The other night, I went to Dodd Memorial Stadium, home of the Norwich Navigators, to see Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. I’m not gonna lie- I mainly went to see Bob Dylan. A band called the Greencards opened up the show, and they were a really good acoustic-country rock band. They had this one guy who played the Ukelalae (sp?) who was insanely good. After they were done, Willie Nelson was on next. But first, a big man who was possibly Willie’s manager came out to talk about Willie’s newest products.
The manager detailed Willie’s four new albums for 2005, including one where he plays reggae. Yes, reggae. There was an audible laugh in the crowd after the manager said that. Later, the manager mentioned that Willie is going to be in Dukes of Hazzard the movie, which brought on yet another audible laugh. As the set opened, a gigantic Texas flag unfurled. I thought Willie’s set was pretty good, and although I don’t really appreciate the country music that much, I still appreciated his talent on the guitar.
Afterwards came Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan is definitely an eccentric artist. He is not the kind of person who would pump out a “greatest hits” concert. He only played two songs I recognized. People didn’t like this, and actually started leaving. I thought it was pretty good though, as Dylan went for a more rock feel than his folksy origins. Another thing about Dylan is that he rearranges all of his songs for concert. Thus, even the songs that were familiar were often hard to recognize. His voice is also pretty bad, and it is hard to understand what he is saying. As a result, I just focused on the music, and the band was incredible. Dylan spent most of the night on the keyboard, with some harmonica solos built in there. The best part of the night was at the end, where I got to go down on the floor, as people left. He played a really good song, then, in the most staged thing ever, essentially nodded to the audience and walked off. We cheered for about ten minutes, then they came back. The finale was “Like a Rolling Stone,” and that was definitely the best part of the night. I give it an 8/10 overall, not bad for my first show. I thought Willie’s segment was too long (1.5 hours) and Bob’s was too short (1.5 hours).
I think it’s a great thing that two legends of music like Bob and Willie are doing a minor league baseball park tour. There were only a couple of thousand people there, and because it was a smaller venue, the sound was better preserved.
In summary, the music was very good, even though the two men headlining weren’t very big talkers. I would recommend this tour to anyone, and it should be coming soon to a minor league ballpark near you.