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Review by Michael Willys
I am just now back from the Frankfurt Yearhundredhall, the show finished
about 90 minutes ago.
There was traffic chaos after the show, there seems to be only one
exit from the carpark and all cars tried to hit it at once.
I didn't even try, I waited around and then thought to have a look around
the back of the hall in case Bob was having a cold one or a smoke to relax
after the show. Anyway I went around the back of the hall just to see Bobs
bus start up and roar off, only to hit the traffic jam about 30 metres
around the corner!
Both buses were in the jam, the bus drivers got out and were examining the
mess. Bob's bus was the second one. Some German guy want up to Bob's bus
and held a cover of New Morning up to the windows and walked the length of
the bus holding the cover. Like, Bob will open a window and sign New
Morning? DUH!! Anyway these antics caught the attention of a security guy
who, shall we say, gently asked the person to stop doing it. The guy
complied. After a few minutes I went over to the security guy and chatted
with him for a few minutes, a real nice guy and obviously one of the
private security team. He mentioned the Cagliari concert where Bob went
over to all the fans and signed things for them and took photographs. But
he said, to try to meet Bob in a hotel, WRONG PLACE. Try to meet Bob at
the airport, WRONG PLACE. After a good show, you stand a chance.
After about 20 minutes, the bus drivers spotted a way out and the buses
overtook some cars and made a speedy exit. The speedy way out was actually
following an ambulance, someone had fallen or something and were rushed
off in an ambulance.
What about the concert? Well, I feel like writing many things but in a way
its a bit pointless: You just had to be there. Its my 3rd show this year
and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Bob was in extreme good humour and smiled
constantly and seemed to be absolutely enjoying himself. Something I can
honestly say I have never seen before. Each smile was greeted with a huge
roar from the crowd, causing Bob to smile more. I have to say it was
fantastic and I was very moved. I thought if Bob's mother was observing
the show tonight she would have been very proud of her son. It seemed that
not Bob Dylan tonight was performing but rather Robert Zimmerman.
I was feeling this already by the midpoint, and what song does Bob play
next? Seeing the Real You At Last. I felt like I saw the real Bob tonight,
after going to his shows for 22 years. At last.
A great song selection for me, as it did not clash with the Zurich and
Cologne shows from earlier this year. I enjoyed Duncan and Brady, as well
as an excellent Soldiers Grave. And Dignity! Excellent. Bob spat the words
at us. "Dignity never been photographed!" HA! A superb superb performace.
Desolation Row was great, and Bob spat out the Expecting Rain line! A nod
Then before the band intros, Bob said something like "You people here seem
to undertand this music (not: my music but THIS music) better than anyone
else in the whole world". Isn't that a great thing to say? I was rapt!
Bob's first encore was "Things have changed" but the chorus gained an
extra syllable: "Things HAAAAAAAAAAVE-unt changed". Things haven't
changed. Bob laughed each time he sang this, I am not too sure that the
crowd noticed it too much, at least for the first couple of times.
I really loved I Shall Be Released, the crowd roo. A real highlight of the
4th Time Around was a real treat for me, it was a favourite song back when
I was young and happy. I always got a kick that Bob was really saying
crotch and not crutch. Tonite he said crutch but is sounded like crotch
(as usual). Bobs used his best voice on this and hit a really deep note on
the end of each sentence.
Wicked Messenger was another highlight. Tangled was greeted with stone
cold silence (I am sure Bob was taken aback by this). It was a good
Tangled, but the cool reception to it seemed to inspire Bob for the rest
of the show. County Pie had him almost laughing, not just smiling.
Well its late so I must finish this. A great great show, Bobs voice was
excellent, the sound was excellent, the venue was excellent, the songs
were excellent, the band was excellent, the security guy was excellent.
The buses were pretty cool too.
All we need now is a NEW ALBUM!!!!!!!
Anyway, enjoy the rest of the tour! I am off to Greece for a holiday.
Review by Peschi
Bob in Frankfurt - only a few more than 2000 tickets went for sale - a sold
out show. Imagine all the real bobcats gathering at the gate in the early
sunny. They all had fought themselves through the very heavy traffic on the
roads. Long weekends, start of the holidays. Very little to drink, no toilets,
tickets were much sought after. Missed appointments. Nevertheless, we did
not mind. We never mind as a place among the few in the first or second or
even the third raw always compensates for all pains. The usual pushing and
hustling when the doors finally opened, the well known and often exercised
running up the stairs. All right, there we are. One more hour to wait. It's
tight there. It's damp. One may easily faint. Still nothing to drink. Mouths
like desserts. And then the incredible happened: rumours that had circulated
proved to be true: Two girls we let between the barrier and the stage. Then
another couple, and a further one, two by two they were let in by those
security guys in blue and green. They were handed out a blue bracelet and
that entitles them to be VIPs. Champagne drinking, dressed up, some upper
class and visibly bored people. More and more until the space was almost
packed. We really could not believe it. Suddenly the first row turned out
to be the sixth. Was that the reward for all the suffering we went through
for four and more hours? We felt so mocked, to disillusioned. This selection a
nd division. Just by mere accident. That's not the way the management of Bob -
presumed that the management had ordered this measure - should treat the
audience. Will that happen again in Muenster and Brussels? What's the idea behind
that? No wonder that there was an occasional booing when Bob and his band finally
entered the stage.
The acoustic set was everything but thrilling. A craftsman's job. Routine.
It was only because during the seventh (sic!) song (Country Pie) that the
knot finally broke and Bob started smiling, laughing and obviously enjoying
the whole thing and only that kept us from resigning and leaving.
Review by Marc Rosseel
It's 4am in the morning and i just got back from a 4 hour trip from
Frankfurt (with my butler James...:-)). Well, what can i say...it was one
of those nights, a night we only get once in a while! Bob was absolutely
in a SUBERB mood, i never saw that in the 89 shows i saw till now...WHAW!
We arrived at 4pm at the venue, the Jahrhunderdhalle, witch was situated
in the middle of nowhere. It looks like a half ping-pong ball, and there
where not more than about 20 people waiting. But as you all know there's
no use in queing, so we waited in the park until 6pm and then got in the
row. Once in, we saw there was made an extra space just in front of stage,
wich was very low. You did not get in that space, it was empty at that
time. so we took are spots after that barrier, 3th row. But then we
noticed people started to entering that "vip" space... you have to pass a
special securety squad. I had no idea how you did get in, an then suddenly
i saw what was going on. One of Dylans managment was walking around, along
with a local security, and he was given those blue plastic bracelets away
to people. And with that bracelet you'll got in the "vip" space. So there
was i...tinkin' to myself shall i stay here, or go for one of them
bracelets...? I decided to take my chances, and walked very slowly, like
not knowin' what was going on, to the man. I asked him kindly one of those
blue things, he looks to "Judas Priest" and he said " come back in about
15min." So i walk away to the side of the hall and stood there for about
15min. In that time i wached the parade...It's crazy you know, you see
people beggin for those bracelets, and they don't get it. It's that "Judas
Priest" who decides if you get one or not. Sometimes he points he's
finger, like 'that man, that woman, he and he.." So "Frankie Lee" starts
givin' them to that people. Hey, what's going one here...? Does Bob really
wants to see new faces in the front rows? Ok, after those 15min, (wich
felt like 15 hours..) i went again to the "Priest" and asked again a
bracelet (this was really the last time i would go for it, i have my pride
you know..) So, "Lee" looks at "Judas" and he went...ok, give him one!
Hey, i've got one! (can't help it if im lucky..) So i entered that place
and stood 3th row, in about 4 meters from the man! (all my travel
compagnions got one..)
And now to the show...
The band came up, the crowd went crazy, (by the way, they where less
people than in Portsmouth, say 2200), there was a great atmosphere
troughout the show. Duncan and Brady was opener, and from the start, i saw
there was electricity in Bob's eyes, who where VERY close to us... the
sound was excellent from the start, and the song sounded very good..."He's
been on the job toooooo long..." (forget about that...) Next was Song To
Woody, wich was absolutely briljant, he sang it so tender, i have no words
for it...Desolation Row followed, Valerie (one of my travel companions)
went crazy, she looooves that one. It was amazing how he brings that one
these days, it's like he sings it for the first time, absolutely magic!!
On to To Ramona, with Larry playing that little guitar, and Bob almost
speakin' the song. It has a nice waltz tempo an the words are so clear,
and at the end of each line, Bob's voice goes very low, i love that! On
5th there's Tangled, ok, i love that song, quit a story, and Bob singin'
it with all his heart, every night again and again. In Rotterdam, he
changed the lirics at one time, but i could not hear it precisely. He
didn't changed them here, altough i was listening very concentrated,
(sorry Ken). After A Soldiers Grave the electric set started with that
"tasty" Country Pie, and it was from that song Bob went crazy, he was
dancing (chaplin style) cheering and smiling to the people, ecspecely to
one girl who was standing' on my right. i must say she looked
beautifull...my first impression was that she was jewish, but i was wrong.
It was very clear that Bob had a crush on her tonight, he focused on her
all the time, like he was singin' only for her, it was beautifull. He is
so beautifull when he smiles...Bob was soloing and he did it very well,
even the end of the song was perfect, and Bob gived Charly a big smile for
that. Next was a nice suprise for me, and the crowd went crazy again when
he started Dignity! Man what a great song, so powerfull, great rockin'
arragment! and Bob again, dancing and smiling... going trough his knees.
He really had a great night enjoying himself, of course lookin to that
lady while singin. I looked at the girl from time to time, and she was
lookin' sooooo shy, smiling to Bob, it was really beautifull to see. And
when Bob was smilin, he turned to Tony several times, like sayin' he Tony,
"checq this out, nice girl he? Tony smiled also, while wigglin' in he's
purple suit. The atmosphere was going up and up, so next song was a very
good choice, Mobile... Bob really sang this one very clear, all the way
trough, with a climax at every chorus. Bob got into this one and play
several solo's! At one time, Bob stood next to Charlie, and he turned
himself toward Bob, like he was showing Bob how good he plays...and i
heard Bob saying to him "YEEEEEEE" Wonderfull moment for Charlie i tought!
After all that excitment, dancing and adrenaline, it was time for a calm
down song, Not Dark Yet was sang like a pray, it was soooo beautifull,
intens, pure zen to me! The Wicked Messenger, wich i already heard in
Portsmouth, was next. WOW what a rockin' version, it reminds me a bit like
the way he plays Drifter's Escape, very uptempo, with good guitar solo's
from Larry. And then that harp solo...the gost of 'lectricity howls in the
bones of our faces...! Again Bob smiling', dancing, lookin' funny,
unbelivable! People kept on clapping after that song, so Bob couldn't
start bands introduction. He said something like, "well, you people seems
to understand this music better than enyone else in the world" Each member
got a fantastic applaus, Bob mumbled something after he introduced Larry,
but i could not understands it. Pill-box Hatt was on,i love that funny
song, and Bob, once again, got really into this one! He focused again on
that girl, only few meters from him, and sang the song like only for her.
Especially that last strofe, "I see you got a new boy friend..." He really
looked ALL THE TIME into her eyes and smiled!!! Amazing and funny to see!
"I saw him makin' looooooooooove to youuuuuuuuu...." Way to go BOB!!! Time
for the line up thing, wich was very funny tonight, because Bob could not
keep from smilin' . He's adorable when he do this. Larry also could't hold
he's smile, and left (as ussual) the first.
The band started Things Have Changed and there was Bob coming back to give
us again all the best he can do. The big suprise in the encore's was
Seeing The Real You At Last, wow this was a long time since we heard that
one. A solid rockin' version tonight! Also a highlight was I Shall Be
Released, it's really wonderfull with the a capella chorus! briljant song.
There was no better song to end with, (of course there's always Blowin' i
know), than Higway 61, man i love that song. Lots of solo from Bob, who by
now not was smilin' but laughin!! "....down on
During Blowin' there was a woman next to me who throw 3 red roses on
stage. After the song it was time for the line-up and again, Bob was
really smiling at us, he could not hold it, so was the rest of them,
Larry, Tony and Charlie, they knew it has been a GREAT show, and they
where all happy. It was Bob who first left the line, but not to go away,
he came to the front, picked up the roses, one at a time, and give the
firts one......to who you think......of course, to that girl who haved the
night of here life!!! Then Bob picked up the second rose and gived to te
lady who was just standing before me....do you have any idea how it's feel
when Bob is standing only 1meter from you...??? It was time out of mind
for me! He picked up the third rose and also gived it to a woman in the
front. He gived us a big last smile an then dissappeard...What a night!!
Thanks Bobby!!! When the lights turned on, i straight went to that
girl...i now know why Bob liked here that much.....i had a little chat
with here, her name is Soena and is Turkish, very nice girl.
Im tired now, go to sleep, if i can sleep at all after such a night!!! Go
to see this man whenever you can, he is.... See you on the road.
Review by Carsten Wohlfeld
The drive from Hamburg to Frankfurt was long and since there were many
road accidents along the Autobahn, it took us longer than we expected. It
was a bright and sunny day though, it might as well have been the last
sunny day of the year actually, and since Gunter did all the driving
(thank you, thank you, thank you!) it was quite relaxing for me
nevertheless. I had high hopes for this show, because it was the smallest
show of the tour (save for Dublin Vicar Street) in a very, very nice and
stylish venue, very much like the famous Alte Oper, where Bob performed
when he last hit Frankfurt four years ago. They put up the second
rail/fence, whatever you may call it again, so you had to hunt down the
security guard again to make sure you make it to the front. Thanks to Tim,
we did and what a great night for a spot in the first few rows it was! As
it has been mentioned before, you really had to be there to believe it. A
look at the setlist may hint that it was a pretty ordinary show, but it
wasn't. At 8.00pm, the band was ready to take to the stage. Well, that's
just the band, but not Bob, so you could see the four guys waiting behind
the amps for about 10 minutes, until Bob finally arrived.
Duncan & Brady (acoustic)
Was a very welcome substitute for the tired and boring "I Am The Man,
Thomas", even though the sound was as bad as you'd expect it to be in the
first few rows. Despite the long drive, Bob seemed to be in better shape
than in Hamburg even and I thought to myself: If he's not gonna do "Times"
now, we might be in for a really good show after all.
Song To Woody (acoustic)
Was next, Bob started it all by himself before the band came in and it was
very well done, too. Better than in Dresden, I'd say, and that is the only
performance I can compare it to, really. I wish he'd do it more often!
Desolation Row (acoustic)
Sounded terrifyingly similar to "Masters Of War" at the beginning and even
though we've heard better versions of this song before, it was nice to
hear it instead of yet another "It's Alright Ma". It was also during this
song,that Bob spotted a girl in the front row (the stage was very low and
there was no barrier, so people were VERY close to Bob and the band
tonight). She was pretty young, very cute with long curly black hair. I'd
say she probably was from South America, or Greece or Turkey, not very
teutonic looking at all. And, for some reason, Bob fell completely in love
with her and played the rest of the show just for her. That's right, it
wasn't just only one song, like we've seen it so many times before,
especially during the encores, it was the WHOLE show. More later.
To Ramona (acoustic)
Featured Larry on mandolin and was kind of a let down, since a lot of us
in the front were hoping for "Frankie Lee" in this slot. I know many
people adore this song, but as I've said many times before, I just down't
Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)
Was okay, but not spectacular. It was funny how people behind the second
fence, the "iron curtain" went mad while the people in the first few rows
greeted the song with stone cold silence.
Searching For A Soldier's Grave (acoustic)
Was the same that it ever was. Nice as a surprise once, but kinda boring
if you hear it every night. It clearly isn't boring to play it every night
as they don't even make the slightest attempt to even talk about the song
selection in this slot anymore.
Bob remembered the girl in the front row and began to make contact. Not
only was he looking at her conctantly, he was rolling his eyes, nodding
his head, pointing his guitar at her and even sticking out his tongue,
laughing out loud (he almost missed a few lines), looking at Tony as if he
was to say: Hey, did you see HER?
Was every bit as good as the night before in Hamburg. Obviously he's not
singing all the verses, but he's got all my favourite lines in there, and
that's all that matters to me. Best of all was the "Dignity has never been
photographed" line. Meanwhile, he was still singing for Miss Curly Sue in
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
Larry on acoustic guitar. Another excuse for Bob to have fun, singing the
song to the girl at his feet rolling his eyes, changing the phrasing and
generally having a good time. When Bob was a good time, the band is more
relaxed too and if the band is relaxed, the show is usually better and
everybody has more fun. Just the way it's ought to be.
Not Dark Yet
Was very well done tonight, even though it doesn't changes enough for me
to hear the differences between the many versions I've heard anymore.
While it's still the same song as the current "Drifter's Escape" really,
it's a little slower yet almsot as powerful. A great choice, which made a
lot of people who hadn't heard it before very happy. Band intros followed
and for the first time on this tour Bob said a little more. Unfortuantely
he started talking as everybody was still cheering, so I didn't get it.
Consult the tapes for that, but it was something along the lines of "best
audience anywhere, you understand this music better than anybody else."
Wow. He probably was just refering to the back-haired girl in the front
row, but oh well...
Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat
Closed the main set and while the young girl was feeling very, very
comfortable because of all the attetion Bob was giving her throughout the
night, this was the song where she almost died. In fact she covered her
face with her hands as if she was to say: "Okay, it's enough, I give in!"
Bob didn't care though and we got a great rendition of this old warhorse.
"I see you got a new BOYFRIEND [eyes rolling], I never seen him
BEEEEEFORRRREEEEEE! I saw him making LOOOOOVE to you".... So funny! I'm
sure Bob changed one of the lines as well, though I'm not positive. I
usually don't pay much attention to the song's lyrics anymore, but tonight
something sounded very different.
Things Have Changed
Had Bob come running in from the back of the stage while the music was
already playing. Not the best version, way too slow. Bob was still singng
to the girl in front of him though, so we got a lot of smiles and laughs
from Bob which was better than an perfect rendition of any of his songs, I
Like A Rolling Stone
Was above average again, which I still think is kinda funny as it's been a
flatline for almost a year straight now, but in Europe Bob finally managed
to bring it back to life. I just love the little riff that Larry only
plays at the very end...
Fourth Time Around (acoustic)
When Larry reached for the bouzouki and Charlie was holding on to his
electric guitar we knew what was coming. Despite the fact he he never
sings the first line, it was very well done again. I think the songs that
rhyme are easier for him to sing and it's more fun to play with the
phrasing. At least that's my impression and it works very well on this
Seeing The Real You At last
Was the "surprise" for tonight, a first timer on this European jaunt. Not
my favourite song, but a solid rocker than I definitely prefer over the
slow "River Flow" that we were forced to listen to in Hamburg
I Shall Be Realesed (acoustic)
Great harmonies again, very well done. I like the song more than
"Forever Young", so I wouldn't mind hearing it again soon.
Highway 61 Revistited
Another excuse for Bob to take a closer look at his favourite audience
member, as he obviously didn't have to concentrate too much to get this
right. Shorter jam/solo parts than usual, but still a high-energy
performance. In fact, it was the only real rocker all night, except for
Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)
Closed it all off and after the show Bob picked up a few roses that
somebody had thrown on stage, made a few steps towards the young lady in
row one, basically handed her one rose and threw the others in the other
direction, not aiming at anyone in particular.
So, despite the fact that there definitely was room for improvement in the
setlist department, it was a most enjoyable show in a terrific venue. I
don't think I've ever seen Bob having so much fun. Not for the whole
duration of a show, anyways. And it really was just down to this one girl,
so whoever you are, thank you very much! Gotta make sure she's there again
next time Bob hits Frankfurt!
"i'll be jimmie rodgers, the cure or the who if it
makes any difference to you" (billy bragg)
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