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Bob Dylan 980530 in Nürburg/Eifel, Germany<

       Nürburgring (the German Formula One race course)
       Rock am Ring festival
       Capacity: 90,000 
       Ticket price for 3 day pass DM 130 (Approx. $72 - US) 
       Phone number to order tickets: (0)180 53 52 530 
Live RealVideo broadcast

Subject: May 30, 1998, Nčrburg, Germany - a review
From: Carsten Wohlfeld (
Date: 31 May 1998 03:12:00 +0100

>         Bob Dylan
>         May 30, 1998
>         Nürburg, Germany
>         Nürburgring / Rock Am Ring Festival

For Bob this probably just was show number 934 (or something) on his  
Neverending Tour, but for most of the other people involved it was indeed  
special. First on all it was his first show on mainland Europe in almost  
two years, his first ever apperance at a major festival in Germany and the  
start of his European tour that finally could see him mix up the setlists  
again... More of that later. There were about 70.000 people attending  
(most of them didn't come to see Bob) and Dylan was scheduled to be on  
stage at 8.30PM, which had been put back till 9.00 cause former Crowded  
House singer Neil Finn played a short solo-acoustic surprise set. All the  
other acts were running late, too and that's why Bob and his band didn't  
take to the stage till 9.55PM. Bob wore black pants and a long black coat,  
similar to the outfit we wore at the Grammies. David Kemper won the Dylan  
lookalike contest, cause when he first came out a few minutes prior to the  
show for a quick soundcheck many people thought it was Dylan himself cause  
David wore a coat similar to the one Bob wore in Bologna last year,  
similar hat and shades, too. It was Bucky though, who won the fashion  
award tonight, wearing a cool silver jacket and black leather pants as  
well as cute round glasses. Anyways, on to the music...
>         1. Maggie's Farm

Was up first with Bucky on acoustic guitar. Or rather, he was was supposed  
to play acoustic guitar but he broke a string three chords into the song  
and had trouble getting rid of it. As a consequence the song was performed  
without much input courtesy of Bucky. The sound wasn't too good yet (there  
are no soundchecks at festivals like this) and the whole thing was - okay.  
Then again, anything that wasn't "Sweet Marie" was fine with me anyways.

>         2. Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power)

Great choice, always good to hear. Sounded pretty sad, like a lament,  
beautifully sung, with nice phrasing during the "leather"/"together"  
lines. They messed up the ending, seemed like as if Kemper missed it and  
Larry had to put in a small "emergency solo". Funny.

>         3. Cold Irons Bound

Solid performance (first ever in Europe), but I still don't like the song  
all that much.

>         4. Just Like A Woman

Another song I normally don't like live, but the great phrasing on  
"Juuuuuust like a WOMAN" alone was worth the admission fee. One of the  
highlights tonight!

>         5. Silvio

Was very fast and rocked as hell. It seemed that especially the songs they  
play rather often - "Woman", "Silvio", "Tangled", "Highway" - were all way  
above average. Great solo (one I hadn't heard before) courtesy of Larry at  
the end. I think the song lasted a bit longer than usual as well.

>         6. Cocaine (acoustic)

Ten times better than the awful version I had heard in Miami eight weeks  
ago. Nice backing vocals by Larry and Bucky pretty high in the mix. By  
this point Bob became much more animated and this was the first of several  
songs tonight he started by himself.

>         7. Mr Tambourine Man (acoustic)

The only real lowpoint in the set for me. Solid performance, a bit too  
much mumbling, but he didn't add anything to the song at all. Apart from  
"Woman" the biggest crowdpleaser so far.

>         8. Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

Another crowdpleaser that went by in a flash. I guess I've heard this song  
so many times that it's getting harder and harder to still find new  
elements in it, let alone really enjoy it.

>         9. Knockin' On Heaven's Door

I don't think this song was on the cuesheet (which I haven't seen), but  
without talking to the band Bob just started singing it, no intro, no  
nothing. Larry and Tony looked pretty surprised, too. Nice version, great  
singalong... I noticed that Larry uses slightly different chords (or does  
he just play them differently somehow) than JJ, but then again I'm really  
no expert on things like that. Bob messed up his first solo pretty bad so  
he made a second attempt a little later in the song and there was some  
nice guitar licks he traded with Larry. The third verse was the 'new'  
"dark and empty skies" one.

>         10. Highway 61 Revisited

After Bob had introduced the band quickly, he turned around to David and  
said "Highway"... my guess it that they skipped another song here. Great  
rocking version. The whole band seemed to enjoy it and to put alot into  
>         (encore)
>         11. Watching The River Flow

The roadies had the acoustic instruments set up again, but Bob decided to  
go electroc... Very strange choice so high in the set (played for the  
first time since last August, if I'm not mistaken) but definitely the  
highlight of the evening. Very fast, verrrrry country-ish, straight out of  
Nashville with solos by Bob, Larry and Bucky that need to be heard to be  
believed! I wouldn't be surprised if we get to hear this song quite a lot  
in the near future.

>         12. Ballad Of A Thin Man

Again the raodies wanted to hand the musicians the acoustic instruments,  
but it was again Dylan himself who started this song, thus completely  
ruining the great guitar riff at the start. Big smiles from Larry and Tony  
for that. Solid version, that Bob probably enjoyed more than anybody else.  
Don't get me wrong, it was really good, but he didn't add any spectacular  
things to it that would make me wanna go back and listen to it again.

>         13. Til I Fell In Love With You

I expected either "Love Sick" or "Rainy Day" here, but Bob decided to  
surprise us again with a very good version of this debut for a European  
audience. After that, he took a bow and then he was gone. Promoter Marek  
Lieberberg (kind of a german Bill Graham) was standing next to the  
soundboard, having a great time, as were most of the other people in the  
front. Now you can guess if the weird choices for the encores are due to  
jetlag, the fact that it was a festival or whatever. I certainly would  
like to see him play more "random" encores" like this one in the future,  
rather then the four-songs-including "Ain't Me Babe" and "Rainy Day" things  
of the past. Bob definitely seemed to have a great time tonight  
(especially during the latter half of the show), so we can expect some hot  
shows here in Europe, I guess.

I'll have to skip Nürnberg tomorrow due to other working commitments but  
expect another review from Leipzig soon. Thanks for your time...hope you  
don't mind the tons of mistakes, but it's appreaching 3.30am. Good Night.

carsten wohlfeld
"what once you called home is a minefield" (damon & naomi)

May - June - July