Bob Dylan may have received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016, but do not be fooled into thinking that the iconic singer-songwriter has a penchant for oration – that's not him.
In fact, the 77-year-old did not say a word that was not sung all night during his concert in Brisbane on Friday. But with an unmatched catalog full of songs filled with masterful lyricism as deep as Dylan's, and a backing band consisting of the old lead guitarist Charlie Sexton, rhythm guitarist Stu Kimball, multi-instrumentalist Donnie Herron, bassist and musical director Tony Garnier and drummer George Receli , who needs between-song banter?
There is a strict no-photo policy – with a threat of ejection for those who violate the rules – but this is not an audiovisual extravaganza, with Dylan and his band performing for a red curtain that suggests more intimate theater than indoor stadium, and it is refreshing to participate in a show that is not accompanied by a sea of glowing screens
A few minutes after the advertised & # 39; 8 pm sharp & # 39; the band starts seriously, because Dylan takes his place behind the baby wing at the front of the stage – where he spends the majority of tonight's set – and launches in one of his more recognizable songs from the past decades, the Oscar- winning song from 2000 Things have changed.
The evergreen It Is not Me Babe gets a drastic overhaul, just like the fresh look of the band Highway 61 Revisited and it's clear from the outset that although Dylan has no problem revisiting his back catalog, he has no interest in delivering jukeboxes of his hits, with the majority of tonight's blues, bluegrass, country songs – and get gospel rearrangements. Simple Twist of Fate, from Blood on the Tracks, is a highlight and offers a fitting raw answer – especially when Dylan comes on the harmonica.
At the age of 77, the vocal style of Dylan has grown into a gravelly grater rather than the nasal drawl of decades ago, but it's a quality that gives a worn-out character to iconic songs like When I paint my masterpiece, although his voice staggers on points, especially during Pay in blood.
Entangled in blue has so little resemblance to the original arrangement that it has been made almost unrecognizable to the refrain. Conversely, op Desolation RowDylan's vocals are powerful suggestive and with the accompaniment of the rhythm generated by Garnier's picked upright bass and Receli's innate shuffle, he provides one of the striking moments of the night, and Garnier really gets the chance to show his percussive skills as Thunder on the mountain reaches its climax.
After completing the right set with I have to serve someoneDylan and his band return for a land filled with pathos Blowing in the wind, followed by Ballad of a Thin Man.
Of course – some things have changed, but largely the blues-tinged arrangements match the characteristic vocals of Dylan, and more than five decades after being taunted as Judas because he dared to go electric, he is still not afraid to re-enact himself to invent. Few musicians have earned the right to be described as icons, but Bob Dylan certainly did.