Balc. R10°
3.7 (17 votes)
DVDylan ID:
Recording type: Audience
City/Venue: Cardiff International Arena, Cardiff, Wales, UK
Date: Tuesday, 27th June 2006
"The 25th Anniversary DVD"

25 years ago two friends decided to make their contribution to the world of documenting Bob Dylan on film. Here is their latest effort in this labour. Many people have helped along the way, but a special thanks goes to G without whom the latest film wouldn't have been possible. Sorry about the bruises!!!

  1. Introduction
  2. Maggie's Farm
  3. She Belongs To Me
  4. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
  5. Positively 4th Street
  6. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
  7. Love Sick
  8. Watching The River Flow
  9. Ballad Of A Thin Man
  10. Absolutely Sweet Marie
  11. Girl From The North Country
  12. Cold Irons Bound
  13. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
  14. Summer Days [1 min 29 sec still to fill missing portion near end]
  15. Like A Rolling Stone [27 sec still to fill shaky start]
  16. All Along The Watchtower
» Toggle additional (technical) track info
Number of discs: 1
Running time: 01:38:52
Video standard: NTSC
Authoring: DVDs with menu and chapters are circulating
Sound upgraded with LB-3857 audio source "trust your ears" recording; excellent sound [A].
A couple of very brief stills added to maintain a/v sync.
The source disk was PAL format. This upgrade was produced in NTSC.

When I first arrived at dvdylan, one of the things that puzzled me was when reviewers were critical of video that dwelled solely on Bob. "Why would I want the camera to leave Bob?" I wondered. I have since come to greatly appreciate opportunities to see the rest of the band as they play, and the taper does a nice job of panning the camera to catch a Denny lead interlude, or a Donnie steel guitar break. It really adds to the enjoyment of this show. Everybody in the band gets some significant time on screen, and it is especially fun to see the silent communication between Bob and Donnie
This is the third Cardiff show I've acquired (1995 and 2000 are the others). While this outing doesn't come nearly to the level of passion in the other two, it is still a venue that seems to have energized and inspired Bob yet again. It's not a great performance, but it's solidly and consistently good.
Picture-wise, heads are only occasional, a long zoom makes the distance okay, and panning is nicely done after some early jerkiness; only the consistently fuzzy focus keeps this from being a nice, solid 4. The sound is not great, but it's not at all hard to listen to.
I really like the vocal variations Bob explored in some of the standards he performed. Maggie's Farm, for instance, starts things off, and seems to be in a higher key than usual, and also seems to have more of a melody. Further on, Memphis Blues and Love Sick are back-to-back examples of good vocals with creative inflection. Following a mundane vocal on River Flow, he puts out a Thin Man vocal that is clear, up front, and full of obvious effort as he spouts out lines in some really good phrasing. Not all the experiments work. Girl From the North Country has some strange phrasing; Bob smashes lines together that usually have a pause between phrases. There is no pause at all, for instance, between singing "please see for me if her hair hangs long;" he rushes right on into "if it flows," and he does it in that spot in each verse, throughout the song. But two nice instrumental breaks, including a fine electric lead before the last verse, help elevate the song some. There's more upsinging that I'd like, but it's not a barrier to the enjoyment of any of the songs. Both LRS and Watchtower have some dramatic vocal delivery. There's a spot in Rolling Stone in which Bob puts an accent on every syllable: you' got' no' se' crets' to' con' ceal'. It's powerful. Right away, he follows that up with a section in Watchtower in which he separates several lines into pairs of syllables, with an accent on the first: "out'side in'the dis'tance," and "prin'ces kept'the view'-ew." Nicely done, and quite dramatic.
Highlights for me are "Sweet Marie," with its beautiful violin intro and break, the nice leads on "Cold Irons Bound," and evocative renditions of "Rolling Stone" and "Memphis Blues."
Lowlights for me are the relatively poor focus, the rather uneventful harp solos (other than the harp on "She's Got Everything She Needs, which is well-done), and the indistinct and nondescript vocal on "Watching the River Flow."
Rating? For careful treatment of the vocals, and a good dose of creativity, a 4. Camera work, including zooms and pans, also a 4. Distracting soft focus, a 3. Blends to a high 3. Worth having? Yes, particularly as it may be an above-average performance for spring/summer 2006 concerts, but definitely not at the top of the over-all list of shows rated 4.
I don't really like writing reviews that are less than glowing. I still enjoyed most of this show quite a lot. Many, many thanks to ThinkRun for offering the show just for the price of a review. I'm grateful also to the taper(s), who did so much right.

Reviewed by davidigor on 31st October 2006

Fine job by the filmer, the picture is steady and clear. The camera is focused on Bob most of the time. You can see Bob's facial expressions and his interaction with the band members. In my opinion, this DVD is a really nice representation of the Euro 06 tour. The sound upgrade makes it definitely worth watching.

Reviewed by FriendOfTheDevil on 25th October 2006

I was at this show, so my judgement of this disc was always going to be in its favour, but keeping a level head this is still a pretty impressive video of a great show. The sound quality is - in places - noticably improved from D684, which occasionally became distorted and more muffled during the louder parts. However, other than this there is not a huge amount of difference, but in the cleanness of the sound it is still a good improvement over the original (which was already pretty good for an audience tape, with some adjustment of treble and bass). However, see UPDATE below...

For the most part the video is steady, and gives a good showing of the whole band at some point or another - although by the time the camera has got round to Denny Freeman he's usually finished playing. For the most part though the camera is fixed on Bob and Donny. The camera has a few shakes here and there, and there's the inevitable range of heads, but these do little to detract from the enjoyment of the DVD which is filmed very well considering the difficulties a taper must face. The screenshots give an accurate portrayal of what the film is like throughout.

To my eyes, the picture quality of this DVD is a little worse than the original D684. I guess this is due to the transfer that was made from PAL to NTSC as mentioned above. So although the sound is better, the picture is also a little more ragged than on D684 - nothing worth really complaining about though, and overall the picture focus is worth the 3 stars it's given (I'd give the original 4 stars though).

UPDATE: D684.suu is now available, which is a much better upgrade from the same disc author, elimnting all problems with picture quality and adding a far better soundtrack. Therefore, definitely get that one!

Anyway that's about it - thought someone had better write a brief review of this DVD - thanks to everyone who helped make it available!

Reviewed by yellowgoat on 05th October 2006