November 13, 2011 – 4:35 am

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Milan 2011 [Crystal Cat Records CC 981-982, 2CD]

Live at the Alcatraz Club, Milan, Italy; June 22, 2011. Very good to excellent audience recording.

Bob Dylan’s best live period might have been way behind him but anyone who is following his current tour could do well to pick up this recent Milan release from Crystal Cat. As a songwriter, musician and performer, Dylan on stage these days hardly surprises anyone. But what he can and will do is throw a few curve balls. According to gsparaco of, the source tape is reportedly an excellent audience recording.

This is what Barnaby Nelson wrote of the Milan set at

Dylan is clearly fit and in strong voice. He jogged to the keyboard Leonard Cohen style (didn’t think I’d ever write that). Apart from the song selection the thing that blew me away was how theatrically he was performing. For many of the songs he would prowl around the stage (front right, front left, centre, all the way back again) with hand held mic ‘acting out’ the drama of the lyrics with heaps of theatrical hand and body movements and facial expressions. Yes, there’s a bit of Al Jolson about it, a bit of ‘50s crooner, but more than a heavy dose of mad preacherman having a rant. Brilliant stuff. The closest thing I’ve ever seen to this is the footage of the Prague ’95 shows. It was most evident during Can’t Wait, Forgetful Heart, and Thin Man. Can’t Wait featured a final line of about four “I don’t know-s” in a row before the final refrain. He was really interacting fully with the  audience, who were giving him plenty of energy back.

Thanks to Lincoln Park Mark for sharing the tracks.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Track 101. Intro (1.1MB)
Track 102. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (4.7MB)
Track 103. When I Paint My Masterpiece (7.8MB)
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Track 104. ‘Til I Fell In Love With You (8.4MB)
Track 105. I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met) (7.3MB)
Track 106. Summer Days (9.2MB)
Track 107. Spirit On The Water (9.5MB)
Track 108. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum (7.7MB)
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Click here if you reside outside North America
Track 109. Can’t Wait (8.5MB)
Track 110. The Levee’s Gonna Break (10.4MB)
Track 111. Visions Of Johanna (11.0MB)
Track 112. Highway 61 Revisited (10.0MB)
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Track 113. Forgetful Heart (6.4MB)

Disc 2
Track 201. Thunder On The Mountain (10.9MB)
Track 202. Ballad Of A Thin Man (10.9MB)
Track 203. Like A Rolling Stone (9.6MB)
Track 204. All Along The Watchtower (6.9MB)
Track 205. Blowin’ In The Wind (8.2MB)

Bonus Tracks

Zirkusplatz, Summer Sound, Sursee, Switzerland; June 24, 2011
Track 206. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (7.2MB)
Track 207. To Ramona (7.9MB)
Track 208. Beyond Here Lies Nothin’ (6.2MB)
Track 209. Make You Feel My Love (6.8MB)
Track 210. Jolene (6.9MB)
Track 211. Ballad Of Hollis Brown (5.1MB)
Track 212. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (9.6MB)

Marquee, Cork, Ireland; June 16, 2011
Track 213. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine (5.0MB)

London Feis, Finsbury Park, London, England; June 18, 2011
Track 214. Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking (7.4MB)

Bob Dylan - vocals, keyboard, electric guitar
Charlie Sexton - lead guitar
Stu Kimball - rhythm guitar
Donnie Herron - pedal steel, violin, electric mandolin
Tony Garnier - bass, stand-up bass
George Recile - drums

We highly recommend newer fans to pick up the 2010 release of Dylan’s The Best Of The Original Mono Recordings. Absolute must-have in any collection. Click here to order the album.


  2. The description here reminds me of the unexpected and utterly stunning version of “Blind Willie McTell” I was privileged to see Dylan do this past August…

    By YogaforCynics on Nov 13, 2011

  3. hey bigo, disc 1 is pretty good. usually mark’s boots are good shows and good sounding. i like oysterhead!

    i haven’t had any luck asking for any shows i was at on bigo, but, i’m still looking for dylan-bjcc arena, b’ham, al feb 2002. it was the first dylan show i saw. i have city stages may 2003 on two cd-r’s and mp3’s of bjcc arena april 2006. i got april 2006 off guitar forum, if anybody was there and wants it. now i don’t know if the links work or not. i got it three years ago, but you can try.

    i played the roseland ballroom shows offered last oct again. they’re good.


    By Ed Saad on Nov 13, 2011

  4. Good Day,
    I see many, many Dylan shows here and are most thanful. However, I have never see one with whom I feel were his best backing band, “The Band.’ Perhpas we could get one up here soon? Or, if anyone knows where I might find some that would also be appreciated.


    By Djob on Nov 13, 2011

  5. Djob…go here..
    type in the group you are looking`ll find something.

    By sluggo on Nov 13, 2011

  6. inside the tags of tracks 6 and 7 of disc 2, the track titles are reversed. i made the mistake of renumbering them and then went back and changed them and relabeled them. what a pain. i think, the others are correct. disc 1 is correct.


    By Ed Saad on Nov 14, 2011

  7. St Augustine from Cork is wonderful … a great performance and a lucky crowd to hear it live on the night. Thanks for sharing.

    By Canute on Nov 14, 2011

  8. Thank you Sluggo. I have seen your comments here multiple times. I now have one more tool in my chest to look for concerts. I have been looking for these shows for a long time.


    By Djob on Nov 14, 2011

  9. Hello. Do you have any crystal cat cds from bob dylan that are new condition. If you have please send me a list.

    Thank you very much

    By Andreas Lins on Nov 20, 2011

  10. I have been a fan of Bob Dylan since I was !2 (1966). I have several of his albums; my favorite being “Blood on the Tracks”. I’ve only seen him once in concert. He did not talk at all to the audience. My question to those of you who have seen him much more and know much more about him is: “Does he interact and talk to his audience much or at all? I saw him in approximately in 2007 in Albuquerque, NM. Perhaps he used to talk with his audience some or even a lot, earlier in his musical career, thank you.

    By Terrance on Jun 3, 2012

  11. ever since an audience member hollered “Judas” bob has kept the stage patter down.

    By uncle remus on Jun 3, 2012

  12. Terrance, I have friends who have seen Bob at least 20 times in the last few years, he barely talks to the audience.

    By Mark E on Jun 3, 2012

  13. the judas story is an interesting one and for anyone who doesnt know it ill share it here —

    Ordinarily, the standoffish Bob Dylan doesn’t interact with his audience, but one incident has gone down in rock ‘n’ roll history. It’s hard to believe now just how infuriated some folk fans got in 1965 when Dylan went electric and moved away from protest songs toward a louder, full-on rock sound. (The story goes that backstage at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, Pete Seeger was so offended by Dylan’s set that he had to be restrained from cutting the electric cables with an axe.) Ultimately, the rock sound proved more popular for Dylan and more influential for music in general, but the anger of those who felt left behind is captured on the “Royal Albert Hall” bootleg (actually recorded at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall in May 1966). Near the end of a set already fraught with tension between band and audience, a heckler takes advantage of a quiet moment after “Ballad Of A Thin Man” to shout “Judas!” The audience erupts with a combination of cheering and catcalls. Dylan snaps back “I don’t believe you… you’re a LIAR!” Then, turning to his band, he commands them to “play it fucking loud,” and steamrolls the naysayers with a furious performance of “Like A Rolling Stone.” Advantage: Dylan.

    for my own personal note here u will find some comments during the between song breaks on the gospel tour 79-80. if u find the arizona show he gets pretty funny but ill let u find that recording on your own to find out why.
    and if u get enough shows on the never ending tour u will hear nitely jokes if u listen in carefully enough. one particular funny bit i recall was him saying ‘This is a song I wrote for my ex-wife. She was so conceited I used to call her Mimi’.

    btw.. later on in at least one interview seeger says that whole thing involving him was a myth. so its your call. he does tend to put his own spin on events that happened many years ago so they might be remembered in a different light.

    By darth on Jun 3, 2012

  14. When I saw the Bob & Carlos tour (’93?). Santana played on a video screen mounted above the stage. We had lawn seats. General admission tickets. Then Bob announced he wouldn’t go on unless they turned off the cameras. Well then we couldn’t see the stage so we turned it into a game of espionage. Sneaking down the handicap ramps to the higher priced seats. Hiding from security & getting as close to the stage as possible without being thrown out. One security guy finally told us to just sit down and he’d leave us alone. It was actually a lot of fun but we were distracted from really hearing Bob’s set. I don’t know if he always refuses to be on screen or not. I can’t remember if he did that when I saw him with the Dead.

    By sking on Jun 3, 2012

  15. The gospel tour 79-80 produced heckling from the audience due to the new direction from Bob despite later reviews stating that the music itself wasn’t bad, and Bob was in good voice. Judge that yourself. The audience MP3’s are here at BigO as Bob Dylan - Yonder Comes Sin.

    By 4yrsnojob on Jun 3, 2012

  16. I’ve always thought that, performance-wise, Dylan rocked in his Gospel period. While songwriting-wise, it’s disconcerting to hear such a master of nuance, understatement,and irony, turn so dogmatic, the Slow Train Coming, Saved, and Shot of Love albums contain some of the most passionate music he’s ever made.

    By YogaforCynics on Jun 4, 2012

  17. Oh, and as for Bob refusing to be on screen, I don’t remember the Dylan/Dead tours very clearly (wonder why?) but he was definitely up on the screen when I saw him last summer.

    By YogaforCynics on Jun 4, 2012

  18. i have 6 cds of dylan dead rehearsals for that tour and some of the material they did in those nearly 8 hours worth of recordings is some of the best material either of them ever did. i love it. not all of it mind u but some of it. just as the dylan band basement tapes. some of it was amazing. some not so wonderful. there were some great memories during the dylan dead shows too. bob made recording of many of those shows difficult but some of them got out.

    By darth on Jun 5, 2012

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