Bob Dylan‘s eloquent lyricism may have earned him a Nobel Prize in literature but he had nothing to say to his fans as he began his Australian tour in Perth.
Instead, the famed musician let his meaningful songs do all the talking during his almost two-hour concert at Perth Arena on Wednesday night.
Dylan‘s excellent band was not even introduced and the show overall lacked any spectacle at all.
There wasn’t even a screen for fans at the back of the venue to see him clearly.
“What a wanker … $400 and he can’t even say hello.” Another comment re Bob Dylan in Perth. They no understand the man. He gives us the lyrics, that’s more than enough.
— Fiona (@PuttyMcK) August 8, 2018
what’s difference between a chipmunk and Bob Dylan performance last night? A: None…
— TheOnlyAstro (@ImTheOnlyAstro) August 8, 2018
But the 77-year-old has never been much of a showman compared to rock stars like Mick Jagger or Bruce Springsteen.
It has always been about the powerful message of Dylan‘s lyrics, many of which remain as relevant today as they were when he penned them decades ago.
Some fans were probably disappointed that a few of his biggest hits did not make the setlist.
But there were some favourites including Blowin’ In The Wind, It Ain’t Me Babe, Simple Twist of Fate, Highway 61 Revisited and Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright.
3 things to keep in mind when attending a Bob Dylan concert: 1.Don’t expect him to sing his popular songs 2. The odd familiar ones too sound unrecognisably different. 3.Nobel Laureates are not obligated to start/end concerts with hello or thank you! Nevertheless he’s a genius! pic.twitter.com/sum9tun1YM
— Parminder Singh (@parrysingh) August 8, 2018
Bob Dylan concert at Perth arena was awesome – highlight was “Don’t think twice, it’s alright”! Rock on #bobdylan
— Asha Jones (@thelibraryelf) August 8, 2018
Dylan barely sold out half the arena but it hardly seemed to matter as the audience cheered at the end of each song.
They were especially vocal when Dylan played his harmonica, but he spent most of his time behind the piano.
The Pulitzer Prize winner last toured Australia in 2014.
Given his age, and the fact that some of his contemporaries are embarking on farewell tours, this may well be the final time Australian fans will have a chance to see him perform live.
But for now, Dylan clearly still enjoys playing music in front of thousands of fans.
* Dylan will also visit Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle and Brisbane.