Best Performances from the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Concert

On Oct 16, 1992 many diverse and popular artists gathered at MSG in New York City to celebrate the songs and music of Bob Dylan on the 30th anniversary of his first recordings in a four hour show. Dubbed "Bobfest" by Neil Young, it was broadcast around the world. Many notable performers and some of the greatest supporting musicians made great contributions. Available on CD and video.
The list concept isn't just about the better song or favorite performers; it's a combo of the delivery, the song, the person, and I decided not to consider weighing in sentiment or song or importance of Dylan's own solo lead performances for the top ten, although some quite strong he wasn't at his best vocally and so many of the others were fantastic in salute and tribute.
The Top Ten
1 My Back Pages - Dylan/Harrison/McGuinn/ Clapton/Young/Petty

I need to give G.E. Smith credit for a phenomenal job as musical director of the entire show, as well as for his guitar and mandolin work. He really arranged things well and kept things flowing. Booker T and the M.G.s were magnificent as the house band, supporting many diverse artists and styles!

If only Roy Orbison could have been there for a Traveling Wilburys reunion.

What an incredible group of musicians.

2 Emotionally Yours - The O'Jays

Great, creative gospel-like rendition with strong vocals.

3 Absolutely Sweet Marie - George Harrison

George's first U.S. performance in 20 years at the time. Of course, he and Dylan had many strong connections and interactions. Dylan was featured at Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh, which was Dylan's return to the stage after a motorcycle accident and time off.

4 Love Minus Zero/No Limit - Eric Clapton

Clapton is one of many who cover Dylan well.

5 Highway 61 Revisited - Johnny Winter

Winter did a nice, fun job with this one.

6 All Along The Watchtower - Neil Young

Not Hendrix, of course, but Neil was more than up to the task. I had a little trouble deciding which of his two song efforts to put here, but this song's status and popularity swung the ranking.

7 What Was It You Wanted - Willie Nelson

A beautiful, subdued, and expressive rendition. Willie hit the mark on the delivery of this one.

8 Just Like A Woman - Richie Havens

I've long been an admirer of Richie Havens's voice and acoustic playing. He covered many Dylan songs, and this is one of my favorites of Bob's, which I love to sing. Richie performs it so well.

9 I Shall Be Released - Chrissie Hynde

I'm a huge fan of Chrissie and the Pretenders, and she really seemed to be enjoying herself here. She had a great introduction by George Harrison a bit later in the show.

10 Like A Rolling Stone - John Mellancamp

Solid performance, but it got the number ten spot over other worthy candidates as it opened the show and got things off to a terrific start.

The Contenders
11 Girl of the North Country - Bob Dylan
12 Fool of Pride - Lou Reed
13 When I Paint My Masterpiece - The Band
14 Masters of War - Eddie Vedder, Mike McCready
15 Don't Think Twice, It's Alright - Eric Clapton

Highlight of the show, in my opinion. Love Minus Zero was a solid cover, but he blew the roof off with Don't Think Twice, It's Alright. An electrifying performance.

16 Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35 - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
17 Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues - Neil Young
18 Gotta Serve Somebody - Booker T and the M.G.s

Booker T, Steve Cropper, Don "Duck" Dunn, Anton Fig, and Jim Keltner provided solid work as the house band backing most performances.

19 Seven Days - Ron Wood

A lesser-known song that Ron Wood performed well, sounding somewhat like Dylan.

20 It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding - Bob Dylan
21 Mr Tambourine Man - Roger McGuinn
22 Knocking On Heaven's Door - Everyone
23 Blowin' in the Wind - Stevie Wonder
24 It Ain't Me Babe - June Carter and Johnny Cash
25 You Ain't Goin Nowhere - Carpenter/ Cash/Colvin
8Load More
PSearch List