Forever Young?

Old Bob, new tricks: Bob Dylan brings new verve to the Sundome this Thursday.
Rand Carlson

How many times must I tell you kids

Before you shut your yaps?

Yes, 'n' how many ways must I say the same thing

Before I can get my nap?

Yes, 'n' how many times must your parents be called

Before they make you cut the crap?

The answer, you kids, is get the hell off my lawn,

The answer is get the hell off my lawn.

Who's doing a show in Sun City West? Bob Dylan? The jokes write themselves. What's he gonna be singing? "A Hard Stone's A-Gonna Pass"? "Like a Rolling Chair"? "Maggie's Pharmacy"? "Lay, Lady, Lay-Lay Across My Rest Home Bed"? Coming so soon after the media hoopla surrounding the seemingly ageless singer and songwriter's 60th birthday, it looked like the concert ad was an elaborate gag. But it ain't no joke. The evening of August 23 brings Dylan to ASU's Sundome Center for the Arts right in the heart of Arizona's famous retirement community. The show is actually just one part of the venue's ongoing image overhaul.

Over the years, the huge facility out west has played host to many a, shall we say, conservative booking. From bus and truck companies of well-worn Broadway war-horses to straight-from-Branson concerts by the likes of Engelbert Humperdinck and Jim Nabors, nobody was calling this place a hipster hot spot. The outright strangest gig ever witnessed there came a few years back when a revue featuring Buddy Ebsen, Kay Ballard, Billy Barty and Adrienne Barbeau packed 'em in. But nowadays the Sundome is mixing it up a bit by adding some more contemporary acts to the lineup. The stage has recently rocked to the hard-edged country sounds of Dwight Yoakam, and in a few weeks you'll be able to catch the Black Crowes or a blues festival headlined by the immortal B.B. King.

Dylan, too, is currently undergoing something of a renaissance. His most recent album, 1997's Time Out of Mind, had music critics tripping over their keyboards trying to come up with some of the most glowing reviews of his 40-plus-year career. That album won the artist three Grammys and was among his best-selling releases of the last 20 years. Since that collection, he has written and recorded the song "Things Have Changed" for the film Wonder Boys. That little number earned him his first Oscar, along with a Golden Globe. He's been on the road worldwide pretty much nonstop for years now. His concerts tend to be unpredictable affairs, and reviews from his recently completed European trek have declared this year's shows as some of his most riveting and electrifying performances in memory. And this show is coming where again?

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