That is not to say this was not a good show, but the band seemed to be having trouble communicating, and things just kept going wrong, From broken strings, to nonfunctioning guitars, to missing lead singers to just an obvious lack of communication, things just weren’t working in the band’s favor. This was not to say it was not a good show, we got some great songs and the venue was next to prefect, but you cant have everything all the time, I suppose.
The wait started off easy, with all of the first 5 folks having also attended the Tulsa show. We shared different experiences from different parts of the room, ands pent a good two hours making fun of Donnie’s facial expressions (which gave us a good laugh later that night at the actual show haha). The general mood shifted soon afterwards however, when no one could answer our questions about an “early entry” trick pulled the last time Bob and the Boys were there. The owner made an appearance, telling us to (thankfully) move the line to the shady side of the building, but otherwise, we dealt w/ a venue employee who bore a striking resemblance to Denny Freeman. A few times I caught myself wondering what the lead guitarist was doing up on a ladder messing w/ the marquee. Anyway, for some reason, I trusted this guy immediately, and felt that if he said he’d do something, he would actually come through for you. Venue employees NEVER giver you the feeling.
The rest of the day was a hot sticky mess… but at least we were in the shade. Our only real form of entertainment came from messing around w/ the roadies/merch guys, as they were forced to unload their wares in front of us. The line growth was slow and steady until the last hour or so, you all know how it is. What complicated things for us was that a torrential downpour was predicted and fast approaching; and the only shelter was a one foot wide awning directly above the door. So much for the line, and we still hadn’t had out questions answered.
While this frustration is nothing new to anyone who’s done GA before, what happened next was an incredibly welcome surprise. They took the first 100 people and shoved them into the bar. Still no line, still mass confusions, and tempers flaring. They wont tell us anything, so we assume this is just some other weird venue ploy to watch the pathetic little patrons scramble. But no.
They take the first 5 people, and they tear our tickets. They then walk us into the theatre. Us, and only us. The rest wait. There is no need to run as we each casually and calmly select our prime rail real estate and sit down. Then they repeat the process w/ the next 5, and the next, and so on and so on. We have time to enjoy the low, small stage, beautiful decoration and just general calm of what has been engrained in us as a hectic mad dash. I cannot thank them enough for the way they handled it!
They let everyone in early because of the storm, so we had awhile to chat w/ the folks around us. On a personal level, Blonde, DIA, and the lurker they brought w/ them (:P) are such awesome people. Its increasingly difficult to find fans who are enthusiastic, but also not insane. These folks are quite level headed. Easily risen to some of my favorite ER posters. Thanks!
W/ the extra time spent packed into the 2000 person venue, we got the chance to see its one major flaw; no air conditioning. It soon became clear that this would soon turn into a sauna. No one cared though, as they jumped to their feet to welcome the intro. Shadowy figures take their places on stage. “…Ladies and gentlemen, Columbia recording artist, Bob Dylan!”. The lights swoop up, Tony claps it off, the crowd screams, and……….no Dylan. The band continues on w/ the song (Leopard Skin), as if nothing was wrong (because, clearly what else can they do?). I shrug it off, the guys I paid to see play are all here haha. All of the sudden, Dylan comes flying on from stage left, leaping over random obstacles to take his place at the keys. Denny is on his Strat, but from where I’m standing (directly in front of him) it sounds like he’s having problems w/ it.
Baby Blue, perhaps my favorite Dylan song, was next. As I told the ER’ers out front, I was nervous to hear it, since I really wasn’t a fan of what they did the last time it got regular rotation. While I didn’t much care for the vocal stylings, the instrumentals were certainly nothing to scoff at. Rollin followed, and here it became clear that something wasn’t clicking. Denny’s slide was a bit lackluster, but no one seemed to be really on the same page for any of it. Afterwhich, Dylan made his first of many migrations center stage, to stand in front of George waving his hands (don’t know if that was a good or a bad thing) or to confer w/ Tony, or both, but whatever it was, he wasn’t able to get it acroos the whole show.
GONC was GONC; not a favorite, and at the rate these guys were going, nothing to write home about. High Water one again saw Stu taking lead duties. Nothing superbly special, but it got the crowd that much sweatier. Tony mimed the expected audience scream on the line mentioning Kansas City, but in actually, the crowd was less i=enthused about it then he expected them to be haha
I will admit that Chimes caught me completely off guard, I didn’t recognize it for quite some time. See comments for Baby Blue, though I felt Denny did more w/ this then Blue. Another song which I’d discussed out front was the amazing Til I Fell In Love w/ You from Dallas earlier this year, and while the rhythm boys weren’t able to get that same groove bcak tonight, it was pretty damn near close, and if you complain about hearing the great song, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars.
Hard Rain took me a minute to recognize as well. See High Water, minus Stu on lead. Honest cranked, as it always does. I wanta say Stu took lead on it too, but I’m writing this from the Park City line, and so it may have been Denny. I’m pretty sure it was Stu though. JLAW was nice, but I’m not a huge fan to begin w/. I was pleased to finally see Beyond the Horizon. Not Denny’s best performance of the song, but it wasn’t something you hold your ears on either.
Highway 61 totally belongs to George now, it is official. And Thunder was always Denny’s, nothing different tonight.
Denny had, sometime during the first few numbers, given up on his Strat in favor of the funky Gibson, but the roadie had supposedly fixed it in time for AATW. Guess he forgot to switch the strings though, as one went flying during a very nice solo. Not to be deterred, the boys finished out the night by blowing the eardrums of the sopping wet crowd, before sending them out to see what damages this reported doozie of a storm brought.
Reading this, you may think it was a sub par show, or that spirits were low, but that is not the case. It was not the tight knit group we have grown accustomed to seeing, that’s for sure, but they sure put on a hell of a show, and Dylan pranced about in front of the rails before encore before some mook snapped a picture.
Again, I must thank that guy who looked like Denny Freeman, and the owner of the venue itself, I look forward to seeing many shows in your establishment.