This is a concert review of Bob Dylan at Rod Laver Arena on Friday 17 August 2007. It was mostly uninspiring with maybe two excellent songs. The band was good, though not as good as the band he had on his tour here in 2001, which featured the sensational guitarist Charlie Sexton.
I got home from the concert about 11pm. By midnight, the setlist was up on the net in a couple of places, including here. That’s amazing. The setlist for The Cure was not uploaded that fast. Dylan fans are obsessive and, judging by the responses at the concert, too forgiving of a poor performance. I felt like I was at a different show to many of the people around me.
Most of the songs played were from his last two albums, Modern Times (2006) and Love and Theft (2001), which was fine because they’re both strong albums with many great songs. The concert started with a twisted version of ‘Rainy Day Women’ and continued with a fast abrupt version of ‘It Aint Me Babe’, which was excellent apart from Bob alternatively growling and mumbling the lyrics.
He played nothing from Time out of Mind (1997) which was disappointing, but chose a few popular favourites, including ‘Tangled up in Blue’ (again substantially rearranged and with dumb altered lyrics beacuase he simply could not get the words out) and ‘Highway 61 Revisited’.
Apart from the first few songs, which he played guitar on, he stayed at the keyboard and on some songs could not be heard under 3 guitars. He was clearly playing on some songs and was audible, but some were hopeless. And his singing was terrible.
The highlight for me was ‘John Brown’, which I had not heard him play live before. Bob, this may be the last time we meet. Farewell.