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Bob Dylan 2002.04.29-30 in Paris

Date: Tue, 7 May 2002 12:47:52 +0100 (BST)
From: Padraig Hanratty
Subject: Paris reviews

Hi Bill,

I notice that no Paris reviews have been posted, so I
decided to send on my thoughts of the shows. I
attended both shows last week. 

Monday night

The Zenith is an indoor venue with a capacity of 8000.
It's located in the north of the city in Parc de
Villette. The show seemed to be sold out and it
started around 8.30. Acoustics were first-class and
the light show worked well.

The acoustic set began with an upbeat Humming Bird.
This was followed by a lovely She Belongs To Me,
comlpete with gentle harp intro. The crowd came fully
to life once It's Alright Ma began pounding. It was a
solid version and was followed by an atmospheric It's
All Over Now, Baby Blue. Three songs from Bringing It
All Back Home in the opening acoustic set.

The first electric set kicked off with an energetic
Tweedle Dum And Tweedle Dee. Moonlight didn't seem to
translate very well live, but Cry A While was
fantastic. (Again, three songs from the one album.)
The crowd then went wild for a brilliant Subterranean
Homesick Blues.

Don't Think Twice, complete with harp intro, kept the
energy levels high. Hard Rain was a steady version,
nothing special. Tangled Up In Blue was also
workmanlike, though the crowd loved it.

The second electric set began with a swaggering Summer
Days, with excellent guitar solos. To Make You Feel My
Love had a nice harp solo, but didn't really take off.
Cold Irons Bound provided a good noisy contrast. Band
intros came during a predictable Rainy Day Women.

Love Sick, the third Time Out Of Mind song, was
brooded effectively. Like A Rolling Stone brought the
crowd to its feet. Forever Young worked well and
Honest With Me rocked. Blowing In The Wind was
stately. The last encore, All Along The Watchtower,
was amazing; in the past, it has often descended into
a tired old warhorse but tonight it roared with
abandoned. A fantastic closer.

Tuesday night

In the main part of the show, only two songs (Summer
Days and Don't Think Twice) was repeated from the
previous night. Again the acoustics and lights were
first class and the venue was sold out. 

I Am The Man, Thomas kicked things off at 8.30. A fine
version, with clear, distinct vocals. I Want You was
slow and gentle, with more an air of growling
resignation than celebration (though that may just be
my memory playing tricks). Desolation Row started off
powerfully, though Dylan goofed the last line of the
first verse by singing "Is Cinderella... Lady and I
look out tonight..." Seemingly determined to make up
for the error, he sang each verse after that with
increasing power. He also put special emphasis on the
words "Notre Dame", to the delight of the Paris crowd.
After that killer version, It Ain't Me, Babe was
almost an anticlimax.

Highway 61 Revisited was a surprise choice to open the
first electric set. It rocked as usual, but was
perhaps a bit overfamiliar. Simple Twist Of Faith,
with a harp intro, was excellent, with careful,
engaged vocals. Dylan then ripped into Lonesome Day
Blues. Floater was a disappointment; it's now similiar
to the "jazz" version of Trying To Get To Heaven, with
Sexton's guitar replacing the violin line. It's
pleasant enough, but not a patch on the album version.

Fourth Time Round got a big cheer from the crowd and
was a fine rendition. Another Blonde On Blonde song
followed, a sublime version of Visions Of Johanna.
Another Paris reference in this one, with Mona Lisa
and the way she smiles. At the start of Don't Think
Twice, Dylan abandoned the harp solo; this was
followed by impatient strumming on the guitar and
scowls at the band. The song didn't really recover
from the fraught start.

Summer Days lifted things again at the start of the
second electric set. Highlight of the night for me was
Not Dark Yet, with eerie lighting and word-perfect
vocals. Crowed loved the "I've been to gay Paris"
line. A possible reference to the Frech  foreign
legion ("don't even remember what I came here to get
away from") also drew some cheers. Drifter's Escape
was awesome, complete with wild harp solo at the end.
Band intros came during a standard Leopard Skin
Pillbox hat.

Encores started with a fiesty Things Have Changed and
then settled into a predictable routine. Some fine
harmonising on Knockin' On Heaven's Door. Highlight of
the encores was again All Along The Watchtower.

Hope you find this useful

All the best


2002: Jan - Feb - April -