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Bob Dylan 980602 in Leipzig, Germany

       Capacity: approx. 11,000 
       Showtime: 8 PM 
       General admission, some unreserved seats available 
       Ticket price: DM 64.00 (including booking fee) 
       Tickets through Tickets per Post/Frankfurt 
       Tickets per Post/Frankfurt phone number: (0)69 94 43 660 

Date: Wed, 3 Jun 1998 13:53:42 +0200 Bob Dylan Leipzig, Germany, June 2, 1998 Messehalle 7 A review by Carsten Wohlfeld I have to admit that I was happy to see Nürnberg's somewhat disappointing, cause to me it was quite clear that it could only get better in Leipzig and indeed it did! After taking the nighttrain to the former East Germany (still hate it, so still so run down, it probably my least favourite place on earth and if it wasn't for Bob I would come here for a million bucks, but anyways), I spent most of the day sightseeing before meeting up with Christian and Tom to drive to the venue at around 4pm. The Messehalle is a huge and ugly place and unforunately the promoters hadn't sold enough tickets so they had up chairs in order to make it look better. But even before the show started the lush security allowed a stage rush, so we go to see Bob up-close anyways... THe show started at around 8.10pm with... Maggie's Farm Much better version than Saturday's, probably they had a proper soundcheck this time. Bob's vocal delivery was okay, but not great yet, Larry played a few riffs I hadn't heard before (don't know if they were actually new or just higher in the mix) and Bucky managed not to break a string. All band members looked pretty happy throughout the evening, except for Bucky, who seemed to be a bit tired. If Not For You A nice surprise, even though the version was a bit rushed and sounded a bit too hard and egy. I have to say that I liked the JJ/Winston version better I last got to hear about three years ago. Bob was starting to feel really great though and but a lot into the vocal delivery. Cold Irons Bound Way above average version, mostly due to Bob's inspired singing. But: I'd rather like to hear "Can't Wait" in this slot any day still. Shelter From The Storm "She Belongs To Me" was on the cuesheet as an alternate, but Bob decided to do this one, hard to spot from just the intro. Yet another different arrangement and probably the best I've heared yet. Nice phrasing too, as Bob raised his voice at the end of every line and didn't lower it, was you might have expected him to do. Bob played all the solos on this one himself too. Silvio Still smoking although saturday's version rocked even more. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (acoustic) Great surprise, beautifully performed, especially since everybody was expecting another cover version. Stephen Scobie thinks that he played his as way of a political comment - it certainly wasn't because of the weather... I guess Stephen was right, cause the unplayed alternative in this - unusual slot - was "Masters Of War". Larry joined Bob for the chorus, Bucky didn't at first, cause he was standing playing his mandolin (in other words: he wasn't sitting at his pedal-steel where his mike was), but after Larry had some trouble following Bob, Larry went back for the subsequent chorusses to sit down and sing along. Weird. One Too Many Mornings (acoustic) Seems to be one of his favourite songs lately, and he always gets it right. As an extra bonus we got some harp playing at the end (seemed as if he couldn't stop ...made Larry laugh) and he seemed even more animated during that, holding the guitar with his right amd, playing the harp with his left and still finding time to point at people - Elvis-style. Amazing! I don't think that anybody had seen Bob as animanted as tonight in at least 20 years: He was constanly moving around/walking/dancing on stage and pulling faces more than ever. For most of the show he was actually laughing, not only grinning occasionally. He had so much fun, sometimes I though: 'Hey, this isn't the same guy I saw in America a few months ago'. Maybe it was due to the fact that the biggest German music TV channel called him a 'grumpy old man' after Rock Am Ring? Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) Great version of this song, yes really. Not much more comment needed, I guess, a huge crowdpleaser that Bob enjoyed *alot*, so I don't think there's a chance for all the people hoping to see "Tangled"'s retirement rather sooner than later. This Wheel's On Fire Nice new arrangement, beautifully done with Bob mssing a line or two causehe had to laugh out of loud (dunnowhy). Bigsmiles from Larry and Tony for that. "Wheel" wasn't on the cuesheet at all, "Mobile" and "Watchtower" went unplayed instead. Make You Feel My Love In the new organ-free version that is way better than both the album version and the kitsch organ version from New London. Somebody said after the show that he's trying to convi«ce us that this is really a good song and so he slowly tries to improve the arrangement. My opinion? Not great yet, but it's getting there. On the cuesheet were "Not Dark Yet" and "Released", no "Feel My Love" at all. Band intros followed quickly. Highway 61 Revisited Cooking beyond believe. Bob had great funplaying it, visibly enjoying thefact that he audience was into it quite a bit, too! Instead of just leaving straight after the song he stayed for a minute or so to take a bow and enjoying the audience going nuts. (encore) It Ain't Me Babe (acoustic) The unlikely alternate on the cuesheet was "Love Minus Zero", but the fact that Bob played yet another cool harp solo at the end saved this one for me. Love Sick Tom was afraid that he'd skip "Love Sick" and would do "Rainy Day" straight away, but luckily for us, he did play another "TooM" song. I've heard better versions of this song already, but this was pretty cool still. Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35 Same as it ever was. Bob took a bow again and then they were gone. The guitar roadie had put all the guitars away during this song as usualand after a few seconds Tony's roadie came out, unplugging his bass, turning of the amps, taking away Bucky's madolin. The lights comeon, music is played over the PA. People: Still nuts, just won't leave. After about a minute, the lights go down again, the roadies quickly pu the instruments in place again (Tony had to play his electric bass, while the others picked up the acoustic guitars). Then they really started yet another song! Hard to tell what it would be really, the intro sounded like "Boots", "Don't THink Twice" and a couple of others all rolled into one, but it actually was: Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic) He didn't play all verses and it ended with a rather rapidly, but it was a great singalong and a very nice bonus nevertheless. After the show we had a few beers and *everybody* thought it was a staggeringly good show, that lasted about 105 minutes. Not one real lowpoint, especially since Bob was so great to watch. The only question that remains: Can he go on on such a high level or can he even top this? Maybe we'll get the answer already tonight in Berlin. See y'all there. -- carsten wohlfeld "the light at the end of the tunnel is a train" (unwound)
Subject: Leipzig 2 June 98 - another review, this time by Christian Date: Wed, 3 Jun 1998 13:49:49 +0200 It is pretty hard to describe what went on yesterday, but I'll try. The show was so terrific, so awesome that it ain't easy to find the appropriate words. Most of you will already have read Carsten's review, and there ain't much to add, but anyway, here are my impressions: Bob's voice was clear and hot from the first lines of Maggie's Farm on, and it was then when I knew we were in for something special. He was like he probably always is during the opening number - very concentrated, not looking into the audience, not moving around a lot, but his singing was already very very strong. I like the new arrangement with Bucky on the acoustic. If Not For You - I seem to function as a magnet for this one. He's played it at almost every show i've been to during the last five years, and yet it's not an often performed number. Wonder if that means anything... But hey, i like that song! Liked the arrangement too, a bit more uptempo than in 93 and 95, very concentrated singing. Cold Irons Bound rocked like hell, and Bob's vocal delivery was extremely blues shouter-like. Strong, energetic, you name it. Gee, why is it sometimes so hard to say it in English?... Shelter. Oh yeah. Never heard this one at a show before, and i loved it. This song developed quite like his harp solos do: he started out very very smooth, delivering the first two verses with a voice that we seldom hear on newer tapes, sweet and lovely, think of several Sugarees from 96 and you might know what i mean. Later on in the song he got more and more into a powerful delivery, stretching the lines, getting louder and louder, making the song ring in your brain. Phew - a tape, a tape, my kingdom for a tape. Silvio. You know, this song makes clear why audience tapes are so limited in really reflecting the evening. i often skip Silvio when listening to the tapes, i bet a lot of us do. But when you're there, watching the show, you can tell why he plays it. He loves it, he gets really warm during this, animated, drawing faces, interacting with the audience, and the folks love it! From Silvio on, he's really let loose. Keep the song, Bob, it does indeed do you good. Just like the other one, three songs onward. Hard Rain. Ooh, what a sweet sweet evening. What a beautiful performance. i agree with Carsten and Stephen, this was probably not just randomly chosen but a reaction on certain delevopments in, well, politics. He sang like he exactly knew what he was singing about. One Too Many Mornings. Bee-yoo-tee-ful. Nothing more to say. Nice short harp solo. Tangled. Do a copy-and-paste here, every single comment on Silvio fits this one, too. The crowd goes nuts, Bob very very animated, joyful, doing weird posing, drawing weird faces, and the people love it. Name me one other artist who can do this: Just a little movement, just one special look he gives someone in the front row, one little weird grimace - and the people go crazy. Name me one. This Wheel's On Fire. Cool. Maybe it's just the unavoidable difference between an audience tape and the real event, but i thought this rocked far more than ever before. Fine soloing by Bob. It's still the notorious three-note solos, but they're geting better and better. Make You Feel My Love. It took me a while before i liked this song, and it's certainly not one of his lyrically strongest (winds of change? highway of regrets? rain blowing in your face? hmmm.) but hey, it's beautiful, isn't it? Yesterday's arrangement was far better, smoother, sweeter than any of the versions I've heard before, it's like he needed some time to work on that, and now he's got it. Women Of RMD, tell me - is this a women's favourite? I looked behind me at one point during this one, and the eyes of the girls behind me said it all. Lovely. Highway 61. He knows why he plays this every night. It's clear when you're there. It rocks like hell, he loves it, the crowd love it. The encores: It Ain't Me Babe. Now you can say, oh no, not again, and i admit it was my reaction at first, and Tom's face said the same. But we quickly changed our minds. He did a lovely rendition, kinda new to us, sweeter than before, more regretful. 'Nother nice harp solo. Hey, we got two of 'em! :-) Love Sick. Cool, i like that! He does That Grammy Solo (tm) regularly now, only it rocked even a bit more than on the Grammy version. RDW. Well, RDW. RDW. Bob took a bow, did some finger pointing, the crowd cheered like hell - they were REALLY enthusiastic, a lovely audience, really, and Bob clearly reacted to that. He even walked to the front of the stage and picked up a rose from someone. Sweet. Another bow, some pointing at us, and he was gone. The lights went on (in fact they already went on at the start of Rainy Day Women), the music from tape started, the roadies picked up the guitars, the amps were switched off, only the audience was not a bit impressed. They kept on cheering, clapping, not a sign of tiredness, and they were successful: When one of the roadies came back on stage and switched one of the amps back on, Carsten, Tom, and i looked at each other in disbelief. Another one? Can't be, Rainy Day is the last one, this is the law! But Dylan broke it yesterday, came back out with the band, and did a fourth encore: Blowing In The Wind. A very sweet version it was, brief but sweet. He did all three verses, but no extended soloing like in Cottbus two years ago. So the song lasted for maybe three minutes or so, but hey, that's alright. It was nice to know we were enthusiastic enough to get him out one more time than usual. After Blowing, a couple of more bows, and now he was really gone. I looked around a bit, and the looks on the faces said, Wow, what a night. And it was. We managed to meet Rainer and Burkhard from Vienna, and Stephen Scobie after the show, and we had a couple of beers together in their hotel lobby. You'll never guess what we talked about :} We all agreed it was a wonderful show, and of course we're all pretty full of anticipation for today's show in Berlin. Altho it's really hard to imagine things getting better, it is clear that Bob, after all these triple bills and huge festivals, he enjoys playing for a mid-size audience that is his own one again. Damn those last sentences. The hardest one to write is always the last sentence. Carsten says, 'write, See ya in Berlin'. See ya in Berlin!! Christian Zeiser
Subject: Leipzig 2 June 98 - another review, this time by Tim (long) From: Tim Norford (Timothy.Norford@DSS.DORNIER.DASA.DE) Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 11:10:02 +0200 Sometimes you've gotta go through hell to get to heaven ! Due to work commitments I thought I'd miss Bob's German tour. Then at the last minute plans changed and I bought tickets for Leipzig. First plan, hire a car and drive up, then Regine (my lady) called me to say a friend of hers offered us his camper van for the trip. Super....on the road in an old VW ! Canceled the hire car and last Sunday went to pick up the van. 1. Flat battery 2. Second and reverse gears don't work 3. Engine held together with string,plastic and the radiator "sealed" by a screwed up crisp packet. Exit Tim and Regine. So how do we get to Leipzig ? Hire car centers shut, we ended up paying Regine's brother 100 DM to borrow his car. Phew!!! So Tuesday morning at 8.30 we set off to drive the 700 KM to Leipzig. All is well until we hit a traffic jam and sit there for at least two hours. We arrive in Leipzig at 1800 and spend a frustrating hour following signs to the Messe and never finding it. I shot a red light and got caught on camera. Big shit as I've already chalked up 9 points here. We eventually find the messe and work our way through to the concrete monstrosity that was Halle 7. Chairs !! Chairs all the way to the front!! We grabbed two on the 11th row, not bad. I necked two beers to calm down and tried to relax. I ask one of the trained gorillas they employ as security guards if it was possible to go forward during the concert. "No,no,no". Wanker ! Half an hour later the "wall fell" and we joined the rush forward and ended up three from the front. Yeaaaaaaa!!!! Now both Carsten and Christian (sorry I missed you guys) have written reviews of the concert but I'll add my 2p worth. Bob was wearing tight black pants, a black jacket and neck tie, reminded me of his 1966 style. And man, he sure looked great. Now last time I saw him was Konstanz 96 and that one was hard to beat but this beat it for sure. Bob's singing was just a joy to behold, he's twisting turning playing with every lyric, he's loving the words again, concentrating, focused. I saw him in 92 and he was throwing away the lyrics, I felt destroying his myth, tonight he took songs by the neck and strangled them, sucked the life out of them, lived them. Simply superb. Hard Rain was brimming over with emotion. I looked round at members of the audience, you could see how moved everyone was. The bang as chins hit the floor ! After the third song Bob started "mugging", I can't tell you how funny this was. It carried on all night, very chaplinesque, he struts round and pokes his head forward like a chicken pecking the air, he laughed, struck every rock pose in the book, I lost count of the times the rest of the band looked at him and laughed in amazement. Glorious, Bob, thanks a lot. See the other reviews for set list and performance details. For me Wheels On Fire was a joy and TUIB which I'd got a bit bored of from recent boots just burned, he sung life into it. See him now, don't miss this tour. This was Regine's first Bob concert (she's not a great fan, just patient with an old obsessive sod like me ), she loved it and said Bob struck her as a rather sad man, she wanted to go up to him and tell him it would all be all right in the end. We danced all night and let others note the setlist ! AND he played "our song" can guess which one. For me he proved what he has said all along, that he's a song and dance man, he's unique, alone in his art and I fear there is nobody to replace him.....may he burn for a long time to come.. We were so awake afterwards we dove half the way home, slept 2 hours in the car at a motorway parking place, drove further and got home pale and exhausted at 0800 the next day. My filling fell out and I was straight into the dentists chair just to finish the trip off successfully. For all the hassle frustration and the prospect of a one month driving ban it was well worth it... Peace to all Tim Norford

June 1998 Setlists Tour