October 17, 2007
01. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Bob on electric guitar, Donnie on lap steel)
02. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Bob on electric guitar, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
03. Watching The River Flow (Bob on electric guitar, Donnie on lap steel)
04. Love Sick (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on electric mandollin)
05. Rollin' And Tumblin' (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar)
06. Spirit On The Water (Bob on electric keyboard and harp, Donnie on pedal steel,
Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
07. High Water (For Charlie Patton) (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on banjo, Tony on standup bass)
08. Workingman's Blues #2 (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
09. Things Have Changed (Bob on electric keyboard and harp, Donnie on violin)
10. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll (Bob on electric keyboard and harp, Donnie on electric mandolin, Stu on acoustic guitar)
11. Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on lap steel)
12. Ain't Talkin' (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on viola, Stu on acoustic guitar)
13. Summer Days (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel, Tony on standup bass)
14. Masters Of War (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on acoustic guitar, Tony on standup bass)
15. Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on lap steel, Stu on acoustic guitar)
16. Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on electric keyboard, Donnie on pedal steel)
Bob Dylan - electric guitar, keyboard, harp
Tony Garnier - bass
George Recile - drums
Stu Kimball - rhythm guitar
Denny Freeman - lead guitar
Donnie Herron - violin, viola, banjo, electric mandolin, pedal steel, lap steel
My Lady and I are native to Louisville, so we were looking forward to a nice hometown show – no travels and a familiar pre-show ritual at our favorite micro-brewery, Cumberland Brews. All things were looking up, weather was nice, people festive – and a slow simmer of excitement was breathing across the outer reaches of our mind. The night held 3 acts, all of which I was pretty stoked to see: Amos Lee, Elvis Costello and, of course, Bob Dylan.
We arrived at Freedom Hall right after show time (7pm) and sure enough, Amos Lee was already diving into his repertoire. It sounded pretty damn good coming in, so we opted to check out or seats and listen for a bit before we continued the replenishment of thirst. All and all, I was pretty impressed – I’m not familiar with his songs, but everything came off pretty hot and smooth.
I’ve never seen Elvis Costello, so when he came out next – I was ready to welcome him with open arms. It was just him and his guitar, totally stripped down. I have to admit, going from a really *full* band sound of Amos Lee to just an acoustic was rather noticeable (as it should be I’d imagine) … but what I’m trying to say is that it took a moment for me to adjust to the much *thinner* sound. I’m not that familiar with Elvis Costello’s material, either, so I guess it was pretty good. He came out JACKED up, just raging – so needless to say, he put a lot of energy in the place. He even did an interesting version of “Not Fade Away” – which I actually thought was superb. Quote of the night came from Elvis talking about how he comes from a long line of musicians in his family and his Dad told him one day, “Son, you never look up to a note – you always look down.” Yeah, we didn’t know what it meant and he informed us that he didn’t either. ha!
Bob Dylan came out in black and his band was all dressed in black as well. I guess that was kinda the mood for the night. Bob seemed either a bit serious or a bit pissed off. Maybe a combination of the two? Things started out pretty revved up with “Leopard-Skin …” and the energy continued up until “Love Sick”. After that, things seemed real heavy (even when he threw in the rockers) all the way until the end of the show.
My Lady and I kept moving around trying to find the *spot* where it sounded the best and settled on this one area stage left. Although Bob’s vocals were clear, the rest of the sound seemed to be a bit low, in my opinion. Especially the bass. Maybe I just had too much Phil lately and I am used to bass in the face, but the low end seemed present for Amos Lee’s band – so I was left wondering. The crowd was lethargic or dead – one of the two, but since they walked out of there, I’m guessing the former. We were getting our boogie on when the people behind us started throwing stuff at a number of us grooving, trying to get us to sit down. Once “Love Sick” came on, I thought I would oblige them and we sat down – to cheers! Yeah, the most noise these people make is for others to sit down – not the artist himself. And sure enough, once we sat down – they just started yapping away, talking about this and that, in the midst of “Love Sick”. Ugh, pet peeve beyond all pet peeves – ask us to sit down and then just start talking?
We stayed seated for a couple of songs and just noticed how lame this crowd was. It’s our hometown for crying out loud! No wonder the great artists try to avoid this place like the plague. Almost everyone, everyone was seated. Light applause would follow the songs, but no real excitement for the interplay inside the songs or the delivery of lyrics. We caught Bob up in Indy just a couple of months ago and it was like night and day – the crowd there was so *on* and moments were treasured like delectable treats. So, not wanting to absorb this crappy energy around us – we got up during “Hwy 61” to wonder and look for another spot.
We settled right behind the soundboard and it was perhaps a *little* better on the over-all sound, but still – man, I could use so much more Low End!!! The “Masters of War” closer was so heavy, it had the entire audience holding their breath. Really, really good stuff – Bob. I was a little surprised that the crowd was enthusiastic enough to give him some really loud cheers for his return, but somehow they managed it. Sure enough, Bob started with “Thunder on the Mountain” and I was expected the Watchtower to follow, since he’s been playing that pair as encores for the last several shows. But, I gotta tell you … probably what made my night more than anything was the delivery of “Like A Rolling Stone” … oh, yeah. It seemed personal and I loved it – “How does it feel?” I left asking that same question over and over again to the hapless talk-a-maniacs as the stammered back to their cars in the lot.
All and all, good times … wasn’t the best and certainly wasn’t the worst Bob performance. Vocals were good, he did his typical 3-song guitar playing and switched over to keys. Rather for me, I think it was too much ‘other’ distractions that perhaps skewed my opinion of the night. The audience was as lame as you could dreg up. Bob seemed to be in a ‘heavy’ mood and the sound, over-all, just seemed to lack a little “umpf” down there. But you know what? “How does it feel?” > damn good.
Waterhill, thanks for that excellent review.