Various Artists – Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration (Hercules HCD-0806004)

Bob Dylan:  The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration (Hercules HCD-0806004)

Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – October 16th, 1992

DVD 1:  01 Opening / 02 Prologue / 03 Like A Rolling Stone – John Mellencamp with Al Kooper / 04 Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat – John Mellencamp with Al Kooper / 05 Blowing In The Wind – Stevie Wonder / 06 Boots Of Spanish Leather – Carolyn Hester & Nanci Griffiths / 07 Gotta Serve Somebody – Booker T. & The MGs / 08 Foot Of Pride – Lou Reed / 09 Masters Of War – Eddie Vedder & Mike McCready / 10 The Times They Are A-Changing – Tracy Chapman / 11 It Ain’t Me, Babe – June Carter & Johnny Cash / 12 What Was It You Wanted? – Willie Nelson / 13 I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight – Kris Kristofferson / 14 Highway 61 Revisited – Johnny Winter / 15 Seven Days – Ron Wood / 16 Just Like A Woman – Richie Havens / 17 When The Ship Comes In – The Clancy Brothers + Tommy Makem / 18 War – Sinead O’ Connor / 19 Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues – Neil Young / 20 All Along The Watchtower – Neil Young

DVD 2:  01 I Shall Be Released – Chrissie Hynde / 02 Love Minus Zero, No Limit – Eric Clapton / 03 Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright – Eric Clapton / 04 Emotionally Yours – The O’ Jays / 05 When I Paint My Masterpiece – The Band / 06 You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere – Shawn Colvin/Mary Chapin Carpenter/Roseanne Cash / 07 Absolutely Sweet Mari – George Harrison / 08 Licence To Kill – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers / 09 Rainy Day Women – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers / 10 Mr Tambourine Man – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers + Roger McGuinn / 11 It’s Alright Ma – Bob Dylan / 12 My Back Pages – McGuinn, Petty, Young, Clapton, Dylan, Harrison / 13 Knocking On Heaven’s Door – All / 14 Girl From The North Country – Bob Dylan / 15 My Back Pages (Rehearsals : October 15, 1992) / 16 Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (Rehearsals : October 15, 1992) / 17 All Along The Watchtower (Rehearsals : October 15, 1992) / 18 Forever Young (Rehearsals : October 15, 1992)

This DVD on the Hercules label is the compete Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration from Madison Square Garden in New York.  This brings to DVD the out of print VHS release from 1993 containing the entire concert, pre-concert footage and bonus rehearsal from the night before.  At a time when Dylan’s marketability was low with a lack of new material coming from him, it seemed appropriate to celebrate his body of work from the preceding thirty years.  The range and magnitude of the talent on display in the show is impressive with the only negative is that, in the four hour show Dylan himself appears only for a couple of minutes by the end.  

There is also a tremendous amount of cultural subtext scattered throughout the show.  Stevie Wonder puts in a plug for presidential candidate Bill Clinton before singing “Blowin’ In The Wind” (the election was only three weeks away).  The most dramatic part of the show is the overwhelming booing reserved for Sinéad O’Connor.  This show was only about two weeks after her appearance on Saturday Night Live on NBC where she ripped a photo of Pope John Paul II after singing “War.”  And instead of singing “I Believe In You” she sings a very angry version of “War” before walking off stage into the arms of Kris Kristofferson.

The show really heats up with Ron Wood playing “Seven Stones,” a Dylan song he released on 1979’s Gimme Some Neck.  Neil Young plays an impressive “All Along The Watchtower” but the true class of the night really belongs to Eric Clapton’s rendition of “Love Minus Zero / No Limit.”  George Harrison playing “Absolutely Sweet Marie,” Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers with “License To Kill,” “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” and with Roger McGuinn joining in playing The Byrd’s arrangement of “Mr. Tambourine Man” are more highlights.  The video and sound quality are exemplary all around and since this video is currently out of print with no plans for future release in this format, Hercules fill a considerable void.

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  1. Sinead OConnor – Ha-ha.


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