You never know what you’re going to get from a Bob Dylan show.
In part, that’s because the singer is a hard man to pin down, a theatrical prankster known for playing up his eccentricities, a maneuver that paradoxically shields him from scrutiny while fueling interest in his life. He’s the type of guy who hosted his own radio show a few years ago (“Theme Time Radio”) and still came off as media shy.
The other reason: He’s recorded 35 albums. His first “Greatest Hits” collection came out in 1967, and he’s been contributing to that legacy ever since. He often changes arrangements of old songs during live shows.
Most recently, he released “Tempest,” an album that some Dylanophiles fear may be his last, based on its title — “The Tempest” is believed to be the last play William Shakespeare wrote alone. The title track of the new album is a 14-minute, 45-verse retelling of the Titanic’s sinking.
The 71-year-old will play KeyArena with opener Mark Knopfler, the frontman for Dire Straits, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
And who knows? Maybe this will be the last time you get to see Dylan play Seattle. Or maybe it won’t. Dylan’s the only one who knows for sure, and he ain’t saying.
Tickets are $62.87 to $103.78 at ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000.
Elsewhere, rapper Mos Def will trot out his new persona during a show at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Showbox SoDo.
In August 2011, the rapper (who is also well-known as an actor) announced he’d like to be called Yassin Bey, saying he was retiring the Mos Def name.
Granted, it’s a retirement that’s coming slowly. His reputation as one of the world’s best rappers under the Mos Def moniker has made cutting ties a bit tough — he uses both names to promote shows.
Tickets are $30 at showbox online.com or 888-929-7849.
The Showbox SoDo also will host the Deftones, the alt-metal mainstays, at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The Deftones acted as a bridge between the mind-bending metal of the 1990s made by groups like Tool and more recent introspective metal bands like Incubus.
The Deftones are gearing up to release a new studio album, “Koi No Yokan.” The title comes from a Japanese phrase with no direct translation; it relates to a feeling you have right after you meet someone and know, in time, you will grow to love that person.
Tickets are $35 at showbox online.com or 888-929-7849.
Across town, at the Showbox at the Market, emo-punk band Taking Back Sunday will play at 7 p.m. Thursday in support of its new self-titled album.
That record, the group’s fifth studio album, found all the band’s founding members reuniting. The resulting product won some critical praise but only landed at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 last year, a slip for the group, which saw other recent efforts crack the top 10.
Tickets are $28 at showbox online.com or 888-929-7849.
Indie-rock icons Dinosaur Jr. also will hit Seattle, playing an 8 p.m. show Friday at the Neptune Theatre.
The guitar-driven group is touring behind its 10th album, “I Bet on Sky,” another well-received outing for the widely praised band.
Tickets are $30 at stgpresents.org or 877-784-4849.
Finally, the Hometown Hootenanny will hold its monthly show at the Historic Everett Theatre on Saturday night.
The group patterns its family friendly variety shows on the Grand Ole Opry. The theme this month is Story Tellers. One of the Hootenanny’s favorite storytellers, Reggie Miles, will perform
For more information, go to www.everetttheatre.org or call 425-258-6766.