Sydney, Australia

State Theatre

September 4, 2014

[Lindsay Ditcham], [Mark Ryder], [Nick Miller], [James Mackie]

Review by Lindsay Ditcham

It was a classy, quieter than previous and high quality Bob who performed
at the State Theatre on Wednesday and Thursday. There was an emphasis on
selections from Tempest while opening and closing the show with some old
favourites. Forgetful Heart I have to tell you was beautiful and with Don
Herron on violin and Bob singing like he was really feeling it it was one
of the highlights of the night. There was a subdued Tangled and a
similarly performed version of Simple Twist of Fate, both great.

The mix of Bob on grand piano and harmonica, and no guitar, worked well
and he moved from one to the other frequently. This wasn't a rock and roll
show as I'd seen him play previously nor was that what was expected. He's
singing was excellent and the whole gig was a pleasure to see. No intro
before the show, no band member intros and after the encore as the six of
them stood for the standing ovation, shuffling feet and humbly receiving
the yells for more. No big egos here. Humbleness personified.

The State Theatre is a magnificent venue, a lot more intimate than the
concrete cavern called the Entertainment Centre.  I'm not seeing either of
the shows at the Opera House and will probably regret that as if they are
anything like the last two nights I would want to be there. The local buzz
is that he won't be back here but I don't believe that for a second.

Come back soon Bob, you're always welcome.

Lindsay Ditcham


Review by Mark Ryder

I think this was the 5th time I've seen Bob starting from his tour with
Tom Petty all those years ago. Tonight was without doubt the best I've
seen him. I am convinced these days Bob is better suited to smaller more
intimate venues. The band was as usual playing to perfection and the mix
was wonderful also. In these smaller venues the volume of the band is much
more sublime and controlled allowing for Bobs voice to resonate clearly
without battling to try and compete with the band. Once his voice warmed
up after the first couple of songs, those wonderful lyrics we all wanted
to hear were loud and clear. The set list has been consistently the same
in the past few shows but that added to the overall standard of the
performance. The band was much more relaxed I guess knowing what was going
to happen next other than being totally focused on Bob waiting to see what
surprises he may pull on them. The songs, the arrangements, the mix and
volume and the clarity of the vocals in a smaller venue all made for a
night I'll never forget. Those lucky enough to be going to the Opera House
shows and in for a great night. Bob is in fantastic form.

Mark Ryder


Review by Nick Miller

Five of us go tonight - near the back but in the downstairs stalls with a
great view. The same set list and same joy as other nights on the tour.

Dylan's voice is again good and the band just superb. The crowd

Really enjoy Workingman's again plus  interplay with audience for lyrics
on Soon After Midnight always fun.

My daughter goes near the front during the last few songs and reports back
on a smiling performer - as are we.

Nick Miler
Sydney, Australia


Review by James Mackie

Four friends with us tonight  two were with me in 1978 in the mud at the
showground. We are nostalgic.   I reassure them that they will not be
disappointed with our man. He does not disappoint, the gong sounds right
on time 8.00 the lights dim and away we go again.  Things have changed and
they have not.  The same setlist.  I have not experienced this before  3
shows in short succession (I missed Adelaide) -no change in the list  what
is going on here?  It was powerful again.  The highlights Workingman's
Blues #2, Duquesne Whistle,   Forgetful Heart

Bob is using two distinct voices the growling/rough and the softer much
more pure offering we hear on the superb Forgetful heart. There are  some
subtle changes in feel and perhaps tempo from night to night but no real
deviations.  Long and Wasted years rises up again, this is a great song
masterfully presented. It stuns many and induces a stage rush from
throughout the theatre quickly the stalls section is well filled with
people standing  Bob certainly appears to be enjoying it.  This was an
enthusiastic stampede to the rail we used to see so often at Bob shows. 
Let's talk more about Long and Wasted years what a performance, energetic
and very strong. This is now at the pinnacle of the show in my mind (with
Forgetful Heart).

I have given no credit to the band. They deserve plenty of praise they are
tight and the audience is the benefactor of their brilliance.   Special
mention the George and Tony who keep  tempo adjusted with the precision of
sub atomic particles  they are simply the best.  I will not be able to get
to the September 5 show at the State. 


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