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Review by Rebecca Haag
I hadn't planned to go to this one, but after all the new songs in Milan,
compared to Modena, I had to be there! And here too there were five new
ones. Bob wore a white suit with black trim this time, which I think made
him look younger. Sometimes in certain poses he seemed identical to the
way he looks in "Don't Look Back." The thing about the white is that it shows
the sweat, which Bob was drenched in by the end of the show.
From my point of view the concert took a while to get rolling. There were
some problems on the floor, as security forced the fans who'd dashed down
to the stage to go back to their seats (unlike Milan, where the forces of
crowd control were overcome and had to give in). After that for a while it
seemed pretty staid with everybody sitting down and applauding politely.
As in Modena the band opened with "Duncan and Brady," a song I don't know.
I didn't catch many of the words, but I think I did hear "You've been on the
job too long"-a little Never Ending Tour joke? "My Back Pages" was in the
second slot, with Larry on fiddle and featuring a harp solo by Bob. Maybe
this solo was planned, but I had the feeling that he did it on the spur of the
moment to get the crowd going. Indeed, several times during the show it
looked like plans were being changed, possibly because things weren't
going as expected or, I thought, maybe the little 4000-seater in provincial
Ancona was a good place to try out something new. The sweetest moment
of the acoustic set for me was "Boots of Spanish Leather," not different from
other recent versions but lovely nevertheless.
The central core of the electric set included "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues."
I was excited to realize I was going to hear this favorite of mine, but then it
didn't really grab me. I think it was still being worked on, especially the
ending. But after that the wonderful "Not Dark" and the hot "Drifter's Escape"
were back from Modena, with a great harp solo from Bob on the latter. Larry
and Charlie finally got to solo a bit on the electric set closer, "Highway 61."
By the end of the electric set the crowd was finally into the show in a big
way and this continued in the encore. Bob seemed to respond to this
warmth and was seriously hamming it up for the last few songs. And in
general this encore was the best of the three shows I saw. Bob sang LARS
in position number 14 every night, but this slow, sweet version with the
rising tones at the end of each line was the only truly memorable one for me.
The rambling "Maggie's Farm" was good fun, and before the closing "RDW"
and "Blowin" we were blessed with a beautiful haunting "Girl of the North
Country," whispered more than sung.
At all three shows, but especially at this one, I was struck by Bob's manner
on stage, hard to describe but fascinating. A little comic, a little ironic
("Elvis" poses, slit-eyed challenge-the-audience poses), but also extremely
gracious in a unique Bob Dylan way.
I'm sorry not to be in Cagliari (Sardinia) tonight for the last Italian show,
and who knows when I'll be in the audience again. But for now these concerts
have made me feel glad to be alive. I think I'm a good example of the fact
that being moved by Bob Dylan's art doesn't necessarily have anything to
do with having lived through the glorious sixties with him or being nostalgic
for that time. I was born in 1961 and didn't start paying attention to him
until two years ago, in 1998, and it's been a great experience to discover
his work (all of it, early 60's to present). After these shows, it's back to my
CD player, but I can't wait to once again welcome "Columbia Recording
artist Bob Dylan!"
Review by Antonio Terni
Ancona is my home town, unfortunately. I had told the organizers not to
devote the first rows to VIP's 'cause this would cause problems, but they
answered me that nothing would happen. As soon as the crowd went to
the fence these fucking VIP's started complaining and policemen were
forced to push everybody to their seats. So we could not reach the fence
until HW61 and even then we were pushed backwards a couple of times.
I have promised my 15 years old daughter and three friends of her to
make them assist to the concert in first position and everything was very
difficult. I have to thank those bobcats who helped me letting the girls on
the first row when it was possible.
Despite everything the concert was great. Bob was in a very good mood,
although he gave the best of himself in the second part when he could play
to 'his' audience and not to VIP's piggy faces. Rainy Day Women was the
best I ever heard and I think that everybody thaught that Bob was
underlining the rhymes with voice and smiles telling us not to be too upset
about beeing pushed away 'cause '..everybody must get stoned!'
I'm not going through the whole concert song by song, but I think that the
highlights were a great 'My back Pages' which Diego was waiting since the
beginning of our tour in Berlin, 'Boots of Spanish Leather' which is always a
great song for me, 'Love minus Zero', 'Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues' another
of my everytime favourites, this great version of 'Drifter's Escape' with Bob
playing the harp backed only by David on drums: a great and powerfull
sound with lots and lots of energy from Bob.
On the encores 'Ballad of a Thin Man' was very good, 'Maggie's Farm' was
the usual version (in Florence was a new one and it was great) but,as I
said before, the best song was RDW with lots and lots of smiling and solos
and participation. Thank you Bob for having been near to us! I had invited
around twenty friends to assist to the show and for many of them it was the
first time they saw Bob live. This may seem quite obvious to the readers of
this page, but all of them were incredibly impressed by Bob and the band
and many told me to call them when Bob will be around next time. So I
figure I'll have to rent a bus for next tour.
As a special favour to me, please dont hate Ancona for what happened: it is
a small and provincial town, not used to these great events, but they are not
too bad people after all.
See everybody in September, hopefully....
Review by Nikos Bosinakos
This was my first Bob Dylan concert and I had to cross the Adriatic Sea to
make my dream come true.Perhaps,my friend and I was the only
representatives of Greece in this Dylan tour!
Pallarossini is placed 4 km out of Ancona and it is a little
adventure for a stranger to reach it but we made it at last.The place
around the stadium seemed like a little Woodstock. People from all over
the world, amateur musicians, great mood and expectations for a great
Bob appeared in 21:05 and I really cannot remember a lot of that
moment cause...you know, that was my first time. He started with a
really rocking "Duncan and Brady" and continued with one of my
favourites :"My back pages" . Then an agressive "Masters of War". Bob
sang it with such a passion that I am sure he still believes the truth of
the lyrics. "Boots of spanish leather" moved us and reminded me that Bob
has made great love songs."Tangled up in blue" was worst that I have
expected. I don't know ...these strange vocals "Taaangled up...".
"Love minus zero " and "Country pie" were well played but the
highlight was obviously "Can't wait".Absolutely moving!
" Just like Tom Thumb's blues" was a surprise (a good one, anyway...)
and "Not dark yet" as good as in the album. Then "Drifter's escape" in an
extremely rock-n-roll perfomance with an astonishing harp solo and
"Highway 61" which forced people to rush towards the stage. In that time,
he drove us crazy. People standing clasped and cheered to Dylan. I knew
that he would be out for a great encore but I wasn't sure if he would
..." Ballad of a thin man". I was happy he choose it at last cause I
love this song. Then "Like a rolling stone" was so and so and "Forever
young" was excellent.I am not very fond of "Maggie's farm" anyway, I
prefer " Girl from the north country" and Bob just made me quiver once
again with that song.
And finally a grooving "Rainy day women" and the classic hymn
"Blowin'in the wind". I had a crazy dream that Bob would get out again
That was only the first time Bob. We will meet again. Just be " on the
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