For the first time in nearly 15 years, singer-songwriter and musician Bob Dylan will perform at Cornell this spring. Dylan will take the stage at Barton Hall on April 14, with rock band Dawes opening the show, according to Peter Schwartz ’14, executive director of the Cornell Concert Commission.
With popular songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’” and “Like a Rolling Stone,” much of Dylan’s music has become emblematic of the Civil Rights Movement and of protests against the Vietnam War. Dylan has received no shortage of accolades throughout his five decade-long career, garnering 11 Grammy Awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. He is also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Dylan last took the Barton Hall stage in November 1999 with the rock band Phil Lesh & Friends, according to the CCC’s website. Dylan also previously performed at Cornell in March and November of 1965, according to Sun archives.
Dylan’s upcoming visit at Cornell is part of a college tour during which he will perform at 11 college campuses during the month of April, according to his website.
Many students expressed excitement about the announcement of Dylan’s upcoming performance. Jack Rickles ’16 said he is eager for Dylan’s concert, noting that Dylan is a legend in the music world.
“He’s a class act and one of the pioneers of classic and folk rock,” Rickles said. “His songs are simplistic, but at the same time meaningful and entertaining.”
Alice Anichkin ’16 also cited Dylan’s prominence in the music industry, as well as the longevity of his career.
“His music has been inspirational for over 50 years and we'll all be able to take something away from his visit,” Anichkin said.
Schwartz said CCC has recieved positive reactions from fellow students about Dylan’s upcoming show.
“For a lot of people here, seeing [Dylan] is on their bucket list,” Schwartz said. “The chance to actually see Dylan and have him perform here, I think, is just really exciting.”
Sage Hiller ’13 said he was “amped” about the variety that Dylan will bring to Cornell’s concert lineup this semester.
“I appreciate the contrast of genre type ... given we have Kendrick Lamar and 5 & A Dime less than three weeks later,” Hiller said.
CCC was not specifically looking to book Dylan, but Schwartz said the organization has been attempting to bring a traditional rock concert to Cornell, as opposed to D.J.s and electronic music acts.
“We’re always looking to bring as much variety as possible into our shows so we can appeal to as many people as possible,” he said.
Schwartz said there was overwhelming support for the show within the CCC general body.
“We’re really excited to be bringing [Dylan] because we feel like he’s a musical legend,” he said. “Basically [Dylan] came to us and said he’d really like to play a show at Cornell. It really landed in our laps.”
Schwartz said that Dylan — who started his musical career in the early 1960s — still has social relevance, particularly for any Cornell student studying 1960s cultural movements.
“[Dylan] is always in that conversation, so historically he’s important and his music is something that has affected America culturally,” he said.
Schwartz said that pairing Dylan’s act with Dawes, another rock band, as an opener, shows that Dylan’s music is still culturally relevant.
“I think pairing them with [Dylan] is a nice example of how his music has become current again and lives on in the new generation,” Schwartz said.
Jessica Rashkovich ’15 said she was less familiar with Dawes than with Dylan, but said she was looking forward to seeing both perform live.
“I’d never actually heard of them before but now I’ve been listening to a few of their songs and they sound great, so I’m really excited for the opening,” Rashkovich said.
Student tickets will go on sale March 12. Others will be set aside for alumni and the general public on March 13.