Rochester, Minnesota

Mayo Field
September 7, 2006

[Paul Metsa], [Aaron Moeller], [Naz], [Paul Reiners], [Jerry Volcheck], [Liz Goldberg], [Tom Dunn]

Review by Paul Metsa

Taking the stage in a pair of Hibbing High School Marching Band pants in
civil war blue and gray, blue being striped and gray being background, and
a Thurston Howell III(as opposed to Thurston Moore) yachting jacket, Dylan
walked on in the shadow of a thousand full moons and would eventually
breathe fire into Memphis Minnie's rusting brass  spittoon. Greased to the
grittle courtesy of Junior Brown's scientific guit-fiddle on 11, and
Jimmie Vaughn's I am my brother's keeper spitfire set of Texas blues and
September kissed by Lou Ann "Can I be your boyfriend now (my words not
hers.)" Barton's sexy cameo that had Ahmet Ertegun rising from the grave
in Turkish envy, Chaplin swayed to the keyboard and tap danced Cats in the
Well to a shadowed crowd, riverside and ready, in a set that would
eventually say, number one with a bullet, and when the last word is
written, and the last bar tab paid, I will have the last laugh, and I am
smiling as we speak.

I am not Curt Gowdy, nor have I played him on TV, but a short list of
highlights is in order and here is the play by play. Out of nowhere comes
Ballad of a Thin Man (almost as apocalyptic and powerful as the 1990
version in Fargo where he hit the downbeat directly after introducing
Bobby Vee) and Bob still is,  blue on blue, singing like the Iron Range 
alley prophet that he has always has been. And even though it rhymes now
with cow, and as rock and roll is mostly phonetic, and it is all about
hard vowels and softer consonants melting into a Bo Diddley backbeat as
sounds as much as words,  did they tumble down from the mountain , sneer
intact, spreading back up into the heavens to rain down somewhere else at
another time.

Simple Twist of Fate, if it was only that easy, with a guitar solo by Stu
Kimball that after 100 gigs, rehearsals to those with Special Rider health
and dental, that was both clarinet and clarion call. The Kimball-Freeman
one two punch recalls the Cambell-Sexton guitaristic magic, sacrificing a
bit of sex appeal for economy, losing none of the power. Both guitarists
burst forth with solos throughout the night tattooed to your cerebral
cortex with superb tone, tunefulness, and seducing the melody of every
song as a lover to be had later in the evening, at some roadside bar where
everybody knows your name but nobody is telling.  

Forever Young.we all were. Bob wins, we all cash in our chips, nephews,
nieces, sons and daughters in tow. And if I had one complaint since this
latest incarnation of hired guns, is that those choruses are screaming out
for a harmony part, or two or three. Dylan's voice, as strong as it has
been in several years, could only soar higher with a little vocal alchemy.
Hell, what is Clydie King doing these days?

A stroll to stage left gave this witness a view of the matadors legs,
keeping knee jerk time, twisting with an Elvis dip, a Lewis and Clark
psychic map back to Hibbing, MN when this young rebel Jew realized he
could sing, play, and dance at the same time. 

Like a Rolling Stone, like it should be, sung finally, while an
administration or two that doesn't give a damn, to those, suffering
under the weight of so many lies, to those that do. If Eugene Chadbourne
mournfully asked "where is the melody", let me answer it was to be found
here. Like I said to the 16 year old son of my friend, seeing Mr. Dylan
for the first time, "This one was a number one hit 40 years ago." Things
have changed, or maybe they haven't.

All along the watchtower, where we have all stood forever, with a white
mans reggae beat that made both Marley and Bill Monroe proud. Hendrix like
a smokeless misty signal attending, but not signing in. Buzzards absent in
the night where clouds drifted back and forth trying to mask the moon,
while the songs did their best to rip those masks away.

Homie came back  number one with a Winchester bullet. You got a problem
with that?

As the lights came one, and we strolled into a perfect ending to these
Summer Days, with several thousand kind and polite strangers, with the
love and respect for this man's music in common, I realized (and in these
trying times needed to) that it is still possible to find America if you
look hard enough.

This all in a stones throw from the Mayo Clinic, home of modern healing,
and in a stones throw of Bob Dylan,both ancient and modern healing, a
little too loud for the VFW, but never loud enough for us to know that
both beauty and truth can be as little as 3 chords away.

Paul Metsa


Review by Aaron Moeller

It must be the nature of having a world class hospital within its city
limits, but Rochester, Minnesota must have more hotel rooms per capita
than any burg in this republic that doesn't derive its tourism from sandy
beaches and/or legalized gambling.

My two concert companions and I beat the rush hour traffic out of
Minneapolis in time to get good spots in the outfield grass of Mayo Field,
a ballpark that's small even by minor league baseball standards, located
just blocks from downtown and the world-renowned Mayo Clinic.

I caught two Dylan shows on last summer's ballpark tour (Cedar Rapids and
St. Paul) and at each of those venues the grandstand was filled to
capacity. In Rochester on this night, aside from a few strays in the
seats, everyone was able to pack onto the outfield grass or on picnic
tables lined up along the infield dirt. Of course, anyone in the great
north who missed out on this show only has to wait a month and a half for
a chance to catch Bob and his crew again, with the Foo Fighters in St.
Paul.  I thought it was interesting that the same day of the show I saw a
prominent ad for the October show displayed in the Twin Cities' free
weekly paper and wondered how many people were aware of these September
shows which I couldn't even find listed on Dylan's website.

Those in attendance were served with pristine early September weather. As
my friend Sam pointed out, the (count 'em!) three opening acts blended
together nicely to foreshadow the various sounds to come by Bob's
headlining band. Recipe: Take Elana James and the Continental Two (a
bluegrass band with four members and some western swing tendencies). Add
the hard rockabilly (with a wink) of Junior Brown. Then throw in the
blistering Texas blues of Jimmie Vaughan.  The composite sound you'd get
would likely be akin to that made by the Bob Dylan Never-Ending Tour Band-
2006 Edition. 

There were admittedly few surprises in the night's set list and still no
songs from Modern Times. "Cat's in the Well" - having made a welcome
return to this summer's repertoire - was a steady opener and "You Ain't
Going Nowhere" threw open the cellar door and came charging out of the
basement with Bob taking the first of numerous turns on his harp. "Tweedle
Dee and Tweedle Dum" gave way to "Lay Lady Lay", which brought the first
roar of radio recognition applause from the crowd.

Bob put on the ol' cowboy hat before "Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat", a
performance which may have been the highlight of the night. The
instrumental flourish that closed the song was astonishing. This band
doesn't take solos. Nor prisoners. They're a cohesive One. Judging by the
smiles and subtle glances among the band members, the guys clearly love
playing such bad-ass blues. Tony, in particular, seems a much more kinetic
presence on stage than in tours past as he stalks the middle of the stage
with his bass, exchanging sideways grins with the others.  "Ballad of a
Thin Man" followed and had a similar feel and surprising harp solo, then
came the ubiquitous "Highway 61", still the best blues ever written.

This current lineup is certainly a great one (Bob, I've read, has called
it his best ever) and in the year since I last saw them live, they've
become even more dynamic as an ensemble. It's fascinating the way each
member watches Bob throughout the performance, picking up his subtle
signals and tempo changes. Considering the hundreds of shows they've
played together, they manage to keep things loose and unpredictable.
During "Forever Young", however, it did occur to me that I miss the
occasional backing vocals that Bob used to employ during the
Campbell/Sexton tours. We all know singing along isn't exactly a common or
established requirement at The Bob Dylan Show, but a little harmony always
adds flavor and only serves to accentuate his own vocal turns.

Bob flubbed the lyrics a bit during "Simple Twist of Fate" and seemed to
lose a little momentum until halfway through "Things Have Changed", when
the band took a hard left and came charging down the homestretch. A
chilly, late evening wind blew through the crowd, reminding everyone that
summer days, summer nights are gone, but luckily Bob knew a place where
there's still something....well, happening. As "Summer Days" wrapped
things in the main set-closing spot, there were as many grins on the stage
as in the crowd. I caught a series of knowing nods and winks between Bob
and Donnie (behind his steel) as Bob went into his familiar dance - the
now patented, knee-bent, Chuck Berry duckwalk-like, machine-gunning of the
audience Bob Dylan Jig, punctuated as it is with his Jokerman facial

As per 2006 late-summer tour custom, "Rolling Stone" and "Watchtower"
wrapped the proceedings. Bob's keyboard seems more prominent during the
latter tune than during any other part of the show. Going on three years
since switching from guitar, one still gets a sense the change helped
invigorate Bob's live performances.

As the darkened stage lights recovered their glow, the usual suspects
lined up - still as statues - to take their bows, as Bob nodded his
straight-faced acknowledgment. After modestly removing and turning over
his hat, His Bobness then sprinkled some fairy dust on the assembled
faithful, blessing us until we meet again.


Review by Naz

My 6th Dylan show.  Here is my semi-coherent review:

I was disappointed when I arrived to find that Junior Brown was
finishing his set.   Whoever decided that Jimmy Vaughn should be 2nd
billing to Bob should be smacked.  But, aside from that, the night was

This was a little "adventure" for me, driving down from Minneapolis by
myself.  None of my friends was willing or able to make the journey, but I
said "Screw it, I'm going!"  Parked my car 100 feet from the entrance and
didn't get a ticket, even though the signs said 10-min parking.  Drank the
Black Velvet/Sprite Zero beverage aka "BV"  before entering the stadium
(I'd mixed it at home and dropped it into a cooler in my trunk), and
proceeded through the lines to grab two 20oz beers.

Rochester is foreign to me, and I don't know anyone there.   But as
soon as I bought my beers, I ran into my friend's old roommate Tylar, who
informed me he'd gotten "started" at 1:00.  We chatted for a few mins, and
I realized the booze was already kickin' in.  So, I followed him up toward
the stage.  But, he wasn't going toward the center, or close enough to the
front, so I went off by myself for a better spot. Just 25 feet or so from
the front row, almost dead center, I found my place, and I met a young man
who introduced himself as "Dunder" and assured me that although he and his
pals had already burned one down, there would be more to come.  I shared
some beer with him and rambled on about the Dylan shows I've seen.  All
was good.  Everyone I spoke to was a Dylan concert virgin, so I shared
some informational tidbits, and my enthusiasm rubbed off on 'em.  Just as
Bob took the stage, a couple guys kinda crowded me on my left, but I
noticed they were smoking herbals, so I didn't mind having 'em around
(just in case). Suffice to say, I was well supplied with enhancers
throughout the concert.  WELL supplied.

The band started off with "Cats in the Well" and it was cool enough.
I don't know the song well, but it definitely got the ball rolling.  I
won't address each song, but I'll say that from "Lay Lady Lay" on, the
show did not hiccup more than once, as far maintaining that feeling of
greatness...or that "Space cadet glow" -as Pink Floyd put it. Probably
Ballad of a Thin Man was the only "weak" song, in my opinion.
 This was the most enthusiastic set and performance I've seen from Bob and
his band since the infamous 10.30.2002 show at the Xcel Center in St.
Paul.  And I daresay his vocals have somehow gotten better. -clearer and
more melodious.

Between Leopard Pillbox Hat, Watchin the River Flow, and Highway 61
Revisited, we got our fill of what I call "balls out" rockin' blues.
This band is tighter than Steely Dan's A$$hole, and watching George
Recile rock the drum kit doesn't get old.  I could see all the band
members clearly but George was smiling often, during solo portions,
and when Bob would pull out some new creative inflection on words he's
sung millions of times.  The guitar solos were all solid, as usual, and
plentiful.  But the strength of the show is in the band as a whole.  I
honestly don't think I've ever seen any band play so well together.  For a
band with 6 members, playing the types of songs they play, they simply
couldn't be tighter.  It's impossible.

On stage, Bob stands in the front, facing (our) left.  The rest of the
band members were almost lined up in a straight line a few feet back from
Bob.  So, they're all quite visible and fun to watch.  Gotta love the
old-school gangster suits they wear.

Bob himself (as others have reported) appeared to be having a lot of
fun, and sang with gusto, while he boogied at the keyboard.  His
harmonica solos were pretty standard, simply adding a different flavor to
the sweet mix this band produces.

The man at the soundboard did a fine job.  Early in the set, he had
all the instuments perfectly balanced.

After Watchtower, I thanked my new friends for sharing their wares,
and headed out.  Ran into Tylar again (literally), who tried to
convince me to visit a bar called "Frankensteins."  I was pretty much
committed to that, when I found out I'd be crashing at his ex's place,
whom he refers to as "Satan" (he calls her "Satan" to her face, I might
add).  After meeting her outside the venue, and witnessing the lack of fun
she brings, I decided to head back to Mpls with a MountainDew "Amped"
beverage.  When I awoke this morning, I was glad I did.




Review by Paul Reiners

I saw Bob Dylan tonight at Mayo Field here in Rochester. I wish I could say 
that there was something particularly memorable about tonight’s concert. 
Something different from the half-dozen other shows I’ve seen from the 
Never-Ending Tour over the last decade or so. But there wasn’t. If he had 
done one of the following, I would have been happy: (1) played some 
songs (or a song, even) from Modern Times (which I think is great), (2) 
played that rocking version of “The Drifter’s Escape” that he’s played often 
during the Never-Ending tour, that version where you don’t even recognize 
what song it is or what words he’s singing until he gets to the “my feet I 
swear they’re burning” part. But he didn’t play any songs from the new 
album and he didn’t play “Drifter’s Escape”, either. (The one sort of 
highlight by omission was that he didn’t play “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35? 
for a change.)

I don’t know why he didn’t play any of the new songs. Maybe he doesn’t 
trust us to know any of them yet. But that sort of thing never used to 
bother him.

Anyway, maybe I’ll go see him in St. Paul later this fall and he’ll play some of 
the new songs then. He plays keyboards through the whole show now (I 
think—I sat down during a few songs and couldn’t see over the people in 
front of me and maybe he picked up guitar on some of those, but I don’t 
think so). Anyway, I like the fact that he’s playing keyboard, not guitar. It’s 
like when he started out with the Golden Chords (hi, Leroy!) in Hibbing. 
And he really seems to enjoy playing with this band and just letting them 
rock out and play long, rocking guitar solos and stuff. Like they’re the sort 
of band he enjoyed playing in when he was in high school and his ambition 
was to “join Little Richard”. 

So, anyway, I came up with this idea. I think when he plays in St. Paul, he 
should first play all the songs on Modern Times from start to finish. And 
then, he should play nothing but Little Richard songs after that. Moreover, 
he should dump that cheesy, white keyboard thing and play everything on 
an old Steinway K-52 upright (a pre-CBS sellout model). (Maybe he can see 
whether Jimmy Yancey’s old piano is on the market.) I suppose he plays 
that cheesy, white keyboard standing up because the audience can see 
him better. But, hey, you can’t see anyone in the Xcel (sp?) Center, 
anyway, so he could just sit behind that big old Steinway upright and 
pound away. Nothing but Little Richard tunes (and “Workingman Blues #2? 
from the new album). And then just to throw everyone really off he should 
do that Ricky Nelson song, “Lonesome Town”, as an encore, like he used 
to do in the 80s. Now that’s a concert I’d love to see.


Review by Jerry Volcheck

Dylan's intonation, "Thank you, friends," just prior to his introduction of the 
band pretty much summed up this night in Rochester, a gathering of friends, 
band and fans mutually appreciative of eachother. Maybe it was because he 
was back 'home' in Minnesota, maybe it was because Modern Times had just 
reached #1 on the Billboard charts, maybe because it was a perfect night, 
cool, clear with the occasional cloud drifting by the full moon………. whatever 
the reason Dylan was fully engaged and energetic, clearly enjoying himself 
while leaving it all out on the field. As has been pretty much par for the 
course Dylan led off with Cat's in the Well, You Ain't Goin' Nowhere, 
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum and finished off with the encores Like a 
Rolling Stone and All Along the Watchtower. The magic of the show was in 
the 4-12 spots. He had been mixing it up a bit this tour, pulling some early 
classics out of the hat and he continued the trend this evening. You could 
see the momentum pick up as the band burned through Tweedle Dee and 
Tweedle Dum with Dylan becoming more animated and finding a comfort 
level with his pipes. This led into crowd pleasing renditions of Lay Lady Lay 
and Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat. Then with the crowd primed for more came 
the highlight of the evening, Ballad of a Thin Man. You could see the 
concentration on Dylan's face as he played with the timing of 'Mr. Jones'.  
To alleviate the tension, the band then followed with a rocking Highway 61 
which brought sing-alongs, screams and applause from the crowd. Dylan then 
donned his hat for the rest of the show with well played and well sung 
versions of slower tempo numbers Watching the River Flow, Simple Twist of 
Fate and Things Have Changed. Before things could get too mellow, Dylan 
and band pounded through an extended Summer Days to finish off the set.

The encores were packed with energy and Dylan's voice changing from a 
carefully crafted croak to a yell. At the end, Dylan stood in front of the 
crowd, smiled and 'tossed' invisible petals from his hat. Yes, indeed, Dylan 
pulled one out of his hat this night, a great night in Rochester.


Review by Liz Goldberg

What a fabulous day and night for a concert, everything could not have
been more perfect. The weather was fantastic, blue sky, 80 degree temps 
and a nice breeze blowing through the heart of downtown Rochester where 
Mayo Field is situated. And what a fantastic and beautiful big town
Rochester is - its one of the biggest secrets in Minnesota- recently
voted one of the best top cities to live in the U.S. Mayo Field is
situated on the east bank of Bear Creek with downtown and the convention
Center on the west bank, free parking close by and what a great ball
field it is- right out of a post card. Crowds were estimated at around
3,000- a small crowd compared to the 6,000 at the last  Dylan concert
there last year. Elana James started off with some forgettable tunes, then
Junior Brown and his country show and finally with Jimmie Vaughan and 
his electric blues-a real showman and absolutely fascinating to watch. The
crowd loved him but lets face it- we were there to see Bob and when
Jimmie  played his last tune the crowd went crazy. I was able to meander
right up to the  rail stage left and it turned out to be an excellent
viewing spot. Quite soon after Jimmie left the stage, the taped Intro 
announcing HisBobship- rose in crescendo and suddenly- Bob and the gang 
was there- eager to begin- with Cats In The Well. Bob was in great voice-
and as  the evening proceeded he sounded better and better, bobbing
around, even smiling  to his band mates occasionally. Bob on keyboard of
course, which seemed to me not clearly audible until later in the set,
and bob played  harp much more later in the set as well. You can't compare
his harp playing with that of his early years- no comparison- you take it
as it is now and  personally, I am grateful to hear it- I love it and so
did the crowd. The band and the sound was absolutely horrible from my 
location which was directly in front of one of the massive speakers.  it
is possible that others heard a better mix but for my ears it was an
assault  of loud clanks, groans and bangs, with little semblance to any
degree to music. Bob was great however, clear and enthusiastic and
presented each tune with different arrangements than I had remembered
previously. This being only my second Bob concert in personal attendance,
was by far most enjoyable compared to the Des Moines concert this last
spring. Bobs set included; Cats In The Well, lay Lady Lay, Tweedle Dee
and Tweedle Dum, Watching the River Flow, Its Not Dark Yet, leopard skin
Pillbox hat, Simple Twist of Fate, Ballad of a Thin Man, highway 61
Revisited, Forever Young and- one other tune I wasn't familiar with so
the title is unknown to me- but I am sure most everyone else knew. Simple
Twist of Fate and Highway 61 very memorable, and as I  stood there soaking
up his favorites, I thought of all those hundreds of songs that he wrote
that we never hear at his concerts. The encore- yes you guessed it- All 
Along The Watchtower and Like a rolling Stone- predictable- but good to
hear nonetheless. The crowd cried for more after the encore- you can
never get enough of this guy, Young and old the fans love him. It was a
great concert and a great night- these smaller venues with general
admittance is well worth the effort believe me with much more possibility
to get close and uptight with one of the most unforgettably fascinating
and prolific artists in music history- 

Liz Goldberg


Review by Tom Dunn

Rochester downtown
Bob Dylan show comes around
Full harvest moon field

Opening acts prime
Western swing, country, blues time
Hacky sack picnic

Lights down intro up
Excitement rents the fresh air
Live and in person

All around smiling
No time for thoughts of fighting
Closed eye head turns

Bare feet dance the ground
Growling voice graces the ear
Rock poems ring true

Mom and teenager
Rolling, jamming air-guitar
Share a cigarette

Bonded energy
Timeless bard sings out his soul
One feeling rise up

Encore hits homerun
One more please Mr. Dylan
How did it feel friend


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