Zwickau, Germany

Stadthalle (City Hall)

July 3, 2014

[Alexandra Blenk]

Review by Alexandra Blenk

An incredulous eye on the clock, "It is only 18.30" With ten question marks in 
]my face I look up to my friend. But there is no time for questions left. The 
entrance to Bob is already open - one and a half hour before the concert 
starts! I didn´t expect this. In the next moment, the pressure from behind 
is even getting stronger. Each of us takes his ticket, and we let us push past 
the barriers in front of the modern city hall in Zwickau. While still my bag needs 
to be checked, my friend steps on it and sprints toward grandstand. I do the 

The place looks great at first glance. Third row. In front only fans who had 
already pitched their tents at the city hall since morning. And two young men 
with 1.95 cm height! But gladly the place between the shoulders to look 
through is enough for my size, so I can almost see Bob face to face, just 
enough to have look below his hat and through his four microphones! It is 
my second concert at this tour.

Lively muttering at each corner of the hall. Seats are empty yet. We puzzle 
with the musician Joachim Neumann in the first row of the importance the 
two busts probably would have on Bob's stage for him, remind of the concert 
in Munich two days ago and wonder why the young man, placed behind, has 
a large suitcase.

Feet burn, back aches. The young man from the second row is getting back
into the squat - presumably with the same complaints. But the anticipation 
keeps me going. Then the spots darken on Bob's stage. I look around, the 
seats are occupied now, the hall packed. It is eight o´clock. Everything is
reduced to essentials. No feet, no back are important anymore. Before you 
can see, you can hear it. Stu Kimball's electrifying rhythm guitar sets in, slowly. 
String by string interfuses the darkness. Then shadowy figures who flock to 
the stage. Cowboy hat, genteel suit - everybody identifies him at the same 
time. Bob is on the stage and stirs up the city hall´s blood with Things have
changed. So many times I've seen this opening scene, so often it gives me 
the creeps.

Bob leads us to break through a slightly varied program. He strikes gentle 
notes in She belongs to me, enchants the hall with his harmonica solo, swings 
by Beyond here Lies Nothing and sets the right accent by singing 
Workingman's Blues, which is new in his program. I close my eyes, hear the 
train rumbling in Duquesne whistle - all eyes on Tony Garniers terrific and 
almost acrobatic performance on contrabass - feel the ticking of Pay in Blood
in my head. And when Bob sings "I'm sick of love, I hear the clock tick, this 
kind of love, I'm love sick" with all of his soul, experience and background, he 
has collected in his life, city hall turns upside down.

Bob with his infinitely talented band continues the fascinating repertoire also 
in the second part after the break. The musicians got their beady eyes on 
their boss. He gives them a glance and they understand immediately what to 
do. There is no need to talk or conduct. The band gets along swimmingly. It 
keeps fascinating for me when Bob bravely tinkles the ivories of his piano,
when he braces his hands in the hips or starts even a short dance number to 
the rhythm of his band. No song is like the other one, as well as no concert 
is like the concert before or after. Everything aspires to the absolute highlight: 
Long and wasted years! How much truth is in this song - for the artist and for 
each of us!  We are paralyzed in most positive way. Bob retires with his boys,
only to be swept across the hall in the next moment with All Along the 
Watchtower - then he says Goodbye with Blowin in the Wind. 

The band is forming, all five musicians together. A beautiful and memorable 
image at same time again. Thanks for these perfect and unforgettable 
evening, Bob, Charlie, Tony, George, Stu and Donnie! Hope to see you soon! 
Your real Bobcat…


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