Krefeld, Germany
Yayla Arena

October 9, 2022

[Christof Graf], [Laurette Maillet], [Martin Burger]

Review by Christof Graf


Bob Dylan in Krefeld 2022 by Christof GrafNothing new in the West! – Or
is it? With these words onecould describe the last of six Bob Dylan
concerts in Germany in 2022.  Theexpectation of the high quality of
Dylan's musical performances of the"Rough And Rowdy Ways Tour 2021-2024"
had preceded him since thestart of the European tour in Oslo and the
concerts in Flensburg, Magdeburg andBerlin. It was also confirmed in
Krefeld. To anticipate it right away: Thesetlist, which has hardly changed
since the beginning of this year's Europeantour and since the start of his
concertactivities in America at the end of2021, has not changed in the
Krefeld Ice Hockey Arena.Dylan opens with a grooving
cowboy-rock-like"Watching The River Flow" and says goodbye with the
anthem"Every Grain Of Sand". In between, he presents nine out of ten
songsfrom the masterpiece "Rough And Rowdy Ways", released during
thepandemic. Except for the 17-minute epic "Murder Most Foul" all songscan
be heard. In between, older songs such as "Gotta Serve Somebody"or "When I
Paint My Masterpiece" can be heard. No, there has never beena best-of
concert by Dylan, not even in Krefeld in 2022. Yes, he doesn't play"The
Times Are A-Changin" either, but he makes it clear in manythings that
these have changed. The discussion as to wether the "Never EndingTour",
which began in 1988 with the forced break of the pandemic afterDylan's
last concert tour before the pandemic, should be regarded as over in2019
is not to be accepted. The question of wether the concert proclaimed
byhimself as the "Rough And Rowdy Ways Tour 2021-2014" is actually anew
beginning or just another chapter in history is left open. (Some of
thefeuilletonists use in their  current reporting actually still theterm
"Never Ending Tour". ) Change, contrast to the former and in general the
declaration ofMenetekel of the present time are the current concern of Bob
Dylan also at theKrefeld concert. The concert atmosphere and the attitude
of the artist hasalso changed.Shortly after 20.00 o'clock, after the short
intro ofclassical music, the light goes out. A moment later, Dylan is
almost hiddenbehind the piano. It is covered with black velvet.  If
hestays seated, you can hardly see him. He gets up to sing.  Thenyou can
at least recognize head and hair. There are hardly any  stageprops. The
former Hollywoodstudio lights are a thing of the  past.  The Oscar
statuealso no longer exists. The foreground in the background is bathed
with yellowor red light. Nothing distracts from Dylan's presence.  His
fivemusical comrades-in-arms wear black suits, as does Dylan himself.
 Thestage floor of the "Rough And Rowdy Ways Tour" is dipped in
brightwhite light. The ambience is subtle, sparse and unobtrusive to focus
attention on Dylan's wordand clichés. But first Dylan & Band play each
other, get closer, find eachother from song to song.  "Most Likely You Go
Your Way (andI'll Go Mine)" shows the direction, as does Dylan's
confession "I ContainMultitudes".  After "When I Paint My
Masterpiece"Dylan croaks a "Thank You" into the audience. The audience
thanks themaster with immediate applause after years of non-communication.
There will betwo more "Thank Yous" in the course of the evening. After
"BlackRider", Dylan gets up briefly and takes three hesitant steps into
the middleof the stage. For two seconds, he holds on to the
microphonestand. He taps backto the protective piano. Dylan's physical
fragility becomes visible. His stepsare slow and hesitant.  Voice and
piano, on the other hand, areomnipresent and manifest its relevance as a
singer/songwriter and writer. The concert atmosphere has something almost
religious.Dylan is no longer just a storyteller, but a companion. He is a
preacher andsupplier of the soundtrack of our lives. The devotional is
elegiac, epic,haunting, melancholy and stirring.With "Black Rider" you
feel a little remindedof Leonard Cohen, the other great singer/songwriter
and his requiem "YouWant It Darker" shortly before his death in 2016. The
"blackrider" does not seem to stop at Dylan, even if Dylan seems to be
dealingwith him. Dylan and band drive away the darkness with an
equallydark "My Own Version Of You" and a lascivious "I'll Be Your
BabyTonight".  Dylan plays harmonica for the first time this evening.  A
threatening "Crossing The Rubicon"follows.  He interacts with guitarist
Doug Lancio,leans towards him, just as he twice asks the second guitarist
Doug Bob Britt to"be quiet" with awave of his hand. Dylan loves to phrase
in Krefeld and is satisfied withthe results. His singing is clear, loud
and distinct. His stories are evolving.Dylan then goes again fragile to
the middle of the stage.A welcome and unusual gesture, but at the same
time a little worrying. It is important for Dylan on this tour to present
hiscurrent album. Distractions are undesirable. Smartphones were
previously lockedaway. The concert looks like a melange of church devotion
by a preacher whoreads the Levites to his disciples and a lecture by a
literature professor whosimply masters the power of the word. In addition,
Dylan presents himself as apainter of linguistic images when he lets text
and music pause for seconds. Thewords sometimes stood alone in the room.
Dylan turned the 80% filled hockeyarena into a church full of mental
screens. He created seconds of silence inthe community of about 3000
souls. "Key West" had such moments at thebeginning of the last third of
the concert as well as the bluesy "FalseProphet" in the first third of the
concert. On "Gotta Serve Somebody" Bob Britt grabbed hiselectric guitar
and it got faster and louder.  At theend, Dylan finalized  the song with
thespoken words: "Everybody has to serve somebody, ....  Evenme".  At
this point, my seat neighbor said,"Leonard Cohen might have said it a
little more humbly with the words "EvenYou" or "me too." For Dylan, it was
humble enough. Humble and focused were also the new drummer CharleyDrayton
and the only remaining from "Never Ending Tour" times TonyGarnier on bass
and Donnie Herron on violin, pedal steel and lap steel. The quintetsounds
more perfect from song to song. Tony Garnier is to Dylan something like
RoscoeBeck was to Leonard Cohen. A kind of musical director who waits on
Dylan'smoods, displeasure and joy like an eagle on his prey to meet Dylan
with musical favor. Leonard Cohen spoke of "Old Ideas" and"Popular
Problems" at the end of his creative period. After that, heasked in 2016
if they wanted it to be "darker" before saying"Thanks For The Dance"
(2019) posthumously. Dylan still seems to havea lot of new ideas in 2022
and wants to talk about unpopular problems in rough ways. Dylan always
didn't care what critics meant. His currentmildness of age was enough in
Krefeld for three "Thankyous" for theattention he received. After the
"Goodbye Jimmy Reed" blues, Dylan introduceshis musicians. A novelty in
contrast to previous years.  Thereare no encores.  Only "Every Grain Of
Sand"from the 1981 "Shot Of Love" album.  Then themusicians line up
together with Dylan again only for seconds in the middle ofthe stage.
Standing Ovations!  Theelegiac journey through time as a snapshot is
over. Dylan and the banddisappear in the same black from which they
stepped out for almost 100 minutes.The devotional is over and everyone
knows: "Things Have Changed".  Probablythose who could be there.

A german version you can find in my blog:


Review by Laurette Maillet


Krefeld October 9th. And it's the full moon.I arrive 5.30 am at the
train station but by FLIXBUS. I have an IBIS booking but I'm pretty sure I
can't check in at this time.So a good friend fetches me at the station and
takes me to his hotel room so I can sleep a little on the couch.Thanks! at
least I'm warm and rest.We then walk to the empty streets of Krefeld for a
breakfast.I finally manage to get my room in the morning and we walk again
the almost empty streets of Krefeld.Not such a beautiful city but the
weather is fine.I heard Bob and the Band are staying in Düsseldorf. Maybe
better things to do :)

By 3 pm my friend and I split, going to rest in our 
respective  room.Then I walk the 40 minutes to the YaYla venue.My
friend Ben told me we have been here together few years ago and....I want
to believe him :). No memory of it. Maybe him and Julien having some beers
before the show??? :)I take my sign out for half an hour and observe the
crowd. It's an arena again and seems big...5000?I hope for a quiet
public.I'm in a rested an good spirit. No doubt I'll get a "miracle"
ticket.When a gentleman hands me a ticket. A real one with the nice "rough
and Rowdy ways" printed. He says "it's for you" and disappears as another
one of my 'fans' recognized me and starts chatting. Woah!The ticket is of
high value. I'm impressed and embarrassed. I walk in immediately and
bump in my good Samaritan, a fan from Belgium. A great Fan as I remember
now meeting with him at the Beacon NY. We were stalking the BD bus in the
afternoon to see Bobby just walking from Broadway and getting inside the
venue. That was the last time I bumped "accidentally" into Bob Dylan ,
just to be aknownledged by my HERO. Barron was then the Bodyguard and he
was an Angel of respect!Those days are gone. My friend says Bob arrived in
late afternoon in a black car and he was hooded. :(I guess he is too old
to socialize:):)Fine.

I focus on the show.My seat is on the floor. And I'll
be able to observe the stage.For the first time they announce that NO
PHOTOS are allowed. Clear !On time they take the stage, Bob straight at
the piano.Right away the sound is fantastic. Loud and clear. Each
instrument can be heard individually. I like Charley's drums , like in
Oslo. But the audience is a lot more enthusiastic.Standing when the
lights shine on Bobby's face :)Bobby's voice is powerful. No weakness in
the voice.He mentions with his right hand to Tony or Charley? To play
"low" so he can play solo on the piano.Before "I'll be your baby tonight",
In the dark, he has a conversation with Tony and Bob Britt. What could
that be? Sometimes it's a change of the song. But not this time as he
starts " I'll be your baby tonight" with a roar from the public.And what a
version??? Whoa! The most powerful, beautiful of all tours. And "cheery on
the cake" he will pickup his harp and blows his lungs out! The crowd
is responding with applauses.Bob is certainly in good moon....oops!
Mood!Serious but happy to be here ! " I've made up my mind to give myself
to you" is certainly true tonight.He will move twice center stage. Frail
but proud.He's wearing a light blue shirt (I believe).He will say "thank
you" and "thank you Art lovers" few times.He will stand at the piano a lot
more than previously, even on the piano solos. We can see   a
quarter of him :) during the entire show.Each single song is a jewel and
it doesn't matter if I know which one is coming next. It's like a brand
new show. In good company with enthusiastic Fans around me. People moving
their bodies in rythme with interest and respect.Who could believe that
Krefeld would be the best show of the Tour so far? Not me :)But it
was!"Every grain of sand" comes too soon. I cry singing along
(quietly).Just before the final bow Bobby sits on his piano stool for few
seconds. He's exhausted!He manages to stand long for the 'pause', observes
the standing ovation (I'm Sure with pleasure) and disappears in the
dark.Swallowed by the night.In the loneliness and security of his fancy
dark car up to the ...airport?

Thanks so much to all the good Samaritans.Krefeld was the show not 
to...miss :)See you all in Paris.Merci beaucoup ! 


Review by Martin Burger


It is a tight and tender sunny afternoon atmosphere when we arrive in
Krefeld at the Yayla-Arena around five o'clock pm. Nobody lingers around
selling tickets, so we decide to purchase two seats at the "Abendkasse".
Then peacefullness starts to enter the soul, waiting around another two
hours with more and more Dylan-enthusiasts and curious newcomers entering
the place with their hidden mobile phones (Yondr). The show starts on time
and contains the well known setlist. It takes two songs to focus
everybody, then "I contain multitudes" shows BD and his band at an
increasing level. Dylan - sitting and standing behind the piano,
occasionally (was it twice?) exposing himself at the singers microphone in
the center without using this position to sing - appears young to me. It
reminds me of the movie "I'm not there" and the extraordinary performance
Cate Blanchet delivers as the young and angry artist. Dylan behind the
piano provokes the sixties, when I was born and he was already an adult
fighting the main stream. But it is 2022 today and we listen to the new
songs from RaRW. The concert is very intense, the music crystal-clear.

Some of the new songs are difficult to understand. For me it is 
especially hard to follow "Key West". I enjoy "You gotta serve somebody"
very much, allthough the lyric changes are not decodable. Every song is
delivered on a high intensity level. There is no need for relaxation; we
are inspired and attentively follow the show until the very last harp solo
that brings the crowd up to their feet. Standing ovations in the end.
Thanks Bob Dylan and his band for another beautiful night.

Martin Burger


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