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Bob Dylan 2001.07.07 in Schwäbisch Gmünd

from German "Musikexpress" From: "Rolf Bergdolt" To: Subject: Tip: Review of Schwäbisch Gmünd Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2001 14:15:47 +0200 After a very warm summer week with pure sunshine the weather got nasty for the weekend, heavy rain in the afternoon with thunderstorms, this day seemed to become a disaster for an open-air-concert, but then the sun came out again in the evening, red sky with some clouds, just beautiful. Bob & the band came out ca. 2037, show ended 2250. It started with "Duncan & Brady", the well-known arrangement, nevertheless a nice opener. I always like the chorus lines with Larry and Charlie singing. Then came "Times They Are A-Changin" and Bob failed again to remember some lines in the beginning, like so many times last year in this song! But then everything changed with a great harp solo, Bob's voice getting stronger and stronger through the whole show. It was my 9th Dylan show, and I have never heard him sing so great like yesterday, dark, very very bluesy, with a lot of strange phrasing and always very concentrated. The sound was very good, also in "Desolation Row". I have longed for "Visions Of Johanna", but the whole gig in Schwäbisch Gmünd was very rough, with a few exceptions, in a sense of a strong new approach to the songs. So this one fits perfectly to the whole scenery. Bob's second harp solo, very strange, just two notes fighting against each other in the end, powerful! Even that one was bluesier than ever. "Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again" was good, maybe nothing special, but then again(!), a strong harp in the end. Blues time, going down South "Tell Me It Isn't True": a smooth break, nicely done, very gentle voice, the band's playing got tighter. Nashville Skyline revisited, but soon we hit the Blues-road again: "Watching The River Flow": was it the spirit of John Lee Hooker that was in Bob today or what was it? The voice sounded just awesome to me, Bob's guitar solos very decent and very good complement to his dark and deep singing today. "My Back Pages": maybe it was not the greatest audience, I mean not very enthusiastic, but who cares? I just kept listening to Bob's singing, a little mistake here and there: "I was so much older then, I was younger than that now" but even that was great, funny and great both. The arrangement with Larry's wonderful fiddle keeps growing, here it was almost solemn, very distinctive. "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)": it slowly got dark, very good choice at that time, and one of the best songs of the show. Maybe it gets boring to say this again but everything in Bob's voice reminded me of all the great Delta-Blues-singers and stories. If a new album comes and he sings with that voice on it... "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" was nothing special, but a well known song for the audience. Again I hoped for the harp, but Bob seemed to prefer guitar-playing now, also in the next tunes, "Country Pie", it gets more and more Charlie Sextons song in my ears. A funny song, always. I love this rude country-playing. "Cold Irons Bound": that was punk-blues, psychedelic roar, remember Grateful Dead, and the best performance of the band and Bob. Terrific is the word! Here it got obvious how good Tony Garnier and David Kemper harmonize! On this foundation Bob's singing blew my mind, it sounded out of mind. "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat": ok, we have heard this once before, and for me it got a little bit boring some time ago, and that couldn't even change the guitar jam, very entertaining nevertheless. Short break, a very short formation, Bob nodding his head, one bow, they came back for "Things Have Changed": at this time the concert for me was getting almost pure fun, good songs, the band played all the encores with a lot of engagement, Bob seemed a little bit tired for a few minutes, but the audience's reaction to "Like A Rolling Stone" brought it all back to the roots, again more a blues-number than anything else, only because of Bob's deep and powerful voice. "Girl From The North Country": tender. It always drives me to tears, this one. What more can I say? "All Along The Watchtower": great lap steel by Larry Campbell, Bob sung the first verse again in the end, a new variation. Spooky and: sounded fantastic. "Mr Tambourine Man": the phrasing on this one always gets a new variation. It just sounded like the jingle-jangle morning to me, evoking all that symbolic pictures again, very much Rimbaud-style. What a great song when it is done by Bob all through the years in those fascinating variations in singing and playing. His guitar solos were dancing beneath the diamond sky… "Highway 61 Revisited": I love this one, always, and it was the essence of the evening's blues spirit. Great, great solos by Charlie Sexton, Dylan pointing his yellow electric-guitar on him after that. I knew that the next number would be "Blowin' In The Wind": I heard it live only one time before, in Munich ‘99, and this one blew my mind again. How can such a song, so often played by so many people all over the world, nothing more than a cliché for a while, getting so intense and fiery again? Here it seemed, from a little distance to the stage, Bob being young again in 1963. The same spirit, unbelievable. He made a few bows to the audience, with the band members with him. Dignity. Greil Marcus' statement a few years ago, that at the beginning of the Nineties, he decided to become a good lead-guitar player, has proved true. Maybe Bob didn't smile a lot, but for me he seemed to be very serious, very engaged in all songs. "Cat's In The Well" was the "second" encore after seven encore-songs in a row, but in fact it is a second set. Last line, the end: "Goodnight, my love, may the Lord have mercy on us all." Bob holding his guitar in the right hand, last bows, and they disappeared. Don't you miss it when he plays in a town near you... Rolf Bergdolt

From: "poillet" To: Subject: SCHABISCH GMUND REVIEW Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2001 13:51:32 +0200 At the opening song, immediately Bob was very angry and nervous against Charlie (Sexton) about the riff, the key-sound of Duncan & Brady. His face, his eyes were very severe. At the middle of the song Bob move back on the stage and stopped his playing between the bridge of this song. Even pull his eyes int the Heavens. During four songs Bob played facing Larry (Campbell) without a glance to Charlie. Bob was very 'punchy' all along the show. He managed this concert as "the boss": talking with Tony (always looking around), and with David (Kemper) maybe a little tired, laughing with Larry. One more time, somewhat nervous. Bob has one more time a scorn behaviour, imperious and timorous. We love him like that. During the bridge of "THINGS HAVE CHANGED", Bob feigned to have lost his mediator in the ground. I don't know why ? or to have a studied  deportment.. Immediately Tony was anxious.. A crowd  of 15.000 persons (for the organisation) under the rain. (Not during the whole show). Even some people attempted the show sitting in the hill around the  Universität Park... Bob appearred in his long black jacket and his thin moustache. What a dandy! Bob played the solos guitar of each song, with a good Larry support. The highlights of this concert was surely a very good "MY BACK PAGES", and very sensitive "GIRL FROM THE NC". "CAT'S IN THE WELL" was a good surprise for the crowd as a 2nd encore (surprising). Everybody has observed that Bob was of playful disposition (at the end of the show) from the beginning of "ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER" to the very end. For this song Bob repeated the first part of the first verse to the end. It's agreed now, but the band is very good oiled... maybe too much sometimes! A professional work without surprise sometimes... See you tomorrow at MONTREUX.
Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2001 18:16:59 +0200 (MEST) From: tobias freimueller To: Cc: Subject: Schwäbisch Gmünd REVIEW Schwäbisch Gmünd-Review It was a hard (and I mean a hard!) rain gonna fall when we arrived in Schwäbisch Gmünd. I could'nt believe that the concert could happen under such circumstances, but fortunately the rain stopped at 18.00 during our walk to the University Park (and did'nt start again - but everybody was looking into the sky during the show and expected rain). The Park was much bigger than expected and the stage was very very huge. Well, we survived the opening-acts and at 21.40h Bob and the Band hit the stage. I stood way back this time and this always gives me a totally different feeling to a show, less "contact" with Bob, more "objective" watching. So maybe some others who were in the front rows have a different opinion on the show? DUNCAN AND BRADY came first as expected, nothing special. We discussed before the show, if maybe Bob would take this as a Festival-Show and play only 15 greatest-hits. It was not the case after all, but when they started TIMES THEY'RE A-CHANGING it seems to go into the crowd-pleaser-set-direction. "Times" was as bad as it was in 2000 mot times. Even worse I think because he not only forgot the lyrics in the first, but also in some of the other verses. Voice was bad, too... DESOLATION ROW was next. Beautiful guitar-work by the band, mediocre vocal-performance by Bob. During this song I realized that we saw kind of two Bobs on stage this night at the same time. No, I was'nt drunken - let me explain: The first Bob was playing guitar like I never saw or heard him before. There was no single song, in which he did this bizarre noodling - his short licks and riffs fitted absolutely perfect to the music, he pulled out another trick in every song. We all have heard songs with Bob adding some cool guitar work, but I never saw or heard a show where this could be said for the whole performance. In one word: He played a brilliant lead-guitar. He had a great time and me too. But what about the other Bob? Well, this Bob was singing - and he did it really really bad. Not only that he forgot parts of the lyrics in almost every song of the main-set. He also was always a half second too late or too early, absolutely not on focus. I don't want to believe it, but at some points it seemed to me as if he had a few drinks before the show. He was singing in this "Hello, I had four beers but everything is OK"-voice, you know: when your tongue is not as flexible as it usually is and when pronouncing is a little difficult... In Desolation Row the result was for example: "Yes, I recieved you yetters lesterday", hmmm.... He could'nt be drunk, because of his superb guitar-playing, but it certainly sounded as if he was. Bob finished Desolation row with some nice harmonica, as he did on times, what saved the song for beeing less than OK. Now the band grabbed their electric instruments, what meant that we'would get a complete set, and started STUCK INSIDE OF MOBILE. My friend Boris, who was with me at the show, loves this song - and halfway trough it he went to get us some beers! That was the atmosphere in the whole audience (probably not in the first rows...): Bob played and played, but the show did'nt take off. People started to talk to each other, looking around... Of course the guitar was again very good, but the mumbled and forgotten lyrics destroyed that effect once again in "Mobile". Bob again saved this song from being a let-down with an acceptable harmonica. TELL ME THAT IT IS'NT TRUE was a nice surprise, very well played again, better vocals by Bob now. Best song so far, but far from beeing really good. WATCHING THE RIVER FLOW followed, again no "take-off-song", good guitar, mediocre vocals. MY BACK PAGES featured the usual arrangement, Bob started with a good first verse and then mixed the lyrics up so much, that he had to repeat a full verse (what does'nt happen so often, most time he manages to get back into the correct verse again within seconds - not today) IT'S ALRIGHT MA IS A SONG I really love. It was the best song so far because Bob got the lyrics right if my memory serves me well, but still nothing really special. DON'T THINK TWICE closed the acoustic set, but things did'nt change: Some nice vocals and some horrid lines in one song... COUNTRY PIE was a strange choice for the next slot, played not half as powerful as in 2000. COLD IRONS BOUND was quite good. Did they use some echo-effect when Bob sang IRONNN BOUUUUNNND? I'm not sure. LEOPARD SKIN PILL BOX HAT was more uptempo tonight, acceptable vocals now and again some unbelieveable good guitar by Bob. But that did'nt save me from beeing a little frustrated. Te main set was over and besides nice versions of "Tell me" and "Alright ma" it featured one "Guitar-God-Bob" and one singing Bob who just was not able to bring things together. THINGS HAVE CHANGED opened the second set and that's exactly what happened now: Bob still played very very good guitar, and he suddenly could sing now! I'm sure you won't believe me, but things had really changed. What followed was the strongest enchore-section I ever heard. "Things" was harder and more uptempo than usual, Bob played some grat riffs and gave us four "Oh Year!"'s in one song ;-) LIKE A ROLLING STONE had been horrid in Braunschweig, it was the best song of the show so far in Gmünd. They rocked! Bob sang it really good and the audience woke up. I hoped (again) for something different than the running dogs for the next slot - and we got GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY. And it was a stunning version. There were two rough and "out of tune"-lines, but all in all Bobs singing was great. His guitar-playing was even better. WATCHTOWER rocked like hell tonight, Bob's voice was a bit buried in the mix, but more because of the volume Larry and Charlie created. MR TAMBOURINE MAN was a surprise in this position, nice version - even if I don't like this new phrasing at all. HIGHWAY 61 was great too. Another highlight for sure. BLOWING IN THE WIND was business as usual. The only thing was, that Bob obviously was so happy with his own guitar-playing, that he gave us at least two extra Soli during this song. CATS IN THE WELL closed the show. Bizarre choice! Nobody in the audience seemed to know it, but everybody had tons of fun. Bob played a simple riff to great effect again. Best version of this song I ever heard. After the song when they stood in the formation, Bob lifted up his guitar.... Strange show again. "Two Bobs" tonight in a way during the mainset, and a very strong enchore-section featuring "one Bob" and definitly one of the best I've seen so far. This was my second and last show this year. Hope to see some reports from the rest of the Tour?!? Tobias
Date: Mon, 09 Jul 2001 23:12:18 +0200 From: Carsten Wohlfeld To: Subject: Schwäbisch Gmünd July 7 review Bob Dylan Schwäbisch-Gmünd, Germany University Of Maryland Universitätspark July 7, 2001 It all could‚ve gone horribly wrong, but luckily it didn‚t. After the strange show in Braunschweig nobody know what to expect from Bob in this small town not too far away from Stutggart and since it was an open-air the weather was also a factor to consider. There had been a hurricane warning (not the song, a real life one) and as soon as we arrived at the gate it started raining cats and dogs. Fortunately it stopped right in time for the support acts to get on stage. Cameron Fraser and his band were fine, yet unremarkable, a Travis-style pop band with hints of Elvis Costello. Local hero Hubert Styx (sp?) came across as a second rate Johnny Winter, which was just about okay, too. The place was quite crowded, they apparently sold 9,000 tickets in advance and I wouldn‚t be surprised if in the end about 12,000 to 15,000 people turned up. Which would make this Bob biggest show in Germany for almost 15 years, I believe. The stage was very high so we were happy with a spot a little further in the back. Bob and band took to the stage at around 8.30PM, just in time to witness the sundown. First up was DUNCAN AND BRADY (acoustic) And while it was a much better choice than ≥Roving Gambler„ at the previous show, it only classified as ≥good without being special„. THE TIMES THEY`RE A-CHANGINő (acoustic) Was obviously chosen with the many tourists at this show in mind. It also was a continuation of the ≥guess which line I‚m gonna forget this time„ contest from last year. I believe it was verse 1 line 2 this time. I‚ve heard many versions a lot worse though and when he reached for the harp, hHe made up for the less-than-perfect song selection with a short solo. DESOLATION ROW (acoustic) Was the first real treat of the night. Not only did the band a very good job, Bobős vocal delivery was excellent throughout, even though he had trouble with a couple of lines (I for one heard him sing ≥I received your yellow letter yesterday„, or maybe it was yetter?) For the last couple of verses he even invented this new little guitar riff, somewhat similar to ≥Love Minus Zero„ that gave the song a very welcome different feel. He even followed this with another harmonica solo, quite possibly the first I got to hear on ≥Desolation„ Ų lovely! STUCK INSIDE OF MOBILE WITH THE MEMPHIS BLUES AGAIN Might not have been on the setlist, as Charlie had to change guitars a couple of times. Larry played acoustic on this song, which may as well have been chosen as an excuse for the third (and last) harmonica solo of the night. Although a lovely song, the band seem to get bored with it halfway through, as Tim pointed out correctly after the show. Charlie was supposed to play a solo, but didn‚t do the task justice, unfortunately. He used the Leslie organ effect for this song though, which worked quite well, given the amount of keyboards you have on the original. TELL ME THAT IT ISNőT TRUE Not only a pleasant surprise with Larry on pedal steel, but also very well done. He butchered the song really bad in Australia, but this was probably as close as weőll get to the mighty fine original. WATCHING THE RIVER FLOW Was next, a really underwhelming performance, the usual blues romp with Larry on lapdog steel guitar. MY BACK PAGES (acoustic) Nice choice, Larry once again on fiddle, taking a few very nice (albeit well-known) solos. Bob butchered the lyrics pretty badly though, so only the fact that it‚s a terrific tune saved it from being a disaster. Although just about made to include another harp solo, Bob decided to end the song with a guitar solo. ITęS ALRIGHT MA (I‚M ONLY BLEEDING) (acoustic) The usual arrangement, although played with a slightly harder (=better) edge to it. Probably the best version I have heard since it was re-introduced to the set a couple of years ago. Although he had trouble getting his lyrics right all throughout the night, he managed to get through ≥Ma„ just about perfectly. Definitely THE highlight of the night so far. DON`T THINK TWICE, IT‚S ALL RIGHT(acoustic) Crowd loved it, despite the fact that it was a pretty mediocre rendition. Only the guitar playing was above average and while Bob'‚ voice sounded fine, he had trouble with the lyrics once more. COUNTRY PIE Not only a weird choice so high in the set, but also very badly done. Not even Larry‚s and Charlie‚s twin solo, which made this song almost bearable last year was half as good as it used to be. Thankfully it was over in a flash. COLD IRONS BOUND was quite good, even if David missed a cue once. Very powerful and energetic with Tony on tambourine. LEOPARD SKIN PILL BOX HAT Bob took over most of the soloing from Charlie tonight and he did quite a good job. Tonight Bob introduced the band DURING ≥Pillbox„, not before the song as he did in Braunschweig. So there you had it, a 75 minute mainset that only included one single repeat (≥Pillbox„) compared to the pevious show. Quite impressive and while the song selectin was less than sensational the show had a much nicer flow than the random selection in Braunschweig. And we even got a couple of semi-surprising encores. THINGS HAVE CHANGED Was an unsuspected highlight. Thankfully done slightly faster than last fall, it featured what was possibly Bobős best vocal rentition of the show so far. Very energetic and involved. Great stuff! LIKE A ROLLING STONE After the rotten version in Braunschweig I‚d hoped for the song to be retired, but instead of going the easy way they did it again and really improved it as well! Rocking version that was much better than any of the renditions I remember from last year. A nice surprise! GIRL OF THE NORTH COUNTRY (acoustic) Played instead of the usual ≥If Lapdogs Run Free„ as we like to call it affectionally - and what a nice rendition it was. Tender and rather slow, with Bob continuing to sing really well during the encores. A harp solo would have been even nicer, but I‚m certainly not complaining! ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER Rocked exremely hard in it‚s new arragement tonight, although it also proved me wrong: When it ended in Braunschweig with Bob holding the last word I was convinced it was ≥howl„, simply because it‚s the last word in the original lyrics. What I didn‚t notice (I was enjoying getting lost in the wall of sound too much, I suppose) was that Bob added a fourth verse (actually a repeat of the first), so the word Bob holds to end the song was actually ≥worth„. An interesting detail, I guess. MR TAMBOURINE MAN (acoustic) Still had traces of the new phrasing Bob introduced in Australia earlier this year and was a nice surprise in this slot, although Bob messed up the lyrics really bad Ų AGAIN. HIGHWAY 61 REVISITIED rocked as hell, just like every other night. A couple of ≥Oh yeahs„ were added as an additional value. I guess Bob was enjoying this show quite a bit. BLOWINő IN THE WIND (acoustic) Was the usual Bob by numbers, although this time it ended only with two repeats of the chorus at the end. In Braunschweig it had been three, I think,which puzzled Larry and Charlie quite a bit. CATőS IN THE WELL Not a song I‚d hope to hear at a Bob show, but still tons better than the umpteenth ≥Rainy Day Women„. Quite rocking version too that obviously has the perfect last line to close a show with: ≥May the good lord have mercy on us all„. I guess that‚s why they chose it. As I mentioned earlier, this show was a lot less confusing / confused than Braunschweig, probably because it featured a setlist that came alot closer than what you might have expected in advance. A couple of nice surprises and some exteremly well sung songs meant that I liked this one a lot more than Braunschweig, although it certainly still wasn‚t the kind of show that makes you give up your day job and follow the tour for the rest of your living days. Oh yeah Bob didn‚t say a single word tonight (bar the band intros). Still need another show to make up my mind on ≥Bob 2001„... Carsten Wohlfeld -- "if you can't get noticed wildly dancing naked while coming out of a volcano, you might as well give it up" (gina gershon)
2001: February - March - April - May - June - July -