IT was the moment thousands of Bluesfest ticket holders had been waiting for, and most were not disappointed.
An estimated 10,000 people crowded the Mojo Stage and its surrounds last night for Bob Dylan's highly anticipated performance, part of his first tour in Australia in four years.
Dylan opened with a lesser known song - Gonna Change My Way of Thinking - from his 19th studio album Slow Train Coming but the crowd didn’t seem to mind, with many dancing in the rain that fell during his first two songs.
The American folk pioneer went on to sing hits including Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right, Highway 61 and Hard Rain.
The 69-year-old's voice was low, hoarse and, at times, unintelligible, but many fans managed to sing along anyway and cheered in support of his harmonica and keyboard solos.
There were a few rumblings of disappointment that the side of stage screens were black and the other screens, in front of which hundreds had camped out in chairs all day, showed only a static wide-angle shot of the stage.
The only people who got a close-up view of Dylan’s face were the die-hard fans who managed to get spots at the front of the stage.
For most, he was a distant, slim figure dressed in black with a white wide-brimmed hat.
Despite all of that the show was a lifetime highlight for many, with a majority of the crowd staying through the hour-long set and two-song encore Like A Rolling Stone and Forever Young.
Many then stuck around for another music legend - Elvis Costello. He walked onto the stage and immediately got stuck into a high energy set, which he kicked off with his classic rocker Pump It Up.
Celebrities spotted last night included Tim Robbins, who played a late afternoon set with his band The Rogues Gallery Band, and Australia and Lord of the Rings star David Wenham.
Today’s sixth and final line-up for the 2011 festival sees Dylan and Costello play their second shows, as well as Gurrumul, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Warren Haynes & His All Star Band.
Punters are hoping there won’t be a repeat of Grace Jones’s show on Friday night, when she started 45 minutes late.
Paul Kelly, Tim Finn and George Clinton & The Parliament Funkadelic all play their first and only shows tonight.
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