August 18, 2014
Review by Raghava
With the set list staying the same for the last little while and the many good
words already written about the recent performances, easiest to echo these
all and say that Bob and band were in fine form yet again with few surprises
other than a couple of typical Bob quirks in phrasing, and subtle improv by
the band, at unexpected moments. It was otherwise a closely timed show
with the gong starting exactly at 8pm and lights down, and things into swing.
I got to St Kilda early to go for a stroll and grab some dinner and watch folk.
The band pulled up in a couple of vans, and a small straggle of Bob heads
were already hovering in the drizzly early evening, as I strolled from the
carpark past the theatre. Paused to watch Tony, Charlie and the others
quickly head into the back entrance under the watchful eye of security. No
Bob in sight. How many times have they done this? Which country, which
city is it tonight? There early for sound check. For those who may be
travelling from out of town (or suburb) for the next couple of shows - make
sure to take the opportunity to walk around the neighbourhood before or
after. Good coffee and pastries - and the burger and beer that I had were
a good start to the night (and it wasn't from where they were offering
free beer for Bob ticket holders!!). The smaller venue made for a relaxed
gathering outside waiting for the doors to open. Anticipating the familiar set
list and sound, I settled down and found myself simply enjoying the way the
show was put together and in particular the golden lighting that perfectly
suited the Palais interior, but which was also sequenced to stunning effect
particularly during High Water and the highly focussed start to Long and
Wasted Years. Had many in the audience reaching for their phones several
times through the show. Nice to see a few families present, and the couple
of young teens in front of me who were completely getting into the show.
Review by Jonathan Feldman
So many people criticise Bob for not talking to the audience enough -
tonight at the Palais he spoke for 2 hours. He spoke and we, his audience,
listened and responded. He spoke of love, of misfortune, of sadness and of
Particular highlights were a captivating rendition of Workingman's Blues
#2, Simple Twist of Fate, Spirit ont he Water and best of all for the
night was an energetic, yet tidy Long and Wasted Years.
The last few times I have been to see Bob I feared that he may have been
heading 'over the hill' but tonight put those thoughts well and truly back
in the box where they belong.
Thanks Bob for talking tonight...I'm sorry that some people just don't
Review by Nick Miller
Slight panic getting to the venue with delayed planes between Sydney and
Melbourne but in the end found myself almost first in!
Greatly enjoyed night one in Melbourne at the Palais (where Dylan played
in 1966) - great crowd, venue and the band was as tight as ever.
Highlights for me were an amazing Workingman's Blues #2, Pay in Blood and
Forgetful Heart. The concert provides different joy each night - roll on
the rest of the tour.
Review by Peter Elliott
What a privilege it is to be living at the same as this ever evolving
genius and what a joy that he is still so engaged with his art. I feel
blessed that he pops into my neighbourhood every few years to give us a
night like this. No other artist comes close to his extraordinarily rich
body of work yet who else in their seventies could give a concert of
mainly recent material in such a spellbinding performance. This one man
has created the amazing "protest" songs of the early sixties, the
incredible mid sixties albums that changed music forever, the brilliant
albums of the seventies, some of his greatest songs (Angelina, Blind
Willie McTell, Every Grain of sand etc) through the much maligned eighties
and the great late period that started with him delving back into old folk
and blues and culminated in Time out of Mind. Love and Theft etc. Yet here
he is still hitting the stage with an artistry that is uniquely his and as
fresh as ever.
So on a damp Melbourne night Bob performed at the glorious old Palais
theatre in beachside StKilda. I'm sure the venue would have inspired Bob
who gave a stellar performance that was well received by a raucous
appreciative crowd. I don't know what all the rot about the lighting is;
for me the lighting was beautifully atmospheric and added to the haunting
nature of this current set list. Our seats were the best I have ever had
for a Bob show, only nine rows from the front and I could see everything
clearly. Nor are the microphones in front of his face a problem. For me
there is no criticising of anything about the man, I sit back and accept
everything he does basking in the ever surprising work he shares with the
It's hard to list highlights as I thought every song was the highlight
until the next one which then became the highlight. My main thrill was the
voice. Oh that voice that seems to come from deep within a soul soaked in
the dust, blood and pain of countless centuries of human love and despair.
That voice that through its various incarnations over the years has always
"pierced me to the heart." At the moment it is a glorious instrument that
growls through "Pay in Blood" but can croon beautifully through "Soon
after Midnight" or "Simple Twist of Fate." I think Bob has been evolving
into this voice that now so perfectly suits his position as the master of
American roots music. Then there is the harmonica playing, which others
have observed is a more mellow sound this time around. I would drive a
long way just to hear on of those gorgeous solos. Add to this some lovely
piano from Bob on several numbers and you are given a treat.
The band ,as always, were fabulous and what a joy it is to hear Bob
playing with guys who can really go with him. They rocked on Pay in Blood,
they swung on Spirit on the Water and Duquesne Whistle and provided
beautiful mellow backing to slower numbers like Simple Twist of Fate or
Soon after Midnight.
The set list is a masterful representation of this amazing career and the
musical space he currently inhabits. How sweet to hear She Belongs to Me
and to have it sung as if it were written yesterday. The great power of
Dylan's songs is that they are open to so many different arrangements yet
always retain the basic tune and structure of the original. I loved
Workingman Blues, Pay in Blood, Duquesne Whistle, Simple Twist, Spirit on
the Water and everything else. Of extraordinary beauty were the renditions
of Forgetful Heart and Soon After Midnight. Then there is the great fun of
trying to pick up the new lyrics on Tangled up in Blue. I could go on and
Finally comes the encore and what a generous gift to the fans this is. My
favourite ever version of All along the Watchtower. It was majestic and
toe tapping at the same time. What an amazing way to wind up then with an
exquisite reworked rendition of Blowin in the Wind, my pick as the
greatest song ever written. Bob performed this at the piano before
stepping to centre stage for a spine tingling harmonica solo.
This was a night of grace and majesty performed by a legendary artist at
the peak of his powers. I had the great pleasure of sharing the
celebration with my lovely friends Karen, John and Vicki, especially Karen
a fellow Bob head all through my life. We were also delighted by the young
Bec in front of us who thrilled me with her passion for the great man. I'm
heading back to the Tuesday show and can't wait.
Thanks for everything Bob, god love ya.
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