Mexico City, Mexico

Auditorio Nacional

February 27, 2008

[Oscar Montes], [Howard Weiner], [Alberto Ortega Gurza]

Review by Oscar Montes

It was harder to get to the Auditorio Nacional this time, the traffic was
really heavy, it took me 2 and half hours to make it from the place I
work, I get to the forum 1 hour before the show and there were several
fans I had seen the night before what is usual in Bob’s shows. The night
was colder that the one of the first show. The stage was the same and
Dylan and his Band appeared at about 8:35 PM with Leopard-Skin Pill-Box
Hat which was well received by the audience then continue with Lay Lady
Lay which was really good and one of the better-known tunes by the Mexican
fans, I’ll be your baby tonight was sweet  and nice and closed his
electrical set. Then Bob went to the keyboard to play a song from the 3
grammy winner Time out of Mind Love Sick which was really good and you can
tell Dylan enjoyed performing it, then 2 songs from Modern Times the rocky
Rollin’ and Tumblin’ and Spirit on the water with Bob on harp, then it
came one of the highlights of the night Boots of Spanish leather,
wonderful and sweet, Bob was on harp too in this tune. Highwater was the
following, really rocking as well, then When the deal goes down which was
nice and next Honest with me, really good performed. The next song was
also a highlight My Back Pages, precious song where Dylan enjoyed playing
the harp too. Highway 61 was as the night before really loud and with a
lot of energy, excellent. Two more songs from Modern Times Ain’t
talkin’ which sounded kind of mysterious and one song that Bobby really
enjoys playing Summer Days, pure Rock n’ Roll. Like a Rolling Stone was
the next song, everybody stood up and remained like this until the end of
the show, everybody was singing How does it feeeeeel, To be on your own,
With no direction home…. The encore was the same as the one of the night
before Thunder on the mountain and Blowin’ in the wind, in this last one
Dylan played the harp too. The lights went out and the people in the
Auditorio were really happy for this wonderful show. Next stop is
Monterrey, Mexico we hope he sings munch more different songs and
great surprises such as Boots of Spanish and My back pages.

Oscar Montes


Review by Howard Weiner

Love was in the air as Dylan charmed us with a sly “Leopard
Skin Pillbox Hat.” “You think he loves you for your money, but
I really know what he loves you for.” Lay Lady Lay was an
appropriate follow up as Dylan twisted some lines: “His feet
are dirty, but his hinds are clean.” That was ironic to me
because I spotted rhythm guitarist Stu Kimball receiving a
shoeshine during the day on the Pasa De Reforma next to the
Sheraton Hotel. Nice work by the band as they provided
Nashville like leads and developed a funky riff towards the
end. A snappy, “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight,” wrapped up the
stroll down lover’s lane. Love was what I needed, because
prior to the show I was in the Manhattan Deli enjoying some
potent margaritas. Across the street, rebels and
revolutionaries were waving red flags and making noise. Their
leader was on top of a van with a megaphone; he had a black
scarf on his face and was barking out angry words in Spanish.
To my left was the American Embassy behind 25 foot fences with
15 policia in riot attire with shields. There was a fence
protecting me and my margarita, but I was relived when the
rebels marched south. I felt like Jack Fate on the movie set
Masked & Anonymous, but this was too real. Dylan moved to keys
and delivered his desired gem, “Love Sick,” with that most
bittersweet truth” I’m sick of love, I wish I never met you/
I’m sick of love, I’m trying to forget you.” The band
electrified the Auditorium with “Rolled and Tumbled.” It
always works live, Dylan is engaged and Denny peppered us with
multiple refreshing slide guitar blasts. I liked “Spirit on
the Water” in the sixth slot. I needed a rest room break and
fresh beer – “Spirit” was also the first repeated song from
the prior night. The band’s attire was also repetitive, except
for Donnie Herron who was flying hatless. “Boots,” “High
Water,” “Deal,” “Honest With Me” was a sold, yet unspectacular
segment. The Auditorio Nacional might have been half filled.
Even though those there were enthusiastic, I felt like I was
at a weekday afternoon matinee. I moved to an empty seating
area to shuffle around without disturbing most of the concert
goers who were glued to their seats. “M y Back Pages was a
great surprise – I can’t recall the last time I had seen it.
An always thrilling yet routine “Highway 61” followed. Dylan
was in fine form all night, but this night lacked the X factor
of the opening night. “Ain’t Talkin” spearheaded a dynamic
show stopping conclusion to the night. After soaking this
masterpiece in I was content as royalty. The “Summer Days”
Like a Rolling Stone” conclusion was more powerful than the
night before. Everybody got out their seats and really got off
on LARS, Freeman knows how to tear that one up. Ditto “Thunder
On the Mountain,” which has become tour de force. The first
concert was legendary and mystical; this concert was well
executed and professional. My experience in Mexico City is
something I’ll never forget; these performances intensified
the experience, and many ways, put things in perspective.

Thank You Mexico City. Thank You Bob. 
Howard Weiner


Review by Alberto Ortega Gurza

Dylan's presence in Mexico City, excited the media. The first show 
made front pages of all major newspapers. And with good reason. 
The opening night in Auditorio Nacional was a true apotheosis.

Save for six songs, the 1.5 hour concert, consisted of 17 themes; 
with only six performed the night before. So the recital included ten 
mysterious surprise mystery songs to discover.

Sitting in 5th row, I was able to see Bob Dylan's every gesture of  
joy, seriousness or concentration to help his five piece band keep 
control of the ever changing rhythms and tempos. And Bob stayed 
true to his line "In this ugly domain / Full of disappointment and 
pain / You'll never see me frown".   One thing I did notice, was 
that throughout the show every time he faced the crowd to take 
a bow, his eyes never actually looked at the audience. They 
looked down onto the floor. One more sign of humbleness, for by 
doing so, he himself is not taking a bow thinking "Oh, thanks, 
beautiful audience of mine! I´m glad you appreciate my great music 
and mythical presence". No. He does take bows with the sole 
purpose of pleasing the audience, doing "just enough" not to 
disappoint them, to hurt their feelings.  An individual who has spent 
an entire lifetime denying he is a saviour, a messiah, a voice af a 
generation or the conscience of the world, would not be expecting 
to nurse his self esteem with a loud delivery of applause. Not him. 
So I take it. Although I might be wrong about that.

Despite the previous concert being way more intense and -why not 
say it- legendary, this one was an inspiring tour with subtle highlights 
very well placed in the set list. The quite faithful to the original 
Lay Lady Lay, brought us back to that Nashville Skyline concert-free 
period, in which Bob sang with a deep and smooth voice, a la Johnny 
Cash, quite clear, no doubt, somehow. The sound of a hype cowboy 
rendition of Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You, was dominated by 
the melancholic wail of Freeman's masterful slide guitar playing. And 
Lovesick shook the walls with a magnificent arrangement, which made 
the Soy Bomb Grammy version sound like a sketch. My body started 
to tremble so powerfully, I feared to be shedding off one more layer 
of skin. But Boots of Spanish Leather came as a real surprise; full of 
harmony, it reflected accurately the sad but beautiful feeling arising 
for a love gone and ever more distant, dwelling nowhere but in the 
lonesome seas of the silent soul.  My Back Pages was sung with a 
very emotional vocal delivery. Bob was showing how personal that 
poem can be, how much it means, how it projects him into space 
and off for the journey of a number of lifetimes already lived, both in 
the mountain, and in the wind, but always, always using ideas as his 
maps. Oh!, and those glowing crimson flames tied through his ears 
(growing high and mighty traps). But what moved me the most, 
and made me realise -for the 17th time- I was in front of a legend 
with a God given talent, which he spends his whole lifetime using 
and sharing, was the moment I heard the viola's ancient warning, 
to the most profound masterpiece written in this century: Ain't 
Talking "Ain't talking/ Just waking/ To the last outback/ At the 
world's end".  That's Apocalypse right there, nothing less.


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