Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Heineken Music Hall

April 10, 2009

[Howard Weiner], [Judith Lallier], [Marc Baker]

Review by Howard Weiner

Barely avoiding the pounding hail, I filed into the Heineken Music Hall.
It’s a fine venue with a scuffed up dance floor and plenty of room to
flop around. Long bars surrounded the perimeter – each attendee had his
or her own bartender. There were even some Human Heinekens - a pair of
young men selling brew with mini-kegs strapped to their backs. Anything
goes in Amsterdam, times are tough, this is the place where the weird go
to get stranger. Well almost anything goes, a no smoking sign was flashed
upon the wall.  “When I Paint My Masterpiece” was gold in the second spot. 
Bob’s down-singing thing is back - his vocal inflections grumbling into a 
powerful rumble. Looking spiffy, the maestro was dressed in black with 
matching green shirt and tie. I thought of Garcia and Danko during 
“Masterpiece.” I don’t wish I was back in the land of Coca-cola just yet, 
but I might after 72 hours more of debauchery. The European flavor 
continued with a fine “Boots of Spanish Leather.” The Bob Dylan Show’s 
changing black backdrop was tasteful.  “Rolled and Tumbled” sounded a 
little out of whack and “Po Boy” barely recovered, though I was excited 
to see “Po Boy” for the first since it was debuted on 4-30-05. “Working 
Man Blues” shined, Dylan vocals were on for this recession special. Bob
continued to flaunt his recent masterpieces with a stomping “High Water.” 
Donnie strummed some banjo as Tony and George thundered and rattled 
the arena all night. The axe men were competent and supportive, but 
they didn’t sparkle on anything. “Love Sick” was a gift – the Red Light 
District Special, the beat was pounded with gritty precision – catapulting 
into another bone rattling ride down “Highway 61.” The mystical roll of 
fate continued with “Nettie Moore.”  My friends, that portion of the 
concert was delicious. However, there seemed to be a lot of talking in 
the crowd.  “Summer Days” was hot and “Like a Rolling Stone” was 
mundane. The crowd was lame, mustering meager enthusiasm to bring 
Bob back for the encore. I actually enjoyed “Spirit on the Water” in its 
new spot as second encore. Jet lagged and emotionally exhausted, I 
headed straight back to Hotel Linda, where I will be hunkered-down for 
this three night run. There’s three steep flights of stairs leading to my 
room, a highway to hell. If anyone wants to visit, you have to sign a 
medical waiver before you start hiking up the stairs, and you may cough 
up a spleen before you get there.  My reward once I get there is a 6x8 
foot room with a cot size bed, dirty red carpet and enough dust for a 
Woody Guthrie ballad. I did get some much needed sleep, though. 
It’s a new morning and Bob’s just begun leaving his greasy trail.
Howard Weiner


Review by Judith Lallier

After two shows in Paris, we were ready for higher watt amp show and Bob
delivered. Being seated and among very reserved French persons for two
nights brought out everyones wild side on stage and the fans let Bob know
it was appreciated ! Opening with my favorite Leopard Pill Box Hat was
perfection, and then backed up by second song When I Paint My Masterpiece
which is just what it was. But the third spot - a wide open Watching The
River Flow with Bob wielding his guitar like a young man again was a
highlight.  Boots of Spanish Leather was a great version and my husband
and I loved it - but to our humor escaped many of our neighbors !! Rolling
and Tumbling' kept the group rocking on stage and the floor - Po'Boy
shined so much better than in Paris - Honest With Me was strong and clear
but then a true highlight - Working Mans Blues blew us out of the water -
WOW - High Water was great, Love Sick and 61 were smooth and then Nettie
Moore showed her face again after being absent for a few shows. Summer
Days and Rolling Stone rounded out the set - with standard  encores
Watchtower, Spirit and Blowin' in the Wind. It was a night I will never
forget - So till tomorrow - Goodnight !!! 

Judith Lallier  


Review by Marc Baker

The Bob is back in town

Amsterdam, Good Friday. Hard rain. The clouds were weeping, prior to Dylan's 
gig at the Heineken Music Hall. The parasols of the adjacent CineCafé came in 
handy as umbrellas. One wondered would the man play High water tonight.

For the occasion His Bobness was dressed in a rather green shirt, possibly 
borrowed from Kermit the Frog. However, let's focus on the music. No trouble 
there - not at all! Dylan was in good voice and the occasional smile taken into 
account, he had his magic working. The kick-off was well-chosen: 
Leopard-skin pill-box hat. The mood was set.

Next on the list: a masterly When I paint my masterpiece. As usual, Dylan stood 
at his organ; yet he switched to electric guitar for Watching the river flow. He 
still plays a mean guitar, without a shadow of a doubt. The adventure on strings 
was short-lived, sad to say.

Though playing keyboard, El Bobster produced touching versions of Boots of 
Spanish leather, Love sick and Nettie Moore. The 'cowboy band', headed by 
Tony Garnier, sounded inspired also. This was well worth the seventy euro's 

We did get to hear High water this evening. Once outside it started to rain 

Amsterdam, April 11th 2009,

Marc Baker
Journalist / writer


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