Dayton, Ohio

Fifth Third Field

July 10, 2009

[Dave Inman], [David Moore], [Greg Wallace], [Joe H.]

Review by Dave Inman

Just relaxing in my motel room in Troy, OH after the Bob Dylan show in
Dayton, OH.  I'm a Michigan guy and had to make the trip down to Ohio
because I was in the Upper Peninsula for the Rothbury show.  Anyhow,
tonight was my 11th Dylan show since his college tour in the fall of 2004.

Like many of the Dylan shows I have attended, the crowd was full of "Dylan
virgins" and seasoned veterans.  The ball park seats appeared to be sold
out and the field was very crowded.  The set list tonight was not very
friendly to the casual Dylan fans.  Between Lay Lady Lay and Highway 61,
Dylan and the band played 6 songs from the past 15 years and many people
around me walked away from the stage because they didn't know any of these
newer songs.  I tried to tell the newbies not to expect Hurricane, because
he never plays that song.  Other than Honest With Me, these "newer" Dylan
songs were delivered with driving beats or gentle melodies.

The songs were strong and powerful and Bob was in a very good mood.  He
was smiling quite frequently and songs like Highway 61, Summer Days, and
Lonesome Day Blues were much longer than usual as Bob and the band jammed
out.  If you are looking at the setlists, you'd think the shows aren't
long in length, but many of the songs are played in extended versions. 
Bob's guitar playing on Lay Lady Lady was exceptional.  The new melody to
Beyond The Horizon isn't too much to my liking, but many in the crowd
loved the song and Bob's harmonica playing.  He played the record version
on the fall North American tour '08 and it sounded better, but it will
probably grow on me.

3 songs from Together Through Life were played tonight and all were very
strong.  If You Ever Go To Houston had people dancing, even the ones who
had never heard the song before.  Jolene was played on the encore and it
was a nice change from hearing Thunder On The Mountain at every show.

Like I said earlier, this was my 11th show and for the 11th time, Watchtower 
was the closing song.  I have never got to hear Blowin' In The Wind live. 
I'm off to the Eastlake show in the morning for a 4 hour drive.
Hopefully he plays that song!  Come on out to the show if you're 
having your will NOT be disappointed.

Dave Inman
Durand, MI


Review by David Moore

Show #12 in my own Never-Ending quest to see Bobby and the boys.  This
year's summer tour is of course extremely reminiscent of 2006's minor
league baseball park tour, with the exception of "Together Through Life"
being the fresh material rather than "Modern Times".  Bobby also has a new
bass player and drummer I believe, and the result was quite noticeable on
some of the more static tunes over the years.  For example "Love Sick"...
a great song no doubt... but honestly probably one of the most overplayed
songs since it's release.  There's not a lot of room for variation in it's
performace, but last night it was pleasantly "retooled" so to say.  I've
been hearing this song live for a decade, and I don't think I've ever seen
a better one than last night.  I'm not going to bore you with a
song-by-song listing, 'cause you were either there or you weren't.  The
new material was cool, "If You Ever Go To Houston" works out really well
on stage.  And even though I was prepared for the possibility of it,
"Jolene" still suprises me as an encore song.  I had gotten used to
"Thunder" in that first spot over the last few years... and to me "Jolene"
just doesn't quite cut it.  But that's just my humble opinion.  The most
impressive thing to me about last night's experience was quite simply the
fan attendance.  I checked online with the "Dayton Daily News" hoping to
find an actual attendance number but did not suceed.  Their headline reads
"Mellencamp Steals The Show", but that's only because that dude is a pop
hit machine I suppose.  Mellenhead strictly sticks to his safe, greatest
hits setlist, and well if you like pop music... then maybe he did steal
something from you.  I've often complained about the lack of fan
attendance at other regional Dylan shows, but not this time.  Obviously
having 3 headliners helped (except for in regards to the ticket price),
'cause this place was jammed packed.  You basically have a fenced in
basepall park right in the middle of the city, and there were at least an
extra 1,000 people who got a free show on the outside.  People hanging out
the windows on the perimeters, rooftop parties, the fences and sidewalks
lined with people... it was quite a sight.  My compliments also go out to
Security, as everything was nice and mellow and hassle-free.  No panic at
the sight of an electronic device or a wisp of smoke... everybody had a
good time.

David M.
Fairfield OH


Review by Greg Wallace

The Bob Dylan show in Dayton was strong at the beginning and end.  In
between were several dull arrangements with mumbled lyrics.  That's the
summary.  Willie Nelson opened at 6 PM or so and gave a nice, gentle, and
varied performance of many of his better known songs.   One highlight was
"Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground" which will be familiar to most
Dylan nuts.  John Mellencamp followed with a crowd pleasing performance
concentrating on his mid-eighties songs and finishing with "The Authority
Song."   Then Bob Dylan debuted "Beyond Here Lies Nothing" for three
minutes or so in an exciting band performance crowned by garbled lyrics. 
"Lay Lady Lay" followed and was sung quite well and performed somewhat
like the record.   Then Dylan sang a strong "Lonesome Day Blues",
enunciating most of the lyrics.  "Love Sick" followed and was a highlight
of the evening because Dylan really put the lyric across.   Then came the
letdown, a long "Levee Gonna Break" from which I could only pick out the
title line.   The next song sounded pleasant enough but I couldn't tell
what it was until near the end when I picked out "Beyond the Horizon." 
The tempo had been changed and maybe the chords as well.  Dylan blew some
pleasant harmonica at the end of the song.   Then, in order, a dull
"Honest with Me", an upsung "Make You Feel My Love", and a "Highway 61"
with a verse repeated (I think) and a very repetitive steel guitar riff.  
Then a nice incomprehensible "Get to Houston" which seems to have awakened
the singer because "Summer Days" was sung with elan.  It also featured a
very long one note keyboard solo that may have lasted eight choruses or
so.   Finally "Rolling Stone" was sung as if  Dylan understood the song
again.  It might have been improved by a good guitar break but that's
quibbling.  Dylan sang the "mystery tramp" verse and omitted the
"diplomat" verse, which worked for me.   The encore was performed very
well and I actually enjoyed "Watchtower" although people around me
professed to not know what he was singing (how can you miss it?).  

Greg Wallace


Review by Joe H.

Last night at Fifth-Third Field in Dayton, Ohio I attended my 18th Bob Dylan concert. 
There was a really good crowd for the show. I would say it was filled to 90% of 
capacity or more. I would describe the attendees as a relaxed and respectful crowd 
(with a little enthusiastic dancing thrown in).  Everyone seemed to really enjoy the 
opening sets by Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp.  Bob came on stage shortly after 
9:00pm and started out with "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" from the new album, 
Together Through Life. I haven't been able to confirm for sure but I think this was 
the debut performance!  If so, that's the first debut performance I have ever 
witnessed. Along with "If You Ever Go to Houston" and "Jolene" the songs from 
Together Through Life were all great and immediately increased my appreciation for 
the new album. There was not a dud performance of the night and I even 
particularly enjoyed "Beyond the Horizon", "Lonesome Day Blues" and "Honest with 
Me"; all songs I've heard multiple times live and never had a particular fondness for.
Everything was just hitting on all cylinders tonight! Eight out of the 14 songs 
performed tonight are less than 10 years old which sometimes annoys crowds 
looking for a greatest hits set but tonight I didn't hear anything but compliments 
for Dylan's performance.

Joe H.


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