Starry nightat Ray Winder 

Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson Ray Winder Field July 2 Ask any of the 6,000 or so in attendance who the star of the show was last Saturday night, and you’ll probably get four answers: 1) Bob Dylan, the headliner, who ripped through a tight 105-minute set that, while not a “greatest hits” package, included several familiar tunes. 2) Willie Nelson, the 72-year-old legend, who played every song you might have expected, and then some, in a laid-back show with a relaxed, picking-on-the-back-porch-with-friends feel. 3) The Greencards, an Austin trio that includes two Australians and an Englishman and plays a uniquely American style of jamming bluegrass that would have been right at home on the “O Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack. 4) Ray Winder Field, the venerable ballpark that provided a pleasant concert, thanks in part to a huge video screen on the pitcher’s mound that gave those in the center sections of the stands a decent view of the faraway stage in center field. There were things to like and dislike about all four: • Bob: Sometimes it seems like he works hard to obscure the identity of his songs through oddball arrangements and muddled vocals. But one thing the 64-year-old Dylan did deliver was passion. He spent much of the show standing behind his keyboard but came to the front of the stage several times to jam convincingly on harmonica. And his encore version of “All Along the Watchtower” was as hot as you’ll hear. A rocked-up “Maggie’s Farm,” the opener that fans first latched onto 40 years ago, set the tone and made it clear this would be a vintage, quirky Dylan show. • Willie: Twice in 30 years have I wanted to BEG the sound guys to crank it up, and both times it’s been so I could better hear the soft-singing Willie Nelson. The man doesn’t belt. He uses his “inside voice” at all times, which gives his shows a down-home feel — like you’re sitting around Willie’s house listening to him calmly work through gem after gem. Name a song you’d expect and know he did it. Plus “Georgia,” “Me and Bobby McGee” and a great audience sing-along version of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” • Greencards: The only negative was that their high-energy half-hour set wasn’t longer. • Ray Winder: The seats aren’t very comfortable, especially for a four-hours-plus show, and they aren’t set up to see musicians on a stage in center field. But the video screen helped, and the rubber temporary flooring covering the outfield grass made the stage-front area comfortable. Buying $3 beer out of the dugouts was cool, and the porta-potties that lined the first- and third-baselines added convenience. All in all, it was a nice, not-too-sweltering night of music in a familiar setting. And there were more teens and 20-somethings there than expected, primarily music lovers who understand and respect the role Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson have played in paving the way and setting the example for the younger bands they love today.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Football and foster kids

    It took a football stadium to lay bare Republican budget hypocrisy in Arkansas.
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • Police identify officer in shooting, say he fired to prevent shooting

    The Little Rock Police Department said today that Officer Dennis Hutchins had shot Roy Richards, 46, Monday night because he feared Richards was about to shoot his uncle, with whom he'd been arguing.
    • Oct 26, 2016
  • Ted Suhl loses bid for new trial; faces stiff government sentence recommendation

    Ted Suhl, the former operator of residential and out-patient mental health services, has lost a second bid to get a new trial on his conviction for paying bribes to influence state Human Services Department policies. Set for sentencing Thursday, Suhl faces a government request for a sentence up to almost 20 years. He argues for no more than 33 months.
    • Oct 26, 2016
  • More »

More by Kelley Bass

Most Shared

  • Welfare for the wealthy: More reasons to VOTE NO on ISSUE 3

    Voices on the left and right are lifted against Issue 3, the corporate welfare amendment to send tax money to private business and corporate lobbyists.
  • Little Rock police kill man downtown

    Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
  • From the mind of Sol LeWitt: Crystal Bridges 'Loopy Doopy': A correction

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said

Latest in Music Reviews

  • Cher in North Little Rock

    March 28, Verizon Arena
    • Apr 3, 2014
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers at Verizon

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers took a slightly different musical path to its May induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame than most of their fellow honorees.
    • Oct 31, 2012
  • Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Sept. 30

    The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra opened its season Saturday night with a return visit by the 28-year-old violin virtuoso Augustin Hadelich, who had appeared with the orchestra in the Beethoven concerto two years ago.
    • Oct 3, 2012
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Searching for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Searching for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park

A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • George Takei to UCA

    Also, 'The Halloween Tree' at Ron Robinson, Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival, Fourche Creek Discovery Day, Halloween on the River, Chanticleer at Christ Episcopal Church and Andrew W.K. at Revolution.
  • After Auburn

    I'm not one for hyperbole, but the mere mention of "56-3" changes things.
  • Sip it, grip it, rip it

    Dardanelle golf legend John Daly's story next up in ESPN's '30 for 30' series.
  • Guided by Voices!

    Also, Andy Frasco and the U.N. play Stickyz
  • Witchhunt

    The Rep turns up the heat with Arthur Miller's 'The Crucible.'

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation