Bob Dylan – Euro 2005 Birmingham (Tambourine Man Records TMR-105/106)


Euro 2005 Birmingham (Tambourine Man Records TMR-105/106) 

NEC, Birmingham, England – November 18th, 2005

Disc 1: Maggie’s Farm, Tell Me That It Isn’t True, Watching The Rivers Flow, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Highway 61 Revisited, Mr. Tambourine Man, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Chimes Of Freedom, ‘Till I Fell In Love With You

Disc 2: Visions Of Johanna, Honest With Me, The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll, Summer Days, Like A Rolling Stone, All Along The Watchtower. Bonus tracks, Glasgow, Scotland – November 17th, 2005: It Ain’t Me Babe, Every Grain Of Sand, High Water (For Charley Patton), Sugar Baby (acoustic)

Euro 2005 Birmingham is one of three new releases on TMR documenting Dylan’s latest tour. Many reviewers have stated, and are in evidence on this tape, that his show that night was the very best from the entire tour. This comes in another excellent complete stereo audience recording taped close to the stage and is very easy to listen to. The bonus tracks on disc two from the previous night in Glasgow are in good to very good quality, distant from the stage and a bit distorted and with significant echo. A review by Jimmy Row posted on the Expecting Rain website says: “A sign near the stage correctly said ‘Way Out’ – this show was so far out it is celestial.

My vocabulary I fear lags behind. Atmosphere was brewing in the NEC even before the show. As soon as the band hit the stage the crowd surged to the front and all were on their feet. Dylan and band seemed to respond and were standing in line soaking up a long-standing ovation before and after the ‘encores’. Bob though remained typically inscrutable. I did not notice much of the laughing and smiling reported at Manchester but the interaction on stage was still intensely obvious. Each band member richly deserved the ecstatic round of applause when the maestro introduced them.”The beginning notes of “Maggie’s Farm” are very aggressive and give indication this will be a special show.

The transition between “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” and “Ballad Of A Thin Man” is magic. “Highway 61 Revisited” has a special poignancy in Dylan’s voice, which I’ve not heard much before. “Chimes Of Freedom” is moving and contains excellent pedal steel guitar. Among the bonus tracks Glasgow has a very nice version of “Every Grain Of Sand” with a harp solo at the end and another great version of “High Water (For Charley Patton)”. TMR packaged this using the same western motif as the others and is definitely a title worth having. (GS)

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