Bob Dylan played the fifth show of his Fall US Tour at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado on October 21, 2017. The show saw the 76 year old Dylan performing the longest show of the tour yet, 21 songs, that included fewer Great American Songbook standards than he had been playing on recent tours and more Dylan-penned songs, many with minor to radically reworked arrangements. The reworked songs included a country-swing fiddle-heavy version of ‘Summer Days’ (off of Love and Theft), ‘Honest With Me’ off the same album, Time Out of Mind’s ‘Tryin’ To Get To Heaven’, a mutated rockabilly style version of ‘Thunder On The Mountain’ (off of Modern Times), and a slow, moody version of ‘Tangled Up in Blue’ that was quite a contrast to the usual rave-up version of the song that he’s been doing for the past several years.
But the biggest surprise of the night came during the encore. As at previous shows this tour, Dylan and his Band played wonderful versions of Blowing in the Wind and Ballad of a Thin Man. Those who’ve been following the setlists this tour, expected the show to be a wrap at this point but instead of going to a ‘line-up’, the band remained where they were and after a brief tuning, launched into a rocking version of Tom Petty’s ‘Learning to Fly’. Petty who, with his band the Heartbreakers, served as Dylan’s back-up band in 1986 and then was Dylan’s bandmate in the Traveling Wilburys in 1988, passed away suddenly on October 2. The day before the Colorado show, October 20, was a day off for Dylan and his Band and would have been Tom Petty’s 67th birthday.
Watch Dylan’s moving and heartfelt performance of ‘Learning to Fly’: