Sunday 25 February 2018

Mid-life crisis: Was the Bob Dylan gig rubbish or not?

Dylan shows off his interesting sartorial style on stage
Dylan shows off his interesting sartorial style on stage
Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

Was Bob Dylan rubbish? That is the question raging after his recent concert in Dublin. As a witness to said concert, I think the answer is, it depends. What were you expecting anyway? The guy is 75. And he's Bob Dylan. And did nobody tell you that his concerts are not exactly a laugh a minute or a Greatest Hits set?

I had heard so many awful stories about Bob Dylan concerts that I was surprised he turned up at all, that he could vaguely sing, and that one or two of the songs were recognisable. Though in fairness, that last bit is probably a bit of an exaggeration. One of the songs was definitely recognisable. Then again, I don't know that many Dylan songs anyway. Even the ones I thought I knew, it turned out I didn't know. My wife turned to me at one point and said 'That was Blowin' In The Wind'. 'No it wasn't!' 'I'm telling you, it was.' So even Bob's concession to the hits didn't involve playing anything recognisable. I'll play the hit, Bob says, but I'll make sure you don't recognise it. Anyway. I hate Blowin In the Wind, so that was fine.

When you think about it, the fact that I am not an enormous Bob Dylan fan probably helped me to enjoy the concert as much as I did. If you were a fan, and you went along expecting something crazy like Bob playing some of his classics, or maybe saying hello, then a Bob Dylan gig is not the place for you. That sounds nuts but that's the truth. A Bob Dylan gig is no place for Bob Dylan fans. They like him too much to see him like this.

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