Bob Dylan – Clouds Of Blood (Thinman-062/63)

Clouds Of Blood (Thinman-062/63)

Reno Hilton Amphitheater, Reno, NV – September 27th, 1998

Disc 1 (38:02):  Gotta Serve Somebody, Lay Lady Lay, Cold Irons Bound, You’re A Big Girl Now, Can’t Wait, Silvio, Mama You Been On My Mind (acoustic with harp)

Disc 2 (42:53):  Desolation Row (acoustic), Tangled Up In Blue (acoustic), Make You Feel My Love, ‘Til I Fell In Love With You, Love Sick, Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35, Blowin’ In The Wind (acoustic)

Very few pressed titles exist from from Dylan’s September 1998 tour when he was co-billed with Van Morrison. West Coast Mountain (Mainstream MAST-121) with the September 26th show in Mountain View, California was released several years ago and now Thinman have issued Packin’ Up In Puyallup with the September 22nd show from Puyallup, Washington and Clouds Of Blood with the final date on the tour on September 27th in Reno, Nevada.  Reno is sourced from an excellent, three-dimensional audience recording which emphasizes the lower frequencies which is so important for this particular lineup.  The tape also captures the atmosphere of the show perfectly.  The detail it picks up in the instrumentation is astonishing.

Dylan is supported by the 11th Never-Ending tour band with Bucky Baxter on pedal steel and electric slide guitar, Larry Campbell on guitar, David Kemper on drums and of course Tony Garnier on bass.  This ensemble tend to favor hard rock arrangements with particular emphasis upon intricate guitar lines and solos weaving around Dylan’s words.  The show starts off with two relative rarities, a quick tempo version of “Gotta Serve Somebody” and “Lay, Lady, Lay,” both played only twice during this tour.  “Cold Irons Bound” is the first of four new songs from Time Out Of Mind played in the set.  “You’re A Big Girl Now” is played for the only time on this tour and although is played at the same mid-paced tempo the duel electric guitars replacing the shimming acoustic from the Blood On The Tracks version give it a harder edge. 

Both “Can’t Wait” and “Silvio” were played in each of the eight concerts.  With the stomping beat, “Silvio” wakes up the audience.  Following this is a three song acoustic set.  “Mama, You’ve Been On My Mind” is played for the only time on the tour and features Dylan on acoustic guitar alone.  The lack of the strong bass line in past versions turns it into a gentle, sensitive ballad.  “Desolation Row” also has its sole outing and is accompanied by drums and bass.  “Tangled Up In Blue” is played by Dylan on acoustic with the band.  Campbell delivers an energetic solo in the middle. 

Bob introduces the band before the final song of the set “‘Till I Fell In Love With You.”  The first encore is the brilliant “Love Sick” from the latest album followed by a very sober, blues heavy version of “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.”  Dylan ends the show with “Blowin’ In The Wind” with himself on acoustic guitar backed up by the band.  Again Campbell doesn’t hold anything back and plays an interesting solo on the acoustic guitar in the middle adding a fascinating dimension to the track.  “Blowin’ In The Wind” is a classic track and no matter how it is played or who plays on it, the timeless power is always captured.  Thinman continue their trend of utilizing glossy color inserts with picture discs and gorgeous design capturing the spirit of the era.  Since silver pressed titles from this tour are rare  Clouds Of Blood fills a considerable void and is highly recommended. 

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