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.
Bob Dylan: tonight at Hyde Park never seen such a load of rubbish. After an hour, thousands pouring out, such a self indulgent twit, not a single hit played. Don’t bother to see him, he’s over. #selfishman #BobDylan— KatherineLondon (@DandyKatherine) July 12, 2019
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.
For any1 @BSTHydePark complaining that they couldnt make out the lyrics, didn't like his gravely voice, didn't run thru his gr8test hits, what did u expect? Didn't u know he has been playing live this way for 40 years! BTW he is #BobDylan, he can play as he pleases.— Daniel Dexter (@dandandexter) July 13, 2019
One story quickly spreading across social media was that of an attendee using music app Shazam to try and identify a Dylan song.
The guy in front of me trying to use @Shazam to identify a song Bob Dylan is playing live in Hyde Park has unrealistic expectations of what technology can ever achieve.— Stoopiduk (@stoopiduk) July 12, 2019
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.”
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.