Palacio de los Deportes de La Rioja
June 21, 2023
Review by Laurette Maillet
From San Sebastian to Logrono. June 21st.
No day off but Logrono is not that far away ; three hours
on the bus.
We are four Bobcats, with Graham, Sarah(from Mexico) and
Joseph (from UK) and I.
We all dispersed to check in different accomodations.
Sarah and Joseph will join me later around the venue.
Well! Not the best ever. A sport arena in the middle
The four buses are already parked.
I spot three young kids with a sign "I love Bob Dylan".
They are 15, musiciens, and want to meet Bob. I wish it
could be possible. They have been spotted by security and
I believe not for the best. Too bad. I feel sad for the kids.
[Later on I find them in the queue. They managed to get
some cheap tickets.
Great! Happy for them!]
Bob and the Band will arrive later by vans. We can hear the
soundcheck. I Believe I hear some piano ??? And Joseph
believes he recognizes "Truckin' ". Not sure.
Anyway. The show tonight though indoors will start at 9.30 pm.
I need a ticket. Rapidly a man comes to me and gives me one.
Just like that!?.
The ticket says " invitation " and 0€.
Mauro will explain later : he saw me in Alicante and promised
himself to give me a ticket when possible. He was in Huesca
with a friend and the tickets were exchanged for Logrono. His
friend didn't want to come so he kept the promise to give me
Fine. It's on the floor. And it's lucky for the venue is a
stadium with terrible aspect :(
The seats are plastic and the ceiling really high. I wonder
about the sound. They had a long afternoon soundcheck.
Should be alright ??
They start 9.33pm.
First song sounds alright.
Bob sitting the two first songs.
Then up. He's wearing the black and white polka dots shirt.
No harp on "Masterpiece".
I really like "My own version of you". Great swing! Mauro
also enjoys it.
"I'll be your Baby tonight" moves the public. With some
"yeah! Yeah!" and clapping along.
From "Crossing the Rubicon" and on Bob seems to lose his
Mauro, next to me, is bored on "Key west" and asks me the
name of the song ????
Some movement from the crowd. Fans leaving.
But then Bob spends time introducing the Band with funny
remarks for Doug, Bob (Britt), Donnie and Tony. They all
have a laugh.
"Gotta serve somebody" is average.
After "I've made up my mind to give myself to you" I see
Donnie picking up his violin and without hesitation they
swing into "Tweedle Dee and tweedle dum". I love it (and I
know that will trouble some folks :( ). [As much as the fact
that I never like "Key west".]
"Goodbye Jimmy Reed" is always good.
And the final "Every grain of sand" with a heartfull harp
at the end.
Not a bad show all together but not the energy of
San Sebastian 2.
During the entire show we could see thunder lightnings
through the ceiling windows.
Lucky the show was indoors.
I say thanks to Mauro and walk the half hour under the
rain to my crowded Hostel.
[We are on the path to Compostela.]
Thank you Joseph, Sarah, Graham for the company. We had fun.
Thanks Mauro for the Tix.
Thanks Bobby and the Band and the crew.
See you next in Barcelona!
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Review by Lothar Knatz
Logrono, in the middle of the Rioja vineyards, makes its debut
on the Dylan map. The town of 150.000 situated on the banks of
the Ebro has a nice historic district. The Dylan venue, Palacio
de los Deportes, is an unembellished multipurpose hall. The
maximum capacity of 1.700 is not completed, the crowd of
little more than 1.200 are mostly locals, not many of the
international Dylan followers on the simple blue plastic seats.
I had business in Santander and came over to see Dylan again
after the Magdeburg concert in 2022.
They entered the stage on time (21.30) with Watching the River
Flow, minor problems with the sound were corrected quickly.
Voice and sound were cristal clear then. The new drummer on
the left side, Bob Britt in front next to Dylan, Tony behind
the piano, and Donnie Herron and Dough Lancio close together
on the right. In Magdeburg Dylan hides behind the piano during
the whole show, this time you could watch the man at work.
"When I Go Mine" seems to come even more late after "When You
Go Your Way". His voice got sharp in the end of the verses of
"False Prophet", and he arose from his music stool especially
when he wanted more voice expression.
"When I Paint My Masterpiece" has a piano intro now, and when
the soft rhythm section starts with Donnies violin floating
above, the crowd started clapping. My first personal highlight
was "My Own Version Of You", a song I didn't like too much in
the past. The new arrangement starts with a guitar riff and
the whole song got more dynamic. The fallen bass line is
replaced by a dialogue between piano and guitar. And Britt is
a creative and tastefull player! In general Dylans music now
seems to be even more stripped down to the bone, got a strong
base of Rhythm & Blues. And he let Bob Britt play solo, in
duet with his own piano work. The whole concept sounds tight
and strong. and the unorthodox drum style of Jerry Pentecost
adds an archaic touch.
"I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" starts with a very tender slow
piano intro, with passionate singing, and after the long
intro the sharp guitar riff leds the song into a powerfull
nightmare. "To Be Alone With You" follows a similiar concept,
but doesn't finish in a violent inferno, it is more
rhythmically developed. "I crossed The Rubicon" sounds
perfectly in the blues scheme, and Britt and Dylan again
moved the song forward in their dialogue. "Key West" comes
along like a jazzy improvisation and they take this mood into
a longer intro of "Gotta Serve Somebody", before the rhythm
train accelerates. But it does not become a smooth train
ride, its more rough and rowdy ways.
"I've Made Up My Mind" is for me still one of the more
unimportant points in the concert although the arrangement
has improved. I had hoped for "Not Fade Away" or "Truckin'",
but we got "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum". The boys obviously
enjoyed it and make it a rough Rhythm & Blues ride, fully
satisfactory. The finale starts with "Mother of Muses",
Dylans prayer to the goddess of arts and inspiration, peace
and wisdom. The rythm and blues patterns of "Good Bye Jimmy
Read" are soon converted into a more free improvisation. And
ultimately "Grain of Sand", another kind of prayer and hymn.
At the end we got a wonderfull strong harmonica outro. The
Band comes in front of the stage for the final applause,
Dylan moving slow amd carefull. The crowd spend a long and
The concert was very tight, like a monolithic block. And I
hear Dylan say one sentence I heard from him never before.
Somewhere in the middle between songs he said:"I love you".
Believe it or not! I did not count my Dylan concerts. Last
year I thought it would have been the last time, Logrono
was an unexpected extra benefit. No doubt, one to remember.
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