Valladolid, Spain

Polideportivo Pisuerga
July 9, 2006

[Nuno Robles]

Review by Nuno Robles

What a hot day it was in Valladolid…the only people that i saw in the streets 
were the crazy ones wearing old Dylan shirts, drinking beer and discussing the 
previous night gig in Madrid….what would he play today?

These days, if you want to meet people from other countries you should go 
to a Dylan concert….outside the venue (a indoor sports pavilion…) there were, 
as always, followers from countries like Norway, UK, Germany, US and many 
others…and they all seem to know each other pretty well…a big family that 
meets every year for a couple of weeks to share the beautiful experience of 
the performance art of Bob Dylan…."Don't You Dare Miss It", the poster 
says….we won't…

Those two hours that we have before the gig starts are a great opportunity to 
know what has been happening since the Summer Tour started in Ireland. I 
had only been to the Madrid show and I thought that it was really very good 
(amazing Bob on The Lonesone Death of Heattie Carroll - that voice!)…everybody 
seems to be having a wonderful time following Dylan around Europe…where do 
these guys find the time and the money?...

The lights go down and everybody listens to that great introduction (it's about 
time they change it though….)….Dylan and the band walk onstage and the first 
three songs are similar to the Madrid show…very good "Maggie's Farm", 
though….next, "Lay Lady Lay" with very clear vocals from Dylan, singing this 
song with his heart and soul…I have the feeling that he uses the first three 
songs to get used to the venue, to the audience and to himself….after those 
first moments, we know that everything is possible right? Today Dylan seems to 
be amused by the people in the front row, staring at them a couple of times with 
a provocative, yet amusing, look…he needs the feedback from his audience and 
tonight he has it…the crowd knows the lyrics by heart and sing along, even when 
their leader seems to be following other ways…

By the time "It's Alright Ma" comes, a very funny Spanish man tries to photograph 
the man but a female fan doesn't let him putting her hands in front of the camera 
and  calling the security people…the man says something like "La Puta Chibata " 
(can't quite translate it but I think that those were not nice words…) and she 
shows him her breasts….weird scene, but very real, I must say…I can still picture 
the face of that man, not believing what was happening….all this in the first two 
rows…I wonder what does Dylan think about this crazy people (us…) following 
him religiously from town to town…trying to get pictures of him and getting visions 
of naked women instead….well, back to the stage…

Next we have "Don't Think Twice…"…I love this song! And I love the way Dylan 
seems to reinvent it with his voice every time he performs it live…I still remember 
a great version last year in London on the first evening of the Brixton tour…This 
time the song works perfectly and here we can feel the greatness of the musicians 
that share the stage with the master…I must confess that last year I had some 
reservations regarding Denny Freeman on lead guitar…I thought that he overplayed 
somehow and I can't explain it…this time he was perfect…great guitar 
player…amazing figure onstage….the coolest of the cool…"Higway 61" comes 
next….i always have great pleasure listening to those lyrics and tonight is no 

A man behind me screams "New Morning" even before Dylan starts to sing the 
following song….how did he know it???? I didn't…but well, it was only the second 
show for me this time…he screamed and everybody looked at him in disbelieve…but 
he was right…and his eyes were smiling when everybody realised how right he 
was…great version of this song that found a new live in the last couple of years…

Not much to say for the rest of the concert. I can't seem to like the Love & Theft 
songs as much as I once did…they are perfectly played and sung, don't get me 
wrong…but they don't work for me as they did in the past…I guess that this is only 
a phase though…It was a privilege though to listen to such great versions of 
"Forever Young" and "IDon't Belive You…"….

The encore is the same as always…but the crowd love it and I think that this is why 
he sings the same two songs (with small variations) from show to show…an emotional 
gift to the less loyal fans that shared with him a hour and a half of a genius (never 
this words was better used) and unpredictable performance….now, to San Sebastian…


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