The Wolf Is Looking Down (Tambourine Man Records TMR-100)
Ft. Lauderdale Stadium, Ft. Lauderdale, FL – May 26th, 2005
Drifter’s Escape, Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power), Cry A While, I’ll Remember You, Things Have Changed, Forever Young, Cat’s In The Well, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, It Ain’t Me Babe, Highway 61 Revisited, Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right, All Along The Watchtower
Bob Dylan’s summer tour has come and gone and every show has an excellent sounding DAT recording. Any label has their pick of any show to release as representative of the tour. Tambourine Man Records released The Wolf Is Looking Down and This Show’s On Fire last week as the first fruits of a very productive tour. This release, The Wolf Is Looking Down, is taken from the second concert in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on May 26th.
As usual the tape is excellent, balanced, powerful and enjoyable with every detail of the show shining through. TMR picked a very interesting show since this was the shortest, lasting only ten numbers plus two encores, because of the rain.
Despite its length, running just over an hour, this is one of the best Dylan shows I’ve heard. Maybe he had a lot of energy, or maybe he has a lot to prove? For whatever reason this concert is marked by several classic performances. The opening salvo of “Drifter’s Escape” and “Señor” are played almost at double time.
But the best performance of the night is the final number “Highway 61 Revisited”. Running almost eight minutes long in a heavy twelve bar dirge, it is described in the liner notes (from a review posted on the Bob’s Dates site): “The other point I’ve seen people bring up recently is the depth of conviction with which Dylan delivers certain lines. Last night’s Highway 61 is a prime example of how he can turn time inside out, if I’m not mistaken – he drove home the line at the end, ‘Yes, I think it can be easily done, we’ll just put some raisin’s out in the sun, and have it on Highway 61.’
“Doesn’t look like much when you read it, but the vocal pacing was like a crazy funky verbal drum solo in wrong but perfect loony-offset to the wailing guitars – the effect was something – your skin tingles, and you get the sensation of more fun than you’ve ever had before.
“Dylan and the band finished the song and Dylan got up, sort of staggering away from his keyboard back to a table or whatever he has back there, then turned back to audience that he knew he had just blown away. He made a gesture as if pulling two six-shooters from his holsters, almost showing a smile of contentment for what he and the band he had just done to us.”
This comes packaged with many photos from the tour and the above-mentioned review serving as liner notes. Tambourine Man Records always produces quality titles and this is no exception.