Bob Dylan – Fullhouse In Buenos Aires (Tambourine Man Records TMR-142/143)

Fullhouse In Buenos Aires (Tambourine Man Records TMR-142/143)

Estadio Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires, Argentina – March 15th, 2008

Disc 1:  Introduction, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, Lay Lady Lay, Watching The River Flow, Masters Of War, The Levee’s Gonna Break, Spirit On The Water, Things Have Changed, Workingman’s Blues #2, Just Like A Woman, Honest With Me, When The Deal Goes Down

Disc 2:  Highway 61 Revisited, Nettie Moore, Summer Days, Like A Rolling Stone, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, band introduction, All Along The Watchtower, Blowin’ In The Wind.  Bonus tracks, Orpheo Superdomo, Córdoba, Argentina – March 13th, 2008:  Ain’t Talkin’, Thunder On The Mountain

Fullhouse In Buenos Aires presents the second of three shows played in Argentina.  The Estadio Velez Sarsfield, a soccer stadium just outside the city, is the biggest venue booked in South America.  And, despite the name, was by eyewitness accounts not a full house but had about 16,000 in attendance.  The tape TMR use for this show is very clear, well balanced, and is perhaps the best sounding of their recent releases.  This is his first appearance in Buenos Aires since he played the River Plate Stadium on April 4th & 5th, 1998 with the Rolling Stones and his first solo outing since August, 1991.  Many collectors are disappointed by the set list which seems to have reached a critical stasis with the limited number of songs from his vast catalogue making its way onto the stage.

It gives the impression that Dylan is getting complacent when the set lists for 2008 look very similar to those in 2007.  Perhaps he is reasoning that, since it has been a decade since he last toured South America, fans there have not heard the Modern Times material live before.  This view is given more credence by the more varied set lists of the European tour following this where has has pulled out more songs from “Love & Theft” like “Moonlight,” “Sugar Baby,” and scarcely played songs like “If You See Her, Say Hello” in Ostrava.  

Buenos Aires get off to an inauspicious start with very laid back renditions of “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” and “Lay Lady Lay,” where he really slurs the lyrics together.  Even “Watching The River Flow,” which on a good night can knock the front row back a few feet sounds tame by comparison.  “Masters Of War” picks up the pace a bit with Dylan singing the ancient song with passion and conviction.  After two Modern Times tunes he plays “Things Have Changed,” one of the highlights of this set.  Herron’s violin melody can be picked out adding  a mournful dimension to the track.  In the latter half of the show “Nettie Moore” makes an appearance in all its power.  The set ends with “Like A Rolling Stone” and the first encore is Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again.” 

The balance of the disc is given to two bonus tracks from the previous concert on March 13th in Córdoba.  This is his first visit to the city and José Heinz, writing on Cordoba net, calls Dylan “Un viejo lobo” and comments, “Nadie discutirá que la voz de Bob Dylan ya no presenta el registro de sus mejores épocas. Hoy se escucha como un hilo áspero y nasal, que a pesar de haber resignado melodía, todavía conserva los matices para contar historias.”  The sound quality is as good as the Buenos Aires tape and presents two songs from Modern Times.  Herron’s violin sounds beautiful in “Ain’t Talkin’.”  Fullhouse In Buenos Aires is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with glossy paper inserts.  One of  Dylan’s painting is used on the inner insert and the artwork has an interesting black, grey, and red theme.  This is a good recording and another good production by TMR.   

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