Teatro del Generalife
June 13, 2023
Review by Nick Cowie
The Generalife gardens at sunset are sublime and by 9.30 the
smartest of Granada’s citizens have filled every seat of this
initimate, cyprus- bordered auditorium. The buzz is palpable
as friends embrace friends and an unusually gender-balanced
and smartly dressed Bob crowd take their seats.
Bob and band roar in with a super-charged ‘Watching The River
Flow’ and Bob pulls out with a joyous ‘thank you’.
A voice calls out ‘Blowin in the Wind’ from the front left
side of the audience. Bob says ‘we hear you…we can hear
every word you say’ and plays ‘Key West’, answering the
audience member’s implicit question with lines like ‘I do
what I think is right, what I think is best’, ‘If you're
looking for immortality, Stay on the road, follow the highway
sign’ and ‘Wherever I travel, wherever I roam, I'm not that
far from the comfort of home’ (Bob’s been listening to
Metallica it seems, and following the same Beaten Path).
Key West was compelling and one of the evening’s stand-out
songs. Likewise ‘My Own Version of You’ was riveting.
Settled in and taking a breath Bob said ‘This is a beautiful
place to play … I wish it was like this every night’.
Much laughter and joking between Bob and Tony before ‘Gotta
Serve Somebody’ which is then performed in a blistering new
arrangement that owes more than a little to Lennon’s ‘Gotta
Serve Yourself’ : probably the best of the night’s oldies.
The Rough and Rowdy songs dominate and resonate with only
‘Crossing The Rubicon’ and ‘Mother Of Muses’ stretching the
limits of their content. ‘Every Grain of Sand’ was a little
fatigued compared to last year and the harmonica limited in
length and expression but, none the less, great to hear.
This has been the opening concert of the 2023 festival and
a major event in the musical heritage of Generalife and
Granada. The ambience and the crowd’s warmth raised Bob and
the band’s energy and performance to a joyous level.
A voice from front left had called out ‘I Love You’ and Bob
had replied ‘I Love You Too’. Its difficult to think that
the years ahead may ever bring a greater Bob Dylan show, but
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