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Bob Dylan – Scandinavium 2005 (Crystal Cat CC-775/776)

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Scandinavium 2005 (Crystal Cat CC-775/776) 

Scandinavium, Gøteborg, Sweden – October 21st, 2005

Disc 1:  Intro., Maggie’s Farm, Tell Me That It Isn’t True, I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, Lay Lady Lay, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Just Like A Woman, Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine), Cry A While, Make You Feel My Love, Highway 61 Revisited, Love Sick, I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)

Disc 2:  Desolation Row, Summer Days, Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright), All Along The Watchtower.  Bonus tracks, Gigantium, Ålborg, Denmark – October 22nd, 2005:  Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You, The Times They Are A-Changing, High Water (For Charlie Patton), Ballad Of Hollis Brown, Boots Of Spanish Leather, Positively 4th Street 

Scandinavium 2005 presents the entire October 21st show in Gøteborg, Sweden plus a good forty minutes from the following evening in Denmark.  The sources used for each of the two shows are superb stereo audience recordings.  The taper must have been very close to the stage since there is no audience interference (except for the people at then end of “All Along The Watchtower” saying “awesome”) and these recordings could easily pass for soundboard recordings. 

Every detail, note and breath is crystal clear and well balanced making these to be among the very best, if not THE best, recordings from Dylan’s latest tour.Even more impressive than the sound quality is the performance in Gøteborg that evening.  The Swedish newspapers pronounced this to be the best of his three shows in that country, saying “Dylan as sharp as a knife” and “Real Magic”. 

The show begins with a great version of “Maggie’s Farm”, a track that served frequently as an opener.  “Tell Me That It Isn’t True”, “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”, and “Lay Lady Lay” are the three “country” songs played in a row with Donnie Herron shining especially on slide guitar.  “Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again” is played hard rock style, and the audience sings along with “Just Like A Woman”.  (Dylan waits for them to finish singing before picking up the verses). “Desolation Row” is great, impressing the audience by singing all ten verses.  The Ålborg tape presents songs that weren’t performed in Sweden the previous night. 

It’s been speculated that “The Times They Are A-Changing” was sung with New Orleans in mind (“Admit that the waters around you have grown”).  It is certainly a poignant performance.  Herron’s banjo in “High Water (For Charley Patton)” is another highlight and makes me wish the entire show were issued too.  Overall this is another fantastic release by Crystal Cat.  It comes with a thick eight-page insert with photos, an unsigned review of the Gøteborg show and a replica of the ticket and poster.  (GS) 

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