Loerrach, Germany
Stimmen 2001 (Voices 2001)
Marktplatz (Market Place)
July 17, 2001

[Michael Mohm], [Clemens Martin]

Review by Michael Mohm

Because there was no one other, who write a review from the concert in 
Loerrach, so I will do it.

It was not the best concert, I saw since 1987 (this was Frankfurt, 
September 2000), but it was not bad. The show on the market place was 
sold out and roundly 6000 fans were happy, as Bob and his band started 
with the warm-up "Oh Babe, It Ain't no lie". The second song, a very 
slowly "Mr. Tambourine Man", was the first highlight of the concert, 
'cause it ended with a long and warm harp-solo.  During the show, the 
were a lot of differences between a strong looking Bob and the two 
guitar-players Charlie Sexton and Larry Campbell. Two examples: The 
intro of "Most likely you go your way (and I'll go mine") was longer 
than two minutes, because Bob stood in the background of the stage. 
Then he came slowly back to his front place, shook his head and held 
his arms down for a minute, before he began to play guitar and started 
to sing. After a very loud and heavy "Watchtower", Bob started to sing 
"Forever young", while Charlie and Larry were not ready to change there 
electric guitars to acoustic ones.  Seven songs with harp-solos (some 
very, very long) - this was the great surprise of this concert. The 
crowd was enthusiastic, mostly on "Highway 61 revisited".
Bob said not one "thanks everybody" or so,  and there was only the 
introduction of his band during "Leopard-skin pill-box hat".  But then - 
after the last song "Blowin' in the wind" - there was the real sensation 
of this evening: Bob stood in front of the stage without guitar, said no 
word, looked to his audience and - fell on his knees, for a wordless 
"thank you". - What a great scene, what a moment!

Michael Mohm


Review by Clemens Martin

I'd hoped to find some more reviews of the Loerrach Concert, because I
really can't make my mind up about it. Of course it is a well known
phenomenon that Dylan playing an audience of, say, 3000 is not playing
just one show but about 3000 completely different shows, but I woud have
liked to have some more reports of the other shows he did that night.
 I saw the Schwaebisch Gmuend show before and it nearly blew my mind, but
Loerrach was kind of "weird", "strange", "bizarre" or whatever's the apt
Bob Dylan review terminology for it. Probably it was just a normal Dylan
Concert in terms of Dylan concerts, whereas Schwaebisch Gmuend was a
rather normal concert, in overall concerts terms, which made it a
comparatively extraordinary Dylan concert – I‘m certainly not talking
about quality now, I‘m talking about modes of performing. 
I can't put my finger on it, but there's a sense of destruction in Dylan‘s
performances, which puzzles me. It has been there in the mid-sixties, of
course, and often later on, but back then it was revolt against “them“,
against my parents‘ music, against folk music, protest music, against
anything Dylan fans laugh about now, but in 2001 this sense of refusal and
revolt somehow seems to be directed against  m e  personally, and this is
what makes me feel uncomfortable. Because I am (as far as I‘m concerned) a
“real“ fan and willing to understand everything - so why should he hate
me? I don‘t mind if he slaps the others in the face, but why me? I keep
wondering - and maybe that‘s the key to it all. "He's been playing the
harp for more than 40 years now and he just couldn‘t avoid getting
practise, therefore he should know better", my friend said, rather
indignantly, after the show. "Certainly he knows how to play the harp", I
said, "I can't really figure out why he refuses to show his ability, but
he has definiThe crucial moment of the concert probably was when he
started playing his harp solo on "Don‘t think twice" - it was like an
ambulance or police car rolling on the stage - this one loud noise, less
out of tune than out of rhythm, repeated again and again, a jammer, meant
to destruct the song and wipe it all out. A clear affront to the public.
Most of his - this time asthonishingly more than desirably frequent! -
harp playing at the concert was quite similar, but lacking the violence,
the directness of this. "Don‘t think twice" was the "Naked Lunch", the
2001 edition of "play fuckin' loud" which means: "Okay, I‘ve gotta serve
somebody, but I didn‘t say I meant you, and you can give me your money and
then go and watch the geek, but it probably ain‘t me your looking for -
and I am here to prove it." That‘s Dylan - play a song, hark back to the
old days, and in the same moment cross it out.
A few words on the rest of the set: "Baby it ain't no lie" was a well done
opener, "Tambourine Man" was rather confused; I liked "I want you" (kind
of a return to the Blond on Blonde version), "Hollis Brown" and "It aint
me" - both very soft, intense versions. "Till I fell in love with you" was
a surprise, because I accidently told my friend an hour before the concert
started: "I don‘t think he ever does that song on stage".  They somehow
tried to rearrange the simple blues form which didn’t really fit the song.
"Cold Irons Bound" was such an incredible tight and driving song in
Schwaebisch Gmuend,  and it seemed like a first ever performance in
Loerrach. You felt like: Is this same band? What happened to them that
they got grey and lost all their guts in only ten days? They even seemed
to have forgotten how to play the basic guitar riff. It was such a loose
performance - except for the drums which were marvellous - that "Leopard
Skin Pill Box Hat" was in comparison  almost thrilling.
The encore set was alright; I liked "Love sick", "Watchtower" and "Forever
young". Maybe I would have had a much better night, if there hadn‘t been
this couple in front of me, kissing all the time; she, standig with her
back to the stage, her tongue in his mouth, for two hours. Not the best
position to concentrate on a Dylan show, not for her, not for him, and
definitly not for me. But tongue or not, I can‘t blame her for the harp in
"Don‘t think twice". Neither do I blame Bob by the way – if   h e  plays
tongue in cheek, it‘s alright with me, I‘d say. 


page by Bill Pagel

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