April 30, 2012
Review by Ricardo Ferrara
The last show in Buenos Aires was stained in the last minute by a guy who climbed
the 4 steps of the stair that leads to the stage, he ran and reached Bob to kiss him,
but Bob was taken by surprise and was a little bit scared. The bodyguards were late
when they realized of what was happening and took the freak out.A bad moment
for Bob and for the audience who were thoroughly enjoying the concert, not fair
for the Argeninian crowd who had been listening to the 4 shows with such a
behaviour, attention and respect worthy of high praise, a behaviour never shown
to no other artist.
The farewell show for the argetinian audience was more like a "see you next year"
show, that good was the reception to Dylan's fourth visit to Argentina, the four
Buenos Aires shows were completetly sold out. After his last visit in 2008, I thought
there were going to be only just a few chances for his comeback. But he did, and
he was there again, delivering his songs with a stronger voice, with a new attitude
as if he woke up from a 4 years dream, with all his power and all his energy at hand.
So, it's April 30, labour's day eve in Buenos Aires, city also known as "La Perla Del Rio
De La Plata" as we say in spanish. ( The Rio De La Plata's pearl - The River Plate's
pearl in english) and that night Buenos Aires deserved being called so, for she was
shinning as brightly as she never did due to Bob Dylan.
Same rocking chords for the introduction and Bob's at his keyboards again, "Leopard
Skin Pillbox Hat" opens the show. They play it by heart, as fluent as breathing. It's
natural for them for it's their 10th time on this tour...well, well, well, what song we
have next? Bob's second song starts with not a slow rhythm like all the songs he'd
been choosing in second place, instead a swinging version of "Man In The Long
Black Coat" makes it's second appearance on this tour, the previous one delivered
in Belo Horizonte, in place number 12. It's another of my favourite songs and you
can feel the thrill"....There nothing she said not even a note, she's gone with the
man in the long black coat" he cuts every line into pieces, two words, then, two
more words, always stressing the first syllable of the first word, giving us it's
suspense and it's black colors reach our minds. Outstanding performance, wow!!...
after this song?,,, I`m ready to dance the Habanera listening to "Beyond Here Lies
Nothing"..." but no, again "Things Have Changed" comes back to the set list and in
it's usual position, so I'm dancing to this tune, sat down in my chair, cause no one in
the crowd is allowed to stand up, so...gonna take dancing lessons do the jitterbug
rag...The lyrics are so great...
Since the start of this tour, for "Tangled Up In Blue" Bob's always brought us one
of his best singing and harmonica playing,This time too...
By the fourth song we get a surprise, "Rollin' And Tumblin', which makes it's reentry
for the first time on this tour. The original riff between it's verses is missed and its
rocking strenght does not come out too much if it were not for Bob's singing efforts...
"Spirit On The Water"what a beautiful song!!! beautifully sang, tender, soft, subtle
singing...Then comes "Summer Days" excelent, and getting better and better with
each show with a joyful Bob...
"Desolation Row" always comes in the right moment ,..nicely delivered.
After "Desolation" the first seconds of the next song are heard and the banjo sounds
again, I can't be mistaken this time for I think of only one option "Highwater" the
kind of song you need to have in a set list, like when you go to a restaurant and ask
for pepper or salt...Then comes the climax of the night, one of the most incredible
versions of "Simple Twist Of Faith", a velvet blue, a velvet pain, silver stars are falling
on Dylan's coat and they stay there while he is singing. He begins to play a somewhat
kind of lead guitar, in his personal, own style, own way to play it, it`s more than
pretty, his old lost love memories turned into bittersweet notes spread all over his
guitar, people clap and stand up for the first time during a song and after another
verse he plays "lead guitar" again. People are in awe.
Then Highway with it's contagious rhythm, and Martin Luther King thinking a minute,
".... ".... .. "of silence, yeah it can be easily done, down on Highway 61" and then it
happened, finally, what me and many people were eagerly anticipating, an awesome
and outstanding "Blind Willie McTell" coming all the way from New Orleans to Buenos
Aires, blues turned into beauty, the most elegant blues I've ever heard, the version
being like the one he did in the tribute to Martin Scorcesse. Thanks Bob, for
delivering it in Buenos Aires. It was fabulous and people enjoyed it a lot.
The end is very close for "Thunder On The Mountain" sounds again with all it's rock
power, including that "new" melody inside the song... then, oh yes...Ladies and
Gentlemen, the "Gran Rex theatre" is proud to present a Bob Dylan play, "Ballad Of
A Thin Man" written, directed and performaed by Bob Dylan, but the shadows
produced by the lights also have an important role in his script...and at the end of the
play, excuse me, at the end of the song people thank him with their enthusiastic
"Like a Rolling Stone" in a stage colored by red lights, "Like A Rolling Stone" is red
now, the red of danger, beware doll you're bound to fall, I want to enjoy this one
the more I can, it's my last chance to enjoy it 'till who knows when? Bob finishes the
song and immediately introduces his band, a "luxury" band, if they were cars they
should be Cadillac cars, convertible Cadillac cars not Rolls Royce cars..
Then comes the tension of All Along The Watchtower, Bob sings centre stage, yeah
Bob "there are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke" he goes to his
keyboards again to end the song and walk downstairs from the watchtower to the
centre of the stage and gets ready for the bow, then he leaves the stage, his band
too, the audience claps knowing there's one more, it's his last show before leaving
our country for Chile. He makes his final reentry and people are moved, shouting his
name: "Dylan, Dylan, Dylan,Dylan" shouts that come from everywhere in the theatre,
louder and louder and more louder, the Dylan shouts grow bigger and bigger I'm
touched, my heart nearly crying, never heard an audience expressing their gratitude
so much, their feelings for an artist in such an emotional and intense way like this
audience, because, for every Dylan "shout" I could hear many different "thank yous"
íts that Dylan can give you many, many things, beauty, poetry, the most beautiful
melodies, the most outstanding performances and he can ease at least a little bit the
sorrows one can have for instance, but he gives you something that you will never
be able to define, it's in his voice, it's in his heart, it's in his eyes...
For his last song in Buenos Aires, Bob chooses "Blowing In The Wind". By the middle
of the song everybody seems like to start acknowledging that time is up. I say
good bye to him with my hands and send him blowing kisses, my friend Adrian raises
a flag that says: "Viva Bobby", a girl from the audience shouts, inviting Bobby to live
in Argentina forever, then comes the moment when the whole picture is somewhat
broken by a guy in the audience, the guy I talked about at the beggining...he takes
the stage and runs towards Bob, it doesn't matter Bob, keep on with this night of
My friend Nahuel, my friend Adrian, many others too including myself started saving
money for your next concerts in Argentina, we don't want to miss any of them. I`m
not going to Chile this time, I'm running out of money but I'm glad that I've seen
8 of the 11 shows in South America and enjoyed all of them. I also enjoyed my
long South American trip, enjoyed a lot every city I've been to, every landscape I've
seen and every preson I've met..Thanks to Federica and all the good people who are
travelling with you, from town to town, from country to country, Take care Bobby,
see you soon, maybe next year? I wish you could, until then, we`ll be missing you a
lot. Hope you have had a nice trip to Chile and wish you had a great show tonight!
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