Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dylan in Chicago 10-29

The Bad:

Chicago road construction made me miss Amos Lee and Elvis Costello, the opening acts. This article appeared a day too late to alert me: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=680091

I had to pay $26 for parking.

The Good:

The 4,000 seat Chicago Venue was the oddest place I've ever seen a concert. Nice intimate theatre setting. The ushers didn't even know where the seats were. First concert I've ever been to where I didn't come home smelling like smoke (of any kind).

Dylan's set list. If Dylan had died in his motorcycle crash in '66, he would have been regarded as nearly the legend that he is today, based on his catalogue at that point. So last night, of the first 10 songs he did, all were post '66. He ended up doing exactly two from '66 or before- "Highway 61 Revisited" and "Like a Rolling Stone." He did zero songs from "Blonde on Blonde" and "Bringing It All Back Home," and he did two from 1990's somewhat obscure "Under the Red Sky." This might annoy some people; I thought it was great.

Dylan's band has a nice "Western Apocalyptic" feel to it (my term). Some eerie, spooky songs included "Ain't Talkin'" and "Cry Awhile." "All Along the Watchtower" fits this category as well. But most of all, "Highway 61 Revisited" was transformed entirely from a light blues-based romp to a harbinger of the end of the world. Hey, if the rather meaningless term "thin, wild mercury sound" can catch on, there is no reason why the "Western Apocalyptic" term can't be assigned to Dylan's current live shows.

Amos and Elvis getting to duet with Dylan on "I Shall Be Released."

Despite this being my 11th Dylan show, there were still four songs that I'd never seen him do before.

The Rest:
The couple behind us came specifically to see Amos Lee. That's something you wouldn't expect.

It would have been oddly easy to sneak into the venue. We almost did so without trying.

Dylan was a little more animated than he usually is for band introductions, the only time he ever speaks to the audience. He identified Stu Kimball, a guitarist, as the drummer, and drummer George Recile as a guitarist. Then he said "Oh man, I don't know why I said that," and re-introduced them. Then he chided an audience member for having his cell phone camera on all night.

Hopefully he swings through Wisconsin next year. I haven't seen him in Wisconsin since 2001. And I'm guessing that I wouldn't have to pay $26 to park.


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