page by Bill Pagel
Review by Fernando Garcín
Foggy wet bright night in Milano. I was thinking about the last night in Rome.
I paid a visit to John Keats' House. Its the centenary of that pink house open
since 1903. And John Keats was born 31th october! (1795) and he wrote 'Beauty
is truth, Truth beauty...'. Filaforum plenty of magic. Rock'n'roll (do u remember
what's rock'n'roooollll?; that's right; he was rocking, we rocking; he was rolling,
we rolling... So young pretty people dancing, looking at dylan first time; and all
these people born in 50', 60', 70', 80'... all together... Cry a while rocking the
boat, pure avalanche... Desolation row sung like an ancient poet, every word has
its meaning and here it is... Its allright ma as a new r'b' song, amazing...
Hattie Carroll... you know, he can stop time when he wants; Filaforum a small
blue room and everybody feeling the same trancelike... Listening to Dignity...
Dignity has never been photograph but Bob can sing that way -100 words better
than an image- Mr Tambourine Man, I was tired about it long time ago, but in that
Milano night I loved it... Tweedle sounding rough, great... such a band... I like
those drums! that rythm, rock and roll (swing!)... Every Grain of Sand - He chose
the wrong harp in Rome but in Milano he just sung the song, no harp, he just sung
the song and his phrasing got the best feeling, the perfect mood.. oh when he sung
that verse 'like criminals...of good will' I almost cried, I swear... Honest with
me, as the first two songs played with good attitude but not always you got the
right song in the right show... Summer days!, what can I say about Summer Days...
That couples dancing in the dark... Guitars flying from Link Wray to Hendrix...
Beautiful Like a rolling... and the best All along the watchtower of the last
years... great arrangements, those piano armonies at the begining of each stanza...
the way he sung, the way they rocked.. He said 'thank u friends' or something like
that... we said thank u bob or something like that; outside in the cold night,
we saw him walking.
Review by Paolo Vites
It took him one year, between (many) low's and a few peaks, to get the
right sound he had in mind.
Bob Dylan is like that: he goes on the road and tries things out, before
his audience, not giving a damn if someone is gonna be disappointed. He's
the only one who can afford this.
It's been exactly a year since the musician waved his guitar goodbye just
to stand behind some keyboards: nearly a sacrilege, and not only from a
scenic point of view (where is the beloved minstrel, the icon of 40 years
of hopes, gone?), but also for the sometime awful approach that came out:
he just cant play them keyboards. Or so was what some of us thought during
the first piano performances¹. He's tried out just about everything in
the shows, during the past 12 months, even unlikely renditions of the
Rolling Stones' Brown Sugar, which sounded as good as a lousy bar band.
In the meantime, the 60 years old man's voice, worn out by over-use, was
fading away night after night, leaving only the rant of a man that in
America was named `the wolfman'.
But then he comes to Europe and pulls out one of his most convincing and
passionate approaches ever. And one of the most professional, even: fixed
setlists, songs rehearsed to perfection, an approach that reminded of the
74, 78 and 86 tours. None of those impossible guitar jams where he used to
take the spotlight (funny and exciting for the first times, but terribly
boring after years), he retreats behind the keyboards and lets those two
great talents (Freddy Koella, ex- Willy DeVille band) and Larry Campbell
take the spotlight.
And he sings just great, pulling out a voice that many thought gone, with
fire and passion and that during Desolation Row or Every Grain Of sand
pushes up onto tough peaks, tuching peakes of melody that left al of us
just shocked for the raging beauty of this new voice¹. This has been the
most rock'n'rolling Dylan (`Play fucking loud', as he asked his band in
66) in decades: To be Alone With You, Summer Days, Cat's In The well are
overwhelming, so the hard boiled blues Cry A While and Honest With Me make
it clear why he once got called `the greatest white blues singer', Like A
Rolling Stone puts the seal up to the whole night: this song never sounded
so convincing since the tour with the Heartbreakers.
Hell of a man: we will never be able to set you aside.
page by Bill Pagel
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