Concert review

Bob Dylan’s ‘Never Ending Tour’ comes to Rockhal

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Photo: Reuters

The enigma that is Bob Dylan returned to the Rockhal on Saturday night in correlation with the release of his 38th studio album, "Triplicate".

The album, like his previous albums "Shadows in the Night" and "Fallen Angels", honours the Great American Songbook, a catalogue of the most important and influential American popular songs from the early 20th century. 

The songs 'Stormy Weather' and Frank Sinatra's 'I Could Have Told You' were included in the set, played to a sold-out audience that was as diverse in age as Dylan's repertoire.

His performance was eccentric as ever, focusing on reinventing songs, musical arrangements and repertoire.

As is Dylan's custom, little attention was paid to the packed crowd -- not even a 'thank you' was audible.

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Photo: AFP

Dylan opened with new takes on some of his classics like 'Highway 61 Revisited' and 'Don't Think Twice, It's Alright' before moving on to his recent covers of  Yves Montand's melancholy 'Autumn Leaves', and Johnny Mercer's 'That Old Black Magic'.

His band was flawless as ever, harmonising with Dylan's keyboard and vocals, producing what he has termed as, "Big-band-orchestrated riffs" and melodic harmonies.

At times, his vocals seemed raspier than on his last visit in 2011, but, at 75, that is not unexpected.

The lyrics and the melodies were still as powerful as ever, confirming his legendary status as a songwriter and literary Nobel Prize winner.

Maybe as a nod to some of his younger fans, Dylan's encore included a new arrangement of 'Blowin' in the Wind' and the finale 'Ballad of a Thin Man'.

General feelings about the concert may have been mixed, but there was little argument about one thing -- Dylan remains one of the most influential singer songwriters of our time, and the opportunity to see him perform live was an opportunity few would miss.

Note: No journalists or photographers were permitted at the Bob Dylan concert at the Rockhal by his management. This review was done 'undercover'.

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