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Dylan at Kool Haus in Toronto, March 21, 2004

February 23rd, 2011 · No Comments · Music

Bob Dylan

Long slow line winding around industrial waterfront of Toronto, on Lake Ontario, minus about 20 with the wind-chill, waiting to go into big square industrial box to absorb some very organic music.

Beers, you could smoke, and it wasn’t over packed.

He comes on about 8:35 wearing big white cowboy hat, and black western show suit.

First 3 or 4 songs his voice was raspier, more horse, scraggled, worn, shot than I’ve ever heard it.  First time age or the weather seemed to show in my nigh-on 20 years of Bob-hoppin.

Maggie – standard but real rockin and got the whole crowd right into it.  Very animated for Canada I thought

Lay Lady Lay – 2nd drummer (richie) joins, larry on pedal steel

kinda stunned, don’t know if I’ve heard it before, maybe once, loved it, country, that voice & vibe.  Really takes me back to another time.

Lonesome Day – this and others kept sounding like Leopard Skin Pill-Box;  rockin;  2 drummers works great – love the extra KICK.  huge applause, big rocker.

I don’t believe you – harp solo.  this sure sounded like Mostly Likely You Go Your Way . . .

Tweedledee beer run.

You Ain’t Goin Nowhere – nuther country peak, Larry back on pedal steel, harp solo #2, and p.s. the sound was GREAT.  Mind you we were in front of the board, but could hear every instrument at will.

Cold Irons Bound – the rock n roll frenzy highlight of the night for me – no greatest song, but greatest rock ride.   The dance part of the song & dance man.

It Ain’t Me, Babe – upright bass, larry on acoustic, always great o hear and all, but didn’t take me to that other place.

Watchin The River Flow – that got there – love it — trancy, transportive, more country rock theme and vibe

Tom Thumbs – tries harp solo, doesn’t seem to go, so it’s tres short.   But a great set so far, pretty perfect playing, NYC ending nice to hear, and coming at the end there was a nice hoot in this young New York.

Shooting Star – fourth, final and maybe best and longest harp solo;  only one drummer – pretty lively.

Summer Days – great silly rock n roll song, I call it “the Chuck Berry song,” I dunno.  Or his Jumpin’ Jack Flash.

goes off, still hasn’t said a word to the audience.

Rolling Stone – which I thought was great, surprised, how does he keep breathing new life into these after version gazillion-and-one.  (“I know, maybe it’s  how good the song is.”)  I’ve been a little bit homeless lately and there he was bringing it all back home, singing right to me.

intros band, into Watchtower – which, again, I was expecting to be bored by but just loved it and people were dancing and going for it.

Larry was smiling, good two-guitar interplay / balance, but I found Freddy a little predicable.  Not complaining, but you’d think he could have a real innovative guy in that slot.

All-in-all a cracker-jack rock-n-roll band, playing the small venues for the hard-core.  Maybe I’m spoiled by now, and that his shows kept getting better for about 5 years running, but for me kool haus was sort of average great bob, except for the beginning where it sounded like he’d just gotten up from a long night of partying.


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For more Adventures in Bob, there’s his psychedelic portrayal in I’m Not There.

Or the night he showed up at Springsteen’s show at Shea Stadium in New York.

Or you may want to check out the (Route) 66 Best live performances ever captured on film.

Or take the New Orleans Jazz Fest ride.

Or how The Grateful Dead came to play my 30th birthday.

Or Paul Simon doing Graceland in Hyde Park in London.

Or Furthur came back and reprised the Dead at Madison Square Garden.

Or when the Dead, Janis, The Band and others took the Festival Express train trip across Canada.

Or the night I was hanging with Dr. John’s band in Toronto.

Or here’s the day I finally “got” Bob Dylan

Or the night we all lost John Lennon


by Brian Hassett

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