This evening we went to the Sportspaleis in Antwerp to watch a spritely, dapper, septuagenarian bark, shout and croak at a stadium full of people. Yes, we went to see the master, Bob Dylan, who is in the middle of a punishing European tour. The schedule would be exhausting for somebody half his age. It has already taken a grievous toll on what remains of his voice – hence the barking. We were treated to a number of classics (including A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, All Along the Watchtower and Like a Rolling Stone), inevitably leaving us sad that he couldn’t have played all the other classics. And this was a resolutely electronic affair, with Dylan only occasionally picking up an electric guitar but mostly confining himself to an electric organ and a harmonica, with the slick backing band going through its amplified paces. Unlike the first act, an on-song Mark Knopfler, there was no sign of an acoustic guitar, let alone any finger picking. We left happy (we had seen the man!) but slightly subdued. Such is Dylan’s fame that he can fill 17,000-seater sports stadiums, but that means serious amplification. And such is the state of Dylan’s voice that he simply cannot sing the ballads as he had once intended them to be sung. To his credit, Dylan eschewed backing singers, but the pragmatic result was that virtually every song he played had been re-arranged as a rock-and-roll number (Forgetful Heart was an honourable exception). This was a shame for somebody who had always wanted to go beyond rock-and-roll. Still, this living legend is still very much alive.