Live At The Bowl ‘68
While various versions of this show have been about on cheap tapes and dud-sounding CDs for many years here, finally, is the complete show (sounding good). July 5, 1968, The Doors a super road-tight unit have three albums under their belt. For all the frustrations many listeners may have – now – with Jim Morrison’s persona he was still a great singer. A frontperson who embodied each song, who writhed and rolled within every turn of every tune – and for that to happen he needed/commanded knife-edge precision from his band. I say his band because, well, that’s just how you hear The Doors, right? It is Morrison out front with the other three playing in support; such perfect supporting players.
Here the opening version of When The Music’s Over all but bursts – it’s big. It’s damn near every Door songs there ever was or would be in one quarter-hour smash-and-grab serving.
Morrison’s Celebration of the Lizard songs-as-mantras poetry sequence was something that took shape over several performances and here there are glimpses of what it would become and what it had been with the band keeping him on the right track.
The blues songs sound raw and real, there’s grit and soul and – always – show. At their best The Doors combined these aspects so well. And though Live At The Bowl ’68 probably won’t make many new fans it will contain a few revelations for old fans and, as it did in this case for me, it may just bend you back round to thinking that The Doors, for all the stupidity and frustration and over-celebration, were an extraordinary band – particularly as a live entity. It’s all here. An important live set from The Doors served up now as an important reminder of their potency.