Rome, Italy


November 6, 2013

[Claudio Manara]

Review by Claudio Manara

Yesterday I got out home with a quiet feeling that i would be
experiencing the standard selection of songs in this european fall tour
that, although unchanged since the beginning of this leg of the tour,
it's a stellar selection composed of songs of one my favourite album:
tempest! So i entered the ballroom with a relaxed mood, just like
visiting the Gioconda in the Louvre, that you've never seen in your
life, but, you know, it stands in your mind as a fixed image...the
stage is ready and i appreciated te six big hollywood vintage
lowpowered spotlights as crown from above. The lights went out on time
and soon magic fills the air because  unexpectedly LEOPARD skin pill
box opens the show, sung with the right energy and played with a rather
slow beat than ever. The following is DONT THINK TWICE, Bob cares for
the theatrical effect of the spelling of words ("oh, my precious
time"). Next WATCHING THE RIVER proves that this is a special night,
Bob is serving the crowd a la carte, he smiles as he turns the haed and
soon goes back to the grand piano  which he never leaves....maybe he's
just walked along the river Tiber this afternoon and now he sings for
this old river! Now bob goes center stage with the harp and starts
mumbling about BLIND WILLIE, the song takes its shape bit by bit, the
band is someway upset and, apart from Charlie sexton who is seeking bob
sight and seems to read his mind, they seem to face a big effort! Next
song opens a little section from TIME OUT OF MIND: HONEST WITH ME -
MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE  - TWEEDLE be noted that also for these
songs the selection was surprising since they had not been played since
so far now. Make you feel my love is worth noticing for his rendition
in high solemnity...this song is not an easy song to sing if youre not
in the mood of being romantic! Rome offers this possibility! Tweedle
dee is a hard piece to work on and the band seems to lose some of the
skills about this track, eventually they've only rehearsed to check the
sound in the rush of this swift tour. The first set is closed by
HIWAY61 album and one gem hits the stage: QUEEN JANE, here the band is
going smooth and charlie lead gtr is somewhat resuming jerry garcia
phrasings.It's good to listen to HIGHWAY 61 on a night like this!
although i missed the double beating before the end of each strophe It
is the end of first set and BOb winks at the audience and says ciao
amici ! Second set starts with JUST LIKE TOM THUMBS BLUES third catch
from hiway. The words are so stuffed together that the singing can
hardly fits the sounds, piano playing by Bob is minimal but essential,
you can hear the piano beating here and there in a mysterious way. Here
comes the big shot of the night: AINT TALKING! Good and memorable
performance! The wording and spelling here are perfect, the pace is
slow but direct. I liked the stops in this song especially to stress
meanings (walking till i'm clean out of saaaight). And then MOST LIKELY
with the beating drums and the jingle jangle sounds fills the air....
here it's funny to hear the boast voice: you say my kisses are not like
his THIS TIME i'm gonna tell ya why that IS!! Soon to be followed by
BOOTS with a folky rhythm and the perfect dialogues sung like a theatre
piece. Another big jewel in the crown of this night is LEVEE GONNA
BREAK with the repeating so furious that the song is like a testament
to the blues followers: Bob here,tonight, is a giant! It's impossible
to describe the strength in his singing and his rock acting. The show
signs another highlight with EVERY GRAIN that is played a delicate and
deep melody, not far from the original. The end of teh show starTs as
LARS appears again tonight and people can't help from singing, Bob
sings with a boring look this time, maybe to sing it again its still
early. The only encore tonight is WATCHTOWER: normal stuff compared to
this list. I wished to listen to the glorious set of the previous show
but...what else you might want, after a show like this one!!! 

Claudio Manara
Rome Italy


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