Liacouras Center, Philadelphia US 


November 9, 2009



Rating: ****1/2 (4.5) out of 5

First off, full disclosure, Bob Dylan is kind of a big deal for me. My father and best friend both turned me on to Dylan when I was an early teenager and my first concerts were Bob Dylan shows. I've made the trip through his whole catalogue from his Woody Guthrie-inspired folkish beginnings to his trip down Electric Avenue to his religious rebirth and finally to his current form, which seems to be some of his strongest [album] work. I've never seen a show at the Liacouras Center, but it felt like the Wachovia Spectrum Jr. Although there was a crowd, it felt a little empty, at least for someone with a following like Dylan, but for those who attended, a great time was had.

There is no doubt at his current age (68) that Dylan is getting a bit tough to hear, but then again when I was 16 I could barely hear him either. Coupled with the fact that his first couple of songs were somewhat obscure to the casual Dylan fan, some chants of "Sing something we know" could be heard coming from the crowd and more specifically this huge, 6'5'' guy standing in front of me. But, for those of us who have spent more than a couple hours digesting Dylan's discography, it didn't matter if Bob could sing clearly or not, because we were singing along with every word from memory. As well, something that Dylan really has done an amazing job throughout his whole career he continued, which is playing each song in a unique composition. He never sounds like he is playing the album version of songs and his version of "Ballad of a Thin Man," which is in my top 5 Dylan songs, actually gave me shivers (although it could've been the 60 year old Hippie grabbing my arm every time a crescendo happened). Mixing a solid selection of old (Highway 61 Revisited, Desolation Row, Like A Rolling Stone) and new (Workingman's Blues #2, Cold Iron Bounds, Thunder On The Mountain), this show was what I expected and more. The final song of the night, "All Along The Watchtower" reminded me once again that Hendrix and DMB might've blew the song up for most people my age, but when it comes down to it, Dylan knows what best for his own songs. As a true, lifelong Dylan fan, you just have to drop the whole "I can't hear a word he is saying" thing and just appreciate the pure force that Dylan is considering the fact that you don't know if that will be the last time you ever see him live again (in concert that is).


1. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
2. Man In The Long Black Coat
3. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight
4. Beyond Here Lies Nothin'
5. Spirit On The Water
6. High Water (For Charley Patton)
7. Tryin' To Get To Heaven
8. Cold Irons Bound
9. Desolation Row
10. Po' Boy
11. Highway 61 Revisited
12. Workingman's Blues #2
13. Thunder On The Mountain
14. Ballad Of A Thin Man
15. Like A Rolling Stone
16. Jolene
17. All Along The Watchtower
added by Dean Tye

Concert added by Dean Tye
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