Archive for the ‘Dylan London O2’ Category

Dylan in London last night: energized, committed, triumphant

April 26, 2009

26 April, 2009 by dylandaily

Last night’s show in the London O2 Arena was an unexpected triumph. 

Dylan was in overdrive from the very first bar of Maggie’s Farm to the closing note of Blowin’ In The Wind. His performance was as energized and committed as any of the shows I’ve seen since 1978 (and my mother has seen since 1965!)

The set opened like a freight train and rarely lost momentum. The setlist (below) was well chosen, with only half the songs repeats of the previous night’s gig.

Highlights – there were many – included Hollis Brown and Workingman’s Blues. The few longueurs, notably Spirit On The Water, were lounge-rhythm songs from the last two albums – they sound better on the hi-fi than on stage.

I’ve rarely heard Dylan sing so well – confident, expressive, assertive, his voice seems to have re-found the strength of 20 years ago.

The sound was first class from my seat, in the gods one too many mornings away from the stage. Dylan was commendably up in the mix. It was a relief to hear the music so clearly, as the jokey intro “… Colombian recording artist…” had sounded muddy, boomy.

I’d gone to the gig with trepidation, not only because of the embarrassing lack of public transport (some jobsworth wag had decided to close the Jubilee Line, the only serious transport link to distant central London, for the day), but also from a fear that Bobby might be getting past it.

The fears were groundless – Bob’s voice, his playing of keyboard and harmonica and his general energy levels were a revelation.

There’s years of the Might Zim left yet. Bob’s still the Man! Why did anyone ever doubt it?

SETLIST:
1. Maggie’s Farm
2. The Times They Are A-Changin’
3. Things Have Changed
4. Chimes Of Freedom
5. Rollin’ And Tumblin’
6. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
7. ‘Til I Fell In Love With You
8. Workingman’s Blues #2
9. Highway 61 Revisited
10. Ballad Of Hollis Brown
11. Po’ Boy
12. Honest With Me
13. When The Deal Goes Down
14. Thunder On The Mountain
15. Like A Rolling Stone
16. All Along The Watchtower
17. Spirit On The Water
18. Blowin’ In The Wind

Gerry Smith