DVDylan ID: D667.su
Recording type: Audience
City/Venue: Cardiff, Wales
Date: Saturday, 23rd September 2000

this is a top rated DVD. certainly worth tracking down. released on 2 DVDs, thank goodness, in the interest of preserving quality. thanks to all filmers, authors, and tapers who do what it takes to bring out the goods in best available condition.

Reviewed by jman on 25th July 2007

I have to agree regarding the struggles of the cameraman. This taper is not safely up in a balcony, but right down among the floor crowd. Heads are a recurrent problem for the first several songs. Sometimes the taper just tries to point at a different band member. Other times, he seems to completely lose control of the camera when heads get in the way, and he films the floor or the ceiling. But the taper patiently kept at it, and if the viewer is patient, a treasure emerges as the show goes on. If you want to see Bob, you’re unlikely to get closer without it being a pro-shot video. Some of these closeups are amazing; you will indeed see Bob’s face with such clarity that you can see sweat dripping from his nose. He’s working hard in this show, and is so focused that you won’t see him take the time to wipe away the sweat. Many, many closeups of Bob with just his head and shoulders filling the frame. Tony is set up quite near Bob, so we’re treated to closeups that include him, as well. The taper captures other band members during some of their solos, including shots of Charlie’s and Larry’s right hands as they pick individual strings. During some songs the spotlight hits Bob so that his face is pretty washed-out, and his hair is a mass of pure light; otherwise, color and clarity are outstanding.

Some of the early musical highlights include My Back Pages, with a sweet violin and an evocative performance of the lyrics. Desolation Row is sung to an unusual rhythm; not sure it works, but an interesting variation. Frankie Lee and Judas Priest is a delightful performance of the rarely -heard song. A fun version of Country Pie includes a section with dueling lead guitars. Tryin’ to Get to Heaven is a good rendition, with great closeups.

It seems that I often enjoy disc one more, but this time disc two has some really special moments. Things Have Changed suffers from a vocal with lyrics largely indistinguishable, but then things really begin to improve; Rolling Stone is played at a pace that allows the emotion and meaning to come through, and the instrumentals are really nice. Next comes an exquisite version of Don’t Think Twice. So many of Bob’s experiments with the tempo, tune, and style of this song leave the original meaning of loss and regret obscured, but it’s all there in this one, with an extended harmonica solo to finish it up. Two more acoustic numbers shine on this disc. Forever Young is heartfelt and just splendid. In the Wind is melodic and sung with more enthusiasm than Bob often gives it.

Incredible closeups, gorgeous instrumental solos, rare songs, and beautiful versions of classics; this show is a real privilege to see. In spite of the taping problems, especially in the first several songs, this is a show with such strong plusses that I must recommend it as a delight to view and to own.

Reviewed by davidigor on 22nd June 2006

Even the heads obscuring the view and the cameraman’s constant attempts to reframe and refocus the image cannot detract from what must be one of the best shows of the latter day Bob. After warming up with a rousing “Hallelujah I’m Ready to Go,” Bob anticipates the deep sorrow of “Cross the Green Mountain” with his “My Back Pages” vocals, elegantly prefigured by Larry’s mournful violin intro. The close-ups are so revealing that the moving obstructions are just passing shadows When he nearly breaks into laughter while singing “equality I spoke the word as if a wedding vow,” I wondered what he found funnier, the concept of equality or impossibility of keeping wedding vows.
The camerawork gets worse with “Desolation Row,” but the good moments far outweigh the bad. Bob dances between Tony and Larry during the instrumental following an intense reading of the Casanova verse. He dances a lot during the whole show, especially while playing guitar solos.

Highlights include a terrific rare performance of “Frankie Lee and Judas Priest” which, had the camera maintained the steady close-up, would have rivaled Renaldo and Clara’s “Tangled Up In Blue.” “Blind Willie McTell” is stunning, with Bob taking pleasure in his slow, authoritive delivery of the lyrics, Charlie raising hell with the minor key blues scale, and Tony’s bass rich and resonant. The jazz arrangement of “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven” is beautifully sung, the low notes rich and tender and the high ones intense with pain and longing. The camera brings you so close to Bob that you can see the sweat dripping off his nose.

Even the blues numbers are great. “Tombstone Blues,” which begins with a riff that sounds like “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” has some nice shots of Tony locking into Bob, who smiles throughout much of the song. Charlie looks impeccably cool during his solos. “Cold Irons Bound,” after a noisy intro, settles into a minimal arrangement that showcases the vocal. When the camera comes in close on Bob during “Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat,” it becomes apparent how much pleasure he takes in the performing of these tunes.

Encores include a priceless moment diring “Don’t Think Twice” in which Bob turns around, crouches, slips off his guitar, rises and turns back to the crowd with his harmonica against his lips, which he blows with melodic tenderness. His dancing reaches the outermost limits of bizarre wriggling during his guitar solo on “Forever Young.” His guitar solos during this phase were so similar to his harmonica playing that you can almost hear the in-out of his breathing. The show ends with an emotional “Blowin’ in the Wind” that has lost none of its ironic majesty over the many arrangements through the years.

Reviewed by billythekid on 21st June 2006

I never in my life ever cared to watch an audience-shot video of a concert. I think of a shaky, hand-held camera with the backs of large heads constantly getting in the way. I think of all those people standing next to our intreprid cameraman, shouting and hollering and whistling and singing along. You get the idea.

And then my world was turned upside down when I got my hands on this new 2-dvd Cardiff show with Crystal Cat sound upgrade. I can't imagine there being a better single audience filmed video in existence! Every element you would want from a concert film is here: great lighting, amazing clarity, stupendous close-ups with a mix of long and medium shots, and absolutely spot-on synchronization of the superior sound source.

I agree with everything that MisterClive discussed in his earlier review. This dvd has changed the way I think about audience videos. It has also helped to rekindle my love of the Autumn 2000 Dylan shows that I've owned on Crystal Cat for years. My heartfelt thanks to this particular intrepid cameraman who did everything right on a late September evening in Cardiff, Wales. He captured nearly two hours of bliss and wound up creating a little of his own. And special thanks to the creator of this spectacular new 2-dvd set....

Reviewed by seegs on 21st June 2006

Whether you're a casual fan, an average collector, an absolute completist or anything in between I am quite confident that this 2DVD set from Cardiff 2000 will rival the best audience shot footage of Bob you will have seen. This 2DVD set captures the complete concert with only very tiny bits missing which are all tastefully filled in with stills and even footage from another source during the first song.
The camera is operated by someone who knows his job. Only during the first few songs up until the middle of Desolation Row our cameraman struggles with heads in front of the camera. After that we have an practically unobstructed view of all the action. The camera switches nicely between an overview of all the band (except Kemper who is seen only briefly during the band introduction) shots from the waist and up and full close-ups revealing every detail of Bob's articulate facial expressions. The camera focus on Bob with Tony in the background but moves around too zooming in on both Charlie and Larry.
The picture is crystal clear. When you can see things being reflected in Bob's acoustic guitar you know that you're watching a film that comes off the master.
The perfectly synched sound comes from the Crystal Cat recording of the show and as you'd expect is flawless. The authoring is wonderful as we have come to expect from the person who does these upgrades. The split between the discs right before the encore is very considerate.
The DVD includes so many personal highlights. The last part of Desolation Row, the rarely played Ballad Of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest (how can his timing be so perfect on such a rarely played song), Tangled Up In Blue (the stage light, on this song in particular and in general, adds so much atmosphere), Tombstone Blues, the tastefully done Tryin' To Get To Heaven, the audience sing-along on LARS and Don't Think Twice and the perfect end of Bob doing a precious acoustic solo at the end of Blowin' In The Wind.
If I ever felt the need to praise and audience DVD this is the one; a true keeper, a master piece, a must-have and the essence of why we collect these things. To suddenly see this circulate after 6 years is a miracle.

A big and grateful applause to everybody involved in making this one available.

5 stars indeed!

Reviewed by MisterClive on 18th June 2006