Flowers and Floaters
2001-10-23, Orpheum Theatre, Sioux City, IA
Listening to this terrific show request from Hektor (reminder: anyone on the annual plan can request a show!), a number of different things jumped out. So, rather than one coherent piece, here are five things that struck me, five reasons this tape is worth a listen:
Debut of “Floater (Too Much to Ask)”
At the first show since releasing Love & Theft, in Spokane Washington, Dylan debuted five of the songs off the album. He trickled out most of the rest over the course of the tour. That includes this show in Sioux City 22 years today, a few weeks into the tour, when he debuted one of my favorites: “Floater (Too Much to Ask).”
It sounds great! True, it sounds great in about the same way as the album version—it was still too soon for big reinventions. But Bob sings the lines with vigor and energy. I’m jealous of anyone in the room when he sang the verse about Juliet telling Romeo to shove off for the first time.
At this show, he sings four other Love & Theft songs too, and you can hear the enthusiasm in his delivery. He is clearly enjoying playing these new songs live. Listen to how he hammers the punchline in the “hunting bare” verse in “Honest with Me”:
New Songs and ‘60s
Bob’s offering the audience a deal with this setlist: If you sit through some new songs, I’ll give you a bunch of oldies for the rest.
Other than his two most recent albums and a couple covers, every other song—ten in total—hails from 1970 or before. The only exception is “Cat’s in the Well,” which comes complete with Bob introducing “my band, the greatest band in the world at the moment”—where each member delivers a little lick after they are introduced—and a killer jam.
It’s a far cry from the Rough and Rowdy Ways era, where not only do we get even more new songs, but most of the older songs are relative deep cuts too (at least compared to “Rolling Stone” or “Blowin’ in the Wind,” both played here).
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Flagging Down the Double E's to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.