Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 05/31/98


May 31, 1998

Nürnberg, Germany
Rock Im Park Festival

Thanks to Gunter Valentin for the following review:

Review of Dylan's appearance at ROCK IM PARK (actually not a park 
but a soccer stadium), Nuernberg, 05/31/98

audience: approx. 40.000

Well, only few surprises in tonight's setlist, though there were 
several changes from last night, as Carsten predicted in his review 
of ROCK am RING. One is the reappearance of 'Tough Mama' at # 3, the 
other surprise was that not one TooM song was played tonight, seems 
that this happened for the first time since the end of last year's 
summer tour...
Otherwise - as to be expected at a festival show - an evening filled 
with greatest hits. But don't think it was a usual show tonight. It 
was very special, mainly because of Dylan's vocal performance. I've 
never heard him singing with that much enthusiasm and passion before. 
On the other side the band still had some problems with finding a 
common sound, for instance Dylan had to change the tempo at the 
beginning of TUIB...

# 1 To be alone with you
What a great opener!Warmly welcome those changes at # 1 with Maggie 
and Marie. The band was not always at the point from the beginning 
and also throughout the entire show. Anyway, hundrets of hands in the 
air from the first note on.
Dylan quite fashionable tonight in his black suit with a gambler's 
tie, only beaten again by Larry Campbell who wore a long, dark-red 
(satin?) coat, black pants and shoes. There were 2 huge video screens 
at each side of the stage which provided a nice close look at 
everyone in the band.

#2 Lay Lady Lay
showed the direction of the evening: straight, uptempo and very 
rocking as every song tonight. There's always a very nice special 
kind of drumming by Kemper at this song.

#3 Tough Mama
The first appearance since the UK mini tour last October, if my 
memory serves me well? Sounded pretty similar to the last year's 
versions. I don't like the song that much, would have loved to hear 
Cold Irons Bound instead...

# 4 I'll be your Baby tonight
IMO the highlight of the show, though you might consider it to be a 
crowd pleaser for all those who are not familiar with Dylan's work. 
But you should have heard Dylan singing the chorus, even shouting to 
the audience: " I'll ........ Hey, I said Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii'll .... 
be your Baby toniiiiiiiiiiiiight". WOW! Never heard this 
before!Really great.

# 5 Silvio
Well, business as usual. But even with this old warhorse they had 
problems keeping the beat in some moments. Several nice jams though.

# 6 Friend of the devil
Another highlight - als  a great vocal performance by Dylan on this 
one. And then, towards the end an extensive (appr. 2 min.) harp solo, 
which caused heavy cheerings from the audience. Quite surprising this 
resonance as I still suppose that most of those festivalers heard him 
for the first time...

# 7 Baby Blue
I always loved this one because it has been played very slowed down 
and laid back in the recent years, but tonight even Baby Blue was 
uptempo styled with some heavy drumming by Kemper. Also not too bad 

# 8 Tangled up in blue
During 'Tangled' the audience in formed a long queue and walked along 
in front of the stage hopping up and down. Quite amusing for the band 
- they all smiled a lot. Dylan reacted with his own very special 
dancing style, bending his knees almost to the floor.

# 9 It takes a lot to laugh
This one came also with heavy guitar riffs tonight, reminded me of 
the version they played at Woodstock.
BTW, as I drove home I tuned in to the local radio station which 
broadcasted the whole event just to hear that Dylan is the only one 
of 80 (?) artists who played at the festival who did not permit to 
record and broadcast his performance. Well, actually we should be 
used to his extravaganzas and fears of being bootlegged but I guessed 
that he could have left that behind as so much live material appeared 
on recently... 

# 10 Highway 61
Also a crowd pleaser. Really rockin tonight, as usual. Caused 
standing ovations from the people sitting at the balcony. As the band 
disappeared they brought them back onstage for the encores with 'La 
Ola', the mexican wave...

encores: Don't think twice, RDW

The show lasted approx. 1h 10 min. Very inspired performance by Dylan 
though the band still needs some shows to rehearse and find together 
again. Seems they had too many days  off in a row before hopping to 
Europe ;-)

That's all for now - good night - see you all in Berlin!? Let's hope 
that at least a few songs from TooM will reappear...


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