Meet Other Fans

What makes Bob a singular live performer? What are the characteristics of his live shows that set him apart from other performers?
  • Marty Revels
    “Bob's an exciting guy to watch.”
What makes Bob's live performances exciting to you?
  • Jeffrey Beck, New Jersey
    “I first saw Bob live in 1971 a the Concert for Bangladesh and have been enthralled by the many live performances I have witnessed thereafter, in excess of 100. I love the feeling of recognizing a song from its introduction…I am never an observer at a Dylan show, I am always a participant…I cannot help but sing with him, they feel like my songs, I know them so well.”
  • Derek Caldwell
    “High Water (for Charley Patton) is one of his new songs that has already changed live. It sounded like an apocalyptic blues song on ‘Love and Theft.' But last time I heard it live, you could DANCE to it. It had this tempo that made you stomp your feet like you were in the south swamps…'Don't Think Twice' was a pretty folk ballad, but last time I heard it it was electrified, but still very pretty. And then, toward the end, it turned into this rowdy whorehouse romp that brought the house down. Bob got front and center with his harmonica, grooving to the music.”
  • Barnaby Nelson , Australia
    “Dylan can connect with people on quite a profound personal level – when this happens with a group of individuals all together it can take on an almost spiritual quality. Favorite moment – after end of a great concert in Tamworth , Australia 2001, Dylan had almost finished walking off stage, stopped, turned to the front row of audience, covered his face with his hands and started playing peek-a-boo with the audience. Very funny moment that captured something of the ‘masked and anonymous' theme in Dylan's work and public identity.”
What era of Bob's music would you consider his peak? What era resonates most with you and why?
  • Bill Gordon, Chicago
    “I don't think anything Bob has done sounds like it belongs to any particular era. For me it's all a living thing in the here and now.”
  • Matthew Larson, Ohio
    “The era that resonates most with me is the era we are in the middle of right now.”
  • Barnaby Nelson , Australia
    “I find myself resonating most with what Dylan is doing right now, whatever that might be: I've had the experience several times of listening to Dylan's present work (live and recorded) and thinking, ‘Wow! This is amazing, it's not going to get any better than this…and then lo and behold the following year blows me away and I have the same impression again…So it's an ongoing flow of inspiration, still happening.”
  • Marty
    “…Street Legal was my road album for my move from New York to San Diego back in 1978. That certainly was a life changing move that I have never regretted.”
  • Bennett Brier, USA
    “I see three eras as his peaks – '63-'66; '74-'75; and then '78-'80. I'd have to say his Christian era, to me, is when we get the best combo of songwriting, performance, and passion, revealing him at the height of his powers in each.”
  • Robbie Shead, Ireland
    “I think Love and Theft is as good as Freewheelin', Blonde on Blonde, Blood on the Tracks, Slow Train, and Good As I Been To You. How could you pick a peak out of that?! In terms of a peak for Dylan himself, I like the way he described in Chronicles Vol. 1 when he rediscovered his voice after his low period, and he said that he wished he was new on the scene again. I think that must have been an exciting time for him, and I'm so glad it happened. Nice one, Bob.”
  • Jon Luzier, Georgia
    “I really like where he's been going with ‘Love and Theft' as well as the few soundtrack singles I've heard since then. He's really on to something there. I can feel it, but I can't describe it. He seems to really be flexing his influences in such a creative way as of late.”
  • G. H. Runevitch, Ohio
    “Bob from his late acoustic to early electric days were powerful for me, because I had never heard anything anywhere near like it before. There were times that cracked open my third eye and transformed my Eisenhower-baby brain into futuristic overdrive.”
  • Becky , Ohio
    “There has never been a “phase” of Bob's that I didn't like or relate to; it's all been about personal and spiritual growth, from the beginning...It was a real joy that my son also saw Dylan and loved him. One of his friends is a huge fan and I've passed some music on to him Again, a sign of greatness is this ability to transcend time, eras, etc.”
  • Elisha Fink, Michigan
    “My favorite recordings are The Basement Tapes. I like the unfinished quality; I like the sound; I like the unusual lyrics. I don't know if this is his peak in my mind, but it is the album I play most often.”
  • Bob Kreimborg , Texas
    “His current voice is better than ever because you can hear that he's put some thought and attention into how to phrase almost every word.”
  • Mark Lind-Hanson
    “I LOVE the surrealism of those years (B.I.A.B.H., Hwy 61, B.O.B.). I LOVE the rustic rurality of the JWH / Nashville years. I love both styles, even though there's a big difference between. It's all so funky, yet tight.”
  • Susan Thomas, Massachusetts
    “I consider his current music, whatever it is, to be his peak. Because it is here and now and what he is expressing in the present.”
  • Sam Heaton
    “The album that made me a huge Dylan fan was Love and Theft. I was 15 when it came out and I'd never heard anything in my life like Bob's voice on that album.”
  • Marty Revels
    “I suppose the era for which I admire him most was the “Christian” era, where he faced enormous backlash from his core audience but remained undaunted and continued on with what he felt he had to do. That took quite a bit of courage.”
  • Derek Caldwell
    “Lately I've been in a ‘Bob Dylan in the late 70s through the 80's and into the early 90's phase... But now he is master of his trade all around. He has found his perfect sound. HE is a mixture of different sounds. And now, also, he can dance! I've seen it with my own eyes.”
  • Tim Manley, NY
    “The 1966 concerts make my organs lose their breath.”
  • Colin Lacey, Ireland
    “Am I limited to one peak? If not, songwriting peaks at mid-60s, mid-70s, late 90s. Performance peaks mid-60s, mid70s, 79-81 “religious” shows, and last 2-3 year. If limited , I'll take Blood on the Tracks-Desire-Street Legal era. Mature songs without need to ‘show off' lyrical dexterity I find evident in BIABH-Hwy 61- Blonde on Blonde trilogy in the mid 60s. The era that resonates most changes with my own mood, but I've always liked what I call the ‘apocalyptic Bob' – fire and brimstone from Street Legal to Infidels. I think the era is lyrically underrated – Slow Train has a wealth of stunning imagery, as do later pieces like Caribbean Wind, Foot of Pride, Man of Peace, etc. I think his singing and performances in this period are probably the most committed in his career.”
  • Matthew Segal
    “I can say what era resonates with me most: the Time out of Mind / Love and Theft era (1997-present day). These have been the years that I toured with Bob and the years that I fell in love with his unique spirit, musicianship, enigmatic persona, and outstanding poetry. Bob seems very wise and also very determined to put on a good and memorable show.”
  • Bob , New Jersey
    “The mid-70's starting with Planet Waves all the way through Infidels. From '74 to '83 I believe he could do no wrong. Incredible songwriting and performing act; each album breaking new ground.”
  • Steve Walsh
    “I have a personal love for his post-motorcycle accident, Woodstock years – from the Basement Tapes through New Morning or so. He had abandoned the snarls of his mid-60s trilogy and his writing and performing reflected a release from the pressures of stardom, etc. John Wesley Harding is my personal “desert island” Bob album. I love that he went against the grain of psychedelia and pomposity of the late 60s and release a quiet, thoughtful acoustic album.”
What are some elements of Bob's music that got and keep you interested?
  • Patrick Taurel, New York City
    “Something got me about the authenticity of his sound…it just sounded so real”
  • Jose Ignacio Barbero , Spain
    “The lyrics are special, but that is not enough. A song is a mix between lyrics and music. And I think Bob mixes in the right proportion of these two elements.”
  • Reid Vaccari
    “His sense of humor, his constant reinvention of himself, the fact that if he got bored with something he'd move on without regret, his obvious spark for life in the style of Jack Kerouac.”
  • Bill Gordon, Chicago
    “When Bob plays his guitar or his piano or sings, it resonates. I get images of America 's past, of cowboys sitting around a campfire in Wyoming on a cold night in 1875, of river workers resting in the hot sun in Hannibal , Missouri around Mark Twain's time, of early American settlers meeting with Indians and trading coffee for hides.”
  • Matthew Larson, Ohio
    “I can't think of any one performer that has released at least one amazing album in five different decades. I am seventeen years old and look at the new artists from the last five years, and I can't think of one that I think will be around in ten years. What Dylan has done is such an amazing achievement and he shows no sign of stopping.”
  • Jon Collie, London
    “In the UK in those days we had ‘pirate' radio, the BBC did not play much pop music then, and during one school holiday I remember It Ain't Me, Babe was played a lot, I don't know whose version it was, not Bob's, but that struck a chord somewhere…And then I heard Another Side, my mate's elder brother had it, and don't know what did it to me but it did something and I was hooked.”
  • Derek Caldwell
    “It opened me up to the world. It is something that unites me with people I will never meet living in places I will never see…It is a feeling, an emotion, and emotions are what separate us from the facts and equations and codes of technology.”
  • Jeffrey Beauregard, Rhode Island
    “You can learn a lot when you listen, so I listen.”
  • Bennett Brier, USA
    “All the normal stuff – lyrics, voice, originality, defiance, creativity, self-awareness and blinding personal liberation and eye-opening imprisonment.”
  • Robbie Shead, Ireland
    “…the lyrics…they were so clear and defined and painted such strong images in my head.”
  • Matt Steichen, Iowa
    “Long after you've read all the lyric books and have all your favorite songs memorized, the pleasure of hearing a certain song over and over again comes from appreciating not what Bob is singing, but how he sings it.”
  • Bob Kreimborg , Texas
    “The one word that best describes Bob Dylan's music is ‘American.' And that's what most keeps me interested. His music makes me appreciate and understand my heritage as part of the unique American experience.”
  • Kait Runevitch, Ohio
    "It was a vast array of things that got me hooked on Bob. First, his accessibility. When I first decided to go see him I was pleasantly surprised to find that he made himself so available. Once I got there it was everything; his voice, his movements, the way he sings his songs differently every night, the way he connects with his audience. It was the total package."
  • Caroline Schwarz, California
    “Everything. It was the voice that did it to me most directly, because I had never heard a voice like this. I thought without a doubt that it was the best voice I'd ever heard. To say Bob's voice is expressive is such an understatement. I feel like there isn't any adjective that could be used about a voice that I couldn't find a song of Bob's to fit. Like so much about Bob there is such diversity from era to era in how he sings, and yet there is that ineffable quality that you always know it is him… I had liked music before, like the Eagles, and the Beatles, and Neil Diamond, and I was even pretty into the Stones before Bob… I had found music fun and engaging and compelling, but it was Another Side of Bob Dylan that kept me up past my bedtime with headphones listening over and over and over to these incredible songs that involved all the senses and the mind as well, in endless ways! These songs were the best I had ever heard. Cliché as it sounds, that album made me realize that “pop” music could be poetry, that it could paint pictures and make you laugh and think and yearn. It's the album that made me start listening to music to understand things. I would have to say that another thing that got and keeps me interested in Bob is that fact that I saw him perform very soon after I started liking his music and I've made it a point to see him play a lot. He is a creative force and to see him on stage is something else. ”
  • Robert Brooks
    “I first heard Bob when he put out Times Changin.' I was still living at my dad's. I put the record on the turntable and my dad yelled from his easy chair in the living room, “What is that shit?” I knew then I was on to something. I have been a Dylan admirer ever since.”
  • Charli Weller , England
    “Bob's unmistakable voice was what first caught my attention…it's so distinctive and a bit like Frank Sinatra in that it's beautifully phrased, so that you can distinguish every single word and syllable. There is no one in the world who sounds like him, and no one who could grab you so much with his vocal sound. Whatever era I'm listening to, Bob's voice has been unique, through all its changes and altered styles.”
  • Elisha Fink, Michigan
    “I am drawn to the unique use of language: surprising rhymes, sharp images, unusual word combinations. But of course I also love his voice, and the feeling of the music.”
  • Mark Lind-Hanson
    “The great arrangements which are always changing-growing-shifting, and the fact that Bob's shows do something spiritual for me that I never seemed to ever get inside any church – a feeling of connection to God and Environment and Righteousness. And – they are still a swell party! This man is all the best things about rock and roll personified. His shows are like revival meetings, to me, separating the good from the wicked, the kind from the heartless.”
  • Karl-Erik Andersen, Norway
    “The great thing about Bob Dylan's music is that he draws on so many influences and develops them to a new level. The world does not need a ‘new Dylan', because he is that new Dylan, every time he brings out a new album or starts a new tour.”
  • Paul Halpin, Australia
    “His music comes from the depths of his heart, mind and soul. The depths of humans' hearts, minds and souls. Some of us are lucky enough to tap into it to listen, some of us tap into it to release it, like Bob.”
  • Jeff Hawkins
    “The humanness of his lyrics and his uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time doing what he does best.”
  • Paul Halpin, Australia
    “His lyrics for many different reasons. They baffle me, confuse me, relate to me. They conjure images so vivid and beautiful you wonder if you would have ever thought of it if you hadn't heard that particular lyric. The way he can compliment or deny someone is mind-blowing…The main element of his music which keeps me coming back is the way I feel as if he is singing for me, about me, or with me.”
  • Anonymous
    “There are hundreds of artists I admire, but nobody's overwhelmed my mind and my soul like Bob.”
  • Colin Lacey, Ireland
    “I am twenty years old and have been listening to him for three years, since I got a turntable, and got to see him for the first time last year.”
  • Bob , New Jersey
    “I found Bob's music when I became a Christian in 1982. I was looking for some different Christian music to listen to and picked up Slow Train. Moved onto Saved and Shot of Love, then Biograph when it came out, then everything the man has ever released, and then much that he hasn't.”