waid: (violin land)
[personal profile] waid
When you are watching one of the greats of twentieth century music performing live under a summer sky, you are not supposed to be thinking "I would be better employed writing fanfiction at home." And I don't mean that in an "Oh God look at me I'm so dorky and obsessive" way. I mean Bob Dylan was literally that bad. He did not sing. I don't say "he can't". He chose not to. It was a little like incredibly bad rap. He crammed each line into the last half of the bar, pitching the final syllable an octave above the rest in a kind of yelp, the others all on the same, basically spoken note. "DadadadaDAH! DadadadaDAH!"It all sounded like that. You couldn't even sing with/over him, because he chopped up the rhythm so horribly. Occasionally one would be tantalised by a phrase he hadn't quite remembered to screw up. The best it got was "Like a Rolling Stone" where he graciously allowed the audience to sing the chorus. I thought -- remove Bob Dylan, and we could have a much better time having a nice crowd singalong by ourselves. We have a decent vocal range and can carry a tune.

Just as I was desperately telling myself "no, okay, he's just jamming, wait till he does another classic, then, maybe..." I realised he was actually two thirds of the way through Ballad of a Thin Man. It had taken me that long to recognise the lyrics - the tune was completely indiscernible.

He never acknowledged the audience. The image on the  the big screens never changed from the same long shot of the band -- which we guessed at the time and later confirmed is  a condition of Dylan's contract. It just added to the sense of stagnation. We'd had plenty of close ups of Ray Davies - who, by the way, was delightful.

Part of the reason I wasn't just disappointed but actually angry -aside from the fact that tickets were hideously expensive -- was that before the set began I saw a little girl, perhaps  five years old,  sitting on her father's shoulders, craning forwards and repeating eagerly, "I want to actually see Bob Dylan!" And when I met her dad's eyes with "aww" written all over my face, he grinned and mouthed "She's a huge fan."

But Bob Dylan wasn't there. I think he might not be anywhere, any more.


(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-04 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mothergoddamn.livejournal.com
Oh! This remind me of when I went to The Killers and they had the volume on, like, two. We had to chinese whisper what was playing.

I'm stunned yet find it adorable that he has a five year old fan! I find Bob Dylan pretty hard to listen to, so hearing him BE bad would blow my mind. How did Watchtower go?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-04 11:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
He didn't do it. At least, I don't think he did -- half the time, you really could not tell what the hell he was doing. And it got so excruciating that we all said "Bugger this" and left early -- although he seems to have finished a lot sooner than he was supposed to.

It doesn't actually surprise me he's got tiny fans -- a good two or three generations of people have grown up with his music now. You think he'd be, you know, PLEASED about that.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-05 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zelda-zee.livejournal.com
I've heard similar stories from people who've seen him in recent years. :/

I'll be seeing him at a music festival later this summer, but since the tickets were cheap and we'll be seeing a couple of dependable acts on the same day (The Decemberists, Neko Case), if he sucks it won't be that big a deal. Plus, I have very low expectations.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-06 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Yeah, this horrible feeling of "Oh wait... I've heard talk about this..." crashed in on me about one minute into his first song. Alas.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-05 09:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vasiliki.livejournal.com
I hope her excitement for being there at least made it up for the little girl. :/

I must admit I'm going on "Winter in London" withdrawal - I've started checking your LJ for the next part 3-4 times a day!

I'm going to friend you, so that I'll be able to check just by reloading my Friends' page - feel free to friend back or not! ;)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-07-06 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] w-a-i-d.livejournal.com
Heh. I'm waiting on a load of WIPs to update myself, so at least I'm being punished in kind! Real life has taken off a bit lately, but I'm trying to write some tonight. (which may well not mean it's postable tonight, but, you know, stuff is happening.)

I hope you're right about the little girl, and I have seen people online giong on about how great he was. But honestly, I believe those people are lying to themselves and know it.

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