Even by the unparalleled standards of an icon such as Dylan, this show has the potential to be something extraordinary. It has all the makings of being "special" in ways far more specific than the "special" Pulitzer Prize he received earlier this year: not for music, not for poetry, but for being an influential, apparently amorphous cultural phenomenon. Anyway, this is widely touted as the first time Dylan will have ever performed on the University of Minnesota campus, even though he went to school there briefly and launched his career in nearby Dinkytown on the cusp of the 1960s. Also, the concert is scheduled to start at the same time the local polls close in one of the most important elections in the nation's history. Will Dylan, an enthusiastic Obama supporter, select an appropriate repertoire as the results come in? Will the times really be a-changin', or will a simple twist of fate mean that it's all over now (baby blue) and we'll have to deal with masters of war for another four years? If last summer's shows are any indication, Dylan and his band will likely juggle lots of classics (some radically reshaped) with more recent stuff. That will probably include tunes from the recently released Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 (Columbia), a sprawling, endlessly intriguing assortment of rare and unreleased tracks dating from 1989-2006.
Tue., Nov. 4, 8 p.m., 2008