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Bob Dylan concert review - October 5, 2009, Seattle, WA
PA Times | 10/6/09 | pissant

Posted on 10/06/2009 11:41:42 AM PDT by pissant

Well, this was about the dozenth time for me seeing Bob Dylan live in concert. Starting with his tour in support of Slow Train Coming in 1980 at the Paramount Theater, I've generally made the effort to see the Bard from Hibbing as he passed through the NW. Best show: a triple bill with Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell in 1998 at the Columbia River Gorge Ampitheater. The worst: Dylan touring with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as his backup band in sometime in the 1980s. Unbearable, frankly.

Fortunately, Dylan has since decided to tour with his own crack bands, and has been on a Never Ending Tour since the late 1980s.

Last nights show was darn good. It featured the return of guitarist Charlie Sexton to the band (replacing Denny Freeman) and Charlie's energy seemed to inspire Bob, based on the interplay the two had all night long. Many of the songs were the same as from the previous night's "rehearsal" show at the 1300 seat Moore Theater. This was my first show at the (soon to be renamed, I'm guessing) WaMu theater. The WaMu is really just a large exhibition hall that they roll bleachers into and hang curtains to make it into a 'theater'. Not particularly inspiring, to say the least. The good news was they did serve drinks in the lobby. The better news was that the sound was surprisingly decent. The bad news, if you want to call it that, is my wife and I thought we had seats reserved, but in fact, we had general admission (despite seat #s on the tix) so we had to stand in the cavernous floor area. (Wife is short, so not good for her viewing)

The show kicked off at 7:45 with an aggressive, stomping version of Slow Train's "Gonna Change My Way of Thinking". I doubt most folks ever heard of this tune, but it is one of the gems from Dylan's overtly Christian period (Which Don-O wrote about yesterday here on FR).

Next up was "Lay Lady Lay" with Bob on guitar. A bit louder and infinitely gruffer than the delicate studio version of Nashville Skyline, it was done well and was well received.

Then they launched into the chugging "Beyond Here Lies Nothing" from this years Together Through Life (TTL) album. Dylan was center stage with just his Harmonica which allowed him to really concentrate on the vocals. A fine version of just a so-so song, IMO.

Same for the next song, 2006's "Spirit on the Water" with Dylan on organ. Well played but more a filler to me. But for some reason the crowd seemed to enjoy it.

Bob returned to center stage with just his harp for a raucous version of 2002's "Honest with Me". For me, one of the highlights, as the band really slammed it hard and Dylan was highly animated.

Bob guitared back up for 1964's "I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)". Dylan's vocals, as gruff and hoarse as they are these days, were excellent. I enjoyed this version.

The best was next. Keeping his guitar on, Bob and the boys played, for the very first time live, TTL's "My Wife's Hometown". The tune is an old Willie Dixon blues stomp, with Bob's new funny-dark lyrics. They hit this one out of the theater, and Dylan's ragged voice was a perfect fit.

Next up, with Bob back on organ, was the rollicking "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again". Seen it many times live, seemed to please the crowd, especially due to the extra guitar umph that Sexton gave it.

The 'sparest', most intimate song of the night was TTL's "Forgetful Heart". The band quietly played acoustic guitar and bass (and congas?) while Dylan sang and blew harmonica at center stage. He put alot of effort into it, and it received one of the best ovations. Also the shortest song of the night, by far.

They quickly returned to rocking the place with TTL's "If You Ever Go To Houston". I like this texas romp song on the album, and I've seen Youtubes of it live from his summer tour, but this was by far the best version he's croaked up. And everyone on the floor was grooving.

Next up, "Highway 61". Loud, rowdy, and great, as usual.

Next: TTL's "I feel A Change Coming On". Many folks must have purchased TTL, because they responded very well to this soulful groover when it started. They nailed it this one.

"Thunder on the Mountain" from 2006's Modern Times was next. A fun, loose rocker, but the best reason for playing it is to let the band roll hard between the quickly spit out verses.

The final song before the encore was "Ballad of a Thin Man". Great version. They changed the lighting to a eerie yellow for this song and Dylan really hammered the lyrics and his harmonica. Couldn't help but think he was singing about Obama on it. LOL.

The encore consisted of the ancient but crowd pleasing "Like a Rolling Stone", the new Texas rocker "Jolene" and a powerful Hendrix-ish "All Along the Watchtower" which left the crowd wanting more. But that was it.

If you are not familiar with the evolution, or devolution, of Bob's vocal abilities, you'd probably not be impressed with his singing. But if you understand what he's doing to work with what he has left for vocals chords, you would be impressed. I was.

Very, very few in popular music, in my book, have pulled off what Dylan has. He has managed to stay not only relevant, but has made some of his best music in his latter years, despite having the gold standard of his early and mid career masterpieces for critics and fans to compare. Have the Stones released a great album since 78's Some Girls? Has McCartney made anything close to his Lennon collaborations or early Wings pop? Where did Roger Waters' muse go? Or Ray Davies, or Pete Townsand's?

The Indian casinos have a regular smorgasbord of former hit makers from the 60s, 70s and 80s passing through, trying to squeeze a last nickel from their heyday years. Dylan's heyday started in 1962 as the snot nosed Woodie Guthrie wannabee on the streets of NY, and continues to this day as a 69 year old bluesy, grizzled troubadour who shows no signs of slowing down.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: bobdylan; missinglink
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
I met Dylan once at a party and he is completely opaque. He loves that image and says he wants to be known through his music and lyrics. I take him at his word.

I wish more rock stars would take this route.

Jack White seems the most intent on following the template. Taking his wife's last name and tacking III on the end. Sticking to the story that they are brother and sister even though the real back story is known.

Is it any wonder that Jack and Bob get along?
51 posted on 10/06/2009 4:30:25 PM PDT by Mr. Blonde (You ever thought about being weird for a living?)
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To: dennisw
The comment you quote by Wexler is harmless. I don't decry anyone's denying what I believe to be true. It's their prerogative.

I did mind the nasty way Wexler referenced Christianity in Schaffer's book. It just doesn't seem to be a two-way street.

52 posted on 10/06/2009 4:38:15 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

My interpretation of Wexler’s “he really believes this shit” is Jerry Wexler is saying it is just a passing phase. And truth be told Dylan has in fact oscillated a few times between Judaism and Christianity

When I see a Jew has become Christian I hope he does return to Judaism. Jerry might also have been thinking that. Wexler should not have used the word “shit”...you can substitute malarkey, jive or nonsense for that. You must remember Wexler was an atheist


53 posted on 10/06/2009 4:46:30 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: dennisw
I don't mind Wexler saying it (although I doubt he'd take kindly to the comment in reverse.)

It's the fact Schaffer put it in his book in the chapter on Dylan which seems to conclude with Schaffer's (faulty) opinion that Dylan has returned to Orthodox Judaism. I don't think he has, but that's not what Schaffer (and 90% of the music world) wants us to believe.

And truth be told Dylan has in fact oscillated a few times between Judaism and Christianity

His sons were bar mitzvahed long ago. He has a heritage just like we all do that should be honored and cherished. But I haven't seen any evidence he has returned to his Jewish faith. (And all evidence regarding Dylan should begin and end with his music which seems to be the only place he truly reveals himself, by careful intent.) All Christians could benefit from talking Scripture with Jewish rabbis. That doesn't mean they're all converting.

When I see a Jew has become Christian I hope he does return to Judaism.

If you're Jewish, I can understand that. And you spoke those words without rancor or insult. As my Calvinist husband reminds me, Jews don't organize and murder entire populations of men and women.

Jews argue. And I like to argue. 8~)

54 posted on 10/06/2009 4:56:53 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

I don’t mind Wexler saying it (although I doubt he’d take kindly to the comment in reverse.) .....................

You could not be more wrong. Wexler called himself a 62 year old Jewish atheist. If you said to him “What do you think of all that Old Testament shit” I think he would have said “It is comforting nonsense to many. I was brought up believing it”


55 posted on 10/06/2009 5:55:33 PM PDT by dennisw (It's not called the Wheel. It's called the Carousel.)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg
When I see a Jew has become Christian I hope he does return to Judaism.

If you're Jewish, I can understand that. And you spoke those words without rancor or insult. As my Calvinist husband reminds me, Jews don't organize and murder entire populations of men and women.

Yep I'm Jewish
The general attitude among Jews  is "the Jewish population is small so it's a shame to lose one to Christianity because we need all the Jews we can get"

Plus when guys say "shit" they don't have to literally mean "shit". It can mean nonsense or stuff

Guys say "Get your shit out of here" means remove your belongings. It does not necessarily denigrate those belongings

56 posted on 10/06/2009 6:02:46 PM PDT by dennisw (It's not called the Wheel. It's called the Carousel.)
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To: dennisw

lol. I know DOZENS of "62 year old Jewish atheists." Maybe tens of dozens. And they all happily joke among themselves about Judaism. But let a goy make a remark and they bleed just like Shakespeare said.

I don't blame them. I think that's understandable.

57 posted on 10/06/2009 6:07:16 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: dennisw
The general attitude among Jews is "the Jewish population is small so it's a shame to lose one to Christianity because we need all the Jews we can get"

I can understand that. Much of the world conspires to finish what Hitler nearly accomplished. Every Christian and every Jew should be on guard against that evil. It's all around us.

Plus when guys say "shit" they don't have to literally mean "shit". It can mean nonsense or stuff

Having had a father whose every other word was just as you write, I understand your point. I just think if the comment went the other way Jews would likewise take offense. I think that just comes with being in the minority.

58 posted on 10/06/2009 6:11:24 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: pissant

Excellent review pissant. Thanks for the post.


59 posted on 10/06/2009 6:24:57 PM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg

There must be some Jewish tribalism otherwise Jews would have ceased to exist long ago. Plus with only 14 million Jews in the world .....so I think (logically) you act a bit defensive. The big Jewish mistake is being defensive about Christianity when it must be Islam. The Israeli Jews know this better than the hot house flower Jews of America.

This country is so big and wealthy that you can stake out any absurd position and you will find thousands or millions that agree with you. So here you will find the leftist Jews saying the worst things about Israel. I would like to fly them over the West Bank and kick them out of the helicopter


60 posted on 10/06/2009 6:46:39 PM PDT by dennisw (It's not called the Wheel. It's called the Carousel.)
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To: dennisw
The big Jewish mistake is being defensive about Christianity when it must be Islam.

I agree. Christians' roots are Jewish. A Christian might even say a Jew's roots are Christ so there is an inextricable, God-ordained connection in the minds and hearts of most Christians.

The Israeli Jews know this better than the hot house flower Jews of America.

lol. As difficult as these times are, Americans still have it easy compared to much of the world. These days there is a growing list of people I'd like to "fly over the West Bank and kick out of the helicopter."

Taking reservations? 8~)

61 posted on 10/06/2009 7:36:18 PM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: pissant; potlatch; devolve; ntnychik; MeekOneGOP

Our friend here from Hibbing
said Bob Zimmerman in those days
"would serenade us in the auditorium
playing the piano and it was not what you would expect"

She retired unloading semi trailers
Her son came home from Iraq
And--Are you getting this Mister Hussein?

That poor, poor young man
put a bullet
where it should not go

So, Hey, Mister Teleprompter Man
Play a song for me
Mister Obama Hussein Buh-loke
Mr. mmm mmm mmm
How is it you don't choke

You've been with Professor Brzezinski
And Franklin Davis, too
You just need a little blow
to know just what to do

You've been through all
of Billy Ayer's books
All your slimy friends
are tax cheats, thieves and crooks

You can't get to the Watchtower
it's all Rush Limb-beau's fault
but Mister Soros
got your pay day in his vault

You're a fake, Jake
Y'better read the news
Y'never get by the Bouncer
Unless you pay His dues


62 posted on 10/06/2009 8:56:51 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hussein: Islamo-Commie from Kenya)
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To: PhilDragoo; devolve; ntnychik; MeekOneGOP; dixiechick2000
[You can't get to the Watchtower - it's all Rush Limb-beau's fault]

Lol, you have the gift of words! Here is a neat interactive site;

DESOLATION ROW

63 posted on 10/07/2009 4:01:45 PM PDT by potlatch
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To: potlatch

.

Bump

Dylan keeps on singing


64 posted on 10/07/2009 6:33:42 PM PDT by devolve ( . . . . . . . . . . Barack Hussein Obama mmm mmm mmm . . . . . . . . . . .)
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To: devolve

You need to check out my link, it is very neat.
I was never very familiar with Dylan for some reason.


65 posted on 10/07/2009 6:35:27 PM PDT by potlatch
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To: pissant

Well.....the recording of the show finally showed up.
Its a pretty good audience—I made you a copy of it and the 10/4 Moore Theater show.
PM me with the addy and I’ll drop them in the mail.

Peace!


66 posted on 10/22/2009 7:48:07 AM PDT by scott says
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