Review by Mike from Minnesota
Well, well, well...My first Dylan concert. I had been DYING to go to one
ever since I got hooked on him, and when I heard he was finally swinging
around to finish up his summer tour with some neat opening bands, I
decided to go for it and dragged my sister along for the ride.
Since we live in central Minnesota, we decided to leave a little bit
before noon, which got us to the stadium a little before 4:30. I played a
continuous stream of Dylan all the way there, softening up my sister with
some custom made CDs and finishing up with Highway 61, getting here into
the mood to seek what Dylan would bring to the table at the stadium.
After plenty of time to eat at Subway and talk with my sister-in-law and
my brother (who is a Dylan veteran having been to 6 concerts but
unfortunately couldn't come to this one), we headed off to the stadium
which was easy to find (just follow West Avenue) and had free parking. We
got into the line a little bit before the doors opened, and with two
passageways into the stadium, we found ourselves inside in no time,
getting great seats in the field about 45 feet from the stage and smack
dab in the middle to recieve both sounds, rather than just one had we
stood partial to one side.
We sat in the field and talked to some hardcore fans, including one man
(and a rather hilarious one at that) who had a LARGE string full of guitar
picks, all of which he proclaimed had come from shows. He showed me a few
himself, one of which from Joan Baez and other artists which I admired.
When I asked if he got one from Dylan, he shook his head, which surprised
me. Through all the years this man had been going to concerts and through
all the guitar picks he had (which was a massive amount) he still had not
recieved one from Dylan. I found that amusing, if anything.
Well, before we knew it, Elana hit the stage with a funky sound resembling
the train rythym of Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three. The guitar player
on the left (the plus 1 guy) seemed to be lost as he was probably learning
the ropes, but nonetheless she played a great set and had some nice
Junior Brown hit the stage soon after the roadies set his things up and
started clearing Elana's stuff out. His voice was deep and hypnotic, it
too reminded me of Johnny Cash, only he could go A LOT deeper than the
"Man In Black" could probably ever dream of. To give you a picture,
Junior's highest pitch was probably Johnny Cash's lowest. This guy could
sing DEEP! What really won me over with him, however, was his song
"Highway Patrol", and the crowd seemed to love it as well. Soon after he
left the stage, he threw his guitar pick, and the roadies got to work
again clearing off the stuff.
Jimmie Ray took the stage, playing some funky jam music that was excellent
in quality. Another woman, I forget her name, joined him and they sang
some wonderful harmonizing duets. Jimmie then played something he called
"Extra Jimmie", which definetly got the crowd roaring, but unfortunately
almost as soon as he had come, he had left.
Then, the main event came. Bobby and the band hit it up, kicking it off
with "Cats In The Well" and "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" as what a groupie
next to me called his "warm-up pieces". Both were excellent, but the
majority of us who were still skeptical (which was not many) were won over
when he set off with "Tweedle Dee" and "Lay, Lady, Lay". "Watching The
River Flow" was a comfortable slow tune that we all got pretty into, and
just as we were ready for another song of its caliber, Bobby surprised us
with "Positively 4th Street", leaving us in a wicked jam session with
major hits that the crowd absolutely loved, including "It's Alright Ma
(I'm Only Bleeding)", "Stuck Inside Of Mobile...", "Love Sick",
"Desolation Row", "Highway 61...", "My Back Pages" and "Summer "Days".
Before I knew it, Bob was getting ready for his encore after 13 songs,
which was 1 more than he usually played much to my surprise, since he had
played 12 for all of his other shows. I really wish Bob would
have a bigger setlist - it seemed like all the songs had gone by in a
Bob hit the stage again after a long enough time to take a few drags on a
cigarette, and busted it out like gang busters with "Like A Rolling Stone"
for his first encore piece. Then, as a second, "Rainy Day Women", totaling
about 2 hours of Bobbie and the band over 15 songs. An overall great
experience completely worth the money I spent!
My thoughts go back to the great jam beats Bob played, but they also go
back to the "ripoffs" the tour gives you. Follow my advice: don't buy
stuff from the merchandise counters unless you can't get it anywhere else!
I bought "Modern Times" from them, and almost as soon as I had opened it,
the case was broken. Lucky for me, Wal-Mart exchanges faulty albums for a
brand new one, free of charge, with no required proof of purchase. The
album costs $20 anyway, and Wal-Mart had it on there for around $14...If
anything, I wish I would have got the poster, as it is of limited edition.
Anyway, I definetly recommend a Dylan concert to anyone who even remotely
likes his music. A very powerful performance that I would respect in the
highest regard! In fact, I may catch him again when he swings by St. Paul
for his fall tour!
Thanks for reading,
Mike from Minnesota
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