Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 06/03/98


June 3, 1998

Berlin, Germany

Thanks to Carsten Wohlfeld for the following review:

Okay, it's after 2.00am, so this is gonna be short... We all got up very
late today and just spend the day chilling out, before heading to the
Waldbühne at around 4pm. The Waldbühne, famous for being to ripped to
pieces by angry Rolling Stones fans in the Sixties, is a beautiful
amphitheatre, that has a capcity of around 22.000. Today about 12.000 folks
turned up to see Dylan, who started his set early at 7.30pm. Before the
show we could see Bucky sit at the side of the stage, playing his acoustic
guitar for about half an hour. I remember thinking: "Hey, 'Maggie' is the
only song where he plays the acoustic, I wonder why he has to rehearse
THAT?!" Soon after we got the answer:

	Everything Is Broken

With Bucky on acoustic guitar. Not the best version imaginable oft his
song, but at least the band had fun playing it. Tony was grinning and
laughing all the way through it, obviously enjoying the puzzled faces in
the audience: "Gotcha! Didn't expect THIS one, aye?"

	If You See Her Say Hello

Expections for the rest of the show sky-rocket with this great choice. Nice
delivery even though I have to repeat my Miami Beach comment here - for me
it just sounds a bit too rushed and too loud. Bob tried to sing it really
softly, but got buried in the mix a little bit.

	Cold Irons Bound

Well, it was a good version, I Noticed that he doesn't seperate the "Cold
Irons - BOUND" anymore as he used to do last fall. The ending was messed up
a bit, cause David Kemper stopped a bit too early. Larry looked at Tony
after that, shaking his head. No wonder, cause David stopped halfway
through a beautiful Larry solo.

	Under The Red Sky

Another nice choice, that was quite enjoyable even though I've heard better
versions of this one before. Interestingly enough, there were not many 60s
song tonight. #1, 2, 4 and 10 could've easily all been old songs, but Bob
pulled out the newer stuff tonight for some reason. "What Good Am I" was on
the cuesheet but went unplayed too, "Ring Them Bells" was heard during the
soundcheck. Further prove for this theory, I guess.


Silvio was Silvio and not much else. Bob was having less fun tonight, not
dancing around nearly as much as the night before and only smiling once
during the whole 80 Minute show (that was about 15 mins shorter than

	The Times They Are A-Changin' (acoustic)

The first real lowpoint of the show. Obviously a crowdpleaser, but Bob
failed to add the special egde that would've made worth while for the

	Love Minus Zero/No Limit (acoustic)

Contained an interesting lyric variation on "NOT to argue what to judge"
(Stephen told me this later, I hope I got it right, cause Ididn't hear it)
and started out with a long, weird instrumental part. Good version, even
though I liked older ones better, where thelittle guitar riff is more
prominent. After that Tony and Bob started discussing what to play
next...hey guys, it'll be "Tangled", right?

	Masters Of War (acoustic)

NOOOOO! It was "Masters" and a staggeringly good version too, clearly the
highlight of the whole set for me. I guess it was the same new arrangement
that was played in the Mid-West in February... Larry playing lead guitar
rather spendidly. I would neverhave thought that can ever like the song
this much again after I got to hear so many average versions in the past. I
was pretty happy about "Tangled" being dropped, but while Larry wanted to
put away the acoustic guitar Bob turned around to Tony and said (I could
read his lips from my spot): "Let's do 'Tangled' NOW!" And then they did.

	Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

Pretty good version actually, kind of "Okay, we know you thought we would
drop it, but we can do a decent job playing it!"

	Not Dark Yet

Well, it was an open air show, the sun was slowly going down...."not dark
yet, but it's getting there". Unfortunately, the completely killed this
song, horrid version even worse than the New York City versions. Kemper
started his "loud" part far too early and Larry didn't know what to do with
the solo. Bob tried hard to sing is as good as he could, but he couldn't
save the song from drowning. It'sw my favourite song on "TooM", but a
version like that I would never want to hear again.

	Highway 61 Revisited

Followed the band intros and sounded somewhat different compared to last
nights version. Yet another crowdpleaser.

	Don't Think Twice, It's Allright (acoustic)

Interesting phrasing on this old warhorse, that was special because it
featured a lengthy harp solo at the end - nothing special actually, since
his harp solos sound flatter than the ones from, let's say, 1996.

	Love Sick

Had the started messed up, but became a pretty good version closer to the
end, even though it never reached the heights of some of the early '98
renditions. Interestingly enough one of the biggest crowdplaesers as well.

	Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 &35

Oh yeah, they couldn't get rid of this one - unfortunately

	Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)

Obviously not as surprising as in Leipzig and the actually came back pretty
quickly too. Better version than the night before, with a somewhat longer
excuse for an guitar solo. Larry and Bucky on backing vocals during the
chorus. Then they were gone and Dylan never had been nearly as animated as
the night before throughout the show.

So it wasn't bad, a good solid show, but nothing I'd sell my grandma for. A
lot of the casual Dylan fans who come to see him complained at the length
of the show (80 mins). Indeed it was quite unusual to have no opening act
and a show that was all over by 8.55pm!!!

There are a few things I probably forgot, but it's really getting late and
Christian will do another review shortly (or so he tells me). Thanks for
your time and to Tom for letting me use his account. If you want to send me
any comments, please contact me at 
Same goes for last night's Leipzig review as well. Good night, see you all
in Rostock!

carsten wohlfeld
"your girlfriend can leave you but the rolling stones are there forever"
(alan mcgee)


Thanks to Christian Zeiser for the following review:

General stuff: the Waldbuehne is a lovely venue. Amphitheatre-like,
beautiful, with good acoustics. Perfect setting for a show, altho maybe a
bit too large for Dylan. Well, 7:30pm, the stage lights went on, 'ladies &
gentlemen...' Bets were made about what song Dylan will open with, and we
were all wrong.

Everything Is Broken. Nice, a fine choice, it fits well into the typically
upbeat opening slot. Bob looked a bit more relaxed than during Maggie's
Farm in Leipzig. It wasn't the perfect rendition, but it rocked.

If You See Her Say Hello. More upbeat than last time i heard it (Hamburg
1996), and Dylan sang it full-throttle but at the same time managed to put
his heart into every word, sounding beautifully desperate, especially
during the later verses. One of my faves yesterday.

Cold Irons Bound. A nice and powerful rendition again, similar to the
Leipzig version. Stroooong singing, move over, Roger Chapman!

Under The Red Sky. It was really under the blues sky, with a few first grey
clouds appearing, but okay, this is not really important. This one, too,
was more upbeat than before. Dylan's singing was real strong that night, on
this number like on all the others.

Silvio. Crowd pleaser. Cool rocker. As usual. Dylan really needs this to
get a bit more animated, and it works. Still he wasn't as joyful and
relaxed as the night before, but the intimate setting in Leipzig can of
course not be compared to the atmosphere in a large outdoor venue like the
Waldbuehne, and i think this had an influence on Bob.

The Times They... It was nice, but still Bob sang it pretty, well,
concentrated, sticking to the song's melody, not bending the words, not
playing around with the phrasing.

Love Minus Zero.  Loved it. Smooth singing, really beautiful.

Masters Of War. This was cool, of course, we all expected Tangled. But
apart from the fact that it was a surprise, it was a wonderful version,
brilliant singing by Bob, a real spooky gooseflesh rendition. Wow.

Tangled. The ultimate 'give the people what they want' song, and they
appreciate it, cheering their lungs out, and Bob gives the enthusiasm back.

Not Dark Yet. Carsten says he hated it. i loved it. It's true, there were
technical mistakes by Kemper and Campbell, but apart from that, the
arrangement has grown more worked out, smoother than before, and Dylan's
singing was terrific.

Highway 61. As usual, he loves it, the crowd loves it, it rocks.

The encores:
Don't Think Twice. Lovely, soft and sweet, with a beautiful and
longer-than-lately harp solo.

Love Sick. Oh yeah, i love this one live. I have the impression that Dylan
slowly but surely turns this one into a real rocker.

RDW. Good.

Blowing In The Wind. Of course we were pretty surprised again, altho not as
much as the night before. Of course this song has a special meaning for the
Eastern Germans, Stephen Scobie mentioned that it was *the* one western
song that each and every Eastern schoolkid learned. How many years must
some people exist before they're allowed to be free. i guess that's why Bob
picked it. He played it once two years ago, and it was in Cottbus, deep
down in the southern East.

Okay, we gotta leave, off to Rostock. Just let me add that this must've
been the show with the most acoustic numbers (six, count them, six) since
the earliest nineties or so. And a lovely one it was. Nothing can top the
Leipzig show, of course, but i enjoyed this one very much, too.

Christian Zeiser

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