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Bob Dylan Live by Aia Leu
Aia Leu, 08 Jul 2010
Small gusts of wind blew in our hair as we queued up early, eager to get a good spot at Bob Dylan’s show in Thomond Park Stadium.
Starting the day were local Last Days Of Death Country with youthful exuberance. Then Alabama 3, with their classic lines getting us bopping, followed by Seasick Steve delivering some foot-stomping blues with his wild collection of homemade guitars. David Grey, classic songs expanded, all the acts seem to reflect elements of the man we’d come to see, every band indicated their respect to Bob, obviously proud to be supporting him this day.
As Bobs’ crew set up, the speakers blasting out a reading of Jack Kerouac’s epic novel On The Road entertained the audience of young and old.
Then Bob Dylan the Legend was on – 60’s Shakespeare – sharp-dressed man of style - the man with over 50 years of delivering songs, who was the poet of the counter-culture movement of my parents’ generation!
The first song ‘Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat’ took off, with Bob at the organ, and the show was on. Then the sexy notes of ‘Lay, Lady, Lay’ with Bob stepping up to the mike on guitar and another classic ‘Just Like A Woman’ which had the crowd roaring the chorus; emotions were now truly awakened. With no seconds wasted Dylan and the band blasted straight into the next rocking songs from his ever changing set; a fantastic ‘Rollin And Tumblin’ a powerful ‘Cold Irons Bound’ ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ and a standout of the show ‘Workingman's Blues #2’ followed by ‘Thunder On The Mountain’ which finally got the security men in front of the stage tapping their feet! A compelling ‘Ballad Of A Thin Man’ was up next, as the well-loved songs emerged out of an unfamiliar arrangement and then grew into a free-form rock jam session.
Being right up front it was possible to see the interplay between the band and their leader. The rhythm section of George Receli drums, Stu Kimball rhythm guitar and Tony Garnier (Dylans’ longest serving sideman) bass, provided the backbone of the sound, with Don Herron switching between pedal guitar, mandolin, trumpet and viola and Charlie Sexton lead guitarist, constantly having to check exactly what chords Bob was playing to fit their parts into the whole. For a band to still be so focused on getting it right after hundreds of shows was amazing and obviously still having a ball playing with the man. Being there at the show was for me at times like having a master artist delivering the message through timeless words, his finger pointing straight at me.