Dylan, Mellencamp inaugurate large-scale concerts at Dehler

A young girl on the shoulders of an adult watches John Mellencamp at Dehler Park in Billings on Aug. 11.
A young girl on the shoulders of an adult watches John Mellencamp at Dehler Park in Billings on Aug. 11.

When Brett Michaels can be spotted outside of the Laurel WalMart, Bob Dylan just rolled through Billings, the Scorpions can be seen at MontanaFair and Montana Avenue is closed for Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, it’s been a good week of music.

From Rockin’ the Rivers to the Magic City Blues, last week’s selection of live music was considerable. Perhaps the most anticipated performance was Bob Dylan’s at Dehler Park.

When I saw Bob Dylan in 2003 in Casper, Wyo., I was sure he was near death. Five decades of performing seemed to have caught up with the music icon as he hovered above his keyboards barely moving—not at all like a rolling stone (though he’s held up better visually than Keith Richards).

Seven years later at the Billings ballpark the musician was astounding. He switched from guitar to keys with the virility of Jakob Dylan. His throaty rasp swooned the ladies and awed the gents. In the ballpark, he just seemed happy. Amongst kids on parent’s shoulders and women in sundresses, Dylan was truly in his element.
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