Bob Dylan’s forthcoming 75th birthday also provided a nostalgic backdrop to the show, with an exhibition of photography of his birthplace in Hibbing, Minnesota.
A full house of mostly original fans seemed to enjoy the relaxed pub atmosphere. The opening number by “Aussie Bob” (John Hastwell), “Shelter from the Storm”, was a striking reproduction of Dylan. The guy sounds just like him – harmonica, diction and all.
“Young Neil” (Stuart Day) opened with the rollicking classic “Comes the Time” and the crowd was on side. He’s not quite the reincarnation of Young, but a fine version nonetheless.
A full rich sound from their two guitars, harmonicas and the accomplished acoustic bass of Quinton Dunne did justice to these timeless songs. More upbeat versions of “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “Times They are A-Changin’”, “Helpless” and “Pocahontas” followed.
Aussie Bob kept the audience amused with the different voices of Dylan through the decades in “Simple Twist of Fate”, while Young Neil rocked it with “Rockin’ in the Free World”. The nostalgia grew with Young’s “Needle and the Damage Done” and Dylan’s “Tambourine Man”.
The hits kept coming, but even with two encores, notable classics were left out. How do you cover the works of two legends in one night?
More sensitive souls may have liked more mood and emotion, but this is a highly recommended show for fans of country rock ’n’ folk from this era.
A Bob Dylan/Neil Young Experience was performed at the Norwood Hotel from March 4-6.