Bob Dylan's magic captivates fans

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan

HISTORY was made at Bluesfest yesterday when the weather held for the fifth straight day and Bob Dylan finally got to play in the Byron Shire.

The mood of expectancy was palpable as fans of every age poured on to a sun-soaked site from early afternoon and set up their chairs in the Mojo tent.

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They weren't disappointed by either of the two headline acts.

Despite having a 70th birthday looming, Dylan moves with the times. While old favourites provided its backbone, his set was sprinkled with highlights from his most recent highly acclaimed albums.

Confounding the expectations of the benighted few who were hoping for acoustic protest songs or stage banter, the Bobcat turned in a solid rock-blues performance.

The dazzling work by his backing band, especially long-serving guitarist Charlie Sexton, was a bonus.

Punters were torn between seeing Dylan on the Mojo stage and '60s eccentrics Jethro Tull at the Crossroads.

The majority opted for Mojo, and stayed there to have their hair blown back by an in-form Elvis Costello and the Impostors.

He too mined the rich vein of his back catalogue, including plenty of the short sharp shock numbers from the 1970s, as well as some from the later, mellower periods.

Earlier in the day, the mood was set by a laidback Michelle Shocked and the swampy sounds of Tony Joe White, who pulled a huge crowd at Jambalaya.

The fans weren't the only ones happy with events.

Police reported model behaviour from the record crowd.

“It's been really good,” said Inspector Gary Cowan.

“There have been no dramas.”

Yesterday's only snags were created by accidents on Ewingsdale Road and the Pacific Highway near St Helena, which had northbound traffic backed up to Bangalow.

Nobody was hurt.


Topics:  bluesfest bob dylan byron shire

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