Milan, Italy

Assago DatchForum

April 15, 2009

[Paolo Martinelli], [Mike & Max], [Mario Ruggeri]

Review by Paolo Martinelli

Due to private problems I wasn't sure I would be able to be at the show,
but I was pretty sure it wouldn't be sold out. At last I went, bought my
ticket two hours before the start, there wasn't any ground floor tickets
left, but on the black market you could find some (italian way, as usual)
so i bought a numbered seat. After that I walked a bit around the building to
see which way was the artists' exit. Then I got in and found my seat: good
position but, sadly, on the right of the stage behind Bob. Later, before
8:30, I went to the lavatory, did what I had to do, washed my hands and...
there were two boxes for paper towels, both empty!!!!!! F**K! I paid 63 and
something Euro and there aren't towels in the lavatory before the beginning
of the concert?!?! I can't believe the more the shows costs the worst the
service :((( Well, found a man to complain about then went back to my seat.
I saw MANY empty seats in the hall, don't know why, in Milan, they keep
choosing the Assago Forum and not another, more intimate, place... well
probably I know, it's not about music but about business :(

Here we go, my last concert was Milan 2000, then I HAD :( to pass for 9
long years, when Wicked began I felt very very well. Good start, a song
that I like, short but strong enough to wake up the audience promptly.
Then the lights went off and I saw Bob moving from the keyboard and getting
the electric guitar and moving to the center of the stage: good! Tom Thumb 
was brilliant, to me the price was already worth it (towels apart, see intro).
From now on Bob went back to the keyboard until the harp solo at the end
of Blowin'. JLAW was enjoyed by the audience, singing the chorus. Having
heard about four of the first shows I almost knew what to expect so the
rest of the show sounded familiar, to my hears, but it was played very
well (i'm not a musician, a mean as a listener) and really enjoyed it all.
After a couple of minutes of Hard Rain I thought: "where's the acoustic
guitar? I can't hear it", a dozen seconds after this Stu looked at the
soundboard, pointed his left first finger to the speaker behind him, then
up. Another couple of seconds and he nodded: the acoustic was back into the
song, wooow it wasn't me getting deaf.  During Blind Willie McTell, so
good to hear, Tony went center stage facing George and Bob (... and
showing his beautiful back to the left of the arena :] ). Bob often
'played' the keyboard with just one hand raising the left to the audience
and, at the same time, one of the legs, funny movement that i liked. :)
Before Thunder the lights went off, Bob moved next to Donnie and in the
dark of the stage I saw Tony running to them, probaly to be sure what to
do next: Thunder or another song before? Finally Tony went back to Stu and
Denny, no surpise, anyway the Master told us years ago: he plays
mathematical music, so tonight just 17 songs... I expect 18 on the next
show to keep the series 17, 18, 17, 18 :]

Encore as usual with the audience singing the chorus during LARS and it
sounded to my hearing that they were more in tune with the version from M&A
than with the one played by Bob.

After Blowin' i saw the band getting off stage, from my position I could
see the artist exit behind the stage, I saw Tony hug very friendly
someone. Then I  ran outside and went where the buses were, there where 3
other people. I'm tall but they were taller so it took me few seconds to
realize that Bob was already beside the bus, talkin' on the phone, after
half a minute he put the mobile in the pocket and came in our direction
(the bus door was 5 meter from us, behind the gate). We yelled banal
things as "great show", "thank you" and so on, enough to make him ignore
us completely and jump right into the bus. :)



Comments by Mike & Max

Bob didn't tour in the UK last year so we enjoyed a few days in Spain and
watched the Jerez show. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we decided to
combine a short break in Italy and catch the Milan and Florence shows.

No problems arriving finding some fantastic music bars and transport to
the Assago show was straightforward. Bob was on top form in Milan with the
best set list we've heard so far and the first time Highway 61 was
omitted. The band seemed tight and Bob was clearly enjoying himself.
Travelling back to the hotel with the Italian crowd we met fans from
Spain, Holland and the USA who all agreed the gig was superb.

Mike & Max


Review by Mario Ruggeri

If my memory serves me right the last
time i saw Dylan was in 1993 at the
Hammersmith Odeon in London. I found it 
disappointing after his majestic gigs of 1990 
but it was still good.  Maybe in nostalgia terms 
the Earls Court gigs of 1978 were my favourite. 
I was very young and it was the moment
that made me realise that his music was going 
to be with me for a very long time.

In 1994 i moved to Italy and gigs have been far
and few. Maybe i'm getting older or wiser
but i don't really have this great need to
indulge on 500 km round trips and spend
enormous amounts of money to see my
heroes on video screens at stadiums. But 
saying that i needed to see Dylan again.
The forum in Milan is similar to Wembley
Arena, far to big for my liking but 
acceptable. My numbered seat was good
even though i couldn't see his face clearly.
The sound was good for a venue of it's size.
I found it frustrating to see him behind 
keyboards instead of playing his guitar but
the voice was still there even though like a
good wine it has matured and changed a little.

It was a thrill to see him do Desolation Road,
Blind Willie McTell, Just Like Tom
Thumb's Blues, Just Like A Woman and
Ballad Of A Thin Man. But the newer stuff
sounded great and maybe felt more at home.
It would have been nice if he had maybe
talked to the audience a little but no surprises

It was a good gig. I was glad that i went
and it's made me dig out all his albums
again, even though they have always
been close by. It brought back tons of
wonderful memories and the after effects
i'm getting from it are probably better than
the gig itself. Please take that as a compliment.....

In fact i'm hoping that he will come back soon 
as it really has made me feel good. 
He never ceases to amaze me.....



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