July 4, 2010
Review by Steinar Daler
Just a short review from Limerick. I saw the concerts in Bratislave, Prague,
Linz and Ljubljana and was very happy to be back for the last concert of the
tour. After four really great concets the Limerick concert did'nt let me down.
More rock 'n roll than the others and maybe even better singing. A strong Lay,
lady, lay - more animated. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, allways one of my
favourits was as good as I could hope for. Bob's vocals was better than I heard
in a long time. Even Tangle Up In Blue was good tonight, not as strange as
earlier in the tour. Three Time out of mind songs in a row - Tryin' To Get To
Heaven, Cold Irons Bound and Love Sick, was a special treat and all of them
very good. The highlight of the show was an exceptional Workingman's Blues #2,
never heard it better, even though it is usally good. Four songs in the encore,
might have been five if it was'nt for an idiot pointing at Bob with a laser pen.
Otherwise the audience was in a good mood, and the only other minus was that Bob
forgot to introduce the band. This tour must have been the best European tor for
Keep on, keepin' on, Bob! and I might see you again soon!
Review by Colin Lacey
A far more enjoyable show than I had expected! High energy and hard
rocking, despite it being the last show of the tour - with home on the
horizon I half-figured Bob and band would show up and wrap up in the
same breath. But this was focused and careful for the most part. It was
probably to do with where we were sitting, but very occasionally,
Dylan’s vocals were lost in a swirling wind and any musical interplay
within the band was basically missing. Mostly, however, Dylan came
through strong, sounding as good as he gets these days, and the crowd
in front of the stage seemed to be having a great time.
A few weak spots - Pill Box Hat was a throwaway warm-up, Thunder on the
Mountain seemed rushed, and Rollin’ and Tumblin’ did neither. Those
aside, it was great fun. A rough-hewn Lay, Lady Lay was a crowd
pleaser, JLAW was sweet, and Tom Thumb Blues was sharp and pointed.
Cold Irons Bound was powerful, and Thin Man was the standout high
point. It’s got to be difficult to find something new in a 45-year-old
song - and Dylan can often be guilty, particularly at a stadium show,
of handing out cursory performances of the classics - but this was as
compelling a version as I’ve heard. Then there were four encores! A
very good, solid show.
Review by Jim x Comet
This was our 7th Bob Dylan show & the day didnt start well.Babysitting issues
meant a drive from Cork to Cooraclare then back to Limerick for the show,meaning
we missed all the support acts & arrived shortly before Bob took the
stage.Sometimes with Dylan you get this feeling that you're in for a special
show & we werent wrong. Maybe it was the day that was in it,or the venue(Thomond
Park is the spiritual home of Irish rugby) but the minute Bob came on & launched
into Leopard skin pillbox hat you knew it was going to be a good one.His voice
sounded better than it has in a long time,he looked very well ,he was in great
spirits & the band was boosted by the much needed return of the excellent
Charlie Sexton on guitar.Three back to back classics followed,Lay lady lay,Just
like Tom Thumbs blues (great rendition) followed by the by now obligatory Just
Like A Woman,which of course provided the big crowd singalong moment.Beyond Here
Nothing complete with trumpet followed,which makes much more sense live than in
the studio as the band really nail that New Orleans feel that the album
sometimes doesnt get across.
We were beginning to notice by now that this was no ordinary performance and far
from going through the motions the band,especially Bob were really up for
this.On came the guitar for a great reworked Tangled Up In Blue followed by a
rip roaring Rollin' & Tumblin' which was then followed by three in a row from
Time Out Of Mind.First came Tryin' To Get To Heaven followed by the best version
of Cold Irons Bound Ive ever heard with Bob centrestage almost like a demented
preacher.To top it all he then did a powerful Lovesick.
Highway '61 followed which initially wasn't recognized by a lot of people due to
Bobs phrasing of the lyrics but which rocked all the same.Then something
happened that has rarely if ever happened to me.I ve been to many gigs in my
life & I ve seen practically everyone I want to see several times ,but I ve
rarely been present when a great artist does the ultimate on the spot rendition
of a song before my eyes.Until today.Watching Dylan perform Workingmans Blues#2
here in Limerick was almost like a religious experience that left me speechless
& practically moved to tears.The feeling & sheer emotion he put into the song
was like nothing Ive seen a live performer do before.It was beyond
description.You knew you were there witnessing a classic Dylan moment that would
be your personal memory to take away & cherish forever.
Thunder On The Mountain followed which I think doesnt really work live.The
acoustic feel to the studio version suits the song better.Then to top everything
off Bob took centrestage again for a powerful rendition of Ballad Of A Thin
Man,one of my personal favourites & a song I hadn't heard him do in 6/7
years.The encore begn with Like A Rolling Stone which tore the roof off the
place(even though there was no roof) ." From Together Through Life came I feel a
change coming on & Jolene which like previous tracks from this album really make
more sense live.The whole thing was finished off by that oldie of oldies
Blowin'In The Wind which sent everbody home happy.The ending however was
slightly marred by the idiot with the laser pen who kept shining the thing in
Bobs face near the end of Blowin,... & while the band were taking a bow.Other
than that ,what a show.
The only slight criticism I have is Stu Kimball.Onstage he seems physically &
emotionally detached from everybody else,almost to the point of being bored &
dis interested.He just doesnt project the same positive vibe that the rest of
the musicians project.
Driving home that night ,listening to Modern Times we agreed that this was
probably the best Dylan gig we ever witnessed,and for a lot of
reasons.Venue,vibe of the day,Charlie Sextons return,song selection & the fact
that Bob Dylan tonight came across as a man who has seriously rediscovered his
own music.Roll on the next one!
Jim x Comet
Review by Trevor Townson
I know a man from Ireland called Ken
Who likes to see Bob Dylan
We both usually go
Wherever the tour
And we only meet each other then
Having no contact details for Him
I send an e-mail to Mr Baldwin
Doing both shows I ask
Looks no easy task
But bet Ken would even be up to swim
How could I be so stupid, no not by doing something so obvious as starting a
review for Limerick with a couple of Limericks. At one point I had written off
doing both The Hop and Ireland as far too complicated. Point to point to The
Point (sorry 02) would have been difficult enough but Limerick! The Hop was
originally going to be the last concert in my mind for this tour and even that
being a festival was not overly appealing but it was in England so had to be
done I guess.
Suddenly fellow Bob fan Ken Cowley came to mind and I thought “I bet Ken will
be doing both shows?”. Having had enough already of trying to sort out some
shows in Europe I wanted someone else to do all the hard work for me. As I did
not have contact details for Ken I decided to contact John Baldwin for help as
he is the one man who must hold the worlds Who’s Who Directory of Bob Dylan
OK, so I could have contacted Ken via My Face or Spaced Out sites or
whatever he may be on but I am not up for joining things like that as I have
always held the same opinion as in that famous saying, ”I don’t want to
belong to any club that will accept me as a member”.
“Those are my principles and if you don’t like them…well, I have others”
Groucho Marx 1890-1977.
Thanks to John my message was passed onto Ken who replied soon after with his
itinerary. It was in fact possible to do both shows however Ken was from
Ireland and I was from England so obviously we both had cars in different
places, mine would be starting out in Kent whilst Kens would be sat at Dublin
airport so as I should have already expected the plans Ken had made were
probably not the best for me.
Having not missed a Bob date in Ireland in years even having made it to
Millstreet for the concert that got cancelled after we had been standing for a
few hours with our noses against the glass doors it was not time to miss
one now just because the travelling arrangements left precious little time for
Whilst the itinerary Ken proposed doing was not the route for me he had at
least spurred me on to go for it so I thanked him for getting back to me then
got started on planning my own route. Like Ken I was also going to be flying
from Heathrow leaving my car there but heading not for Dublin but to Shannon.
It was just a short walk up to the stadium from the hotel that I was
stopping at and I arrived fairly early but was a bit confused about the entry
point as it said on my ticket to enter via blue route. I could not find a blue
route or in fact a blue anything so I had to ask a steward and he pointed to a
huge green painted timber square on the wall with white wording saying Green
Door. It seemed to make perfect sense to him but you know if I had been
organizing those tickets I would not have had them printed to say enter via blue
route but instead would have worded it…... no matter when in Rome I suppose.
Due to my early entry I managed to get myself a spot on the rail, no not
for Bob, for Seasick Steve. Now this guy got no place for fancy instruments or
fancy clothes either, in fact this guy looks like he spends even less on his
wardrobe than I do. Probably he has not even got a wardrobe, if he did have one
he would probably have put a couple of strings on it and be playing it in his
act by now. All his instruments if they can be termed that in the true sense
were, shall we say, not exactly top range but boy did he get some magical sounds
out of them. His most sophisticated guitar had three strings and his others
just worked thier way down until he was playing just one string on a plank of
wood with a nail in it, oh and some silver Christmas beads nailed on just as
decoration for visual effect.
He had no need for a big band either just a crazy drummer or perhaps voodoo
witch doctor it was not too easy to tell but together they certainly
seemed able to work each other up into some kind of musical frenzy and he
certainly drew in the ladies too as I counted at least three girls in the crowd
screaming at him in admiration. Together these two guys were pretty
entertaining to watch in a bit of a one hit wonder kind of way but you could
not exactly see anyone wandering off to follow them around on a tour of Europe
for example but thrown in for free it was an experience worth having.
Whilst visiting the refreshment area during the interval I bump into fellow
Bob fan Jim Nolan plus a few other familiar faces passing through who are also
there for the show.
If Carlsberg were to write a Bob Dylan review it would probably be
something like mine is here -
?????????????????????????????? It’s All Good, Hic!
OK, so I cannot remember all the fine detail or pretty much anything else
really but fortunately for you there are others with a more professional
approach than me thus making them much better at reporting so you will just
have to go and read their stuff instead. All I remember is seeing Bob on stage
and me calling out to him so that was good enough for me.
The following morning my taxi arrives and I set off to the airport with
hearty breakfast inside me which was in danger of reappearing at times it must
be said. Not that it was a bad breakfast as it was actually a really excellent
Full English. Not really the fault of the hotel but I do not think that the
after show party that the hotel had set up for all the Bob fans staying with
them had helped in my case on top of everything else.
An international golf tournament was also in town and as we approach the
airport terminal the taxi driver points out this huge blue and white jet
belonging to Tiger Woods. To the side of this jet were a lot of smaller jets
belonging to other golfers but the driver said that he did not know what the
owners of those jets were called. “Losers probably” I said. “Why does he
need a jet that size anyway it is bigger than the one I came in on with lots of
other people on board. Does he also bring his fan club and supporters with him
too, otherwise how many golf clubs does he need to bring?” How flash is that
though having your very own mile high club facility, at least it is in the
right hands I thought. Imagine being the owner of one of the smaller ones stood
beside Tiger Woods as he stands proudly bragging about the size of his.
One final end of tour thought is that I am not sure from the shows I
attended this time round that the usual introduction had always been included,
you know the one that goes -
Ladies & Gentlemen,
PLEASE WELCOME THE POET LAUREATE OF ROCK & ROLL,
the voice of the promise of the 60’s counter culture,
the guy who forced folk into bed with rock,
who donned make up in the 70’s and disappeared into a haze of substance
abuse, who emerged to find Jesus, who was written off as an “as been” by
the end of the late 80’s and then suddenly shifted gears releasing some of
the strongest music of his career beginning in the late 90’s. Ladies and
Gentlemen, Columbia recording artist, BOB DYLAN
It probably has been included but again it may be me who has not been
paying due attention. I don’t know but is it perhaps a little flowery and not
really picking up on the full spectrum of talent that is Bob Dylan. Also is it
not in fact now due for an upgrade anyway as it is also another decade out of
date. Perhaps we now need a new one covering everything so what follows here is
my attempt for consideration.
I know a lot of Bob Dylan fans do not like change (boy did they choose the
wrong artist to follow) so in view of this but at great risk of copyright
infringement you will notice that I have left both the first and last lines true
to the original just for them. To others like me who do not mind a little bit
of variety and change I do apologise for my lack of originality but we have to
cater for everyone as Bob knows full well.
You will however have to imagine the music bit yourself from memory,
something like DA, DA, DA - DAAA - DA - DA, DA, DA - DAAA - DA - DA, DA,
DA…... Anyway this is what I came up with.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
ONTO THE STAGE COMETH THE MAN,
the band leader
the movie actor,
the film director,
the producer ghost,
the radio show host,
the chess and card player,
the beautiful Scottish house owner,
the painter and no doubt excellent decorator,
in fact a right clever Dick if ever there was one.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Columbia recording artist, BOB DYLAN
Let us give thanks that Bob is all these things and more plus he not even sorry
for nothin’ he done and how many of us can say that about ourselves! To all
other mere mortals like me please just be grateful for the gifts you have
rather than lament those you have not and remember to be careful what you wish
Well that’s all until who knows when
Best regards to both John & Ken
With no concerts left to roam
Only thing to do now is get home
Until Bob and his band play again
Having been awake now since Kent
But sure glad in the end that I went
The venue was close to hand
With me staying at The Strand
Once again absolutely Brilliant!
So, Bob Dylan's first visit to Limerick, his 2nd visit west of the Shannon and his (I think)
26th show on this small island (24 of which have been since 1989)
As is usual with Irish shows, I was hoping it wouldn't be a disaster, or at best, only a
mitigated disaster, fearing the 'repercussions' from disgruntled fellow countrymen.
However, my fears were unfounded, as this show not only maintained the high standard
of the Dylan live 2010 experience, but was actually the best of the 4 shows I saw on
the current tour, and clocking in at 2 hours and 18 songs, was also the longest show of
the tour, and with 4 encores, it was looking like he didn't want the show (nor the tour)
But, lets go back to the beginning. A drunken, but fairly good natured crowd, who had
enjoyed the adequate but not exactly overwhelming support bands, got straight into the
thick of enjoying Bob's rollicking Leopardskin Pillbox Hat opener, and indeed the first
3 songs (all of which were different to the previous night's Hop Farm festival show) were
Then, he repeated Just Like a Woman from the night before, complete with crowd
sing-a-long bit (well, sort of..), prior to giving us many more highlights, such as swampy
Together Through Life opener Beyond Here Lies Nothing, complete with trumpet solos,
the new arrangement of Tangled up in Blue (which is somewhere between a fascinating
're-imagining' and a train wreck!) and a top notch hat-trick of Time out of Mind songs,
Trying to get to Heaven (gorgeous), a scintillating Cold Irons Bound and a spiky version
Best song of the night for me though was probably Workingmans Blues - my favourite
song from the Modern Times album and a song that he had never played in Ireland.
Such a poignant song, especially nowadays, and sung with a pathos that could only be
conjured up by THAT particular cracked and wheezing voice.
In fact, for the casual Irish Dylan fan, it was a cracking setlist, with Bob treating us not
just to that song, but also playing 3 songs (Beyond Here, Change Coming on and Jolene)
from the current album Together Through Life, meaning he has now played four of
them here in Ireland (and this an album he has yet to play a single song from at any
Another major highlight of the show, was Bob's general demeanor, with an even more
animated approach than has been the case thus far in 2010. It's just so good to see him
out at the front of the stage again and engaging with the audience, along with his ever
more eccentric stage movements, harmonica flourishes and facial expressions. Not to
mention some reasonable guitar playing (his organ playing remains as wilful as ever!). All
of this animation is any amount of times better than the insincere chat one sees from
other artists (yet no doubt, people will still complain that Bob isn't chatty enough).
The best example of just how animated he is now was on the set closing Ballad of a
Thin Man. For over 6 months now, this song has been extraordinary every single night,
reminding me how unusual it is for Bob to not get sick of a song, and either drop it, or
simply start singing it with the most bizarre phrasing he can think of. Ballad of a Thin Man
seems to get more majestic every night, and tour to tour, city to city, it leaves the
audiences ecstatic as the main set comes to a close.
Anyway, after the end of the main set, we were all set for 2, or perhaps 3 cursory
encores, but Bob was having such a good time and it was such an enthusiastic audience
(down the front anyway), that he stayed on for 4 songs, with the biggest highlight of
all being the Irish debut of the relatively rare recent song - I Feel a Change Coming On.
And just in case anyone was in any doubt that he played if for the James Joyce Irish
writer connection, on production of the line in question Bob and bass player Tony
exchanged huge grins with each other. Like a Rolling Stone of course went down as
well as it always does, with the mixed age Irish crowd roaring the chorus as lustily as
any Scottish or Italian crowd!
Before I close, some negative points - after all, no concert is perfect; the band did seem
to have some on-stage technical problems during one or two songs (didn't really affect
anything), and some clown in the crowd pointed a green laser pen light at Bob for the last
song or two (other artists have in the past been known to storm off stage for such an
offence). Also, the venue was too big really, and with that swirling wind, I imagine the
sound (which was perfect down the front) can't have been great in that big stand down
But, to finish on a positive note a jaunty Blowin in the Wind with nice closing harmonica
solo wrapped up proceedings, leaving most people very happy, and bringing another really
good European tour to a close.
And I must say Limerick was an enjoyable experience overall for this Leinster rugby fan,
even despite hearing the news that Bob had requested four (count 'em, four!) Munster
rugby jerseys for himself! (Thomond Park is the home of the Munster rugby team)
Finally, a brief note on the previous day's show, at the Hop Farm music festival in Kent.
A very enjoyable and scorchingly hot day out, met lots of people I hadn't seen in years,
and found it a pleasant adult oriented rock/folk festival which was (mostly) fairly well
organised. I wasn't massively impressed by the earlier artists, but Mumford & Sons certainly
drew a crowd, and a grumpier than normal Ray Davies still managed to give us enjoyable
set. Bob played a disappointingly short set, but it was very well performed, and had some
amazing highlights, not least of which was that pink shirt!
Review by Des Gunning
Preparatory to anything else… Bob and I go back to 1976. It was Desire that
brought us together. His. And we’ve never been apart. Life circumstances
determined that I only saw him play live for the first time in Kilkenny, just a
couple of years ago where Tweedledum and Tweedledee and Maggie’s Farm were
standouts for me. I also had the pleasure of having my son with me at that gig –
but he couldn’t make Limerick because his band were rehearsing!
So, Thomond Park and Bob’s gig begins with The Last Days of Death Country
grabbing their chance and shaking it. Excellent. Things definitely looking
good. The Alabama 12 could do no wrong: showmanship, sass and a sexy little
yellow number in a stompin’ set. Which set up Seasick Steve and his tastefully
groomed sideman with a wondrous wall of sound, cored on a gentle, intimate
David Gray I can take or leave, but I’ll take the set played here. The
shakey-headed one was enjoying himself for sure and building up a unity of
anticipation between the stage and the crowd that had just about reached the
recorded 18,000 when he bowed out on the final Babylon. Pete “Tallboy” Shortt
enjoyed that set too!
And we were into Jack Kerouac being read to us over the speakers in what
seemed like a clipped Milwaukee accent as Bob’s roadies set to. “On the
Road” was interspersed with delicate strains of Barbara Streisand’s
“Memories ( the way we were)”, which came in more than once. A banjo was
laid in behind Donnie Herron’s keyboard and I was anticipating High Water
(for Charley Patton).
Then a little late, “Columbia Recording Artist, Bob Dylan” took to the stage and
the keyboard. He was dressed just like the Jack of Trumps and I swear that he
did look great.
8 bars in to a driving blues, the lyric of Brand New Leopardskin Pillbox hat
revealed itself. Allowing for the bump and grind of the eighth row, the next
hour and a half were just mesmeric. Charlie Sexton, to me, looked weirdly like
Robbie Robertson, in a starey-eyed way that suggested he’d maybe had two too
many Red Bulls on the trip from Hop Farm. His playing was extraordinary, whether
playing off Bob on guitar for a bunch of songs: Lay, Lady, Lay , JLTTB, an
absolutely swingin’ Beyond Here Lies Nothin' and another wholly new
re-imagining of Tangled Up In Blue.
Charlie, the band and Bob shone brightest when Bob came out to the mic on
his own with just harmonica in hand for a singalong Just Like a Woman but
especially for Cold Irons Bound, a particular favourite of mine. And we got
clap-alongs too, c’mon! I could’ve gone home happy at that stage.
If I had done, I’d have missed Love Sick where Stu Kimball got to work a bit –
or is it just that everything else he does he make to look "simpliciter"?!
And then, the stand-out highlight of the evening. Earlier the Alabama 3 had
introduced their V-I-E-T-N-A-M-I-S-T-A-N as a protest song. Which it is, about a
distant place and an almost perpetual tragedy, but people few of us personally
Tonight as the evening haze settled over Thomondgate, Ballynanty, Mayorstone and
Caherdavin, I was hoping Bob’s voice was being lofted over the East Stand of the
stadium where famously, the ordinary working classes come to enjoy rugby – a
voice ringing out in protest and in sympathy "Starlight by the edge of the
creek. The buyin' power of the proletariat's gone down. Money's gettin' shallow
And amidst the backdrop of longterm unemployment in cynically “planned”
estates and the litany of redundancies that Limerick has experienced just
lately Bob has taking it to the heart of the Borough, wrapping an arm around the
shoulder of the dispossessed and delivering it straight up the noses of the
elite: “It's a new path that we trod. They say low wages are a reality - If we
want to compete abroad”
And would the somewhat disappointing ticket sales for this gig, which
prompted a re-configuration of the proposed layout, signify that to people
who would otherwise be here but who are in fact sitting in at home “Just …
trying to keep the hunger from - Creeping it's way into my gut”
Is it fanciful that the visit of this icon, living legend, prophet and all
that, might feed some souls with thought – as it did mine: “gonna sleep
off the rest of the day Sometimes no one wants what we got - Sometimes
you can't give it away “
And these things are cyclical. Bob is not the first great Depression
commentator to “sleep in the kitchen with my feet in the hall”, but surely he
is a cogent commentator on the present-day Depression, as this song testifies.
And wouldn’t it be a positive thing if some of Limerick’s planners and the
local government managers of the city and its surrounding impermeabilities
heard and absorbed and were disturbed by: “Well, they burned my barn, and
they stole my horse - I can't save a dime. I got to be careful, I don't
want to be forced - into a life of continual crime“.
Would the residents of the ‘sink’ estates – beyond the range of tonight’s
sound system - be justified in turning to the barn-burning, horse-stealing elite
( they do it with the pen) and using Bob’s words to say : “How I wish you were
here to see - Tell me now, am I wrong in thinking - That you have forgotten me?”
And finally, the moral choice spelled out in the prophet’s voice – the blood of
the land in it – "It's all true, everything you've heard" – the prophetic voice
that speaks with integrity and can be trusted - "wanna look in my eyes, please
do" – the prophet’s voice that speaks with assurance, self-knowledge and humour
- "I say it so it must be so" - the seer who can live on rice and beans – who
declares that even though:
"Some people never worked a day in their life"
"Don't know what work even means"
There is nobody who can avoid making moral choices:
"Meet me at the bottom, don't lag behind
Bring me my boots and shoes
You can hang back or fight your best on the frontline
Sing a little bit of these workingman's blues"
I was choked by the confluence of lyric, performance, location and occasion. A
woman who, frankly, had been irritating the hell out of me up to that song, was
stilled by it, then took my hand we held hands aloft – and others joined in. I
noticed that the front six rows, which was all the space between me and the
stage barrier, were taken up with what looked like 14 to 20 year-olds.
Transfixed. It was a very good moment. There were tears. How’d’ya do that Bob?
And Thunder on the Mountain rolled out immediately after. Bob doesn’t stay
in one place very long. Because beyond the horizon – whatever horizon there is –
the landscape is glowin’, gleaming in the golden light of day. Did I hear him
sing “I already confessed, I don’t need to come back again?”
And finally in the show proper, Bob centre stage with no guitar just a
mic’ed harmonica in hand delivers an absolutely jaw-dropping “Ballad of a
That’s not a song that words can be written about.
He cuts a Chaplinesque figure – there’s even just the hint of a little bow
on the applause, which is repeated later - but he’s not resting on his
laurels. He likes to flick his hair back, under the hat – not to be confused
with the little ‘both hands to the ears’ gesture which seems to mean “ four more
bars and we’re out”.
And down front there’s acknowledgement of the front rows – rather in the way of
a shy courtier’s glance – just going into the last 12. A woman asked if her
daughter could stand in front of me on the cable-cover to catch her first ever
glimpse of the man. She was of very slight physique but she got a good
sight-line. “ Is that him playing the keyboard?” she asked. Yes. She was
rewarded with a smiling, end-of-tour grin.
And it was over.
When the band left the stage, the banner unfurled. An oversight? I dunno. It had
more impact the way in happened. A four-song encore followed, of which the
highlight for me was Jolene. But the lowlight was the Thomond Park Stadium
Management and their crew for (apparently) not even trying to deal with the
asshole with the laserlight.
Here was an assault on a pre-eminent artistic and cultural figure, one of
the great figures of modern times, arguably, there with Nelson Mandela and
the Dalai Lama in terms of influence and Thomond Park Stadium Management
couldn’t even send a security officer out onto the corner of the stage to
identify and deter the assailant.
I think Bob was up for another encore. There was just about time. The banjo
behind Donnie Herron’s keyboard hadn’t been used but Tony Garnier wasn’t having
it. He blocked the laser-asshole’s line on Bob and hustled everybody offstage.
It was an unscripted ending. But Bob, please don’t think twice about working
again with people who showed themselves to be so blasé, disorganised and
competence-deficient. And as a man behind me yelled out repeatedly during the
show: “Thank You!”
Review by Liam Carson
I cannot think of a finer American with whom to spend the Fourth of
July than the esteemed Mr Dylan, and a jolly good time was had by
all. Great gig, he took to centre stage to just sing and play
harmonica on a few numbers, doing hot stuff. Chemistry between him
and guitarist Charlie Sexton is something else, they fire each other
up. Support acts were Alabama 3 and Seasick Steve, both good fun.
Alas David Gray - as insipid as his name - was also on the bill. What
a talentless bore. His music is just one mediocre wash from start to
finish, no edge, no bite. He had the nerve to cover 'The Boys are
back in Town' by Thin Lizzy, turning a great rocker into an insipid
Billy Joel style piano ballad. As my friend Ger commented 'Where's
the vomitarium?'. This was the second time I've had Gray inflicted on
me at an Irish Dylan gig, let's hope it never happens again.
Bob was in great form, I've seldom seen him seem so at ease.
Highlights were a souped up 'Cold Irons Bound', Dylan pacing the
stage like an alley cat, it had all the verve and edge of vintage
Captain Beefheart. 'Beyond here Lies Nothing' gloriously funky. 'Love
Sick' was powerful, best live version I've heard yet. 'Ballad of a
Thin Man' was the stormer of the night - brilliantly theatrical,
venomous, full of darkness and drama. For my money, the current live
version blows all the previous versions out of the water, with the
possible exception of the Albert Hall version.
All in all, a great set-list, though I'd love to have heard
'Forgetful Heart'. But so it goes. Also had the impression that Bob
might have played a few more encores if not for the prat who shone a
laser in his eyes. Sexton and band huddled around Dylan for a minute
or so, lots of debate going on before they came stage front for the
final bow. Still, we got a four song encore, including a lovely 'I
feel a change coming on'.
Question: who is the reader on the recording of On the Road played
before Dylan? Definitely not Kerouac, curious to know.
Review by Brian Steedman
addition to the reviews with a few words of explanation.
I thought that the show was very good with a few quibbles and that
generally Bob was in great form, especially on Ballad of a Thin Man.
I will comment on the songs more after reflection (just got back to
London late last night after a rain-soaked trawl down to beautiful
West Cork). I just want to say a few words about the crowd. Arriving
at 6.30 (not having the stomach for SSS or DG) we found a crowd
densely pack in front of stage and a kind of picnic ambience further
back that made getting closer than about 50m difficult. We parked
behind a heavily swaying bunch of David Gray fans much the worse for
wear and waited. As we waited we noted a great deal of movement back
and forth to the beer sales area, so that it was soon clear that
those who had arrived early had had a LOT to drink. Those directly in
front of us were clearly David Gray fans, blind drunk, and had no
interest in Bob, chatting endlessly in loud conspiratoral mode, so
that both words and view were blocked out. I asked for a little
consideration and got a long mouthful of abuse, plus an offer to have
my front teeth removed. Instead we removed ourselves to a safe
distance, and concentrated on the real event. There was much interest
in jumping up and down, standing on shoulders and waving back to
friends in the stand rather than the main attraction, and a lot of
tossing beer around. At one stage a bottle was thrown. It seemed
clear nonetheless that Bob was going to play a long set and the
encores kept coming. Then, someone began to point a green laser at
the stage, first at Denny then, increasingly, at Bob. As the last
number ended, I expected Bob to do band announcements and maybe one
more number but by now the laser was being conspicuously pointed at
his eyes. He moved to back of stage, lowered his head, and a huddle
ensued. He turned back to the front; the laser pointing resumed; Tony
stood in front of Bob, protective as ever, and pointed in the
direction of of the source. There was a hurried standing to
acknowledge the crowd, even more tentative than usual, and the band
left the stage very quickly. A sad end to what has been a good leg of
the tour. Those responsible for the idiot behaviour did themselves,
Limerick, and the general glorious history of Bob gigs in the
Republic a great disservice. The band did the crowd, by contrast,
great and lively service.
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