Dylan & the Grateful Dead

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

11-17-09

48 Years Later

Dion led the oldies charge with Run Around Sue and the Wanderer. Dion was wearing a 1987 like Dylan-like get-up and two of his mates had the Cowboy Band wardrobe down. They were entertaining. At 8:46, Bob came out behind the organ for a romping Cats opener. Dylan selected fine wardrobe: grey top hat black trim, black leather suit, vest with silver buttons, red shirt and red stripes running down his black pants.

Back in New York City, forty-eight years after he was a hungry hobo with an acoustic, Dylan electrified the Untied Palace, Rev Ike’s fantastic concert venue/ church in Washington Heights. It was Christmas from the Heart as Dylan unraveled the two songs at the top of my list: Baby Blue and Hard Rain. During Baby blue, Dylan held his guitar perpendicular like he was blowing sax. Both classics were performed with clever, sparse arrangements, the focus was on Bob’s riveting vocal interpretations.

Strolling the stage with microphone in one hand and harp in other, Dylan did his Marlon Brando thing during Tweedle Dee & Tweeedle Dum. His singing posture and confidence is incredible. Chest puffed out and thumbs pointing and emphasizing his phrasing, his lead-singer phase is something that shouldn’t be missed. Donnie was on trumpet for Beyond Here Lies Nothing and banjo for John Brown. John Brown was weirder than I ever heard it before. Cold Irons Brown was defragmented and torn apart. I could get use to this powerful version which was put through the meat grinder. The focused, smiling band pounded it out. George Recile is the best drummer. It’s been seven years, did I spell his name right yet? Summer Days in the middle of the set is delectable. Po Boy was snappy on its heels

As I got off the C Train, I marched towards the Palace and listened to Ain’t Talkin. I yearned for it and Dylan delivered the haunting sermon. Thunder on the Mountain rattled the church. This was my third time seeing Sexton this tour – he keeps upping his game. I can’t say enough for Dylan’s vocals and showmanship as he strolled the stage and plays harp on the set ender: Ballad of a Thin Man. I don’t know what’s happening and that was my 101st Dylan show.