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Bob Dylan, United Palace Theater, NYC: I know a place where there’s still somethin’ going on November 17, 2009

Posted by Anton A in American music, Bob Dylan.
Tags: ,

Bob Dylan and Dion: two New York icons appeared up at the United Palace Theater tonight. Dylan has been remarkably astute in his choices of opening acts in recent years.

I remember a friend expounding on Dion some years ago. It was a treat for me to see him for the first time last night. He opened the show at 7:30 sharp. He’s still in fine voice. We missed the first 15 minutes, arrived in time for a cover of Summertime Blues, a moody Abraham, Martin & John, a powerful rendition of King Of The New York Streets, & then extended versions of Runaround Sue and The Wanderer. He’s got a wailing sax man. His band is a bit like a small-scale version of the E-Streeters. Highly enjoyable.

Dylan was astounding, as always. Austin guitar whiz Charlie Sexton has replaced Denny Freeman, at least for this leg of the never-ending tour, & has completely changed the dynamic of the band. Before, the act was often reminiscent of The Band, with that sort of contemplative American roots sound. I liked it just fine, it had a solid place in the scheme of things. With Sexton, this round feels like Dylan back on speed & psychedelics. Sexton’s musicianship pushes Dylan to new levels of energy and the rest of the band to pick up the pace; do they ever respond. This was by far the most energized of the five Dylan shows I’ve seen in the last three years. Bob always brings his best to these year-end New York gigs but I never expected a show with as much fire as this one.

Setlist: Cat’s In The Well, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, Beyond Here Lies Nothin’, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, John Brown, Summer Days, Po’ Boy, Cold Irons Bound, If You Ever Go To Houston, Highway 61 Revisited, Ain’t Talkin’, Thunder On The Mountain, Ballad Of A Thin Man.

Encores: Like A Rolling Stone, Jolene, All Along The Watchtower.



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