Montreux, Switzerland

Montreux Jazz Festival
Stravinski Auditorium

July 8 2012


Review by Laurette

On the road again for Bob Dylan.  After four concerts in Germany and the Salzburg 
concert I took the train to Montreu in Switzerland.  The Montreux Jazz Festival is 
renowned throughout Europe.  The show had been sold out long time ago but 
I'm counting on my luck.

I got to Montreux  at 4.00 p.m.  Immediately a dealer offered me a ticket for 200 
Swiss Francs, double price.  I declined for now, hoping for a better price.  I go forth
to the venue where Bob has to play.  I learn that the standing room is behind a
lawn chairs.  No forefront tonight. No need to queue either, so I leave for a city 
tour, buying a ticket at the station dealer. It is the only standing to spare, all others
are seated and very expensive.
I find myself at my favorite spot; standing slightly left of center mic so I can see Bob 
at the piano, just 25 rows from the stage.  How come the piano is not front stage 
and the keyboard behind? Even Donnie is invisible!

Quincy Jones presents Bob Dylan with some anecdotes from the past.  Remembering 
that when Bob received his first pay check for "Blowing in the Wind"  he just stuffed
the check in his pants pocket.  He asks that we give Bob Dylan a standing ovation.

The theater is very nice. Very chic. And Bob is wearing a pretty black bow tie. Very 
classy. [He will wear it during the next shows as well.]  The sound is not very good, 
the microphone on the piano too low, Bob's voice does not come out.  Beside me a
young Brazilian is very enthusiastic and that's good because the first rows do not 
move too much.

But the setlist is good.  One of the best. Bob ingenuously alternates Rocks and Ballads.
I hear for the first time "My Back Pages", a real treat!  Bob is often center stage on 
guitar, the rest of the time on piano. He uses the keyboard only for "Leopard-Skin 
Pill-Box Hat"  Responses come only from the back of the venue, the standing crowd. 
The first 25 rows are more "spectators" that Fans. Maybe he needed it to stay at 
center stage; no screaming or hysteria.  For the first time on this tour, 
"Forgetful Heart".  Very good choice in this cozy atmosphere.

A good gig for a passive audience.  I am glad to have participated.


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