Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bob Dylan in Liverpool


Typically Bob Dylan gives no sign that he is aware of where he is playing - no "Hello Liverpool!" or "It's good to be in Dublin" but that doesn't mean he isn't aware. I saw him play the 11,000 seater Echo Arena in Liverpool last night. Chatting with the people on either side of me before the concert I wondered if Bob would play anything for George Harrison, this presumably being Bob's first concert in Liverpool since George's death in 2001. I speculated that My Sweet Lord might fit the bill. They doubted. But at number 12 in the 17 song setlist Bob delighted the audience by singing George's Something - one of the high points of the concert.

Other highpoints in what was a very lively Dylan performance were the second song Don't Think Twice, Po Boy and It's All Right Ma. He finished with a non-anthemic version of Blowin in the Wind. He only took up the guitar once for - Boots of Spanish Leather, played keyboards for the rest with a lot of harmonica thrown in. Nothing from his latest album. No talk except band introductions. Full setlist here.

He moves on to Scotland and then to Dublin on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Something special for Dublin? Probably not but what about the first live performance of I Feel A Change Comin' On from the new album with the "I'm reading James Joyce" line?

7 comments:

dubois said...

Thank you for sharing the Bob Dylan concerts. I wish I could go to just one. I read that he is not playing anything from the latest album.

Michael Farry said...

Hasn't played anything from it yet and this European tour finishes next Wednesday in Dublin so unlikely. But you never know with Bob. His next tour, in USA, starts 1 July. I presume he'll begin to include Together Through Life material in those setlists.

Anonymous said...

After attending Bob Dylan concert, at Liverpool Arena, my wife myself and two friends were disappointed. After waiting twenty years, what a let down. The sound quality was poor,Bob has always had a gravelly earthy sound, and obviously cannot hit a lot of the notes he used to. But to rearrange the classic hits to such an extent, we only recognized some of the songs after hearing the audience join in. Message to Echo Arena organizers, some large screens please, or it's back to MEN for us. Jim,Sylvia,Bob and Irene

Michael Farry said...

A common and understandable reaction especially if you haven't seen Bob for quite a while. The lack of large screens are not the fault of the organisers, Bob never uses them or allows them to be used. I've seen him at summer stadium concerts where other acts were shown on large screen but not Bob.

Al said...

I was sitting next to you, on your right...unless you have a doppelganger who was also there. Nice to meet you, and indeed to hear him play Something. A great night! Hope you enjoy the Dublin shows.

Anonymous said...

I saw Bob at the Optimus Alive music festival in Lisbon last year where he allowed the big screens to stay on, so he can be persuaded. I think the venues need to be a little more insistent, especially ones as vast as the 02. I was lucky enough to get a pretty decent seat there but for the poor people in the nose-bleed section Bob and the band must have looked like ants.

Anonymous said...

When I go to Stones concerts I think about how much greater it would have been without those ridiculous screens. Hats off to Bob, he's got some taste (to say the least) - bring binoculars BTW, it helps.