February 23 captures the third night in Budokan in excellent stereo with a minor tape flip in the middle. It is a good but nervous performance. Dylan himself sounds self-conscious and make several quips through the performance. Before “Love Minus Zero/No Limit,” commenting on a mistake in the lights, jokes “we left the light show home tonight” and after a sloppy “Like A Rolling Stone” he jokes “Thank you! We almost played that one right.”
The show comes to grand finale with nice versions of “The Man In Me,” “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” and especially “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” using the flute set to a reggae beat. The set ends with “Forever Young” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” It is a very good, but not classic, performance. They are still trying to learn the new arrangements and have not yet introduced any new songs to the set.
Nippon Budokan Hall Tokyo, Japan 23 February 1978
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
Billy Cross (lead guitar)
Alan Pasqua (keyboards)
Steven Soles (rhythm guitar, backup vocals)
David Mansfield (violin & mandolin)
Steve Douglas (horns)
Rob Stoner (bass)
Bobbye Hall (percussion)
Ian Wallace (drums), Helena Springs, Jo Ann Harris, Debbie Dye (background vocals)
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
Lonesome Bedroom (Ernest “Buddy” Wilson)
Mr. Tambourine Man
I Threw It All Away
Love Minus Zero/No Limit
If You See Her, Say Hello
Ballad Of A Thin Man
I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
Girl From The North Country
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
Thank you. This is a song I wrote for a friend of mine a few years back.
Like A Rolling Stone
I Shall Be Released
Going, Going, Gone
One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)
Blowin’ In The Wind
Just Like A Woman
Thank you. Very nice to be here in this country.
Oh, Sister (Bob Dylan–Jacques Levy/Bob Dylan)
You’re A Big Girl Now
All Along The Watchtower
Simple Twist Of Fate
All I Really Want To Do
I Want You
The Man In Me
Tomorrow Is A Long Time
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
Band Introductions Thank you. We’re getting to learn that one. I wanna introduce you to some of the people up here. I bet you’ve been wondering who they are. Playing the horns tonight we have Steve Douglas. On the violin and the mandolin David Mansfield. These three young ladies at the back, on the left, far left is Helena Springs. In the middle is my ex-wife Jo Ann Harris. Debbie Franklin, on the left. On rhythm guitar we have Steve Soles tonight. On the bass guitar Rob Stoner. On the drums Ian Wallace from Great Britain. Lead guitar Billy Cross. On the organ Alan Pasqua, on the conga drums Bobbye Hall.
It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
Forever Young We’re gonna leave you with this tune. It’s been a pleasure singing here. Thank you very much. We’re gonna be leaving town in about three days, but we’ll be back, and we’ll see you then.
2 thoughts on “February 23: Bob Dylan @ Nippon Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan – 1978”
Thanks so much Susan, quite a few people have mentioned Forever Egil Mosbron! I’m loving the gel! Xx
So, a bootleg covering the worst part of one of Bob Dylan’s worst tours? Some fans will love it, so it’s all good. Even I like a couple things off the official “Budokan” album. Although 1978 isn’t a celebrated year in rock and roll, Neil Young, Van Morrison, the Stones and Lou Reed all contributed something. My favorite 1978 Dylan performance is a version of “Something There is About You.” The recording’s fidelity is abysmal, but its arrangement is so beautiful, so ethereal, you’ll feel like you’ve dipped your toe in the spirit world.
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