skulls across america

music, this and that, etc.

Friday, October 12, 2007

11 oct 2007 - dylan + costello

Last night was a great night to be at the Peterson Events Center in Pittsburgh, as Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan brought their respective legacies to the stage and in the words of Grand Funk Railroad, they proceded to tear the whole place down.

Well, maybe that's a bit extreme, but they did put on a heck of a show. Costello was fantastic, and it seems like voice has hardly aged a year. He played a mix of old and new, and much to my surprise we got not one but three of the big hitters in Alison, Red Shoes, and What's so funny 'bout Peace Love and Understanding.

Dylan opened with Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, much to my surprise. However, the guy to my left called it before the show started. But he had a little more insight into things than I did, as it was his 100th time seeing Dylan, and only my fifth. Dylan and his band set the bar exceptionally high with the first six songs of their set, the highlight being Tangled Up in Blue in the fifth spot, done in a new arrangement from the past times I'd seen them play it. Gone was the clunky acoustic piece and corresponding emphasis from the band that over-powered the verses. Last night's version laid back in the verses and that made it stand out all the more as Dylan really sang out on the choruses. The sixth song began the more laid-back portion of the set as five of the next seven songs were from Modern Times- but in that sixth slot was Workingman's Blues #2, which I was thrilled to hear for the first time.

The next standouts were a rocking Highway 61, and then right before the encore, Ballad of a Thin Man.

The only low of the evening was the general malaise of the crowd, which was pretty shocking to me given how good Dylan and his band sounded. After the first song, the entire floor section sat but for a handful of folks, myself included (until about the eighth or ninth song in). Folks around me were getting crabby and complaining quite loudly about those of us standing... which would have been perfectly acceptable at a movie, but come on!!! It was Dylan and his cowboy band! If I'd had a couple of beers in me I definitely would have gotten myself into some kind of verbal altercation. As far as I'm concerned, its allright to sit if you're in the bleachers, or during a stretch of the new (mellow) songs, but that's it. The crowd in Fairfax last fall was rabid compared to last night... and its not like they played a much more rocking set that night - the second song was Senor! They did play a pretty long Modern Times block last night, but folks were sitting by the second song in.

Anyway, that aside, it was a great show. The 3rd row was fantastic - no need for the mini-binoculars at all.

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