page by Bill Pagel
Review by Cameron Johnson
It was hot in Nampa. 108 degrees was the high. It had to be 100 when Bob
came on about 9:00. The sun had gone behind a couple of sapplings that
lined the west edge of the venue. Bob had an open collar and no tie
tonight. String Cheese Incident had played a long time; over 90 minutes.
They gave a performance that got great respect from me because they were
outstanding AND courageous in the heat. None of them sat in with Bob
We were seated in the first row ahead of the soundboard and had a little
shade. Bob's performance was very strong in terms of the energy he
mustered and the good spirits he maintained.
Tombstone Blues was growly and edgy. Bob had no hat to go with the open
shirt, with no tie. Otherwise it was country gentleman in black.
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight was none too quick and Bob began some of the
single-word-at-a-time phrasing that would come back in Ain't Me Babe and
Tweedle Dee and Dum was a mystery to much of the crowd and they sat down
en masse. The song romped though, and Larry's riff drove the whole thing.
Bob seemed to emphasize the cynicism of the song. In fact he had that
cynical edge the whole show that I love so much.
Ain't Me Babe was good medicine for the love sick. Bob seemed to emphasize
wholeheartedly that it ain't him you're looking for (babe).
Things Have Changed was not as succinct as the night before in Ketchum,
but the refrain was always clear: Times are crazy; people are strange.
Highway 61 had great enthusiasm from the band, but I thought there too
many flubs. Especially Freddie, who fell out of rhythm a couple times. But
it was due to trying to hard, not the converse.
Positively 4th St. was the highlight of the show for me, as it provided
another angle on cynicism in the best way. Cynicism to me is skepticism
with humor. We all need plenty of both in this world.
Wicked Messenger rocked the crowd; especially the younger set. Bob on harp
at the end.
Don't Think Twice turned out to be the last song selection that was not
predictable, and it was lovely. Bob had been fussing around periodically
at the table behind his keyboard where the harmonicas are. He seemed to be
just about to grab the guitar a couple times. In fact one of my friends
who was closer said that he even picked up his guitar in the dark before
one song, strummed it, and set it down shaking his head like it was out of
tune or something. But he hovered around the guitars without playing a
lick. This was also a favorite of mine and always has been. It is one of
my favorites to sing and play. I thought the vocal was somewhat "regular"
and very clear, so that everyone deciphered the words and it was
beautiful. But all of Bob's vocals were clear with the exception of a word
or phrase here or there.
I love Honest With Me more and more. I saw the night before in Ketchum
(another story) and loved this one too. Am I too much of a cynic?
Moonlight was a crowd pleaser for much of the older set. It was a nice
thougt after the intense sunshine of the day.
Summer Days was shorter than normal, but the guys showed a lot of heart in
The encores were fairly abbreviated, culminated by the point in Watchtower
when the music opens up and Freddie takes a big solo. But he played one
chorus and Freddie was about to really tear into another when Bob held up
both hands in front of him like, "whoa, hold on" and then sang the first
verse again and wrapped it up. I didn't count the songs and found out when
I wrote them down later that it was only a 14-song show. It was highly
satisfying for me and my friends; most of whom thought the Nampa show was
better than Ketchum.
As for reports that Jimmy "Mad Dog" Morongiello sat in with the band, I
cannot concur. If he played on any songs, he did so clandestinely, was
not introduced, and was not apparent to me in the mix.
There were two guys dressed in what looked to be authentic "IDAHO STATE
PEN" jumpsuits who stayed in the same seats the entire show, sweating
profusely from the get go. At first we thought it was a couple guys
having an early Halloween, but they left with a couple of official looking
types, so maybe they were enjoying some sort of reward for good
behavior(?) Anyway, they loved the encores and danced especially hard to
page by Bill Pagel
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