Borgata Resort 2008 (Stringman Record SR-022/023)
Borgata Resort Spa And Casino Event Center Atlantic City, NJ – August 16th, 2008
Disc 1 (68:10): Introduction, Watching The River Flow, Mr. Tambourine Man, Things Have Changed, Mississippi, Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine), Ballad Of Hollis Brown, Make You Feel My Love, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, Visions Of Johanna, Honest With Me, Lenny Bruce
Disc 2 (44:40): I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met), ‘Til I Fell In Love With You, Nettie Moore, Thunder On The Mountain, Like A Rolling Stone, All Along The Watchtower
Borgata Resort 2008on Stringman is a CDR release utilizing a slightly distant and echo-laden audience tape. It is clear and powerful enough to capture and convey the dynamics of the performance very well.
Borgata is a venue Dylan has booked frequently over the past couple years. Several really good titles have been issued including Howlin’ At The Moonlight (Tambourine Man Records TMR-132/133) with the June 23rd, 2007 show and Live In Atlantic City 2010 (Highway HW-057/58) and A Different Set Of Rules (Godfather Records GR 610/611) with the 2010 show. The 2008 concert is up to par with the others and would have been a nice silver release.
It is a very good concert with nice surprises in the setlist. One of the attendees reviewed the show, stating that: “ Would we go back to amazing but predictable shows? … I think I knew it was going to be another special night when I recognized the second song was ‘Mr. Tambourine Man.’ ‘Mississippi’ in the fourth slot made me certain Bob had thrown out the old playbook and was calling an audible again tonight. By the time Bob began ‘Ballad of Hollis Brown’ I was already blown away.
“And after the powerful, haunting, almost frightening performance of this song, I was floored. Bob’s vocals on this were the strongest I can remember hearing in a very long time. In ‘Hollis Brown’ the drums came in and created what sounded to me like a pulse in your brain building and building until it would drive you mad. It drove the song, reminding me of ‘The Tell-tale Heart.’ The pulsating growing in your ears until it was all-consuming. It put you inside Hollis Brown’s mind. It was at once disturbing, frightening, amazing, and stunning. And it wasn’t nearly the end.
“‘Make You Feel My Love’ was touching, with some great harp work throughout. ‘Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum’ is born anew, mainly thanks to the two jams Bob and the boys have introduced in the middle of the song. Then, as if none of this were enough, Bob told us of escapades out on the D train, regaling us with my personal favorite, ‘Visions of Johanna.’ As often is the case wit this song, I am left without words to describe it. Let me just say that if Bob ended the show at that moment, I would have been satisfied. However, Bob had more to give us this night.
“Lenny Bruce’ was the biggest surprise of the night, and it was beautifully performed, as well. ‘Ain’t Talkin” took us on a journey through a fallen world, only to be taken to the mountain top to hear the thunder next. Like last night, Bob moved ‘Thunder On the Mountain’ to the set closer, which I think works well. The encores were crowd pleasers and very well performed.
“‘Like A Rolling Stone’ is always a treat to hear, and while I’ve heard ‘All Along the Watchtower ‘ dozens of times, Bob and the boys rocked on it, bringing another phenomenal show to a close. I like how he introduced the band the last two nights before ‘Watchtower,’ playing the organ as he did so; it sounded like he was playing at a church or revival. I was waiting for Bob to testify. Then I realized he just had for the past two hours. He testified to his amazing ability to mystify, amaze, entertain, and keep us guessing after all this time. Can I get an ‘amen’?”
Borgata Resort 2008 is another good CDR title that really could have made a nice silver release.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)