Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Heineken Music Hall

April 8, 2007

[Tom 't Hart], [Joop Bekkema], [Joost Horsthuis], [Vernon Briscoe], [Trevor Townson]

Review by Tom 't Hart

This was the best concert I have ever seen! At 19.40 Bob and his gang came
on stage to loud cheering and applause and seeing Bob again after 2 years
was great! The first time I saw him was in Rotterdam in 2005, when I
wasn't really familiar with his music but since then I have become a big fan 
and to see him again now was terrific.

The band was much better than they were and they were really in tune to
what Dylan wanted and Bob was having a great time, dancing through the 
whole show, he smiled a lot, he even laughed once, he never forgot the lyrics
and his voice was clear and you could really hear everything he sang and no 
dreaded up-singing.

-Cat's In The Well was a great opening song he really enjoyed himself on
this one.

-It Ain't Me, Babe was very cool to hear this song with him on the guitar!
He seemed at ease with the guitar and was dancing again.

-Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues was nice but nothing special.

-It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) was the highlight of the evening, he
really pronounced all the words, it felt like a speech...mindblowing!

-When The Deal Goes Down was the first Modern Times song of the night and
in my opinion the best! Great songs, great lyrics..crowd seemed to love this

-Highway 61 Revisited is just a cracking song, got everybody dancing and
swaying.  Marvellous!

-Under The Red Sky was a real treat! One of my favourite Dylan songs and
you could actually sing along with this one!

- Rollin' And Tumblin' was nothing'll probably stay in his
setlist for a long time but not the best song.

-Chimes Of Freedom...what can I say, brilliant, radiant! When I heard the
first words I couldn't believe my luck. This and Not Dark Yet are my 
absolute favorite songs...I was awestruck.

-Watching The River Flow just rocked! Not one of my favorites, but played
live it was really rocking.

-Spirit On The Water was nothing special..on this and the next song Bob 
seemed to lose interest a little bit.

-Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again again, pretty good
but nothing special..but then came..

-Nettie Moore! What a beautiful song..what more can be said?

-Summer Days I haven't heard live yet, it went on a bit to long but really
rocked the place.

-Like A Rolling Stone was great! The crowd loved it off course, and the 
corus was sung so the crowd could sing along, which I don't think Bob
allows often.

- Thunder On The Mountain is my least favorite song from Modern Times and
I think LARS is better in this spot.

- All Along The Watchtower really, really rocked! Great ending to the best
concert I have ever seen.

This is my first review and I hope I did good! Tomorrow I will be going to
Amsterdam again, I will be really surprised if he can best this one, especially 
with this setlist.


Review by Joop Bekkema

The doors opened at 18.30 exactly. Hundreds of  fans had gathered in two
long and growing lines already. Upon entry everybody (also women) were
bodychecked, only by male as far as I could see. I fail to see the reason
for that. It must be Dylan who explicitely asks certain things from
security. If this is the case, why then do the guys from Amsterdam read
those orders totally different than the German guys in Münster. The answer
must be blowin' in the wind. Some other differences? Parking ticket in
Münster 3 and in Amsterdam 9 Euro. The same Bob Dylan T-shirt in Münster
25 and in Amsterdam 30 Euro. Thanks very much. 

Dylan opened at 19.34 with Cat's in the well as many had predicted. A good
starter and better than Tweedle Dee. It ain't me Babe was next and nothing
special .Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues was relatively new in the setlist. It
was very well played. It's all right Ma was different from the Münster
version while still bluesy. I prefer the former bluesversion.
After Dylan mounted his little organ again many feared he was putting on
the autopilot after hearing When The Deal Goes Down and Highway 61. But
then came the biggest surprise of the evening: Under The red sky was
delivered in a way nobody had expected. Dylan sang every word loud and
clear, and the band was following the leader. After a boaring Rollin' and
Thumblin' the second highlight hit the audience: Chimes of freedom was
recognised before Dylan even started singing. Although this song is an
open invitation to the so cursed upsinging (which Dylan could not resist),
it was beatifully delivered. It could have been unforgettable if Dylan for
once would have followed the lovely melody of the original he created long
After this the standard songs were performed in a standard way. It seems
Nettie Moore has become the MT-favorite. The band performs this song so
much better than the rest of the songs of Modern Times. Most likely
because the requirements for the band in this song are minimal. 
The up-tempo songs (rollin' and tumlin' and Thunder on the mountain) are
played so differently from the recently recorded MT album that one could
ask the question if this band was the same band that recorded it.
Like a Rolling Stone was better than in Münster but All along the
Watchtower was worse.
Predictions for tomorrow?
The opener will be Tweedle Dee & tweedle Dum. The last 5 songs he is going
to play are: Nettie Moore, Summer Days, Like a Rolling Stone, Thunder on
the Mountain and All Allong The Watchtower. Further more I expect that he
is going to play It's all right Ma, Highway 61, When The Deal Goes Down,
Rollin'and Tumblin' and Watching The River Flow.
That means only 5 songs will be different from the night before but some
of those were played earlier in this tour.
I hope that I am wrong and that Dylan takes in account that he is playing
in the venue twice, but we all know Dylan to be unpredictable.
My theory is that this band (meaning Freeman and Kimball) is so bad that
Dylan cannot afford to come up with totally new setlists all the time. The
sunny side of it? The more these guys practice, the better they MUST get.
Dylan knows that of course, that's why he continues to play the same songs
over and over again.


Review by Joost Horsthuis

Again a solid show, but really nothing more than that. Compared to 
Munster last week, the band played tighter and more at ease. Still they 
(Kimball, Freeman, Herron) are a limited crew, failing to deliver at 
crucial moments and sometimes appear to be just a helpless bunch. Can't 
help but agree with Joop Bekkema. These guys aren't able to play new 
songs each night, and worse, they don't seem to be capable of 
anticipating to Bob’s creating-at-the-spot style of making music. It 
was painful to see, in Munster, Kimball sometimes not playing anything 
at all (obviously during Simple Twist of Fate), he just didn’t have a 
clue! Hasn’t this always be THE qualification for Bob’s band-members 
for the past 40 years? This band plays it safe, and so does Bob. He 
himself (and Tony) seemed quite satisfied with them tonight, nodding 
and smiling to the boys in case (apparently) something worked out well. 
More like the master towards his pupils though, happy with the tiniest 
bits of progression maybe?
I already mentioned enough of this negative thought in the Munster 
review, so despite the boring band and not-so-spectacular setlists, I’m 
gonna try to make this a bright and sunny review by naming just 
positive remarks from now on.

POSITIVE #1: Me and my comrade Lasse went up there with our sexy 
girlfriends, who both consider Bob a “naggin’ old man” (probably a 
result of endless and involuntary exposure to Bob’s music each day – or 
maybe just jealous), and they liked it a lot. POSITIVE #2: Bob in good 
spirits - again. He really made up to the Dutch crowd for the awfully 
uninspired Rotterdam-show in 2005. That was the worst show I’ve seen so 
far. This time he was alive right from the beginning – Munster took him 
20 minutes to get rid of the the statue-with-a-hat-look.
POSITIVE #3: Bob’s voice. Most of the time intelligeble, warm, tender. 
No wolfman whatsoever. Loosing a line here and there, some upsinging 
too, but upsinging is singing too. Especially songs like Nettie Moore 
and Spirit on the Water sound great. But also Under the Red Sky, Chimes 
of Freedom and Tom Thumb were delivered just right.
POSITIVE #4: ‘It’s Alright, Ma’ – fucking awesome. He must have read 
the German papers last week, who spoke of the song being delivered 
‘tired and growling’. This time, yet again appearing in a new and 
fantastic uptempo arrangement, nothing less than breathtaking. Bob 
biting off and spitting out the words, truely driven so it seemed. Best 
version I’ve ever heard, and I loved all the former incarnations too. 
The absolute highlight of the evening.
POSITIVE #5: Tony and George. Of course. Obviously. A great pleasure 
and privilege to see these great musicians working. POSITIVE #6: Loads 
of fainting kids in front row. Security working overtime to drag them 
out. Blood tests will certainly prove positive results on several 
varieties of drugs. POSITIVE #7: No nazi-security in front row. The big 
guy with the beard being more relaxed than in Munster. Maybe he 
realized he was in another country. Maybe he just got stoned by 
breathing the heavy air in front row. POSITIVE #7: I’ll go see Bob 
again tonight.

All in all, a decent show. With this band playing safe and sound, I was 
wondering wether it’s still worth the effort of attending a few shows 
in a row. Then again, it’s Bob of course. We go see him when (and 
while) we can. I’m short of memory anyhow, so we’ll see what happens 
tonight.  Still hoping for Ain’t Talkin’, but by now any surprise is 
welcome. When Modern Times was released, I thougt it should be big fun 
hearing songs like Rollin’and Tumblin’ live. By now, they already sound 
like boring routine. So we consider Red Sky and Chimes ‘surprising’, 
while waiting  for – maybe – the best that has yet to come. God knows, 



Review by Vernon Briscoe


This is a city where women stand in windows dancing for all the world
to see, or perhaps some choose to hide like poor Anne Frank: hide away
from the light.  Fitting, then, that Bob should have women on his mind
for tonight's show at the Music Hall Amsterdam.

Rather than gyrating ladies of the night, though, Bob sang about
lovers and brides gone (as well as to be).  There were rings, diamonds
and chimes all over the place.  The ''"diamond as big as your shoe"
promised in a sweet and flowing Under The Red Sky ended up being
pawned in Like A Rolling Stone as the usual (singular) ring Bob
mentions suddenly multiplied: ''You better take your diamond RINGS and
pawn THEM, Babe."  Exactly how many men has this woman been promised

In between we had the Chimes Of Freedom and also wedding bells
(belles?) of Summer Days: most appealing (No, don't groan, I might be
onto something here!)

When The Deal Goes Down and particularly a fabulous Nettie Moore felt
addressed to a lover lost.  And even Chimes Of Freedom - that great
universal anthem - became more about the couple ducking into the
doorway than about the cosmic lightshow it generally describes.

Nettie Moore - coaxed out of hiding by the most tender of vocals -
stood as the centerpiece of the set.  A compellingly re-arranged It's
Alright Ma (yet another woman!) was spectaular and a thoughtful Stuck
Inside Of Mobile with its french girl and debutante were both
memorable performances but Nettie Moore - whoever she may be and
whichever red lit window she may be dancing in tonight stole the show
and charmed away my brains.

Mr Jinx


Review by Trevor Townson

Rarely read the reviews and when I do it is only to shows that I have been
to, never written in before so here is a first. Great how one person will
start "Best show ever" then the next  person "Worst show ever", I like the
element of contradiction. That famous Bob line "Can't please all of the
people all of the time" comes  to mind or was it Abraham Lincoln or T S
Elliot who said that. Maybe whoever got credited with it ripped it off
some poor starving  blues singer anyway. I personally know for a fact that
William Shakespeare first said that  as apparantly he was the first man to
say everything, a critic of English  Literature told me that. In an area
of such contradiction I have no intention of writing in  as a critic here,
not brave enough or even clever enough to fully remember  everything that
happened anyway. As for the technical stuff, anyone who can get so much as
a tune out of a  guitar is a genius in my book. This time however I
clearly remember something in contradiction  to another review. Whilst it
is common on reading reviews to shows attended to think  "was I at the
same show?", to read that "he never forgot the lyrics" got me  questioning
my sanity. At first I thought a new set of Lyrics had been included to
Summer  Days, straining to listen as I was wondering if Bob was including 
something rare and valuable like another verse never included on the 
release. Then I thought he is singing it in another language, surely not
the local  lingo as the home crowd would be going wild. I then thought it
is pretty close to the local language, he is singing it  in double Dutch.
It sounded really good actually (may be it was only to my ears, as said my
 sanity is in question here). Concentration lapse or just a blank only Bob
could rewrite it on the spot  with words from another point and place in
time to the effect that nobody  seemed to notice. Even the band members
seemed to be asleep to it. If it was a cause of embarrassment to Bob at
all it was probably the  fact that nobody seemed to notice. This leads me
to having to question my sanity having read the other  reviews as I am not
sure now that it actually happened outside of my  dream. What better
testimony to the brilliance of this guys work, the fact  that the song
still stood up, if indeed it did happen, if indeed it was  during Summer
Days, if indeed it was the first nights show. Best show or Worst show I
don't know what that means, only know we will all  be there again sometime
in future if we are lucky enough to have the  opportunity. We all know
when the time is right, just that one song can be worth the  ticket.

Trevor Townson 


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