Bob Dylan.

Some people complain that when they go see Dylan, he doesn’t put on a show. I had heard that he has gotten old, that he should have stopped touring because his voice is gone and that going was a waste of money. I went into the show with somewhat low expectations but I had no reason to.

Some people complain that when they go see Dylan, he doesn’t put on a show… When you are Bob Dylan, you don’t need to.

Dylan is amazing. Full stop. He doesn’t need lots of lights and costumes and theatrics because he has the music. His voice is rock solid. He gave a perfect performance tonight. I was blown away that a man who turned 69 last week can still bring it the way he did.

His songs are genius not only because of the melodies and brilliant lyrics but because they speak to something inside of you. They take you back to the first time you heard them and the thousands of times you heard them after. They tell stories that send chills through your bones and they make you believe that music is absolutely the best thing in the world.

It was an incredible feeling to be sitting in the amphitheater with the big Istanbul sky and seagulls swirling above, as we all sang along with Bob Dylan to Just Like a Woman… “But you break just like a little girll…”

Since there were no cameras or recording devices allowed in the venue, here is my only picture with Dylan. I still have a bit of afterglow!

Overall, I give the show an A++++++ but if onlllyyy he had played the times they are a-changing… i probably couldn’t have handled it!



  1. Very, very nice post and heartwarming picture.
    I am seeing Bob in Carcassonne and hope it will be as good as this one. I feel confident it will be as your review sounds heartfelt, authentic and sincere and your smile glows;
    Thanks very much and very nice writing too
    chantal in Brussels

  2. His voice is great?????????? Um, are you a member of Expecting Rain by any chance? His voice is gone, it is non-existent practically, I have been a Dylan fan since 1985, I have seen him a good number of times throughout the years since, last time was last year in Edinburgh. You sound to me like an over-compensating Dylan apologist, to say that Dylan's voice is still great is a blatant lie.

  3. Hey Sumeera
    Thanks for your thoughts and for your wonderful smile.
    Here is a link to some of my tales of the changing times.
    Freewheelin on line (you can access via a link on the left of the expecting rain homepage)
    Keep smiling

    Bob Fletcher

  4. thanks, everyone!

    to anonymous above- i dont know what expecting rain is but this was my first dylan concert and i had heard that his voice was completely gone and there was no reason to go hear him. i totally disagree with that. i am not saying that he is the bob dylan of the 60s and maybe compared to that bob dylan he is crap but to go in and to judge the show at face value, his voice is great and the show was amazing. i am so happy that someone of my generation still gets to see him live.

  5. Nice said about the songs that take you back to the first time you heard them etc….
    Great you had a good time. Was this the first time you saw him live?
    Thanks for sharing.


  6. Thank you miss Younis, thank you for your great blog about the concert. I live in Reykjavik, Iceland – Dylan was here in 1990 and then three years ago and well, in fact I have seen him 12 times outside of Iceland. Istanbul is one great city and I really liked to be there for a Dylan concert – but that will be another day, or not.
    I have good memories from Istanbul and the west and eastern parts of Turkey from my travel there menny ears ago (1989:))

    This is a icelandic Dylan-blog site:

  7. There are those on 'Expecting Rain' who try to destroy our pleasure in seeing and hearing Dylan live. For the life of me I can't understand why. He is a unique, genuine and generous performer.

  8. Sure, his voice is gone. He has no range anymore, only the phlegmy rasp left. Age? Cigarettes? Who knows. But what he does with what he has left is fascinating. Nobody should ever be told to stop playing, not the Stones, not Dylan, not Jerry Lee Lewis. Whether or not they are pop culture stars, they are, bottom line, musicians and performers. Nobody told Horowitz to stop playing, or Benny Goodman or Muddy Waters. Why should Dylan stop?

  9. Nelien, is that you, my dear? Weet je nog, die avond samen in Munster met mijn kids? Groetje van HANSinFRANCE!

  10. I do not understand: Who on Expectingrain are destroying your pleasure? Expectingrain is prizeless, the best Dylan site, number UNO. If you are talkinging about "dicussion board" then people can have diffrent options on menny things – and on Bob Dylan too!

  11. I feel the exact same way about Dylan. His music changed my life. Glad you enjoyed the concert you lucky duck!!

  12. syounis, i've been reading your blog, you're a wonderful writer and it's not surprising to me that someone who seems to be such a lovely person would recognize the beauty in bob's voice and feel his songs the way you did. i grew up with the sound of his voice in my ears, it's so much a part of me, and always made sense, when very little else around me did, and spoke to me in a way that many other things couldn't. his voice will always be a thing of beauty to me…so to the naysayers, i say, may you swim in donkey poo…though at the same time, i apologize.
    i just had to say that, after reading your story syounis. i think you might love the rain as much as i do, but i had to laugh when i read about the donkey poo, actually, i'm still laughing about it. thank you!

    p.s. i'm curious about something, why do you have monkey and bananas at the bottom of the page? if they are links to something they're not working?

  13. "…People are crazy and times are strange
    I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range
    I used to care, but things have changed…"

    Bob is a performing artist… ARTist… he paints his shows, from blank to a complete new painting, night after night… different every time. Look, open your mind and enjoy, or leave it…

    Marc (Belgium)

    ps: anyone interessed to buy 2 spare tickets for Carcassonne? (face value)

  14. Singing well isn't solely about hitting all of the notes. If you want just that, go to American Idol. Great singing is about feeling and phrasing and soul. Bob has plenty of that. As did Robert Johnson and Charley Patton and all of those great bluesmen and women. It's all about howling at the moon, and croaking your cry. Like Walt Whitman in "Song of Myself," Bob is "sound[ing] [his] barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world." And I love it.

  15. ah, so dylan can't sing (love that faked subterranean video still). blood on the tracks clearly demonstrates there was another musical dylan revolution going on. it's about nuances, phrasing, showing all feelings from love to sheer anger in an extraordinary way of vocal performance. today, his voice is a bit raspy but hasn't lost anything of the power and intensity BOTT delivered, way back when…

  16. Hey Sumeera
    I left a post earlier that seems to have caused some confusion…..I hope this will clarify things. A while back I wrote for Freewheelin – an online magazine specialising in many things relating to Bob Dylan(you can access this via any search engine)Freewheelin is an independent site. I suggested the Expecting Rain link as it's there. I would strongly advise that you don't get caught up in the nonsense of whether he can sing etc etc. Remember: there are people who think Picasso/Pollock/Rothko couldn't paint. I know this much: start a blog about the merits of Chris Martin's voice and you won't get this amount of traffic. Ho Hum.

    Love and peace

    Bob Fletcher

  17. wandy- thanks so much. those are really kind words! i WISH i had grown up with bob dylan. my friend that i went to the concert with had a great story. she is much older now but she discovered dylan when she was growing up in calcutta. she was 13 and heard tambourine man off her little casette which was the coolest thing ever at the time and she has been hooked ever since. and between 84 and 05 she only missed one dylan concert in dc!

    the monkeys and bananas at the bottom are stat counters. they let me see how many readers are coming in and this post has by far been the most read. (becuase of the link on expectingrain which i now know all about 🙂

    Nick- I totally agree. Dylan was never known for having a "pretty" voice so it is strange when you hear people criticizing him for that now. (although i understand that not all the critiques about his voice have to do with its prettyness 🙂

    Bob- chris martin. hahahah.

  18. "Afterglow" for me is the word of the month! Can´t wait to see and hear Bobby at Linz and Ljubljana next weekend! And the impression, he´s still connecting people all over the world is great! keep on keeping on, alpine g.

  19. "Afterglow" is the word of the month for me! will see bobby next weekend at linz and ljubljana! and I can´t wait! nice to see people all over the world still captured by him! keep on keeping on, alpine g.

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