Everybody must get stoned! Sometimes at least. Bob Dylan's opening set on October 7, the first day of the first out of two weekends of an already historic "Desert Trip" music festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California was extraordinary for several reasons.
First, usually Dylan never plays in front of video walls. This time however he took the stage as vintage video footage was running on the big screens, showing images of his most iconic moments through the decades. We've never seen anything like this on Dylan's Neverending Tour. And it worked!
Then of course, –immediately recognizeable to any fan who followed Dylan's concerts during the past three years or so, it was all about the song selection.
For about 15 years, beginning somewhere in the early 1990s, Dylan loved to change the his setlist each night, with only very few favorites he used to play at most shows. More than that, he probably didn't even have a setlist at all. What a job for his backing band!
In the recent past all of that changed into a completely different direction. Dylan developed not only a rather static set, playing the same songs over and over again night after night. He hardly ever played his classic tunes in favor of mostly newer material from his latest albums.
This time around however, it just had to be changed. You simply can't handle a huge crowd like this one with an intimate set of Sinatra covers.
It was all about Dylan songs again. He only played his own originals, not a single cover version like he used to in the past three years.
"The distance between stage and the back rows required something else, and Dylan showed he knows how to play the room." – Rolling Stone Magazine
The crowd was rewared for the high ticket prices: Dylan decided to go for a 16-song set including more classics than in years, jumping back and forth between his 1963-1973 era and his late masterpiece album "trilogy" of "Time Out of Mind", "Love & Theft" and "Tempest". He played two songs from each of his landmark albums "The Freewheelin'", "Blode on Blonde", "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Blood on the Tracks".
Thanks to some fans in the audience you can now enjoy the complete set right here, as long as it remains online. I will try to update this list if newer or better clips surface. So make sure to come back again.
You can also click the song titles for more information on that song.
Encore: Masters Of War
Bob Dylan & his Band:
Bob Dylan - piano, harp
Tony Garnier - bass
George Recile - drums
Stu Kimball - rhythm guitar, maracas
Charlie Sexton - lead guitar
Donnie Herron - violin, banjo, electric mandolin, pedal steel, lap steel
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