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REVIEW: Diesel ‘Forever Tour’

Review by Markus Hamence – Performance date: Saturday 25 February 2024, Adelaide Festival Centre, South Australia

Diesel really doesn’t need an introduction, but, he is one of Australia’s greatest music success stories, the American-born Diesel, aka Mark Lizotte, has spent three decades weaving an effortlessly magic musical touch into his rock and blues-fuelled sounds, both as part of the band Johnny Diesel & The Injectors and, more recently, as a solo artist. With multiple #1 ARIA charting albums under his belt, six ARIA award wins and millions of streams alongside a legion of fans, Diesel’s creative skillset also expands beyond his own projects, with the talented artist also renowned for his work as a producer and multi-instrumentalist.

Now, let’s chat about his 2024 ‘Forever Tour’… Adelaide Festival Centre’s Dunstan Playhouse was sold-out and the audience was eager and excited, it has been a good few years between visits. And the fans have been waiting. But last night, the wait was over, and Diesel delivered, BIG.

Australian icon, Diesel, is touring the release of his sixteenth studio album, ‘Bootleg Melancholy’, it’s a brilliant album and I was looking forward to hearing some of the songs played live, I got them.

Mark played the stage solo in more of a stripped back performance, it was perfect with a plethora of instruments that Mark plays will excelled skill. The show was broken into two parts, the first more ‘blues’ inspired with tracks from 2021 ‘Alone With Blues’ plus more. Then after a ‘leg stretch’ we settled in for songs from ‘Bootleg Melancholy’ PLUS his classic hits!

‘Forever’ was brilliant, as was ‘Pasadena’… and Mark’s soaring vocals (like seriously) a testament to why he’s been around for these decades and still kicking butt. His voice is warm, lived and very engaging and it has not lost any of it’s charm, in fact, I dare say has become richer and and developed with more character over the years.

Mark weaved the songs together with masterful storytelling which connected us to the music brilliantly. He is REAL on stage and it comes across. The Dunstan Playhouse stage is quite spacious BUT Mark’s presence fills it, as does his music in the venue space throughout the seated areas and touching every person in the room (The sound was magic, kudos to A/V). Mark often said how good it was to be back in Adelaide and how blessed he was to be playing this particular venue, he meant every word. You can see Mark is VERY comfortable on stage and this gets us, the audience, in the spirit of his music from the word go.

‘Tip Of My Tongue’, ‘Come To Me’, ‘Never Miss The Water’, ‘Looking For Love’ and ‘Soul Revival’, we got the bangers and done in acoustic wonderment – it was a joy to see my favourite songs from the early days re-imagined in a stunning contemporary fashion while paying massive respect to the original arrangements. The encore was standing ovation worthy climaxing with ‘Cry In Shame’. Mark is a humble guy, there is no ego, no pretence, just him and his very apparent talent. His love his music, you feel that – and that is why he has a long and appreciated career.

About the new album… ‘Bootleg Melancholy’ is a 14-track LP showcasing Diesel’s diverse musical talents. It’s a mix of pop with heartfelt lyrics, exploring themes like family, mortality, childhood, and dreams. Diesel recorded, mixed, and mastered the album during the pandemic, offering a snapshot of his personal journey and experiences during those challenging times. Please, go out and buy it on vinyl or apple music, this is the way our artists survive (NOT through Spotify).

Diesel’s extensive career and numerous accolades underscore his enduring influence in the Australian music scene. This album and tour mark the next chapter in his creative journey.

Brilliant, Authentic and Unique – FIVE STARS *****

Check out our image gallery from the evening’s performance!

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