Bob Dylan – I Miss You Nettie Moore (Tambourine Man Records TMR-124/125)
I Miss You Nettie Moore (Tambourine Man Records TMR-124/125)
Scandinavium, Göteborg, Sweden – April 1st, 2007
Disc 1: Intro., Cat’s In The Well, It Ain’t Me Babe, Watching The River Flow, It’s Alright Ma, When The Deal Goes Down, Highway 61 Revisited, Spirit On The Water, Honest With Me
Disc 2: Girl Of The North Country, Rollin’ And Tumblin’, Tangled Up In Blue, Nettie Moore, Summer Days, Like A Rolling Stone, encore, Thunder On The Mountain, All Along The Watchtower
I Miss You Nettie Moore contains the complete performance from the Scandinavium in Göteborg. Like Tears Of Rage, Tears Of Grief (TMR-120/121) and Invisible Prayer (TMR-122/123), this comes from an excellent sounding DAT recording from the first week of the European tour in Scandinavia. Unlike the others TMR chose not to include any bonus tracks but let the concert speak for itself. Its sound is very similar to the Denmark tape, but thinner and clearer. There is a very nice treble live sound to it presenting a perfect aural document of the evening’s performance. Just like the Norwegian tape, the show opens with “Cat’s In The Well.” This version is much tighter and is followed by “It Ain’t Me, Babe” receiving its first of twelve outings on this trek. “Watching The River Flow” has the band on the verge of a major meltdown and they come close two minutes into the track. But it really picks up steam with the soloing at the end and the song ends as a masterpiece. Herron leads the band in soloing during “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding).” Dylan switches to electric piano for the rest of the evening before “When The Deal Goes Down.” This is the first new song played and the audience follows the depressing oberek closely.
“Highway 61 Revisited” chugs along like an out of control freight train before stopping for the introspection of “Spirit On The Water.” “Girl Of The North Country” is played for the second of three times on the tour. “Tangled Up In Blue” begins weak but finishes very strong with Freeman soloing all over the place. “Nettie Moore” gives the title to this release and this is a phenomenal version. When Dylan sings “they say whiskey will kill you / but I don’t think it will” a drunk in the back lets out a loud cheer of approval. The voice is dead on and this is arguably the best version available on any recording. Dylan’s keyboard sounds slightly out of tune in parts of “Summer Days.” Curiously the set ends not with that song but with “Like A Rolling Stone,” the normal first encore. The “encore” listed on the track list is three minutes of cheering from the audience before the band come out again for “Thunder On The Mountain.” Dylan introduces the band before a long version of “All Along The Watchtower.” In the middle of the song Dylan duels on the keyboard with Freeman before the song reaches its inevitable conclusion.
Frans Mossberg’s review of the gig on the Bob Links website has this observation: “Yesterday night was the first concert I’ve seen since 1978 that was, damn it, perfect. Of course Dylan is never perfect, nor is his band, if they were, they wouldn’t be doing their thing. You can always count on that there will be some misses, some song swaying around considerably before finding its form, some notes will be out of tune, Dylan will pick up the wrong harmonica and suddenly you find Arnold Schönberg soaring over the steady rock n roll accompaniment. But never mind. It was never meant to be perfect. But still tonight, it is perfect. Again the sound is good, the band is good and Dylan is good, but it’s forty years later and Dylan’s got an older and more mature audience, although mixed in age for sure. In every concert I’ve seen with Dylan there has been a certain uncertainty: Will he make it? Will he break during the show? Will his voice hold? But not tonight. He was confident and seemed to be totally in control, together with the band. All this in the framework of the improvisation that is the heart core of Dylan’s live performances, and has been so for so many years.” It is curious that TMR chose to release this tape from Göteborg, the home of their main competitors in Dylan silvers Crystal Cat. It looks like they are throwing the gauntlet with the tape and the upgraded packaging, and one wonders how Crystal Cat will respond when they come out with their version in a couple months. (GS)