I was at home yesterday at 5.30 in the late afternoon when Louise said, “Would you like to go and see Bob Dylan in concert tonight?”. He was in Adelaide, it seemed, as part of an Australian tour, and Louise was being offered a pair of tickets by a friend. Having just finished the Times Crossword (gloat) I had nothing else pressing to do, so I said, “Sure. Why not?”
The answer, it turns out, was, “Because this tour is absolutely awful”. He had a prefectly competent band, but everything was played in a plodding monotone, such that even his old (once good) songs were delivered in the same indistinguishable style. Both Dylan and his band played in semi-darkness, feebly backlit by a row of the sort of lights they use for night bowls games, but with low wattage bulbs. So it was impossible to see what was not worth listening too.
Dylan has been a great musician, with a wry sense of humour, who might have retired years ago, except that he seems to be amusing himself by seeing just how far he can go in getting people to still turn up to his concerts at which the music gets worse and worse. I saw him here in Adelaide a few years ago, and he was pretty bad then. This was markedly worse.
Part way through, Louise suggested that we might nip off early. We did, and went home to watch another episode of Mr Selfridge, which was much more fun.