April 17, 2019
Review by Toni Grabmayer
All I really wanna do, is Bobby, be friends with you!
On 21. July 1981 was the first opportunity I could enjoy the presence of
Bob in Vienna‘s town-concert-hall, as it was the first time ever Bob
performed in Austria. How lucky was I - just born in time! And that time I
did not know many songs by heart and did not recognize songs from the
first notes sounding. Now I do. Because during my studies I could
listen to one record of Bob, all day long.
This year Bob blessed us with his presence in another famous Viennese, but
intimate concert hall, offering capacity of less than 2.000 seats, but for
two evenings. I’ve been to „Vienna’s Konzerthaus“ couple of times,
enjoying other (piano) concerts and good vibrations. This music hall is
ready for perfect sound, no matter if one man (or woman) show or symphonic
orchestra is performing.
From the program announcement: „Bob Dylan is celebrated today as one of
the most important songwriters of the century. The US news magazine
"Newsweek" describes him as equally important for pop music as "Einstein
is for physics." A legend guest at the Vienna Konzerthaus.“
Now my nephew and me are sitting on the balcony.
What did I observe? only Precious memories:
Two artists on left side of the stage (rhythm department) wearing hats,
and three artists on right side of stage without hats. From starting
Things have changed Bob was sitting „behind“ the piano, and we would
not have seen much of himself – similiar to last year‘s show in the
large town-concert-hall – but luckily we were sitting on the balcony,
with good view to all the artists. In the stage center was a space,
occupied by a guitar monitor, and a microphone, awaiting Bob, just for
Scarlet town. And sometimes Charlie was walking into the space.
For my ears the sound was good, but the drums sometimes appeared a little
bit too loud, perhaps only because George did a great job. While the piano
was not always reaching me clearly.
The audience gave Bob an affectionate welcome to the show. Later my
impression was that the applause was growing louder and longer after every
song performed. And yes, after about seven songs I thought to myself:
„This is so much beautiful, I hope this never ends!“
I noticed an alternating sequence of fast played rock songs and slower
performed folk-like songs, which was much appreciated by the audience, I
could feel it.
Charlie seemed to have a Changing of guitars, quite a lot, because there
was somebody bringing in another guitar from a side of the stage several
times during second half of show. But the stage was all dark between
songs, so I could not see what happened with the instruments. Perhaps he
played with so much vigor that he needed string replacement?
Most of the time Tony was using an electric bass, but changed to double
bass for only a part of some songs, several times using the bow. Don’t
think twice was presented with no drums at all, and Tony played his
standup bass with the bow (is there a term „bass bow“?) –
exceptionally great performance. And once or twice I saw Tony swaying or
dancing gently. Guess all the musicians really enjoyed their work! To
Donny my attention only went when he played the banjo.
Can’t recall exactly when, but during second half of show there was a
moment, when I thought: „It can’t grow better any more, they should
stop immediately.“ There were good vibrations all over the hall, guess
this show was the band’s Masterpiece.
Well, yes, when they performed „Blowin‘ the wind“ some big tears
were running down my cheeks, as this song is one of my all time favourites
from master Bob. And during several earlier shows in Vienna it was not on
stage. How lucky was I, today, and smiling blissfully!
About the music: priceless, great, fabulous, uneqalled!!
No third encore this time, after the main set we had experienced one bow
of Bob, after the end of show we were granted another single bow of Bob,
followed by a collective bow of all artists, before they left stage. Much
appreciated by audience!
When most people had left the hall and the stage was dismantled, we still
sat still and digested our impressions. Please enjoy one minute:
Dear Bob, May your songs always be sung! Thanks for the blessings for our
ears & hearts! You changed my life, please come again!
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