Shooting Star Amherst 2010 (Highway HW-051/52)
Mullins Center, University Of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA – November 19th, 2010
Disc 1 (36:57): Intro., Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking, Shooting Star, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Spirit On The Water, Rollin’ And Tumblin’, Tangled Up In Blue
Disc 2 (69:18): Honest With Me, Can’t Wait, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, Highway 61 Revisited, Workingman’s Blues #2, Thunder On The Mountain, Ballad Of A Thin Man, audience, Jolene, Like A Rolling Stone
Shooting Star Amherst 2010 on Highway documents Bob Dylan’s November 19th show at the University Of Massachusetts. Pressed on professional grade CDR, the label uses a good audience recording of the entire concert. It is a bit distant and captures a deep echo surrounding the music. At times it has a nice live sound, at others it sounds unstable and distorted.
Seth Rogovoy, editor-in-chief of Berkshire Living and the author of Bob Dylan: Prophet Mystic Poet gave this show a lengthy review. After observing that Dylan “shows no sign of slowing down” and “with hardly any singing voice left … Dylan has found a way to command a stage for two hours and keep an audience enthralled through his enigmatic charisma (or is it some formula of anti-charisma?), his remarkable body of songs from which to draw, and his mercurial, ever-changing musical arrangements, all of which he employs to find new meaning and immediacy in songs five, ten, twenty, thirty-five and in a few cases nearly fifty years old.”
The most pertinent insight from the article is how Rogovoy points out that: “After years of relying heavily on pretty standard 12- and 16-bar blues arrangements for many of his songs (especially on recent recordings), even songs originally written in the country, rock or folk veins, Dylan has finally found his way to a kind of post-blues style all his own – a distant cousin of his mid-1960s metallic rock sound, but much darker and ominous. It still has blues DNA, but it’s all twisted and bent, forged with rockabilly more than the jump blues and swing styles he also favored in the early aughts, for an end result that sounds like something Quentin Tarantino might choose for his next soundtrack.”
As a side note, after this show an unidentified 46-year old New Jersey man, posing as a member of Dylan’s road crew, entered the pizza restaurant Antonio’s and ordered 178 gourmet pizzas for Dylan. He told them there would be an extra tip for the workers if they worked through the night.
The manager of the restaurant became suspicious when the man didn’t return, leaving the pies and an unpaid $3,900 bill. It turns out the man had no connection to Dylan and was playing a prank. Highway could have had fun tying in these two events by calling this Tangled Up In Cheese or Ballad Of A Thin Crust.
Shooting Star Amherst 2010 is a good release of a very good concert, the limitations of the tape source not withstanding.