Bob Dylan – I Found My World In You (Godfather Records GR 543/544)

I Found My World In You (Godfather Records GR 543/544)

Palafabris, Padova, Italy – June 15, 2010

Disc 1 (76:02):  Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, Tangled Up In Blue, The Levee’s Gonna Break, Masters Of War, I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met), Workingman’s Blues #2, Cold Irons Bound, Under The Red Sky, Highway 61 Revisited, Can’t Wait

Disc 2 (79:06):  Thunder On The Mountain, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Like A Rolling Stone, Jolene, All Along The Watchtower.  Bonus tracks, Parco Ducale, Parma, Italy  – June 18th, 2010:  Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35, It Ain’t Me Babe, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Just Like A Woman, Beyond Here Lies Nothing, I Feel A Change Comin’ On, Spirit On The Water

Once more forward in to Europe on the Never Ending Tour & We find Bobby & his Band in Italy & the picturesque city of Padova, apparently North Italy’s oldest & the scent set for William Shakespeare’s “Taming Of The Shrew”. The connection to a master of imagery & words comes around again tonight as the modern equivalent arrives & scoops up in his hand a slightly more raucous audience but one still willing to drink in the words & revel in the theater that he brings.   

Tonight’s tape begins the best part of the way through a spoken work monologue, although it’s not clear who exactly is speaking or, indeed, what is being said before music ramps up for the long introduction for the “Columbia Recording Artiste .. ” which again is mainly obscured by the affection of the crowd. Almost immediately the band launch in to “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” but a rather more playful incarnation than the original bile – filled, sneering version of old but rather a playfully, buoyant nod to the original as if Bobby now sees it as two fingers to the past & has capitulated in to running through the song as a boozy, woozy knees up rather than stabbing at the unnamed victims pomposity.

The vocal phrasing that Dylan employs is pure glee rather than the snide poke that he used to effect previously. “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” Is also changed from a heartbroken paean to a slowly sloping jangle with a quiet country twist. The only thing pulling it back from the edge is the playing – it would seem that the band are missing each others cues at certain moments & sometimes seem to fall slightly out of tune with each other. The same could almost be said for “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” – an strange, upbeat, country waltz as apposed to the crooned, linguine version from “Nashville Skyline”.

It even features a jolly solo! Not the wisest turn of song that has been considered tonight .. “Tangled Up In Blue” has also changed & now features a cockerel style, jumping guitar lick after each line for the first few verses. While not altogether distracting then it’s inclusion feels a little clumsy at times but breathing new life in to such a written from stone classic, especially one that everyone usually associates with a solo, acoustic performance, can be a difficult step ( see “I’ll Be Your Baby ..” ) but here it works & the audience are appreciative enough for it. 

“The Levee’s Gonna Break” turns up the tempo again, rollicking along with giddy abandon – Bobby has switched over to keyboard by this time – an instrument that he seems to be more accustomed to but as the legend of his Little Richard aping school days strengthens then it’s a glorious joy to hear Bob stab at the keys and if he did, indeed, stop playing the guitar so much due to arthritis then the keyboard only allows him a little more freedom to set free. The track continues for a pulverising 7 and a half minutes with Bobby trading licks between his band before sliding in to a very showy, bone rattling end. “Masters of War” turns the menacing card of death that still prevails long after Bob had written it & due to ever current events the crowd lap it up – the message, these days, is less clear but only due to Dylan’s mumbled delivery rather than a twisting of the lyrics but one it would seem his listeners hold close to their hearts & minds.

“I Don’t Believe You ( She Act’s Like We Never Have Met )” pulls away from the dark side & brings playful Bobby back with another reformed version of an old song. For the first time this evening he’s stepped away from his guitar & keyboard & stands center stage with only his harp for company – various attendees contest to Dylan looking awkward & as he’s effectively known at the guitar welding troubadour hidden & protected from the forces that surround him by his axe – then this would be taken as seeing the president naked. He blows a sweet solo through his harp but seems to get a little lost towards the end & swoops between two notes knowing that he’s only to wail on a little longer before another verse scoops him up to sing again.

“Workingman’s Blues #2” finds him walking back to his keyboard for comfort & then returning to the front to face the lions once more. For some of the audience it doesn’t hold the attention & quietly you can hear a few muffled voices but some of the audience are still attentive & applaud the chorus. Whether the audience enjoyed it or not it doesn’t stop a beautiful harp solo permeating through to rapt appreciation.

“Cold Irons Bound” has been reinvented – a strong track since it’s inception it has mutated in to a 4/4 grooving beast & despite its transformation the crowd show their love for it ( and one voice in particular it would seem! ) It now features episodic stops & starts, a rolling beat & glitzy, triumphant guitar work – It’s almost as if the song is now a show down & a challenge to a duel with Bob playing both sides of the fight. For it’s difference the song is no better nor any worse than it’s original incarnation & stands just as tall for the change. 

“Under The Red Sky” makes it’s inaugural visit on this tour – a track that’s not often played out live from an album that no one generally tends to mention, not least in polite circles. The lyrics from the album were said to be mainly inspired by Bob’s young daughter & through out all the nursery rhyme stealing this would seem to make sense. Bobby’s back on keyboards now playing a looping, simple riff throughout before throwing in a breezy harp piece to end the track on. We next reach one of the big regulars, one that you can place your bets on & “Highway 61 Revisited” never fails to impress.

Solidly fixed with a steely gaze in it’s eyes, it surges, rolls & stamps it’s way throughout the venue. The riff has lost some of it’s sea – sick style that swooped between highs & lows but it does trip in to a steady jam towards the end as Dylan muses on an undulating keyboard riff, Tony Garnier picks out a tough bass roll & George Recile drags out some thunder bating fills. “Can’t Wait” has Dylan stepping center stage once again for a ponderous, demanding song that Dylan seems to have excelled at through the august years of his career. The riff here tipping it’s hat to the Beatles “I Want You ( She’s So Heavy )” – And Bobby’s yearning voice gets heavier on this track – so much so it has at least one audience member howling at the moon, searching for more. 

“Thunder On The Mountain” kicks off disk 2 in a fine style – a real ‘get ’em up in the aisles’ style rouser. This is presumably what the crowd are awaiting towards the end of their night & Bobby’s having fun teasing a statacco rhythm from the keyboard, seeing where he can go with his playing tonight. “Ballad Of A Thin Man” puts it’s clammy hand on your shoulder & requests that you sit down for a while. Dylan steps out towards the wilds again for this track & gives a very impressive vocal performance – His whisky soaked howl giving as much credence to the track as the voice that originally sang it. Towards the end he plays a chilly harp solo that wrings a secondary, mournful emotion from the track that the audience positively lap up.

“Like A Rolling Stone” has mellowed through out it’s gestation & almost pleads with the listener this time round. It’s a lighter shade this time, a deep breathed, warm hearted, final half run to the finishing line. One imagines this is where lovers embrace, Bobcats smile & old protesters cry. “Jolene” has become another standard in the set list – whether it stands the test of time & stands up when Dylan releases his next album only time will tell but for the time being Dylan’s in love & is wearing his big heart on his sleeve for all to see.

After a good natured & fond band introduction with which Bob accompanies himself on keyboard he brings out the show stopper “All Along The Watchtower” It’s another song that has transformed throughout the years but only slightly & even then still pivots around the performance that Jimi gave all those years ago. Dylan begins by playing keyboard & later on switching to guitar just to show that he can still perform as the audience would want him to even if he’s not going to do it all night .. 

The Bonus tracks from Parma, Italy on June 18th are almost the same quality but have a slightly more distant Dylan & a slightly louder crowd but feature a Dylan more attracted to wearing the guitar. None of the bonus tracks repeat any material from the 15th so bring a rounded impression to how the European tour has fared this year. 

The packaging is the standard Godfather trifold digipack featuring glorious full colour pictures of Dylan & his band on stage with Bob either on guitar or center stage. The set list is rendered in full inside with instructions as to which instrument Dylan is playing & whether Donnie Herron is playing anything out of the ordinary & the requisite rundown of the touring band. There are a few labels in on the action with regards to Dylan’s latest touring schedule but there are few that produce a product as routine & roundly satisfying as the Godfather.  

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