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Bob Dylan 980706 in Lucca, Italy


all without Dylan

Bucky Buxter alone just before the show:



Date: 09 Jul 1998 10:42:00 +0100 From: (Carsten Wohlfeld) To: Subject: July 6, 1998 - Lucca, Italy - a review Bob Dylan Lucca, Italy, July 6, 1998 Piazza Napoleone A Review by Carsten Wohlfeld There's only one phrase that can describe last night's show in Rome: Bob Dylan was ON FIRE! If Lucca wouldn't have been on our way home back to Germany anways I probably would've skipped the show. Yes, Rome was THAT good. But as we travelled north we finally got a chance to enjoy the beautiful Italian landscape, made a quick sidestep to the Mediterrenean Sea and visited Pisa as well. Lucca itself is a beautiful old city, lots of tiny alleys, street cafes and the typical Italian flavour. Piazza Napoleone is a square situated in the middle of the town and by 5pm they just tried to clear out all the people so the band could start the soundcheck. We managed to 'hide' in a cafe and got to hear and see part of the soundcheck. Afterwards they just blocked all the streets leading to the square, so only people with tickets could see the event but everybody outside could still *hear* it quite perfectly. Again tickets were only around $25, so about 5,000 folks showed out. Lots of German and American tourists, too. Lucca is one of the main sightseeing attractions in the area. The square wasn't that big, so it was almost a sellout I guess. The soundcheck included: Simple Twist Of Fate I'll Remember You (several times) You'e A Big Girl Now I Believe In You Gotta Serve Somebody and others. By the time we returned to the venue (we had a nice pizza and some gelati inbetween) the place was pretty much filled up, but we still managed to get a decent spot. Bob (different white jacket, black pants, white shoes) and crew came out at 9.40pm (showtime was given as 9.30) and started with: Gotta Serve Somebody Not quite as overwhelming as in Rome, as both Bob and Bucky didn't strike any funny poses tonight, but still petty good. One of the best openers Bob had over the last few years. Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power) Again, one of my alltime favourite Dylan tracks, so I'm a bit biased. I'll love it any day of the week. His singing wasn't as strong as I'd hoped for though. Still better than the cuesheets alternate of "If Not For You". Crowd: Nuts. Cold Irons Bound Solid version, I didn't hear any of the mistakes that 'graced' the previous renditions. What Good Am I? Was played instead of the cuesheets alternatives "4th Street" and "Big Girl Now". Nice surprise of course, second rendition this year after Rostock and it would have been even better if Bob would've remembered ANY of the words. As Gunter noted, Bob basically sang the same verse three times! Can't Wait Well, only a few people recognized this one. There had been virtually no reaction from the crowd to "What Good Am I" either. Too many first-timers and tourists I guess. "Can't Wait" was solid and again didn't feature any major mistakes as far as I could hear. Bo's singing was finally getting stronger. Silvio was "Silvio". Crowd loved it, as soon as they realized that the title of this one was, "Silvio". Hmmmm. Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic) One for the greatest hits crowd. Singing very strong, even though he played the song a little too much on this tour... or did I just see too many shows? ;-) A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall (acoustic) Got a better crowd response than I'd have imagined. Unfortunately Bob's singing wasn't too strong here. It was a strange show, one song Bob's singing was very strong, the next one he hardly could remember the words. Dunno what happened really. Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic) Features a lengthy harp solo, but Bob totally messed up his first two guitar solos. He just played one note and then stopped playing altogeher as if he didn't know what he was supposed to do! Meanwhile Larry kept on strumming his chords and after a few seconds Bob resumed singing! Weird. Forever Young (acoustic) Put a smile on everybody's face. Nice rendition, mucho loved by the crowd. "Love Minus Zero" went unplayed. She Belongs To Me Bob virtually screamed his vocals into the microphone, he was VERY much into this song for some reason. There was some feedback cause his singing was too loud. Never heard that before! I think it was after this song that he introduced the band, so I thought the next one would probably be the last, making it a total of 12 songs in the mainset, same the the previous nights. But no, Bob and crew continued with... Blind Willie McTell which was a strange choice, since so many tourists have been in the crowd. The band did a nice job, But Bob forgot the words at three points. After the strong "Belongs" this was very weak again... Highway 61 Revisited Now you won't believe me, but this song was by far and away the highlight of the show. Before it started Bob went over to Tony and said something to him that made Tony laugh all the way through the song. And, to further prove my weak-strong-weak-strong singing theory Bob screamed the words to "Highway", laughing inbetween lines and even addiing a hilarious line: "Louie the King said yes I think it can be easily done... YAY... and that's EXACTLY what he said" He definitely had a good time. He wasn't as animated as the nights before but still a million miles away from being stone faced... The ending to this song was new and improved too. Rocked like hell! (encores) Love Sick A better version than last night, even though the encores generally tend to be Bob-by-numbers these days. There are always the same and so the band esaily can switch to auto-pilot. Not the best way to end a show I don't think. Rainy Day Women Nos. 12 & 35 Usual goofyness with Bob and the band soloing up and down. Even Bucky played a longer solo than usual. Blowin' In The Wind (acoustic) Much loved by the crowd, great singalong. Bob vocals delivery wasn't very overwhelming, even though he really stresses the third verses in all the recent renditions. The show lasted 105 minutes. So there you got it, the end of my own little 18-date tour. Somehow I even was glad when it was all over and if this review probably is the less detailed of them all, that's because I even got sick of writing about the shows ;-) But I surely won't complain, with a few exceptions all the shows have been very, very good, I got to hear almost 80 different songs and many inspired renditions of songs I thought I'd never want to hear again. If you ask me, my personal top five of the ones I've seen in Europe is: 1. Rome 2. Rostock 3. Bremen 4. Leipzig 5. Essen or maybe Copenhagen Thanks for reading and trying to ignore my bad English and all the typos. Bob and I will now take a five week rest before we're all back on tour in Australia. Don't know when I'll have the chance to review those shows, but I most certainly will get around to do it at some point. My thanks also to all the people who let me stay at their places and all the folks I traveled with. It's been a pleasure. See you in Melbourne! -- carsten wohlfeld "what once you called home is a minefield" (damon & naomi)

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