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Bob Dylan 990213 in Normal, Illinois

Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999 17:37:45 EST
Subject: More on Normal Show - Pantagraph Review

Bloomington-Normal Pantagraph
Monday, February 15, 1999

Dylan voice not fading away soon

By Karen Strawn
Special to The Pantagraph

In a show stopping performance, Grammy-winning, folk-rock performer/songwriter
Bob Dylan kept a crowd of 6,500 fans at Illinois State University's Redbird
Arena Saturday night visiting highway 61, tangled up in blues, blowin' in the
wind and wondering how it feels to not hear "Like A Rolling Stone."

Named by Time magazine as one of the most important people of the 20th
century, Dylan has composed more than 500 songs, recorded 43 albums and sold a
total of more than 57 million records in a career that has spanned a troubled
and defining trio of decades in American history.

Dylan's 90 minute performance, which included four encore hits - "Love Sick",
"Rainy Day Women", "Blowin' in the Wind", and "Not Fade Away" - began without
missing a beat with hit song "Gotta Serve Somebody", from the days when his
train was slow coming.

There seemed to be a subtle but moving purpose behind the unlikely matching of
punk/swing showman Brian Setzer as the opening act for the classic, legendary
Dylan.  On stage, Dylan surrounded himself with young, brilliant, maverick
musicians.  Every musician on stage was like the cream of the crop.  Legends
can do that.

By inviting Setzer on stage to perform several songs, including an incredible
version of "Highway 61 Revisited", you could almost see in your mind's eye
Dylan handing over his guitar filled with the echo of an era to Setzer to
carry into the next millennium.

It was clearly an historic, goosebump, Kodak moment, but nobody was allowed to
have a camera.

It was clearly a Dylan audience.

During Dylan's performance of his forever relevant hit, "Blowin' In The Wind",
some audience members swayed back and forth with eyes closed, deep smiles
across their faces and tears rolling down their cheeks.

A sense of inter-generational acceptance and commraderie was as thick as the
smell of incense coming from backstage.  Parents with their children was proof
when it comes to songs, there is no such thing as a generation gap.

And Dylan was clearly enjoying himself.

Smiling and laughing with band members and the audience, Dylan gave the
appearance he was having a good time jammin' with his friends.

His voice sounded just like it's supposed to - peculiar for superstardom and
legendary status, but just perfect for Dylan.  There was no mumbling, just
words to songs remembered by audience members who are now parents and who
can't find the words to tell their children about life in America during the
close of the 20th century.

So they listen to classic songs composed by Dylan, like "Mr. Tambourine Man',
"If Not For You", "Just Like A Woman", and "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", and
words begin to flow.

Precious and timeless deposits of history are made in the hearts of a new
generation who will carry them into a new century.

Chicagoan Janet Fleming who has seen the rock legend 13 times since August
1997 and brought her 16- and 18- year old children.  "Dylan is the greatest
songwriter since King David," Fleming said.  ###

1998: May - June - July - August - September - October - November - 1999: January - February