June 28, 2008
Review by Jesús Martín Barba
I think that once Bono, leader of U2 said something like: "Never mind
where you are coming from, be sure that anytime Bob Dylan made a concert
there". Having this opinion in consideration on my mind and being the
first time that Mr. Bob Dylan was going to performance in Gredos area,
close near where my family was coming from, me living in Madrid and being
a long time interested person on Mr. Dylan jobs and activities and
considering a good taster of his music, decided to participate in the
So I left Madrid by car, early morning, traveling by some turistic places
as El Escorial, where I saw the Monastery (built in 16th century), and
later I arrived to Avila where I surrounded the Roman Wall built in the
1st century. Of course, as I was leaving Madrid traveling to Hoyos del
Espino, in my car were sounding all the Bob Dylan's songs included in the
famous Top Mojo of 100 Dylan's songs, published by this magazine some
The place were the concert was hold is located near a National Natural
Protected Area, and the stage was located in a small valley among some
pine forests. An idilic place to sound a music concert, without any
surrounding noise at all.
I arrived Hoyos del Espino at noon where everything seemed ready to the
concert. Weather was excellent, sunny day with high temperature. At my
arrival, I went inmediatly to surround everything about the stage,
equipments, locations, etc due to the fact I'm a curious man and always
I'm trying to get information and experience about this kinds of events.
By chance I ask for assistance to get some pictures of me with the stage
at my back to two paperback writers of the main papers of Avila and
Madrid. We had a nice conversation about Bob Dylan and his life and jobs
and as a result, my picture appeared in internet and papers later.
So I was one of the first people entering at the concert location and I
chose my favourite location close near the control sound tables. I
consider it's the best place to hear the best sound. I was there more than
one hour and a half befote the concert begin.
Just in time, Mr. Bob Dylan and his band appeared on stage. Mr. Tony
Garnier were still suffering backache that required a doctor the day
before in Vigo, so he as a excellent professional did his perfect job in
the concert on a chair. Anyhow his job was wonderful.
I was really ready to find out all songs played but as all of you know,
Mr. Bob Dylan is able to sound any song with the musical tone of other
different. It's one of his main abilities. At the end of the concert I
have reconigzed most of them.
From my opinion, as usual, Mr. Bob Dylan began with a cold voice that was
getting hotter as the concert was going on, so when he arrived to the
fifth song, Positively 4th Street, one of my favourites, he was full of
voice and till the end of the concert his job was really exceptional.
The concert had really more rock musical tones than the one I saw four
years ago in Alcala de Henares and also even that those I saw, two years
ago in Villalba and in Valladolid. Probably, the coupling between Mr. Bob
Dylan and his band has grown and now they have decided to increase the
rock percentage against the blues percentaje (easier to be played).
From my personal point of view, they played excellent Tweedle Dee &
Tweedle Dum, Positively 4th Street, The Levee's Gonna Break and Tangled Up
In Blue. Later The level increased, even more, with Highway 61 Revisited,
Mississippi, Summer Days and Ain't Talkin'.
After that and as usual retire, a small rest and all appear again on stage
for the encores. They played Thunder On The Mountain and a incredible
version of Like A Rolling Stone that made move all the twelve thousand
spectators of the concert.
It was an unforgetabble concert that I saw and at the end I was really
satisfied, I received Mr. Bob Dylan on his first visit to the area where
my family was coming from, he did an unforgetable concert I'll be
remembering for years and after that I had to drive two hours and half
back to home, of course listening again Mr. Bob Dylan's songs on my car. I
arrived happy at home listening Bob Dylan's dream, one of my favourites
Hoping this info may be of your intertest, I remain
Regards + thanks
Jesús Martín Barba
Review by Antonio Curado
My first Dylan show since 2006 was an awesome demonstration of the actual
force and energy that lives in the current performances of the Master,
whatever the people says. The venue was magnificent: Bob Dylan in the
middle of the country, among mountains and flowing rivers with cold
streaming water. Hoyos del Espino is a pretty little town that the people
who loves climbing and walking on nature uses as a platform before they go
into it. I had been there a couple of times before and I would never have
supposed that one day I would attend a Dylan gig in there.
It was a funny time before the show because there was a good bunch of
friends arriving all thru the day, Bobcats from different spanish places; I have
never met any of them before this day, just on Internet, but after this
experience they became just like blood brothers as well. This show was too
special for me too because it was goin' to be the only in a row of three that
my girlfriend would attend, his second ever, since Motril 2004. Well, the best
way to meet again Bob. All across the telegraph, the news came down the
line: the night before, in Vigo, Dylan premiered 'Handy Dandy' (was it maybe
a one off? I think so, 'cause the arrangement wasn't succesful as you can
hear in the Vigo tapes). By the other side, tonight the gig was announced as
a double feature, Dylan and Amaral, one of the poppiest and the most horrible
bands in the whole wide world, very succesful right here in Spain. My biggest
preocupation was that maybe Bob could do a shorter set, and that, after
hearing Amaral, a poison headache would ruin my enjoyment. Fortunately,
Dylan performed first (and we had 17 songs), so we could leave the venue
calmly as soon as the gig finished, 'cause the Amaral fans stayed in (and you
can bet that they were the most).
In second row, it was easy for me to look at Bob's progressions on stage. He
was placed on right, like usually. Garnier was seated all thru the show, because
he was suffering some kind of muscular illness. The bass was the biggest trouble
of the night: it was overlouded, and resounded in my chest just like a bomb,
distorting the rest of the music. The reason, I think, was that the band didn't
make the soundcheck and played with the Amaral sound. Nobody seemed to
notice it, because the problem didn't cease. But we had Bob, starting with
some mumbling, not very focused in the words. So the first two songs, RDW
and 'Lay Lady Lay', weren't too tantalising. But with ' Just Like Tom Thumb's
Blues' the thing started to change. The raw words from Dylan's throat were
beating really hard, although I think that he didn't control 'Positively Fourth
Street' at all. The highlights to me were a syncopated 'Hattie Carroll', a hypnotic
'Hollis Brown' and, specially, 'Missisippi', although in the second verse Bob made a
mistake and, at the time of the bridge, started to sing the third verse lyrics,
mumbling before the "stayed in Missisippi a day too long" line. But the overall
song was hot stuff, given the choice and the implied tour de force this tune is
yet. It's hard work for me tryin' to explain the inner feelings I felt while 'Missisippi'
sounded that cold night in Hoyos del Espino.
Summarizing, a good show, not the best ever but a great chance to meet Bob
again on the road, relaxed, trying to find new ways of delightment for the
audience. Hands clapping, wheels on fire, Bob is doing what he likes and we
are enjoying the thing we like the most. Next stop, Cuenca.
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