Le Dome de Marseille 2010 (Highway CDR HW – 009/10)
Disk 1 [75:13]: Intro / Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat / It Ain’t Me Babe / Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again / Just Like A Woman / I Don’t Believe You ( She Act’s Like We Never Have Met ) / High Water ( For Charley Patton ) / Desolation Row / Blind Willie McTell / Honest With Me / Shelter From The Storm / Highway 61 Revisited
Disk 2 [35:53]: Forgetful Heart / Thunder On The Mountain / Ballad Of A Thinman / ( Encore break ) / Like A Rolling Stone / ( Band intros ) / Forever Young
One of Highways releases for the Never-Ending-Tour this year presents one of Dylan’s 6 shows in France & the last before a quick diversion through Spain for a couple of shows there. t would be the first time Dylan has played in Marseille since 1999 so would be welcomed back with open arms This recording is from the night previous to Poble Espanyol in Barcalona.
The recording is quiet but clear throughout the songs (It’s only the breaks between when an overexcited attendant makes his voice heard but thankfully he leaves the bellowing alone during the tracks.
Quite like the show fro he previous evening the playing is very good from all the band members – “It Ain’t Me Babe” has a great form, several ripples are cast between the usual guitar lines & interesting pointers are dropped like bread among the winding roads – as mentioned in the Barcalona review the rigid guitar playing is out of the window & intricate differences sneak in to the performance that add small twists to the performance enough to justify a different listening experience each night.
The enthusiastic “Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again” brings out Dylan’s lyrics a little more but his ragged voice & ever so round about phrasing spoil the form a little so rather than sounding forceful he sounds more like an angry muppet. “Just Like A Woman” is much better as Dylan remembers to sing but the increasingly boring ‘sing along’ chorus has been retained but the audience must appreciate this chance to ‘do a Bob Dylan’ as it continues to linger. The extra flourishes behind the Dylan’s main organ swirls are quite something though & shine out from beneath.
“I Don’t Believe You” is one of the highlights of the show. George’s drums really ‘swing & sway’ & the audience go ballistic when Bobby whips out his harp to regale the crowd with a breezy solo that careers across the final half of the song. The stomping good “High Water ( For Charley Patton )” featuring Donnie on banjo really whips up the fury.
Encapsulating the doomish lyrics perfectly the force behind it is heckle raising. Equally as grand is “Desolation Row” – Dylan’s tumbling organ lines & Donnie’s mandolin duel perfectly. For it’s long lost disappearance from “Infidels” appearance on the Bootleg series then “Blind Willie McTell” gets played out a lot just like Dylan has finally assessed it’s favour with his fans & now pulls it out for numerous concerts across the year. It’s thunderous rising sounds right tonight & fills the venue well. Dylan’s harp is a shock of wailing blues that falls right in to the lap of the lyrics just so.
“Shelter From The Storm” appears as a lilting, gilded swoon. Lead by Dylan’s organ & Donnie’s steel guitar there is a great feeling of love that coats it & the story is told wisely. A wonderful waltz between Bobby & Charlie appears twice just help ease the song on. By the second the crowd know that they have the right to slap along, pushing the beat along through the echo-less quiet – Again it’s not too disconcerting when they do but it aids the atmosphere.
The ever bustling “Highway 61 Revisited” wraps up disk one & while it might not be as heavy or dizzying as previous outings the whirling, ringing force of the guitars shimmer & leave a potent mark in it’s wake. A studied guitar & organ dance underpin the middle sections & the phrasing is playful & long rather than scatter-shot & mumbled. The track rolls towards the seven minute mark with consummate ease & staggers towards a playful end, sprawling in to a winged bar bard collapse.
The second disk kicks off with the Robert Hunter co-write “Forgetful Heart”. A real drop in speed for this weeping slow track
“Thunder On The Mountain” ramps things back up again with a busy, raunchy jive breaking the spell of the previous track. Pulverizing & breathless it comes a head with a very quiet but groovy first solo until it’s noticed by the next & the volume shoots up for a superbly jazzy show. “Ballad Of A Thinman” has the crowd screaming in appreciation while Dylan throws his weight behind his vocals again & spaces his words out perfectly, reeling out the lyrics to their full expansion. Following nearly 3 minutes of applause “Like A Rolling Stone” explodes to much appreciation which doesn’t rest throughout. Possibly the biggest crowd pleaser in Dylan’s cannon so it really has to go to points for this one.
A really key rendition & one that’s very nearly perfectly executed. The final song tonight following the band intros is a gorgeous “Forever Young” – Dylan’s loving paean to his audience. The guitar playing cascades like crystal water here & when Dylan reaches towards his harp & charms the audience with his solo the night is wrapped in to a succinct whole.