In 1965, Dylan stopped being a folksinger, and began playing with a rock band, writing more complex songs with more verbal imagery. This was disconcerting to his audience, who preferred him to keep producing folk anthems like "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changing".
He and his band were constantly heckled at concerts, and the records that he produced during that period were sometimes harangued by critics: the sleeve notes report that one critic dismissed "Like a Rolling Stone" as 'sub-standard Dylan' with 'monotonous melody lines and expressionless intoning ... going over to the electronic enemy'.
This album was recorded at the height of the controversy - just before "Like a Rolling Stone" a member of the audience shouts 'Judas' at Dylan.
These two discs document the different halves of the show. The first is a solo acoustic set, while the second is an electric set with most of The Band backing Dylan. The concert features an excellent set-list with the most cliched folk anthems avoided, although it would've been interesting to hear "Subterranean Homesick Blues" played live.
To boot, most of the album is better musically than the corresponding studio recordings, with an excellent (by Dylan standards) vocal performance in the first set. The second disc is even better with The Band more intense than Dylan's sometimes routine studio backing. Guitarist Robbie Robertson breaks out aggressive leads all over the place, while Garth Hudson's organ is typically insane.
is a great live album, given extra impetus by its historical significance. Highly recommended.Rated:
by Reviewer: Fyfeopedia
(blogging at Fyfeopedia [Defunct]