Bob Dylan: The Fastbreak Tour 1990 – Part 1

bob dylan toads place 1990
Bob Dylan @ Toad’s Place – Jan 12, 1990

Don’t be bewildered by the Never Ending Tour chatter, there was a Never Ending Tour but it ended with the departure of guitarist GE Smith. [Smith played his last concert with Dylan on October 19, 1990]
~Bob Dylan (Liner Notes to 1993’s World Gone Wrong)

The Never Ending Tour 1990 started off with a leg called the Fastbreak tour where Dylan performed:

  • Jan 12, 14 & 15 – United States – one small club (Toad’s place) & two east coast colleges
  • Jan 18 & 25 – Brazil (two giant festivals)
  • Jan 29, 30, 31 & Feb 1 – Paris, France @ Theatre de Grand Rex
  • Feb 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8 – London, England @ Hammersmith Odeon

He plays 98 songs in 15 shows, 56 of which were only played one or two times.

1990-01-12 New Haven ticket

It starts in a small club with 700 people, where Bob plays 50 songs in five hours, many of them covers never heard before or since.

On January 12, as a warm-up for two stadium shows in Brazil and ten further dates in Paris and London, he played his first club gig in over twenty-five years, at Toad’s Place in New Haven. The seven hundred lucky witnesses saw this forty-eightyear-old man play for a total of four and a half hours.
Starting at a quarter to nine, with a cover of Joe South’s ‘Walk a Mile in My Shoes’ (‘before you accuse, criticize, or abuse I walk a mile in my shoes’), Dylan finally left the Toad’s stage at twenty minutes past two in the morning, after four sets, interspersed by three breaks of just twentyfive minutes each, having played fifty songs in total, only eight of which derived from his supposed halcyon days of 1963-66.
~Clinton Heylin (Behind The Shades)

Toad’s Place
New Haven, Connecticut
12 January 1990

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • G. E. Smith (guitar)
  • Tony Garnier (bass)
  • Christopher Parker (drums

The show had 4 sets:

Set songs  time
I 1-11 55
II 12-20 40
III 21-34 65
IV 35-50 80

1, 4-7, 14, 21, 30, 40  are all live debuts.

  1. Walk A Mile In My Shoes (Joe South)
  2. One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below)
  3. Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
  4. Trouble No More (McKinley Morganfield)
  5. I’ve Been All Around This World (trad.)
  6. Political World
  7. Where Teardrops Fall
  8. Tears Of Rage (Bob Dylan & Richard Manuel)
  9. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine
  10. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
  11. Everybody’s Movin’ (Glen Trout)

  12. Watching The River Flow
  13. What Was It You Wanted
  14. Oh Baby It Ain’t No Lie (Elizabeth Cotten)
  15. Lenny Bruce
  16. I Believe In You
  17. Man Of Peace
  18. Across The Borderline (Ry Cooder/John Hiatt/Jim Dickinson)
  19. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
  20. All Along The Watchtower
  21. Tight Connection To My Heart (Has Anybody Seen My Love)
  22. Political World
  23. What Good Am I?
  24. Wiggle Wiggle
  25. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
  26. Pay The Price (Moon Martin)
  27. Help Me Make It Through The Night (Kris Kristofferson)
  28. Man In The Long Black Coat
  29. Congratulations
  30. Dancing In The Dark (Bruce Springsteen)
  31. Lonesome Whistle Blues (Hank Williams-Jimmy Davies)
  32. Confidential (Dolinda Morgan)
  33. In The Garden
  34. Everything Is Broken
  35. So Long, Good Luck And Goodbye (Weldon Rogers)
  36. Where Teardrops Fall
  37. Political World
  38. Pretty Peggy-O (trad. arr. Bob Dylan)
  39. I’ll Remember You
  40. Key To The Highway (Charles Segar/Willie Broonzy)
  41. Joey (Bob Dylan & Jacques Levy)
  42. Lay Lady Lay
  43. I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
  44. When Did You Leave Heaven? (W. Bullock/R. Whiting)
  45. Maggie’s Farm
  46. I’ve Been All Around This World (trad.)
  47. In The Pines (Huddie “Leadbelly” Leadbetter)
  48. Highway 61 Revisited
  49. Precious Memories (arr. by Bob Dylan)
  50. Like A Rolling Stone

1990-01-12 New Haven 2

After almost four hours of singing, Dylan launched into a stinging Highway 61 Revisited and the wistful Precious Memories, from Knocked Out Loaded.
Finally, after a few false starts, Dylan swung into Like A Rolling Stone, requisite even on such an unprecedented night.
hough his voice was starting to show signs of fatigue from its arduous workout, and the audience was exhausted,
it was a final, exultant moment, releasing everyone for home at 2:30 am.

Dylan is only one year away from his 50th birthday and his 30th year as a recording artist.  Yet here he was, in close contact with his fans once again, still experimenting with new songs,  still working on numbers he has been playing for decades. It was an awe-inspiring performance,  as close to a comprehensive retrospective as Dylan is ever likely to offer onstage.
Rolling Stone, 8 March 1990

The single weirdest show in Dylan’s career. This four-and-a-half-hour marathon set was a warm-up before the 1990 leg of the NET kicked off. Extreme rarities like “Man Of Peace” and “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine” are mixed with shocking covers like “Dancing In The Dark.” By the end he’s taking requests, and playing whatever the crowd yells for. You have to hear it to believe it.
-Andy Greene (rollingstone.com – May 10, 2011)

1990-01-14 Penn State ticket

Recreation Hall
Pennsylvania State University
State College, Pennsylvania
14 January 1990

10. Gotta Serve Somebody

11. Across The Borderline (Ry Cooder/John Hiatt/Jim Dickinson)

1990-01-15 Princeton ticket

McCarter Theater
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey
15 January 1990

5. Lakes Of Pontchartrain (trad.)

Carnival To Rio front

Sambodromo
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
25 January 1990

12. One Too Many Mornings

Next post in this series will focus on the 4 Paris shows.

Check out:

-Egil

One thought on “Bob Dylan: The Fastbreak Tour 1990 – Part 1”

  1. I must say that even as it is a terrific song list this is not my favourite “Dylan voice”.
    As we all know Dylan has kind of different voices all through his life.And that is one of the very special things about him.Some of my no Dylan fan friends have often asked me:Is this Dylan?? when I played not so well known songs.
    He is not that easy to identify if you are not aware about all his different styles.

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