The Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour: Black Rider and “let’s not get too excited”

I don’t know what it means either: an index to the current series appearing on this website.

The song runs from approximately 27 minutes into the concert to 31 minutes and indeed Black Rider is performed at pretty much the same speed on stage as it did on the album, although somehow it seems to me to be more strung out.

I have a problem here because although I am fascinated by the lyrics which have from the off seemed to me simply an address to Death (not a really an original concept) with the notion that Death can be cheated (again not really original – but very unusual for a song that is not in the classic blues style).

And as I wonder about making the song simply a declamation over a series of 16 chords I guess that is as valid a way of writing music about death as any.  Indeed in a real sense it works because the question can be raised, how else do you address Death (if you are going to at all)?   But then each time I listen I reach the end wondering exactly where I have got to, have I enjoyed the experience of the song, have I learned anything, have I appreciated anything, was this a good use of my time?   I’m still struggling with that.

What’s interesting in the concert is that the song comes between “When I paint my masterpiece” and “I’ll be your baby tonight”.  And I said in my thoughts about the “Masterpiece” version that it comes across as if Bob is saying, “Hey let’s not get too excited about anything.”   And although I’ve not written the next piece yet (it is strictly one at a time with me) I can imagine that might be a reasonable response to “Baby tonight”.

If that is the case (and the more I listen the more I think it is) then he really is saying here (either deliberately or it just seeps out as it might do for an octogenarian) then let’s not get too excited about death or love or life or anything.  Time passes.  Just enjoy it as it goes.

Now I didn’t start the reviews of this concert tour with the thought that it could possibly be the “Let’s not get too excited” tour; I do write the reviews individually, listening to the music and watching the video as we go.   But that thought has now arisen.  The “Let’s not get too excited” tour.

And as I think back to the show that I saw on the tour, yes there were moments when I was thinking something along those lines.  Not all the time, but sometimes.

It will be interesting to see where this goes for the rest of the songs in the sequence.

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