Nuremberg, Germany


April 22, 2018

[Tom Palaima], [Laurette Maillet]

Review by Tom Palaima

A younger Croatian professor friend of mine, Helena Tomas of University of
Zagreb, and I drove up for this show from Venice, where we had spent the
week at a scholarly conference. We came up through the Brenner Pass and
across lots of history. “Lots of water under the bridge / lots of other
stuff, too."

It was her first show. We felt privileged to be sitting in row 5 audience
rightjust to the right of the piano (and the left of his Oscar statuette
for “Things Have Changed” and—from the Tempest cover—what looks like a
copy of the classical stylized bust of a river goddess from the Pallas
Athene statue grouping outside the Parliament Building in Vienna).

From our vantage point, we could see Bob sitting or standing at the
keyboard where he stayed the entire night (with the exception of his three
standards which Bob sang stage center mostly singing back across the stage
toward his piano although for a brief segment on one number facing Stu
Kimball audience left) with a preternatural look of intense concentration
and absorption—and at times delight—on his face as he coaxed, tickled or
attacked the keyboard to produce the haunting melancholic delicacy of
“Simple Twist of Fate”and “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven,” the rag-time hints of
“Duquesne Whistle,” or the take-no-prisoner building rhythmic tsunami of
“Thunder on the Mountain.”

Weather was magnificent. In late afternoon Nuremberg had 82 degrees, light
blue skies and 9 mph breezes. Strolling in with Helena we stopped and
listened, coming and going, to two musicians performing in separate places
Dylan’s music. We thought of the “Homeridae,” literally the sons of Homer,
local or itinerant song-poets who must have likewise performed song parts
from the Homeric repertory surrounding main festival events when the great
oral songsters gathered.

The stage setting and colors of the lighting produced extraordinary, but
not obtrusive atmospheres for the songs.

Helena loved best “Simple Twist of Fate,” “Come Rain or Come Shine” (which
Bob did knock out of the park Arlen and Mercer created for him to play in,
complete with choreographed arm gestures), “Desolation Row,” and “Thunder
on the Mountain,” which she rightly described as building and building and
building and building……..

Lyric subtleties:

On “Simple Twist of Fate” the hotel had a “flashing neon sign” that
allowed the "she” of the song to ask: “What do you have in mind?”  And
when the ‘he’ reads “the note she left behind,” Bob breaks the narrative
and interjects “What did it say?” before giving us the new standard
variant, something like: “We should have ended up in 58 / and forgotten
about this simple twist of fate.”

Likewise at the end of “Desolation Row,” still the song dearest and most
imbedded in my heart and soul and which I used to sing, in its entirety,
as a lullabye to my now grown son, the new standard variant:

“Yesterday is dead and gone / Tomorrow might as well be now.
Some of them live on the mountain / some of them down on the ground
Some of their names are still the same
Others, well, they just left town.”

Bob and his band left town after re-instantiating Bob’s music and making
it new for us, so that we will be leaving town with it in our heads and
hearts and souls in a new way for our today's selves, like the German man
I talked to at the adjacent men’s room stall after the show. He noted that
Bob’s voice was in stunningly good form. And I agreed. And he agreed with
me that the band was producing music as if it were at times the Nelson
Riddle Orchestra and at other times sidemen behind Jelly Roll Morton. And
he was heading to Baden-Baden, staying briefly ‘on the road’ with Bob and
his band.

Thank you, Bob, as you move toward the completion of your seventy-seventh
year among us mere mortals.

Tom Palaima
Austin TX


Review by Laurette Maillet

Nuremberg 22sd of April. Ben offers me a ride to Nuremberg and though I
still have one ride on my TrainPass I accept. Ben is good company and I
hope I didn't 'drunk' him up with my 'Me and Bobby D.' stories. (I do have
quiet a lot). We pick up 2 bla bla car guests at the train station. They
fall asleep on my French blabbering. I do have a CS host but Ben offers a
camping night in his car. Let's be crazy! Go camping. We drop the 2 BlaBla
and go pick down the tent. The camping site is 10 minutes walk from the
venue. What a chance! We walk there and bump into Joachim who will do only
2 shows on that Tour. He used to be a big follower but things have
changed. The venue is again an Arena and not a small theater. Capacity,
about 6 000. Ben got 2 friendly tickets and we walk in. Of course not
taking our seats, probably squizzed between 2 old, good pensioned, retired
folks coming to see the Geek!? We are FANS. We take our standing positions
on the left of the top balcony. A usher, who is a bitter, b. Woman doesn't
want us to stand. Ben tries to argue, I prefer to walk away. Never argue
with a B... I seat on the stairs a block away and Ben moves one block away
from that B. Finaly I join Ben, standing up and ... I have THE TIME of
that Tour. Meaning I was and will never be so HAPPY. Oh my! We both sing
and dance and shout! Bob is on "Pay in blood" and we scream along 'I paid
in blood but not my own.' Bobby catching the vibes starts to be wild. We
are sending him some energy and he is sending them back to us. He is not
hanging on the second mike but stands with his profile to the public,
center stage. He is wild on the piano . The "Early Roman Kings" must turn
themselves around inside their tombs. "Desolation row " is exceptional as
Ben and I are supporting the act and doing the Choir. The public, at least
below us, is reacting. Ben and I are literally on Fire! On "Love and
wasted years " Bobby is profile facing left and suddenly whirlweels
towards us. Did he hear us? We want to believe it. The public reacts on "
Thunder on the mountain " and roar at the end. I scream a "Bravo Georgy "
lost in the tumult. Stu had some technical problem on DR and left the
stage few seconds. The encore comes to soon. It is one of those shows you
want to go forever! Bobby is happy as he steps up front for a little
gesture of his twisted hands. We are here, Bobby dear! On the top of the
world! Sweet kiss to you too! Good night ! Ben and I are exhausted.
Literally empty. We walk the path to the tent in a trance. If only, if
only , all the shows were so uplifted! But no. It happens, once upon a
time only! Cordialement Mme Maillet


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