November 2, 2011

Bob Dylan & Mark Knopfler live at O2 World, Hamburg

This was a show that polarized.
A historic summit had been announced to about 10.000 visitors.
Everyone was amazed at Mark Knopfler's guitar. Of course. And they were right, the Knopfler part of the show was just as everyone expected...except...

....the song selection wasn't. The master rolled out an atmosphere of Irish Folk and Scottish Highlands, rarely looking back at Dire Straits, but 'Sailing To Philadelphia' being the highlight of his performance and closing his 75-minute set with 'Brothers In Arms' and 'So Far Away'.

After the break - a surprise! Mr. Knopfler is back on stage, assisting Mr. Dylan with 'Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat', 'Boots Of Spanish Leather', 'Things Have Changed', 'Man In The Long Black Coat' and 'The Levee's Gonna Break'.

So far, so good.
But when he left the stage and Folk-God Bob Dylan started playing without the guitar of the Dire Straits mastermind by his side, a whole lot of people left the arena, seemingly disgusted by His Bobness slashing his songs to pieces and putting them back together, always searching for the origins of pop music in dirty blues, earthy country and folk.

Waking up from drunken ecstasy after Mark Knopfler's admittedly brilliant performance people seemed to be surprised  that Bob Dylan resists any political or mainstream usurpation. He doesn't need to transform his monotonous growling into notes.

The singer barks through a set of 14 songs that makes it hard to recognize the classics, such as 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall' or 'Highway 61 revisited'.

For the finale nothing special comes out of Bob Dylan's repertoire, he shreds 'All Along The Watchtower' and 'Like A Rolling Stone' as if he was trying to end those wonderful songs as soon as possible, kind of like adding fresh water and fertilizer to Jimi Hendrix' versions of them.

On The way out I could still hear people cursing. I really wonder why. If you want to hear 'Blowing In The Wind', you should stick to Joan Baez anyway.

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