Amsterdam, The Netherlands

October 16, 2022

[Laurette Maillet], [Maarten]

Review by Laurette Maillet


Amsterdam 1. October 17th.
I switch a bus ride for a car ride.
Arriving around 1 pm.
I catch a metro to Sasha home, my new couchsurfing host.
I'm a little anxious each time I have to move in a new HOME. 
This is not like checking at the Ibis or Marriott where they are all the 
same around the world. And at least you are sure to have privacy.
Couchsurfing is an everyday adventure. 
At times it is heavy emotionally.
Sasha offers me a private room and offers me a glass of milk and a banana :)
Sasha is originally from Pakistan. In his 70's and extremely clean though the 
apartment is falling apart. :(
I found out that hospitality is a mark of the poor.
They give even what....they don't have.
We chat for a while about....Bob Dylan.
It's also heavy to explain that 'no, Bob Dylan is not dead' ' yes, he is still 
touring at 81' ' yes, he is a legend'. :) ' and  'no, he doesn't sing 
"like a rolling stone" anymore :)
Then I catch the metro to the AFAS LIVE.
I found the venue easily. I've been here before.
A huge complex/commercial center.
There is a soccer game next door and the crowd is moving back and forth.
I feel dizzy. But I need a ticket.
After more than one hour I start falling apart.
It had not been a great day.
To much mixed feelings and troubled mind.
What am I doing here? Who I am? (Just a freak?).
Should I not  be home reading a book or painting with just....myself?
I see Bob Russell handing a ticket to someone else. Whoa! 
What did I do wrong???
But he will also come to me and offers me an extra ticket he's got 
in his phone. The transfer doesn't work :( .
But finally we get in.
I just feel subdued.i
I am squizzed between two big guys and I don't understand a word 
of Deutsch. :(
I have to focus on the show.
Bob starts slightly late but the people don't seem to mind. A sign they 
are not focusing on the show but on their conversation. I hope 
they will stop talking.
"Watching the river flow" start with some piano.
Bob rushes from one song to the other until "Black rider" sounding 
more inspired.
But his voice is weak. 
He sounds tired.
On "Masterpiece" there is a tentative of modulation of his voice. 
But it just sounds weird.
The audience is dead, except for the applause at the end of each song. 
Nothing extravagant:(
I see the fans on the floor moving back and forth after "key west".
When Bob moves center stage, after "Key west"....there is no light. 
He is making his pause totally in the dark. :(
Three more times he'll be center stage and two times he will say 
"thank you" with the " thank you, Art lovers".
He will joke presenting Bob Britt. And add that Donnie Herron also 
plays the violin "we saw it".
He will murmure things before "every grain of sand" that I 
don't understand.
Not the greatest show ever.
Due maybe to my "depression"????
Tomorrow is another day.
Everything gonna be BEAUTIFUL when I paint my masterpiece.
Thank you all the good Samaritans who bought me pa


Review by Maarten


I donít consider myself a spiritual person, perse. But I canít deny
the fact that in the run up to a Bob Dylan concert my senses sharper and
itís like I have I get an extra perspective on life. I see myself and
the years from an eagle perspective. Itís starts a couple of days in
advance and goes on for a couple after the concert. Suddenly I see myself
during my student days being blown away when I first heard Blonde on
Blonde. I see myself buying the first ticket to my first Bob Dylan concert
(with discount somewhere from the internet, risky business I know, but
otherwise I wouldnít be able to buy it), growing up with Dylan until
now, and Bob, me and my buddy Joost, all survived Covid and whatnot and
now having front row seats in Afas Amsterdam.  I couldnít be more happy.
And there he was, not wearing a cowboy head, just meters away from us. We
could see him pause in between songs and quickly hide behind his piano,
with a content grin on his face. As if we could get a glimpse behind the
vail. I know this is a review, so I should come to the point. Iím not a
musician, so I canít give you any technical details, but I think the
night was perfect. You could hear a pin drop in a phoneless venue. Bob and
his band were smooth as hell. Bobs voice on point, even very beautiful at
moments. Not always youíll hear all the right phrasing, but we know the
words anyhow, donít we. False Prophet, Black Rider, Crossing The
Rubicon, Gotta Serve Somebody (even felt like rock Ďn roll for a couple
of moments), Iíve Made Up My Mind: all stunning highlights. Down to the
last to two songs: Goodbye Jimmy Reed, wonderfully performed and to close
with a song that almost did make me a spiritual person: Every grain Of
Sand with a superb Harpsolo. Being able to have seen this gig, I can die
with a smile on my face. If that isnít spiritual enough for you, I
donít know what is.

(Amsterdam, The Netherlands)


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