page by Bill Pagel
Review by Elmar Kranjec
The Eishalle is a place where normally Ice-Hockey matches are played. Its
accoustics isnīt that good usually but worked fine this time and the first
time Dylan played this place is 1999. The place seemed to be nearly sold
out so I would estimate the audience to about 2600 people. It was quite
cold inside, everyone had to be seated. Tried to stay at the rail but was
"removed" from there by security and sent to my seat in 6th row (not that
bad, either). About 15 minutes late the lights went out, we got the long
introduction by Al. "To Be Alone With You" I`ve hoped for that. A great
opener. Apparently Bob was in good playing mood. "Baby Blue" The crowd
loved that one. I donīt like the arrangement too much so I wasnīt too
excited. That was the first time I noticed that Bob was taking a lot more
care for the lyrics on this leg of the NET - just like Iīve read before.
"Tweedle" Although this is definately not my favourite, this rendition was
awesome. The whole band was completely into it and filled it with a lot of
energy. "It Ainīt Me" Another crowd-pleaser. Again, I donīt like the
arrangement too much. Bob was very into the lyrics, accentuating the words
and phrases very carefully. "Itīs Alright, Ma" What can I say ?
Magnificent. Bob nailed every single word and I especially liked Georgeīs
drumming on this one. The lines in this song are the base for the rythm.
Bob challenged George by make lines longer and shorter. I think the two
had lots of fun... "Don`t Think Twice" Bob on guitar for the first time.
He didnīt seem too happy about that but when does he anyway ? However,
this was a beautiful rendition. "Watching The River Flow" I was very happy
with this unexpected "Watching". BTW, this show was the first time I saw
Freddy live and I really love his playing. Sure, this is not Charlie
playing but this Freddy-guy has a style I really like. "Cold Irons Bound"
Apparently the whole band had a lot of fun with that one. Larry and Freddy
played the hell out of their guitars, again, Georgeīs drumming was awesome
and Tony directed them all. "Hattie Carroll" Bob was back behind his piano
and gave a fine rendition of "Hattie Carroll". The lyrics sounded fresh as
they always have... "Stuck Inside Of Mobile" Again the band had a lot of
fun with that. Bob himself didnīt seem to be too happy with it, though.
"Bye And Bye" A great rendition of a song I never liked that much. Much
better than the versin on L&T. Maybe the live rendition adds some mood the
pure CD cannot have as well. Bob repeated the line about sitting on his
watch. "Honest With Me" For me this was a highlight of the show. The
bandīs playing was filled with a lot of energy. Outstanding work by all
memembers. Unfortunately I had the feeling that Bobīs interest faded
slightly from this song on towards the end of the show. "Every Grain Of
Sand" I think that was my first time hearing this song live. I wasnīt that
impressed because as noted before I felt that Bob would rather be
somewhere else. "Summer Days" A very solid rendition of this song though
not the explosion from last yearīs tour. Lights go on, standing ovations,
Bob & band go off. Stage rush. I manage to get to the rail. Five minutes
later the band enters the stage again and - thereīs no surprise - start
with "Catīs In The Well" Bob is nowhere to be seen. Now he appears behind
the monitors behind the drum raiser. He wants to go to stage left but
suddenly turns to enter the stage on the other side. At last he finds his
piano. As for the song: It was now quite clear to me that Bob liked to
bring the show to an end. Without any break the band turned into "Rolling
Stone" Again, Bob didnīt seem to enthusiastic - but the band was. Again,
Iīd like to mention Georgeīs drumming and Freddyīs guitar work.
"Watchtower" Bob introduces his band, apparently very carefully with
Tonyīs name. And he really speaks to the crowd: Thank you, youīre very
kind. Iīve read some noted about Bobīs wandering the stage but witnessed
this for the first time. After the first verse he leaves his piano behind,
crosses the stage in a not-too-straight line. Audience cheers, Bob hasnīt
quite found what he was looking for. Maybe heīs forgotten it already and
so he makes his way back but of course has to take the complicated route
between Freddy and the drum raiser. Maybe he said something to George. Bob
is back at his piano and grins to the audience for about a second (most
likely thinking "I hope youīre happy now."). Second verse. Bob seems to
remember what he was looking for and sets out to get it on the other end
of the stage. Again, he is cheered by the audience but doesnīt find it.
The end is near. After the song is finished off, the band stands there
(George in his coat already). Bob stares at the audience and then, just
before turning to go, one thumb up for half a second.
To sum this up: The best bandīs performance Iīve ever witnessed
personally. Bob wasnīt in the best mood towards the end of the show. So
this stays in my memory as one of the above-average Bob-shows of my life -
hope to get a bootleg soon ;-)
Review by Borivoj Terek
I am watching and listen Bob for almost 40 years, yeah. I can clearly
imagine that period of my life, time of my childhood, back in elementary
school. Those were the days when I heard for Bob for the first time. I was
kid then, mostly interested in British rock, in Beatles, Kinks, Rolling
Stones etc. you know. Bob was somewhere far away across the Atlantic Ocean
at that time. But of course I knew Mr. Tambourine Man, Blowing in the
Wind, The Times They Are-A Changin', Like a Rolling Stone, and all of
these classics songs. I also knew all these famous covers made by The
Birds and by so many others .... I must admit I did not really understand
Bob during this period.
Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now ! :-)
Time is like a jet plane: high school, university, marriage, children - so
many occupation all the time. I did not give careful attention to Bob
during all that time.
The spark that really lighted the fire back again was MTV Unplugged. I
suddenly realised that I missed a lot as the years passed by. So I decided
it's a high and right time to recover everything I have slipped.
First of all I have bought almost all of Bob official albums. I had only a
few vinyls till then. Internet helped much. I was surprised how many
information is available just a click away. Now I have a nice collection
of MP3s, I play just Bob's song on my guitar, I have new e-friends, like
Rank Strangers - Dylan Poolers, and some more. I have also met some new
people with the same interest in Bob, too.
I have heard about some guys who have visited twenty or more Bob's
concert. Impressive indeed. It is not the case with me, but I try to make
it up these days.
I have attended six Bob's concerts including Graz yesterday, and it was
the best concert for me, that's for sure. Two days ago, in Budapest, I
enjoyed a lot, there were some brilliant songs, but also some songs I did
not like. And, by my opinion, there were some low points - To Ramona for
example, even Tryin' To Get To Heaven, although it was a newly introduced
song in the Euro 2003 Tour Set Lists. Maybe that was the reason way song
sounded a little bit strange to me. Song needs to be work on it a little
bit more, I think. In addition, Things Have Changed is fine song but
unexciting to me. More then that, Budapest set list did not differ much
compared to previous concerts in the Tour. Of course I had a pleasure to
hear some extraordinary songs: Love Minus Zero/No Limits, Cry A While,
Highway 61 Revisited, Honest With Me, Summer Days, It's Alright Ma, It's
All Over Now, Baby Blue, Every Grain of Sand ( rnging by this order I
I have an impression that Bob and the Band had similar feelings regarding
Budapest concert. Some changes should be made.
And they did them in Graz!
Opener, To Be Alone With You was even better then Tombstone Blues (also
good one as an opener). Song sounds like some kind of boogie-woogie: do
you remember Status Quo? They play on that way. That is Freddy's touch, I
think. By the way, Freddy convinced me that he is very good guitar player
with a personal style and Bob knows how to underscore this.
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue was very nice, but tonight not so nice as it
was in Budapest, two days ago. The reason - there was not harp intro in
The first surprise was Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum on No. 3. Fine
performance, but I have lost my 14 points at DylanPool with no Cry A While
! :-) Just kidding. Never mind, of course.
The second and the very big surprise was the next song: It Ain't Me, Babe.
This one was the best one from the beginning of the tonight show, my new
friend Cowboy Angel and me agreed. Excellent!
It's Alright Ma was the next one. Perfect! Cowboy Angel said this was the
best one. This comment made me laughing! But this was just the beginning!
Bob took the guitar then. My favourite song Don't Think Twice was the next
one. I have heard the song several times live, but this time I was down.
Then I said this was the best one tonight !!
Watching The River Flow! Another surprise of the evening. You see -
totally reworked set list! Never heard live before. I was so excited, this
song is some kind of my personal and professional hymn - I work on rivers
lots of time! Can you imagine that? Great! And the performance was
Cold Irons Bound, the third one with Bob on electric guitar in the row!
And another one great performance. Reworked and strong, sharp as a knife!
One song better then another!
The next one was the ultimate surprise: Hattie Carroll - I am really,
really happy that I had a chance to hear this song live. Superb!
Stuck Inside .. another one great performance. By this time it was obvious
that it was not an ordinary show. Something was in the air .
Bye and Bye was fine, but not as fine as previous ones. That was a
preparation, a resting point, for a great finale.
Honest With Me - excellent, even slightly better then in Budapest (can it
be? I don't know, maybe I was in some kind of special mood !)
Every Grain of Sand - definitely better then in Budapest, and excellent. I
can listen this song for unlimited time, I think
Summer Days - Freddy proved he was great, as well during Honest, Stuck and
Any suspicion regarding his playing gone with the wind in these summer
days ! I liked Charlie a lot, now I like Freddy too.
It was the end of the first part of the show.
At the beginning of the show crowd rushed to the rail, but security did
their "job", so everyone had to get back to seats.
Now, the crowd again rushed to the rail, and security was helpless!
Cowboy Angel persuaded me to go down in front of stage. Thanks Angel for
that! I went to rail just on time - at the beginning of the encore.
Can you imagine - I was just 3 to 4 meters away of Bob!!!
Cat's In the Well, Like a Rolling Stone and All Along the Watchtower - the
encore - standard closing pattern. You know, it must be perfect when you
are just 3 meters apart!
With one word guys, I am still excited.
I will wait for some time to be at a concert like this.
page by Bill Pagel
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