Bob Dylan and his band played a sold-out show at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver on Tuesday night.
The show started 35 minutes late, presumably because of the enormous line of people still waiting to get inside. When the lights finally went out, a recorded fanfare blared from the speakers as the house announcer hailed the “poet laureate of rock ‘n’ roll.”
The packed house erupted in a roar of applause as Dylan’s bandmates took the stage dressed in matching burgundy suits and black hats. They were followed closely by the man himself, dressed entirely in black with a matching cowboy hat perched on his head.
Dylan played keyboards and harmonica for the entirety of the show, backed up by his band of Tony Garnier on bass guitar; George Receli on drums; Stuart Kimball on rhythm guitar; Denny Freeman on lead guitar; and Donnie Herron on electric mandolin, violin, pedal steel and lap steel guitar.
The band started the show with the classic “Blonde on Blonde” tune “Absolutely Sweet Marie” from 1966. The crowd loved it, even though the lyrics were unintelligible because it took the first two songs for Dylan’s 65-year-old, raspy voice to warm up. By the third song, another “Blonde on Blonde” tune, “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again,” the band had hit its stride and kept the energy level high during the rest of the show.
Even though the tour was is in support of Dylan’s new album “Modern Times,” the set was eclectic, spanning 43 years of the musician’s music. The oldest song was “Masters of War,” off of 1963’s “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”.
Highlights of the night were “Working Man’s Blues #2” off of his latest album, played mid-set with a changed-up, slower tempo. “Rollin’ and Tumblin'” also from the new album, was another high point. Dylan’s encore featured a rollicking “Thunder on the Mountain”, a slow and passionate “Like a Rolling Stone” and a Jimi Hendrix-style, guitar solo-laden version of “All Along The Watchtower.” The show was also chock-full of signature Dylan harmonica solos complemented by dueling solos from the guitar players.
The show came in at a modest 1 hour and 45 minutes. The band posed for photos at the end before leaving the stage.