Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 04/18/99

Reviews

Granada, Spain

April 18, 1999

Palacio Municipal de Deportes


[Antonio Terni], [Martin and Lynn]

Review by Antonio Terni


The Palacio Municipal de Deportes in Granada is a closed buiding where they play handball. 
It is very closed to the football stadium and as we arrived there to get our tickets they 
were having a football game and the rumours of the supporters made it impossible to hear 
at the rehearsals of the band. (Just for history: the local team lost the game and that 
explains why the supporters screams were not so loud, after all.) So we went to visit the 
Alhambra which is totally unbelivable and it really deserves a mind more focused on it 
than the one we had waiting for the show. But we liked it very much and hopefully we'll 
be able to go back there just to see it again.

Andres Calamaro's act was not so brilliant tonight. He didn't do any joke to the public 
and in fact he seemed unhappy. Somebody told me that Bob's entourage had not 
appreciated him playing Seven Days the night before. I can't believe this but in fact 
Andres didn't  play that song again for the rest of the tour.

We had two seats on the first row at the extreme left but with no fences and in fact the 
view was very good so we did not insist to move towards center. But when he played 
Visions of Johanna, THE SONG I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR AGES, I could not stop 
myself to move towards the center just to thank Bob for his existence.  Before VOJ 
they played Friend of the Devil, a very nice version oh 4th Time Around which I have 
never heard live before, the usual Masters of War and then this incredible version of 
Visions that really moved Sandro and me to tears. You are there in Granada, Bob is 
playing Visions just for you and you are aware that this combination of space and time
will be a highlight in your life whatever you have had or you will have from your destiny. 
And there is nothing else you can say about.  Tambourine and Tangled gave us time 
to land back to earth and to be prepared for our first Hattie Carroll live: delightfull and 
inspired; all lyrics were  at the right place and Bob seemed totally aware of the story 
he was singing puttimg the right accents of pity and angriness exactly where he had to.
Then I don't Believe You closely reminding the electric version of 1966 and after that 
an exciting electric version of It takes a Lot to Laugh, very good but, in my opinion, not 
to be compared with the original version or with the Bangla Desh one which were both
absolutely perfect. I'm not sure that electric guitars do any good to this song.  After all 
these magic moments the rest of the show run on usual tracks and sounded slightly
anticlimatic (can you say that in English? you defnitely cannot in Italian...) but you can't
stay forever on top of the hill, can you?. Maggie's Farm closed this incredible night and 
beers and tapas gave to our bodies the support for matching the heights our spirits
have achieved. 

[TOP]

Review by Martin and Lynn


Andreas Calamaras came on at 9pm, and wasnít as Dylanesque as he was last 
night, but sang a song about Bob, and before he left, kissed the stage where 
Bob was about to stand.  We were in the 3rd row to the right, between the 
Spanish Dylan appreciation society, and some people who seemed less 
interested in the concert and more interested in talking and getting drinks.  
The Spanish people behind them pointed out several times that they were there 
to listen to the music.  Bob came on at about 10pm, and was immediately 
singing passionately for the first song, Friend of the devil.  I could tell 
by the way he was peering out at the audience with a dreamy look in his eyes 
that it was going to be a great concert.  4th time around was sung very 
tenderly, with great attention to detail, and was very faithful to the 
original.  Masters of war was fantastically powerful, as it was the night 
before in the bullring in Malaga.  The fourth song was Visions of johanna, 
which most people seemed to recognise about two thirds of the way through the 
introduction, and I was amazed to hear it live for the first time.  As it 
ended, bob laughed and introduced David Kemper on the drums, although I 
hadnít noticed anything unusual from him during the song.  Mr tambourine man 
was also great and ended with a great harmonica solo, played one handed as he 
held his guitar to his side with the other.  The Spanish Dylan appreciation 
society were greeting any look of Bobís in our direction hysterically, and 
Bob repeatedly turned in our direction to play flourishes of guitar and 
smiling.  Tangled up in blue featured quite a lot of this, and was sung much 
better than it had been the previous night.  It was followed by another 
surprise, The lonesome death of hattie carroll, for which the band played 
very quietly and seemed to back away from Bob, leaving him in the spotlight.  
I donít believe you was the first electric song, sung brilliantly.  Even when 
he forgot the words to one verse(I think for the only time during the 
evening), he made up some that made sense and seemed to fit.  His electric 
guitar playing was as good as the acoustic, which I donít think it ever has 
been before.  It takes a lot to laugh was really powerful, with great guitar 
playing.  Canít wait was funky and To make you feel my love was sung very 
tenderly.  During the band intros, he announced Bucky Baxter as Ďfrom the 
USAí.  As Highway 61 started, everybody ran to the front of the stage, and I 
found myself standing about ten feet in front of Bob.  I was amazed at how 
great he looked - very fit and healthy, and being so close, you could see how 
passionate and committed he is to his songs.  Lovesick was slow and very 
atmospheric, Rainy day women was the only song I could have done without, but 
it was great to see him playing lots of excellent lead guitar - he only sang 
two verses.  Blowing in the wind was incredibly moving - he really seemed to 
be saying something about things that are happening now, and when you feel 
yourself moved by the words that you know so well and that youíve heard so 
many times, itís an amazing thing.  After the song ended, lots of people were 
calling out requests, and Bob seemed to gesture to everyone at the front, 
asking what should come next.  Iím not sure if anyone asked for it, but he 
did Maggies farm instead of Not fade away, and he was studying everyone at 
the front as he was singing.  An American bloke took a few pictures during 
Rainy day women, and when the song ended, the security guard in front of us 
leapt at him and chased him through the hall.  I took a picture during 
Blowing in the wind, and decided not to risk taking any more.  Bob thanked 
Andreas Calamaras, who had been watching from the side.  Someone threw a rose 
onto the stage, and Bob bent down, picked it up and kissed it, then walked 
off with it and left the stage.  David Kemper threw his drumsticks at the 
front row and the people in front of me scrambled for them.  This was my 21st 
show, and definitely one of the best.  I think itís up there with Wembly 
1984, or Wembly 1989 - the best concerts Iíve seen.  Apart from his obvious 
commitment to the songs that night, the thing that made it great was his 
voice, which seems suddenly to have a great range; smooth and tender, hard 
and coarse, and then wild and soaring - and itís proof of how great a singer 
he is that he can perform a song with any one of these variants, or all of 
them, and sound totally convincing.

From Martin & Lynn, Crouch End, London, England.

[TOP]


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