Athens, Greece

Terra Vibe Park

June 23, 2014

[Andrea Orlandi], [Jonathan Duitch], [Joe Kapa]

Review by Andrea Orlandi

Just got back in the hotel from Terra Vibe Park
What can I say? Mr Dylan has switch Gear One more time leaving speechless
the Greek audience and shutting up all the soon to become non believers
that started their boring claims since last year A First advise was in
Thessaloniki... But tonight he was in full force , not only For upsiding
down the entire set List, but changing the arrangements from their roots
That was the difference tonight with Rome 2013: completely
differentarrangements of old song, already played in millions different
ways, and now a plus One million My humble guess is that the spirit of the
new sound for old songs, comes directly from recent studio recordings with
his band on New songs. Could be wrong, but I have no memory of a show with
all together : Shelter from the storm Desolation row Visions of Joahanna.
 But neither the 2 last together!
For sure I have never attended a show with them together, and what a
marvelous performance for both, among the best ever and for Visions a good
contender for the best ever Another note: things started to be intriguing
with Huck's tune, but Then I noticed a very nervous Bob who Walked back
and forth to backstage, leaving the band alone Then I realized that behind
there was Kramer (not present at the others First shows) and that Bob was
discussing with him: the songs selections? I guess so, Kramer has
obviously a big impact on Dylan work, having been his manager for 24 years
or so, but never saw the two having a talk after every ending song, before
Bob went to the Band to tell them what to play


Review by Jonathan Duitch

I am home in Jerusalem after two nights in Greece. A tale of two shows.
Saloniki was what I expected, a solid performance, some timing issues with
the band on Love Sick and Summer Days, but an enjoyable show with a crowd
that was polite but not overly enthusiastic. Now comes Terra Vibe and I am
fearing a huge number of rowdy people and instead, a mellow picnic
atmosphere with about forty people running along with me to the rail.  I
believe by showtime there were maybe 3000 people, similar to Saloniki
crowd I estimate.  Much has been noted about Bob's facial expressions
towards the band in Salonika and from outside the venue it was apparent
that the sound check was of songs that were not played the night before..
But who would have thunk????  As showtime approached it looked like the
taped set list had lots of variations (as seen from the railing) and it also 
appeared to be replaced a few minutes before the show, or updated!!!
Placement of the chords for Bob's mike at center stage had him moving and
kicking it and staring at the sound board for the first couple of songs. I
sensed that we were in for trouble but it turned out to be the finest show
in recent memory.  Reading the set list does not do justice to the vocals 
and the fly by the seat of your pants stance that the band took as they 
hung on to ever nuance from Bob as he sat at the piano and expected
them to follow.  It took three verses before everyone was on board for the
chord pattern of Shelter From The Storm, but the vocals were intense and
heartfelt and we must listen to a tape (please I hope someone recorded
the show) to determine how many verses, but I think almost all were sung.
Ditto to Visions of Johanna and Desolation Row.  I could go on and on but
suffice to say hearing Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum might have been the
finest "new song" I have ever heard. What I mean is the arrangement was
so dramatic that even Charlie's signature tasty lead lick sounded new,
but familiar.  Really hard to fairly describe what we experienced last night. 
I thought Bob was going to choke George during Summer Days , but 
at the same time he allowed Stu to rock out and even though it was 
probably because the band missed a cue, it really made for a nice set of
jams. Donny was on all night and he was grinning at Bob as he was trying 
to keep up with him. Tony was back to his old never ending tour position, 
watching Bob like an eagle and trying to cue everyone else. They were all 
leaning into Bob and someone earlier posted that perhaps he was putting 
the band through this on purpose, I think in a non perverse way they are 
right.  It was almost like "so you wanna play, o.k. follow me and see if you 
can catch up"!  But again the vocals were spot on.  As always I feel very 
blessed that I could attend these shows.

More about the crowd, they were loud and enthusiastic at the start and
end of each song or harmonica solo and they kept up the cheering .  I think
they played a key role, it was almost like when Bob grimaced at the band,
they were redeemed by a huge amount of love.  Of course after the show I
heard a few people mumbling about how come Bob didn't say anything to 
the crowd or introduce the band.  I just said good luck....


Review by Joe Kapa

What can I say about the concert last night ?

I have been a Bob Dylan fan for far too long.  Have followed him ever
since my teens. I have seen him play a number of times, both in Greece and
overseas. Every Dylan fan knows that in concert, Dylan doesn't come to
you, you go to Dylan. But yesterday he put up a prison wall, followed by a
several barbed wire fences, laced with electricity.  You couldn't get into
it no matter how much you tried.

From the get go, it was obvious that something was bothering him.  As soon
as he sat on the piano (he was on center stage no more than three
minutes), he was signaling about his mic, fumbling with his seat etc.

He cut songs short (Visions of Johanna), he sang with his head resting on
his hand, as if ready to fall asleep, got up numerous times and walked off
stage mid song.  Went searching for his harmonicas.  Gave PISS POOR
harmonica solo's. Even die hard fans like me, were disappointed.  This was
more like a sound check, than a concert.  He wanted out of there as soon
as possible.

To the songs.  Apart from a handful, the rest were dreadful.  How on earth
can you take a song like "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum" and turn it from
having a driving rhythm, to a piss poor ballad, is beyond me. I
understand, and have seen him rearrange his material.  That is a given at
a Dylan concert.  It's what makes them work.  However his heart just
wasn't into it.  Lazy playing, lazy singing, lazy arrangements.

As for the band.  They seemed dumbfounded.  Hanging off his every breath.
 Why have all these crack shot players, when they are not given the chance
to shine ?  Bob had them chained to the ground, like a pack of junk yard
dogs.  Charlie Sexton barley played a solo, and didn't move all but a
couple of feet from where he was standing.

Dylan seemed completely out of it.  Walking on and off the stage, with his
usual arrogant swagger.  Is this "art" ?  Is this "a show" ?

I don't mind arrogance, if one has earned it.  Yesterday Dylan wasn't
worth the paper the ticket was printed on.

There were cheers from the fanatics.  There was a stunned silence from
others.  And there was a tinge of anger from others.  I don't know if he
understands any Greek, but you heard people shout out "Play, you f%&^*ing

Anyway.  Generally he made us feel like fools.  And in a country, and city
that is facing hard economic times, any concert from a foreign act is a
luxury.  Having Dylan more or less stick up his middle finger to the
audience, is an insult.

from Joe Kapa


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