August 11, 2010
Review by KJ Ladwig
I arrived from Minneapolis via Delta about 3:30 Billings time, got reunited with
good college Friend Dr. Phil Mauer. Headed down to Dehler Park-minor league
ballpark-which is tucked in a bowl under the cliffs of Billings. Got there and
parked 30 feet from entrance, for free, and as we walked in we celebrated as
The Cougs was Na, na, na, na, na na - and from earlier review we knew Johns set
was done, to our delight we grabbed a beer and headed stage right about 15 feet
from BOBS Keyboard, speakers, and trusty Oscar. It was a beautiful night 76 degrees
with a slight cool breeze that mixed sweat, beer, and sweet ganja from the
crowd. BOBs intro lead to BOB on organ wearing a fancy cut navy blue coat,
with matching pants with his standard wide brimmed beige hat, and military
stripe down side of pants-band wore beige suits and as always a very snappy
bunch. BOB started on keys with Rainy Day Women, and as he bellowed in a
low, low, note- Everybody must get STONED!!!, the crowd took BOB's word
literally and the familiar smell of Cannabis filled the air. BOB played Its all over
Now Baby Blue on guitar, and was apparent, that BOB was here to put on
a show, his voice was on, he was on, hydrated, feeling fresh as was the Band.
Next came a pretty standard but very well played and sung Stuck inside of Mobile
......Just like a Woman, sung like BOB has been doing, offering the crowd to
sing along, by leaving big gaps in front of his back phrased Just like a Woman.
Next a very tasty and tight Rollin and a tumblin with Charlie Sexton and BOB
going back and forth. Charlie continues to be a huge visual as well as musical
addition, since rejoining the Band last year in Seattle, after a 7 year hiatus
from playing with Dylan. BOB and the entire band, exchanged smiles, nods,
laughs, and was down right giddy-(later in the night we found out 1 reason why-
it was Charlie Sextons Birthday) but the mood and their dedication to the music
shined thru the night. Amazing simply Amazing that BOB is 69, and playing
every night at such a high level. You really have to see it to believe it
folks, so DON"T U MISS IT!!
The next song was a rare and very special treat-Shelter from the Storm, played a
bit up tempo, the crowd really started to participate dancing and singing along.
Next was High Water-with Donnie Herron chiming in with his banjo, making this
song a real jam of the night. Next came Forgetful Heart, and I felt so lucky to
hear this song again, after hearing it in live in Milwaukee, and Hollywood.
Bob forgot a verse, no one seemed to notice, or care, as the song with its stone
cold lyrics that BOB said in an interview is about a "conversation with his
heart" made the hair on my arms stand up. What a song!!!!!!!!!!!
Next we flowed into the encore with a strong Highway 61, really tight
performance, then a deep and emotional BOB at center stage gave us the
Workingmans Blues, followed by the standard rock epic Thunder on the Mountain,
and again the killer, killer version of Ballad of a Thin Man, with BOBs shadow
cast 30 feet behind him, arms out------Brilliant, he really owns this number and
it is so well performed.
That leads to the standard encore with one difference. During the bands
introduction- Tony Garnier walked over to BOB, whispered in his ear, as BOB
nodded. BOB then announces it is Charlie Sextons Birthday as the crowd goes
nuts and Charlie blushes. BOB says I want to sing him Happy Birthday, ok
everyone!!! So the crowd with band accompanying sings Charlie Happy
Birthday!!--BOB then said---ok now lets sing it when I say go!!!! Band and
crowd break out in laughter as BOB starts another Happy Birthday song to
At the end of the song a red faced, Charlie, smiles walked over to BOB waged
his finger at BOB and said -You got me , You really got me, as BOB could hardly
contain himself-IT was a sweet moment for a group of guys who love playing with
each other, and are really enjoying the moments along the tour. They are
tighter now since Charlie has been there about a full year now. BOB and
Charlie really like to interplay off each other, creating spontaneous rifts,
Jams, and dynamics among all including George Recile, Stu Kimball, Tony,
Donnie, and Charlie Sexton. What an all-star lineup, and in my humble
opinion, BOBS best band and BOB at his best, if your a fan, don't think twice-GO
SEE HIM!!!! BOB's voice tonight was particularly clear and strong, there were
no staccato breaks for his voice.
At the end of the show, for the first time in years BOB gave the full six gun
salute. Not only his six gun pose, he spun them and tucked them in as the
crowd went nuts. Phil and I walked up the hill toward BOBs familar Bus and
trailer with Harleys en-tow. Literallly a second later BOBS BUS roared onto
Casper,Wy--The Ultimate Troubadour had come into town and shot us all down
with his music.
A masterpiece of a concert. Thank you BOB Dylan-to be so great at 69 after
your music for over 50 years on top of the music world, is just simply amazing,
simply amazing. Again, if you get a chance-GO SEE BOB DYLAN AND HIS BAND.
You will be amazed and renewed!!!
Special Thanks to the Mauer family and JD for their warm Montana hospitality!!
Review by Fred Robinson
I wasn't going to submit a review for this one because I pretty much agreed with
the other reviewer, but last night in Missoula somebody pointed out to me that
I may be one of very few Montanans to have attended every Montana Bob show. So
I should probably add my two cents to the record.
The last time Bob was in Billings he played at the Shrine Auditorium. I enjoyed
the show immensely but the outdoor baseball field venue works very well for a
Bob show. The only glitch, if you could call it that, was what seemed to be a
relatively long delay between Mellencamp and Bob. During that period I heard a
number of the crowd grumbling that they should just have JM come back out. To
that I could only think, "FOOLS." And its not that JM had a bad show-it was a
good show-very talented and likeable song writer and band that fits very well
with Montana. But Bob, for cryin' out loud! Bob Dylan! No, if you have to
wait, so be it, wait-it will be worth it. And it was worth the wait. Bob and
his band hit a home run-A GRAND SLAM. Out of the park. Over the watch tower,
and all the way down highway 61. Nobody throws a ball like the catfish can. You
got the pork chop I got the pie.
It was great to see all the kids in the crowd. One asked me if this was my
first Dylan show, and I said, No that it was my 13th, and lucky at that. The
kid said just after Bob came on stage "has he always looked that bad?" And I
said I always thought he looked great and that he still looks great though
weathered. His charisma is intact And I like his hat. By the end of the show,
the kid said he had no idea, that Dylan rocks, and that it was the best $55 he
I just heard a rumor that Bob has a place in Montana. Bought it a few years ago
on his last little tour through the state. If that's the case-I sure do not
know that it is-then the wildest cat from Montana just passed by in flash. With
a great band. Can't wait to see them again.
May you stay forever young
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