Istanbul, Turkey

Black Box Istanbul

June 20, 2014


Review by

Istanbul review on the 20th of June 2014 Up at 7:00 a.m. Breakfast at 9:00 a.m. 
Nice Oriental style breakfast; vegetables, cheese, eggs, bread, tea. First thing is 
that I have to find out about my trip to Thessaloniki. I go to the Tourist 
Information Center next to Taksim Square. The Lady directs me to the Bus 
Travel Agency just few blocks away. I can buy a ticket for 36 Euro. I need cash. 
No panic, there is a change right next door. I change few of my left over 
Shekel (from Israel) and back to the Agency. I will have a Shuttle taking me to 
the central bus station tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. then a coach to Thessaloniki at 
9:00 a.m. for 11 hours trip. Cool! I love when things go smoothly. I can now 
visit a little of Istanbul ; the blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar… a dive in the 
crowded areas. I go back to my room to get ready. I checked the direction of 
the venue on Google Map…oups! I get out of the metro way to early; got lost, 
ask my way about 20 times. The Black Box Istanbul is far away from the down 
town area, in the middle of nowhere! And it is …. A Black BOX! I catch a little 
bit of the atmosphere for one hour and at 7:00 p.m. I put my sign out; “I need 
a free ticket, please”. No luck until 7:45 p.m. The show is supposed to start at 
8:00p.m. A young Lady hands me a ticket, originally to be on sale for charity 
purpose. But I am lucky. I do not know where is my seat but it is free so…no 
complain, right? Everyone goes in but the doors inside do not open…Why? 
Someone explains the show starts at …9:30 p.m. oh whoa! They want people 
to get drunk on beers? 9:00 p.m. …getting close. I take my seat ; on the floor 
section, right of the stage, row 8…Cool! I will see Bobby clearly on the piano. 
9:30 p.m., right on time Stu strums his acoustic guitar and one by one the Boys 
take their position. No change. The Band is the same as Japan. The lights are 
on… Bob is dressed with his black suit embroidered with white at the sleeves 
and he has his white hat on. The boys are dressed with black pants and…RED 
jackets (appearing pink with the light). Stu is wearing I do not know what on 
his head! -“Things have changed” kind of normal at the beginning. The public 
starts to clap in rhythm and Bob picks up the feeling and` Wake Up` in the 
middle of that song and put full energy in his voice. “She belongs to me” clear 
and loud. I know my favorite is coming when Bob moves to the piano. “Beyond 
here lies nothing`”. I am sorry we are sited and I can hardly move. “What good 
I am”. His voice is right in the tune, deep and serious : “what good…am…IIIIII”.
I feel my stomach moving. “Waiting for you”. Light and waltzy, sweet and 
refreshing. “Duquesne Whistle”. Nice but not the best. Maybe Tonie`s bass is 
not loud enough, though poor Tonie is all bent on that Stand up Bass. “Pay in 
blood”. The song is as serious and profound as “What good I am”. “Tangled up
in blood”. Well done but frankly I could do without. That song and “simple 
twist of fate” and the final “Blowing in the wind” are definitively for the nostalgic 
or the few who came to see the Dylan of the 60`s. They are not too many in 
Istanbul where the public seems to be relatively young. They know TEMPEST. 
“Love sick”. Excellent . Moving me deep inside. The end makes me cry; “I'm sick 
of love, I wish I'd never met you I'm sick of love, I'm tryin' to forget you. I 
don't know what to do I'd give anything to JUST be with you. “ I am right in 
that state of mind at the moment. Bobby knows, he is singing for each one of 
us who can relate at the moment to that song or this song. Bob mumbles 
‘Thank you friends, we'll take a break now, we'll be back in a little while`. The 
crowd moves out for a drink, a cigarette, a pee… There are no posters at the 
merchandise stand, only few T-shirts and CDs that everyone should have by 
now. 20 minutes later, Stu is back. ‘High water” starts at an incredible speed…
They go wild…Even Donnie is crazy wild on his Banjo…oh my! The best version 
I ever heard! The highlight of the show for me. ‘The early Roman kings” are a 
little boring. Georges not as crazy as he should be on his drums. Tonight the 
Star is Charlie. Every single guitar 'solo' is perfect; loud, clear, inspired. He`s
dropping quiet often his mediator and bends to pick it up…Charlie`s style. The
 violin of Donnie starts “Forgetful heart”. There is a total silence in the public. 
 At some point I see Bob opening wild his big blue eyes. I turn around and 
 look up. I see hundreds of lighters moving in rhythm. Whoa! What a feeling! 
 I feel like crying and Bob is crying….it seems. ‘Forgetful heart Like I walk in 
 shadow in my way All night long I lay awake and listen to the sound of pain 
 The door has closed thru ever more If indeed there ever was a door.’ A big 
 applause at the end, the longest for a song. “Spirit on the water”, swinging 
 well and sweet. I love it. Bobby is good on the piano and Charlie excellent on 
 guitar. “Scarlet town”. I could do without by now. “Soon after midnight”. 
 Again one of those sweet melody and romantic lyrics. I can`t get enough of 
 it. ‘It's soon after midnight And I don't want nobody but you.’ The dramatic 
 and theatrical “Long and wasted years”. A wave of Fans rushes to the stage. 
 They know it is the end. I do not move. I appreciate every word from where 
 I am, standing up…singing the final ‘So much for tears, so much for these long 
 and wasted years’. The encore is average; maybe Bob is a little tired? Or 
 maybe I am bored with those two last songs? The sound in that BOX was 
 excellent. Though I knew the set list I felt it was like a new show. Bob did it 
 as it was the first time for every single song. He didn't show signs of 
 boredom. When he was at the piano, after each song, he took the time to 
 turn around and salute the public for few seconds. Thank you Bobby! A 
 great performance in Istanbul! See you again soon.


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