Bob Dylan – Lakewood 2009 (Tambourine Man Records TMR 170/171)

Lakewood 2009 (Tambourine Man Records TMR 170/171)

First Energy Park, Lakewood, NJ – July 23rd, 2009

Disc 1 (77:07):  Intro., Watching The River Flow, Girl From The North Country, Lonesome Day Blues, Chimes Of Freedom, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, Honest With Me, Workingman’s Blues #2, Highway 61 Revisited, Ain’t Talkin’, Thunder On The Mountain

Disc 2 (74:29):  Like A Rolling Stone, Jolene, band intro., All Along The Watchtower.  Bonus tracks, Champlain Valley Expo Center (CVE) grandstand, Essex Junction, VT – July 17th, 2009:  Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power), I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, Rollin’ And Tumblin’, Spirit On The Water, Things Have Changed, If You Ever Go To Houston, High Water (For Charley Patton), I Feel A Change Comin’ On, Nettie Moore

Lakewood 2009 utilizes a very good albeit slightly muffled audience tape of the July 23rd show in Lakewood New Jersey.  A long and interesting review in the Atlantic City Weekly states:  “In a long, tight-fitting purple coat, a chilly mist blowing against the rim of his pale gray Stetson, Bob Dylan took the stage of FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood N. J., Thursday night (July 23) with his five-piece band, following two stellar performances by the evening’s triple bill co-headliners Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp (Nelson’s set preceded Mellencamp’s).

“It rained hard during the first portion of the show- but it poured down even harder as the throngs of concertgoers were initially (and unbelievably slowly) lined up, searched (for cameras presumably, even though several members of the audience near the outfield stage snapped away on their respective iPhones throughout the evening; one guy even snuck in an enormous camera with an 18-inch lens!) and then ushered into the damp ballfield.

“Dylan and his approximately five-year-old band took the stage as the sun was setting. Black leather coats for most of the boys (except drummer George Recile and steel guitarist/violinist Donny Herron) along with badass black hats. Along with his aforementioned coat, Dylan had on black pants with white piping down the sides and grabbed harmonicas off and on during his striking set from the top of a speaker system behind his Korg keyboard. He grinned a few times. He smiled at least twice. He slithered his way around a beautiful ‘Girl of the North Country’ and a tribute (perhaps) to the crowd with an upbeat yet heartfelt version of ‘A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall.’

“Blues and recent material ruled the evening with half of the set list comprised of tunes from his last three albums. From 2001’s eerily released Love and Theft (it hit the streets 9/11, 2001) the ‘poet laureate of rock’ blasted out gutsy versions of ‘Lonesome Day Blues,’ ‘Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum’ and ‘Honest With Me.’

“Dylan’s band closed the main portion of its set with selections from 2007’s Modern Times. ‘Workingman’s Blues #2’ featured many highlights including Dylan’s crisp vocals and dirty harmonica solos as well as the band playing around with the song’s tempo, which added another dynamic edge to this very timely tune. Also from MT, ‘Ain’t Talkin” was perfect for the occasion of a soaked, humid and rainy summer night. A rushed version of ‘Thunder on the Mountain’ made me wonder why he still plays it nearly every night when he has hundreds upon hundreds of other songs to choose from.

“Unlike during most other shows during this minor-league baseball stadium tour with Nelson and Mellencamp, Dylan barely referenced his latest studio record, Together Through Life (released at the end of April), slipping one of the album’s blues rockers into the middle of his nightly encore sandwich comprised of ‘Like A Rolling Stone,’ ‘Jolene” and ‘All Along The Watchtower.'”

The bonuses on disc two include nine songs from the July 17th Essex Junction Vermont show totaling about half the show and in similar sound quality.  TMR edit the tape so that only the first two songs are older songs.  The rest all come from 2001 and later.  This includes “I Feel A Change Comin’ On” from the new album played for only the second time (the song’s debut was on July 15th in New Britan, Connecticut).  Like with the other two releases from the summer tour TMR use tour photographs printed on thick cardboard inserts.      

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