3.9 (16 votes)
DVDylan ID:
Recording type: Audience
City/Venue: Five Flags Center, Dubuque, Iowa, USA
Date: Tuesday, 12th November 1996
Same as #D045 but with better sound (and differently authored)
  1. Down In The Flood (Crash On The Levee)
  2. If Not For You
  3. All Along the Watchtower
  4. Shelter From The Storm
  5. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
  6. Silvio
  7. Tangled Up In Blue
  8. To Ramona
  9. Friend Of The Devil
  10. Absolutely Sweet Marie
  11. Ballad Of A Thin Man
  12. Highway 61 Revisited
  13. Like A Rolling Stone
  14. It Ain't Me, Babe
  15. Rainy Day Women #12&35 [cut]
» Toggle additional (technical) track info
Number of discs: 1
Running time: 02:03
Authoring: DVDs with menu and chapters are circulating

Perhaps we need to create a new star category for this one - 'Bad, worth having'. There are so many levels on which to rate these DVD's: technical quality, content quality, context quality, to name a few.

Well, the sound is not half bad, the visuals are reasonably good as well. As to the quality of the performance, that is a mixed bag. The tunes are typically worked out. Lots of prolonged jamming on catchy repititous phrases. The music is at times a bit ponderous, somewhat homogenized. Dylan appears to be enjoying himself, but other than the vocals he seems to be somewhat superflous to the action of the band. The music suffers from lack of dynamics at times. Certainly not the kind of concert you would find overly memorable from a purely Dylan/musical standpoint, but certainly one you could more than shake your hips to while there.

And herein sows the seed of what unfolds: Perhaps still suffering under the untimely and ignoble demise of Jerry Garcia and subsequent breakup of the Grateful Dead, a very young, very free spirited crowd all revved up with no place to go in 1996 starts to unwind near the front of the stage. At first someone almost accidentally rolls up onto the stage and uses the good fortune of the moment to exult triumphantly to the rest. Seeing that this act goes unpunished the crowd slowly gains temerity and soon we have people dancing on the stage, then hugging and shaking hands with Dylan. Dylan and the band are remarkably composed and generous with these people - a bit more then I am able to be watching it alone in a room on a computer monitor ten years after the fact. Perhaps I am just an old fart, but celebrating with your hero is one thing, thrusting your hand into his so that you can shake hands with him as he strums his acoustic while playing and singing Tangled up in Blue, is not cool. These audience interlopers, perhaps well intentioned, actually impair the quality of the performances, although not by much, thanks to Bob's utter coolness in the midst of the mayhem. There are actually some moments of synchronicity where Dylan's interactions with the crowd are echoed by the lines he sings even as these interactions are taking place. Interesting that he chooses to play Friend of the Devil while all of this is going on. Watching Bob react to what he is presented with here is what makes this a special DVD. This could only come from someone who has walked the walk. What would have occured with such an anarchic outpouring at, say, a Bon Jovi concert?

I guess what irks me about the crowd is their utter ignorance regarding what and why they are celebrating. To approach a musician, say the lead guitarist, as he is laying down the groove that you are dancing to, shake his hand, thereby destroying that groove, then turn around to the crowd, fists triumpantly in the air, is truly stupidity of the first order.

Indeed, as Dylan so pithly replies here, Something is happening here, but you don't know what it is... This sure seems a long way from what the midnight song workshops at the Gaslight in the village must have been like in the early 60's. I would imagine that personal responsibility for ones actions and an attempt at realizing their impact upon others must have been tightly intermingled with the the free give and take of music in those bygone days. But then, its not 1962 anymore, is it? What's more, if it was I would probably be spending a lot of my time and money buying and licking the untold number of stamps it would take to get this out to you all.

Dylan clearly didn't experience all this as the disaster that this embarrassed reviewer did watching it. He finishes the show clearly animated and having enjoyed his audience's childlike outpouring of affection. He even comes out for an encore, asking his audience How does it feel?... Apparantley, his answer, judging by the prolonged jam, is good enough to keep playing more music - but not so good that Dylan doesn't feel the need to come back out and play a timely, poignant, and dead on It Ain't Me Babe. Not satisfied ending such a debacle with the notion that it isn't all about him, when the audience has so clearly rebutted this thesis, Dylan puntuates the show with a wild audience/performer blurred version of Rainy Day Woman. 'Everybody must get stoned...' Indeed.

No stars for the audience, five for Bob. Split the difference with the benefit of the doubt going to the great white wonder - four stars. (ok, Jim?)

Reviewed by c6sailer on 10th December 2005

This is sort of a bizarre concert experience. I see reviews have taken both positive and negative sides. The songs themselves are performed wonderfully, and it's a great setlist. It's also filmed pretty well, and only a few times does the camera end up showing just black ceiling or something like that.

The thing that makes this concert is unique is that throughout the show, audience members are always getting up on stage and hugging bob, shaking his hand, bowing down to him, kissing him, striking up conversations with him, dancing around him, shouting into his microphone, etc. I never expected to see crowd surfing at a Dylan show, but it's all over the place here. At first this kind of bothered me, but Bob and the band seem to enjoy it throughout, or at least mostly. Sometimes I get frustrated with this crowd, and think they're kind of idiots. Other times I think it's a really great night of fun for the band and audience. Haha, and I apologize for the quoting, but I can't help it, "I can't think for ya, you'll have to decide..." whether this crowd is really annoying or really wonderful.

At the moment... I'm leaning towards wonderful.

Either way, an amazing performance of every song.

Reviewed by JackBandit on 30th September 2005

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