October 26, 2013
Review by Mike Guido
The Tempest Tour
'The Tempest' was Shakespeare's last work. Let's hope this won't
be our last Dylan concert. Rock and Roll comprised a metaphorical
tempest, a revolution in music, and Dylan's musical heritage is a
revolution in itself. During this tour he gave his audiences a trip
through the history of R&R, as well as a historical perspective of his
own career: blues, folk, swing, waltz, love songs, laments and even
rap. The bulk of the shows gave a peek of his favorites from this
century, while the two Rome shows gave a view of the last - playing
the songs from his shows during past years.
I had the pleasure of attending all three concerts in Berlin this year
and I was more impressed each evening. Once again 19 personas, or
maybe fewer, or maybe only one, told their stories. We heard from
criminals, lovers, losers, winners; did we hear from Bob himself? Things
have changed since the last concert I saw in Berlin on July 2, 2012.
This set list was set - but nobody seemed to mind. I liked knowing
what was coming next and by the third night I couldn't wait to hear
again that series of songs. The guitar was packed away - sadly. But
Dylan's voice was uncharacteristically crystal clear and melodic, and
even the songs I don't know so well, I could make out each word,
even understanding the slight variations in some of the lyrics.
(I'm not a groupie, I'm a fan).
Night three was impressive. After pushing through the front door,
a group of us got our perfect places in front of the stage. Ms
Freetickets to my left, and some fire-breathing dragon to my right.
But once the music started, I could focus on the more important
business at hand. The band seemed really tight and, more so than
the first two, seemed to be having fun. Newer songs from 'Tempest'
especially the back to back 'Soon After Midnight' and 'Long and
Wasted Years' showed that the song and dance man before us is
certainly not past his prime. The second set was a marvellous musical
We heard examples of his love songs, cowboy songs, folk songs and
for the encoure, two important and relevant protest songs. We only
enjoy Dylan at high prices because of the record label slave holders.
And after every show Dylan forces us to ask ourselves the same
question - 'How many times must the cannon balls fly before they're
forever banned?' and we answer with 'Businessmen, they drink my
wine, plowmen dig my earth, none of them along the line know what
any of it is worth." If only they did. Only twice did he change the last
song, to sing 'Roll on John.' A fitting motif continued with 'rags on
your back just like any other slave.' The slaveholders will rule the
world; the artists will sing about it until someone notices.
And we all, old and young loved, enjoyed, 'geniesen', the most
beautiful Dylan tour to date.
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