Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Dylan hits Brixton

"It's like one massive Dylan gig!" enthused my friend James, who's going to all five of the consecutive nights Bob Dylan is playing at Brixton Academy this week. "With gaps," added a nearby Mancunian.

I suppose you could take the formula one step further: for some people life is one big Dylan concert, with gaps. I don't think I'm quite one of those people, but on my way to the Academy I did actually start to feel quite nervous, in case something went wrong and I missed the whole thing.

I didn't, thank the good Lord. Dylan played a real crowd-pleaser of a setlist, but the amazing moments were during the songs you didn't think you'd be bothered about. Mississippi, Cold Irons Bound, Highway 61, Love Minus Zero/No Limit, Summer Days and John Brown were all extraordinary. Even though it's 'barely' two years since Dylan recorded it, Mississippi already sounds like a new song. John Brown came on like the dark Scottish indie-skiffle of Sons and Daughters and the graphic war-is-bad lyrics made everyone stand still. And Summer Days kept switching brilliantly between '40s swing and heavy guitar-thwacking.

There were a few letdowns - Stuck Inside of Mobile and Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine) got a bit boring even before he started singing them (I don't really like the latter - that riff's as annoying as hell), and I Don't Believe You was fairly forgettable. But that's nitpicking - by the time Like A Rolling Stone rolled round, with the house lights flashing up on the crowd for the chorus, the lowlights were a distant memory. Wish I'd got tickets for all five nights.

Setlist is here.


Nicole said...

I am so insanely jealous. Sounds like it was awesome...

Anonymous said...

I am Patrick Swayze and when I'm not filming or being an annoying prick, I never miss a chance to read this block! yeah, it blows my mind!