Wallflowers at the Ogden, 10/24/12

Categories: Last Night

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Eric Gruneisen
Wallflowers frontman Jakob Dylan last night at the Ogden Theatre.


WALLFLOWERS @ OGDEN THEATRE | 10/24/12

Jakob Dylan must be a hell of a poker player. Last night's show at the Ogden proved that, as the Wallflowers frontman crooned through a couple dozen songs with a stony glare on his face. Clad in black and looking every bit as youthful as he did at the peak of his '90s stardom, Dylan came across either as a man comfortably in control, or apathetic to the point that he's no longer trying to fake being excited.

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Eric Gruneisen
The Wallflowers last night at the Ogden Theatre.

The Wallflowers took the stage just as snow began falling like a ticker tape parade, with the Dave Clark Five tune "Glad All Over" still playing over the loudspeakers. No big introductions. Just five guys plugging in and playing. The set began with "Everything I Need," from 2005's largely ignored Red Letter Days. Upbeat, with folk flourishes and blue-collar lyricism, this was a great lead-in for a set that spanned the course of the band's twenty year career.

The next few songs went by in a blur. "Have Mercy on Him," a funky, '60s soul throwback from the Wallflowers' weeks-old release Glad All Over, came next, followed by another new tune, "The Devil's Waltz." The crowd, a mix of conservative fortysomethings and college kids, was sympathetic to these songs they'd obviously never heard. "You guys indulge us, because we haven't had a chance to play these new songs much," Dylan said during one of the very rare instances of inter-song banter.

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Eric Gruneisen
The Wallflowers last night at the Ogden Theatre.

The band remained subdued through the middle of the set, which included Glad All Over lead-off track "Hospital for Sinners" and one of -- let's face it, two -- of the band's big hits, "6th Avenue Heartache." Keyboardist Rami Jaffee's performance here, as throughout the show, was a stark contrast to his bandmates. Jumping, frog-marching and occasionally doing his best Mick Jagger chicken-cluck dance , this guy had more energy than the rest of the guys combined. Meanwhile, Dylan remained stoic. You had to wonder: What was he thinking? What was his favorite cartoon? Who was his favorite lover?

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Eric Gruneisen
Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers last night at the Ogden Theatre.

Dylan's a born performer, despite playing songs that sound more like Bruce Springsteen than anything his father (Bob, duh) ever did. Sure, "Have Mercy on Him" did bear a resemblance to pop's 1989 hit "Everything is Broken." But then, if you're playing blue-collar country-rock songs and your dad's released 35 albums over a four-decade career, some of your material -- anyone's material -- is bound to sound like him at some point.

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Ogden Theatre

935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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