Bad Mergentheim, Germany

Messezentrum Salzburg
(Salzburg Exhibition Center)

July 6, 2012

[Bernhard Roth], [Claus Panert], [Gerd Linke]

Review by Bernhard Roth

Ok, show #24 since Nuremberg '78. I'm trying to see Bob play
at one show everytime he's in Germany. It doesn't work out all the time,
but thankfully again this month, only about 9 months after Mannheim '11.
Reading about the Grand Piano from the previous shows of this leg,
I was quite curious about how songs will look like now.

In the days before, we had inconsistent weather conditions
in the area, lots of heavy rain and thunderstorms between nice sunshine.
So I was prepared for the best and the worst for this open air show.
Entering the city, I saw posters signaling who's in town today.

Arriving at the hotel in the city center in the afternoon I couldn't 
believe my ears, even in the hotel lobby they had a 60's Dylan album running.
After strolling through town and seeing lots of 'potential Dylan fans' 
everywhere, I entered the venue only about 30 minutes before official start,
since I don't have intentions anymore to try to stay really close to the 
stage. This was good enough to find a place close to the soundboard, about 
70m away.  Using a decent binocular every once in a while I could occasionally 
watch more details. 
Being accustomed to Dylan starting the show exacly on time in the last 
years, everybody was getting impatient when even after 30 minutes nothing 
happened.  But this was forgotten when after 35 minutes the show started.

I won't go through every song, but concentrate on a handful of personal 
highlights.  The first surprise for me was "To Ramona" which I never heard live 
before.  A nice new way of doing that, still immediatly recognisable.

The next was "Things have changed", one of my favorites, I immediately 
one and I got it, again with the grand piano. This alone was worth the whole 
eekend trip.

Above average again was "Love Sick". Powerful as ever "All Along the 

I witnessed versions of "Highway 61" and "Like A Rolling Stone" before,
which I liked better.

All in all, I like this one better than Mannheim last year, despite the 
fact that he had additional help from Mark Knopfler on five songs back then.
Concerning the weather, the whole crowd was very lucky, no rain, very 
comfortable summer evening.

Mr. Dylan, see you next time around...

Bernhard Roth


Comments by Claus Panert

Sometimes there is a "best place" ... a best place on planet.
On Friday night I was at this "best place".
On a green lawn in a castle courtyard in the first row at a fantastic
Bob Dylan show.
He was in a really good mood and absolutely powerful.
During the concert, time stood still.
Do not miss this show ... do not miss him!

Claus Panert


Review by Gerd Linke

This was my 15th or 16th show from and with Bob Dylan after the day at Zeppelinfield
in 1978 - and additionally my second trip to Bad Mergentheim. I remember Bob already 
played here - in the wonderful Schlossgarten - 21 years ago in 1991. The weather also 
was perfect - no thunder to see. As I drove home, a thunder arrived but the 
concert - happily - was over!

This time I left my office at 4 pm and took the direct way to Bad Mergentheim. I found
a parking place next to the city and went through the park to the Schlossgarten. The
area already was open so I got a place in the 5th row in front of the stage, in front of 
the band and - Bob Dylan!

From now on we just had to wait nearly 3 hours, but the pleasant anticipation was 
bigger than everything. The gig delayed for half an hour - nobody knew what has 
happened, because in all concerts, Ive ever been through the years, Bob never was 
late. Finally at 8:30 pm it was showtime! The band stepped on the stage. The
atmosphere was brilliant as Bob appeared behind the black curtain in white trousers,
white cowboy boots (of Spanish leather?) and his black jacket with four-sided buttons. 
He layed down his hat on the chair behind the piano and found his place at his Korg 

At the first sight I was a little bit worried because of the delay: Bob looked tired 
anyhow - but with the first beats of "Leopard" this feeling disappears completely. For 
me it doesnt matter at all what setlist weve got presented - Im just pleased to see 
him and enjoy everything he shows. Last year I decided to visit his concerts anytime 
he reaches my district. And so Bad Mergentheim was my third concert within 8 month 
after Nuremberg and Leipzig in Octobre / Novembre last year.

I was so happy Bob and his band played "Sugar Baby" - I listened to it very often during
the last weeks on my way to office. His striking catchy voice was clear and good.

This evening my favorite songs were "Love sick". And when Bob entered the middle of 
the stage and sang "Ballad of a thin man", it was the absolute highlight of the evening. 
I simply love this song and the kind Bob presents it.  Fabulous!

Dylan is an entertainer with all facets of an artist, equal if he plays the Grand Piano with 
one hand and with the other beats his thigh or if he emphazises his great texts with his 
harp in the middle of the stage. We see all expressions of a singer who loves to perform 
on the stage. The crowd cheered for him and his ingenious band when they finished 
Watchtower and Bob turns to the fans with open arms. A great impressive closing as 
the lights went out and the guys left the stage.

But we wanted more. I hoped for one bonus track - and the came back! They played 
"Blowin in Wind". I closed my eyes and enjoyed every word, every sound in this
moment. I reflected his long way from a twenty-aged boy with Huck Finn cap to a 
leather jacket from Newport, the rouged face from Rolling Thunder, the black glasses
and the times, when I saw him for the first time on Zeppelinfield to now. At the end 
of "Blowing in the wind" he turned another time with open arms to us.

He said: Thank you Friends! - I simply say: Thank you Bob. I deeply hope youd be on 
tour now and then for a long long time. Anytime you come here I will set out for you 
and ensure a place in front of the stage listening to you.

God bless you, Bob!
Gerd Linke


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