Friday, October 17, 2008

My Summer Live Adventures pt. 2: Dylan (Of Course)

It was a long and hot, but very scenic drive from my home town to the fair city of Cuenca, where Dylan would perform yet another concert in the umpteenth leg of his Never Ending Tour on the first of July. In Estadio La Fuensanta to be precise, the pretty ramshackle but funky local football stadium. Dylan was in a good mood and in fine form throughout, with the songs from his last studio album Modern Times as stand-outs by far. And that´s probably because he recorded these with exactly the same group of musicians he´s touring with. Not a bad bunch btw, but I have to say they don´t really do it for me on the whole. Bass player Tony Garnier is always ok in my book (hey, he´s played with Dylan without interruption since ´89, the guy´s practically a legend), but I miss the fluid creativity of - for instance - the Charlie Sexton/Larry Campbell line-up. Compared to them, the current trinity of Denny Freeman, Stu Kimball (both on guitar) and Donny Herron (pedal steel, banjo and violin) sounds just a little too bland.

Halfway through the concert the beer ran out. In most European countries this would cause a full-blown riot, but the Cuenca crowd just shrugged and hit the harder stuff. Way cool. They served enormous whiskeys for two beer tokens only... Around that time, Dylan performed a majestic version of the old warhorse Masters Of War, a song that will never lose its relevance I´m afraid. "You play with my world like it's your little toy, you put a gun in my hand and you hide from my eyes, and you turn and run farther when the fast bullets fly."

I saw Dylan lots of times (and in six different countries, a tally that surprised me too) and this wasn´t the most memorable one artistically, but a grand time was had by all. And let´s face it: to be in the presence of the ´poet laureate of rock ´n´ roll´ is always something special. Next time he plays within reach I´ll see him again of course.

Bob Dylan - The Levee´s Gonna Break (live Cuenca 1-7-´08) MP3
Bob Dylan - Rollin´ And Tumblin´ (live Cuenca 1-7-´08) MP3
Bob Dylan - Masters Of War (live Cuenca 1-7-´08) MP3

No comments: