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It's Only Rock'n Roll

River Plate Stadium
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Saturday April 4, 1998

Review by Bj�rnulf Vik

There were three warm-up bands for tonight. The first two were local bands, quite ok, even if I didn't know their repertoire. The next one was more famous...

Bob Dylan was on at 9:30. I am not a particular Dylan fan, so I'm sorry my review of his set will be limited. Still, as I know many Stones fans like Dylan a lot too, I will do my best with a brief review. I was so lucky I got to see him warming up for the Stones one time before, in Montpellier, France, 1995, so this was like Montpellier over again.

Bobby did a set which was said to extraordinary, with plenty of "hits" including Tangled Up In Blue. The sound was brilliant, much better than in Montpellier. And his performance was great. He did not talk much to the audience, in fact he only said Thank You a couple of times, and introduced the band before the last song. And there were no encores by Dylan.

The crowd did not seem to be very well into his songs. Even the most popular ones wend on without much singing along or cheering. It seemed like everybody waited for the Stones, but it was nothing like throwing things or anything - great crowd still.

Bob Dylan's set lasted for exactly one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30, and included the following songs - sorry I don't know the titles of a lot of his songs:

  1. Maggie's Farm
  2. Lay, Lady, Lay
  3. Cold Irons Bound
  4. Just Like A Woman
  5. Silvio
  6. Cocaine Blues (acoustic)
  7. Mr. Tambourine Man (acoustic)
  8. Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic)
  9. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
  10. I Shall Be Released
  11. Highway 61 Revisited

    PS. There is a review of the Bob Dylan set at the Bob Dylan pages. Thanks to Naohiro Mikawa for telling so fast, so that I could improve my list above. Then it was time for The Rolling Stones! At 10:15 they hit stage, and the first four songs were like usual. Then they brought in Mick's electric piano, and I thought they would play Fool To Cry or something. But they did Memory Motel, that early in the set! My memories went back to Philadelpia last year, when I first time got to hear Memory Motel live. Such a great version! The couple next to me were totally in the romantic mode, as the guy's eyes were lost into Memory Motel as he held on to his girl. The fully packed 60,000 capacity stadium were all lit up by romantic lights, people burning their lighters all over. And Keith got the biggest cheering every time he broke in with his vocals. I got sentimental myself, as I had my luxury problems all sorted out yesterday. I was supposed to be on my flight back home to Europe right now, but I was here listening to Memory Motel!

    Then Mick said: "OK. This one's called B-B-Bitch!" Saint Of Me got lots of singing along, and as the song was supposed to close down, the crowd kept singing "oh Yeah, Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah...", for a minute or two. Mick had to break into the singing, shouting out Out of Controooool!!!. It's great to see the news songs getting great following. Hopefully they can stay in the set for future tours as well, so that they can migrate to replacements of some of the old-timers.

    Then it was Miss You. I knew it was one too early, as it is usually number ten i the set, and figured out we would have a guest artist soon. The stage is all in red and pink lights, as they do Miss You with great crowd sing-along.

    Then it's some activities on the stage, certainly not preparing for band introductions, which normally follows Miss You. And then Bob Dylan walks up to the front of the stage, and they are into Like A Rolling Stone!

    This version of "LARS" was about 5 - 10 times better than the one they did in Montpellier. I mean, it was charming in France, seeing Bob on stage with the Stones, and sure they worked hard on it, but it wasn't very well rehearsed back then. Now it was perfect. I would say it was two times as great as when the Stones do "LARS" on their own... Bob started off the first verses. He was in top mode, having this eye saying "this will be fun!".

    Then Mick had his turn, and then back to Bob. This was the perfect duet. Bob even filled in with some extra "yeah" in-between Mick's pieces. They matched perfectly. No lagging behind in the tempo, no mix-ups, just perfect. Then Bob moved back, on guitar, having Ronnie on his right side and Keith on his left side. Keith seemed to have a great time as well, as he talked with Bob as they played. Mick did his part of harmonica playing. Then Ronnie kissed Bob goodbye, Keith did the same, and it was all over. What a version of Like A Rolling Stone! How about keeping Bob in the tour?

    If you live in Argentina, you still have the chance to see Bob on stage with the Stones tomorrow. And in Brazil next week as well, for Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo as well. PS. Bob will be in Porto Alegro as well, but without the Stones. Don't take my word on it, but I think they might do Like A Rolling Stone as a duet tomorrow as well, plus at both shows in Brazil...

    So I kinda thought, Memory Motel paid off all my worries, and Like A Rolling Stone with Dylan was a (not so unexpected) bonus, so what's next?

    Keith said "I could listen to that all day, but I've got a show to do"... "Oh guys!!!!", as the crwd kept singing their songs before he could start singing his own set.

    On the B-stage, i.e. the center stage we got Little Queenie as usual, but then Respectable and You Got Me Rocking. This set is getting to be really at my taste...

    From Sympathy... on it was business as usual. Lisa did a wonderful job on You Can't Always Get What You Want. I have heard that song a few times now on this tour, but tonight it really stood out, clear, magnificent, and as I said great singing by Lisa as well. Brown Sugar. It's over. Well, at least until tomorrow.

    As we were hanging around inside the stadium, I thought the crowd was half the show. Like Keith said the other night, Your show is better than ours! On our way out, there were big queues, and as we queued, everybody started to sing the special Stones song -- not one or two persons, but the entire queue, unison, everyone, hundreds and hundreds. It was having the show on again, except the Stones had left the building. Thank you Argentina, you made a new friend, and whenever the Stones come down here, I will sell my furniture or whatever to hear your great singing over and over again.

    Please, if anyone can email the (Spanish) and translated English version of the Stone song, I would be really glad. And hopefully, we will hear it on some live album or video.

    More reviews, please! What was your favorite moment? What was the best song? Was it as great as in 1995? Please, Argentina fans, tell us by email what you think. I'll publish your thoughts here! PS. Also, if you can't do it in English, then please do a review in Spanish!

    Start time: 10:15
    End time  : 00:35
    The set list:

    1. Satisfaction
    2. Let's Spend The Night Together
    3. Flip The Switch
    4. Gimme Shelter
    5. Memory Motel
    6. Bitch
    7. Saint Of Me
    8. Out Of Control
    9. Miss You
    10. Like A Rolling Stone (with Bob Dylan)
      -- Introductions --
    11. You Don't Have To Mean It (Keith)
    12. Wanna Hold You (Keith)
    13. Little Queenie (center stage)
    14. Respectable (center stage)
    15. You Got Me Rocking (center stage)
    16. Sympathy For The Devil
    17. Tumbling Dice
    18. Honky Tonk Women
    19. Start Me Up
    20. Jumping Jack Flash
    21. You Can't Always Get What You Want (encore)
    22. Brown Sugar (encore)

    Read all about the Bridges To Babylon tour in the It's Only Rock'n Roll magazine. Next issue IORR 32 out March 20, 1998.

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