Liverpool, England

Echo Arena

May 8, 2017

[Laurette Maillet], [Alan Platt]

Review by Laurette Maillet

From Nottingham I took a bus to Liverpool as I skipped the Glasgow show
for different reasons. I arrive in a crowded pedestrian area in early
afternoon. As I have no room tonight I need to find a place where to put
my suitcase. Well! No chance! At the train station the lockers closed at
... 9 p.m. No other lockers in town. I drag my F. Green suitcase around
the downtown area to find a bite to eat. I find a chicken sandwich for 99
p. Can't bit that! (It will give me a stomach ache though!) I then move to
the Echo Arena located by the sea. I will not visit the Beatles city any
more than that. I relax breathing fresh air but don't see any black buses
coming around for the soundcheck. I inquire about getting inside the Arena
with my luggage. "No problem, there is some lockers inside" security says.
Cool! I stand by the cafe where 'Simply Dylan' (a musicians covering Dylan
songs) is putting a show on. I meet with different Bobcats. A well known
Bobcat, Mike Sutton, says he has a ticket for me from a Fan who was in
Glasgow. Fine! Thank you guys for your help! I go inside the venue at 6
p.m. , the earliest I ever been inside at a BD show. I get rid of my
suitcase and hang around talking with 2 Fans from Australia. We have known
each other for a while. Great people,† followers, but discreet. I then
chat with Stephen and seat next to Diane. My spirit is high, even higher
when I see MrR.†† taking his seat. The venue is huge, maybe 7 to 8
thousands but it seems to me I am in an intimate surrounding. Stu is 15
minutes late for his introduction. He starts 7.45 p.m. Bob dressed with
the patched suit. "Don't think twice it's all right" for a change. Bob is
in good spirit. His voice is loud. The sound (where I am) is good. I enjoy
myself down floor on Row S. I know almost all the lyrics by heart....could
be a backup singer!!! My view of the stage is excellent. I focus at times
on Charlie's fingers and George bitting up his drums. I donít see
Bobby's fingers on piano. His piano is positioned diagonal to the edge of
the stage. As usual, some people move in and out bringing drinks. Some
leave before the end of the show. But globally the public is respectful.
One of the best shows on that Tour. I wait for the crowd to dispersed. I
have plenty of free time before catching my midnight bus to London. I spot
Miss.M. but I don't pay attention to her and say few words to Mr R.† who
responds to me with kindness. So, all is fine and I am relieved and happy.
No more tention between us. Outside Franky is entertaining the few Fans
hanging around. Again, I bump into MrR.† Sweet ending of a weird day in
Liverpool without any Beatles. I catch my bus to London with some Fans who
had come to Liverpool specifically for that show. A young 24 years old was
delighted with his 1st Bob Dylan show. We chat about how Bob Dylan can get
together a large crowd of all different people (nationality, age,
interest...) ...before I pass out in the arms of Morpheus. Good night
Bobby! See you in Wembley.


Review by Alan Platt

My first Dylan concert was in 1966 in Manchester Ė Yes that one Ė when I
had to pay ten bob in old money for a front row seat, and I have a feeling
that Monday may have been my last one. Iím not quite as old as Bob but not
far behind and my musical tastes have generally changed since then, my
natural home now being the Liverpool Phil where the RLPO are the masters
of Shostakovich and his ilk. After Manchester last time I thought thatís
it unless heís near home, but I relented because the Echo is handy and its
clean and has good parking.

Maybe Iím getting old, which I am, maybe its because they play the same
set every night so it loses spontaneity or maybe because the audience
seemed polite but not excited but it didnít seem to work for me. The
tribute band outside before seemed to generate more fervour. I actually
quite liked the American songbook stuff, although why someone who wrote
many of the greatest songs ever sings other peoplesí stuff eludes me. But
thatís Bob. In Manchester all those years ago, he did what he wanted to do
and that was right,  and heís still doing his own thing. Heís not a pop
clone recycling his back catalogue but a genuine artist and that means he
doesnít please all of the people all of the time. He does what he wants to
do, and if you like it thatís good; if you donít thatís tough.

So thanks for all the great songs, and all the great shows, and even some
of the not so great ones, and keep doing your own thing.

Alan Platt


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