Casper, Wyoming

Mike Lansing Field

August 12, 2010

[Doc Dilkes]

Review by Doc Dilkes

Our day begins 300 miles south of Casper, Wyoming. It’s an uneventful drive
through the rolling high plains desert.Looks like vast open space for hours,
nothing but tumbleweeds and an occasional antelope. Casper’s location made it a
crossroad for pioneers traveling west in the mid-1800s. Some of the largest
trail systems of the day came through Casper and crossed the North Platte river
right here. The Mormon Trail, The Oregon Trail, The California Gold Rush Trail,
and the Pony Express all stopped here and resupplied before crossing the
Continental Divide easily at South Pass and continuing west. So much for the
history lesson. When it comes to rock n’ roll, one of the “royal family” is in
town tonight. He could be called Sir Bob or Lord Dylan… the time will come. We
arrived at the ballpark around 6:00 p.m. planning to sit on the grass, relax,
and maybe catch a shooting star or two because tonight is the Perseid Meteor
Shower. I’m sure Bob knows this, which means he *won’t* be playing that one
tonight! Surprisingly, there are lots of open spaces only 10 feet from the front
rail. We pick a sweet spot right next to where Bob’s keyboard will be set up.
Opening act was 2 young men that entertained the early crowd with several good
toe tappers and a couple of foot stompers. Next up, another long time rocker,
John Mellencamp. He gets the crowd standing with many of his classics. Now it’s
time for the “voice of the 60s counter-culture”. Our area, now 4 feet from the
rail, is packed with all the rowdies that love being this close. Rainy Day Women
stomps everyone into sing-a-long and big smiles mode. Lay Lady Lay brings tears
to the ladies’ eyes. Stuck Inside and you realize what a tight, tight band this
is. Very well rehearsed. That Girl From the North Country brought out Bob’s most
beautiful vocals of the evening. Sandwiched between two hard rockers, Rollin’
and Tumblin’ and Honest With Me, was the funniest Bob I’ve seen in years. The
mellow Just Like a Woman turned into an amazing sing-a-long with Bob encouraging
the front area crowd to shout it out. Every time that it was our turn to sing
“just like a woman” Bob would stop, make a funny face with eyes wide open and
point at us gesturing “go ahead… sing”. The entire band was in full-face laugh
mode. And this was the slow song! Honest With Me rocked followed by a nugget
from the bag, Simple Twist of Fate. Highway 61 these days is a song that
explodes, and if you’re near the front of the stage with me when this song plays
you know what an emotional explosion is. Song 10 is time to reach into the bag
and pull out another nugget, Love Sick. Another vocally mesmerizing tune. You
can’t help but stare at him, can you? Thunder on the Mountain and Ballad of a
Thin Man ends the main set. With thunderous applause and bowing worthy of a
king… oh right, we did see rock ‘n roll royalty tonight. I’m sorry to say that
at 60 years old, I felt a little cramped in my now 1-foot cubicle in front of
the stage. We moved to the open field near the back and danced and enjoyed the
fantastic encore. Like A Rolling Stone, they write books about this song. Jolene
is a new Bob favorite, don’t ya think? And finally, the explosive Watchtower…
the end! When we get to the parking lot, the last Bob bus was getting loaded
with at least a dozen extra people… lucky.

Doc Dilkes


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