April 27, 2012
Review by Steinar Daler
Just a short review from the two first shows.in Buenos Aires. I'm sorry I
can't write as poetic as the two guys reviewed the Brazilian show. First
the upper side: Bob's voice is good, almost no barking and no up singing.
Very professional concerts, both of them. Maybe the second one was a bit
better than the first one, but maybe that's only my choice according to
the setlist. The venue is great Good sound. No hassel at the entrance.
6 new songs the second day, from the first day. Blowin' in the wind has
now got back it's proper melody, and was a kind of highlights both days.
Bob looks young and seems to be in very good shape. All band members
are shining at different parts of the concerts. Then the lower side: The
audience are nice, but not too entustiatic before it's all over. But,
everyone seems happy after the concerts. Bob once sang something like:
"I always liked to take chances, when my right hand drawing back, my left
hand advances." He does not take any chances any more, and I miss it.
But, maybe for the Argentinian audience who has not had the possibility to
see him as many times as me, I guess it is the right choice, If he'll play
"Angelina" - a song where he mentions Argentina- tomorrow or Monday, I'll
forgive him. But when he are in Argentina he should act more like
Maradonna or Messi, than like Lampard or Gerrard.. (Sorry to the all of
you who are not into football). Lampard and Gerard are always solid, but
they don't shine like the two Argentinians I mentioned. I also miss some
real highlights - but there have been a couple, at least tonight. Check
out Desolation Row or Cry a while, when you'll find them on DIME in a
while. I will write some more after the next two concerts. Great to be in
Review by Eduardo and Lízia Bueno
There's no doubt about it: Bob Dylan is definetly in peace, fullfilied and amused
with himself in this new encarnarion of his. If he only was the kind of guy who
could look back, he would see that all the bridges he burnt seemed now to be
rebuild by the own bridges he now joyfully plays in his keyboards, swinging and
strong enough (though also sometimes still unsafe) to connect all the assorted
pieces of his creations in a whole set that, after half a century, still makes
If sometimes he indeed looks like a kind of westener Vincent Price (like someone
recently said), with razor-blade eyes that can almost melt the audience, he can
still also be the blue-eyed son, the romantic dreamer, rounded face, curly hair
choir boy from the early 60's that build a ladder to the stars, climbed every rung
and gave us a rainbow. He seems to be forever young. All this impressions were
silhouetted in the minds of several ones that were in the classic Grand Rex
Theather, where Bob played his second Buenos Aires show last night - even
better than the first one, in the opinion of most everyone who attend both.
Buenos Aires is a classic city, and even with the audience being a little too cold
in both nights, it's still the kind of place somehow related to Bob's ways: here,
the elegance is always facing and challeging the decadance... He would play two
more concerts here, so more surprises lay ahead, but few would be as touching
as "Girl From The North Country".
1) If the concert had some surprises, it still opened with "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box
Hat" sounding the same way, only with an extra touch of excitement. Or maybe
it was just a impression of mine, seated in the second row, less than ten meters
from the man himself, in theater with great acoustic...
2) In "Girl From The North Country", Bob was able to echo once again the
impassioned hobo strolling down the streets of New York, thinking of his lost
love from the distant, snowy, plains of his youth in the north country. Except
that, for me, it was like as if he was singing for a mysterious girl from Patagonia,
in the uttermost part of the world, in the deep south of Argentina. The band
followed the feeling and the passion pretty well and heated up the weather
and melted all the snow away...
3) Then, another surprise: "Beyond Here Lies Nothing" changed its place in the
-setlist. But it did changed it's mood: the good new song just rocked and rolled.
4) Bob dropped his guitar and took the harp for "Tangled Up In Blue", once
again presented in a moving and insightful way.
5) "Honest With Me" was plain enough, but also a little flat.
6) "Desolation Row": an all-time favourite that could not go wrong and went
pretty right. You can't lose yourself following Bob, even when he is playing the
part of Pied Piper. It was definetly a chemical romance between all the agents
and superhuman crew. This bearded, round guy was sit next to me and I could
not help but think of Alan Moore and his watchmen as Bob made us ascend to
the top of the watchtower and lean our heads out far enough from the
desolation rows of Buenos Aires, now covered with trash and dirt.
7) The blues and the tango are american cousins: both sing the pain of lost
love. So, it seemed perfect that Bob decided to choosethe world capital of
Tango to the debut of a new song in this current tour: a magnificent version
of "Cry A While". It was one of the most powerful performances of the last
seven concerts, in my opinion, strong enough to turn the wide, majestic River
Plate into the mighty Mississippi.
8) It was almost a Bob's cruelty to choose "Make You Feel My Love" right
after "Cry A While". His performance was deep and intense, revealing the
Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hide side of his personality. An incredible moment.
How cansomeone change his dramactical mood so fast from one song to the
9) The pool of tears beneath our feet flood the resevoir and the leeve surely
broke. The overflow of sound and balance, commanded by Bob's keyboard,
inundated the whole theather. High water everywhere - and it was so good in
there. "The Leeve's Gonna Break" completed a serie of four perfect songs in
10) When you think you've gained everything, Bob proves that sometimes we
can always gain a little more... and "Love Sick" burst out like rolling thunder.
11) "Highway 61" followed and pushed us further up on the road. Where are
we going? I don't know, but he knows that we are
12) "Simple Twist Of Fate" reminded us again that is still blood on those tracks.
The man in the long black coat wasn't born too late: he seems to be the
master of his own time.
13) "Thunder On The Mountain" sounded like a loosy boogie and Bob don't
seem to care no more for the older structure of the song as recorded as the
opening track of Modern Times. It became a completly diferent thing and
sound like the playground moment of the show every night. At least to him.
If now he smiles all the time, in Thunder he almost laughs...
14) No words need to be said about "Ballad Of A Thin Man". It leaves no
space for it in the middle of the awe it provokes every time
Bob and his band deliver it. He is the Wizard of Awe.
15) Being executed in such a perfect and classic way, "Ballad" seems to free
"Like A Rolling Stone" and the following classics from the weight of the past.
This is a Stoned Age song that now, or at least in this current tour, was
cutted loose from all the previous self importance and Bob can play it and
almost kid again with his keyboards, that became a kind of painting box for
of watercolours for him to repaint his masterpiece. "Like A Rolling Stone" is
allowed to be free and maybe even the poor doomed girl will finally found
her way back home. Every night it came out in a different way, the only
thing that didn't changed was the cheerful reaction of the audience to it.
16) Then Bob dived into a version of "All Along The Watchtower" that
surprisingly enough started with him, centerstage, blowing his harp. And to
compete the amusement he sang the second verse blowing the harp
between every line. The band sounded like... The Band. Actualy, It's not
just Bob that looks complete and fulfilled: his touring band (the best he
ever assembled?) also does. They're in peace with the boss: they knew
they got to serve somebody.
17) Once again, "Blowing In The Wind" was the encore and blew not just
the idiot wind of the past away, but also blew our minds away too. Time to
go back home and cry a while.
Eduardo and Lízia Bueno
Review by Alberto Callero
Second night...Federica, the famous italian girl who travels around the world to
see Dylan, was outside the theater asking for a free ticket.One thing I have to
say to Bob fans is that the "Ladies And Gentlemen, Columbia Recording Artist..."
speech is gone!.Concert starts with Charlie and his bluesy style checking
wonderful sound, so the 3.500 sold out Gran Rex were twistin' and shoutin'
with the first chords of "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat", chosen to start the show
like the day before.Second song surprised the audience with a wonderful
rendition of "Girl from the north country".Bobby was starting to feel again fine
with his voice.I' ll say again that he's in very good shape, very much better than
last visit in 2008."Beyond here lies nothin' " is a regular part of the set list, and
was played as we know in "Black magic woman" style. "Tangled up in blue" :
emotion in motion!, followed with an unpredictable "Honest with me", with Bob
doin' solo guitars.In fact I thought it was an Alien solo style!.Is it good?...Is it
bad?...no, no...is from another dimension!.Twelve minutes of the magic -
"Desolation Row" and Dylan feelin' the song...it seems is one of his favourites.
Another of the highlights was a VERY strange "Cry a while".What was goin' on?...
.I thought it was a new song !!!.People respected everything that the great six
musicians were playin'..silence was a gift, because a magnificent hearted "Make
you feel my love" followed, with Bobby at the center of the stage telling he'll
make us feel his love!."Levee's gonna break" is a classical standard every night
and still rocks!.So then was the moment for "Love sick" and I think that he
maybe should not play the Korg Organ on this one, because is a beautiful melody
and perhaps needs to be played with him as a frontman, but it's my opinion...
The next three were another very big highlight..."Simple twist of fate" feelin'
the real Blood On this track; "Thunder on the mountain" with one of the best
interpretation in years, in fact I thought it was the best version since it was
played alive from the first time!.INCREDIBLE !!!...Then the end was near :
"Ballad of a thin man"...Where are you right now, Mr. Jones?.The harp solo is
like a comet exploding on Earth...the end of "Modern Times"."Like a rolling
stone" with no surprises -good as always-, "All along the watchtower" after the
classic introduction of the band, with big claphands specially for Tony Garnier and
Charlie Sexton and Lights were off expecting for the only encore: "Blowin' in the
wind".People went then near of stage to record that nice moment.No lights again
with the sold out theater with a great ovation shouting "One more!" but it was
the traditional moment "Dylan left the building".So today is the third, and I'll be
there again of course...I wish he could sign to me the big singles book of the
Deluxe Bootleg Series Vol. 8..."you may say I'm a dreamer" !!!.Bob in these days
is shouting to the audience "I put a spell on you" !!!.See you later !
Review by Ricardo Ferrara
Sao Paulo, April 22, rodoviaria, thatīs how brazilian people call their bus
stations. and I was there at noon, last Sunday, thinking about what direction
to take....My bus to Buenos Aires departed at 10 pm that same night, and I
still had some hours to think about...Going to Porto Allegre was the best option
but I wanted to come back earlier to Buenos Aires to make sure I was not
going to miss the first Bob Dylan show in my country, so, fortune decided it
through a coin I asked my friend in Buenos Aires, Nahuel, to throw...Of three
times The coin said twice that I had to come back, so I did, and so I missed
Porto Allegre`s John Brown and the best version of Blind Willie McTell from
this Tour uo to now, according to Eduardo Bueno`s opinion.
I`ve seen the first 4 Brazilian shows and I was delighted enough to be sure that
Bob is playing, singing and acting at his best. The South American shows are
the most expensive ones in the world, maybe not expensive for Cristina
Fernandez de Kirtchner, my Argentine president, who is ruling our country
since 2002, along with her husband, who died some years ago, they'd been
ruling the Santa Cruz province before, the most rich province in oil of Argentina ,
and they`ve been ruling it since we recovered democracy in 1985...almost
35 years deciding the destiny of millions of people and it makes me think about
what I read in that Bob Dylsn faked Budapest interview , the topic being about
Buenos Aires, April 27, Gran Rex Theatre, a theatre of about 3.500 people
capacity, they were all there last night, my friend Federica from Italy, lots of
northamericans, lots of europeans, from Germany, from England, from
France, lots of Southamericans, from Uruguay, from Brazil, from Chile, from
everywhere, you could listen lots of different languages just taking a short
walk by the front of the venue, situated in the very downtown, a really nice
and comfortable place to be.
I always though that, by his music Bob has the power of healing wounded souls
mostly and when I heard he definetely was coming back to Argentina, I sort of
thought about it and that`s why I think he is kind of an humanitarian character,
" Robert Dylan singing songs travelling from town to town, comforting human
hearts and souls as good as no one does" I wrote once....Like anyone else can
have, a time of pain, I was having mine by the time I learnt of his visit.
So, the show is about to start, very right on time 9.30 pm, not a second after
not a second before. Not the usual long introductory words by Al Santos, instead
of it , rough elctric guitar sounds of rock music are heard, creating the ambience
while Bob and his band occupy their places...Bob seats at his keyboards and soon
the show begins, delivering "Leopard Skin..." a song that allows the musicians
relax and make their blood start to warm up. The second song is a special one
Country, a new version, but more similar to the first one on the original record...
Bob`s singing is deep, by his singing he`s seeing that girl once again, after such
a long time, and so do I. Even him hardly believes it but that girl appears on his
mind again, and so does his feeling for her too.. itīs your magic Bob. Itīs you also
are a magician, don't you know? It`s the kind of healing song I talked before...
I`m ready for "Things Have Changed" I want to dance to it, but... no "Beyond
Here Lies Nothing" takes it place , it`s a "climax song", in a way it adds a musical
edge to the show...yes, fine performance, like Tangled up In blue,one of my
favourites, with a fine harmonica solo... On this tour "Honest With Me" has been
haunting me since I heard the new (at least for me) arrangements, that electric
guitar riff is so magnetic that attracks and gives strengh to every note and rhythm
played by the rest of the band, I can`t help tapping its beat..."Desolation Row"
very nice, Bob starts to feel as relaxed and free spirited as to let himself out ,
improvising a lot, and perfectly, playing on his keyboards and his electric guitar
quite a lot. He is going to the centre of stage a lot too, singing alone with
microphone at hand..
Wow, "Cry A While" I`m sure to say that this song was one of the highlights last
night, a tight band, synchronicity at the point of perfection. Bob with just one
gesture stops the song, with another one, makes it starts again, and again and
again, once, twice, all the times he wants to, the crowd gets crazy., and is
finally captured, haunted by the artist.. "Make You Fell My Love", when I heard
the first chords I could hardly believe it, it was the song I had heard in Sao Paulo
a few days before. Last night I was first row and couid connect to the song
properly. I remembered my friend Ana, a 18 years old Dylan fan from Cordoba
(province of Argentina) that couldn`t come to the show, it was the song that
made her be into Bob`s music. As I told her, her spirit was going to be there
with me, in my thoughts somehow, so did Joe Malecovick, a gentle and kind
Dylan fan from the USA It was the more emotional moment I had yesterday.
A Highlight , no doubt...
In "The Levee Is Gonna Break", Bob was ready to fly hig , along with his band in
this song, a second choice, instead of, I think "Summer Days", for it had been
so well performed on the night before that I think they wanted to keep on
giving us what was left of that song`s energy that had not been wasted and
was still in power of the musicians. They succeded.
"Love sick, very theatrical, Dylan "using his mask" Now he is leting the actor, the
performer in him to come out quite often, a new side of Bob?, the ambience
that the musiciands creates , very psicho...
"Highway 61" again, Dylan and his band improvising a lot and perfectly, the band
members always looking at Dylan or paying attention of his playing and following
him all the way till the end of the song and they made a perfect ending.
The stage is in Blue, a velvet blue. The first chords of Simple Twist Of Faith are
heard and I see silver little stars falling on stage, the sight is sweet, they bright
a lot, and brings tenderness and memories of old love feelings but itīs only what
the song creates in my mind, I know Bob is feeling this song quite inside his heart,
so do I, another healing song, as I say , and another of my fouvorite ones,
Excellant, moving and touching rendition, itīs the last highlight of the night, a
wonderful one I`m sure of that. The end is near Thank you doctor, thank you
By the chords of Thunder On The Mountain I confirm the show is beggining to
end. He improvises a lot on this one, he likes to do it, he feels to do it, he is
fond of it and in the middle of the song he surprises us all by creating a new and
fine melody, inside the original melod , strong enough to be another song , he is
creating in front of us, on stage, gives us the priviledge to see it. I felt so
priviledged for it, to see him doing it. His keyboard playing is improving and turning
really great and he played it a lot during this version.
The audience roars, they are listening the first chords of Ballad Of A Thin Man,
who is singing? Dylan? Chaplin? well I donīt know, because his movements on
stage are very chaplinesques on his last shows Some movements are equal, the
same, so it makes me think he is learning them by seeing a lot of times the old
Chaplin movies and adding them to his shows, I like that, I like the new Dylan, the
actor, the real performer, and the mixture of shadows produced by the lights, the
mixture of characters and echoes leads to the most teathrical performance of Bob
during the show. People are in ectasy and Bob plays his best harmonica solo from
the shows I`ve seen on this tour. The song ends and gives place to "Like A Rolling
Stone". The audience is waiting for this crowd pleaser, Bob is relaxed, enjoynig his
own singing... After Like a RollinG Stone" an astounding version of All Along The
Watchtower, with a new and attracting riff that sustains the song till the end.
Bob sings alone in the middle of the stage, with his microphone in one hand and
his harmonica in onother. Again, the actor is doing his job,and quite a good job.
He goes to his keyboards again, and after singing the final verses, he leads the
band to the end of the song, and the end of the show too. He had introduced
his musicians just some minutes before. Now it`s time for the bow all the musicians
stand along with Bob. He is calm . They leave the stage and return after the ovation
of the audience to do one more pleaser Blowing In The Wind, a nice and peaceful
singing. And now its the true end of the show Bob and the band bows again.
He is standing and seems very please, very "in peace with himself", seems relaxed,
glad, like knowing he did a very good job last night, he knows he did his best, like a
doctor, a surgeon who succeeds after a surgery, like a rural "maestro" in a desert
land with no schools around. After the show I meet Eduardo Buenos, for whom I
feel so much appretiation, he says, write the review, I said no, so Eduardo you
convinced me. See you tonight, Bob, the "maestro" is in town.
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