Brixton Academy, London
It was a tough call seeing this or Jeff Tweedy tonight. One, a bonifide legend who might not be back, the other a mini-legend, who will almost certainly be back - with and without Wilco. That made the decision easier, and the huge queue snaking all the way round the Brixton Academy at 7.30 certainly added to the excitement.
Everyone got in pretty quickly, and at about 7.40 the lights went down for an ice hockey style introduction for the "legend of the 60's counter culture, duke of spook... etc". The crowd went crazy when Dylan shuffled on, and kicked things off with Maggie's Farm. We also got Positively 4th Street, Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine), Girl Of The North Country and Highway 61 Revisited. The Band (I wish) were certainly good, but no one really moved off piste without a nod from the commandant, and certainly no one broke into a sweat. Dylan himself was captivating to watch, but mainly due to the fact that you were in the presence of a living legend... rather than what he was doing (not playing the guitar, occasionally playing the harmonica. The older geeks in the crowd (some with binoculars, many taking notes) seemed determined to like every single move or shuffle, and every song started with a race to be the first to recognize it.
The band shuffled off after a brief bow, but nothing was said to the crowd. They predictably shuffled back on for an encore with Like A Rolling Stone, which was the first time the crowd actually had a chance to sing along. As the chorus came up the crowd swelled up - but then after one line, Dylan's different delivery (Like a ROLL-ing stONE!) just caught everyone off guard and put an end to it.
All Along The Watchtower wasn't bad, but all in all it was a bit like seeing a really good jazz band (or even Steely Dan) on a Cross Channel Ferry doing Dylan covers. In the club style.
Should have seen Tweedy.
23rd Nov 2005 - Tumblr2.5