Photo originally published Aug. 30, 1990
It was a rough year for the Minnesota State Fair: A couple of midway rides malfunctioned, fire shut down the Epiphany Diner — and Bob Dylan made his first appearance at the grandstand.
The headline of the review said "Dylan put his home-state fans on a bumpy, musical roller coaster." Music critic Jon Bream took it a step further, calling his performance unsatisfying and inconsistent.
The review recalled that his 1963 protest song "Masters of War" was practically unrecognizable, and other songs were recognizable but strange.
But the 80-minute performance wasn't all bad. The acoustic numbers had him singing from the heart, and his "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" featured a happy harmonica performance.
As the grandstand fireworks signaled the end of the concert, Dylan, never a chatty performer, left the stage with a wave and a "thank you." Which happened to be two more words than he muttered to the crowd while performing at Harriet Island the year before.
Dylan returned to the grandstand in 1993 for a performance that was more rewarding, but not without its quirks: the lack of lighting and his refusal to allow video made it almost impossible for the crowd to see him on stage.