May 12, 2012
Review by Alberto Ortega Gurza
The so called mythical performance delivered by Bob and his band on March 25, 2008
in Zacatecas , Mexico, was truly something to remember. On that occasion my friends
Oscar Montes, Edgar "Dylan" Perez and I went along to cross the country all the way
up north to that tiny colonial mining town surrounded by mountains in a Jack Kerouac's
'On The Road' fashion, to witness greatness.
That evening was special because a fired up Bob decided to play Forever Young, which
according to Boblinks.com hadn't been performed live in over a year. After that show
he was to take a seven week hiatus off the road.
And so, mysterious and unforeseeable fate took the three of us to that very spot last
night: Bob Dylan and his Band were to perform the last show of the Latin-American
leg of the 2012 Tour, before taking a seven week break.
And just like he appeared to be in the Zacatecas show four years ago; last night Bob was
glowing and inspired. After opening the concert with Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat, the
band performed a very string-picking version of Don't Think Twice It's Alright that
reminded me of the Wild West.
The laid back version of Things Have Changed was very friendly to our ears. And
listening to Tangled Up In Blue made me feel directly connected with history.
"Impossible to take this for granted," said I to myself while opening a separate file in
my memory for it.
The version of A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall he brought out was very melodic, and
vocally, Bob linked the lines of the verses in rhythm.
Then, in the midst of the awesome concert, I heard the first notes of The Lonesome
Death Of Hattie Carroll. The first thing that came to my mind was: "Ok, now I won't
die without having heard this song live". It's well known that Bob wrote the song
enraged against the millionaire landowner William Zanzinger. The rendition was beautiful
in more ways than one, and Bob played a harp coda that sounded like a mourning for
the 51 year old innocent maid who was brutally murdered in Baltimore on that dreadful
day. "Bury the rag deep in your face, for now's the time for your tears". -Not for
nothing did Michael McClure call Bob Dylan "the poet of poets".
The band delivered a sound rendition of Forgetful Heart. In this song, Bob's vocals
were particularly smooth and soft. Along with his voice, Donnie Herron's viola sailed on
to the end of painful nostalgia.
And like the night before, Ballad Of A Thin Man was undoubtfully one of the highlights,
as Thunder On The Mountain was the song that made people dance the most at the
upbeat peak of the show.
Naturally, Blowing In the Wind, All Along The Watchtower, Highway 61 and Like A
Rolling Stone were the tunes that the best part of the audience was able to
recognize quickly and sing along to.
At the end of the show, after the band took its final bow, Bob put his thumbs up,
shook his fists briskly and blew kisses to the audience. I had never seen him do that.
He must have a satisfied mind about the way they were able to wrap up this stage of
the tour. He looked truly happy.
Back in the day, my uncle Agustin Gurza, a lifetime Bob Dylan fan and a music and
popular culture writer used to give my dad "Beto" Bob Dylan albums whenever he
came to visit. And my father grew to become a big fan ever since he was in his
twenties. So it was a pleasure to be with him -and my mother- in the first of the two
shows in Mexico City. Yesterday I had lunch at their house, and found him proudly
sporting his brand new concert T-shirt with a photo of Bob in a cowboy hat. Before I
left for the venue to attend the second and last show, he and I heard Blood On The
Tracks out of my vinyl LP.
If one day Bob stated that everything was broken, I only know that last night, being
at the closing show of the season, everything was worth it.
Thank you Bob, good luck.
Alberto Ortega Gurza
Review by Laurette Maillet
That day started with a bad news for me. My credit card had been blocked by my
bank, no way to buy myself a plane ticket to go back home (France). After hours
of despair my son will save me by buying for me a plane ticket on the Internet.
Finally relieve I take the metrobus towards the Pepsi Center at 6.30 p.m. under the
rain. But nothing, no NOTHING will stop me for getting there. I bought an expensive
ticket to be third row center next to Mr. Johns and Mia (who came specifically from
the States for these two shows). Oscar is in second row center.
Bob HAS to be good.
He starts on time.
The inevitable 'Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat'.
The public is not as wild as yesterday. We try to stand up and dance but the security
ask us to seat down. Except for some enthusiastic fans the front rows are static.
They came to see the Legend. I came to enjoy myself with a good Rock show.
Different point of view.
'Don't Think Twice, It's All Right' (Bob on guitar)
'Things Have Changed' (Bob center stage with harp). He's phrasing the lyrics
differently and changed the rhythm, smiling at Donny, who's playing on the steel
guitar. They look like two kids having a good time.
'Tangled Up In Blue' nicely done as usual. Can't do a mistake on that one.
A solid 'Summer Days' on which I dance, right on my seat.
'Not Dark Yet' but it's getting there. I listen to that song with pain for it has a
double meaning that is not to please my spirit tonight. You're doing good Bobby!
And yes! it is 'Jolene'. Bob screams that name at the top of his voice.
'Ballad Of Hollis Brown'
Followed by the inevitable (again)
''The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll'. Beautiful Donnie on banjo.
After a 'Highway 61 Revisited' that don't succeed to wake up the front rows, but
the standing people Donnie picks up his violin. That will be, I know
Bobby is really sad on that version tonight. He has some difficulty starting the
second verse. I feel like crying. I repeat as a mantra '' don't cry Bobby!, we love
you!'' and I say it loud at the end.
'Thunder On The Mountain', 'Ballad Of A Thin Man ', 'Like A Rolling Stone',
'All Along The Watchtower'
(encore) 'Blowin' In The Wind'
No surprise. No 'Forever young'.
The show tonight was more nostalgic that the previous one. Bob was in a more
At the end, again, he will send kisses towards the public.
Bye, Bye Bobby! have a safe trip back home.
See you in Europe.
May God bless and keep you always!
Review by Oscar Montes
Four years ago I wrote in my review for this website that Zacatecas' show could be
the last Bob Dylan act in Mexico ever, how wrong I was! The new venue Pepsi
Center WTC is a place with state-of-the-art technology. Giant HD video screens
which obviously Bob refused to use, Dylan's crew covered them with huge curtains
Before accessing the venue we found Bob's crew buying some souvenirs made in
Mexico on the streets outside the forum.
Great to meet Marcelo Sanchez before the show and see again Gerardo (after four
years), Sue Osborne, Laurette, Bernie Wilson and Edgar Perez (who miraculously had
his "at the very back GA" ticket upgraded to the "good" front seats. Alberto Ortega
Gurza told us he wouldn't be able to attend this show. So sad and so strange.
Pill-Box Hat the usual start of this tour was really strong and made the audience
dance and screamed during the whole song. A beautiful Don't think twice was next,
people just loved this classic Dylan tune. Things have changed was performed so
different compared to the three last nights, a funny knocking with his harp sounding
like a slow train coming was awesome!
Tangled up in blue so wonderful delivered, great harp of Bob. Summer days, pure
rock n' roll made everbody dance on their seats again. Not dark yet was one of the
highlights of the night, beautifully sung by Bob, managing the two microphones like
a master, one of them with the harmonica. Just great.
Jolene was played for the first time in Mexico. Hollis Brown so perfect, another
highlight, no doubt about it. Hard Rain once again was beautiful and all the people
at the Pepsi Center recognized it. Hattie Carroll also so well received by the audience,
he played a little bit of harp at the end of it.
Highway 61 so good but not as strong as previous nights. Then an exceptional
Forgetful heart made everybody felt breathless, so divine performance. Thunder on
the mountain, so celebrated by the audience, dancing on their seats.
Thin man so solid and strong, and Bob's solo in harmonica so sublime. It's becoming
a permanent highlight every night! Rolling stone, the song most people from Mexico
know, all of us standing, singing, jumping, wonderful indeed!
Watchtower as strong as yesterday's show! All people standing and dancing with
this one. Bob and his band left the stage and returned for the usual encore of this
part of the tour, Blowin' in the wind which was also sung with all the audience
standing and thanking Dylan for his music.
Bob so much in contact with the audience, sending kisses to them when the show
was over. To be honest I'd never seen him before this way. He was entertain us all
of the time, moving his hands like firing guns from the times of the Mexican
Revolution, mastering the stage as no one else is able to. Smiling at his band and
at himself as never before.
HE'S STILL SO ON FIRE! If you don't have a ticket yet for the up-coming Europe
tour you've gotta go and buy it now! Thank you Bob, touring with you and my
Dylan fans friends and followers on the week of my birthday was a once in a life
After the show, we found out that Alberto Ortega Gurza finally made it to the
show! Great to see him and have some pics all together! Sue Osborne, Bernie
Wilson, Edgar Perez and I decided to go and find a place to enjoy a hamburger
and some beers, we did it and had a nice talk about our experiences through the
years touring with Bob. After this we decided we should have a final shot and
went to a Mexican "Cantina" called "Los Remedios" on Isurgentes avenue and they
were just about to close the place but after listening to my pleads that my Canadian
friends were eager to enter the cantina we were allowed to access. Once inside a
North Mexican band played live "Cielito Lindo" for Sue. We left the place at about
3:00 AM. A wonderful and unforgettable night we shared in Mexico City.
Next day (Sunday 13th), Amanda, Sue, Bernie, my girlfriend Johanna and I went to
the archeological and wonderful place Teotihuacan which is about 1 hour away
driving from Mexico City. We climbed the pyramid of the sun which is 63 meters
high and had a great time. We went to eat great Mexican food at the restaurant
Mirador-Pirámides afterwards. We dropped off my Canadian friends at their hotel at
about 7:00 PM and said good bye with lots of hugs hoping to find each other on
the road soon!
Review by Joanna
Delighted by Bob Dylan
"How does it feel? Tell me how does it feel?"
It's hard to put into words how I feel in the afterglow of the Bob Dylan concert:
"Like a Rolling Stone" … "Just Like a Woman"… "Forever Young" … "It's All Good" …
"Positively 4th Street" … "Tangled Up in Blue" … all those things and then some…
Last Saturday night my friend Colleen and I had reserved spots in what we feared
would be the mosh pits we've seen on MTV. We figured we'd better arrive early
in order to secure our places. But the "Pepsi Center," part of Mexico City's WTC,
pleasantly surprised us. Coming through the big glass doors, cute-as-can-be "Indio
Beer" girls greeted us, and after accepting their plastic cups of ale, we headed for
the real bar. Great 60s & 70s music (Stones, Doors, Queen, Hendrixs and Dylan of
course …) blared from huge speakers and I felt transported back in time (many
decades of time…)
Holding different plastic cups, containing liberal sloshes of tequila, we located
"Zona B" and plunked ourselves down… right along the wrought iron line that
divided those who had (comfy seats) from those who had not (any seats at all)
We quickly struck up conversation with the diverse group of Dylan fans surrounding
us. Old, young and in between, we smiled … thrilled to be in one another's fine
company. All were suitably impressed that Colleen and I had come from so far to
hear our guy play.
The "Pepsi Center" venue is not huge and we could see the stage very clearly.
We felt as happy as two aging girls with bum knees sitting cross-legged on the
floor could possibly feel. The tequila helped a lot… and with the medicinal benefits
in mind, we went and got more. We were feeling no pain at all when at 9:00 sharp,
Bob Dylan strode out on stage. Like gazelles Colleen and I jumped to our feet,
jumping and jiving with the best of 'em.
I hoped I'd hear my very favorite song, and Colleen wanted to hear one of hers,
but if that wasn't in the cards, it didn't matter, it was enough to be in the same
room with the man whose music had accompanied both of us through so many
good and not-good-at-all times. And Bobby D. did not disappoint…
His voice has always been gravelly, and now at almost 74, it sounds like a sack of
jagged boulders being dragged across the floor. His playing twangs and bangs more
than it strums and soothes, and his moves hardly exude the energy they once did
but: "Don't think twice it's alright." To us, Bob Dylan looked and sounded better
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