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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Bob Dylan is kicking off his Spring tour at UB. He wants students to come, and he wants to thwart scalpers, so 4,500 tickets are being given away to students on the day of the show. The remaining tickets are being made available to faculty and staff before they go on sale to the general public. I checked my wallet, and there was a card that said that I am faculty, so when the announcement went up that the faculty/staff tickets were on sale I didn't even finish reading the email-- I just shot out to campus. I figured that faculty and staff are Bob's natural constituency, and was anticipating a throng of tweed jackets and gray ponytails.

That's not what I encountered, to say the least, but when I got into the car to go back to work Theme Time Radio was on the air, and the theme was "Luck".

| Comments:
So, did you get a ticket for A. too? And is this your dream? How many live concerts of his have you been to?


 
A has never seen him, but will be this time. This will be the third time I've been to a Dylan concert-- I saw him in 1976 on the Rolling Thunder tour at the old Niagara Falls Convention Center, and again a few years ago. I don't know if it's my "dream" per se-- last time I went Captain X (who will be joining us this time) summed it up well before hand: "It could be great, or it could be terrible, but either way it will be great." He was right.

He always has a terrific band, and he always rearranges the familiar songs into something new. His catalog is deep, so there are always surprises. Alumni Arena is not the ideal venue, but it's not bad, and it is a lot better than some places where I might see a Dylan show. We have a fair amount of live music lined up for the next few months, but I'm looking forward to this more than anything else.

Nick Hornby wrote an essay about being a Dylan fan in which he mused that he doesn't really think of himself as a big Dylan fan because he knows so many people who are bigger fans-- they own all the bootlegs, they follow him on tour, they've read "Tarantula" all the way through... Then he looks at his shelves and realizes that he owns as many Dylan recordings as sides by anyone else. I'm that way. I actually have developed an appreciation for his later stuff, because I am still discovering how really good a lot of it is. Everybody knows "Blonde on Blonde" is great, but his last ten or 15 years have been filled with great songs as well.

He is as important an artist as America produced in the 20th Century, and he is still doing interesting and important work. Now he is coming to my university. I'm pretty excited about that.
 
The warm-up act, Dawes, is pretty good, too. Saw them open for Allison Kraus and Union Station.
When I was last in Buffalo, I saw a bar that holds an annual Dylan impersonation contest. Do you happen to know which bar it is and when the contest is held (I think April)? I'm polishing my act.
 
CJ, it's the Bob Dylan Imitator's Contest, and this will be its 26th year. They have it at Nietzsche's, and it is -- today! A week and a half before Dylan himself comes to town. Sorry about the short notice.
 

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