Uncut’s Dylan Blog – Day three

More missives from Uncut Editor Allan Jones as he follows Dylan’s Never Ending Tour round the US

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Bob Dylan
Memorial Coliseum, Portland
Saturday October 14, 2006

The Who had apparently played this windy hangar the night before Bob blows into town. And God only knows what they may have sounded like here – somewhat akin, you imagine, to a Korean nuclear test in some desolate wasteland, an infernal din, an improbably deafening roar.

The arena’s booming acoustics do no particular favours, anyway, to Kings Of Leon, who sound like they’ve mutated overnight into a thrash metal and playing in a wind tunnel.
The Portland crowd – a strange mix of rowdy types and more sedate old-timers – seem to lap ‘em up, however, displaying on the whole a vivid taste for aural carnage.

I can only think it must have something to do with the weather, which, come to think of it, is turning distinctly blustery, more typical everyone keeps telling me of the Pacific northwest than the balmy conditions so far characteristic of this particular trip.

Anyway, after spectacular shows in Vancouver and Seattle, Dylan and his band sound at first comparatively muted – far from subdued, just a little distant. Pretty soon, however, they are firing on what you might call all cylinders.

Mind you, not much less than the earth cracking open like a vent of doom and being sucked into the bowels of hell could fully have blunted the sharp edge of their peerless musical interplay, guitarist Denny Freeman on fire particularly and Dylan imperious.
And what a set list he has devised tonight, once again ringing enormous changes.

The opening five song salvo is quite unbelievable – “Tombstone Blues”, followed by “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”, a debut for Modern Times’ “Rollin’ And Tumblin’”, a scary “Masters Of War”, and a searing “Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again”. And he later throws in a blistering “Cold Irons Bound” – the only song featured so far from Time Out Of Mind”. Hell, I thought I’d died and moved to Kent.
And now San Francisco beckons. Time to get out of town, and back on the road.

Memorial Coliseum, Portland
Saturday October 14, 2006

Tombstone Blues
Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
Rollin’ And Tumblin’
Masters Of War
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
Just Like A Woman
Highway 61 Revisited
When The Deal Goes Does
Cold Irons Bound
Simple Twist Of Fate
Watching The River Flow
Workingman’s Blues ” 2
Summer Days

Thunder On The Mountain
Like A Rolling Stone
All Along The Watchtower


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