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Bob Dylan 2000.03.12 in Hannover

From: Carsten Wohlfeld (
Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 22:27:23 +0200
Subject: hannover review 

It was a weird day, as this show seemed to be the last many of people
who followed Bob around from Zurich were able to attend. Only the
purists went on to Lund and the tourists returned home, at least till next
week.  It was a general admission show, so people actually queued up for
the first time since the show in Switzerland. Personally, I was convinced
that the acoustic set would be tonightās highlight, since the Cologne
show had such a poor acoustic set and a very enjoyable electric set to
follow. The same thing had happened last year, with a bad acoustic set in
Slovenia and a great electric set and and amazing acoustic opening and a
quite boring electric second half to follow the next day in Graz. Anyways,
so far, I was only wishful thinking. The venue was an ugly sportshall of
the worst kind, with seats on either side of the venue and general
admission on the floor. It was smaller than Iād been told before as well. I
guess it hold about 4,500 people and even though it didnāt look like it at
first it came close to a sellout when Bob took the stage at 8.15

	Roving Gambler (acoustic)

Sounded a bit tired, not as "togehter" as it was on the first few nights of
the tour. Bob was mumbling and Larry (who seemed to have a great time
throughout the evening, playing gorgeous solos and smiling a lot) and
Charlie seemed to have problems to follow their leader on backing vocals.

	Times They Are A Changinā (acoustic)

Why on earth he would want to play "Times" at four consecutive shows
is just beyond me, especially since he forgot the words yet again. Just
goes to show that he wasnāt fully concentrating on the performance, I
guess. Then again, if he doesnāt put his heart into it, why play the song
in the first place. The tourists liked it though.

	Desolation Row (acoustic)

Made up for the slow start. Nice rock 'nā roll-ish riff from Larry at the
start (with the new arrangment the full band only kicks in after the first
verse) and Bobs singing was just perfect. To add to it, he sang three
verses I never heard him do before live (even though I heard
"Desolation" close to 30 times before). Larryās soling was very good and
inventive as well.Great stuff! It was only the warmu-up for what was to
follow though...

	Tomorrow Is A Long Time (acoustic)

was THE highlight of the show and one of my alltime favorite Bob
performances. Again, the band only joined Bob and Larry after a lenghty
intro and to add to Bobās gorgeous vocal delivery, Larry contributed a
very fine harmony vocal as well. I had to talk my friend Gunter into
addeding this show (he had planned to quit after Cologne) and as this is
one of his favorite songs, it was fun to look over to where he was
standing and seeing him smile, too.

	Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

was much better than in Cologne and even featured a long and rather
good Bob solo at the end as well. Still didnāt made me totally happy, but
then again, after so many shows there are very few things that will. One
of the very, very few songs I still hadnāt heard, but desperately wanted
to catch live at a show was "Ring Them Bells", so imagine how happy I
was when Tony (after talking to Bob for a few seconds) turned around to
Tony and said the three magic words...

	Ring Them Bells (acoustic)

First European performance of this song since Differdange '96 and only
the fifth or so over the ast five years. Bobās singing maybe couldāve
been a little better on the verses, but he was in fine form for the choruses
(or is it the bridges, I never figured that out, Iām sure you know what part
I mean though). Larry on pedal steel.

	Country Pie

was long, better an more fun than the previous nights and even though
they messed up the ending a little bit, this was probably the best version
on this tour apart from ZŸrich.

	Things Have Changed

Didnāt come close to the Cologne version, but was still a very welcome
change from the usual routine.... Then Larry grabbed his acoustic guitar
and I was convinced that "Memphis Blues Again" as about to follow,
but instead they tortured us with yet another unnecessary weirdo
version of

	Iāll Be Your Baby Tonight

which sounded even worse than with Larry on pedal steel and even
though Bob played a fine solo and seemed to have fun playing the song
directly to somebody in the front row it was still the lowpoint of the
show for me.

	Tombstone Blues

Sounded remarkably like "River Flow" when they started it and was a bit
too slow for my liking. The funny thing about it is: Every time Bob hits
Brussels, heāll do "I Donāt Believe In You" and the people there must
think he does it every night. The last time he did "Tombstone Blues" in
Germany was (if Iām not mistaken) in 1995 in - Hannover!

	Canāt Wait

Yet another rendition of the new bluesy arrangement. The one nightās
rest reall did the song good, as it was a much better version than
Oberhausen, and Bob and the band seemed to concentrate on their
playing more than two nights ago. Band intros followed as did

	Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat

The weird things about this version was that Bob guitar apparently went
out of tune after the first verse, so he took it off, grabbed a harmonica
and finished the song without guitar, but played harmonica after almost
every line and a fine and very long end solo, too, kinda reminiscent of
"Most Likely To Go Your Way" in ZŸrich 1991.

	Love Sick

Standing a bit more in the back than usual I got to hear the proper PA
sound for the first time on the tour and it was this song especially that
seemed to improve soundwise. Larry still had tons of fun and his solo
was even better than usual.

	Like A Rolling Stone

Sounded as good as it does every night these days and Charlie seemed
to concentrate more on his solo tonight and so we didnāt get his "Pete
Townsend windmill" impersonation that we got to see in Oberhausen a
few days ago.

	IT Aināt Me Babe (acoustic)

Usually my mind and ears just switch off when Bob starts this song,
because Iāve heard it one (or ten) times too many (and yes, I know this is
a rather sad confession to make), but sometimes you just listen to the
words and realize again what a fucking amazing song it is after all. Bob
put in one of his supercool "BABE!!!!" endings (eyes wide open) as
well... a really enjoyable rendition!

	Not Fade Away

Seemed to be above average as well, probably because Larry was still in
fine form.

	Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic)

Seemed to have a slighty different intro (Bob seemed to have started it
rather than David), but maybe that was just the crowded cheering so
loud. We got the usual rendition, no harp and a surprising last chorus,
well, surprising for Larry at least, who didnāt make it to the microphone in

	Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35

Good clean fun to end the show. This time we got only the two verses
heās been singing for years now, and he replaced the last verse he sang
at the beginning of the European tour with an extended solo. Then his
two hours were over, the lights came on, everybody who didnāt smoke
crack before the show went home very happy as it really was a mighty
fine show, with a great balance between the hits and the surprises and
even though the acoustic set was better than the electric second half, the
change wasnāt as daramtic as in Cologne the night before. Not only
Gunter was very happy that he didn'tāquit after Cologne. It was a good
show to end the first part of my own little tour and Iām really looking
forward to seeing Bob again next week! See ya!

Carsten Wohlfeld

Date: Sun, 14 May 2000 23:30:47 +0200 From: Gerrit ( Subject: Review Hannover 12/05/2000. Hi everybody! Here comes another review on Bob Dylan ... Well, Hannover is probably not the most exciting city in Germany, and the Stadionsporthalle is the venue from hell. The sound was OK at best. The place was plain ugly and neon lit, and seemed to have no ventilation at all. And since Friday was a hot and sunny day, we were in for a sticky night. I don't think anybody's smell was very pretty at the end of the night, and the roadies did a good job placing an extra round of incense on the stage. Still, Hannover 2000 was a Bob Dylan show to remember. A long sequence of pleasant surprises started with a quick look over the crowd. Lots of young folk tonight, very many students and quite a few teenagers. So spread the news: Dylan fans are not going to vanish from the planet for biological reasons anytime soon ... To make a long story short, what followed was not really a concert. It was more like a thunderstorm after a long hot summer's day. The crowd was cheerful, expectant, attentive, engaged -- and very loud. It was great to be there, and I'm sure the heat of the night and the enthusiastic audience gave Bob the kick to do what he did. The start was good, but not really distinguished. Roving Gambler was no surprise as first song of the night. A solid performance with nice solos from Larry. The song rolls like a big old train, and doing this old timey bluegrass stuff is a great way to start a concert. The Times They Are A-Changing was not exactly a stunner. It's a nice enough song, but like the times, the song in the #2 slot needs changing. It was not really bad, just a little disappointing. Routine and repetition is not what you'd expect from Bob Dylan, is it? Something must have happened after Times. Desolation Row was the start of a brilliant series of performances. Get yourself a field recording, and listen to Bob's guitar, to his razor-sharp fills and his amazing solos. Hear for yourself how his singing nails down the song. Listen to the band getting into the groove. Listen to a true masterpiece. Well, the same goes for nearly every song that followed. There wasn't one weak guitar solo from Bob Dylan all night. Not one. Fair enough, there were a few mumbled words and an, eh, unrehearsed ending or two. But there was also a band who certainly had their fun, and there was a man who confidently brought out one gem after the other, who paid back every round of spontaneous applause with an even better performance, who just played his heart out that night. Tomorrow Is A Long Time is my personal favourite. It was a treat. It was the best. Tangled Up In Blue always sounds a bit worn-out on tape, but I can't help enjoying it when it's played live. Ring Them Bells was certainly a spontaneous choice. A tip to the hat to an audience who would appreciate a gem like this. Country Pie kicked off the electric set. Party time. I had hoped to hear Things Have Changed, and there it was. A bit slower than the studio recording, but otherwise quite similar, it featured Larry on slide guitar. An excellent song, which gives me high hopes for the next album. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight used to be a song I neither liked nor disliked. But the way they did it in Hannover, it was irresistible. Tombstone Blues sounded funny in rockabilly style. I hope they have paid old Johnny Cash some royalities for this one ... Can't Wait was faultless. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat featured that night's impromptu harmonica solo. The song would have been kicking ass even without it, but seeing that the crowd was really going, Bob went to the rear, had them bring his harps, picked one, and ceremonially swaggered back to the mike. I just love his occasional fits of silliness ... Love Sick was again the first encore. A masterful, delicate performance, which effortlessly brought out the essence of the song. Like A Rolling Stone. Very good indeed. It Ain't Me, Babe makes the reviewer check the dictionary for more superlatives. It deserved them all. Not Fade Away. I know that you should save the singing along for your next Bruce Springsteen concert, but I just couldn't help it. It came naturally. Blowin' In The Wind. Lovely. Rainy Day Women. One of the songs I professed to hate before I heard it live on stage. How could I be so mistaken? It is a very good song, not exactly subtle, but ... well, if this doesn't get you dancing, have a doctor check whether you're still alive. So this was my Hannover 2000. I had seen Bob Dylan the unique and masterful singer, Bob Dylan the entertainer, and most memorable of all, Bob Dylan the guitar hero who had pulled out all the stops. My shirt was soaked with sweat, and my voice was gone. What an audience, what a performer, what a night. Thank you for reading. Gerrit.
2000: March - April - May