Denver, Colorado

University of Denver
Magness Arena

October 21, 2009

[Mike Smiley], [Storch]

Review by Mike Smiley

The show started as soon as we sat down and a rocking Stuck inside of Mobile
really got the show going. Then an off version of It Ain't me Babe but having
Charlie Sexton back made it worth the while. Beyond Here Lies Nothing from the
new album was well done and segued into You go Your Way and I'll go Mine and a
great version of Cold Irons Bound. Then Workingmans Blues #7 changed the tone
of the arena, it was done with Bob singing at his best, and the entire band
making this song sound fabulous. Next was High Water which was acceptable but
Bob was not in his best voice, but he came back with Spirit on the Water that
blew away both musically and in voice. Honest with Me was good to hear, and
about as expected, Man in the long Black Coat was great, Highway 61 rocking
version is always a great song, done well tonight, the next one, When the Deal
Goes Down was excellent. Thunder on the Mountain was a rocking great song, and
the last number before the encore, Ballad of a Thin Man, was moving, and was
one on my list of "haven't heard that one in concert" that I was glad to
see. Overall this was a great show that could have been promoted as the
'Charlie Sexton Show, Featuring Bob Dylan', and Bob himself was very animated
in his center stage singing and performing, in dong so he looked like he has a
new style. So good to see Charlie back in the group, and hats off Tony, Stu,
George and Donnie for their fine work as well. 


Review by Storch

Light down Show time. 

No matter how  ready you think you are for Dylan the first song is always 
a WTF moment.

Eventual , a couple of verses roll by, the fog start to lift and the first song 
becomes somewhat clear, and in Denver on a snowy night, the opening 
number found us Stuck Inside of Mobile, Again. One thing clear this band
has a whole new energy level, driven by Charlie Sexon.  What is Charlie 
doing hanging out with these guys? He don't even wear a hat! The first 
song out of the gate finds Sexton crouching down and searching his 
telecaster for that sound, refusing to let anything be taken for granted. 
Charlie, dressed defiantly different from the bob clone band. He should 
be hanging with the rat pack, not a cowboy band.

An early highlight, Bob on guitar for It Ain’t Me Babe. Bob and Charlie 
trading riffs standing side by Jerry type doodling going on, a really nice
moment.  Straight into Beyond Here, which started out as a great 
barroom vamp but seem to take a wrong turn and got a bit lost, still  
a great song that has a Masked and Anonymous / David Lynch feel.
Then You Go Your Way, made for a nice early double dip of 
Blonde on Blonde

But it was on Cold Iron Bound that the show kicked into gear for me.
Bob standing center stage, harp and that old school  crazy mic in hand ,
doing deep knee bends and  pointing  straight at us as with  Charlie 
couching nearby with the black guitar driving Bob on and raising the 
level, melting the ice in this collage hockey rink. 

After the roadhouse burn on CIB Bob took it down a notch but stayed 
center stage and focus on a tasty Working Man Blues. Bob's voice could 
have been clearer in the mix, but his harp playing more than compensated. 
this show is such a contrast from the last two Denver gigs which had 
very little (1 song?) of Bob stage center. I have a personal theory that 
Bob is morphing into a new skin and that skin is Dean Martin! As Bob said
on TTR “Everyone wants to be Dino”  Doubt my  theory? Witness Bob 
center stage crooning Workingman Blues, arms open wide, smiling face 
and even breaking a sweat ….Now don’t get me wrong I don’t expect 
to see Dylan jumping up the side of a piano to croon any time soon, but 
hey don’t forget the Christmas album, it could be pointing that way. 

After WMB’s the lights went down ( did I tell ya they had a minor light show 
even?) and in the dark I heard the Banjo tuning and yep we are getting  
High Water!  This song smoked! Sexton guitars dueling with Donnie’s
banjo with Bob keyboards too low in the mix in the middle, a CLEAR vocal by
Bob added to the great blues verse that seems to change into a bluegrass 
riff on the chores. This got the ever increasing crowd into it strong.

After that I needed the break that Spirit on the Water provider, The Modern
Times stuff provides a great ebb and flow to the show. Which flowed to 
Honest With Me. Tonight this song took on a savage beat with a riff straight 
out of Sly Stone’s I want to take you higher, hey, hey hey!   Again the vocal 
could have been clearer, but Bob's blazing harp work more than made up for 
it as he ripped up a solo that would do Charles Musselwhite proud. For me the 
highlight of the night! 

Man in the Long Black Coat, took me a while to pick up on what this song
was, and by the time I did it was over. The revisit of Highway 61?  The only 
thing that could of possibly made this song better was if I was sipping a
tall whiskey on the rocks. Truly music to listen to while waiting up for the 
end of the world.

After that, cool down again, Bob playing the roller rink organ and telling us that
indeed, he will be with us when the Deal Goes Down, very reassuring, what with
waiting for the end of the world and all.  I believe Deal Goes Down can be the 
Forever Young for the 21 st century. It make a great wedding song, I owe my 
heart to you, and that's sayin' it true And I'll be with you when the deal goes 
down. It may not be Our Love Is Here to Stay, but it’s not bad for 2010… 

Thunder OTM  Sexton‘s silver telecaster brought this song level up to a 11 
(that’s higher than 10) and then there is Mister Jones….OMG! 

This song alone is worth the 50 bucks! (not counting service fee).
Bob front and center wearing that damm hat calling us all Mister Jones,
ripping the cover off the world, while and Stu and Charlie pounding out 
that deadly riff on telecasters until the break, When Bob comes strolling in,
playinghis harp, totally sweet and innocent, strolling, walking in place like 
he’s walking away from the scene of the crime ,with this “who me? “ 
boyish look on his face. It’s truly great.

We are forced to wear earphone, We are Mister Jones ! 

After this I image Bob took a Biglow decaf green tea break.Which led to the
standard encore.  Its a bit reassuring to know what coming after the  strain of
trying to ID some songs ,even if it was some what easy tonight as it was a
pretty standard set list.LARS didn’t hit me. Jolene is a Real good blues song .A
song  made for BB King. I would love to hear BB sing as he pounds his fist in
his open hand … Jolene, Baby I am the King and you are the Queen. What a great
blues line and riff!Leading us to Watchtower. Bob was great on this song doing a
Joe Strummer type vocal spitting out the cliche classic  lines

All and all the best Dylan show I’ve seen in my short history of seeing Dylan. 
The fact is the entire band was on like I never seen them before. Special
kudos to George on drums Tony on bass for the director's cut of this review 
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