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Bob Dylan

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Bob Dylan and the Band came to Crisler Arena February 2nd. For 2 12 hours they totally captivated a crowd of 1 4,000. some of whom had officially paid as much as S8.50 (and up to $100 from scalpers) to take part in the culturalmythical event. While no concert ought to cost so much, compared on a relative rip-off scale to say S7.00 for Black Sabbath, or $12 for the Stones, this one was well worth it. Dylan and the Band came out to thundering applause for the first song, a great version of "You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine," which set the tone for the evening. The music was loud (heavy, some might say) and tight. BillGraham as usual had everything taen care of as far as sound and sight are concerned-every facet of the music was audible throughout Crisler, which is an achievement in itself, and the lighting was just right. The Band plays great back-up for Dylan, so tight as a group you'd think they had been playing together for six years for fun or something. Dylan sang clearly; he spat out the words so that everybody in the house could savor them. After six years of being besieged by fans to make his feelings known again, Dylan wasn't going to have anybody misunderstanding him. What Dylan was making sure that we understood was that he just isn't interested in being seen as the prophet or leader by a generation of youth anymore. As he once said in another song, "Don't go mistaking paradise for that home across the road."-the point is that 5,000,000 people tried to get tickets so Dylan could teil them that he just doesn't want to be The One. In one of the peaks of the first part of the concert Dylan snapped out a raunchy, sardonic version of "It ain't me Babe", relying on one of his earliest and most famous songs to get his point across. The Band played a set of their own songs before the intermission. It was a good set of songs, all from the first three Band albums, but everytime they seemed about to break out and shake the house a little they held back. The vocals were excellent and Robbie Robertson is a great guitarist, but the Band's two sets (another in the middle of the post-intermission part of the concert) just weren't up to the level of the rest of the concert: the nieht was Dylan's. Dylan came out after the short intermission with just his guitar and harmonica. It was clear that he did not relish this part f of the concert nearly as much as the electric part --at the end he tore off the acoustic guitar and hrew down the ca holder. But it was duing the acoustic set that things really began to get off theground. He sang telling sions of "Gates of Eden" and "It's Alright Ma," which together with Y an earlier, spirited version of "Bailad of a Thin Man" proved the continuing strength and relevance of Dylan's poetry, and more importantly, a continuing be - lief by the audience in what Dylan has to say. (The "Ballad"segment, by the way, featured some great Little RichardJerry Lee Lewis influenced piano stomping by Mr. D.) It does seem unfortunate to me that Dylan feels he has to make so much money out of the concert series. He took $7580,000 out of Crisler Saturday, which is a whole lot of money. There are so many other uses for that kind of money that it seems odd that this man who speaks so wonderfully about what the world might be would come into a community which is trying to créate a little of that world,. and take off with a fantastic sum of money which could instead be put back into the community's growth. But then who am I to teil Dylan what to do-he doesn't want to teil me after all? miu men oí course, tnere is the question of what happened to those front row tickets, and why anybody who got those good tickets paid at least $50 per seat. As the Michigan Daily reported, this whole thing was a rip-off a lot closer to home. But considering the kind of money involved in the tour (and let us not forget that millionaire Promoter Bill Graham is in on the take for 15%) it's not terribly surprising that other promoters might want more than their share too. The worst thing about it is that 1000 people paid a lot more for the concert than anyone ought to. But let's forget about money for now. After all, it was music that made the evening. Dylan carne, and he played and sang for a couple of hours, and he left. But in that time he took a crowd of 14,000 through 10 years of important music, and finally brought the entire audience screaming to its feet with a powerful, inspirational "Like a Rolling Stone". Crisler was a sea of moving, moved people, all trying to believe, all caught up in the moment: "How does it feel, to be without a home, to be on your own, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone." An entire generation tumbling down history together, clapping their in time. There was an encoré. Dylan and the Band carne back on the stage to say once again, as they had opened the concert, that we can all go our way, but Dylan will go his. I say let him. It was a great concert. Now about all that money...