Bob Dylan – Highland Heights 2010 (Highway HW-033/34)

Highland Heights 2010 (Highway HW-033/34)

The Bank Of Kentucky Center, Highland Heights, KY – November 3rd, 2010

Disc 1 (53:24):  Intro, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Love Sick, The Levee’s Gonna Break, Desolation Row, Cold Irons Bound, Man In The Long Black Coat

Disc 2 (56:48):  Summer Days, Tangled Up In Blue, Highway 61 Revisited, Workingman’s Blues #2, Thunder On The Mountain, Ballad Of A Thin Man, -Encore Break- , Jolene + Band Intros, Like A Rolling Stone

Bob Dylan played for the first time in Highland Heights, Kentucky.  Close to Cincinnati, The Bank Of Kentucky Center is a 10,000 seat arena completed in 2008.  Northern Kentucky University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams play there, and has host several concerts.

Highland Heights 2010 on Highway utilizes a very good, deep sounding audience recording of the entire show.  Tony Ganier’s bass send a rumble in many of the songs which curiously adds to the enjoyment of the show.  The only distraction to an otherwise good recording are the idiots sitting close to taper.  Although they’re mostly quiet while Dylan is playing, they cheer very loudly between songs.  But they sometimes make stupid comments during songs like singing along to “Desolation Row.”

Dylan starts off with a joyous “Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35” (including the Link Wray reference), followed by a melancholy “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.”  He follows this bipolar pattern through much of the show, causing us to wonder what exactly is on his mind. 

The early part of the set is punctuated by several excellent performances in “Love Sick” and “Desolation Row.”  Both have an eerie feeling with Dylan singing the words extremely clearly in an attempt to minimize the aged rasp and accentuate the narrative.  The later is especially noteworthy for Dylan’s emphasis upon each word, instead of eliding them as he normally does.

“Man In The Long Black Coat” is played for the fourth and final time in 2010.  Unlike the slow and dark versions of years past, he’s still playing the uptempo rock arrangement.  Charlie Sexton’s guitar fills add a festive feel to the mix. 

“Summer Days” lacks the power it had several years ago when Dylan was playing it as a set closer.  Instead of the heavy swing beat, it sounds more rockabilly.  The real scorching number of the latter half of the show belongs to “Thunder On The Mountain.”  The audience sing along with one of the better songs from Modern Times

“Ballad Of A Thin Man” closes the show, and Highland Heights have only two encores with “Jolene” and an effective rendition of “Like A Rolling Stone.” 

Highland Heights 2010 is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with low quality paper inserts with various tour photographs.  The labels on the CDRs are silk screened.  This is a good sounding tape of a pretty good show. 

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  1. My two cents…I’ve been to 73 Bobshows in 22 states since 1981, including Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, University Park, and Charlottesville on this most recent tour, and I still take away something special from each and every show. While I too wish he would throw a cherry bomb into the setlist ( I’d love to see him reinvent his ’80’s catalogue ), he still tinkers with the arrangements of much of what he does choose to play. I also realize there are a finite set of performances left in the man, no matter how much longer he tours. I mean, ” it’s not dark yet, but it’s gettin’ there…” I’ll be there when I can, seein’ the unexpected America, coughin’ up a little phlegm with Bob along the way ;-)

  2. @dansmusic,
    you say that you “see our points, but that you disagree with us”.
    But that’s not right, because I think we agree completely,
    Of course Bobs voice is limited, and everything he’s doing by the age of 69 is just “a bonus” for us who follow him. It’s not 1975 anymore.
    Still – he should stir things up…..his voice has nothing to do with it. Bob deserves something better than being “a touring greatest hits jukebox”.

  3. I know what you guys are saying …I really do ….but …we do have to keep in mind he’s 69 yrs old ….and I think his approach to his live show are largely due to what he has left to work with concerning his declining vocals …I’ll never count Dylan out until he stops—NEVER!—but I think the arrangements and approaches to the songs are a direct reflection of his vocal limitations at this late stage in his career ………..where I think he can really find some new spark is to mix the setlists up and make for more diverse shows ….I don’t ever have to hear like a rolling stone again …or at least for a while ….so implementing different encores or changing the basic body of the srtlists, and choosing songs that work with his current vocal range could possibly give that extra spark ….2007 I started noticing more inconsistency in the shows; but there are still so any special moments that one can pluck from nearly every show ….no matter what, he treats his career like a real job and goes to work each day ….and playing live is what it’s all about for a musician —But again, I do see your points.

  4. You’re correct. The shrinking repertoire is one issue, but also the adventurous arrangements missing too. It seems the most significant change the past couples years has been a more gentle approach to such songs as “Summer Days” and “Highway 61 Revisited.” When I saw him live in Rochester in 2007 he blew the roof off the place. Now he barely registers a whimper.

  5. “This is a good sounding tape of a pretty good show”
    Agreed. But that’s the problem with Dylan for the last 5 years. It’s hardly ever anything but “a pretty good show”. Wish the great Bob good some new spark from somewhere….as he obviously got the last time after releasing “Modern Times” – and the shows that followed. If you don’t want to write new songs….then please stir the setlist or performance up, Bob


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