrangements of
- surprising new songs in the repertoire
and a good taste in the program for raw playing and quiet moments.
First of all i was delighted by the fact that so many „must classics“ from
the 60´s, for which some of the older crowd (perhaps 90 %) had been
waited, were not performed. – and the performed classics were really
MAGGIE´S FARM – a raw country rock with Bob´s strong voice as in nearly
TAIB – with overwhelming groovy rhythm (did i hear some kind of disco
stomp by the excellent drummer?), harp solo at the end
DESOLATION ROW – a straight acoustic number, for me better and tighter
than the original
like the GATES OF EDEN too
COUNTRY PIE – uih – never heard that one live before – country swinging!
CAN`T WAIT – seems to become one of the favourite live tunes of the band
(look at Zurich´s review)
GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY and I`LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT made
the huge hall as familiar as a club.
Were there any encores? Well, like two days before, nobody said anything at
the mike, so i think it was a pause before six other songs, each different from
the other and by changing dozens of guitars after every song – and again two
fine pieces: Buddy Holly`s NOT FADE AWAY with harmony vocals by the two
guitarists and IT AIN`T ME BABE in a acoustic version with harmonica, so
relaxed that i felt laying on my sofa at home.
Who cares that LIKE A ROLLING STONE was the worst tune, trashed by a
guitar of Charlie Sexton who obviously thought that this was early punk?
Thanks to the man behind the mixing console for his lesson in real stereo.
The right channel for the guitarist on the right side, the left channel for the
other and Dylan in the middle too low. Sometimes the Sexton guitar
(on my side) was only nerving (LOVE SICK!) – I often thought, next year
i go to the other side of the hall to hear the second guitarist – a better
solution: to kick the mixer off.
Best regards Horst Jungbauer
Review by Carsten Wohlfeld
After spending a lovely (and very sunny) day at Lake Constance, doing all
the thing you tend to do on a day off, like getting drunk and watching the
“Hard Rain” video...) Gunter and I drove off to Stuttgart, to meet our
host Peter (thanks!) and to see the show at the Schleyerhalle, last
visited by Bob in 1987 on the tour with Tom Petty. The venue was about 4/4
full, which was more than I expected and the security did a very bad job
at pushing back people to their seats, so the stage rush happened even
before the lights went down.
Roving Gambler (acoustic)
Was the song they kicked off the show with at 8.15 and it was apparent
from the start that Bob was determined to show that he still can play
acoustic guitar, so he looked very concentrated and his soloing was
actually quite good.
The Times They Are A-Changin‘ (acoustic)
A pretty lame choice for the #2 slot, most of us would’ve prefered
“Tomorrow Is A Long Time” or even “Song To Woody” I guess. Bob’s
guitarplaying was excellent again, but he missed quite a few lines, most
the firsts of the verses, actually.
Desolation Row (acoustic)
Was very well done, with a new improved drum opening (David really
deserves a special mentioning on this tour – his playing has gotten much
better again compared to last year and he’s actually playing a lot more
breaks and stuff and he’s much more inventive.) Bob sang quite a few
verses and together with a rather spendid solo it was a very fine rendtion
Girl From The North Country (acoustic)
Another fine version, sung with his low “TOOM” voice. Would’ve
prefered the cuesheet alternate “One Too Many Mornings” though.
Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)
This was where Bob’s guitarplaying seemed to get slighty worse. Maybe he
thought he kinda proved his point with his really excellent playing on the
first few songs. Anyways, in exchange we got a pretty long harp solo at
the end and some nice phrasing.
Gates Of Eden (acoustic)
The song that totally made the night. Bob sang all the verses and sang
them very, very well, too. Larry on bouzouki and Tony on electric (!)
bass. What a performance. It’s hard to describe what was so good about is,
but it just seemed to be perfect.
Was a lot of fun again, everybody smiling on and in front of the stage.
It’s good to see that Larry and Charlie seem to get on really well, cause
there’s a lot of “communication” between the two on stage, they take turns
at the solos and stuff and really seem to enjoy themselves without trying
to be better than “the other guy”. Bob introduced Charlie after the song,
guess he liked his solo, too.
Not as convincing as Zurich, althiugh done in the same bluesy, even a
little jazzy arrangement I first heard at the Hallensatdion two days
Average, country-ish version with some nice licks from Larry that remind
me of early Johnny Cash. Bob seemed to try really hard, but the song
didn’t go anywhere.
I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
One of my least favorite Dylan tunes, badly done, despite a nice pedal
steel solo by Larry at the start. I just wish he’d drop the song from the
setlist – permanently.
Not Dark Yet
Yet another splendid version, probably because it seems to be the
perfect song for this current voice I guess. If I said before that Charlie
played a red Gretsch guitar on this song, I was wrong. He plays it on “Not
fade Away”, the guitar he uses on this one is actually a beautiful black
Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat
The band intros were followed by yet anothers amshing version of this
rather bad song. Pretty cool soloing, some funny faces from Bob - a fun
way to end the set.
One of the few songs I never get bored of. It sounded especially nice
today and David‘s playing is really good on this now these days. Bob also
introduced a minor change to the lyrics, he now rhymes “ploughed under”
with “wonder”. Great stuff!
Like A Rolling Stone
Another oustanding version of this song I usually don’t need to hear
again. Forget what other people said in previous reviews, Charlie Sexton
is doing a great, great job, especially on this song. Not only is he a
very good looking guy, he also is an amazing guitar player and if
onereviwer said he played “early punk”, it’s really raw blues....
It Ain’t Me Babe (acoustic)
As we’ve heard it many times before – tonight complete with harp solo.
Not Fade Away
... we know that one, too by now.
Another semi-surprise. A very welcome change and the song was
beautifully done, too. Actually Charlie Sexton went over to Tony before
the song and he seemed to say (tried to read his lips): “I can’t sing this
[song]”. Don’t know if he really said that, but he hardly sang on this
one, that’s fore sure. So it was mostly Larry who handled he back-up
Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35
More smiles, lights and solos. The End.
This show was probably better performance-wise than Zurich, because
Bob tried really hard to play guitar better than saturday night, but the
set was low on surprises and that’s why a lot of people said afterwards
that they enjoyed Zurich more. One way or the other, this means that
Oberhausen will be an interesting one.... Goodnight and thanks for
"i can't be everything to everybody, can i at least be
something to you?" (the posies)
Review by Peter Ottmann
It's not dark yet when Bob Dylan enters the stage of the Schleyerhalle,
Stuttgart, at a quarter past eight after a warm day. Dressed with a grey
suit, he has chosen to start with an acoustic guitar. He and his band (two
other guitars, bass and drums) will change to an electric set later on,
and after six both electric and acoustic encores the show will be over
about two hours later.
Dylan seems to be in a good mood, he says some occasional "Thank you"s,
introduces his band and plays a pretty strenuous programme. His nearly 59
years do not stop him from standing and playing there all the evening with
only a five- minutes break before the encores, but his voice really sounds
hoarse and fragile. During the second song, The Times they are a changing,
he has problems in recalling his own text, but he should become better
during the evening. His articulation is staying bad, though, and since
English is not my mother tongue, I can often hardly understand that songs
which are not familiar to me.
The band does a pretty good job, they offer a solid base for Dylan's self-
willed interpretations of his own songs. Dylan plays lots of guitar licks
which seem to have their own rhythms and harmonies, but mostly fit well to
the rest of the band anyway. Large parts of the show seem to be
improvisations, since Dylan always raises a hand or an eyebrow when he
wants to finish them. The music is mostly guitar- dominated, no piano, no
fiddle, and only two times Dylan decides to use his harmonica. Usually no
heroic solo- play, the three guitars seem to communicate with each other
and mingle with the rest of the band. Nevertheless, all this guitar sound
is sometimes in danger of getting monotonous.
The audience is composed of all kinds of people and all kinds of ages. I
was born in the 70s, and perhaps this is one reason why songs like Rolling
Stone or Rainy Day are not really meaningful to me, although they seem to
be successful this evening. My personal favorites of the show are the
songs of Bob Dylan's new album, Time out of mind: The melancholic Love
sick, Can't wait and Not dark yet really fit with his voice, and
furthermore Dylan reduces them to their essential content instead of
filling them with too much sound. I was also impressed by the acoustic It
ain't me and Forever young and by another song during the encores I did
not know. (According to the set list, it is called Not fade away).
I must admit that I like Bob Dylan's approach to change his songs
spontaneously, and I especially like his refusal to celebrate his music.
Although one can be critical with some parts of the musical performance at
Stuttgart, it seems in my opinion worthwhile to watch it: The songs do
have a meaning, and Dylan is still able to communicate this meaning.
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