Monday, May 23, 2005

Best Dylan Performances(You've Never Heard) pt.2

In anticipation of Bob's 64th birthday tomorrow, I thought I'd continue this thread.

10.16.92 Bob Dylan: The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration
After a parade of what can only be described as the finest collection of musicians to be on one stage in a generation, Bob is introduced by his bandmate George Harrison. "Some of you may call him Bobby, some of you may call him Zimmy, I call him Lucky...ladies and gentlemen, Bob Dylan!" And with that, Bob steps on stage for a staggering 2 song solo acoustic set(one of his last). In an evening that saw several dozen of the worlds most influential performers interpret and pay tribute to THEIR musical hero, Bob pulls the ultimate swicheroo. He stands alone to pay tribute to HIS musical idol, Woody Guthrie. How many in their life have had the opportunity to immortalize their hero in a classic song and actually perform it for that person? That's just what Bob had done some 30 years before as Woody lay dying in a Brooklyn hospital. Now 3 decades later, a hush falls over the rowdy New York crowd as the bittersweet phrase, "I'm out here a thousand miles from my home..." falls from his mouth. A truly sublime reading of "Song To Woody" is what follows.
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5.22.94 Great Music Experience
The final day of a 3 day concert event presented in Nara, Japan finds Dylan supported by the New Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen in a performance nothing short of stunning. Any of the 3 songs performed on that day could have easily made the cut, but I'll start at the beginning. "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" begins with only Bob's acoustic guitar floating above a bed of weeping violins. The percussion of Jim Keltner and Ray Cooper help to build the momentum with each verse sung. Bob really steps up to the plate and delivers a powerhouse vocal performance that sounds like it was made for an orchestral backing. Heartwrenching, inspiring, and ultimately explosive. A rare instance of Bob not straying from the songs original melody. An H-bomb of musical brilliance!
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In a performance more comedic than brilliant, this is early Dylan at his most playful. Recorded at Bonnie Beechers apartment, this gem begins with Dylan attempting to mimic a trumpet by blowing air through his flapping lips. The ensuing bass line propels this silly number as Bob recounts the joys of riding in a car. Climaxing with him doing a psuedo yodel(and cracking himself up in the process!). A real hoot.

For the hell of it...

iPod Song of the day: The Man In Me from Bob Dylans' "New Morning"


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