page by Bill Pagel
Review by Liugi Biondi
It was an hell of a concert. It wasn't bad, nice setlist with some wonderful
stuff and a lot of guitar soloing and glancing by Ol'Bob, but being forced
to sit down all the way to the end of the encores by a thug-like security
staff is not the best in this world! The venue was a baseball pitch, and
everybody was expecting that general admission ticket would have given you
the opportunity of rushing to the stage, dancing freely among Dylan's
notes. Instead, there was a sit-down policy that divided the audience in two
groups, the first sitting in the first twenty rows and the GA ticket
holders (22 pounds tickets) veing to catch a glimpse of Bob from row twenty-on
down. And the security didn't allow anyone to stand or to rush or to do anything
else than sitting wringing our hands.
Anyway, coming to the music, the acoustic opening was setting the pace of
the show: Dylan's voice was rugged with occasional glimpses of harmony,
his guitar was hot on fire, Charlie's was sitting at the wheel of the "special
effect dept." and, contrary to popular belief, there was also room for
some Larry's contribution to the mayhem.
Mr. Tambourine had some beatiful singing and a blowing harp solo.
Desolation Row was the usual spanish guitar saga. Absolutely sweet mary came
out precise and strong, a most rare event, with good job on lap steel by
Larry. Tell me that it isn't true was among the highlight, romancing the crowd
bound to their seats. God Knows had the powerful enginge once belonging to
Silvio or I and I. Dylan noted that bending his knees caused the audience
to scream, and kept on bending to the public delight. Everything is Broken
was worked into a sort of a Classic, with gorgeous guitar riffs. Back to the
acoustic, Dylan had eight thousand people at his feet with Masters of War,
where his voice tried to regain the golden past (occasionaly succeeding):
a beautiful instrumental part, also. Love minus zero was as poetic as ever,
totally made out the stuff dreams are made of. Don't think twice had already
attained perfection in past concerts, but it's worth noting a wonderful
singing of the "Well I wish there was something..." entire stanza. The
electric coming back was raucous with more and more inter-playing with
Charlie: Maggie's Farm with emphasis on verses and guitar riffs, a
beautifully sung Tryin' to Get... (sorry for the instrumental
approximation) and a devilish Drifter's Escape, another highlight,
thunders and lightning unleashed unto the crowd to the end with a fiery
harp solo. "Leopard Skin" finished off the set, a sort of anti-climax
given its lucklustre 12-bar rhythm. On the last notes, Dylan introduced
the band, keeping a special place at the end for Tony, his longest-serving
pal, always perfect on his four bass guitars.
Then the encores. Could "love sick" have been better? I do not know. Like
a Rolling Stone was an old friend regained, with a sly harmonica for the
grand finale. The road was open wide now, and keeping the people sitting was
more and more difficult. By now, the music was sheer pleasure: Forever Young
with the chorus by Larry and Charlie, All Along the Watchtower (with the
repetion of the first verse in slow motion at the end) and Knockin', the
always welcome crowd-pleaser that had everybody standing and clapping. We
were ready for Highway 61 (with people in their sixties dancing, fuck the
security!) and the Blowing in the Wind that closed the night.
We left the stadium tired but happy, just like at the end of a cavalcade
toghether with our dark knight.
Review by Elisabetta Volpato
Yesterday I went to my first Bob Dylan concert, well it was my first
concert at all, I went there with my brother (he's 15) and my cousin
(he's 20, like me). We were very excited, we arrived at the stadium at
5:15, there were about 20 persons, and we started waiting... We grew
more and more eager, we kept wondering which songs he would perform...
The gates opened only at 8:20, we managed to have quite good seats,but
we were in the parterre,not in the "reserved seats", so we were far from
the stage. (Next time I want to be nearer, I don't care how much will
the ticket cost!!)
The show started with a delay of 20 minutes, because at the last
moment arrived a crowd of people of the "reserved seats" who had to
look for their places.
When Bob came on stage, it was wonderful, I loved the way he moved,
the way he sang, everything!! I was nearly hypnotized.
I'm sorry I'm not a "critic", I'm only a lover, I mean I can't make my
comments about arrangments and things like that, I must confess that I
had never heard 7 of the 21 songs he played, anyway I have time to
I really wanted to hear FOREVER YOUNG and MR TAMBOURINE MAN, and I was
satisfied! I'm sorry he didn't play SHELTER FROM THE STORM, and my
brother hoped to hear LAY LADY LAY, which didn't come.
Bob presented the band just before the break, I hoped he would talk a
little to the audience but he didn't.
There were a lot of of police yesterday, and a lot of people from the
security service too. There was a chap who stood just in the middle of
the space between reserved seats and parterre, front of the stage, we
asked him to move because we in the "cheaper seats" couldn't see
anything, and he sat down, but kept rising to control people moving
around...I nearly hated them!
When Bob sang "Like a rolling stone", everybody stood up, and from that
moment on we stand up and it was wonderful, I felt that the audience had
definitely melted, and was entirely involved in the show.
Now I wish I could see tonigth show, and tomorrow's too...Now I
understand why there are people who go to 3,4 or more Bob concert one
after the other!
Yesterday's concert was really great, I just wanted it to last forever
but it was impossible, I nearly couldn't sleep when I went to bed, I
kept thinkin' about Bob Dylan and the life he leads, always roaming from
place to place, he's really "forever young", I think this is the reason
why at yesterday's concert there were a lot of young people.
Bob, ti aspettiamo l'anno prossimo a Roma!!!
THANK YOU BOB!!
page by Bill Pagel
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