Bob & Merle – Paramount – 15-Mar-2005

I moseyed on over to Oakland on Tuesday evening, to see if I could get in to see The Bob Dylan Show on its local stop. Fortunately scored a nice balcony seat for a more than reasonable price, and entered the art deco palace of the Paramount Theater.

Merle Haggard and the Strangers came on before 8pm, and played a nice set. Quick renditions of songs, with a verse & chorus or two, then a little guitar from Merle or some steel guitar or some sax, and then the song’s over. Merle was in strong voice, and the band sounded good.

Bob & band were up at about 9pm, with several new faces including a gal playing fiddle and a steel guitar player. The set started a little weak, I thought, but got stronger as they went. The highlight for me was a rendition of “This Wheel’s on Fire” with Bob up front and center, singing and doing a little harp, followed by a strong “Masters of War.” My tenth Dylan show since 1986, and funny enough each one has been at a different venue… Bob gets around!

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