Bob Dylan @ Greek Theatre, Berkeley, Oct 11, 2009

I can't say I went into this show expecting much. Bob Dylan probably stands on rung three of my all-timer list, but at age 68, and following two somewhat lackluster records, I figured there'd be some moments, but after seeing Springsteen exactly a week prior, I would likely leave the venue a bit underwhelmed. I was spot on.

As always, Dylan's band, led by the fantastic Charlie Sexton, was dynamic, loud and impassioned. But Bob's ten-year or so run with a bluesy, rollicking live feel, just doesn't do justice to his work. Granted, I don't expect him to strap on an acoustic, call up Baez, and lead into "Chimes of Freedom," but just a hint of what made Bob Dylan the greatest songwriter ever to live would have been nice. Instead, the band dominated the set and Bob almost looked like a prop.

On the positive side, "The Man In Me" and "Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum" were fantastic. These tunes were early on in the set and offered up hope that the show may take a turn. But it never did. Right when you thought he'd hit a bit of a stride, a clearly physically rickety Dylan just couldn't muster up the spirit. "Highway 61 Revisited" was barely recognizable nor was "Ballad of a Thin Man."

"All Along the Watchtower" closed the show, clearly a bone to the Dead/Phish contingent. About a minute through the song, my buddy and I were already stepping towards the exits. When a bunch of us met at a pub after the show, despite what I've written above, I was actually the most positive about the show. One friend actually said it "sucked." I wouldn't go that far, but this was basically Dylan's band, and when a Saturday night show ends before the clock strikes 930pm, well, it's pretty clear that the zeal's just not there.