Tokyo Garden Theater
April 14, 2023
Review by D. and Mademoiselle Lili
One day off between shows.
The biggest gig in town wasn't Eric Clapton at the Budokan, it was Tokyo
Bob performing at Polka Dots Bar, the only Bob Dylan bar in Tokyo. Coolest
place with the coolest music, a must if you ever visit Japan.
Tonight's show was such fun. Bob was really happy and very energetic.
"Well, thank you" after an excellent False prophet. Beautiful harp on
Masterpiece, perfect Black rider, perfect Own Version, lots of cheering
after an entertaining "I'll be your baby" "Thank you Baby Lovers, I'm a
baby lover too"
Rubicon was perfect, a long instrumental in the middle of "to be alone
with you", "Key west" was key west, it just keeps on getting better.
The crowd loved "serve somebody", big standing ovation afterwards.
What we were waiting for was song 14, would it be "Truckin' " again? Or
maybe revisit "friend of the devil" ?...of course not, how could anyone
have guessed "Broke down Palace"
The song started very quietly, and it was far from instantly recognisable.
Bob was searching for the rhythm of the song and the band closed in around
him, it was beautiful to watch and to experience but the audio won't do it
justice. I guess you just had to be there. They seemed to lose the song at
the end. Bob Tony and Donnie conferred, Tony removed his bass and picked
up his stand up bass, Bob said with a smile something like " Sorry about
that, I thought I knew that song" before effortlessly launching into a
surprising " Melancholy mood".
The band introduction after "mother of muses" was as funny as ever.
"Doug was in the musical Tommy, he had a staring role. He left to be in
this band, he thought it was a better band" -Bob laughs "Bob Britt was in
Colombo" "Tony Garnier, I don't have to tell you about him, he's been here
with me before, lots of times, I hope we will come back"
Amazing harp to end "every grain of sand"
No center stage except to say goodbye.
Black suit, white shirt and a happy Bob, what a blessing again.
Review by Masaki Minonishi
Third Tokyo show. I couldn't attend the first two, so this is my third
show of the Japan tour. After the beautiful festival hall, the Tokyo
Garden Theater looked modern, but didn't have the warmth of a theater.
As matter of fact it's more like an arena, not so suitable place for
this "The Rough and Rowdy Way tour" show, and strangely the light on
the floor didn't go out completely even after show started, but as long
as there's Bob and the band, it wasn't a big problem.
The show started with a strong "Watching The River Flow" and it seems
the band got better after Osaka. The songs that followed were all
impressive, but it was during "My Own Version of You" that it went to
the next level, as if Bob and the band shifted gears, and every song
played after that was phenomenal. It seemed like Bob was feeling that too,
since he had a smile on his face as he played.
After the beautiful "I've Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You" I
could feel the audience holding there breath since everyone knew he played
"Truckin'" last night. It turned out to be "Brokedown Palace",
another Grateful Dead song which most of the Japanese audience couldn't
respond. It didn't sound like it was rehearsed and was far from perfect,
but that imperfection of the performance in itself gave the song a beauty.
But Bob wasn't satisfied with the result and they switched into
"Melancholy Mood" which was done perfectly.
After that it was the same set list but the incident didn't hurt the
performance and it was phenomenal again till the last note of "Every
Grain of Sand". I'm so satisfied tonight but I'm hoping they will
get better during the shows I can attend during this tour.
Bob talked about Doug Lancio was in the musical Tommy but came to his band
since he thought it was a better band, and Bob Britt was in the show
Colombo again, and said something like Tony was here with him before, lots
of times, and hope we come back.
Like I said, every song after "My Own Version of You" was phenomenal,
but some memorable moments tonight were,
When I Paint My Masterpiece - The harmonica he played on this song was
uplifting and fun.
My Own Version Of You - Like I said, I felt that the show went to the next
level from this song on. Bob's singing was so fierce he really seemed
like he brought his creation to life at the end of the song.
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight - Bob's singing was sexy on this song
Key West - Tonight I come to realize how rich and beautiful this song is
melodically, and it got better and better as the song progressed.
Gotta Serve Somebody - It was good at the third Osaka show, but tonight it
was better and the audience loved it too since they went nuts with this
one, and a standing ovation followed.
I've Made Up My Mind to Give Myself to You - Such a beautiful song and
Bob seemed to be smiling as he stretched out the words, and looked so
happy to sing it to us.
Brokedown Palace - Melancholy Mood - I couldn't figure out the song but
Bob sang it really carefully and we could make out the words and it was
beautiful. But it looks like it didn't go so well and Bob called Tony
and he changed to standup bass and Bob said something like "I though I
(or you) knew the song" and went in to "Melancholy Mood" which was
done perfectly. Such a thrilling incident.
Goodbye Jimmy Reed - This one got better and better with every verse,
Every Grain of Sand - This was sung with grace and dignity with a great
piano solo in the middle. But as if that wasn't enough he finished it
with a long and emotional harmonica solo. A perfect ending.
The meeting after the show was fun as always!! Thanks to the ones who were
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