Rome, Italy
Palalottomatica (Palaeur)
November 1, 2003

[Peter Lowrey], [Sergio], [José Ramón Rodrigo]

Review by Peter Lowrey

Bob's Rome show just wasn't very good, despite the master sweating a river
onto his keyboard. One problem seemed to be the lack of musical direction
Bob was able to give his band while hidden behind his piano, despite
Freddie watching Bob's chord changes intently from his side. What is Larry
supposed to do from the far side of the stage? Songs like To Be Alone with
You, Hwy 61 and Watchtower just degenerated into jam sessions without a
bandleader to, well, lead the band. When I think of the knockout music
performed by Bob, Charlie and Larry head-to-head with three guitars
blazing during the 2000 and 2001 tours, I feel a great loss after
tonight's show. If it is true that Bob has given up the guitar because of
arthritis or some other physical disability, then we just have to live on
our memories. Or maybe it was just an off night. At first it seemed that
Bob would give us our money's worth by taking greater care with his
vocals. Superb versions of Hattie Carol and It's Alright, Ma brought back
vivid memories of an angry and righteous poet with a voice so real and
penetrating. But then followed a Grain of Sand sung without conviction and
a flat Love Minus Zero. He flubbed the lyrics on Long Black Coat and Don't
Think Twice. And would it have been so hard to bring the same careful
vocals to Watchtower that he reserved for Hattie Carol instead of his
usual irritating trick of raising his voice at the end of each line?
George proved the powerhouse of the evening – a fine addition to the band
– and Freddie gave us some good licks. But Larry, sorry, man, it's time to
move on. What does the future hold?

Peter Lowrey


Review by Sergio

This is just to confirm the previous review I just happened to read.
I often walk out of Dylan's concerts feeling sort of disappointed, but at
the same time still wishing for more...This time disappointment was the
main - I would say only - feeling. I am not sure why Bob insists on
playing the piano on each and every song - I would say on each and every
note - of the show. His poor technique makes much bigger damage on
keyboards than on guitar, with the difference that on guitar he is
misteriously able to turn out incredibly touching and inspired.
Inspiration is what I think was missing throughout the show. I mean, I do
not expect any big guitar solo at Bob's concerts - I could not care less -
or any instrumental gemn. All I came for is to be touched and inspired
like only he can do, with his most intimate songs and intimate singing (I
was waiting for "not dark yet" the whole night). By the time he got to
"Evrey grain of sand" I thought 'right, here we are, this is goint to be
tonight's high', but what we got was an embarassing dead version of the
masterpiece, with Bob desperately looking for the right harp on this
table, and finally giving up, leaving us with a whole minute of
meaningless instrumental. What we had in grat abundance was loud (and
messy) hard rock-n- roll, of the type we could hear from any other band
out there. With the exception of the superb versions of "Cry a while" and
some parts of "Summer Days", his vocal was just so and so, especially when
he started playing with songs like "All along the watchtower" in a way
that irritated most of the audience. Something went wrong last night, and
the feeling of joy in playing and being a performer Bob delivered in
previous tours (right after TOOM) was completely lost. Having said that, I
felt sorry when he left, and I'm sure I will be queing up for tickets next
time he passes this way.



Review by José Ramón Rodrigo

A solid rock concert !!!! Very straight indeed.Powerful. Highlights:
Sublime vocal performances of hattie carol, love minus,  a glorious
highway 61 and superb Watchtower. Also a Cry awhile from the delta and a 
tender Baby Blue. But the best: the two harmonica solos of Love Minus:
awesome. But you have to be there in Rome to believe. Dylan in great form
and taking care of his art and that´s all. See you Bob. 

José Ramón Rodrigo


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