Syracuse, New York

Alliance Bank Stadium

July 19, 2009

[Monica]. [Jason Jarvis]. [Robert Carter], [John Higgins]

Review by Monica

Summer...a sweet season 

"I've got a song to sing
Ain't very long
I'm gonna sing it right if it take me all night long.."
Bob Dylan and his band, along with Willie Nelson, and John Mellencamp (and
the Wiyos) rolled into Central, NY on a warm, sunny summer afternoon.
Syracuse is the Salt City, and considered the heart of N.Y.; home of the
Salt Potato, and (in her latter years) Elizabeth Cotten, American Blues
singer noted for her unique style of picking the guitar and her song Shake
Sugaree. This show took place at Alliance Bank Stadium, home of the
National's triple A-team, billed as a GA/Reserved show and we chose the
rail. We had just seen the show in Bethel, NY the evening before and were
hoping for a little more get up and boogie from the bands. We got it!
First up, a Brooklyn based, animated, ragtime band: The Wiyos. The band
takes it name from a late 1800's N.Y. city street gang (Whyos). Armed with
harmonica, kazoo, washboard, guitar, upright bass these boys provided hip
swaying, finger snapping numbers such as Little Walter's, My Babe and
Georgia Sam's, Blind Crapshooters Blues. The renditions of those songs
almost captured my heart, but it was Jack Boon that surely stole
it."Cancun, drinking wine, white sand..." will surely be looking for more
from this band in the future. Second up, the man, with the forever sweet
smile, long silver braid and genuine graciousness that plays his faithful
old guitar, Trigger with such an effortless ability. With a sign held high
that read: "Shut-up Willie and Kiss Me" we were, as was the crowd happy to
have Willie in the park. With headbands thrown to the audience and waves
and kisses being blowin', this showman and his band delivered! Revved up
and ready, John Mellencamp and his band knocked it right out of the park!
With a flag flying to "Ain't that America" we were dancing and singing
along. The band free to roam and interact with the fans this turned into a
real hometown barn burner. The stadium was singing along to just about
every song. From the field you could see crowd in the reserved seats chair
dancing! Playing some old, some new and some old there was nothing not to
like about Mellencamp and his band. The cherry on top of this sweetness
was an encore of Jack n' Diane. As the sun was setting the headliner was
up next "..ladies gentlemen, Columbia Recording Artist: Bob Dylan." The
opener was, surprisingly enough, Gotta Serve Somebody followed by Senor
(Tales of Yankee Power) with Bob playing guitar. The crowd was ready to
continue the ride. There is a scene in the film: Forest Gump, where Forest
has been running, across the United States and picks up a following as he
runs along, and out of the blue clear sky he stops and one of the
followers shouts "he's going to say something!" Amazingly that is what was
running through my head as Bob muttered to the crowd a remembrance of our
beloved CBS Nightly news anchor: the great Walter Cronkite. Through the
crowd you could hear whispers, "he's saying something!" ,"he's talking!"
It appeared to be a novelty. Dylan and the boys launched into Million
Miles. The set list was filled with what have become usual tour standards:
Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Spirit On the Water,
High Water For Charlie Patton, Highway 61, Summer Days and the always sad
tune of Nettie Moore. For an encore Dylan and his cowboy band left the
crowd with a stellar version of Like A Rolling Stone; followed by a new
soon to be classic romping bluesy, Jolene, and tied it all up with a Doozy
of All Along The Watch Tower. With a new number one album "Together
Through Life" Bob Dylan has thrown some new ditties into his traveling
trunk and hit the road again! This leg of the Never Ending Tour being
dubbed: "The Blood Of The Land" provides some, funky blues, led by the
well seasoned master musician accompanied by a dedicated band that keeps a
well trained eye on their leader. Perhaps that is why Bob Dylan and his
cowboy band appeals to me on a summer evening. Dylan and his cowboy band
are running the diamonds this summer it's time to pack up the family and
go to the old ball park and catch this show, it's the best game in town!
Summer...a sweet season indeed.


Review by Jason Jarvis

awesome day at the ballpark yesterday. met our friends early, got in the
line and had a great time waiting. The weather couldn't really have been
any better, sun came out as soon as we made our little jog down to the
front. We took the kids with us for their very first concert last night. (
Lucy is 7 and Wynn turns 5 today). I'm glad they got to see these living
legends ( which is what I think they should call this tour). There were
plenty of kids all running around on field. They had a blast !!!   I
really like the policy of letting in a kid (under 14) for free with an
adult ticket.  Great marketing for a future fanbase, and it encourages a
family atmosphere, which lends itself to a better vibe.

The opening group was a bunch of younger guys from NYC playing old-timey
stuff (sorry I forgot your band name fella's), very talented jazz
guitarist, upright bass, pedal steel / bugle player, and a
vaudvillian-throwback of a front man on harp and the most insanely ornate
washboard, maybe ever.  We were still right up in the very front for their
set, before we had to retreat with the kids to the edges.  They got a good
close look at what was going on, and I think they were impressed.  On with
the show, and  Willie was great, as always, with the customary Whiskey
River starting it off, like a nice warm hug from an old friend. Really
nice versions of Me and Bobby McGee, and Good Hearted Woman, the Waylon
Jennings song.   First time I ever saw Mellencamp, and we weren't
disappointed. Great showman, great songs. Kept putting the kids up on my
shoulders to see both the music, as well as the crowd, more people than
they had ever seen before. The were awestruck all around.

Bob came out and kicked it off with something I never would have guessed,
Gotta Serve Somebody. Real hot version, maybe the best I have heard him
play live. Senor came next, but not before a false-start of Don't Think
Twice.  Little bit weird there, but it was kinda nice to hear both songs.
Rollin and Tumblin' got everyone moving, then Bob said a few words of
reflection about Walter Cronkite, which I thought was touching, and
dedicated Million Miles to his memory. Stuck Inside Mobile was next and
the kids recognized it from mommy listening to it all the time at home in
the kitchen. Even though they were tired as hell by now, they liked it. 
High Water risin', and the kids are getting sleepier. We hung in there and
got a nice reading of Spirit on the Water, my favorite from Modern Times. 
If You Ever go to Houston made its way in there somewhere, I think.  Gets
fuzzy here bcz the kids really did need to go sit down, and I was getting
sore from carrying Wynn on my shoulders, so we found some seats at this
point during Highway 61.  I ended up taking them out to the car at this
point while my wife caught the rest of the show.  You could hear it really
well from the parking lot, thankfully. On the way out we heard Netty
Moore, and I thought Bobs french horn sound on his keyboard for that song
was not only beautiful, but showed how creative he still is. He would have
made a great french horn-ist. maybe next go-round....   Thanks John,
Willie and Bob for a memorable night.


Review by Robert Carter

Last night in Syracuse, the Sunday evening headlining set of the 4 act Bob
Dylan Show had kicked of with  "Gotta Serve Somebody"in what was a new
arrangement to my ears, and it was played very well. I thought  Bob looked
kinda like he had just woken up a minute before going on, and his voice
was paying the price of giving out so much the night before in Bethell! 
2nd song Stu started playing Dont think twice for a bar or 2 before it
became Senor.' When asked, my sister admitted she had a hard time
understanding the lyrics, but quickly became aware of the force that is
Bob Dylan on stage performing.Rollin and Tumblin was up blues alley next
before a big surprise before song #4, Bob spoke to the crowd. It was his
tribute to Walter Cronkite.He mentioned something like that he was in very
high regards of Cronkite, and I really cant remember what he said, but
definately giving respect and gratitude for what Cronkite did. Than he
played " Million Miles" which was  kinda dedicated to Cronkite. Got Stuck
inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues, Spirit on the Water & High Water,
ironically after 2 water songs, my mouth was dry! "If You Ever Go To
Houston" was first TTL song, and Bob did a great version. Hwy 61 rocked
hard before getting real quiet with a sweet Nettie Moore.Summer Days ended
the main set, before the triple encore LARS, Jolene, and finally All Along
the Watchtower. Everything was solid, and well done, except in that
Syracuse crowd were some really drunk idiots near us who did interrupt our
enjoyment, but "its all good" (not) The Band is so tight, and Bob is still
the coolest, now and forevermore. If your going to see "The Bob Dylan
Show," please don't be a drunk idiot, and BE IN TOWN EARLY! You wont
regret it! Peace to all. And Dylan Forever!!!


Comments by John Higgins

Willie at 6, J Mellencamp just before 8, and the Bobster at 9:30. No rain
and a powerful sound system. We were back in the grandstands but my head
is still ringing this morning. Bob enunciated clearly and with great
enthusiasm on all tunes. His is a GREAT band that can swing and rock and
jazz it up as the master calls it. I wish they'd lose the uniforms and
shiny stage tools though. Mellencamp with the plainest of sets was
visually very pleasing compared to our unmoving troubador camped somewhere
under that hat. (Oh and he dedicated one of the early tunes to Walter

Stagger aka John Higgins


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