Brendan and I went to the Bob Dylan concert at the O2 on Wednesday night. Brendan is a fan. I'm not, but I did enjoy the concert. It was definitely better than the last time we saw Dylan in the Point Theatre a few years ago, when he sat at his piano with his head down the whole time. The O2 is the same location as the Point Theatre by the way, except it's all been rebuilt and made bigger.
This time, he had a standy-upy harmonium-type keyboard, and he was standing the whole time, moving with the music. And he even played the guitar on a song or two, and plenty of harmonica, which the audience loved, of course.
And he did turn towards the audience on a couple of occasions and acnowledged us with a kind of wave.
The music was good, very bluesy. According to Brendan, a lot of the songs were nearly unrecognisable. I did recognise 3, so I'm doing pretty good there - one was Like a Rolling Stone, and the other 2 were from a recent album (I think it's Modern Times), which Brendan plays at home quite a bit (and it's very listenable too - I never thought I'd hear myself say that!).
I was concerned that my cough would disturb the mood - but of course, I had no idea how large the O2 is. It's like a big American stadium (or what I imagine a big American stadium to be). And the sound was so loud that a thousand coughs would go unheard. The O2 is really big, but we managed to get in and out with no major crush. All well organised, with plenty of ushers at all major junctions. And also the Carlsberg Backpack Girls. I've never seen this before. Young women (mostly Eastern Europeans) carrying big backpacks with Carlsberg bottles, going up and down the aisles and the steps, selling beer to the punters, at the cost of ... €7 per bottle. Not cheap. But it beats having to go down to the bar, I guess. Not that we availed of the service anyway, because if you drink, then you need to go to the loo, and when you're sitting in the middle of a row, a lot of people have to get up to let you out. I would not like to have a heart attack there!
Both of us still have colds - Brendan wasn't in great shape, but we managed to survive the night. We got the Luas into town, then the shuttle bus from Stephen's Green. The shuttle bus was very good, very efficient - got us there quickly, and got us back even quicker. It beats walking the whole way down the quays.
So overall, a good night out, though we're still paying the price, with lingering colds and chesty coughs.
By the way, I've read somewhere that Dylan has beaten Neil Diamond's record as the oldest artist touring (by a few months). They are 67 or 68. I don't know how they can stick touring for so long (check out all the dates on Dylan's website).
By the way, did you know that Bob Dylan also draws and paints? Check out www.bobdylanart.com. I might not be a big fan of his music but there is no denying that the man's got talent!