From: xyx 
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 11:13:24 +0500

  Welcome to the 50th edition of THE DEEP - I imagine a few of you were
wondering if 49 was the swan song (I was beginning to wonder myself). As
often happens with our "5 inch friends," droughts are sometimes followed by
deluges. Luckily, we are in the midst of a deluge, as no less than 8
releases have hit the streets in the last few fortnights. I'll try to
provide an "analysis" as time permits.........

THE MAINE EVENT 3CD (Razor's Edge RAZ 27/28/29) Portland, ME 19-21 Apr 96
  Songs: 31  Times: 77+/78+/75+    Source: Audience     Quality: Very Good
  14 songs from the 19th, 10 from the 20th, 7 from the 21st

The first release to emerge documenting the brief April/May US dates of '96,
and a fine document it is. The Portland shows were notable for the variety
of material performed - all told we have 31 DIFFERENT songs included on these
3 disks, which is every tune Dylan did at this residency save RDW12&35, which
is omitted entirely. Quality is very good, though not great - i.e. not up to
the standards of,say, Christiania or, much less, "SOUL," but a fine recording
nonetheless. Nice, smooth sound and clear instrumentation on all 3 disks, w/
crisp sounding and energetic vocals by Mr. Bob. I find all the performances
very enthusiastic, but then again I've run out of superlatives to describe
my feelings about the '96 gigs. Bob and the band were obviously in
fine form on all 3 nights here - there ain't a dud amongst the 31. The harp
is put to the test a lot and Bob simmers through most of the solos,
particularly on TonightIllBeStaying. Can't say enough about Bucky either -
you'd swear he's playing an organ at times and he colors the songs so
beautifully it's hard to imagine them being as effective w/out him. Suffice
it to say there are highlights aplenty, and thankfully a few  moments where
Bob's vocals & phrasing are so moving that my body goes "a'tingle" and the
hair on my neck is at full attention (I can only liken this physiological
phenomenon to the feeling other Bulls' fans like me must get when MJ decides
to take over a game and we witness the previously unseen :-) ).
 For the sake of brevity, I'll resist going into track details but I'd be
remiss not to mention the sublime "Visions of Johanna" from the 19th. A long
& heartfelt instrumental intro signals something special is in store, and
everyone delivers on this 9 and a half minute epic performance, which IMO is
the best live version of it he's ever done. A slower version with
astonishing vocals by Bob - beautiful and heartfelt and one for the ages.
The highlight
of many many great performances from the 3 nights, nicely done and thankfully
documented by Razor's Edge.

1995 1996 1997 1998 T-list CDs