page by Bill Pagel
Review by Fausto Pastrone
The concert began after 8.30 , at that time the Zenith was almost full. He
began strongly with Maggie's Farm and then one of my favourites: Senor, he
sang it well and added a nice harp solo. We expected Cry A While but
Tweedle Dee came out to tell us we were wrong. There a softly sung
Visions, you could understand every single word. Then It's Alright Ma (I'm
only bleeding), oh oh oh! Spanish Leather was similar to the Milan show,
if I remember well with Larry on cittern. Things Have Changed came after
and then H61 brought down the house, one of the best versions I've heard,
the two guitarists doing a wonderful job, laughing at each other and Bob
raising his arms with open hands in directions of the band. They where in
a good mood, then Bob kindly explained us that for some reasons (he spoke
about a French law) they had to take a break. They went out in a roar of
applause. I noticed how Bob changed his way of... singing, I like the way
he sings, he puts his feeling in the songs, he lets flow out what at the
same time he gets from the music he's playing. They came back a few
minutes later and did Down Along the Cove, nicely played and again the
guitar players shining (Receli too, he gave his touch to this song). Then
he asked to Mr. Tambourine Man "won't you play a song for me?"- Bob played
it for us without asking and it was amazing. Cold Irons Bound is one of my
favourite, not as Most Likely.... Then we knew we had Honest With Me.
Great version, great mood, great Bob, he stepped out from behind the piano
and, arms raised and hand open (at the height of the shoulders), came at
centre stage near to Freddy and Larry, smiling and keeping the tempo with
his hands, useless to say the crowd cheered a lot and they smiled a lot.
He's an entertainer, with his strange way of walking... Every Grain of
Sand with a very good solo from Freddy, and well sung too. What to say
about Summer Days? after a long solo by Freddy, Bob pointed his finger at
himself to say -now it's my turn-!! Cat's in the Well in a better version
than Milan and the two encores and crowd pleasers (Larry very good on
Watchtower) ended the show. 19 songs. He's another man in comparison to
last year (in Paris for example) he likes the music they are playing, he
amuses himself, he was laughing out of the microphone during the band
presentation. And those arms raised!
Review by Remi Bonnet
You should have warned me ! How FABULOUS it was. The hottest, most intense
Bob show I ever saw (it was my third). What a change since april 2002 when
I saw him last time!
Perfect opener, loud guitars, perfect spitfire vocals, I never was a fan
of recent versions of this song, but this time, he really nailed it.
Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)
Yes, one of my favourites ! Incredibly strong, committed vocals, so happy
it was not Baby blue !
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
I never was a fan of it, but it tremendously improved since the arrival of
Freddie, who treated us with fantastic guitar licks. You had to be there,
it's like a 3-D experience !
Visions Of Johanna
First surprise, seems to my ears that the arrangement is new, definitely
different than when I heard it last year.
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
Incredible rendition, George adds a lot to it, he's pounding his drums
with style, it gives an incredible tension to this song. And let's not
forget the word-perfect, venenous vocal delivery of Bob, on top of his
Boots Of Spanish Leather (acoustic)
Nobody seemed to recognize it, except a few of us, the crowd was very
skeptical, I was a little too. Maybe I'd need to listen back to the tape,
but I did not find it immediatly gorgeous.
Things Have Changed
A very straightforward, pleasant affair, very intense vocals. The best of
the three versions I have witnessed in person
Highway 61 Revisited
One of my favourites, everybody went wild and dancing, great voice
(Highwayyyy sixtyyyyyy wwwaaaaaannnnnne), but some mistakes in the lyrics.
And then we had a break ! Bob said something like : "we have to take a
break because of the law, but don' t worry, we'll be back." Speculations
arose among the audience, what's happening, is it already the end of the
main set ? I was secretly hoping that he'd come back alone and play Lay
down your weary tune. Of course, that did not happen, but we had instead :
Down Along The Cove
FANTASTIC !! I did not recognize it at first, it is really different,
funkier, with altered lyrics. The crowd was wild, eventhough DATC is an
obscure tune !
Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic)
The crowd went even wilder, but sorry, it sounded bad, with upsinging and
all... A croaky carnage
Cold Irons Bound
I always skip it on bootlegs, but, a live experience is different. It was
TREMENDOUS, every member of the band really enjoyed playing it, they did
their best, and George, once again, gave a new dimension to it.
Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
Funky as hell !! Fantastic extended version of a song I thought I'd never
hear live. Freddy and Larry seemed to have a lot of fun together.
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (acoustic)
Very committed vocal performance, no lyrical mistake, no upsinging. Great!
Honest With Me
Not much of a rarity, but everybody loved it. Bob was in a fantastic mood,
he smiled, left his keyboard to join the band and dance ! And Larry and
Freddy played together, posing like a southern-rock band. Fun !
Every Grain Of Sand
Perfect, until Bob grabbed his harmonica, everybody went lost and the song
ended abruptly. But no one seemed to notice.
Incredibly hot, a fantastic jam. What more can we say ? The crowd was
dancing, everyone was happy !
Cat's In The Well
This song is supposed to be a little obscure to the non Bob-freaks, once
again, everyone was dancing. It's a very impressive reaction, because in
2000 and 2002, people were a little static, and here they dance and have a
lot of fun ! Cool !
Like A Rolling Stone
All Along The Watchtower
What an incredible version ! Intense, apocalyptic, you could feel this
tension in the room ! A perfect closer.
Review by René Voncken
This night really rocked. The sound was great, hard and mean. I´m quite a
bluesrock fan and I got just what I wanted to hear!!!! This was my 15th
Dylan concert and by far the best I´ve been to. Dylan really looked like
he was amusing himself, constantly ferreting around on stage, make vague
dancing moves like he was either drunk or stoned out of his gourt. He even
told the audience (himself, yes Dylan!!!) that he and his band, although
they weren´t used to it, were obligated by law to have a break halfway
through the concert in France, and that we didn´t have to worry, because
they were coming back! He really rocked the roof off, constantly swinging
behind his E-Piano, his band was really really great............What a
great guitarist that Freddy is!!!! Wowww.... I was with my dad at the
concert and he was swinging like hell too.... 19 songs!!!!!!!! It was my
first concert in Le Zenith, but that´s the best hall I´ve ever been to;
the sound!!!!!!!! Every drums-whack of George Receli made you tremble in
your seats!!! I´m not going into every song, but my favourites were:
Visions of Johanna, Lonesome Death of Hattie Caroll, starter Maggie´s
Farm, It´s alright Ma....well the many other songs (most heavily electric)
were just too good to mention. And for his voice; well, it seemed broke
and shattered at some point, but he sung beautifully tender and
word-perfect on the gentle songs (as far as I know, the whole concert was
word-perfect). I´m still in complete awe. And man, he can hit the
Review by Christine Nicolas-Dufay
La scène est dépouillée. Pas de décor. L'image projetée sur un écran géant d'un
rideau gris. Un spectacle en noir et blanc. Bobby dans son costume de scène qui
rappelait que peut-être, qu'il portait le deuil d'une Amérique. Celle dans
laquelle il aurait aimé vivre. Un costume fait d'un tissu noir d'une extrême
légèreté sur lequel était brodé des étoiles d'or. Pas de chapeau. Plus de
moustaches ou si fines qu'elles étaient à peine perceptibles de profil et à
En effet, ce soir là, Bob Dylan n'a pas regardé son public. A peine s'est-il
tourné vers lui par deux fois. Pas de merci, seulement des mains que se levaient
vers le ciel comme pour y puiser une force divine. Peut-être un reste d'énergie.
Etrange. Il y avait tant de souffrance. Tous ses regards ont été pour ses
musiciens. Notamment pour l'un d'entre eux, Larry Campbell. Le virtuose de la
guitare électrique. Il ne le quittait pas du regard. De temps en temps, par un
oscillement de tête et de paupières, il semblait mettre Bobby en garde contre
lui-même. Comme pour éviter de faire un faux pas musical à celui qui tenait à
Notre Bobby ce soir là était comme dématérialisé. D'une maigreur incroyable,
le visage un peu glabre. Perché sur ses deux jambes que l'on devinait comme
des échasses fragiles. Le frêle Bobby, dès qu'il s'éloignait de son piano
titubait. Deux pas en avant, et il y retournait, s'y accrochait, buvait une
gorgée d'eau. De temps à autre, il se saisissait de son harmonica qu'il portait
à sa bouche. Il semblait vouloir lui arracher tous les sons possibles en lui
arrachant voracement les tripes. Etonnante, sa relation à son harmonica.
Fatigue, souffrance, dénuement, et cet elfe sur scène absolument étourdissant.
Tendu vers son micro, lorsque qu'il se mettait a chanté et a joué, tout en lui
reprenait force et vie. Une telle énergie vitale. Il y a du miracle là dedans.
C'est aussi cela le talent.
On ne peut pas dire qu'il ait choisi la facilité. Il aurait pu nous entonner ses
douces mélodies. Eh bien non. Nous avons eu droit a un florilège des plus
endiablé. Debout dans la fosse, il a fini par exténuer son public et nous réduire
en miettes. C'était si bon de se laisser aller, de s'abandonner, et de le suivre.
Review by Angela
Why did I choose the right-hand side ? I had been told that Bob was on the left of
the stage. But when I arrived in front of the stage the choice was between a place
in the fifth row on the left or on the second row on the right. I chose the right.
The worst corner. In front of me a wall of five or six people between 20 and 35
years old more or less, all listening to a girl showing off because she's already
done a few concerts. We learned, amongst other routines, that Dylan, is going to
do a "Charlie Chaplin" type performance... what a "cliché". Fortunately the one
hour and a half waiting period was lightened by more interesting conversation
particularly amongst regulars.
In front of a gloomy stage, black as if for Lent and hidden by instruments covered
in black shrouds, against a background of grey curtains, with giant doleful and
gloomy eye fixed on us like the eye of God watching Caïn, the passion was begining
to weaken, so, when Bob arrives behind his musicians all in single file, I don't
feel the obligatory tightening of the heart. He's 15 metres away, I slip my glasses
on. He hasn't put any weight on, lightely an agilely, he settles himself in front
of the piano. -"Please Bob, be good!" Fortunately he's good. "Visions of Johanna"
is done with a feeling. Everything is fine until the hammer beat that accompanies
"It's all right Ma'" takes over the girl in front of me who then starts to bash in
my tummy with her bum causing me to back away. Furthermore, she doesn't know how
to do anything else other than techno dancing which is out of sync with the
movement of the beardes hairy young man who is doing some 70's style dancing and
who will not stop until the very end; still I'm stuck under his shoulder in order
to keep my place, I'm finding myself being swung from left to right. The blonde
on my left side asks her girlfriends in front to help her push me backwards...Where
is Dylan in all this ? After a bit of calm with a lovely rendition of "Boots.."he
starts us going again with "Things have changed" and "Highway 61", then he bends
down to talk to us. Everybody around asks "What did he say?" He said that he's got
to leave the stage for a break after an hour's performance as required in french
law. It's over the light comes on after only 8 songs.. His he going to give us
less than everywhere else? A 'tactful' remark comes from the first row: "-He's
gone for a shit." And another one "-No, Dylan doesn't shit, he doesn't fart in
bed either." I'm cracking up. I can't stand those people no more. After 20 minutes
Bob comes back with a clearer voice and a good version of "Down along the cove" in
RN'Blues, then surprise... an introduction that sounds like a song from the
Beatles, that's "Cold irons bound" The sound is so loud from that place, my ears
are exploding. At that moment, not paying enough attention, I turn round to my
"little bundle of joy" to tell him that Dylan laughed like Serge Gainsbourg (God
bless him), I'm propelled to the third row. I'm pissed off, I've got to stand on
tiptoes now! During "Hattie Carol" I take advantage of the calm to move towards
the back again. Let's go and see if the air is cleaner in the back. It's easy to
go through the crowd in the opposite direction. Everybody moves aside in surprise.
For the first time in 25 years of concerts I've made a conscious decision to
listen to Dylan instead of looking at him. Great! In the bottom of the pit it's
another world, it doesn't even stink of sweat. At least we can breathe and we've
got enough space to dance to our own rythm. "Highway 61" compliments itself
easily to its own rythm. From here Dylan only seems 15cm tall but the sound is
good. The atmosphere is magical for "Every grain of sand", the stage floodlit by
spots of yellow light framed by transluscent greenish curtains, is revealed
against background of blue sky, studded by little clouds. Everybody sways gently
to the 50's style slow music. "Dylan is great, only him is great!" But it's
with "Summer days" that the show really starts, the room is warming up. Bob
finishes and goes out. Almost everybody from 20 years old to 60 is standing up
asking for an encore. We get "Cat's in the well" the Ray Charles's way. Lord have
mercy on us all, that's too good. Koella we love you, Campbell we adore you. When
we get to the last bit, the sound has risen to such an extent that everyone is so
mesmerized, they swing. Have we really deserved that in Paris Bob? 19 songs?
I think I'll come back again, well next time I'll stay in the bottom of the pit
drinking beer and dancing since Bob has decided on 50's pub music.
If you enjoy it Bob we enjoy it too, play some music from your own era, it's
page by Bill Pagel
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