In 1964, Bob Dylan was becoming on his way to becoming one of the biggest musicians of the decade, and of modern music. His show at the Philharmonic Hall on Halloween Night has been captured on tape and recently been released in the Bootleg Series as #6. It contains many hits, and some new material that would be on his upcoming album. On this collection, you hear a young, bashful Dylan pleasing the crowd and just having a ball.
Bob Dylan didn't have a very good voice in 1964, most anyone will tell you that. If you can stand Dylan's voice, this CD is very appealing. My parents have told me several times to turn it off because his voice is so bad to them. However, it's not unlistenable at all. It just takes a bit of getting used to.
The CD contains several controversial songs like "John Burch Society Blues" and "Garden of Eden", but that was Dylan's game in 1964. He starts out with "These Times They Are A-Changin'" and just keeps up that energy throughout the first CD ending with a great rendition of "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fal" right after the new song "Tambourine Man." These songs are well-known enough that the crowd is singing along with him the whole time. Heck, after "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" he forgets the words to the next song and the crowd has to feed him the words. Everyone has a good laugh and he proceeds to do a flawless rendition.
The second CD contains a few more tracks of the same, and then Joan Baez comes out as a surprise guest. She starts off with "Silver Dagger" with Dylan on harmonica. The song is amazingly good, and one of my favorites on the album. She sings with a strong intensity, and has tremondous feeling in her voice. Her and Dylan's duets are also very well done; some great contrast between the two voices. "With God on Our Side" is another great track on this album with Joan. Dylan ends with an encore of "All I Wanna Do" and when you hear his high-pitched "dooooooooooooo" you just want to laugh and realize this is brilliance at work. A guy who can sing about serious issues, write some of the most amazing songs of our time, and still manage to not take himself too seriously. What a man, what a songwriter, and what a concert to have been at.