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Bob Dylan 2002.05.02 in Rotterdam


Newsgroups: rec.music.dylan
Subject: And the light shone on Rotterdam !
From: Eric Schoneveld 
Date: Thu, 02 May 2002 23:41:55 +0200
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On 20:15 Bob took the stage, wearing a huge white cowboy hat
and gave us a wonderful rendition of Wait for the light to
shine ! Followed by what must have been the 1st acoustic I
threw it all away. And that was already the hilite of the
evening for me. Goosebumbs throughout the song, really
wonderfully done with Larry playong some excellent lap steel
guitar.

I didn't keep notes, so I don't have the entire setlist, but
it was a great show throughout, She belongs to me,
MrTambourine man and blind willie mctell were my favourites.
I thought Bob's vocals were a lot better during the somewhat
more quieter songs than when singing 'the rockers'. Also was
great to see Keltner, he did an excellent job. Also was nice
to hear Solid Rock. I don't like the arrangement of Man of
constant sorrow much though, but I am sure others do.

That;s it for now, I am sure others will provide more
details, just a few first impressions ;-).

By the way, does Larry just have a moustache now ? I was a
little too far away to see him clearly ;-). I did see
Charlie's white boots though.

Eric


Bob Dylan, Rotterdam review I’m a Dylan fan since 1966 and from his first concert in the Netherlands in 1978 I attended several performances through the years. In september 2000 I decided not to go to Rotterdam. What a mistake! I’m realizing that, every time I listen to the bootleg “Don’t waste your words”. So: very high expectations this year. And, of course, a little disappointment yesterday night. Sure: Dylan has a perfect band, and they were playing tight. But the soundmix left very little space to hear all the beautiful guitar work of Larry and Charlie. Dylan’s four note improvisations became boring after 10 songs, and so was his voice, bending to a high note at the end of every phrase, making many songs sound the same. I missed all the nuances I like so much in the september 2000 recording (Tomorrow is a long time; Not dark yet, Things have changed etc). Didn’t I enjoy myself? Oh, yes! The group produced some very good music and Dylan was really co-operating with the other guys. Nice drumming by Jim Kletner. A few surprises like Solid Rock, Blind Willie McTell and even four songs from his last album, with very nice playing bij Charlie in “Summer Days”. But not one song swept me – emotionally – off of my feet. And that is what I expect Dylan to do…. Peter Koene, De Bilt, The Netherlands p.koene@tiscali.nl
From: "Carsten Wohlfeld" office@carstenwohlfeld.de To: webmaster@expectingrain.com Cc: billp61@execpc.com Subject: dylan rotterdam review Date: Sat, 4 May 2002 11:39:06 +0200 Bob Dylan Rotterdam, Ahoy May 2, 2002 A review by Carsten Wohlfeld The show in Oberhausen last week was supposed to be the last concert of my own little "Euro Bob 2002" tour. So it was sad to see for me, that I had picked what probably was the weakest gig of the entire tour as my "farewell show". So I couldn't help but catching the train to Rotterdam to see yet another show - especially since the rave reviews from Brussels (where Bob had played one of the few songs I was dying to hear - "When I Paint My Masterpiece", plus tons of other rare gems) and Paris suggested that the not-so-great Oberhausen show was indeed a one-off. Thank to Tim & Regine, I was able to make the Rotterdam show as well. Isn't it great if your friends are not only kind and generous, but also divide their time between southern Germany and Holland and are willing and able to put you up for the night at either of the two places? Or maybe I'm just lucky?! So I got on the train, arrived in Rotterdam some three hours later, picked up a cheap, but shitty ticket (the show was a near sell out despite the huge Arena-sized venue and good tickets were very hard to come by) and made my way to the stands. My seat was on the side of the stage, almost behind the stage, so the only guy I could see perfectly was Keltner (that would come in handy later on), although I managed to walk around for a bit during the set and actually quite liked the experience of not getting crushed in the front on the floor. The show was an all-seated affair, although the stage rush happened the second the intro tape kicked it - even before the lights went down. For all seven shows I'd seen on this tour before, I'd hoped that they would open with "Wait For The Light To Shine" - and they never did. Looking at the recent setlist it seemed that only three songs were left in the #1 rotation and "Halleluljah I'm Ready To Go" actually looked more than likely for tonight. Even more so in fact when Larry came out on stage his mandolin in his hands. However, I was very pleasantly surprised that they did: Wait For The Light To Shine (acoustic) It was actually a pretty good version, that was faster and seemed to have a more driving rhythm than some renditions I'd heard on tape. Nice backing vocals from Larry and Charlie as usual. By the way: In Oberhausen they had worn matching olive-coloured suits (interestingly enough, Larry didn't get his extra-long jacket) but tonight they apparently had - temporarily - abondoned the idea of matching outfits. But enough of that, because number two was a real treat. Bob started the song with a harp solo and while I expected a surprise in this slot, I didn't even dare to think it would be this - one of my all time favourite Dylan tunes - but it was. I Threw It All Away (acoustic) Played approx. 10 times since 1978, and the first time ever acoustic - if my memory serves me well. In any case, it was GRRRRREAT! Bob's harp solo at the beginning was of the "one size fits all" variety, but his singing and phrasing was surprsingly good considering it was still very early in the show and Larry's perfect pedal steel guitar took the song to a whole new level. The acoustic arrangement actually worked very well, it was in fact closer to the "Nashville Skyline" original (minus the organ) than recent electric outings. The fact that the band played quiter also meant that Bob could concentrate on the beautiful lyrics and didn't have to worry about being louder than the instruments which seemed to have been the case on earlier electric renditions. This song alone was worth my time & money! Wow! (by the way: If you haven't heard it, check out Yo LaTengo's great version of this tune as well!) It's Alright, Ma (acoustic) Bob delivered a killer first verse: Fast, clean and sharp. The rest of it wasn't too bad either, but you couldn't help but noticing that the show featured several songs that were just "too long" and while Bob was great on the first verses, trying out new phrasings etc., he went back to the "regular" (not to say boring) phrasings for the last part of the song(s). If the songs would've been over by halftime, they actually would've been a lot better or definitely more interesting at least. More of that later. Love Minus Zero (acoustic) Again starting with a harp solo, this song featured the best singing of the night. Sweet and gentle, the song reached the same high level that "Boots" has reached in Nürnberg or "Every Grain Of Sand" in Stuttgart. Larry provided what was probably the nicest pedal steel solo that I heard him play ever since he took over from Bucky. Bob was visibly impressed as well, and actually refrained from adding his own two-note-solo on top of Larry's. A wise choice! Got the biggest cheer of the night so far. Next: my second big moment of the night, after "I Threw It All Away". Solid Rock I guess I first got the "Saved" album about ten years ago and the stand-out track for me always has been "Solid Rock" - mostly because of the drumming, which I think is unlike anything else on any other Dylan record (bar maybe "Series Of Dreams"). When they finally started playing the song again in Stockholm last month, my first reaction was: "I wonder if Receli can do the drum part justice". Okay, by now we know he kinda could, but still: The second the hit the first chord, my shitty seat on the side of the stage made sense all of a sudden: Because I could quite perfectly see THE ORIGINAL DRUMMER play the song: Jim Keltner! It was stunning to see him play all the little things that make the drum part so interesting, so I didn't care that Bob's singing definitely has been stronger on other renditions of the song before. I was over the moon already. Now even "River Flow" wouldn't have managed to ge in the way of my staggeringly good mood. Watching The River Flow Hey Bob! You know as well as I, that I wasn't entirely serious when I said that!!! But there it was: One of my least favourite tracks in the Dylan catalog, AGAIN Bob added a harp solo and Larry (on lap steel guitar) and Charlie on 6-strng played some pretty cool solos, so and in the end it wasn 't the worst version I've ever heard, but still. If this meant that I would leave the tour with "High Water", I could've done without it! Sugar Baby Nice choice, as well done as in Strasbourg. My buddy Tim wanted to hear this song, so I was happy that Bob played it "for him". Lonesome Day Blues The usual bluesy, but rocking arrangement, got a -somewhat surprisingly - good response from the crowd. Masters Of War (acoustic) I had put on the "Masterpieces" album a few days prior to the show and I was completely stunned when I heard the original of this song for the first time in ages. What a great performance. So I listened with extra care when this came on, and it was kinda disappointing. He almost sang the song in an almost sympathetic voice and it just didn't work. Keltner (who did a decent job on most of the songs), didn't really seem to know what he was supposed to do on this track either and his quiet drumming seemed kinda un-inspired and not fitting the song. Mr. Tamborine Man (acoustic) With harp. It was an odd version, with Bob singing a different "ascending" melody and he also streched the last word of every line, at least in the first half (cf. "It's Alright Ma"). Weird. Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) Again, Bob seemingly invented a whole new melody line on the spot and that made the song acutally quite enjoyable until he returned to the regular arrangement/phrasing for the last few verses. The usual soloing made sure that the crowd went completely mad! Next up: "Summer Days" - or so I thought, but it took them longer than usual to start the song and when I heard Larry play a chord on the cittern, I knew something was different! Blind WillieMcTell And what a great version it was! Stunningly well sung, played quite perfectly by the band with the added bonus of two extended laid back Charlie Sexton solos that fitted the mood of the song very well. Don't think I've heard a better live version yet! Summer Days Was missing some of the fun and excitement of previous versions, especially when compared to the very first renditions on this tour. The triple solo at the end included some bad noodleing and Keltner's drumming isn't half as good as Recelis's on this track. Charlie put in an awesome solo in themiddle, that unfortunately was way too short! Wicked Messenger Keltner completely butchered the song. They had played it before and it worked fine, but tonight Jim's drumming was mostly unconnected to the song. He missed all of his cues, and messed things up so badly that Larry had to go back a few bars twice and restart his guitar part to make the song halfway recognizable. Even Bob turned around once as if he wanted to help Keltner to get back into the arrangement. A mess. Bob put some extra energy into the closing harp solo, but it didn't help much. The light show (the guys as giant shadows on the curtain) looked terrific - even better from the stands, actually. Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35 One of the highlights of the night, for the same reasons the extended "Cat's In The Well" from Munich was so good. The soloing was acutally enjoyable and not at all of the "let's get out of here" variety. In fact Bob and Charlie seemed to have played a completely different tune altogether for most of the time. Or was it just a really cool and inventive twin solo they made up on the spot?! Great stuff! Band intros, the by now common short solos from each band member, formation, the end. (encore) Man Of Constant Sorrow Well, the encores were a bit of a let down. Not that they were bad, but after the excellent main set (probably the best and most enjoayble I've seen this year), the encores were just Bob-by-numbers for the best part. This song worked as well as before musically, but Bob's vocal delivery sounded a bit tired. Like A Rolling Stone Again, the energy from the mainset was gone, Keltner messed up the ending and underlined that this was a sub-standard version. If Dogs Run Free (acoustic) With an odd harp solo at the start. They only used pink lights on stage for this song (is that new or did I just miss it before?) and that looked quite specatular in a loungy kind of way. Bob's singing was bettert han I would have expected and they had a fade out ending that actually was an accident (judging from the smiles on the band member's faces), but it worked quite well. Honest With Me One of my favorites from "Love And Theft", but live (and especially in this non changing slot in the encores) I find it a bit tiring, despite the fact that it rocked like no other song tonight. Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic) Same as it ever was. Unlike at previous shows, they didn't even leave the stage after this song. They only went back behind the backline, waited for about 15 seconds and then returned for: All Along The Watchtower Is there a better way to end "my" tour? I guess not! Well, actually, they could have rocked a lot more! With Keltner's laid back drumming (only using hi-hat and bass drum during the verses), this weird un-rock version was kinda reminiscent of the spring 1998 version, but not quite as good. Without wanting to sound like a broken record: I am not complaining! It was, after all, a fine end for my personal "Euro 2002" tour. I don't think I ever got to hear more different songs in just eight shows (a solid 66, I think) and when you see as many shows as I usually attend, that's all you could possibly hope for. Thanks for joining me on my little trip, thanks again also to all my riends helping me out along the way and please excuse my bad english once again. See y'all next year!? Carsten Wohlfeld -- http://carstenwohlfeld.de "your girlfriend can leave you, but the rolling stones are there forever" ~ alan mcgee
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