The Messiah College Student Activities Board is proud to present
Bob Dylan and his Band
Saturday, November 6, 2004
Eisenhower Campus Center , Brubaker Auditorium, 8 p.m.
Doors open at 7 p.m.
How many tickets are available?
There were 1,600 tickets available, however all tickets for the concert are sold out.
Since he just released the first part of his autobiography, “Chronicles: Volume One,” will Bob Dylan be speaking as well as singing?
Judging by his past performances, the College does not anticipate that Bob Dylan will discuss his autobiography during his concert performance.
What is Dylan’s expected play list ? Will he focus more on earlier work or later songs?
Judging by the play lists from his summer concerts, Dylan has typically been playing about 17 songs—usually four or five songs from his latest two albums, while the rest of the performance has been earlier songs from the 1960s and 1970s.
Will there be an opening act for the concert?
No, Bob Dylan and his band will take the stage at 8 p.m. sharp.
What has student interest been like for this concert?
There has been a lot of student “buzz” on campus about Bob Dylan’s visit to campus. It will be a clearer gauge of student interest once the tickets go on sale on Oct. 11.
Is Dylan’s visit to Messiah part of a college tour?
Yes, Bob Dylan often does venue-specific tours and his current tour is at colleges and universities across the country—including Carthage College, Purdue University, Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, Lehigh University, and Harvard University. Due to the high demand for his performances, it is unlikely that Messiah College would have been able to book Bob Dylan and his band otherwise.
Why has Messiah College invited Bob Dylan to perform on campus?
Bob Dylan and his band were invited to perform at Messiah College by the Student Activities Board (SAB), a subgroup of the Student Government Association, because of Dylan’s significant cultural influence, artistic merit and the truth communicated in his work—including themes of spiritual longing and redemption, the pursuit of social change and justice, and the exploration of the human spirit and condition. There is universal applicability to his music; he ponders war, injustice, love, peace, parenting, anger, jealousy and faith. Part of the mission of SAB is to educate and build community through art and entertainment, and the students felt that a campus concert by Bob Dylan and his band could help achieve that purpose.
Bob Dylan is widely agreed to be one of the most important figures in popular music during the last 45 years. His music has been cited as a primary influence by performers from every dimension and genre of music, both secular and Christian, including U2, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Bruce Cockburn, Innocence Mission, Over the Rhine, the late Keith Green, Chrissy Hynde, Suzanne Vega, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Aimee Mann, Eric Clapton, The Clancy Brothers, Dave Matthews Band, Ani DiFranco, Wilco, Counting Crows, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young (as a solo artist), the Band, Robbie Robertson (as a solo artist), Willie Nelson, John Francis Maher and Gino Pasi. His songs are the litmus test in the industry by which others measure the quality of their own writing.
Currently, there are nearly 6,000 versions of more than 350 Bob Dylan songs that have been performed by nearly 2,800 artists—universal classics such as Blowin’ in the Wind; Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right; I Shall Be Released; Mr. Tambourine Man; Like a Rolling Stone; and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. Dylan’s lyrics have long been anthologized in quotation dictionaries and various phrases like “the times they are a’changin” and “blowin in the wind,” are commonplace and integrated into today’s vernacular speech.
Dylan was a pioneering influence on many “firsts” in the global music realm – including being the first artist to release a song that broke the barrier of the traditional three-minute length, and being the first to use his album covers as a serious expression of artistic expression. Dylan’s musical lyrics have been a serious nominee for the past seven years for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He has performed for presidents, a Pope, and performed at the March on Washington when Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. His music was at the forefront of the social protest movement of the 1960s. Dylan was recognized for his achievements when he was awarded Kennedy Center Honors in 1997.
How is Bob Dylan a good “fit” with Messiah’s educational mission? What educational opportunities is Messiah planning related to the Dylan concert?
During the past ten years, Messiah College educators have presented numerous first-year student seminars and alternate chapels open to all students on the life and work of Bob Dylan and how it can inform students’ Christian world view and understanding of society. It is the hope of the Messiah College Student Activities Board that the widespread artistic and cultural significance of Bob Dylan will create further educational opportunities for interactive conversation and learning on campus surrounding his visit. Currently, numerous educational forums are being planned including: an alternate chapel and discussion forum, including a post-concert coffeehouse and panel discussion for students, led by educators who have been influenced by Dylan’s work that will explore Dylan’s lyrics, his life and his spiritual journey. Dylan Events Schedule
What is Bob Dylan’s religious background?
There were public reports that Bob Dylan converted from Judaism to Christianity in 1979 and many consider his 1979 “Slow Train Coming,” his 1980 “Saved” and his 1981 “Shot of Love” albums as Christian or gospel music. More recently, Dylan, who is very protective of his privacy and personal life, has not commented publicly on his religious classification, but most music industry insiders and scholars of Dylan’s life and work agree that Dylan is a spiritual man who reflects on issues of faith and religion throughout his music.
Shouldn’t the College instead be supporting Christian artists?
Messiah has a strong tradition of bringing many excellent Christian artists to perform on campus including in recent years – John Reuben, Out of Eden, Bebo Norman, Audio Adrenaline and Caedmon’s Call, as well as Sara Groves, who is scheduled to perform in November. SAB’s and Messiah College’s approach is that the artists invited to campus do not need to be “either or,” and that students can learn from both Christian and secular artists.
What is the college’s philosophy on bringing secular performers to campus?
For any artist or group performing on campus, the College considers the artistic merit of the performers as well as their cultural significance. Also taken into consideration is the truth an artist communicates through his or her work, and this could be spiritual truth or truth related to ideas of love, peace and justice. Finally, the College also considers the appropriateness of the group or artist invited to campus – particularly with respect to the audience and venue in which they will be performing.
Messiah College is actively engaged in popular culture through its cocurricular programming. The College chooses to engage with popular culture for the same reasons it engages with natural sciences, fine arts, literature, and social sciences. All of these are important parts of our world. In order to properly send our students into the world as servants, leaders and reconcilers, they must know how to actively engage in these areas as Christians. By raising the right questions, encouraging critical thinking, exposing students to multiple perspectives and helping them to process these perspectives, Messiah seeks to enable students to respond with maturity to the world’s complexities.
It is the College’s hope that through this educational approach, students will learn to use wisdom in their choices concerning music, films, and other forms of popular culture. Messiah provides opportunities for students to develop and apply tools of discernment to popular media. Through alternate chapels, conversations with artists, music discussions, speakers, and other intentional programming, the College’s ultimate desire it to equip students to engage popular culture both intellectually and spiritually, and to articulate the importance of participation and responsible engagement of popular culture to impact our world for Christ.
How much did it cost to bring Bob Dylan to campus? Who’s bearing the cost of the concert?
The Messiah College Student Activities Board is funding Bob Dylan’s visit to campus. While the College is not planning to release the cost of the performance, it can confirm that it was able to negotiate a fee that was well below the regular cost of this concert, and SAB anticipates that it will be able to recoup most of the money that it invested through ticket sales.