Verona, Italy

Anfiteatro Arena di Verona

April 27, 2018

[Neil], [Claudio Manara], [Laurette Maillet]

Review by Neil

What a difference a year makes, as Dinah Washington once nearly sang.

The final night of the 2018 European tour in Verona provided a shocking
departure from the last time I saw Dylan, during his May 2017 UK tour. The
arrangement of almost every song has been significantly re-tooled; in fact
Dylan has wielded the monkey wrench to such an extent that some of these
feel like completely different songs. I find it astounding that so deep
into his career Bob can still so comprehensively challenge his audience.
As the spectacle unfolded under a very warm Veronese sky it almost felt
like an anti-concert: uncle Bob, like some fiercely independent waiter,
here to take away the original songs from the audience's table as much as
to deliver the new versions. Despite being the end of the tour, his voice
was in fine condition, capable of nuances and hairpin turns which up to a
up to a few years ago seemed to have been lost. Sitting in the middle of
row 3 dead centre on the floor, I was afforded good visibility, not least
because there was a gap of at least 50 feet from the front row to the
relatively high stage, the stage configuration bemusingly providing a pit
for a non-existent orchestra. The band had that end of tour tightness,
even with the new arrangements, which was a joy to listen to. Even after
all these years I still look to Tony Garnier's facial expressions of
understated delight to confirm what my ears are telling me, the band and
Bob are pulling off everything which they are attempting.

When this date was announced as the Tour closer, I knew I had to be here,
and I'm so glad I was. After a lifetime of being immersed in Bob Dylan's
art, tonight confirmed that I still don't really know him.



Review by Claudio Manara

This night should soon be chronicled onto a record! I finally realized that, 
unlike the typical expectations of setlist variations, digging deeply into each 
song of this unchanged list, the band is performing a unique art in progress. 
Now I can say that I really love this bunch of songs even the unlovable 
Things have changed finally recognized as a surrender to the world of 
disappointment, it was enriched with a bumping rhythm with stop and go 
to stress the last verses. Don’t think twice has a distinct piano work in the 
intro. Hiway61 just perfectly sung in loud and clear voice. Simple twist of 
fate still has some changing in words like the parallel story Tangled up in 
blue that was transformed in an obscure blues like a swing between two 
notes, a door that opens and closes and cancels any way of chorus.. The 
gems are: trying to get to Heaven - huge melody and emotionally sung, 
pay in blood - more straight and naked, thunder on the mountain, 
definitely renewed in twist, desolation row is a syncopated story with 
musical improvisations. The traditional songs (melancholy mood-come 
rain or come shine-autumn leaves) create an intensity, a suspension 
break in the act. The show is now perfect! This needs to be in a record! 
As I walk the street to my room I watched the band black bus running 
on the speedway out of Verona, it was written ‘beat the street’ 
...indeed this band knows how to beat it!!

Claudio Manara


Comments by Laurette Maillet

And the final of great expectation..... Verona 27th of April. Why great
expectation? Because Bob Dylan strated to play in Italy the first time in
Verona 1984. This is the last show of the Tour. Many Bobcats will gather
from all around Europe but also few from the States. Want some names? I
know all of them by "face". Some are trully Friends, some aquaintances,
some.... The venue is exceptional; an antique Roman Arena, circular, open
air, made of stones. The old city is marvellous but packed with tourists.
We arrive on time with Simon from Lido de Jesolo. On time to see Bob in
his hoodie for the first time. He seems relaxed. Little Pierre would like
an autograph but... I walk and walk and stop walking. It is hot and dry.
We walk in. It is huge. I talk to some Friends and take my final seat;
10th row on the right side. It is a great show but nothing exceptional for
a final! A final? Goodbye or Farewell! Cordialement Mme Maillet


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