South Bend, Indiana
Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium
(The Cove)
August 22, 2004

[John Haas], [Charles Cicirella], [David, Dana, and Nora Smith], [Barb Henry]

Review by John Haas

Just back from a lovely summer night at Coveleski Stadium which is all of
two miles or so from my house.  Quite a concert.  The opening act, Hot
Club of Cow Town, was great, very energetic and enthusiastic, wonderful
hot Texas swing.  Nelson came out and sang the last song (next to last?)
with them.  They were really worth hearing.  Great bass!  Great guitar and
fiddle!  Hot band.  They should work in one or two covers of tunes more
familiar and of different tempo (too many songs sounded pretty similar)
and then their act would sizzle.  But I loved them anyway.

Nelson was also really, really good.  Lot's of fun to watch his antics. 
Much more bluesy than I expected, and some great songs.  Pancho & Lefty is
a treat of course, but even better sung were Crazy > Nightlife, Texas
Flood, and the closer, Will the Circle Be Unbroken > I'll Fly Away.  Crowd
singing along.  His voice has really held its lustre.

And Bob.  Voice is as bad as I've heard it, but that doesn't matter.  He
pulled off a fine line or two in a few songs, but generally pretty
hoarse--yet, enunciating impeccably, no lyric flubs, just not a lot of
depth to it even by the standards we've accepted for his 21st century

Best songs:  God Knows was thunderous, volcanic.  I enjoyed Seeing the
Real You at Last, both Stu and Larry delivered fantastic solos.  Highwater
was impassioned, and really hot.  H61R the same.  An acoustic Sugar Baby
ties God Knows as the highlight, with great phrasing on the last line
("Look up . . .").  The last three songs, again, thunderous.  Hard to tire
of a Watchtower like that.  It was apocalyptic, as it should be.

Bob was all smiles (and all sweat!), the band is as tight as tight bands
get, the arrangements are just new enough to keep you interested, and boy
is it ever loud!!!  I was, admittedly, 3 and then 2 rows back, almost
center, but I haven't heard loud like that since the glory days of the
Mahavishnu Orchestra back in the early seventies.  My goodness.

In sum:  Fine concert from Bob's late period.  Several outstanding
performances, all playing at all points fantastic.  Voice, well, sometimes
you just marvel that, at this late date, after all that's gone down, it's
a Sunday night, you're a couple miles from home, the weather is perfect,
and there's Bob Dylan just a few feet away from you on that stage.


Review by Charles Cicirella

As stated with my Lexington review these two shows absolutely filled in
some holes of songs I really felt I was missing seeing how he had begun
with the 3/30 Philly show to perform some very, very interesting and
somewhat more rare songs and with tonight’s fierce and unyielding, “God
Knows”, in spot number two followed by a, “Seeing The Real You At Last”,
that not only kicked the show into the further reaches of an atmosphere
that had already proven too sublime for mankind, but as well showed us
that Bob ain’t slowing down – no he is just about in his prime and it is
both thrilling and magical to watch especially if you are blessed to be
hanging on the rail when Bob’s majestic and gloriously hypnotic vocals and
his band’s outlaw status washes over you like the smoothest and blackest
of whiskeys. It was aged in an oil drum out behind the shack where these
here ole’ dirt road blues really kick in just about after twilight when
time passes slowly and a new morning has finally arrived. “I Shall Be
Released”, came next  as Bob said something about Willie’s son and then
there he was Lucas a fifteen year old savant (no shit) and Jesus what a
surprise because Willie’s amp had not been left on stage like the previous
night and I have to tell you moments like this really need to be seen and
experienced live to receive the full impact. To think two nights in a row
I was able to see Bob and Willie trade sometimes whole verses other times
just the lines from the chorus (I shall -  Bob) (be – Willie) (I shall be
– Bob) (I shall be – Willie) (Released – both of them) was quite honestly
one of the most beatific and sacred things I have ever been allowed to
witness and for most of us on the rail who had spent the entire day
outside so to be more certain to reach this coveted spot (others appeared
there as if by magic) it was not only worth it , but an extremely small
price to pay. “Lay, Lady, Lay”, “High-Water”, both delivered with such an
intensity. “High-Water”, truly a blues exorcism and, “Lay, Lady, Lay”,
both evocative and emotionally charged with some of the sweetest and
focused singing I have ever heard this man deliver like he was Cupid and
this time around there wasn’t gonna be nothing, but the truest and purest
of free wheelin’ soul delivered to us. Which brings us to, “Sugar Baby”,
which was hands down not only a highlight of this very night, but I swear
one of the most treasured Bob live moments I will ever witness be it today
or tomorrow. Just to see Stu handed an acoustic guitar was in and of
itself quite remarkable and if there was any doubt about how incredibly
well this man fits with this band listen (since hearing, “Highway 61”,
from Gilford I have had not a single doubt of how blistering and
instinctive a player this man is) to this version of, “Sugar Baby”, and
you will not only be totally blown away, but I think you will as well
discover yourself feeling feelings you may not have ever quite felt before
because, “Sugar Baby”, opens up holes in the universe that perhaps should
not have been opened and yet I swear when this tear in the fabric of our
very holy union is smashed open we are either better for it or perhaps we
don’t even deserve such a glorious sonic searing ferocious lashing of both
tongue and finger tip still it happens and the smile on Bob’s face after
the last few notes are sprung at you like candy thrown to you at a parade
really does show us that he knows they made it through and that what they
just contributed to the rock of ages was well worth it. Yes all the travel
time and bad hotel food (okay scratch that we know they travel with their
own caterer) was worth it – ya this is precisely why singing cowboys come
to your town be it an Armory and your name is Buddy Holly or a baseball
field and your name is Bob Dylan. Thank you Bob and the best band in the
land – thank you!!!

Charles Cicirella
August 24, 2004


Comments by David, Dana, and Nora Smith

We made a long drive to South Bend from the Detroit area to catch
this show at "The Cove."  With many bats flying around the lights
just outside the park, Dylan put on a good show.  It wasn't anywhere near
the best that I've seen, but it still was fun.  Playing at the ball park
just adds a layer of excitement to these shows--my daughter sure enjoys
getting to run the bases and the laid back mood on the field makes for a
nice relaxing time.  Having seen some 20 Dylan shows, I think the
atmosphere is as important as anything else and this set of shows is just
good fun.  Here and in Cooperstown I've seen a lot of families enjoying
the music and festivities of these outside shows.  I think that overall I
was just left a bit disappointed by the setlist--but there are more nights
and more shows to be seen, so all will be well.  Dylan and his Band,
however, seemed to be enjoying themselves and played well.  The sound that
is being produced is exceptional.  We sat near the mixing board and were
very impressed with the clarity of the sound.  Dylan is clearly enjoying
the rock-n-roll that he's playing these days.  Next stop for us is Warner
Park in Madison--a great end to a wonderful summer.

David, Dana, and Nora Smith
Ferndale, Mich.


Review by Barb Henry

The Bob Dylan concert at Coveleski Stadium in South Bend IN rocked on a beautiful Sunday night.
Opening band was entertaining; Willie Nelson was the same sweet voice as always.
Bob's voice was better than most could hear.  Rainy Day Women-a great opener-my 20 y.o. daughter,
(this-her 2nd Dylan concert) predicted and wished for it and saw it from the field with her 16 y.o.
sister-her first Dylan concert & on a school night.  God Knows, played next, was so rockin'.  
My parents-(their first Dylan concert at age 72) held their ears to hear Bob singing over the way 
loud music.  We were in the stands just past third base, direct view,  esp. with the binoculars we 
shared with fans behind us.  Bathroom lines were way long, not good for the beer drinkers.  Kids 
were running the bases, very cute.  Seein' the Real You at Last was cool.  Willie & Bob were great 
together on I Shall Be Released.  Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee-standard version from past few years.  
A good High Water though I've heard versions I like more.  Lay Lady Lay was a crowd pleaser & 
pretty.  Bob's keyboards were fun, just a touch of harmonica on Trying to Get to Heaven Before They 
Close the Door which he enunciated and I LOVED, a lot of people hadn't heard that before it seemed.
Honest with Me has that great guitar lick and rocked "the Cove," like the whole show.  The acoustic 
version of Sugar Baby was FABulous, can't even describe how beautiful.  Summer Days rocked, as 
always Bob looked mostly at the band playing from keyboard stage-left, but came out to take his 
first bow and tease the audience down front with a drumstick someone through on stage, dancing and 
smiling.  Before the encore Bob introduced the band and told a joke about drummer, George Recili-
"there's nothin' he wouldn't do for me and there's nothin' I wouldn't do for him so that's the way 
we go through life, doin' nothin' for each other."  Hilarious, and cute.  Encore was a nice Like A 
Rolling Stone and then All Along the Watchtower, very haunting.  Bob did a little of his voice 
echoing effect but only if you were listening for it, I loved it when he did it in Connecticut in 
June after every stanza of Watchtower there.

The band was awesome, much livelier than the last show I got to see.  Stu Kimball played a great
acoustic guitar on Sugar Baby and did well last night.  Larry Campbell & Tony Garnier are still 
awesome after all these years.  Parking a few blocks away in a neighborhood by St. Patrick's church 
was perfect.  Got out easily and saw a woman having such a good time she was feeling the leaves on 
the trees, (literally.)  

Please come back to Cincinnati, Bob…

Barb Henry


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