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Bob Dylan 990414 in Madrid, Spain

Subject: Dylan in Madrid
From: Javier Manso (
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 19:30:31 +0200

I had never seen him live. Yesterday I did for the first time. It was
not one of those concerts in which people sing and shout all the
concert. It is impossible to sing along with Dylan, he always plays as
if the songs were new; anyway, people welcomed the best known titles.
Distinguishing the songs becomes, especially for us, who don't speak
english, an adventure.

The sound was very good, he's got a great great band, and the selection,
personally, was marvellous. As people say, he moved a lot on stage,
which he doesn't use to do, and people appreciated it. He really looked
as if he was enjoying it. He played for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Just
hello, presenting the musicians, thank you and a couple of smiles here
and there. The rest was all music.

For your records, here are the songs he played. I may have forgotten one
or two:

Friend of the devil (Grateful Dead)
Just like Tom Thumb Blues
Masters of war
Love minus zero
Tangled up in blue
Forever young
Don't think twice, it's all right
A simple twist of fate
Love sick
Highway 61
Like a rolling stone
Blowing in the wind
Not fade away (by Petty and Hardin)

Anyone came to see him in Spain? We must be thankful, he's going to
travel all around our country.


Subject: A Madrid Review (Sort of!) From: Carlos Serra Guevara ( Date: 15 Apr 1999 23:52:24 -0700 OK; Hullo, all! I was also puzzled by the lack of any reviews of the previous shows, but here's my 1 peseta's worth. IT WAS GREAT!!! really! I Mean it! Bloody wonderful show. Bob was enjoying himself, and the crowd went nuts, although they were a bit puzzled by "Friend of the devil" and "4th time around" But I'm getting ahead of meself. The Palacio de Los Deportes holds about 10.000 people, and it has (usually) terrible acoustics. Actually, it is built on the site of the old Madrid bullring, torn down in the 1930's. OK, the place was packed. I don't think it actually sold out, but it seemed full. And the crowd was very much into it. Some people left after the Andres Calamaro set. I admit he bored me to tears (Sorry, Sebastian!) ;-) He played a couple of Bob covers, one being, oddly enough, "7 days"! Bob came on stage at 10 pm and played for 100 solid minutes. I am sorry, but I can't give you a song-by song review. It all gets jumbled up in my mind into one huge big experience. 2nd time I saw Bob. First time in Arkansas '95. Didn't enjoy it much, truth to tell. He played wonderfully, and sang great. He had a little trouble with the high notes, but, boy, when he hit the low ones, with the throaty growl, I got goosebumps! The band was AWESOME. They complemented Bob perfectly, sometimes pushing him, and sometimes being pushed by Bob. One of the greatest moments was a jam with Larry at the end of "Don't think twice" He whipped us all into a frenzy, playing that jingle-jangle sound, each egging the other to play faster, better. I can tell you I was not the only one who went nuts during this bit. I have grown to love his rhythmic lead guitar. It is a perfect substitute for the harp, if he cannot play it anymore. He knows the songs inside out, and knows how and when to hit those notes. Especially lovely are the notes he fills the spaces between the lines with. The was he slashes and strums the guitar. Perfectly underlining and emphasizing the vocals. It is a great effect. The acoustic set, as I said before, started out slow, but was great, and TUIB was awesome! He really got into it, and sang the hell out of it! I did not expect to like it this much, as I feel it has been overexposed over the last few years... Another unexpected highlight was HWY61. I wasn't looking forward to it at all, but he really bellowed it! and the guitar jam was again great. By now everybody was on their feet, and cheering loudly. What a great way to end the regular set! Backtracking a bit, another highlight, and tied for "best song of the night" award, were an amazing "Señor" and a slightly rearranged "Tom Thumb" Now, THAT is ART! Perfect perfect perfect. I could not sit down, nor blink, afraid I might miss something. Incredible. Best "Señor" I ever heard. And "Tom Thmb" rocked. Slowly, but it rocked. Like a bastard. I cannot emphasize enough how good these two songs were. I don't have the vocabulary. Mesmerizing. Goosebump time BIG time. They are etched in my mind. Forever. "Simple Twist of fate" was its usual gentle, wonderful self. Same ararngement as of late, and wonderfully done. LARS was done in a way I had not heard before. A tad slower, perhaps a beat slower than usual. And the tone was all different. Gentle, subdued, mournful, even. Fantastic. He breathes life into these old chestnuts like nobody else could. I missed the harp, which did not make an appearance, but, in retrospect, I could npot care less. Love-0 was great also. Nothing new here, but it's such a beautiful song, it must be really hard to ruin it. ANd he did good by it. More goosebumps. I *loved* "Not Fade Away"! It is not exactly the Hartford '97 arrangement, is it? I think he has tweaked it here and there, nothing I could put my finger on, but I liked it so much more... Wonderful way to end the concert. The crowd went nuts. I almost thought (hoped) he'd come back for more, but, realistically, he neved does, so no dice... Again, I cannot emphasize enough what a great job the band did. I do think it is his best band ever. They are versatile and malleable. He wears this band like a glove. He seems to play them as much as he does his guitar. Larry played few solos, but his rhythm parts, and his counterpoints, fills and melodic lines complemented Bob's playing perfectly. God, I hope he pays them well. I hope they stay together a long time. The only gripe I can think of is that the only TOOM track was "Love Sick" (although it was an outrageously good version!) I missed "Can't wait? And would have given an arm and a leg for "Not Dark Yet" or "Trying to get to heaven". But that's unimportant. I feel very lucky indeed. It was a wonderful experience. I could not stop smiling all though the show. My facial muscles hurt! ;-) Please, excuse the rambling and disorganized review, and my imperfect English. Also, forgive me if I gushed too much and did not seem too objective, but I could hardly have enjoyed myself more. And Van plays here in 2 weeks! Yeeeeee-haw! Oh, God, I hope a good tape circulates in the future. Hey, Alan, a great "Europ@'98" could be made off just the Portuguese and Spanish shows! *grin* Wish you had all been there. I mean it. I wish I had written a better review. Such a concert deserves a review by, oh, I dunno, John Howells, Peter Stone Brown, Alan Fraser, Paul Williams(Pablo!) Joe Cliburn, Glynne, Crystal... I can't do justice to it. It turned out a bit discombobulated and ramshackle. Again, wish you had all been here, to share it. OK, I'll stop now. I could go on typing for hours, but I have abused your patience enough. If there's anything you wish to ask or comment, feel free to do so. May Bob be with y'all... Carlos "If my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd put my head on a guillotine"
Subject: Re: A Madrid Review (Sort of!) From: Michele Simpson ( Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1999 12:41:15 GMT This review is very exciting. Great Job...language or no language difference..Fabulous !!! I could feel your excitment and happiness.... michele "pass the tree of smoke, pass the angel with four faces."..b.dylan
Subject: More about Madrid From: Carlos Serra Guevara ( Date: 20 Apr 1999 22:11:10 -0700 First off, THANK YOU! To everybody for the wonderful feedback about my reviews! I will try to answer each message separately, but have been away for a few days, and am just swamped, and wanted to let you know it meant a lot to me. You all are fantastic, you all know who you are. (Hullo, Dee, Mike, Kate!)Gawd, I love rmd. I'd also like to expand a little upon my previous posting... I forgot to mention the fantastic performance of "Masters of war"! It was dark, ominous and great. It seems to be a song he feelks strongly about lately, perhaps for the obvious reasons, perhaps not. I'd read all the reviews from the earlier US dates mentioning this song as a highlight every night, and they were correct. I loved the understated was it started, with Bob strumming lightly the chords... "Watching the river flow" was a great surprise, and a fantastic version! It *BOUNCED* :-) Also, just because fair's fair, I must admit "Blowing in the wind" seemed flat to me, for some reason. Although I love this arrangement of it. Oh well. Seeing all the setlists from the rest of the Peninsular tour, I now see that Madrid got, apart from "Tom Thumb", the least interesting setlist! I can't wait for a "Globe Arena" of this tour! Tapers, I love you, don't disappoint us! I'd pay through the nose for something like that, I think. Now, Peter Haeg says Madrid was good, but not great. I defer to his judgement, since he has seen more shows than I have, and prolly listened to some more boots, too, and therefore he has more authority. But I enjoyed the hell out of it. If it had been a "great" concert, I might have died of a brain hemorrhage! :-) I still wish I could have been to the other shows... And, let me tell you, as has been widely reported lately, he seems to be enjoying himself tremendously! He grinned, danced, struck guitar-hero poses durng the solos; he even jumped up and down at one point, during TUIB's guitar solo! Oh, and he also did the wading-bird-walk. Weird but wonderful. He even did somethig, during TUIB, that I've seen him do in some videos; in the middle of a verse, he grinned widely, threw his head back, skipped a beat, and then he took the song up where he left it, just like that. It was contagious, seeing him have so much fun, it made me enjoy myself even more! Again, I think that, had Seth Kulick been here (or at any other Spanish date) he would abandon his cybicism, even if only momentarily. I mean it, Seth! It doesn't matter when the songs were written, but if he enjoys doing them, that's what's important. (I say this with the utmost respect, as I know Seth has been to probably hundreds more Bob shows than I have, and listened to many more boots. I just disagree with his outlook. No hard feelings, Seth?!) Take care, y'all Carlos

1999: January - February - March - April