Paris, France

Le Grand Rex

November 13, 2013

[Robert Clary], [Yves Toupin]

Review by Robert Clary

This was only my 3rd Bob gig, but it was the best so far. Le Grand Rex is
a wonderful setting, the songs were very well chosen for Bob’s current
voice and his band accompanied him with great sensitivity. Every song had
its own distinctive rhythm and feel: groovy minor blues for Beyond Here
Lies Nothin’, old time swing for Duquesne Whistle, lovely lilt for Spirit
On The Water, relaxed waltz for Waiting For You, slow descending chords
for Simple Twist Of Fate, relentless drama for Love Sick and each of the
“Tempest” songs had its own special riff and pace.

It was good to see Bob at ease up at the microphone, singing as sweetly as
he can and growling and spitting it out in character on songs like Pay In
Blood, Love Sick and Long And Wasted Years. His stand-up piano playing
stayed under control and the one-handed harp sounded like the old days.
The real highlight of the show was Forgetful Heart where Donnie’s violin
and Tony’s bowed bass set a really effective backing for Bob’s vocals. It
actually sounded beautiful.

Stu set up both halves with some promising blues strumming, then stayed
strictly rhythm. Tony was as sensitive as always, switching to stand-up
with great effect on a memorably rhythmical Duquesne Whistle and using
lovely bowing on Waiting For You and Forgetful Heart. George played with
great restraint, but still has that second line New Orleans touch which
perfectly retightens the spring just as it is starting to get slightly
wound down. Charlie was allowed to play quite freely, including some
singing blues on Beyond Here Lies Nothin’ and a couple of cool choruses of
“Blue Moon” on Soon After Midnight. Finally, it was great to hear Donnie’s
very effective pedal steel and all his other instruments, especially the
fiddle on Forgetful Heart.

Whereas on previous Paris shows some of the crowd have at times been
restless and unhappy, this time there was a really warm enthusiastic
reaction to the songs, especially to Forgetful Heart. The playing wasn’t
too loud and you could hear the words if you knew them. It was hardly a
rock show, almost a chamber concert of well-chosen songs individually
presented with great care by Bob and his band. I shall leave it to others
to describe Bob’s hat, his few words of French, his gesture to his left
lapel as he left the stage, the lack of the old keyboard and Oscar on
stage and the unused guitar laid ready for him in front of the drums. For
me this was a night of memorable music.


Review by Yves Toupin

Excellent concert at the intimate Rex Theatre in Paris. I enjoyed every
minute of it. I even got to see Bob real close after the show as he walked
out of the theatre  and climbed in his limo parked on the street. Bob
showed great class by saying merci beaucoup et vive la France in French
before the intermission. About class, I attended Bob's concerts in Berlin
and Paris. Both audiences were very appreciative of Bob's performance. 
Contrary to what I'm used to see too often in North America, people didn't
leave early nor blocked other people's view intentionnally. I noticed 
only one idiot going row to row trying to steal an unoccupied seat someone
paid for to get closer. Come on people, this is not a game. Show some
respect and enjoy the show.  Merci beaucoup Bob. Vive Bob Dylan! 

Yves Toupin


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