Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 06/30/98


June 30, 1998

Paris, France
The Zenith

Thanks to Carsten Wohlfeld for the following review:

Welcome back... the third and final leg of my lil Euro-Bob tour started in  
beautiful Paris, France, where indeed everything was very beautiful except  
for Bob's choice of songs and the obnoxious french audience. Gunter and I  
had started our trip to the french capitol very early in the morning so  
were arrived rather early in Paris as well, picked up our tickets, had a  
slice of pizza and then went straight to the venue, just to find out that  
there was nobody there yet. Even though I had booked a standing ticket,  
the promoters had decided at the 11th hour that there would be chairs on  
the floor, too, thus reducing the capacity of Le Zenith to a mere 2,500.  
And it wasn't even sold out! You get Van AND Bob on one bill on one of the  
hippest cities on the planet and they don't even sell 2.,500 freaking  
tickets. Of course they weren't cheap (but not more expensive than Boston  
were the two sold close to 40,000 tickets) and a most french people are  
probably so in love with the soccer worldcup that they just couldn't be  
bothered but it still was very strange. Van came out at 8.05pm, black  
suit, black glasses, looking as if he was waiting for a bus (as Robert put  
it afterwards) but still delivering a killer show. This was my ninth Bob  
and Van double headlining show this year and for the first time I enjoyed  
Van more than Bob. Morrison has a 'new' band now, I guess the Mister Scott  
on guitar is the bass players brother and Gorgie Fame has been replaced -  
permanently as it seems - by John Savannah, who's doing a lot of the "Van  
the Man" crap Brian Kennedy (who's also left) did before. Anyways, Van  
played a lot of his monster hits, inluding "Tupelo oney", "Moondance",  
"Jackie Wilson Said" and my personal favourite, "Crazy Love". He also  
pulled out some songs he doesn't do every night, like an amazingly  
touching "The Healing Game", that closed the very short main set and made  
way for 40 mins of encores, including "Wherever God Shines His Light" and  
a rare "No Guru...". After a short break Dylan took to the stage at around  
9.55pm to launch into:

        > Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat

Which of course was the first minor disappointment - no "Serve Somebody"  
tonight. The sound was bad and the intro messed up badly. "Things can only  
get better" I thought, but next up was:

        > Lay Lady Lay

Which made my smile because a) a guy next to me went nuts as soon as they  
started it and b) I had to smile at the fact that our friend Uta missed  
this one again even though she definitely would've loved to come and see  
this show. Solid performance.

        > Cold Irons Bound

The "weird" intro gets longer and longer with each performance it seems,  
harder as well. Tonight David waited very long till he joined in. Bob  
turned his head as if he was going to say: "Hey man, whatcha waitin' for?"

        > To Make You Feel My Love

Yet another disappointment. As soon as Larry changed guitars I knew that  
my least favourite song in the curent Dylan repertoire was going to be  
performed. Solid version that, as I said before, is several lightyears  
away from the LP version, so much better.

        > Silvio

David messed this one up badly, thus ruining the whole song. It simply  
wasn't as good as it used to be.

        > The Times, They Are A-Changin' (acoustic)

A huge crowdpleaser, not much more. Bucky played a very nice low-tone solo  
on pedal steel.

        > Masters of War (acoustic)

Yet another one from the greatest hits section, but for me the highpoint  
of the show. Sounded very dramatic, verrrry intense. Maybe it#s time for  
yet another arrangement, but the song remains one of my favourite Bob  
tunes ever.

        > Desolation Row (ac)

Only six verses tonight and one sounded to me as if it was a 'medley' from  
several others. Maybe a tape will clear that up for us. Seems to be one of  
Bob's curent favourites - he only played it once last year, but now he's  
plays it almost three times a week in Europe.

        > Mama You Been On My Mind (ac)

Solid. Not a big surprise that this one was performed, as it has been  
featured in the set at almost every show since it made it's first European  
appearnace in Brussels two weeks ago. Bucky joined in on the chorus, Larry  
did not. As far as I know there's only two songs where the two of them  
don't share the backing vocals, this one, and Larry's "solo spot" on  
"Tomorrow Is A Long Time".

        > Happy Birthday (acoustic)

After "Mama" Bob had a short discussion with Tony who told Larry to come  
over. A few smiles later Bob stepped up to the microphone and started  
"Happy Birthday", Tony and Larry following close behind. I don't think  
that he actually got eneither the chords nor the melody right, but it's  
the thought that counts, right? It was sung for a mysterious Suzie, that's  
all I know. After he had finished the song, Bob laughed and said: "We did  
play it in a different key at the end, didn't we?" and then he played it  

        > Happy Birthday (acoustic) 2nd time

It was almost a solo version cause Larry and Tony were laughing so hard  
that they almost forgot to play. They totally killed the melody again and  
it actually sounded even worse than the first try. Still a charming  
surprise, not only for Suzie, but all of us.

        > Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)

was "Tangled...". Solid performance.

        > My Back Pages (acoustic)

closed the acoustic set that had either six, seven, or eight songs,  
depending on how you look at it. If you ask me or Bill Pagel, it had  
eight. The last of which featured a harp solo that was short and not very  
loud at all. Solid is the word, I guess. No band intros followd, he  
actually didn't introduce the band at all!

        > Highway 61 Revisited

yes, they revisited the highway as well, but didn't find anything new.  
Halfway through the song Bob went over to Bucky to show him what to play.  
Bucky imitaed Bob's riff a couple of times but as soon as Dylan had turned  
away again, he went back to what he had played before.

        > (encore)
        > Love Sick

Was very fast and not very convincing.

> Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35

was "Rainy Day Women". Houselights on so Bob could take a look at the  
almost sold out venue.

> Blowin' In The Wind

Closed off the proceedings. A solid 95-minute show that gave us some  
strong singing, but a rather predictable (you also may say boring) setlist  
and generally not too much fun. Given the fact that the tickets were  
pretty expensive and Paris isn't very cheap generally as far as food and  
accomodation is concerned it wasn't exactly value for money. Hopefully  
he'll remember that he can play 17 songs on a van-less night in Dijon  
tomorrow. Until then... bye!

carsten wohlfeld
"what once you called home is a minefield" (damon & naomi)

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