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Father’s Day Gig Review: Bob Dylan

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As a break from the fast-paced, often fleeting world of new music, it is incredibly humbling to watch a master at work – particularly someone with a career as influential and long-spanning as Bob Dylan. And luckily for Sydney, the decorative walls of The State Theatre hosted a stunning performance from him on Friday.

At 73 years old, having actively created music for over 50 years, Dylan has had to adjust his style to suit his increasingly gravelly voice, emphasising the rhythm and texture of the songs rather than melody and articulation. This took some adjusting to – the audience had to lean closer to understand his murmured, coarse lyrics, and the arrangements of some of his more well-known songs bordered on experimental.

However once everyone had adjusted to this different sound, it was much easier to appreciate the performance. The common texture his voice provided added depth to the soothing slide guitar sound and dancing electric guitar riffs, particularly evident in his performances of “Simple Twist of Fate” and “Tangled up in Blue”. His almost ‘speak-singing’ style brought to mind Mark Knopfler’s approach for the Dire Straits.

But it was only when Dylan pulled out his harmonica that the audience truly revelled and were transported to the honky tonks of Nashville. Looking around, people closed their eyes and leant on each other to soak it in the country feel.

Bob Dylan at the State Theatre

Bob Dylan at the State Theatre

Leading up to his encore, the crowd got out of their chairs and broke down the feeling of a barrier between Dylan and the rest of the theatre, forming a small mosh in front of the stage. He left us with a playful rendition of “Blowing in the Wind” that rounded off the performance of new and old songs well.

Bob Dylan proved that he’s still got it after so many years of making such iconic music and took a new approach to his old songs and stories, pleasing the mixed crowd of fans new and old alike.

By Erin Rooney

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Album of the Week: DMA’s EP by DMA’s

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Artist: DMA’s
Album: DMA’s
Hometown: Sydney, NSW
Genre: Alternative Rock

DMA’s are too cool for school. We’re talking denim jackets, American Pie, Converse High Tops cool – the best, most 90’s influenced kind.

I was honestly a little confused when I first had a listen to this EP after seeing the artwork: it was not at all what I expected. With those flipped up caps and bucket hat, I was seriously preparing myself for an onslaught of Aussie hip hop. My ears were met instead by fun, almost Oasis-like pop!

The record is very pulled back, with bare guitar lines driving the rhythm and raw vocals, a refreshing sound for today’s brand of alternative rock. You can particularly notice this in tracks like “Your Low” and “Play It Out”.

Interestingly, the Newtown-based trio recorded the standout single of the EP, “Delete”, in guitarist Johnny Took’s bedroom before getting signed with I Oh You. And listening to it, you can almost picture how much fun it would have been to lay down the tracks and hang out; it’s a real throw back to one of the best decades of music.

 

This is an impressive first release from DMA’s and one that suggests we should keep a close watch on what’s to come! DMA’s are in the process of performing their first live run of shows, with tickets still available for the Brisbane show this Friday 30 May.

By Erin Rooney