April 21, 2012
Review by Fabio Augusto Silva
This was my first Dylan concert ever. When he was here in São Paulo in 2008
I was a little short on cash. This time, however, even with ticket prices still
outrageous, I couldn't pass up. I know Brazil is finally starting to be included in
world tours from lots of artists, but who knows when Dylan would be back?
Besides the guy just turned 70. I used to listen to a lot of concert tapes in
the early 00's but since then, apart from the occasional Youtube video, I
haven't really been listening to his shows. I knew his voice is shot to hell and
that the band was pretty great. After the show I can say that my expectations
were met, as his voice is indeed pretty rough but his band is excellent! I dig
blues based rock and this band can really play that, not to mention a little bit
of country in the accoustic numbers. I also thought Bob's keyboard playing
was pretty good, and his harp play was a personal highlight.
The Credicard Hall venue has great accoustics, so even though I was pretty
far from stage I could hear it all loud and clear. Unfortunately it's an all seat
venue so most people stay seated during the show. The crowd however was
pretty excited throughout the show and I think Bob sensed that, as he was
moving nonstop on keyboards and on center stage, bending his knees when
playing the guitar and harp, waving his hands, and overall he seemed to be
excited. I think that reflected on his vocals too, as he was growling and
shouting quite a bit in most songs. A little rough for the ears of casual fans,
but for me it was a sign he was really into it.
Personal highlights: Don't Think Twice was quite lovely; Tangled Up in Blue is
a personal favorite and it was one of the songs I wanted to hear live, this is a
good version though I prefer the early 00s ones; Beyond Here Lies Nothing
sounds pretty damn good without the accordion; Make You Feel My Love was a
great surprise, I think he rarely plays that all... maybe he's been hearing Adele
and wants to claim the song back? Every Grain of Sand is one of his most
beautiful songs and great to hear, even though it was pretty hard to understand
him; during The Levee's Gonna Break the band went into a certaing groove, led
by Bob's keyboard, that got the crowd clapping in rhythm, the band really got
into it and was one of the most applauded numbers; I was really happy to hear
Love Sick, this song is always a live highlight for me; and finally the highlight of
the show for me, and the crowd, was Ballad of a Thin Man, Bob was really into
the vocals (with a strange but effective ech o) and into his harp playing.
Blowin' in the Wind was a lovely surprise encore. Now let's wait and see what
he comes up for tomorrow's show! Also pretty excited to see what his
supposed next album is gonna sound like.
Fabio Augusto Silva
Review by Fernando Viotti
The great starts of Never Ending Tour in Rio de Janeiro was an announce to
dylanologists of the great performances are coming. The Dylanesque work in
progress, that was only giving birth on first show, developed so brilliantly on the
fantastic concert in Brasilia, besides poor quality of sound on some moments,
pleased us with a perfect version of Blind Willie McTell, and the endless harp
solos of Like A Rolling Stone.
When the rocks rolling, the harp going down slow the river, jumping a noising
waterfall in the direction of the Watchtower, and beyond then, until Belo
Horizonte, the city where I live, and where a earthquake of rock n roll bring a
five thousand people to the collective ecstasy. This sold out concert was,
undoubtedly the most rocker until now, with crazy performances of Things
Have Changed, High Water, Ballad of a Thin Man, and, again, Rainy Day Women.
It's better not even say anything about LARS; I want to ask to followers around
he world, how many times Bob simply didn't sing the chorus of his most memorable
song, just accompanying on the keyboards, as the crowd YELL "How does it fell?",
like defying the apparently impassible spirit of the legend on the stage, to give us
some answer. As usual, he refuses, of course.
After that, I landed on São Paulo, the richest city of Brazil a little bit anxious to see
the two Bob concert's in a very different venue (but with a name as pathetic as
the other ones; Credicard Hall), with a audience also distinct, mostly composed by
local moneyed. My question was; after the so vital performance on Thursday, it's
possible to Bob and the band to going higher, offering a concert so rocker than
two nights ago? The answer, my friend has blowin in the wind, and whispering in
unbelievable dissonant improvisations that fulfilled the whole night. If in Belo
Horizonte the concert was rocker, in São Paulo was incredible jazzy.
Nothing much to say about Leopard Skin and Don't Think Twice, both similar to
the other nights, except for vocal variations on Leopard, with chorus sings out of
time, just announcing the improvise spirit that will pass through the whole night.
Things Have Changed was better than ever, a country ballad in MOLTO VIVACE,
as bob and the band were laughing of the crazy yuppie couples that were passing
through in the middle of the rows, going to VIP area, talking, showing up and
drinking champagne. Times definitely are strange, and I'm out of range, so I've
just closed my eyes for a minutes on Tangled Up in Blue and Beyond Here Lies
Nothin' to fell better the stubborn dissonances in the nonsense game of questions
and answers played by Bob and the band.
In the sequence two 2012 debuts; Make You Feel My Love and a beautiful but
hard to recognize Every Grain of Sand. Both tunes so touching, conducted in a
sad, but not dramatic tone, just like he made on Simple Twist of Fate on previous
After that, one of the highlights of the evening, and maybe the whole tour;
The Levee's Gonna Break. The most traditional rhythm of Brazilian music, the
SAMBA, have a very usual resource called "BREQUE", nothing more than a break,
when every musicians suddenly stops the music, to re-starts in few seconds, in a
quicker and so energetic way, in a sequence that would repeat itself again, and
again. That's exactly what Bob performed with his devilish keyboard; a lot of
BREQUES in different ways, driving the guys crazy to follow him.
The show keeps jazzy in a very beautiful version of Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall, so
beautiful than the other one presented in Brasilia, but working better in
Credicard Hall, a venue with a so good acoustic, and more adequate to this
type of arrangement.
Rock n Roll was back with Highway as good as the previous evenings. Love Sick,
another 2012 debut, was for me the best vocal performance in the evening, with
Bob singing like a crooner as using his so unique gestures. (so good described by
Eduardo Bueno in his Belo Horizonte's review). Bob is not a Mick Jagger
(thanks god) but his presence and perfect timing, turn every single movement
so significant that he can mesmerize the audience. Brings rock n roll back, again
with new improvisations in Thunder on the Mountain, with Bob on the keyboards
followed by the band brilliantly, specially by Tony's bass. Ballad of a Thin Man was
fantastic again, but for me it's hard to get over the previous performances on
Brasilia and Belo Horizonte.
In Like a Rolling Stone, Charlie apparently developed new variations to the riffs
used by him since the first concert, in a dialogue with bob on keyboard that works
pretty well. One more time an amazing vocal performance, but this time without
unforgettable harp solos showed before on Brasilia, or the upstanding five thousand
voices chorus that shook Belo Horizonte. All Along Watchtower, one more time
killed us, but sounds better, aided by the perfect acoustic of the venue. The Bob's
harp could be perfectly distinguished between the hard sound of the guitars and
After the encore, a beautiful and tender version of Blowin in The Wind, a song that
certainly pleased the local audience, and another 2012 debut, with a GREEEEAT
solo harp. In 2008 Bob played this song in Brazil in a very different way from the
original version, difficult to recognize. This time the TEMPO was much closer of the
original, without losing the fresh flavor gave by the new arrangement.
At the end, another amazing concert, in a different way of the grandeur of
the previous ones, proving one more time that, when we are talking about
Mr. Zimmerman, only one concert is not enough. This is the reason why,
TONIGHT, I'LL BE STAYING HERE WITH HIM, again!
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