Bob Dylan – Live At The Liacouras Center (King Snake KS-022)

Live At The Liacouras Center (King Snake KS-022)
Liacouras Center, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA – November 9th, 2009

Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Man In The Long Black Coat, I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, Beyond Here Lies Nothin’, Spirit On The Water, High Water (For Charlie Patton), Tryin’ To Get To Heaven, Cold Irons Bound, Desolation Row, Po’ Boy, Highway 61 Revisited, Workingman’s Blues #2, Thunder On The Mountain, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Like A Rolling Stone, Jolene, All Along The Watchtower

Audio documents from the NET are quiet common, but visuals are much harder to find.  Live At The Liacouras Center, in that respect, quit unique.  It presents he complete November 9th, 2009 show from Temple University in Philadelphia.

It is from a single camera positioned high above the stage.  He zooms during “Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again” three times until he gains a clear and close shot of the stage.  He focuses upon the center of band set up and you can see Dylan’s interaction with Charlie Sexton nicely. What is gained is an appreciation for what Sexton brings to the current band’s arrangements.  

There are moments when the filmer pans to other parts of the stage, so visuals of Denny Freeman, Stu Kimball and the others are present.  The sound is clear but, given the poor acoustics of the venue, have significant amounts of echo surrounding the music.  King Snake have a very solid production with Live At Liacouras Center and is worth having.       

For the show itself, phillyist published a review, claiming:  “Yes, we know the artist is aging. Yes, we know that his voice has drawn criticism throughout his career. But he is an icon. And he is constantly on tour. Wouldn’t, then, his team know about the horrible acoustics at the Liacouras Center? Even the clearest of pitches sounds muffled at the venue-so by the middle of this stop on Dylan’s Never Ending Tour, the set list merged into one long, loud cacophony (Dylan played 17 songs from 8 of his albums, not including any from his latest Christmas in the Heart).

“Attendance was also surprising. Fewer than expected occupied the second level, and except for those closest to the stage, fans acted like kids at a junior high dance. Judging from body language, people wanted to move, but because nobody else around them did, they became withdrawn, nodding their heads as excessive strobe lights flashed on the stage. Dylan, wearing a Panama hat and a naval-inspired suit, shuffled between a keyboard at stage left and a microphone at center. As if sensing at times that the mood was more subdued than the selected set intended, he rallied his audience with frequent and soulful harmonica playing. (Guitarist Charlie Sexton, who rejoined Dylan’s band this past August, was also a true highlight of the show.)

“Joyce Carol Oates, American writer and critic, describes her first exposure to Bob Dylan’s music in the early sixties as “dramatic and electrifying.” She identifies Dylan as the “Tambourine Man” of social change, an artist who pushed tradition into action by stylizing folk music as political statement. And that’s the thing. Even though it’s harder to hear the singer now, we still want to know what the artist has to say.

“So yes, we will go to see Bob Dylan again. Even at the Liacouras Center.”

Live At Licouras Center is packaged in a glossy paper digipack sleeve with several stills from the footage contained on the artwork.  It is region free to be compatible for all DVD players.  It is a very nice video tape which compliments all of the audio documents and is worth having.   

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  1. LordBud, you’re not a Dylan fan to make such a ridiculous statement. It’s not even an opinion, it’s just a beyond ludicrous thing to say. Sorry, friend

  2. Couldn’t disagree more. The variety in his shows the last ten years and OF his prove why he’s the most important artist since 1962. Yeah his voice is scratchy. So what. I’ve got a handful of shows since 2000 that may be some of the best ever recorded. Like the Vicar Street and Dublin shows for example. But it all depends on the “Bob” you like.

  3. “The 1966 acoustic sets were old Bob’s last gasp. Listen with your ears for a change”

    What rubbish ! Is such an nonsense-opinion really post-worthy? It’s like saying “The Rolling Stones last greatness was their 1964 Chess Sessions”

  4. Yawn…has anyone actually listened to how this or any other late/early 2000s Bob’s Voice sounds? The utter lack of emotion? The scratchy (to put it very kindly) voice that never sings? The country western goober joojoobee band sounds? Just like the Band never quite accomplished. The 1966 acoustic sets were old Bob’s last gasp. Listen with your ears for a change.


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