Souls Of Santiago (Thinman – 149/150)
Multiusos Del Sar, Santiago De Compostela, Spain – April 9th, 1999
Disc 1 (41:09): Intro., You’re Gonna Quit Me, Mr. Tambourine Man, The Times They Are A-Changin’, Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, Tangled Up In Blue, One Too Many Mornings, Fourth Time Around
Disc 2 (65:26): God Knows, Just Like A Woman, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Make You Feel My Love, Can’t Wait, Like A Rolling Stone, Love Sick, Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35, Blowin’ In The Wind, Highway 61 Revisited
Bob Dylan played in Spain early on the Spring tour of Europe in 1999. During the previous year’s NET, while riding on the popularity and praise of Time Out Of Mind, he loaded the setlists with songs from his “modern” era, emphasizing tunes written in the nineties with scant attention to the first three decades of his career.
But this time he emphasized reworked arrangements of the classics and the structure of the setlist itself. For much of the decade the sets would begin with a rocking electric set with an acoustic interlude in the middle before a return to electric instruments.
Starting on this tour, Dylan would play band-accompanied acoustic songs for the first half before switching to electric instruments for the second half. It is similar to the 1966 tour except he was not “solo” in the first half, and there was no intermission. This structure would remain for several years before he would revert back to the more expected NET set in the autumn, 2001.
Souls Of Santiago is the first silver pressing of the April 9th show Santiago De Compostela, Spain. Thinman utilize an excellent stereo audience recording of the entire set. There are no bonus tracks, but the show clocks in at about two hours, very long for Dylan.
All the stops during this visit began with a cover tune. “Friend Of The Devil” and “Cocaine Blues” were most popular, but for this show he starts off with the same opener from 1993, the Mance Lipscomb cover “You’re Gonna Quit Me” from Good As I Been To You. Three classics from the mid-sixties follow, “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “The Times They Are A-Changin” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.”
A beautiful “Tangled Up In Blue” follows. It is the only song from his seventies and eighties output to be played in the set. All of the other songs are either from the sixties or from the latest album. He closes the opening acoustic set with “Fourth Time Around.” A true rarity, it was played the previous evening in Portugal for the first time in over twenty years.
The audience is very quiet for the first half of the show, but become more interactive in the second half. Dylan introduces the rest of the group and they play “God Knows” from Under The Red Sky for the first time since Bournemouth on October 2nd, 1997.
“Just Like A Woman” becomes a sing-along and between numbers the crowd sings the Olé bullfighting / football chant, proving people can still turn rock concerts into sporting events! And Dylan helps things along by playing very long, country and western arrangements of the songs giving everyone ample time to participate.
This is true especially during the set closer “Like A Rolling Stone.” The first encore is the Grammy winner “Love Sick” from Time Out Of Mind. A mellow acoustic rendition of “Blowin’ In The Wind” is another opportunity for the crowd to sing along with the familiar refrain, and a heavy “Highway 61 Revisited” closes the evening.
Souls Of Santiago is a very good release documenting a show that is easily overlooked. It has a tremendous amount of energy from both artist and crowd to make it appealing. Thinman present it in a double slimline jewel case with very nice aesthetics on the inserts.