MANKATO — Mark you calendars and save the date: Bob Dylan’s bringin’ it all back home.
The Mankato Civic Center announced Monday that Bob Dylan and His Band will perform Oct. 24 in Mankato — his only scheduled appearance in Minnesota.
“We’ve been working on this show for a few years,” said Mankato Civic Center Co-director Eric Jones.
Jones said their efforts to lure Dylan go back to 2002, and that they’ve been close to closing the deal for Dylan’s return five or six times. He first came to Mankato in November 1996.
The Civic Center is offering a $25 discount to students with a valid student ID. In fact, many of the stops on this tour are taking place in college towns or on college campuses, including the University of California-Irvine, Stanford University, Iowa State University, Indiana University, Illinois State University, Ball State University, Ohio State University and several others.
The upcoming tour includes 26 stops that stretch from California to New York.
Dylan, winner of multiple Grammy Awards and a Nobel Prize for Literature, is one of the greatest and most respected musical artists ever.
Born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth in 1941 and raised in Hibbing, he left the Iron Range in 1959 to attend the University of Minnesota. He dropped out of college after a year to focus on his music, and the world would never be the same.
He kicked around the Minneapolis folk music scene for a while but eventually headed to New York. He played mostly small venues and coffee shops in Greenwich Village during the early 1960s, but by the mid-1960s his reputation as one of the best young folk musicians had grown dramatically. In a dramatic switch that wasn’t universally beloved by his fans initially, Dylan went electric. The move proved to be a good one as it catapulted him to global renown as one of the greatest songwriters of his generation.
Dylan, who has recorded 38 studio albums, would go on to influence countless musicians and bands including the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Dylan the greatest songwriter of all time.
Regarding that November 1996 concert, former Free Press journalist and longtime Dylan fan Joe Tougas told The Free Press in 2016: “I’d seen Dylan a dozen times before that show and probably a dozen times after, and the Mankato performance was by far the best.”