Rome, Italy
Sala Santa Celia
Auditorium Parco della Musica

July 9, 2023

[Claudio Manara], [Laurette Maillet], [Paul Backert], [Sven Lewandowski]

Review by Claudio Manara

I’m one of the lucky people who were at this show. I grabbed the 
ticket for one of the front rows 4 months ago and don’t regret.
Since 1986 I’ve been going to Bob’s concerts here and there in 
Europe and finally here’s a show cleaned from the weight of the 
obvious songs.

Songs from RARW have been sung in a slightly raw style but with 
a deeper mood. Especially the blues ones (False Prophet/jimmy 
Reed/Rubicon) don’t have those repetitive riffs but they grow
along the voice in a slow complicated amalgama. The guitars of 
Bob, Doug and Donnie are always weaving an infinite web of notes 
and the piano fills each open space with a touch of originality. 
I had only found a hard listening to the drums that give 
sometimes too much of a rhythm.

Gorgeous renditions of old tracks such as gotta serve somebody 
and Ill be your baby tonight just give a break through the 
musical journey and rough poetry of the new songs. When I paint 
my masterpiece is again sung in Rome the exact place where it
was imagined. It starts in the known way and it finishes like 
a waltz. 

Surprise track of the evening: only a river by Bob Weir. Maybe 
there’s a river theme on this  tour (this song, crossing the 
rubicon, watching the river flows opening track and the other 
song recently picked in the dead basket: brokedown palace!). 
Then, of course, TRUCKIN’! The ghost of Jerry garcia seemed to 
hang over the stage. What a stunning and powerful singing and 
playing. The lyrics suits perfect for a travelin band in a 3 
years world wide tour: sometimes the lights are shinin’ on me, 
other times i can barely see…! Bob sings the fast verses 
without even a doubt. Perfect shape for a stage!

The highest peak is Key West, a song that leaves a very bitter 
taste, a point of no return, under the horizon! This show is 
like a theatre drama with many confessions and bitter thoughts 
on the mistery of life.  

Every grain of sand is the grand finale for this unforgettable 
show. Indeed it was a great fishing among the early pearls. 
19 songs set and never a shadow of boredom.

Claudio Manara 
Rome, Italy


Review by Laurette Maillet

Rome final destination.
It was a nice ride on FLIXBUS from Perugia to Rome. My AirBandB 
is on the other side of Rome. I pay 1.50€ for a 'tourist tour'. 
Rome is heavy of traffic and heat.
My booking is a mixed of Airbnb and hostel.
I share a room with the owner then with other guests. The 
apartment is next to a large traffic road. The noise is 
intolerable. And probably the pollution. The italiens have few 
notions of ecology. Hardly ride a bike. The planet is in danger!
Anyway I decide to stay home and relax.
July 9th.
The temperature will reach 37°C. I won't visit Rome. I've been 
here many times.
I need a ticket for the show. It doesn't seem easy. The venue 
is small and when I checked the website...sold out.
I checked again early afternoon and two sections on left and 
right of the stage are open.
I don't know about the visibility but I buy myself a ticket and 
then another one for a fan I know.
By 3pm I take a metro then walk to the venue.
The structure is weird , so the area. Nothing is happening. I 
walk around and find an ice cream parlor. My first real Italian 
ice cream.
Later on I meet with Uli and we have a drink in a cool AC bar.
The show tonight will be at 7.30pm. Don't know why!
Many Bobcats gathered for that last show but I want to focus on 
the show( could be the last least for me) and avoid the 
confusion of too many crazy behaviors from people I know or 
believe I know.
Just say goodbye to my good friends from Australia. Dedicated 
but discreet 😘
The seat is incredibly located. Up on a gallery, far left of 
the stage. Uli and I have a clear view on the piano. So close!
It's even closer than the first row on the floor.
I stand up by the rail. I want to enjoy myself. Forget about 
the public 😁
I see the Band and Bob walking to the stage from behind. Bob 
I see his hands on the piano for the first two songs when he
sits and plays.
Drinking from a cup between the songs.
The sound is great.
The view perfect.
I see Bob's face.... Getting old!
His back is bent in a black embroidered suit. Black pants with 
white straps.
White flat shoes.
His hands moving diligently on the keys.
At times only his right hand playing, the left hand on the top 
of the piano.
He's shifting his paper lyrics in between the songs. I don't see 
him actually reading much.
I karaoke each song. Noone in front of me and no one behind. By 
a miracle, that seat is perfect!
Bob says "thank you Ladies and gentlemen" but nothing in Italian.
Public is warm. But truly I feel like Bob and the Band are 
playing for me, even though they NEVER look at me. 
After "I've made up my mind to give myself to you" I see Bob 
turning to Tony, then Doug moving to Tony. That will be "That 
old black magic".
Then they start a new song. I hear shanandoah shanandoah...but 
the name is "Only a river" by Bob Weir. Another reference to 
Dead heads.
As I'm ready for "Mother of muses" I see Bob turning to Tony who 
rapidly scrolls a proptor in front of him.
They jump in a long and heavy Rock and Roll tune.
"Truckin'" another Dead song.
I'm on fire , so is the audience. 
They Rock the casbah!😁
Two extra songs. No error🤣🤣🤣
They could have been Dylan songs. But he decided to cover...the 
"Mother of muses" cool of the atmosphere before "Jimmy reed".
And the permanent "Grain of sand"
I can see a box of 5 harps on the right side of Bob on the piano. 
He will pick one. And....
The entire floor is moving towards the stage. A stage rush that 
will make Eric panics. I see him pushing back a young kid trying 
to move on to the stage.
But Bob and the Band are happy. Tony can't stop smiling. As he 
looks up at me for the salute...I wave my hands! 
I see now that Bob is wearing a yellow shirt 🤣
He joins his hands in a "thankful" salute!
It will take so long to have the lights on that we believe he 
will come back. But they already pack the guitars and all....
Bye bye Bobby 😙
That was my best show of the Tour.
A great final😍


Review by Paul Backert

What a concert! It was my Dylan concert #29 (the first in 1981) 
and I consider it as among the best at all, maybe even the best.
Before the concert I didn‘t think that could happen.
Dylan was in such an engaged mood from the first song to the last 
Anyway the highlight for me was "Only A River", a variation of 
"Shenandoah" by Bob Weir.
During the last songs at least half of the audience did rise and 
wanted to get in front of the scene.
Jerry Pentecoste, maybe the best Dylan drummer ever did a 
tremendous job.
As did the 2 guitarists, Bob Britt and Doug Lancio and of course 
the all time backbone since 1988 Tony Garnier.
To find a better band than this one should be extremely difficult.
Probably they wished, as me, it wasn‘t Bob's last concert.

Paul M. Backert


Review by Sven Lewandowski

Most of the time his voice was upfront in the mix but there's no 
way to deny that he was struggling and at times unable to control 
his voice. But they band played great and having an outstanding 
guitarist surely help. Like so many times before the guitarist's 
great playing an especially his soloing not only saved the show 
but turned it into a very pleasant experience. The crowd was 
enthusiastic, and the venue was great. The show also featured 
some great covers. Once again, I was surprised how good the show 
was. But enough of Guns'n'Roses at Circo Massimo on Saturday.
Sala Santa Celia Auditorium at Parco della Musica is a very nice 
modern concert hall designed for classical music. I've seen Dylan 
before at this venue in 2018. This time I wasn't in the front 
rows like usual but on the Gallery Uno, someway close to the 
middle. A very good seat with perfect view but with rather bad 
sound, as it turned out. Well, I just made up my mind to fly to 
Rome on Thursday evening. Therefore, I had to take one of the 
few tickets that were left.

My seat offered an interesting and an unusual view - at least 
for me. The last time I'd been that far (which wasn't really 
far) from stage was at the Beacon in 2021.

Anyway - on with the show. Dylan tour stage right an 7:30. And 
the sound was really bad. But no need to worry - we all know 
that the sound is usually bad during the first two songs (expect 
for the shows in Madrid!). So I relaxed and watch. 

Well, now I know why a lot of people complain about the lights 
being too dark. It was hard to see Bob. But so what? I've seen 
him before.

Much to my surprise the sound didn't improve much - Bob's voice 
was very low in the mix and the band or rather the drums were 
quite loud.  The contrast to the eight shows I've seen in 
Portugal and Spain was extreme. While at those shows Bob's voice 
was usually clear and upfront in the mix it was buried in the 
mix at the show in Rome. Beside the drums the other instruments 
weren't very clear in the mix either. You really got to wonder 
how sound engineers are able to create such a bad mixing in a 
modern venue designed for music.

Things improved somehow from I'll be Your Baby Tonight onwards. 
Still there was no way to compare the sound to what I heard in 
Spain and Portugal.

As I said before - it was a show without real highlights (except 
for the covers, of course). Bob sounded somehow tired(?) and I'm 
sure it was not just the bad sound. The great phrasing that made 
the shows in Portugal and Spain so enjoyable (especially Madrid 
and Granada) were gone. Most of the songs weren't sung very well 
and sounded lackluster. Somehow the thrill was gone. At least I 
was bored during most of the show. Maybe I might have like the 
show much more if I hadn't experience in Portugal and Spain what 
is possible these days.

The audience still responded quite enthusiastic - although many 
attempts to clap along failed very quickly (as in Spain - many 
thanks to the band for making it impossible to clap a long).

When he started with Old Black Magic I felt really disappointed 
and thought to myself that this choice was somehow fitting - a 
mediocre show featuring the most boring cover song he has to 
offer. But I have to admit that it was the best Old Black Magic 
I heard for quite a while. Very enjoyable and now Bob's voice 
was clear as he was really leaning into the song. I was hoping 
for another cover song to make up for the bad choice. And I 
wasn't disappointed this time. Only A River followed. A fine 
performance and Dylan's way clear again. Then a very loud song 
followed - I wasn’t able to make out was it was but it sounded 
great. The only pity was that Bob’s voice was again buried in 
the mix. So I was only able to understand a few words once in 
a while. But hey, three cover songs in a row - really something 
to remember. (So I've seen the show with the fewest cover songs 
(zero in Madrid II) and the one with the most cover songs. And 
the longest shows for quite a long time - nearly two hours.

After those three cover songs things were back to the new 
normal - rather band sound, Bob's voice low and somehow buried 
in the mix. Quite a lot of people though the harp at the end of 
Every Grain of Sand was great. But I rather thought that he 
played it like he would play a chain saw - very loud.

So, I have very mixed feelings about that show. The covers were 
outstanding, but the rest of the show was substandard. While the 
sound was crisp and clear at the most shows I was in Spain and 
Portugal and many times you could understand every(!) word Bob 
was singing (especially at first show in Madrid), at Rome it was 
hard to understand what he was singing - even if you knew the 

Well, many might say that my experience and impressions are due 
to the fact I haven't been to the front rows (like usual) and 
that the mixing didn't help either. But sometimes you see much 
clearer from a distance. And I guess even if I had been sitting 
on stage I'd still had to admit that the show was substandard. 
Not Guns'n'Roses' show, of course.


Click Here
to return to the
Main Page

page by Bill Pagel

Tour Guide
Tour Guides
Bob Links
Set Lists
by Date
Set Lists
by Location