Here's my worthless .02 cents on the NET/MODBOB vs. Vintage Bob craziness (AKA Benny VS. Johanna
I have lurked here a LONG time but I am a very new poster. Both Benny and Johanna are among my favorite posters, and believe it or not, they are more similar than they are different. It is obvious that they BOTH love BOB's music as much as anyone, anywhere. They both have a huge passion for this stuff. Different era's mind you, but it is still "Bob". And how can you not love someone who loves Bob so much?
And I "get" where both are coming from.
Johanna has great experiences seeing and listening to MODBOB. That's fantastic. I too have been to MODBOB shows and enjoyed myself immensely.
Benny is (in my opinion) a musical purist. He has heard the absolute best of what Bob has had to offer and latched on to it. Singing undue praises to anything less than the high water mark of the mid 70's (and lets throw 66 in there) diminishes just how truly magical those times were.
People say that the enjoyment of music is subjective. I believe that. I believe that someone like Johanna has every right to cherish and value her experiences with the NET. No different than Benny valuing RTR.
However, even with the personal subjectivity of music, I do believe that empirically there can be consensus on an artists "best" output. For example, Consensus among Deadheads is that May 1977 is probably the best month of consecutive Grateful Dead shows ever (always open to some debate, and there are other favorite era's (europe 72, fall 73, summer 74) but even advocates of other era's will rate May 77 near the top.
As much fun as I have had at MODBob shows (and I should also add I was at Toads Place in 90 and it was the greatest night of my life musically), I can state safely that the BEST music made in Bob Dylan's career from a Live performance Standpoint is RTR 75/76, it is not even close in my opinion. I would trade my attendance at Toads place for a spot in the Balcony in Waterbury 75, or Montreal, or Fort Worth, etc...etc... Other era's had incredible points and highlights, but nothing touches the sheer amount of incredible music being made on those 2 tours. They simply killed EVERY night!
Again, my .02....... And me saying 75/76 is the best does not diminish the experiences I had at Toads or supper club, just like Net'ers admitting 75/76 is best shouldn't diminish their NET experiences.
Plenty of Room on the RTR Express, everyone on board!!! it IS the best ever!