June 29, 2023
Review by Laurette Maillet
From Aix-en-Provence to Lyon.
The Flixbus left on time and arrived on time. A nice trip with
a break near Montélimar where I had a treat of nougat.
I walk 40 minutes along the Saône to my youth hostel. I have
bunk in a 18 bunks mixed door.
But to my surprise it's quiet.
I walk a long walk to the botanical garden and back to my room
for a change of clothes and charging my phone. Then walk again
the long tunnel under the city to the venue.
I meet with Ben and Guillaume just on time to see the Band
arriving for soundcheck.
We three chat a while around drinks and it's time to look for
a ticket. Finally I get one from Ben and we walk inside. The
venue is an amphitheater.
Smaller than Aix-en-Provence but not totally full.
Many seats are empty and I grab one, fifth row totally on the
left. I see Bob clearly on the piano.
They start a little late and people are taking their seats on
"watching the river flow".
After "I've made up my mind to give myself to you" Bob Britt,
Tony and Donnie come close to Bob for the 14th song.
" West L.A. fadeaway ". When I stand up and dance and truly
enjoy myself at that specific moment 🤣
The show is good with an excellent sound and Bob's voice is
clear. No harp on "Masterpiece" or "Every grain of sand".
No "ce soir" and no "merci" from Bob.
Maybe a couple of " thank you". A remark on 'how difficult
those songs are' after "Serve somebody".
I'm surprised about the audience being so quiet when about 20
Bobcats are in the public tonight.
It feels more than a church where folks focus and concentrate
on the sermon of the priest individually.
Each Fan has a different reason to be here tonight.
It's my 15 shows and a half (Granada only sound) on that Tour
and my 4th tour with more or less the same setlist. So my
feelings are ... Unique🤣
Bob's energy is a lot better after the Greatful Dead song.
Even "Every grain of sand" will be my highlight.
A rapid salute where he asked Tony to join him.
My best encounter was after the show when I had a long
conversation with three beautiful people : A couple from
Brésil (the man being originally French) and their friend from
Auvergne Thierry. They will give me a lift to my hostel as it
starts raining. Thank you😘
Life is full of surprise. Definitively not my best show. And it
is my opinion 🤣
Thanks to Ben, Thierry and friends, and the folks who tried to
help me for a Tix.
I hope Bobby and the Band will enjoy Lyon.
See you tomorrow.
Review by Joachim Meckel
It was once again a great experience. I found it very intense
to simultaneously follow the six great musicians and absorb the
long lyrics of the seventeen songs, which were perfectly
understandable. Amazing with what intensity Dylan and band play.
He played constantly alternating between sitting and standing at
the small grand piano. There were beautiful recitative passages
with bowed or plucked double bass and then again incredible
moments where he hammered heavily into the keys and drove the
two guitarists to ever new heights. "West L.A. Fadeaway" was a
nice surprise and an absolute highlight.
It's more like a jazz concert. The musicians are very
concentrated and don't pose one bit. After the band introduction
he asked, "These songs aren't easy to play, what do you think?"
The audience answered in the affirmative with increased applause.
There never seems to be a routine. At my last concert in Krefeld,
he did a lot of free improvising on the piano and contrasted the
band's playing with wild accents. This time he didn't play so
rhythmically, but accompanied the songs mostly melodically. It
was lovely to see Tony Garnier take a thieving delight in
Dylan's surprising playing on several occasions. It was a
wonderful evening in a very pleasant concert hall and I hope to
see the band again in Germany soon.
Review by Christof Graf
Review by Christof Graf
The Charm Of The Void – Bob Dylan live at the Amphitheatre of
Lyon (France). Regardless of whether you see the current
concert tour as a "never ending" Rough & Rowdy Ways tour or
as a "Rough & Rowdy Ways Never Ending Tour", for me it is just
another chapter in the long history of an incomparable tour
format of an incomparable popular music artist with an
unmistakable unique selling point. In the last three decades,
this "lifetime tour" has only been interrupted by the pandemic.
Just as the pandemic slowed down the world and imposed
restrictions on its inhabitants, such as mandatory masks and
vaccinations, it also brought Bob Dylan’s concert tour, once
titled "never ending tour", to a standstill. The Japan and US
tour planned for 2020 has been cancelled. Bob Dylan didn’t go
on tour again until the end of 2021 and didn’t owe anything.
He then labeled the revival of his concert activities as a
so-called "Rough & Rowdy World Tour 2021-2024". First he made
up for the US concerts in 2021/ 2022 and toured Europe and
again the USA in 2022. In the spring of 2023, he made up for
the Japan tour. In the summer of 2023, he began a tour of
southern Europe (Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy)
on June 2 in Porto, Portugal. He omitted the north from his
planning. Before becoming one of the headliners of the 57th
Montreux Jazz Festival on 1 July, Dylan did two concerts on 29
and 30 June 2023 in the 2000-year-old and third largest French
city after Paris and Marseille. When I read after announcing
the tour dates that Dylan was performing at "L’Amphitheatre",
I was somehow looking forward to one of those Gallic-Roman
amphitheatres high above the city of Lyon in Mount Fourvière,
where the festival „Nuits de Fourviere“ also takes place. But
that was a fallacy. The „L’Amphitheare Cité“ is a convention
center on the outskirts of Lyon, modeled on the Centre
Pompidou in Paris. It houses a 3000-seat concert hall modeled
on an amphitheater. Dylan gave two concerts there. The second
surprise: I have rarely experienced a concert hall that was
only 60 percent full, in which a Bob Dylan performed. Maybe
it was because of the 33 degrees Celsius outside temperature,
so that the spontaneous ones stayed away. The third surprise:
Dylan seems to continue to cultivate his love for "The Grateful
Dead". After playing "West L.A. Fadeaway" live for the first
time since 1999 in Aix-en-Provence the night before, he
performed the song from the 1987 Dead album "In The Dark"
again in Lyon.
After the admission was set for 7:00 p.m., shortly before the
start of the concert at 8:00 p.m., all those who originally
had tickets for the upper tiers stormed onto the empty seats
and rows. After that, the location looked even emptier. But
the emptiness had its charm and it was all the more clearly
recognizable: "Things Have Changed" again, since the last
tour in 2022, and yes, even the void has its charm.
The stage light was darker. Bob barely moved behind his "baby
grand piano". He rarely got up, but never walked to the center
of the stage. The exception was a farewell lasting about 20
seconds after the 17th song "Every Grain of Sand". Bob didn’t
say a single word to the audience. He only introduced the
musicians of his band after "Key West". This adapted to the
statics of Bob’s performance. The band placed herself around
the "Bobness", the king in the middle. All wear black suits.
Dylan seemed to be in a good mood, but was more than usual
taciturn. He concealed his visible fragility by sitting at the
To his left (from a stage point of view) Bob Britt on guitar,
Donnie Herron (violin, electric mandolin, pedal steel,
lap steel), Tony Garnier on bass and Jerry Pentecost on drums
behind him and Doug Lancio on guitar to the right. Everyone
focused on the master. He, in turn, concentrated on his
performance of the nine out of ten songs of the "Rough & Rowdy
Ways" album as if he were playing them only for himself. The
subtle stage lighting gives the stage, on which at times only
the shadows of the musicians can be seen, something dramatic.
The dramatic begins with a "Watching The River Flow" that is
almost unrecognizable as such. It’s only with "I Contain
Multidues" and "False Prophet" that you can hear how much
Mr. Dylan enjoys the fact that his audience is increasingly
getting involved with his songs. Nothing distracts, thanks to
"Yondr". Not a single smartphone flashes. The atmospheric
density of the evening reaches its first climax in "Black
Rider", whose lyrics Dylan recites in a well-accentuated
manner and his words are amplified with an echo reverberation.
Before that, "When I Paint My Masterpiece" features a small
acoustic guitar solo as well as a violin insert. Bob plays a
"harp" solo. Many of the RARW songs featured new arrangements.
The musicians took a step back on all the songs. They watched
their boss closely to see what they had to react to. Solos
couldn’t be too long, the drums could never get too loud.
The second musical highlight for me was "Key West",
storytelling at it’s best. This was followed by a short band
introduction as well as an absolutely devastating "Gotta Serve
Somebody", in which Bob stretched the ends of the lines so
wonderfully. It almost seemed as if Dylan loved the charm of
emptiness in the theatre a little and sank into the
expressiveness of his words from song to song.
The darkness on stage and in the audience does not reveal any
facial expressions. Very rarely flashing smartphone lights are
immediately recognized as such by the security service and
discreetly warned. From song to song, the applause increases.
The audience stands up again and again to applaud. After
"Every Grain Of Sand" and almost 100 minutes, it’s suddenly
over. Bob steps up to the stage wall for the first time. A few
seconds later, he leaves the stage in the even darker black of
the stage background. The hall lights come on, the work is
done, every hair is counted like every grain of sand. The last
lines "I am hanging in the balance of a perfect finished plan/
Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand" resonate.
The more and a German version of this review I note in my in my
cohenpedia-blog and sort some pictures:
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