DVDylan ID: D008.su
Recording type: ProShot
City/Venue: Saugerties, New York
Date: Sunday, 14th August 1994

This dvd along with possibly only D274,D326 and D005 truly merits 5 stars and an 'Essential rating. If Sony music ever want to put out a visual companion to 'The Bootleg Series' all they would have to do is stick these 4 in a box and Bob's reputation as a premier live performer would be assured.

Sound and picture are both excellent, indeed it is hard to see how an official release could improve them and most importantly the performance is first rate. The band sound good,Dylan's lead guitar has yet to reach the excesses of 1996 and the the vocals remain consistent from start to finish.

In fact the only possible criticism that could be labelled at this performance is the song selection which apart from 'God Knows' and 'Jokerman' remains rooted solidly in the '60s. But what is here is all performed to a high standard.

Hard to pick any highlights but the first electric set builds to a great climax with 'It Takes A Lot To Laugh..' while 'It's All Over Now,Baby Blue' would be the pick from the acoustic set. The 2nd electric set while featuring a couple of pub rockers;'Highway 61..' and 'Rainy Day Women..' is still good. The bonus tracks are quite nice too although try as I might I can't quite convince myself that 'A Change Is Gonna Come' is a good vocal performance!

I'm sure this review is totally redundant as Woodstock '94 already has a great reputation but it may help it to get closer to the top of the DvDylan charts!!

Reviewed by Bobfan1 on 07th March 2007

I see I'm in the minority here, but I think this performance is far from "5 stars." To me, while the sound is good and the performances tight, it lacks in passion. Bob, probably my favorite singer ever, sounds uncommitted on the vocals and even whiny at times. I don't think his voice sounds strong, and we all know how he can tear the house down with that voice, whether in a tender mode or a balls out belting mode.
I was disappointed at the time, and I'm still disappointed with Bob's Woodstock II performance. Give me '66 or '76 or '88 or '99 anyday!

Reviewed by NewDylanFan on 10th November 2006

This is definatley a MUST HAVE in the pantheon of Dylan DVD's. No question's asked. A must have.

I have had this show on CD since about '96 and I have counted it among my favorite live CD's in my collection. I had been wanting desperatly to see the video, but for some reason or another was not able to get a hold of this until recently. The arrival of this disk made for a fine evening of entertainement at my household, and a journey concluded...Finally, I have the DVD!!

From the out-set of "Jokerman", Bob is in complete control of voice and guitar. Throughout the show we soar over decades of songs all punctuated by Bob's superb guitar playing and confident vocals. For me, true highlights of the show included a damning "Masters of War", a semi-rap version of "It Ain't Me", and an extremely moving "..Baby Blue".

Although Mr. Dylan is flanked by a crack band, every single night he performs, it WAS Dylan that was the lead guitar superstar on this night. We have all seen Bob take alot of solos that maybe should have gone to someone else, but on this night he was nimble and expressive. I realize I keep refering to Bob's playing, but it was truly impressive to have such a fine document of such a fine performance. I LOVE to see the finger work!!

As this review could literally go on and on, I will summarize by saying that Woodstock '94 is an absolute must, and any means to get it will be worth while.

Reviewed by bluesguy on 12th May 2006

I've had this show in audio for years but watched it last night for the first time and was blown away.
Dylan's look and performance blended the past with the "present" at that show, and the songs took on new meaning.
Opening with Jokerman, you can tell Bob and the band are ON; right from the get go they are tight and passionate about every line, every break. Seeing the sunset before the song ends is a beautiful visual too
The higlight for me is Baby Blue, which is stunning in it's beauty and tone; it must be difficult to convey that to 100,000 people but they do it well that night!
I also like the shots of Bob and David Kemper (I think that is him) riffing off of each other.
A great 90's document and a testament to Bob's power and meaning even in the latter stages of his career.

Reviewed by Coop49 on 08th February 2006

Wow. After squinting through half a dozen audience shot shows, unconsciously stretching out my toes in a fruitless effort to peer over heads on the computer screen so as to better descern what Bob is doing, it sure is nice to settle in, kick back, and enjoy the bounty of a pro shot set. Crystal clear audio and visuals. Lots of fun to pan around the stage with the cameras, taking in Bob and the band from every conceivable angle.

So here we are at Woodstock - as the announcer states in the intro - we have been waiting 25 years to hear Dylan here. Bob answers with Jokerman. Perhaps one of the reasons he didn't make the original gig was a concern about his inability to convince his audience at that time that the Jokerman was a large part of his public persona. Everybody back then was still banging the 'voice of a generation' drum pretty hard and this was clearly giving young Bob a headache. Instead of dancing in the mud with his multitude of would be step children Dylan chose to head out of town and visit the Nashville skyline. Perhaps the decision to do this gig 25 years later was a byproduct of Bob's greater comfort with the generalized confusion he had managed to exert on his followers regarding just exactly who he was, and what, if anything, he represented to them. So, after the Jokerman opens with his dance to the nightingale tune, he settles into a run of songs that could very well have been performed on that very stage 25 years ago...so sweet!

Bob looks great for this gig. He is trim, dressed to the tee, and dead serious about laying down the real deal for those true believers on this evening and still left over from days gone by. For instance, during It Takes a Lot to Laugh he inadvertantly places his harp backwards into the holder. He quickly realizes his mistake as he blows the first few notes and as he reaches up to flip the harp we see a brief look of self recrimination on the artists face before he settles in to a rousing and powerful solo on a now properly placed harp. Dylan may be the jokerman, but his music is no joke - not to him, not tonight - and it shouldn't be for you either.

The care poured into every nuance of his presentation on this night reminds me of the 1965 Royal Albert Hall performance as captured on Don't Look Back. One has to wonder if he checked three times in the mirror to see if his tie was on straight tonight as he waited to go on for this gig, too. Surely the care with which the show was stitched together mirrors the kind of thought and attentiveness that Dylan puts into special gigs that he seems to intuit will later define who he is as a performing artist.

It is a wonderfully pregnant Baby Blue that is elegantly delivered with tender steady hands on this night. The band is of a single mind and uniformly together as they assist Bob in the operating theatre. Dylan heeds his own tunes' command to leave his stepping stones behind and start anew as he once again dons his electric guitar and steps out of the sixties with God Knows. It is a transition tune that opens the door for I Shall Be Released.

After a raucous Hwy 61 to close Bob keeps up the after hours party with an encore Rainy Day Woman that sees a freewheelin crowd basking in a sea of love that could just as easily have been a rainy day in 1969 as a clear night in 1994. The coda on this glorious night is a wonderful, inspired, acoustic, It Ain't Me, Babe. Tremendous fare!

Bonus tracks include Bob and Willie Nelson thrashing out You Win Again, and Dylan doing A Change is Gonna Come at the Apollo theatre. The latter performance is more convincing and it is a real treat to see the audience rise to its feet in respect and appreciation at it's conclusion.

This DVD is straight ahead five stars. Anything less isn't even a consideration.

A final thanks to silentype for his quiet, gentile style of encouragement and support. I'm glad you said hello! At the close of my fifth review paid in full for your kind generosity I'd like to give you five stars as well!

Reviewed by c6sailer on 15th January 2006

This is the best DVD to represent bob in the first 90's, the picture is just great and so is the sound, a most have.

Reviewed by Jonathan on 30th December 2005

Wonderful Dvd !

The sound and the image of this Woodstock 94 are very good,
and the bonus are also great, especially the duet with Willie Nelson.

Thanks to Eccles to get this one.

Reviewed by woody on 16th September 2005

I've seen about 5 different versions of this performance on video tape, VCD, DVD etc...this is the best one.
I remember back in 1994 making an audio tape of this show from my stereo plugged into my T.V. - the show was on a German satellite channel and the picture was encoded, so my first 'viewing' of this was a lot of black & white lines! :-D
For those who don't know, this is a pro-shot film of a great 1994 performance, and the sound is taken from the best audio source - the Crystal Cat cd 'Northstage'.
It's great to have an entire pro-shot show from a relatively modern era in Bob Dylan's career in this quality - both audio and visual. Nice bonus stuff too.
Go get it!

Reviewed by backfrom on 28th May 2005