When this fall's Vote for Change Tour was announced, many wondered where Bob Dylan was. They needn't have. Dylan was where he's been for decades -- on the road, plying his trade, which he has only slightly self-deprecatingly referred to as the business of a "song and dance man."
Coming out against or for a particular political figure? That hasn't been Dylan's style -- sadly, perhaps -- for quite a while, if indeed it ever was.
Ah, but the songs were there, weren't they? Anyone who caught a Vote for Change show heard Dylan songs and saw his legacy borne out by virtually all the performers. Bruce Springsteen? He's made it more than clear over the years that we're all indebted to Dylan. John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne, Neil Young? Dylan's in there, too. And one of the highlights of the Vote for Change finale in Washington, D.C., was surely Pearl Jam's visceral, morally outraged take on Dylan's "Masters of War." So it's all been passed on, then.
Meanwhile, Dylan's wheels keep rolling, on fire or otherwise. He's got a new guitar player filling the recently departed Freddie Koella's shoes. And he's been mixing up the set lists pretty nicely, throwing reworked chestnuts and rarely heard newer songs into the mix with vigor. One song that's been showing up consistently? "Masters of War."
Bob Dylan and his band perform at 8 p.m. Thursday in the Reilly Center at St. Bonaventure University, Olean. Tickets are $38.50 and are available through Tickets.com. Dylan and band proceed to the Gordon Field House at the Rochester Institute of Technology at 8 p.m. Nov. 13. Tickets, priced the same as the St. Bonaventure show, are available through Ticketmaster.