Santa Monica, CA
November 18, 1979
101 Regina Havis Monologue
102 I've Got My Ticket, Lord
103 It's Gonna Rain
104 Do Lord, Remember Me
105 Look Up And Live By Faith
106 Hold My Hand, Oh Lord
107 Oh Freedom
108 This Train
109 Gotta Serve Somebody
110 I Believe In You
111 When You Gonna Wake Up
112 When He Returns
113 Man Gave Names To All The Animals
114 Precious Angel
201 Slow Train
202 Covenant Woman
203 What Are You Doing With Your Heart? (Helena Springs)
204 Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking
205 Do Right To Me Baby (Do Unto Others)
206 Solid Rock
207 Saving Grace
209 What Can I Do For You?
210 In The Garden
211 Band Introduction
212 Blessed Be The Name
213 Pressing On
Mike Millard first gen via JEMS
The Lost and Found Mike the MICrophone Tapes Vol. Five
Installment No. 5 jumps ahead 17 months but a world apart, as Dylan has converted to Christianity and taken to the road with a set of all new gospel-tinged material, completely ignoring his musical past in deference to his enlightened present.
The Gospel Tour, as it is known, began November 1 at the Fox Warfield Theatre in San Francisco, where Dylan kicked off a 14-night residency. This concert in Santa Monica was the first show that followed the Warfield run and opening night of four in the Los Angeles area. Other than going electric, I would posit there is no other moment in Dylan's career that reverberated like this seemingly out-of-nowhere shift into what might best be described as a musical tent revival with Bob himself as preacher and soul saver. And because of that, the Gospel Tour is divisive: For some fans, it was the jumping off point; for others, they climbed aboard the slow train coming.
Dylan's on-stage dialogue at times sparked confrontations with an audience that, by and large, wasn't sure how to reconcile what they were seeing and hearing with all that came before it. I didn't see the Gospel Tour in person; my first Dylan show was still six years away. As such, the radical shift that took place in 1979 doesn't have the same impact for me when revisited in hindsight. On its own merits, the Gospel Tour offers richly satisfying performances and a focused Dylan who was leading the crusade every night.
And talk about a set list that challenged his audience. Dylan didn't perform a single song from his back catalog, instead filling the set with all eight songs from Slow Train Coming; another seven from its companion, Saved, which would be released the following year; the still unreleased "Blessed Be the Name"; plus several gospel numbers performed by the show's back-up singers: Regina Havis, Helena Springs and Mona Lisa Young.
To our ears, Millard nails it this night. As usual, he's close to the PA with a quiet crowd around him, and the AKGs + Uher yield a great pull in his capable hands. It is a pleasure to listen to. Samples provided.
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