Bob Dylan: 5 Great live performances from the year 1974

Being on tour is like being in limbo. It’s like going from nowhere to nowhere.
~Bob Dylan to John Rockwell, Jan 1974

I’m not a huge fan of the 74 Tour, but it had its moments.

Facts from Wikipedia:

Start date January 3, 1974
End date February 14, 1974
Legs 1
No. of shows 40

The Bob Dylan and the Band 1974 Tour – often referred to as Tour ’74 – was a two-month concert tour in early 1974 that featured Bob Dylan, in his first real tour in eight years, performing with The Band.

The 40-concert, 30-date, 21-city tour began on January 3, 1974 and ended on February 14, 1974. The show reunited Dylan with The Band on stage after the release of Dylan’s Band-backed Planet Waves album. This was a high-profile comeback for both acts. While virtually all the songs here were familiar and might be considered “hits,” few of them sound similar to their original versions; Dylan’s songs in particular are re-arranged and sung with a ferocity not found on the originals, while Garth Hudson’s experiments with the Lowery String Symphonizer (an early synthesizer embedded in the Lowrey H25-3 organ that was adapted from the Freeman String Symphonizer) greatly enriched The Band’s timbral palette. A live double album, Before the Flood, was recorded during the tour.

Chicago Stadium
Chicago, Illinois
3 January 1974

  • Bob Dylan (vocal, guitar, harmonica).

Nobody ‘Cept You

There’s nothing to me that’s sacred
‘Cept you, yeah you
There’s nothing ’round here I believe in
‘Cept you, yeah you


Boston Gardens
Boston, Massachusetts
14 January 1974 — Afternoon

  • Bob Dylan (vocal, guitar, harmonica)
  • Robbie Robertson (guitar)
  • Garth Hudson (organ, piano and clavinette)
  • Richard Manuel (keyboards)
  • Rick Danko (bass)
  • Levon Helm (drums)

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

Mama, take this badge off of me
I can’t use it anymore
It’s gettin’ dark, too dark to see
I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door


Boston Gardens
Boston, Massachusetts
14 January 1974

Ballad Of Hollis Brown

Hollis Brown
He lived on the outside of town
Hollis Brown
He lived on the outside of town
With his wife and five children
And his cabin fallin’ down


There are moments on the tour when Dylan seems particularly inspired. The acoustic set from the first show in St. Louis (February 4) is a high point, not only for the songs he was moved to share for the first and only time on this tour (“Hard Rain” and “Desolation Row”) but also for the regularly-performed songs (“The Times They Are A-Changin’,” “Don’t Think Twice,” “Just like a Woman”), which sound especially magical on this tape, as though the performer feels himself especially well-listened-to on this day, or for some other reason is in a very giving, creative mood.
–> Paul Williams (Performing Artist 1974-1986)

Missouri Arena
St. Louis, Missouri
4 February 1974 – Afternoon

Desolation Row

They’re selling postcards of the hanging, they’re painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors, the circus is in town


Alameda County Coliseum
Oakland, California
11 February 1974 – Evening

  • Bob Dylan (vocal, piano)
  • Robbie Robertson (guitar)
  • Garth Hudson (organ, piano and clavinette)
  • Richard Manual (keyboards)
  • Rick Danko (bass)
  • Levon Helm (drums)

Ballad Of A Thin Man

You walk into the room with your pencil in your hand
You see somebody naked and you say, “Who is that man?”


Recommended concerts from 1974

  • January 14, 1974 – Boston Gardens, Boston, Massachusetts – Afternoon
  • February 4, 1974 – Missouri Arena, St. Louis, Missouri – Afternoon
  • February 14, 1974 – Inglewood Forum, Los Angeles, CA – Afternoon
  • February 14, 1974 – Inglewood Forum, Los Angeles, CA – Evening

-Egil

2 thoughts on “Bob Dylan: 5 Great live performances from the year 1974

  1. To each his own but the Fort Worth show at Tarrant County Convention Center was pretty sweet for the eighth row middle. The Band was wonderful and his solo stuff clean and understandable.

  2. Saw Dylan and The Band in Bloomington, IN in 1974. Best of five subsequent Dylan concerts I attended over 35 years!

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