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This is the third of the five nights at the Beacon Theatre in '90. (I reposted the first night earlier today.) Filmed from the left side of the balcony, the audio has been upgraded.

If you really, really want to drive the Ford Mustang Cobra of this particular night, then D2062.2 is the one to pursue. It combines D2062 with D039.su & upgraded audio.

There is a now deleted Jim50 review in the Info File that goes into great detail about everything (original ref. DVDylan | New York, NY (17-Oct-90) but not there now). I never understood why all his reviews were removed from the site.

Bob Dylan
Beacon Theatre
New York City, NY (USA)
October 17, 1990

Source: "A Buried Treasure Production. Upgraded Hi-Fi Sound."

4/5/5/5/4

DVD 1:
(in the lobby?)
Absolutely Sweet Marie
Man In The Long Black Coat
Willing
T.V. Talkin' Song
Simple Twist Of Fate
Wiggle Wiggle
Man Of Constant Sorrow
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
Tangled Up In Blue
Joey
What Good Am I?
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
In The Garden
Like A Rolling Stone
The Times They Are A-Changin'
Highway 61 Revisited

Total time = 91:35

Personnel:
Bob Dylan - vocals, harmonica, & guitar
GE Smith - guitar
César Diaz - guitar & electric slide guitar
John Staehely - guitar
Tony Garnier - bass
Christopher Parker - drums

Type: Video
Type: NTSC, color, menu and chapters
Codec: MPEG-1/2 Video (mpgv)
Video resolution: 704x480
Aspect ratio: 4:3
Frame rate: 29.970030

Type: Audio
Codec: DVD LPCM Audio (lpcm)
Channels: Stereo
Sample rate: 48000 Hz
Bits per sample: 16

fc8b0a39b8bded9bf02d5df098fc90a6 *VIDEO_TS\VIDEO_TS.BUP
fc8b0a39b8bded9bf02d5df098fc90a6 *VIDEO_TS\VIDEO_TS.IFO
cf87580257bb536ec5bdbcbf93cfbce1 *VIDEO_TS\VIDEO_TS.VOB
efba00d7be9da57b31664b424d615bb5 *VIDEO_TS\VTS_01_0.BUP
efba00d7be9da57b31664b424d615bb5 *VIDEO_TS\VTS_01_0.IFO
edd13607ada1ff1bdff92814bc6754a7 *VIDEO_TS\VTS_01_1.VOB
775b28bf90e874e3566a766492f71154 *VIDEO_TS\VTS_01_2.VOB
20e50348863861b3c862a63671348819 *VIDEO_TS\VTS_01_3.VOB
f73dbafe18ac1e1e66199a8206a42e93 *VIDEO_TS\VTS_01_4.VOB

REVIEW: D039.su BEACON THEATER, NYC, 17 OCTOBER 1990

In mid-October 1990, Bob played a five night residency at New York's Beacon Theatre. This run of shows would be GE's last with the band - after more than two years on the road, playing 241 gigs in 17 countries, he decided that, though a dollar may be a dollar, enough is also enough, and all would soon be missing him perhaps more than anyone thought. D marked the occasion of his final show by giving him H61's Mack The Finger verse to sing all by himself - not so much, you might think, but a rare band-member privilege just the same. In his World Gone Wrong notes, D also paid his ex-guitarist this left-handed tribute: the NET [he wrote] ended in '91 with the departure of ... GE Smith. (Doh! Wrong year, Bob - and we're not buying it anyway.)

That's one reason why these Beacon shows were a little special. Another more straightforward one is that NYC is D's spiritual home - indeed is where Bob Dylan (as opposed to Bob Zimmerman) was born and partly raised. New York seems to bring out the best in him and from Gaslight days on has seen many memorable D performances - Town Hall, Carnegie Hall, All Hallows Eve, Guthrie Tribute, Bangladesh, Carter Benefit, Beacon '89s, Bobfest, Supper Clubs, MSG '02s, Hammerstein '03s. So was this gig, Beacon 17.10.90, another to add to the list?

Yes and no - but let me say this: as I come increasingly to appreciate just how much time, effort and dedication goes into making and circulating these DVDs, and finally how lucky we are to have them, I find myself ever more reluctant to pick them to bits. So, positives first - this DVD gives a consistently clean and mostly steady video image, unobstructed and well-filmed, but with one proviso: since it's shot from a high balcony, we have to look down onto D's mostly-hatted head, making it hard to get a good look at his face. Audio is also much improved from the previous soundtrack (a little of which remains at the very start of the disc). All that hamstrings D039.su's potential to please is the patchy form of the artist. Though nowhere near as snake-belly low as in the wretched D623.su (Stuttgart '91), it's possible to sense here one foot already on the slippery slope that leads there. The band, though tight, play (drummer especially) without finesse, which mars songs such as Simple Twist and Joey, both better for a touch of melancholic restraint, a bit of feeling. D's vocals, likewise, lack expressive range. At the time of this show, Under The Red Sky had been out just five weeks and from it D elects to play two cuts - Wiggle Wiggle and TV Talking Song. Both are sung exceedingly badly, with lyrics - sound upgrade or not - impenetrably dense. Few if any audience members can have concluded: "Okay, better rush out and buy that!"

After struggling unsuccessfully to nail the tune of Sorrow, the first song of the night to rise above the mundane is Baby Blue, with D and GE riffing face to face to fine effect. This song, it should be noted, is also especially well-filmed. (Sadly, prize for least well-filmed - plenty of views of the ceiling - goes to Willing, tonight's only cover. Still, for all that this is its sixth tour outing, it remains unconvincing.) Hattie Carroll begins with a horribly discordant first line but rapidly improves. One of the nice things about this song is that, for obvious reasons, it's never abridged. Seldom, too, is it sung other than with particular care and attention, and so too tonight. Incidentally, Baby Blue is introduced this way: Anybody here wake up drunk today? Anybody know the feeling? This one's specially for you! Stranger yet, before What Good, and just after assuring the audience that Joey Gallo was one of his childhood heroes, he turns for no obvious reason to Cesar Diaz and snaps: Is that guitar too heavy? How much that guitar weigh? Couldn't hear the answer. Probably just as well.

In Tangled, just as he starts to sing, his G string breaks. He finishes the verse on five then swaps acoustic for Strat while GE covers with an instrumental verse and, from this point on, and whether co-incidentally or not, the tenor of both song and gig change for the better. After Joey and What Good, both played better than sung, comes Train To Cry, a gorgeous deep blue belter, which draws best crowd response of the night, as well it might. A fetching Garden segues straight into LARS, very fast and very fine, then GE sees everyone home happy with some searing H61 slide work so good that a suddenly playful D removes his hat to pantomime-fan his sideman's sizzling axe.

Though D039.su isn't A1 vintage Bob, if you're looking to collect something from each tour or year, you could do worse iro Fall 1990 than hunt this one down. Show runs 90 minutes; DVD has a nice audio menu surprise.

Thanks to DRF. A solid four stars.

Reviewed by Jim50 on 26th November 2005


 
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