Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Koninklijk Theater Carre

November 5, 2015

[LC Barnard], [Martin van Hees]

Review by LC Barnard

Thursday was my 38th Bob show and I must admit I was very much looking
forward to it, especially given the fact that Carre is a splendid,
intimate venue. No checking of bags, just very friendly and relaxed staff.
The audience was a bit more "mature" than at other doubt the
eye watering ticket prices played a role. But what the hell, I'll stand in
line. As did many of Amsterdam's elite: saw a famous actress chatting to a
TV news couple in row 9. Anyway, I was as close to the stage as I've been
in years, so off to a good start.

So was Bob and the band, Things Have Changed as per usual, followed by a
strong She Belongs to Me, with the insistent drumming that so transformed
this song. Bob on piano for Beyond Here Lies Nothing (lot of leg tapping
too!) and audience applause at the start of What'll I Do. (It was
noticeable that the "Sinatra" songs all drew applause during the opening
notes from the audience.)

The appreciative crowd liked Duquesne Whistle (with Bob again on piano),
but Melancholy Mood was a bit so-so, before Bob rounded up the first set
with Pay In Blood, I'm A Fool to Want You, and Tangled Up In Blue (with
the changes in lyrics that have become a standard on this song).

I felt that the second set was a bit low energy at first, but could be
wrong: I was up at 5 am and was probably just getting tired :-) It ended
strongly though, with Long and Wasted Years (very powerful and chilling),
and Autumn Leaves saw some of the best singing by Bob in many years. Waves
of applause afterwards and a standing ovation.

Solid encores, Blowin and Love Sick. Great evening and looking forward to


Review by Martin van Hees

Dylan in Amsterdam always is a treat, and for the first time in this
wonderful venue. Much has been said about the set list not changing very
much the last few months and this was indeed to be confirmed - the exact
same songs in the exact same order as in Eindhoven two days earlier. As
has also been remarked before, the loss of surprise was balanced by a
tight and focused concert. Even when you have kept apace with this year's
tour and thus are not surprised by the performances or arrangements of say
Things Have Changed, She Belongs to Me or Tangled up in Blue, it is of
course an entirely different thing to see and hear these wonderful songs
performed live - this itself made it worth the evening. But yet on my list
of Dylan concerts attended, this one clearly belongs to the lower ranks.
The reason for this are the "Sinatra-songs". Of course, when the album
came out we all applauded the fact that he once again managed to surprise
us, just like we respect the boldness of letting these songs now take up
roughly one third of a concert or appreciate the symbolism of doing covers
at this stage in his career. But that does not yet mean that we enjoy the
songs themselves. Despite Dylan's obvious commitment to them, and the care
and tenderness with which he performs them, I find them to be simply a bit
of a bore. Lyrically they are not very interesting, and they deviate in
pace so much from the other songs that the concert never gets into a
proper flow. Combine this with the distracting efforts to prevent people
making pictures (fake mikes to hide his face, bad stage lighting, wardens
flash-lighting the audience), and the result is a somewhat disappointing
Dylan concert.


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