John Doe opened the evening and was glad people showed-up early because “playing to an empty hall would suck.” This seemingly obvious observation is profound in the hands of songwriters like Doe and Dylan. It was an understated evening filled with magical silences and reflective moods. Maybe that was just the drive home in the fog but this evening of music at the refurbished Hollywood Palladium seemed a perfect ordering of time and place. John Doe’s set leaned heavily on his amazing solo album, Forever Hasn’t Happened Yet. His hard-fought seasoned vocals roll effortlessly over the rootsy music. He pulls emotion out of the stillness or can put it into drive and vividly take you up “Hwy. 5.” A few songs in Doe claimed that a Hollywood Palladium show would not be complete without Exene, and she came out and joined him for “White Girl.” For Dylan’s entrance, the PA announcer for some reason felt it necessary to introduce him like it was a sporting event, listing off many of Dylan’s accomplishments. As if anybody there needed a reminder. We were there because of the legacy, because of his influence on our culture, because he is an icon, because of the music. And what would he play, what does an artist with his catalogue go through to pick a set? He would of course play new material, but honestly, we are coming for some classics too and would he throw us a few bones? Well, he started off with “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat,” which was a faithful rendition, and then went into a set that showed off his band and his newer material. The mood of the music reveals Dylan as he is now and the lazy grooves are perfect for a man who no doubt has had some time to reflect, but has not lost his sense of fun or caustic wit. “Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum” is an example of a tune with this swing and bite. I was warned that Dylan no longer plays guitar on stage. Finally seeing Dylan and he won’t pick-up a guitar? Blasphemy! But true. He taps on some keys (although there is another keyboardist on stage), but the harmonica is all him and the old man can blow. Soon a bone is thrown, but you had to listen to the arrangement and the chorus to realize it was “Highway 61 Revisited.” Once you had an ear for how he interpreted his old songs he continued with an encore of “Like a Rolling Stone,” and sent you on your way with “All Along the Watchtower.” Dylan the artist prevails, still making music, still relevant and a man who just cannot go quietly into that foggy night.