München, Germany


April 4, 2009

[Daniel Schuster], [Markus Atzmüller], [Erhard Grundl], [Anita Pravits], [Marina Montesano]

Review by Daniel Schuster

My second Bob Dylan Show took place in my hometown Munich (I've travelled
to Salzburg, Austria to see him in 2008). When we (my wife and I) arrived
the doors had already opened and we had to stand in line for 20 minutes or
so before we could get inside. We got a shirt at the merch place, grabbed
a beer and made our way to find the best possible place left to watch Bob.
I noticed that there were a lot of english speaking folks in the crowd for
some reason, anyway waiting time went by quick and we talked to some nice
people. Finally, the lights went out and Bob's usual Intro started
playing. The opened with "Maggie's Farm" which was arranged very different
from the album version, but had good opener qualities. Next song was quite
a surprise: One More Cup Of Coffee, one of my faves. Then Bob got his
guitar and went to the middle of the stage to sing You Ain't Going
Nowhere. Nexte song was another fave of mine: Things Have Changed. He
plays this song very differenty from the album or live (bootleg 8) version
as well. Just Like A Woman was, even though it's not one of my personal
faves, a highlight of the concert. For the chorus, the whole audience was
singing along loud. It's hard to really sing along there because Bob
changes the phrasing and rhythms of his singing very often, but the crowd
didn't care, they just sung it as they knew it. After going on with
Rollin' And Tumblin' and The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (which has a
really sweet arrangement with Bob and his band now) Bob took his harp and
went center stage again to do "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum". Very
rock'n'roll and rhythmic song. They took the tempo down with Sugar Babe,
then came back 100% with Highway 61 Revisited. Another surprise was
"Ballad Of Hollis Brown", which I've never heard him play live with his
band, but was definately another highlight of this evening. After doing
Workingman's Blues they finished the show with Thunder On The Mountain and
Like A Rolling Stone (audience singing along here also), to come back for
an encore doing Watchtower, Spirit On The Water and Blowin' In The Wind. I
think Bob was very pleased about how loud the audience cheered and
clapped, very enthusiastic. The setlist was pretty good and altogether
there's nothing to complain about this show. I think everyone involved had
a lot of fun! 

Daniel Schuster


Review by Markus Atzmüller

Munich was all in all a great concert. Although I think the Zenith isn't
an optimal place for a concert the sound this time wasn't as bad as in the
past. After Maggie's Farm it was so far okay. But if you aren't 2 meters
high and don't make it in the first few rows then it's difficult to see

After the Erfurt setlist, which wasn't my cup of tea, I hoped for some
changes in my direction (When I Paint My Masterpiece, Billy, One More Cup
Of Coffee, You Ain't Goin' Nowhere, Workingman Blues, Gotta Serve
Somebody, I Believe In You, Beyond The Horizon in the wonderful new
arrangement or Ballad Of Hollis Brown) - and partly got it.

The first (and only) big surprise was the beautiful One More Cup Of Coffee
at number two on the setlist. I was afraid that the Stockholm appearance
would be a onetimer -  but luckily it seems he'll play it from time to
time this year. Clear sound, nice singing and harp playing. One of my
personal Bob favorites came next: You Ain't Goin' Nowhere with the master
on guitar. Although I heard better versions on different boots, I really
enjoyed it. Normally I'm not a fan of Things Have Changed, which they've
done next. But yesterdays version was okay, particulary because of Denny's
und Stu's nice guitar playing. Just Like A Woman was a real jewel last
night. Nice audience singing with a lot of applause after each verse. I
thought Bob real enjoyed the audience singing, too. Rollin' and Hattie
Carroll came next and where both well done. Bob's organ playing isn't as
dominant as over the past three years - and this becomes most of the songs
in my point of view very good. My next real highlight was Tweedle Dee &
Tweedle Dum with Bob center stage only on harp. I always liked the song,
but this was the best version I've heard so far. Thank you Bob. Next came
Sugar Baby. I'm a little bit bored of it, because I've heard it on my last
two concerts (Stuttgart 2007 & Salzburg 2008), too. Although I think
Highway 61 is overdone, most of the audience wasn't my opinion. It was the
usual crowd pleaser and got a lot of applause. With the next two songs,
Ballad Of Hollis Brown and Workingman Blues # 2, Bob fulfilled my wishes.
Very nice versions. Hollis was beside One More Cup Of Coffee my personal
favorite of the night and a rather better song than the overdone Summer
Days, which he often plays at this point of the show. With Thunder On The
Mountain (great version) the finish started. Business as usual without
surprises but without weak points, too. 

Markus Atzmüller
Landshut, Germany


Review by Erhard Grundl

After some sixty shows since 1981 last night was a special night and is up
there in my personal Dylan-Heaven with Frankfurt 2000, the last night at
Hammersmith 1990 or the last Temples-in-flames-Show at Wembley in 1987. 
I had enjoyed Erfurt very much but last night Bob delivered throughout in
Munich and on some songs in an unbelievable way. He was fresh, washed 
and highly concentrated. A pure delight for any fan: These are my picks: 
One more cup of coffee - no praise big enough for this version. Just like a
women - such a sweet, sweet version. every word carefully executed.
fantastic interplay with the audience on the chorus and Bob  obviously
enjoyed it. Hattie Carroll - although Dylan messed up the Zanzinger-Verse
he sang the last one so good that it would have made up for anything.
"...bury the rad deep in your face..." Wow! Tweedlee Dee - absolute
highlight. a fierce and non-compromising version. center stage with hat & 
harmonica it resembled the days of the Rolling Thunder Review. Hollis
Brown - every word was there. no solos, no distraction. no praise big
enough again. Working Man's Blues - the 12th song in the set. always
special, as you all know and this was a perfect choice. Over all:
Everybody on stage was "on" from the go. Finally Bob's current band has
arrived where the Sexton/Campbell gunslinger outfit left off. Dylan's
organ has become highly important and is so enjoyable. Maybe he should
trade in "Spirit on the water", a song that seems to be there only because
Bob wants to sing the lines "you think i'm over the hill ..." to
"..whopping good time." for something like, say "Isis". I'm sure the band
could do a song like that justice. Go see him!

Erhard Grundl


Review by Anita Pravits

... you left me standing in the doorway, crying, suffering like a fool ...
dear audience, didn;t you realize 'till now, that you're clapping to his
logo like to the golden calf ... five seconds after posing as a group
they're all sitting in their black opaque busses and turn around the
corner ... but maybe half of the audience didn't deserve other ... ...
after trying for hours to give Bob Dylan something (was respectfully and
patiently waiting for a chance and asking then some persons if they could
give it to him, didn't want to disturb him, not expecting to give him
personally, but nobody wants, could or was allowed to help - it's nowadays
easier to shake hands with the president of America than to accord our
beloved holiness Bob Dylan something) and hearing at least a little bit
from their rehearsal I gave it up and went into the big hall, found a
place somewhere in the middle ... they started with a rollin' powerful
Maggies Farm and One more Cup Of Coffee ... didn't see anything, not even
their hats, so I started looking for a better place behind then (no chance
to get forwards) and the more I went away from the stage the more I saw
him and the band (could that be a metaphor for anything?) ...  a hard,
propeld forward, flogging Things Have Changed, many, many complements to
George Recile, was full of spirits this evening, an impulsive rhythm,
counterpointing melodies made absorbing harmonies ... a Just Like A Woman
carried the audience away, in 3/4 beat, was it ? (mostly heard before in
6/8 or 2/2??) ... chanted beautifuly by Bob, the public was singing along
and he also seemed to like it ... here, on the other end of the hall I saw
the musicians on the stage but the audience was talking, rather shouting
with each other, the louder they played the louder they were shouting,
they did mistake the concert for a party, eating, drinking, talking, it
was unbearable  ... I looked again for a place more in front in the middle
of the big crowd, better not to see than not to hear all ... than again a
really rolling Rollin' and Tumblin' ... and than an internalized Hattie
Carroll (also 3/4 beat?), loved it so much and started the Audience to
hate, the back half of the hall was chatting, unbelieveable ... Tweedle
Dee & Tweedle Dum, with the shadows of the band on the wall behind them, a
very nice idea with Bob center stage, now they played again very loud, but
the crowd behind was counteracting also fucking loud, astonishing ... than
a very tender, bewitched sung and played Sugar Babe, thank you, Bob!!! ...
on Highway 61 Revisited, George again had ants in his pants and played
like the devil, wow ... don't want to numerate now all ... I always like
the songs of Modern Times ... Like A Rolling Stone the audience always
knew, this at least and like and could sing along ... at last the common
three encores ... All Along the Watchtower, again a song for George, so
dynamicly played and sang, Spirit On The Water, though played very close
to the CD-version, I like that song, but it didn't really worked, I don't
know why, can't figure it out, Blowin' In The Wind, he played a wonderful
harp solo, but the micro overdrove (not the first time this evening ...
what a pity!!!) ... apart from half of the audience on the whole a great
concert, full of energy and inspired, won't miss it! ... though I was left
behind feeling sad and lonesome ... how could it happen ... ... that
morning, on the way to Munich, waiting for the underground, they showed
the "slogan of the day" on a videowall ... "longing feeds your soul, not
satisfaction" (I hope it's a correct translation) ... Arthur Schnitzler
said that and somehow I'm sure he is right ... but I guess, longing alone
don't keep you alive, it's not enough and maybe it also can kill you ...
... music business is one of the greatest branches of industry and most of
the business volume ist made in the field of concerts (that evening the
audience was prepared to pay about 350.000 €)... I never figuered it out
how music and business goes together ... watching for hours what's going
on around the concert, you can realize, that it is an industry and the
musicians and their music is just a part of that all, also the audience,
and in that way musicians and audience are acting ... is it really
necessary that musicians bar themselves off like Caucasian farmers in
South-Africa at the time of apartheid? ... the time Bob Dylan was
beleagured with fans is gone ... at least here in Europe he is left alone
and his fans waiting patiently for the concert ... do they see the
audience really just as a decoration for the concert, a willingly paying
crowd, don't want to get to close with the infantry ... must that all be
like it is? ... it's a merciless business for artists and audience, and
some kind of way of thinking seems to spill over to both, artists and
audience ... mercy on you all, a little bit mercy and respect for each
other we need ... ... I have the heart to write that because I devotedly
love his songs since decades and in modification of a thesis of Alan
Lomax, who had the idea "people live like they sing, or other way round -
people sing like they live" ... I wonder if my thesis "people are like
they sing, or other way round - people sing like they are" could be
verifyed ... so when I listen to his music from his beginning to Beyond
Here Lies Nothing I can't believe that the things must be like they are
... I'm very hopefully ... maybe there could be another purpose for music
again than business ...

Anita Pravits


Review by Maria Montesano

For those seeking a short review, here it is: awesome show, up there with 
the best. To the details, now. The Zenith looks like an awful industrial 
building, a big place full of metal structures, so it will be to my surprise that 
the acoustic is good, at least for those standing in the front rows. The show
is sold out, which makes for a good atmosphere inside. It starts at 8 with a 
great Maggie's Farm, that benefits from a new arrangement, Bob delivering 
the lines in a very attentive way, a trade mark for the whole show. Then 
there is an instrumental intro, for a moment I think "Señor", but the guy 
behind  me says "One More Cup Of Coffee": he is right, and what a surprise 
it is, I really was not hoping for such a gift. It is a bluesy, incredibly good 
version of the song. Then Bob picks up his guitar for a good, if not super 
You Ain't Going Nowhere, but it is anyway nice to see him front stage. Song 
number four is Things Have Changed: I did like a lot last year version with 
Donnie on violin; this one is quite different but also very strong, Bob singing 
it out loud with a lot of style. Just Like A Woman has the whole Zenith 
singing the chorus and Bob playing with it, waiting for the line to be 
delivered by the audience, then adding his part: funny. Rollin' And Tumblin' 
is fast and good, followed by a reworked Hattie Carroll that has Dylan singing 
the melody in a beautiful up-down, unusual way. For Tweedle Dee & Tweedle 
Dum he is centre stage again, with just his harp; best version of the song I 
ever heard (and I've heard some...): the stage gets dark, the playing has a 
southern feeling and with Bob's harp the song becomes spooky, in a very 
good sense. Sugar Baby sounds reworked too, very slow and nice, Bob singing 
it in a smooth, clear voice. Next is Highway 61, always a good live number, and 
then Hollis Brown, this one again slightly reworked to nice effects. It is 
followed by Workingman's Blues, a real gem and a highlight for the show 
because Bob sings it so carefully, with a strong voice that intensify during the 
song, making it feel so heartfelt he leaves the audience in awe. Last five songs 
are standard conclusion for this tour, all well done cause both he and the band 
tonight are on fire and not missing a beat. All in all, way more than just a solid 
show, with a great setlist and some real highlights.

Marina Montesano


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