mercredi 17 juillet 2019

Bob Dylan Tour Europe Summer 2019

Day 1 in Stockholm. June 25.

There is no show tonight and it had been a depressed day, into the blue...
I slept til 8am in a bunk in a dorm at the youth hostel, then I took a walk outside.
Streets have names that you can't pronounce.
The tourist area, Gamla Stan, is full of....tourists. The same everywhere.
I won't show you pics of my beautiful meal or pints of beer...some other people will do that.
I just managed to buy a can of Coke.
I took a nap in an other bunk (they moved me around) before going out again;just to kill time and get more tired:)
Since no one invited me to share a cup of I am , back in my shared room of 12 happy travelers.
On the positive side I have a story :
- I arrive in Stockholm at 4 am on the 25th due to delay of my flight.
- I prepare my bed in the dorm as fortunately the YH sent me all the codes for the doors.
- I fall asleep rapidly.
- Some time later I half wake up and start preparing in my head the trip to...Stockholm; the bus to Paris, the metro, the control of passport, the security check...
- I open my eyes and see that my bed sheets are white.
White? I don't have white sheets at home. Oh oh I AM in Stockholm.
What a wonderful feeling to be at home and one second later where you wish to be!

Day 2 in Stockholm. June 26.
Part 1.

The day started badly with rain.
I didn't want to go out as I didn't want to be wet all day.
I went back to bed.
At 1 pm the weather is better so I walk to the old town to buy myself a coffee at 7/11. The cheapest in town.
I then decide to move to the venue.
I don't know this one so 2 solutions : a sport arena in the middle of nowhere with not even a coffee shop or a big commercial center.
Second guess is the one.
Huge commercial shopping center with at least 3 sport Arenas.
The Ericsson Globe has a capacity of 12000. No way Bob Dylan and his Band will sell 12000. Maybe half.
A good chance for me to get a ticket but a bad chance for the sound.
So...I spend about one hour in the shopping mall. Shopping nothing.
I then move to the venue parking lot to see what's happening.
Bob's bus just arrived and it is parked really close to the back door.
Bob and the Band are now rehearsing.
I have a little insecure moment with Barron, the bodyguard.
I am by now the only one around the buses but really far away. Some People will believe it is wrong but I am curious. Can't help it!
Three security men are now discussing the best way for Bob to get in his bus without being seen ( by who?).
As Bob comes out dressed casual with a cream color wind breaker I am sure he will go straight to his bus that is by now parked farther in the parking lot. Why did they move that bus from the door?(mystery for me).
Three bodyguards surround him!
I didn't know I was such a menace!
For me it is pure paranoia! my surprise Bob walks to the side of the musiciens bus. Stops back against it and he is run after by his manager. Whoa!
I see the back of Kramer.
From where I am he is not happy, over powering Bob physically and moving his arms left and right.
It seems a scolding move.
I can't hear anything. And I now figure out this is why they don't want anyone near the buses.
To add to the surrealist scene Barron ( still mad at me?) Is standing few meters on Bob's right side. As it starts raining he is opening his umbrella to protect...his own head. I am sorry for Bobby who will soon be drenched to the bones!
As an after thought Barron moves the umbrella above his boss's head. Whoa! And I am the bad one?
Then off they all walk away from my sight!
Can't figure that story out. Why did they move the bus? Why did Kramer wait for Bob to be out in the rain to talk to him? Why the fuss? Why so many guards when there is no one out there on the parking lot.Well! Just me....
Next part 2 is about the show.....follow me...

Day 2 in Stockholm. June 26.

I go back to the commercial center and bump again into Frederick, a fan from Sweden. We have a pleasant conversation.
We go out around 6 pm as the show will start at 7.30 pm.
The crownd arrives mainly from the metro station and this is a good thing for me.
Some scalpers are around but they are nice and polite with me.
Rapidly a nice woman hands me a ticket. She asks nothing. Just says she is happy to please me. Whoa!
2 good people I don't even know...and they don't even know me.
I enter the huge arena. I want to be down on the floor. So I find my way.
The stage is large but all the instruments are now centered ; Bob's piano is center , behind on the right Donnie's instruments, behind Bob left stands Tonny, then George's drums and left left Charlie.
Weird. Unless you are on the right side facing the stage you don't see Bob. Just a hat when he is sitted and half his body when he stands behind the piano.
The music starts as George takes his stand then the others followed by Bob. For what I see he is wearing a black hat. And this is all I can tell. I had to move far away at the end of the venue on the floor to find an empty seat.
The sound is not the best at the beginning getting better after .... "Can't wait"...I can't believe my ears. Fantastic! Bobby is center stage. The Band is obviously enjoying a new song. Tonny is moving right and left.
The public also enjoys. Behind me they clap in rhythm.
Thank you Bobby!
Then the same songs but I suddenly woke up and I know this is the reward for my .... Trials! :)
"Make you feel my love" is great even though this is not my favourite one.
"Scarlet town" is again center stage with Bob standing and holding the mic.
Then another surprise. " Girl from the north country" instead of "Don't think twice" but same style; just Bob on piano. Sweet melody.
Also few lines changed on " Simple twist of fate", a story about a new date!
A complete changing of tempo on "The early Roman kings".
And a surprising blank on "Gotta serve somebody" . Bobby missed a couple of words. Blank!
A fantastic "Love sick" that should have been center stage.
Not too much reaction from the public except LARS.
Applause on Thunder for George.
And a long time before all the public realized the show was over.
A bow , hat in hand ....and Bob is gone.
What a day.
The lesson is ; when the dreams you dreamed don't come true do like the GPS....recalculate.

Goteborg June 27.

I arrived on the 27th with Flix. Nice trip through the beautiful green forests.
I find my CS host, Erik, waiting for me at his home.
We have a lite dinner of bread and butter and a green tea. Erik is "green" at heart.
We go to bed early. Me on an air mattress.

Goteborg June 28.
Next morning. It's a new morning. I do have some dreams but...dreams don’t always come true.
The day is warm and sunny so I dress adequately. I bought a 3 days bus/tram pass just to be sure I can travel in comfort. The Tram number 5 takes me straight to the Scandinavium. At 10am only the roadies are working. Setting up the stage.
So I move on to the city center. I find again ( I've been in Goteborg before) the botanic garden. The roses are in bloom and smell good.
I tram back home to get ready for the afternoon.
By 4 pm the "Beat the street" buses pull inside the parking lot.
My feet are tired and my brain is wired so I rest on a bench near the Scandinavium. I have a nice conversation with one of the followers.
6.30pm....anxiety time!
But I feel confident. The arena is huge. 6000 probably.
Erik is willing to join me for the show so it is my duty to find him a ticket, as free as possible.
I rapidly get a ticket then 15 minute before show time (here 7.30) I young man who was trying to sell an extra ticket, hands it to me. I check and to my surprise it is a 6th row floor. Whoa.
Erik arrives and we both walk inside.
I move to the front, to have a look at the stage and by the time the music starts (Stravinsky) I am first row and as the seats on my right are empty I move right in front the piano.
I can't believe that about 15 seats front row and about 20 seats second row are....empty!
I know I won't see much of Bob behind the grand piano but truly I don’t mind. No one in front of me and no one behind.
Bob is in black( with embroidery on the jacket and pants) with black hat. The Boys in white. I have a clear view of Charlie now wearing glasses.( except on ERK).
Bob totally disappears when he sits and the tall guy next to me starts complaining and standing. Security rapidly asks him to sit.
Of course I enjoy myself with every single song and I get hysteric when Bob moves center stage for
"Can't wait". Right in front of me.
But I know how to feel and realize he doesn't focus on any one specifically. Can he see or not? His eyes are looking towards...the emptiness.
When he stands at the piano he should be able to see me as the spot light behind him is right on me. I move my body accordingly to George tempo. I feel part of the Band, following the lyrics on Bobby's lips. We should do a duet:)
Absolutely no mistakes tonight.
Clear, loud, professional.
Bob doesn't smile. He grins.
Maybe one time he came to Charlie or Tony but no fuss.
Regular tempo on ERK. I like it this way. The same lyrics change on STOF. He's got a new date. Cool. Happy to know that, but she's not me:)
The hat disappears after "Pay in blood".
"Girl" is breath taking. Not a sound from the public.
I enjoy MYFML. Even sing along.
I dance and sing when on my right there is a commotion ; the ' Last of the Samurai' appears with a security guy and with authority but no violence they mention a Fan , front row, to move out. He never came back. He was right in front of the sign "no phone". Beware of the 'Ninja warrior'.
The guy on my left keeps on standing up...stupid! Stop buying those front row tickets if you want to see Bob smiling!
The encore comes too early.
The "Ninja warrior" keeps an eye on the front row. No rail. Not even standing on BITW.
I just managed to move a bit front when Bob, hat in hand, makes his final bow. No eye contact. No kiss.
Well! He looks tired. A lot more than the spring Tour. And by now emaciated more than skinny.
I feel like crying !
Take care my dear !
See you tomorrow.
Another day. Another dream.

Oslo June 29,
Part 1.

I will call that day Marie and I.
I arrived with Flix on time and walk all the way to my YH.
As the bed is not ready I lock my bag and walk back to the Spektrum.
It is by now 1 pm.
I spot immediately the 2 roadies buses and bump into Marie.
Marie is a character. She is a Bob Dylan follower on...wheelchair. We met few years ago.
She travels by train only in Europe and stay in Youth Hostel or sometimes ... outside, for she needs specific accommodations.
She is the most courageous of all the followers but not well known and not so much helped.
She is always positive. I never heard her complain.
So we stay by the buses few hours just chating in the sun and enjoying the Reggae music coming from speakers in the small park.
By 4 pm which is 3 hours before show time the security guard I called Robert starts to be ready.
He doesn't take specific precaution so I know he already figured out how to sneak Bob inside the venue.
Except Marie and I there is a young man with a cowboy hat hanging around. Fedy will come later and that's it for the "security menace"!
But nonetheless Bob will never walk in front of us.
So....Bob's bus will pull all the way down the ramp and reversed so the bus door will be right to the back stage door.
The musiciens bus will pull in front of us and the musiciens step out one by one but it is clear that we should not take photos or address them.
Though Barron salutes me with a half smile I have the feeling it is more to "pacifize" me.
There is a soundcheck and a catering then some of the Dylan's people come walk around or step inside the buses. Charlie smoking and taking a walk with Kramer. Tony talking on the telephone or George maybe taking a nap with Barron inside their fancy bus with a kitchen/bar.
Funny. It is like if I am looking some sort of reality show. Except it is not a show. I am just not in it but outsider. It could have been so nice to have a little chat with any of them!
And believe me it was possible in the past. On the 81 Tour I could chat with Jimmy or Howard Alk or Stan. Even Bob Meyers , the road manager, was not so distant.
Yes. Things have changed but not for the best in terms of humanity.
And it is not a security problem as they all know me.
They've been with Dylan too long. They cought the 'Dylan paranoia'.
The hours pass and I get Marie a salad at the Deli next door...
None of the Bobcats around will come to salute Marie or spend time with us. Except Hans.
Marie, the physically handicapped and I, the morally handicapped. I feel like a sociopath!
By 5 pm it is time for the box office finally to open. Marie tries to get a ticket but the Lady is not only stupid but not "human". It seams to be the day for jerks.
Marie has no possibility to get in with her wheelchair. Security reason bla bla bla.
I am tired of those security problems which don't exist.
I am so sorry but Marie wants me to enjoy the show so I look for a ticket.
I get rapidly a standing tix but I want to seat. I know there will be no way for me to be front on the rail by now and I don't want to be in the middle of "strangers".
2 guys offer me a tix but on their mobile. So I take a photo which doesn't scan. Back to the stupid Lady at the box office who refused to re-isue the tix. Whoa! Go to hell Lady!
So I will stand.

Oslo June 29.

I walk inside the venue, the Spektrum with a standing ticket and realize there will be no way for me to see Bob front.
I take a position all the way on the right of the rail which will be behind the sound board.
The soundboard man will block partially my view. At the best I see the back of Bob, the beautiful embroidery jacket.
At times I see the fingers moving on the piano.
When the view of the stage is not clear I can focus on Barron and Robert doing their job. Mainly making sure no one takes photos.
What else?
I wish I could get that job. Easy; if you see someone opening a mobile you signal him/her to one of the venue security and that's it.
Some in a while you quick one Fan out obviously and it should frighten all the rest. Boo!
So sad!
The profile of Bob is not the best. He looks like an old turtle.
After ERK he will take his hat out and I see the bald spot on the top of his head!
The sound is great and I do my dancing and karaoke alright.
Robert and Barron look at me as if I'm right out from a psychiatric asylum.
And they believe they are SO SMART!
They do their job alright. But what job! Chasing the Fans around.
They should remember the Fans pay their salary. No Fans no tickets sold. No tickets sold no show. No show no tour. No tour no bodyguards.
Well! I enjoy anyway.
And suddenly I hear the lyrics of "Spanish boots".
I know that one by heart. Whoa! Splendid surprise.
Almost acapela and Bob moves center stage which I don't appreciate. I don't see him at all.
I see the front row rail enjoying but not any hysteria from behind.
A loud reaction on LARS.
On BITW Barron moves away back and on "It takes a lot to laugh..." Robert moves away back.
Time to take photos!
And time for me to search for Marie out.
The handicapped Bob Dylan follower from Germany.
She is not there!
Back to the YH?
Nope. A miracle for her.
She had no possibility to buy a ticket at the box office.
Security people had pity on her; found her a ticket and took her inside!
Some human people exist.
Maybe not the ones you expect.
We call a special taxi as Marie can't move from her chair and we have a lite dinner before she crashed in dorm D. I crashed in dorm C with....19 other crazy travelers.
Tomorrow is another adventure.

Karlstad June 30.

Things happen strangely.
I arrived at 1.30 pm with Flixbus and Karl, my CS host, is waiting for me. He came all the way on bicycle. He puts me on the bus number 2 and rides his bicycle back home. We meet at the bus station. He shows me his home where he lives with a roommate and another CS guest.
He cooks for me a vegan meal ( delicious) and we chat a little bit until it is time for him to go to work.
He is a priest and he has a sermon to make. A Lutheran priest.
I change clothes and take the bus number 2 to the Karlstad CCC.
It is after sound check but I just want to say hello to some crew members.
As a matter of fact I feel so nice and relaxed around the buses and trucks that I will spend all afternoon there. I feel part of the 'circus'.
I say hello to many crew members who don't mind at all to see me there. I wave hello to George who will answer with a nice smile once he recognized me.
Charlie,Donnie, Tony are walking around totally relaxed.
(Charlie smoking a lot!)
It feels so great to be part of it.
Barron and his companion are also totally relaxed to see me around. I stay in the limit of the
'privacy area'. I know I won't see Bob who is by now relaxing inside his bus. Fine!
By 6.30 pm I start looking for a ticket.
And I know that will be difficult. The venue is small and tickets are expensive.
I do my best but I will not success. One of the 20% of the failure.
I am sad but will stay on a positive feeling and decide to wait for Bob to come out. I see 2 seconds of him stepping inside his bus.
But ... Again people are nice around me so...
That will be a positive day without a show.
The buses are leaving late and I wave bye bye to Bob ( who certainly doesn't see me).
See you all in Copenhagen. Be safe.

Roskilde fest.
July 3.
Part 1.

An adventure in itself.
I am at the train station in Copenhagen by 10 am. I am sure it is a full day music festival. I was sure it had been going on for 4 days wrong.
At the station I bump into my 2 good Bobcats from Australia.
We take the same train to Roskilde. They catch another train to the Fest and I decide to walk. 3kms.
As soon as I reach the place I know that a ' friendly ticket' just will not work here. People go inside with a sort of electronic wrist band. Bad luck!
There must be a way to sneak live outside the law you have to be honest...
I find my way throw a forest into the camp site. OK.
But then I have to walk inside the music camp itself.
I have no idea but the real music Fest, in fact, starts today at 5 pm.
Inside the area only the volunteers are allowed and working to prepare the Fest. Food and drinks. Well!
I sneak in anyway.
I go straight to the Orange Stage. The piano and the drums are on place and the techs are doing a technical sound check.
After 1 hour they remove the BD instruments as they will be 2 bands before ( and 1 after).
I walk around the area for hours before getting food at a stand. As I am ready to go back to my spot a security guard asks my wristband. How did he know that among the thousands volunteers hanging around I was the only one without the wrist band? I am still wondering right now.
To make a long story short...I am kicked out. Lucky enough not to pay the 3500 fine!
I have to find my way in again.
Same process, same success until the camp site. But by now the security at the music camp is strict. Each wrist is controlled.
One line in. One line out. People going out are not wrist control. OK.
This is my only chance; to enter counter current.
It takes a fraction of a second for the guard to be distracted and I sneak in. People are certainly wondering but no one stops me.
I melt into the crowd and rush to the Orange Stage. By now it is 7.30 pm and Bob is on in half an hour.
I don't even try the rail! No.
I take a stand by the side of the stage. No way to see Bob, not even the Band. But fortunately there is a large screen just in front of me.

Roskilde fest.
Part 2.

Bob is dressed with his black pants with white straps.
A polka dots shirt black with whites spots. A white scarf/tie.
Black heavy boots.
His hair is disheveled due to the wind.
I can see clearly his face on the large screen right in front of me. He looks tired. His eyes are puffy.
At no time he will smile. Just grin.
He will never be center stage.
He will perform rapidly 17 songs.
Missing " Scarlet town" " Trying to get to heaven" and "My master piece".
He will perform " Cry a while" and "Girl from the north country".
The sound is no good ; too much drums and bass and not enough guitar and piano. The Mic is taking the wind and though Bob's voice is clear the sound is distorted.
I see a lot people leaving the front row area. Disappointed.
It is even boring.
LARS is weak.
On " Thunder" I see Tony trying to make the crow clap in rhythm. It doesn't work.
Definitively not the best show ever.
Bob is a hurry to finish.
He will make a standing pose right after LARS and a final bow. And this is for his presence to the public.
It was an adventure for me....
Glad I made it.
But I am looking for small venues....

Hamburg July 5.

Though I booked a Youth Hostel in Hamburg J. proposed to share his hotel room closer to the venue. OK.
In the morning we take a boat tour on the river Elbe together before splitting. Most likely you go your way and I'll go mine.
I decide to go to the venue early afternoon. After all I'm on the road for Bob Dylan. Not the Bobcats.
I realize I've been here before. Huge venue again but nothing like the Roskilde fest.
I don't see a hair of Bobby's head. Recluse more than ever those days.
I have a chat with a Fan who likes to read my stories on Boblinks. I seem to be quite popular! :)
We spot Charlie, George, Donnie getting ready and the "Ninja warrior" is all in black!:)
By 7 pm I look for a ticket that I easily get and a good one on the floor section.
I spot many Bobcats around. Mainly the German crew.
I take my seat on time.
The audience is polite and easy.
Right away I feel that will be a good show. The sound is great and Bobby's voice is Crystal clear.
"Can't wait" is a must.
"Love sick" beautiful. At the moment it gets straight to my bones. " I'm love sick and I'm sick of love". Feel like crying.
" Scarlet town " is again center stage. So was " Can't wait".
"My masterpiece" is a sweet one.
So will be "Girl from the north country" . The public will appreciate. But LARS doesn't bring the reaction expected. Neither "Thunder". No rhythm applause from the audience. Just a big clap at the end.
Great public but polite.
I can't do much Karaoke as I am squeezed between 2 respectful people. Only my feet are moving.
The encore will be standing and maybe a stage rush.
All the songs are respectfully good.
A great standard show.
Thank you Bobby.
I heard from a secure source that Bob had a blast in Roskilde.
What do I know? Still learning from Bobby's attitude!

Brunswick July 6.

I arrive just on time with Flixbus and walk all the way to my Couchsurfing host. Chun Le, from Vietnam, but for now living in Germany and working for ....Volkswagen. The whole city works for the car company.
Chun cooks me a Thai lunch and we chat a little bit before him going for a nap and I walking towards the venue.
The buses are pulling out the parking lot to go at the hotel packing the luggage and picking Bob in one bus and the Band in another bus.
The Hotel is right Across the venue.
I hang around because I am curious.
The musicians are crossing the bridge to reach the back stage door for the sound check.
Unexpectedly Bob will cross the park by the hotel, walking, to step inside his bus parked few meters away. They drive the bus to the hotel to load his luggage in. Whoa!
I then bump into a nice Fan and we have a drink together, downtown, before joining two more fans that I met before on the road.
We have a nice conversation for few hours. No one will open his telephone to chat on line!
By 6. 30 pm it is time to move to the venue ; Volkswagen arena. By now it is pouring rain.  
I have luck with an early ticket and I move in immediately.
The arena is huge but will not be sold out. I take a seat on the floor . on the far back.
I am all by myself on that row.
The show is good but again I am surprise by the NO reaction of the public. Even on LARS.
It is too much quiet.
Polite applause at the end of each song.
Bobby's voice is clear but nothing like Hamburg.
He will do " Spanish boots" which is nice for a change.
" Thunder" will wake me and the audience.
Bob had his hat on until LARS and a beautiful white embroidered suit.
2 songs are center ; " Can't wait" and "Scarlet town".
A nice average show for me but a nice day all together.
I manage to have a ride to Mainz for the next day with some Bobcats.
Bye bye Bobby. See you tomorrow
Good night.
I walk back the half hour to my CS host and we have a long conversation about...politics, ecology, philosophy....Chun had also been traveling a lot and he is thinking about moving to Colombia to open an ecologic farm....away from the folly of men and cars!

Mainz July 7.

I arrive with Hans and 2 others by car in early afternoon.
We are in a park and the stage is set up.
There will be a sound check earlier than usual as the show will start at 7 pm. It is an open air show but sited.
Bob will not be on stage for the sound check, only the Band.
There is a Fans pre-show meeting at the Cafe next to the stage.
Many Bobcats arrived from different direction : some from Netherlands, some from France, some from Austria, some from Switzerland, some from Belgium, some from Italy, some from Poland, some from the UK, some from Japan, some from Australia, some from USA, some from ...Germany.
The whole old bunch of followers.
Bobby should be happy!
I get in and decide to stand on the side, right from the stage, so I can see Bob's profile on the piano.
I have eye contact with Bob's security guard (not Barron) who doesn't seem to mind me being there.
Even at all time the venue security people will make sure my view is not blocked. Whoa!
I am in heaven, dancing and singing along.
More and more people will pile up, standing, on the right aisle and the left aisle. Exactly what I love.
Bob is great. The Band is great though I don't see any of them.
He will do "Can't wait" at the piano which is good for me as I will not see him center stage for "Scarlet town".
He made a lite mistake on "Love sick" ; he forgot the 'Sometimes' on...'sometimes the silence can be like thunder'.
Other than that all was perfect.
"Don't think twice" was the choice of the 3 choices ; "Don't think twice" , "Girl from the North" , "Spanish boots of Spanish leather".
I didn't feel the static set list tonight. For me it was a brand new show. A brand new public.
Even the ancient Bobcats were there tonight. Feeling like the good old days.
On the negative side ... A lot people came to have a good time and were pretty drunk and not respectful. A lot walking in front of the stage and back and worth.
It was a show I will remember.
Thank you Bobby. Thank you the Band. Thank you the security people.
Have all a safe trip. See you at the next show.

Erfurt. July 8.

I arrive 6.10 pm. Only 5 minutes late with Flixbus. As instructed by Anushka, my CS host, I take the tram 1 all the way to the end. I got lost in the few meters around the apartments blocks!
Anushka prepares a Chinese meal ( her mother is from Chinese and she had been raised in Chine by her grandparents).
I prepare my air mattress. Take a shower and ... Sleep well!.
July 9th.
I take the tram back to center town by 10 am and as I buy myself a coffee and donuts I bump into a Bobcat. We sit at the Cafe for hours talking about....Bob Dylan.
We agree on many points and I'm happy to find a Fan who has my philosophy about Dylan.
By now I decide to tram to the venue, just to check.
The Jazzschlossen is just a huge space for shows or exhibits and there is nothing around. So I go back in center town for a walk and coffee.
I tram again to the venue to arrive on time for the sound check. An early one at 3.30 pm.
Nothing much is happening.
But as I walk around I bump into a Fan(occasional one) looking for food.
I instruct t him that the best is to tram to the city center. We do. We spend one hour or so talking about... Bob Dylan. But this time Joe is surprised by my stories.
Back to the venue. Time to search for a ticket. Though the venue is huge, few thousands seats, I just remember than we are in East Germany and it is not a great place for "free" tickets.
I find my way in, anyway, and take a seat on the right section but up on the ring. I can see the totality of the stage. Good for a change.
The venue is packed with seats empty, here and there, but globally full.
Right away the first song is powerful " Things have changed" is crystal clear.
Bob in white. The boys in black. (But that I knew for I saw the costumes being brought inside.)
Bob will wear his black hat until "Pay in blood".
Each one of his word is clearly pronounce. The mic sound is well balanced. The Band is together. I particularly like George on his drums tonight.
I am all by myself on my row and the audience will be extremely respectful. Only few folks are moving away during the show.
No talking. No heavy drinking.
No mobile in the air.
Bob will pick up,again, the wrong harmonica on "Make you feel my Love".
"Can't wait" and "Girl" tonight. 2 highlights in a totally different tempo.
Even "Trying to get to heaven" captures my attention.
I try to move front for the encore and it is alright until a certain point. Fans stand on the aisle. I see Bob's profile clearly.
The public is happy and I don't see any security problem.
Already the end!
I go to have a beer downtown with
some followers and we talk about...Bob Dylan.
By now it is past midnight and I catch the last tram home.
Great day. Great Fans. Great show. Great Bobby tonight.
It feels that the Tour should never end!

Stuttgart July 10.

An easy ride on the Flixbus.
I don't understand why that bus stopped 45 minutes, just 15 minutes away from the Stuttgart stop!
I lock my bag at the train station and go straight to the Jazzopen fest.
It's taking place on a huge open air area, right in the middle of the city.
My good friend Masato handed me his ticket through Isuko. (Thank you my friend and so sorry you couldn't make it to Europe. See you in the States.)
It is a seat and truly I don’t want to stand in the heat. The rail doesn't attract me anymore.
So...I wait out chatting with a Bobcat I unfriended some times ago(things change all the time!), killing time during the opening act I don't want to hear in order not to spoil the Bob Dylan atmosphere.
By 7.30 pm I take may seat. I find myself next to a fan from Netherlands who knows everything about Dylan. A collector. Cool! At least he knows what's going on on stage.
As he wants to tape I will be quiet; no clapping, no karaoke. I focus on Bob's mouth.
To my second big surprise on that tour... 2 big screens are on.
Whoa! We can see Bob full face, dripping sweat and spitting in the mic.
The first song is also a surprise "Ballad of a thin man".
Two groups are packed in the front ; the pit standing and behind the least lucky as it will be difficult to see the stage. I am happy with my position. I see the Band as well as Bob.
The sound is perfect. Same as last show. Bob is really making an effort to articulate. He seems to enjoy. At some point he has a laugh with Tony. Hat off on 'Love sick'.
To my opinion he should have keep his hat on. The sweat didn't help his hair to stand straight and now his head looks weird.
He is literally spitting in the mic.
"Can't wait" and "Scarlet town" are a must, center stage.
We see on screen the wonderful fingers of Charlie on guitar. He has a specific way of streaming.
And George is powerful.
Tony and Donnie concentrated on the Master.
A great show in a great atmosphere. Better than Roskilde. Far smaller with a real Dylan public.
So...I enjoy the last of the European show very much.
I start to be nostalgic already.
Flying to London...but it is...another story!

From Stuttgart to London. July 11.

I have to leave my CS host house at 7.30 am as Peng will be working at 8 am. I decide to go straight to the airport. My flight is due at 3.55pm but it's alright. A lot of time have to be filled up between the BD shows.
I get myself a coffee and read on Internet. By 11 am as I look down below the entrance I spot a tall man , all dressed in black with a hat, elegantly dressed. I know he is Charlie, from the Band. I don't want to disturb him , just take some photos as souvenir. It proves also that the Band is not traveling with Bob. But that I already knew as I flew with the Band and Jeff Kramer From Brisbane to Auckland in 2018.
As I look around I see the entire crew checking luggage at the British Airways counter.
I know for sure they were all taking the same flight ; the crew commercial class, the musicians and Al Santos(stage manager) business class.
I don't see any Barron, Kramer or Jerry. And of course not Suzy Pullen(the BD assistant). Probably flying with Bob in his private jet.
I feel like watching a reality show on TV. At no time I will address any of them though they see me and recognize me. I know all of them ; Al Santos, 'security Bob', Jason, Chris, Bret, the stage techs....
Weird feeling! As if we don't know each other outside the venues!
I know some other fans who have more guts and will be part off the 'circus'.... Groupies or stalkers!
Well! They fly away and I wait for my flight to Paris. For some financial reason I have a stop over in Paris. I have only 1 hour delay. So I start to be nervous.
Will I make it?
I do.
And I am safely in London by 6.15pm.
My good friend John is waiting for me at Heathrow and it is a relief.
We ride the tube for 1 hour before I crash on his couch.

London July 12.

Last and final show for me.
With John we go to the Halcyon Gallery where they have Bob Dylan's Art exhibit.
I still have mixed feeling about Dylan plastic Art. I wonder if his work would sell if it was not signed and promoted....Bob Dylan Art.
I do have the feeling he is selling his name.
I still believe he is cheating and don't do half of what he pretends to do. Megalomania is a trait of the old/rich and famous Americans.
I don’t feel anything about this kind of Art from Dylan.
We walk to Hyde Park to check around. Nothing much is happening so we 'tube' back home to have a lunch of Fish and Chips.
By 3 pm John( who is not going to the show) takes a nap and I 'tube' to Hyde Park.
By now folks are walking in. I search for a ticket that I rapidly find; a lawn ticket. And it is exactly what I want. No rail and front rows crowd for me. No Bobcats. Being on my own fits me well. I need to back up from the "Bob Dylan road" : this is my last show of that Tour. Feel like the last show ever!
I am actually curious for Neil Young performance. I know Bob will do his "job". He doesn't care if he plays for 1000 or for 100 000. All the same for him. He lives in his own world! Disconnected from reality!

Some Bands are opening but as it is a Fest no one pay attention to the huge screens displayed on the side of the stage and on middle of the field. Folks are here to have "fun" ; drink, eat, chat with friends. Maybe Fans on the front are more focusing.
By 6 and something, Neil appears with his Band.
I really like that show. Neil is playing his guitars and moving a lot. At 73 he is fit. The crowd (by now standing) will sing along on "heart of gold" and "old man".
Neil thanx the audience and play his distorted guitar for quiet a while. A bit too long?
Half hour and this is Bob Dylan show.
White jacket and black hat.
The audience gets wild on his entrance but after " The early Roman kings" folks start to be bored and move around. I change my spot to see better on the screen by the left of the stage.
Somehow the sound is also better here.
A change on the set list would have been a must. But....
One song is missing "Scarlet town".
He will end with "it takes a train...".
No duet with Neil...I didn't expect it.
The Hyde Park is now "vomiting" his folks...
I was glad to be here but definitively not the best show on that Tour.