Concert reviews: Dylan doesn't mention birthplace, but still connects with Duluth fans


Bob Dylan played his first show since 1999 in Duluth Tuesday, but unlike his gig 14 years ago, he made no mention of the city where he was born, the Star Tribune reports.

In the 1999 show, Dylan said, "I was born up the hill there," which either referred to St. Mary’s Hospital or the home the musician's family lived until he was 6 years old when they moved to Hibbing.

The concert was the first of two stops in Minnesota on Dylan's AmericanaramA Festival of Music tour, which heads to Midway Stadium in St. Paul Wednesday night.

More than 7,000 fans gathered at Duluth's Bayfront Park to watch the five-hour show Tuesday night, which included Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Richard Thompson.

According to the Star Tribune, Dylan, 72, played 90 minutes, starting his set with more recent songs like “Duquesne Whistle” and “Things Have Changed," and playing classic tunes like "All Along the Watchtower" and "A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall" later on.

Also noting Dylan's failure to mention his birthplace, the Duluth News Tribune says he still made a connection with the audience, finishing the concert with his iconic tune "Blowin' in the Wind."

The News Tribune said the mood of Dylan's was dark, as was the music.

Nonetheless, the paper observed, the Minnesota music icon was getting into it, saying Dylan "went without an instrument for the first few songs, and he seemed to enjoy playing his music without being strapped to his guitar. He put his hand on his hips like Mick Jagger, threw shapes and illustrated his lyrics with subtle hand motions."

The paper added that while Dylan's band "expertly played the material, it was Dylan, "one of the most beloved songwriters in history, up there on a stage only a short distance from where he came into the world, that made the night magic."

The Chicago-based Wilco -- which was made an honorary Duluth band by Mayor Don Ness in the past -- made a couple of Duluth connections during their set.

The Star Tribune says the band invited Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker from Duluth indie rock band Low to sing during their set to help sing a cover of the Gordon Lightfoot's classic "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," and at one point, Wilco singer Jeff Tweedy said, "It's good to be home."

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