Worms, Germany
Jazz & Joy-Festival
Platz der Partnerschaft
("plaza in front of the old dome")
June 30, 2004

[Sascha Krieger], [Stefan Flach], [Reinald Purmann], [Cathérine De Smet], [Werner Kehl], [Tobias Freimueller], [Nate Demars]

Review by Sascha Krieger

There are venues which are great and there are venues which are special.
Playing a concert on the small courtyard right in front of the famous
Worms Cathedral definitely belongs to the latter category, If it belongs
to the former, too, is debatable.

It was a warm and sunny day in southwestern Germany - perfect for a good
show. After being treated to instrumental versions of Dignity, I Don't
Believe You, It Takes a Lot to Laugh, Senor and The Times They Are
A-Changin' during sound check, doors opened just before the scheduled time
of 8:30 p.m. An hour later - the sun was beginning to set - the band came
out of the kindergarten they apparently used as a dressing room, were
joined by Bob backstage and entered the stage.

And off they went into a great, energetic and aggressive Wicked Messenger
with excellent guitar work from both Stu Kimball and Larry Campbell and
somewhat less inspired harp play by Bob - dressed in black and wearing a
black Stetson. Then a rather unpleasant surprised: the butchered version
of It's All Over Now, Baby Blue was back - as rushed and lifeless as ever.
Things picked up a bit with Lonesome Day Blues, which featured strong,
aggressive vocals and more solos from Stu and Larry. Without any intro the
band then launched into Just Like a Woman, with Larry on pedal steel,
which was as intense and strong as the cardiff version. Bob really puts
everything into this song these days.

High Water saw more action from Larry and Stu - a lively, rocking and
bluesy version. It has to be said that Bob and the band really felt at
home in the more rocking songs tonight. Next up was the usual and
forgettable Tweedle Dee, followed by an excellent Man in the Long Black
Coat with Stu playing some beautiful solos and Larry setting some
highlights on the acoustic guitar. He stayed on acoustic for Stuck Inside
which was driving, rocking and full of energy, provided by lengthy
instrumental passages during which Kimball was shining again.

This was followed by a fine but not outstanding Hollis Brown, during which
Bob's singing seemed somewhat subdued. Beginning quiet intensely, the song
lost energy as it went along. Watching the River Flow was more great blues
rock that saw Bob's vocal back on top and featured some amazing soloing by
Larry. After this we were treated with the beautiful dreamy new
arrangement of Boots, on which Bob showed said that he can sing still
ballads tenderly. The harp play was better than on most other songs

Honest with Me was a great rocker again, with the band having loads of
fun, and the same applies to Summer Days which started a little subdued
but quickly picked up speed and energy and developed in one of the
strongest versions I've heard. Sandwiched between them was a fine though a
little sloppily sung Forever Young with Larry on pedal steel.

After an unusually long wait, the encores started with a surprising
Tangled Up in Blue - a driving high-energy version leading into Like a
Rolling Stone. Heard many times, this was almost a revelation. There were
some additional riffs and rhythmic patterns between the choruses and
verses and Bob's singing reminded me strongly of the venom and aggressive
anger of the original recording. Far from being a mere crowd pleaser, this
song was reinvented yet again tonight.Watchtower ended the show in fashion
and again Stu „Hendrix" Kimball and Larry „I don't care if this is a steel
guitar, I can still make it sound like Jimi" Campbell provided the
highlights and really brought this song to life.

All in all, this was a good show which was best in its more rocking
moments when the band had an opportunity to really get into the songs and
play with them. A great night especially for Stu and Larry - the new
guitar dream team which have really developed a new sound of their own
together and are shaping this band and making it whole. Bob's vocals
ranged from careless to intense to aggressive, his harp play relied to
much on his dreaded one note solos and rarely shone. A really negative
aspect was the crowd: Possibly affected by the late show time they seemed
sleepy, subdued and lazy. Definitely not a crowd that can spread their
enthusiasm on to the stage. This was definitely no concert for the history
books but one to enjoy nonetheless.

Sascha Krieger


Review by Stefan Flach

All my and my friends´ hopes for a beautifully located show in front of
the romanesque cathdral (finished in the 12th century) in Worms proved to
be justified as soon as we arrived in the small town in the late
afternoon. Since the organizers wanted it be dark in order to illuminate
the building, the show was supposed to start as late as 9.30 pm so that we
all had plenty of time to hang around at the nice yard of the cathedral,
to talk and make new acquaintances. The hours passed faster than expected
and suddenly it was time for the now well-known intro (who doesn´t know it
by heart meanwhile?) and for Dylan and the boys to enter the stage and
ring the bells with:

“The Wicked Messenger”. 

As soon as Dylan began singing, it was clear that the sound problems of
Bonn (with his voice being way too low in the mix) were a thing of the
past. From where I stood (10th row center stage), I had a terrific sight
and could hear pretty much every nuance of his vocals as well as the
instruments. And what a gorgeous ride already this opening song provided!
Where does creative unity come from? Infected and pushed forward by
Dylan´s majestic reading of the lyrics, everyone in the band acted as if
they were connected to the dynamo of his inspiration, and embellished the
song with some powerful and appropriate grooves as well as ornaments. I´d
like to describe this version as “mature” in that it didn´t feel as if it
was created only that day, but built upon the all the many versions (may
they have been successful or not) that preceded it and sublimated them.

Larry Campbell then took his seat at the pedal steel, so that it was
obvious we´d get

“It´s All Over Now, Baby Blue”

as song # 2, where it stubbornly hibernated on the last fall tour (to many
folks´ displeasure), but this time in another arrangement – already the
second new one this year, and far better than any of last fall´s versions
I´ve heard. Dylan leaned very much into the lines and clearly enjoyed it
to find some surprising (surprising also for him – which is what his vocal
art is about) and beautiful accents along the way. He stretched and
kneaded some words in a wonderfully moving way and especially the third
verse (with two stellar “going home”s) turned out to be a major creation.
After the instrumental part Dylan didn´t quite find the same energy for
the last verse again, but nevertheless provided a beautiful finish for a
glorious version of a song that usually isn´t too dear to me.

“Lonesome Day Blues”

made a return after last night´s show then and was as wild and defiant and
moaning with its courageously exhausting addition of verses as one can
only hope for. All of its lines seemed to bark out one thing: “It´s tough
out there, and I can´t help but receiving a cure while stating it”. The
instruments gladly joined the barking. As in Bonn the song featured the
lyric change of “I set my dial on the radio, I tell myself that I´ll stay

After some 25 shows it finally was time for my first

“Just Like a Woman”

which for many people apparently was the best or the first of the best
performances of the evening (one could see it in their faces, one could
hear it on their cheers) and I´m definitely part of their club, even
though my appreciation of the former performances could hardly be
increased in “real life”. But thankfully magic doesn´t care about supposed
limits of artistic pleasure and crosses them without asking. And magic it
was which we had to deal with here. Dylan presented us with an “all that
and more” vocal performance, reversing the idea of “when you think you´ve
lost everything, you find out you can always lose a little more” into its
contrary: “whatever you think which could be done for you, there´s always
something more you can receive” – pay careful attention and you get it.
The band provided a strong foundation to his singing (with a great
emphasized beat that felt somewhat new) and everything melted together in
a mesmerizing way. If there will be a sampler of recorded highlights of
this touring yea Even if “Just Like a Woman” was far from being “smooth”
or “lovely” (it´s only quite slow), the common idea in rock music of
alternating “soft” and “tough” songs made sense also on a special night
like this, and to have

“High Water (For Charley Patton)”

as the following song can only be regarded as the best possible choice (or
at least there was no need to long for any other). The song rocked … as
heaven. Everyone in the band played on the highest level, Dylan growled
and barked and spat his way through it and the song really took off.
Shrouded in mythical images of everyday need and mystery, the situations
of the song´s tale came through with enormous power and clarity. Early on
the “George Lewis” verse Dylan stumbled upon the lyrics of the fourth
verse again (“Water pouring into Vicksburg”) and stayed with them.
Thankfully he didn´t skip “George Lewis” then, but sang the verse all over
again, presenting us with the first (?) eight verse version of “High
Water” which I appreciated heavily, since the song stayed with us and
rocked our world a little longer this way. If there was a superfluous need
to pick only one performance of the evening, I´d chose this one. The

“Tweedle bros.”

couldn´t help but paying a visit on this night that got dark meanwhile
(some first raindrops fell as well) and joined the exclusive club of great
“Love & Theft” performances of the show. I don´t remember too much about
it (sometimes a man must be alone and this was a place to hide – it´s hard
to sustain the same level of attention throughout a show and I took a
little pause here), except that it was up to Bonn´s surprisingly high
levels and didn´t disturb the flow of tremendous performances in no way,
but complemented it appropriately. After the song Dylan (as always with
his back to the audience) had a short talk with Tony, so I took a chance
to request a song and shouted out for “If Not for You”, just as another
man in the audience did the same for what oftentimes is my favorite song

“Man in the Long Black Coat” 

and some seconds later Larry played the glorious new adorned intro to the
song. Pleasure and thankfulness poured over me, I pointed my fingers at
the other guy (who wasn´t visible, though), gave him a symbolic high five
and yelled a short “yeah!” as if he and I would have scored a goal. Dylan
presented us with his sharpest and most uncanny vocal of the night and
built a ladder to some stars (hard to say if they were good or bad ones)
here. On the first three verses of the song Dylan pushed himself further
and further towards a level of outrageous intensity, culminating in the
lines about the preacher and the first issue of the bridge. After the
instrumental verse he left the band strangely hanging in the air, though,
as he didn´t keep on singing which likely also disturbed himself, so that
when he finally launched into the bridge again, the spell was gone and he
somewhat “faked” the former energy for the last verse, which I regreted.
But nevertheless it was a very wild and memorable performance.

“Stuck Inside of Mobile”

like “Tweedle Dee” is maybe another song that most fans would like to see
left at home (wherever this is). But even though it can be rather draggy
sometimes, it´s also might turn out as some kind of lucky bag. I again
don´t remember too specific things about it (the rain decided to fall a
bit heavier during this song), but I can say that this version belonged to
the latter alternative. Dylan clearly enjoyed singing all of the verses
and let them culminate in some thunderous choruses, while Doctor Kimball
rocked – again – as if there was no tomorrow. With him being on the same
level in the mix as Larry, all my criticism of his less than average
playing on the night before faded and made room for real appreciation and
even admiration of what he did. Yes, Larry has found a great new partner
to trade licks and riffs and the band can be lucky to see Stew being a
member – at least on this night.

“Ballad of Hollis Brown”

then worked on a quite different level. This was the song people seemingly
payed most attention to and it was silent all around. With the band being
rather subdued and deliberately hesitant, the new arrangement focusses
more on Dylan´s theatrical delivery than any others in his current
repertoire. In this it has the quality of a solo performance hedged in by
clauses. The atmosphere of dark anticipation of the song´s drama is
displayed in a remarkably different way on this than on any former NET
arrangement. With Dylan singing all verses one after the other on top of
the sparse arrangement, the song has the strange quality of a slowly told
but hurried statement that is over in an (extended) flash. I always
disapproved all embellishments and “decoration” on the song in earlier
incarnations and rejected them as being morally inferior, since I thought
they were tactless in relation to the fatal story of this Hollis Brown and
his family. It has to be told with due respect minus all finesse and
ornaments. I don’t Marginal note: When I decided to concentrate on just
the song´s story for once, the lateral surfaces of the stage suddenly gave
me the strong impression of a theatrical backdrop in front of which a
drama (in the double meaning) was performed. When I focussed back on
Dylan´s delivery, the vision faded (no, there were no drugs involved).
Dylan´s keyboard playing was beautifully prominent and fitting here.

“Watching the River Flow”

was next and gave us the chance to relax somewhat and get our plastic macs
or related items out since the rain decided to pour on us for duration of
the song (thankfully it was a warm evening and we were dry again by the
time of “Summer Days”). What do I remember about it now, four days after
the show? Larry slided away on his admirable copper-colored guitar which
he otherwise uses exclusively on “Honest with Me”, Dylan leaned into some
lines with elation and stretched the “rivaaaaaaaaaah”s to fine effect. It
was a nice and dense version of a supposedly “minor” song that
nevertheless was a vital part of the overall creation of this evening. The
next song I didn´t recognize by its first chords then, neither did the
friends beside me. Robert whispered “It Ain´t Me Babe” to me, I shook my
head but had no better idea what it was either, until after the first sung
words it was clear they did

“Boots of Spanish Leather”

in a new arrangement which it is pretty difficult to describe. It departs
again from the one they surprised us with last fall, it´s less playful,
more arid and somewhat back to the original one, but not quite. Larry
played some recurring notes high up on the neck of his mandolin here which
were new to the melody line of the song and gave it a more restrained and
minor feeling. Dylan´s singing on the other hand was WILD on some points,
echoing the manic deliveries from Gothenburg and Hamburg last year, which
made for an utterly delicious and at times overwhelming contrast. This
three-song-sequence of “Hollis Brown”, “River Flow” and “Boots” presented
us with an awesome variety of facets of human experience which was a
remarkable achievement in itself. Then it was time for one of the only
four fixed points in the setlists of this tour (the others being that
great swing-rocker at the end of the main set and the last two encore

“Honest with Me”

about which I don´t remember too much, except that it rocked to tremendous
effect and more convincingly than last night. Many people in the audience
were (more or less) dancing to its wonderfully hard and rough beat, and so
was I and so was Dylan at his keyboard. After all it´s not so hard to
understand why he plays this song that often: He has great fun with it and
so have most folks in the audience. I don´t think there´s much more about
it. Of course the song also is connected to some dark sides of the moon
and Dylan might have interests in it we can only speculate on, but it´s
also one that constantely provides great joy.

“Forever Young”

came next in the last “surprise slot” of the main set and was beautifully
done with a remarkably careful vocal (do they assemble material for a new
live album these days?) and some fine and extended harp embellishments.
Since it´s a song that I don´t find my way into easily (mostly it´s too
deliberately solemn for my taste), I can´t say more about it. 

“Summer Days”

ended the main set of course and proved the band´s great ability to change
between all that different material again perfectly. The song was a huge
climax to the show with everyone (including Dylan on vocals – a rare
occasion on this song) doing their job as good as they can (at least one
couldn´t help but having that feeling) and taking off by embelleshing what
there is to embellish. At most shows I heard this song so far (it have
been a few), I had the immediate feeling that I just heard the best
version ever, and no matter if this is “true”, it seems a successful
version of “Summer Days” always feels and maybe even “is” the best one
ever. Hardly any other song of Dylan is giving the audience so much
ecstatic joy and pleasure and therefore (maybe) doesn´t leave any need to
wish for something else. By the way, this joy is rather different from the
one brought about by “Honest with Me” as it can´t be seperated from a
sense of community – people clearly dance together here –, while you´re
rather much on your Then they took their break, the audience shouted for
their return and applauded wildly. All of a sudden I had an idea which I
sadly didn´t tell to any of the friends standing next to me; I thought:
Now we´ll get “Tangled”. When our heroes came on stage again, Larry slang
his acoustic guitar on his shoulder and just as I saw another version of
“Don´t Think Twice” heading inevitably towards us (it opened the encore
set of the last five shows), the characteristic intro of

“Tangled Up in Blue”

sailed through the air and one huge cheer of joyful surprise immediately
followed it. When I recovered from the gift of sudden serendipity that I
was presented with, a terrific vocal by Dylan caught caught my attention.
Some days earlier a friend phoned me after the show in Galway, Ireland,
and told me that “Tangled” had a new vocal melody line. He then tried to
memorize and hum it to me but sadly failed, and I´m afraid I can only
emulate him here. What was so special about it? Dylan leaned much into
certain words of some lines in the second part of each verse – words that
never received such treatment before. On “All the while that he was alone
the past was close behind” for instance I remember him putting a strong
emphasis on “all” and “behind” (tapes might prove me wrong), and ran into
a new direction with the rest of the words. Sadly the version was rather
short since Dylan left a huge gap between the “Job in the great north
woods” and the “Basement down the stairs” verses. But many of us later
reported their impression of having witnessed an adventurous ride

“Like a Rolling Stone”

again started with the last beat of the former song (they seem to love
that trick) and also took over “Tangled”s energy and inventive power. I´d
just like to say that Dylan sang with all his heart and soul on his
best-known song here, which was like the grand and solemn sum up not only
of this show but also of something which is hard to find words for.

He went center stage then, grabbed a microphone from a holder and
introduced the band. He was earnest, made no jokes of any kind and seemed
to under the same magical spell as his audience. 

And of course the show wasn´t over yet. One last blast we all had to
receive and (almost) everyone knew which one it would be. Larry who
already played a fine pedal steel part on “Like a Rolling Stone” kept his
seat and made the majestic and oftentimes as “apocalyptic” described
“Exodus” intro to

“All Along the Watchtower”

rang in the last round. Anticipation, lament, downfall, conspiracy,
bewilderment, anticipation again – the images and situations flash by one
after the other, it´s all familiar, it´s all unknown. Did I already state
that it was a splendid idea to have Larry wailing away on pedal steel
here? The song never had this basic atmosphere of sublime rumbling sadness
before. Stew played some outrageous licks and a brilliant Hendrix-like
solo on top of it and Dylan – the chastened prophet and wicked messenger –
once again announced those strange tidings that might seem centuries old
and only days old at the same time. We received them. And the wind and the
night welcomed us. Thank you.

Stefan Flach


Review by Reinald Purmann

Did he went inside for a moment in this dome/cathedrale of worms, wich
city  is a historic center of the christian & jewish cultur in Europe ? It
cannot be fully outside the mind planning this concert on the "plaza in
front of  the old dome". The dome was a part of his second (and last) show
in germany  summer 2004 . Maybe he did go inside, when the band rehearsed
for 40  minutes for Senor , Dignity, I'dont believe you, and a very
bluesy-relaxed RDW  12:35. None of these songs expectable but to my
disappointment came to our  set-list. The westside of this remarkable
church was the background  for the stage. On the right side of it was a
little, old house used as a  kindergarten and on the left side was little
park behind a wall, where many  hundred years before a Kaiserpfalz did
stood. The front side of this special  venue was the ancient wall of the
city, based on roman rubble with two very  small gates, more holes in a
wall that is 2 meter thick, through what 2000  people must squeeze to
pass.  The small house forementioned was even made  to the band's
back-stage zone. Two nuns in full orderly dress looked out of it,  cheered
by the crowd, when we saw Dylan and band walk inside to leave it  for the
stage. Dylan in black suit, light yellow shirt, the other  musicians in
dark clothing.  They started for a powerfull "Wicked  Messenger" with a
little harp-work on this and the following "Baby Blue". In ths  song
something goes wrong  but "Lonesome Day" and "Just like a Woman" were 
really good. Highwater was very interesting in special to see Stu Kimbell
and  Larry Campbell on the opposite sides of the stage, very different
musicians  working together, but Larry was carrying the song. The only
reason for "Tweedle  Dee" in the set is maybe some humorous content of it.
A big highlight was  the "Man in the long Black Coat" with Larry on
accoustic guitar. In this song  and most of the night, Dylan was singing,
growling, snaring, wheeping and  howling like only he can do, nailing
every word perfect and anytime. In my eyes  this has to do with his new
piano-man position. I had the privilige to hear  this song in Hamburg last
year. The piano was more upmixed than, it drowns most  of the night in
worms in the sound-mix. And - the haunting character of this  song fits
maybe better to the style of Mr. Koella. Stu Kimbell worked hard all 
night, sometimes really with his tongue out of his mouth but Koella put a
Factor  X to the band, I sometimes remember. "Hollis Brown" was impressing
as a  contrast in this rock-n-roll-show. onest with Me was a really
rocker,  followed by Forever Young with a nice harp solo. Summer day was
rockin with the  effect that a rain shower stopped to cool down the
audience. Than they did  their usual line-up, Dylan looking down to the
harp in his hands, as if he will  see it for the first time. No contact to
the crwd, mostly elder, mostly male,  but mixed and nice nevertheless. May
be refreshed by the three blueberry  muffins - they ordered according to
the local newspaper - they appeared after  some minutes to bring Tangle Up
in Blues. I have heard this song so  often but this performance remembered
me, that it is not a stan dard but one  of his best songs ever. After LARS
and Watchtower - on this place - for me this  concert could have go for
another hour. Before they felt into Watchtower Mr.  Dylan entered
center-stage, saying thank you to the audience and "please give a  warm
Hand to Larry Campbell and the other boys. At  23.30 it was all  over
than. This man is in good form. You can see in his face everything  he did
goe through, but he is that artist. And this band is among the best 
rock-bands of this world. Maybe he did not select one of his more
spiritual  songs because of this very special place. Most of them would
fit too good this  night, to be in his concept of performing art. 

Reinald Purmann       


Comments by Cathérine De Smet

Worms was the fourth show this tour and the first Bob touched deeply by
singing " Just Like A Woman ", the new arrangement which I heard for the
first time. The overwhelming happiness could not stop a few tears coming
up in my eyes. Bob is magic. 

One of those warm summer nights that gives the sweet smell of the leaves of
an old tree we were sitting under on a sun warmed stone of the middle age
old wall and seeing living art before us! The white lightened stage on
the backside of the oldest cathedral in Europe whose high towers took
Bob's voice straight from stage into heaven and touched the angels and....
for a little while we felt their tears falling tender all over us. Thanks
Bob, for again an unforgetable evening and looking forward to France.



Review by Werner Kehl

Once again I find myself away from Berlin reflecting on a memorable Bob
Dylan concert.  Last time I wrote for this great web-site, I was also here
(in Bad Homburg), eight months ago after an engaging show in the
Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt.  Tonight, it's after the second of the
german shows in Worms.

Since the NET began, Bob has come to play in Germany almost every single
year; he's been to the big citys - both east and west - but the most
distinct shows in my opinion have always been those where he made `us´
travel to and discover such out-of-the way places like Gotha, Schloss
Tambach, or now, Worms, places we would probably have never visited if it
wasn't for Bob.  This tiny city in the state of Rheinland-Pfalz about 90
kilometers south, southwest of Frankfurt is more exceptional than some of
the previous `exotic´ locations because it has earned a real significant
place in western history. It was here, in 1521, infront of a court of
envoys from the Pope, that Martin Luther refused to revoke his 95
Thesises, which once and for all opened the gates towards Reformation.  On
a less significant note, but noteworthy none-the-less, towards the end of
the the first millennium, Worms was the location of a major jewish
community in central Europe (perhaps its most important), where trade
 and cultural activities played a big role in everyday life.  

Now-a-days, it's not that impressive of a place anymore.  Most of the town
was destroyed by allied bombers towards the end of WWII, and except for
the Synagogue and the Dom, not much was restored to its original form. 
The Dom-Kathedrale is by far the most important and impressive building in
the area, sticking out from afar as one rides over the spectacular
Niebelungen-bridge, which crosses the Rhine river.  It was in a court-yard
protected by the old city walls infront of this Dom where the concert took
place, and the aura of history was palpable at all times.  No doubt, the
performance itself did not make history by NET standarts, but to those who
who made the extra trek there, it will long be remembered. The highlights
were (for me):

High Water - (1st time for this attendee)
Hollis Brown - (ditto)
Man In The Long Black Coat - (Luther's ghost omnipresent!!)
Forever Young (wonderful harmonica, pedal-steel)

As raindrops fell towards the end, and realization set in that the
all-too-short german leg of the tour was coming towards an end, these
words of Robert Hunter came to me: 

"...such a long, long time to be gone
and a short time to be there..."

Please come back soon, Bob!!!

Werner Kehl


Review by Tobias Freimueller

After this show in Worms it became even more obvious to me that the show
in Bonn on the day before had been a real off-night for Bob. This night in
front of the old dome I really enjoyed the show - even if this was the
strangest setting for me to attend a Bob-show: 

The venue was nice indeed with the dome in the background, but since the
stage was on the same level as the floor where most of the crowd was
standing (there were only some steps down to a small lower floor between
this main floor and the stage for some lucky folks who had a perfect view
I suppose), about 50% of the audience could not see a thing. At least that
was the problem about halfway back were I was standing. So I had to cling
on a stall where fried sausages were sold (there was a small stand) to see
Bobs hat from time to time. Very strange to listen to Bob while people
around you are dealing with these freakin’ fried sausages all the time,
but alas… 

Wicked Messenger was an ok-start, but when Bob totally ruined Baby Blue
with scary croaking I prepared myself to see another weak show, but it
wasn’t to be. Lonesome Day was as good as ever and things really started
with Just like a woman, which was sung extremely well (low notes on the
chorus, no croaking) and extremely well played by the band, too. Bob was
concentrated from that point on and all songs were played at least very

Highlights for me: Man in the long black coat (very well sung again),
Hollis Brown (impressive – even the people at my sausage-stall were quiet
for 6 minutes finally) and Boots of spanish leather that has got yet
another different arrangement which I liked a lot more than the one they
played since Fall 2003. It was not that extremely different actually, but
closer to the original melody somehow, sounded like a mixture of the old
acoustic arrangement and the newer electric one. 

Forever young was another proof that Bob still CAN sing a melody if he
wants to. All of the quieter songs were more or less wolfman-free tonight,
which was a good thing if you ask me. Summer Days again was rather flat,
Stu isn’t into this song yet… Tangled was very good in this
electric/acoustic format, Lars was ok (it took Bob ages to start singing
the third verse, he forgot the words obviously and plonked along for what
must have been a minute until he finally remembered). Watchtower was not
as good as the night before, but still impressive. 

The audience was clearly 50+ dominated and probably the lamest crowd I’ve
ever seen, at least the people in the back. The only one who was moving
his old bones to Rolling Stone (!) was in fact the guy who roasted the
sausages. But the wierdest people were standing right behind me: Two pairs
in their 50es, talking to each other through the whole show. I mean they
paid 4 x 56 Euro to get in and didn’t even listen to the music? How
strange is that? They were even turning their backs to the stage (ok, they
wouldn’t have seen it anyway, but…). After Summer Days one of them checked
his clock and was complaining how long it took Bob to return for the
enchore, the others were complaining how short the show was! No further

All in all a good show, much better than Bonn, up to the standard of the
latest US-shows I’d say… 


Review by Nate Demars

Wednesday night in Worms I enjoyed the show much more than the one
in Bonn the night before.  The stage was set in a courtyard within
the walls of the old cathedral grounds.  It was truly a beautiful
sight.  This night I arrived much earlier to assure a good position.
The doors opened at 8:30 and I was in line at 7:30.  I met a nice
lady from Worms named Ursula who had lived 35 years in the U.S and for
awhile not far from my home in Minnesota!  When I finally got in I was
able to get right up to the barricade directly in front of Bob.  I met a
nice German couple and a young man my age that were kind enough to speak
to me in English as we waited for the show to begin.  Everyone was amazed
to hear that I was from Dylan's hometown of Duluth!  

As the show started the band emerged from an adjacent building from the
far left of the stage.  The band took the stage and got started.  From my
position I was only 10 feet from Bob could very closely watch his
expression.  It was great to watch him bob his head to the beat.  The
sweat was running down his face and into his eyes.  For those that say he
mails in performances I think they must be up close to truly see the
emotion he puts into the show, even if it doesn't come through in his
voice so well.  I like his current rough vocals on Baby Blue because there
is an added texture to the song.  I don't usually care for Tweedle Dee but
Stu's guitar was good. Larry has a smile on his face the entire show like
he still can't believe he's sharing the stage with a legend.  His attitude
reflects well in his playing which I very much enjoy, from electric to lap
guitar to violin and mandolin, he is great!  I was thrilled to hear one of
my all-time favorites, Man in the Long Black Coat.  He switched up the
lyrics "never said nothing, nothing she wrote" became "went down to the
river but I just missed her boat" or something to that effect.  I really
loved this song live.  At times I felt as though I was one of 10 people in
the whole audience that new anything beyond the encore tunes.  I got the
impression that the crowd was mainly curious locals that came only because
they were amazed such a star would perform in their small town.  The low
energy of the crowd was the only bad thing I could say about the show. 
Hollis Brown had an eerie feel to it and was a more intimate moment of the
show.  However my favorite song of both shows and one of my favorite I've
seen in concert was Spanish Boots, this is such a beautiful song to begin
with, and I could see the longing in his eyes as he sang and his vocals
conveyed the subtlety of sorrow.  Certain songs I don't enjoy too much
live because of the strong vocals of the original.  Forever Young is a
song that I feel the power comes from the way he can hold the notes in the
chorus and he doesn't let loose on the choruses in live shows anymore. 
Summer Days was again a foot-stomping rocker!  That song epitomizes the
energy and feeling of recent Dylan and Band music. Tangled Up in Blue is
always fun because he is constantly tinkering with the lyrics. Rolling
Stone and Watchtower were solid and supported very well by Tony and the
rest as always.  For me the highlights were Black Coat and Spanish


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