Florence, Italy

May 30, 2000


[Francesco Ciuffi]

Review by Francesco Ciuffi

I had already seen Bob in Modena few days ago and I had got some mixed
impressions. On the one hand he proved to be in pretty fine form, his
voice was fine and as crisp as it can get, but on the other hand there had
been some very low points, with a horrible Like a Rolling Stone to top it
off. Anyway, due to my working schedule i had to go to Lucca, a city not
too far from Florence, and so I  said to myself “why not “ (are you
listening Nick? 2 words, 6 letters!) and I called Irene, a friend of mine,
and asked her if she wanted to come with me to the show. We drove down to
Florence as fast as we could and when we were about to enter the Palasport
I heard the first notes of Duncan & Brady, the same opener he used in
Modena. Both versions were really well sung, with tight vocal harmonies
and fine ensemble playing. Next was Times Changin, once a favourite of
mine, and then the first surprise, Visions of Johanna, in a reworked
arrangement that really shines. To Ramona and Tangled were business as
usual, (I dont even remember how many times I’ve heard Tangled) but were
really well played. Then, after a nice Baby Blue, on to the electric set.
With a solid version of a weak tune, Country Pie. The first notes of It
Takes a Lot Laugh, in a slow bluesy mode, brought a huge cheer on
everybody’s face. A great version, with some nice soloing by Bob & the
boys, with a strong vocal delivery. A great addiction to my live Dylan
experience. I was expecting to hear Can’t Wait (in Modena it was simply
amazing, the song has really benefited of the new arrangment) but Bob put
out of the basket another heavyweight from the old days: Simple Twist of
Fate was greeted by the crowd with a huge roar and Drifter’s Escape opened
the way to another huge HYW 61. Now, what else can be said about this
rollin kickin number? It kicked ass, as usual, and it went even longer
than usual! Highway marked the end of the first set, and we were ready for
Love Sick to open the second part. The first notes of this new classic
brought cheers on Irene’s face, and the song was performed with a superb
vocal delivery and nice playing, and even Bob’ solo was better than usual.
Unfortunatly, LARS was, once again a complete mess, ehi Bob, what’s up
with this song? It Aint Me Baby was another great pick, as well as
Maggie’s Farm. The usual combo Rainy Day>Blowin (I personally refer to
this as “throwin-in-the-towel”) predictably ended the show and sent a
satisfied crowd back home. All in all a good show, with a funny view of
Bob shakin his bones on the stage, bendin down on his knees, clearly
showin’ that he too was havin some fun.


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