Why does Bob Dylan still tour the world when he could be enjoying a quiet existence living off his royalties? Why the hell wouldn't he?

With a tight backing band, Dylan last night treated a packed Claudelands Arena in Hamilton to a two-hour show featuring 19 songs spanning his career.

Dylan's Auckland fans were upset the master wouldn't play in the City of Sails but plenty of Jaffas made the pilgrimage to Hamilton.

The 73-year-old treated fans to a handful of songs from recent album Tempest, including a tight version of the Duquesne Whistle.

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He also reworked many of his classics, including Tangled Up in Blue, which he presented with a totally new verse.

No wonder fans keep playing a game to see who can be first to recognise a song. He kept the classic All Along The Watchtower for his encore, though.

He wasn't especially engaging but he was on form, putting in plenty of effort and even smiling often enough to show fans he still has a lot of energy and love for his performances.

Dylan returns to Claudelands tonight before heading to Australia, then returning for one show at Christchurch's Horncastle Arena on September 10.