Newcastle, Australia

Newcastle Entertainment Centre

August 22, 2018

[Luke], [Greg Brennan], [Laurette Maillet], [Imre Salusinszky], [Michael King], [Nick Miller], [Daniel Elkington]

Review by Luke

My 4th Bob show in 5 nights- my first 4 bob shows ever and the last show
in New South Wales of the current tour. An interesting perspective
tonight- there wasn't the excitement of seeing him for the first time, but
there was the excitement of getting into the roll of a his never-ending
touring cycle and feeling connected to the live show. Before he got to the
piano to start Things Have Changed, he did his now classic boxing stance
with 3 fingers on each hand sticking out like a pistol and letting out a
smile. At the start of It Ain't Me Babe I heard the people infront of me
talking to eachother trying to figure out which person was Bob- and this
is the way I figure Bob wants it. It's also the reason Bob is here playing
to a few thousand people in a tin entertainment centre in some random
Aussie town instead of Madison Square Garden in NYC. His an evolving
artist who enjoys going off into the most obscure parts of the world to
perform his material. I remembered that someone in each show I've been to
has brought a bell and rang it during Early Roman Kings so I used my
binoculars and zoomed into Bob's face- Bob did the thing where he raises
his eyebrows and does a mouth twitch smile, I think he enjoys the bell
ringing. Don't Think Twice keeps getting more emotional and somber each
night. Thunder On The Mountain was a bit less thumping than usual. The
people next to me got up and left during Soon After Midnight, so i got to
spread out and get comfy. Soon After Midnight is probably the only song
they perform exactly like the album. And because of that, I felt its the
only song where they're all just 'going through the motions'. Gotta Serve
Somebody has remained bluesy. When they left the stage after serve
somebody, the crowd didn't really understand that they had left for an
encore- it was so dark it just sorta seemed like they were still in their
places and the next song was about to start. Best Ballad of a Thin Man I
heard so far. A raucous rendition. It's now Soon After Midnight and Bob
and Co. are probably heading north to Brisbane. And soon after that
they'll be back to their homes in the land of the free. And soon after
that they'll be back rolling through USA. We were honored to have Bob in
Newcastle tonight. See ya back here in another 4 years Bob.


Review by Greg Brennan

When I first saw the Newcastle Entertainment Centre out the window of the
train I travelled up from Sydney in, I thought it’s just another old
barn and the sound quality tonight will probably be poor. I was wrong. Out
of the three arena type shows I have seen this Aussie tour, Perth,
Wollongong and finally Newcastle this was my most enjoyable show. During
“It Ain’t Me Babe” Tony did these great Bass runs on the electric
bass and both Tony and George, who’s drumming this tour has been the
best I’ve seen of him, held up the rhythm as you’d expect of these
total professional musos. Even though the setlists have pretty much been
the same apart from one change at The Enmore, every night there are slight
differences in the way each song’s preformed, the band seem to be still
changing the intro to “Gotta Serve Somebody” last night it was a
longer intro and less honkey tonk and more blues. After Gotta Serve
finished, Bob just disappeared off the stage in the darkness. No stage
lights came on and it was an uncomfortable silence as the crowd didn’t
realize the first part of the show was over. I think they only went off
for a minute or two and then back on for Blowin’ and Thin Man, a great
rockin’ tune with great chord playing by Stu, who was already waiting on
the bus when I started the 45 minute walk back to the hotel. Thanks to Bob
and band, crew and staff for a great Aussie tour.


Review by Laurette Maillet

August 21.
It was a pleasant journey all the way from Sydney to Newcastle.
A slow train but clean and quiet.
My couchsurfing host John, waits for me at his house.
A large house all white and spotless. I have my own private room and
bathroom. John is a Yoga teacher. Everything in the house as at atmosphere
of Zen;peace and rest. My first night in Newcastle is refreshing.

August 22
It's a new morning and the sun is shining.
Perfect day for a walk on the beach.
I spend the first part of the day all by myself but not lonely. 
I stop at a beautiful "cultured cafe" decorated with Aboriginal
paintings.I buy a little gift for my grandson. Load myself with
capuccinos. Chat with a young Lady telling me all about Aboriginal
languages. I stroll all the way to the lighthouse and back  in the
company of birds.

By 5 p.m. it's time for the second part of the day.
Tonight I decide to dress up. I bought myself a new pair of pants, new
shoes, new jacket....all at the Salvation Army for few bucks. Why waste
money when it's not necessary and what about doing a good action? I even
comb my hair differently  and add some earrings. I feel good and
confident. I walk the 25 minutes walk to the venue. It's a huge arena with
an inside court where to buy food and drink. There is only one narrow
entry. It's my chance.  I put my sign out. Is it me or the people ? But I
feel joy and happiness. Folks are kind, smile at the sign or wish me good
luck. It takes me only 20 minutes before a handsome gentleman says yes, he
has an extra ticket. We chat with good humour and finaly walk inside
without thinking twice.  I believe Gérard didn’t really want to try to
sell that ticket. Maybe just find company. We are on the side, up on the
left, which give us an excellent view on the stage and piano. Not too long
before Stu strumms his tune and the Band and Bob appear. Bobby's voice
sounds tired, less clear, more like a mumble. Some of the lyrics I don't
know, I can't  make. He will sing song after song without moving away
from the piano, hardly communicating with Charlie and Tony, not smiling
with Donnie. He looks tired...

I observe the scene between the stage performance and the public.
It's like there is a wall in between, a dichotomy. Though some fans seem
to enjoy the Rock songs, it doesn't affect the musiciens. They are way too
far from the audience, all in the dark. Every time a song ends and some
super fans stand up....the lights go down and Bob turns his back,
oblivious of the reactions.

I focus on 
"Don't think twice."
The first 3 verses are sung by Bob at the piano. Hardly any sound  is
coming from the guitars.  George is off, relaxing is back against the box
behind him. Then a bridge with Bob on harmonica and George and the guitars
pick up and they accompany Bob for the final verse. Interesting try for an
intimate song. But.....the venue is not the right one? Or his voice is not
so clear? It doesn’t operate any miracle. I am sure some didn't even
recognise the song.

Gerard is happy. He has definitely a great time.
I can unfortunately compare with other shows and this is not the best one.
"Gotta serve somebody" is my favourite. I try a timid sing along...serve
somebody!...but no one around me is reacting. They came to see the Icon,
the Legend, the Nobel.....not the Rock star. Gerard proposes to drive me
back home. We have a good laugh. Thank you my dear friend. Thank you
Bobby. Good night. See you in Brisbane.


Review by Imre Salusinszky

Great show last night: tight and energetic. I’ll leave others to do the
musical assessment but thought I would mention an intriguing detail for
the connoisseurs of Dylan’s unique stage manner. For the first time I
can remember, he and the band did not take a bow at the conclusion of the
main set: they simply disappeared as soon as the lights went down. Since
the lights go down after every song, this left the audience confused for a
few minutes and there was silence throughout the auditorium as people
waited for the next song. This was resolved when the beautiful standing
lamps on the set were illuminated and folks realised the stage was empty.
Later, after the encores, it seemed to me Dylan was a little more generous
in his acknowledgment of the crowd than previous nights, smiling and
extending his arms. And he and the band very visibly took a “bow”
together, rather than simply standing there.  Maybe this was by way of
compensation for the missed curtain-call l? It’ll be interesting to see
what he does in Brisbane and New Zealand. And of course: Don’t you dare
miss it!


Review by Michael King

Tonight I shared my 6th Dylan concert with my daughter and son. They
witnessed another marvellous show that featured songs from all 5 decades
of his amazing career. Tonight he performed Gotta Serve Somebody. I've
waited 30 years to see him perform something from this era. I had
anticipated a Peter Gunn version but as always he surprises with his
constant creative urge. New words, new music... new song. The eternal
question of whose side are you on, a la Arlo Guthrie are still there. You
have to serve somebody, which is it going to be the devil or the Lord.
This song's new lyrics continue to lift the lid on people's indifference
to God.  "You either got faith or unbelief,  there ain't no neutral
ground." the Newcastle venue while not ideal delivered reasonable sound
quality. The lighting of the show was much improved on the last show I saw
in Sydney 2014, where it was too dark and gloomy for me. The gold lame
jacket glistened and his ruffled hair piled high transported us back to
that early electric shows.  The band was tight and focused most of the
time. It is amazing that Newcastle can attract Bob back yet again and
still fill the entertainment centre at 77. Who else can draw a crowd with
such fresh creativity at his age? Thanks Bob for being Bob.

Michael King


Review by Nick Miller

Back in black

Bob was back in black for this Newcastle Entertainment Centre show. The
venue is similar to Wollongong but with our centre near front seats and
amazing sound this concert is a highlight of the six I've had the
privilege to see this tour. Bob's voice is strong and the band as vibrant
as ever. Impossible to pick highlights - it's all good! So back to reality
until we next connect - roll on Bob.

Nick Miller 


Review by Daniel Elkington

What a great evening with Bob and his band! The sound was on point
throughout the show, with none of the aural muddiness that has been a
minor blemish on some shows over the last few tours - Bob's voice was
crystal clear and the band members all had their time to shine over the
course of the night. Despite no surprises in the setlist, Bob thrilled the
crowd from start to finish.

Highlights on the night for me were a rollicking version of Highway 61
Revisited, a whimsical Tangled Up In Blue and a powerful Ballad of a Thin
Man, but there was no low points whatsoever! The vocals for both Don’t
Think Twice and Tryin' To Get To Heaven seemed to have the audience
hanging off of every word and George's drumming combined with Tony's
punchy bass line on Thunder On The Mountain was memorable for its
ferocity. Bob's piano fills interplayed with the guitarists' licks
beautifully all night, and his harp playing was a crowd pleaser every
time. Speaking of the audience's reaction, their favourites seemed to be
Don't Think Twice and Early Roman Kings.

Overall, a wonderful night and a big thanks to Bob and the band for making
it to Newcastle again!


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