Thursday, 23 August 2007

2003 - Never look back

15 November – Bob Dylan, Wembley Arena
05 December – Elton John, Wembley Arena

You might think it’s a bad idea to revisit the past, “never look back” and all that, but sometimes the “past” is relative.

In Dylan’s case there is no “past” as such – the Bobster’s music is changing all the time and the way the songs are sung depends on his current mood. Never seen Bob live before, thought it about time I did.

Bob Dylan Inc is a serious business. Grown men devote their lives to his every gig, Oxford dons gather in darkened rooms to listen to rare bootlegs and English professors write books about him. Turning up at Wembley was like stepping back in time – or was it? Sure, there were oldsters weeping as his Bobness mangled ‘Tambourine Man’ with the up-ward inflected whine at the end of each line, but just as many beardies were whooping it up – and there was a large and enthusiastic foreign contingent delighting in the ‘Watchtower’ final encore. Yup, mostly men. Brilliant night, though.

Elton John. Just couldn’t roll back the years on this one. Not Elton’s fault but my expectations were a tad high [see ‘Prehistory’]. Even so, and fair do’s he can really rattle those ivories. Lots of my favourites and some heavenly songs from the ‘West Coast’ album. Good on you, Sir!

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