Bob Dylan revisited at Mac Court

Rena Lev-Bass

The Bob Dylan Show is sure to stir up nostalgic fire tonight when the legend himself steps on stage at McArthur Court at 7:30 p.m.

The concert comes in anticipation of the Dylan’s new album, set to be released on Tuesday.

“Christmas in the Heart” will be Dylan’s 47th album and includes songs such as “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “Must Be Santa.” In the spirit of the season, Dylan has pledged more than four million meals to 1.4 million suffering from hunger during the holidays. All U.S. royalties from the album sales will be donated to several of the world’s largest charity organizations, including Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity.

“When we reached out to Bob Dylan about becoming involved with our organization, we could never have anticipated that he would so generously donate all royalties from his forthcoming album to our cause,” said Feeding America CEO Vicki Escarra on Dylan’s Web site. “This major initiative from such a world renowned artist and cultural icon will directly benefit so many people and have a major impact on spreading awareness of the epidemic of hunger in this country and around the world.”

Dylan addressed the charity on his Web site, saying, “It’s a tragedy that more than 35 million people in this country alone — 12 million of those children — often go to bed hungry and wake up each morning unsure of where their next meal is coming from. I join the good people of Feeding America in the hope that our efforts can bring some food security to people in need during this holiday season.”

Known for his rusty voice and lyrical ramblings, Dylan is always changing his style, whether experimenting with folk, rock, gospel or beat poetry.

“He’s different, he’s raw. I like him for the same reason a lot of people don’t like him,” said undergraduate Curt Ries, whose favorite song is “Mr. Tambourine Man” and just started watching a documentary about Dylan.

Academics have compared Dylan’s works with literary greats such as Eliot, Keats and Tennyson. Time magazine describes Dylan as a “master poet, caustic social critic and intrepid, guiding spirit of the counterculture generation.” Certainly, he is no less, having reinvented folk and inspired millions with hundreds of songs and more than 57 million albums sold.

“Dylan re-popularized American folk and made it into a viable genre again. He is part of American folklore,” said unde graduate John Zatkowsky, whose favorite album is “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.”

Dylan’s “Never Ending Tour” is proof that the legend lives on. Since 1988, Dylan has performed roughly 100 dates a year, having played more than 2,100 shows at the end of 2008.

With 3,000 tickets sold, general admission is sold out at McArthur Court. Roughly 2,000 reserved seating tickets are still available.

The University’s Cultural Forum persuaded the booking agents, Live Nation, to give up to 1,000 students a $10 discount. About 700 discounted tickets are still available.

“My brother introduced me to him and I started listening,” said undergraduate Derek Brown, whose favorite album is “Time Out of Mind.” “My parents used to listen to him back in the day, and my math teacher used to play Bob Dylan songs to us in class. He’s
a classic.”

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