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Bob Dylan Live at The Tivoli

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Not since he appeared for the first time straddling an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 has there been a more disappointed attendee to a Bob Dylan concert.

On that day, almost fifty years ago, hundreds of the devotees of Dylan's raw, acoustic sound responded indignantly when their soft-strumming folk hero performed his first electric set since hitting the big time.

The bitterness felt for Dylan by his then alienated folk community could be tasted in the mouth of one starry-eyed seventeen year old in 2007, after Dylan toured Australia and played at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Before the legendary performer appeared on stage that night, seven years ago this month, I felt as the Newport citizens would no doubt have felt before the infamous electric gig in 1965: excited, restless and starving to feed off the nasal delivery of those famous, poetic lyrics.

At the concert's end, there was still plenty of restlessness, but the excitement had been replaced by mixed-up confusion, the hunger pangs had lifted to my head and become tears of rage, and my ticket was left blowin' in the wind.

The problem? An obnoxious muddle of backing music that drowned out the sound of a voice, which, even in its prime might've struggled to compete with the banging plates that accompanied it, and, in its fatigued and fragile state, was barely recognisable.

And don't even get me started on the rocked-up renditions of some of Dylan's greatest artefacts.

Again in 2011, now a slightly more mature and far more cynical version of my 2007 self, I again joined the mass of fellow Aussie Dylan fans who flocked to Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.

The same bitter taste carried in my mouth for the days that followed and I vowed then never to pay good money to see Bob Dylan again.

But when news came that my transformed hero-to-nemesis would again be landing on Australian shores in 2014, I of course kept an eye on the tour announcements. And one of them got my heart-a-pounding.

Dylan is doing two shows in Brisbane this time around one, again, at the Entertainment Centre, and the other at the Tivoli in Fortitude Valley.

It's the Tivoli show the opportunity to have Bob sit on a bar stool in the centre of the dark, dusty stage, with a single light carving out his scrawny frame, a harmonica strapped to his lips, and a small band playing tenderly (hopefully, almost unnoticeably) behind him in the dark that has hopes brewing.

The thought of an intimate session with the man who could, if he were so inclined on the night, to treat a close crowd with "original" deliveries of All Along the Watchtower, Times they are a changin', or Hard Rain's a gonna fall, to name but a few mellow classics, is a dangerously intoxicating one.

But will Brisbane fans get what, surely, they must all be hoping for?

If Bob were here with me right now, I'm sure he would say, or, at the very least, I imagine he would say: don't think twice, kid, it's alright.
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When: Wednesday, 27th August 2014
Where: The Tivoli in Brisbane
Cost: Ticket price from: $89.90
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