Milan, Italy

Teatro degli Arcimboldi

November 21, 2015

[Claudio Manara], [Laurette Maillet]

Review by Claudio Manara

I slipped into a melancholic and drizzly autumn eve in Milan and reached a
theatre surrounded by the flashing blue lights of many carabinieri cars as
if it were a "fahrenheit 451" set. I slipped into the saddest show in the
world. This long repeating setlist is finally refined to perfection. It is
like a drama in which the actor hands his life and his feelings to
audience. This is living through poems and songs, once you've painted your
masterpiece you're stuck inside of it, you're the masterpiece of the music
art itself and singing is like living and living is singing. The telling
starts about the times that were changing but turned crazy and made you
locked in tight and out of range. The tell continues with flashes of rock
and intimate moods. Every time he finishes the singing, Bob walks behind
and reaches  the band, proud of his music. She belongs to me is the love
story of girl out of reach, you can give her a drum but did she ever
belong to you? And so the story goes every verse of the recital is linked
to one another. Every night the show gets better. This night i appreciated
the nice dialogue between bob's piano and charlie's lead on spirits on the
water, the remarking of the banjo notes in high water until the finishing
of the song. But what i remember most is the parallel between the leaves
flying in the wind of Milan and the vision of a spiral falling leaf given
by the slide guitar in autumn leaves. Marvelous! 


Review by Laurette Maillet

The Fall European Tour 2015 is over. 
23 cities in Europe and the U.K. 
40 shows. 
Few hundreds tickets sold 
2 General admissions 
Some Sport Arenas but mainly small Theatres. 

A setlist globally static : 
A focus on the Sinatra songs covers : 

“The Night We Called It A Day” 
-“Why Try To Change Me Now “ 
-“I'm A Fool To Want You” 
-“Full Moon And Empty Arms” 
-“Come Rain Or Come Shine” 
-“All Or Nothing At All” 
-“ Autumn Leaves” 
-“What'll I Do” 
-“ Melancholy Mood” 

5 “Tempest” songs from 2012 : 
-“Duquesne Whistle” 
-“Pay In Blood” 
-“Early Roman Kings” 
-“Scarlet Town” 
-“Long And Wasted Years” 

-“Blowin' In The Wind” 1962 
-“She Belongs To Me “ 1965 
-“Tangled Up In Blue “ 1975 
-“Love Sick “ 1997 
-“Things Have Changed “ 2000 
-“High Water (For Charley Patton)” 2001 
-“Spirit On The Water 2006 
-“Beyond Here Lies Nothin' “ 2009 

This was the longest Tour I ever managed to do. 
I managed to reach all the venues. 
I managed to attend 35 shows. This is, for me, a record on one Tour. 
In my opinion (and of course this is subjective) ; 
- the best show was the first one at the Royal Albert Hall in London. 
All the good circumstances were gathered : a beautiful venue, an excellent
sound, a knowledgeable public and … Bob in a high spirited mood. 
- the worst show was second show in Manchester : 
The venue was badly located, not inspiring. The crowd was rough even
rude(my feelings of course). 
Bob had a cold and could hardly sing. 

The static setlist had been controversial among the hard core Fans for
some years now. The obvious choice for Bob to promote his last album 
“Shadows in the night” and play 7 Sinatra songs covers was also highly 

The general public was, globally, over 50 years of age. 
Due to the price of the tickets (for me between 80€ and 175€)? Due to
the choice of the songs? Hard to tell. 

I heard some Fan shouting “boring!” at the beginning of the Tour but
at the end of the Tour the public was respectful, even enthusiastic with
the Sinatra songs. By now they knew what to expect. 

The stage was set up as the last few Tours : 
-Stu Kimbal on the left playing rhythm acoustic or electric guitar. 4
Maracas on “Early roman kings” . 
-George Recile on drums. He told me the special sticks on Beyond Here Lies
Nothin' are called ‘mallet’. It might be why this song is my favorite
on that setlist. Ah!ah! 
-Tony Garnier on standing or electric bass. The maestro of the Band. 
-Charlie Sexton on lead guitar. Charlie now wearing dark glasses on stage.
-Donnie Herron on banjo, electric mandolin, pedal steel, lap steel. Sweet
Donnie, always attentive on what Bob is doing on piano. 
The Band was dressed in black or dark blue or gray only once on red. 
The lights on stage are dim. 
The Greek statues are still on stage as well as the 2 mikes in front of
Bob’s face blocking the view and probably stopping the photographs to
have clear photos of Bob’s wrinkled face. 
Bob was wearing a white hat, white/black cowboy boots. 
He took his hat of in Basel for 2 songs. Any meaning on that? 
His suits varied from plain black or white to colorful embroidered suits
(specifically in Paris). 
His hair getting longer in the back of his head (under his hat). 
His voice? The best that it could be. Take it or leave it! 

The shows were like a Roller Coaster ; 
The Dylan songs were ‘Rock and Rolling’ when the Sinatra songs were a
lot more ‘mellow’. 
Bob’s voice switching from ‘spiting’ is anger and distress to
‘crooning’ is Love and regret. 
The Band backing up admirably 
There had been no incidents, except for Charlie’s guitar a couple of

Note that the show in Rouen had been cancel. 
Officially due to logistic problems. 
I heard people speculating on the real reason : 
1) the distance was too far from Eindhoven then Amsterdam 
but … The road manager knew that since the beginning. I’ve seen the
Tour being more complicated in the States with distances a lot more
important between 2 shows. 
2) “Bob was tired”! Seriously? You believe a show will cancel JUST
because Bob is tired? 
He was sick in Manchester and he did 2 shows none the less. 
I have never witnessed a show cancelled because of Bob’s bad physical
conditions (I heard of few ). 
I’ve seen him sick and suffering on stage, fighting some kind of pains
we are not even aware of. 
3) Menace of some terrorist attacks. Yes, even before the Bataclan tragedy
there had been rumors of a possible attack. 
But Bob didn’t cancel the Italian shows as so many groups have cancel
whole tours. 
4) The promoter didn’t sell enough tickets. Half the tickets were still
on sale few days before the show. 
This would be the most possible explanation. 
Showing that the French public was not enthusiastic over the Sinatra
songs. Would it had been Charles Aznavour songs? 

This had been “a long and narrow way”. 

"Oh a false clock tries to tick out my time 
To disgrace, distract, and bother me 
And the dirt of gossip blows into my face 
And the dust of rumors covers me 
But if the arrow is straight 
And the point is slick 
It can pierce through dust no matter how thick 
So I’ll make my stand 
And remain as I am 
And bid farewell and not give a damn" 

"Now I’m goin’ back again 
I've got to get to them somehow 
Yesterday it is gone 
And tomorrow might as well be now 
Some are up on the mountain 
And some of them they're down on the ground 
Some of their names - written in flames 
And some of them they just left town 
Me, I’m still on the road 
And I'm tryin' to stay out of the joint 
Well, we always felt the same 
Depending on your point of view 
Tangled up in Blue" 


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