Telluride, CO -- July 21, 2007

The build up to the Colorado shows this summer was behind ridiculous. In the months leading up the announcement we’d been saying that it was time for some rocky mountain shows again. So seeing Bob at the Telluride Town Park was just the icing on the cake that we’d ordered! We’re used to lots of driving, but due to my new stick shifting car, I was at the helm. Not usually so much of a problem but I was battling a nasty cold and a fair amount of exhaustion. We made it though, past rain, through the densest fog I have ever seen and over the mountains. There were spots where the road ended and we were fearful was closed, and mountain sheep crossing signs. It was a challenge and adventure for sure. Once we pulled into town Caro remembered that the park was at the end of town so we cruised into a parking space safe til 10 and started to wander around in the dark. We met a couple who had arrived minutes before and showed us where the line would be. We went to get our tarp and sleeping bags and try and rest a little. I didn’t have too much success but tried to stay in my bag with my eyes closed as long as possible. I’d finally fallen asleep when an angry Telluride park ranger told us to get up and move out of the way to the entrance to the park. As we rolled out of our sleeping bags we saw some faces we’d seen the last 2 days and some were still on the way from the city. They trickled in and waited in the long winding line through the park and out onto the street. We made it though, and after a LONG day in line it was time to head in…The only group of people ahead of us was made up of a couple we know from earlier lines and a couple of friends of their’s new to the Bob scene. He asked if we had our glitter tattooed on, but we let him know it was just mostly left over from Red Rocks II. Caroline did an awesome job of running in and getting a great spot despite the lack of oxygen and lack of good sleep. First I have to say that Bob made some of the weirdest and coolest facial expressions that I have ever heard him made at this show. He was having a better time than I have seen him had in quite awhile. It seems that the band and Modern Times songs have really come together over the winter and last tour. It was great to see them playing with such cohesion and understanding of the songs. All of the shows we saw on the tour were excellent, but this was my favorite for a number of reasons. I always hoped to be able to see Bob in Telluride and it happened for me. Who could ask for more.
I love Cats in the Well. Bob’s singing has bee great singing down the scale on “The tables are oh so full“. George did some hard drumming pounding it out between verses. This is one of my favorite songs to hear Denny on because it showcases his country side. It Ain’t Me Babe was one of my favorite songs in the old days and I haven’t heard it in a while. Bob always has good opportunities to showcase his bass now. “I can’t here you anymore…” moving up and down between notes on each word. I like the instrumentation on this version too. It’s subtle for most parts and picks up just in time at the end. He went into one of his Dr. John like new Orleans enunciation raps that night too. It was reminiscent of a Nashville band at times swinging and loose. It’s great to hear Bob’s guitar back on this one too.
Watching the River Flow is a great song in the summer. It always feels trapped indoors to me, it’s for jamming out with fists flying and broad smiles. Denny’s guitar playing fits in well with this song. It has kind of come back towards the days of Larry and Charlie and taken on a bit off a Texan swing. The current version of “It’s Alright Ma is one of the best in years in my opinion. The drumming sounds like it’s taking you off to war through parts of the verses then turns relaxed and easy during the instrumentals.
Levee’s Gonna Break has become a real rocker. Bob has been really getting into this one lately. His singing is really clear and it seems like it’s the perfect tempo for Bob to give equal and good concentration on his words and use of his voice. Sometimes on the chorus he even gets a little vibrato going. There’s a lot of sound coming off the stage at this point, but somehow it manages to stay pretty defines and gives everyone a chance to have their solos. Tangled is one of very favorites this tour. Bob does a fair amount of what I might describe as down singing at times. I don’t find this at all distracting, but finds it highlights the more understated parts of the song. Bob always kicks it up , growling the intense moments for emphasis, giving it almost a fairy tale feeling at times. “Working on a fishing boat while everything wasted away” is a fine example of one of the ways he’s been changing the lyrics and mixing it up each night. It’s not always easy to focus on during this song, but Bob did some fine organ work during the verses this night too. There’s something about the iconic song that Tangled has become to so many people that it almost always songs great. The crowd really responds to it and Bob feeds off it for sure! Girl of the North Country is a song I really liked with the piano, but Bob has figured out a way to use the organ subtlety in the background to great effectiveness. This is one of the songs that Denny stays fairly structured on and I enjoy hearing this side of his playing because I find him to be getting more loose on most songs. Kind of like Charlie did in his early days. Donnie’s playing exhibits pure control and precision
“so if yer TRAVlin” Honest with Me is a welcome come back for me. It’s great to dance to, and despite it’s relative rarity the band really has it together on this one. I attribute that to the great George Recelli and this masterful drumming. It features the DAH DAH DAH drum solo that has recently been used in Highway 61. I love the emphasis! Everyone has to listen and rock with this one. Bob and Denny both use little steps down the scale between lines towards the end and it sounds great. We saw Spirit on the Water at every show we attended. It was good each time. Bob always looks as though he’s enjoying himself during this song. It’s another one that suits his range well. He hits some great high and low notes each night. This night “Life with out yooooooou….” was especially entertaining.
After that another rocking fave with the DAH DAH DAH-Highway 61. I love the way Bob dances on this one. He really gets his groove on shakin his little booty. The instrumentation has been taken way down on this version and it’s interesting to see what the band does in these limited perimeters. Nettie Moore had by far the most cosmic moment of the night. I can never find fault in Bob’s singing on this songs. I think it’s almost always the best of the show. We, of course, cheered for the cowboy band bit. I find it hard to even describe how great Bob’s singing is on this song. At times he’s growling, at time whispering and at others singing with the power of a young man. The cosmic bit occurred right after Bob sang “I think the rain has stopped” It started raining again right at that moment and rained til the end of the show. Donnie’s subtle violin playing is still one of the high points of the song for me. He has a very gentle and masterful touch that lends just the right amount of classical sound to it. Denny has taken to running his pick up and down the strings (kinda like Charlie used to do) and it adds an industrial edge to it. I dread Summer Days a little less than I used to when it was the set closer, though I still get confused every show. This song wasn’t so good for awhile, but it’s getting great again. I think everyone is making more of an effort to keep it together and adding in the little extras that make it a great song to hear live. The crowd went wild when he started busting out in an awesome organ solo and dance. I can just imagine the way the crowd looks, jumping and swingin’ and swaying out there in that big field. The bursts of band sound towards the end have really jelled in the last tour too. Masters of War is downright scary these days. The intensity with which Bob is performing it these days is unnerving. He is completely focused and keyed in to the song and meaning. It thrills and frightens me. The death wish is convincing. People that say bob doesn’t make political statements anymore should have a listen to him perform this these days. It’s a perfect closer for the fucked up political climate today.
Thunder has really taken a good spot in the encore spot. It does the job of getting everyone back dancing and PARTICIPATING in the show. I have to say, I liked the version in the fall better, but it’s always cool to see a song change and evolve in such a short amount of time. I am in love with this version of Blowin’. For so many years I’ve been rocking to Watchtower at the end of shows. I love doing it still, but sometimes, at a place like Telluride Blowin’ fits in so naturally. There in the breeze and light rains of Colorado summer, the crowd was united under this song. Bob’s singing is masterful. I see people stepping back and forth with the easygoing beat, Bob smiling and pointing. He was almost laughing and his face seems like it’s reflecting the mountains out there in the dark. An appreciative crowd screamed as Bob shot us with his pistol figures in appreciation of a show well played and a show well received.
After the show was walked out with the masses in the rain and finally made it to the road and behind us the crowd parted not once, but twice as Bob’s buss navigated the curves out of the venue. No one was rude in the crowd, but we all stood on the side of the road and waved and said thanks to Bob. We’ll see ya in Costa Mesa Bob. We’ll be dancing! We headed to the hotel we hadn’t yet seen and got ourselves into a bed finally. A great show and GREAT night’s sleep made all the difference to my frame of mind after the last few stressful days. Vacation then more Bob in just a few days…what an awesome summer.
Review Location: 
Telluride Town Park
Review Date: 
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Review Author: 
Kait Runevitch