Without A Ticket (Thinman-151/152)
Osceola Country Stadium, Kissimmee, FA – May 28th, 2005
Disc 1 (75:10): Introduction, Maggie’s Farm, If You See Her Say Hello, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, Boots Of Spanish Leather, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Love Sick, Highway 61 Revisited, Ballad Of Hollis Brown, Cold Irons Bound, Tears Of Rage, Bye And Bye
Disc 2 (77:46): Summer Days, Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right, Band Introduction, All Along The Watchtower. Bonus tracks, Wahconah Park, Pittsfield, MA – June 23rd, 2005: Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, Moonlight, Down In The Cove, High Water (For Charley Patton), Blind Willie McTell, Chimes Of Freedom, It Ain’t Me Babe
Bob Dylan started his 2005 summer tour co-headlining with Willie Nelson with several shows in Florida. The third stop was his first ever show in Kissimmee, two days after the rain shortened show in Ft. Lauderdale.
Without A Ticket is sourced from an excellent stereo audience recording. The vocals are up front and the instruments are well balanced. The audience is pushed far back in the mix, almost suggesting this to be a soundboard tape. There is about five seconds of static at 1:34 in “If You See Her, Say Hello” present on the master (and the label duly notes this fact in the liner notes).
The set starts off with “Maggie’s Farm,” the opener which alternated with several other songs on the tour (most notably “Drifter’s Escape.”) The Bringing It All Back Home track is one of the hardest numbers in the set and is followed by a long, beautiful version of “If You See Her, Say Hello.” Dylan changes her location from Tangier to Juarez. Donnie Herron plays a melodic violin solo in the middle followed by an equally gentle guitar solo by Kimball and a melodic harp solo by Dylan. The entire piece reaches almost seven minutes long.
“Boots Of Spanish Leather” and “Ballad Of Hollis Brown” are both masterpieces of dramatic construction. The arrangements for both are imbued with a sense of American Gothic doom. One of the best performances of the night is the ultra smooth and graceful “Bye And Bye” from Love & Theft. Herron’s violin and Freeman’s guitar lend it a mid-20th century jazzy feel, almost as if they are imitating Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. This song would be played several more times until October when it would be dropped forever (or until Dylan feels compelled to play it again).
The set ends with the swinging “Summer Days,” a number wholly appropriate for the season. The first encore slot varies from night to night between several songs, but in Kissimmee he plays an all-band acoustic rendition of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.” The final song of the night is “All Along The Watchtower,” the second encore for every show that summer.
Thinman fill the rest of disc two with a generous excerpt from the Pittsfield, Massachusetts show later that summer. It was one of the most adventurous setlists and the most interesting songs are included.
“High Water (For Charley Patton),” while retaining the banjo, is given a heavier rock arrangement than on other tours. “Blind Willie McTell” has the same dramatic quality as the studio recording, and “Chimes Of Freedom” is played with an all-band acoustic arrangement meant to emphasize the waltz meter.
Without A Ticket is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with very clean aesthetics. Dylan looks like a wise old sage cowboy on the front cover, and the reverse has a photo of Dylan riding a motorcycle! This is an excellent title documenting several very interesting shows from Dylan’s summer 2005 tour with Willie Nelson and is worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)