Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Apr 10th 2010 1:00PM by Justin Jacobs
When Dylan launched his tour behind 'Women and Country' last night in Pittsburgh suburb Homestead, Pa., with Case and her band Three Legs in tow, the decision to maintain the record's sleepy vibe or revert to his more rocking roots loomed. But just as Dylan's solo work has been a distinct break from the Wallflowers, so was his live show; the 100-minute set, which played heavily on the new album, filled the Carnegie Library Music Hall with dark, hazy, oft-sleepy and subtle folk.
The jitters were obvious throughout the set, but even when things briefly broke down, Dylan kept the between-song mood light. "This next one is going to be great. You just need to be patient for a second," Dylan joked after the band halted during 'Everybody Pays as They Go.' "This is all part of the show. It's all rehearsed."
While each tune swirled slowly around the hall thanks to the band's pedal steel guitar, upright bass and Dylan's lightly plucked strings, it was when he, Case and Hogan twisted together their vocals that the show achieved lift-off. Album highlight 'We Don't Live Here' was a haunting haze; Case's low bellow at the chorus was goosebump-inducing.
The transcendent moments were few -- and could have been more frequent if Dylan fully utilized Case -- but they carried the show through some rough patches. Watching the band work out the kinks live was almost endearing, especially because the music felt so organic. Dylan recognized the lack of polish and embraced it with humor.
When someone yelled at Dylan to take off his floppy farmer's hat, he responded, "Take off our hats? But all our power is in our hats." Later, Dylan called to a two-year-old girl in the audience, "Is this your first concert? Because I can't imagine you've been at this a long time."
The show veered into Wallflowers territory only briefly, as Dylan retooled his hit 'Three Marlenas' as bouncy, bright country during the encore.
Dylan's partnership with Case and her Three Legs has potential to reach 'Raising Sand'-level harmony with a bit more practice (the Burnett-created similarities are uncanny). Though the collaboration's full-tour launch stumbled a bit, the sparks still flew.
Jakob Dylan on AOL Music
Neko Case on AOL Music