July 4, 2008
Review by Iris Seifert
Bergamo was denied with a flat tire in pouring rain with only an emergency
spare; Therefore: Lorca and an unexpected trip to Spain.
While drinking a sip to Mr. Dylan and his band on the lovely little
terrace by my room on this tranquil and mild summer night in Lorca, Spain,
it is hard to put this show tonight into few words.
Hot summer day, and nothing better than a mild evening with a breeze, a
lovely relaxed outdoor venue and great music.
Walking the town near the bull ring before the show, the villas and
gardens adjacent were large and some refined. Upon reaching the "river"
(which now amounts to a dry sand bed) and crossing to the other side, the
situation is not as luxurious. The tiniest of houses, open doors, old
ladies sitting on the sidewalk by the "river" eating sunflower seeds to
escape the stifling heat inside their living rooms; fragrant lavender
bushes alongside the walkway, yellow flowering trees that dropped a flower
on me; it seemed bizarre to worry about getting inside the concert
location for a "good spot".
Also adjacent to the bull ring was a wonderful Plaza Infantil - a
children's park with lots of play things, water fountain, an aviary with
wonderful finches, canaries, parakeets and the like (the bird show on XM
theme time could have had some input there...), and a mini-pond with
turtles and some beautiful ducks, one of them looked like a wood-duck,
reminding me of happy times in Minnesota. This place came alive after 7pm
when the heat breaks. Children of all ages were gleeful, budding teenagers
starting to flirt, parents talking and relaxing, watching their kids run
free, and an old couple, still gleaming, perhaps once having played and
dated in this very park some 50 years ago. The aviary contained one kind
of parakeet different from the others as he was a pastel turquoise shade
fading into lime green with a yellow tinted head. Watching him, suddenly
he flew up into the branches and started twirping loudly. My association
was: "the bird on the fence is singing a song just for me at his own
And this is how the concert felt tonight: Mr. Dylan came out with a
green-turquoise shirt under his black coat ...; and after the first raspy
line, his voice rang out sonorously at times; already in the opening song,
and "everybody must get stoned" resonated.
Perhaps some of the many Dylan-fan club travelers will agree - the
harmonica playing tonight was outstanding. Thank you, Mr. Dylan for your
playing, also the organ contributions, it sounded so soulful, heartfelt;
but maybe it just penetrated my soul.
There was not a doubt in my mind that Mr. Dylan was "just like that bird,
singing just for you". After "Trying to get to heaven before they close
the door", and a superb rendering of Moonlight, not to mention Spirit on
the Water as well as When the deal goes down it crossed my mind: 'if he
now plays Ain't talking' as the last song it will be sealed' And behold:
that was the last song. Could this really be comprehended? And this after
top versions of so many standard set list items such as Stuck in Mobile
with totally bone chilling, whaling "Ohhhh Maaaamaaaa, can this really
beee the eeend?", and Don't think twice, it's all right, or High Water,
Just like TomThumb's blues, and a fine Desolation Row...
Some lyrics seem changed (if accidental at that perhaps), and the most
outlandish one is " we look the same, we even dress alike" - that is from
Moonlight, which pierced to the core tonight. Some lyrics stand out the
way they are annunciated.
After all this praise for Mr. Dylan, it should definitely not be missed
thanking the band for their consistently top level input from everyone.
Definitely, Mr. Freeman had a soaring night again with great solos and
duets with organ. All except on Ain't talkin': that input was too loud for
sure for a delicate song like that, where Mr. Heron would have deserved
more show-casing (it is hard to say negative things, period)... And the
other instrumentalists with their solo interludes and audible harmonic
compliments, down to the always excellent rhythm strong hold by Mr.
Recile, and carrying bass line (Mr. Garnier on chair, though that pose
with electric bass doesn't look good for a bad back...). Great also that
we had a saxophone player tonight... nice save.
This night could go on forever, as this music could, but after two pages
worth, I believe it is time for us to quit. I'll go back to NY city, but
not because I had enough, but because there can't be enough!
Most sincerely and inspired
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