Review

Benicassim, Spain

Benicassim Festival

July 13, 2012


[Laurette]

Review by Laurette



A night in Barcelona after the Bilbao show.  J. is driving the car to Benicassim.
After 4 hours and a fortune spending in highway tolls we arrive in a small village 
by the Mediterranean sea.  It's difficult to park. We probably missed the official 
parking lot since the signs are sparse.  We park on a narrow street between
two huge garbage cans.  Good enough and free.

We walk quickly to the venue. The organisation is a mess. No one knows nothing.
Finally J. retrieve his ticket and I buy mine for 85 (a day ticket). The festival is 
4 days long and this is the second day.  We get in to find three different stages, 
Bob will be on the main one.

I slip as close as possible to the rail two hours previous the Dylan set.  At 8.00 p.m. 
a young and loud English group is on. The bass guitar is so loud that my entire body 
is checking.  The youngsters next to me are wild, loaded on alcohol and substances!
For me it's one hour of torture.  I expect some of those kids to move after this
show, but only one girl will leave the rail right in front of me.  I'm right in front of 
the mike but the gap between the stage and the rail is huge.  The Bob's roadies 
are rolling the equipment rapidly. The security takes place. 10 guards in the gap plus 
two or three big chiefs. Heavy security for Bob Dylan!

The Band takes place and right away I feel it's gonna be difficult. From where I stand
the sound is terrible, they don't seem to play together, out of time.  For the 6th 
song Bob seats at the piano and try "Make you feel my love".  It sounds like a 
rehearsal! Bob talks to Donnie who seems to be lost.  Bobby is Zimmy tonight, in a 
terrible mood!  I even believe that at the end of the song he says to Donnie : 
"Stop playing". I read on his lips.  Poor Donnie always so smiling, but not tonight.
Tony is not able to control anything. Every single song is a disaster.  The setlist is 
not the best for that kind of public.

"Honest with me", "Spirit on the water" way too slow and sophisticated.  Even
"Desolation row" is long and boring. The kid next to me is falling asleep on the 
rail (after too many beers).  Even "Highway 61" doesn't bring too much reaction.
"Ballad Of A Thin Man" poorly performed.  The break is short. Bob will come back 
rapidly for "Like a rolling stone", makes the salute and runs off stage.

Only 15 songs!  The public is deceived so am I.  Deceived and sad for Bob and his 
Band.  Benicassim was not a festival for bob Dylan or maybe would had been a killer 
with:  "High water", "Man in the long black coat", "The levee's gonna break", 
"Summer's day" and some classics "Mr Tambourine man" "Maggie's farm" and 
"Knocking on heaven's door".

A specific list for a specific festival?  I was curious to go, but never again.

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