Shot of Love: Bob Dylan 70th birthday party highlights + video

Shot of Love finale at Off Broadway

The Shot of Love finale. Photo by Ben Mudd.

I try to be gracious when folks thank me for helping to organize these KDHX benefit and tribute nights. But it’s mostly selfish on my part. There’s nothing more purely fun and gratifying than being in a packed club, surrounded by friends and fans of KDHX, and hearing a slate of terrific St. Louis bands sing the songs of my heroes.

Friday night, May 27, 12 bands/artists played the songs of Bob Dylan for nearly five hours. They only scratched the surface of such a catalogue, but the scratches were deep and lasting all the same.

My highlights from Shot of Love, in chronological order.

Cassie Morgan and the Lonely Pine (aka Beth Bombara) singing “Corinna, Corinna” early in the evening. No, Bob didn’t write that one, but it’s a song that still demonstrates the not-so-secret origins of his music. Morgan captured the tone beautifully.

Elly Herget and Evan O’Neal of the Skekses tackling the little known “Billy,” an outtake from Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Emcee Cat Pick noted that the melody is identical to Neil Young’s “Powderfinger.”

Ryan Spearman filled in at the last minute for an injured Riley James. And he did so with a sweet and serious version of “The Times They Are a Changin’.”

Joe Stickley and Sean Canan turning in an elevated and swinging “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.”

Rough Shop tackling the rarely covered “Isis” and Anne Tkach really getting into the vocal delivery.

Cumberland Gap doing the wonderful waltz “Wallflower.” Greg Silsby is one of the best singers in St. Louis.

The return of Rebecca Ryan to the stage in St. Louis as lead singer of the Sparrows. To say the band’s version of “I Want You” was sexy is to somewhat understate matters.

Magnolia Summer getting all the rock lead out for an angry and loud “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues.”

Dave Grelle of the Feed owning “Simple Twist of Fate” with a precise and beautiful piano melody.

Pretty Little Empire rocking “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” as hard as it’s ever been rocked. Video evidence below.

Karate Bikini rising to the occasion with a loud, thrilling “Like a Rolling Stone.”

Bothers Lazaroff swinging all the way through “Summer Days” and then leading everyone in “I Shall Be Released” and an unsanctioned but delightful “Rainy Day Women #12 and 35.”

If you missed the party, fear not. We’ll have video and photography for you soon, and who knows, perhaps we’ll do it again in a few years. Happy birthday, Bob.


  • Cat Pick

    I wanna do it all again, it was so good and so much fun!