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HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — Bob Dylan, whose anti-war anthems made him the face of protest against a war that continues to haunt a generation of Americans, finally got his chance to see Vietnam — at peace.
The 69-year-old Dylan took to the stage in the former Saigon on Sunday, singing such favorites as “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” and “Highway 61 Revisited.”
Only about half of the 8,000 seats were sold to a mix of Vietnamese and foreigners who danced on the grass in the warm evening air as Dylan jammed on guitar, harmonica and the keyboard at RMIT University.
With more than 60 percent of the country’s 86 million people born after the war, many young people here are more familiar with pop stars like Justin Bieber.
Still, Dylan’s music during the tumultuous 1960s touched thousands of people in both nations.
“Bob Dylan’s music opened up a path where music was used as a weapon to oppose the war in Vietnam” and fight injustice and racism, said Tran Long An, 67, vice president of the Vietnam Composers’ Association. “That was the big thing that he has done for music.”
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