Monday, July 25, 2005

Watching The River Flow

Bob Dylan and his band played our town last night and I was fortunate to be there to catch the fantastic performance. The Man himself was in truly great form and his band is absolutely the best rockin' roadhouse country blues band you could ever hope to hear anywhere. My beautiful wife Linda and I were seated front row centre but we stood and grooved for the entire show along with everybody else in the joint. Certainly, the peerless song catalog of Bob Dylan adds an extra quality dimension to the overall impact of a show like Bob's, but anyone who has been seriously paying attention knows that Bob's bands this past few years have been the very best he's ever worked with at least since his touring days with The Band itself. This group, featuring long time Dylan bassist Tony Garnier and new Dylan vet, George Recile on drums, absolutely just smoked from the opening intro on Maggies Farm to the final encore closer All Along The Watchtower. The grooves were tighter than a gnats ass and an absolute joy to be a part of especially so close to the stage. You could read the signals going back and forth between Bob and the guys clearly from where we were which was of course directly in front of Bob and it is more and more evident that Tony has taken on a more defined role as the keeper of the keys now with respect to steering the ship with George. Bob Dylan is still the commander in chief however....not unlike the commander-in-chief of this world and...heh, heh...the one you can't see....and last night he was leading the charge yet again into that special territory that is truly profound and which once again solidly defines Bob Dylan's still growing legend as a consumate blues man, as a peerless songwriter and as a major worldclass performer of extraordinary power.

This was my first opportunity to witness a "piano" Bob gig. A transition he made from playing guitars on stage three years ago shortly after we had caught his last gigs in these parts. I truly enjoyed this new presentation, especially on this nights gripping setlist. Bob played lots of harp on this date too alternating between his keyboard setup position and centre stage to wail the blues. He literally blew the room away all night. Just to note that one absolutely glowing review of this amazing concert from a local newspaper the next day called it the best concert of the year in these parts. The reviewer incorrectly wrote however that Bob performed "Moonlight" from his landmark classic 2001 album Love and Theft, but he actually did not perform that song in this show. He did however perform one badass, definitive rockin' blues version of "Lonesome Day Blues" from that album in the # 7 slot as well as his usual swing closer "Summer Days" from that same album.

Just to set the record straight.


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