Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki Harbour

June 22, 2014

[Matt Ramige]

Review by Matt Ramige

As a prelude I should mention that I may have mixed up the correct
sequencing  of the songs. But it should be fairly close.

We were greeted with a chime and out came the band to open yet 
another show with Things Have Changed. Standard fair here to say the 
least. She Belongs To Me trumped the opener as anticipated (but I 
suppose that's not saying very much). I do like the current take on this 
one which is heavy on the guitars, harp and beat. Next up (of course) 
was a surprisingly nimble Beyond Here Lies Nothin'. A bit lighter than 
what I remember from last spring (2013). I think I prefer it this way. 
Cool song but I wouldn't call it a favorite. Pretty nice job here and 
better than expected from this song. Tangled Up In Blue followed and 
again pretty/very nicely done. The never-ending story that we all share. 
Out in the wilderness? And then someone left a town. Next up was the 
thriller Pay In Blood. Smooth and seriously groovy. In fact, as good (if not 
better) as I remember my favorite versions with Duke being. I absolutely 
loved it. The quirky Duquesne Whistle followed and again everything was 
moving along nicely. A latter-day Dylan shuffle with a twist. Just plain fun 
to watch this one. It had a cool, laid back vocal. Nothing forced. Love 
Sick was next. I believe Charlie took a decent solo midway through. 
Nothing exceptional that I recall but nothing was off either. A tad longer 
than how I remember this one. Summer Days was a bit of a surprise 
(though it was soundchecked pre-show). I got the feeling it was played 
more or less unrehearsed. It had sort of a stripped down arrangement
and again kind of a laid back groove which I liked. Tony on upright as 
always. High Water (featuring Donnie on banjo) followed up. I think this 
song is always good these days. One that really stands out from memory 
was in Johnstown, PA a few years back. As a matter of fact this show 
(Thessaloniki) probably wasn't quite up to that level. But it is hard to 
compare. A brief unaccompanied harp interlude led into Simple Twist Of 
Fate next which I guess was a pretty standard performance. Though 
nicely played as I recall. Early Roman Kings took a little time to get going 
unlike what I remember with Duke. Bob seemed to sing the song so 
well at those shows. Not that this version was a dud. Certainly not. Here 
the band eventually stretched it out in a manner that was new to me. 
Kind of a pause and then sustained guitars together. I'm not sure if they 
normally play it this way now or if it was something improvised. Anyway, 
the song came together for me when Charlie (mostly) got into that. 
Next up, I believe, was Forgetful Heart - which I think always sounds 
about the same. Good but more or less predictable in my opinion. Hard 
Rain followed which I think is a bit of a challenge for Bob. All those damn 
words and verses to get across. But I seriously always love the effort! 
And I mean that. Really from the heart was the feeling I was getting. So 
many classics. Soon After Midnight didn't leave much of an impression on 
me for after that. I think this one's kind of rote as well. Next up was 
them Long And Wasted Years which in my opinion was/is a little too 
forced. I get the idea of this as set closer but I don't need to be appealed
to through entertainment alone. All that gesturing. I guess I'm not a big 
fan of that very heavy vocal delivery either. I wasn't surprised though as 
this song is very overrated in my opinion. Watchtower/Blowin' In The 
Wind were the usual encore songs played very nicely as one would expect.

On a personal note, overall just great to be back "on tour" with great 
company and always a pleasure meeting European fans. I guess I picked 
up right where I left off. Thanks.


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