Nice, France

Palais Nikaia

June 22, 2010

[A. & H. Adkins], [David Page]

Review by A. & H. Adkins

We two girls flew to Nice from Birmingham UK the day before the show.   
Lovely weather when we arrived after our 1 hour 40 minute flight.  It  didn't t
ake us long to find our hotel so once we'd checked in, all ready to go  the next
day.  Next afternoon sat by the hotel pool in the sun and two men  also staying
said they were going to the show.  One was from England also  and the other was
from New York.  They were travelling around  different places for the shows. 
One of them said this year was better with  Charlie back.  We were looking
forward to seeing him too.  Still by  the pool around 3.30 we saw an helicoptor
landing at the airport.  We  wondered, just wondered if it could be Bob coming
from his last place.  But no cause it wouldn't be but then again it would be
very hot on those  coaches Anyway we decide to walk to the venue which takes
about 30 minutes. A very  long queue, but didn't take long to get in.  People
around very friendly,  helpful stewards.  Our seats are for the side area to the
right/behind  where Bob stands. Not so good.There was no GA admission tickets
for this  venue. The music starts, out comes Bob looking cool in his dark jacket
with red  inlets and pale hat. After a couple of songs, a lot of the folks
around us try and get nearer to 
 the rail. 2 stewards stand so no one allowed along the rail in front of  
people seated. We go too and are a lot lot closer  Then suddenly after  about 9
songs the stewards let everyone go to the rail, at the front. We manage  to get
right in front of Bob, the closest I've seen him, which is a dream. And now
about the songs.  We both loved all the songs but especially  hearing  What Good
Am I and John Brown.  I was hoping he would do  Forever Young , but perhaps
another time. Must have been very hot Bob was wiping  his face a few times
between songs in the dark. How come us lucky ones hear 17 songs and some other
shows have 16?   shame we couldn't get to more shows on this tour but for other
commitments.  We're now back home in our midlands town. Thanks Bob and your
band, see you in Kent.  Can't  wait. 

A. & H. Adkins  


Review by David Page

Hi all, so that was that – arrived back from Nice still smiling from the
delights Bob offered for the show but still wondering what the hell he will get
up to next!

First off I have to tell you that I elected to stay in a hotel the side of the
town near the venue – Palais Nikaia – which was also near to the airport. I
didn’t know it at the time but the area is known as St. Augustine. Knowing my
penchant for spooky coincidences I was hoping I might have had the most
wonderful of surprises but it wasn’t to be. It was just a Dream.

I elected to walk to the venue (about 3km from the hotel) in a rather ‘dodgy’
area to say the least. My immediate thoughts were that I shouldn't be walking
through this area, on my own, late at night. Anyway, the venue is huge – I took
my seat in the Gradins at about 8.15p.m. No pre show music, instead someone was
reading some narrative about life in the USA in days gone by (anyone know what
it is? - hope it's not Chronicles!). It was OK but after a while became quite
boring so I was glad when the sound of Aaron Copland's ‘Rodeo’ and the usual
introductions started. By then it was obvious that the show was more or less
sold out.

Leopard Skin Pill Box was delivered in it’s usual style, seeing Charlie Sexton
back on guitar certainly added something, a surprise element I suppose, but I've
seen the song performed better. This Wheels On Fire was majestic though, Bob on
guitar, centre stage and the band giving a very fine performance - really

A few pedal steel chords from Donnie served as the intro for I'll Be Your Baby
Tonight, Bob still on guitar. I'm not sure but I think it's the first time I've
seen him play it and I wasn't disappointed.

Just Like A Woman was one of my other faves from the evening, it's been reworked
several times but this version was very solid closing on a memorable harp solo.
What can one say about John Brown? Every time I hear this song I think it is so
relevant today with soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan with
terrible injuries. A major protest song from Dylan's 60's era that is sometimes
overlooked. It was one of three songs performed by Dylan centre stages sans
keyboards or guitar, just a great harp solo.

Under the Red sky has always been a favourite of mine, great that it appears
quite regularly but tonight's performance wasn't the best. Dylan on keyboards
for this one. Honest With Me has stood the test of time well, it still rocks
with a vengeance and I always enjoy. The new version of Tangled Up In Blue you
either love or hate, I think some songs are best left alone and this is one of
them imo.

Cold Irons Bound was the show highlight for me, Dylan centre stage again without
keyboards or guitar - just the harp but clearly in control of proceedings. A
great version, Charlie was excellent. I have never been disappointed with this

The experts say that we must thank Tom Jones for getting Dylan to take What Good
Am I out of the wardrobe and dusting it down to perform again. It took me a
little while to recognise it but an enjoyable performance all the same. This led
to Highway 61, the crowd at the front who had seemed to be a little
unenthusiastic up to then, were all out of their seats and some of the people
seated in the Gradins went to the side of stage to get involved.

Masters of War I really grew tired of some time ago and after that it was all
very predictable. However I thought the version of Ballad of a Thin Man with
Dylan centre stage once again was one of the best performances of the song I
have seen. Surprisingly, I also quite liked Jolene; the live performance seemed
so much better to the one on Together Through Life. I'll have to check it out;
some of the Modern Times songs grew on me after seeing them performed live. For
All Along The Watchtower Dylan started on keyboards but then took up the guitar
and joined Tony and Charlie centre stage.

To sum up I would say that the show ranked behind some other Bob gigs I have
seen but it was still very good. I want to know why Charlie keeps having to
swirl his guitar lead around and why he often plays crouched down on the stage,
is it just for effect? Also, why is it that in France they sub title Dylan shows
as 'Nostalgie' and have notices hanging around the Arena with 'Le Legende' (or
was it La Legende?)

Luckily there was a free shuttle bus going back in the direction of my hotel so
I didn't have to run the gauntlet of walking back through the 'dodgy' areas or
pay out loadsaeuros on a taxi.


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