Lucca, Italy

Lucca Summer Festival
Piazza Napoleone

July 1, 2015

[Steinar Daler]

Review by Steinar Daler

I'm back home after 3 concerts in Italy; Rome, Lucca and Torino. I will
write most about Lucca because that was the best concert. First a few
words about the concert in Rome, or rather about the venue; Terme di
Caracalla (tempered baths from the early Roman times.). I have seen Bob in
concert more than 200 times, but never in a more nice setting than this
one. There was a relaxed mood with almost no security hassel (except for
the NO PHOTO/VIDEO thing). The concert was an average "The Set" concert (I
know because I have seen a lot of those concerts), but strangely the
surroundings with ancient footprints everywhere did not seemed to inspire
Bob to do his very best. Anyway it was a concert I really will remember.

The venue in Lucca was not that special - just a big square in and old
very nice city. There was a good mood in the whole city already from the
night before the concert. My wife and me stayed at a hotel at the same
square as the concert and had it not been for a big tree filled with
summer leaves, we could have watched the concert from one of the windows
in our room. Maybe Bob stayed in the same hotel as well. At least some of
his crew did so. The big black busses were outside the hotel when we got
out of bed in the morning - then moved away, but was back when we went to
bed after the concert. The Italian artist that performed before Bob;
Francesco De Gregori, must have been a very well known name in Italy. The
venue were what I will call more than packed when he started. We liked his
style of music too. It kind of reminded me of Gordon Lightfoot's music,
but his vocal was more Bob's style. Maybe that guy's great performance and
reception was what inspired Bob to sing more intense and powerful than
usual. Workingman's Blues, Tangled Up In Blue, Duquesne Whistle, Simple
Twist Of Fate, Long And Wasted Years (with some new lyric lines I have not
heard before) and a brilliant Love Sick were all outstanding. I liked most
of the other songs too, even the two "Sinatra songs"; Full Moon And Empty
Arms (almost full moon that night by the way) and Autumn Leaves. They are
not my kind of music but the vocal delivery were as good as they can get.
If he had changed Beyond Here Lies Nothing and Spirit On The Water - two
songs that in my ears have become boring - with Shelter From The Storm and
Willie Nelson's Sad Songs And Waltzes (like they were played at the two
first concerts in Germany at this tour) it would have been a 100% perfect
concert.  A lot of other hard core fans and the general audience seemed to
agree that this was a real great concert.

Finally a few words about the concert in Torino. A way too big venue (a
huge modern concert hall - not half full), extremely hot inside. at least
35 C, but anyway an enthusiastic audience. Maybe the best version I have
heard of Early Roman Kings. Not at least because of some very delicat
guitar riffs from Charlie Sexton. I felt a pity for Stu who worked very
hard with his maracases in the heat.

Next time I will see Bob it will be in my hometown of Oslo, Norway at the
start of the fall tour. I'm certainly looking forward to that, but a few
changes in the setlist will not harm.

Steinar Daler


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