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Bob Dylan 2002.04.17 in München


From: "Carsten Wohlfeld"  office@carstenwohlfeld.de
To: webmaster@expectingrain.com
Cc: billp61@execpc.com
Subject: Munich review
Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 03:12:13 +0200

            Bob Dylan

            Mčnchen, Olympiahalle

            April 17, 2002

            A review by Carsten Wohlfeld



If you are ever happy to see the tiny village of Mindelheim
halfway between Lake Constance and the city of Munich,
you're either a huge fan of the German countryside or you're
running dangerously low on petrol and can't find a gas
station for AGES. So despite minor complications on the way
to and in Munich (I think we all decided that we never want
to move there just to make sure we don't have to deal with
the traffic there) Tim, Regine and I actually arrived early
and even had the time to enjoy some impossibly large
cocktails before the show. So we all had a great time even
before the show at the Olympiahalle was due to start at
8.30pm and Bob did all he could to make sure that wouldn't
change for the rest of the night. I was quite surprised that
Bob was able to fill the huge venue, I'd think there were
more than 9 000 people there. Last time he played the place
in 1999 they had seats on the floor, but now fortunately it
was general admission. It was just after 8.30pm that the
five guys came onstage, this time NOT wearing their matching
suits for some reason. They kicked off with a very welcome

               Humming Bird (acoustic)

Bob was on from the first line. Larry's didn't get to play
his lovely Johnny-Cash style solo on the elctric guitar that
I'd enjoyed so much in Hamburg the week before, but I'd
still think that this was a superior rendition. Just overal
very well done.

               The Times They Are A-Changin' (acoustic)

Okay, the lyrics weren't perfect, but it was a pretty decent
version nevertheless. Nothing reminded us of the disaster
from the night before, maybe because they seemed to be
playing the song a little slower and with that a bit more
gentle, which seem to work a little better. Still would kill
for some change in this slot though.


               It's Alright Ma (acoustic)


The same strong version that we've come to expect from Bob and his gang on
this tour by now.

               It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (acoustic)

The biggest crowd pleaser so far, Larry did a great job on pedal steel as
usual, although Bob tried his best to bury Larry's opening solo with his
harmonica playing. It was a solid version and a good end for a very
enjoyable first acoustic set. It was at this point that I thought that they
had finally returned to the constitancy of the first shows I saw (not many
highlights, not many lowpoints, just overall very good) and had left behind
the hit and miss approach that had made the Stuttgart show so weird. But
just as I thought that, they just turned around and got better and better
and better.

               Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again

Unlike the Frankfurt rendition, this was energetic and well-paced from the
start. Bob delivered some of his usual one-note guitar solos that were
actually enjoyable, especially as he didn't forget to put a lot into the
vocal delivery at the same time.

               Floater

Much better than Hamburg. I still miss the violin, but somehow they managed
to fill the gaps better this time around. Yet another chance for Charlie to
show that he apparently is capable of playing anything from country, to
blues, to rockabilly - and jazz! Still find it weird to hear these jazzy
songs in huge 12,000 seat venues filled wth people who for the best part are
waiting for "Like A Rolling Stone" (in the 1965 arrangement).

               Subterrean Homesick Blues

I was surprised  to hear this again so soon after the not-very-good-at-all
version from Hamburg the week before. This time around Bob and the band did
exactly know what they wanted to to with the song and the result was a much
tighter, yet still very relaxed rendition of the song. Wouldn't mind hearing
it more often as long as they manange to keep it on this level. But just
when I thought it couldn't get any better (or more surprising), Bob pulled
out:

               In the Garden

This must have been only the 4th or 5th time they played the song since I
last heard it in Hannover six years ago, but you couldn't tell. I have to
admit that I don't know all of the lyrics to the song, but if Bob messed
them up, he did a very good job hiding that. The band sounded as if they
play the song twice every night as well and not once a year. Very slow, but
very emotional, all five seemed to concentrate really hard to get the song
right - and they did. A stunning performance!

               Don't Think Twice (acoustic)

Maybe they needed a rest after the strong "In The Garden"? Whatever it was,
they delivered a good version of "Twice", that - some nice guitar work from
Bob aside - was almost a lowpoint compared to the previous two numbers, even
though it was actually a quite nice version.
Those of you who read my reviews regularly might remember my favourite
episode from the Montreux concert last summer, when Bob played "Visions Of
Johanna" and I had tons of fun watchting my aforementioned friend Tim who
was standing about 10 meters away from me,who totally enjoying the song - no
wonder, you would, too, if you had named your baby daughters Hannah and
Louise! This time Tim and his wife Regine were both at the show and were
standing right in front of me. So I had to smile big time when I realized
about five seconds before they did that the next song was indeed.

               Visions Of Johanna (acoustic)

The vocal delivery was a bit rushed at first, but things improved as the
song went on. Not an extraordinarily stunning version, although it's still
always a pleasure to hear him sing it. There are some many fascinating
images in the lyrics, it still blows me away every time I hear the song.

               Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic)

Same as it ever was. This time with harp at the start.

               Summer Days

The usual fun jamming you've come to expect from the guys on this song by
now. Maybe they didn't get as much into it as the previous nights or maybe
it just seemed like it after the many, many highlights they had delivered in
Munich already, but somehing seemed to be different.

               Things Have Changed

Was pretty good as well, although I still want to hear "Suagr Baby" (or
"High Water")  in this slot. "Things" worked well, as it was quite fast,
with a good driving beat from George (you couldn't tell that he had problems
with his arm at all). I think the fact that they realy playit by now helps
both Bob and this band to enjoy it more than in 2001, when they played it
every other night. Interestingly enough, this seems to be the only electric
song left that still allows Larry to take the lead.

               Drifter's Escape

Solid, rocking version as usual. And even though it was very good, it paled
in comparison to the last song:

               Cat's In the Well

Now I know you won't believe me, especially since we're talking about a show
here that featured "Subterrean", "In The Garden" and "Visions" already, but
"Cats" was BY FAR the best song of the night. I'm not a major fan of Bob's
blues numbers, but this was simply stunning. They had played the song a few
times last year and it sounded good, but tonight it was just something else.
I don't know where it came from, but the stuff Charlie played on guitar -
both his soloing and the riffs - were GRRRRRREAT! The song rocked like no
other, it was loud, it was fun and it was long! I wouldn't be surprised if
it clocked in at 10 or 12 minutes. Bob introduced the band close to the end
and this time around let them all play solos! The song just blew me away -
just like the last song of the set is supposed to be!


               Not Fade Away

Was a nice change, although it wasn't as well done as "Constant Sorrow" the
nights before. They have a slightly different arrangement now (compared to
1999/2000), but Bob, Larry and Charlie are still singing all the lyrics
together, which just proves that we're talking about a real band here, not
just Bob and backing musicians.

               Like A Rolling Stone


Especially in a huge venue like this, an obvious crowd pleaser, although it
was "just" the regular version this time, that wasn't as good as the night
before in Stuttgart.


               If Dogs Run Free (acoustic)


Same as it always is. The same that applys to "Floater" is true for this
song, so I wasn't exactly overwhelmed.

               Honest With Me

Rocked, rocked, rocked. Didn't come close to the version of "Cats", but
sounded better than in Stuttgart.

               Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)

Both the harp solo and Bob's singing were a lot stronger than on previous
versions and so the show actually ended on less disappointing note (for me
anyway) than it usually does when this song is aired as the last one.

The lights came on and it was 11.06pm - Bob and his gang had played for more
than two-and-half hours, making this - to the best of my knowledge -one of
the longest shows since the summer of 1993. The whole event was on a
stunningly high level. Both Bob and the band just couldn't do wrong tonight
and while I initially thought I'd just see one more show (my "hometwon" gig
in Oberhausen), I'll see now see at least three more shows now- just on the
strength oft his gig. Which is my way of saying that it was simply awesome!
Many thanks to Tim, Regine et al for  the lift and  making this such a fun
night! See y'all in Nčrnberg!

Carsten Wohlfeld
--
http://carstenwohlfeld.de
"your girlfriend can leave you, but the rolling stones are there forever" ~
alan mcgee

2002: Jan - Feb - April -

Tour