page by Bill Pagel
Review by Andrea Orlandi
Well,i was not expecting too much for tonight.
After 5 shows in Spain, everything seemed to be already revealed: a
classic one in Barcelona in a intimate setting, an average one in a wild
plaza de toros under the bright stars of costa blanca, a brilliant one in
a small football stadium on the andalucia coast, another very good one in
the flamenco country of Cordoba - with two real gems as "god knows" and
"Blind willie McTell", another classic one in Alcalà in front of the
biggest audience of the spanish tour - 12.000- where we saw him asking Stu
to play a particular guitar part after two verses in ballad of a thin man,
to sustain him in an new conceived harmonica solo. So after all this and
many different songs played, i did not expect to be surprised anymore. But
inside a covered bull ring , the hottest venue of the tour despite the
storm outside, we had the best show we saw this year and , i am positive,
by far and large one of the best i ever saw. Our man was on FIRE almost
from the beginning. White hat on - for a change- the same black suit ,
from where i was seated he looked as Renaldo, the Rolling thunder boy,
but, more than that, he was singing his heart out as in the Revue or, to
my ears, even better than that. That was evident in "It ain't me babe"
that had a brand new (for me at least)arrangement, with echoes of the RRR
one, and even more in "hard rain", the best i ever heard on a show. But
all the songs where terrific: from it's alright ma the show took off and
was stellar. The audience in the arena went crazy The walls were trembling
and the sound , despite the glass ceiling, was powerful and clear. Even
when i had to convinced my self to leave for a quick beer to beat the
heat, before was impossible, i could not stop watching that white hat and
listening to the gorgeous sound arriving from the stage like a roar. It
was a magic night. I could go home right away completely satisfied, but we
have two more on the trip (alas, festivals..) Viva Renaldo and his boys!
Comments by Luis Fuente
What can I say?
Perhaps that last night Bob Dylan and his Band weren´t taking any
Perhaps that the bullring arena was full and hot.
Perhaps that everybody around me was staring in awe as Bob and his
gang of outlaws played A Hard Rain´s A-Gonna Fall.
Perhaps that yes, he saw it coming, he is younger than then now.
Perhaps that, as always, he was honest with us.
Perhaps that I was grinning all the way back to Oviedo.
Perhaps that it isn´t true that he will not come back to Europe.
Perhaps that what I really think is that there´s no words that need
to be said.
Hasta la vista, Bob!
Review by Angel Uriarte Lopez
Excuse me if I get a bit too personal this time but Bob is really a personal thing to me. Well, let me
include my sweet wife Nerea, my only daughter, Adriana, and Sarah Smith, a lovely 19 girl from Saint
Andrew, that town in Scotland where Bob had just been named Doctor and who was living with us at the
moment. She was very happy of being at a Bob show for the first time as her dad is a big fan, and of
course her dad got a phone call from somewhere in Spain where Bob was playing.
Leon was my last stop with Bob. My wife had agreed to meet me there and bring along my 5 year daughter,
Adriana, who was to see uncle Bob for her first time. I remember having called my wife from Crodoba
telling her I thought it was not a good idea to bring Adriana to a Bob show, due to the intensity of
the music. But you know what? Adriana happened to be at the phone and was asking all the time, how many
shows are left for my own? Oh man, when I heard those words, I felt more easy about it. I had arrived
earlier than my family, so went to the bull ring place to see what was going on, and I met the black
buses parked, I didn't know these nightliners are called BEAT THE STREET, but I liked that name. I made
some pictures and upon seeing a man coming out from one of the buses, I asked him if he would give Bob
some stuff-a poem and a picture that my daughter had drawn of him. He said Bob doesn't accept any kind
of thing, and I said well come on it's only a drawing, he said sorry again, Bob doesn't want anything
from anyone, I said please take it, you can always throw it away. He took it and said, ok I,ll give it
a try but you know I'm not supposed to do this, to which I said I know what you are supposed to say to
me but I'm doing what I'm supposed to do too. I then moved to the front door of the bull ring where I
saw a bunch of Dylanheads waiting already in line to get a first row, and it was only 4pm and the show
was not starting until 9 pm! Man can you believe this, and the town swimming pools where just at hand!
And to them I went where I was meeting my girls. And what a good swim we had. Now let me tell you
something, I have a personal belief that whenever Bob is around something special is to be felt in the
air, if you are mystical enough to smell the magic of the moments. The day had turned from a hot one
to a stormy heaven, big dark clouds had begun to gather and I knew it was going to happen. The same
Bob mystery thing that I had witnessed at other shows. Two hours later, the sky was charged and the
first lightning could be seen. The light changed dramatically as the storm got closer and closer to
the bullfighting place. I recall having told Sara, as if joking to her, that everytime Bob arrives
in one place, theres an electric welcome in the skies and a rainbow always appears, which was exactly
what was happening now. As we were heading for the show, the rainbow was there, just above the place,
and I looked at Sarah, and said, hey look what did I tell you? There it is. We had deliberately
waited until the last moment hoping to sit Adriana as far away as possible from the stage, but to our
surprise, the were no sits left, the bullfighting ring of Leon was "abarrotada" -full. The ambient was
impressive, even my wife Nerea- she is sick and tired of Bob as a good dylanhead wife should always be-
had to recognize she didn't expect it. I remember having told some guy in Cordoba, wait until Leon,
you will see how well the people of the north respond. And I tell you we did-I'm from Bilbao, a
northern city. We had to change position as were getting no sight at all of Bob and my daughter had
waited a long time to see him. We decided to go to the far right corner as you look at the stage, and
to our surprise, we happened to be in front of Bob! As he plays facing one corner and not the audience,
which Nerea thought was not very fair of him, how can he do this to the people! She said, he just
ignores them! But then she said, we came late and now have the best picture of the band, lol.
Someone had let my daughter binoculars and she didn't want to give them back. Ok, and now to the show.
Of course, what other song could have opened this show but DRIFTER'S ESCAPE? Just think of it, outside
the sky had been lightning at the very beginning of the show and it probably still was.I missed the
empathy of the next two songs, IT'S ALL OVER NOW and BABY BLUE cause they happened when we were changing
positions-Sugar please, send me this show as soon as you get it. By the time JUST LIKE A WOMAN ended
I had to pledge my wife to get out of the place immediately with our daughter. Something was very clear,
Bob had decided to break all sound limits that night. I had my daughter fallen lying on my legs. At
least she had finally been at a Bob show, I thought. I moved closer to the centre in order to be more
into the sound. This song had been hoped for at all the shows and here it was finally, with this
tremendous feeling in bob spelling and with this different rhythm also imposed to IT'S ALL RIGHT MA,
that I like so much. And again a new rhythm to MOONLIGHT so indicative of the energy that the band had
within, an energy that kept flowing and growing one song after the other. The people down on the arena
must have had their souls really uplifted. The sound was totally massive, so much that at the end of
every song the fuses went off and so the lights for a few seconds outside in the corridor, which
everyone getting his beer could see. But it was not only a trocl pf tje tao;. as Bob was to play the
carpenter of songs he can be, amazing how he nailed the words tonight, I had seen it in his last show
in London last year at Brixton academy. Yes, this time Bob plane did take off amid a heavenly storm
where HARD RAIN, MASTERS OF WAR and FOREVER YOUNG came like lightning giving way to un upbeat ROLLING
STONE - sorry Bob, for calling you slow at this one - and to the perfect finish plan that lies behind
ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER. With this final song still on, I saw the back stage door open and the front
of one black bus appear with the white letters BEAT THE STREAT written on it. And the DRIFTER did
Just three more things before I say goodbye. First one, I have seen the animal that stands for wisdom
flying over Bob's head at all the shows I have been. Second, when Bob plays the low notes on his
keyboard, it is as if the whole damn thing was moving, as if all the furniture of this old world
was being removed.
And last, I want to thank my precious wife Nerea for her perfect understanding of what being a Bob
page by Bill Pagel
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