Bob Dylan performance divides fans at Hyde Park gig

Greer McNally
Bob Dylan performs as part of a historic double bill with Neil Young at Hyde Park on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Hyde Park was the site of a very special concert on Friday, as music legends Bob Dylan and Neil Young took to the stage to play for an excited gathering of fans.

But going by reactions on social media, not everyone got what they were expecting. That probably explains why Dylan’s performance in particular divided those in attendance.

Many complained, with one tweeter calling it “load of rubbish” and Dylan a “self-indulgent twit” who didn’t play a single hit.

But other fans were quick to jump to the musician’s defence. After all, album-like renditions of some of the singer songwriter’s greatest hits were never going to be the order of play - this is a man who likes to completely reinvent his hits.

One fired back: “You know very little about Dylan if you were expecting greatest hits. He's not Ed Sheeran. He's a real artist. He almost never plays a song the same way twice.”

The division among fans was apparent as Dylan’s performance continued, as those complaining about a lack of recognisable tunes were ridiculed on Twitter.

One story quickly spreading across social media was that of an attendee using music app Shazam to try and identify a Dylan song.

Read more: Bob Dylan and Neil Young roll back the years at Hyde Park

But fans who knew the 78-year-old’s MO were on board. One said: “#BobDylan created himself again tonight and good for him. He was HAPPY and he totally rocked.”

Another pointed out: “He’s only been doing them like this for 20 years, so I can see why you might be caught unawares.”

Read more: Neil Young just released a new album. You can stream it

There was controversy ahead of the concert. In November, Neil Young rebelled against the idea of Barclays sponsoring proceedings, forcing the bank to withdraw. But on the day itself, his was the more traditional set.