Fall 2012 - Caroline's Headin' For Another Joint Journal

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Broomfield, CO / October 29 & 30, 2012

Fun and Funner


I was beyond excited when TWO nights in Colorado were announced for this tour! The only other city with two shows on the tour being San Francisco, I felt honored and in good company. Excitement just grew with the securing of fantastic seats for both nights, woo-hoo!  And of course having the show closest to Halloween was a bonus, and we soon began to cook up some extra-special fun…but more on that later.


Of course we made fast plans for Kait to get on out to Denver as soon as the shows were announced.  I can’t believe it had been over a year since we’d seen each other!  All I will say about that is, far too long.  The fun started pretty much immediately upon her arrival Saturday, with a night out at our really good local Mexican restaurant, complete with pitchers of salty margaritas, waiter-comped “cucarachas” (http://www.drinknation.com/drink/la-cucaracha), and rally napkins as we ate, drank and watched the World Series.


We spent Sunday in a relaxing way, going out for a leisurely Bloody Mary breakfast, walking the dogs, more scheming for the upcoming festivities .  The next morning we got down to business for a bit as we had a fan club meeting to make some decisions with our web design team about our new site. Work before play, you know. Then it was down to a different type of business as we shopped for and began to create the accessories for our Halloween costumes.




Though Stu still strolls out playing before the rest of the band, the intro tonight leads into a tour debut for the opener:  I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight. OK! It’s a jaunty version with Bob at the organ leading the way as well as adding some carnival swirliness, and the rest of the band trotting along brightly behind him.  Bob seems in a good mood tonight. He lets out a big guffaw half way through the song, for no apparent reason but I guess it might be apparent to him.


A sweet Baby Blue comes next and is a highlight for me. Not only is it always one of my favorite songs to hear, tonight Bob gives it a lot of fills and accents on the grand piano, and his playing suits the song very nicely. It adds a whole other dimension to listen to underneath the sung melody, really nice. Maybe because he is concentrating on those piano fills, too, Bob’s singing is controlled and understated here in a way that suits the song nicely, too. A soft harmonica solo rounds it out.


After the one-two punch of what has become the usual, but always quite good, Things Have Changed + Tangled Up In Blue (Bob blows his lungs out on the harp solo), Mark Knopfler visits the stage for Levee’s Gonna Break.  I have to say it takes me a bit of the song to even notice, though, as transfixed as I am by Bob grooving behind the piano. I’ll note too that I’m exceptionally grateful at this point that this audience knows what’s up and has all been standing up for the whole show. Because, like, you’re gonna sit down for Levee’s Gonna Break? Bob sings the verses with great enthusiasm and pounds the keys, half standing, in between.  I look at Kait with approval and amusement as Bob sings, “Put on your cat clothes, mama” as she’s wearing her leopard print dress. Meow! We are treated to some more mysterious chuckles from Bob.  Before the last verse there is some extended interplay between Bob and Mark which is pretty cool (I think that’s when I actually realized Mark was there, haha).


Though we’ll get no songs from Tempest tonight, it certainly is a tempestuous run of songs, songs of storms and flooding, starting with Levee and continuing with Shelter From the Storm (YES!), High Water, and Hard Rain. Wowzers.  During Shelter, Bob seems to be experimenting with how he wants to sing it right there, live on stage, going way down in his register at the beginning of some lines and up at the end of others. His playing seems similarly searching, a staccato type piano arrangement that’s made more melodic by Donnie’s pedal steel and Tony bowing on the standup bass. I feel as if this is an arrangement in the making more than one that’s done, which makes it very interesting. Like being there at the moment of creation.  Interestingly enough, I feel the same about High Water. This song has seen numerous incarnations since it made the scene in 2001; I feel right now it is in between versions, finding its way to the next.


Hard Rain is wonderful, Bob attacks the song with great gusto, “I SAID it’s a-hard!”, building as he goes along to several crescendo moments, and echoing back (I think) to me when I’ve shouted, “Yeah!” at one point, “YEAH!” 

Probably the most gorgeous song of the night on the grand is Trying to Get to Heaven. Bob caresses the song with both his singing and playing. It’s actually almost more like he speaks the words in a lilting way, ending some lines in a whisper or a breath. A heartfelt performance with another really sweet harmonica outro, it’s probably my favorite moment of the night.


Into the home stretch of songs, it’s sad but less so than usual because we have another fun-filled night of frolicking ahead. Bob’s having a good time. At the end of Thunder on the Mountain he stands right up behind the piano with giant jazzhands, palms outspread toward us. Love that stance.




The pale moon rose in its glory out on the western town…


I don’t know quite what to say about going to the show dressed as Victorian lords and ladies aboard the doomed Titanic, except that it is weird and fun.  It took much of the day to get ready, particularly with the hair, which Kait did an impressive job of styling. I couldn’t really stop giggling as we’re headed to the show like this and it added quite another dimension to being at a Bob show. Other people liked it too, as we walked round and round the hallways of the 1st Bank Center before the show, as if walking the decks of the ship, conversing with the other passengers, waving bon voyage to those on shore, having numerous people pose to have their pictures taken with us.  Best of all, of course, is the point and laugh we get from Bob as they take the stage!


Tonight’s is a gorgeous show that includes some fantastic, welcome songs that I haven’t heard in a long time. Whereas some of the songs I feel are still finding their ways into new arrangements with the grand piano, and that’s not to say they are bad at all, just still searching for what they’ll be, Love Minus Zero is floors me in its complete perfection.  Bob’s singing is unbelievably smooth. The song flows effortlessly, with Bob’s piano playing moving it along at just the right tempo and the rest of the band performing their parts flawlessly and elegantly. It could not have been better.


We get some call and response with Things Have Changed, Bob making sure we are paying attention maybe… “Don’t get up gentlemen…why?!” and we dutifully call back as he pauses, “I’m only passing through!”


Visions of Johanna also features smooth, smooth singing and a rhythm that is gently rocking and flows so sweetly. Bob’s singing is exact and also playful, having fun from line to line with the cadence and holding notes where you wouldn’t expect him to. This is another arrangement that works very well with the piano and the rest of the band’s parts fitting into place very well.


Bob keeps em coming tonight, with an intense John Brown, always more timely and topical than we’d like, George Recelli beating out a war march behind him. Then right into Mississippi, yes! It’s a jaunty, up-tempo version and tonight we especially appreciate and applaud the significant line, “My ship’s been split to splinters and it’s sinking fast” and we wave our life preservers in the air. Good times.