Oberhausen, Germany


October 23, 2011

[Ap Apasie], [Johannes Heilen], [Stefan Bleckmann], [Martin Burger]

Review by Ap Apasie

A full König Arena at Oberhausen 'with two 
concerts in one eve' from two amazing world 
leading music artists that has milion lots of 
people inspired  and fascinated over the years - 
and still they does! - with their albums and 
I've seen Mark Knopfler a few times, the last 
time was with Emmelou Harris at Hamburg and that 
was relaxing good. Knopfler and his band at the 
König Arena Oberhausen was also amazing, relaxed, 
wonderfull playing his songs with a loving 
repertoire, with a enjoying clearity and passion.

Dylan I saw many many times for over forty years 
in his small and big concerts at several places, 
most of the time surprising, great, amazing 
setting and beautifull doing his job.
Late eighties, begin nineties it was a sad period 
of time to see him struggling with his 
repertoire-performance in a dark shot at the back 
of the stage. He mummled unintelligible his songs 
in the microphone with a loud playing and a 
'rumble' band. But also in that time there were 
still surprises with some of his songs that he 
plays in different surprising versions.  Later at 
the nineties and in the 2000years Dylan renewed 
still his songs, his band and himself that 
brought wonderfull concerts , new songs and 
albums. I did enjoy enormous and loved his 
performances, repertoire with the perfect 
musicians in his band. Dylan did his performances 
in variabel ways, with accoustic versions, 
arrangements with the subtilety of the 
instruments and the subtilety from his band- 
individuals, also with his voice full with 
timbre, diction and timing.

Now at Oberhausen - tour 2011 - I'm shocked. I 
heard Dylan singing with a voice as a 
rasping-saw, a voice that is fully brokin' and 
crushed, the voice is crude that hears as the 
polyps are fully damaged. I heard a black crow 
rasping his songs into the audience. That's very 
pity to see and hear that's this well respected 
singersongwriter does his songs on this way. 
Dylan's voice needs rest, a lot of rest !!... or 
- if possible? - a doctor to heal it. Better 
Dylan stops with doing concerts and do only new 
albums with a better and healed voice, maybe 
incidental a few concerts if Dylan's voice can 
handle it, no a running tour in this way. All the 
people around him must see this and should 
respect a time-out for his voice so it can heal, 
all the money in a second place! Further I heard 
Dylans organ with solo's that's hear as the Ken 
Griffin Cuckoo Waltz, but that's Dylan, always 
surprising! But ..all over this... I hear a far 
to loud equipment that's disturb my ears. The 
sound-loudness - of the same! equipment - with 
the Mark Knopfler performance sounds a lot 
friendlyer, I don't understand this!

I don't understand people here on the reviews 
they wrote "they did hear and see the best 
performance ever", that's simple could'nt be 
true! I saw a lot of people that went out at 
midtime of the show. After the show I spoke 
disapointed looked people that also hates the to 
heavy loud sounding wall with high biting- 
screaming guitars and Dylans raspin' voice, 
crowly-sung in this loud wall of sound. The 
soundtechniciens should be better do their job !!
The band does their job full passion and also 
Dylan does with timing and diction, but also said 
the technical equipmentloudness and Dylans voice 
makes this show disapointed. Whole repertoire was 
coming in the same loudness. No encore was realy 
Dylan did'nt speak, we already knows that for 
years! Did his fourteen tracks with routine, did 
only the daily spoken names of the 
bandindividuals and a fast going from the stage 
with a daily 'adieu'.
I hope - and many folks with me - there comes a 
better Dylan-voice in the next future - if 
possible! - and maybe a litlle more respect for 
the ¤uro-paying audience; for sample could be the 
friendly Mark Knopfler and his band that was 
realy shining at all and makes the price of the 
tickets reasonable as well!

Ap Apasie


Review by Johannes Heilen

I didn't follow the work of Mark Knopfler since Dire Straits, so I didn't
have any expectations and I liked his show. Yes, he played two familiar
songs (Brothers in arms and So far away).

Knopfler joined Dylan for  the first four songs of the Dylan set and was
not mentioned by name. What kind of respect is this? I have attended
twenty Dylan concerts since 1978, so I have many shows in mind to compare
this evening with. The 2011 Oberhausen show was one of the worse. I don't
like his stacatto phrasing. I don't like his keybooard playing. And I
don't like the new arrangement of some of the songs (Leopard skin pill box
hat, Spirit on the water, All along the watchtower. I don't like some
songs at all, but who doesn't? I listended to some beautiful renditions in
Oberhausen (Blind Willie McTell, Levee's gonna break, Hard rain, Tryin' to
get to heaven) and I got no encore at all. The members of the band were
introduced by his Bobness, while giggeling on the keyboard. Most of the
audience could not hear their names. What kind of respect is that? By the
way: I love Bob Dylan and I don't want to miss any concert not even the
Oberhausen concert in 2011, because Bob Dylan is the most exciting
performer on earth. Or has he been???

Johannes Heilen


Review by Stefan Bleckmann

"That´s the point of time to set things clear: This indeed wash´t the best
dylan show i´ve been to, but all four Oberhausen shows since 2000 were
that great: what a bad audience this was tonight! Sparkling wine drinking
ladies in the fifties with their husbands, hearing a - good! - Knopfler
and talking all the time during Dylans performance. And oh my god, he
didn´t thank MK- what do you expect? MK seems to be OK with this . I saw a
great performance for the first four songs with Tony helping MK to be part
of the band, Dylan with a strong Love Sick, a great Blind Willie and a
strong Ballad of a Thin Man; a much better Trying to get to Heaven than in
summer, when he did play keyboard on it. All in all a solid show with an
ignorant audience - and hey, if you don´t like his voice, then why don´t
you  stay home and leave tickets for those who do? 

Stefan Bleckmann"


Review by Martin Burger

Since I already saw and listened to Bob Dylan and his band in Mainz this summer,
I was surprised to hear that he would come to Oberhausen in fall. After four
years of not being able to make it to a Dylan-show, Mainz this summer was a real
treat. At that time I had to work so hard: there was no time for a review or
even for reading one. My first reaction to the Oberhausen venue was: ah, this
big place, there will be no problem getting tickets. Then one day checking out
Boblinks from a library I couldn't believe my eyes: "The show is sold out" - my
heart went boom, boom. Two days later the guy at the ticket-center that I walked
into told us, that there was a couple of tickets left right under the roof of
the arena. I got two, one for my schoolmate Klaus and one for me. Arriving at
Oberhausen rather late, which means around 6 p.m., we had not much time to check
out the large crowd that already started to fill up the arena. Inside, where the
seats are, it was still empty. Well, later tonight the arena was packed and it
was obvious, that there were many Knopfler fans in the crowd (= that it was
rather a Knopfler crowd). Mark Knopfler did a very good job. He mentioned that
he is having a lot of fun being on this tour and even thanked "Mr. Bob for
taking us along". The Knopfler crowd was rather stunned when finally the
"Columbia Recording artist" with his band came on stage. Thanks to some good
development throughout the tour, Knopfler played four songs with Dylan and his
band. (I figure that they appreciate the crowds wishes in a way by playing
together. I had a hard time finding out, whether the guest appearance helped the
concert to develope. 

Although this time I also had to work hard the next days after the concert, I
did find the time to scribble some notes into my diary. With the help of those
notes I would like to give my own impression. Sitting under the roof of the
arena ment watching Bob Dylans back most of the time, standing at the organ. The
sound was surprisingly good up there and we could see well (a little to far
away). The show is different when you are so far away from the stage and the
musicians. No possibility to watch faces and interactions between players.
Because I also have seen shows from front row, it was a little sad to be up in
the air. Especially one show in Oberhausen, in which Jim Keltner played the
drums because George Recile was not there, came back to my mind talking to
friends before the show tonight. I would like to divide the 14 songs into three
blocks of four songs plus the encores (watchtower and like a rolling stone). The
first four songs the band played with Knopfler and tried to get into it.
Important to mention, that Knopflers own band had brought some magic and good
energy into the arena. So when the rock'n rollers came to town, people first had
a hard time changing their perception. Especially one guy right next to me
simply cracked when Dylan startet talking his weird rendition of "It ain't me,
babe". Blind Willie McTell was a very nice choice. Still, you could tell that
Dylan and his band really had to fight against the attentative but critical
crowd. Things have changed reminded me, that I couldn't remember a concert where
I didn't look out for the Oscar that decorates the stage. But up from where I
sat: no chance to see whether there still is an Oscar or not. After the lights
had been dark for a short time Knopfler had left and the band started with
Spirit on the water. The next four songs (block II) were the high peak for me
tonight. Especially the first three, since A hard rain's a gonna fall to me was
rather anticlimatic to the newer songs just played. Especially The levee's gonna
break gave me the feeling that I was watching Dylan and his band in the studio,
and I became the impression that it is hard work playing with such a bandleader.
Block III started with Highway 61. My friend Klaus was really impressed and
mentioned that this was the best version that he had ever heard life. I enjoyed
more Thunder on the mountain and especially Ballad of a thin man. This song was
done really well tonight, it made me think of Cate Blanchet in I'm not there and
some other memories that are given to me through this song. The encores gave me
the opportunity to finally stand up and get my body moving a little bit, since
others had already left their places. Yes, there always were peole leaving,
almost from the beginning of the concert, but I would still insist that there
was an attentative and willing crowd watching a good band perform the songs of
an elder statesman of rock'n roll (to say the least).

Martin Burger


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