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Bob Dylan – Watching The River Flow (Stringman Record SR-018/019)

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Watching The River Flow (Stringman Record SR-018/019)

Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa, CA – July 26th, 2007

Disc 1 (57:46):  -intro-, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, Lay Lady Lay, Watching The River Flow, It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding), Workingman’s Blues #2, Rollin’ And Tumblin’, The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll, ’Til I Fell In Love With You, Tangled Up In Blue

Disc 2 (50:25):  Spirit On The Water, Highway 61 Revisited, Nettie Moore, Summer Days, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Thunder On The Mountain, Blowin’ In The Wind

Watching The River Flow documents the July 26th, 2007 show in Costa Mesa, California.  The summer after the release of Modern Times, much weight in the performance is given to the new songs with five from the new album finding their way into setlist. 

Stringman use a very good and clear audience recording of the event.  The taper was close to the stage and was able to produced a very powerful document.  This is released on professional grade CDR. 

Reviewers of the show state that:  “Great opener with Rainy Day Women – that kept most of the 8,500 up after they leapt to their feet when Bob first appeared. By the time we hit It’s Alright Ma, the moon was shining brightly over Bob and the band and it was a perfect combination of music, words and ambiance. That song lays to waste history and civilization and, somehow, brings us back again. Wow. I don’t know that the performance was anything out of the ordinary tonight – perhaps just the usual brilliant. I don’t care. What a song. What a performer.

Highway 61 and Summer Days, wrapped around Nettie Moore, had the place rollin’ and tumblin’ and the finale – Blowin’ in the Wind – was just superb. I must admit to under-loving this song, despite the fact I know well this is an astonishing composition. It just gets a little preachy at times and that bothers me. But Bob is doing it brilliantly right now. He’s given it new life and it’s – unexpectedly for me, anyway – a great show-ender…. In sum, despite the talkers, the gawkers and the helicopters, Bob and band put in a tremendous night of work for us tonight. I’m really thrilled about seeing him tomorrow in Paso Robles and then in Kelseyville.”

Another witness claims, “It was a wonderful show… I had a fabulous seat, first row above the pit and so no one blocking my view. My seat also happened to be right in Bob’s sight line, so I got to see every little expression and dance move. He did seem to be having a very good time. Watching him dance while playing the guitar was especially entertaining. I was there for the San Diego debut of Spirit on the Water but it’s even better now. I’ve always loved Working Man’s Blues #2 so I was a happy girl.

“During Nettie Moore there was some unhappy excitement in the pit a couple of rows in front of me. A woman got very ill during the show (don’t know the extent of her illness) and during Nettie the paramedics got to her. She tried to walk out with them, but collapsed so one of these guys literally swept her off her feet and carried her in his arms over the audience to the aisle. Don’t know if Bob was aware of what was going on.. it was only a few pit rows from the stage, but he didn’t miss a beat. So when I saw the helicopter, my first thought was that maybe they had to airlift the woman out of there. I hope she has a speedy and thorough recovery.”

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Bob Dylan - Watching The River Flow (Stringman Record SR-018/019) , 2.5 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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