Bob Dylan – Poble Espanyol 2010 (Highway HW-007/08)

Poble Espanyol 2010 (Highway HW-007/08)

Poble Espanyol, Montjulch, Barcelona – June 24th, 2010

Disc 1 (53:10):  Intro., Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, Señor (Tales of Yankee Power), Watching The River Flow, Just Like A Woman, High Water (For Charlie Patton), Tangled Up In Blue, Honest With Me, Girl From The North Country, Cold Irons Bound

Disc 2 (60:53):  Love Sick, Highway 61 Revisited, Spirit On The Water, Thunder On The Mountain, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Encore, Like A Rolling Stone, Jolene, Blowin’ In The Wind

Bob Dylan returned to Barcelona after a six year absence with a show at the Poble Espanyol on June 24th.  Highway use a very good audience recording of the gig, burned onto professional CDR with good inserts printed on photograph quality paper.  Poble Espanyol 2010 is a recording good enough for silver release. 

Several flaws exists on the tape.  “Honest With Me” has two five-second gaps and several songs like “Tangled Up In Blue” and “Girl From The North Country” have digital scratches.   

The concert itself is very good.  With the addition of Charlie Sexton back into the band last year, reviewers have noted the improvements in playing on stage.  He has been leading them into more variations and experiments onstage which do not always work but are interesting nonetheless.

Even in the first song “Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35” can they be heard.  It’s a common opener for Dylan’s gigs, having been in heavy rotation for two years.  Almost three minutes in he leads the band into a bit of “Rumble” by Link Wray & His Ray Men, a tune Dylan covered in London in 2005.

“Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)” is a rather appropriate number, followed by the heavy blues arrangement of “Watching The River Flow.”  The twin guitar attack in the middle sounds like fun even though they threaten to go out of tune at points. 

“Girl From The North Country” sounds really pretty but the band start playing “Boots Of Spanish Leather” in the middle.  It is so subtly done it’s difficult to determine if it’s intentional, but that honestly would have been a better choice for the set given the location.

The second half of the show alternates the slower comtemplative songs (“Love Sick” and a scarce outing for “Spirit Of The Water”) with the stage thumpers “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Thunder On The Mountain.”  

A full three minutes of cheering is left on the tape after the final song “Ballad Of A Thin Man.”  Dylan gives Barcelona the three song encore of “Like A Rolling Stone,” “Jolene” and “Blowin’ In The Wind.”  The technical problems with the tape aside, this is a very solid show from the summer tour and is worth having.   

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