Thursday, 2 September 2010

Whistlestop on the Never ending Tour

Original Post - Sunday, June 25, 2006

A dark rumbling like the birth pangs of an earthquake illuminated by flashes of subterranean lightning. Last night I witnessed one of those moments that Bob Dylan is so capable of blessing a gig with. This time it was the performance of Ballad of a Thin Man - one of my favourites but this was lifted beyond the recorded version. Starting like a rockabilly apocalypse and  tipping a black hat (and the rest) to Scotty Moore it teetered but never wavered. The guitar licks peeled off by Denny Freeman were outrageously good and I felt electric. Some other performances on the night seemed like showmanship beside this and when you look at the setlist (below) you'll see little surprising or unfamiliar. This was showbiz Bob giving the crowd what they wanted. But there was more than one visit to the dark well that is Highway 61 Revisited and the albums title song was another of the nights highlights. Touchstone song and first encore Like a Rolling Stone was a little swamped by the singalong but the finale of Watchtower was pretty fine.

Love Sick was also great and this gig has to go down as prime Dylan.

Openers - at least the two I made it along for - Violent Femmes and Flaming Lips were also good with the Lips shading it for their joie de vivre and balloons. Do you Realise? was the highlight of their set for me but it was probably eclipsed by their reinvention of crowd surfing for a more hygenic generation. Violent Femmes mixed some Irish songs - Star of the County Down and The Boys from Barr na tSraide which got a roar when 'fighting the Tans' was mentioned. Highlight was a great version of Add it Up and musically they were a treat.

Bob's setlist from expectingrain.com was:
1. Maggie's Farm
2. She Belongs To Me
3. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
4. Lay, Lady, Lay
5. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
6. Love Sick
7. Watching The River Flow
8. Ballad Of A Thin Man
9. Absolutely Sweet Marie
10. Highway 61 Revisited
11. Masters Of War
12. Summer Days
13. Like A Rolling Stone
14. All Along The Watchtower

Bob Dylan - keyboard, harp
Tony Garnier - bass
George Recile - drums
Stu Kimball- rhythm guitar
Denny Freeman - lead guitar
Donnie Herron - electric mandolin, violin, pedal steel, lap steel

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