Bob Dylan in Osaka

Some people have asked if I only listen to Okinawan music. The reality is that I listen to all sorts of ‘other music’ and part of this blog will reflect that. The discovery of Okinawan music has, in fact, led me to give even more attention to these other kinds of music, and especially to music which has a connection with its own roots.

I first saw Bob Dylan back in 1978 in England, at Earl’s Court, and then at an open-air event attended by an estimated 200,000 people at Blackbushe. I’ve followed his many changes of direction since the 1960s and he still excites and surprises me. His current visit to Japan meant that a friend from Kobe persuaded me to use the free flight I was due because of accumulated mileage to make my first return to the mainland since moving to Okinawa almost a year ago. I was not disappointed. The Dylan concert we attended was the second of his 5 nights at Zepp Osaka, on March 12th. I’ve lost count but I think this must have been either my 10th or 11th time to see one of his live shows, but it was definitely the closest I’ve ever been to the action, our standing position near the front being close enough to reveal all the wrinkles and sweat on Bob’s face. This time he played mainly keyboards, and sometimes harmonica, but spared us the electric guitar for most of the show. The lead guitar duties were ably taken over by Charlie Sexton who led a tight band. Dylan’s dress sense gets more eccentric by the year and on this evening he wore a strange black cowboy suit with pointed shoes, a bright green shirt, and a large black hat with a wide brim. Not a word was spoken by the great man except for his introduction of the band members near the end.

My friend also had a ticket for one of the later Osaka shows. He tells me on this occasion Dylan was more communicative, not least when handed a nice-looking vintage guitar as a present by one of the audience during the encores. His response was: “I’m gonna take this home with me and all you people too.”

The set list radically changes from day to day though the three final songs, as encores, stay the same. On the 12th this was the list:

Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat
Lay Lady Lay
Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright
The Levee’s Gonna Break
Just Like A Woman
Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum
Make You Feel My Love
Honest With Me
Po’ Boy
Highway 61 Revisited
I Feel A Change Comin’ On
Thunder On The Mountain
Ballad Of A Thin Man
Like A Rolling Stone
All Along The Watchtower

Explore posts in the same categories: Roots Music from Out There

5 Comments on “Bob Dylan in Osaka”

  1. Keith Says:

    Small puff for this website and weblog on my Zen Mischief weblog.

  2. Heiko Junge Says:

    oohh I envy you. It must have been great. I really would love to be there, too.
    I am already a fan of the Power of Okinawa webpage. Congratulations!! Good job!!
    Heiko from Norway

  3. Izumi Says:

    I wish I could have been at Zepp Osaka. Bob Dylan has a couple of more concerts at Zepp Tokyo. This is a long tour of his in Japan. I wonder if this is coupled with some other tours in Asia-Pacific area.

    The play list contains some tunes familiar to me. I by no means am familiar with all his songs.

    Thanks for the good report.

    • Bob is playing in Seoul at the Olympic Gymnastics Stadium on March 31st. Then he has a break from his never-ending tour. It all starts up again on May 29th in Athens, Greece which is the first date of a lengthy European tour taking in many countries and ending in Ireland on July 4th.

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