By Chris Licata
VERNON, CONN. – For the past 50 years, summer in the United States has been identified by two things: baseball and rock concerts. Now, for the third straight year, legendary folk-rock artist Bob Dylan will attempt to combine the two.
For a little under a month Dylan and his minions of rock will tour up and down the east coast and Midwest, playing in 16 different minor league stadiums. Locations vary from the capital cities of Lexington, Ken. and Columbus, Ohio, to lesser-known areas such as New Britain, Conn. and Washington Pa.
The State College (Pa.) Spikes will be one of the minor league organizations benefiting from Dylan’s tour. The single-“A” affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Spikes are in their first year of existence, as Medlar Field at Lubrano Park has only been open for less than a month.
“We’re excited that our first concert will be someone with the prestige and notoriety of Bob Dylan,” said Media Relations Manager Billy Harner. “We hope that our first concert will be a success and building block for a strong foundation of future things to come.”
Joining Dylan on tour will be Jimmie Vaughn and Lou Ann Barton, Junior Brown and Elana James and the Continental Two. Vaughn, the older brother of the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughn, is the most well-known of supporting acts. Rhythm and blues aficionados will remember Jimmie Vaughn from his days as a founding member of The Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Dylan, who exploded onto the music scene in the 1960s with politically and socially-powered hits such as “Blowing in the Wind” and “Masters of War,” is still going strong at the age of 65. In addition to his brief tour this summer, a full-length film biography directed by Hollywood’s Martin Scorsese is set to debut on September 26 and 27, and the soundtrack to the film will also be available on August 30. Dylan also hosts his own radio show on XM Satellite Radio called “The Theme Time Radio Hour,” where he plays a number of songs from different genres and years that are all connected through a common theme.
One aspect of this tour that fans may find most exciting is the setting in which the shows will take place. Unlike Major League Baseball’s ballparks, most minor league stadiums consist of a maximum 10,000 seats. While this may make for a limited number of tickets available, those lucky enough to score seats will be able to enjoy a nice intimate setting with one of rock ‘n’ roll’s biggest names of all time.
Tickets are priced at $49.50 for adults and admission is free for children under the age of 12 who are accompanied by a paying adult.