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Dylan bash turns into 7-hour marathon

The Gazette

2011: Dreams and daring, with moments of defiance and discovery

By T’Cha Dunlevy, Kathryn Greenaway, Bill Brownstein, Arthur Kaptainis, Bernard Perusse, Jordan Zivitz, Pat Donnelly, Brendan Kelly, Jeff Heinrich, Victor Swoboda and John Pohl, The Gazette December 23, 2011 7:06 PM

Dylan bash turns into 7-hour marathon
It was the best birthday party I attended all year– even if the guest of honour was never expected to show.
Bob Dylan turned 70 on May 24 and the Petit Campus was packed to what seemed like double its capacity for a celebratory bash (Dylan obsessives would call it a million-dollar one). Montreal musicians of all shapes, sizes and styles turned up to play favourites from the formidable Dylan catalogue in what turned out to be a seven-hour marathon.
Organized by broadcaster and Dylan fanatic Mitch Melnick, with his friend and business partner Lloyd Fischler, the event was as joyous as they come. The Echo Hunters, Craig Morrison, the Steamfitters, Matt Large and the Smalls, the Bones Malones, Rob Lutes, Felicity Hamer and the Shane Murphy Band were among the homegrown performers who showed up to sing Dylan songs, both comfortably well-worn and ticklingly obscure.
The audience, wildly enthusiastic with just the right pinch of rowdiness, was an all-age group of fans, seemingly from every walk of life, united only in their devotion to His Bobness. As the mini-sets piled up, next-day breakfast meetings and term papers were ignored, to be worried about only when the alarm went off in a few hours.
When the Jimmyriggers and Lee Mellor performed Chimes of Freedom, a group of friends and I raised another pint and sang along with gusto. It was the moment I had hoped for – a reminder of music’s deep, communal spell. And the fact that the night was being driven by such a life-changing body of work allowed elation to cross the line into magic.
Bernard Perusse