Vilnius, Lithuania

Siemens Arena

June 5, 2008

[Jim Nolan], [Paul Almonte]

Review by Jim Nolan

Having said our goodbyes to Lizz, Ken and Mike in Tallinn, 'Cardiff' Dave
and I flew from Tallinn to Vilnius with Estonian Air on a 33 seater plane
which I could not stand up in. Everything was fine apart from the landing
which rattled every tooth in my head!

Vilnius is a lot more developed than Tallinn and quite a bit larger.But
very pretty all the same.  After we arrived Dave sent me a text saying 
he saw Donnie Herron in reception at his hotel and thought the band 
were present also.I ventured up to Dave's hotel with a Tallinn Poster 
I acquired in a Ticket Shop in Tallinn. ( nope I did not steal it,I asked for it).

When I arrived George Recile was sitting outside, I said hello and ended
up having a great 10 minute chat with him. When Donnie Herron came out
George introduced me to him. George is a nice guy and a true gent. Anyway
they all signed my poster for me except Tony who came out last and was
running late. The Band sans Bob then left. Next Bob himself came out in
wholley hat and shades looking as cool as a cucumber!I reckon he would
have stopped but his minder ushered him into a waiting car. It was great
to see them all though,an unexpected pleasure. I noticed in Tallinn that
Bob had a box of mansized tissues close to hand and feared he might
struggle a bit tonight,however we were wrong and Bob played a blinder.
We arrived into the venue and found our seats in the middle of the
second row in line with Bobs keyboard. There were no tissues on view
tonight. Once again we were treated to the old blues masters
Sonhouse, Robert Johnson, Willie Dixon etc. Excellent sounds, I wonder did
Bob have a hand in making up the mixtape? Sure it does not matter
really. Back to the show.

Well when the the lights went down and the intro started not one person
jumped out of their seats. Myself and Dave were like coiled springs
waiting to jump up. Dave looked at me in a will we? wont we? way. We
decided to stay put which is not easy when Bob and Band rock out. Once
again I wont dwell on each tune,but I will mention a few.

Lay Lady Lay.Great to hear this again which I thought was even better
than Helsinki. More powerful. Lonsome Day Blues rocked along nicely. Just
Like a Woman. Apart fom Cardiff Dave's caterwauling during the chorus I
did not hear anyone at all sing along with Bob. Crowd clapped and cheered
at start of tune but that was it. An extremely well behaved bunch of folk.
HardRain was excellent. Bob and band were well up for this one. Levee's
Gonna Break was top notch as usual. I defy anyone who hears this on the
tour not to dance. Damn near impossible! High Water. This was a revelation
tonight. The band were all over it. Tangled Up In Blue sounded mighty
fine. Although St Petersburg's rendition was the best. (in my humble
opinion). Its alright Ma chugged along nicely with George and Tony
pounding away in the engine room. Lovesick sounded fantastic. A bunch 
of fans in the tiered seats in Bobs eyeline started to wave their mobile
phones about during this song. The way we used to with cigerette lighters
at slow tunes in times go by. Ah halcyon days. Anyway Bob looked very 
amused and nailed the song. Aint Talkin was as good as I have heard it.
Bob closed the main set with 'Watchtower'which rocked. Then one of Bobs
security guys came out at the break and said 'Its okay to stand at the
barrier' and started to make 'shooing' gestures to the front row. I can
only presume that Bob had a word when he left the stage. As we did not
need to hear it twice, Dave and myself bounded into a prime position. The
gig finished up with a 'thunderous' Thunder On The Mountain and Rolling
Stone. It was a great end to a great day. The band were cooking up a storm
tonight and Bob looked as if he was having a ball. The Best Band in the
Land? for tonight a big yessir! I would go as far to say that George is
one of the best drummers I have seen play along with Charlie Watts and
Glenn Kotche (the drummer from Wilco). There were not many T shirts on 
view tonight but I think everyone left with a smile on their face. I know we
did. Hello to the guy beside me whose name I did not get and Nick from the
UK and Thomas from Germany. Apols to Pietro for spelling your name wrong
in my St Petersburg review but you know who you are. And big thanks to 
Bob and Band. Hope they pay Ireland a visit soon as its been awhile. 
Keep on Rockin!

Jim Nolan


Review by Paul Almonte

Coming to Lithuania to do some teaching for the month of June, I was
thrilled to see Dylan playing Vilnius on the night of my arrival.  I was
further excited by the fact that the ticket I was given was for the front
row left center.  This was my thirty-second Dylan concert, but the first
time I was that close.  Like the Estonian fans the night before, the
Lithuanian audience was appreciative but not rowdy; in fact, it wasn't
until the encores that fans came to the front of the stage so I was
staring at and singing along with Bob the whole night long.  Though I was
sorry to see that he's not playing guitar on the first few songs as he did
last year, Bob was in strong voice and the band was really tight.  Denny’s
solos were amazing as was Donnie’s work on the banjo (because of that I’m
always thrilled to hear “High Water”).  As always, George and Tony laid
down a great beat.  The rockin’ tunes from Modern Times—especially
“Rollin’ and Tumblin’”—were excellent.  The slowed down "Tangled Up in
Blue" was a highlight as was "Ain't Talkin'" where the audience – which
likely didn’t know the lyrics – began clapping, in slow time, lending the
song an eerie resonance that somehow really fit.  A final highlight:
holding and holding the finish to the chorus on “Just Like a Woman” as he
does, Bob had the audience on the edge of their seats waiting and aching
for “her to break like a little girl.”  Always that extra second of
holding the lyric line, and then he drops it on you with a growl, whisper,
or cry.  Just beyond belief.  Aciu (thank you in Lithuanian), Bob, and see
you in Brooklyn in August.

Paul Almonte


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