August 31, 2014
Review by Dennis Linard
Wow! Rare as it is, I'm a bit lost for words. Who would have thought the
old curmudgeon would stuns us like he did? The history of Bob Dylan plays
a major role in my life and one of the joys of fronting up to Bob shows
has always been, for me, the unknown of the song list; the challenge of
guessing; the revelatory moment when recognition enters your brain. I was
curious about this current tour given the static setlist (in the main).
Would that make for a different experience? I found myself very relaxed,
knowing what Bob was to play next. I've never experienced that before, and
I liked it (although I missed the usual challenge a bit).
As an aside: Every Bob gig in Adelaide seems to invariably be advertised
on local radio over the dulcet tones of 'Hurricane', as if he's still
playing that song (note to self: check when he last played it). As my lad
said 'what hilariously false advertising'.
So, to the gig itself: From the opening chords of a strummed acoustic
guitar, which was structured to sound like a folk song echoing the ghost
of Greenwich Village (and was a beautiful rendition of 'Things Have
Changed') to Bob finishing the show with the song that originally brought
him folk fame 'Blowin' in the Wind', Bob and his cowboy band were at the
top of their game. Were these bookends just serendipitous? I think not.
What grabbed me immediately was the sound. The Adelaide Entertainment
Centre has never been known for its finesse, always sounding like a
booming barn, but this was a delicate, intricate, perfectly mixed blend of
rock music played at a level that made it easy to hear every instrument,
every nuance, every phrase. And Bob's phrasing was magnificent as always.
Rarely does he get praise for his singing, these days sounding more Tom
Waits than Bob of old, but his phrasing has never let him down. Bob has
said that the meter of the song is more important to him than his lyrics.
Well, his delivery to that meter of words of such power and beauty tells
me that he's not being completely honest.
Every song, even the ones I wouldn't normally consider at the top of my
'want to hear' list, such as Scarlet Town and Early Roman Kings, were
incredible. Special mention to, ah hell, the whole lot. I was looking
through the song list to praise one song above all others and I couldn't
do it. Every single one was a highlight. From mournful to organic to rock,
the gig never became bogged down in sameness.
If you're a Bobsessive, don't miss this tour. If you're attending hoping
to hear your favourite Bob song, do your homework. If you appreciate
greatness, sit back, relax and marvel in the magic this man keeps
I've seen Bob 9 times over the last 28 years and to reflect on what
Benmont Tench said recently, I feel such privilege to live at a time when
Bob is making music. I cherish every experience.
Like I said, I'm lost for words.
Review by Nick Miller
Fourth night in a fourth city of the2014 NZ / Australia tour for me -
before settling into more nights in my hometown Sydney.
Again there is Dylan right on time as the gong sounds. The Adelaide
Entertainment Centre is similar to Claudelands Arena in Hamilton NZ -
certainly not the history or grandeur of Melbourne and Sydney venues.
None-the-less the sound is great and audience as ever having a wonderful
time. We sit next to a lifelong fan from Port Lincoln and behind a girl
who chair dances through the night. Strangers become friends, music fills
the arena. Highlights tonight for me are Workingman's Blues #2, Simple
Twist of fate, Early Roman Kings, Long and Wasted Year and tonight Blowin'
in the Wind really resonates. Mention must be made of the excellent
lighting and ongoing energy from the band. Plus that Dylan's harmonica
playing is so spot on to the songs. During the tram ride home the crowd
are effusive about the night...roll on Sydney.
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