Bob Dylan - Bob Links - Review - 04/09/99


Santiago de Compostela, Spain

April 9, 1999

Multiusos del Sar (Pavillón Multiusos do Sar)

Review provided by Antonio Curado

On holydays. Well, the perfect time to return on the road to find Bob, at some place so far
away from my town. Was I ready? I hope so, but the last show I saw seemed so far like my
town from Santiago. But I'm trying gettin' closer. The last show was Cartagena 95, a good
show (I can remember obviously "I want you" and "License to kill"). Before I watched the
greatest performance I think anybody could see, Merida 93, just a dream all around my tears
and my way of thinkin'. Before the Spanish tour I thought that a show like that was
imposible. But something that seems to it...Maybe. I was too, on 1991, at the Cartuja of
Sevilla watchin' Bob singing like a sweet movie "Across the Borderline". I was so much older

And now, I can see me becoming a Bobcat with no too much money, and three tickets for the
shows. My hands sweat. Take my suitcase and I have a hole where my stomach is dissapeared.
My nerves take me to the road. First step, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. Beatiful town
with better food and wine. I arrived the day before the show with my friend Ņoņi, we went to
get the ticket for him and to see the place where the concert was in, Multiusos del Sar. All
right, maybe we were the first people seeing the stage. I felt like a morning dove. Then we
started to eat and to drink, too much, so much than at seven o'clock we were in bed,
absolutely drunk, new adventures of two Bobcats on the road. The local newspapers dídnīt say
anything about Bob but a few stupid lines and I called to the redaction to make clear the
thing "What are you saying, boys? Donīt you know WHO is gonna play here tomorrow" . And
`cause tomorrow is not a long time, tomorrow came and with it, the show.

The band arrived at six on the bus, with Dylan in, I supposed. I heard the soundcheck
outside because the doors were closed. Really good. They played "Tombstone blues", "Shooting
star", "Watchtower" and "Sweet Marie", none of them  on the set list later(as it's the usual
and so sad sometimes, as when they played at Malaga "Queen Jane"), and my heart was beating
faster while the time ran and the little river beside the Palace flowed. Curiously, a good
number of the audience were telling, without trouble, that they had came to watch Andres
Calamaro, the opener, who is a famous star here in Spain. You must see him! Curly hair,
hooky nose, a coat with verticals lines, a stranger way of walking... Don't you remember
someone you know well? More, harmonica on the pocket, and two songs about love called "Can't
help falling in love" and "Seven days". Some of the Bobcats were really ungry but I think
that Calamaro was really good and made the waiting easier. On the first row Quino Castro,
the man who I think had been at more Dylan performances in Spain, shouted to Calamaro, and
it was a little verbal fight. Well, Quino, but I am happy of Calamaro being the opening

And at ten... "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Columbia Recording
artist, Mr. Bob Dylan!!!!" Wowwww! I was hoping the usual electric set, but, what is this?
"You're gonna quit me". If you would ask to me before the show two hundred songs in order to
open it, I would have never said "You're gonna quit me" (the newspapers the next day kept on
telling that Dylan began with "Serve somebody"). Terryfic. I couldn`t believe what I was
seeing. Short, elegant, wonderful. And then like a hammer on my head, "Tambourine" slow,
beneath the silver skies, "Times", "Don't think twice" (what a crazy world when Bob plays
harp!), and a trepidant "Tangled up in blue" where Dylan was playing with the pronouns like
I love he makes. Great. I couldn`t follow the trip so good (He was laying in bed....but...I
lived on Montague street). Ņoņi didn't believe it either. What a beginning! But I could hope
all these songs, man, songs from a magic town up the skies. And then a short and sweet
deligth full of sadness and dissappoiment: "One too many mornings" made me cry deep inside
my heart, specially when he surrounded the saddest verse I ever heard : "and I turn back my
head to the room, where my love and I have lay".... After this highlight my head was on the
Highlands, boy. Garnier took the electric bass, Bob keeps on his acoustic guitar and here we
go: historic moment. I didn`t know that the previous day Dylan had performed this at Oporto,
so I was thinkin' to myself "Hey, boy, you're seeing HISTORY". "Fourth time around". With
incredible passion, flowing now, I was absolutely K.O. Bobby, what are you doing to me now?
My last piece of gun.

Just like a furious electric tramp he came with the electric set that put him on that
strange kind of dance Bob makes. The first song was really strange (something was happening
there but I didn't know what it was 'till I looked at Dylan's eyes): "God knows", but while
I was hoping the great guitars duel that become usually a total ecstasy, Bob sang the lyrics
and finished after four minutes. The blame on David Kemper, I think. The drummer, and maybe,
boys, you think just like me, is no so wild like Winston Watson, to me the gratest one since
Levolm Helm, and Dylan, as "God knows" came along, obviously became nervous with Kemper. But
 it was repared soon. My favourite number, "Just like a woman", not so wild like in the
genial trip of Merida 93 that made me cry like a baby on the craddle, but soft, with a great
way in the speech of the lyrics (he repeated "Quenn Mary" with absolutely deligth). And
keeping on "Blonde", "Memphis blues again", again we are in this drinkin' the railroad gin,
but Dylan missed (or I can't remember it) the lines about the Rain Man. Then came the "Time
out of mind-Set", with "Can't wait" and "Make you feel my love", and the temperature was too
hot on the air, we could cut the atmosphere with a knife made of self-concience when the old
Bobby decided to take a trip down on the girl who used to ride across on a horse with her
diplomat (althougth he missed this line too). The people was trying to sing the chorus, but
you know, it's impossible, boys, perhaps this is not the way of feeling it. A simple set, I
thougth, too many standarts, I thought, but I didn't care, I had heard "Fourth time" and a
great "Just like a woman". And Bob went out the stage. Of course to return with the best
travel I ever had on the Highway 61.

`Cause the encore was the perfect epilogue to try to put the crowd out of his way. First
"Love Sick" as clear as I could hope until Bob came with the final verse, that was shouted
with a strange kind of hate which made me for just one moment entry into the Dylan's brain.
What a shout!!! The most important thing a man who had suffered too much at this way can
say. The audience can't admit it but Dylan was talkin' over the eyes and the dreams of
everyone in the crowd that sometimes really felt heartache. And Bob time after time livin'
on Montague street played again "Rainy day women". At Cartagena 95 he ended the show with
this and it was a really sorrow to me. But not this time. Now here is Mr. Larry Campbell to
get stoned along with the man. The audience begins to dance and them, when the distruction
and the stupidity is the real thing that has conquered the world, here is Mr. Bob Dylan
singin' all these verses again: "How many roads..." Really great the chorus, and specially
difficult to hear the Dylan's voice, astonishing, broken, you know, just like the winter
wind blowin' strong.

And when the wind returned to blow after the mountain, the unexpected highligth of this show
came to me (and maybe of the others). After all, when the trip is a crazy crowd trying to
create a next world war, my only happiness can be to hope the return of the masters when the
next show began. And like a dream, it happened....

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