Vienna, Austria

Vienna Stadthalle, Halle D

April 16, 2018

[Coenraad Botha], [Laurette Maillet]

Review by Coenraad Botha

Vienna was overcast with Sahara dust covering the city in a thin layer of
sand. In the usual fashion groups of people move quietly towards the
Stadthalle. Outside a busker is doing a good mid-sixties Dylan

Stadthalle is full. Dylan’s band start absolutely punctual. From the
warm up it sounds like these guys have not played together in years. This
is a trick that will be used at the start of each song. Until the song
finds its direction and storms forward in a tight structure.

The new age Dylan anthem “Things Have Changed” kicks of procedures and
sets the tone for the evening. Dylan standing behind the piano pounding
rock riffs. The band tight. The sound is good. The song fantastic. And
fully unrecognizable.

Dylan drives his concert as a history lesson of American music. Boogie
woogie, country waltz, blues rock, Chicago blues. Various songs adapted to
the specific genre. Often with lovely surprises. Interspersed with a few
Sinatra style songs. A lovely rhythm to the concert. Even a Dylan song
amongst the genres (this time Desolation Row, a wonderful time travel to
the sixties).

The audience enjoys every minute. (One needs to understand the Viennese
audience as a quiet, passive but appreciative crowd). Spontaneous applause
greets the first notes of Melancholy Mood, a sign that the crowd did not
expect the busker outside.

My favorites, a deep blues groove on Roman Kings (Charlie on his Gibson),
a beautiful Desolation Row, a fully unrecognizable Tangled.. Thunder On
The Mountain with (Charlie on a Telecaster), a beautiful Blowin’ and a
final spurt on Thin Man (Charlie now on a Strat) and the most beautiful
piano riffs from his Bobness.

What a pleasure, what an honor to see this living monument do what he

The crowd disperses, satisfied. Outside in the Sahara dust is a guy
singing some Dylan songs in a strange sounding voice. No-one sings Dylan
like Dylan…

Coenraad Botha


Review by Laurette Maillet

From Brno I travel with Ian and Magna on a slow train.
I am loaded with 3 cups of coffee! 
We separate at the main station. I go on until Meidling Bahnhof, catch a
bus and arrive at Raffael's house, my Couchsurfing host. Just time to
figure out where is the venue and I move on with metro U6. I will sure
know a lot about those trains, metros, buses all over Europe. The
venue...I know. I've been here before. Huge sport Arena. What a change
from those Opera houses in Spain! I have a better chance for a ticket but
the atmosphere is different. The capacity should be aroud 6 000! The sound
is not always perfect, as for the view....I just figured out when Bob was
center stage, I couldn't see his .... head. Blocked by a light spot! I had
a great chance tonignt. Many scalpers were trying to make some bucks.
After 2 hours of search I was still without ticket when a man seemed to be
desperate. He wants to sell an extra for 100€, but the show is already
on and the scalpers still trying to sell some left overs. Finally he asks
me 20€, which is reasonable. We rush inside, climbing all the way up on
the third balcony (no stage rush for me tonight!). Bob and the Band are
finishing "Don't think twice". The sound is not the best from up here and
Bobby's head is cut off every time he is  center stage, holding on his
two mikes now, his legs static. No hat tonight. His fluffy hair in the
wild. From the distance he is the Bobby of the 60's, particularly on
"Highway 61" and "Thunder", the most Rock and Roll of all. Again "come
rain or come shine", center stage. No other change. No surprise. No big
reaction from the public, except on "Thunder". "Desolation row " is not
recognised before the words ... Desolation Row. No clapping (except me!).
Nice show but not exceptional and for me just average. I'm spoiled! I get
confused with the tram and metro but manage to be in bed around 11p.m. The
show started 7.30p.m and lasted one hour and 40 minutes. Raffael, a little
bit sarcastic, said he thought Bob Dylan was dead. When he looks at my
angry face, he says he was mistaken with Bob Marley. It doesn't make me
more happy as Marley was my second Bobby love! My dreams are
nightmares;trains, buses, metros, scalpers, tickets...... Hopefully Bobby
had a better night, maybe flying to Leipzig??! See you soon!


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