Bob Dylan – Live At The Summer Sound Festival (Godfather GR 292/293)

Live At The Summer Sound Festival (Godfather GR 292/293)

Summer Sound Festival, Bergamo, Italy, Lazzaretto – June 16th, 2008

Disc 1:  Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat, If You See Her Say Hello, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, The Levee’s Gonna Break, Moonlight, Things Have Changed, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, High Water (For Charley Patton), When The Deal Goes Down, Honest With Me, Just Like A Woman

Disc 2:  Highway 61 Revisited, Beyond The Horizon, Summer Days, Ballad Of A Thinman, Happy Birthday, Thunder On The Mountain, Like A Rolling Stone.  Bonus tracks, Palazzo delle Albere, Trent, Italy – June 15th, 2008:  Blind Willie McTell, It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding), Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, Blowin’ In The Wind

Live At The Summer Sound Festivaldocuments Bob Dylan’s set in Bergamo on July 16th, 2008.  A yearly event featuring local artists organized by D’Alessandro and Galli, this year was focused upon both music and sport since Italy were facing Spain in the quarterfinals of the Euro 2008 on July 22nd, during the festival (where Italy lost to Spain 4-2). 

Bob Dylan played on the first night of the week with no supporting acts.  Godfather use a clear, excellent audience recording similar to many from the tour.  The only drawback is the occasional conversations taking place around the tape recorder between some of the songs. 

The label also include four bonus tracks from the other show in Italy the previous day in Trent.  The sound quality of these tracks are almost identical to Bergamo. 

“Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” is employed as the set opener followed by a rare performance of “If You See Her, Say Hello.”  This song had not been played for three years before receiving five outings this summer in an absurdly up beat musical. 

Dylan changes the final two lines of the second verse from “And though our separation, it pierced me to the heart / She still lives inside of me, we’ve never been apart” to “and though our separation, it cut me to the bone / I got to find somebody to take her place, I don’t like to be alone” and drops the third verse altogether.  Another scarcely played song “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” follows and features what passes for vocal dynamic for Dylan these days.

In “Moonlight” he changes “I know the kinds of things you like” to “we talk the same way / even dress alike” and improvises a unique verse in the middle.  Freeman stumbled in the beginning of the guitar solo but recovers to deliver a tender melody.  

Another highlight of the set is a dynamic seven minute performance of “Just Like A Woman” dominated by the petal steel guitar and the audience singing along on the chorus.  A review reports that Dylan smiled to either George or Tony after a “bizarre” beginning to one of the verses in “Summer Day.”  At the beginning of the encores the band plays “Happy Birthday” with Dylan joining in on the harp. 

Live At The Summer Sound Festivalis packaged in a tri-fold gatefold sleeve with several photos from the tour and is a very good document of his time in Italy. 

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