Dayton Daily News: Mellencamp Steals the Show

By Tom Archdeacon

What a a great night to be in Dayton.

That might not be something NCR president Bill Nuti ever said, but then he wasn’t at Fifth Third Field Friday night for the Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson show.

Let me tell you this right off, Mellencamp flat out stole the show. He energized the crowd that jammed the field around the stage and filled many of the seating sections in the two-tier ball park.

I loved everything he did: “Pink Houses,” “Rain of the Scarecrow” and especially “Small Town.” Maybe that’s because I’m from a small town, too. One that’s a lot smaller than Seymour.

“Educated in a small town
Taught the fear of Jesus in a small town
Used to daydream in that small town
Another boring romantic that’s me.”

One of the best moments of the night was seeing Willie Nelson share the stage with his son.

I know Dylan was the headliner of the five-hour show, but a lot of people cleared out as he went through his set.

I hope they didn’t miss ” Highway 61 Revisited”:

“Oh God said to Abraham, “Kill me a son”
Abe says, “Man, you must be puttin’ me on”
God say, “No.” Abe say, “What ?”
God say, “You can do what you want Abe, but
The next time you see me comin’ you better run”
Well Abe says, “Where do you want this killin’done ?”

God says. “Out on Highway 61”.

That was a magical moment. A perfect night. not too hot, a breeze. This little man beneath a big white hat on the illuminated stage. The tower on St Joe’s Catholic Church lit up on Second Street with a bright burning cross on the top. The clock tower at St. John United Church of Christ gleaming through the darkness a block beyond that on Third.

People lining the top of the McCormick Building at Sears and First and up on the Requarth Lumber building across Monument from left field and all along the sidewalks that flank the ball park.

I saw John Drake at Fifth Third. He runs the boxing gym downtown and he told me Dylan’s bass player stopped in Friday to work out, then gave him two tickets to the show.

Although I got a Mellencamp T-shirt and my wife got one picturing Dylan, I saw some guy wearing the shirt I really wanted.

It read “Growing Old — Disgracefully.”

Click HERE to read the review on their website.
Click HERE to view a photo gallery from the show.