Jakob Dylan is undoubtebly best know for his work with his band The Wallflowers. He has two solo records in recent years but they have not found the ears of even a fraction of the people that have heard his hits with The Wallflowers. Dylan would deliver a solid set of solo material in Kansas City on Sunday November 13th. He would pay homage to The Wallflowers as well but his solo material was the feature presentation.
He would devote roughly one third of his set to Wallflowers songs by night’s end. He played a very relaxed 90 minute set featuring 17 songs. Dylan set the tone for the night early by delivering 5 solo songs right out of the gate. The first four featured Dylan on electric guitar giving the normally acoustic songs a bit of new life. Particularly the great “Evil Is Alive and Well” from his first solo album Seeing Things.
In front of the stage was filled with rows of chairs which I always feel is a mistake at a show. This keeps the crowd held back from getting really into the show. I feel the chairs really change the mood of the show. Some got up from their seats during the first half of the show from their chairs but most people remained seated. “6th Avenue Heartache” would follow and give the mundane crowd a big shot of adrenaline. Dylan would change the way he sang the song just enough to keep the crowd from singing along too much. This was very similar to the way Adam Duritz of Counting Crows changes their song “Mr. Jones” A couple times Dylan would even talk out the chorus “…One, Two, Three Marlenas…” instead of singing it.
Including “6th Avenue Heartache” 3 of the next 4 songs would be from Dylan’s Wallflowers catalog and the one solo song was “Something Good This Way Comes” which may be the solo song that would have fit best on a Wallflowers album.
For the bulk of the show Dylan would be armed with his acoustic guitar while his excellent backing band Everest would play electric behind him. A couple highlights from the acoustic set were “On Up The Mountain” and the Wallflowers song “How Good It Can Get” from the criminally underrated record Red Letter Days. Dylan would finally bring nearly the entire crowd to its feet for his most well known song “One Headlight.” He would encourage the crowd to remain standing for an electric version of “They’ve Trapped Us Boys” before heading into the encore. The jangly electric intro and beginning of “They’ve Trapped Us Boys” made it hard not to conjure up thoughts of Jakob’s father busting into “Maggie’s Farm” so many years ago. The song was unquestionably one of the best of the evening.
The encore was a brief two song affair but was very good. The first song was “Down In A Hole” a track off of the A Little Help soundtrack that was very good to hear for the first time. The closer was a driving version of “The Difference” from The Wallflowers masterpiece Bringing Down The Horse. The song was a nice closer to a mostly laid back evening of straight forward rock.
Jakob Dylan at The Midland Theater, Kansas City, MO 11/13/11 setlist:
- Standing Eight Count
- Lend A Hand
- All Day and All Night
- Evil Is Alive and Well
- Everybody’s Hurting
- 6th Avenue Heartache
- Something Good This Way Comes
- Three Marlenas
- Nothin’ But The Whole Wide World
- On Up The Mountain
- Will It Grow?
- How Good It Can Get
- One Headlight
- They’ve Trapped Us Boys
- encore break
- Down In A Hole (You’ve Got To Stop Digging)
- The Difference