This previously unreleased concert film (and 2-CD set), Bridges to Buenos Aires, is the younger sibling to the prior Bridges to Bremen released earlier in 2019. While the latter was a show taken from the European leg’s closing show in Germany in September of ‘98, this performance from Argentina- remixed, remastered, and fully restored- occurred five months earlier on the slate of the Rolling Stones’ massive ‘97/’98 world tour. The last night of a sold-out, five-date residency at the 54,000-seat stadium takes its deserved place within the ongoing series of live archival sets issued by the Stones; elevated proportionately above its Bremen brethren, and that show’s own high musical and historical standing, thanks to an appearance from Bob Dylan on, of course, “Like A Rolling Stone.”
The Dylan duet is surprisingly balanced, cheery, and crisp, given the legend’s penchant for creating melodies and lyrics in the moment, even on his most well-known songs. Here he and Mick Jagger weave around each other, never straying too far from the classic cadence, trading off verses and joining in harmony; Mick locked in on Bob for any subtle changes.
Overall, the setlist is consistent with, if slightly different from, the Bremen collection: “Sister Morphine” gets a dusting off for the raucous Argentinians in place of “Paint it Black.” And, while the Stones still extend the sticky and decadent “Miss You,” just before Dylan’s arrival, their mini-set after “crossing the bridge” to the B-stage following a pair from Keith Richards kicks off with the rocking “Little Queenie,” then “When The Whips Comes Down,” (notable for Jagger mistakenly singing the first line to “Respectable,” eliciting big grins from Richards and guitarist Ron Wood).
Back on the big stage, the warhorse section is essentially intact, leading with a sinister “Sympathy for the Devil” and culminating with a lengthy and celebratory slink through “Brown Sugar,” bringing the curtain down after 140 minutes from “the greatest rock and roll band in the world.” The Stones have been proclaiming and carrying that title for over five decades now, and with it, delivering performances like this one for tens of thousands crammed together in stadiums all over the globe. It’s an electric and sweaty April ‘98 night in South America, and the Stones were ready for the party, bringing their bridge of songs and swagger to Buenos Aires, now in place as a timely bookend to Bremen.