Bob Dylan Palladium

Review: Bob Dylan at The London Palladium

Review: Bob Dylan at The London Palladium

Dylan reinvents himself for an intimate and atmospheric night at the Palladium. By Adam Davidson.

When Bob Dylan turned electric in the mid-60s, he came to England to perform at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall and was greeted with such fierce hostility that he was called ‘Judas’, to which he turned up the music and kept playing louder.

Over 55 years later, the fans greeted the legendary artist with adoration rather than hatred.

The last time Dylan played in London was in front of 65,000 at a sold-out BST headlining alongside Neil Young. However, tonight’s show at the London Palladium is a little more intimate – and the show was all the better for it.

At the age of 81, Bob Dylan shows no sign of slowing down as he is constantly on tour. He also manages to reinvent himself to keep his act fresh. He isn’t content with performing the greatest hits but instead wants to excite the fans with something new.

The set started with ‘Watching the River Flow’ and was mostly made up of songs from his 2020 album ‘Rough and Rowdy Ways.’

For someone with such an impressive back-catalogue made up of big albums from the 60s and 70s like ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’, ‘Blood on the Tracks’ and ‘Highway 61 Revisited’, it was a risky move to not perform any songs from those.

However, this freedom allowed Dylan to craft a set around his vocal strengths as understandably he may not be able to do justice to the classic hits that he wrote nearly 60 years ago.

This was evident in songs such as ‘False Prophets’ and ‘Crossing the Rubicon’ as his coarse voice at times mingles perfectly with the talented band who watched Dylan throughout the show to follow his change of rhythm and moments of improvisation.

The show closed with ‘Every Grain of Sand’ which featured iconic harmonica for the first time in the set and instantly got roaring applause and a standing ovation from everyone.

The audience knew that they have witnessed something truly special at the Palladium as it was Dylan’s first UK tour in over five years. How many more opportunities will there be to see arguably the greatest ever singer-songwriter live?