New Pony Records
Title for jun2195
cd pic for jun2195
  • June 21, 1995 Theater of the Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA
  • December 19, 1997 El Rey Theater, Los Angeles, CA
  • asdfasdf
Liner Notes

Widely considered to be one of the great Dylan concerts of all time, this is a stand out in a year of uniformly superb concerts. This, the first of a two-night stand at Philadelphia’s Theater of the Arts, occurs midway through the 118 shows he will perform this year. The tour began in early spring in Central Europe. Tapes of these early shows filtered back to fans across the globe, previewed by enthusiastic, sometimes overwrought, reviews from some of those in attendance. As Dylan made his way across Europe and back through North America, the reviews accumulated and it became apparent that Dylan was once again exploring terra incognita, leading us through this new territory with all the joy of an artist fully in command of his medium.

1995 marks Dylan’s third year touring with the same outstanding backing band. The level of musicianship and empathy among the performers is a thing to behold. J.J. Jackson on lead guitar and Bucky Baxter on guitar, pedal steel, and mandolin, join Dylan’s own idiosyncratic guitar playing to create a multi-layered, at times polyrhythmic, sound, with easy transitions among solos and plenty of room for Dylan to set the rhythm and pace. Tony Garnier’s bass playing paces the band against Winston Watson’s hard driving — some say heavy-handed — drumming. Dylan’s energized. His performance reflects the fruition of his dedication to the pace and opportunities offered by his near constant touring.

MORE»

«LESS

Repeated listening to a number of shows from this period reveal the structural underpinning which allow Dylan and the band to sustain such a high standard over so many concerts. They create a skeletal structure of anchoring songs between which Dylan can offer a variety of less common performances as the mood suits him, creating diversity in tone and opportunities to test new arrangements and approaches. Here, consistent with the entire 1995 tour, they play two electric sets, with a three or four song acoustic set in the middle. Generally, they open with Down In The Flood, anchor the beginning of the first electric set with All Along The Watchtower, the end of the first electric set with Silvio, and the acoustic set with Mr. Tambourine Man. Within these songs, the band has also developed arrangements consistent with the jam band structure of these concerts, best heard on full throttle songs like All Along The Watchtower and Silvio where the band suddenly suspends and then resumes jams to accommodate Dylan each time he approaches the microphone.

This evening Down In The Flood, cranked up to announce their arrival, finds Dylan’s voice strong and his singing aggressive from the outset. Dylan storms through the opening song, followed by a softer ballad — If Not For You – then launches into a torrid All Along The Watchtower. Here the sparks begin to fly and the next six songs are uniformly superb. Dylan’s eloquent, dark, and contemplative reading of License To Kill from Infidels leads into a complex, playful new arrangement of Most Likely You Go Your Way. The band roars through Silvio, culminating in a classic garage band guitar rant breakdown, leaving Winston Watson to reconstruct the rhythm so the song can proceed.

Having teetered on the precipice of hell-bent dissonance with Silvio, Dylan unfolds a magical, ageless performance of Visions Of Johanna, his razor sharp phrasing enunciating a world of longing to match the poetry of the song itself. This is the only performance of Visions of Johanna this tour, testimony to the tremendous gifts of this band to match Dylan’s determined performance. Dylan then reduces the hall to a whisper with a haunting, gorgeous new arrangement of Mr. Tambourine Man driven, at the end, by a pulsing harp solo. The acoustic set concludes with a prayerful Girl Of The North Country punctuated by Bucky Baxter’s staccato mandolin playing and urgent hushing from the audience as they strain to soak up every ounce of beauty from this performance.

The second electric set begins with God Knows from Under The Red Sky, broadening out from the taut opening verses into a sprawling jam highlighting the complementary playing styles of all three guitarists. This is followed by a loping, arresting Never Gonna Be The Same Again from Empire Burlesque, breathing new life into another underappreciated gem; adding new lyrics such as “your tongue was like a bayonet and your heart was like a wheel.” Unbelievable, another overlooked song from Under The Red Sky, closes out the set as a rockabilly romp.

Having teetered on the precipice of hell-bent dissonance with Silvio, Dylan then reduces the hall to a whisper with a haunting, gorgeous new arrangement of Mr. Tambourine Man driven, at the end, by a pulsing harp solo. Dylan unfolds a magical, ageless performance of Visions Of Johanna, his razor sharp phrasing enunciating a world of longing to match the poetry of the song itself. This is the only performance of Visions of Johanna this tour, testimony to the tremendous gifts of this band to match Dylan’s determined performance. The acoustic set concludes with a prayerful Girl Of The North Country punctuated by Bucky Baxter’s staccato mandolin playing and urgent hushing from the audience as they strain to soak up every ounce of beauty from this performance.

Disc One
down in the flood
if not for you
all along the watchtower
license to kill
most likely you go your way
silvio
mr. tambourine man
visions of johanna
Disc Two
girl of the north country
god knows
never gonna be the same again
unbelievable
knockin on heaven’s door
tangled up in blue
rainy day women 12 & 35

Click this symbol to hear one-minute samples of these selected songs. These are 128kbps samples which, depending upon your connection speed, may play instaneously on high broadband, but may take several minutes to begin playing for dial up connections.

Buy These Official Releases Now