Friday, February 22, 2019

Bob Dylan @ Rothbury

Posted by shore On July - 7 - 2009

bobdylanrothbury@AndyShore I was always told, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”





Who am I kidding? I’ve never been once to hold back on a band I did not enjoy. Just ask fans of Slightly Stoopid. Bob Dylan was terrible at Rothbury 2009. Not just bad, but awful. Here is a guy that has the opportunity to do what everyone dreams of doing. He performs on stages around the world in front of tens of thousands of adoring fans. Except he doesn’t even seem to enjoy himself. He growls inaudible versions of his greatest hits into the microphone.


Dylan closed the photo pit, so as not to get any close up footage of him being horrible. They didn’t even allow the cameras for the video screens on the stage. Instead all they got was wide shots of the entire band from cameras stationed at the soundboard. 


A majority of the fans in attendance for Dylan, the headliner slated to close Rothbury, weren’t even paying attention. The scene was closer to that of a concert at Ravinia than a major music festival. Everyone was seating, chatting and relaxing. Had Umphrey’s McGee not been added to close out the festival late night, many of those in attendance may not have been there still.


“Like A Rolling Stone” was picked as the Greatest Song of All Time by Rolling Stone a few years back. When Dylan played it, he wasn’t even the greatest one in attendance that could have performed it. The most fun we had during his set, was doing impressions of what it would be like if Dylan covered “Thriller.” Try it, you’ll laugh.


The first time I saw Bob Dylan, he was upstaged by Elvis Costello and I almost walked out. This time, I did leave early. I couldn’t take any more. It breaks my heart to see one of the most influential people in music do that to themselves. I don’t even know why he’s still performing. He doesn’t seem to enjoy himself, and as a result, few others did.

12 Responses

  1. bob Said,

    You have no clue

    Posted on July 7th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

  2. Tim Martin Said,

    Totally agree

    Posted on July 7th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

  3. Brett Said,


    I’m not sure if you were at the same show as I was or not, but that was *easily and by far* one of the best Dylan shows I’ve seen since the mid 90’s (I’ve seen him well over 30 times).

    I have a ton of close up shts of Bob, not only from the stage, but from the screens as well, so I’m not sure what exactly you were looking at, but there was a remarkable amount of closeups, especially for Dylan, who is notoriously Camera shy. (Another friend, who has seen Bob 45+ times and I were very surprised he even allowed the screen to be on at all).

    As far as a greatest hits set… I’m sorry, to me, this just speaks volumes about how well you actually know the artist, he did a good mix of old and new, and even a song off the new album. The lack of Encore was disappointing, but not unexpected for anyone who actually knows anything about Dylan.

    His vocals were the best I’ve heard in a long time, that bears repeating. And as far as not enjoying himself, he waved at the audience, which again is HUGELY atypical for Dylan, I think he was having a great time.

    I can understand if you’re not a fan, a lot of people aren’t fans of his latter-year live performances, but to be fair, if you’re going to comment on how he performed, you might want to actually have an idea about the topic at hand.

    Posted on July 7th, 2009 at 6:01 pm

  4. AJ Weberman Said,

    I can settle this is there is a video of him at Rothberry on YouTube or elsewhere

    Posted on July 8th, 2009 at 3:29 am

  5. Bill Sykes Said,

    Andy Shore you say the same stuff my grandparents said about Bob. Nothing has changed. He is still a genius unlike Jackson who was merely a good dancer. Andy, Bob Dylan will survive your highly unoriginal and predictable criticism. Meanwhile this 68 year old has twice in a row been the oldest person to have a number one album. What do you mean, Andy Neverwas by saying he has the opportunity to do what most of us would like to do? You write a few classics yourself and maybe you too would have the “opportunity” that you enviously snivel about.

    Posted on July 8th, 2009 at 6:35 am

  6. Rob Said,

    I completely agree. After Tangled up in Blue I turned to my friends and said “that was different.” After the next few songs we all looked at each other and silently agreed to leave. This show was horrendous…by far the worst of the weekend. We and a whole bunch of people started heading for the gates and took the late night ride home early. I remember hearing people walking in asking “is the show over?” as we walked out because there were so many people leaving early. Not what i was looking for in Bob Dylan and your right he did not look like he wanted to be there.

    Posted on July 8th, 2009 at 2:20 pm

  7. MArty Said,

    I have to agree that this show was terrible- I kept thinking that he must have been picked up by the bus at the senior home- I noticed a bunch of “older” ladies up on the sound board platform- we assumed they came from the some senior home- must have been a night out for a bunch of them. And they did not show ANY close up shots of Bob on the screens- near the end I wanted to see what he actually looked like so we went all the way down to the front of the stage- I was shocked to see he didnt look anywhere as bad as he sounded. Anyhow was a terrible way to end the festival…

    Posted on July 8th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

  8. asavage Said,

    The festival was fantastic! Here are some stills and 360 panoramic images with sound

    Posted on July 9th, 2009 at 5:41 am

  9. me Said,

    it was amazing.

    Posted on July 12th, 2009 at 7:20 pm

  10. Burr Said,

    Brett. +1.

    I’ve seen the guy like 20 times, and ya, he’s old. Yeah, his singing isn’t what it used to be (HE’s PUSHING 70 FOR GOD SAKE). In any case, this was by far the best i’ve seen him. This is the FIRST time I’ve seen him where he DID look like he wanted to be there…the guy is a recluse, do some research. He smiled more than I’ve EVER seen, and just because he played “tangled up in blue” differently than on some greatist hits cd, doesn’t make it bad. To me it makes it better. Anyways I just think this article was waaaayyy overexaggerated if not completely false. Great show. Would love to see again.

    Posted on July 17th, 2009 at 7:55 pm

  11. Rob Said,

    Agree 100% with Burr. Best show of my life, and I went in with low expectations because of all the bad things I’d heard. He blew me away, better than I could have dreamed.

    Posted on July 20th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

  12. wordenbill Said,

    first 1998 organizations report extinction www

    Posted on July 24th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

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