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my love she speaks like silence

Went to see Bob Dylan on the 11th of April in Glasgow, with F. It was a bit frustrating because he started on time, and we missed two or three songs, I think.

It was initially curiously underwhelming, all I could see was a man in a white hat wearing rhinestones, who could have been anyone really, if it wasn't for that unmistakeable voice. His voice was in amazingly good shape, which was a pleasant surprise, because I'd heard that on previous tours he'd been a shell of a man, but he now seems to have recaptured his fire, grooving along, seemingly enjoying himself as he led on the audience with radical reinterpretations of his hit songs, that kept you guessing till you caught a snatch of familiar lyric.

Once we sat down, the view of the stage was a bit better, though he had his back to us for most of the gig--but I stood up on my seat for 'Like a Rolling Stone' and I'm so pleased I did.

That was when it hit me, thousands of people singing along with this legend of our time, and feeling a strange kind of distilled joy that I had seen Dylan, in the flesh, making music, doing what he does best. He returned for an encore, and introduced the members of the band, in that soft drawl, mentioning which state each was from--this was, as far as I could tell, the only words he had spoken during the gig, causing me to wonder whether part of that shy young man in Scorcese's documentary No Direction Home still lived on, in spite of all the fame and the success.

I have an indelible image of him and the band taking their final bow, suffused by white light, and the wonder of realising that Bob Dylan was just a few metres away from me, and how very glad I was that it happened to be.

 


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