Paris, France
Le Zenith
November 3, 2005

[Woody Alien], [Frank Mayes]

Review by Woody Alien

What a great show tonight for the first in France of Bob in 2005. 
Bob was in fine form with a good voice and the crowd very receptive.

The concert started with “Maggie’s farm” as the intro, especially the rock
opening I was waiting for. 

The second song “Tonight I’ll be staying here with you” with a nice
musical arrangement (First part of harp of the night, at the center of the 
stage, yeah Bob !).

Then came the recent “Tweedle dee and tweedle dum” and “Just like Tom
thumb’s blues” with harp. 

The fifth song, the classic “It’s alright, ma (I’m only bleeding)” was
very well played.  I liked the parts of violin and standup bass. 

Then the acoustic “Girl of the North country”, I heard the new arrangement
and was very happy to impregnate with it live, reinforced by the pedal
steel and the harp. 

The band returned to a big rock sound with “High water (For Charley
Patton)”, I appreciated the swing of Bob while he was playing the piano.

45 mns of true music then Bob announced a break after only 7 songs.
During these 10 mns, the security ejected 2 drunk people at the 1 st row,
and Bob changed his hat.

And the show continues with a new announcement "to welcome Mr Bob Dylan".

They chose “Drifter’s escape” for this come back with again good parts 
of electric mandolin and harp. 

1 st highlight for me: the acoustic “It ain’t me, babe”. Every element
really brought pleasure for this song: very good pedal steel by Donnie 
Herron, great guitar solo and standup bass, the conclusion with notes of harp. 

Now the 10 th song and what a song: “Highway 61 revisited”, nothing better
to excite the crowd until the acoustic “A hard rain’s a-gonna fall” I heard live for
the first time, great! 

“I don’t believe you (She acts like we never have met)” didn’t disappoint
with the amazing harp solo. 

Second highlight of the night: the acoustic “Desolation row”. I was a huge
fan of the unplugged version, but this one was a killer with a magical
melody and I liked the standup bass. Thanks Bob to have chosen this one. 

The last song before the encores logically was “Summer days”, great swing
of Tony Garnier, sure this song is one of its favourites.

Hysteria when the crowd heard the riff of LARS, every night it wins ! At
the end of the song, there was a break and we just heard Bob singing the
chorus, gorgeous.

And that's already “All along the watchtower” with George who showed us
his undeniable talent.

That’s the end. Bob, you’re more than a myth and your band is impressive 

(Stu and Denny are a very good duet of guitarists). 

Everybody on the Earth should attend to the never ending tour, that’s the
music !

Thanks, goodbye


Review by Frank Mayes

Having been to Wetzlar last Sunday with the whole family (including three
pre-teenage and teenage sons) which was the most wonderful Dylan show, I
was apprehensive as to this one. 2003 here had been "the highlight" for me
of Dylan concerts (until Wetzlar that is) and the setting, ice creams
stalls, adverts on the white screen beforehand, and an intermission, were
all the same and familiar.

What was wasn't was having a predominantly French speaking, smoking,
youngish crowd, who were clearly there to enjoy a good rock concert, which
was what they seemed to get and be content with.

Standing some twelve or so rows back, I decided I would just concentrate
on Bob and his vocals, which were as good as before, if not better on some
of the longer notes - this guy could carry on doing a show like this for a
long time to come, but I tend to agree with another reviewer as to why he
has to stand playing with this average band.

The band and sound didn't seem to be in top gear for the first half, which
included some of the same songs as at this venue two years before, and
seemed to come from the "standard" catalogue we now expect. High Water,
the final song before the intermission (which again Bob seemed pleased and
amused to announce), bode of better things to come though.

Second half was back in the top bracket - Hard Rain was a highlight, but
Desolation Row was something else - I can't exactly recall the Dr Filth
verse, since Bob seemed  to repeat a couple of lines at this point, but it
was certainly the entire version otherwise, mesmorisingly sung to the
backcloth of the stars, and to an unique arrangement. She Acts Like We
Never Had Met and It Ain't Me Babe were two other arrangements which came

Important thing was that the crowd enjoyed it and showed Bob their 
appreciation. But, after Wetzlar (and Paris 2003), I can say that I've
been to better Dylan concerts.

Frank Mayes


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