Review by Bobcat-72
This is my first ever review here. Figured I would post it since nobody else has. This was
my eighth Dylan show in the last four years and eleventh overall.
Made the trek up from North Jersey on Sat. morning. Figured we could make a weekend
out of it and visit the Baseball Hall of fame on Sunday since I have never been there.
Parked in the "Red lot" behind the First union Bank. We got there around 5:30 but nobody
else was tailgating.
Headed into the park at 7:30 just in time for Jimmy Vaughns set. He was ok, but not real
crazy about that style of blues. Stood and waited for Bob to come out. Pretty good veiw
from left side diagonal from Bobs keyboard about 200 feet back. Got to see Bob and band
walking in from their buses on the street.
1. Cats in the well
Not my favorite song, Bob sounded good though, but the music was way to loud and
. B -
2. Lay, Lady Lay
Nice surprise, was expecting Tweedle, Bob sang good and with conviction, and the wolfman
voice only crept in here or there. The band doesent play this as nice as Charlie and Larry
3. Lonesome Day Blues
I like this one live, Bob was still singing well and the band was gelling on this one. A
4.Dont think twice....
This one was just ok, Bob flubbed a few lines and his singing was to subdued, and the band
didnt seem on the same page. C
5.Its Allright Ma......
I dont like this version at all and wish he would go back closer to the original. Bob upsang on
this one also. I just never though this song worked with the blues arrangement. C
6. I dont belive you .......
Ok version, Bob was mellowing back at this point. The Band played it pretty well though C+
7. Blid Willie Mc tell
Another nice surprise, Bob sang this one real well and the band did a pretty good job. A
8. Highway Sixty one
I wish he would retire this one for a while. He seemed bored, Bob and the band were on two
different pages, the guitar solos went nowhere. D
This was a different song when Larry and Charlie played it, they used to smoke this one !!!
9. Simple twist of fate
BIG SURPRISE ! In my eleven shows this is the first time he has done it. Pretty good version,
some upsinging though, but still nice. B
10. Cold Irons Bound
New Version I havent heard yet with a repetitive beat, liked the Spring 04 version better. Bob
did a good job though, loud,strong and clear singing. B
11. My back Pages
Another surprise, think last time I saw this one was July 2000. Pretty good version, Bob
seemed to be having fun and still singing well. B
12. Summer Days
Another one that should be shelved, maybe a modern times cut will takes its place soon. What
happened to the jam that used to happen at the end of this one ? Flat, and cut short. D
Not much to say on this one. Bob sang well, business as usual. B
Rain Day Women......
Another surprise, was expectin Watchtower of course, glad he changed it up. Solid, straight
ahead version. Bob was singing loud and clear again. B
All in all a good show, better then Spring 05, Bob seemed to have more energy and
concentration and clarity in his voice. the setlist was nice. This current band is just average
Review by Don Ely
At last! A REAL ballpark, not another cutout cookie from the 1990's baseball boom! It was
such a pleasure to be seated inside a venue with a past, listening to music imbued with a
strong sense of history. Doubleday Field is the place where history says the great American
game of baseball was first played in 1839, in Cooperstown, New York, though in truth that
fact may be less than accurate. The people of Cooperstown and the baseball world have
taken that fact to heart in the ensuing 168 years, however, with the choice of this village
as the site of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Doubleday Field officially opened
September 6, 1920 with a game between Cooperstown and Milford, and the stadium as
it stands today was constructed in 1939 in time for baseball's centennial. An annual Hall of
Fame Game between two major league teams ( usually stocked with minor leaguers ) is
played here, and each season sees hundreds of youth baseball, high school, college, and
senior league teams take to the field. In 2004 Bob Dylan and His Band and Willie Nelson
and Family commenced their popular ballpark tour here at the point of baseball's origins,
and the following year The Beach Boys staged a concert at Doubleday. Now it was time
for a return visit by Mr. Dylan to fill the friendly confines with the sound of American
I was running dangerously low on funds as my friday and saturday night rooms cost more
than anticipated on this Labor Day holiday weekend. To conserve cash I decided to forego
the opening acts, about whom I had only passing interest anyway, and arrive in time for the
primary reason for going. From my hotel in Oneonta I drove up the dark and curvy Route 28
sometime after 8 o'clock. I had been on Route 28 much of the afternoon, cruising leisurely
through the rainy Catskills listening to Ani Difranco's excellent "Revelling/Reckoning" and
"Reprieve". The highway became Main Street and took me into the heart of Cooperstown.
It was a cinch finding the ballpark; just roll down the window and follow the music! I was
fortunate enough to find free parking right on the street, grabbed my camera and took a
shot of the sign announcing Bob that sat outside the fire station. Doubleday Field is tucked
right in the neighborhood, and folks were having parties in their backyards and getting free
entertainment. The sound carried really well, and while I skipped the openers Jimmie
Vaughan and Lou Ann Barton sounded great on Slim Harpo's " Te-Ni-Nee-Ni-Nu " while I was
walking through town. The dark red brick entrance of the stadium was beautiful in the
nighttime spotlight, and I felt a real sense of pride, both for the venue and the music to
come, as I entered it's celebrated gates.
I went down on the field, but after a moment's pause decided I'm gonna watch this one
from the stands. I'd've had to be pushy to get close to the stage anyway, and in this house
it seemed more fitting to be in the seats. The last sputters of Hurricane Ernesto had moved
through the region, and though it was dry by this point the occasional wind gust blew at us
as a reminder. I have to disagree with Bob about what he said in his recent Rolling Stone
interview about sound quality in open-air venues; at least in enclosed small (9000 at this one)
ballparks the sound is top notch. Tonight's set, the third of three I'd caught this week, was
another example of how good this band can be, and how Bob hasn't "lost it". "Cat's In
The Well" revved things up nicely, and "Lay, Lady, Lay", which Bob sometimes has trouble
with vocally, was spot on. "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright", while lacking the emotional
punch of Bob's guitar days, was also very good. "I Don't Believe You ( She Acts Like We
Never Have Met )" was a pleasure to hear, only my second version ever, the first being in
Kansas City this spring. Hearing a fabled song about a fabled bluesman on a fabled baseball
field was quite poignant; the imagery evoked by "Blind Willie McTell" ( who was from Georgia
but probably played in East Texas ) meshed well in this structure from a similar era. And "My
Back Pages" only puts a bigger smile on your face everytime you hear it; Bob Dylan does
seemingly beat the odds and remains an ever-younger enigma. Only "Cold Irons Bound" has
lost it's impact from earlier performances, but he doesn't play it every night, so it's not a
Partly due to the setting, I'd say I enjoyed this show the most of those I attended on the
2006 ballpark tour. It also gave me a sense of closure in that I had a ticket to Bob & Willie
here the first time but couldn't make it because I broke my leg in a car accident. I've come
full circle; as a Libra I like things like that. I really like these ballpark tours, though I'd rather
see them in June instead of late in August, and would pare down the opening acts to two
instead of three. I'd love to see Willie Nelson back on the bus next year, but if he can't
make it, rather than quantity I'd like to see another sort of co-headliner on board. There
were no new songs, but so what? A good time was had by all, and we'll see 'em soon
enough. Modern Times are here again!
Review by Paul Davies
Bob Dylan at Cooperstown Saturday September 2nd 2006
The weather forecast was for heavy rain and high winds but the elements held back until Bob
and his merry band of musicians had walked off the stage in single file and disappeared in to
the night with Bob safely ensconced in the middle. Prior to this, the gloomy conditions were
simply blown away by a wonderful night of music in Cooperstown.
The show got underway promptly at 6.30pm with a very competent set by Elena James and
the Continental Two which had been augmented to become the Continental Three with the
presence of a second guitarist. Next up was Junior Brown who played his special double
necked "guitar" backed up by a bass player and a fine gent called Pete on a single snare drum.
Junior's "guitar" rested on a special stand so that he could play both necks at the same time.
After the first number the stand broke and there seemed to be a distinct lack of road crew
when he asked for a screw or nail to fix it. After a pause, a hesitant roadie appeared with a
roll of duck tape (to cheers from the crowd) and attempted to fix it. Later on it broke again
and this time the bass player produced duck tape from his guitar case and did temporary
repairs. Soon after it broke for a third time and this time Junior did the repairs himself while
Pete kept us entertained with a rousing drum solo. None of this threw the very cool Junior
off his stride and he delivered a strong vocal performance with some amazing fretwork
After a very short break Jimmie Vaughn came up and got right down to business with drums,
organ and second guitar helping him out. There was no bass player with the second guitarist
delivering what was needed low down on the scale. LuAnn Barton came on and sang a couple
of numbers. She looked a little tired and distracted but that did not seem inappropriate as she
sang the blues to us.
At a couple of minutes after nine o'clock five gentlemen clad in grey suits (four of them with
black hats and facial hair) and another gent with black cowboy hat and black jacket took the
stage. The band lined up from stage left to stage right more or less is a straight line and Bob
placed himself slightly in front of Donnie Heron facing at right angles to the band. Without
even pausing to adjust their hats they were off and running with "Cat's in the Well" with Bob
sounding confident. The next song "Lay Lady Lay" took the tempo down a notch or two with
Bob leading the way and the band finding its footing with a few glances back and forth
between them as they established the groove. They then launched straight in to "Lonesome
Day Blues" which kicked off with Bob singing really strongly and the band now flying along.
There was then a seamless transition in to "Don't Think Twice It's All Right". I had a great
view as I was quite close to the front of the stage which had been set up on the edge of
the outfield and could see the interaction between the band members. They operated as a
thoroughbred unit each knowing what every nod and glance means. Bob's in charge but it's
very subtle and they all communicate with one another throughout.
"It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" got the audience going and the few stragglers who were
still sitting down got to their feet. It was less harsh delivery than some other times I've seen
him play this song but it was a great version. After this the surprises started. The stage lights
went down and the band huddled (at least as close as they get to a huddle). A couple of
guitar chords came from Stu and then Bob stepped back up to the keyboards and sang "I
can't understand, she let go of my hand, and left me here facing the wall". He is singing quite
softly and the plaintiveness is there. The audience is really paying attention now and watching
Bob closely as he progresses through the rest of "I Don't Believe You (She Acts Like We Never
Have Met)" It is a heartfelt rendition (of course)and Bob and the band seem very happy with
the way the show is going along with lots of smiles up on stage.
They have another little "huddle" in the darkness and again we hear a couple of quick choppy
chords from Stu (or perhaps it was Denny) before they walk briskly back to their positions and
"Blind Willie McTell" is upon us. A blistering version with Denny allowed plenty of rope and using
it to full advantage. There can never be such anything as a definitive version of any Bob song
because he is capable of upping the ante at any point but this was a powerful rdelivery and it
looked as if the band knew they had nailed it. By now the songs were getting extended
playing time with lots of instrumental space. The next song "Highway 61" was in the same
vein. Great version and again perhaps a bit softer than usual but incredibly effective for that.
As Bob turned and walked away from his key board at the end of the song, he flung his harp
high in the air with a flourish and it landed somewhere behind the sound equipment on the
right hand side of the stage. Things were definitely getting interesting.
Back came the band and we in the crowd were shaking our heads with approval as "Simple
Twist of Fate" greeted our ears. Bob was singing delicately but with every word clearly heard.
I decided to close my eyes for the rest of the song and it just brought home the amazing
music that was being produced. The volume and the intensity picked up markedly and "Cold
Irons Bound" roared out at us. Time for another surprise. "I was so much older then, I'm
younger than that now". Well, I am not sure if I have ever seen Bob play "My Back Pages" live
but I was so much younger then, I'm older than that now if he did. Amazing. At the end of
the song the stadium lights briefly lit up the audience. We waved to Bob and he turned and
looked at us and gave us a huge smile. It was like we we were just hanging out with him
down in his basement. Bob was in high spirits and seemed to be sharing a joke with Donnie
who was set up right behind him. He kicked off Summer Days singing "Summer days and
summer nights are gone" with a wry shake of the head and a big laugh. I had not really paid
to much attention to this song before but this time I got it.
Just when I was counting my blessings for being at this show there were more surprises to
come. As usual the encore "Like a Rolling Stone" had everyone singing along. There were
quite of lot of young kids (kids under 12 got in free with their parents) there who were
joining in on the chorus. And then another gift from Bob as we heard the unmistakable
opening chords of "Rainy Day Women". Now everyone is smiling.
There is wild cheering with people in the audience turning around and looking at each other
as if to say "Did you check that out?". Then the band and Bob walk to the very edge of the
stage and face the outfield with Bob in the centre. He stands there in the gunfighter salute
pose with his hands in front of his chest with fingers pointing skyward. He stands for a long
time as we all keep cheering. I don't think Bob and the boys want to go back to the buses.
Bob doffs his cowboy hat towards us and then puts his hand in and out of it and pretends to
sprinkle something towards us. He does this three times in a row. They turn on their heels
and leave the stage in a single file and at that moment the rain begins to pour down from t
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