April 17, 2012
Review by Eduardo Bueno
Well, so finally after four tours in Brazil - "The Brazil series" -, Bob
finally came to the heart of the ancient (800 million years old) Brazilīs
high plateau, the Planalto Central, in the middle of which stands the so
called "futuristic" city of Brasilia.
Itīs not just the capital of Brazil but also the capital of corruption in
They steal a lot here, boys, you can bet!. And this time it seens like they
stole even the acoustic from the venue ridicouslly called Nilson Nelson
Arena. Nilson Nelson? Oh, come on...
But, in a way, who cares? For the ones, like me, who were at the very front
row, it was very easily not just to SEE Dylan perfectly but also HEAR him.
The thing is that you can hear him, which is surelly a blessing, but just
could not hear NOTHING of the band playing.
I guess there was about 5,000 people in the awfull place. The show started
exactly at 9.30 pm, right on the clock.
1) Bob and the boys opened with a nice, but not special. version of
"Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat". Eddie Segwick was not around - she never had
been. But this very place once was full of jaguars, the South American
"cousin" of the leopard. They lasted until 1960, when Brasilia was build in
the middle of nowhere and then they were all hunted tol
extiinction....Well, they seemed to live again briefly in that strange
2) The second song was "Donīt think twice" in that kind of light country
arranjament that is becoming quite commom lately.
I donīt think it makes full justice to the old tune, but you know, itīs
only a personal opinion...
3) Third song: "Things Have Changed", first real strong moment of the show,
at least for me. Bob in center stage, moving like a puppet to sing about
this world full of crazy people in this strange times, were most of the
time WE really feell like puppets, even if we donīt realize whoīs pulling
the strings...Well, at least this time the strings were in the hands of
crooner Bob, and he sang it with heart and soul, proving that, in spite of
the lyrics, he stills CARES....
4) Fourth song: "Tangled up in blue". Well, man: he didnīt just still
cares: it seems like he stills feels the pain of the separation, which
breaks the heart and leaves a corkscrew righ in there: every word was sung
like they were written in his soul. Great version, I think.
5) Then my own first live version of "Beyond here lies nothing" and in a
way, for me, it sounded even better than in the record, and I did not miss
Hidalgoīs acordeon at all. Not wonderfull, but quite alright.
6) "Simple twist of fate", the companion song of "Tangled" follows and I
thought it was suberb. I already listen many - about ten - live versions of
it, and this particular one was the best to my ears, after all these
years... If I was born too late, blame it on the simple twist of...etc
7) "Summerdays" use to rise up the crownd in other shows I saw (specally
right here in Brazil, back in 2008 ) but not this time. Well, blame it on
the worst acoustic ever. I couldnīt hear a single chord played by the band.
But it seems, judiging from what seems to be just a pantomine, that it was
the same powerfull rockabilly that it always is, or at least I guess...
8) The candid, bitter-sweet simphony which is "Spirit on the water"
suffered from the same problem. Bob sang it beautifully, but, I donīt know,
something was missed. Among it, THE SOUND of the band!
9) "Honest with me" - Wanna me to be honest wich you? I guess it was as hot
as it use to be, but, man, nobody in the first four rows could hear a thing
played by the band and it isnīt a song for Bob to perform "alone" with only
his voice (all we can hear), is it? So, I can not "judge" it, but I think
this "middle" part was the lowest part of the show.
10) But then, oh man, a suberb, wonderfull, magic version of "Hard Rain
Gonna Fall", with the audience singing together the "and itīs a hard, and
itīs a hard" part!!! There were four boys right by my side: THEY ARE ALL
FOURTEEN YEARS OLD!!!! The song is three times older than then! The sum of
the four boyīs ages has the age of the song itself!!. In my back there were
a couple older then 60! Man, in a way itīs Dylanīs dream of having all
kinds of audiences, with all ages, coming true! He sounded like Rimbaud
reciting his ennumerations! It was french simbolistic poetry in a folk-rock
melody. The very first highlight of the show, in mine (and several other
"dylanophiles) opinion... You can take my word!
11) Then "Highway 61", blasting sparks as ever and finally it was like
someone back there, in the control room,was able to arranje the sound and,
in the spite of the awfull acoustic (that some senator probably robbed from
the venue to use it in the wedding of his son...ehehe) ithe band also, and
finally, SOUNDED goooood.
12) Then, oh, boys, you can bury the rag down in your faces, cause Bob
offered to Brazil a wooooooooonderfulllllll version of "Blind Willie
McTell" strong enough to make a grown man cry. It was amazing, magical,
spectral, prophethic. It sounded at least as good as the version he
presented in the cerimony to honour Martin Scorcese in LA, I guess in
february 12th (or january?) this year, the only song Dylan performed in
public in this god blessed year of 2012 (as far was I know) before opening
this tour in Rio de Janeiro, last Sunday. First time I heard this song
alive, in more than 70 shows that I already saw. Maybe some in the audience
still sees "the ghost of slavery ships", since Brazil was the last nation
on Earth to abolish slavery and the one which received the biggest number
of slaves in ALL TIMES anywhere ( five million slaves were brought to
Brazil from 1532 till 1888)
13) Then a torrid, speedy, thunderous version of.. "Thunder on the
mountain". And we could hear the band again...
14) "Ballad of a thin man" followed with the great echo effect that is
becoming common. Just perfect, in my opinion, with Bob like a
croupier throwing his cards to the extatic audience, center stage, looking
like a statue, like, oh, sorry to say that, like a living legend, shinning,
happy, secure, complete,fullfilled, plain, truthfull and faithfull as fire,
15) Then "Like a Rolling Stone" with him in the keyboard but blowin his
harp like NEVER BEFORE, four hoooourus (ok, for minutes...) and in the last
verse, he blew the harp between EVERY line. The first and only version like
that ever, and which is, I think , the thing that will make this Brasilia
show so unique. I hope someone recorded it. Iīm too low tech to do such a
thing. Hope it shows up in the You tube soon. Itīs worth to look after
that, pals!!! I swear!
16) As usual, "Alll Along the Watchtower" came in the sequence and it was
also powerfull, Bob centerstage, dancing, moving. then picking the guitar
and playing it like a hell boy! That was great too.
Then they left and the ones who think they know him and the ways of the
shows, immmediatly thought: Well, this it; itīs all over now, baby blue...
17) Well, they were wrong, cause after four minutes of stading ovation, the
man and his band came back for a groovy, funky, funny, hilarious version of
"Rainny Day Women" as if it was a message to us: everybody must get
Specially, of course, the corrupted brazilian senators - in this case,
litterally stoned, of course! When, I can only guess...
So, at 11.10 pm, after exactly 1 hour and 40 minutes of plain music, wiith
17 songs it was realy over.
But there will be four more shows in Brazil, the land with the highest
prices for a ticket in the world, believe it or not (US$ 300 for a ticket,
pal: well, someone has to pay for the weding of the senatorīs son, and
DONīT get caught without a ticket, hidden beneath the truck, man!!!)
Thatīs all for now, folks!
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