Montreux, Switzerland
35th Annual Montreux Jazz Festival
Stravinsky Auditorium
July 8, 2001

[Marco Mazzotti], [Sergio Castelberg], [Carsten Wohlfeld], [Vittorio Columbo]

Review by Marco Mazzotti

The show was consistently at a very high level. Very good acoustics and
the music was not too loud, with very good understanding of Bob Dylan's
voice. The band was as follows: Bob Dylan in front in the middle, with
Charlie on his right and Larry on his left; behind Bob was Tony, and
behind Charlie was David. The front line was just reversed with respect to
Zurich last year; surprisingly enough Larry looked sometimes a bit
isolated on his side, whereas there was a lot of talking between Bob and
Tony, Tony and Charlie, and Tony and David. All songs were played very
well, and I was particularly impressed by the intense renditions of Song
to Woody, Baby Blue, Masters of War (it was almost sweet, if this could
apply to this song), It ain't me babe. But the very two highlights of the
first part of the show were Blind Willie McTell and Visions of Johanna;
both were really marvelous. It is worth noting that during It aint' me
babe, somebody tried to convey a bunch of flowers through the first rows
to the band, and Bob modified the lines saying something like "somebody
tries to bring flowers here"; I hope somebody will be more precise about
that. From where I was I could not see what the ultimate fate of the
flowers was. The encores were also very good with no standard rendition;
maybe only Rolling stone and Highway were rather normal. It is amazing how
"Things have changed" has changed after only one year! If dogs run free
was really jazz style, which was just appropriate for the venue. All along
the watchwater was really different from what can be found on CDs.
Knocking and Blowing were really good. Cat's in the well was a very good
final. At the end it took almost one minute before the lights were turned
on, during which I kept unrealistically hoping for a final surprise. The
show was overall more than two hours. I think that the show was extremely
good, and uniformly at a very high level. If I have to mention a couple of
songs that were not very impressive I would mention Duncan and Brady and
Rainy day Women; but the other songs were all very intense. I should thank
Bob Dylan for such a concentrated, and dedicated performance, with a
wonderful setlist. I look forward to seeing him again soon.

Marco Mazzotti


Review by Sergio Castelberg

After standing in line for what seemed to be a very long time and after 
being pushed around quite a bit, we could finally enter the hall and we 
even got pretty close to the stage, so we could see Bob's interesting 
facial play during the show, which for me absolutely makes up for his 
not saying a single word (apart from the band introduction) throughout.

Bob and the band came on stage and it became clear from the first that 
the audience was pretty enthusiastic. Probably, there were quite a few 
people who would never have attended this concert, had Bob not turned 
sixty this year, but who cares; my only concern about that was that 
some might expect a kind of greatest hits show and might be 
disappointed - but then again, who cares?!!(not me)

I'm so glad Bob did NOT give us his greatest hits!! "Duncan & Brady", 
the usual opener, was followed by "Song To Woody". That was such a 
happy moment for me!  I had been wishing for this song and, given that 
he doesn't play it all that often, it was quite something to really get 
it - Thanks, Bob!!

I must say that I enjoyed the show too much to "take notes" (or something), 
so I'm simply unable, and in fact unwilling, to give a detailed review of 
each song he played. The feeling you have while listening to a song is 
simply not there anymore hours after the concert, and I don't even care 
to hear a recording of this show, because the ambience of such an event 
cannot be captured there; Bob's aura cannot be put on CD.

A friend of mine, who joined me for the concert, had to be very patient, 
having to wait until the first encore for songs he knew (He is not into 
Bob Dylan as much as I am, but in the end he enjoyed the show just the 
same!). All those who had been expecting just greatest hits must have 
been let down somehow - GREAT, GREAT, GREAT!!!!!

One of the big surprises of the night for me was "Things Have Changed". 
I thought Bob might be bored by it (by its melody) by now, but no! He 
seemed to enjoy himself tremendously, singing very inspired and in a 
sharp voice - Very cool!!!

I think another highlight of the concert was (surprise, surprise!!) 
"Knockin' On Heaven's Door". The version was completely new to me, what 
a shame I couldn't really make out the chord changes... The man's always 
good for a surprise.

All in all, Bob's Montreux show was probably the best out of the three 
Dylan shows I saw during the past three years. It had a lot of good, very 
clear singing and really good guitar solos by Bob (Think of his strange 
picking in Zurich, in 2000...). However, the most important thing about 
Bob Dylan's performances is that there always is a large amount of 
improvising and sponteneity - what a contrast to much of today's 
music!!!!! This man still has blood pumping thru his veins...

"Good night, my love, may the lord have mercy on us all!"

- Sergio


Review by Carsten Wohlfeld

The good (and the bad) thing about being on the road following around Bob
Dylan is that you talk way to much about Bob all day. You just can’t help
it. So Gunter, Robert and Tim discussed the setlists of the previous shows
at great length during our 3 hour drive south to beautiful Montreux. The
song I desperately wanted to hear was „Absolutely Sweet Marie“, always a
favourite of mine and a song I hadn’t heard in more than three years,
while Tim’s dream setlist included „Blind Willie McTell“ and since his
daughters are called Hannah and Louise, you could bet that he definitely
wanted to hear „Visions Of Johanna“ as well. The problem with that?
Despite the fact that Bob has played around 2,000 concerts, these three
songs NEVER made it on a setlist together. Now I’m really bad with maths,
but I know for sure that getting to hear all three songs was not very
likely AT ALL.

The queue, getting tickets and wristbands was a mess, but I won’t get into
that here, because it was basically the only frustrating thing about the
whole show. The Starvinski Hall is a great place to see Bob. Fairly small,
only a few years old, with a surprisingly low (and pretty small) stage,
but best of all there is no barrier at all, so you’re right at Bob‘s feet.
Despite the disorganised queue ,Tim and Gunter managed to get right to the
front while I settled for a spot a dead center in the third row. At around
8.40PM Bob and band came on stage to open with:


Which was once more nice, yet unremarkable. It was after this song that
the three canadian cuties around me really began to annoy me, because
although they had discussed before the show that getting to hear
„Hurricane“ was less than likely, they yelled for the song repeatedly
RIGHT IN MY EAR and while Bob had already started the first solo verse of

SONG TO WOODY (acoustic)

By the time my poor ears had recovered, Bob was already halfway through
the song, it sounded alright, although I was actually thinking more about
strangling the girls than the song. Quite an impressive choice though.
This was a song that nobody mentioned during our lengthy setlist
discussion, probably because nobody dared to mention this, the by far best
selection for the #2 slot.


Beautifully sung with Larry on pedal steel. I think it was on this song
that Bob got visibly upset with his sidemens guitar playing and he didn’t
recover all night, giving both Larry and Charlie angry looks and even a
few nasty comments allnight. During „Baby Blue“ he went so far to play his
guitar solo on top of Larry’s. Sounded pretty bad, but Bob wanted to prove
who‘s the boss, I suppose. The harp solo at the end made up for the mess
he made earlier though. So at the third show for me this year I managed to
get through the first acoustic set without thinking „Oh no, I really don’t
need to hear this song ever again.“ To be honest, I didn’t think Bob would
be able to keep the standard of song selection this high. My thoughts went
back to Braunschweig, where a fairly decent acoustic set was followed by a
boring „Tombstone“ and a horrid „Baby Tonight“. Montreux was different


Is not the kind of song I usually would get excited about, but the
rocking arrangement worked quite well tonight. I still liked Bob’s
phrasing on the early 1995 versions better, but oh well, it was still tons
better compared to  „Stuck Inside Of Mobile...“ as the electric opener.
After the song, Larry picked up the bouzouki and I had a big smile on my
face, because this either meant we’d get to hear a new song or indeed
„Blind Willie McTell“. So I spend the first few chords looking over to Tim
so see his reaction.


Actually it took him a bloody long time to recognize it, but the smile on
his face soon after was just priceless, as was Bob‘s word-perfect
performance of this great, great song. It rarely sounded better and that
really says a lot given that the sound so close to the front is usually
pretty bad. The definite highlight, not only tonight, but on my personal
three date mini tour. Could it get any better? Well, having heard „Baby
Tonight“ and „River Flow“ as the third electric song at the previous
shows, I would have been happy to hear „Lay Lady Lay“ and since Larry sat
down at the pedal steel , for whatever reasons I was convinced that this
was the song we were about to hear. So I was COMPLETELY in shock when I
heard Charlie play one of my favourite riffs in a Bob Dylan song


Wow! This was GREAT. Actually I have heard better versions, as this
seemed not to have the driving power of the 1998 arrangement, but hey,
they only do it once every six months or so and with that in mind, it was
pretty good. After all, it was the thought that counts right? And in my
book an okay „Sweet Marie“ is still A LOT better than bascially anything.

MASTERS OF WAR (acoustic)

Was the first semi-letdown. Not only was it a repeat from the show a
couple of nights ago, it was also the first song in the set from the „I
think I’ve heard this song often enough even if i live to be 100 years
old“ category. Being so close to the front the vocals got kinda lost in
the mix and (because of that?) I found the song less impressive than in
Braunschweig. A lot of people in the audience were clapping along. That
often happens and I never figured out why anybody would want to clap
during this song. Oh well. Larry picked up a guitar with a capo afterwards
and this could only mean two things: We would either get one of my least
favourite songs or somebody in the crowd would be EXTREMELY happy very
soon. The first capo song obviously is „Tangled Up In Blue“, a song I
heard at over 95% of my dozens of Dylan shows. In fact I believe
Braunschweig and Schwäbisch-Gmünd were the first two shows I’ve seen EVER
where Dylan didn’t play the song two times in a row. To see a whole tour
(well, my three shows) without a single „Tangled“ still seemed
unthinkable. Like Neil Young (almost) said: „It‘s gone, but not
forgotten“. To make a long story short, we got the other capo song. BIG
smile on Tim’s face, big dumb grin on anybody‘s face really, because it


Okay, it’s not much as a sensation to hear it as it used to be in say,
1999, but obviously the fact that they play it more frequently means that
the performance improved a lot since the song returned to the set in early
1999. This version didn’t have a harp solo and I believe Bob mixed up a
couple of lines, but still this was probably the best version I’ve heard,
well, since the 1966 bootlegs really! Bob‘s vocal delivery was STUNNING
and made this a strong contender for the best song of the night together
with „Blind Willie“.

IT AIN’T ME BABE (acoustic)

Somebody threw some flowers on stage during this song (they were removed
by Dylan‘s roadie Tommy after the song had ended), but it wasn’t the
flowers that distracted Dylan during this song, it was what he thought to
be really bad guitarplaying courtesy of Charlie and Larry. Dylan even
paused during the closing harp solo to make some pretty harsh comments on
Charlie’s playing (off-mic, obviously). A so-so performance.


Wow, another very welcome surprise. A pretty nice version, although I
don’t have much to compare, because I hardly ever heard him do this (in
person or on disc).


The usual hard-rocking blues version, this time with an extra guitar
solo by Bob before the expected harp solo to end the song.

RAINY DAY WOMEN Nos. 12 & 35

I told you how much I hate the song many times before, but tonight I was
actually pleasantly surprised, because this meant we wouldn’t get to hear
„Pillbox“ and with that, yet another 11 (!) new songs in the mainset
compared to the previous show. „Rainy Day“ included the band intros
halfway through the song (if I remember correctly – Bob didn’t say a word
all night apart from that though) and was the usual jamming arrangement
which gave Bob the chance to flirt with some of the women in the front. He
got every upset with somebody in the front row though, so much in fact
that he stepped to the front to tell the person in question „I don’t want
to see you ever again at one of my shows“ (or words to that effect). The
formation followed as did a short break.


A tiny bit slower than the previous night, I believe, but Bob‘s vocal
delivery was just as good as in Schwäbisch-Gmünd. I always thought the
renditions last fall lacked the passion that the kinda rough romps had
made the song so enjoyable last May, but this came pretty close to what I
would call a perfect version!


Again, a great performance, with the same engery that had fired  up the
song the night before. More flirting, and now - at long last - some nice
guitar licks from Charlie. Larry broke a string and managed to change
guitars halfway through the song.

IF DOGS RUN FREE (acoustic)

Obviously a perfect choice for a JAZZ festival, I liked it better than in
Braunschweig. The highlight was an extended solo by Larry, who got his
first and only chance to shine on this song.


Rocked, rocked, rocked! Again, the first verse was repeated after the solo


With Charlie on electric guitar. I still love the new arrangement, even
though it wasn’t as well done as in Braunschweig. Charlie didn’t play his
Leslie „organ solo“ and he missed the cue for a couple of lines as well,
thus making this a bit of a confused version.


More of what you expect from this song.

BLOWIN‘ IN THE WIND (acoustic)

And still more of what we already knew... Then they stood in formation for
a few seconds as usual, Bob took a few bows, making some funny shadow
boxing moves and then they threatened us to leave. But in fact they didn’t
even leave the stage, as they turned around very soon to do another song.
With „Rainy Day“ used up in the mainset already, it was


Again. It rocked, it was fun, it was a nice way to end a near perfect

Actually it still kinda left me confused, because I didn’t expect that Bob
could get so angry at his band of seemingly perfect musicians. The setlist
obviously was a killer, probably the best I’ve ever heard/saw in person,
and some of the performances were just too good to be true, but some songs
suffered from the surprisingly weak performances by the backing band. So
although an excellent show, I think it‘s safe to say that I’ve seen better
Bob shows already. In a way it was like the Tramps show in 1999.

So what are my thoughts after seeing three Bob shows in 2001? I never got
to hear so many different songs in the space of just three dates (well
over forty!). The mixed up setlists took away a bit from the perfection of
the performances I guess, at least there were a lot more things happening
on stage – some on purpose, some seemingly not on purpose – than late last
year. Where this will lead Bob is anybody‘s guess. Despite the fact that
over all I was quite impressed with the three shows, I sold the tickets to
the two remaining shows in Germany that I intended to see at first. Never
done that before. If that is an indication of burnout onh my part or an
indication that Bob needs to change things even more to keep it really
exciting is up to you. I’ll see Big Star instead which should be special
as well.

Thanks to the touring crew – Gunter, Robert, Tim (and Regine), Janice, Joe
and Ray – for the free rides, the funny stories, the place to stay and
generally a great time as usual. Hope I managed to get across the vibes of
the show(s) without making too many mistakes, I had to rush these reviews
a bit. See y’all next time!

Carsten Wohlfeld


Review by Vittorio Columbo

First of all: it's costing me much more than it may seem to write what I
am going to write; but I believe I have no other way out of it. This is
going to be a quite different review of the M. night with respect to the
other ones I read. I'm sorry for it but it was what I saw an felt in front
row, under mike, one meter from him. The concert was bad, really bad,
almost for the first two thirds. Maybe I could kindly save Masters of
war...The point is that he simply had some problem, not physical I
believe. from the second song on he seems to have an unexplicit fight with
Charlie: he stopped playing in the middle of songs; made strange eyes to
the sky; he was out of himself with bore; walked in the back of the stage
with his face saying "OK you do it like that? ...this is the way of doing
it" and then started banging on his guitar not always with the best of
effects and much too loud and much too angry and out his genial usual lead
guitat scheme. This became even more evident during the electric ones. To
say a word to people who know what I'm talking about it looked like
Munchen 1995, or Correggio 1992. By 6 song to the end Things changed but
not to last until Blowing in the wind, which was kill all over. But this
is not really all of it. And I wanted to say it before because it really
may not have anything to do with what I write now. Probably the 99.99%
readers of this have never heard of people being taken AYAY from front row
by Dylan security in the midst of a concert. I have been following him for
the last 23 years and heard about it only int he last year, so... and at a
time I was really following him, all over Europe. It first happened in my
recollecting last year in England; and in the midst of it were 2 italians
in 2 different concerts: same way though: "Bob Dylan security wants to see
you"; "He wants to talk to you" (Ah, ah, ah...); "he is not going to play
this concert on if you stay there...." and I report it as it is no word
out of place unbelieveable as it may seem. I know the 2 guys and most of
all I know myself: yes, it happened in Montreux; same words in adscending
order of importance. During Rainy Day he himself pointed at the front row
to the guy who handles him guitars (i forgot the name). It had happened
also 2 songs before but in either case I had given any particular notice.
From front row you don't happen to see very much of what is going on
behind you and that could have been the cause of Bob moves. But, a minute
after I had a security guy putting hand on me saying what I already wrote
a few lines up. I got my hand on the electric wires on the stage which was
low and sayed that I was not moving at all, that I had payed my ticket
right, had done 400 km to be there, had no camera, no tape, no video, no
nothing and that I was not moving. Then the guy called bob's black
bodyguard. He arrives as a flash. He knows me and I ask him what is going
on. He doesn't know how to answer... he knows me... My girl friend near me
point to Bob and Tony looking from 1 and 2 meters respectively at the
scence and Bob opens his arms and moves his head like to say..."you know,
I can do nothing, I am not in charge there...". Light went down, the 2
guys try to take me away since BOB wants to talk to you!!!!! and a light
torch jumps in my face; is the guitar guy saying to the other 2:" OK OK
it's Ok leave him". Orders came from him to leave me. No friends it is not
the end... The end arrives at the end of Watchtower. He finishes the
songs, moves a little back in the shades, then moves directly in front of
me and bending his knees and back and pointing his left hand index finger
to me says: "I DON'T WANNA SEE YOU TOO ANYMORE HERE! RIGHT?!" (Under mike
a little to the left is my usual place under Dylan, as everybody who knows
me knows). Believe me or not that was it. From that one the concert
changed as I sayed before. What can or should I say more? I don't
particularly like being writing this. but I know what other people went
through after less than I what I had in Montreux and hope to do a favour
to the next one, because there will be more, in letting him or her know
that things go like this for no clear reason connected to the person that
is caught in trap. Don't worry you haven't done anything wrong. In 23 he
has had more than one chance to say a kind word to me when we had a
chance. I never intruded. And this is the first time I violate his privacy
telling a story. At the end of the concert people near me where asking
what did he say to you? thinking it had been some kind of honour. I did't
disclose the fact. Then I changed my mind fo r the reasons above. I pity
him from the deep of my heart. He must have some big big problem to behave
like that with no reason, absolutely no reason. I hope he is not drinking
too much; because i recognise such behaviour as one of the usual effect of
drinking even when you are not dry. I ever I loved him from the deep of my
soul, believe me that, trying to forget the strenght of words and the
energy he put in plap them on my face, I love him a little bit more.
Comments for people in need of help or wishing to give help at

Thanks to everybody
vittorio colombo


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