June 18, 2008
Review by Borivoj Terek
Chatillon was end destination for me and my young friend Neven while we
were following Bob this summer. Our "tour" has started at Varazdin, Croatia
and in order to reach Chatillon we had to drive about 1200 km. Yet it was
place worth visiting! That was the fourth concert in the row ( after Varazdin,
Trento and Bergamo) and it seem to me as a great finale, as a peak of the
mountain, not only because the concert itself, but also because of all the
events regarding our traveling. Chatilon is situated at Aosta Valley, 60 km
from the French border line, that is 60 km from the highest mountain in the
Europe Mont Blanc at the same time. Everything regarding Chatillon gig looks
like a peak of the mountain to me: Mont Blanc mountain itself, meeting new
people, all of them big fans of Bob, very cute "venue" and, of course, the
concert itself. Mont Blanc, that white mountain, it's worth visiting. It is
magnificent. Neven and I were there during the morning hours, and we
agreed concert must be as great as that mountain!
A day before, on Thursday 17, we were walking across the main square in
St. Vincent, a nice town situated not so far away from Chatillon, as we stayed
at a small hotel there. While we were walking Neven notices Denny Freeman
and Stu Kimball passing by. Denny wore a flat cap and Stu had a beret, a similar
one George Recile has on stage. Therefore they looked quite different
comparing how they look on stage during the show. They were disguised very
well in fact :-) Well, we approached them, greeting them. Nobody knows who
was surprised more: Neven and I or Denny and Stu :-) We were shaking hands,
had a small talk, and they agreed to take pictures with us. Guys were just great!
Meeting them was a pure chance, but after that we knew show must be just
great as well!
Getting to the venue we met some other people we already met in Trento and
Bergamo. Those guys from Italy are nice guys - Massimo, Micheleulyss, Pietro and
some others. We were surprised hearing some of them have attended more
then one hundred Bob's concert ( and we are still below 20 :-) ). Not only guys
from Italy were there - we met a guy from UK who was attending the famous
Manchester 1966 concert, who was attending more then 300 concerts in total!
Unbelievable! Finally we met two nice girls from St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Sal and
Jane. Sal was carrying her guitar everywhere she went, and while we were
waiting the doors to open, Sal had "an opening act" playing Bob's songs. In
Chatillon she was performing Bob's song sitting on a barbed-wire fence, literally
The "venue", Parco Castello Baron Gamba, is a very nice garden. It is a meadow
situated at the hill slope, next to the castle and surrounded by the trees. The
garden itself is situated on a small hill surrounded by big mountains on both sides,
so the "venue" looks like a kind of natural arena. Yet the garden is not so big,
so it looks like a "open-air-club-venue".
Bob came on stage at 9 pm wearing white hat, just like in Bergamo. Our "friends"
Stu and Denny, just like other band members, wore grey suits for the occasion.
The opener, Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat, was strong and the crowd was pleased.
As the show was progressing the atmosphere, the mood of the concert, became
even better and better, yet relaxed. Indeed, it was a kind of "open-air-club"
concert! Tangled Up In Blue as well as Boots of Spanish Leather were well
accepted by the audience, same as Spirit on the Water. Bob's singing was great,
his voice might be coarse or hoarse, yet it was strong, and the rendition was nice.
This was especially visible during Spirit, Nettie or Moonlight, but also during Boots,
the later not performed so many times during this tour. I was waiting to hear
Positively 4th Street in that new arrangement, so when I heard the first chords
of the song, the concert was nothing but good for me! Crowd was pleased with
"pure electric" songs like Highwater, Highway 61, Honest with me or Stuck Inside
of Mobile, as they are songs you could listen all over and over again. Funny thing,
during All Along the Watchtower Bob sang the third verse twice, and later, during
Thunder on the Mountain he sang a few lines from Summer Days: "Summer days,
summer nights are gone"! Was it just a lack of concentration, something
intentional he did, or just a hello for two guys coming from Croatia - as summer
days are gone for them this year - Bob is not coming to Europe this summer any
more - that's something nobody knows :-). So bye for now Bob, we will be
waiting for you to come next summer again!
Review by Moonflower
It was a fullmoon night... but the moon kept hiding behind a mountain until half
an hour after the last tunes of this evening's set had faded at the windy and
wild valley venue. Bob's hommage to the moon by playing Moonlight worked well
as a subsitute until real rays of moonlight flooded the rural scene. A great
lightshow as soon as darkness had crept into the garden added to forget about
any expectations of moonlight adding to the magic of the evening. Bob never
looked even once in the direction of the audience until the final line-up. But his
voice, the sound of his keyboard and harp solos spoke to every heart present
that was open to receive his special gifts of magic transported by music and lyrics.
The band seemed much more in tune, more compact than about a year ago.
High Waters was my personal highlight with a great new arrangement. A rare
Boots Of Spanish Leather during this tour and a version of Like A Rolling Stone
that really worked for me added to my joy of having the luck of being there.
Italians don't really speak English so except myself and Sunbeam nobody
responded to "You think I'm over the hill..." at Spirit On The Water. At least
we did and it was hellofafun! The greatest fun of the evening though was
when during Thunder On The Mountain Bob returned to singing a verse and
then subsequently the chorus of Summer Days: "Standing by God's river, my
soul is beginnin' to shake / Standing by God's river, my soul is beginnin' to
shake / I'm countin' on you love, to give me a break". A big smile appeared on
his face when he noticed the "mistake". I'm afraid the poor Italians were not
aware at all of what was going on then and there. A special moment. For me
spending two hours with Bob and his band was once more the highlight of the
year. Keep on keepin' on, Bob. And thanks.
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