.

Bob Dylan Kicks Off Summer Tour With a Hot Night in Texas

3,000-plus showed up at The Backyard in Austin

Bob Dylan performs on the first night of his American tour at The Backyard on August 4, 2010 in Austin, Texas.
Gary Miller/FilmMagic)
September 2, 2010

On the opening night of his 2010 American tour, Bob Dylan treated 3,000-plus rowdy Texans to an energetic, focused set that featured some of his strongest vocals in years — most impressively on a delicate run through "Tryin' to Get to Heaven." As the sky turned pink at dusk, Dylan came out in his toreador-meets-Civil War stage suit and delivered a set that mixed his most enduring 1960s songs ("Lay Lady Lay," "Like a Rolling Stone") and tracks from the past 15 years ("Thunder on the Mountain," "Can't Wait"). Unfortunately, Dylan hasn't totally given up the synth organ he's played since 2002, but he also spent half the night either strumming an acoustic or gripping the mic and prowling the stage Frank Sinatra-style.

Iconic Rock Shots of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash and More

Very few guest performers grace Dylan's stage these days, but Neville Brothers keyboardist Ivan Neville joined the band on the organ for haunting versions of "Can't Wait" and "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'," infusing the latter with a gospel-like heft.

The show picked up speed at the halfway mark with a blazing version of Time Out of Mind's "Cold Irons Bound" — all thunderous drums and razor-wire harmonica — and never slowed down. It peaked with a stunning "Ballad of a Thin Man," featuring Dylan spitting the bile-filled lyrics with vigor as the group milked the stop-start riffs and dynamic shifts for maximum drama. Lead guitarist Charlie Sexton's biting, fluid solos and forceful rhythm playing clearly energized Dylan. Sexton returned to the band late last year — and the Never Ending Tour hasn't sounded this hot since he left in 2002.

This is a story from the September 2nd, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com