Everything Is Broken In Tokyo (Stringman Records SR 105 – 106)
Tokyo, Japan. International Forum Hall A.
CD 1 : Duncan & Brady / The Times They Are A-Changin’ / Desolation Row / Don’t Think Twice ( It’s Alright ) / Down In The Flood / Tonight, I’ll Be Staying Here With You / Tombstone Blues / Make You Feel My Love / Masters Of War / Love Minus Zero – No Limit / The Wicked Messenger / Everything Is Broken ( 65:49 )
CD 2 : Love Sick / Like A Rolling Stone / If Dogs Run Free / All Along The Watchtower / It Ain’t Me, Babe / Highway 61 Revisited / Blowin’ In The Wind ( 39:47 )
Following the release “One Yokahama Too Many Evenings” the Stringman have produced the tape for the following evening as Dylan & his band moved 30 kilometers across Japan to the new capital, Tokyo.
From the sound of the tape it’s obvious that the taper was closer to the speakers or the mixing desk as the ambiance is a touch louder than the first tape & it sounds very close to a sound board. The only thing that gives it away is the appreciation & applause from the crowd between tracks or at the start. Through headphones, it’s attention is wonderful & almost as good as a Crystal Cat recording.
The real draw would be the change in the set list – everyone has their favorites, sure – but 11 different tracks to the previous evening, a few less stormers & more delicate touches make the closeness to soundboard a little less of a shock to the ears. Maybe Dylan had had his share of loud noises the evening before & decided on a more intimate sound – even “Down In The Flood” & “Tombstone Blues” for instance don’t crash as much as any of the songs from last night, make this a real draw for the show.
Although the concert is a sterling effort by Bob & his band, the standout songs of the night, to my ears, are another enthusiastic “Duncan & Brady”, a sublime “The Times .. ” & “Desolation Row”, the martial “Down In The Flood”, an almost unrecognizable “Tombstones Blues”, the slow burning “Masters of War”, searing takes on both “The Wicked Messenger” & “Everything is Broken” – the later taking on the sound of the ‘Peter Gunn Theme’. “Love Sick” has more throb & yearning than last night’s rendition. “If Dogs Run Free” has the audience clapping steadily. It’s a curious trick that gives the tape more life, they lose their syncopation more than a couple of times but never fail to jump right back on the beat again. “It Ain’t Me Babe” almost turns in to the Simon & Garfunkel tune “Homeward Bound” & “Highway 61 Revisited” blows the cobwebs from the corners.
Another wasted chance to press to silver disk a very, very good show but one that shouldn’t be hesitated upon should you get the chance.