It’s easy to think Bob Dylan would give his young fans what they want — songs from the past that they wish they could have witnessed — while touring college campuses. However, the experience of Binghamton University students on Nov. 17 was a bit different than expected.
As an avid Dylan lover, I was disappointed he didn’t even speak to fans during his show where hundreds of college students came out for him. Yes, his voice may be going, but it isn’t that hard to give students a simple hello.
Anne Kassalow, a senior majoring in human development, said she was let down by the performance.
“I couldn’t even understand anything he was saying,” Kassalow said. “It’s sad how someone so influential can hardly even speak to his audience anymore.”
Prepared for Dylan to mumble his way through the set list, the least he could have done was perform songs people could somewhat decipher and sing along. The only recognizable song was “Like a Rolling Stone,” and the only way to hear it was to endure the entire show and make it to the encore. Not to mention it’s been the last song on his tour for at least three shows in a row — no element of surprise.
But, to be fair, although Dylan wasn’t as mesmerizing as expected, the band playing with him did a great job. Waiting for “Like a Rolling Stone” was less painful as the band played groovy tunes that uplifted the mood and made everyone feel like they were in the 60s.
Alex Kirby, a sophomore majoring in English, said while it wasn’t the best concert she’s seen, it was a worthwhile experience.
“It was worth going just to see the living legend that is Bob Dylan,” Kirby said.
And of course, there are always two sides to the coin — Dylan’s been known to mumble through his songs at this time in his life. Maybe we should be a little more sympathetic toward the legend.
Kira Busman, a freshman majoring in human development, said that the concert was phenomenal.
“You have to take it for what it is,” Busman said. “I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to see him perform, especially on a college campus.”
Dylan wasn’t the best he’s been, but it was enjoyable to sit and relish in his legendary aura while enjoying some well-played background music.