NOVEMBER 8, 2003
1. Down Along The Cove
2. I'll Remember You
3. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
4. Love Minus Zero/No Limit
5. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
6. Girl Of The North Country
7. Cold Irons Bound
8. Man In The Long Black Coat
9. Highway 61 Revisited
10. Tryin' To Get To Heaven
11. Honest With Me
12. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
13. Summer Days
14. Cat's In The Well
15. Like A Rolling Stone
16. All Along The Watchtower
17. Forever Young
Düsseldorf revisited, for me, not for Bob Dylan.
Before November 8th 2003 it was the only one of
the ten largest cities in Germany where Bob Dylan
had never played, this capital of North-Rhine-
Westphalia, the state where I have lived most of
my life, my early childhood even 20 miles north of
Düsseldorf, and during my college years, as an
intern, for 7 months in the city itself.
The concert in Düsseldorf was the second
consecutive show at the rail for my wife
and me, but our vantage point was quite
different from the one we had in Frankfurt.
Standing this time at the far right facing
the stage, we had an unobstructed view over
to the piano across the stage floor, which
was a brilliant sight to behold, as the man
behind the piano was dancing and pointing,
smiling and playing.
Freddy we could also see most of the time;
but the other three musicians were unfortunately
out of sight for us, as huge stage monitors blocked
our view. It was quite a different concert
experience to focus on Bob only during some songs,
as he was directing the others we could not see,
pounding on his piano, blowing his harp, and
singing his songs to a quite appreciative audience.
And a great time for appreciation it was,
these two hours, as the set list (even though
it lacked “Every Grain Of Sand”) was one of
the finest I was honoured to witness in 44 shows
since 1981. Every song was performed very focused,
and even the regulars for this tour were never
boring, but enjoyable throughout.
But the gems of this concert were also numerous,
and made this a very special event for me. Four
songs we had not seen in the other three shows
we had attended this fall (Stockholm, Karlstad,
and Frankfurt), but I certainly do not complain
about another version of “Down Along The Cove”,
the new fine opener introduced in Frankfurt;
another “Love Minus Zero”, which was delivered
word perfect this time, and even more beautifully
than at the previous show; or another fine
performance of “Man In The Long Black Coat”.
Also I prefered “Tweedle” in the number three
slot; and truly a fine surprise to close this
magnificent Düsseldorf show was another wonderful
version of “Forever Young”, two of which we saw
already in Sweden in October, but then it appeared
before “All Along The Watchtower”, not after.
“Summer Days” and “Cat’s In The Well” were rocking
the house as well. This show was really good.
And I have not yet even mentioned the real nuggets,
those four songs which we had not yet seen during this
“Leaves Are Starting To Fall – Tour”.
First of all there was the first appearance of
“I’ll Remember You” for this fall, at the “Baby Blue”
spot after the opening gem. Then there was the
eighth performance of “The Lonesome Death Of
Hattie Carroll”, a song I cherish a lot, and
which I had last seen more than five years ago,
in Essen, some thirty miles north east of
Düsseldorf. I am glad I got to hear this nice
new piano version. The second appearance of
the new “Girl Of The North Country” also was
a real treat. This one is amazingly beautiful,
a truly new creation by this great performing
But all these fine song performances are even
overshadowed by the one most outstanding
performance of that night in Düsseldorf,
which was the five verse plus harp solo
rendition of “Tryin’ To Get To Heaven”.
Most sublime singing by Bob during this
masterpiece performance; and definitely
one of the high points of my concert going
experience, ever, even surpassing the
first slow version of the same song in Dublin,
which I had seen in September 2000. Yes,
this Düsseldorf version of “Tryin’ To Get
To Heaven” would be my new “desert island
performance”. It really was that good.