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Bob Dylan 2000.03.09 in Oberhausen

Subject: Oberhausen May 9th
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 01:00:33 +0200

I drove down to Oberhausen from Amsterdam (seeing that Bob is
ignoring the Netherlands again!!) ....

The Arena was not full, lots of spare seats .. I was on row 4.
Bob came on to the usual intro and there was the usual rush to
the front (including me .. now I'm front centre leaning on the
rail) .... 

Bob was dressed in his familiar cream suit, tie and white boots.
He did the first acoustic set well, no sign of the early
hesitation at Zurich. Roving Gambler was crisp and tight. TTAC
and Masters were well received by the quiet German crowd. Baby
Blue was slower than usual, but the band were looking more
relaxed. Tangled was very good indeed, slowish start but building
up well to the excellent song it always was. One Too Many
Morinings was superb, Bob put more feeling into the song than I
have everr seen or heard. Country Pie wasn't very inspiring
(probably because of all the albums through all the years,
Skyline is my least favorite (and I know I'm not alone here), and
Pie is by far my least favorite on the album) ... NOT GOOD !!

Can't Wait was played well and tight, Watchtower was average,
Simple Twist was far too slow, River Flow too fast, Not Dark Yet
made up for the previous two .. very nicely done, very well sung.
Pill Box Hat was, well, raunchy and the band became very lively
on stage which seemed to inspire Bob too .. lots of knee bends,
lots of wiggles and twists, the audience were at last warming

The encore ..  Love Sick wasn't good, a bit like a rehearsal I'm
afraid. Rollong Stone was no where near last years version, very
disjointed ... Don't Think Twice was OK, Not Fade Away was played
well, Blowin' was probably the best song of the night and Rainy
Day Women was a anti-climax. All in all it was a well played
concert, but my thoughts from the front were that maybe Bob has
toured for just that bit too long with the band. They didn't look
fully committed, looked tired, looked like it was just another
show, which shouldn't be the case.

Never mind, I'll be in Cologne Thursday and all will be well ..
no Country Pie ... well, maybe !!  Thanks Bob .. You're the

Best Regards,
Mike Pearce

From: (Carsten Wohlfeld) To: Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 01:12:41 +0200 Subject: oberhausen review CC: Bob Dylan Oberhausen, Germany, May 9, 2000 Arena A Review By Carsten Wohlfeld It was a long journey from Stuttgart to Oberhausen on a very hot day, but still I got more excited about this show than the first two because I thought if something is gonna happen on this tour at all, it would be tonight. Well, I was wrong, even though I thought it was the best show so far, with a nice balance between the surpring and the solid elements. The show started almost on time at 8.05 in a pretty empty venue. I don‚t think they sold more than 5,000 tickets. Anyways, the start remained the same with Roving Gambler (acoustic) Bob took less care whether or not Larry and Charlie would be able to follow im during the chorus Ų different phrasing, some mumbled lines... Not the best version, here‚s hoping that they will be opting for another opener in Cologne. Then the band started a song, Bob obiously played something else and it sounded very, very bad. Bob turned around to Tony, asked „What is it?š, Tony answered „Timesš and we got yet another version of The Times They Are A-Changinő (acoustic) This time he remembered all the words and did an okay solo, too, but I really don't need to hear this song ever again. Masters Of War (acoustic) Followed as expected and even though I‚ve heard this song many times before I still enjoy it, because in its current version it‚s very intense and a highlight every time Bob plays it. It‚s All Over Now Baby Blue (acoustic) Mighty fine version with Larry on pedal steel. There was nothing extra special about it, it was just done perfectly and Bob delivered a killer last verse. Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) Was „Tangledš, again with a harmonica solo at the end that was long, but not extraordinary. One Too Many Mornings (acoustic) Wow! I've heard Bob do this song quite a few times and it‚s always very good, but this was a real killer performance. A showstopper. Quite similar to any of the „TOOMš song in pace and style, it featured the best singing of the night and a fine pedal steel solo by Larry. Country Pie This is where Charlie started shredding guitar picks by the dozen... Same version as the two nights before, only not quite as powerful and definite as before. Can't Wait Yet again, in a waeker version than before. Hopefully they will do „Tell Me That It isn‚t Trueš instead at one of the upcoming shows. It has been on the Stuttagrt cuesheet already, so there‚s a distinct possiblility that they exchange it soon. Okay, time for a little story. I got two friends who are not huge Bob fans, but they know he‚s quite cool, if only because I tell them so much about it. They initially intended to go to this show, but decided against it when they saw the ticket prices. Anyways, the only song they really wanted to hear was a rocking „All Along The Watchtowerš, which (as you know) is hard to get these days, as Bob only seems to play it once or twice on every leg of the two. So my friends didn‚t go and I wish I could tell them that Bob didn‚t play it, but when the roadie handed Charlie his black and white Stratocaster I knew what was coming... All Along The Watchtower Yes indeed. I‚d also love to tell me friends that he played a weak version and they didn‚t miss much. But in fact „All Along The Watchtowerš RULED! And it RAWKED! Actually it was the hardest rocking version I‚ve ever heard this band do and the best one since Dortmund 1995. Wow! I was so happy! J Simple Twist Of Fate Pretty good version, although there was nothing in the world that couldn‚ve topped that amazing version of „Watchtowerš for me. Still liked it quite a bit. Larry on pedal steel. Watching The River Flow Averange version, bluesy, raw, fun. The most remarkable thing about it was that the addition of this song meant that tonight‚s main set would have 13 song instead of the usual 12. Larry on lap steel. Not Dark Yet Yet another spell-binding version, sung in Bob‚s best voice... Great! Band intros followed as did Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat Same rocking version, which is much better live than on tape. Some pretty cool soloing from Sexton. The End (Part 1) (encore) Love Sick Yet another great version with an amazingly loud (but very good) middle part and the same lyric change that we heard in Zurich and Stuttgart before. Like A Rolling Stone Was „Rolling Stoneš which is to say that it sounds very fine indeed and very 60-ish as well. Don‚t Think Twice (acoustic) Was augmented with yet another harp solo at the end. Business as usual. Not Fade Away Going back to the days the music died... Blowinő In The Wind Tonight without the harp solo we got in Zurich and maybe because of that a little bit weaker. Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35 All together now... Okay, it was a long day and I better call it a day now. I really enjoyed tonight‚s show, even though the songs that were repeated from the nights before were all done in weaker versions. I hope Bob knows what he is supposed to do in Cologne, then... See ya there! Goodnight! Carsten Wohlfeld -- "if you see me with another girl / seeming like i'm having fun / although she may be cute / she's just a substitute / because you're the permanent one " (smokey robinson)
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 02:47:42 +0200 From: (Gerrit) To: Subject: Review Oberhausen 09/05/2000. Hiya ... In case you haven't got any more competent critics at hand, here are my views on the Bob Dylan show in the Oberhausen Arena (09/05/2000) ... I liked the venue a lot. Its acoustics are splendid, and the sound people did an excellent job. I was a bit bewildered about the crowd, though. Quite a few people looked a lot older than Bob Dylan himself, and the place seemed to be packed with beer-bellied sociology teachers. Sad. Luckily there were a number of younger people as well; otherwise I, aged 25, would have felt like I had got lost among the local OAP on their day out. So what. The show was most enjoyable. It seemed to me like Bob was battling a cold. His voice was even rougher than usual, but he was certainly concentrated, hardly ever missed a line, and the sore throat made his voice even deeper, more sombre, and rather melancholy. It was perfect for the more subdued ballads, such as One Too Many Mornings. Roving Gambler was well done. The band was in the groove from the first beat, excellent backing vocals, no frills, no arsing around. Times They Are A-Changing: A few funny notes at the beginning, but the marvellous singing made more than up for it. The first of very many guitar solos from Bob, as usual with some nice bits and even more finger-wiggling. Masters of War: Another old warhorse, but the voice ... the voice. He could sing the phone book, and it would sound rich and meaningful. It's All Over Now: Bob tried to make this a quiet, pensive song, but David Kemper just didn't get it. This song would be a lot better if they played it like they did at Woodstock '94: without drums. Tangled Up In Blue: I can't believe that this song, which we all have heard a thousand times and more, could sound so fresh and compelling, but it did. A rather slow and funky version. Only the Working in a topless place episode was missing, and in the last verse, he sang 'got to get to them somehow', which gave yet another twist to this song's story. One Too Many Mornings was very C&W, but full of depth and feeling. Again the voice ... the voice. Country Pie: Good clean fun. Very short, with excellent guitar work from all parties involved. People didn't seem to recognise it, though. Can't Wait: I liked the new arrangement. It's slower, more dynamic, and less monotonous. Probably the song that Bob cared about most. All Along The Watchtower: Well done. All electric, and it did rock. David nicked some patterns from the U2 version. Simple Twist Of Fate: One of my favourites, and the only surprise in the setlist. Watching The River Flow: Oops, an old arrangement unearthed: the one from the late 1980s. I first mistook it for Leopard Skin. Not Dark Yet was the one I had hoped for. What can I say but the voice ... the voice. Was there a new line, like 'behind every silly grin, there's been some kind of pain'?!? Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat probably woke up some of the elderly Bob fans. I wonder whether they had expected a poetry reading or something. They really looked out of place at a rock concert. Hey folks, it is allowed to dance a little bit -- even Bob does it sometimes!! Love Sick started the encores. It was a treat. Rolling Stone was excellent as well. Very loud, very straightforward, featuring one of many pieces of great guitar work from Charlie Sexton. Somebody tell that guy how to use the volume pedal. What he plays is too good to be lost among Bob's noodling. Don't Think Twice was not only very well done, it also featured Larry's only prominent solo, excellent as usual, and Bob's only harmonica solo. It was the best I've ever heard him do on this song, and he finally got the audience going by doing some very awkward dance steps, rolling his eyes, and grinning from ear to ear. Bob Dylan at his best. Not Fade Away: First time I heard it live on stage. Fun as usual. Blowing In The Wind: Another song that won't grow old. The voice ... the voice. When some fossil from the 1960s plays his old songs, there is usually a good deal of cynicism involved, but this is certainly not true for Bob Dylan and Blowing. In Oberhausen, he did it in such a careful and engaged way ... Maybe the song has never sounded younger than now. Rainy Day Women: One for the road, with Bob appropriating nearly all the solos. All in all, it was a very good concert. The setlist wasn't that exciting, and it took Bob a while to get going -- well, the audience certainly didn't help. But every single song was played with great care and concentration, and once more, Bob demonstrated his brilliant musicianship, his contempt for soulless perfection and mere performance, and his faith in the uniqueness of each moment, in inspiration, and in constant innovation. I would expect no less of him. Bob rules. Thanks for reading ... Gerrit.
From: To: Subject: Review: Oberhausen Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 01:01:34 -0700 Got to admit I was apprehensive about this show in the light of the reviews of the Zurich show. The modern hall was about half-filled and I thought: Uh-uh. Dylan and the band came on at 8.10 (called my wife and left a message on the voice mail with "Good evening ladies and gentlemen..."). He was dressed in a white/cream suit, with a very long jacket and a bow tie (and white boots with black detailing). His hair seemed very grey: at least, this is what it looked like from about 40 meters away. People in the floor section rushed the stage as Bob and the band started off with ROVING GAMBLER. A good, solid performance. Bob's vocals were very clear and prominent in the mix, and would remain so for the rest of the show. "Thanks, everybody," and they switched gear for TIMES and MASTERS OF WAR. The latter was powerful, and the crowd loved it. Larry Campbell moved to the steel guitar for BABY BLUE, which started off with a long intro. One of the early highlights. TANGLED followed. Started with those ringing guitars and Bob (and Larry) in the spotlight, then the drums kicked in and the song raced on like a runaway train. Slightly rushed delivery from Bob, but he played around with the phrasing quite nicely ("TAAAAANGLED up in blue"). Larry got in behind the steel guitar for ONE TOO MANY MORNINGS. First time that I've heard this live -- took my breath away. Bob's voice matched Larry's sound to produce the definite sound of lost love and regret. A switch to electric guitars, and a quick serving of COUNTRY PIE. A nice warm-up number for the electric set, you could tell that the band was having fun -- Tony Garnier was smiling a lot, moving around, and Bob was by now loose and doing those amazing little moves of his. Looking around, eyebrows raised, and holding his guitar in such a way that nobody could be mistaken as to who is taking those solos. CAN'T WAIT: slow, powerful blues -- agree with earlier reviewers who raved about this version. Band then switched gears, bam, bam, bam from David Kemper's drums and off they went with WATCHTOWER. Screaming guitars, good fun. SIMPLE TWIST followed -- very well delivered: moving, soft that's-the-way-life-is tone. RIVER FLOW saw the guys hitting a really nice groove, with the drums and base pushing this song forward. Lots of grinning, interaction and moving on stage. NOT DARK YET was awesome: brooding, with very strong vocals. PILL-BOX HAT lightened the mood and got people dancing again. The six encores were also very solid and one never had the impression that they were approaching the end of a two-hour show. LOVE SICK was solid (I just love hearing those Time out of Mind songs live). Bob then lifted his right leg, stamped his foot and Kemper responded with a BAM as the band ripped into ROLLING STONE. Oddly enough, this song has never been one of my live favorites, but last night's version blew me away. Very straight delivery, again just telling things the way they are, and the band cooked. A switch to acoustic instruments, and DON'T THINK TWICE. Bob grabbed a harp at the end and took a while to get into a groove. Nice little wave to the crowed at the end with his right hand next to the harp. They came back with electric guitars for NOT FADE AWAY -- stomping version, good singing from the rest of the band too. A love like this won't fade away. BLOWING IN THE WIND followed, which was again a straight, honest version. RAINY DAY WOMEN ended the show, with Dylan again doing his moves and the guitars screaming. Then what appeared to be a couple of painful bows from Bob (back trouble?), and they were off. This show turned out to be much better (and longer -- 19 songs) than I anticipated and amongst the best I've seen. Till Cologne, on Thursday. Chris Barnard
2000: March - April - May