Bob Dylan - The Playhouse, Edinburgh, Sun 3 May (4 stars)

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Bob Dylan - The Playhouse, Edinburgh, Sun 3 May

It’s impossible to deny Bob Dylan’s place in musical history. His music has profoundly influenced pop culture since the 60s. Even just being in the presence of greatness has a certain allure, and it’s definitely not lost on the packed Playhouse crowd, hanging on every cracked lyric and cheering every time his royal Bobness emerges from behind the organ to strap on the guitar or reach for the harmonica. Dressed in matching suits, the band almost fade into the background - every eye in the hall follows Dylan.

Kicking off with ‘Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat’ and ‘Lay, Lady, Lay’, with his constant touring, cantankerous attitude to the ‘hits’ and over 30 albums to choose from you can never be sure what Dylan will serve up. And while everything on tonight's set list demonstrates his genius, inevitably it’s the aforementioned smattering of hits that really bring the crowd to their feet (particularly a rousing ‘Like a Rolling Stone’). However, it’s hard to deny that at the age of 67 his vocals now are more of a croak than the potent howl of old. After two hours the set closes with ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’, reworked into an almost unrecognisable blues ramble, with Dylan never even acknowledging the crowd once throughout, despite their fervour. Still, it’s what we’ve come to expect from rock’s leading OAP, and proves he’s still a grouchy maverick to this day.

Setlist

‘Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat’
‘Lay, Lady, Lay’
‘Tangled Up In Blue’
‘When The Deal Goes Down’
‘Rollin' And Tumblin'’
‘Tryin' To Get To Heaven’
‘Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again’
‘Sugar Baby’
‘High Water (For Charley Patton)’
‘I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)’
‘Po' Boy’
‘Highway 61 Revisited’
‘Ain't Talkin'’
‘Summer Days’
‘Like A Rolling Stone’

‘All Along The Watchtower’
‘Just Like A Woman’
‘Blowin' In The Wind’

Bob Dylan & His Band

Ramshackle country/folk/rock from the living legend, now in his 70s but still going strong.

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