TICKETS TORN IN HALF: BOB DYLAN AND THE BAND@ MADISON SQUARE GARDEN- JANUARY 31, 1974(If you like what you are reading please hit the button to “subscribe”. Thanks.)

I don’t know why any suburban concert goer circa 1972-1978 would ever want to attend a show at NASSAU COLISEUM… drug busts, arrest, the other night 10 arrest at the BOB DYLAN and THE BAND show. Geez…I refused to buy a ticket knowing the life style of a young man would be in jeopardy when confronted by the tactics of the Nassau County PD and the county’s notorious DA. So when the call came that my bride’s co-worker had two tickets for the same show but housed in the safety and security of New York City’s MADISON SQUARE GARDEN I was on the train in a flash.Being a Thursday night I had to call in “sick” for work. Of course my boss questioned my sudden illness so I nicely told him I’m going to see Bob Dylan so “freak you” but only in stronger words.He listed it as a “personal” day.

DYLAN hadn’t toured in almost 8 years, 1966 that is and I was 14 at that time. To boot, DYLAN hadn’t released an album in almost four years so this was going to be a “must” see event. Tickets were sold out in a matter of minutes in our area. Four nights, two at the Nassau piss hole and 2 night with 3 shows ( one matinee-4PM) at MSG.DYLAN had just released “Planet Waves” a few days before our show, an album made with THE BAND onboard.

So away I go, train ride in with a bottle of wine and my usual Marlboro Reds, getting primed before meeting up with my wife and another couple. A quick bite to eat, payment for the tickets, and into the show. Pretty good seats to the left of the stage, two levels up but close enough for my zoom lens to work.(Notes from my journal-“Dylan opens with MOST LIKELY YOU GO YOUR WAY and a few tunes before THE BAND does STAGE FRIGHT, Bob joins in, then acoustic BOB, then THE BAND, then BOB and THE Band closing with MOST LIKELY YOU GO YOUR WAY. Neat. I took a photo of YOKO, Albert Grossman and DICK CAVETT chatting during intermission”.

Setlist: 


  1. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)
2.Lay Lady Lay
3.Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
4.Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
5.It Ain’t Me, Babe
6.Ballad Of A Thin Man
7.All Along The Watchtower
8.Ballad Of Hollis Brown
9.Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
10.The Times They Are A-Changin’
11.Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right
12.Gates Of Eden
13.Just Like A Woman
14.It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
15.Forever Young
16.Something There Is About You
17.Like A Rolling Stone
—
18.Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)
19.Blowin’ In The Wind

Village Voice Review
Madison Square Garden with the Band | January 31, 1974
Aside from some guest appearances (a Woody Guthrie Tribute; the Concert for Bangladesh; a Band show at the Academy of Music) Dylan was off the road for seven-and-a-half years and didn’t play a full concert in New York City for a very long time. That was a lifetime, an entire career in rock and roll back then. A lot would happen in between: military actions, protest movements, motorcycle accidents, Woodstock. But then he came back with one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll alliances on one of the most amazing tours ever. The ‘74 tour with the Band featured Dylan at the height of his Seventies powers, alongside Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson and Levon Helm very close to the apex of theirs. This show at the Garden would amply showcase all of the above, and an audience at the height of Watergate roars like a jet engine as Dylan sings the “But even the President of the United States/Has to stand naked” line during “It’s All Right Ma, I’m Only Bleeding.”