VIVID DIARY: BILL CALLAHAN


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It takes a lot to fill the Opera House Concert Hall with sound— but last night, Bill Callahan did so with a four-piece band and lyrical prowess. Back by Sydney artist Pauly Ryan’s work, Callahan made it a Friday to remember.

The audience was treated to a two and a half hour set framed by a mix of heartfelt and comedic lyrics (“Dress sexy at my funeral” and “A Donald Sutherland interview comes on the truck radio, He apologises to all he’s loved and sired”), guitar odysseys and an air of mystique. Callahan is not a born showman—he is modest and shy on stage, remaining for the duration of the set in the same position, with limited interaction with the crowd or his band. His music does all the talking, and at times I felt like I was listening to the score of a Cormac McCarthy novel—at any minute ready to mount my horse and ride out on the prairie. The audience hung on every word, and what powerful words they were. A special night, indeed.

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