Jakob Dylan and company brought the tour behind their latest album to GLC Live at 20 Monroe on Thursday. The review and photos at Local Spins.
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There’s no denying that Jakob Dylan and The Wallflowers have carved out their own distinctive roots-rock groove and songwriting style, something that’s propelled everything from the monster 1996 hit, “One Headlight,” to insightful tracks such as “Move the River” from their latest album, “Exit Wounds.”
It’s also no surprise that the band would choose to roll out covers of enduring songs by Tom Petty during their concerts rather than epic compositions by Dylan’s famous and enigmatic father.
Whether the band frontman’s inspiration leans more toward Petty than his legendary dad doesn’t alter the fact that Dylan has distilled these influences and more to forge an impressive three-decade career grounded on compelling music.
That certainly was on display Thursday night during the band’s GLC Live at 20 Monroe tour stop, with The Wallflowers covering the gamut of their catalog, along with crowd-igniting covers of Petty’s “The Waiting” and “American Girl.”
And Michigan’s own Brother Elsey got it all started with a harmony-laden opening set of their infectious, Americana-leaning rock, fueling a robust audience response that seems to grow every time they’ve played the GLC Live at 20 Monroe stage.
Despite Dylan leading an ever-changing lineup over the years, The Wallflowers’ touring roster – guitarist Stanton Adcock, keyboardist Aaron Emory, bassist Whynot Jansveld, guitarist Ben Peeter and drummer Mark Stepro – delivered tight arrangements that faithfully reproduced the vibe of studio recordings despite some technical glitches. (At one point, the lap steel was rendered mute.)
Dylan, 53, took it all in stride, bantering at times with the audience in the three-quarters-full house and encouraging a sing-along during the last verse of “One Headlight.”
There’s a fair amount of despair and anguish in Dylan’s music, but there’s also a hopeful and upbeat milieu that winds its way through his lyrics and his band’s performance – even on songs such as “I’ll Let You Down (But Will Not Give You Up)” and “6th Avenue Heartache.”
Unlike his father, Dylan isn’t a man of few words on stage. But just like his father, his music has a lot to say.
PHOTO GALLERY: Brother Elsey at GLC Live at 20 Monroe
Photos by Steve Baran