Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tom & Bob report

Took this past Monday off to recover from two major shows I saw last weekend: Tom Waits at the Detroit Opera House and Bob Dylan at Fifth Third Ballpark just outside of Grand Rapids.
Waits last played in Michigan a whopping 19 years ago - that '87 show was in A2 at Power Center, and it was astonishingly brilliant - so obviously I had high expectations when he hit the stage at the Opera House last Friday. Unfortunately, the show was more than a little disappointing. For starters, Waits had Duke Robillard on guitar, a fine blues player but way too conventional and unexciting for my tastes. The song selection was too weighted toward his recent albums, which meant we heard one dull, plodding song after another. Many songs seemed underrehearsed, which struck me as odd. You'd think 19 years was enough time for Tom and his band to run through everything a bit in advance of this show. He even started 'Get Behind The Mule' over because the audience's applause threw off his timing - first time I've seen an artist not able to deal with a crowd clapping along to a song - strange.
I'm happy to say that any disappointment about Waits was immediately forgotten after I saw Bob Dylan and his band put on another thrilling show last Saturday at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Opening acts included terrific sets by guitarists Jimmie Vaughan and Junior Brown, with Dylan playing a set that lasted around 100 minutes. No tunes from his about-to-be-released album Modern Times, just classic after classic (It's Alright Ma, Mr. Tambourine Man, Just Like a Woman, etc., etc.). Some of the Dylan's band were fairly new to the group when I last saw them in April of '05 at Detroit's Masonic Temple Theatre, but this ensemble has gelled into something pretty special.


Post a Comment

<< Home