Bob Dylan – Murat Theater 2010 (Highway HW-029/30)

 Murat Theater 2010 (Highway HW-029/30)

Murat Theater, Indianapolis, IN – October 31st, 2010

Disc 1 (53:25):  Introduction, Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat, Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right, Beyond Here Lies Nothin’, Queen Jane Approximately, The Levee’s Gonna Break, Simple Twist Of Fate, Cold Irons Bound, If You Ever Go To Houston, High Water (For Charley Patton)

Disc 2 (53:45):  Tryin’ To Get To Heaven, Highway 61 Revisited, Tangled Up In Blue, Thunder On The Mountain, Ballad Of A Thin Man, encore break, Jolene, Like A Rolling Stone, band intros, All Along The Watchtower

Murat Theater 2010 is a CDR release of Bob Dylan’s Indianapolis show on Halloween.  It is captured on a very good DAT audience recording.  The balance tends to favor the left, but isn’t not unpleasant under headphones.  Reviews of the show point out how clear and well balanced the sound mix was in the venue, citing the superior acoustics.  It’s a shame it doesn’t quite come through.   

Indianapolis was Dylan’s sixth show in seven days, taking a bit of a toll on his voice.  But raggedness aside, he delivers a very good show.  “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” starts off the show as it has done for many on this tour.  It sounds light compared to previous performances, as if they were simply getting warmed up.  

“Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” is a marked improvement.  Dylan moves from organ to guitar and his riffage can be heard above the rest of the band.  He remains on guitar for “Beyond Here Lies Nothin.'”  It is a difficult song to play live, but they do a superb job, sounding very tight.  Herron’s trumpet duels with the guitar and the others as Dylan delivers the tale.

“Queen Jane Approximately” from Highway 61 Revisited follows.  It took more than twenty years for the song to receive its live debut in 1987 and has rarely been played since.  Indianapolis is the song’s first performance in two years and the only time on the tour.  A vague counterpart to “Like A Rolling Stone” (he sings “won’t you come see me, Queen Jane” for what purpose?), Charlie Sexton’s electric guitar lends a gentle lullaby quality in the accompaniment, imbuing the performance with wistful compassion.

“Simple Twist Of Fate,” which follows a LOUD version of “The Levee’s Gonna Break,” is another standout performance.  Dylan’s at center-stage while playing guitar, playing in a hazy fog and singing in a restrained and sublime style to match the heartbreaking lyrics. 

“Cold Irons Bound” sounds similar to the arrangement from the 2003 film Masked & Anonymous.  “If You Ever Go To Houston” received only its fifth and final performance of the year. 

Trying To Get To Heaven” has been receiving some NET set time the past three years after many years of neglect.  Last year Dylan pulled it out for eighteen sublime performances.  It’s played with a similar air of gentle pleading.  The theme serves somewhat as a confessional, a latter day “Every Grain Of Sand.”

It’s the same with “Tangled Up In Blue.”  It’s played very subdued, and Dylan skips the three middle verses (“fishing boat,” “topless bar” and “Italian poet.”)  His harp solo is also disjointed and tentative at first.

But by contrast “Thunder On The Mountain” sways heavily just like the other Modern Times track played in the show.  “Ballad Of A Thin Man” closes the show, and Dylan thanks Indianapolis by playing the full three song encores:  “Jolene,” a great “Like A Rolling Stone” and “All Along The Watchtower.”  

Murat Theater 2010 is a good show and a good sounding tape.  Highway use cheap looking paper and glued on  labels for their CDRs giving it an overall cheap look.  It’s ultimate worth really depends upon your attendance at the event.      

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