With American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan’s return to San Sebastian for a series of concerts at the Kursaal Auditorium in June, German journalist Thomas Waldherr (automatic translation) recalls his 2006 concert in the same city.

Cartel del «concierto por la Paz« celebrado en 2006 en la Zurriola con la participación de Bob Dylan, Mikel Laboa y Macaco
Poster for “Concerto por la Paz” held in 2006 at Zurriola Beach, headlined by Bob Dylan, Mikel Laboa, and Macaco

This concert, the “Concert for Peace,” was held on July 11 and was undoubtedly the most massive concert ever held in San Sebastian, and quite possibly in the whole of our country.  Held on Zurriola Beach, the concert had a turnout of about 80,000 people who came out to listen to Bob Dylan, Mikel Laboa, and Macaco.

The German journalist, in his blog “I’m in a Cowboy Band,” remembers that concert, which, as we said, was huge.  As a journalist specializing in Bob Dylan, he dedicates a good part of his entry to talking about the American’s act in the concert.  But he still leaves plenty of room for Mikel Laboa, an extraordinary musician who could have had a huge international reach if he sang in English, or at least Spanish.  The quality and intellectual level of his work is just that good.

But he decided to sing in his own language, in Basque, to express himself, and that limited his reach, but gave greater value and depth to his work.  His quality has seen him recognized by his peers, poets and singer-songwriters, from all over the world.

It’s no coincidence that when Joan Baez gave a concert in Bilbao in 1988, she sang a song based on a song/hymn by Mikel Laboa, “Txoria-Txori,” based on a poem by Josean Artze.  Mikel Laboa himself played as a guest musician at that concert.

For Mikel Laboa fans, this 2006 concert has a special place in their hearts, as it turns out this was the last time she would sing in public.

We must thank Thomas Waldherr for such an amazing article that treats the Basques and our country so well.

He says he’ll be here in June for Dylan’s concert, and we hope he’ll get to enjoy more of our country.  He’ll receive a warm welcom.

“I’m in a Cowboy Band” – 18/3/2023 – Germany

Bob und Baskenland

2006 machte Bob Dylan plötzlich wieder im Zusammenhang mit einem „Friedenskonzert“ Schlagzeilen. Von der „Musikwoche“ bis zur „Jungen Welt“ las es sich ungefähr so:  „Musiklegende Bob Dylan engagierte sich im baskischen Friedensprozess. Er trat bei einem kostenlosen Konzert gemeinsam mit dem im Baskenland berühmten Sänger und Songschreiber Mikel Laboa am Sandstrand von »La Concha« (die Muschel), der Bucht von Donostia (San Sebastian) auf.“ Und: „Das Konzert war nach der Ankündigung einer ‚dauerhaften Waffenruhe‘ der baskischen Untergrundbewegung ETA am 22. März ins Programm genommen worden.“ Und weiter, typisch Dylan: „Einzige Bedingung von Seiten Dylans war, dass während des Konzerts am Zurriola-Strand der baskischen Hafenstadt keine politischen Botschaften verlesen werden durften.“

(Follow) (Automatic translation)


Last Updated on Dec 3, 2023 by About Basque Country

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