Show Review: Jakob Dylan @ The Phoenix

Jakob Dylan

At the

Phoenix

Apr 25 2010

 
There’s a lot of older people at the Phoenix tonight to see Jakob Dylan and I can’t help but wonder what they’re really here for. Is it Jakob’s new solo project that they’re interested in or are they here to reminisce and pretend that they’re in the presence of his much more popular father?
 
It’s a full stage, with some interesting instruments like a lap steel and stand up bass.  Through the first couple of songs my eyes and ears are drawn to one of the two backup singers.  I’m almost annoyed- doesn’t she know her place?  That is, until I realize that this distracting woman is the fabulous Neko Case.  It turns out that Three Legs, Kelly Hogan and Case are all part of Dylan’s show.  They’re not the supporting acts, which is what I assumed when I read the lineup.
 
The show starts with the first single off his new album, Women & Country, ‘Nothing But The Whole Wide World’.  The backdrop to the stage is a sunny wheat field.  It fits the feel of the music perfectly, which is laid back and country infused.  The show is almost like one big long song, fluid and lazy like a river.
 
Jakob’s new material is a lot more on the side of folk and country than his previous work.  Though this new music is good, the clear highlight of the night is the couple of Wallflowers songs that get thrown in. Oddly enough, ‘One Headlight’ is left out, perhaps to remind us that the band was so much more than a one hit wonder.  It works, the re-imaginings of ‘6th Avenue Heartache’ and ‘Three Marlenas’ with the female backing vocals are beautiful.
 
Jakob’s speaking voice is an odd combination of his father Bob’s and comedian Norm McDonald, and his singing voice just as unique.  The ladies each take turn singing duets with him and throwing in some three-way harmonies that send chills up the spine.  Most of the set is very slow and easy.  Things pick up during the encore with ‘On Up The Mountain’ from his first solo album, Seeing Things and ‘They’ve Trapped Us Boys’.  This is bittersweet, as it shows us how much more energetic the rest of the show could have been, but wasn’t.
 
Perhaps it’s just my aching feet, but I feel like this show would be better suited to a casual, lounging environment.  And while I do enjoy what Jakob’s put together for us recently, the main thing I’m left with after this show is a hankering for old Wallflowers material.
 
(Original publication: Bring Back the Boom Box Magazine- May 11 2010)

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About J2

What happens when you're a wordsy music aficionado who works for NXNE, CMW, HPX, Olio Music Festival, The JUNOs and Polaris Music Prize? You spend all of your free time blogging about it... Follow on Twitter if you're so inclined: @HearPlugged

Posted on March 7, 2011, in Show Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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