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Bob Dylan Live by Robbie Shead
Robbie Shead, 08 Jul 2010
Thomand Park, Limerick, July 4, Bob Dylan and his band arrive in town to wrap up the latest leg of his “never ending” tour.
The stage was set up in the centre of the pitch facing the right hand side seating area, and rows of flags reached out from either side of the stage, hugging the crowd, creating a surprisingly intimate setting in the large arena. Opening performances from a local Limerick band, The Last Days of Death Country, Alabama 3, the exciting and enigmatic Seasick Steve and David Gray, started the proceedings nicely. But there was only one man I came to Limerick to see tonight.
As the intro started there were sounds of excitement and anticipation ‘blowin in the (almost gale force) wind’. Out marched the band, taking their positions like a well-rehearsed firing squad fully intent on shooting every one of us down. Unfortunately the opener didn’t seem to have that desired effect: it was an almost half-hearted attempt of ‘Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat’, a song which on other nights has lived up to and even outshone the fantastic Blonde on Blonde version. But tonight it seemed to just fall flat. He followed this up with a nice but again nothing to write home about version of ‘Lay, Lady, Lay’, coming out centre stage and wielding his guitar. The next song, ‘Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues’, was a nice surprise and picked up the pace a bit. Dylan began to loosen up and really get into his stride pulling off a number of those 2 or 3 note licks he can use to such great effect.
It was on the next song however I felt a change coming on. ‘Just Like a Woman’, although perhaps a little overused at this stage is always a favourite among concert-goers and tonight was no exception. It was breathtaking. And looking behind me up at the 15,000 strong crowd singing along to Bob was something that had to be witnessed to be believed.
‘Beyond Here Lies Nothing’ followed, a relatively new song that has already morphed itself into something beyond anyone’s expectations. Donnie really added to the sound with some subtle trumpet playing. ‘Tangled up in Blue’ had a nice arrangement Bob as usual starting the song off pretty much on his own, with a predictable but still stunning explosion on the second verse. ‘Rollin’ and Tumblin’’ did just that, causing a nice stir among the crowd, with a couple just to the side of me managing a jive in the limited space available.