San Sebastian, Spain
Auditorio Kursaal

June 20, 2023

[Todd Kennedy], [Laurette Maillet]

Review by Todd Kennedy

The second show in Donosti was a bit more subdued than the first, though
that feeling may have been augmented by the fact I was sitting up above  
rather than down below as I had been the first night. The people around 
me seemed mostly befuddled by the current style and set list, and I was 
too far away from down below to know if they were as "into" it as the 
first night.

I *am* confident however that there were fewer standing ovations (only 
1 partial and then 1 real one at the end), Dylan returned to his normal 
level of talkativeness (only 1 or 2 thank yous), and there was a lot less 
applause after a lot of songs.

"Paint My Masterpiece" was again a knockout performance.  "Mother of 
Muses" which had been the showstopper the night before was weaker 
this time by a good bit.  "Gotta Serve Somebody" got the biggest reaction 
of the night.

The crowd also trended noticeably older this night than it did the first 
night. Packed full up above, but a good bit of the down below seats 
empty. 260 euros is a lot of money, even in relatively wealthy 
Donostia-San Sebastián.

The sound adjusted after the first song (as usual) and was the clearest 
I've heard Dylan in years (Maybe a product of sitting up above?) but I 
would have liked the overall sound to be louder.

Dylan's voice was in top form until just before "Mother of Muses" when it 
completely broke and never really returned.  I typically avoid seeing him 
on the second of back to back nights, but I'd hoped the canceling in 
Huesca would have him extra rested. Seems like that was true for most 
of the night, until it wasn't.  Besides, I don't have it in me to turn up a 
chance to see Dylan when he's a 3-5 minute walk from my house, not to 
mention this was the first time my 11 year old ever got to see him.

A bit disappointed we got "Old Black Magic" again rather than "Not Fade 
Away" or "Into the Mystic" but, on the whole, a really good set.  

The performance on some songs was a bit better than the night before, 
but the energy wasn't. Also augmented by the fact the up above seats 
in Kursaal are really far back. The place is designed for sound, not sight, 
and that's mostly a good thing, but it causes a feeling of disassociation 
with an act like Dylan.

Hope Bob enjoyed his time in Euskadi.  He's back to Spain tomorrow to 
play a show in Logrono, then on to Barcelona.  

Todd Kennedy, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English and Film
Advisor and Coordinator, Concentration in Film Studies
Chair, Fletcher Lecture Committee
Department of English, Modern Languages, & Cultural Studies
Nicholls State University, Thibodaux LA


Review by Laurette Maillet

San Sebastian June 20th.
Spend the grey rainy morning planning my Tour  from Carcassonne to 
Lucca. And then to see about the last leg later.
I decided to skip Montreux. Too difficult to reach and too much 
Then I walk down the steep streets to the beach. 
No sun bath today because sun.
Humidity should be 90%. Feels like in the rain forest.
I just rest looking at the Ocean and by 4pm see the Band coming around 
the venue, either for soundcheck or just because they checked out from 
the fancy hotel across the bridge.
They all look relaxed and casual, even rolling their suitcases :)
An hyper security black fence is set up to protect Bobby's bus. 
I start looking for a ticket when a couple of fans ask me if I'm the review's 
writer. They are from Scandinavia and Martin hands me a ticket.
Zona A row 8 seat 5. It's an excellent seat. I'm extremely happy for I can 
relax for the next hour.
Thanks good Samaritans. They are four together.
At 7.20pm a black van will drop Bob inside his bus. All I can see are....his 
white shoes :)
Of course too late for a soundcheck, so I don't expect any surprise for 
the 14th song. One from the setlist.
I take my seat rapidly to appreciate even longer :)
Bob and the Band are right on time.
Bob wearing a flashy red shirt matching the red curtains:). Black pants 
with white straps and ....white shoes ??
They look orthopedic shoes ??????
"Watching the river flow" is not too good. Neither
"Most likely you go your way". Bob is fluffing his hair and sited for the first 
two songs. 
I murmur : "stand up Bobby!"
And he will for "I contain Multitudes" and on.
I particularly like "When I paint my masterpiece".
The Band all tight and Donnie great on his violin.
Bobby picks up his harp and the audience is wild.
From then on the show is great. The sound perfect. Bobby's voice 
all clear. 
I didn't hear the usual echo on "Black rider" .
I'm all attentive after "I've made up my mind to give myself to you". 
Emotional. I feel like crying.
And Tony starts "That old black magic".
Martin, next to me is beating the rythme with his do I. 
Following Jerry's drums.
Each song perfectly executed. 
Bob saying "Thank you" only one time.
Presenting the Band early after "Crossing the Rubicon".
A little joke about Tony who will perform a bass solo....Bob smiling 
of content.
But then, no more talk.
I am close but still can't really see his face in the dark. His hair cut looks 
funny. Fluffing it often.
I can see he's socks. Which certainly explain his good 
performance tonight ??????.
An emotional "Every grain of sand'...
And the final salute.
My best show so far, as I was so close, and it does make a difference.
The audience was respectful and knowledgeable.
Thank you soooo much to my 'followers'. 
All the Good Samaritans.
I had a great day and an excellent night.
Good time in San Sebastian despite a strange, unexpected 
rainy weather.
As I walk away to catch my city bus, I see the Bobby's bus 
driving away.
Goodnight Bobby! See you in Logrono.


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