Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Wahconah Park
June 23, 2005

[Steve Pate], [Larry Kosofsky], [Cary Krosinsky], [Seth Rogovoy],
[Bill Wessling], [Larry Fishman], [Don Ely]

Review by Steve Pate

It is with joy and sadness all at once that we gave Bob Dylan and his band
a standing ovation after the final song tonight in the Berkshires of
Massachusetts. While the band will go on to other towns across America and
a few in Western Canada, our Bob Dylan Tour is over and we return home to
PEI tomorrow.

To protest the bland drives along the Interstate highways, we drove only
small local roads from Mystic, CT this morning to Pittsfield, MA. By the
direct route it takes 2.5 hours: it took us all day to drive through river
valleys, gorges and up into the Berkshires. I was slightly disappointed
that the Berkshires didnšt look dreamlike on account of the frosting.  I
guess one has to be here in December. We followed a mountain stream for
almost an hour in a pretty dreamlike drive.

I want to thank the good folks at Comfort Inn who wouldn't let us cancel
the reservation we made yesterday in Springfield. I guess they need to
steal our people money even when we called to cancel or change a
reservation. Really makes me want to use Choice Inns again. Not.

We got here amazingly in time. The cops said we had to park at the
hospital ­ did I look sick ­ and then relented at the last minute. My
girlfriend says I have shit-house luck since I get to park right by the
entrance no matter what. Same thing happened in Lancaster and Pittsfield ­
I canšt help it if I'm lucky.

This was the last show so we stocked up on Dylan and Willie swag: scarves,
a Willie T-shirt, Dylan buttons and stickers, a golf hat and a baseball
cap and the great black gambler shirt. Wow will that look good on stage.
Got a poster from each night and enough Dylan T-shirts to last the summer.

My girlfriend said she only wanted to hear one song, "It Ainšt Me Babe."
She reminded me that it was the first song I sang when she met me at
Babba's in Charlottetown on our first date. Well, if you can call coming
to a club to watch me perform a date. Ask Bob yourself, I offered lamely.

The show started on time. The Greencards did their Bluegrass thing while
we wolfed down hotdogs and Bud. This is heaven, a warm summer night in the
mountains, sitting in a small baseball park (seats like 3,000) eating
hotdogs and beer with the little lady by my side ­ all the while listening
to Willie Nelson run through his favešs and hits. Willie still sounds good
but not as exciting as the first night.

I made my way down in front of the stage and where there were plenty of
graying boomers but disproportionately more young people. Bob is enjoying
a renaissance among a whole new generation and the music is why. He really
rocks, plain and simple. He grabs the audience and holds onto it. The
younger audience was less interested in the slow numbers but he perseveres
and they applaud each song while really letting out for the hard and fast

What stands out tonight? "Down Along the Cove" which I have never heard
done so well. I was almost ecstatic when he blew the lid off the band for
"Itšs All Right Ma, I'm Only Bleeding."  We roared on cue at "Even the
President of the United States sometimes must stand naked."  Who would have
thought that 60's tune could be so current and hot. The crowd loved it: I
felt like a head banger. "Just Like Tom Thumbšs Blues" was fresh but
familiar. The song can really drone ­ three chords and all ­ but tonight
it was right on. "Highway 61" was a screamer ­ we shouted out the last
line for each verse. "Blind Willie McTell" ­ liked it but was thrilled to
hear a strong, fresh arrangement of "Chimes of Freedom".  There are so many
great images in that song. What did Dylan say: each line was a poem he
didn't have the time to write.

I returned to my girlfriend in time to hear her wish come true: "It Ainšt
Me Babe˛ was the first song in the encore. She was happy and I got an
extra kiss.  Thatšs her song, sung first by her guy and now by the Bobster
himself Down in front of the band the music was hot and compelling. Back
in the stands it had an unplugged feeling with the steel guitar, Tony on
up-right bass, and the warm jazzy guitar.

We were still singing "Like A Rolling Stone" after the applause, after the
lights went up and after we all stood around in the parking lot trying to
sort out what had happened. Bob went by in his big bus and the crowd
spontaneously applauded the bus as it passed. The king of poetic rock was
leaving but he left us with a great night and a great memory. I wonder why
they don't put music like that on CDs. Has there been a live release
since"Real Live"?

Tomorrow we drive home but I will take the slow way home, perhaps along
Route 2 through Vermont and New Hampshire. We need time to decompress from
our week on the road with Bob Dylan. 


Review by Larry Kosofsky

Thanks to Tim, my wheelman on the 100-mile trip from
New Paltz to Pittsfield; it was well worth it.

Greencards went on at 6:30, giving us energetic,
lively, good-time bluegrass; perfect opening act for a
Pittsfield minor league ballpark summer evening.
Perfect weather, mellow crowd.

Willie in fine voice, band strong, nice harmony on the
vocals.  Raucous, rambunctious and at times surprising 
music with humor...some dull spots, but the band can 
find the groove and ride it...

Bob came on with Drifter's Escape, not one of my
favorites, but as a sort of throwaway opener, it
showed good energy.

Tom Thumb had a gently rocking arrangement, improving
vocals, excellent guitar, rhythm harmonica from Bob,
and turned into a stomping romp.

It's Alright  Ma was as good as it could be, sinister,
rocking hard, violin a nice touch, band lock-tight,
vocals still better.

Moonlight in a new syncopation, melody a little lost,
then the groove was found, good harmonica.

Down Along the Cove as tough blues-rock with tight
riffs nailed down...a highlight.

Girl of the North Country (acoustic) -  fantastic
intro:  stately, almost orchestral...a tender version,
slowed down considerably.

High Water (for Charley Patton) - strong vocals, great
playing, very percussive with a blast of an ending.

Every Grain of Sand - best live version I've been
at...slow, clear gospel, very sweet.

Highway 61 - Good rockin' version, one of the best
live versions for me.

Blind Willie McTell - didn't eclipse the Stanhope 2000
version, but was right up there with it: excellent
interplay, fine Kimball solos, good vocals.

Chimes of Freedom - was hoping to hear this, and got a
slow waltz with sweet pedal steel, tasty guitar work
and fine vocals.

Summer Days - perfect choice for the date, and tightly
choreographed, superb interplay - fantastic!

It Ain't Me Babe - similar to the Poughkeepsie
version, proud and symphonic and the crowd loved it.

Like A Rolling Stone - lived up to its reputation and
had everyone shouting, singing along.

All in all, a real treat, up on another level (to coin
a phrase).

Tim's first live Bob show more than lived up to our

Thanks, Bob.


Review by Cary Krosinsky

first of all, I nearly didn't make it to the show - I was listening to
Camden on the way up with an iced coffee and a LONG cigar - I was so
overwhelmed by Down Along The Cove - it was all I could do to stay on the
road - and the cigar made me very sick (that's why I nearly didn't make
it) - fortunately, I got an early start, so about an hour at a rest stop,
and I was okay again...

made it to Pittsfield and eventually found the TRUE Field of Dreams -
Wahconah Park, 1850's baseball stadium that Corporate America wanted to
tear down (see Jim Bouton's book Foul Ball) - it's not used anymore for
baseball, but oozes magic out of it's ears

the place was packed and jumping all night - as I never got my ticket from
Ticketbastard, I used Will Call, which basically let me walk in through a
gate, that anyone could have walked into - unsupervised - place must have
been jumping with people who got in for free

Willie was Willie - I thought the harmonica player was going to fall
asleep - Lucas who was so hot with Bob, had not much to do, but excelled
on a solo during Jody Payne's song, and his own Texas Flood soared
majestically - but the crowd was very into it as they would be for Bob -
we were packed like Sardines, but VERY cordial and cooperative - this was
NOT a negative, rowdy crowd, but as is always the case in Western/Central
Massachusetts, a mellow, much more knowledgeable that usual crowd dancing
and giving Bob their love.  Many young kids all over the place - a great
scene, and with letter perfect weather to boot.

Bob rewarded this scene with a very very sharp, hot Drifter's Escape -
Camden's was sharp - this was VERY sharp - probably the best I've heard
just after Hammerstein's with Nils Lofgren which was WAY over the top in a
Lucas Nelson/Down Along the Cove sort of way.

Tom Thumb's Blues was next, and clearly one of the major highlights - I've
never heard Bob sing this live with such conviction - this REALLY rocked -
as has been the case every show this year, I've managed to position myself
5-10 rows back on the right - DIRECTLY in Bob's view, and I dance to the
beat, which I KNOW he sees and I think it helps him focus not staring into
a crowd of people who don't know what the fuck is going on.  And I wasn't
the only one - many around me were dancing and VERY into it too, which is
rare these days.  Obligatory second song, center stage sarp solo, and
quite nice.

It's Alright Ma was quite good, and danceable as well (basically
everything was tonight).  

Moonlight was nastily perfect

next was Down Along the Cove - this one missed Lucas Nelson something
awful - it was fun but not nearly as hot, to me, anyway - the crowd was
into it and it was good, just not wildly incendiary - but how could it be?

Girl of the North Country was very similar to Camden, perhaps a small
notch bouncier, but sang with very similar inflections which is unlike Bob
to say the least

the rest of the show was on fire, and I knew it would be from the opening
chors of High Water which rocked throughout - numerous and varied solos
including a piano solo by Bob, of which there would many the rest of the
way - Bob's getting into the piano big time and it's a lot of fun to see

I REALLY loved Every Grain of Sand it had great pace, and Bob sang MANY
lines with great heart and care and experimented throughout - a very
interesting version to be sure

Highway 61 was on complete fire - mindbogglingly fabulous

Blind Willie was a bit different - seemed slightly jazzier which I found
quite interesting, and they found some new solos/jams near the end - I
like it!

then Chimes of Freedom which the crowd was nearly deadly silent for - it
was that good - you could hear a pindrop half way through - THIS was the
version - the piece de reistance bar none - we NEED this recording for ths
song alone - NOW - sang with GREAT beauty and care - majestic and
magnificent - I blow kisses Bob's way just thinking about it

Summer Days, of course - what else should end the set on a perfect summer
night, and it's a great version - sung very very well, interesting jams
midsong including another piano solo

kudos and salutations!

encores - as in Camden, performed impeccably and sang beautifully

It Ain't Me Babe - maybe better than Camden but they were both wildly
great and different enough, so why compare?

Like a Rolling Stone - again, wildly great and different enough -as was
Camden - but why compare?

Bob's looking around after the show like, yeah I got that one, didn't I?

he did

heading home, and it's Bob's bus not far in front of me, entering the
Mass Pike - the bus goes into a personed booth, I have the EZ-Pass, so I
catch up, and pass Bob just as he heads down to NYC for tomorrow' show -
I'm off for Springfield, and with this perfect transition, I leave this
tour for good, and Bob's on to blazing even more new trails of glory,
while those of us who've seen him have memories and dust


Review by Seth Rogovoy

Bob Dylan came to town and for one night gave the downtrodden, nearly forgotten, minor-league city
of Pittsfield, Mass., a dose of major-league energy with a scorching hour-and-a-half-long concert. 
Dylan was in stellar form in his longer-than-usual, hard-charging show that surprised many who came 
expecting to walk away with their nostalgia appeased but instead left mildly shocked over how 
passionately and intensely Bob Dylan continues to intone his prophetic warnings of impending 

After a somewhat sluggish hour-long set by Willie Nelson and band, seemingly phoned in from his 
afternoon golf game, vocalist/keyboardist Dylan and his guitar-centric band hit the ground running 
with their rollicking, panicked version of 'Drifter's Escape,' spitting with venom the themes of 
paranoia, rage, and protest that would continually reemerge throughout the show in classic and 
obscure oldies and a few new songs, too. 

Dylan followed up perhaps a bit too early with an easygoing, languid version of 'Just Like Tom 
Thumb's Blues,' but recaptured the tension of the opener with a swamp-rock rendition of 'It's 
Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding),' which even one seasoned if somewhat casual Dylan listener (OK,
my wife), only recognized by the last line. 

'Moonlight' from Dylan's most recently album of new songs, Love and Theft, was the night's only 
complete misstep ' the band and Dylan seemed out of sorts, and the wispy number sort of evaporated 
as the crowd wondered what song they were trying to play. Even if they COULD make it out, they 
probably wouldn't have recognized this minor song off of a second-rate Dylan album. 

But Dylan recovered with a rollicking, rockabilly version of 'Down Along the Cove,' with the 
guitarists shooting sharp leads in and around Dylan's verses, many of which veered from the 
original lyrics (' I got my suitcase in my hand'). On this and other numbers, Dylan's keyboards 
were showcased, and unlike many previous Dylan shows, you could actually hear his piano playing. 
This and other numbers made clear his lingering debt to and appreciation of his childhood idols, 
Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, and he acquitted himself well on his first, if lesser known, 

Over the past few years, Dylan's arrangement of 'Girl From the North Country' has been slowly 
evolving into a glorious, harmonically sophisticated chamber piece, making it much more interesting 
musically than the simple original folk tune. The guitarists in Dylan's current band, who make up 
in virtuosity what they may lack in charisma (Larry Campbell and Charlie Sexton left big shoes to 
fill in that department), rang their instruments like chimes or bells. 

The show turned, however, on a dark, Halloween-esque version of 'High Water.' Dylan became 
incredibly focused, and gained total melodic control of his vocals, on a surprise rendition of 
'Every Grain of Sand' (a tribute, perhaps, to the producers of 'Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel 
Songs of Bob Dylan,' many of whom were in attendance, as this album was spawned here in the 
Berkshires?). It featured his best and most impassioned singing of the night, and set a higher 
bar as he rollicked through versions of 'Highway 61 Revisited' and 'Blind Willie McTell' before 
settling down in a shimmering 'Chimes of Freedom,' before bringing down the curtain on the main 
set with his now-standard closer, 'Summer Days.' 

Returning for a two-song encore, Dylan trotted out a new version of 'It Ain't Me, Babe,' played 
as a minor-key march that faintly echoed a U2 anthem, before bringing the house down with 'Like 
a Rolling Stone.' 

While Dylan's voice was erratic and his phrasing sometimes was sing-songy, coming after Willie 
Nelson, who is still distinctive and loveable but who lacked any dynamics, Dylan seemed like 
Caruso, whom he compared himself favorably to back in 1965. Most striking was Dylan's energy and 
intensity ' he seemed as committed to what he was singing as he was in the stentorian days of 
1966, '74 and '76. And as angry about man's failings to live up to his capacities, too. 

Opening act The Greencards from England played a wonderfully upbeat, swinging blend of country, 
folk, and bluegrass, with hints of jazz, and with tight, high lonesome harmonies. 

Seth Rogovoy 


Review by Bill Wessling

The top ten highlights of my mid week vacation to pittsfield Ma. thank you
Bob Dylan for coming up with the idea to play in these wild wonder

1. biking in the  berkshire hills. I found a wild life sanctuary with
birds, birds, and birds. In this sanctuary some dude has a shack trailer that 
is plastered with license plates, old bill boards and bumper stickers. the
sign over the shack door says Elvis.

2. trying to find wahconah park on my bike. i road by it three times, i
found it because i saw a dozen or so equipment, stage and tour trucks parked 
on a grass parking lot and there was a  baseball game being the

3. wahconah park, i road my bike out back to the left fence and watched the
game for free. i wondered where the hell they were going to put all the 
dylan  and willie fans the next night.

4. having a beer in the Tahiti restaurant wednesday night. i listened 
intently to the patrons of the pub, some of them  looked like bass 
fisherman, some looked like encyclopedia salesmen and others looked like
truck drivers wife's. they were talking about what tomorrow's show was
going to bring. there voices , sang out "were they going to put everybody" 
"maybe we can make some money letting folks park in our driveways" and my 
favorite "our you with the road crew?"

5. the pub across the street from the Tahiti bar had an open mike 
show,Wednesday night. the talent was good. i think each musician attempted
Dylan number, My favorite was Dustymusics rendition of bob's number
shooting star. I liked  it so much i bought him a couple of rounds.

6. dishing Norman mailer in the same pub with who ever would listen to me.
did you read his interview in rolling stone? he said Dylan weakened the 
60''''s movement. what a mucking shit for brains. i guess he didn't read
dylan's book chronicles or all the news flashes that followed it about how
the inspiration for the songs dylan wrote during that period came from the
civil war. anyway i always felt Norman was a Hemmingway want a be.

7. thursday night, seeing a pure artist perform, Bob dylan to me is charles
dickens behind the key boards. i 've read that dickens used to do live 
readings in london theaters of his material, can you imagine it? if he
only had Bobs little pinkie flying, guitar picking, cracker band along side

9. denny freeman's little pinkie flying, guitar picking, cracker playing on
high water. awesome!

10. BoB Dylan's out standing reading of every grain of sand. I bet Norman
mailer wishes he could pen something like that, and  then back it with
great vocals and have kick ass musicians laying it to music.

11. thinking to my self many, many moons from now,there will be signs all
over america, like the ones that say george washington slept here, only 
these will say Bob Dylan played here,there will be one at wahconah park
and folks will wonder if it is true or not.


Review by Larry Fishman

This was the first concert of any kind that I've attended where the
roadies were getting cheered.  I don't know if it was the sweet summer
night, the near full moon or the potent mixture of pot, acid and alcohol,
but this audience was jacked up and ready for this show....okay - it was
probably the drugs.  

The Venue:  Wahconah Park is one of the oldest baseball parks in America -
certainly a charming setting for a concert.  There is something inherently
cool about a co headling tour of minor league stadiums in remote villages
across America, no wonder he's done it a second time.  A good idea worth
repeating (Note to Bob:  Touring with the Dead would be bad idea and not
worth repeating).  Pittsfield is a struggling town in western
Massachusetts - a long 2 hour drive from Boston nustled in the beloved
Berkshire Mountains.  The Park is or was owned by controversial pitcher
Jim Bouton, author of the expose, "Ball Four," who attempted and I guess
failed to bring in a minor league bseball team.  This show itself was big
news - I noticed two News trucks and a number of journalists roaming the

The Crowd:  A much younger crowd than the typical Bobfest.  There were
tons of little kids (they got in free with their parents) and a larger
than usual contingent of 20 somethings.  As Hunter Thompson once said,
when the going gets wierd, the wierd turn pro.  It was wierd - lots of
zonked out partygoers barely able to stand let alone comprehend much.  Saw
one space cadet get busted and halued away by security not sure he knew
what was hapening or why there was vomit all over his clothes.   Willie's
typical crowd features lots of tough biker types with muscles, gigantic
tatoos and black clothing...and I'm talking about the chicks.   My
favorite moment was this woman in dashiki and a staff (like a sheppard)
just raising her fist in rapture during "Chimes of Freedom."  This was a
crowd with lots of wierd.   

Willie:  If you're not smiling, clapping and singing along with Willie you
belong at home channel surfing between "American Idol," "The Bachelorette"
and reruns of "Jack and the Fatman."  Absolutely infectious, Willie
started slowing with a somewhat tame "Whiskey River" but caught fire
quickly.  I get the feeling he'd perform the same way in his living room
as in front of this sold out throng.   In his band, his sister and two of
his young kids, I swear one of them hasn't even been Bar Mitvahed.  

Bob:  First offf, the Errol Flynn meets Vincent Price moustache is
thankfully gone.  Bob was dressed in his usual black suit, with a blue
sequined shirt buttoned down a little to show a white undershirt.  He
looked fantastic - comfortable, confident (!!) and happy.  Yup, downright
happy.  At this general admission show, I squeezed myself right up to the
stage and I can attest that Bob smiled  -- I lost count how many times. 
Full out perley white grins!!!   More shocking that electric at Newport I
tell ya.  Okay, on to the show:

1.  Drifter's Escape.  Over volleys of guitars and thrashing drums the
night began somewhat uneventfully and predictabily.  It's not that I don't
enjoy the familiar tune, I just would rather hear something else.   

2.  Just like Tom Thumb's Blues.  Arranged with a bouncy back beat and
Tony Garnier plugging away on stand up bass - Bob began his smiling,
bobbing, and swooning to the music thing.  Made his stroll to the center
of stage for a feelin' it harp solo, legs spread blowing the harmonica
like a Memphis Bluesman at 3AM.   This a song I need to hear one day in
New York City to feel like a completed BobCat.

3.  It's Alright Ma.   Certainly a crowd favorite, one of those songs that
can't/shouldn't/won't ever be properly covered by anyone else.  Noone else
voice could ever work with these lyrics.  Really barked out, "not much is
really saaaacreddddddd."  

4.  Moonlight.  With the stage backlit and a low and beatiful harp intro
it was time for the boys to downshift.  Absolutely love Danny Freeman's
guitar playing all night long and his solo here was just pitch perfect,
man.  Think all the ballads on L&T are the real hidden soul of that

5.  Down Along the Cove.  This was a long, long (I mean really damn long)
drawn out crackerjack jam - a real kitchen sink version - it was slow, it
was fast - it was funky - it was slammin.  D was shimming, shaking,
bobbing, and lunging playfully from his spot behind the keys.  Crowd just
erupted its approval at the end.  Clearly one of the highlights of this

6.  Girl From North Country.  Done to that fairy tale, sing song
arrangement - while one of my favorite songs, not sure Bob tackled it well
vocally.  It was a consistantly strong singing night for the 63rd year old
, just not on this tune.  He certainly felt IT as he was rocking and
swaying throughout the instrumental break,  The take certainly worked and
a lovely harp solo at the end sealed it nicely.

7.  Highwater.  Time to rev up.  Hard rockin' to a disco beat.  Recile
really got the groove pumping as he banged the skins ferociously. 
Definetly a mid set treat with some tasy licks by Don Herron on banjo. 
Ending with a group strum - chugga wugga chugga slowly winding down to a
quiet fade.  

8.  Grain of Sand.  As artfully sung as you can imagine, clear, smooth and
precise.  My god if anybody wrote just this song they'd be the next Bob

9.  Highway 61.  Back to high some energy rock and roll, rich and full
throttle.  A nice long, loud and noisy thrash..

10.  Blind Willie McTell.  Emotional and searing, sung amazingly well,
can't wait to make the skeptics listen to the bootleg.  The band playing
so well in the moment and Bob just totally owning it.

11.  Chimes of Freedom.  I caught a version of this back at one of the
Boston shows, gladly take a double dip on one of the great finger pointing
songs of his back pages.  Thanks.

12.  Summer Days.  I guess an appropriate song for an outdoor summer show
& always seems to get the crowd up and adam.  Played with some added
texture slow, then fast and then kool.

13.  It Ain't Me Babe.  Done in a spoken sung type of arrangement with the
again the band playing so well.  I loved Larry Campbell and all as much as
the next guy, but them boys - Kimball, Herron & Freeman - are more than up
to the challenge.  Homies have the chops and play so well together.

14.  Like A Rolling Stone.  Was really looking forward to hearing it
tonight and was nice to have it sending the crowd home happy.

All in all, a terrific night:  a wild, excited crowd met by an artist and
a band up to the challenge.

Larry Fishman


Review by Don Ely

The Drifter Did Escape to Pittsfield, in the heart of The Berkshires, in western Massachusetts, 
for another round of great tunes and great people on a warm summer night. This time the hoedown 
was held at Wahconah Park, whose baseball history dates back to 1892. Near as I could tell, 
there is no current affiliation, but the New York Mets fielded a team here until a few years 
ago. The grandstands and field are in fine condition, ready to handle an event of the magnitude 
of Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.

Event staff were well organized, parking attendants directed me to a spot in an adjacent field, 
and I set out for the ballpark. As tuesday night in Norwich, I arrived with The Greencards 
already on stage doin' their thing. Again, they sounded excellent. I walked up to where the Red 
Hook was flowin' and started talking to some guys who were clearly having fun. One of them, 
Kevin, was buying his buds some beers and as the bartender slid me my brew, Kevin plunked down 
five bucks and paid for it. My kinda guy! They had all come over from Albany, New York (only 
about fifty miles to the west) for the gig. Kevin, tall, pony-tailed, and fifty-something, told 
me about seeing The Rolling Stones in 1965. One of his pals, about the same age, resembled Garth 
Hudson from The Band. The other two were probably in their thirties. We ended up hangin' 
together for much of the show, cuttin' up and tellin' stories like old friends do. I spent more 
buying them beers than they did me, but I didn't mind. And, there were plenty of beautiful 
Summer Girls around to keep things interesting.

Willie was onstage and we watched mostly from the video screen set up in the back. One unique 
thing about this ballpark is that the plate faces the west, so the batter looks directly into 
the sun. The idea was, when this park was constructed in the days before lights and nighttime 
baseball, to prolong playing time as much as possible before dark. This is one of only two 
ballparks in the United States where they actually have "sun delays"! What it meant to us was 
that Willie Nelson and Family were obscured by the bright setting sun. Due to the big video 
screen, though, we missed none of the action. Willie and the gang were even better than on 
tuesday; whereas the Connecticut crowd was friendly and laid-back, this friendly crowd definitely 
came to party, and I think Willie and his cohorts appreciated that. The songs were crisper, the 
band was looser, and it was obvious they were having a blast.

The Red Hook kept flowing 'til it flowed no more, and eventually me and my new comrades had 
separated and each followed our own tangents. Mine, naturally, is to be up front when Bob Dylan 
And His Band take the stage, so I headed there and staked my ground to the right of the stage, 
beneath the speakers and with a clear shot of Bob. At first I could see Bob and Stu, but by 
evening's end I had visual access to just about everybody. This was the best show of the three 
this trip. Norwich was very satisfying but contained a few low spots; Pittsfield had no such 
imperfections. I'm going to take the easy way and say that every song was a highlight. Even 
"It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)", "Moonlight", and "Blind Willie McTell", these are songs 
that are occasionally lackadaisical in performance, but tonight they were executed with 
precision. "Down Along The Cove" was especially strong. "High Water (for Charley Patton)" and 
"Highway 61 Revisited" rocked hard and left everyone exhilarated, thanks to incredible work by
Donnie Herron and Stu Kimball, and those amazing rhythm aces, Tony Garnier and George Recile. 
Bob was engaged and animated and sharp on harp, and who else but Bob could dare slide a song as 
moving as "Every Grain Of Sand" between "High Water" and "61" and not only get away with it, 
but leave this crowd of summer revelers aching for more?

There are many native Americans living in the Berkshires, and tonight I saw a little Indian 
girl, not more than two years old, perched atop her Dad's shoulders enjoying the show. At one 
point an Indian man bumped into me and we talked a bit during a song. We had both noticed the 
little girl and the same thought had occurred to each of us, and I said to him, "I wish I 
could promise her a bright future, but I can't". "Far between sundown's finish an' midnight's 
broken toll/ We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing/ As majestic bells of bolts struck 
shadows in the sounds/ Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing". Our modern America may 
still be rife with injustice, but our modern American poet laureate is there to give us relief 
and light the way. "Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight/ Flashing for the 
refugees on the unarmed road of flight". Tolling for the rebel, the rake, the luckless, 
abandoned, and forsaked. Without fail, Bob Dylan brings it all back home.

I was thrilled that Bob played "Chimes Of Freedom" for us this Wild Cathedral Evening, and 
albeit summer days and nights are but an unfolding flower, this one had come to a close. As I 
walked back to my car in the luminous Massachusetts night, "Like A Rolling Stone" floated 
through the trees, the voice of Bob Dylan carrying like a foghorn from the Lake Superior of 
his youth.

Don Ely


page by Bill Pagel

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