Oberhausen, Germany
October 29, 2005

[Tobias Freimüller], [Joop Bekkema], [Thomas Wilmes], [Markus Prieur]

Review by Tobias Freimüller

The Arena was about ¾ filled with the usual 8000 suspects (and definitely
not sold out, although several people told that they did not get any
tickets anymore) when the Band and Zorro-Bob came out and launched into


as expected. Nothing special about this, I noticed how crystal clear the
sound was and even on this first song Bobs voice sounded better than I’ve
heard him for many years now. The wolfman is gone – what made most of the
songs tonight a very enjoyable listen! The band sounded as polished as it
has been reported already, too.


opened the amazon/nashville part of the show. There were some rough edges
in Bob’s voice, but all in all one of the better versions I’ve heard. The
two-note midstage harp-solo was surprisingly flat, though.


Oh dear... This is Nr. 1 on my „get rid of this, Bob“-list for years now.
But I must admit that I have not heard it played that well in a very long
time. This kind of midtempo countrysound fits this band perfectly. Same
goes for


of course. Very sweet, very polished, very close to the original version.
Little upsinging here and there, but since it comes close to the original
melody I won’t mind. At this point I realized that Bob’s microphone was
placed much higher than it has been before, so that he does not have to
bend down for every line anymore. Strange enough that he did it that way
for about three years anyway...


was a blast. It did not rock as hard as previous versions but was loud
enough to wake up the crowd. Great arrangement! First real highlight for
me and most of the others too, I think.


was next. I’m not a huge fan of this, but this was the best version I can
remember on tape or live since Regensburg 2000. The absence of Bob’s
hoarse croaking works wonders here! Problem was: The song sounded pretty
much the same as the country-trio earlier for most people I think. Bob did
a second harp-attempt – with a better, but not great, result.


was maybe the best song of the night. It rocks harder and harder with
every leg of the tour – and blew the roof off the place tonight. Five


Well, the crowd loved it...


Ahem! Not an interesting choice... But it was not THAT bad actually. They
have implanted at least two harder rocking parts in it that I have not
heard before – and it was Stu who played them. And sorry, but I still take
him over the two Donny dee & Denny dum guys anyway. The Donny/Denny on the
steel guitar has some potential for the band I think but I can’t stand his
prominent solos really. They immediately turn the sound into a cheesy
sixties nostalgia act for me. But it gets worse when the other Donny/Denny
steps forward: He did that about four times tonight at played the by far
most uninspired solos that I can remember hearing from any NET-guitarist
(though I can’t say much about Billy Burnette).


followed. I love this song! I love the spooky arrangement they play
nowadays! Too bad that Bob somehow lost his concentration here somehow –
and never really recovered. He turned into the upsinging modus for the
complete song and ruined it altogether, for me at least.


rocked as usual, solid but not special. And yes, I like that new


could have been another highlight, if only Bob would not have struggled
with the lyrics what obviously confused him and gave a somehow hesitant
feeling to the whole performance. The arrangement is not really acoustic
(only Stu on acoustic guitar), but much slower and softer that the more or
less electric one they played since 2003. The next slot would have been
the last chance to play something unusual, but alas: 


completed the greatest hits show. This was the shipwreck of the night! The
new slow arrangement impressed the crowd audibly but Bob got basically
every second line wrong and looked more and more uncomfortable with his
own performance. That he switched into upsinging again did not help much


same as always.


was another upsinging festival. During several songs my impression was
that he is aware of the problem and really tries to get rid of it. He
often ended every second line with a low note, at least at the beginning
of the song here, too. We got the third (and best) harpsolo here, although
he played the keys with one hand at the same time. Band intros followed


ended the show and made a huge impression to the crowd as I heard
afterwards. Nothing new about the arrangement, though.

All in all a solid show, the setlist was more than boring but the
mysterious recovery of Bob’s voice made it a very pleasant listening all
the way through. 


Review by Joop Bekkema

The Oberhausen Arena is one of my favourite venues. A very relaxed
approach, good (and free) parking facilities and a very good sound. The
band did sound a little better than in Rotterdam, but still failed to
convince me. Herron was again very dominantly present. Since Bob is the
boss, he must agree to this honkytonk plingplong music. The guitars were
again mainly rythm, and very little solo. For me the Oberhausen highlight
was HIGH WATER, a real treat and very different from the standard openers.
Maggies Farm is a good and energetic opener, but most of us were
immediately depressed by a large and (too) long portion of country. I
agree, Larry Campbell also played some steel in the good old days, but
this was during one or two songs per show at the utmost. The setlist 
rapidly improved after Lay lady Lay, the upsinging championsong, with the
best High Water ever, a beautiful To Ramona and a devistating It's All
Right Ma. The Times the are a'Changin's was welcomed by many young
visitors (I was surprised by the many young ones attending the show)
followed by a blistering Tweedle Dee. It was a shame Bob did again ruin a
song with his upsinging, this time it was Ballad of Hollis Brown, and it
was not the last time he did this. Also during Mr. Tambourine man and
Don't think twice he obviously saw no other option than this terrible way
of singing. Highway 61 and (again) an unexpected but good Tangled up in
blue were as solid as Summer Days. 

In spite of all the criticism, I am glad to have been present, both in
Rotterdam and Oberhausen. I think I go to Bruxelles as well.  Seeing Bob
with his Band is always something special. Who knows how long we can
benefit from this. The Band is nothing special. Of course Tony and George
are great, but the rest is nothing special. We did not hear ONE appealing
solo during the whole evening.

In Dylans crew, there is a man who prepares for and hands out the guitars
to Stu Kimball and Denny Freeman. If you have a chance to watch or hear
the concert of Hammerstein Ballroom New York, aug 20, 2003 on DVD or CDR,
you see or hear this man play the guitar. Believe me, this man can play
the guitar. His name? TOMMY MORRONGIELLO!!. What more can I say Bob.


Review by Thomas Wilmes

Bob  opened the show with a solid performance of the standard opener
Maggie’s Farm.  Tell Me That It Isn’t True and Lay, Lady, Lay
followed, completing the country  part of the show. Opening each show with
a predictable and rather polished yet  solid set seems to work well for
Bob these days. His voice sounded well, its  wolfman sounds have
disappeared. Plus Lay, Lady, Lay got cheers from the  audience, working as
a crowd pleaser.  High  Water was a real treat, benefiting from its
current arrangement. Donnie’ s banjo  intro sounded terrific, Bob and
the band delivered a rocking performance.  Definitely a highlight of the
show. To  Ramona was well delivered, it was a pity that Donnie’s
mandolin was rather low  in the mix and couldn’t be heard clearly (at
least from where I was  standing). It’s  Alright, Ma was rocking, and
again Donnie’s playing added much to the  performance. The  Times was
another crowd pleaser, there was nothing special about this  performance,
though. It sounded better in Glasgow last year. In contrast to so many 
erratic performances of this song in 2002, Bob remembered the lyrics quite
well  and, once more, did a solid job. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum. I’ve
heard it  a thousand times. However, despite being the worst song of last
year’s Glasgow  SECC gig it grabbed my attention this time. The current
arrangement is rocking,  with Bob singing it really well and with Stu
adding some hard rocking riffs  which made this song a pleasant
experience. Ballad Of Hollis Brown has never been a  favourite of mine.
Last night’s performance was average at best, it featured  some
upsinging. Highway 61 Revisited followed and was yet another rocking 
standard. Stu opened Tangled Up In Blue with that  familiar opening riff
on acoustic guitar. It sounded slightly different to the  riff that Larry
way playing, though. Bob did a fine job, remembering the lyrics  rather
well and, if I’m not mistaken, treating the crowd to the complete seven 
verses (one minor lyric flub: last night, SHE started into dealing with 
slaves). Mr. Tambourine Man got cheers from the  audience and it was
delivered carefully and smooth. It had some upsinging, but  didn’t
really suffer from it. I found it remarkable that during the instrumental 
verses, nobody stepped forward to take a solo. It was rather the whole
band  creating a rich sounding interplay that added much to the
performance. This song  has always been a favourite of mine and although
there might be better versions  out there, Bob did this song justice,
delivering it with authority. I found  myself listening carefully to the
beautiful lines of this  classic. Summer Days was solid and rocking, I
enjoyed  it. While Don't Think Twice, It's All Right was  below average
and suffering from upsinging, Watchtower was powerful. The current  band
plays a rocking arrangement that completed a decent show.   All in all, I
found the show consistent and  smooth, with the current band &
arrangements allowing Bob to deliver solid  shows without demanding too
much effort. 


Review by Markus Prieur

Coming from Rotterdam, we checked into our hotel in Homberg, located directly at the banks of
the Rhine, about 10 miles west of Oberhausen. As a child I had lived in Homberg until I was 
eight, so it was interesting to revisit some spots before going down the highway toward the 
Arena in Oberhausen to see the second of three shows during our fine October weekend. 

Even though we did not arrive early, about the time of the opening of the doors, we ended up 
on the floor five rows behind the rail, on Denny’s side, which was much closer to the action 
than in Rotterdam, especially considering the usage of my binoculars to behold the man behind 
the piano, who wore his black Spanish hat this time. Also this time I got to enjoy the band 
even more, especially Denny and Donny, and the incredible drumming of George. 

Again I expected and got a mixture of regular and rarer songs, and again the concert itself 
was better and stronger than the set list might lead you to think. There were ten song changes 
from the previous night, but no new song was introduced into this fine European tour. The six 
repeated songs were performed similarly as in Rotterdam, but three of them were in different 

“Baby Tonite” had no harp solo this time, and “Tangled”, which was only introduced into the 
tour the day before, was surprisingly repeated already. The opening “Maggie” and the closing 
“Watchtower” were intense as usual, as was my 30th “H61”, the performance of which was loads 
of fun for everyone on stage, and for us in the audience. I cannot recall ever enjoying a 
performance of “H61” so much. Dylan also played some nice and surprisingly audible piano 
during this song.

The second song of the show, again ending with a center stage harp solo, was my second “Tell 
Me That It Isn’t True” (I had seen it once more than five years ago in Newcastle). The other 
center stage harp solo song was a tender “To Ramona”, which was one of five slower and softer 
songs of the concert.

The other four semi acoustic songs were “Times” (with a nice solo by Denny), “Hollis Brown” 
(with a nice mandolin by Donny), the new slow arrangement of “Tambourine Man”, and finally 
the first encore “Don’t Think Twice”. Not quite as soft and slow, but in a new and fresh 
arrangement we heard “It’s Alright Ma” (with Donny on fiddle and bow). All of them were worth 
seeing and worth hearing.

Another favorite part of the show for me was my ninth “Tweedle” since May 2002. I simply love 
to hear that song in concert, and have never listened to a field recording from recent years 
which would make me want to skip this track. It simply jumps, and I enjoy it immensely, 
especially when Dylan is focused, which he was in Oberhausen.

The peak of the whole concert for me however was my first “High Water”, the only song of the 
night which I had never seen live before. Donny was playing some fine mandolin, and Dylan sang 
the song as strong and focused as possible. Thought provoking lyrics, packaged in the finest 
music to be found on any stage. Amazing stuff, conveyed with authority and conviction: “It’s 
bad out there, high water everywhere.”

Markus Prieur


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