Rochester, MN - September 7, 2006

Thank goodness for that late addition of three summer ballpark tour dates.
After contemplating long road trips that would have left me missing work and alienating
my employer, early-September gigs in Rochester (30 minutes away), Sioux Falls and Fargo
came to the rescue. I arrived at the Rochester show at 8 a.m. having slept for about 6 hours. In line were
four chairs owned my Kevin and Josie and family and the always-punctual Kait and
Caroline. I cemented my spot at 7th in line and was eventually joined by Ally, Zach and
Aubrey and all the other suspects for a Midwest GA line. The day included outings for
coffee and food, the sharing of tales from the road with all these folks, and Mr. M&A
himself, and a visit from KAAL, the Rochester NBC affiliate. I talked with the gal doing
the report, who also turned out to be from Iowa. She didn't know if they'd even use the
story, but then I informed her that Bob Dylan was from Minnesota and he currently had the
No. 1 album in the country. These things came as a shock to her, and the report did,
indeed, air on the 10 o'clock news. Caroline and Kait were forced to get very close to
squeeze into the camera frame and Zach also got the chance to talk Bob. I met my girlfriend on the rail at the August 2004 Dylan show at Mayo Field and popped
the question while the early entry folks were sitting inside the park at about 5:30. You
could say it was one big simple twist of fate that brought us to that point, and two
years later, Bob greeted us with our first "Simple Twist of Fate" in over 60 shows
combined. We got a nice round of applause from the 150 or so people inside the stadium
and one of the instrument tech gave us a riff of "Here comes the bride." A pretty
memorable moment, and the show hadn't even started yet! The rest of the set I figured we'd be getting the 1-2-3 shot of Cats, You Ain't Goin' Nowhere and Tweedle and
we did. Cats wasn't a bad chance of pace from the Maggie's Farms of the past 10 shows and
YAGN was a lot of fun with some good phrasing going on. Even Tweedle was better than I'd
seen in the past, and when you see Bob and the band perform it up close, you realize why
Bob insists on putting it in there. The No. 4 slot was my first, hard to believe, Lay Lady Lay. The layered phrasing and lack
of upsinging actually made this a really good performance. The show really starting
cooking after this when the band started into the 1-2-3 punch of Leopard Skin, Thin Man
and Highway 61. Bob slowed it down with a great Forever Young, which he always seems to
play in Minnesota, and the greatest hits, casual fans were pretty pleased at this point.
Watching the River Flow featured the swinging phrasing it has over the last couple years
and it was a great surprise to hear Bob start in with "They sat together in the park" He
forgot the words on one line and there was some upsinging, but he also delivered some
outstanding lines on the ends of the verses. Things Have Changed (with a lot of
rap-singing, as I recall) was another surprise before the encore of SD, LARS and AATW got
its usual positive response. The singing on Watchtower was very choppy, like Bob didn't
want to sing more than two words at a time. As noted in other reviews I've read from the tour, Bob's singing sounds much more '93
Supper Club-ish, as in nasally, rather than the throaty-harsh growling of 2003-2004. In
Rochester, he was making it a point to keep his mouth at the mic instead of pulling away,
enunciating the ends of words instead of having them lost in the air away from the mic If
that makes sense. At the end of the night, Bob took his hat off and pretended to throw stuff out of it.
Sort of a scattering seeds motion, if I had to describe it. He donned the hat from song
seven to the encores. There was a lot more looking into the crowd and a lot more pointing the first night. Bob
showed off his bling at one point.
Review Location: 
Mayo Field, Rochester, MN
Review Date: 
Thursday, September 7, 2006
Review Author: 
Matt Steichen