Berlin, Germany

May 23, 2000


[Reinald Purmann], [Joerg Foth], [Carsten Wohlfeld], [Sven Lewandowski], [Marc Rosseel], [Anneke & Hans]

Review by Reinald Purmann

The "Arena" is an unique site in the center of Berlin at an old canal, an
ex- bus depote, complete empty floor and just the stage and some bars.
Appr. 5000 people had a great show tonight in Berlin. Dylan dressed in
white suit, black bow-tie, startet 8.10 with an new opener for this part
of tour. Dylan was full auf energy, in good mood and his harmony with the
band was nearly perfect. He and this boys have developed together during
the last years of travelling and music a very impressing style. It was all
together: Very clear, changeable voice and very complex music and some
dancing. He even gave us the harp tonight. Remarkable highligths:
"Tommorow"& "Love minus" in the acc. set, later a spectacular "Things",
followed by a very ernergetic Watchtower. "Not dark" and "Think twice" for
me were especially in a concert of a very high level. For me it was one of
the best I had the luck to meet. At 10.05 ist was over, with enthusiastic
people after the Good Bye that Dylan gave with arms crossed . Wish an
happy christmas and thanks for this present.. Reinald Purmann


Review by Joerg Foth

My wife Eva and me had been only once at the Arena to see Willy DeVille on
02/24 1996. We decided both not to go there anymore, 'cause the location
was too terrible at all. But the times they are a changing and Bob Dylan
played. And he played only some hundred meters from the Treptow Park,
where he came with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Roger McGuinn on
09/17 1987  more than two years before the Berlin Wall came down. In the
meantime the Treptow bootleg is available and everybody is free now to
change his mind, who was disapointed then. Back to Arena, it is now a good
and beautiful concert hall. When you enter it there is the water of the
river Spree right hand, what makes a good evening mood. The concert was
the 2nd best for me after the one on 07/10 1993 at Coliseu, Oporto,
Portugal. Then Bob Dylan played nearly for 3 hours very thankfully and
often in a filigree iberian way. His may concert in Berlin now was perfect
in its structure and absolutely sure in every song. It took five songs to
let the concert really start. But the opener Somebody touched me and the
last one of the acoustic six pack Tomorrow is a long time were sung both
in three voiced way as well as Forever young and Blowin in the wind as 4th
/7th encore in the end of the evening. This return of a singing together
made the concert proud and worthy. The nearly too dark voice of Bob's new
guitar man sounded like a voice who just had a church singing childhood.
Very strange and beautiful. The acoustic part, covered in that sound,
could hide Tangled up in blue, what Dylan did too technically. Every song
in the electric part had a very high livel. Playing and singing were real
strong, fresh and - in a way necessarily. Sometimes between the songs
Dylan seemed not to know what to do now or next, a half step here, another
half there, but without loosing any time. Once Dylan moved back to choose
a harp, he returnd to the mike without to be really ready for it or he
signed the band to stop the song because the crows started to clap hands.
I don't know, unfortunatley after that he didn't try the harp once more.
Introducing the band in the end of the electric part, in Leopard Skin Pill
Box Hat, Dylan said about his drummer something more than the name: "There
are only a few drummers, who are better than no drummer. He is one of
them." >From time to time Dylan reduced lines down to a minimum of words,what never did look and hear like a mistake, but a good play. In the
chorus of the three voiced Forever young Dylan sang only  the first word
Forever and left his band the other one: young. Happy Birthday and thank
you, Bob. See you next time.


Review by Carsten Wohlfeld

After the disasterous (and pretty short) Berlin show at the Waldbühne two
years ago tonight was a very relaxed evening for Bob and his crew.
Everybody seemed to have fun, the audience, the roadies on stage (even
before the show) and Bob & band throught the show. The Arena is an old bus
depot, not very far away from the site that Bob played in 1987 (we are
talking about Treptow, former East Berlin here) that they converted into a
rock and  roll venue. It’s okay, but not exactly beautiful. It was an
all-standing venue as well with about 5,000 people attending. Bob came on
stage at 8.10, and right before the first song they started discussing
which song they wanted to do, which I took as a very good sign for the
remainder of the show, especially when they didn’t go for “Roving
Gambler”, but another first-time-song for me:

 Somebody Touched Me (acoustic)

It was fun, it was nice, it was as good as “Hallelujah...” although the
“complicated” backing-vocals sounded kinda messed up. Still liked it,
especially the “glory, glory, glory” line.

 The Times They Are A-Changin’ (acoustic)

Not AGAIN! And, as everybody expected, he messed up the lyrics 
again, tonight even started butchering them as early as he hit the second
line of the first verse. Ouch! He probably will singing it every night
until he gets it right once and then leave it behind. Which probably means
that we’ll get to hear many more versions. 

 It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)  (acoustic)

A very good, very intense version. Bob’s singing was very strong even
though he forgot the first line to the last verse, I won’t complain.

 Love Minus Zero / No Limit (acoustic)

Ten times better than the rotten version we got to hear on the first night
of the European tour in Zürich. Very relaxed singing, he even
“highlighted” some words very nicely and played a long guitar solo at the
end, than was much better than the no-solo in Zürich.

 Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

Much better than the nights before 

 Tomorrow Is A Long Time (acoustic)

I definitely want complian, but I’d never expected to get to hear 
this song, usually only performed a handful of times every year, at 
three consecutiv shows I’ve seen. This version was about as good 
as the one from Horsens, which is to say thatb it didn’t touch the 
perfect Hannover rendition. Mzusically perfect, it was Bob’s less 
than-perfect voice again that made it less enjoyable than the 
Hannover version. Interestingly enough the cuesheet called for 
“Gates” or “Mama” in this spot.

 Gotta Serve Somebody

Country Pie was listed as the alternate choice on the cuesheet, 
but this was a very welcome alternative and it was every bit as 
good as the Horsens version, where they debuted this new 
somewhat cut-up arrangement. Bob’s singing (or may I call it 
shouting?) was pretty good as well. Larry played a mean little 
rock ‘n’ roll riff too.

 Things Have Changed

Got a huge cheer from the crowd even though it was actually the 
worst version Bob has played so far in Europe. It seems to get 
slower and slower with every rendition and Bob now starts to toy 
around with the phrasing, with doesn’t improve the song very 
much. Some people think this song sounds like Chris Rea and if he 
keeps slowing it down even more, it sadly will. Cuesheet alternate: 
“If Not For You”

 All Along The Watchtower

Did rock as much as previous versions at the start, but got quite 
good by the time they hit the jam part after the first verse. Thiss 
version seemed to be much longer than other recent ones with a 
lot more jamming and soling going on. Larry on lap steel and it 
was interesting to see how Charlie started out playing rhythm 
guitar (= THE riff), but switched to lead soon after, at wich point 
Larry takes up the riff and plays it on the lap steel.

 Not Dark Yet

was played surprisingly early tonight (it was listed in it’s usual #11
slot on the cuesheet), sounded as lovely as every night  even though
somebody said David messed up the drum part badly -I didn’t notice that.
What followed was the highlight of the night and one of the most unlikely
renditions of any Dylan song I’ve ever heard. Actually the expression
“rearranged” doesn’t do this performance justice, as the band actually
played a cover version and Bob sang the lyrics to his song on top of it.
So let me call this:

 Spanish Castle Magic / Drifter’s Escape

for what it  WAS “Spanish Castle Magic” by the Jimi Hendrix 
Experience and Larry did a perfect job playing the very cool Jimi 
riff. The song had an unbelievable middle-part, definitely the 
HARDEST and FASTEST thing I’d heard Bob play - ever. Close 
to the end Bob picked even up the harp, the guitars dropped out 
and we got a harmonica solo just accompained by David’s drums. 
It was both amazing and ridiculous. Nevertheless it was a very 
enjoyable performance and Bob definetely wasn’t singing but 
shouting to get heard in the huge sound. This version had nothing 
to do with the version that now circulates from Santa Cruz. Band 
intros followed and for the first time Bob said more than just the 
names of the musicians when he said: “On the drums, David 
Kemper. There are very few drums who are better than no 
drummer at all, but he’s one of them” which made Tony laugh out 
loud, in fact he was still laughing his head off when he was 
intoduced at the end. Cuesheet alternate: “Train To Cry”.

 Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat

The usual jam-packed version, that includes a little extra line, as 
Bob added something like “I’m sure it is” after his own question: 
“Is it really the expensive kind?”. A few bows and they were 

 Love Sick

was either very good or a complete mess, depending from which 
side you look at it. Bob sounded and looked very tired (throughout 
all the encores actually) and so he stretched some lines, skipped 
the pauses where they belonged and as I said, that was either 
very nice, because it was a  change or pretty bad, because the 
way he usually sings it is mor than just okay already.

 Like A Rolling Stone

Bob seemed to enjoy it, but acutally he and the band messed up 
most of the changes and it didn’t sound as good as most of the 
recent shows.

 Forever Young (acoustic)

The “highlight” of this version was when Bob forgot the first lines 
to a couple of versers. Apart from that it was quite lovely, a solid

 Maggie’s Farm

I wish there was something to say about this song, like: Larry 
busted a button on his pants, Tony and Charlie got into a fist-fight or
something, but there wasn’t anything like that. A solid “Maggie’s” and
nothing more. Only cuesheet choice in this slot: “Not Fade Away”. 

 Don’t Think Twice (acoustic)

Very, very slow version that was pretty boring actually. Bob 
looked very sick and you wonder how he wants to survive an 
eight week crosscountry summer tour in the US with just a two-
week rest after these European shows. As ridicolous as a 12 song 
main set and seven encores might look, I have a theory that 
maybe they really don’t know if Bob will make it through a two 
hour show every night and to make sure they don’t leave without 
any encores, they start doing the “extras” early and just keep on 
playing if Bob feels like it. They hit the 0 minute jark after about two
or three encores and I guess nobody would really complain if Bob would
leave after 90 minutes, as he always did for the best part of the early
and then again the late 90s.

 Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35

Again, Larry expected them to do “Not Fade Away”, as he was 
standing there his Strat in his hands and he looked very, very 
angry when the band started “Rainy”. For a second it looked as if 
he wouldn’t want to play on this song at all, but after a surprised 
look from Bob (who obviuously noticed that siomething was 
missing sounndwise), he picked up his finger picks from the amp 
behind him to play the lap steel. The last verse was improvised as 
always and tonight Bob rhymed “street” wwith “heat” even 
though I didn’t catch the whole lines.

 Blowin’ In The Wind (acoustic)

Longer and better than the Horsens rendition even though I’d 
much rather hear them end the show with an electric rocker (but, 
please not “Rainy Day Women”...). Bob actaully came back on 
stage after the band had left to take another bow, but 
unfortunately he didn’t return to do another song.

All in all a very good show with an very enthusastic audience and 
a band in fine form and good spirits.
Thanks to Christian in Hamburg and Tom in Berlin for letting us 
crash out on their couches the last couple of days. On to Dresden 
for the birthday bash...

Carsten Wohlfeld
“her name is eve and she lives two floors below, she is 22 and 
looks like linda ronstadt” (the birdy num nums)


Review by Sven Lewandowski

Dylan and Berlin - that seems to be a long story - but I won´t tell it
again ! I just remember the 98-show with the only ´Not Dark Yet´ at 98s
European tour - and the fact that the concert started and finished so
early that it took hours after the show to get really dark. This year
everything turned out to be very different and Dylan delivered a
passionate set and it seemed that he put all the passion in his
perfomcance that the 98 show lacked so much. The show did not feature
´Roving Gambler´ but ´Somebody Touched Me´ instead - a nice and very
welcome change ! ´The Times They Are A-Changin´  followed and Dylan was
once again unable to recall the lyrics (another bad performance). ´It´s
Alright, Ma´ was better then before and sounded great. The same is true
for ´Love Minus Zero´. On ´Tangled Up In Blue´ there´s really not much to
say, we all heard voices for a while and the rest is history (Oh  how I
wish he would do this only once instead of ´Tangled´). ´Tomorrow Is A Long
Time´ was done with deep feelings and I recognized that Larry Campell´s
voice sounds quite good. The electric set opened with ´Gotta Serve
Somebody´ which was done the raw way - a bit like the new version
´Drifter´s Escape´ (that he performed later). To me it sounded great and
it was also a nice alternative for ´County Pie´. I think that there is no
need to explain why ´Serve Somebody´ is the superior to ´Country Pie´.
´Things Have Changed´ followed and the song is getting slower - and not
better ! I think the performances at Colongne and Hannover were much
better. ´All Along The Watchtower´ was hard-rocking once again and surely
a crowed pleaser. Dylan also had fun and smiled a lot during the show.
´Drifter´s Escape´ was one of the songs I was hoping for - but I didn´t
recognize it right a the beginning, so I had to wait for the first line to
be sure. It sounded GREAT and also featured the harmonica ! Band intros
followed and Dylan made a kind of joke on David Kamper who was introduced
as the best drummer in the world - ´better than no drummer at all´ ! The
encores were the usual ones and as I expected Dylan to do ´Forever Young´
- ´cause it wouldn´t suit well for his birthday show next day in Dresden -
so he had to do it in Berlin. All in all we can say that the Berlin
concert was a great and thrilling experience with nice changes in the set
list and three songs I was waiting for (´Serve Somebody´, ´Somebody
Touched Me´ and ´Drifter´s Escape´). But also the structure of the show is
quite interesting. Each Dylan concert (this year) can be divided into
three sets: the acoustic set at the beginning, the electric one in the
middle and the encores at the end. Each set usually features six songs
exept for the encores which are up to eight. If we compare the structure
of these three stets at the Berlin concert, astonishing results are to be
found ! So let´s take a look on the first song of very set: ´Somebody
Touched Me´ shows a strong believe in God and a kind of a new born
experience (³must have been the hand of the Lord²). It is clear that the
love of the singer belongs to God and that God is the one who loves the
singer. ´Gotta Serve Somebody´ doesn´t refer to the experience of been new
born and doesn´t tell us about God´s love or about love at all. It
confronts us with a kind of decsion between black and white or darkness
and light - or (as another interpretation) with the fact that there´s no
choice at all. Finally, ´Love Sick´ is once again about love, but about a
love that has failed and maybe it is also about the fact that love is
doomed to fail. Anyway, in ´Love Sick´ there´s no God at all. It shows a
dark and dying world where vulcanos have gone out, fires have burned down
and gods have died, a world where nothing is left but shadows of a future
that didn´t come true and where darkness and despair is all. So there
seems to be a kind of decline - from the touch of God to an empty dark
world. But we also can interpret it as a kind of secularisation and
salvation in a way that god has died, so that love can olny be found in
this world, where the singer of ´Love Sick´ has failed. But he surely
suffers (he is sick of love - ³this kind of love²; maybe wishing to find
God´s love instead or to be able to love a dissapeared god). But the fact
that he suffers, show´s that his feelings are strong - even after the dead
of God. So ³the silence can be like thunder² and like philosopher
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) wrote (when he was still very young): ³As
soon as it would be  possible to throw over the complete past of the world
by a strong will, we would immedeately join the row of independend gods
and the world history to us would be nothing then a dreamingly
Selbstentrücktsein; the courtain - I mean: the one of the theatre play
world history - falls, and man founds himself again, like a child playing
with worlds, like a child waking up at a glowing dawn and wiping the
horrible dreams out of his forehead.²  (quoted in  Wener Ross: Der wilde
Nietzsche. Stuttgart 1994, p.36f.; my own, maybe not good translation).
That´s the feeling ´Love Sick´ causes (at least for me) - especially when
it is performed as in these days. The comparision of the three sets also
works for the second song of each set. ´The Times They Are A-Changin´´,
´Things Have Change´ and also ´Like A Rolling Stone´ are about changes. In
the first one changes are expexted and there is also a threat with changes
and a strong believe that changes are to come (³the first one will later
be last²). In ´Things Have Changed´ the change has happend but it didn´t
turn out to be positive - ³I used to care, but things have changed². Where
things have been clear (as in ´The Times They Are A-Chingin´´) and a way
to go was opened (³so get out of the new one´ (i.e. the new road)), times
are strange now and people are crazy (it now doesn´t seem to be good for
people to ´come gather round´ anymore). In ´Like A Rolling Stone´ things
are turing out to be clear again, but once again not in a positive way !
Again a change has happend - ³you used to be so amused² and ³now you don´t
talk so loud². But again a ³line is draw². ³How does it feel ?² When we
compare the third song of every set we can discover a row once again, but
this time the other way round. The row begins with the critical, maybe
frustrated and desillusionated ´It´s Alright, Ma´, followed by the famous
line ³there must be some kind of way out of here² (in ´All Along The
Watchtower´) and the third encore seems to offer the way out (or at least
one way out): to stay ³forever young². (When I first had the idea that a
comparison of the three sets of the Berlin show would be worthwhile I
didn´t expect that it would be fruitable for so many songs and so I´m
quite surprised that I´m able to carry on:) The fourth songs are ´Love
Minus Zero/No Limit´, ´Not Dark Yet´ and ´Maggie´s Farm´. I think nobody
will totally disagree on my opionion that ´Love Minus Zero´ is one of the
finest love songs Dylan ever wrote. Here we find the whole scale of the
typcial romantic love themes and also the paradoxes experienced by
romantic love(rs) (love and lovers speaking like silence, no success like
a failure etc). ´Not Dark Yet´ for sure is a rather sad song, but it´s
lyrics and symbols are still taken from the romantic repertoire. The idea 
of romantic love is not refused and the singer describes a scenary like a
painting by Caspar David Friedrich (who, by the way, emphasized that a
painter not only paints what he sees outside but what´s inside of him (and
someone who has nothing inside won´t paint a picture at all)). In
´Maggie´s Farm´ there´s no romantic love at all, but the clear refusal to
accept any conventions - ³I ain´t gonna work on Maggie´s Farm / for
Maggie´s ma / pa / etc². ´Tangled Up In Blue, ´Drifter´s Escape´and ´Don´t
Think Twice´ also have things and themes in comon (althought the first two
are loud songs and the last one is slow and sung in a low voice): all
three are about personal weakness and trying to find a way out and/or
crying for help. Dylan once said on ´Don´t Think Twice´, that it is
something you can say to yourself maybe to feel better. And this is also
true for ´Tangled Up In Blue´. But ´Tangled Up In Blue´ offers no release.
³We always did feel the same², but the point of view was different and so
there was no chance to come together. Only the dirfter, who manages to do
something, that the singer of both, ´Tangled Up In Blue´ and ´Don´t Think
Twice´, is not able to do: he admits his weakness and cries for help
(³help me in my weaknes²) - and he is finally released (³a bold of
lightning struck he courthouse out of shape / Š / the drifter did escape².
So we have the unnessessary failure (³we always did feel the same²) in
´Tangled´, the release, i.e. the escape from a horrible situation after
admitting the own weakness (´Drifter´s Escape´) and the attempt to feel
better by refusing to commuinicate to a (former ?) lover (´Don´t Think
Twice´). Out of the last song of every set only ´Tomorrow Is A Long Time´
seems to be a serious song, while both, ´Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat´ and
´Rainy Day Women´ are rather fun songs. So we might say that sense and
meaning are blown away as we follow this row. But I don´t think so. ´Rainy
Day Women´ is created around the two  findings that people will alway
stone you and that we should get stoned by using drugs (music etc). I
suppose that we also can interpret ´Tomorrow Is A Long Time´ on a basis of
getting high (or on a basis of addiction). ! It´s not drugs on this song -
that´s for sure. But love can also be a drug)Š ´Tomorrow Is A Long Time´
is oviously a song about deep desire and the unability to live without the
presence of a lover. The song is anything but aggressiv; in opposite: it
is one of the most tender songs Dylan ever wrote and nowadays it is also
performed in a very tender way. Here Dylans voice sound so fragile, so
calm and desiring at the same timeŠ His voice is changed on ´Leopard-Skin
Pill-Box Hat´ and ´Rainy Day Women´ for sure. The tenderness it gone and
Dylan sings or even shouts on these two songs in an rather agressive way.
Seems like he wants to destroy all previously shown tenderness. As
´Tomorrow Is A Long Time´ is surely about love, ´Leopard-Skin Pill-Bo Hat´
seems to be about nothing but sex (³I saw you making love to him, you
forgot to close the garage door´) and we can easily imagine that the
³Rainy Day Women² are not the ones that would make the singer of ´Tomorrow
Is A Long Time² sleep well in his bedŠ The very last song ´Blowin´ In The
Wind´ seems to stand aloneŠ But it´s main line - ³the answer (Š) is
blowin´ in the wind²  is surely true - at least for my interpretation of
this concert. Don´t get me wrong - I don´t want to say that Dyan intended
such a concert structure nor that he had something like this on his mind.
It was just an idea of mine and I know it may be a strange interpretation
of a concert (and I also don´t think that it works also for other shows) -
but I invite you to comment on it. Here´s my e-mail adresse: (Please state a subject in your
e-mail - I won´t any open e-mail without subject).


Review by Marc Rosseel

Hi everybody,

Back home from a series of dreams...wich started in Stuttgart and ended in
Regensburg, and inbetween saw 7 shows (the germany-ones only). 140 hours
in front, (and i mean front row... i can't help it if i'm lucky..) of Bob
Dylan! You know, after such a expirience you can handle EVERYTHING in
life, believe me! Usely i don't do reviews, i'm not a great writher you
know, but i always read the reviews on Bill's (suberb!!!) site, because i
like to know what other people, (Bobcat's) think about the shows. And
sometimes i agree with a review, other times i don't. It's funny how
different people expirience a Dylan show, each in there own "world". For
example, after the Dresden gig, i was standing next to Ken (who was, at
that moment, rang Bill up to give the Dresden setlist) and Mike together
with some other English people. And i was so enthousiastic about that show
so i shared it with those people, but Mike dind't agree, he sad it was a
"dreadfull" show. You see what i mean. Mike can say that, even he was the
ONLY one who did  thouth that way... it's like Bob sings, "you're right
from your side, I'm right from mine." But let me share my highlights of
this tour. I touth that i saw the best show EVER after the Baltimore gig,
(yes, i went to some US shows las year) november 8, last year, but i was
wrong (again..) The more shows i see (78 till now), the better Bob is
getting, i mean, the last show in Regensburg was SOOOOOO briljant, Bob's
voice was kristal clear, the band fit's so good together. We got a tender
Delia, that was sung so moving i almost cried. We got Positively 4th
Street, for me, the BEST version ever! (Then i cried...) For me those 2
songs where enough to drive all the way from Belgium to Regensburg! Bob
gived us Duncan and Brady, for me the first time ever, i couldn't believe
what i heard. That is such a beautifull song with that line, sung a
capella, "he's been on the job too long". The harp solo during Drifter's
Escape, re-arranged very powerfull, in Regensburg was outstanding! Bob
gived his Fender to Thomas, so he could concentrate on his harp playing,
and man what a harp solo that was, to me the most electrifing during this
tour! WAY TO GO BOB!!! I went nuts on that one!!! I wonder what Bob is
thinking when he sees all those front row people, (always the same faces)
going out of there minds...(at least, some of them, hey Thomas..:))
Another highlight was Girl from The North Country, much more intensive
than the Stuttgart version, Bob almost whispering, beautifull. The
electric set always end with Pill-Box Hat, and i loooooove it, great
funny, rockin' song, and since Antonio joinded the tour from Berlin,
(Antonio is wearing a leopard-skin hat), Bob enjoyed playin' that song,
especcaly because Antiono goes nuts on this one, and trew his hat on
stage... and Bob..."he jumped on it sometime's!" GREAT. Regensburg ended
with 20 songs, you know why? I think because Bob knew that this show was
the last one for meany Bobcats, and he thanked them with 20 songs, that
ain't going to happen no more during this tour, you'll see. (Of course i
might be totaly wrong as well)  There was a free bus wich drove us
downtown for free! There i met Dennis from Boston, the guy of another
great dylan site, Bob Dylans Data Base. After the show I bumped on to
Anneke and Hans in the beautifull old city, and together with my
travel-fellow-Bobcats Cathérine and Gerard this tour was over for all of
us, but we where so thankfull for those precious memorys that we celebrate
it with some BIG german beers, cheers BOB! See you in September.

Celebrating Bob's birthday WITH Bob, that ain't going to happen offten, i
think. But we where there, in a beautifull venue, outdoor, kind like a
amphiteather, with the stage as a half circle. After the rush to the
stage, thanks god my fysic is quit alright.., we where waitin'...what was
going to happen, how would Bob react on his birthday??? Well, all went
great, the Dresden people are beautifull people, just after the second
song, and what a performance that was!!! Song To Woody, I have no words to
express my feelings during this song, just like the person next to me, and
the man from Freiburg standing after me, we all cried.... this was a very
moving moment! Well, after Woody, the crowd started to sing Happy
Birthday, it sounded like a wave from where i was standing, (right side of
stage, in front of Charlie), the birthday song started in the front row
but then waved out to the back, it was beautifull. The stage was "bombed"
with flowers, it gaved a party feelin'. There where big flags with HAPPY
BIRTDAY on it, and one of them had  "HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR BOB, FOREVER
YOUNG" on it, beautifull! Bob reacted with a short, "well, thank you" and
then started a very moving "Mama, you been on my mind" as i predicted to
my friend. Another highlight was "To Ramona", with Larry playing the
mandolin. It was a slow wals-version with Bob singin' it very clear and
remembering all the lyrics. There was also a beatifull harp solo in this
one, and then Anneke en Antonio, who where standing right in front of Bob,
started a wals-dance! Well done Anneke!!! Bob liked it, I saw it on his
expression, he really did Hans! The crowd responded very intensive after
each song, there was really a great atmosphere in Dresden. "Stuck inside
of Mobile" the only time he sung it on "my" tour was outstanding! Bob did
remeberd almost all the lyrics, i love that song! Another suprise came
directly after, "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" No new arragement on this
one, but a great song anyway. During the encores most of the people in the
front rows where dancing, and you know how Bob respond on that! It was
really a birthday bash! The show was over (like always) in no time, but
then, suddenly, Bob came back on, all alone, dressed in black, tooked the
mike and sayd; "I will remember this birthday for a while" Well, we too
Bob, we will remeber you too, when we forgotten all the rest...! After the
gig, there where alot of people who hanged around in the park, lightend
candles, drinkin' wine, great atmosphere!

Is the Berlin Arena the only venue in the city?? Jezus, what's a
sweetheart like you doing in a dump like this, i ask my friend. Thomas
Eckhardt from Belgern, told me that this place was a big factory during de
cold war period. Thomas said, if you would have told a factoryman wayback
then, that in the year 2000 Bob Dylan would play here, there problebly put
you in the nuthouse. Well things have changed, have there Thomas! Anyway,
not too much crowd on this gig, the day after i heard a report on the
radio, mentioning 3000 people. I think there where apr. 4 to 5000. Bob
started with "Somebody Touched Me" now that was a supprise! I like that
song, really uptempo, with some great a-capella singin from Larry and
Charlie. Second highlight was "Tomorrow is a long time" sung so tender,
much intenser than the Hannover version, i think. But then again there we
had "Ring Them Bells" and "Tombstone Blues". Not to forget mentioning
"It's Alright Ma", super song, it sounded very much like the original
version. another suprise was "Gotta Serve Somebody" brought very dynamic,
with Bob frasing "yes you gonna have to seeeeeeeeeeeeerve somebody" i love
that one! In the encores there where a briljant "Forever Young" and
"Maggie's Farm" a very rockin' version. Some said that Berlin was the best
show from all German shows, to me there are no bad Dylan shows these days,
(let's forget about '91...) Now there are only good Dylan shows and
briljant Dylan shows. For me the first three are, Dresden/Regensburg/
Cologne. Bob is like good wine, how older he gets, the better! 

I would like to wright you about the other Germany shows, but i'm to
tired, so i'll just say fare thee well... see you all in september i hope.
Marc Rosseel tell me what you think, and pleaaaase
forgive me my English writing...


Anneke & Hans

We're back from Germany again and I must say that we saw some
extraordinary shows. Here's a small review of the last three German gigs.
In my opinion the Berlin venues are always the worst you can imagine. This
time the show took place in some abandoned former East Berlin bus depot.
The only thing I can think of is that Bob gets inspired by these horrible
looking places because again, like the years before, the Berlin show was
one of the highlights during these seven Germany gigs. He started off with
Touched By The Hand Of The Lord (Somebody Touched Me) which was a great
opener after all the Roving Gamblers....first time I heard Bob doing this
live so it couldn't be better. On this 3 shows tour it struck me that he's
forgetting the words to his own songs more and more. He even made a mess
of Times and Forever Young. On the other hand he added a new phrase when
he asks in Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat "Is It Really The Expensive Kind" he
gives the answer "I'm Sure It Is"... and another nice thing is that he
sung "You think he loves you for MY money..." either he messed up or it
was his intention but I liked it. The Dresden Birthday Gig was one of the
best shows I've been to (out of the 56 I've seen so far). Not because of
the setlist but only because of the fact that it was Bob's birthday and we
all were in a good mood, the weather was great and it was the first (and
only) open air venue. There was an atmosphere you find on those special
birthday parties. I liked Song To Woody and Tom Thumb's Blues for a change
and during Country Pie I waltzed with I guess his name was Allessandro, an
Italian guy, just to show Bob that this was a party. Some people told me
that he looked a bit surprised by seeing this but while watching us
waltzing he opened up in a big smile. If there's anyone who can get me the
video of this event I'd gladly like to buy it. During the changing of the
instruments the audience started to sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY and there were a
lot of women throwing flowers and there was this guy jumping on stage with
a gift box with bottles of wine in it. He didn't get the chance to
approach Bob because one of Bob's security guys catched him almost
immediately. After the last encore Bob returned, more or less encouraged
by Tony, saying "I won't forget this birthday for a while". As usual in
the former Eastern part of Germany there was this hughe crowd outside the
venue that listened to the show in the surrounding park, picknicking the
night away while listening to the show. Since we managed to get to the
front row all six preceding shows we decided to NOT be in the front row in
Regensburg. We wanted to do a little sight-seeing in the beautiful city of
Regensburg and above that we were somewhat exhausted from all this
traveling. The show was great indeed but looking at Bob from a distance
sure feels different than seeing him perform right in front of you.
Somehow I don't feel connected, too much distraction by the crowd and by
everything that's normally happening behind my back. On the other hand
it's quite interesting to see that Tommy (Dylan's guitar care taker) is
picking up very young, blond girls out of the audience and bring them to
seats at the side of the stage and that Jeff Rosen and the guy who's
always announcing Dylan "good evening ladies and gentlemen....." are bored
to death during the performance and throw things at eachother like they
were playing baseball. Anyway, the highlight in Regensburg was Delia and
because most people didn't know what he was singing the audience became
quiet and there was a silence I never heard before during one of Bob's
shows. And now back to the rhythm of every day life and wait for the boots
to be released. Thanks for reading all this stuff. Hope you enjoyed it and
for you who are seeing Bob within a few months. ENJOY!!!!!


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