Amneville, France
November 4, 2005

[Christian Stamm], [Bob Reddington], [David Lesven]

Review by Christian Stamm

since 30 years i am a admirer of bob and his art.he is a part of my
life,his songs are written in my brain.maybe sometimes he gave me the
power to survive, in many dark hours his songs, his voice and his lyrics
were with me.sometimes he was the brother, the father, or the friend i
never had.but there were always through this years doubts about what he
was he really such a great artist , such a great musician, such a
genius ? or is that all a big liar, a great rock n roll swindle ? a little
bit of this doubts are still with  me until today.i am not a bobcat, i
have a family, and most of the time i have to this year my friend
bruno and i decided to see four dylan shows.we started in wetzlar.for me
the show was allright, but was it really worth it ? the doubts were with stop was Brüssel.i did not know that you can eat so good in
belgium and that they have such a lot of different beers.that nice day in
Brüssel was a good sign for the show.and the show was good.the crowd was
very pleasant and it was great to see, that there were a lot of young
people, who obviously like bob.outstanding for me was lonesome day blues,
a song i never loved.but what bob and his great band were doing with this
song this evening , was surprising.then Paris.the food was good too, the
people very friendly, and a lot of beautiful women.and for a countryman
like me its a very, very big a special way the show was
wonderful.there were a lot of very young people.i was standing in a group
of crying girlies, who smoked such a lot of pot,that an elephant would
have been stoned for a week.they were crying, they were dancing, and they
knew really the lyrics of his songs,so they were singing with bob.this
show was really fun,and with Highway 61 my old bones began to dance
too.maybe this wasnt a great Bob Dylan show, but it showed me that he is
still very alive, and that there is a young generation   who loves him
too.and even at a Dylan show some fun can not be a bad thing.the last stop
was Amneville.this concert hall was somewhere out in the badlands,in the
wastelands, a place who nobody need a car or a horse to get the crowd was much older than in Paris, because teenagers have no
cars or horses.there were reserved seats in the hall, so you had not to
fight for a good place and could drink without panic some beers.the show
started and everybody was running to the stage.there were a lot of people
angry about that.but it was a wonderful concert.Bob and his band were in
very good form.highlights were Positivly 4th,Girl from the north
country,If dogs run free,a brilliant Shelter from the storm, and a
majestetic Chimes of freedom.WONDERFUL!!!the crowd wasnt so enthusiastic,
maybe because they lost there seats,or they were thinking about this
strange town of now i am at home again and have to say
thank you bob, thanks a lot to the band, and i hope the tour will never
stops...oh, bob, and i like your new hat. see you in Zürich again,Zürich is
a big town too... dont take it too serious. 



Review by Bob Reddington

The lights dropped shortly after the scheduled
curtain, and almost instantaneously, a few hundred of
those seated in the audience herded to center stage to
catch a better glimpse of Bob Dylan, this mystical
figure dressed in black (still sporting those stripes
on the legs of his pants), who opened up with a nice
kick. A few teaspoons of honey backstage before show
time might have helped to sooth his raspier-than-usual
vocal cords at the start, as he seemed to struggle
just a bit to find his range during the rest of his
first three pieces: “To Be Alone With You,”  “Times
are a-Changin” > “Things have Changed”.  After
breaking relatively smoothly into his forth piece,
“Most Likely You Go Your Way…,” it appeared he had for
the most part found his stride and a semblance of his
vocal zone for the evening.  So it was time for those
of us more acquainted to sit back, open our ears and
just let Bob take us along for the rest of the
evening’s ride, albeit in yet another simple twist of
his musical interpretation and artistic direction –
perhaps more so than many in the audience had
expected. At times I even found myself singing some of
familiar verses quietly, but he kept duping and
leaving me wondering when he would end on a high or
low note after any particular line or verse.

I was hoping he’d get out from behind those
keyboards and strap on his strings for a couple of
Elvis knee bends or some straight faced gazes into the
crowd, but it wasn’t to be, he preferred to stay
silhouetted against the backdrop of a dark red velvet
curtain; a nice touch nonetheless. Then the stars
appeared in the background shortly before “Shelter
from the Storm,” arguably his best effort all night –
he played and sung this rendition with such with
crispness, clarity and raw emotion that it truly came
alive. As for the rest of the numbers; the pace of
“Highway 61” was blistering, he really seemed to enjoy
playing “Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum,” and “Positively
4th Street” was a massive but welcomed departure from
the days of my listening to that scratchy 33rpm
original studio version that once remained etched
into, but may be now released, from my subconscious
during those late Sunday evenings in the comfort of
suburbia New York. Both encore numbers were powerful,
especially “Watchtower”, in which Bob’s band brought
out its raw essence.

The vibe I was picking up from those at the show,
however, was interesting to say the least, and
unfortunately somewhat representative of the guy
sitting next to me who left half way through the
performance. It seemed to me that many there may have
come to experience some sort of ghost-legend revival
spectacle from sixties, personified in the same form.
Many in the back of the hall where I sat seemed to be
dazed and bewildered, a look that engulfs many who see
Mona Lisa for the first time, the taunting legend lets
you down when you’re face to face with the reality.
Some may have been disappointed by Bob’s patented lack
of audience interaction.  Others may not have realized
(hoping to hear something akin to the original studio
recording) that Dylan rarely takes the stage just to
sing his songs the same way more than once.  He
prefers to reinvent them; one could say he changes
Mona Lisa’s smile, yet is able to kept the intrigue
for those who are open to continue looking. I was not
old enough to see his first and perhaps still his most
celebrated reinvention when he plugged in at Newport,
but in New York’s Madison Square Garden in the Fall of
1975 (during Rolling Thunder Revue days), I was
initiated when he the Band(s) had rearranged and
infused the feel of so many of his early recordings. 
It just takes a while it sink in.  Those who were
unwilling to accept this facet of his performance were
left disgruntled and stayed, or left early, there were
examples of both, leaving more space for the rest us
to appreciate his ever-evolving passion of performing
and recreating. Still, I was disappointed in seeing
how this American treasure, who at this point of his
remarkable career of transcending politics,
commercialism and artistic labeling, seemed to be so
easily misunderstood by more than a few (I guess more
by the uninitiated, unacquainted, or unwilling) that
evening; something may have been lost in translation
between the music and the words, or even more between
the myth and the reality.  But for me, and I venture
to say the majority of others, it was a solid show
that will stay with me beyond the sound and the
moment, and as always with Dylan, it sits better after
it has had some time to settle in deeper. 

As I was outside the venue immediately after the
show and Bob had left the building, I was walking
along a quiet little alleyway to my car, when out of
nowhere came a police escort with two tour buses in
tow.  As motorcade passed by, I looked into those
tinted widows for a glimpse of the man outside of his
element; seeing only one way mirrored glass, I settled
for a salute and merely said to myself, “thanks for
stopping by to play Bob.”


Review by David Lesven

I was expecting that Amnéville show with a bit of apprehension as my last
Dylan gig in Dublin in 2003 left me wondering about the quality of his
voice and interest in what he was doing. However I travelled across France
west to east just to see the gig.

Arrived at the Galaxie a venue situated in a park in the countryside  in
the late afternoon. After I relaxed I got ready to go. My seat wasn't that
good, situated on the floor, stuck between a few families, complete with
homemade sandwiches for their evening out of the year. The crowd was very
varied, ranging from young students to intellectuals, to old time rockers,
to families. So I waited in my seat for the show to start worried about
how I would enjoy Dylan in those plastic chairs. When the lights went out
and the music started many people rushed in front of the stage to be
closer to the action. It didn't take long before I left my seat to join
them and have better view and better vibe. 

Bob started with To be alone with you a nice change from the quite usual
Maggie's farm. His voice seemed pretty good to me. It got more rough on
Times are a changin' but this song being what turned me into a Dylan fan
on my twentieth birthday I was really happy to hear it anyway. A little
change of mike and from here on I found his voice actually good compared
to 2 years ago. He had more « lungs » so that he could stretch some lines
as he used to and he didn't sound as if he had just arrived from a 3 km

"Most likely" was good and so far the setlist was pleasing me. Only
thing is that the band wasn't loud enough for me but maybe that was
because they wanted to emphasize Dylan's voice. The volume went up for
Highway 61 which was a first highlight of the show. Donnie Herron is
definitely the best member of this band going from lap steel to violin.
The other members seem to do their job and I can't say I find them to be
outstanding musicians, even if they are very tight together.

"Stuck inside" was also well played and then "Shelter from the storm"
acoustic with the stand up bass was thrilling. Bob sang the whole evening
with envy and passion but did it even more on this one. He actually seemed
to still believe in the words he wrote long time ago. It was well
delivered and it was vocally what I wanted to hear from the man. He can
still do it.

After that, "Down along the cove" had a good groove going and everyone
enjoyed it around me. Then, I found the next two songs quite boring "make
you feel my love" and "tweedle dee" one being too slow and the other
that I just don't get. Maybe the change of vibe did that I did not really
enjoy the Chimes of freedom as much as it should. But "Summer days" was
good and back to a rocking tempo.

It was time for the encore and I was glad it was "don't think twice"
instead of "rolling stone". They played it again very well with Bob
really into it and not on autopilot at all. He was enjoying himself as the
continuous laughs (I am actually happy I witnessed a moment of Dylan
laughter on stage, that's rare) during the powerful rendition of 
"Watchtower" suggested. He sang it with enthusiasm and it left me wanting
for more.which didn't happen as the lights quickly went on.

That Dylan show was very good and I have absolutely no regrets I travelled
20 hours by train in 2 days because I saw that Bob Dylan can still be on
top of his game in 2005 and hopefully for a lot more years.

David Lesven


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