Rome, Italy

Cavea dell'Auditorium Parco della Musica
July 16, 2006

[Carsten Klemann], [Fernando Garcín]

Review by Carsten Klemann

In Rome everything seems to be easy in the beginning (Shelleys body was
buried here, his heart in Bournemouth). But if you believe, that you
easily can walk through Villa Borghese and some silent quarters to
Auditorium della Musica you may will be surprised. The best street stops
in the wilderness. In the auditorium, there are two skies: One over your
head and the plane working place for the musicians to your feet. A great
moment, when Dylan in white jacket and his band appears, the greatest I
remember. The audience enthusiastic. Maggies farm is close to the version
in Bournemouth, very clear and beautiful slow. A style close to the
refreshed “All along the watchtowe" at the end. Dylans voice has many
power in the beginning ­ then gets weaker sometimes, sounds dull here and
there. The godlike moments are those when it seems to dive from deep water
up in fresh air. In “Forever Young" or “The Times They´re Changing" the
voice seems to put away clothes, wants to show how young it can be,
glorious and beautiful naked. Guess he wanted to provoke singalong by
producing a long intermission between “may you stay forever young"
The same as in Bournemouth with “Just like a woman". The resonance in Rome
was much smaller, people wanted to listen. Dylan sang the refrain so full
of passion, that I always believed to get in Planet Waves or Last Waltz.
But then followed that incomparable and weak and sharp "yeaaang". “Mr.
Tambourine man"´s lines were clustered in an artifcial way, monotonous as
if the song should become a club hit. Dissapointing the moments, when he
seems to believe that only senseless acrobatic can give some songs a new
thrill ­ or may he hadn´t a good idea for them. The band rocky, not so
country touched as in Bournemouth. The best song began indifferent, a bit
boring: “It´s allright Ma, I´m only bleeding". If I had known, what will
happen!! The best version I´ve ever heard except of the original. The game
with rythms and fine modulations of pronunciations, not vain at all, that
climbing from the ground to many tops, step by step taking you with, that
minimalistic sound-paintings with the violin and light-footet dances of
melodies let me flow over the arena. Not so orchestral, but very
remarkable too: Visions of Johanna. Dylan reduced the expressions of his
voice, and used it very concentrated, not hymnical but like bringing out
heavy thoughts in the moment they appear. A funny moment when a young
woman ran very fast over the stage, in a black dress with a red scarf. She
laid flowers on his piano, may some kind of box too, very cautious, and
wanted to go away, but the security caught her. Dylan played on without
any reaction. Later, when he shut his fists in the hot night he seemed to
be very happy and said something about “summer feelings". Im sure, he
didn´t forget that girl soon.


Review by Fernando Garcín

Rome on a Sunday. A summer day. Heat, so much heat… After two days in 
Rome, walking under a blistering sun, breathing only in the shade, searching for 
the next fountain to refresh our heads, our hands… Sunday and a bus that goes 
thru Valle Aurelia beyond Flaminio… Giordano Bruno had left word for us that we 
could find fields of joy and water and even mercy… Yes, the bus runs fast to 
Parco de la Musica, the beautiful area where La Cavea, a beautiful small 
amphitheatre, is located… People 20, 30, 40, 50 years old come all together, as 
if Dylan was achieving a true transfer of generations, the young ones learning 
from him and the old ones… The last mission for the new age… La Cavea… A 
perfect stage without doors; the band went onto it thru the same way we 
entered… Almost 9:30 p.m. and Bob and his band suddenly appeared from the 
shadows… Maggie's Farm rocking one more time… Initially, the set list was the 
same one Dylan had used in the great show he had offered in my hometown, 
Valencia, Spain, only 9 days before… I will always remember the way Dylan 
smiled that night and how he moved all the time, how the awkward little 
gestures he mades with his hands "talked" to us, and the way he looking to 
the audience… Well. Now it was Rome… The Times They Are A-Changing -good 
sound, good voice, though his voice was better in Valencia… Down Along The 
Cove getting the blues… Mr Tambourine Man with the new slow arrangement, 
an interesting phrasing in the stanzas, short rhythm beats of harp at the end… 
It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) a great performance for this tour, just like the 
year before… The set changed from the Valencia one when Don't Think Twice, 
It's All Right appeared with a country swing and people began to stand up and 
dance… Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum is not a song I like so much and it is easy 
to miss the original guitar riffs in live performances -the guitars are sometimes the 
low point of this tour, this band- … Then New Morning, one of the highlights of 
the night, I enjoyed the intro and the way Dylan sings and plays the organ taking 
the song and the band back to the original, but it now sounds as it might have 
been a basement tape… Another great song came next: Just like Tom Thumb's 
Blues, almost a highlight like in Valencia, when Dylan sang it as if he were walking 
around Desolation Row and established an interesting dialogue between his harp 
notes and the organ and the rest of the band… Really well sung… Another 
highlight was yet to come: Forever Young… It was a surprise to me, but Dylan 
sang it with such feeling, so deeply and full of wisdom… Phrasing the words like 
bullets… It was the troubadour, his voice, mouthing the words the way just how 
it has to be and ending with a sweet beautiful harp. I really loved that… People 
were really in the mood now -since New Morning - and it was so hard to remain 
seated… Couples began to dance and sing and cry when Highway 61 began to 
sound… Rock'n'roll, that's all, that's everything…. Everything?...  No. Dylan made 
a brief visit to the shadows at the rear of the stage, for some refreshment, and 
came back to sing his masterpiece Visions of Johanna… I think someone close to 
me couldn't believe it, and couldn't help but cry… Every word was "the" word, 
every silence was the music… Blonde on blonde in Rome… Sometimes I feel 
Valencia -smaller- is just like Rome… the streets, the atmosphere, chaos, weather, 
colours, sounds, streets, people… a way of life… You feel at home, saved… Mona
Lisa musta had the highway blues… Everything was changing while everything 
remained the same… When they played Summer Days, more couples danced 
again… Bob and the band didn't leave the stage… They must have been talking
in the shadows, taking a breath, chatting at the stage corner … Everybody was 
waiting for more… The encores were the same ones of the last years shows…
Like a Rolling Stone sounded really great and Bob sang it with energy and a special 
delivery… I loved LARS in Valencia, his phrasing, playing with words, leaving silences 
and throwing off the last words in that style of phrasing so dylanesque… you… got… 
no…. secrets… to… conceeaal,  … Here it was great too… While he was singing the 
4th line, some guy from the audience managed to get up on stage and started
dancing like a fool… Security rushed to take him away quickly, and Bob sang 
something like "don't use so much force" -I' m not sure, I think he added those 
words to the stanza… Later, as Dylan got to the second stanza, a woman got on 
stage again trying to give something (red) to Dylan… Bob had to stop for a second 
before the woman was taken away -just a few words- and he kept on singing… It 
was the most foolish LARS I have seen in recent years but it was a great delivery 
however and people were singing and dancing far from their seats… All Along The 
Watchtower closed the show and Dylan and the band stayed there standing for a 
while in front of the audience… Bob had to stop when he was trying to get out 
-maybe someone wanted one of his harps or just a word… Rome has no time and 
the summer night never ends…  Fruits and beers at the end of the line, where the 
bus says you hello and goodbye… You knew that we would meet again if your 
memory serves you well… 

Fernando Garcín


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