Review by Carsten Molt
i last saw Dylan in Columbus, Ohio last Sunday and since that was such a
good show, i was really excited to see him tonight.. This show took place at
Falconi Field where the Washington Wild Things of the independent Frontier
League play their home games. It is a pretty small park with a capacity of 3,000
people. According to Ticketmaster, the show was sold out. The park itself is
very nice even though the metal bleachers in the stands were uncomfortable.
Washington is in the middle of nowhere but a short distance from Pittsburgh,
Wheeling, and Morgantown.
We arrived just as Elana James & The Continental Two were starting their
short set. Despite the bands name, there were 3 musicians in her band, not
including Elana herself. They played a short but entertaining set while the crowd
continued to file in and mill around.
Her set was followed by Junior Brown. i was very impressed with him in
Columbus last week and he was just as good this evening. He played a impressive
set and did some tasty solos on "Big Red", his double-necked guitar combining
the standard instrument with a steel guitar.
The final opening act was Jimmie Vaughan with Lou Ann Barton. The crowd
seemed to enjoy his set but i found him pretty uninteresting. He wasn't really
bad or really good, just kind of there. Of course, that is just my opinion.
At this point, my back was starting to hurt from the steel bleachers so
after his set, i decided to join the large crowd of people who were standing on
the field in front of the stage. i managed to easily navigate my way to the
center of the stage about 6 or 7 people back from the stage. After a short time,
Dylan and the band took the stage.
1. Maggies Farm-This was the show opener as expected. It was pretty strong
and it was evident that we were in for a good show. Dylans vocals were really
strong and the band were in the groove from the start.
2. She Belongs To Me- i was glad that he decided to play this instead of
"The Times, They Are A-Changin'. It was really well played and Dylan capped the
song off with a nice harmonica solo.
3. Watching The River Flow-The more i hear this song, the more i like it.
This was a pretty scorching version. Dylan was bobbing and weaving behind his
keyboard as the band was whipping up a maelstrom of sound that got the crowd
really excited.. Dylan ended the tune with another good harmonica solo.
4. Blind Willie McTell-One of my favorite songs and it was really well done.
Donnie Herron played some nice banjo on this song and Dylan gave a very
strong vocal performance. i was amazed how forceful and intense his vocals were.
5. Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum- i was disappointed when this song started as i
find it to be one of his weakest live songs. It sounded a bit better than
other recent versions but still dreadful. Dylan seemed a bit agitated during the
song by something. Hopefully, it is is something that will lead to him to
dropping the song from his live shows.
6. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll-i didn't recognize the song until
the lyrics started and it turned out to be a highlight of the show. Dylan was
deep into the lyrics and the band laid down a understated groove for Dylans
vocals to ride upon. The passion in this performance gave me chills.
7. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)-This song featured Donnie on violin.
It was a very strong version and i found myself enjoying it a lot more than
i thought i would. Dylan nailed every word of the song with conviction and
8. I'll Be Your Baby Tonight-i always like this song. Dylan was really
enjoying himself and gave the tune a great, smooth vocal performance. Dylan ended
the song with a very long and fervid harmonica solo. The crowd gave this song
one of the biggest cheers of the night.
9. Ballad Of A Thin Man-Bob played around with the phrasing quite a bit. His
singing was probably one of the best of the night and Donnie's pedal steel
solo was excellent as well. Dylan ended the song with another good harmonica
solo. The whole band seemed to enjoy playing this one a lot.
10. Highway 61 Revisited-This song was fantastic. I know it has been played
to death but the entire band seemed to be into it as Dylan did a lot of
shuffling and grinning during the jam. It was not one of the longer versions that
I have heard but not a note was wasted while it lasted.
11. Every Grain Of Sand-The biggest surprise of the night and it was sung
ever so sweetly. Denny Freeman and Stu Kimball were weaving tender guitar
tapestries for Dylans vocals to ride upon. It featured a very nice instrumental
break that soared elegantly without a misplaced note to be found.
12. Summer Days- Needless to say, this song peaked in the fall of 2002 when
Larry and Charlie were on the guitars. Since that time, it has lost more of
its fun and power with every ensuing tour. The crowd still enjoyed it a lot.
This version seemed pretty short and it no longer contains the lengthy jam in
the middle of it.
13. Like A Rolling Stone-This song was its usual anthemic, sing-along self.
Denny Freeman played a pretty hot solo that seemed unique to my ears. The
crowd loved it as much as they always do.
14. All Along the Watchtower-The predictable show closer. Stu played a
decent solo during the jam. Dylan delivered it strongly and it was a pretty good
performance of a song that often seems to be played on auto-pilot.
A. i was really impressed with how strong and clear Dylans vocals were all
evening. i was a bit concerned that he may be tired as it was the 4th show in
as many nights but he didn't seem fatigued at all. There was a brief part in
"Like A Rolling Stone" where he sounded a little out of breath but he
B. The entire band was top-notch for the entire show. Tony Garnier was
moving around all evening even spinning his upright bass around at one point.
George Recile was having a great time and pounding up a storm on his drum kit. i
don't think he ever has a bad night. Donnie Herron is a really good player
whether he is playing pedal steel, banjo, mandolin or violin. Stu Kimball was a
lot better tonight than he was last Sunday. He took a fair share of the
guitar solos and several of them were quite good. Denny Freeman played several hot
solos but still has very little personality or stage presence.
C. The crowd was pretty good. They were extremely laid back. There was a lot
of people milling around but no one got in your way or tried to push their
way in front of you. There was one couple that was exploring each others
throats with their tongues during "Hattie Carroll" which was pretty gross.
D. Falconi field was a nice place and i would not hesitate going back there
for another concert or a baseball game. i thought that it would be a hassle
getting out of the parking lot but it ended up being very easy.
All in all, i had a great time and the show was worth every penny. If anyone
has a copy of the show... Of course, these are only my opinions and i
apologize for the typos and length but i tend to ramble. In Bob we trust,
Review by E. B.
I've driven past Falconi Field on 70 west before, but since I didn't know
exactly how to get there, I logged onto google and got "driving
directions", the access road to the ball park is just off a "ring road" for
a Mall. Once I got down there I saw there was a Garfinkle's at the Mall,
and I stopped in there for something to eat at 5:15 pm (buffalo chicken
sandwich and onion rings, iced tea, $10.00)... the place was PACKED, hardly
anywhere to sit, but I got served in about 15 mins and was on my way by 6
pm. ("GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY", nope, he didn't play that.)
I left the Mall parking lot and got in line with the herd of cars moving up
the access road to the ball park, there was a line because you had to pay
$5 for the priviledge to park your car. All the lots were filled, with
people camping out before the concert and bar-b-q-ing like tailgating at a
Steeler's game... so our long line of cars was steered to an open field
where for $5.00 we had the privilege of parking amidst discarded loads of
asphalt from a long-ago paving project (probably the parking lot we just
creeped through), and these discarded mounds made parking in the mud such a
privilige. ("MAN WANTED 11 DOLLAR BILLS BUT I ONLY HAD 10", nope, he didn't
play that either, but I thought of it as I paid for parking with five singles.)
I walked along with the mass of humanity that was: people with tattoos,
little kids, (not the same people), old grandma types wearing sneaks and
sun dresses and smoking cigs, skinny bikers spitting tobacco as they walked
and chatted with the grandmas and kids, young 20-something boys in tie-dyed
t-shirts with long curly hair and no facial hair though some were trying to
grow beards, some middle aged men who were cataloging all the times they'd
seen Dylan (60 times was tops for the record from those I overheard) and
some of these men had their hair pulled back in a greying ponytail and were
completely bald on top. The security types did not allow any brought in
food or drink and no cameras, but people with cell-phone cameras took a lot
of pics later on... the tickets were for general admission so you could sit
anywhere you wanted, the stage was set up in the outfield, with an area in
front for the "mosh pit" and the sound equipment was set up on the
pitcher's mound facing center field with a small tent covering it, the
whole grass area of the field was covered with a plastic flooring, so most
of us went as close to the stage as we could get, ignoring the stadium
seating, and we stood there between the stage and the sound tent. I was 10
people from the stage. (But later on I had to move since tall people came
and stood in front of me and then I couldn't see anything.) (LATER ON THE
CROWD THINNED OUT AND I WAS JUST ABOUT TO DO THE SAME, nope, he didn't play
that either, (TANGLED UP IN BLUE), BTW: the crowd did *not* thin out, it
was a totally packed place and I only thought of that lyric when I was
moving to higher ground.)
The opening acts were all great musicians and I enjoyed them all very much,
the sound was great, an excellent audio mix, even up close to the stage,
but the sound everywhere was surprisingly good and no matter where you sat
you could hear a perfectly mixed performance, even back in the seats.
At 9 pm sharp they dimmed the lights and it was so dark you could look up
and see the stars overhead. By this time the sea of humanity around me a
few rows from the stage had gotten so thick that we all were touching like
sardines in a can, but everyone was polite and friendly and gentle and
awestruck and the sound system played 2 songs (from a CD? ipod?) of Aaron
Copeland's Appalachian Spring, "Fanfare for the Common Man" (we all
laughed), and something from the "Billy the Kidd" suite I think, we all
THEN he came out on stage and they just started playing. No muss no fuss,
they played through their entire set and the only time Bob spoke was to
introduce his band-mates by name later in the evening, the band really
looked to be enjoying themselves and Bob even danced around (briefly)
beside the keyboard.
He started off with a re-done arrangement of "MAGGIE'S FARM" which I had
never heard played like that before and it was interesting. I am fond of
the re-arranged older songs and I enjoy hearing them played like new songs.
Bob's vocals were very upfront in the mix, and he sounded great to me, and
I thought the fact that his vocals weren't buried meant that he was
confident and he sounded very strong and I loved the fact you could hear
his voice right on top of the huge band sound going on around him, everyone
played well, the re-arrangements of his classic songs work great.
Everything was crisp and nothing was muddy.
Some highlights for me were: BALLAD OF THE THIN MAN (that's the song with
the lyric: Because something is happening here, But you don't know what it
is, Do you, Mister Jones?) and at that exact time I glanced over at the
truck traffic speeding by on Interstate 70 and I thought maybe a trucker
named Jones was driving past just then......)
HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED: they rocked out and played a long time, it was 1965.
Only better. Because in 1965 I was only 5 and could not drive to a Bob
They played BLIND WILLIE McTELL, a big favorite with the in-crowd. I
thought it was cool that he played it, but not one of my favs, it was
during this song that I made for a bit higher ground so I could see the
whole stage and actually see Bob, instead of the back of the neck of the
man standing in front of me.) (When I relocated Bob was the size of my
thumb, but I was closer to him than when I saw Andruw Jones of the Atlanta
Braves at PNC Park here in Pittsburgh, since Andruw was the size of my
thumb-knuckle when I measured him that day.) (JUST LIKE TOM THUMB'S BLUES,
nope, didn't play that either.)
ABSOLUTE HIGHLIGHT FOR ME WAS: EVERY GRAIN OF SAND
Awesome, beautiful, poignant, heartfelt, sung and sighed and played to
perfection. I was happy he played that. (If they had played DIGNITY or
SHOOTING STAR I would have quit my job and joined the road crew.)
Another highlight was: IT'S ALRIGHT MA (I'M ONLY BLEEDING)
He played for about 2 hours and they did not play any of the songs which I
really dislike, so I was very happy about that! (songs I really dislike:
Lay, Lady, Lay and Rainy Day Women), and his encore songs, after a lengthy
applause and stomping session by the crowd, yes, with some people holding
lighters in the air, were:
LIKE A ROLLING STONE, and ALL ALONG THE WATCH TOWER.
Beautifully done, even if expected and not surprises.
A note on the curtain call: Bob looks like a cat on a bare electric wire,
he can't stand still and he can't accept the applause, he looks somewhat
embarrassed and uncomfortable. He looked the exact same way on the MTV
Unplugged show, like he's thinking, "Oh, applause, right, ok, what do I do,
just stand here? Thanks, I guess, alright, :::nod, wave:::, can I go now?"
Yes, you can go, but thanks for coming.
I hope he knows he made a lot of people happy, me included.
Review by Paul Tortolo
What can you do when the man described as the greatest American poet since
Walt Whitman is 65 years old, still on the NET (Never Ending Tour) and
playing inspired, searing and ever evolving versions of the best songs of
the last 50 years? What you do is get in the car and drive 6 hours from
South-western Ontario to see/hear the Bob Dylan Show in Washington,
Pennsylvania. Only Bob would come up with a tour of minor league baseball
parks including Falconi Field (home of the Washington Wildthings). This
concrete Elysian Field seats 3000 plus standees in the outfield facing the
stage. A rich man’s money couldn’t buy a better setting or a more
beautiful night for the show which featured the same three openers as the
other dates on the American Tour. Elana James, Junior Brown and Jimmy
Vaughn played with art and passion and their bluegrass, rocking country
and straight ahead blues were appreciated but could not satiate a crowd
pining for a little touch of Dylan in the night. Cursed with the opposite
of a musician’s ear I leaned forward in my seat on several songs to make
an attempt to break down the opening instrumental strains but in fact I
usually needed the words. This is not a criticism but a comment on the
magic the man distils. He spun the incongruous, “What’s the matter with
me, I don’t have much to say”, out of the opening licks of Watching the
River Flow and matched that with words and music that moved body and soul.
Tonight he started with Maggie’s Farm, ended pre-encore with Summer Days,
included Highway 61 Revisited and encored with Like a Rolling Stone and
All Along the Watchtower, as usual. There were tour debuts of She Belongs
To Me, The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, Ballad of a Thin Man
(awesome!) and Every Grain of Sand. Bob leaned into the keyboard and
rocked every song to the bare bones while the band supported with a
scorching scaffold of sound. Walking to the car I overheard a young fan
say, “There was one song you didn't recognize, right Dad? Maybe that’s
from the new album.” No, nothing new yet, just hits, home runs actually!
The only negative would be a surprising number of people who sat on their
hands and looked perplexed. What were they expecting? A funny little guy
in a odd cap with an acoustic guitar? It didn’t happen and it won’t. Bob
Dylan, rock and roll poet, man of words and music, is way beyond that.
Review by Keith Harrison
I’ll echo an earlier reviewer from this tour: It’s time to stop whining
about Larry and Charlie – because this current band, at least at this show,
was incredible. Don’t make the mistake I almost made: Having been
underwhelmed by this lineup in Chicago last year, and having been
disillusioned with Bob’s “talk-singing” and “upsinging” dating back to a
Pittsburgh show in ’04, I almost skipped this one. What a huge mistake that
would have been.
I’ve been to nearly 20 Dylan shows, and this one lands in my top five. That
new Highway 61 was unbelievable (and, frankly, smoked any version I’ve ever
heard, live or on boot, from the Larry/Charlie days). And Bob was really
“on” – his singing on Every Grain of Sand was astounding, truly one of the
finest Dylan performances I’ve ever seen. Blind Willie and Hattie Carol were
nearly as great. Hell, Tweedle Dee even sounded a little better (than in
the, um, Larry/Charlie days) – it moved a bit faster and had a little more
bite. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still not crazy about it. But I was surprised
to see even that small improvement.
Oddly, only the closing Watchtower disappointed, with Bob slipping back into
that speak-a-few-words-then-pause style, instead of actually singing, and
the band failing for the first time to apply enough muscle. But by then we’d
already had more than our share of fantastic moments. Don’t miss these guys
if they come your way.
P.S. Is Dylan a Steelers fan? Just as he was at the University of Pittsburgh
in ’04, Bob was decked out in black, with gold piping on his pants and a
Review by Harold Davis
I've seen Dylan many times and I am a daily expecting rain fan. I've seen every
show in Northeast Ohio and Western Pa. since 1978. This show is most similar
to the Budokon tour (also referred to as the Vegas tour). Each time you see
him it's the same songs, different style. I've seen the country, rock, hard rock,
laid back, Petty, crooner, Vegas styles and enjoyed them all. This was one of
the first ones that I had some trouble with.
I am calling this tour, the Bobby Daren tour. Each song could have been sung
by Bobby Daren or some other nightclub singer. Don't get me wrong some
songs I thought the Bobby Daren style fit great, especially Watching the River
Flow (highlight of the show) and I'll be your Baby tonight. Some songs just do
not fit. You just can?t pretty up Hattie Carrol and trying to pretty up It's Alright
Ma is sac religious. These are serious songs that should not be sung by the Bill
Murray lounge lizard. Bottom line, liked the approach but the wrong songs.
Now Summer Days, that is a natural as it is a swing song to begin with. After
watching the last couple of years when, he starting doing Summer Nights as his
signature tune of the night I understand how this progressed to an entire
evening of this type of show. All the other musicians were wearing the derbies
etc. Ballad of a Thin Man did not work. I really think he should have done "One
More Weekend" now there's one he never plays that would have worked.
Falconi Park (small ballpark in a Mall's parking lot) was packed! I mean packed. For
a Sunday night, I could not believe how many showed up. Beautiful evening.
First Band Elena James was great. Actually she is a a great nightclub singer with
a country twang and a mean violin. She did some Hank Williams that was sweeter
than pie. Junior Brown was a Johnny Cash truck-driving son of a gun. Problem
was his guitar was too loud and I could not understand his song. Soundman
should be shot on that one. Jimmy Vaughn was great. About as nice a blues as
you can get. Had a woman come out to sing most of the songs, which really
broke up the set. I guess he is Stevie Ray Vaugh's brother. He is like Stevie Ray
only not so over the top.
The night reminded me of the Rolling Thunder Revue because the four bands
were so different. Like a smorgasbord of entertainment. I think that was what
Dylan had in mind from Rolling Thunder.
anyways, that's it
Review by Jeannie Crane
Hi everyone, Saw the great Bobby last night . He was amazing! Like a shaman
with his flowing , black ,robe-like jacket-magical wizard-- working his songs ( for
the most part) with the god like mastery of',well A GOD like he is. Ballad of a
Thin man brought me back to 15 years old when I was first discovering him.
Awesome, true to the original. All heart, he should have lengthened his harp
at the end -and I think he would have if he was younger (or this wasn't the
fourth night in a row of playing). At times in the show, he looked like he was
trying to play his guitar--we love you Bobby no matter what you play! You
sounded great on the keyboard anyway. She Belongs to Me was a treat, as
was Watching the River Flow, Blind Willie, Hattie Carrol (the only one that
stumped me)and Every Grain of Sand- sung with much feeling -although by
this point I am up maybe 12 rows back and can't see past anyone!
Friendliest bunch of people you would ever want to be around though
When making my way up front, people actually were helping me, taking my
arm, politely moving over ,etc. Too many cigarettes though (sorry) To the
man who helped me with my sweater-chivalry is not dead! Thanks. At the
end of the show, Bob looked at his band (posse?) and signaled to them to go
ahead,and they all held up their index fingers and pointed them out at us like
they were oldtime cowboys who had just rode into town, conquered, and
left. Bob had a real mischievous look in his eye, and I could see the jokester,
(but also the considerate host). Hilarious! I want more ! Go see him if you
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