Friday evening, when Bob Dylan played guitar on an instrumental to kick off his headlining set at Chicago's United Center, there was no consensus from fans what the song was called. Some thought it was "Rainy Day Women" (which is currently listed on Dylan's official site), others believed it was a common opener, "Watching The River Flow." There was even speculation it was "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat," or possibly the blues classic, "Dust My Broom."
Bill Pagel, of Bob Links fame, changed his original set list post opening number from "Watching The River Flow" to something more appropriate for the occasion - "Sweet Home Chicago":
I've listened to the first song a number of times and compared it to Stevie Ray Vaughan doing an instrumental "Sweet Home Chicago" and I am convinced that the first song was
"Sweet Home Chicago."
The obvious reason for Dylan to play "Sweet Home Chicago" would be to acknowledge the blues-based city in which he was playing. However, another could be President Barack Obama, the candidate Dylan predicted would win last week's election in a landslide, sang part of the song, at the urging of Mick Jagger and B.B. King, in the East Room of the White House, February 21, 2012, for “In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues.” President Obama, of course, was a United States Senator from Illinois before he began his current occupation.
Or maybe the song was just, as critic Greg Kot noted, a "Blues instrumental."
Updated set list, courtesy Bob Links:
United Center, Chicago, Illinois: November 9, 2012
1. Sweet Home Chicago (Instrumental - Bob on guitar)
2. To Ramona (Knopfler on guitar)
3. Things Have Changed (Knopfler on guitar)
4. Tangled Up In Blue (Knopfler on guitar)
5. Blind Willie McTell (Knopfler on guitar)
6. Make You Feel My Love
7. The Levee's Gonna Break
8. Desolation Row
9. Highway 61 Revisited
10. Forgetful Heart
11. Thunder On The Mountain
12. Ballad Of A Thin Man
13. Like A Rolling Stone
14. All Along The Watchtower //
15. Blowin' In The Wind
Note song number five now also credits Mark Knopfler on guitar.
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