WASHINGTON (3:24 p.m.) -- Nobody is ever going to know if Jakob
Dylan really meant to make a statement by playing his latest single
three songs into the Wallflowers' electrifying six-song set.
Regardless of his intent, though, a point was made.
In a set filthy with his radio hits, including set-opener "One Headlight" (RealAudio excerpt), through "6th Avenue Heartache"
and "Three Marlenas," it is Dylan's cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" (from the
Godzilla soundtrack) that strikes a poignant note.
Dylan, dressed all in black, including black wrap-around shades, leans
into the song's chorus, "We can be heroes, just for one day," as if a
stiff wind is in his face. As a ringing guitar lead courtesy of Michael
Ward fills RFK Stadium's body-packed bowl, the message of the song is
rewritten for the day's event.
The audience screams along to the chorus, perhaps getting the message
through musical osmosis.
"It's cool, man, they're playing all their radio songs," says Patrick
Holway, a 23-year-old fan from D.C.
Holway, his pants on the verge of spilling to his ankles courtesy of a
loose belt, sways and does a modified hippie hand-dance during "Heroes" (RealAudio excerpt). As his arms climb into the air above him, Holway
is getting lost in the music, despite being more than 100 yards from the
stage, at the far end of the bowl.
"A lot of times bands get up here and say what a joy it is to be
playing," Dylan tells the audience in his only words from the stage.
"This is one of the few times they really mean it."
Although Holway professes his passion for the Wallflowers and Blues
Traveler, he's really excited about R.E.M. and the Beastie Boys, due up
in several hours.
Like the Wallflowers, who end their set with what Dylan terms a rare
cover of the Who's political anthem "Won't Get Fooled Again," Blues
Traveler tap into the day's vibe with a cover of their own.
After a four-song set of mainly mid-tempo neo-metal blues that includes
the song "Escape," dedicated by singer John Popper to "everyone in Tibet
right now," the band ends its stint onstage with a thoughtful
rendition of John Lennon's classic plea for peace and world unity,
"I hope someday you'll join us/ And the world will live as one," Popper