St. Kilda, Australia (suburb of Melbourne)

Palais Theatre

August 21, 2014

[Irwin Light]

Review by Irwin Light

Just back from seeing Bob Dylan on consecutive nights at the Palais in St
Kilda and here are my observations. These concerts are innovative in many
ways. I've seen him live on frequent occasions since 1978 and for the 1st
time that I can remember the set lists on consecutive concerts were
exactly the same. But to my way of thinking this represents a new concept
in Dylan shows. You see I believe this is his take on installation art.
Dylan is dressed in a long black coat (yes I know) with a gold trim on one
of the nights and a Van Gogh inspired hat. The set is dimly lit and the
lights hang low so that the scene approaches a street with dim lamps
hanging low across it. Reminiscent of London or Pris in early years. The
nearest he gets to a guitar is when Charlie Sexton leans over towards him
to watch Dylan's hands on the keyboard, and this happens often. It
contributes in my opinion to the improved keyboard performance and also to
the improved vocal performance. Dylan's movements when seated at the
keyboard (and it is not coincidental that the piano appears to be a baby
Grande) and when standing microphone in hand are stylised ....particularly
the movements of his left arm. This contributes to the style and
presentation of his art. Even the band as we look at them take on an
understated and regulated appearance so that the whole picture is a work
of art. The release of Drawn Blank some years ago drew us to his artistic
genius and these concerts are an extension of that art. We would all go to
see a Goya or a Picasso or a Rembrandt  or a Velasquez painting time and
again to appreciate the artists genius and it is for this reason that we
are drawn to the picture Dylan has painted on stage at the Palais. I could
go on but people might then mistake me for a devotee! 

Irwin Light


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