Bob Dylan, who turned 71 earlier this year, has been selling records and playing gigs since before the vast majority of CityBeat’s demographic was even born. Most of us weren’t even around to experience his big controversy in 1965, when Dylan “went electric” on his album Bringing It All Back Home. Yet, despite our never catching him “way back when,” we still love him.
Loving Bob Dylan isn’t a phase, it’s a cyclic obsession. In your twenties, as your political views change from your parents to those of your own, his Folk and protest songs will speak to you.
In your forties, it’s his mellow and retrospective stuff that gives you goosebumps. In your sixties, your memories are soundtracked by records like Blonde on Blonde, John Wesley Harding and various Bootleg Sessions. You own them all, too. Part of the obsession is collecting his entire discography, having it lined up in the correct order, having a favorite song most people haven’t even heard of and a second favorite that everyone knows.
Whether it’s his voice, his lyrics, his politics or his songcraft, something about Dylan continues to draw in new generations of fans. That, kids, is what makes him legendary and that is what makes his concert worthy of your bucket list.
BOB DYLAN plays Sunday, Aug. 26 at PNC Pavilion at Riverbend with Leon Russell. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details.