Saturday, April 23, 2011

his bobness : live in melbourne

the two men sitting behind me at rod laver arena discussed the furore that followed dylan going electric at newport in '65, but of course his tour in australia in '66, well there's just not a lot written on it...i love a dylan tragic. they were out in force at the rod laver arena last wednesday.

papa bear and i just hoped bob would sing something we could recognise. he did. in his own special way: a voice that sounds like he's gargling whiskey and gravel, a spiffy suit and hat and a couple of rockin' dance moves. i swear it's contrariness that sends his songs spinning in a new arrangement every year. highlights for me were tangled up in blue and simple twist of fate. they were closer to the originals and the band didn't bang on too loud or too long.

rod laver arena sucks though. bob was just too far away. so impersonal. and chilly. i don't think i shall go there again. it had none of the ambiance of other old rocker concerts i've been to.

did i say that bob was far away? (click to enlarge) though the lighting was fantastic, in the absence of screens (damn your contrariness bob!) his silhouette was uplit and projected large onto the back of the stage - i could philosophise on the many meanings behind this, and interpreted from this, larger-than-life, a false modesty, ...

he finished the evening with forever young. a beautiful song, which is now a fab children's book with great illustrations, full of references to his songs and his life. perfect for the offspring of dylan tragics.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

trailer for the book:

reviews of the concert here and here.


  1. ah you're good. I couldn't do it. I love bob but rod laver arena is too awful ... but I got a mite sad reading your post... maybe I could have gone (at least to see the dance moves!)

  2. One of the reasons I like to see famous but not-so-famous acts is that you can get up quite close - smaller venues are great! I don't do big arenas - or festivals. Have all of Bob's albums of recent years though (and a cat named after him) - he's someone who hasn't just rested on his reputation from the 60s and his music has stayed alive and developing into old age.

  3. horrid venue. i can imagine last night's show in byron would have been much more enjoyable.

    and i will be writing excitedly about it soon...we were so close to the felice brothers we could touch them. literally.

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