Cafe du Nord has to be one of the most intimate venues in SF. The whole narrow room in the basement vibe makes it feel like a party at someone’s house. This is why it is such a great place to see a musician, and likewise why the venue is often used as a warm up for artists that could easily sell out something much larger.
When Jakob Dylan hit the stage with his band- The Gold Mountain Rebels, which includes former Wallflower’s drummer Fred Eltringham- my initial thought was that might be quiet and elusive like his very famous father. After three songs, he became the chatty guy, holding conversations with almost everyone in the front row.
Dylan’s first solo album will be released early next month. It’s a Rick Rubin produced record of mellow songs with a country folk rock vibe that will be released through…Starbucks Entertainment. The songs definitely show more influence from daddy Dylan than his previous Wallflower’s material.
Jakob’s voice seems to be gaining those gravely qualities that must run in the family. He played an acoustic guitar, admittedly at times out of tune. It was a warm up show, and these types of things make it more memorable. But the drummer gave it away when he’s cast sideways glance at Dylan when the chord was off.
At one point, an ‘old fashioned teleprompter’, aka, a music stand, was brought on stage to assist Dylan with remembering the words to one of the songs. It didn’t seem as though he used it, though.
He performed a few songs solo, but even when the band was backing him it was a very soft supporting sound.
Interesting moment of the night occurred when a woman held up a black ring box to Jakob. He asked, “Is that a ring, I’m spoken for…”, to which the woman replied that it was a guitar pick. I’m not sure that he was convinced when he took the box- which apparently held a green guitar pick with a bear claw on it? Not sure, but then the Hall of Fame was mentioned, and I lost track of where the conversation was going, but he did indeed use the pick for one song later in the evening.
After a set full of as entertaining banter as music, I emerged from Cafe du Nord blown away once again.
Set list from a fan forum:
All Day And All Night
Everybody Pays As The Go
Evil Is Alive And Well
The Beautiful Side of Somewhere
Here Comes Now
This End of the Telescope
From The Bottom Of My Heart
Here He Comes (Confessions of a Drunken Marionette) [Jakob alone]
War Is Kind [Jakob alone]
I Wish I Felt Nothing
How Good It Can Get
Something Good This Way Comes
Will It Grow
Mourning Train [Jakob alone]
Everything I Need [Jakob alone]
Empire In My Mind
On Up The Mountain
Jakob Dylan performance: 8.5/10
venue (Cafe du Nord): 8.5/10
value ($20.00/ticket): 8/10