July 6, 2023
Review by Doug Leach
I flew to Lucca to see Bob for what may be the last time. I had missed
the London Palladium show (due to covid) but was pleased my eldest
daughter took my place meaning all 3 of them have now seen Bob live.
Although no record breaker (this was my 51st concert) I now know that
from my first ( Earls Court 1978) until now (my last?) in the beautiful
city of Lucca , Bob has shaped my thinking, lifted my spirits and been
an ever present in my life since the age of 14.
I have seen him at his best, his worst, but always at his most
There is nobody who compares in terms of influence, intellect and
longevity. Nobody who has lived like a real Song and Dance man; a
My trip was simple. Visit a beautiful part of Italy to see my hero in
The open air setting at the Piazza Napoleone was a delight, the
atmosphere friendly and relaxed (like the city itself) and just a
In truth RARW is not my favourite album (sorry) but the shaping of the,
now well known, set list was a tribute to the man and his ability to
enliven songs, old and new, with a touch unique to his understanding of
the message and sound he wants to deliver.
As ever, he surrounds himself with superb musicians, intent on riding
the wave; but tonight like for much of this tour they performed without
the need of a Dylanesque surfboard and were as tight and polished as
could be. Bob’s voice fitted the mood, the tempo of the arrangements
and was as good as I have heard him for some while.
The random selection of “oldies” were treated to revisionist charm and
brought a doubling of applause when recognised.
To produce an evening of such joy without touching any of the “obvious“
great songs is, indeed, a measure of the man and his canon of work.
I guess I will not see him again, but to finish with EGOS and a
harmonica solo under the trees of a splendid Tuscan Piazza feels about
as appropriate as it can be.
Thank you Bob.
Review by Laurette Maillet
I decided for a night bus. Maybe a mistake.
As we have a stop over in the middle of the night. In the middle of
nowhere (in Genoa). All is dark and dead on that outside parking lot.
To be positive...it's not raining or cold😁
Second bus 20 minutes delayed after two hours of waiting.
Can't even sleep. Too afraid to miss the stop in Lucca at 3.30 AM.
I'm the only one stepping out. Either I'm the only crazy Dylan fan
either someone is... sleeping 😕
I take a walk in beautiful Lucca intercity. Under the full moon
The stage is already setup.
My AirBandB hosts agree to let me in at 6am.
That's a relief. I can take a shower, buy food in the closeby supermarket
and...take a nap.( From 10 to 1.) Then relax until 4pm when I start
walking to the Piazza Napoleone.
This time the streets are full of tourists. Not so nice😞
Meet with Irene then Svein and Monika.
We wave hi! to Tony passing by😘
Thanks to Evelyn for the ticket. I don't have to worry.
The seat is strange. And the setup even stranger ; first rows(front
stage), a construction with high seats in middle of the Piazza. More
rows of seats around, behind they put more rows of non-numeric
seats(one of mine) and finally a tribune with high seats.
I can't descently seat. I decide to stand on the side. The view of the
stage is partially obstructed( by the middle construction). I can see
Bob Britt, Donnie and Tony. I have hard time seeing Bob. Only at times,
when he stands behind his piano. So...I focus on the sound.
Of course, behind, the fans are not the most attentive; drinking and
I have to shush a kid totally drunk few times.
Bob starts the few first songs in a rush. He will start "Baby tonight"
before the Band is fully ready. And sung it in an "angry voice".
Nonetheless he will try a 'mille grazie" and few "thank you".
In front and here and there fans are responding gracefully. But the
music is lost in the dark staring sky.
I enjoy myself as I can dance and karaoke.
Not a song will truly impresses me.
Maybe "West LA fadeaway"..…
He's again losing his voice on "Mother of muses". A bit hard after the
As he is playing his harp on "Every grain of sand" there is a stage rush.
So he'll pick up the harp again and makes a great solo.
I push (a little bit) security control to arrive five rows in front of the
stage for the final salute.
Bob looks happy but....tired.
I watch him as he leaves the stage. Bent and slow. He must be exhausted by
now. As we are all , the followers 🤣
It was a great experience (again) in Lucca.
But as for the show itself...not the best.
I say thanks to Jason who doesn't seem happy. Maybe it was difficult to
adjust the sound in those conditions.
My fancy home permitided me to rest and recover for the final two shows.
Thanks to Evelyn and all good people.
See you in Perugia.
Another adventure 😀
Happy birthday Bob Russell 🎉🥳
Review by Francesco Spagna
*Á la Grand-Ourse* wrote Arthur Rimbaud of the nights spent on the
under the stars. The Big Dipper dominated the sky above the tops of the
great trees in Lucca's Piazza Napoleone. Great concert, powerful voice,
piano played with energy and precision, excellent accord with the band,
refined sound research, all songs perfectly delivered. The highlight
perhaps *I'll be your baby tonigh*, for the unique style of phrasing,
emotional and communicative charge. The long songs, such as *Crossing
Rubicon* and *Key West* seem to have, when heard live, a hypnotic power:
they make one lose the sense of time - while each verse is paced, takes
time, never rushed.
Poof. At the end the light goes out and the whole band on stage
into another dimension. Magic.
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