Audio & Video: 40 Years Ago Bob Dylan & The Band Kick Off their 1974 Tour

Photo by the great Barry Feinstein via NME.com

Forty years ago, on January 3, 1974, the “Bob Dylan and The Band 1974 Tour” kicked off at Chicago Stadium in Chicago, Illinois.

Eighteen thousand, five hundred fans were there to see the historic first show.

This was the only full-bore tour Dylan and The Band did together after The Hawks changed their name to The Band and became major stars themselves.

I saw Dylan and The Band when they played the Oakland Coliseum on February 11, 1974. I was about halfway back, a ways up, but for me it was incredible.

It was my first time seeing Dylan, and while the Oakland Coliseum is big, it’s not that big. The sound was good and I was blown away. I’d seen The Band at the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco previously, but to seem them with Dylan — it was on a whole other level.

I know that Dylan has talked about being on autopilot by the time he got to Oakland, but it sounded damn good to me.

Here’s the only video with Bob Dylan and The Band that seems to be available from the first Chicago show. They started off with a blistering version of “Hero Blues.” Dig it!

Here’s The Band playing “Stage Fright” the next night in Chicago:

Bob Dylan and The Band at Capital Center, Landover Maryland on January 15, 1974 — full show:

Bob Dylan playing “Desolation Row” at St. Louis Arena, St. Louis, Missouri, February 4, 1974:

Bob Dylan, “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding),” Oakland Coliseum, February 11, 1974:

its alright ma I'm only bleeding by Bob Dylan & The Band on Grooveshark

Bob Dylan, “Gates Of Eden,” Oakland Coliseum, February 11, 1974 (sound is iffy at first but then it’s pretty great):

gates of eden by Bob Dylan & The Band on Grooveshark

Bob Dylan and The Band, “Highway 61,” Oakland Coliseum, February 11, 1974:

highway 61 by Bob Dylan & The Band on Grooveshark

Bob Dylan & The Band, “Maggie’s Farm,” Oakland Coliseum, February 11, 1974:

maggie's farm by Bob Dylan & The Band on Grooveshark

Here’s the setlist played that first night in Chicago (from bjorner.com):

Chicago Stadium
Chicago, Illinois
3 January 1974

1. Hero Blues
2. Lay Lady Lay
3. Tough Mama
4. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Robbie Robertson)
5. Stage Fright (Robbie Robertson)
6. Share Your Love With Me (Briggs/Malone)
7. It Ain’t Me, Babe
8. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
9. All Along The Watchtower
Holy Cow (Alain Toussaint)
King Harvest (Has Surely Come) (Robbie Robertson)
10. Ballad Of A Thin Man
Up On Cripple Creek (Robbie Robertson)
11. I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
12. The Times They Are A-Changin’
13. Song To Woody
14. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
15. Nobody ‘Cept You
16. It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
Life Is A Carnival (Robbie Robertson – Rick Danko – Levon Helm)
The Shape I’m In (Robbie Robertson)
When You Awake (Richard Manuel – Robbie Robertson)
Rag Mama Rag (Robbie Robertson)
17. Forever Young
18. Something There Is About You
19. Like A Rolling Stone
(encores)
The Weight (Robbie Robertson)
20. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)

1-3, 9, 11, 17-20 Bob Dylan (vocal, guitar, harmonica), Robbie Robertson (guitar), Garth Hudson (organ, piano and clavinette), Richard Manual (keyboards), Rick Danko (bass), Levon Helm (drums).
4-5 Bob Dylan (guitar), Robbie Robertson (guitar), Garth Hudson (organ, piano and clavinette), Richard Manual (keyboards), Rick Danko (bass, vocal), Levon Helm (drums).
6 Bob Dylan (harmonica), Robbie Robertson (guitar), Garth Hudson (organ, piano and clavinette), Richard Manual (keyboards), Rick Danko (bass), Levon Helm (drums, vocal).
10 Bob Dylan (piano).
12-16 Bob Dylan (vocal, guitar, harmonica).

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –-

About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael recently completed his first novel, Days of the Crazy-Wild, and is currently writing a second novel.

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