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Bob Dylan 990430 in Vienna, Austria

Subject: April 30th, vienna
From: Chronistin (
Date: Sat, 01 May 1999 19:19:58 GMT

Hi everyone!

Since no one seems to have posted anything on last night's
concert yet (or is my news-server late again?), I will try
to share my experience with you.

The concert itself was great. I was a little turned off at
first by the massive security presence (never seen so many
security people so nervous at a concert, at first I thought
there must have been some kind of threat or something, but
than I realized they were just after the cameras people had
somehow managed to get in). People were told to "sit down or
else the concert won't start" - never seen this before,

But nevermind. Onstage came Bob and his band, starting the
set acoustic as expected, with "friend of the devil".  Next
was "Mr.Tambourine Man", then "Masters of war"

Mr. Tambourine man was very different from any version I've
ever heard - the rhythm of the words changed in a way that
made me think of a different song altogether.

After all I'd read before about his voice being gone was
really surprised about the very musical way in which the
songs were presented. Much more singing, much less "talking"
and "mumbling"  than the last time I heard him (1994). His
voice is far from gone, it's great - alone as well as in
combination with the 2nd man on the guitar (sorry, forgot
his name).

Masters of war: Dark, gloomy, but much more dynamic than the
versions I've heard  up to now.

Hard rain was next. After the first three songs, which came
across pretty "planned", with an "old-time" Bob (never
batting an eyelid), he and the band seemed to loosen up a
little bit.

Following was a lovely version of Tangled up in blue. I'd
say the best version ever, but then I've much less
experience than many others on rmd, so I'll just modestly
say it's the best version I've ever heard. (This song has
always been one of my favourites)

It's all over now, baby blue: a frail, delicate version.
Sounding less than the original version than a "follow up",
with a completely different feeling about it. Not the
triumphating "goodbye" of the old days. If I am allowed to
interpret: The original "baby blue" was a violent breakup.
The "new" song just kind of sadly states the fact that "it's
all over now". All these years I preferred the song done by
Them and Van Morrison, telling all my my friends that "this
is the only Dylan-song anybody has done better than the
master himself". Well that's over.

Boots of spanish leather: Can't say much more than I just
loved it.

Then they went electric with Cold Irons bound. A song like
that done in this way (I'm not sure about the right english
word: driven? haunted?) - great!

Make you feel my love was next. Great too.

Then: Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again.

At that point, people had summoned up enough courage to rush
towards the stage in spite of the grim-looking securities.
There was not so much to do for them with 100? 150? People
on their way.  And why should they? People just crowded in
front of the stage, trying to get a closer look at Bob. HE
didn't seem to mind. He turned briefly to the band, and I'm
almost sure I have seen a little smile on his face.

Next was Trying to get to heaven.

I had been hoping so much for that song, but wasn't allowed
to enjoy it. Two rows in front of me, a woman tried to take
a photo. 3 security men rushed towards her, took the film
from her camera and burned it. One of them looked at me (I
was taking notes - writing with a pen on a sheet of paper in
my lap). Must have seemed very strange to them, very
suspicious indeed! - since they came for me. Wanted to take
away my papers. I said "I don't see why, this can't be
forbidden". Enough for them to take me out - I said I'd give
them the notes if they let me stay, but it was too late -
they took me out and made me wait a hell of a long time for
a woman security, who then searched me from top to bottom,
finding nothing illegal. So I was allowed to return to the
show (with my notes), boy was I angry about having missed so

Returning somewhere towards the end of Rainy day woman. Most
people were standing in front of the stage now. I joined
them and got very near to Bob. Saw him laughing, dancing,
having fun! on stage! incredible. So my anger quickly
subsided and enjoyed the rest of the show.

It ain't me babe featured a beautiful, endless harp solo.
Bob took his time choosing among the different harps from a
table while the band carried away. I'm sure that he did it
on purpose, heightening the excitement of the audience. The
whole song was done in a mocking, high-spirited way. I loved

"Not fade away" had more of these incredibly good-sounding
duets with the guitarist.

"Like a rolling stone":  A lot of smiling and "conversation"
was going on onstage. Beautiful, beautiful guitar solo: Bob
and the other guitarist playing "into the hands" of each
other. Really great! I'm so glad that after all these years,
Bob seems to have more fun onstage. And it's also more fun
for the audience.

I hope someone has recorded the show (although how they
would have done this I can't think of) or can at least
provide the missing information.

And despite my trouble, this was one of the greatest
concerts I've ever seen.

Sorry if I've "wasted anybody's precious time" with that

just needed to share it

Greetings from Vienna

Date: Sun, 2 May 1999 13:06:10 +0200 (MEST) From: Carsten Wohlfeld ( To: Cc: Subject: vienna review Bob Dylan Vienna, Austria, April 30, 1999 Stadthalle A Review by Carsten Wohlfeld After spending the day with Robert, Gunter, Tim and Regine doing some Sightseeing in Vienna, eating a fab pizza and some delicious ice-cream we arrived at the venue at 7.15pm. The Stadthalle is huge, probably has a capacity of around 12,000 if there are seats on the floor like tonight, but it doesn't actually look (or sound) too bad. It was filled with around 8,000 Dylan fans, mostly older people, due to the outrageously high ticket prices. The show started at 7.50 with... Friend Of The Devil (acoustic) which was as good as it ever was. I only wish that he'd do "Hazy Shade Of Winter" tomorrow in Ischgl. It would make perfect sense: It's a cover, the last time he did it was at the probably hottest show Bob played ever (in France '92) and tomorrow will most definitely be the coldest one eer, an open air in the snow.... but I'm only wishful thinking of course. Mr Tambourine Man (acoustic) much better than two days ago as Bob remembered all the words. Huge crowdpleaser as you'd expect. Masters Of War (acoustic) very well received, well, better than the night before anyways and very well done as usual. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall(acoustic) Another song Bob could remember tonight. He actually repeated the mistake-come-new arrangement with the "false start" chorus tonight. Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) same as it ever was. It was at this point when I began thinking about how happy a little bit of change would make me. Of ourse he did a lot of songs he didn't do in Graz, but all the songs had featured in the set quite frequently over the last ten days or so... no harp though. It's All Over Now Baby Blue (acoustic) was no exception to that rule, but it was nicely done and also thankfully a bit slower than the days before. Still no harp though. Boots Of Spanish Leather (acoustic) was one of two songs that *completely* made the night. Ist just gorgeous every time he sings it and one of the few songs that band seems to play perfectly each time they do it too. Very well received by the crowd as well. Anything but "Can't Wait" as the opener of the electric set would've made me even happier and luckily we got Cold Irons Bound which is still far from being my favourite song, but it was a welcome change nevertheless. They have a new backdrop with different colours that they use now and the red curtains behind the band during this song looked like a sunrise, very fitting for the first electric song, I thought. U2 used to use it for their "87 opener "Where The Streets Have No Name", too, by the way. Make You Feel My Love Seemed to be a strange choice for this slot, but oh well. At that point I thought he played it now instead of it's usual #11 slot to have an excuse to torture us with "She Belongs To Me" later on, but hey, I was wrong! Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again Thanks to Tim and Regine who were among the first down at the front we finally got the stage rush during this song and the show impoved immediately. Bob finally started grinning and moving around more and seemed to reall enjoy the presence of the people right at the rail. After the song Larry reached for his semi-acoustic guitar and I'm sure they had "Not Dark Yet" on the cuesheet (which I didn't get to see). Then he went over to Tommy who handed him his red Gibson, the one he usually uses on the older songs. But that still wasn't the right one and he finally had his Fender Tele in his hands, the one he usually only plays during "Feel My Love". So it was already clear that they would do a new(ish) song - or would do "Feel My Love" twice :-) And it actually was Tryin' To Get To Heaven now with all band members on electric instruments. As soon as Bob started singing Tony had this gigantic smile on his face, as if he was gonna say: "Yes I know, you waited 20 months to hear this one live". So we got the second ever live rendition of this song, which was very true to the recorded version, carefully played and beautifully sung. I thought the "I've been all around the world boys" line made even more sense on stage that on the album. The only real difference to the studio version was the somewhat reggaefied rhythms that Kemper and Campbell plyed. Sounded very nice though. Apparently this was even a request, but I'll leave it to Christian to explain that, cause he was closer at the front. After the song Bob introduced his gang and they went straight into... Highway 61 Revisited which was very playful tonight and wasn't only enjoyed by the crowd but also by the band as well. (encore) Not Dark Yet When they came back again and Tony didn't go over to Bucky with his "speed-o-meter" I knew that they wouldn't do "Love Sick" tonight. This was a very welcome alternative I thought, one of the few, if not the only one in Dylan's catalog that has the same spooky feel to it as "Love Sick" but still is equally as good. Hope he keeps it in this lot. Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35 I managed to see 13 shows in a row without "Rainy Day" and I'm very proud of that fact. But as they say: All good things have to come to an end... this version was slow and - as far as i'm concerned - horrible. It Ain't Me Babe (acoustic) A nice version was followed by Bob's only harp solo and what a good one it was too Still nowhere near as amazing as the ones from 1995/96, but probably the longest and best since his illness. Not Fade Away was "Not Fade Away". Like A Rolling Stone faster and better than last night. Great way to end the show even though I personally would enjoy an encore that wasn't strictly greatest hist more than the five star finale that reminds me of the Stones doing "Brown Sugar", "It's Only Rock N Roll", "Satisfaction" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" at the end of every show in 1990. Anyways, it was a fun show, even though tonight the lack of real change in the first part was *slightly* disappointing. The perfect "Boots" and lovely "Heaven" alone were worth the admission fee several times over. It was - to my knowledge - also the longest show Bob has played since 1995 or "96 (not counting the Mercury Lounge warm up last summer). It lasted for well over two hours. And the best part about it: After things got a little predictable over the last few days, there's now a lot of possibilitie for what might happen at the "weird" show in Ischgl, on top of the mountain. Stay tuned for more from there! Goodnight! -- carsten wohlfeld ( "i wish i was special - i'm just like you" (the cardigans)
From: "Tom Rooney" (Rooneyt@CEU.HU) To: Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 13:37:25 MET-1MEST Subject: Boots in Vienna (Revised) "Boots of Spanish Leather" in Vienna If Paul Williams were writing about this Vienna concert, I'm sure he'd devote lots of space to Dylan's exquisite reading of "Boots of Spanish Leather." When a tape of the show finally surfaces, I urge you to fast forward to this, the last song of the acoustic set, which was marked by Bob's deeply moving vocal performance and the band's lovely, understated, C&W accompaniment. (What an inspired, and inspiring, group of musicians this is!) The verse about getting the letter from the ship at sea was particularly touching, and intimate; for just a few moments the 12,000 seat Stadthalle felt no bigger than the Gaslight Cafe. This quiet, heartfelt performance came in the middle of a mostly up-tempo series of performances. And don't let the word "acoustic" fool you; the instruments in the first set were plugged in, the volume turned up, and for most of the set the band really cooked (especially during "Friend of the Devil" and "Tangled.") I could go on about other moments in the show, particularly regarding the TOOM tunes: an oh-so-funky "Cold Irons Bound," a very bluesy take of "Tryin to Get to Heaven" (Tony's big grin at the end told us what he thought of the performance) and a version of "Not Dark Yet" that left the Lanois version in the dust. But in the end it was four minutes of "Boots of Spanish Leather" that made the trip to Vienna worthwhile. Thanks Bob.
Date: 3 May 1999 18:01:17 -0000 To: Subject: Vienna-review From: Status: RO Hi Karlerik, Here is my review, I hope you'll get this way. A PERSONAL REVIEW OF THE DYLAN-CONCERT IN VIENNA, 30TH OF APRIL, 1999 Well, I have read the reviews of Chronistin and Carsten, now I just would like to add "another point of view", if you are already at this point, you probably don't mind it. It was my 4th time around with a Dylan-show (and yes, I hoped for that song which I love - well, he didn't chose to play it-). Last time for me was in Berlin last summer, so I had two shows in a year - a pace I have to get adjusted to ('91, '95, '98, '99). After Berlin I wrote that the show was wonderful, and truly it was. Now I am looking for a word that would express my experience - I can't come up with nothing better than the word: CATHARCTIC. It was nice to have the show in Vienna, so close to my home, Hungary, at least I could feel he is almost playing in Budapest (Vienna is pretty similar to Budapest, and only a 3-hour trip distance). Oh, anyway, so we had this venue named Stadthalle, inside a huge place that combines somewhat of a sport and a culture establishment, for this event it is all seated, for about 10,000 people. At 19:10 still only 1-200 people inside, sitting in small clusters here and there. Will there be concert at all? Hm, instruments brought onto stage, fine. We (me and a friend of mine) have seat in the 18 row, on the side - not that bad, but we want to see Bob from real close. So we go to the stage. Standing there with ca. 50 others. By 19:25 or so suddenly people flood in and hey, some excitement is stirring. All the more because it seems so that no standing at the front is allowed. Stern looking elder security people come in red clothes (very appropriate, I think) and tell us to go to our seats. I say, OK, we won't stand, may we just sit in the aisle (wide) on the floor near the stage? No, NO, get to the seats. Now we occupy some seats left empty near the stage. But around 19:35 we have to give them up and withdraw to our original and legal places. All tickets are sold, it's a full house we have! But the stage is still empty. I guess it was told now through speakers that the concert would not start until everyone behaves according to order. Some fans still believe in freedom and compassion they hope for but they won't get it: policemen come in to get away with them. I just hope they could remain in the hall.(the whole situation was quite bizarre, like at a soccer game nowadays or what. Part of the audience applauded the policemen!). I tell all this so that to give a picture of what the atmosphere was like. Finally everything was arranged, Dylan and band could get to stage, it's around 19:50. Now you probably know by now that this concert had really two parts. Physically speaking for me it was this: one in that god-damn-it-comfortable orderly seat, using a big Russian binocular shared with my friend and the other one right down at the stage standing and dancing, having an oh, so excited and finally free and happy crowd around. While in the seats: people had brief shouts and quick comments in between the songs, and loud applause after the songs, there was a real great reception of the show but no, that could not match the experience and reaction people had when down at the stage, moving, dancing, applauding, shouting, laughing of joy and amusement. Well, I have to say that in that second part could the audience do its real performance that adds to a great show as a whole. And though it could be only my opinion but I guess that the artists on the stage performed in harmony with the audience, the two sides take upon each other, oh yes, that is the secret of true live experience (and unfortunately no tape can give it back -). Do not expect me to give back every little details, there would be so much to tell. first of all, it is impossible to tell how wonderful Dylan's singing was all night. He really did sing the songs, and that unique phrasing of words was there all right, his voice is strong, powerful, meaningful, who the hell can say he hasn't got a voice? And let me point out that the sound system was just perfect! Adjusted the way it should always be, giving a clear and strong place for the vocal, and not messing it up with the instruments, but making it a real unit. Volume was set just right, and in the 18th row I felt like having no distance from the stage (of course, I speak of the audile experience. And therefore I yet wish for a tape! Well, that's only natural·). And then there is the way Dylan did it all, that pure sincerity, emotion, fun and in a good sense showing off: playful ideas of moving, dancing, striking funny poses, and that singing and guitar-playing!... He combined all that and mastered a fantastic band beside that! Friend of the Devil opened while still were people occupying seats and the security still did their little game of commanding around. It was very well performed and I found it a nice idea to have a cover song to warm up with. It is also great the songs all acoustic at first. The show did not start low. Mr. Tambourine Man followed and turned on the crowd. I enjoyed it but it was obvious that it is not "to make" the night. But it is a great song and we all knew that the concert is only at the beginning. (I like P. Williams' idea of a concert being like a painting: well, Mr. Tambourine Man was not to give the main components but it was needed to give full picture). Masters of War is an obvious take now here at this part of Europe, I believe it was even better received in Slovenia. This song is one of the live masterpieces of Bob these years. He really has that growling voice for it. I remember shaking my head at some phrases, thinking, "oh, my"... Hard Rain is special for me, being the first Dylan-song I have heard around the age of 12 or so (then on a Pete Seeger live album from 1963). Now here it was, carefully performed, long, well-received by the people, now the first real strokes on the canvas... Tangled Up In Blue was not in the center point this night but fit well in an even and high quality level series of performances. Bob got more playful during this. (Hm, shaking up the paints, mixing out the colors?) It's all Over Now, Baby Blue I like a lot. This was slow, with a voice that makes your senses more focused towards it, now it was real making it. Yes, that canvas. Boots of Spanish Leather is simply one of my favorite Dylan love-songs, and boy, he sang it like it was his favorite, too! That low voice! so perfectly pouring from the speakers it made your spine tingle! Just fantastic, from the binocular you could see how he was immersed into this song. Now masterpiece of a concert-canvas is under formation... And so that was for the acoustics. Lights change (all night the lighting was cleverly used and added to the whole show a lot. Now there was this wonderful picture that while changing instruments for the electric part, we saw only a pink-red lighted background and only dark silhouettes of the musicians. what a great picture, like a poster alive, and it could be back in times·even the 60s... or no particular decade at all, time does not matter. And then came those famous crawling opening sounds of Cold Irons Bound. The song is a good opener, again, as with Mr. Tambourine Man this was to help things pulled together but was not set in center. Great singing though and it helped the whole night getting a great pace (the artists keeps the flow while making the painting, not letting himself to fall out of the creation swing he is in). Make You Feel My Love did not come through for me as real important. It was somewhat too short a song. Oh well, there was no time to ponder about that for instantly came a real center piece: Stuck Inside of Mobile, the ignition song of the night's second part. The part that will live in my memory for the rest of my life, accompanied naturally by the first. but the first part so far is only the background of the painting, a perfect preparation of the canvas with place and appropriate leads given to the main figures, lines and colors on it. "Mobile" was the song during which came the stage rush, during which Dylan let oh, so much loose, dancing, and doing a playful singing, especially with the chorus, stopping and starting in it. He got into it so much that in the last verse to forgot to stop at the chorus, that me smile (while having the binocular in hand - it was my turn...). But just then I hear my friend saying: "Hey you, they are getting to the stage!!!". Not needed to be said twice... we did quite a good time in 20 m. dash, and like in a dream, I found myself right at the stage, only one man in front of me, not too much on the side·I saw the security people (some were in yellow) and I knew from their faces that they gave it up·it could not be otherwise, I had a huge crowd behind me standing and being so much tuned up and all. As a consequence, people who sat in their seats in the first row had to stand up, up onto their seats! And they did not mind it at all! They were excited, eyes sparkling, no matter what age they were or what they preconceptions they had before of nicely arranged seating· This all gave an electric shot to what happened on stage, too. There came a flow, of spontaneity, that of instinctive creation, and all that is the core and fundament of real wonder man can do. It was all let loose and concentrated at once. And the masterpiece was completed easily, with an elegant handling of the brush. Such great was the moment and with perfect timing we got Trying to Get to Heaven. Yes, a first real instrumental live rendition of this wonderful song. What else can I say? Naturally a real highpoint. I looked around and saw that people feel like being already there. In heaven. The moments during this was so real and unbelievable at once that I have never experienced anything like that so far. It was sacred. Highway 61 Revisited followed and it was full of strength and joy, shall I say, earthly power. Campbell's guitar fired, the band was victorious, and Dylan was the happy leader of it, giving long and full swing to it, singing the refrain in a way that gave place for the audience to take part in it. And there he was moving all around the stage, playing for the people at the stage (for me, too, if you like it). Letting it all out . After a small break and short introduction of the band they went back and came out in one. They took up instruments again and thankfully entered into Not Dark Yet, a song I hoped for and especially at this point because somehow I felt no wish for another Love Sick. It was such a graceful night that Dylan had a perfect instinct for the night and so came Not Dark Yet in a very good and moody performance, with the lights pouring down on the singer like a shower, in single beams. A lovely sight. And that lyrics, again there were lots of moments I should put down here but I can't. It was hard for me even to be there and absorb it all. Rainy Day Women came and first I was worried but then I was just smiling, it was so much fun of it, seeing the way Bob performed it. The tape will surely not support me, giving back only what can be heard. But there at that very moment music was only part of the whole thing. The particular moment was like that anything could go on and it would have been turned out wonderful. To me the song came as joy foremost, and a lovely, not too loud but rather slow, lazy release. Again, this was what gut instinct suggested. Why to search for meaning in every line of that painting? We were way down into the encore, we knew that and came the acoustic number. It turned out to be It Ain't Me, Babe, for me a so-so selection, it can be nice but never that special, I thought. And first I felt I was right, until the middle of the song we got a sweet, fine but perhaps standard piece. but then again, the band was just great, and in the last verse came a singing that made me shake my head again with incredulity, the man surprised me again, and not for my dislike... and then he stepped back, turned his back and slowly searched for a harp, the right one. He did not find it first for so long that I cried "Bob, never mind, any which one will make it!", I guess he was just having fun with this all, too... but he got it, and played it. Great God, he played it for so long and every way you can imagine it. The crowd went nuts, and Bob also let all go again. Stepped on toes while blew it and sucked it, then he bent down deep doing the same. Boy, it was performance. Not Fade Away was a real electric twin of the opener, Friend of the Devil. The difference between the two was what the difference was between the two momentum of the show. Now we were into this triumphant phase, a great ending of a wild and wonderful show. Not that it was the end. As I said, it was a cathartic show, for me at least. So special was the real presence of all there in the Stadthalle that Dylan told the drummer, who was about to leave after finishing his job and perhaps thinking of his well deserved rest and beer, so Bob told him to sit back for it's not over yet. it can't be over yet. There's just one more stroke on the canvas needed to be added. And it is Like a Rolling Stone, in a version that was mind blowing, with a singing that was careful, inventive, fresh and new, and with music incredible. This finally made it. And I felt it was really made. It is completed. Dylan took a bow, gesture with his arm in a way that covered the audience, not much was needed to be said. The audience nearly tore the house apart, I have never heard anything like that. Things were thrown onto stage, I remember someone throw a flower some songs before the end. And they went, and I of course cried for more but in within I knew it is silly, we had it all. And so slowly we pulled us together back to ordinary way of sensing the world around us, heading for the exit, finding left and right. Swapping addresses with on the spot acquaintances in hope of tape of the show, looking for poster and getting promises of one. Then, on the street, way back home. It was a night that changed life. Soma Várady (
Subject: Thoughts on Graz und Vienna From: Eric Schoneveld ( Date: Mon, 03 May 1999 21:43:01 GMT Hi Folks ! Yesterday I returned from a little trip to Austria. Saw 2 Bob shows: the one in Graz and Vienna. My austrian friend Roman who also arranged the tickets was my tourguide in the wonderful city of Vienna, THANX ! First of all let me tell y'all how refreshing this new format is ! The acoustic set was a treat on both nights followed by an excellent electric set in Graz and an OK one in Vienna. The hilights in Graz were Bob's excellent, and very delicate vocals on One too many mornings and Girl from the north country. Hattie Carroll was excellent as well. Acoustic set was followed by Can't wait, which is one of my favorites of the TOOM album, and a great rendition of not dark yet. Larry's guitar playing on all TOOM songs is excellent, he seems to be more into it and a lot more confident than the last time I saw him play in NYC '98. Still not a big fan of his somewhat harsh guitar sound on the 'rock songs' like H61, but it seems the boy is learning as we go along ;-)). I enjoyed the NFA-encore-played-grateful-dead-style a lot on both nights, with Larry, Bucky and Bob sharing the vocals. I was already putting on my jacket and was ready to leave, when Bob and the band returned for a fine rendition of LARS. When I first saw this venue, an ice hall, I thought the sound was gonna be terrible, but it wasn't all that bad, at least Bob's vocals were 'right in your face'. Vienna had an excellent acoustic set as well. An absolutely gorgeous Boots of spanish leather being the hilight here. A somewhat dull electric set followed, except for the TOOM songs, Trying to get to heaven and Not dark yet. Both played a lot like on the album albeit with somewhat different vocals, and I thought I heard some slight lyrical changes here and there, but nothing I can remember clearly now. On both nights, the one occasion Bob picked up the harp was a lot of fun. He draw a large applause from the audience and he seemed to be really into it ! All in all, a very nice trip and 2 shows I enjoyed a lot ;-). Eric ************************* Visit the Bob Dylan book and video store:

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