Sao Paulo, Brazil

Credicard Hall

April 22, 2012

[Eduardo Oliveira], [Fernando Viotti]

Review by Eduardo Oliveira

Here we go again. After four years, the monthly sneak at
pays off and we spot some concerts near our home. It's kind of a
ritual: we complain about the prices, take a look at the latest set
lists, get impacient with mainstream media reviews. And then we stand
in line. Around us we see lots of young faces, few of them look like
real fans, dylanlogists, as one recent reviwer so correctly defined us.
We recognize ourselves by the outdated t-shirt, the grey hair and the
superior look we throw at these kids. Don't get us wrong, we can live
with them, sometimes even teach them something, as long as they don't
make silly comments or shout some dumb song request (believe me, pimple
faced history student, he will not sing hurricane!)

So the theater is almost full and, as usual, he arrives on time. Half a
song later, all the little annoying things are far, far away.
"Leopard..." is good, not brilliant, but is enough to remind us we are
in presence of greatness. This guys can really deliver it. On this
specific night the accoustic of the place is great, and we can
understand Bob's vocals clearly (which, let's face it, is not that
common) as he jumps from one great song to another. The first part of
the concert was amazing, a series of favorities and
not-so-favorities-but-beutifully-executed songs.

"It ain't me" were nice and warm, "Things have changed" had great harp
solos, but "Tangled up" was the real deal. Bob recited (shouting) word
by word, breaking the sequences on strange spots, certainly to mess
with our heads and make us look silly in front of the kids. We couldn't
sing along as we dreamt all those years, but the song was perfect.  The
band was already on fire, as would remain most of the night. "Beyond
here...", the sublime "Not dark yet", a jazzy "Summer days", then
"Simple twist of faith"' one of the evening highlights, with Bob as a
real crooner. On "High water" the banjo made him dance, "Trying to get
to heaven" gave us our breath again, but "Highway 61" was the usual
frenesi. We can't help notice, every time, how the band loves to play
this bluesy rock, seting fire on the audience. What a incredible

Some of us didn't fell in love with "Forgetful heart" on the album, but
Bob really put his heart on this song. "Thunder on the mountain" was
just regular, and we breathe deeper and thought that things were
cooling off. Not quite. "Ballad of a thin man" with a strange echo
effect was a blast, probably the high point of the evening. Bob was on
the loose on stage, doing his weird dance, his vocals really
aggressive, and the audience went crazy. Those "hit-knowing" teens were
blown away by the song. And we, old schoolers, had a hard time
pretending we weren't surprised. Everyone got what they wanted as Bob
and his band presented us with explosive as always "Like a rolling
stone", followed by "All along the watchtower". In the end, "Blowin in
the wind", as everyone gathered near the stage. 
As we leave, we start feeling pretty generous towards these well
intended and lucky kids, who could be doing a lot of other dumb things,
but chose to join us in this twice a decade reunion of "aficcionados".
And then we go home, making crazy plans about going to some foreign
country to experience all this without having to wait for another four
years. Is it like this everywhere?


Review by Fernando Viotti

Bob´s  second concert in São Paulo started with a question: where the 
fuck is Al Santos? Both Saturday and Sunday his resounding voice wasn´t 
heard announcing "The legend of rock n roll, and etcetera, and the 
Columbia recording artist, Bob Dylan" (?)

Five minutes late Bob and the band appeared on stage to attack for the fifth 
time in Brazil "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat". I´m sorry to say, but for me, this 
time it didn´t work out so well. Perhaps because the place I was seated. 
The sound was a mess, and Bob maybe having noticed didn´t make such 
an effort as the previous times on vocals…No improvise, as the priority was
just to get it over and done with.

Fortunately, "It Ain´t me, babe" put things back into place. Bob clutched
the guitar like a true Guitar Hero (which he definitely is not…) to perform 
beautiful and short solos. The efficient minimalism on gestures is not an
isolated act, but rather linked to a musical minimalism, in which any technical
accomplishment stops before turning into a virtuosity.

In  sequence, Things Have Changed….How can one compare each of those 
excellent versions of that song, since Brasilia? Anyway, this time something
really new; on the last stanza, bob blew the harp after every verse, and
throughout the chorus until the very last verse, and kept on going to the 
end of the song…Great.

Nothing much to say about Tangled up in blue… Sorry again, but Beyond 
Here Lies nothin´ sounded as strange as Leopard Skin…Tony tried in vain to 
save the song, However  all there was to do was wait….and it was worth it. 

Not so much for the performance, but for the song itself, one of my favorite
in any possible and imaginable list. The hit that brought Bob back to the 
scene; the gem of the record that marked his last reborn; the astonishing 
lyric which could be in any of his albums, but at the same time could only be 
on "Time out of mind", since it is a hymn of maturity, ageing, acceptance of 
disillusion; the song that I was waiting for since April 18 of 1998, in Rio de 
Janeiro, when Bob sang while it was getting dark…Not Dark Yet, clearly 
recognizable since the first chord, and for me, the highlight of the evening.
Bob sings with great emotion since "shadows are falling…", and played 
beautiful chords on Korg.

A unique commotion, just like Blind Willlie McTell some days ago, and I don´t
believe that will repeat many times in 2012…

After that only debut, a sequence of antagonisms:  the mood swung with
intensity from lively to introspective: Summer days & Simple Twist of Fate
(another great guitar solos comin´ from bob´s guitar); High Water & Trying 
To Get To Heaven; Highway 61 & Forgetful Heart, me  jumping and almost 
crying, still with a hint of  hope to hear another debut, but very pleased and
satisfied anyhow…

The final part of the concert followed without surprises, except for the 
audience´s reaction in the middle of Ballad of a thin man (as excellent as the 
previous ones).  The people from the back rows literally invaded the aisles of 
the VIP area in front of the stage and stayed there until the end of the 
concert. With that million faces suddenly at her feet, and maybe looking for 
dark eyes, Bob returned once again and performed Blowin´ in the wind, 
using guitar instead of harp on solos, not less impressive than Saturday. He 
finishes one more time greeting the audience with his typical reserve, and 
leaves without saying goodbye, to the direction of the cold extreme of the
country for the last chapter of his Brazilian tour. A tour that can´t be called 
anything but memorable. Tomorrow I´ll be face to face with him for the last
time, and after that, certainly, WILL BE THE TIME FOR MY TEARS….

Fernando Viotti


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