Easter Sunday: Gotta Serve Zimmy (Rattle Snake RS 233/234)
Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – April 12th, 2009
Disc 1 (57:37): Intro., Gotta Serve Somebody, Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, Most Likely You Go Your Own Way (And I Go Mine), Million Miles, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Sugar Baby, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, Beyond The Horizon, Desolation Row
Disc 2 (57:19): Tough Mama, Highway 61 Revisited, Ain’t Talkin’, Thunder On The Mountain, Like A Rolling Stone, All Along The Watchtower, Spirit On The Water, band introduction, Blowin’ In The Wind
Bob Dylan celebrates Easter Sunday by presenting another interesting show. For Gotta Serve Zimmy Rattle Snake use another excellent quality audience recording with the same natural timbre as the first two nights. It sounds as if all three shows were taped by the same person in the same position in the venue and it gives consistency and cohesiveness to the six discs covering more than five hours of listening time.
It is always tempting to interpret the set list on any given night as a sign of Dylan’s current mood. Although there is truth to that, especially when he pulls out obscure covers, this form of exegesis is difficult when there overtly Christian holidays or events. Perhaps he’s still stung by the reaction to is conversion thirty years ago and something he’s never publicly renounced. The only concession he makes to the holiday is by beginning the set as he did for every show he performed between 1979 to 1981, with the single from Slow Train Coming “Gotta Serve Somebody.” He performed this song for the first time in three years at the November 21st 2008 New York show and has been played several times since. But its performance on Easter is especially poignant given the holiday and a great reminder of the great gospel shows.
The rest of the set draws from the current repertoire. “Most Likely You Go Your Own Way” has been played more frequently this year and is one of the songs that escapes the country treatment the band has been doing and it retains the bounce in the melody. “Sugar Baby” is again a more frequent addition to the setlist and is taken very slow and deliberate. “Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum” is the only song of the night Dylan performs on center stage instead of the keyboard.
“Tough Mama,” played the previous night for the first time in four years, makes another appearance on the final night but the band end the song too early. Dylan continues by singing the final verse of the song accompanying himself on keyboard untill Recile leads the band back into the song. Rattle Snake do an excellent job with the packing with interesting liner notes and several photos from the Amsterdam shows. The three titles are available separately but it is best to get the entire set since each show is unique and it is quite an experience to listen to all three nights.