Palladium Swinging On A Chain (Look Back Records LBR-017/018)
The Palladium, Worcester, MA – May 16th, 2008
Disc 1 (66:21): Intro., Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, Girl From The North Country, Watching The River Flow, Can’t Wait, The Levee’s Gonna Break, Simple Twist Of Fate, Rollin’ And Tumblin’, Tryin’ To Get To Heaven, John Brown, Most Likely You Go Your Own Way (And I’ll Go Mine), Spirit On The Water
Disc 2 (44:15): Highway 61 Revisited, Workingman’s Blues #2, Summer Days, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Thunder On The Mountain, band intro., Like A Rolling Stone
Palladium Swinging On A Chain uses and warm, atmospheric excellent sounding stereo audience recording of Bob Dylan’s first show on the US summer tour in Worcester, Massachusettes. Although the setlist is in large part a carry over from previous tours, the delivery hits a real swinging groove early on and never lets up. The title chosen by Look Back Records is entirely appropraite, and is confirmed by the review written by Scott McLennan published in the Worcester Telegram titled “Dylan delivers a gorgeous set.” His observations include:
“Bob Dylan kicked off his summer tour last night at the Palladium with a set that accentuated the elegance of his songwriting. That may not seem like such a profound observation on its face given that Dylan’s songwriting is second to none. Yet over the last few years, and as demonstrated at the concert Dylan gave in October at the DCU Center, the focus has often been on the textures of those tunes and on how band interplay created live re-mixes of Dylan classics night after night on stage. Muscle and daring mattered as much as brains and subtlety in those shows.
“But last night, nothing threatened to peg the red zone of the sound board. Everything had a smooth, sumptuous groove and when the band swung, it was no more rollicking than a jazz beat or stripped-down rockabilly groove. In such a setting even ‘Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum,’ a bit of comical observation from the “Love and Theft” album, had a certain heft and held its own as the show opener. With his ever-unpredictable voice sounding remarkably intact, a refreshed direction for his band, and laudably spry approach to his music that belied the pending arrival of his 67th birthday, Bob Dylan once again showed that being a classic artist does not mean having to stiffen into a museum piece.”
The laid-back ambience of the show is apparent right from the beginning with “Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee,” normally played very agressive, sounds much softer emphaiszing the humor of the piece. “Girl From The North Country” is an appropriate follow up. Even heavy rocking numbers of the set, “Highway 61 Revisted” and “Summer Days,” which normally knock the front few rows back a few feet and given a new dynamic. The latter tune, played just before the unofficialy start of the summer Memorial Day sounds more like a call to enjoy the sunny days ahead instead of being the cry for self-differentiation. “Trying To Get To Heaven” from Time Out Of Mind and “Most Likely You Go Your Own Way (And I’ll Go Mine)” are surprise inclusions in the set since both have been scarce on his touring lately. Palladium Swinging On A Chain is pressed on professional CDR and is limited to one hundred numbered copies and is a nice document from the start of the 2008 summer tour.