If someone asks me to imagine what a live Bob Dylan show will be like, I imagine Dylan playing an acoustic guitar. I imagine that he will have a small band – a bass player and a drummer – not too many musicians. I imagine him singing songs that are catchy, sweet and soft on your ears.
Well – i heard him on his "Modern Times" tour at the KeyArena, Seattle, and to say the least i was surprised with what i got. Dylan was accompanied by some fine musicians. Stu Kimball was on guitars, Tony Garnier "man who has played with Dylan more than anyone else" on bass guitars, George Receli on durms, Don Herron on pedal steel and Denny Freeman (used to tour with Taj Mahal) on guitars. Yes Dylan – to my surprise – was playing keyboards and not guitars.
Dylan started the concert with Maggies farm. I have read elsewhere that he plays that song almost every time but mind you – if you hear him play that, you will get goosebumps. The music was intense. Extremely intense. Dylans voice was deep. I’ll particurly remember Highway 61. That song exploded into your ears. The band was on a roll and his vocals were screaming into your ears. Yes – he was the same guy who i have heard a hundred million times on my stereo. He was enjoying himself out there and it will be an understatement to say that we were having a GREAT time. "Like a rolling stone" and "All along the watchtower" were two other songs that just rocked. "Tangled up in blue" was a gem and so was "Thunder on the mountain". I think you have to give full credit to his backing band as well. They were truly awesome. Bunch of really talented musicians you put up a really tight performance.
Earlier, Dylan had entered the stage running. I was impressed by his enthusiasm. I guess all these greats, legends are like old wine. They only get better with time. I wish i could have seen Garcia and the Grateful Dead live on stage. I guess i will have to make do with a DVD. 😦
Dylan – you rock!