Rochester, Minnesota
Mayo Field
August 29, 2004

[Jerry Volcheck], [Cray McCally], [James D. Hauser]

Review by Jerry Volcheck

This review will focus on the Bob Dylan part of the 'family show' featuring the opening acts: Hot Club 
of Cowtown and Willie Nelson prior to Dylan's set. Though children below the age of 12 were admitted 
free with an adult, there weren't many children to be seen in the field portion of the park.

The Hot Club of Cowtown were clearly enjoying sharing the stage with the two legends. Their big smiles 
acknowledged that 'this was the greatest tour of their career'. They played their Texas swing 
enthusiastically throwing in 'Pennies from Heaven' for the crowd who embraced their set despite a 
steady rain. Willie Nelson took the stage soon after playing primarily a greatest hits package and 
giving his guitarist and son some of the limelight. 

Willie had a nice rapport with his vociferous legions of fans and sang with gusto. The rain stopped at 
the beginning of Nelson's set, with the popular announcement that Willie was running for president.

This set the stage for Dylan. After Nelson's set there was an approximately 20 minute stage set up 
causing a few in the pit to get a bit antsy. Everything was taken down, even the carpeting on the stage 
changed, for Dylan's set. Starting about 25 yards from the stage at the end of the Nelson set, with the 
inevitable surge forward and Nelson devotees heading out, I found myself about 10 yards from the stage, 
approximately 8 deep, in the standing area. It was wall to wall bodies with the spectrum ranging from 
teen-agers to those in their 60s.
The set got off to a raucous start with Rainy Day Women #12&35. The band played loud and fast hitting 
on all cylinders and the crowd sang along. Bob was into it, as his crackly voice was able to stand out 
despite the crowd and band. After the energetic beginning, Dylan slowed it down with Forever Young. 
His voice was raw, gravelly and raspy but the determination was there. He sang with passion from his 
keyboard, stage right, where he remained most of the evening. There was no slurring of words or 
indifference which he has occasioned in the past. The band then revved it up a bit for God Knows and 
Dylan's voice seemed to be coming back a bit. Dylan then introduced the next tune as one he and Willie 
wrote together 'a few years back' and then went into Heartland. Willie started off the singing as Dylan 
served as the maestro for Willie's son (dressed in a Doors t-shirt) who played electric guitar. There 
were smiles shared and pats on the back as the Nelsons left the stage. Bob and the band then broke into
an energetic Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum as Bob's voice seemed to resurrect. He sounded strong and was 
the equal of the band. Bob then took a trip back with 2 gems, Positively Fourth Street and a 
particularly riveting Highway 61 Revisited. It seemed he saved the vitriol of Positively Fourth St. 
and channeled it all into Highway. He was shouting the words particularly punctuating 'Highway 61' 
which got a big crowd response. Elana Fremerman of the Hot Club of Cowtown then joined the stage for 
Bye and Bye. She stood next to Dylan trying to decipher his instructions and often had an exasperated 
smile on her face trying to get her violin licks in. Bob seemed to be toying with her a bit, but she 
met the challenge well. The band and Bob chugged through Tryin' to Get to Heaven and Honest with Me 
with vigor, as Dylans'voice seemed to rise to the occasion with the newer material. He then followed 
with a raw It Ain't Me, Babe and a lengthy rocking Summer Days. Bob, who really hadn't addressed the
crowd all evening and his band then left the stage. Prior to leaving, Bob faced the crowd teetered 
around a bit, acted as if he was going to say something, then they left. The crowd, of course, screamed 
for more. After about five minutes, a little longer than other concerts, the band came back. They 
immediately broke into Like a Rolling Stone. Dylan's voice seemed to be shot as he shouted most of the 
lyrics. After this he introduced his band. He was in a joking mood and introduced Tony Garnier as 
having a 'pet pig'. I'm not sure what that was all about. He later quipped that his drummer George 
Recile was so old, that when he was younger, the Dead Sea was only sick. After the intros the band 
broke into the highlight of the evening, All Along the Watchtower. The band played this superbly in 
Hendrixian fashion, throwing off unbelievable energy. After the explosive choruses, the guitars would 
die down as Dylan shouted the verses and the band built momentum. Young and old alike were spellbound.
The crowd clamored for more, but it was not to be. Dylan and the band looked out to the audience, 
Dylan looking around at his bandmates and after getting the signal from George Recile they were off. 
A fan next to me, said that they had to come back out, Dylan hadn't said 'thank you' yet. I replied, 
"Dylan doesn't say 'thank you', we do."  Though his voice is gone, the heart is still there. Rock and 
roll isn't about precision or perfection, it's about feeling and attitude. On this night, Dylan 

Jerry Volcheck
Rochester, MN


Review by Cray McCally

Another great evening on the Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan Ballpark Tour
2004;this time inside the intimate confines of Northwoods League member
the Rochester Honkers and their delightful small city ballpark,Mayo Field.
Located a mere three or four blocks from its' world famous namesake,the
Mayo Clinic, Mayo Field was a cute little stadium running 310 down the
field lines and 350 to the power alleys. The stage was set up in deep
Centerfield and the sound was excellent for a first time venue. Reading
the review in the morning paper it sounded like it won't be the
last,judging from the positive reactions of the mayor and other locals.
The show drew a nice mixed crowd of Willie and Dylan fans of all ages and
I mean all ages!!! We had a nice spot to the right of the sound board and
the people were all very nice and plenty of party favors to be had
especially during Bob's Rainy Day Women opener. The band started out in
high gear and then downshifted into a stellar Forever Young only to pick
it right back up with a searing,nasty version of God Knows. One of the
sets many high points; it showcased the nice piano/ guitar work between
Bob,Larry, and the newest member of the band Stu Kimball. I thought Stu
was a great addition to the band who laid out of the mix when he needed to
and cranked it up and rocked hard when that was called for as well. Willie
and his sons Lucas and Micah then joined Dylan's band for their duet from
Willie's Borderline album,Heartland.The crowd ate it up and Willie looked
on proudly when his son put down a nice short guitar solo during the
song's latter half. The next segment of Tweddle Dee,Positively 4th
Street,and Hwy.61Revisited was just good hard straight on rockn'roll with
the band really clicking nicely on all cylinders. By now Bob's voice was
loose and as expansive as it can get at this point in his long touring
career.Ranging from his now infamous Waitsian growl to the biting clinched
teeth syllable spitting troubador during the more caustic phrases on 4th
St., Bob's vocals were a major improvement over the vocals when I saw him
this winter in St.Paul. Bob brought out the fiddle player from the Cowtown
Hot Club for some sweet fills on Bye and Bye before kicking it down the
homestretch with Honest With Me,It Ain't Me Babe,and Summer Days. The
encores,for all their predictability,were excellent renditions especially
the churning,powerful rhythms that the boys unleashed during their solos
and Bob's haunted vocal delivery;which combined with the full moon
overhead peaking in and out of the clouds in providing the proper
atmospherics for a truly spooky rendition of this classic. All in all it
was a great show  from the opening band, The Hot Club of Cowtown, on
through Willie's gentle and beautiful country poetics,Hill Country blues
and Western swing;to Dylan and his band of renegades putting their stamp
on the whole she-bang. Hopefully Bob will come at least as close as
Chitown on the fall tour so I can catch him one more time this year,one
that I've been blessed to see two solid Dylan shows in Bob and mine's home
state of Minnesota! As a wrapup to this unusually cool summer this was a
great event to put summer into perspective and get ready for the arrival
of autumn and the cold winds blowing hard down the borderline.


Review by James D. Hauser

Tonites show had no misses for me, other than the rain.  But Bob and
Willie made up for it. You could tell they appreciated the people who
stood in the rain, and I am sure everyone would do it again to here the

My main highlite tonite has to go to Willie.  I have seen him tons of
times, and tonights show was the best I have ever seen him.  Some of it
was due to the best sound system I have ever heard, but the rest was pure
Willie.  When he sang Always on my mind, every couple in the crowd was
hugging and crying.  Words cannot even describe the emotion in his voice.
Willie must have been in a retrospective mood as he mentioned his mother a
few times, and cranked on 3-4 Hank Williams tunes.  Thanks Willie Bob was
in the same retrospective mood.  He mentioned Hibbing 2-3 times in his
lyrics, and I hope he has a nice time at home.  As willies always on my
mind had the couples hugging, Bobs Forever Young had all the parents and
kids visibly touched.  Absolutley incredible.  God Knows was the best
version I have ever heard.  Bobs voice tonite was the best I have heard in
at least ten years, and the emotion flowed out of every tune.

Thanks Bob
James D. Hauser


page by Bill Pagel

Tour Guide
Tour Guides
Bob Links
Set Lists
by Date
Set Lists
by Location