page by Bill Pagel
Review by Cameron Johnson
Ketchum will always be memorable for me due to the grand reunion of
friends we had there. It was a surprise for my friend Tom from Washington
that his pals were converging from all directions to meet him for the
show in Ketchum. I came from Minneapolis with another friend, we picked
up two more in Missoula and caravanned. Jeff came from Arizona. He posed
as a hitch hiker at a (pre-arranged) brew pub in Boise with a sign that
said "56th and Wabasha". The rest of us surprised him at the hotel in
Ketchum. After the initial shock was over for Tom, we went out for dinner
as a big group (9 all together) and had some excellent sushi deep in the
The day was very hot with highs of 103 degrees. Ketchum is in the valley
though, so the sun cleared the ridge well before Bob came on. It was near
90 degrees at show time though, and our hero was in his full country
gentleman garb. We drove the 1 mile to the north edge of town to the
"venue". It was a park & ride lot just like it said on Pagel's site. Half
was parking lot covered in astroturf, half was asphalt. We asked three
people at the gate what the lineup was. They all said local act, then
String Cheese, then Bob. So we believed them and walked two blocks back to
Grumpy's Bar. We heard the opener. Then we heard silence. Then we heard
Bob Dylan. Guzzle beers. Double time it down the street to the show on the
run. We missed Tombstone Blues and got in at the end of Tell Me That It
I attempted to forgive myself for missing the opener on a tip I knew was
wrong (about String Cheese) and settled in for a great "Tweedles". We
ended up on the rail on Bob's extreme right. I estimated the crowd at
Baby Blue was a favorite. Larry played the pedal steel real nice. Bob had
some breathless lyrics where he seemed to be panting. It was hot; about 90
degrees at show time. The sun went behind the mountains to the west early
in the evening, and the musicians looked out onto the brown, grass-covered
mountains to the east.
Things Have Changed was the best vocal performance I have witnessed of Bob
doing this song. He growled the "ange" over and over in strange, range and
Highway was also one of the most raucous I've heard. Not overly long, but
Freddie's work on the lead guitar was new, fresh, and very entertaining!
He ripped it.
Then came our reward for traveling great distances in searing heat.
Visions of Johanna made me cry, as it's all too clear that Johanna's not
here! My excitement could hardly be contained and I cheered a couple times
between the first verse lines. The whole thing was letter perfect as far
as I recall. It also confirmed that Bob was really feeling it for this
show. I grinned from ear to ear and swayed during the song, trying to make
each note and moment last as long as possible.
Drifters was well-received by the crowd, but I took a break.
The next three made me glad I went when I did. Blind Willie was another
song I had not seen live. Bob's singing was adamant.
Stuck Inside of Mobile surprised me in this position. It became a dance
number in my section of the crowd. It was a powerhouse. I love the chord
progression in the chorus!
Love Sick made me think the fun would never end, and that Bob might just
keep surprising us through the night. It was beautifully cranky and
cynical, then there's the twist at the end that led into....
Honest With Me, which was also very strong. I was so ecstatic at this
point that the band could do no wrong. I love this song and it is
Bye and Bye is a jazzy diversion from more conventional folk ballads in
this spot. Lots of couples doing the sway-dance.
Summer Days and the encores were good, but I didn't pay as close attention
Bob told his joke about someone buying a pig and hiding it under the bed.
"There's a lot of animals for sale around here and today George bought a
pig. I said 'where you gonna keep it?' He says 'under my bed.' I said
'what about the smell?' He says 'he'll get used to it.'" I can't
remember which songs it was between.
Then we all had fun in Ketchum until the wee hours. It cooled off and
turned into a beautiful night.
page by Bill Pagel
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