When is a tribute act not a tribute act? While it would be unfair to call Cat Power a tribute act, the concert she’s giving at the Royal Albert Hall on November 5 is very much an act and very much a tribute.

That night, Cat Power, otherwise known as singer-songwriter-producer Chan Marshall, will re-create Bob Dylan’s legendary 1966 Royal Albert Hall show in full.

With the kind of panache and presumption we don’t really expect in pop anymore, she’s going to play Dylan’s exact set from the gig in precisely the same order—the first half of the set being acoustic (“She Belongs to Me,” “Visions of Johanna,” “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” and so on), before she’s joined by an electric band for the rest of the show (which included “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues,” “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat,” and “Ballad of a Thin Man”).

Dylan’s 1966 concert was the culmination of one of the most consequential and ultimately incendiary tours in the history of rock ’n’ roll—when he electrified his songs, enraging his devoted but already conformist audience in the process.

As transgressive as it was transformative, the Albert Hall performance became one of Dylan’s most important way stations. So much so that, for years, both it and he were seen as almost heretical. Dylan’s show took place just a few months after he first went electric, at the Newport Folk Festival in the summer of 1965, while the bootleg recordings of the Albert Hall show are notable for having captured one fan screaming “Judas!” at Dylan. His Bobness responded by telling his band to “play fucking loud.”

They did.

In bootleg recordings of the Royal Albert Hall show, which happened shortly after Bob Dylan went electric, one fan was recorded screaming “Judas!”

Marshall is a mediocre talent at best—she doesn’t have a way with melody, or a lyrical ability to galvanize her troops like other maverick folkies. And so, to put her retread into perspective, this new concert is a bit like Ed Sheeran or Jake Bugg having the audacity to perform a set list from Kate Bush’s Before the Dawn residency at the Hammersmith Apollo in 2014, say, or Taylor Swift replicating Oasis at Knebworth in 1996, or Maroon 5 attempting to play the Led Zeppelin reunion gig in London in 2007, or indeed Queen with Adam Lambert pretending to be Queen with Freddie Mercury. (Oh, apparently they’ve already done that.)

“When I finally got the opportunity to play the Royal Albert Hall, it was a no-brainer,” Marshall has said in a statement. “I just wanted to sing Dylan songs. And as much as any, this collection of his songs, to me, belong there.” She says her rationale for doing this is simple.

As transgressive as it was transformative, the Albert Hall performance became one of Dylan’s most important way stations.

“If this is the first and last time I’m ever going to play there,” she has said, “might as well make it a humdinger!” Asked what Bob Dylan means to her, she has responded, “What does Dylan mean to me? Dylan means something to anybody who loves him, right? Anybody who loves what he’s done knows what it means to them. I don’t know how to put that in words.”

So, in a sense, Marshall is almost trying to channel Dylan’s work, a task which, as we all know, is fraught with problems. Not that she will be bothered by this. Something of a super-fan, Marshall is no stranger to covering Dylan; in recent concerts, she has performed songs ranging from “Hard Times in New York Town” and “Moonshiner” to “Kingsport Town” and “Paths of Victory.” She also covered “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” for the soundtrack to the 2007 Dylan biopic, I’m Not There. This, though, is something else again. Previously, audaciousness wasn’t something most people would have thought was in Cat Power’s arsenal. Sure, she’s made so-so records with Lana Del Rey, she had a relationship with the actor Giovanni Ribisi (before being jettisoned for supermodel Agyness Deyn), and LA Weekly once dubbed her the “Queen of sadcore,” but I’m not sure any of this gives her anyone’s blessing to attempt to re-perform one of the most important concerts in rock history.

“When I finally got the opportunity to play the Royal Albert Hall, it was a no-brainer,” says Cat Power, otherwise known as Chan Marshall.

And that, surely, is the point. I don’t think any of us would balk at Courtney Love or Patti Smith doing this, or indeed Stevie Nicks or Lana Del Rey—but Cat Power? I have to say, I think it’s an inspired marketing idea, but I live on the north side of Hyde Park, just a 25-minute walk from the Royal Albert Hall, and I’m not sure even I need to stretch my legs that much.

But with the 70-year postwar pop period quickly coming to an end, it’s being fetishized in ways almost nobody foresaw. Nobody thought that album outtakes would become so sought after; to read grown men rhapsodize over the spilled milk being released as part of the new Beatles Revolver boxed set makes you think it contains free money.

As a Beatles nut, I obviously find this stuff fascinating, and to see their working processes distilled in such a way (by Giles Martin) is obviously a joy, but this kind of archaeology is now being applied to performers from Tiny Tim and Tony Orlando to Gene Simmons and Michael Bublé. Not only are tribute bands performing the classic albums of their mentors, but their mentors are doing it, too.

Seriously, where will it end? Now that we can go and see Abba perform in a virtual space, can we look forward to further body-mapping adventures from the Archies and Meat Loaf? If Cat Power’s exercise is a success this weekend, perhaps we can look forward to a sequel, this time performed alongside Bob Dylan himself.

This, in fact, might be a much better idea, as both performers are notoriously terrible live. Even if she pulls off a decent show at the Albert Hall, it wouldn’t be in the spirit of Dylan at all. I’ve certainly never seen a good Bob Dylan concert, and I’ve seen him dozens of times. In a sense his original Albert Hall show set in motion a career-long litany of confrontational performances. Dylan has never really appreciated his audiences, and as his old paramour Joan Baez once said, he looks onstage “as though he’d rather be in a dark parlor, playing chess; perhaps in a sense he is.”

As critics and customers have long said, Dylan routinely and deliberately disfigures the melodies of his classic songs, often beyond recognition. Someone I know who saw him play in Hyde Park a few years ago said she was hoping to hear “Make You Feel My Love” when she realized Dylan had already performed it. And you just knew he was growling when he played it, too.

I sincerely hope Cat Power is more convivial.

Dylan Jones is the author of 26 books, most recently Faster Than a Cannonball: 1995 and All That. He was the editor of the U.K. edition of GQ from 1999 to 2021, and has written weekly columns for The Independent and The Mail on Sunday