August 15, 2014
Review by Judi Kenneally (with comments from Ian Lovell)
On the eve of this current Australian tour , I tallied up how many Dylan
shows I’ve seen. The count came to 29. This is my 8th Australian tour
since 1986. Yes I was 6 in 66 and missed ‘78 ..but after the 3 Perth
shows I can honestly say that I think Dylan in 2014 is right up there with
the best I’ve ever seen.
All 3 Perth concerts were totally mesmerising and compelling. These
smaller intimate theatre shows are where Dylan truly belongs. At 73...
he’s singing these carefully selected songs with utter conviction...with
a band capable of anything. Luckily we were sitting close enough to see
how much they enjoy playing together. ..our best seats on the third night
straight in front of Bob on grand piano. The lighting is low and moodily
dramatic setting the atmosphere perfectly.
Dylan and his crack band have taken on the guise of a Southern riverboat
swing blues band...a strong development from his last visit in 2011.
Hearing his latest songs from Tempest for the first time was a totally
intense experience . Bob moves from centre stage on vocals and harmonica
to the grand piano...which he plays with vigour. His latter songs are so
in sync with his voice as it is now. Dylan is singing so purposefully and
at times so utterly sweetly...appropriately opening with Things have
Changed . Workingman’s Blues #2, Forgetful Heart and Long and Wasted
Years were incredibly moving. Pay in Blood, Scarlet Town...intense. This
is Bob Dylan today ...not of the past ..this isn't a greatest hits jukebox
show ..we are witnessing an artist still interested in exploring his art.
Dylan pulls you into the world he's created..and his band is so damn hot.
His older songs She Belongs to me..Tangled up in Blue..and Simple Twist of
Fate are given new life..and new arrangements in keeping with the theme of
this show. if you want the past ..listen to his records...this is now. I
thought I’d had enough of hearing All Along the Watchtower and Blowing
in the Wind but they are refreshed with new arrangements..Dylan stretching
out on piano during Watchtower with interplaying solos with the band. He
and the band did their usual stand and acknowledge the audience at the
end..but on Friday night they lingered longer to absorb the rousing
standing ovation given.
We met a man in the lift prior to opening night ..he was there under
sufferance (his wife bought the tickets) .. He didn’t enjoy Bob in 86
and was sceptical of what he’d get from Bob this time. He was also
unfamiliar with Tempest. We met him again after the third show. He sought
us out to tell us he’d been so completely blown away with the first
night, he’d stayed up late listening to Tempest and watching live you
tube tracks of this show.. and immediately bought tickets to the 3 rd
show...if there was a 4th he go again. Feeling so very lucky to be living
in this time...seeing Dylan live and in top form again If you checkout the
set list below you can see what's in store if you are coming to a show..
..do your homework for maximum reward ..listen closely to Tempest. l
suggest you get your skates on if you haven't bought a ticket.. 4
Melbourne concerts await , then Brisbane and Sydney...and we can’t wait
to see and hear more.
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