Rock royal Bob Dylan shows both sweet and sour sides
THREE gongs heralded the entrance of rock royalty on to the stage of the Brisbane Convention Centre.
Bob Dylan played to 4000 people in Brisbane last night, (MON) the latest gig in his 2014 Never Ending Tour.
The tour, five months is, is dedicated to the faithful, picking its way through smaller venues to add to the experience.
It works, but it is not the show you might expect.
For a start, Dylan's music in the 21st century is more expansive: jazz, blues and rockabilly join rock, folk and country in a two-hour show that features about 20 mostly newer numbers of the 450-or-so songs he has written and performed.
Then there's the sound.
The 73-year-old gurgled through the early couple of songs - until he hits a sweet spot, with Working Man Blues #2 and Waiting For You - and the show picks up pace.
He's still sparkling on harmonica, then moves to grand piano.
Then, bam, bam, bam.
Tangled Up in Blue, the lilting Spirit On The Water, Scarlet Town, Long And Wasted Years, the frantic All Along The Watchtower and Blowin' In The Wind follow.
Dylan's band - which features the gifted former Arc Angels' guitarist Charlie Sexton, multi-instrumentalist Donnie Herron, Carly Simon's rhythm guitarist Stu Kimball, drummer George Recile and Tony Garnier on stand-up bass - is exceptional, rolling with the different styles Dylan serves up.
Two years ago Dylan struggled on huge open-air shows in the Byron Bay Blues Festival.
Playing smaller venues suits him and his songs.
Though it was not perfect, the show on Monday night was the real Dylan, sweet and sour.
He and his band play The Tivoli in Brisbane on Wednesday night, before heading to Sydney for five shows including two at the Opera House.