Top Five Bob Dylan Songs That Will Probably Get Mutilated at the OC Fair

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www.myspace.com/bobdylan
So Bob Dylan is coming to Orange County this summer, kicking off the OC Fair concert series at Pacific Amphitheatre on its opening day, July 15.
 

If OC Fair had booked any other great artist of Dylan's caliber, it would've been a not-to-miss show. Except the "voice of a generation" has, in every live performance we've seen in the past 10 years, rendered every awesome song of his in gibberish. Not only that, every version he sings of his old classics are unrecognizable--in tempo, in arrangement and, well, in terms of greatness.


So, yes, Dylan is a classic artist who has written great songs. Unfortunately, he sucks live, and you won't be able to recognize any of the Dylan songs that soundtrack your life. If you're looking to get your heartstrings tugged, you're better off listening to your old Dylan records. Otherwise, prepare to listen to unintelligible versions of the following songs at PacAmp--a semi-scientific guess, courtesy of Setlist.com. (To make it easier on the ears, we've chosen the best cover versions of the songs.)

"All Along the Watchtower," Dave Matthews Band

Not as famous as Jimi Hendrix's take, but DMB transcends their bro-band-ness with this electric version.

"Tangled Up In Blue," KT Tunstall
Perky and cute the way Dylan probably never expected this song to be.

"Someday Baby," Feist
He's probably not going to sing this Grammy Award-winning song from 2006, but who cares? Feist already did it better.

"A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall," Jason Mraz
Not the biggest Mraz fan? This version could change your mind.

"Masters of War," Pearl Jam
Best. Dylan. Cover. Ever.

Tickets go on sale Feb. 26 via Ticketmaster or at the OC Fair & Event Center Box Office, which is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000.
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52 comments
Sophia Green
Sophia Green

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Sophia Green
Sophia Green

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Tangled up in goo
Tangled up in goo

One thing you all must understand is that one of Dylan's priorities is to fuck with people's expectations of him. He came of age with freaks literally sifting through his garbage looking for clues as to why he didn't sound like THEY thought he should sound.

So if Dylan's versions of his classic songs disappoint you, that's precisely what he's going for.

JustLikeAWoman
JustLikeAWoman

Here's your main problem Bose: Art is subjective. So when you go making a declarative statement like "he sucks live," you serve no purpose but to raise the ire of Dylan's legions of adoring fans, of whom I'm one. I've got nothing more to say other than I've got my ticket & cant wait. I'll be the blonde chick near the stage, basking in the presence of a true musical genius.

petesh
petesh

As a Dylan fan since 1963, who has seen him live several times this century and loved it, I disagree with your prediction, but I like most of your cover selections. Especially Feist, who nails it. I can do without the DMB, but KT was a pleasant surprise, Jason M was good, and Pearl Jam pretty darn excellent, which was not a surprise. But best ever? Gotta be Hendrix doing Watchtower; Bob keeps trying to emulate that. But don't go to Bob for his voice, or even his words. It's all about the sound and rhythm. He rocks. Really, that's the point. He rocks.

Mkatehansen
Mkatehansen

It was this sort of review that made me accept, when I purchased tickets to see Dylan and his band @ Wake Forrest, to expect NOTHING! I dragged my son, who was not a fan. Pleasantly surprised, no trouble recognizing the songs! Bob,s voice is shot, but it was a terrific, fun time and even my son had great time! I couldn't listen to DMB version of All Along the Watchtower, it just dragged. KT Tunstall's version of Tangled Up in Blue reminded me of the version on Hard Rain. Feist changed her Dylan song, but she did a great job. I still like Dylan's! I agree completely about Eddie Vedder' MOW. A perfect interpretation of a classic! I only started listening to Dylan a couple of years ago and either you get him or don't. But to "get" him is a powerful realization!

ptumember
ptumember

lillishits whatever your name is... seems by all these reactions, you really didn't make your point.

Lille Bose
Lille Bose

Those songs are usually in his setlist at most every show. Also, I'm not saying these artists are better than Dylan; I'm saying these VERSIONS are better than Dylan's when he performs them LIVE. I don't want a jukebox rendition of these songs when Dylan performs them live, I just don't want to see the garbled, unrecognizable versions that he plays when he's in front of an audience.

labman
labman

Lilledeshan???????????Jason Mraz???????????

I am running from this madhouse

After
After

You're an idiot.

Badharmonica
Badharmonica

Lilledeshan Bose is an absolute idiot. Dylan very likely won't even play 4 out of the 5 songs you listed here, and if real music fans wanted to hear a live jukebox rendition of an artist's songs, they'd go see a tribute band.Wake the f*** up and hire a writer that knows something about music, will ya?

hollydylan
hollydylan

Maybe you should post this article on Bette Midler's site! You don't deserve to be a music critic Bob Dylan is the KING!!!!!!!

Matthew Callaghan
Matthew Callaghan

It's GEORGE HARRISON'S birthday today. He would be 68 today. Bob would want you to know this. Now go and listen to a Traveling Wilburys tune in rememberance of great music from these two legends. Thanks for the inspiring tunes that transcends a good portion of crap that's put out these days.

John
John

You waste this space with the same old comments about Dylan performances that have been written hundreds of times before. Totally expected, totally obvious, that's fine. But then you point to the 10 greatest covers and the first on the list is the DMB doing Watchtower?

You are a very stupid person.

Cheers

Oscar Montes
Oscar Montes

You're so stupid Lilledeshan Bose! You'd better do other stuff! You're so ignorat!

Dale Goodvin
Dale Goodvin

I hate to pile on here but ... My goodness, another hopelessly ignorant review of Bob Dylan. I can only speak for myself here: 1. I have always, since 1967, love Bob's voice and still do today. 2. Bob's songs are mysterious and metaphorical beyond anything else that I've ever heard. 3. He is still on fire live; when I saw him in Seattle a couple of years ago, he was simply stunning, and the crowd reacted with many standing ovations. 4. The saddest thing about reviews like this is that some people actually believe them to be accurate.

Irobledo1
Irobledo1

the only problem with bobby's shows is that too many of mr jones' relatives show up. he had this so called music critic pegged a long time ago

Daniel
Daniel

"Unfortunately, he sucks live"?

I simply don't have the words to convey what an inept idiot you are. And the clips you provided? Are the equivalent of a movie critic championing the latest Kate Hudson rom-com as an antidote to the boring, "disappointing" films of Ingmar Bergman. You are a true fool and I'd say you should move along to a higher-paying gig at Entertainment Weekly, but obviously you already would have, if you had what it takes.

Zimmymyfriend1
Zimmymyfriend1

You have to be one of the worst music critics on the face of the planet. It's so cliche to slam Dylan's voice. IT WAS NEVER ABOUT HIS SINGING VOICE, he never had one to begin with. It's about the music and the phrasing and that is still top notch. His backing band is one of the best in the business. Dylan's songs are like living entities they evolve with him, not some stale 30 year old song that he pumps out the same way every night. Give the man credit for challenging himself and the audience and not playing it safe.

Thomas LaBelle
Thomas LaBelle

Let be the first or the next to inform you that you're an idiot. Dave freakin' Matthews?

Rossguitar
Rossguitar

Obviously you know nothing about Bob Dylan. Stay away from the concert or your tires will get slashed.

Jj
Jj

well man, when dylan should sing this songs the other around, backwards & upside down it would still sound more 'true' honest' powerful' and 'interesting' than your examples.

so i would like to say 'don't criticize what you can't understand' ;-)

DN
DN

You are a true moron. Probably one of those Birkenstock DMB fans who thinks he/she is a hippie b/c you listen to Dave Matthew's epileptic sounding voice.

Tell me what makes a good cover song? Is it b/c the artists who sing Bob's tunes are nowhere the level of his writing style? Feist, KT Tunstall & Jason Mraz. Jesus! I listened to those songs and it sounded like an Adult Contemporary station.

All of these blind sheep that agree with you about his voice should form a New Age circle jerk in some Illinois field. Now I see why Dylan despises people like you.

The man is nearing 70 for god sakes. Name an artist who performs at that age that sounds like their 20 yr old self? You can't.

Go throw on your fanny pack and turn up the FEIST! LOL

Loser.

Thejessaminevine
Thejessaminevine

It is true, if you want to hear the Dylan songs that "soundtrack your life" than you should stay home. However, if you want to hear an artist who consistently changes, challenges, and explores the endless musical possibilities of these "soundtracks" then don't miss the show. I saw him last fall and I left the show in awe. The version of "Ballad of a thin man" that he played still haunts me....

Desmond John
Desmond John

i dont go to concerts. haven't in years. because Dylan is bad? no. because I don't like the people. but if I were to go to one of bob's shows today it would be to WATCH. he's fascinating to watch. I've met him and talked with him alone. he's very charismatic. as for people covering his songs. boring. mostly. i thought dylan rocked the grammies. and he was great at the White House. His version of Someday Baby is one of his all time best songs. I also don't listen to music critics. You've made fun of Dylan for 30 years but he puts out number one albums. You just don't have anyone today that can compete with him. Sad but true. Gaga!!!!

Landofpoets
Landofpoets

Zimmerman reinvents his songs as he has always reinvented himself...each live show is an event in and of itself...you obviously dont get it...or him...

SjT
SjT

take your fingers out of your ears and stop humming Lay Lady Lay. You have no idea what you're talking about. Go shake your little thing to the DMB all you want but you have no right to even mention that group in the same breath as Dylan's current touring band. Dylan may be pushing 70 but he lives NOW man, not in the past like you. How can write s*** like this and call yourself a music critic? You want the record, listen to it. You want a live act that captures a single night in time, in the blues and folk and jazz and rock idioms, with a rocks and gravel singer who embodies the spirit of music in America, see Bob Dylan.

Guest
Guest

what a stu... strange article. Bob Dylan is hugely disappointing live, true. Filling the space with videos of other people? wtf?

Bill T.
Bill T.

If you want to hear great Dylan songs go to an Arlo Guthrie concert. Sad.

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

Can't say I disagree. His backing band is weird, sounding like a serviceable hotel lobby blues band you might see on vacation in Kansas City. I'm pretty sure the last good show he played around here was with The Grateful Dead, at Anaheim Stadium.

def
def

As a 65 year old who first saw Dylan live with the Band in Philadelphia, I swore, after seeing him perform at UCI's basketball court years ago, that I'd never go to another concert unless it was at the Hollywood Bowl.But, again, I broke my promise & have tickets for Bob at the OC Fair. How bad can it be? Small arena, includes admission to the Fair and all the junk food you can devour. Memories are made of this!Dianne

Mkatehansen
Mkatehansen

You just don't understand, I hope that one day you will. Until then you should review acts you understand. No one does a more intimate show, and his phrasing is amazing.

ptumember
ptumember

Shithead, Bob's never played Someday Baby.If you don't want to see the "garbled, unrecognizable versions that he plays when he's in front of an audience," then please let a competent music critic take on this task.

competent = having the skill to do something successfullykey word, successfully

Badharmonica
Badharmonica

No, those songs are NOT "usually" in Dylan's set list. Have you ever even seen him live? Do you know how to use the Internet? His set lists are posted; find 'em and learn something.

jzsnake
jzsnake

OMG can you believe he thinks these people are better than Dylan? Can anybody be a critic these days?

ohmercy
ohmercy

agreed.bob himself felt that the Jimi Hendrix interpretation of Watchtower was peerless.

I always feel that people who repeat this twaddle have never actually been to a Dylan show- at least not recently. I think they trawl around the internet reading what others say and then rewrite it- do you think it makes them feel superior or part of the hip crowd?

Not that it matters but Dylan is the hippest cat on the planet.

Chasen_Marshall
Chasen_Marshall

You really enjoy your exclamation points, don't you?

Chasen_Marshall
Chasen_Marshall

Is that protocol for Dylan know-nothings? Are you Dylan's resident enforcer? He'd probably be really happy that you're "regulating." Best of luck with those anger issues, and keep hearing the music!

Bill T.
Bill T.

Just because I don't like it doesn't mean I don't understand it.

Andrew
Andrew

Hah! Pearl Jam BEST Dylan Cover ever! Hah! you dingleberry...Jesus, it's true any moron can be a music these days....probably the worst 'preview' Ive ever read...Lilly my dear girl, you are an imbecile!

Paul
Paul

Why is that LOL-worthy? Feist's The Reminder is one of the best records of the last five years, and the cover presented here is a hell of a lot better than any of the butchered versions I've seen Dylan deliver.

ohmercy
ohmercy

yes!And Forgetful Heart was transcendent. The new elements of the show- the lighting and background images added a sense of mystery, a certain theatricality that all the flashing light shows, a stage full of choreographed gyrating dancers, enhanced voices and big screens don't hold a candle to. Bob is a performance artist- in the true sense of the word- not a performing monkey.

I'm not saying I don't enjoy a spectacle now and then- but on the small screen not at high-priced, over produced shows. For the experience of theater, for the art of storytelling at its finest however, I'll go see Uncle Bob, the shaman storyteller/keeper of our tribe.

these foolish folks are so silly thinking themselves arbiters of what is good and what isn't. Greatness speaks for itself- let those who have eyes see- let those who have ears listen- let those who have hearts feel and let the rest play with their own and leave the seats for the rest of us.

col.kurtz
col.kurtz

this 'reporter' needs to get his head out of his ass. what is up with people wanting him to sound like he used to? get over it. and saying his band sucks just shows how ignorant this idiot is. these guys sound better passing gas than most other bands sound playing music.

Mkatehansen
Mkatehansen

That was sure a long time ago! To judge present performances.

Landofpoets
Landofpoets

totally disagree with you...the guys behind Dylan are all excellent musicians able to play in true and flexible ways to follow their leader.

Maryanngullo
Maryanngullo

the person i took with me saw Bob 30 years ago at the Forum and reports he has always done this with his material. I had a great time seeing him, heard a song I never did before, heard some of the above list that was different. how many times can you sing same thing same way again and again.  loved the "gospel" version of blowin in the wind. fresh. he seems to enjoy working in almost texas swing the most, he seemed the lightest and happiest doing that. some songs would not have been out of place on KJAZZ. so glad he was not resting on laurels, reinventing himself. so happy i finally saw him live.

ptumember
ptumember

Why does that matter? What a stupid comment. Leave the guy alone. He speaks and writes fluently more than one language, regardless of punctuation.

DN
DN

Did you see how many commas,,,,,,,, this so called "music critic" used in his/her review? Someone needs to go and buy portable 'Strunk & White' ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Love,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, David

Nappy
Nappy

Ok, Paul. How many versions of "Someday Baby" have you heard Bob Dylan butcher? 5? 2? 1? Wait, what's that? None? Could that be because he has NEVER played the song live, perhaps? Seriously, if you're going to try and make a point, you might want to ensure you aren't talking absolute sh*t. Dylan has only released two versions of Someday Baby, one on Modern Times and another version on Tell Tale Signs. Both are incredible.

I just listened to the Watchtower clip above for the first time. My lord, what a wank fest. Truly horrible. Give me the Dylan original, Jimi's perfect version or a latter Day Dylan growling out the lyrics with his band pumping.

Just to ensure the author gets the point. Lilledashan, maybe it's time for a new career?

Mkatehansen
Mkatehansen

Thank you!! I decided I was a lady & wouldn't use head up his ass! But its true.

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