Bob Dylan – This Show’s On Fire (Tambourine Man Records TMR-101/102)


This Show’s On Fire (Tambourine Man Records TMR-101/102)

Prince George’s Stadium, Bowie, MD – June 14th, 2005
Disc 1: Drifter’s Escape, Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power), Lonesome Day Blues, Shooting Star, Highway 61 Revisited, This Wheel’s On Fire, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, John Brown (acoustic), Bye And Bye

Diisc 2: Chimes Of Freedom, Summer Days, Masters Of War, Like A Rolling Stone. First Horizon Park, Greensboro, North Carolina – June 11th, 2005: To Ramona, Cry A While, Just Like A Woman. First Energy Park, Lakewood, New Jersey – June 15th, 2005: Queen Ann Approximately, Cold Irons Bound

This Show’s On Fire covers the entire Bowie Maryland show with bonus tracks from the shows both before and after. Just like The Wolf Is Looking Down this is sourced from an excellent sounding recording perfectly centered and amazingly detailed. The show begins with the first two songs as Fort Lauderdale (released simultaneously with this) “Drifter’s Escape” and “Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)” although lacking the intensity. It quickly picks up steam with a tight “Lonesome Day Blues” followed by a very tender reading of “Shooting Star” (wow), and a raucous rendition of “Highway 61 Revisited”. The liner notes include a review published in the Washington Post.

Some of the observations include: “Aside from a quick ‘Thank you, friends,’ Dylan didn’t address the crowd. But judging from the set list, war is on his mind. He may not like being labeled a protest singer, but it was hard not to hear anger in songs like ‘Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)’, ‘John Brown’, the brutally sad tale of a returning soldier, or the seething ‘Masters of War’. “When, on the latter, he sang, ‘You fasten the triggers / For the others to fire / Then you set back and watch / When the death count gets higher’, his voice sounded as cutting as it did when the song was first released 42 years ago…. As has become his wont in recent years, Dylan played only keyboards and harmonica, abandoning his guitar for reasons that have never been made clear.

The keyboard-only approach isn’t always satisfying, but it did provide the night’s humorous highlight: a little between-songs tinkling that may have been Dylan’s first public rendition of ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb'” which occurs as a tune up for “Summer Days”. The bonus tracks are in similar excellent quality and include a great version of “Just Like A Woman” taped in North Carolina. The production is up to TMR’s usual high standards with lots of pictures from the tour and actual concert. This Show’s On Fire is another Bob Dylan release worth having and let’s hope they release many more from the summer tour before Dylan begins his European tour in October. (GS)

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