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Bob Dylan 990429 in Graz, Austria

From "Kleine Zeitung" (with thanks to Marion).

Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 13:05:14 +0200 (MEST) From: Carsten Wohlfeld ( To: Cc: Subject: graz review Bob Dylan Graz, Austria, April 29, 1999 Eishalle Libenau A Review by Carsten Wohlfeld After two quite hectic days we enjoyed a day in sunny Graz, a rather nice city with beautiful old buildings and tiny streets. We went to see one of the main attractions, The Schlossberg and the Uhrurm and climbled all 400 steps to the top of the mountain. Call it practicing for Ischgl...:-) Graz also has a soccer stadium that actually is called Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadion Graz. Can you belive that? I didn't until I saw it! Right next to it is the Eishalle, an ugly concrete block of a hockey arena that easily rates as one of the worst venues Dylan has ever played in Europe. The sound was unbelievably bad, but we got to hear and see a fun show nevertheless, when Bob and crew took to the stage at 8.15pm in the venue that was about 2/3 full. Friend Of The Devil (acoustic) opened proceedings as expected and was much better than the night before. Not only did Kemper get the ending right, Bob also played with the phrasing of the song a lot more than usual, stretching certain words and lines, something he continued to do during almost every song tonight. He also wore his "Newport Comeback" shirt, the black one with the white dots. The stage rush (this was the first all seated venue since France) happened as soon as the lights went down. "Mr Tambourine Man" could've been next but instead we got the very, very welcome The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (acoustic) which sounded not as amazing as usual, but still pretty good. The band seemed to need time to get into the right groove and Bob had to struggle with the words a little. But I'm not complaining as "Hattie Carroll" is among my top 3 Dylan songs of course. It thought that it was a strange way to open a show though: First a cover and then " ain't the time for your tears". Masters Of War (acoustic) was "Masters". Fortunately nobody was clapping along tonight. The crowd was a little older than the very young audience in Ljubljana, but also less enthustastic of course. One Too Many Mornings (acoustic) Wonderful as always and I knew it hardly could get any better now. Only four songs into the set Bob had already played three of my favourites from his current repertoire. I was very happy indeed. Desolation Row (acoustic) was even better as it was very, very, VERY fast and even though I thought at the beginning that Bob maybe would have troubles keeping the pace, this turned out to be a rocking version, almost as energetic as "Tangled", which, coincidentally, was next. Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) was "Tangled" Girl From The North Country (acoustic) The "lowpoint" of the acoustic set, even though it was still a lovely performance. Actually this was the acoustic set I always had hoped to hear one day. Only favourites of mine and all very nicely done. Can't Wait the pensioners version, veeeeeeery slow and not at all fitting as the opening song of the electric set. It was better than the night before, but still sounded mighty out of place in this slot. Not Dark Yet followed and this was probably the best version ever. Very carefully sung and played and it received the audience reaction it deserved as well. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again Much better than last night's, even though the lack of change was somewhat disappointing. He sang all the verses loud and clear and had no trouble remembering the words whatsoever. One of the highlights of the second half! Make You Feel My Love he came crawling down the avenue and I couldn't care less. Band intros followed - his only speech tonight, as he didn't even say thank you once, as far as I remember. Highway 61 Revisited Again it featured a very nice (and long) solo courtesy of Larry. No clue where he get the ideas to play a different solo every single night, but it works out quite well! Then they left... (encore) Love Sick very good version, probably the best on this part of the tour. The right pace, nice phrasing and it didn't sound as rushed as many of the recent renditions. Maggie's Farm was a welcome change, but the version was less than perfect. Larry made it kinda interesting though, cause he played the melody from "The Girl Can't Help It" as the solo!!! Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (acoustic) Bob's excuse to give us his only harp solo of the night. I'd much rather hear this song, um, twice every night than one "Blowin'"...:-) . Not Fade Away was "Not Fade Away". Buddy Holly is watching you. Like A Rolling Stone followed again and today it was a lot slower (= worse). It started veeeeery slow but Tony told David to speed it up with the first drum roll. And he did. Again, the show lasted for about two hours and the acoustic set was just awesome. If the electric set would have had a little more variation, this show would probably rank among the best I've ever seen. Even though tonight Bob put more into the performance of the songs rather than the interaction with the audience, I've rarely seen him as happy as on this European tour. My thanks to our host Robert in Vienna and you for reading this. Stay tuned for more from Vienna! -- carsten wohlfeld ( "it's irrelevant, i'm an elephant and she's a mouse" (smudge)

1999: January - February - March - April