Shelter From The Storm (Thinman-011)
Cracovia Football Stadium, Krakow, Poland – July 17th, 1994
Intro., Jokerman, Just Like A Woman, All Along The Watchtower, I Don’t Believe You, Tangled Up In Blue, Shelter From The Storm, Love Minus Zero/No Limit (acoustic with the band), Masters Of War (acoustic with the band), The Times They Are A-Changin’ (acoustic with the band)
Thinman’s latest is Bob Dylan’s very first concert in Poland back in 1994. The appropriately named Shelter From The Storm comes from an excellent, well balanced and fascinating audience DAT recording sourced straight from the speakers. It sounds like two American tourists were on hand to capture this performance and their comments are audible between the tracks. Their presence isn’t intrusive, however, but adds to the ambiance of the recording as they offer their commentary on the weather and performance. Their remarks help to visualize what is going on.
During the fourth song “I Don’t Believe You” a thunderstorm rolls in and rains throughout the rest of the performance. A crack of thunder can even be heard in “Masters Of War” right when Dylan sings “You that build the big bomb” making the song ever more dramatic. “Tangled Up In Blue” is played in a similar rock version done on the previous year’s tour (“It’s raining on stage” one of the tapers says at the beginning of the song). The beginning of “Shelter From The Storm” is greeted with loud thunder. The acoustic section has been singled out as some of the greatest recorded Dylan circulating and it’s that good. The phrasing in “Masters Of War” is chilling.
The set is unfortunately cut short, as the rain shows no signs of abating. There is no return to the full band after the first acoustic section as was the custom of this tour (where “Maggie’s Farm” among others were played most often). Thinman packaged this title with several photos from the era. Nothing too spectacular. They didn’t include any liner notes as they have with other releases. This tape isn’t one that needed much work, but it sounds as if the label gave the volume a boost. Given the importance of the event (Dylan’s first trip to Poland), the clarity of the recording, the stunning performance, this is an excellent title and definitely worth having. It’s one of the rare releases that really brings the listener into an event. (GS)