This, as they say, is no time for nerves.
For most up and coming bands, regardless of genre or variety, the iconic Dylan is something of an awesome figure - an elusive character who overcame a perceived lack of vocal ability to become one of, if not the, best known and most distinctive performers in world music.
Five Limerick acts have been shortlisted to go head to head against one another for a spot on Dylan’s Thomond Park bill, which also features heavyweights David Gray, Seasick Steve and Alabama 3.
The acts are Windings, Last Days of Death Country, Brendan Markham, Nick Carswell and the Elective Orchestra and Animal Beats - all seeking to scoop the chance to open for Dylan on July 4, in front of a potential audience of 20,000 people.
Dolan’s Warehouse, in association with the Limerick Chronicle and Limerick’s Live 95FM, will host the event tonight, and with five bands playing for a mere five euro, you can’t get better value anywhere else this summer.
A panel of select media representatives - including On The Beat - will watch the bands perform this Friday and pick a winner from the bunch.
Concert promoter Peter Aiken, who was requested by Dylan personally to select a local act to open his only Irish show this year, told City Life recently that a support slot for an unknown band had, in the past, yielded huge results.
“One year we had an unheard of band to support Pink – the Coronas, and she took them on a world tour, she loved them. Dylan will be listening, so who knows? It will be good, and we are looking forward to it,” revealed the concert boss.
Mick Dolan said the volume and quality of entries received for the competition proved that Limerick’s music scene was “fantastic”.
“The standard is fantastic and the five that were picked will do us proud, whoever wins,” said Mick.
The bands selected represent the cream of the crop on the local music scene, and are wholly representative of the diversity ever-present in local music circles.
Windings is the solo project of Steve Ryan of Giveamanakick, which is, despite being around for several years, only really a band in its infancy, given that Ryan only put the band together last year after Giveamanakick went their separate ways. The group played their first Limerick gig earlier this year in support of the release of excellent new single Brain Fluid, with an album slated for release later this year.
Castletroy band Animal Beats represent the best of the young, up and coming bands in Limerick, formed in late 2007 and displaying a moody brand of rock and roll, reminiscent of The National. The band were overall winners of Limerick's Got Talent 2009, beating over 50 acts to secure first place.
Post-rock four piece Last Days of Death Country are a band that have been championed on these pages for some time, sporting as they do one of our favourite monikers, plus an impressive set of songs that pack an aggressive rock and roll punch. Debut EP Mode and Effect, recorded with Fergal Lawler of The Cranberries, is one to check out.
Finally, last but certainly not least, is stalwart Brendan Markham, who has been around for many years, particularly as a founder member of the now defunct Limerick band The Driven, but who has only really found his niche with the release of his debut solo album False Witness, which he released earlier this year, and gathering a settled band around him.