Denver, Colorado

October 24, 2006

[Lynne Robinson], [Randy Dilkes], [Jan Angel], [John Hopper], [Pedro], [Jack Brockie], [Brian Doyle]

Review by Lynne Robinson

The line snaking around the block of the Fillmore in Denver last night,
proved that Bob's new record (chart topping!) had garnered him not only
accolades, but acolytes; a whole new bunch of fans! In all my years of
seeing Dylan live, I've never seen anything like the crowd last night in

We arrived at the venue just as the doors opened and being the stealth
warriors we are, found our way to the front in no time, with a spot on
the rail, right behind Bob. The security guys started to complain about
tardy Bob around 8.20 when he still had not showed, but we watched as
set lists were removed and replaced and were quite ready for an
unpredictable show by the time the band broke into Absolutely Sweet
Marie - long my personal fav Bob show opener since back in the day when
he'd use it alot. It suits the first slot, and last night's version was
a rolicking carny tune; Bob singing with conviction, "To live outside
the law, you must be honest."

Right away it was clear we were not getting the formula in Denver. Senor
was next - moody and foreboding with impassioned singing from Dylan. His
voice not as smooth as it was back in April when I saw him in
Albuquerque, breaking and croaking here and there, was still commendable
in that he is not slurring words - everything is as CLEAR as can be -
and he's really working with it and hitting some beautiful notes.

Red Sky was nursery rhyme lullabied to us before taking us straight down
the blazing metal highway Honest with Me was a mofo -- I swear Bob has a
metal band ! At times they rip like Zep!

Joey was a surprise and they didn't stop coming. I dunno bout all the
new fans around who were finally silenced from telling their whacked out
Bobtales to oneanother by the Master at the pinnicle of his game but
from my perspective,he is shining right now. I've seen Bob play for
almost thirty years and to watch him at work now is a huge gift. A
diamond as big as a shoe don't even measure up to this man in his full
musicality, taken completely by the music in the MOMENT, crafting
pictures outa thin air - disappearing into the song. There is nothing
left but the song. This is a fantastic band. I think it may well be the
best he's had and they so obviously love playing with him.

The songs kept coming and got better and better. Shooting Star, Wheels
and Masters, all incredible versions! Setlist aside and it was great,
Dylan is still not gonna get pinned down - not by his new fans expecting
to hear new songs and greatest hits, nor by old ones, like  me expecting
another, slightly modified version of the night before in San Diego.
Expect nothing and expect to be blown away. It don't get much better
than this out there on the Rock and Roll highway!

We are packing up now, heading back to beautiful Taos. There's snow in
the air, Halloween just around the corner and hot springs to hit along
the way!


Review Randy Dilkes

It is a beautiful evening to be in the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado.
For me, waiting in line to get into see Bob Dylan is one of the high times
of life. Tonight’s show is a very rowdy, no seats, pack’em in adventure
with no opening acts. Right to the “bang”. Nag Champa by the bucket load
fills the air. The show is already 20 minutes late and the rowdy
elbow-to-elbow, sold-out crowd just became louder. Lights out. Getting
louder. The big push forward. We’re center stage, 15 feet back, hot and
sweaty, and we’ve got a “fever in our pockets”. Could it be, obviously,
absolutely, Sweet Marie. Fantastic opening number only to be followed by
an equally fantastic Senor. Where are we headin? Stuck Inside of Mobile
Under the Red Sky. Nice thoughts, nice songs. Honest With Me rocks a
little harder every time I hear it. Now it’s time to reach into the bag
and pull out a gem. Out comes Joey all jazzed up and modern. Modern Times
next with Workingmen Blues #2. I really feel this song. Does anyone think
Grammy? I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight gave me visions of a cowboy night in
Colorado. This Wheels On Fire, so is the audience, so is the band. George
Recile is a brilliant drummer and moves the band along with near
perfection. I’ve been a professional drummer for over 40 years and George
knows his drum kit very well. Donnie Herron looked like the student
studying the Master’s every movement. Stu has been shuffled to the back of
the band behind Bob. Denny Freeman with some fiery lead guitar lately and
Tony Garnier like a rock. Oh please, oh great ones is there another gem to
pull out of the bag. How about Shooting Star… tonight. WOW! The new deluxe
CD came with a bonus DVD with videos from four classics, including Things
Have Changed, so every time I hear this I picture Michael Douglas singing
and Bob Dylan driving the car. Check out the Wonderboys. The final songs
of the main set are coming… is there time for another gem, oh please,
please. The words alone in Master’s of War are so strong but to have Bob
Dylan sing them to you makes you think that maybe we can change the world,
once again. The final song of the set was another surprise. Not Summer
Days but a thunderous version of Rollin’ and Tumblin’. Could this be the
new closing number? The band leaves the stage and the heavy heart pounding
crowd surge forward, screaming for more. Encore. The noise is deafening
and the crunch to the stage is intense but worth it. Thunder on the
Mountain keeps the joint jumpin. Bob is laughing and having a fabulous
time tonight. Must be the altitude. Like a Rolling Stone gets everybody
singing and Bob is loving it with big smiles and laughter. He is amused by
us. Bob tells us a story about being a star and going to any restaurant in
town and gets his dinner for free and then something about him managing a
restaurant in Denver. If you heard the story better, please relay it to
us. Band intros and the classic All Along the Watchtower to end the a
spectacular show with a fabulous collection of songs. One of my best shows
in 40 years… Absolutely sweet, Bob. See ya at the next joint.

Randy Dilkes (the Doc)


Review by Jan Angel

Bob, Tony, George, Stu, Denny and Donnie were in impeccable form. This
sold out  Denver venue, the Fillmore, is small compared to the Pepsi
Center or Coors Event Center where Bob has also played previous years here
in Colorado. The capacity is only a few thousand people and the sound is
not lost as in those enormous venues. There are seats to the sides but the
majority stand packed in the center ballroom floor. We arrived 3 hours
early and found a good spot by the stage and were fortunate to be able to
see Bob clearly. A couple next to us had waited in front for 10 hours. A
number of people told us they came from other states. The audience
represented all ages with lots of teens rocking all around us who knew
many of the lyrics from Modern Times and other songs.

The sound quality of the band and Bob's vocals, harp and piano were rich,
mounting and driving. The acoustics in this intimate venue were excellent.
The crowd consumed every note, gesture and lyric with immense
satisfaction. Bob was energized and engaged from the start.  A night of
sheer delight as Bob and the band seamlessly and perfectly fueled the
crowd's mounting exuberance song after song. Sound and delivery was on the
mark and the interaction between the band members was spontaneous artistry
in the making. We could enjoy this aspect because we were standing up
front. This is a venue that would be perfect for a concert DVD because of
the acoustics and the intimacy between the band and the audience.

The final bow met with an earthshakingly loud and long applause. Bob seems
uncomfortable when he stands out there (at the end) but the crowd was
clearly unwilling to let him go. They embraced him and the band with
thundering heartfelt appreciation. It was moving. People were deeply
stirred; an indescribable moment. 

It was natural to wonder, as things quieted down, if the height of this
man's illustrious career, in 2006, is now just beginning? The younger
force of fans introduce a powerful new element that has little care or
attachment to the past.  

Many, many thanks to Bob, Tony, George, Stu, Denny, Donnie and the lively,
rocking audience. A terrific event at a superb venue.



Review by John Hopper

The line outside the Denver Fillmore auditorium grew in congruence with
the anticipation for the most intimate venue of this years fall tour.
Before the crowd knew what hit 'em there was only smoke and steam
remaining on the tracks as Bob and his band blew thru the Rocky Mountains.
The band opened with a foggy rendition of Absolutely Sweet Marie followed
by a clarified version of Senor. Already, the nites song selection was
shaping up to set the stage for an epic evening for the band and the
audience. The first 2 songs broke the fog as the band worked through
blocky approaches to the bridges of SIMWMBA. As the evenings set list
jacked up, the band cleverly seduced the crowd with a silky version of
Under the Red Sky, followed by a dynamic triad of of set twisters Honest
with Me, Joey and Workingman's Blues. The harp solos, guitar leads and
keyboard rhythms offered the crowd a most crystalline sonic production
rarely seen at a Dylan show. The nicely performed IBYBT and This
Wheel's on Fire set us up for another long desired tune-Shooting Star.
Although its been said and read that this rendition was 'dour' - the West
Elk crowd rejoiced in this all too special opportunity to listen to Bob
give it up for the High Country crowd, making the turn for Things Have
Changed to become the perfect chaser. Yes, we miss the 20+ song sets Bob
put together in recent years, but the warmth and intent appeased the
crowd as the predictable denoument ensued. Thanks again to Bob and the
band for bringing us up when alot of the world is down.  

John Hopper
Crested Butte


Review by Pedro

I was almost "caught without a ticket and discovered beneath the  
truck."  Luckily I emailed Bob on his myspace account and begged for 
mercy.  Sure enough, I went to Bob's site Tuesday morning and 
miraculously there was a ticket made available for a SOLD OUT show.  
Simple twist of fate?  This was a hot ticket for sure.  A week prior  I
was looking on Craigslist and people were scalping for anywhere  from
$120-200 per ticket.

The crowd was primed in Denver town.  The burlesque show was in town  and
anticipated with great energy.  People were sitting outside the  Fillmore
anxiously at 10a.m (as my wife drove by) waiting for their  piece of floor
space.  People playing cards & doing Tai Chi as I  drove by at 2 p.m.  The
show was general admission with no opening  act, so it was every man/woman
for themselves.  I have never seen  people lined up around the Fillmore
for a show.

After a few cocktails at Sancho's Broken Arrow with a few old friends  we
meandered in shortly after 8:00.  We hit the floor running and  pissed
people off who'd been waiting for hours to get in.  What is  the essence
of general admission if you can't stake your claim?  The  crowd got more
and more dense as we got closer to the stage.  We made  it maybe half way
up the ball room floor.  We smoked some of Mike's  very potent herb that
conjured a flashback of Amsterdam.  Suddenly  paranoia, claustrophobia,
and dehydration kicked in simultaneously.   It was too late, we had to
stay put.  The band hit the stage late and  the Fillmore resonated &
vibrated with joy and anticipation.

Dylan and his band of troubadours came out in full fashion; side men 
wearing matching suits.  From start to finish the band played each  note
polished with full intention and  electric flair.  Opening with 
"Absolutely Sweet Marie" the band was off on a roll.  Tony and George 
drove the rhythm section like a Caterpillar D8 with a pulsing,  driving
upbeat tempo.

Things slowed to a subtle but smoking "Senor" (Tales of Yankee  
Power).  I couldn't help drawing on memories of Bob's good friend  
Jerry and the JGB's rendition of the song.  Bob's band injected a  
full dose of heavy rock fervor building each chorus.  I could hear  
gospel back up singers (in my head) repeating "Sen-or" after Bob sang  it
in each verse. I would love to hear Bob sing it with Shirley and Gloria
singing  backups.

"Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" was off the  
hook.  Bob was on cue for all 9 verses and the boys played it note  
for note.
Dylan quipped:  "he just smoked my eyeballs and punched my cigarette"

"Under the Red Sky" was a first time for me live.  The song moved  
along nicely in it's original form.

"Honest with Me" took on a slightly new form but maintained it's  
heavy metal drive.  People were moving and shaking.

"Joey" was another first for me; A gem reminiscent of Dylan and the 

"Working Man's Blues" drove the first set.  Definitely a smoker.   
Denny Freeman drove the song with his Austin Texas twang.  This and 

"Master's" were my favorite for the set.

"I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" nice swing feel.

"This Wheel's on Fire" was another first for me.  I found myself  
trying to decipher whether or not I'd ever heard it before.

"Shooting Star" was as timeless as the heaven it comes from.

"Things Have Changed" drove the crowd to lift it's feet and sway it's 
hips side to side.  Girls were screaming in my ear.

"Masters of War" was the best and most powerful rendition I have ever 
heard Dylan play.  Considering this followed "Things Have Changed" Dylan
still does care.

"Rollin' and Tumblin'"  a smoker to end the set.


"Thunder On the Mountain"  crashed another wave of intense energy on  the
tireless crowd.

"Like a Rolling Stone" brought us all home, to our human existence, 
humbled us all like a good revival show.

"All Along The Watchtower" the quintessential, raucous closer.

The whole show I was listening closely to Dylan's keyboard licks.   
The sounds were slightly 'new wave' sounding.
I was laughing at his antics.  I miss him playing his Fender  
stratocaster and harmonizing with Larry Campbell and Charlie Sexton.
Dylan's voice was strong and he clearly articulated each word.

A great show.  I believe it was my 9th since I started seeing him in 
1999.  Each show Bob has continued to forge his path and display his
renewed ambition in his long career.



Review by Jack Brockie

Desiring (Bob) Dylan in Denver.

I arrived at the The Fillmore at around 7:25 PM then went in and bought
my items from the merchandise booth then went up to the stage. The 
Fillmore reminds of the Big Easy in Spokane, Washington. At around 7:45 
the anticipation was growing then people were standing…at 8:00 PM 
nothing. Bob's people were still setting up the stage and the set-list was 
changed twice. Then they put Bob's lyric notebook by his keyboards. 
8:30 rolled around and still nothing. Then someone started talking with 
me and asked me to hold his place which I agreed to do then the lights 
went dim…and then…"ladies and gentlemen….BOB DYLAN!!!!!!!!!!!!" His 
band walked out and Absolutely Sweet Marie started up. Bob looked at 
the set-list for awhile and then went to the piano and started to play & 
sing. Bob looked tired and bored for the first 2 songs and fumbled some 
lines/lyrics. Senor started and he went back to the corner and talked for 
awhile and looked at the papers then went back and started to play and 
sing. I was happy he played Senor as I have not seen it live before. Then 
Stuck Inside of Mobile…amazing. I like the organ setting. Under the Red 
Sky I recognized right away and I was glad he played this song as it is 
one of my favorites as well.

When Honest With Me was played Bob loosened up and really got into it. 
When he started playing Joey the man who had talked with me earlier 
clapped hard and said "I've never seen him do this!" Bob was ON for 
Joey. This one a highlight for me. Great version and Bob was into it. 
Workingman's Blues was amazing. Near dead silence for this one as 
everyone was taking in the lines. Bob's voice was in top form for this one. 
Working Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan's blues. 
Then I'll Be Your Baby Tonight was played which was a great version of 
the song. Bob & Donnie really got into this one as well. This Wheel's On 
Fire was a nice surprise. Bob's voice is really ON and he has gotten better 
and better with his wording and phrasing since the 2005 tour which was 
amazing as well.

Shooting Star was absolutely superb. This was an excellent song and he 
sang this one great as well. When Things Have Changed rolled around 
Bob was really having a blast! I liked how the stage was setup with Bob 
in the middle and Donnie right beside and behind him as I really like 
Donnie as well and I was able to watch them both.

Masters of War was totally out of the blue for me as I was not expecting 
it tonight. Amazing rendition and we were having fun with this one.
Then Rollin' and Tumblin' started. I was excited as I was hoping for new 
songs. This one was really great. I thought it was a little rushed through 
though, but they are still working it out and it was totally amazing. 
Modern Times is fantastic. I hope he sings all of the songs at least once 
for this tour. The crowd roared for this one.

Then Bob and the boys left for awhile. Someone next to me said "I hope 
he plays some older songs" and I thought in my mind 'old songs; we want 
the new stuff!'. It was 9:59 PM when he left the stage…then they came 
back to the stage and BOOM! BOOM!

Thunder On The Mountain. Amazing!! This was fast as well, but was very 
strong and Bob was really into it. I loved this song as well. Then right 
after…the band didn't pause…"Once upon a time…" the crowd loved this 
one as well. Then Bob introduced the Band and mentioned all the good 
restaurants in Denver which was great. Then All Along The Watchtower! 
Great version.

I was hoping for Nettie Moore, but not tonight which was alright. This 
concert was amazing.

Bob was in black with his cowboy hat and he had 2 diamond rings one. 
One on his right hand and one on his left. It took awhile for him to warm 
up, but when he did he looked like he was having fun. He exchanged nods 
of approvement and smiles to Donnie a lot as well as Tony and George. 
Great concert. 2 Desire songs; 2 of my favorites and of course the MODERN 
TIMES songs.
The band sounded great to me. Denny took his solos. I do not mind the 
band. I like this band a lot. They have improved from last years tours as I've 
mentioned, but improved is not the word for it; they have gotten Better. 
I miss the background vocals on some songs, but Bob is my favorite and he 
is who I pay attention to.
Good Night!!:)


Review by Brian Doyle

The Fillmore Auditorium is located right on the Corner of Colfax and
Clarkson in a neighborhood that Bob would be quite familiar with. For you
trivia buffs, Colfax is the longest running Avenue in the United States
from East to West and I guess you could say that the venue is in the
epicenter of the avenue, and the venue is old, formerly called “Mammoth
Gardens”. Many acts of fame have played it, and I think my most memorable
shows were the Dead shows on April 24th and 25th in 1970, followed by a
most delightful The Who on June 9th, 1970, though that seems like such a
long time ago and as a young man never thought I would be back in the same
building 36 years later listening to the greatest rock and roll person in
the short history of a very long subject, Mr. Bob Dylan. This marked Bob’s
fifth appearance since it was renovated into the Fillmore. Many splendid
acts have played since the 1999 renovation including Jacob Dylan and the
Wallfowers, the Strokes, Phil and Friends, David Bowie, Paul Simon, and
way too many others to mention. It’s worth the time to just check the vast
photograph memorabilia that grace the walls. Bob’s poster from 1999 (the
cool one that’s red with the bird on it) still sits on the rear wall under
the balcony when you enter and turn left. That show was the best (Bob
show) until tonight at the Fillmore as Bob had a surprise show there in
1999 and Paul Simon showed up even though he was not announced. I know,
old news for the diehards but like Bob I tend to write for the people in
the back, or the ones who never have been to a show before. I guess that
on any given night as much as one third of the audience fits those shoes.
(It was basically a warm up show for the tour that started in Colorado
Springs and then Denver, and the last time that Bob played the old
McNichols arena that was torn down shortly after that show) Bob stayed in
the area frequently back in the day, and the infamous “Hotel tapes” were
laid down just blocks from the Fillmore. Then, not far away, Bob strayed
into the Denver Folklore Center and is rumored to have played a few tunes
one night, but no one seems to remember just what he played. Kerouac made
the Colfax scene pretty well known when Bob followed the path of the
Beats, and learned first hand the meaning of Denver being called the
“Crystal City”. There is so much more Dylan history in Denver that I will
at some point share but I should consider giving walking tours of the many
places that hold memories for old time Dylan fans, and there is nothing
like calling Denver your home. I think Merle said it best last year when
he opened for Bob here at the Fillmore” If God doesn’t live in Colorado he
must spend most of his time here”. I told people that the show tonight
would be special, mainly because there was no opening act, but also
because I just had a hunch based on his other shows here that he would do
his best to knock the socks off the place, like the 12 minute Desolation
Row he did last year, or the 1999 show when he played his first duets with
Paul Simon. Security was tight as usual ever since the demented fool fired
a gun into the upper bar area from the floor a few years ago, and it still
at large as they never did catch the moron. Too bad, it was once one of
the most gate friendly venues in the world, and now it’s still friendly
and all, but takes a long time to get through the checks if you have to.
The lines were already very long hours before show time, but tickets were
easy once the scalpers could not get their asking $150 so plenty of
friends were inside for less than face value. So, once inside I elected
against the rail where I have been hanging, and went to the usual sweet
spot in the center FOB. (I really don’t do the rail thing, just sounded
good for giggles and grins) A few cohorts drifted in later and joined the
area, and we waited, and we waited, and finally 37 minutes later it was
time for Bob. I think the Set lists were changed three or four times and
later learned that they were even more unusual than what we got, but that
Bob at the last moment decided to tone them down so the place would still
be standing, and probably a request from Management to prevent mass chaos
and rioting. Recall if you will the night they played the Pepsi Center a
few year ago and were actually playing the instruments with their feet.
The thin air in Colorado always gives Bob the Colorado Mountain High,
perhaps not the same one that John Denver sang about, but you know,
whatever it takes. The night certainly proved to be most spectacular and
the most energized I had seen of Bob lately. Much more into the whole
thing than the tail end of the summer tour shows I was able to catch,
which were good, but nowhere as intense as what was about to unfold this
evening. There was a definite sound problem that was not solved until
midway through the show as the mix was muddied and at some points crumbled
from the sound pressure. It was a noisy crowd, as typical of the Fillmore
as it really is more like live music in an oversized bar, but usually very
good sound emits from the place without fail. On the down side the crowd
is always way too talkative, the liquor tends to flow a bit too freely,
and I have witnessed many ugly incidents as a result. The intro is short
this night, no “Fanfare for a Common Man” before the “Hoedown”, and the
usual not so tongue in cheek report intro from Al even seemed a tad
hurried, I suppose mainly due to the late start time, and then: ABSOLUTELY
SWEET MARIE! It begins and the crowd is stunned or stupid, no middle
ground except the mouths that dropped to the floor as one of the best
openers bent the joint and was rendered in full voice and with lust. The
sound mix was not quite right as stated and even distortion during the
opener, and that could have explained the lengthy delay in opening. (I
think now that is about as late as I have seen Bob come on past the
announced time). The band is all over it and Bob is in bliss, his voice
just ragged enough to cut the diamonds, and pure fervor on the keyboards.
We are just as astonished as Bob seems to be, very dapper in his black
western suit and hat, and surely looks well rested from San Diego. The
band was a little more squeezed together due to the small stage at the
Fillmore and I think the huge stacks Bob uses are a bit too much for size
of this venue, and the sound was very loud. I am certain that in spots we
were easily getting well over 130 decibels but the vocal microphone was
definitely a little higher in the mix and Bob’s voice came through loud
and strong. His voice tonight was magnificent, the rough gravel and the
new tenderness of the Modern Times songs worked magically. SENOR just
stuns the guns and Bob is basically hitting the deep notes and taking
chances, and they all seem to work. It’s a different sounding version, I
would say less “dramatic” and perhaps a bit more snap than the usual, but
a real gem anytime you get that one in the package. It’s clear to me that
Dylan has the voice of a matured professional, and not at all waning or
worn out. It’s got that blues grovel that buries in your mind and your
heart, and of course, the words, they always pierce like the lance and
humble us reminding one that we are so fortunate to be living in the times
of Bob, and not recanting a single moment. Bob’s not only overturned the
tables, at this point they should have summoned the police to place him
under house arrest for arson, the place was ignited and on the verge of
explosion. I could have made a strong case that STUCK INSIDE OF MOBILE
somewhat brought the crowd back to their senses, but it was way too late,
and Bob and his band were so perfect in execution that it’s shameful the
event was not recorded by Sony for future live release, it really was that
good. I could not believe the familiar chords to UNDER THE RED SKY and had
to shake myself most violently to awaken from what I thought was a dream
state. The grown up happy and then sad Nursery rhyme evoked a feeling of
lost childhood and really, I almost felt like a 6 year old boy listening
to an uncle singing me “This old man”. If I had only had a Viewmaster to
click from frame to frame as the story unfolds. It’s a personal favorite,
not really sure why, there are many more deeper songs in the catalog but
this one never fails and tonight, Bob was the man in the moon to be sure.
I was stunned to hear HONEST WITH ME at this point in the show, and though
there are times it got very old, it was very warm and welcomed this
evening. I kept thinking what the hell is that song doing here, but you
know, it worked and the delivery was exceptional. This seemed to be the
point in the show where the mix was corrected (though a discerning rumble
was evident in the more bass pronounced portions through the entire show)
and Bob was very concise and error free throughout the personal deliveries
rendered rare for our pleasure tonight. I think the band itself was
startled when Bob began JOEY, (it almost sounded like the beginning chords
to Isis till it quickly went north) and I must say, this arrangement was
most different than what I had heard, much faster tempo and vamp choppy
and not hanging on the “Joey” portion, just jetting it along like a
stealth submarine that was gliding through the waters and propelled
swiftly by the master. His keyboards were right there and the vocals,
well, just an amazing blend of the whole band. Sort of odd for a Cowboy
band don’t you think? I suppose this was all just a set up for the new
material and WORKING MAN’S BLUES #2 was the highlight of the shows
incredible renditions, and just so touching. Dylan was poignant and on
target, and the song is an embodiment of the entire “Modern Times” album,
and I may be wrong, but I believe one of Mr. Dylan’s finest studio
projects ever. It’s the sort of thing I think that he wants to be held in
time for, and escapes the clutches of the sixties with dignity, respect,
and pride in the work he is only in the middle of.  That’s not to say that
his entire catalog is not of equal historical significance, but these are
the songs that his Mama would have been proud of, and rightfully so, still
on the streets and still taking chances, never content with what’s been
done, but aiming for what is not. The lyrics and music of Modern Times are
complex, but very well recited throughout the performance. That’s always
been my appeal to Bob and many thanks for bringing this one session to
vinyl, or CD as some prefer. It was clear that Bob was poised with the new
stuff, and paying extra attention to getting the nuances and delivery just
right. I’LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT was the more familiar arrangement and of
course, well delivered and well received. The organ did have a sort of
circus or ballpark charm, but very sweet indeed. Dylan shifted gears with
an amazing THIS WHEEL’S ON FIRE, perhaps an illusion to the timbers
smoldering in the distance of the Fillmore as the place was already burnt
to the ground and the ashes that remained t were about to be rekindled as
the show must go on, and did it ever. SHOOTING STAR soars across the room
and the meteoroid surely landed somewhere far down Colfax as the song
placed me in another time and another place and I swear my soul drifted
down somewhere I can’t even remember, except that is was a good place, and
I was in peace in this small fraction of time, and immersed with voice
that was lulling back, back to somewhere that perhaps I did not want to
go, but forced to go nonetheless. Now, I just can’t rub my eyes anymore,
it’s the real deal and I just heard Shooting Star and Under the Red Sky
the same blessed evening, That’s like getting a Royal Flush and not even
knowing how to play in a poker game, same sort of luck you know. THINGS
HAVE CHANGED is always the song it seems like Bob throws out there when he
is in a really good mood. Maybe they played Poker all night on the bus and
Bob didn’t have to pay the band a dime tonight, that might make one happy.
The song is really a good follow up to the rest of the presentation this
eve, it’s true and maybe the world will explode (though I have never
actually found a passage in the Bible that states that) Bob really seemed
to emphasis the “things have changed” portion of the song, and certainly
this “Wonder Boys” is more a statement of accomplishment for fitting the
movie just so perfectly. I kept imagining that I was watching the
wonderful video that spoofed the film a bit, but great stuff tonight.
MASTERS OF WAR is tender and caring and a plea to end the insanity of war,
and the folly of more killing, and despite it’s age, the war machine seems
more tuned up then ever. Bob is looking at the audience tonight and almost
staring, but having fun as he smiles so shyly at the conclusion, you know
that grin, the winning grin that makes Bob special. The song is somber and
the crowd is a little disrespectful in the ongoing banter and chatter that
marred some of the more quiet and tender moments of the show.  ROLLIN’AND
TUMBLIN’ is really something live, and I suspected this was not going to
be the closer for the set, but indeed it was .It reminds me of a tumbling
weed you watch roll and tumble it’s way down the road, but still with some
purpose and symmetry to it’s path. It was masterful to put the song in the
final slot, it’s really where it belongs, and without summer days in the
list, can’t argue that one from my end anyway. It is much more energetic
and sparked played live than the album version, and very similar to what
he did with Summer Days following it’s studio version. I never imagined
that this would end the set as I said; I just figured that we were going
to get and extra song or two since there was not an opening act here. It
really rocks well, and the band is very intent on getting the song moving,
and paying even more attention to getting the tempo and sound to resonate
the walls that have long tumbled into pieces that surround the stage, the
room is full and it’s a honky tonk sweat bar for the Cowboys and Cowgirls
to water down. It swelters to an end and sadly; in the blink of an eye Bob
and his band have exited into the darkness to rousing applause. I was
intent on reading or listening to any of the previous show so I could give
my unbiased opinion of the new material and I loved it. Critics that pan
Dylan have always seemed intent on badmouthing just for the sake of that,
and in general know little of Dylan other than a few listens of greatest
hits or such. It’s encore time and a good time to catch your breath for
the finale. They emerge three minutes and four seconds later for the
conclusion. THUNDER ON THE MOUNTAIN seems to have taken the slot for first
song of the encore, and it’s terrific. I love how the song opens and then
just takes off like a 747, and Bob cooks the heat to boiling point without
even breaking a sweat. Its fast paced vocals are amazing. LIKE A ROLLING
STONE devours the remnants of the building and then Bob begins the band
introduction with a small Bob talk twist. I guess it just ain’t a Bob show
with this gem, and then there are those that have never heard it live, so
kudos for Bob being able to play this for three or four thousand times and
still keeping it hot. He talks this evening and says “we are a little
tired because when you are a famous person you get to eat in a lot of
places for free and the band didn’t eat for two days so they took
advantage of a lot of good restaurants here in Denver”, this just before
he introduces the band and sadly it was a little muffled from the stage
and I don’t think people heard his little attempt at a joke, but who
cares, and then ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER blasts from the stacks and brings
the show to a thunderous closing, it’s been sweet, and Bob and his band do
the lineup on stage right, and Bob is happy to see a crowd that has gone
completely over the edge this night. I can’t really describe the general
euphoria that filled the Fillmore tonight, indeed a triumphant return for
Bob and his magical band, the cowboy band, but more the lending hand to
the Maestro of the night, Mr. Bob Dylan. I think I have been fortunate,
indeed all of us, to have been in this moment of time. It’s a good time to
be a Dylan fan, and good and almost astonishing time(s) for Bob as well.
Let’s not forget the 25 XM radio shows he has under his belt and glory of
the documentary “No Direction Home”, nor the heralded “Chronicles” and the
movie “Masked and Anonymous”, and now “Modern Times” all squeezed together
within a few years. If you can, get a ticket for a show from the “Thunder
on the Mountain Tour”, more of “Modern Times is bound to debut, and the
shows are just fantastic. I thank God I have been fortune enough to see
Bob and enjoy the prime of his career. So, again, God bless you Mr. Dylan,
and you struggle to find the narrow gates of heaven may your pastures be
of plenty and thank you for touching the hearts of many, the minds of
most, and the souls of the rest.

Brian Doyle


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